Putting Faraday shielding fabric to the test.

Last year at Thotcon the presenters were given what were purported to be faraday shielded backpacks - backpacks manufactured with fabric woven out of very fine conductive wires that are said to reflect radio frequency signals inside and outside.  The idea is that if you have a cellphone and you put it inside the bag, you could be sure that the phone was not talking to any cell towers so it would be harder to track the person carrying the phone, as well as preventing any malware that may have been installed from phoning home.  So the reasoning goes, even if …

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Tor in the Elastic Computing Cloud: Fourteen months later.

Slightly over a year has gone by since I announced that I'd set up a Tor node in Amazon's EC2 to help add some bandwidth to the Tor network. I've been keeping an eye on things since then, keeping tabs on what goes into maintaining a node in Amazon's virtualization infrastructure and tallying up the cost, so here are my results.

Last month my year of 'free' operation of a micro instance in the EC2 was up; I now have to pay full price for my particular tier every month to maintain my node (though I always had to pay …

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Project Byzantium: Sprint #1.

EDITED: 20110318 @ 0955 EST5EDT. See end of article.

A few weekends ago at HacDC a small team of highly skilled hackers gathered to work on practical solutions to a problem which has risen its ugly head time and again in the past few months: a lack of connectivity. Most of the time, when your DSL line goes dead for a couple of hours it's no big deal. If your phone service is tied into DSL (e.g., you're a voice-over-IP customer or the line is physically damaged) it's a bit more of a problem if you don't have an alternate …

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Artifically constructed extension nerves!

New and interesting developments in the field of neuroprosthetics! Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania are culturing living data cables by stretching nerves! Because nerves do not mix well with nonorganic structures unless they are coated with organic compounds and practically grown there, the most ideal way of growing nerves is to take a section of viable nerve tissue, culture it in a growth medium, and slowly stretch the section of nerve. The idea is that the neurons are stretched away from one another, so the neuronal bodies and axons will lengthen to fill the space. Interestingly, nerves will stretch …

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