Archive for March 2011

Life Hacks   1 comment

This week has been pretty chocked full of uni work for me. I’ve been under some tough deadlines, so I haven’t had quite the time I usually have to devote to blogging. That being said, I found this great DIY guide for life hacking. What is life hacking? Well, why don’t you check out this picture and find out? What else are you doing right now? I mean, you’re already reading my blog. You might as well take a look. I guarantee there’s something in here for everyone.

LIFE HACKS

Cheers,

~C



Posted March 31, 2011 by Elfawin in Random

Tagged with

5 Great Links For LB   Leave a comment

Good afternoon LB! With any luck, you got some actual work done this morning. I bet you’re at lunch right now. I hope you saved room for dessert, a.k.a, this tasty new post I’ve created! Before you drift into a food coma, spend a hot minute checking out this week’s links…

You’re Excused – Best pic on the web today.

High Existence – Take your time with this one, you don’t want to overdo it or you’ll get endorphin overload. Maybe soak up a few each day? I really like #43 and #36 – I didn’t know it was possible to train your eyebrow!

Helvetictoc – Check this out, then check it out again one minute later.

Pod House – Is this what happens in the woods of northern U.S. states these days? My guess is either Washington or Minnesota. What’s your best guess for the location?  I wonder if the Ewoks would approve?

Spock and Roll! But first, these lessons – Plan on a duel next time we meet. I’m going to roshambo your face off.

~C

Aussie Slang Word Of The Day   Leave a comment

“Fanging It”

Pronunciation: Fanginnit. Try to say it as fast as possible with a silent “g” at the end of fanging. It should really just be one word.

Meaning: To get around or explore a location in an uncouth manner. Australia’s got some pretty interesting places worth exploring. But unlike America, where Interstates seem to connect everywhere you want to be, a car isn’t always practical. Resourcefulness is a good skill to have. Sometimes you need a troopy. Other times, you might need to hitch a ride on a road train. Or maybe, just maybe, you can make do with a bike.

Usage Example: This kid is totally fanging it on his bike! (Also known as one of my favorite YouTube videos of all time)

And now I’m off to see Cirque Du Soleil’s acrobats fanging it on the trapeze! Have a great Friday everyone.

~C

And Now You Know   1 comment

One of several Anonymous monikers.

Has anyone else been following the recent news stories about the hacker group “Anonymous”? I read about Anonymous a few months ago and now I’m fascinated. There’s no way I can fully explain what Anonymous is, nor can I provide all the mind blowing details about each of their major raids, so if this story piques your interest, run a search for Anonymous in your web browser. The stories you’ll find are seemingly endless. Books about Anonymous will be published, I’ll bet my blog on it.

In 2008 Chris Landers wrote a great (but really long) article for the Baltimore City Paper about the group’s origins. To surmise: Anonymous is a global collection – a “gathering” – of unidentified hackers that wreak anarchic cyber havoc on various organizations and companies for various reasons. The group has been labeled everything from an online Robin Hood to cyber terrorists. Anonymous has no official leader but works as a collection of individuals to hack for causes they deem worthy. Anonymous spawned from the depths of /b/ – a random content forum on 4Chan, which is a massive online imageboard where users can post content anonymously.

Protip: Don’t let your mum visit 4Chan.org/b/.

Rather than fade into obscurity or disband, Anonymous has seemingly grown over the last two years in both membership and notoriety. Some “Anons” hang out in the vast, untraceable depths of Deep Web. One might be that IT guy that lives 2 doors down from you. The reach of Anonymous is global and its headquarters is located everywhere and nowhere. The group’s activities are immensely popular with some people, and detested by others. Your feelings towards Anonymous will likely be decided by which side of the hacktivities you’re on: The observing end or the receiving end. If you haven’t figured it out by now, Anonymous is not a group you want to piss off. The hacking skills of Anons are legitimate. These guys (and gals) aren’t using automated software to find the backdoor into a company or government website. They have other techniques. The kind you see in movies. I can’t even begin to describe what they can do, because I don’t understand it. All I know is that it’s absolutely intriguing. Did you ever see that movie Hackers? Yeah, me too.

