07 Oct 15:08

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - A Recording

by admin@smbc-comics.com

Hovertext: Kelly felt this one was too mean. I, on the other hand, feel nothing.

New comic!
Today's News:
05 Oct 22:06

What Non-Geeks Hate About the Big Bang Theory

by samzenpus
v3rgEz writes: It has been said that there is a lot to dislike about the Big Bang Theory, from the typical geek's point of view: It plays in stereotypes of geekdom for cheap laughs, makes non-sensical gags, and has a laugh track in 2015. But what does the rest of America (well, the part of America not making it the number one show on television) think? FCC complaints recently released accuse the show of everything from animal cruelty to subliminal messaging, demanding that the sitcom be ripped from the airwaves lest it ruin America. The full complaints for your reading pleasure.

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06 Oct 04:01

Social security

by David M Willis
07 Oct 04:01


by David M Willis
06 Oct 00:52

Calling In Support

06 Oct 09:36

Disproving the Mythical Man-Month With DevOps

by samzenpus
StewBeans writes: The Mythical Man-Month is a 40-year old theory on software development that many believe still holds true today. It states: "A project that requires five team members to work for five months cannot be completed by a twenty-five person team in one month." Basically, adding manpower to a development project counterintuitively lowers productivity because it increases complexity. Citing the 2015 State of DevOps Report, Anders Wallgren from Electric Cloud says that microservices architecture is proving this decades-old theory wrong, but that there is still some hesitation among IT decision makers. He points out three rookie mistakes to avoid for IT organizations just starting to dip their toes into agile methodologies.

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06 Oct 04:21

That Kind

06 Oct 05:06

Comic for October 06, 2015

Dilbert readers - Please visit Dilbert.com to read this feature. Due to changes with our feeds, we are now making this RSS feed a link to Dilbert.com.
08 Oct 00:29

Today’s Twitter Tomfoolery

by John Scalzi

It goes a little something like this.

I can not believe that fog got school cancelled today. Amazing.

— Athena Scalzi (@AScalzi98) October 7, 2015


— John Scalzi (@scalzi) October 7, 2015


— Athena Scalzi (@AScalzi98) October 7, 2015


— John Scalzi (@scalzi) October 7, 2015


— Athena Scalzi (@AScalzi98) October 7, 2015

I NEED FAN ART OF THIS STAT https://t.co/rxuWpJjee4

— John Scalzi (@scalzi) October 7, 2015

@scalzi @AScalzi98 BY YOUR COMMAND. Hey, it was a weird word picture to begin with. pic.twitter.com/hfX7X8gE18

— Bicycle Repairman (@ThreeSpeeds) October 7, 2015

Never a dull moment with the Scalzis, I’d say.

06 Oct 12:00

How Much Bringing Your Own Lunch to Work Can Really Save

by Eric Ravenscraft

You’ve heard that bringing your own lunch to work can save you money, but how much does it really save? According to personal finance site Money Crashers, it’s a lot.


06 Oct 17:00

Your Stubbornness Is the Real Reason You Aren't Losing Weight

by Dick Talens on Vitals, shared by Andy Orin to Lifehacker

I’ve seen thousands of people attempt a weight loss regimen, and there is one common trait shared by people who fail fast. It’s not bad genetics, lack of time, or a penchant for fine wines. It’s stubbornness.


06 Oct 19:31

Porsche Refuses Android Auto Privacy Terms

by John Gruber

Number 5 on Jonny Lieberman’s list of “13 Cool Facts About the 2017 Porsche 911” for Motortrend:

So much for “Do No Evil.” There’s no technological reason the 991/2 doesn’t have Android Auto playing through its massively upgraded PCM system. But there is an ethical one. As part of the agreement an automaker would have to enter with Google, certain pieces of data must be collected and mailed back to Mountain View, California. Stuff like vehicle speed, throttle position, coolant and oil temp, engine revs — basically Google wants a complete OBD2 dump whenever someone activates Android Auto. Not kosher, says Porsche. Obviously, this is “off the record,” but Porsche feels info like that is the secret sauce that makes its cars special. Moreover, giving such data to a multi-billion dollar corporation that’s actively building a car, well, that ain’t good, either. Apple, by way of stark contrast, only wants to know if the car is moving while Apple Play is in use. Makes you wonder about all the other OEMs who have agreed to Google’s requests/demands, no?

