Recent news​

Top 5 Web Application Vulnerabilities

June 2014

 

A security researcher from Israel has discovered a very basic, almost “school boy” level bug in Gmail that could have potentially compromised millions of email addresses. He notified Google, who have rectified the problem and have rewarded the honest fellow with the whooping $500. Here is the news article that details these events:

 

http://rt.com/news/165552-gmail-bug-users-address/

 

For those technically minded, watch the embedded Youtube video that details how Oren Hafif did it.

 

As a brief background detour, in general there are five types of web application vulnerabilities...

Big Day Today – a Computer Has Passed the Turing Test (For the First Time).

June 2014

 

Big day today – for the first time a computer has passed the Turing Test.

 

This is big news indeed. Those who studied theoretical Computer Science may have heard of the Turing Test. It’s a test, (proposed by Alan Turing, the Godfather of Computer Science), designed to distinguish whether an entity is a human being or a mere machine with formidable artificial intelligence.

 

A typical Turing Test looks somewhat like this.

KPCB Internet Trend Report 2014 Is Out Now.

May 2014

 

Kleiner Perkins is a venture capital firm that has, since its establishment in 1972, successfully invested in incubation of AOL, Amazon.com, Citrix, Compaq, Electronic Arts, Google, Intuit, Juniper Networks, Netscape, Sun Microsystems and Symantec among others - they are considered one of Silicon Valley’s top venture capital providers.  Their long awaited annual Internet Trends report has just been released and it makes a fascinating read. 

 

The full report can be found here.  For those who are too busy, here how we have distilled the key points as relevant to us: 

JavaScript drives robots – the future is finally on its way!

May 2014

 

This is great!  You can now use simple Javascript to program robots.  And I mean actual robots that blink eyes, move around the room, pick up Coke cans and do other robot stuff.  Here is a podcast that explains how this happens:

http://hanselminutes.com/391/controlling-robots-with-nodejs-and-johnny-five-with-raquel-vlez

 

All you need is a bit of web programming know-how (and I’m talking rather basic stuff), the Johnny Five library that runs on Node.js and a simple Adruino open source micro controller!

 

Why is this big news?  Because, all of these technology components are simple, easy to get hold of and easy to learn.  And this allows almost anyone to get into robotics, play around and contribute.

WebRTC – a lot more than just a killer of Skype.

May 2014

I have recently come across WebRTC (RTC stands for Real Time Communication) and found it to be a very neat piece of technology.

 

WebRTC is a suite of protocols, standards and APIs that allow real time browser-to-browser communication on a peer-to-peer basis (well, not quite exactly that if there are firewalls involved, but you get the point).

 

This doesn’t just mean instant chat, video messaging, file exchange – i.e. things that the likes of Skype are already do well.  This means a lot of other things, and it is this extension on the usual Skype-like functionality that is the really exciting part.  Basically we now have the ability to bring to life any kind of instant interaction between two web browsing experiences across the world – what I do in my browser while I surf the net determines what you see in your browser!

Tim Berners-Lee and Leonard Kleinrock see 2014 from back in 2000.

April 2014

I was recently cleaning up in the garage and came across an old textbook on Computer Networks.  It was a book written in the late-90s and covered all the basics of application, transport and network layers, HTTP, SMTP, TCP/IP, network security, etc – all the usual suspects that were well in place by then and that are still the backbone of computer networks now.  In addition to the actual subject matter content, the book had, as side notes, interviews with some of the “founding fathers” of the computer networks field, including Tim Berners-Lee and Leonard Kleinrock.

 

For those who might not know, Leonard Kleinrock is the guy who, arguably, invented the Internet – his computer was thefirst node of the ARPANet, a worldwide network of university computers, which over the years morphed into what is now known as the Internet.  And Tim Berners-Lee is the guy who, arguably, invented one of the main applications that runs on the Internet – the World Wide Web – more specifically the HTTP protocol.