I BUILD STUFF. FOR THE INTERNET.
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Hacking Fitbit

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This is impressive:

"An attacker sends an infected packet to a fitness tracker nearby at bluetooth distance then the rest of the attack occurs by itself, without any special need for the attacker being near," Apvrille says.

"[When] the victim wishes to synchronise his or her fitness data with FitBit servers to update their profile ... the fitness tracker responds to the query, but in addition to the standard message, the response is tainted with the infected code.

"From there, it can deliver a specific malicious payload on the laptop, that is, start a backdoor, or have the machine crash [and] can propagate the infection to other trackers (Fitbits)."

That's attacker to Fitbit to computer.

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jrgifford
965 days ago
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Cleveland Heights, OH
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2 public comments
reconbot
969 days ago
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I think this is a symptom of the internet of other people's things.
New York City
skorgu
969 days ago
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And people wonder why I don't have a smartwatch.
cdupree
966 days ago
Seriously! Why do I need my physiological data on the internet?

Vacuum

3 Comments and 9 Shares
Do you think you could actually clean the living room at some point, though?
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alt_text_bot
1220 days ago
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Do you think you could actually clean the living room at some point, though?
jrgifford
1220 days ago
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Cleveland Heights, OH
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jhamill
1220 days ago
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1. Unlock Vacuum
2. ???
3. Rule the Galaxy.
California
ckittel
1220 days ago
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"Spank the vacuum!"
Beaver Dam, WI

Amazon Cloud's Huge Head Start: It's All About The Developers

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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

It's no secret that Amazon leads the public cloud computing race. The question is by how much.

A year ago Gartner analyst Lydia Leong pegged Amazon Web Services (AWS) at five times the utilized compute capacity of the next 14 largest cloud competitors combined. More recently Technology Business Research ran the numbers and figures AWS is 30 times larger than its next nearest competitor, Microsoft Azure, as measured by revenue.

See also: Amazon: Can It Remain King Of Cloud Computing Forever?

Either way, the disparity is enough to motivate an Occupy Amazon crowd. The problem for detractors and competitors, though, is that Amazon doesn't seem to be in the mood to misstep. The only thing that will cut into its lead is someone else catering to developers as well as AWS has, and that doesn't look likely. 

Public Cloud: Big And Getting Bigger

It's becoming increasingly important to get out in front of AWS. The problem, as noted by Leong, is that the delta between AWS and everyone else is so huge, however you measure it:

Such "scale" advantage isn't really a matter of data center build-out, she goes on to note, but really is a matter of software. AWS has such an impressive array of developer-centric software infrastructure, which translates into developer services, that closing the gap will be brutally hard.

Even Leong's report that more workloads are moving to the cloud—to the point that enterprises have started to shift entire data centers over to the public cloud—doesn't seem likely to cheer up Amazon's rivals:

Why? Because AWS benefits disproportionately, as network effects drive vendors to focus their cloud attentions on AWS. If you're a vendor choosing where to host your new service, AWS will nearly always be the first choice. If you're a student, AWS will be the first cloud you learn, and possibly the only one. And so on. 

Early on, while most cloud vendors were fixated on IT, Amazon devoted itself to developers, and has become the default for most developers.

Competing With The Amazon Beast

Competitors have taken notice, and are actively trying to market against perceived AWS weaknesses.

See also: Can We Please Stop Acting Like Public-Cloud Cost Comparisons Actually Matter?

From the private/hybrid cloud side, we have vendors trying to insinuate that it's expensive to stick with the public cloud. But such calculations completely miss the point, as they focus on cost when really the public cloud is driven by convenience

And from public cloud peers, we get much the same, with Google and Microsoft lobbing price reductions at AWS. They haven't worked. Pulling up stakes on one platform to move to another is more than a matter of saving a few dollars. It's a hassle, one that can only be justified by making the alternative cloud more convenient.

GigaOm's Barb Darrow asked which one vendor had a shot at displacing AWS, with a broad array of responses. I can't help but think that most of them are wishful thinking.

Price isn't going to drive developers into the arms of another vendor. Convenience, however, just might. Of the different competitors to AWS, Microsoft may have the strongest "convenience" story, because it's able to marry Windows datacenter workloads with Azure cloud resources. 

