Technology

Triangle InfoSeCon and BSides RDU Close Out Cybersecurity Awareness Month in NC

The Research Triangle Park (RTP) located in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area of North Carolina is home to number of tech companies and a growing cybersecurity community. This location closed out the October cybersecurity awareness month with a bang! Two conferences back to back with a goal to educate the community.

First, BSides RDU was held on October 19th at the historic Carolina Theatre in Durham and featured a fantastic line-up of speakers, hacker jeopardy, Capture the Flag (CTF), Lockpick Village, Vintage Tech Museum, and more.  This year, BSides RDU was able to make the event FREE to all attendees which undoubtably expanded the outreach to the community.  It was a special event that provided education for individuals from beginning to advanced cybersecurity skill levels.  The event was live streamed and all talks can be found on the BSides RDU YouTube channel.

Triangle InfoSeCon is the largest security conference in North Carolina with over 1,600 attendees.  The event was held on October 26th at the Raleigh Convention Center and is organized every year by the Raleigh ISSA Chapter.  It was an action-packed event with two keynotes and eight speaker tracks.  In addition to speakers, the event had a hacking tournament, lockpick village, and after-dark educational events.

These two wonderful conferences are going strong in a growing security community.  They have created a positive learning environment and are amazing educational events in North Carolina. Well done!

 

And that's what's good,

Jon

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Hackers Donate $15K for Puerto Rico

Hurricane Maria has pummeled Puerto Rico over the past week, knocking out power for the entire island. The island’s calls for help have been answered by an unlikely source…hackers. Several data security companies and hacker conferences have started collecting money and supplies for Puerto Rico. These are the good hackers, and an ideal source to help with getting communication lines and Internet connectivity to those in need.

So far they have collected $15,000 and are sending emergency equipment, radios, laptops, phones, and more! Some of the great organizations that are helping include: Derbycon, Shmoocon, Hushcon, BSidesRaleigh, Nolacon, BSidesDE, Phantom Rescue, Hackers for Charity, BSidesPR, and BSidesLV!

Thank you hackers and the security community!!

 

And that’s what’s good,

Jon

 

Source: http://blog.redlion.io/hackers-raised-15k-puerto-rico/

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An App that helps create Acts of Kindness

Typically during summer, families take exotic trips or trips around the country with their families for

pleasure. What would your reaction be if your parents told you that you would be taking a 20 day

trip around the country, not exactly for site seeing, but to be doing chores? Despite mixed emotions

about the trip, Gregg Murset and his family including 6 children hit the road and made stops in Phoenix,

Albuquerque, Denver, Detroit, and Richmond on a voyage to do free chores for complete strangers.

After seeing how thankful everyone was for their help, the kids really started enjoying what they were

doing! Murset, who’s now 9 year old daughter Zaida was diagnosed with peritoneal carcinomatosis, a

rare type of cancer when she was just 3, has always wanted to help families in need; especially families

who are also battling cancer. Gregg Murset created an app called My Job Chart, which finds families in

need of help, and allows people to reach out.

“It’s a free app that any family could use to assign chores to their children,” Murset said. "Nowadays,

there is a lot of couch time, video games, and a lot of messing around. Parents know they fundamentally

need to teach their kids a little bit better," Murset said.

Murset said the app would help children develop tough work ethics, teach them how to be responsible

and how to give back.

"There are currently 725,000 members using the app," Murset said. "Children can earn points by doing

chores. When they reach a certain amount of points, they can each get cash from their parents, or their

parents can donate to charities."

 

Have a great day, and let the good news be yours,

Jeremy

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Google brings Internet access to remote areas of the world

It's called "Project Loon", as in balloon.  This involves launching solar and wind powered balloons into the stratosphere.  These special balloons communicate with control devices and Internet providers on the ground to deliver Internet to remote areas that are not "connected".  In the stratosphere, winds carry these balloons over a predictable path.

Now that's something to tweet about :)



And that's what's good,

Jon

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Teen's invention revolutionizes the battery

Imagine being able to charge your phone in 20 seconds.  Or having a battery that can survive 10,000 charges compared to today's 1,000 charges per battery.

This is all a reality now because of 18 year old Eesha Khare, a high school student in Saratoga, CA.  She created her invention because her cell phone was always losing charge.  So Eesha created a supercapacitator which is incredibly small, fast charging, and as she says, "It is also flexible, so it can be used in rollup displays and clothing and fabric."

Her invention earned her the "Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award" and $50,000.

 



And that's what's good,

Jon

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Studies show Good News spreads faster than Bad News on social media

Smiles are contagious, especially on social media.  Psychologists and neuroscientists have discovered that Good News spreads the fastest by scanning people's brains and monitoring their emails and social media posts.

