A year with the Apple Watch: What works, what doesn’t, and what lies ahead? About a year ago, Apple announced and released its first Apple Watch. The long-rumored product was Apple’s first all-new product category since the iPad and its first under CEO Tim Cook. To say that expectations were high would be an understatement. To date, we don’t really know much about how the Apple Watch has sold -- Apple folds it into the "Other products" category... Ars Technica

How I hacked Facebook, and found someone's backdoor script As a pentester, I love server-side vulnerabilities more than client-side ones. Why? Because it’s way much cooler to take over the server directly and gain system SHELL privileges. <( ̄︶ ̄)> Of course, both vulnerabilities from the server-side and the client-side are indispensable in a perfect penetration test. Sometimes, in order to take over the server more elegantly, it also need some client-side vulnerabilities to do the trick. But speaking of finding vulnerabilities, I prefer to find server-side vulnerabilities first. Devcore

Got a hot seller on Amazon? Prepare for e-tailer to make one too Rain Design has been selling an aluminum laptop stand on Amazon.com Inc. for more than a decade. A best-seller in its category, the $43 product has a 5-star rating and 2,460 customer reviews. In July, a similar stand appeared at about half the price. The brand: AmazonBasics. Since then, sales of the Rain Design original have slipped. "We don't feel good about it," says Harvey Tai, the company’s general manager. "But there's nothing we can do because they didn’t violate the patent." Bloomberg

Siemens team unveils 3D printing spider-bots Researchers in the US have demonstrated prototype spider-like robots equipped with 3D printing technology that are able to work together to construct complex structures and surfaces. Developed by a team at Siemens Corporate Technology’s Princeton campus the devices -- dubbed SiSpis -- are the latest step in the development of autonomous mobile manufacturing techniques that Siemens’ believes could ultimately play a major role in the manufacture of everything from aircraft to ships. The Engineer

The web is Doom In July 2015 I suggested that the average web page weight would equal that of the Doom install image in about 7 months time. Recall that Doom is a multi-level first person shooter that ships with an advanced 3D rendering engine and multiple levels, each comprised of maps, sprites and sound effects. By comparison, 2016’s web struggles to deliver a page of web content in the same size. If that doesn’t give you pause you’re missing something. So where does this leave us? MobiForge

EFF sues DOJ over its refusal to release FISA court documents pertaining to compelled technical assistance Given the heightened interest in the government's efforts to compel companies like Apple to break into their own products for them, the EFF figured it would be a good time to ask the government whether it had used FISA court orders to achieve these ends. Naturally, the government would rather not discuss its efforts to force Apple, et al. to cough up user data and communications. Tech Dirt

Tech giants can decay and die too Back in 2000, at the height of the dotcom bubble, it would have made a better than average April Fool's joke. Running a story that the Daily Mail was thinking about taking over the web giant Yahoo would have raised some wry smiles, in much the same way as the Brighton Argus buying Apple might do today. Back then, the internet colossus could have bought the British publisher and dismissed the cost as loose change, hardly worth putting on the balance sheet. Stuff.co.nz

Solar Impulse 2 plane takes off from Hawaii to California -- with no fuel An experimental plane trying to fly around the world without a single drop of fuel took off from Hawaii on Thursday, resuming a journey that had stalled on the island of Oahu for almost 10 months. The Solar Impulse 2, piloted by Swiss explorer and psychiatrist Bertrand Piccard, lifted off just before sunrise to cheers and applause. It will head for the San Francisco Bay area, some 4,000 kilometers (2,500 miles) away. CNN

Has the 'impossible' EM drive being tested by NASA finally been explained? The EM drive, the so-called “impossible” space drive that uses no propellant, has roiled the aerospace world for the past several years, ever since it was proposed by British aerospace engineer Robert Shawyer. In essence, the claim advanced by Shawyer and others is that if you bounced microwaves in a truncated cone, thrust would be produced out the open end. The Examiner

How Amazon Kindle Unlimited scammers wring big money from phony books What if scam artists could make thousands of dollars publishing free, fake books that people are tricked into opening but never read? It looks like that’s happening. Amazon created Kindle Unlimited, a Netflix for books, that’s delivering indie authors revenue and readers. But it turns out that the way it works may have created an opportunity for scammers to steal earnings from real writers producing genuine works. The Observer

How the Internet is changing the English language People from the midwestern United States say “pop,” while people from the coasts say “soda.” Southerners might say “y’all” instead of “you guys.” And people from the Internet say a lot, actually. Abbreviations like “v important” or “p cool” signify something that “very important” and “pretty cool” do not. The use of a ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ conveys something a bit more subtle than “I don’t care,” or even “I don't know." The Daily Dot

How to kill patent trolls once and for all If you ask entrepreneurs and investors in Silicon Valley what's holding back innovation, patent trolls will surely be high on all of their lists. Why are patent trolls so deleterious? Well, these companies exist for no other reason than to gobble up patents and then file frivolous lawsuits over semantic patent violations against any target they can find, with the hope of cashing in with a big settlement. The Week

Studio 360 Janicza Bravo makes short films about loneliness. In one, Michael Cera plays an abrasive paraplegic who can’t get lucky. In another, Gaby Hoffmann plays a phone stalker for whom the description “comes on too strong” is not strong enough. Bravo’s shorts employ the visual grammar of art-house cinema: over-the-shoulder shots representing a character’s point of view, handheld tracking shots depicting urgent movement, lingering closeups to heighten intimacy or unease, carefully composed establishing shots with an actor in the center of the frame. The New Yorker

We've reached peak smartphone Two things became apparent after the end of the Spring 2016 Smartphone Glut. One: Android is still a second-class citizen when it comes to gaming, and two: smartphones are in a ridiculously boring place. Gizmodo

Bendable 'wallpaper' cameras are right around the corner Researchers have taken a giant leap toward the production of flexible cameras -- sheets of lenses that can twist and deform, allowing you to wrap them around just about anything you might choose, providing you with fields of view unimaginable with current technology. Like something from science fiction, the flexible lens array, designed by scientists at Columbia University in New York, has the ability to adapt its optical properties when bent. The Christian Science Monitor

What convolutional neural networks look at when they see nudity Automating the discovery of nude pictures has been a central problem in computer vision for over two decades now and, because of its rich history and straightforward goal, serves as a great example of how the field has evolved. In this blog post, I'll use the problem of nudity detection to illustrate how training modern convolutional neural networks (convnets) differs from research done in the past. Clarifai

Spy chief pressed for number of Americans ensnared in data espionage U.S. lawmakers are pressing the nation's top intelligence official to estimate the number of Americans ensnared in email surveillance and other such spying on foreign targets, saying the information was needed to gauge possible reforms to the controversial programs. Reuters