That's a strong story, and it seems to be resonating.

Microsoft actually can serve as a role model for would-be Amazon usurpers. When you strike at the Amazon king, you must kill him with developer convenience, not with price reductions or stories of better performance, security, etc. Convenience sells developers. 

AWS took a dominant lead with a strong developer story, and Microsoft may well be closing that lead through a differentiated, developer-focused story of its own. Game on.

Lead photo of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos by Steve Jurvetson



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jrgifford
1325 days ago
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ngxtop: real-time metrics for nginx server

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ngxtop is shaping up to be one of those tools that I didn’t even know I needed, but now I won’t know how I ever lived without it.

ngxtop parses your nginx access log and outputs useful, top-like, metrics of your nginx server.

Need we say more? Check the readme for some nice examples of what this Python script is capable of.


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The post ngxtop: real-time metrics for nginx server appeared first on The Changelog.

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jrgifford
1547 days ago
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Easily Build Mac OS X Status Bar Apps With Python

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From time to time, the thought has a occurred to me that it would be cool if I could build simple native apps with Python. So, I was excited when I found rumps.

Ridiculously Uncomplicated Mac os x Python Statusbar apps

You can’t make full blown apps, but if you’ve ever had a status bar app idea you can use rumps to build it.


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The post Easily Build Mac OS X Status Bar Apps With Python appeared first on The Changelog.

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jrgifford
1547 days ago
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Cleveland Heights, OH
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Anyone Can Learn To Code: A Case Study

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In all of his 19 years, Tywan Wade never learned to listen to the word “no.”

Which is why, as a college freshman, he built his own iPhone app despite having no background in computer science.

See also: Why Citizen Developers Are The Future Of Programming

Wade’s perseverance paid off in the form of Shortly, a simple weather app for iPhone that uses an algorithm to answer yes or no questions like, “Can I wear shorts today?”

“It had more to do with defiance than confidence,” said Wade. “I realized no one’s going to help me except myself, so unless I get the confidence to move forward with my own project, it’s not happening.”

A business and economics major at George Washington University, Wade originally got the idea for a weather app after making conversation with his roommate. He’d never created an app before, so he decided to ask the most esteemed computer science professors he could find for advice.

“I emailed more than 100 professors from top universities for help,” he said. “They either didn’t have the time to help, or just thought it was too ambitious.”

When asked why he thinks so many teachers were unwilling to help, Wade said he thinks "they felt like I was trying to take shortcuts in life. Several suggested I major in computer programming instead of just starting an app right away."

“Some told me to be 'realistic,' while others simply said that I was too young to learn such an advanced topic on my own,” he later shared on his Huffington Post blog.

Eventually, Wade stumbled on Coding Together, a Stanford computer science course offered through the Apple Store. The course had enough material for one semester—Wade blitzed through it in a day. Three days later, he had enough of an understanding of he’d taught himself how to code in C++ to begin working on his app. C++.

But his difficulties weren’t finished yet. The Apple Store rejected Shortly three separate times, saying that Wade’s original design was “not aesthetically great.” But Wade refused to give up, even making a phone call to an Apple Store representative in order to ensure he was doing everything he needed in order to get his app accepted.

Today, Shortly has been downloaded more than 3,000 times in 40 different countries and 1,000 cities. It’s not without its glitches, and

reviewers' main concerns are that it needs more functionality. I downloaded the app myself, and think it's a bright, colorful first attempt at app development, but not quite ready for prime time.Wade is aware of these issues, and

Wade is currently working on Shortly 2.0 while on spring break from college. In true business major form, he plans to use the money he earns from the .99 cent app to invest back into developing the app.

“[Shortly] is definitely growing with me,” he said. “I created it when I was 18, but now that I’m older I want it to be aimed more at college students.”

After an invitation from Arianna Huffington, Wade now blogs at the Huffington Postabout his “underdog past” and the ongoing development of Shortly.

Wade is part of a nascent generation of entrepreneurs who have realized that learning to code is non-negotiable. He hopes his story inspires others to discover their own “super powers” amid a sea of “no’s.”

“I think this story means something to me because it represents my wildest dreams and every kid wants to see that come true for themselves,” them,” Wade said.

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jrgifford
1557 days ago
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