I am this week's special guest on the More Thank Bits! podcast.

Last week Alexius Pendragon invited me to be the special guest on the podcast he co-hosts, called More Than Bits! During the interview I fielded a bunch of questions about the RaspberryPi and my lunchtop, Squeak and Scratch, capture the flag competitions and Project 2 by dirtbags.net, Project Byzantium, and being on the Global Frequency.

I was unfortunately ill-prepared for the interview because I ran home from work and jacked in without taking the time to get my head or my notes together, so I made quite a few gaffs. I hate it when I'm operating half in work …

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Any sufficiently advanced marketing technique is indistinguishable from paranoid schizophrenia.

For a couple of weeks now, people in major cities like New York City and Los Angeles have been experiencing something far more unusual: Voices in their heads that suddenly cause them to look up at billboards. It isn't auditory hallucinations causing this but snipers armed with tight-cone directional sonic projectors aiming recorded sounds at people on the street as part of an advertising campaign for a show on A&E called Paranormal State. The device in question is called Audio Spotlight from Holosonics and involves the use of carefully tuned ultrasonic speakers. The principle behind this is that ultrasound …

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The vulnerability of children to images these days is frightening.

Recently, an experiment was performed at Stanford in which children aged 3 to 5 were presented with various foods (including vegetables and milk, which a vanishing number of kids like anyway at that age), some wrapped in McDonald's packaging, and some in plain packaging. The children were asked to state which tasted better to them after trying the foods. Somehow unsurprisingly, they liked the foods that they thought were from McDonald's better, which says a lot for conditioning to particular images as well as the power of suggestion. People start assimilating ideas presented by advertising at an extremely young age …

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Microsoft patents the end-all-be-all of spyware; open source community gears up in response.

A couple of days ago it came to light that Microsoft, everyone's favorite software powerhouse took out a patent on what very well could be the spyware to end all spyware - a system which scans information stored on a workstation and sends it Someplace Else for analysis... to generate advertising specifically geared for the person logged into the box. The patent describes a system integrated not only into the operating system and user interface, but all of the applications linked against this functionality that would look at every document on the machine, every e-mail sent or recieved, multimedia files' metadata …

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