feeds | grep links > Latest Modular Robotics, Encrypting with Cellular Automata, Software Both To Reveal and Better Hide Anonymous Speakers, and More

  • Cubelets Modular Robotics System
    MAKE has details of an color coded, module system of robotic parts from, appropriately enough, Modular Robotics. I am positive I have seen something very close to these before so the novelty may simply be in the refinement of an existing idea. I have a vague memory of a video of a talk on programmable matter demonstrating the common ancestor of Cubelets as an initial step along the way to assembly ready components like these but on the molecular scale.
  • Encrypting pictures using chaotic cellular automata
    Technology Review posted details of the evolution of an old idea, the combination of a random noise source with information as a means to encrypt and, assuming the receiver has the same noise available, decrypt. In this instance, the new technique is applicable to the visual information in images, like certain means of steganography, and combines crypto, one of my favorite things, with cellular automata, another of my favorite things. Assuming CAs are hard to reverse engineer from their final output, a quality about which I have no idea but am guessing is true, this seems like a very clever approach.
  • Software helps identify anonymous writers or helps them stay that way
    Nicole Perlroth of the NYTimes Bits blog explains two applications of an older discipline, stylometry. She gives examples of its more traditional usage, identify the real author of a given historical document, given enough other, attributable documents for deduce aspects of writing style statistically. JStylo, which claims to have a high accuracy at identification with small documents, limited suspects and minimal writing samples, and Anonymouth, which uses the same research to help preserve anonymity rather than remove it, build on previous coding efforts as well as existing research. I am encouraged that the defensive tool was developed later, hopefully giving a short term advantage to anonymous speakers.
  • Apple reportedly putting DMCA squeeze on App Store pirates, Ars Technica
  • The internet is the best place for dissent to start, Technology at guardian.co.uk via BoingBoing
  • Why politicians should never make laws about technology, The Deep End at InfoWorld via Slashdot
  • Very tiny RF transistor made from graphene, The Register

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