the wired
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Text isn't the most glamorous type of media on your computer, but it's one that everyone creates and consumes frequently and it's not as boring as it sounds. To make the best use of the text you encounter and generate on your own, there some tips and tricks you should know.
Twisted Sifter
The Twisted Sifter has three simple goals:  
 
1. Provide content that is interesting, funny or creative  
2. Use BIG pictures whenever possible  
3. Keep our readers up-to-date with what’s popular online
Google [today] unveiled Google+, yet another attempt by the search giant to overcome its past miscues in the social networking space.  
 
More people visit Google's network of websites than Facebook each month, but Facebook is killing the search company in categories that advertisers care most about: Time spent and pages viewed...  
 
Google's latest solution to this growing trend is Google+... On Facebook, people are either "friends" or not. Google+ makes that distinction more fluid, letting users group their contacts into smaller categories, such as relatives, co-workers, or members of a yoga class. Information can be shared selectively with each group...  
 
Unlike Google's previous social attempts, such Orkut and Buzz -- which had big, bold launches and are largely considered failures -- Google is moving slowly and cautiously with Google+. It has only been launched for a small group of users, and others need to be invited to the service to use it..
Qwiki
Qwiki's goal is to forever improve the way people experience information.  
 
Whether you’re planning a vacation on the web, evaluating restaurants on your phone, or helping with homework in front of the family Google TV, Qwiki is working to deliver information in a format that's quintessentially human – via storytelling instead of search.  
 
We are the first to turn information into an experience. We believe that just because data is stored by machines doesn’t mean it should be presented as a machine-readable list. Let's try harder.  
 
Think of asking your favorite teacher about Leonardo Da Vinci, or your most well-traveled friend about Buenos Aires: this is the experience Qwiki will eventually deliver, on demand, wherever you are in the world… on whatever device you’re using.
Inbox Influence
Everyday our email inboxes are filled with urgent messages from co-workers, dinner reminders from family, as well as news alerts, listserv messages and even political advocacy communications.  
 
Inbox Influence is a new tool from the Sunlight Foundation that allows you to see the political contributions of the people and organizations that are mentioned in emails you receive. This easy-to-use tool can be used for researching influence background on corporate correspondence, adding context to newspaper headlines or discovering who is behind political fundraising solicitations.  
 
Inbox Influence provides details on any entity in the body of the email, plus information on both the sender of the email and the company from which it was sent. With it, you can even see how your friends and family have given to political campaigns.
Now there is an easy way to find out if you’ve been caught up in recent hacks by the likes of LulzSec and Anonymous, who claim to be in it for the “lulz” (fun) or are trying to make a political statement and have published their data hauls online for dramatic effect. An Australian technology professional and former security consultant, Daniel Grzelak, has built a Web site, “  
 
To see if your info is there, simply visit the site and type in your e-mail address — he promises that he will not capture or store it. If it’s found, you will be told how many times and get tips for creating strong passwords and using them safely.  
Mr. Grzelak said in an e-mail that he created the tool for family and friends who had heard about the “LulzSec shenanigans” and were concerned about what it meant for them. “I wanted to give them A, an easy way to check if they were affected and B, some simple advice on what to do if they were.”  
 
LulzSec and others who have taken and exposed data may not use it maliciously themselves. But more criminally minded “underground folks either already have the databases or quickly download them, while the average person just keeps going on about their business, oblivious to the carnage; unless of course their Facebook or Twitter accounts get violated,” he said.
This is the 21st century, the so-called 'Digital Age', an age where information is readily available to all, including yours. The sheer growth of the Internet has led to privacy concerns for a great number of people. We should be entitled to our privacy in the real world, so why not make it so in the virtual one? There are many genuine reasons why people wish to stay anonymous on the Internet, ranging from simple paranoia to hiding browsing activities from a spouse. We are not here to debate the legal, moral or ethical issues surrounding anonymity on the Internet, but merely to provide you with reviews on some of the methods you can take to achieve it. All of the programs listed here are classified as free software and you will never have to pay a penny for any of them.
Craiggers dot com
Speedy, easy to use interface for craigslist.  
 
[cc: shopping]  
 
Up/down arrows to flip through posts, left/right arrows to scan pics within a post.
How to be an a**hole
In January I came across a website that had a whole slew of JavaScript that attempted to prevent you from selecting text, right clicking or dragging any content onto your desktop. I decided to copy the JavaScript and create a library with examples of JavaScript techniques you can use if you want to scare your visitors away, or want to piss them off. Annoying.js is the result.
If you post a photo on the Web, it still belongs to you, right? Well, be sure to read the fine print.
Modern computational linguistics can crack the encryption on VOIP calls well enough to reconstruct what is being said. Even though they are encrypted, the frames that make up a Skype call contain clues about what phonemes are being spoken.  
Cracking a code is usually a complex matter of mathematics and nothing much else other than mathematics. However, if the encrypted data contain any statistical relationship to the original data then there can be shortcut ways to decryption that make the whole thing much less secure. This is well known and yet you might be surprised to discover that Skype, and many other forms of VOIP telephone systems, are vulnerable to this sort of attack.  
 
The reason is that the best form of compression for voice data makes use of the structure of speech - the Linear Predictive Filter. The basic idea is that the data is compressed by using an input code word that represents the sound made in the throat by the vocal chords. Then a set of parameters are set in a filter which represents the shape of the mouth and resonant cavities. The parameters are set so that the output matches the sound as well as it can - this is an example of analysis by synthesis, i.e. you analyze a signal by setting up a system that creates it accurately.
A computer security researcher has found a flaw in Microsoft Corp's widely used Internet Explorer browser that he said could let hackers steal credentials to access FaceBook, Twitter and other websites.  
"Any website. Any cookie. Limit is just your imagination," said Rosario Valotta, an independent Internet security researcher based in Italy.  
Hackers can exploit the flaw to access a data file stored inside the browser known as a "cookie," which holds the login name and password to a web account, Valotta said via email.  
Once a hacker has that cookie, he or she can use it to access the same site, said Valotta, who calls the technique "cookiejacking."  
The vulnerability affects all versions of Internet Explorer, including IE 9, on every version of the Windows operating system.  
To exploit the flaw, the hacker must persuade the victim to drag and drop an object across the PC's screen before the cookie can be hijacked.
Try to imagine a world where everything is interconnected. A world where you can modify your own reality to see what you want to see, where your coffee machine knows when you need your next fix, and the high streets are populated with characters from your favourite PC games.  
 
This future is not some distant dream as imagined by fans of Minority Report. Much of this technology is already here, and the current rate of development has futurists claiming that this will be a reality within the next five to ten years.
Are you the kind of person whose Facebook profile is visible to public, or is it completely unsearchable? Maybe you have a blog where you use a pen name to write about your real feelings. The reality is most of us don’t care or fall somewhere in between: we’re concerned about our privacy, but keep our lives relatively public online. We might have a user name that’s a lyric from our favorite song, but we use a picture of ourselves as the avatar.
AirDropper
AirDropper lets Dropbox users send a request for files to anyone, even if the person doesn't have a Dropbox account. The person you're requesting the files from just needs an email address or some other means for you to send them the secure upload link we provide.  
 
First you connect AirDropper to your Dropbox account. Then you fill out our request form with a description of the files you want and provide a list of emails to request those files from. Once the person you're requesting the files from visits our secure page and uploads the files, we immediately put the files in a subfolder called "AirDropper" within your Dropbox. Simple for everybody!