For the past 15 years, educators have debated, exhaustively, the perils of laptops in the lecture hall. Professors complain that laptops are distraction machines; defenders say that boring classes are to blame — students have always doodled or daydreamed, so what’s the difference that they’re browsing Facebook instead?

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wireless-mouse

All because I had a wireless mouse dongle plugged into my laptop. And all they needed was a simple antenna that costs as little as $15 at Amazon.

Thankfully, “they” were a pair of security researchers from a company called Bastille, and every company that builds wireless mice and keyboards has already been alerted to the issue. If you have a Logitech Unifying receiver, there’s already a fix. (Here is a link to a patch provided to us by Logitech: RQR_012_005_00028.exe.)

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Remember the 4th Amendment? We hear it’s making a comeback. Back in May, we had a story about another court explaining to the government that, contrary to popular belief within Homeland Security, the 4th Amendment does still apply at the border, and thus Border Patrol can’t just take someone’s laptop without a warrant.

The case involved a guy named Jae Shik Kim, who the government suspected was shipping items to China that were then being forwarded to Iran. Because of that, DHS grabbed his laptop as he was leaving the US (on a flight to Korea). The DOJ argued that the laptop was a “container” subject to search at the border. The court disabused the DOJ of this notion:

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Like it or not, porn as we know it is a few final thrusts away from getting totally in our faces for keeps. On the cusp of a bold new frontier in adult entertainment, niche software developers are designing cutting-edge smut for virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Rift.

According to Oculus’ promotional videos, as early as this year, consumers will be able to strap on a head-mounted display and engross themselves in a world of “immersive stereoscopic 3-D rendering, [with] a massive field of view, and ultra low latency head tracking.”

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Google Glass is due to receive an update in 2015, and if a Google patent submitted last month is any indication, it could include a new feature to let wearers use their fingerprints, or scans of their eyes, instead of passwords on websites.
In November’s patent application, Google explored ways to replace website passwords with biometric data from a wearable device. In the filing, Google references “head-mounted displays” (HMD) that could scan a wearer’s fingerprints, eyeballs, veins, or even her voice pattern, then use that data to access a website on a computer or mobile device.

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