How Syria Turned Off the Internet

Super interesting read. From the article > The Syrian Minister of Information is being reported as saying that the government did not disable the Internet, but instead the outage was caused by a cable being cut. Specifically: “It is not true that the state cut the Internet. The terrorists targeted the Internet lines, resulting in some regions being cut off.” From our investigation, that appears unlikely to be the case….. Syria has 4 physical cables that connect it to the rest of the Internet. Three are undersea cables that land in the city of Tartous, Syria. The fourth is an over-land cable through Turkey. In order for a whole-country outage, all four of these cables would have had to been cut simultaneously. That is unlikely to have happened.

Posted 2152 days ago in Geek

Some Sweet Holiday Gift Ideas

Generally I like to do my holiday shopping from the comfort of my own home, late at night and at the last minute. This year I’m working on the last minute part.. Here are some of my go-to links for gift ideas:

Restoration Hardware Stocking Stuffers
Wired Gift Guide – Men
Wired Gift Guide – Women
Boing Boing Gift Guide
Think Geek
REI Gift Center

Posted 2154 days ago in Geek

How to Set UP Your Own (Safe + Secure) Web Server

Nice little tutorial here.. Also a couple Ars hosting company recommendations, if you’re in need but not quite ready to set up your own hosting.

Posted 2154 days ago in Geek

WordPress.com Will Now Accept Bitcoin

“At WordPress.com, our mission is making publishing democratic — accessible and easy for anyone, anywhere. And while anyone can start a free blog here, not everyone can access upgrades (like going ad-free or enabling custom design) because of limits on traditional payment networks. Today, that changes: you can now buy WordPress.com upgrades with bitcoins.”

On a related note, the Internal FBI risk assessment of the Bitcoin network (found here on WIRED) is a very interesting read.

Posted 2165 days ago in Geek

Kill the Password

Do read this great article on WIRED, “No matter how complex, no matter how unique, your passwords can no longer protect you.” Also, be sure to read the list of “DON’TS” (pretty much the opposite of what you’ve been told) and DO’S on the 3rd page.

Posted 2167 days ago in Geek

Check Out RethinkDB

Read the notes + comments (hacker news) but haven’t had a chance to play yet.. seems promising though: “An open-source distributed database built with love. Enjoy an intuitive query language, automatically parallelized queries, and simple administration. Table joins and batteries included.”

Posted 2172 days ago in Geek

Microsoft Turns Spoken English Into Spoken Mandarin

Posted 2174 days ago in Geek

Miike Snow, Rabbit (Fav Video of the Moment)

Loving Miike Snow this year.. especially since I saw this video ;)

Rabbit by Miike Snow on Vimeo.

Posted 2174 days ago in Audio

A Nuclear Explosion (-1 Millisecond After Detonation)

From the site: This might look like some kind of microscopic organism, but it’s actually a high-speed photograph of a nuclear explosion. It was captured less than 1 millisecond after the detonation using a rapatronic camera, which is capable of exposure times as brief as 10 nanoseconds (one nanosecond is one billionth of a second). The photograph was shot from roughly 7 miles away during the Tumbler-Snapper tests in Nevada (1952). The fireball is roughly 20 meters in diameter, and three times hotter than the surface of the sun.

Posted 2177 days ago in Geek

A New IDE Concept – Light Table

This is very smart – check it out.

Light table is based on a few guiding principles:
- You should never have to look for documentation
- Files are not the best representation of code, just a convenient serialization.
- Editors can be anywhere and show you anything – not just text.
- Trying is encouraged – changes produce instaneous results
- We can shine some light on related bits of code

Posted 2382 days ago in Geek

Great video > Paul Graham on Co-founders

Posted 2384 days ago in Geek

Understanding TPP (ACTA’s Nastier, Secret Little Brother)

TPP effectively tidies up all the lose ends that ACTA left dangling — generally imposing far harsher penalties, adding back patents, and making everything compulsory rather than optional. It also provides us with a clear sense of what ACTA 2.0 will be like unless it is negotiated with real transparency that allows all parties, including civil groups and the general public, to have their voices heard…

Posted 2388 days ago in Geek

Royal Canadian Mint Announces Alternative to BitCoin

From the site: The Royal Canadian MintChip Challenge invites software developers to create innovative digital payment applications using MintChip, a development phase technology available only to challenge participants. Developers and the public are also encouraged to share ideas for how a digital currency can be used. Winners will receive approximately $50,000 in gold bullion from the Mint as well as promotional exposure. Prizes will be awarded for the apps that best demonstrate the potential value of the MintChip technology and have the greatest potential impact on digital payment technology. Submitted apps can run on Windows, iOS, Android, BlackBerry, or desktop and mobile browsers.

The Mint will provide participating developers with a software developement kit (SDK), two microSD MintChips, and two remote MintChip accounts they can use to integrate the Mint’s technology with their digital payment applications.

The public and developers have approximately four months to share ideas and build their submissions. A panel of distinguished judges from the tech industry, venture capital, media, and retailers will select winners, and the general public will vote to identify a “Popular Choice” winner.

Posted 2391 days ago in Geek

A Teacher’s Open Letter, ‘A Test You Need to Fail’

Dear 8th Graders,

I’m sorry. I didn’t know.

I spent last night perusing the 150-plus pages of grading materials provided by the state in anticipation of reading and evaluating your English Language Arts Exams this morning. I knew the test was pointless—that it has never fulfilled its stated purpose as a predictor of who would succeed and who would fail the English Regents in 11th grade. Any thinking person would’ve ditched it years ago. Instead, rather than simply give a test in 8th grade that doesn’t get kids ready for the test in 11th grade, the state opted to also give a test in 7th grade to get you ready for your 8th-grade test.

But we already knew all of that. What I learned is that the test is also criminal…

Posted 2403 days ago in Geek

Prometheus – Official Full HD Trailer

The newly released full HD trailer for Ridley Scott’s much anticipated sci-fi film “Prometheus” is AMAZING in HD + surround sound..

Posted 2410 days ago in Geek, Visual

Frighteningly Ambitious Startup Ideas

Paul Graham covers some startup ideas that are so ambitious (and smart) that they’re scary to most of us – But any one of them would absolutley make you rich, should you pull it off…

Posted 2416 days ago in Geek

Duqu Trojan Uses an Unknown Programming Language

Kaspersky: After having performed countless hours of analysis, we are 100% confident that the Duqu Framework was not programmed with Visual C++,” writes Kaspersky Lab Expert Igor Soumenkov. “It is possible that its authors used an in-house framework to generate intermediary C code, or they used another completely different programming language. We would like to make an appeal to the programming community and ask anyone who recognizes the framework, toolkit or the programming language that can generate similar code constructions, to contact us or drop us a comment in this blogpost

Posted 2418 days ago in Geek

Cached Version of the Anonymous Panda Hack Video

Anonymous hacked the website of the Spanish antivirus firm Panda. The group defaced the site’s blog page by leaving behind a video detailing its exploits and a simple message scrawled in all caps in red letters over black text. (statement source = NPR). Here you can view the cached version of the video…

Posted 2419 days ago in Geek

We Need to Talk About Android

Frasier Speirs details several issues with Android, including: fragmentation of the basic operating system, (lack of) backup and restore, (lack of) lifecycle support, (lack of) security, (lack of) competitive apps and VAR interference…

Posted 2420 days ago in Geek

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