Yes, it does.

Update: Google responds. I would call it a non-denial denial, but you be the judge.

06 Oct 18:07

Who Is Your Celebrity Crush?

by Joanna Goddard

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 9.47.25 PM

The other night, I was hanging out with some female friends over arugula salads, and one friend mentioned that she and her husband each have a “freebie,” or a famous person they could sleep with, should the opportunity ever present itself.… Read more

The post Who Is Your Celebrity Crush? appeared first on A Cup of Jo.

06 Oct 17:10

Cation-Controlled Enantioselective and Diastereoselective Synthesis of Indolines: An Autoinductive Phase-Transfer Initiated 5-endo-trig Process

by Krishna Sharma, Jamie R. Wolstenhulme, Phillip P. Painter, David Yeo, Francisca Grande-Carmona, Craig P. Johnston, Dean J. Tantillo and Martin D. Smith

TOC Graphic

Journal of the American Chemical Society
DOI: 10.1021/jacs.5b08834
06 Oct 15:16

A Mist Opportunity

by Caroline Donofrio

A Mist Opportunity

As those who know me can attest, there’s one product I can’t get enough of: mist. Many a friend, boyfriend or airplane seat mate has given me the side eye when I pull out a random bottle of liquid and spray it all over my face.… Read more

The post A Mist Opportunity appeared first on A Cup of Jo.

08 Oct 07:01

Comic: Truth In Advertising

New Comic: Truth In Advertising
07 Oct 07:01

Comic: Vox Something Or Other

by tycho@penny-arcade.com (Tycho)
New Comic: Vox Something Or Other
06 Oct 14:30

How Long It Takes English Speakers to Learn Nine Other Common Languages

by Kristin Wong

Learning a new language takes time, and how long it takes, exactly, will vary depending on how similar the language is to the one you speak. This infographic tells us how long it takes English speakers to learn the nine most common languages in the world.


06 Oct 11:20

Metallic Co4N Porous Nanowire Arrays Activated by Surface Oxidation as Electrocatalysts for the Oxygen Evolution Reaction

by Pengzuo Chen, Kun Xu, Zhiwei Fang, Yun Tong, Junchi Wu, Xiuli Lu, Xu Peng, Hui Ding, Changzheng Wu, Yi Xie


Designing highly efficient electrocatalysts for oxygen evolution reaction (OER) plays a key role in the development of various renewable energy storage and conversion devices. In this work, we developed metallic Co4N porous nanowire arrays directly grown on flexible substrates as highly active OER electrocatalysts for the first time. Benefiting from the collaborative advantages of metallic character, 1D porous nanowire arrays, and unique 3D electrode configuration, surface oxidation activated Co4N porous nanowire arrays/carbon cloth achieved an extremely small overpotential of 257 mV at a current density of 10 mA cm−2, and a low Tafel slope of 44 mV dec−1 in an alkaline medium, which is the best OER performance among reported Co-based electrocatalysts to date. Moreover, in-depth mechanistic investigations demonstrate the active phases are the metallic Co4N core inside with a thin cobalt oxides/hydroxides shell during the OER process. Our finding introduces a new concept to explore the design of high-efficiency OER electrocatalysts.

Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Metallic Co4N porous nanowire arrays activated by surface oxidation are shown to be highly efficient OER electrocatalysts. Benefiting from multiple synergistic effects of metallic character, 1D porous nanowire structure, and unique 3D electrode configuration, Co4N NW/CC achieves the best OER performance among well-developed Co-based electrocatalysts to date.

06 Oct 02:00

Girls with Slingshots - GWS Chaser #149

by girlswithslingshots@gmail.com (Danielle Corsetto)
New comic!
Today's News:

This is one of those strips that I loved the art on back when it was in black-and-white, and now I LOVE it even more now that Laeluu has colored it. :)

Also: damn, Candy. 

