A 3D printed house is for sale in New York. Builders say it will cut housing construction costs

Found on CNN on Monday, 15 February 2021
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Now a company says it has listed the first 3D printed house in the United States for sale. The Riverhead, New York, home is listed online through Zillow with an asking price of $299,999.

"What we want to do is print homes fast, and cheap and strong," Andersen said.

Do we really need more cheaper houses?

Watch How Boston Dynamics Robots Will Do Fortnite Victory Dances Over Our Fleshy Human Corpses

Found on Hot Hardware on Sunday, 03 January 2021
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Boston Dynamics' family of robots is having some fun to celebrate the close of 2020. Spot and Atlas were joined by their oddball sibling Handle to shake their booties on the dance floor to "Do You Love Me" by The Contours. The video starts off impressive enough with just a single Atlas showing its incredible dexterity while busting out some sweet dance moves that would have made the late Patrick Swayze envious.

It's all fun and games in the headline above of course, but you have to admit the skills on display here are just a little funky-freaky.

Boston Dynamics can not only do robots, but als good PR.

Walmart-exclusive router and others sold on Amazon & eBay contain hidden backdoors

Found on Cybernews on Saturday, 05 December 2020
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Suspicious backdoors have been discovered in a Chinese-made Jetstream router, sold exclusively at Walmart as their new line of “affordable” wifi routers. This backdoor would allow an attacker the ability to remotely control not only the routers, but also any devices connected to that network.

Besides the Walmart-exclusive Jetstream router, the cybersecurity research team also discovered that low-cost Wavlink routers, normally sold on Amazon or eBay, have similar backdoors. The Wavlink routers also contain a script that lists nearby wifi and has the capability to connect to those networks.

In the old days, criminals had to actually break into your system; now, they just sell pre-infected hardware.

Calls for 'right to repair' electronics laws grow louder across Europe

Found on The Register on Tuesday, 01 December 2020
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The paper, called Electronic Waste and the Circular Economy, cites UN statistics stating the UK produces the second-highest amount of e-waste per capita globally, after Norway. At 23.9kg per person, this vastly exceeds the world average of 7.3kg per capita, as well as European averages, at 16.2kg.

The paper references design practices where previously easy-to-remove components, such as hard drives and memory, are now soldered to circuit boards, or affixed to the chassis with intractable dollops of glue.

It's about time. If you buy a product, you should have the right to do everything with it you want, and that includes repairs. If you take a look at old electronics, you'll notice how they were designed to be repairable.

After 12,523 replacements, Feds investigate Tesla Media Control Unit failures

Found on Ars Technica on Friday, 20 November 2020
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The MCU regularly writes logs to this chip and, within three or four years, reaches the lifetime number of cycles. At this point the touchscreen dies, taking with it functions like the car's backup camera, the ability to defog the windows, and also the audible alerts and chimes for the driver aids and turn signals.

The finite—and short—lifespan of these infotainment systems is a relatively well-known problem within the Tesla community.

For development, it sure helps to have thousands of testers, but Tesla should at least inform buyers about things like that.

Sorry, but the new MacBook Air is not faster than 98% of PC laptops

Found on PC World on Tuesday, 17 November 2020
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Apple officials literally claimed that the new MacBook Air using Apple’s custom M1 chip is faster than 98 percent of all PC laptops sold this year.

So, not only does Apple not say what tests it’s basing its claims on, it doesn’t even say where it sources the comparable laptops.

All that does not matter at all, because drooling fanboys will buy it anyway, just because it is from Apple. Some people don't need facts.

Rolls-Royce plans 16 mini-nuclear plants for UK

Found on BBC News on Thursday, 12 November 2020
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Rolls-Royce argues that as well as producing low-carbon electricity, the concept may become an export industry.

The government says new nuclear is essential if the UK is to meet its target of reaching net zero emissions by 2050 - where any carbon released is balanced out by an equivalent amount absorbed from the atmosphere.

If it is done right, nuclear can be an option.

All of South Australia's power comes from solar panels in world first for major jurisdiction

Found on ABC News on Thursday, 29 October 2020
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For just over an hour on Sunday, October 11, 100 per cent of energy demand was met by solar panels alone.

"This is truly a phenomenon in the global energy landscape," Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) chief executive Audrey Zibelman said.

While it is sure impressive, it is also pretty pointless if you can only cover the energy demand for an hour. It's not just about an hour: you need to cover 100% all the time, day and night, summer and winter, every single day of the year.

Apple Sues Canadian Recycling Firm for Reselling 100,000 Devices Instead of Destroying Them

Found on iPhone in Canada on Saturday, 10 October 2020
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Apple is seeking $31 million from GEEP, plus proceeds made from selling iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches.

“At least 11,766 pounds of Apple devices left GEEP’s premises without being destroyed – a fact that GEEP itself confirmed. These misappropriated devices were then subsequently sold at a significantly higher price than other recycled materials to downstream vendors who refurbished and resold the devices to consumers,” explains Apple’s suit, filed in January.

So that is what Apple thinks of the environment: people should buy new products instead of repaired ones. This is another reason why they will forever stay on the "Do not buy" list.

When Coffee Machines Demand Ransom, You Know IoT Is Screwed

Found on Wired on Tuesday, 06 October 2020
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As a thought experiment, Martin Hron, a researcher at the security company Avast, reverse engineered one of the older coffee makers to see what kinds of hacks he could do with it. After just a week of effort, the unqualified answer was: quite a lot. Specifically, he could trigger the coffee maker to turn on the burner, dispense water, spin the bean grinder, and display a ransom message, all while beeping repeatedly. Oh, and by the way, the only way to stop the chaos was to unplug the power cord.

“The lifespan of a typical fridge is 17 years, how long do you think vendors will support software for its smart functionality?”

IoT is a load of junk. Most devices are of low-quality, buggy, harmful to the environment and sometimes downright dangerous. Consumers better think twice if they really need such spyware in their homes.