"hackers" entries

Four short links: 28 August 2013

Four short links: 28 August 2013

Cloud Orchestration, Cultural Heritage, Student Hackers, and Visual Javascript

  1. Juju — Canonical’s cloud orchestration software, intended to be a peer of chef and puppet. (via svrn)
  2. Cultural Heritage Symbols — workshopped icons to indicate interactives, big data, makerspaces, etc. (via Courtney Johnston)
  3. Quinn Norton: Students as Hackers (EdTalks) — if you really want to understand the future, don’t look at how people are looking at technology, look at how they are misusing technology.
  4. noflo.js — visual flow controls for Javascript.

Digging into the UDID data

The UDID story has conflicting theories, so the only real thing we have to work with is the data.

Over the weekend the hacker group Antisec released one million UDID records that they claim to have obtained from an FBI laptop using a Java vulnerability. In reply the FBI stated:

The FBI is aware of published reports alleging that an FBI laptop was compromised and private data regarding Apple UDIDs was exposed. At this time there is no evidence indicating that an FBI laptop was compromised or that the FBI either sought or obtained this data.

Of course that statement leaves a lot of leeway. It could be the agent’s personal laptop, and the data may well have been “property” of an another agency. The wording doesn’t even explicitly rule out the possibility that this was an agency laptop, they just say that right now they don’t have any evidence to suggest that it was.

This limited data release doesn’t have much impact, but the possible release of the full dataset, which is claimed to include names, addresses, phone numbers and other identifying information, is far more worrying.

While there are some almost dismissing the issue out of hand, the real issues here are: Where did the data originate? Which devices did it come from and what kind of users does this data represent? Is this data from a cross-section of the population, or a specifically targeted demographic? Does it originate within the law enforcement community, or from an external developer? What was the purpose of the data, and why was it collected?

With conflicting stories from all sides, the only thing we can believe is the data itself. The 40-character strings in the release at least look like UDID numbers, and anecdotally at least we have a third-party confirmation that this really is valid UDID data. We therefore have to proceed at this point as if this is real data. While there is a possibility that some, most, or all of the data is falsified, that’s looking unlikely from where we’re standing standing at the moment.

Read more…

Makers and hackers: The Where Conference is looking for you

Visualizations, RFID installs and a Mini Maker Faire will be featured at Where 2012.

The 2012 Where Conference is looking for makers, hackers, developers and do-it-yourselfers who are working in the geolocation and mapping spaces.

Looking for the future? Watch the "crackpots"

Tim O'Reilly and Charlie Rose discuss the drivers of new technology: enthusiasts.

The future of technology will be shaped by the passion of enthusiasts — this was a central point in a recent discussion between Tim O’Reilly and Charlie Rose.

Visualization of the Week: An approval matrix for hacking

Recent hacks get mapped out and ranked, matrix-style.

IEEE Spectrum is applying New York Magazine's pop culture "approval matrix" to a vastly different domain: hacking.

Four short links: 16 February 2011

Four short links: 16 February 2011

Budget Treemap, Foo Encapsulated, Book Recommendations, Hackers and Data

  1. Interactive Treemap for the Budget (NY Times) — why don’t government departments produce and release these automatically? (via Flowing Data)
  2. Hold Conversations Not Meetings (HBR) — that sentence perfectly captures the heart of Foo Camp. (via Hacker News)
  3. Kiwi Foo 2011 Book Recommendations — we held a “which books are you reading, or would recommend?” session and this is the collected output.
  4. Hackers, Transparency, and the Zen of Failure If hackers can’t create something with the data, they won’t do anything with it. The idea of an “army of armchair auditors” becomes a functional paradox, as the people the Government has in mind for the data apparently sit in armchairs, while the hackers sit in cafes, meet in pubs, and generally find comfy chairs far too comfy to code in. (via Public Strategist)

Trend to watch: Formal relationships between governments and hackers

Cyber security expert Jeffrey Carr on the rise of government-sanctioned hackers.

Over the next year, cyber security expert Jeffrey Carr expects to see governments enlist civilians in organized cyber militias — and some countries will do this in plan and public view.

Gov 2.0 events: Civic hacktivists gather globally

Collaboration opportunities abound at a host of Gov 2.0 weekend events.

This weekend, "civic hackivists" will be convening to work together on apps, ideas and platforms at the International Open Data Hackathon, Pulse Camp, City Camp CO and Random Hacks of Kindness.

On re-reading Steven Levy's "Hackers"

Why the "Hackers" thesis still holds. Plus: How links created new context in the ebook.

Spiffing "Hackers" up for the book version has paid off by delivering a new dimension to the book that readers are reporting back on favorably. Here I offer my reactions to re-reading the text after 25 years and a discussion of the links we added to the electronic version.

"Hackers" at 25

It's been 25 years since "Hackers" was published. Author Steven Levy reflects on the book and the movement.

In mid-1980s, Steven Levy wrote a book that introduced the term "hacker" to a wide audience. In the ensuing 25 years, that word and its accompanying community have gone through tremendous change. In this Q&A, Levy discusses the book's genesis, its influence and the role hackers continue to play.