MQ-9 Reaper Drone armed with Predator Missiles (Air Force File photo)

Geeky Fridays: Wanna Buy Secret Drone Manuals?


The MQ-9 Reaper, according to the U.S. Air Force, “is an armed, multi-mission, medium-altitude, long-endurance remotely piloted aircraft that is employed primarily against dynamic execution targets and secondarily as an intelligence collection asset. Given its significant loiter time, wide-range sensors, multi-mode communications suite, and precision weapons — it provides a unique capability to perform strike,…

Software Patent Troll (Not to Scale)

Podcast Patent Punched Out


In another victory for common sense – something that’s not been all that common since the arrival of the Trump Administration – the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear patent troll Personal Audio’s appeal from the Federal Circuit’s decision killing its podcasting patent. You might not have thought that podcasting couldn’t be patented. But that…

Plutonium on Parade


Plutonium is vile, nasty stuff. It’s poisonous, highly radioactive, spontaneously combusts and some isotopes have a half-life of 12,400 years. Which means it will decay to something harmless only on geologic time scales. It’s literally unnatural: it doesn’t occur in nature. Essentially all of the plutonium on the planet was made by mankind. And, of…

GrayKey box, via MalwareBytes

I Told You So Department: GrayKey Hacked


Apple, bless its corporate heart, has continued to refuse to cooperate with U.S. demands for a backdoor to Apple’s iPhone. One of Apple’s reasons fo refusing to sacrifice customer’s privacy is that secret back doors don’t stay secret. And now there is proof Apple was exactly right. A company called Grayshift has stepped into the…

Software Patent Troll (Not to Scale)

Getting Geeky: SCOTUS Upholds Inter Partes Review


Everyone except patent trolls think that the U.S. patent system, especially patents of computer software, is broken. Patent trolls love the overly complex, messy patent system for exactly the reasons that rats like garbage-filled, messy alleys. It’s where they live. Congress took a stab at cleaning up part of the mess with the America Invents Act…

Missing Mass: No WIMPs Here. Try ADMX?


WC has written before about the two mysteries confronting astrophysics: dark matter and dark energy. It turns out that visible matter – the stuff we can detect with existing astronomy equipment – accounts for only about 5% of the apparent mass of the universe. The other, missing mass is a mix of dark matter –…