1.21 Gigawatts of Awesome

How to Check for the OpenSSL Heartbleed bug

So what is this “heartbleed” bug? OpenSSL is an open-source encryption security service that a large percentage of websites utilize to secure your information like passwords, messages, and credit card transactions. Sometimes, a computer needs to check if it is still talking to another computer/server, so it sends out a small data packet called a heartbeat. The security flaw, known as a heartbleed, allowed a cleverly-disguised packet of data that appeared to be a heartbeat to communicate with the server, and tricked the server into sending back saved data. Additionally, taking advantage of the flaw does not leave a trace. Uh oh…what are the risks? All websites capture data, and websites that you frequent will capture data such as passwords, bank information, and more. The security flaw unfortunately allowed hackers to gain access to encryption keys, which, in turn, can be used to decipher the encrypted data that is sent from your computer to a website and back. OHGAWD NOW WHAT For the most part, the security flaw was patched and fixed on servers before they released that there was a bug in the system. You should still take precautions and check your accounts with the sites you normally use, especially those with passwords and credit card information.  You can easily double check to see if sites you frequent were affected by visiting: http://filippo.io/Heartbleed/ Quickly tells you if the site was vulnerable, fixed, or unaffected. If you get an error code, check out their FAQ, and then visit:   https://lastpass.com/heartbleed/ Tells you the last date their SSL was updated, if it is vulnerable, or if it does not use OpenSSL   Or CTRL+F to see if a site was vulnerable at the time: https://github.com/musalbas/heartbleed-masstest/blob/master/top10000.txt   For the most part, this under control, but you should check it out for yourself to put your mind at ease. Enhance your calm. Sources: heartbleed.com | GitHub | GitHub...

read more

Google Announces Android Wear

Hinted at SXSW by Sundar Pichai, today Google’s Android officially announced “Android Wear” – a new platform for Android developers to work on apps specifically for the upcoming wearables line. Features for Android Wear: View latest posts and updates from social apps Chats from messaging apps Notifications from shopping, news and photography apps, etc. “Ok Google” commands like Google Now Monitor your fitness Control other devices Developers can download the Developer Preview to start adapting their current apps, with more resources and APIs on the...

read more

Zombie Preparedness Center

“Always be prepared,” is the Boy Scouts of America motto. Well, over in Lenexa, Kansas, the good people of Westlake Ace Hardware have taken being prepared to an entirely different level: protection from and for the undead — more specifically, Zombies. Not only can you find out how to protect your own from potential zombie attacks, but if you are one of the undead, then you will find this store helpful as well. Limb repair? Duct Tape, Caulk, Sealant — Check. Not smelling so fresh after becoming a zombie? They’ve got cleaners for that. Did a zombie fall through your drywall and you need to repair it? They can help with that too. HUMANS: ZOMBIES: Stock up on supplies, bolt your doors, and arm yourself. Whether you are preparing for the upcoming apocalypse or if you are a supporter of the end of times, you will find what you need at Westlake Ace...

read more

Google + Motorola Mobility

This morning, Google announced they are acquiring Motorola’s Mobility for $12.5 Billion. Soon we will be able to see truly branded Google devices, and (hopefully) put a halt on crazy lawsuits. (Read the [real] article at...

read more

Apple vs Samsung – FIGHT!

This hasn’t been the first time Apple has filed lawsuits against its strongest competitor, Samsung, but now the battle has been taken to a new level: a complete ban on selling the Galaxy 10.1 in most Europe nations (cnet article). For a full recap and all the gloriously witty comments included, check out our friends at...

read more

Put out a fire with your amp.

