Internet Curiosities

Cisco Exploit Leaked in NSA Hack Modifies to Target Latest Version of Firewalls

The Hacker News -

Recently released NSA exploit from "The Shadow Brokers" leak that affects older versions of Cisco System firewalls can work against newer models as well. Dubbed ExtraBacon, the exploit was restricted to versions 8.4.(4) and earlier versions of Cisco's Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) – a line of firewalls designed to protect corporate, government networks and data centers. <!-- adsense -->

Heart and Brain have extremely different view points but always remain best buds

Boing Boing -

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Heart and Brain: An Awkward Yeti Collection
by Nick Seluk
Andrews McMeel Publishing
2015, 144 pages, 6.5 x 8 x 0.4 inches (softcover)
$9 Buy a copy on Amazon

Heart and Brain is a wonderful collection of the lovable characters from Nick Seluk’s The Awkward Yeti webcomic. This special print edition features over 75 exclusive comics, as well as dozens of previously published fan favorites. The exclusive comics are the real draw, since they’ll be totally new to you even if you’ve read every single comic online.

If you’re new to Heart and Brain, the title says all you need to know about the characters. Brain is the rational one, always looking out for the logical, safe thing to do, while Heart is all about passion and seeking out the things he loves. Seluk creatively captures the constant push-and-pull between these forces in us all and externalizes them in some of the most endearing characters in comics. It’s hard to not fall in love with Brain’s neurotic over-worrying, and Heart’s blissful aloofness. They’re a perfectly matched odd couple because they come from such extremely differing viewpoints, but they always manage to meet in the middle.

The comics themselves are hilarious. I don’t think a single joke misses the mark in the entire book, which is pretty incredible. Seluk understands his characters on such a fundamental level that everything they do and say feels authentic. They’re just as endearing as other comic duos like Calvin and Hobbes, and their stories have the every day simplicity of Peanuts. The Awkward Yeti is an extremely modern comic, constantly addressing technology and common modern life issues. It can do the office humor of Dilbert, the slice-of-life ease of Peanuts, and the simple punchlines of Garfield. The main appeal to the comic is thinking “I know that feeling!” after seeing Brain humorously stress about past regrets just before going to sleep, or Heart being overly excited about something silly. Seluk’s ability to poke fun at his hang-ups on just about everything makes it easy for the reader to relate their own idiosyncrasies. Seluk will be releasing another collection in October and you can be sure I’ll be picking up a copy. – Alex Strine

Moist. MOIST!!!! (the science of why some people hate that word)

Boing Boing -

New psychology research explores "word aversion," or why "as many as 20% of the population equates hearing the word 'moist' to the sound fingernails scratching a chalkboard." In a scientific paper about their study, psychologists from Oberlin College and Trinity University report that for some people the word "moist" is associated with bodily functions that trigger a visceral feeling of disgust. No surprise there. But interestingly, those "semantic features" of the word may not be the only issue at play. From their paper:

A separate possible explanation not tested in the current studies, but which the author acknowledges, is rooted in the facial feedback hypothesis. This hypothesis suggests that facial movement can influence emotional experience. In other words, if facial muscles are forced to configure in ways that match particular emotional expressions, then that may be enough to actually elicit the experience of the emotion. On this explanation, saying the word “moist” might require the activation of facial muscles involved in the prototypical disgust expression, and therefore trigger the experience of the emotion. This could explain the visceral response of “yuck” people get when they think of the word. Separate research has identified the particular facial muscles involved in the experience and expression of disgust, but no research as of yet has tested whether the same muscles are required when saying “moist.”

"An Exploratory Investigation of Word Aversion" (via Scientific American)

Homeless woman proves the U.S. government owes her $100,000

Boing Boing -

Social Security wouldn't pay what was owed to 80-year-old Wanda Witter, and she ended up living on the streets of Washington DC for 16 years. She carried three suitcases of paperwork documenting her claim that the government owed her more than $100,000. Many people thought she was mentally ill and was making it up. But she was right all along, and Social Security wrote her a check for $99,999. They will probably give her more. From Washington Post:

Witter wandered the streets of Washington for about 16 years, calling the Social Security’s 800-number, sending them letters and trying to get someone to listen to her predicament.

It started after she lost her job as a machinist at Ingersoll-Rand plant in Corning, N.Y., where she made turbine and engine parts.

So Witter moved in with one of her four daughters who lived in Fort Carson, Colo., and started taking classes at Pikes Peak Community College. She graduated in three years and then went to paralegal school, where she earned her certificate.

She thought she could find work in the nation’s capital so she moved to D.C. around 1999.

“Washington was where all the lawyers were supposed to be,” she said.

But finding work wasn’t easy. Who wanted an unsmiling woman on her way to 70 who still carried herself like a machinist in their office? No one, it turned out. She got odd jobs stuffing envelopes or working in offices and ran out of money.

If you play Pokémon Go, you need this PokeCharger

Boing Boing -

To be a Pokémon master, you'll need a phone that won’t constantly die on you. Because nothing is worse than seeing the screen go black right as you’ve finally found the Charizard of your dreams.

That’s why we’re so excited about the LinearFlux PokeCharger Portable Battery ($39.99). With its 3.0 Amp HyperCharging technology, this slim battery will not only supercharge your phone, it’ll do it 2x faster than a typical wall charger. And since the LED battery gauge always lets you know just how much juice you’ve got left, you’ll never wonder whether you should risk trying to catch that last Pokemon or not. 

Take it from us, nothing you find in a PokeStop will beat the value of this quality battery pack. Plus, even though the LinearFlux comes complete with a Lightning connector for your iPhone, you can charge much more than that: including your Apple Watch or your Android (using the extra USB-A port). Don’t wait too long to get yours: this 50% off deal can now be found in our store.

Peak Pokémon Go has already passed

Boing Boing -

A new report from Axiom Capital Management suggests that Pokémon Go is on a downward trend in daily active users and engagement of those users. The data comes from Sensor Tower, SurveyMonkey, and Apptopia.

Additionally, "The Google Trends data is already showing declining interest in augmented reality, whereas interest in virtual reality remains high," says senior analyst Victor Anthony.

(Bloomberg Markets)


These programming skills will give you a competitive edge

Boing Boing -

The tech industry is constantly innovating, and in order to stay competitive, you'll need to keep up. The Programming Into the Future Bundle was created to teach you the skills employers are looking for at this very moment, including in-demand coding languages like Google Go.

The bundle of courses includes instruction on a range of innovative tools that advanced coders use daily, including:

Node.js - This server-side JavaScript environment creates real time web apps, builds APIs, and streams applications.

Angular 2 - This JavaScript library gives you a competitive edge in UI/UX design, web development, and scaling apps and programs across platforms.

Google Go Programming - This open-source language developed by Google is used in many Google (and non-Google) apps.

With 42 lessons in many forward-thinking programming languages and tools, this bundle will help you catch the eye of any startup or top-name enterprise company you’ve got your eye on.

Plus, this is a Pay What You Want based deal. Meaning, if you beat the average price, you'll get the entire bundle. If you pay less than the average price, you still get something awesome. But don’t wait too long: this deal ends in just a short 5 days.


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