DTNS 2293 – Video Vibrations Killed the Audio Privacy

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comKen Denmead is on the show. We’ll chat about how MIT researchers can reconstruct audio from a bag of potato chips behind soundproof glass. Also a little on the overreaction to NASA and the propellant-free microwave drive.


Multiple versions (ogg, video etc.) from Archive.org.


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Show Notes
Today’s guests:  Ken DenmeadGrand Nagus at GeekDad.com


Not a good 24 hours for Samsung. First Canalys announces its data showed Xiaomi shipped just less tan 15 million smartphone units in China in Q2, taking the top spot away from Samsung which shipped 13.2 million in the country. That was barely enough to stay in front of Lenovo. Then Counterpoint Research claims Micromax has passed Samsung in India to take the top spot in mobile phone market share with 16.6% for Micromax to Samsung’s 14%. The good news for Samsung? They still hold the SMARTphone crown in India with 25.3% to Micromax’s 19.1%.

None of the following is actually official. Techcrunch, citing a Re/Code report, says Apple has scheduled a ‘big media event’ for Tuesday September 9th, at which Apple is likely to unveil its next generation iPhone. Here’s what the rumor roundup has rustled so far: Phones with 4.7 inch screens, and possibly also another device with a 5.5 inch display. The new iPhone *may* use the new A8 processors, *could* be all metal, *might* have temperature and humidity sensors, and could *possibly* support for near-field communications. Bloomberg And Wall Street Journal are also reporting the September 9th date.

Reuters reports Blackberry has sent a memo to its employees saying restructuring is done and the company is back on track to be cash flow positive by the end of the year. In other words, if you’re still working here, your job is safe for now. BlackBerry has cut its workforce by 60% over the last three years. 

GigaOm reports Justin.TV has shut down after seven years.  Existing members have until September 5 to transfer their accounts to Twitch. Archived video is not available. Justin had shut its archives down June 15. The company now solely exists as Twitch which had 50 million unique viewers in July and is rumoured to have agreed to sell to Google.

According to Tom’s Guide, a new device called Navdy can sit on your dashboard and project maps, images and text on to a 5 inch flip-up glass screen. The projected image is transparent and appears to float six feet ahead of the driver, and I quote “so it doesn’t distract.” The device can pair with your smartphone to make calls and stream music, and plugs into a car’s OBD II port for power. Navdy will ship in early 2015 for pre-order price of $299, with future Navdy’s selling for $499. In their video, LonelySandwhich assured me its safe because pilots use a similar thing. Thanks Adam. The Daily Tech News Show is now accepting suggestions on how this could possibly be safe. 

ReCode reports Microsoft confirmed Tuesday it has hired former Qualcomm executive Peggy Johnson to head up business development. Johnson will start Sept. 1 as executive VP of global business development, reporting to CEO Satya Nadella. Johnson was most recently heading global marketing and Qualcomm Labs.

Ars Technica reports that 17-year-old Joshua Rogers of Melbourne has discovered another way to spoof a browser cookie to bypass PayPal’s two factor authentication. The procedure involves using the process that links eBay to Paypal accounts. An attacker would still need to know the victim’s userid and password. Rogers, a whitehat hacker, says he reported the vulnerability to PayPal June 5 but received no response. 

News From You:

tm204 submitted the MIT News post that researchers from MIT, Microsoft and Adobe will present findings at SIGGRAPH on how to reconstruct audio from video of certain objects. One experiment recorded video of a potato chip bag from 15 feet away behind soundproof glass. An algorithm interprets minute vibrations on the bag to reconstruct the audio. While most of the experiments required high quality video of up to 6,000 fps to detect the vibrations, the researchers also figured out how to exploit sensors in 60fps consumer camera, to detect lower quality but still usable audio. None of the experiments could interpret the audio in real time. One capture took two hours to process. 

Hurmoth posted the Ars Technica article that Aereo is still fighting. We know Aereo argues they should be allowed to pay the compulsory license to continue operating. Another argument asks permission to continue to provide recorded video since in oral arguments the Supreme court indicated that did not violate Plaintiffs’ public performance rights. While US District Judge Alison Nathan rejected Aereo’s emergency motion on these arguments, she ordered both sides to file papers in support of their positions over the next five weeks.

SpydrChick pointed out the Dvice story that the IEEE has released a new official standard for 802.22 that can cover 12,000 square miles. The standard is designed to take advantage of spectrum from 54MHz to 698MHz opened up by the shutdown of analog TV. In theory the standard will supposedly be able to broadcast data at up to 22 Mbps 62 miles from a single base station over WRANs (wireless regional area networks).

MacBytes passes along an Engadget reports that the DAWN OF THE ROBOTIC EXOSKELETON IS UPON US! Sort of. South Korean carmaker Daewoo has been testing a robotic suit that allows shipyard workers carry objects as heavy as 66 pounds with ease by putting all the load on the machine at least for three hours the battery lasts. Daewoo hope that the exoskeleton will eventually hold up to 220lbs, just as soon as they figure out how to cope with slippery floors and twisting movements. So no moonwalking in the exoskeleton, people.

Pick of the Day: Pluto.tv via Chris

Hey Tom and Jennie, love the show. Just discovered pluto.tv – a cool app to watch video online. Over a hundred curated channels in a nicely organized channel guide for that “lean back” experience. Now with chromecast support on Android, this is a nice pick for folks just looking for a variety of queued specialty content online. I can’t speak for the rights clearances or how these channels are legally vetted but I thought it was worth sharing… maybe something of interest for the cordkillers podcast as well.

Plug of the Day:  The Sword and Laser Anthology collects 20 amazing stories from new writers in the Sword and Laser book club audience. 10 SciFi and 10 fantasy stories with an introduction by Patrick Rothfuss. Get a copy at swordandlaser.com/store      

Wednesday’s guest: Jessica Naziri