Arduino is probably the world’s most popular open source physical computing platform. The little micro-controllers show up in everything from wild art projects to serious home automation efforts. It’s great and all, but couldn’t it be…smaller? Electrical engineer Ken Burns thought so, and got to work on the TinyDuino.
I spent some time at IPEXPO on Wednesday, following the security talks. Some great presentations and examples of how people mess up.
People don’t really care about security (or ‘Social Engineering’)
@BrianHonan and a few other speakers commented that especially in these times of austerity, the easy way to compromise a network may well be to take the network admin out for dinner, buy her a few drinks and offer £5k towards current mortgage problems. Or just use a spanner. Either approach is a lot easier than the a full on technical attack, and social engineering is the way most big attacks happen.
The RSA hack - in this huge breach hackers targeted some individuals with an email title ‘2011 Recruitment plan.xls’. Who wouldn’t want to read that email!
Good article from security maestro Bruce Schneier, with 5 interesting ways to protect yourself.
The bit I found interesting, and with hindsight, obvious:
Be suspicious of commercial encryption software, especially from large vendors. My guess is that most encryption products from large US companies have NSA-friendly back doors, and many foreign ones probably do as well. It’s prudent to assume that foreign products also have foreign-installed backdoors. Closed-source software is easier for the NSA to backdoor than open-source software.
Here at Projectfusion we’re sticking with TrueCrypt to protect our own and client files, and will use the commercial stuff for government work, when we have to!
Government Lab Reveals It Has Operated Quantum Internet For Over Two Years
From Technology Review:
A quantum internet capable of sending perfectly secure messages has been running at Los Alamos National Labs for the last two and a half years, say researchers. […] Today, Richard Hughes and pals at Los Alamos National Labs in New Mexico reveal an alternative quantum internet, which they say they’ve been running for two and half years. Their approach is to create a quantum network based around a hub and spoke-type network. All messages get routed from any point in the network to another via this central hub.
So here’s my 2 week update. I started this on a Tuesday morning 2 weeks ago and I’m actually quite enjoying it. A typical breakfast starts at 730, and is 2 poached eggs and a slice of toast, or maybe eggs and a slice of smoked salmon if I’m feeling flash. That’s my first 250 calories or so, and then it’s nothing until 730 that night. In the evening usually steamed veggie and fish or chickem, or maybe a soup. Best recipe so far is pancetta strips fried up with scallops on a rocket salad!
Target is < 600 calories a day.
Getting through the day at work with no food is pretty easy, lots of sparkling water, black coffee and herbal teas. By about 4pm I’m starting to struggle, and that’s the most difficult stretch, through until supper time. When it’s time to eat at 730 I’m ravenous, but really enjoy the food, everything tastes fantastic!
The next day I notice my general appetite for snacks is reduced, and I tend to eat a bit less generally.
2 days a week of no alcohol is a good idea for me too, with my current penchant for red wine..
And the results? Well after 2 weeks, and 3 days after my last fast day (so my ‘tract’ is full again, ewww!) I weighed in at 14stone exactly, 4lbs less than when i started. I’m not really doing this for the weight loss, but that’s not too shabby.
I’m going to stick with it, and am trying some exercise on fast days now as well.
If you’re interested google 5:2 diet. It’s pretty simple theory really. The premise is that your body is designed to fast intermittently, and when you do , the cells stop replicating, and go into a repair mode, and clean themselves up. So lots of supposed benefits of anti cancer, anti diabetes etc.
I subscribe to the idea that our bodies haven’t evolved hugely since we were hunter gatherers (the paleolithic era 20,000 years ago) and we have a body designed for periods of intense eating (killing an elephant say), and then fasting or light snacks as we go find the next thing to eat. This seems to fit this model nicely, and it makes sense to me that the body we slip into repair mode if calorie starved.
Good luck - let me know if you try it!
Ask someone how long it takes a £1,000 loan to become a £1 million debt at 29 per cent APR and they’ll guess centuries. When you tell them it is 27 years they say: “But if that were true the bank would warn me.”
Guess why the banks don’t.
Passwords generally suck. If they’re complicated, we don’t remember them, or stick them to the screen with a post it.
Whereas phrases, like “mary had a massive lamb!” are easy to remember, and much harder to crack.
So why not combine security with a motivational line - make your life better, and your device safer in one go!
“The Revolution Has Begun: How Kickstarter Is Changing Architecture
By David Hill. October 18, 2012.
How do you raise money for a civic design project these days? You can go the traditional route—apply for a grant, make a pitch to city officials, befriend a wealthy patron—or, you can try your hand at crowdfunding. A growing number of architects are doing just that, turning to Kickstarter (see our curated profile here), the popular crowdfunding website for creative types, to generate both cash and buzz. It’s an approach that makes a lot of sense in today’s limping economy. Read more.
Take the Lowline. That’s the nickname for a proposed underground park that would be built in a former trolley terminal, unused since 1948, in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Designer James Ramsey discovered the space several years ago and immediately saw its potential for a kind of subterranean High Line—the popular park built on an abandoned rail trestle. Ramsey and his partner, Dan Barasch, presented their idea to a receptive Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which controls the space, but they realized they needed to build community support to take the project to the next level.
That’s where Kickstarter comes in. Earlier this year, Ramsey and Barasch created a Kickstarter campaign to raise $100,000, which would pay for a full-scale model of the park. Depending on the amount pledged, backers would receive T-shirts, tote bags, even a gourmet dinner prepared by Ramsey (three backers qualified for that perk).
“The response was overwhelming,” Ramsey says. “We hit our goal in eight days.” In fact, they raised $155,186, more than enough to pay for construction of a model, which went on display in a Manhattan warehouse for one week in September.
“Kickstarter was transformative for us,” Ramsey says. “It wasn’t just a way to raise money. It also functioned as a kind of marketing tool for a grassroots campaign.” Ramsey believes that crowd funding has the potential to be transform the way civic projects are financed. “Instead of one crotchety, crabby developer calling all the shots,” he says, “the client is thousands and thousands of people who care about the project. It’s much more democratic.”
Via: Architizer & massurban
Image: Matter Architecture Practice
During a Square Board meeting, our newest Director Howard Schultz, pulled me aside and asked a simple question.
“Why do you all call your customers ‘users’?”
“I don’t know. We’ve always called them that.”
At Square we’re removing the term “users” from our vocabulary, replacing…
Mmmh. So what do I call my customers customers, as they are the ones who most use our service.