"...when you share a story with your friends and peers, you care a lot more how they react. You don’t want them to think of you as a Debbie Downer.”, says Jonah Berger, an assistant professor of marketing and social psychologists at the University of Pennsylvania.

Berger studied The New York Times' website to see which articles were shared the most.  He discovered that scientific, exciting, and funny articles were shared much more than devastating or negative articles.

In his new book "Contagious: Why Things Catch On", he describes how positive articles get shared the most!

On that note, continue to share the articles on this site :)  We will continue to make you smile, laugh, and love :)

And that's what's good,
Jon

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CarolinaCon 9 - Annual security & technology conference in Raleigh, NC

Great news for you technology enthusiasts!  It's that time of the year again - The 9th annual CarolinaCon starts this Friday, March 15, 2013 at 7PM!  It's a data security and technology education conference in Raleigh, NC. 

This awesome conference is put on by a non-profit called "The CarolinaCon Group" which is dedicated to educating local communities about technology.  The group is affiliated with local 2600 groups on the east coast.

Have fun and spread the knowledge!

And that's what's good,
Jon

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Computers may help recover lost languages

In a major language science breakthrough, computers are showing that they may be able to recover lost languages.  Previously, computers were only used to save languages as they were at risk of being lost.  The computers would record fragments of the language from the remaining speakers in order to help recreate the entire language.

Now, it's a whole new ball game.  A team consisting of Alexandre Bouchard-Cote from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and researchers at the University of California Berkeley have developed a new way to build extinct languages.   They do this first by predicting how a language will develop in the future.  Then they instruct the computer to do the reverse!

The researchers give the example of the so called "Canadian Shift" where people in Canada now say "aboot" instead of "about".  The computer predicts these changes in languages.

As a proof of concept, the research team reconstructed 142,000 words from 637 Austronesian languages in the Southeast Asia region.  The computer was able to accurately predict changes in the language.

How awesome is that?  The research can be found in the "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences".



And that's what's good,
Jon
The Good World News

Reference: http://www.sciencerecorder.com/news/could-a-computer-save-lost-languages-of-the-ancient-world/

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iPad instruments help special needs kids

Teachers in PS 177 high school in Queens, NY were struggling to find a way to help students with learning disabilities focus and advance in school.  Most of the kids in the special ed classes are autistic and the normal curricula did not help them.

Adam Goldberg, a teacher at the school, decided to raise money to get a few iPads in the classroom.  He organized them in a horseshoe and placed music software on them.  Goldberg then asked the kids to play songs such as Bob Marley's "One Love" and viola!  - The results were amazing.

“In some cases, these are kids that were nonverbal,” says Leslie Schecht from the NY Department of Education. “They really adapted and changed tremendously.”

Goldberg said one kid in particular who would only say a couple words, sang the entire Bob Marley's "One Love" in front of the class & then turned to his teacher and said "iPad please" :)

"When I saw the effect these had on the kids, I pulled together as much budget as I could and ordered 90" said Kathy Posa, the school’s principal.

The kids call their school band, the "PS 177 Technology Band".  They have even created original hits that are available on iTunes!  All proceeds go to their school.

 

Peace & Love,

Jon

- The Good World News

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Hurricane Sandy victims get help from Hackers

A couple weeks after Hurricane Sandy, most households in the northeast finally had power again.  Although power was up, Internet access was still sparse in many areas.

This is where a team of special individuals came to the rescue.  Joe and Debbie Hillis drove 1,600 miles from Saginaw, Texas with their mobile technology center to provide communication capabilities to the victims.  In 2008, they created the Information Technology Disaster Recovery Center (ITDRC), a non-profit dedicated to helping set up communication in areas struck with disaster.  They have helped in over 18 disasters so far!

The mobile tech center vehicle has radios, 30 workstations, mobile server rack, printers, over a hundred routers, thousands of feet of cables, computer repair parts, switches, and hard drives.

"Every time we get to a disaster we find something we don't have," says Joe, "that goes into our 'lesson learned.' "

They drove house to house helping individuals get access.  The two also teamed up with a group of hackers who helped create a wireless mesh network so neighborhoods could connect to the internet for free.  The hacker team consisted of

Bryce Lynch (The Doctor), Ben Mendis (Ben The Pirate) and Chris Koepke (Haxwithaxe), all members of a group called Project Byzantium. The project was created to quickly provide Internet access to areas in need.

"Once you do it you're addicted," says Debbie Hillis. "Helping people, there's nothing like it."

Peace & Love,
Jon
The Good World News

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