Exposing poorly redacted PDFs


Privacy watchdog group, National Legal and Policy Center has released a PDF detailing Google founder Larry Page’s home (dowload PDF here). They used Google’s Maps and Street View to assemble all of the information. Google is currently involved in a lawsuit resulting from a Street View vehicle traveling and documenting a private road. This PDF was released in response to Google stating that “complete privacy does not exist”.

For some reason the PDF is redacted with black boxes. We threw together a simple screencast (click through for HiDef) to show how to easily bypass the boxes using free tools. You can simply cut and paste the hidden text and images can be copied as well-no need to break out Illustrator. This sort of redaction may seem trivial, but the US military has fallen victim to it in the past.

New features on Wikiwatcher


Wikiwatcher has just officially released their new tools. We covered their announcement at The Last HOPE just last month. The 2.0 version of Wikiscanner is not ready just yet.

Poor Man’s Checkuser exposes the IPs of quite a few user accounts. There is a wealth of data here which can be used as a base for your own tools. Potential Sockpuppetry is a good example of using this data; it shows what IPs are associated with multiple accounts and could be run by the same person. It takes data from the Poor Man’s Checkuser and arranges it by organization and IP range. Beaver Scope keeps an eye on edits coming out of all specific locations on MIT campus. The author used this list of MIT IPs to monitor MIT’s activity during the Caltech-MIT pranking season. It is able to pinpoint exactly which building an article is being edited from. The team hopes to see people develop new tools from the Poor Man’s Checkuser data.

MSI Wind extended battery


[The Tech Guy] shows us how he added cells to an MSI Wind’s battery. This hack is extremely simple but it may be difficult to get the battery back into your laptop. Also, we’re not too sure how stable it is, and you can definitely forget about taking this thing through an airport. It would be really nice to start seeing people fabricate custom enclosures. Until then, this hack is best reserved for people completely desperate for extended battery life.

[via hypatiadotca]

Tablo, fabric gesture controller


[Adrian Freed] posted this interesting fabric gesture controller called Tablo. It uses a stretchy conductive fabric, laid over a framework to create a curve known as the Witch of Agnesi. Holding the center of the fabric up is an inverted bowl covered with sections of conductive material. The whole thing is wired to a microcontroller that measures the resistance fluctuations when you press on the fabric. It is capable of measuring displacement and pressure as well as being multitouch.

They mention that the simple interface allows it to be used as a foot input as well as a hand input. We’d love to see a video of it in action.

Essential Bluetooth hacking tools

Security-Hacks has a great roundup of essential Bluetooth hacking tools. As they point out, Bluetooth technology is very useful for communication with mobile devices. However, it is also vulnerable to privacy and security invasions. Learning the ins and outs of these tools will allow you to familiarize yourself with Bluetooth vulnerabilities and strengths, and enable you to protect yourself from attackers. The list is separated into two parts – tools to detect Bluetooth devices, and tools to hack into Bluetooth devices. Check out BlueScanner, which will detect Bluetooth-enabled devices, and will extract as much information as possible from those devices. Other great tools to explore include BTCrawler, which scans for Windows Mobile devices, or Bluediving, which is a Bluetooth penetration suite, and offers some unique features like the ability to spoof Bluetooth addresses, and an L2CAP packet generator. Most of the tools are available for use with Linux platforms, but there are a few you can also use with Windows.

[via Digg]

Electric screwdriver robot hand


Here’s an interesting grabber hand built for use on an ROV. This grabber is a novel use of a very common and extremely cheap electric screwdriver, that is probably found in everyone’s toolbox. It is also a great way to reuse that small electric screwdriver you have kicking around that uses proprietary batteries that are not worth replacing. Many of the ROV’s covered previously could benefit from such a powerful device built from very common materials off his parts list. Because the screwdriver was extremely cheap the designer chose not to completely seal the housing.

It seems like this simple design that could be used in many robotic projects and by simply changing the jaws could yield other creative uses. The first thing that comes to mind is to upsize this hack into something bigger and stronger. Either way, you might not want to get your fingers in there.

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