Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Perhaps North Korea will go shopping?
Lizard Squad hackers offer cyberattacking services for fee
… The group’s website offers interested buyers the opportunity to overwhelm a server and push it offline — a somewhat common disabling method that’s been dubbed a “distributed denial of service,” or DDOS attack, The Hill reported.
… “This booter is famous for taking down some of the world’s largest gaming networks, such as Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, Jagex, BattleNet, League of Legends and many more,” the Lizard Squad said in its ad, The Hill reported. “With this stresser, you wield the power to launch some of the world’s largest denial of service attacks.”
The group only accepts bitcoins, The Hill reported.


As we become increasingly “global” it seems we want more “Balkanization” at the same time. Operate businesses globally to unite the world, but obey the laws of every county, even those that kept their companies from becoming global competitors.
Growing European Issues Imperil U.S. Tech Business Models
From Paris to Berlin and from Madrid and London to Moscow, the tech giants find themselves in battles over data privacy, taxation, national politics and other sovereign interests which are foreign to the business environment in the United States.
To say the primary issue is economics oversimplifies a range of nationalistic issues that would usually be reserved for discussions with other nation-states. The root of the emotions driving national demands is a sense of being invaded, even “colonized,” and not knowing where the invasion will end.
As reported in the Wall Street Journal, France and Germany have recently acted to curb the business practices of top U.S. tech firms, with overwhelming approval by the European Parliament of a resolution which calls for actions aimed at possibly breaking up Google.
Issues exist in varying forms. England has recently announced a “Google tax” targeting profits of U.S. tech firms reaped locally. Russia and Turkey, which demand censorship control over information Google, Facebook and Twitter convey regarding “subversive” and selected local political matters.
All of this ultimately leads to the question of who controls the information flowing through the Internet. Pressures on tech firms to comply with nationalistic desires vary. Russia and others threaten to block U.S. social media services if their demands are not met. Other European countries want local data stored in local computer centers.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Justin Post recently downgraded Google shares, citing European regulatory risk, stating that these clashes pose “one of the greatest threats to U.S. technology giants since their emergence from garages and college campuses over the past four decades.”


How is this useful? If I create a game using stolen code I probably get my joystick sued off. (On the other hand, I can do anonymous.)
Xbox One leak could allow people to make their own games for the console
… Xbox keeps the approval process for games locked down — developers must register with Microsoft and be approved before posting games to the Xbox’s official release channels. That protection will still be in place, but the leak of the SDK could lead to the emergence of a “homebrew” community, of developers making and sharing games for the Xbox One through unofficial channels.


The Internet and email are the most common tools. We don't teach students how to use either to best advantage. (Landlines preferred over cellphones)
Technology’s Impact on Workers
“The internet and cell phones have infiltrated every cranny of American workplaces, and digital technology has transformed vast numbers of American jobs. Work done in the most sophisticated scientific enterprises, entirely new technology businesses, the extensive array of knowledge and media endeavors, the places where crops are grown, the factory floor, and even mom-and-pop stores has been reshaped by new pathways to information and new avenues of selling goods and services. For most office workers now, life on the job means life online. Pew Research surveyed online a representative sample of adult internet users and asked those who have jobs a series of questions about the role of digital technology in their work lives. This is not a sample representative of all workers. It covers online adults who also have full- or part-time jobs in any capacity. The most recent survey data from Pew Research in late 2013 shows that 94% of jobholders are internet users and they work in all kinds of enterprises from technology companies to non-technology firms; from big corporations to small proprietor operations; and from those in urban areas, farms, and places in between. Some of the key findings are highlighted below…”


For my students? Could be interesting but I don't know how many of my students have Chrombooks.
Run Linux In A Window On A Chromebook
It’s now possible to run Linux in a window on a Chromebook. Google evangelist Fran├žois Beaufort revealed how to do so in a Google+ post, detailing the various steps Chromebook owners must take in order to run their favorite Linux distros in a window.
Essentially, you need to be running Chrome OS in Developer Mode and install David Schneider’s Crouton extension. You can then run Linux in a separate window, saving you from switching between Virtual Terminals, which previously was the only way to run Linux on a Chromebook.
This isn’t recommended for inexperienced users, but then they will probably be happy using Chrome OS as is. Instead, this is for existing Linux users who like the Chromebook hardware but find Google’s operating system too limiting.

(Related)
The Best Linux Software
Linux is full of awesome apps, both open source and proprietary.


We have to start teaching these devices as well as the rest of the Internet of Things cornucopia. An infographic.
How Do Smartphones Compare To Supercomputers Of The Past?
Most of us carry a smartphone around in our pocket without really thinking twice about just how impressive it is. These tiny little devices can do so many things, and they can do them for a (relatively) low price.
Have you ever thought about what your smartphone can do when compared to the supercomputers of the past? At one point, these computers were the pinnacle of power, and they required massive amounts of space to work. This infographic breaks down how how the devices we have today compare with supercomputers, and the results are truly something to behold.
Check it out, and share your thoughts with us in the comments!
Via FoneBank


For my gamers. At least, for those with friends.
Free Copies For Nuclear Throne Friends
Everyone who currently owns a copy of Nuclear Throne will get a free copy of the game to give away to a friend. The giveaway will commence tomorrow (Jan. 1, 2015), with the idea being to bring fresh blood into the community to enable the game to grow and evolve.
As Vlambeer, the developer behind Nuclear Throne, explained on YouTube, “We need fresh eyes on the game, people that will still get decimated by Big Bandit and that will complain about the ravens in the scrapyard. We need to know how they feel about Nuclear Throne, and we need your help to reach them.” If it’s free then I’m in. Now, to find a friend who owns the game…

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