Guy Builds His Own Self-Lacing Sneakers Out Of LEGO Parts

These are the self-lacing (technically self-tightening) sneakers built by Vimal Patel using LEGO parts (plus a Dremel and a hot glue gun). They’re perfect for playing basketball. And by playing basketball I mean watching parts of your shoes fall off when you walk. Me? *pointing to my feet* I already have a pair of self-lacing shoes. "Those are flip-flops." They’re so evolved they don’t even need laces. You think in the future we’re still going to be using pieces of string to keep our shoes on and tight? That is ANTIQUATED TECHNOLOGY. "Says the guy wearing flip-flops." And? "And a pirate hat." YARRRR!
Keep going for a couple more shots and a video demonstration.

Thanks to Gorilla, who doesn’t even wear shoes because there are no LEGO pieces to step on in the forest.

from Geekologie – Gadgets, Gizmos, and Awesome

iOS cracking tools reportedly used by FBI released to public

Last year, the FBI ordered Apple to help crack the iPhone 5c owned by Syed Farook, one of the shooters in the 2015 attacks in San Bernardino. Apple refused, and the FBI reportedly worked with Cellebrite, an Israeli firm that specializes in mobile security. According to a statement from Celelbrite last month, a hacker breached one of its legacy servers. Now the hacker has released some of that data as a warning to the FBI.

The data released includes code that seems to relate to Cellebrite’s Universal Forensic Extraction Device (UFED), and can allegedly crack older iPhones like the 5c as well as Android and Blackberry devices.

Speaking anonymously to Motherboard, the hacker explained that simply creating these tools makes their release inevitable, where they can be used by anyone with technical knowledge, including oppressive regimes around the world.

"It’s important to demonstrate that when you create these tools, they will make it out. History should make that clear," they told Motherboard.

The ReadMe files on Pastebin.

Claiming to have taken the tools from Cellebrite’s own servers, the hacker says they were able to get into the encrypted files and post them on Pastebin, a popular code repository. Some of the code seems to have been lifted from publically accessible jailbreaking code, as well.

A spokesperson for the firm told Motherboard that the files did not include source code, only packaging information.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said at the time that creating this type of "backdoor" software would be "terrible for public safety."

While the currently released cracking tools do not include ways to break into current device models, the warning is clear: Once made, tools like this don’t stay private for long.

Via: MacRumors

Source: Motherboard

from Engadget

China is now the biggest producer of solar power

You probably don’t think of China as a clean energy champion given its frequent problems with smog and continued dependence on coal power, but you may have to rethink your views after today. The country’s National Energy Administration has revealed that its solar power production more than doubled in 2016, hitting 77.42 gigawatts by the end of the year. The country is now the world’s biggest generator of solar-based electricity in terms of capacity — it doesn’t compare as well relative to population (Germany, Japan and the US could easily beat it), but that’s no mean feat for any nation.

Right now, solar is a drop in the bucket for China. It represents just 1 percent of the country’s total power output. However, the NEA plans to add over 110 gigawatts by 2020, giving the technology a much greater role within a few years. It’ll help China increase its use of non-fossil fuel power from 11 percent now to 20 percent by 2030.

Not every country can compete with these increases, of course. Even if you discount the population advantage, China has large regions that are relatively friendly to solar farms. Still, this puts pressure on the rest of the world to up its game. Countries like the US may be seen as trailing behind, especially with policies that are bent on protecting the fossil fuel industry instead of phasing it out.

Source: Reuters

from Engadget

Uber hires a NASA guru to help it understand flying cars

Uber is eager for the day when you can take a flying car across town, and it just landed a key hire that could help make this a reality. The company has recruited Mark Moore, NASA’s technology lead for on-demand mobility, as its director of engineering for aviation. This doesn’t mean that the ridesharing firm will build its own flying cars, at least not any time soon — rather, he wants to "make this market real." That will likely involve solving technical obstacles that Uber’s hardware partners face, such as extending the range of electric aircraft or reducing noise pollution.

You might have seen Moore’s work before. On top of contributing to Uber’s initial white paper on its vision for airborne ridesharing, he helped NASA research the viability of a personal electric aircraft nicknamed the Puffin. This is an engineer who understands the specific challenges Uber and its allies will face, and might just help bridge the gap between the company’s idealistic vision and practical reality.

The hire might have come just in time, too. Google co-founder Larry Page reportedly started funding flying car companies (Kitty Hawk and Zee.Aero) in response to Moore’s work, suggesting that the engineer’s talents are in high demand. It may have just been a question of which tech giant snapped up Moore first, rather than whether or not he’d leave NASA in the first place.

Via: The Verge

Source: Bloomberg

from Engadget

Apple will sell students $630 of professional software for just $200


from Ars Technica