Okay, that might be hyperbole. But researchers at Harvard accidentally kept putting fire out with AC currents during some experiments. Then they decided that their “confusion” was actually “discovery”. Smart folks. They’re just using about 600 watts of AC. That’s like a home stereo amp, a backup power supply for your computer, or a nice strobe light. I’m not saying that we’ll never have a fire happen at a rave again. And don’t go wildly wave your amp at a fire in your house either. But it would be cool if a fireman showed up at your house with a pack from Ghostbusters on his back and dropped the flames without soaking everything in your house. Sources a.k.a extra info: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7495027.html...

read more

BalletFont: Ligne

So what do you get when you combine ballet dancers, motion detection equipment, and a design group? The answer: a typeface comprised of beautiful calligraphy brush strokes. By attaching small 2D tracking devices to the dancers, the team was able to capture their movements and translate them into a font using a combination of software. “Three versions of software called ‘Chireo’ (chirography + choreography) were developed using openFrameworks. ‘capture’ did the initial motion and video capture. ‘augment’ let the team clean up the data and export the font and rendered videos. ‘live’ is the real time motion tracking / augmented reality software which was used for the realtime demo. The team used watch batteries, infrared LEDs (ripped out of a prototype touch table), and a PS3Eye cam to create a 2D motion tracking system. These little devices were taped to ballet dancers and had them perform moves which formed letters. The tracked data was exported to SVGs…” – CreativeApplications.Net This video demonstrates a few letters being created, with an overlay effect to show what motions were tracked. Interestingly enough, stroke widths were controlled by speed of movement. Ligne, the BalletFont, is the work of Weiden + Kennedy’s WK12 with Fashionbuddha and Oregon Ballet Theatre. For full details, please visit the official BalletFont...

read more

Technology Bytes 15th Anniversary

‘All your base are belong to us’ this Friday with Technology Byte’s 15th Anniversary party! Friday, July 9, 2010 at 7:00pm – 2:00am Foundation Room at House of Blues 1204 Caroline Street City/Town: Houston, TX All listeners of Technology Bytes (past, present and future) are invited to attend our “Level Up” party. Come celebrate 15 years of Technology Bytes! We’ll be be in the Foundation Room @ The House Of Blues hanging out and reminiscing about the ups and downs of the show and plotting our future. Admission is FREE! view the Facebook invite Not in the Houston area? Check out the Technology Bytes Podcast, available on their site...

read more

Opera/Chrome Rivalry “Downfall”

The latest release of Opera’s 10.60 browser boasted ‘What is faster than the fastest?’ Although tests by Lifehacker and DailyTech show that Opera is still not as fast as Chrome or Safari, it’s really made some headway in the new version. Nevertheless, an Opera-employed copywriter put together a video of one of the most overused — but still entertaining — internet memes: alternative subtitles to the famous Hitler outburst scene from the film ‘Der Untergang’ — aka ‘Downfall’ (via Download Squad). “We have 20,000 employees and run half the Internet and we’ve made a browser that looks like a Fisher-Price toy!” full article on...

read more

Miller Starlight Movie Night – July 1 & 2

We were just going to post one film to see for free this weekend, but the Miller Outdoor Theatre decided to be doubly awesome and show two science fiction films, two nights in a row. Tonight, watch the Forbidden Planet, one of the most classic science fiction movies of all time. On Friday, check out some NASA exhibits and then the heroic film, Apollo 13. FORBIDDEN PLANET July 1, 2010 FREE ADMISSION 8:30pm Miller Outdoor Theatre and Rice University present Miller Starlight Movie Night: Forbidden Planet. See the 1956 science fiction classic “Forbidden Planet” which introduced Robby the Robot and inspired Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and countless space explorers of the past and present. APOLLO 13 July 2, 2010 FREE ADMISSION NASA exhibits: 6pm-8pm Film: 8:30pm Miller Outdoor Theatre, the NASA Johnson Space Center, and Rice University present Miller Starlight Movie Night: Apollo 13. View free NASA exhibits on the history and future of human space flight and touch a moon rock (6-8 p.m.) then at 8:30, see “Apollo 13,” the inspiring true story of the women and men of NASA mission control whose heard “Houston, we have a problem,” and replied, “Failure is not an option.” (1995, rated PG). Miller Outdoor Theatre 6000 Hermann Park Drive Houston, TX...

read more