By now, you’ve probably read or heard about Wired staff writer Mat Honan’s journey through digital hell, in which hackers social-engineered Apple into giving them the keys to his digital life, allowing them to scrub his laptop, iPhone and iPad, hijack his and Gizmodo’s Twitter accounts and delete eight-years-worth of email from his Gmail account.
Honan admits to making a number of mistakes — such as failing to enable two-factor authentication and not backing up his data — that allowed the hack to escalate to the point from which there was no return.
In the hope of preventing you from experiencing a similar fate, we’ve listed a number of steps you can take to protect your data and your identity online. While nothing is foolproof — if hackers install a keystroke logging Trojan horse on your computer, all bets are off — these steps will help protect you from the tactics that Honan’s hackers used, and other ones out there.
[Photo: Jon Snyder/Wired]
UniversityNow, a startup founded by education entrepreneur Gene Wade, is building on the Western Governor’s model with a competency-based higher education platform created from the ground up. It’s simple, really: by pricing a college education so cheaply that most people won’t need loans (the startup eschews federal financial aid) and populating a brand-new school with professors who are willing to work with a new model, the company doesn’t need to worry about traditional barriers.
The San Francisco-based startup, which recently raised $17.3 million, launched New Charter University—billed as “the world’s first accredited U.S. university that anyone can access immediately for free online—10 weeks ago. Without any real marketing push, a few hundred students (“at or trending towards 500,” according to Wade) have enrolled.
The school’s “freemium” model allows anyone to access its curriculum without paying. Once they’re ready, students, who can sign up using their Facebook or Twitter accounts, pay just $199 per month for unlimited access to classes that ultimately culminate in a degree—associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s. That unlimited access also includes e-textbooks, tests, course specialists who can help with individual subjects, and advisors that help navigate the larger university experience.
Students don’t have to deal with course material on topics that they are familiar with; an assessment at the beginning of each class makes sure that doesn’t happen. They can take as much or as little time as they need to complete each course.
Raspberry Pi’s popularity make things so easy that it is almost scary. I set forth on a simple starter project of having the raspberry pi show me when new gmail messages arrive. After some searching it seems that lots of people are already talking about how to do this and there are some great examples.Michael over at MitchTech had the most ready to go code which I pilfered from. Adafruits Cobbler Breakout Kit makes the bread board experience even easier with the clearly labeled pins for each of raspi’s GPIOs.
Two teams of scientists using the Large Hadron Collider at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, announced in Geneva this morning that they have detected a new subatomic particle that bears the hallmarks of the elusive and highly sought after Higgs boson. In layman’s terms, the Higgs is referred to as the “God Particle” because the field it produces gives atoms its mass. Were it not for the Higgs, the world we know would be completely different — there would be no chemistry, no architecture, no us. It would be a massless mess of aimless particles running around at light speed.
In a press release, ATLAS experiment spokesperson Fabiola Gianotti said the preliminary results were attained with a “5-sigma signal,” which is significant because it sits right at the threshold for what scientists consider a true discovery.
“This is indeed a new particle. We know it must be a boson and it’s the heaviest boson ever found,” said CMS experiment spokesperson Joe Incandela. “The implications are very significant and it is precisely for this reason that we must be extremely diligent in all of our studies and cross-checks.
To make the observations, scientists at the LHC sent particles crashing at tremendous speeds to try to create Higgs. Then, because the particle only exists for a billionth of a billionth of a billionth of a second, scientists looked for its signature decay. The scientists said they had detected what are likely Higgs trails — a bump in their data — with a great degree of certainty.
Two companies offering tickets to the Moon.
Excalibur Almaz announced in June that they are offering tickets to the Moon on a six month trip, using recycled Russian space stations. They became the second company to start offering tickets, after the US firm Space Adventures, who are also reusing Russian spacecraft for the six day round trip. The reason in the huge time differences in the journeys is that Excalibur Almaz uses ion thrusters for propulsion through space, which while efficient (and cheaper overall), are much slower than Space Adventures conventional rocket powered spacecraft.
Both companies are charging US$150 million for a seat, which includes months of ground based training and preparation. Both are only planning to start refitting their spacecraft once all seats are sold, with only Space Adventures having sold one seat so far. The refits are likely to take around three years.
Neither company actually plans to land on the Moon - only fly by. The low-energy trajectory planned by Excalibur Almaz will take its crew members farther from the Earth than any other humans have been.
Isn’t this what Apple users want anyway? An nicely designed appliance?