Progressive MyRate hackable?


Progressive Insurance announced that it will be rolling out its MyRate plan nationally. You participate by plugging a monitoring device into the ODB-II port on your vehicle. Once every six months you upload the collected data from every trip you’ve made. You’ll receive at least a 5% discount and maybe more based on your driving habits. In some states though, you could actually have your rates raised. Progressive will show you the direct impact your driving behavior has on your rate.

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LED serial debugging for cell phone hacking


[Barry] needed some way to get serial output to help debug his efforts to port Linux to the HTC TytnII (Windows mobile Pocket PC phone). He wrote some code to send serial output via one of the LEDs on the phone and rigged up an AVR to pic up the output and provide a USB interface to the computer. It runs at about 200bps – perfect for the quick debug session.

GPS logging Arduino shield


ladyada continues to produce more and more interesting Arduino shields. This new GPS logger plugs into a standard Arduino board and has support for four different GPS receiver modules. On the backside of the board is an SD card slot where it stores the coordinates in a text file. The total runtime can vary from five hours to twenty depending on how you choose to power the device and how you use the device. How often you read the device and whether you maintain the GPS lock will affect the power consumption. Like all of ladyada’s projects, you’ll find a great construction guide and example code on her site.

Bittorrent admin convicted by federal jury


[Daniel Dove], administrator of the site EliteTorrents.org, has been convicted of conspiracy and felony copyright infringement. Running a bittorrent tracker isn’t in itself illegal, but [Dove] apparently recruited seeders and distributed the initial illegal copies to them from his own server. From the press release, it seems the Justice Department is quite tickled with finally getting a conviction in a P2P case after a jury trial.

[photo: nrkbeta]

Defcon 16 schedule finalized


If you were waiting to finalize you travel plans, now’s the time; Defcon has published the final speaking schedule. The conference starts Friday August 8th in Las Vegas, NV and continues through Sunday with four separate speaking tracks. There’s quite a few talks we’re looking forward to: Silicon guru [Christopher Tarnovsky] from Flylogic will be hosting a breakout session on smartcard security. [Gadi Evron] will talk about the security implications of biological implants in the future. [Thomas Wilhelm] is going to cover building a mobile hacker space and the vehicle related hacks it requires.

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