07 Oct 22:29

"100 Science Fiction & Fantasy Books to Read in a Lifetime"

by David Pescovitz


Amazon's book editors compiled their list of "100 Science Fiction & Fantasy Books to Read in a Lifetime."

It's a compelling list, even if they skipped two of my favorite SF authors, JG Ballard and Rudy Rucker. Who else did they miss? Share in the comments!

"100 Science Fiction & Fantasy Books to Read in a Lifetime" (Amazon)

08 Oct 05:11

Comic for October 08, 2015

Dilbert readers - Please visit Dilbert.com to read this feature. Due to changes with our feeds, we are now making this RSS feed a link to Dilbert.com.
07 Oct 15:00

Rapid, Regioconvergent, Solvent-Free Alkene Hydrosilylation with a Cobalt Catalyst

by Chi Chen, Maxwell B. Hecht, Aydin Kavara, William W. Brennessel, Brandon Q. Mercado, Daniel J. Weix and Patrick L. Holland

TOC Graphic

Journal of the American Chemical Society
DOI: 10.1021/jacs.5b08611
06 Oct 18:57

What’s in a Boarding Pass Barcode? A Lot

by BrianKrebs

The next time you’re thinking of throwing away a used boarding pass with a barcode on it, consider tossing the boarding pass into a document shredder instead. Two-dimensional barcodes and QR codes can hold a great deal of information, and the codes printed on airline boarding passes may allow someone to discover more about you, your future travel plans, and your frequent flyer account.

Earlier this year, I heard from a longtime KrebsOnSecurity reader named Cory who said he began to get curious about the data stored inside a boarding pass barcode after a friend put a picture of his boarding pass up on Facebook. Cory took a screen shot of the boarding pass, enlarged it, and quickly found a site online that could read the data.

An older Delta boarding pass with a board code. Source: IATA.

An older Delta boarding pass with a bar code that does not include a frequent flyer number. Source: IATA.

“I found a website that could decode the data and instantly had lots of info about his trip,” Cory said, showing this author step-by-step exactly how he was able to find this information. ‘

“Besides his name, frequent flyer number and other [personally identifiable information], I was able to get his record locator (a.k.a. “record key” for the Lufthansa flight he was taking that day,” Cory said. “I then proceeded to Lufthansa’s website and using his last name (which was encoded in the barcode) and the record locator was able to get access to his entire account. Not only could I see this one flight, but I could see ANY future flights that were booked to his frequent flyer number from the Star Alliance.”

The access granted by Lufthansa’s site also included his friend’s phone number, and the name of the person who booked the flight. More worrisome, Cory now had the ability to view all future flights tied to that frequent flyer account, change seats for the ticketed passengers, and even cancel any future flights.

The information contained in the boarding pass could make it easier for an attacker to reset the PIN number used to secure his friend’s Star Alliance frequent flyer account. For example, that information gets you past the early process of resetting a Star Alliance account PIN at United Airline’s “forgot PIN” Web site.

After that, the site asks for the answer to a pre-selected secret question. The question in the case of Corey’s friend was “What is your Mother’s maiden name?” That information can often be gleaned by merely perusing someone’s social networking pages (e.g., does your aunt or uncle on your mom’s side have your mother’s maiden name as their last name? If so, are they friends with you on Facebook?)


The readout from the barcode on Cory’s friend’s boarding pass (redacted).

United Airlines seems to treat its customers’ frequent flyer numbers as secret access codes. For example, if you’re looking for your United Mileage Plus number, and you don’t have the original document or member card they mailed to you, good luck finding this information in your email correspondence with the company. When United does include this code in correspondence, all but the last three characters are replaced with asterisks. The same is true with United’s boarding passes. However, the full Mileage Plus number is available if you take the time to decode the barcode on a boarding pass.

Interested in learning what’s in your boarding pass barcode? Take a picture of the barcode with your phone, and upload it to this site. This blog on the same topic from several years back includes some helpful hints on how to decode the various information fields that get dumped by the barcode reader.

Finally, the standards for the boarding pass barcodes are widely available and have been for years. Check out this document (PDF) from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) for more on how the barcode standards work and have been implemented in various forms.