US Cop Creates Gadget to Snoop out Stolen Gadgets

When we hear the phrase “US cop”, most of us probably think of a big guy hanging out in his police cruiser while stuffing his face with donuts and reading a boulevard magazine; we can thank Hollywood for that image. It is probably true that there are some of those too, but there are also some really bright people in the force.

An Iowa City police officer named David Schwindt has now invented a little USB gadget that can detect stolen gadgets by their Wi-Fi signals MAC address. The whole thing is rather simple and that is probably the beauty here. By using basic methods of publicly available data and comparing it with a database of stolen items, he’s able to not only detect that they are in range, but also in what direction they are located.

Officer Schwindt rigged a USB thumb drive with an antenna and cooked up his own software for it. Once connected to his squad car’s laptop, it is able to sniff out media access control addresses (MAC) within range and compare them to a database of stolen items.

MAC addresses are often called a burned-in address (BIA), an ethernet hardware address (EHA), or simply a “physical” address, because they are literally assigned (by the IEEE) and stamped into your network card by the company that manufactured your hardware.

Now, we all know that MAC addresses can be spoofed and often are for legitimate purposes as well as illegal. However, most people don’t think of that on their mobile gadgets as much as they do on PCs, and the L8NT gadget, as the author dubbed it, will most likely be highly effective.

The device has a range of 300 feet and a directional antenna can be attached to pinpoint specific devices located. The tool won’t be used to find the occasional stolen iPod or laptop and it won’t give the police access to personal or private information such as many other surveillance tools. It is more designed to find devices from larger series of break-ins and more bring down organized criminals that work in this field.

There will no doubt be cases where the officer’s L8NT system won’t work, but David Schwindt still has big plans for his device. It was developed as a proof of concept and he already got a provisional patent on the device and he is planning to apply for a full patent shortly.

Thank You Naked Security for providing us with this information

LG’s OLED ‘Wallpaper’ TV Uses Magnets to Stick on Wall

LG’s branch LG Display has just made a breakthrough in the department of HD Televisions. They have shown off a detachable display panel so thin that it clocks at 0.97mm (0.04 inches ) and it weighs just 1.9kg (4.1 pounds). For comparison, their existing flagship 55-inch OLED panel is 4.3 mm thick. It may be possible due the fact that it doesn’t incorporate the circuitry that would actually make it function as a TV. It was made official at a press event in Korea on Tuesday and it is termed as proof-of-concept television. It is a 55″ OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) panel. Sporting an OLED panel means insane black levels and great color reproduction.

The display panel is so thin and light that it can be stuck to a wall with magnetic mat using magnets. To remove the panel, just peel it off, literally! But this is not a commercial product at the moment. It is just a proof of concept and it may or may not be in the future TVs by LG. They have made it quite clear that their future TVs will boast OLED panels, Recently, Samsung and Sony have even chosen to move away from the technology due to its poor yields and tricky manufacturing process but LG Display knows what they are doing.

Thank you Yonhap News and The Verge for providing us with this information.

4K Is Old News, LG Introduces 8K 98 Inch Screen

LG wants to be king of IFA 2014 in Berlin, and this giant 8K screen, measuring 98 inch, could very well give them that crown. In a closed-door conference, LG presented their amazing new television for the ones lucky to get invited.

The giant 98 inch 8K Ultra HD TV doesn’t have a name nor a price-tag, so far it’s just a proof of concept. But it sure is a beautiful one. The 16 times HD resolution is run at 120 Hz and it uses traditional LCD panels over OLED. The picture-details should be very clear despite the huge screen size, with this awesome 8680 x 4320 resolution.

As it is now, there’s barely any 4K movies or TV content in this format and that makes this 8K screen more of a gimmick. It looks more like it’s something LG did just to show off. They did however say that they could have a mass production up and running within an year, that is if the demand is there. I’m not betting on it for now, but it’s nice to see manufacturers thinking into the future instead of just milking the same old cow.

Thank you cnbeta for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of cnbeta.