Innovation

Google Reader like

I never really used Google Reader’s ‘like’ feature. I mean it just seemed like a black hole to me: click the button and who sees it? It’s not like Digg where the votes are the focus and easily visible to the content creator. If I like something enough, I’ll add it to my shared items.

There are some cases where it does turn up useful. Pictured above is a screencap from Netflix’s New choices to watch instantly RSS feed—you can find all Netflix feeds here. Netflix added about 160 films to Instant last night so by the time I saw the feed this morning it had been augmented by everyone’s ‘likes’ (yes, I already knew Goonies was good). This is handy since the feed doesn’t show you your predicted rating. I usually end up thinking, “Is that a movie I heard about… was it good?” which leads to me clicking through and finding out, no, no it’s not. Now at least I can see what other people dig.

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Hardware

La Fonera flashing

La Fonera

In my repeater post, I mentioned that I had a La Fonera I was planning on flashing next. Fon routers can be tricky; they phone home to determine if there’s new firmware to be installed and then upgrade automatically. If you’re not careful, it’ll patch all of its security holes before you get a chance to hack it.

I had two La Foneras on hand. One was new-in-box and, from my memory, quite a few years old. The other I snagged from the donor gear table at Crash Space last week. I figured if I was putting in the effort to flash one I might as well do two (and then return it new and improved). I followed DD-WRT’s flashing guide and ran into a few different hurdles along the way.

Continue reading

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Software

Open Terminal Here and LSelect

I came to OSX from a Linux environment so there are often times when I’m using Finder and thinking, “Damnit, this would be faster with a command line.” I thought I’d share two tools that I’ve found alleviate some GUI pain. The first is Marc Liyanage’s Open Terminal Here which drops you into a shell in the current folder. In my experience, command line mplayer is the least crashy/clunky media player on OSX for playing odd codecs, so I just open terminal here when I find the file(s) I want to play. The second tool is Jim DeVona’s LSelect which lets you select files using shell style globbing just like you would with ls. It’s much faster than the GUI for even the simplest of tasks like selecting just one file type. I’m using both of these with Henrik Nyh’s fine icons. I hope you find these tools useful.

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Travel

ShmooCon schedule highlights

The hacker conference ShmooCon is coming up February 5th – 7th, 2010 in Washington D.C. They’ve posted the official schedule so I’ve decided to pull out the talks that I’m interested in:

GPU vs. CPU Supercomputing Security Shootout Collin Brack is presenting on the rise of general purpose GPU usage in security tools. A couple years ago I wrote a love letter to the FPGA hoping that one day we would be adopting it as our coprocessor of choice. It seems now that the GPU has largely taken up that role for doing massively parallel calculations. Nvidia has been pushing CUDA while Apple recently rolled out OpenCL support in Snow Leopard so all new Macs can take advantage of either implementation. Nvidia has a nice collection of resources for learning CUDA on their site.

The New World of Smartphone Security – What Your iPhone Disclosed About You Trevor Hawthorn is going to talk about attacks against the iPhone and what sort of data it exposes to the network. It’ll be interesting to see what is out there, but I’m curious as to what it shares that would make it more exposed than your average Windows machine. There’s also a talk about BlackBerries, but no mention of Android.

Build your own Predator UAV @ 99.95% Discount One of the few hardware talks so it’s a must see for me. I haven’t looked into UAVs that much but I did see a great talk at 25C3 where the live demo was controlling a plane in France from Berlin.

Bluetooth Keyboards: Who Owns Your Keystrokes? Michael Ossmann will demo over-the-air keylogging which will be super rad.

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People

Chris Nelson, a pan-eulogy

I only recently found out how common my friend Chris Nelson’s name was, so I wrote him an all encompassing eulogy.

Dear Mr. Nelson,

It is with profound regret that I inform you of your recent death. On Saturday, January 9, 2010, you passed away unexpectedly at Iredell Memorial Hospital in Statesville, North Carolina at the age of 41. You, Johnny “Chris” Nelson, were born in 1968 to your parents Elmer and Louise. Your father was in the furniture business and a member of the Baptist church. You’ve been survived by your wife Kristain and sons Joshua and Noah. You will be interred this coming Friday at the United Methodist Church in Boone.

I wish to offer you my condolences. You died, yet again, that same Saturday, January 9, 2010 at the Van Dyke Hospice in Toms River, New Jersey. You, Christopher J. Nelson were 43 at the time and are survived by your wife of 21 years Sharlene and your children Julia and Eric. Born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, you settled in Jackson Township a mere 12 years ago where you were the co-owner of Executive Relocation Services in Piscataway, New Jersey.

These recent deaths came as a shock to us for we were still reeling from your untimely demise in December. You, Christopher Alan Nelson, died December 14, 2009 at the age of 24. Born in 1985, you were employed most recently as the assistant manager of a Casey’s General Store in Byron, Michigan and lived in Mount Morris for the past 12 years. You will be mourned by your parents and your brothers James and Brandon. As instructed, we directed our donation to a favorite charity in lieu of flowers.

It is with great sadness that we learned of your previous death in Leland, IA on November 23, 2009. You, Chris A. Nelson, died in your home at the ripe old age 77. You were born June 16, 1932 on a farm near Forest City and have been a farmer all your life raising both cows and crops. You will be missed by your wife of 56 years, Donna, along with your many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Sir, this rash of recent deaths over the last two months can only lead us to believe that you will die multiple times before your next birthday. We look forward to these events and can only assume that one day you will either be decapitated by Christopher Lambert or murdered by Jet Li to absorb your dimensional power becoming the one true Chris Nelson.

Sincerely,
Eliot Phillips, Esq.
Executor to your Estate

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Software

Shareaholic

Shareaholic is a browser addon that streamlines the process of using bookmarking services. When it originally debuted, I wasn’t using Digg or delicious that often. I’ve recently accumulated a lot of bookmarklets that I use fairly frequently and decided to give Shareaholic another go. These are the services I’m using Shareaholic for:

  • Bit.ly – When I want to share a link on Twitter, Bit.ly is my goto. It shortens and gives you free stat pr0n.
  • Google Reader – I’ve got a fun group of people on Reader and this makes it easy to inject stories into my shared items.
  • Instapaper – I’m guessing I’d get more mileage out of this if I was an iPhone user.
  • Tumblr – Used most often for adding posts to Fucking Curated.
  • WordPress – For posting here.
  • Amazon Universal Wish List – I always wanted to make more use of this and Shareaholic makes it easy.
  • Gmail – Sending links via Gmail was all I every used Mozilla’s Ubiquity for.

I installed the extension on Firefox and now that the dev channel of Chrome for Mac has extensions I’ve got it there too.

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