Big Picture Science – Angles of a Hack

by Gary Niederhoff on September 18, 2017

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Big Picture Science – Angles of a Hack

Changed your computer password recently? We all try to stay one step ahead of the hackers, but the fear factor is increasing. The risks can range from stolen social security numbers to sabotaging a national power grid.

Sixty years ago, when hacking meant nosing around the telephone network, it seemed innocent enough. And not all modern hacking has criminal intent. Today, there are biohackers who experiment with implanted electronic devices to improve themselves, and geoengineers who propose to hack the climate. But in our efforts to cool an overheated planet, might we be going down a dangerous path?

In this second of two episodes on hacking, the modern variations of “hacking,” and their consequences. Plus: when does hacking a system improve it?

Listen to individual segments here:
Part 1: John Carlin / Cyber Threats
Part 2: Kara Platoni / Hack Thyself
Part 3: Oliver Morton / Changing Climate Change

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Big Picture Science – Plan of a Hack

by Gary Niederhoff on September 11, 2017

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Big Picture Science – Plan of a Hack

Long before cyber criminals were stealing ATM passwords, phone phreaks were tapping into the telephone system. Their motivation was not monetary, but the thrill of defeating a complex, invisible network. Today “hacking” can apply to cyberwarfare, biological tinkering, or even geoengineering. Often it has negative connotations, but the original definition of “hacking” was something else.

In this first of two episodes on hacking, we look at the original practitioners – the teenagers and mavericks who hacked Ma Bell for thrills – and the difference between hacking for fun and for profit.

Listen to individual segments here:
Part 1: Phil Lapsley / Historic Hackers
Part 2: Phil Lapsley / Phone Hacking Tech
Part 3: Phil Lapsley / Hackers Halted

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Big Picture Science – Born Legacy

September 4, 2017

Big Picture Science – Born Legacy We know how the stars shine, but how do you make a star? We take an all-night ride on a high-flying jet – an airborne NASA observatory called SOFIA – to watch astronomers investigate how a star is born. As for how the universe was born, we know about […]

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Big Picture Science – Elements Never Forget

August 28, 2017

Big Picture Science – Elements Never Forget It’s elementary, Watson. Things are in flux – from the elements in the air you breathe to party balloons. We investigate the massive, historic loss of nitrogen from the atmosphere and meet the culprits behind a modern-day helium shortage. But it’s not all a disappearing act: be thankful […]

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Big Picture Science – Musical Universe

August 21, 2017

Big Picture Science – Musical Universe In space, no one can hear you scream, but, using the right instruments, scientists can pick up all types of cosmic vibrations – the sort we can turn into sound. After a decade of listening, LIGO, a billion-dollar physics experiment, has detected gravitational waves caused by the collision of […]

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Big Picture Science – On Thin Ice

August 14, 2017

Big Picture Science – On Thin Ice Water is essential for life – that we know. But the honeycomb lattice that forms when you chill it to zero degrees Celsius is also inexorably intertwined with life. Ice is more than a repository for water that would otherwise raise sea levels. It’s part of Earth’s cooling […]

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Big Picture Science – Skeptic Check: Busting Myths with Adam Savage

August 7, 2017

Big Picture Science – Skeptic Check: Busting Myths with Adam Savage Can an opera singer’s voice really shatter glass? Can you give your car a rocket-assisted boost and survive the test drive? How do you protect yourself from a shark attack? Those are among the many intriguing questions and urban legends tested by the MythBusters […]

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Big Picture Science – Caught in a Traps

July 31, 2017

Big Picture Science – Caught in a Traps “Locked and loaded” is how one scientist recently described the San Andreas fault. Find out when this famous west-coast rift might cause “the big one;” also, the state of early earthquake warning systems. Plus, another sign of our planet’s unceasing turmoil: volcanos! Could the eruption that produced […]

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Big Picture Science – What Goes Around

July 24, 2017

Big Picture Science – What Goes Aroundclick to listen! It’s not just tin cans and newspapers. One man says that, from a technical standpoint, everything can be recycled – cigarette butts, yoga mats, dirty diapers. Even radioactive waste. You name it, we can recycle it. But we choose not to. Find out why we don’t, […]

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Big Picture Science – Eclipsing All Other Shows

July 17, 2017

Big Picture Science – Eclipsing All Other Showsclick to listen! They say that the experience of watching a total eclipse is so profound, you’re not the same afterward. If life-changing events are your thing and you’re in the lower 48 states on August 21st, let us help you make the most of viewing the Great […]

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