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Dropbox looks pretty sweet

Dropbox - Home - Secure backup, sync and sharing made easy.

Dropbox is a new free program that lets you sync files easily and quickly across multiple computers. It runs on Mac, Windows and Linux machines. It allows you to share files that are up to 250MB in size, making this an interesting way to share files between work and home computers.

New philosophy among white-hat hackers: "Fuck you, pay me."

Chrome only browser left standing after day one of Pwn2Own - Ars Technica
A recent contest at CanSecWest, an event that brings together some of the most skilled experts in the security community, has demonstrated that the three most popular browser are susceptible to security bugs despite the vigilance and engineering prowess of their creators. Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer were all exploited during the Pwn2Own competition that took place at the conference. Google's Chrome browser, however, was the only one left standing—a victory that security researchers attribute to its innovative sandbox feature.... These contests contribute to the growing culture of commercialism that surrounds the art of exploitation. In an interview with ZDNet, Miller said that the vulnerability he used in the contest was one that he had originally found while preparing for the contest last year. Instead of disclosing it at that time, he decided to save it for the contest this year, because the contest only pays for one bug per year. This is part of his new philosophy, he says, which is that bugs shouldn't be disclosed to vendors for free. "I never give up free bugs. I have a new campaign. It's called NO MORE FREE BUGS. Vulnerabilities have a market value so it makes no sense to work hard to find a bug, write an exploit and then give it away," Miller told ZDNet. "Apple pays people to do the same job so we know there's value to this work."

March 19, 2009

Battlefield laser, baby!

Military Laser Hits Battlefield Strength | Danger Room from Wired.com
Huge news for real-life ray guns: Electric lasers have hit battlefield strength for the first time -- paving the way for energy weapons to go to war. In recent test-blasts, Pentagon-researchers at Northrop Grumman managed to get its 105 kilowatts of power out of their laser -- past the "100kW threshold [that] has been viewed traditionally as a proof of principle for 'weapons grade' power levels for high-energy lasers," Northrop's vice president of directed energy systems, Dan Wildt, said in a statement.

March 16, 2009

Professor Turns His Online Course Into a Role-Playing Game

Wired Campus: Professor Turns His Online Course Into a Role-Playing Game - Chronicle.com

The game will open to the whole internet, not just his students. Please don't tell the Goons or the /chan-tards.

David Wiley says that teachers can learn a lot from online video games — the kind where players pretend to be orcs and wizards and work together in teams to slay dragons. So Mr. Wiley, an associate professor of instructional psychology and technology at Brigham Young University, has decided to turn an online course he’s teaching next semester into an online role-playing game.

That’s right, Mr. Wiley will invite students who sign up for his spring course (which is about online teaching methods) to be an artisan, a bard, a merchant, or a monk and go on learning “quests” together.

Although he’s using a game metaphor, Mr. Wiley says that dividing students up into teams and asking them to work on group projects are time-tested teaching techniques — ones that the best video games happen to make use of. “If you reverse-engineer a popular multiplayer game, they’ve somehow encoded all these things about what good learning ought to look like,” he argues. “Instead of just learning how to kill orcs, we can use these really effective techniques for honest-to-goodness educational content.”

March 13, 2009

How to: Make Pumpkin Moonpies

Accidental Hedonist - Pumpkin Moon Pies

The World Wide Web Is 20 Years Old Today

The World Wide Web Is 20 Years Old Today - ITProPortal.com
The modern day internet, better known as the "World Wide Web", which has completely transformed the way we live, has entered into its twenties today as many will mark the anniversary. Its inception dates back to 13 March 1989, when a computer scientist, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, popularly known as CERN Laboratory, presented a paper containing means and methods by which particles physics scientists could easily share and find out essential electronics documents. At that time, the use of internet was limited to defence and academics domains only and communication was wholly text-based, banking on general newsgroups, along with remote Telnet chat to send messages. The document, entitled "Information Management: A Proposal", heralded the worth of simplified iteration of Standard Generalised Markup Language, and it described what is now known as world wide web that has annealed into almost every sphere of our lifestyles.