Anonymous doesn’t attack random obscure individuals like you or me. Rather, Anonymous takes on major companies, opinion leaders, and movements. Right wing extremists, the Church of Scientology, YouTube, (allegedly) the Epilepsy Foundation, the Governments of Iran, Australia and Egypt, Amazon.com, Visa and Mastercard, and more. Their slogan?: We are Anonymous. We are legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.

One organization that became the victim of Anonymous in 2010 is the infamous Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) of Topeka, Kansas, USA. This church is essentially a thinly veiled hate group that uses God’s name and some incredibly offensive words to picket the funerals of gay service members and other people. It’s sad to think that groups like the WBC are allowed to function in today’s modern society…but I don’t want to talk about that right now. Back to the cyber story, please! On February 24, 2011, the WBC made insulting and aggressive statements towards Anonymous who, in the middle of a live debate with the WBC, pulled the plug on the WBC website “Godhatesfags.com”. The debate was mediated by David Packman and can be seen below. It gets interesting at about the 7 minute mark (a.k.a., the point where the WBC website gets hacked). As of today, the WBC website is still down. WBC – 0, Anonymous – 1.

You might be thinking “okay, that’s great. But who cares?” Although you will probably (and hopefully) never be on the receiving end of an Anonymous hack, there are some really simple but really important lessons to remember as an individual user of the Internet.

Lesson #1: Passwords. Change them up every now and then. Don’t use the same password for every online account you have. Make sure your password is at least seven characters (but the longer the better). Use a combination of symbols, numbers, and upper and lower case letters. Hackers can use an algorithm tool called a “rainbow table” to figure out passwords. If your password is a combination of your pet’s name and the year you were born, a rainbow table is going to figure that out, Sparky87.

Lesson #2: Don’t send emails that you wouldn’t feel comfortable having published on the front page of the New York Times (the online version, of course). I have mentioned this before in my post about tips for becoming a PR superagent, but it bears repeating. One particularly damaging element of the Anonymous hack on HBGary (ironically a cyber security company who threatened to reveal Anonymous member identities to the FBI) was the release of over 70,000 emails. The emails were posted to the Pirate Bay for global public viewing. As Digital Trends reported, “Subject matter range[d] from a PowerPoint Presentation detailing intentions to plant false stories about WikiLeaks to embarrassing love letters between company execs.” Since the attack, HBGary has lost major clients and partners in the cyber security industry.

Lesson #3: If your computer is turned off, you can’t be hacked. It’s like your computer doesn’t even exist. But if it’s turned on and you’re in a public place (like an airport), check your sharing settings to see if people can find your computer. Is your computer discoverable via bluetooth? You might want to turn that feature off if you’re not using it. And if you’re searching for a wi-fi hotspot, don’t jump on a network that doesn’t look legitimate.

Lesson #4: If you’re using a public computer, make sure you log out of any accounts or social network sites. Just closing a browser window isn’t always enough these days. If you leave your Facebook page open for the world to see, you’re also leaving valuable personal information out in the open for anyone to take advantage of. Don’t be that person. You’re better than that.

These lessons are simple and easy to follow. As an online user these lessons should be second nature to you by now. Although there are multitudes of methods hackers can use to get at your personal data, following these quick tips can help reduce that threat.

~C

5 Great Links for LB   Leave a comment

Hot damn! Usually I post these links on Mondays, but I took the day off to get some gardening done. Sorry, LB! I hope you survived Monday unscathed. Here are some great links to kick off your Tuesday!

Divine Caroline: A retrospective look at some places through photos

Neatorama: Where bats, mist, and green water hang out. Pretty sure I’ve been here in another life. This website also has some other great sections, including the art blog.

Weng Weng: Hopefully this is the first time you’re seeing this little gem of a video. SFW, but headphones are recommended.

Hack Your Brain: Seriously, someone try this and let me know if it works.

Conversations With Jay: A really great blog when you want to read something on the Internet, but only 50 words or less at a time.

 

~C

 

%d bloggers like this: