UPDATE – I just spoke with the VP of customer service at media temple. It seems as though there is a lot in the works. He wanted to reassure me that their reaction to this has been very carefully thought out, and that they are currently investigating the hacks.
While I generally want to know everything about anything immediately as it happens, I understand that if MT handled this that way it could lead to a situation where an exploit was widely disseminated before the vendors had a chance to patch it. There are an incredible number of pieces of hardware and software involved, and it only takes one exploitable piece to create a problem.
In short, sit tight. Media Temple will hopefully release more info when the time is right. In the meantime you can rest assured that their measured reaction is the result of careful consideration, not sloth.
I will leave the original post below quoted for reference.
There aren’t many answers here, but recently this site was hacked (which is bad) and my host Media temple saw errant behavior, (and recognized it) changed the ftp password, and restored backup to the site (which was good!)
At first I was not very upset. These things happen, and it seemed like media temple did the right thing in a timely manner. Then today I searched for one of the php files the hackers had put up on my site and discovered this page (google cache) which has quite a few other sites that had been hacked in a similar fashion. Something very fishy seems to be going on here.
Media temple sent out an email blaming the hacks on old ftp passwords. That would make sense if it was a handful, but hundreds of sites? That sounds like something only Media temple could screw up.
Introduction – just in case you haven’t renewed your geek card for the past year (decade?) Arduino is a term that refers to a microcontroller on a board that has certain hardware and software ‘shortcuts’ figured out. It was designed to be as plug and play as possible, and to lower the barrier to entry for people who want to let their computer interact with the physical world. The programming language is fairly simple and very well documented, and it is a matter of minutes between installing the software and uploading your first program! Like I usually do, there is an amazon store here in case you don’t want to read my witty banter.
arduino – the meat and potatoes of this whole shebang.
The cool thing about arduinos are that even if you already have one, you canalways find a use for another! You can set them up to ‘talk’ to each other. You can leave a project set up after finishing it, or be able to prototype multiple projects at the same time. Also, there are a wide array of shapes and sizes (and prices) of arduinos, and each one is suited for a different application.
You can start out with the ‘classic’ Duemilanove. It is the original form factor, and most of the shields are built to fit this one. This is a great one to use for prototyping, and if need be you can use a smaller board in your finished project. If this is your first arduino I would recommend getting the kit which includes jumper wires, a breadboard, some LEDs, resistors and a pushbutton. That way you can start making things blink as soon as you get it out of the box!
MEGA –The arduino mega is just like the Duemilanove except that it uses a bigger chip, is a bigger board, and has more inputs and outputs. Most of the code is portable across the two. If you have a project that needs more i/o’s than the smaller chips, then this is right up your alley!
I have really had a lot of fun shooting pictures of things and learning about photography in the last few years. One thing I love about digital photography is that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to take a lot of pictures. I have had an absolute blast playing around making pinhole lenses, taking infra red pictures, and playing around with garage sale flashes.
Here are a lot of ideas (and links!) for gifts for the photographer in your life, arranged by price from low to high. Most of these links are nikon-specific, but if you like the idea, there is definitely a canon version to be found out there! Side note: if you don’t want to read my interpretation, then you can just click here and find the list at amazon.
ir remote – You can control your camera with a remote! These little guys are good for group photos, stop motion work, and for the times your camera is way out of reach. They’re cheap too!
flash slave – This is a neat tiny little bit of electronics that you pop onto the bottom of a flash and it will fire whenever it sees another flash fire. These aren’t as good as the high tech versions out there, but they still do the trick a lot of the time. These can be found for $8
A while ago I decided to jump in and upgrade to 10.6 on my HP mini 1030. It had been a while since I did 10.5, and I was in the mood for a bit of hackery.
I initially followed the first set of directions from mymacbookmini.com and I had very mixed results. The terminal commands weren’t always correct, or line formatted right, or spelled correctly. I eventually ended up getting a machine that booted, but didn’t shut down. Had wireless, but no sound control, and had some serious sleep issues. I dropped the project after spending hours in terminal and on forums, and pretty much felt like the ‘upgrade’ was a waste of time and the next step would be to re-install 10.5.
There really are few magazines that I eagerly look forward to. There are even fewer that I can’t hold back from reading in the bookstore BEFORE my subscription arrives (I just can’t hold back!) MAKE is chock full of cool projects, ideas, and people. They have detailed build plans for some of their projects, and they are always a source of inspiration. To give a gift subscription click here of just go to http://www.makezine.com/ There seem to be a few different deals out there. Sometimes you can get a makers notebook for free, and sometimes you can get an extra issue. You get to pick your deal.
It should also be noted that their blog is one of my main interests on the internet. You can find it at http://blog.makezine.com/ and it is almost like a new issue that arrives every time you hit the refresh button!
Make seems to be about celebrating the unabashed love of technology, and I unabashedly love that. If you know of someone who might like it – get it for them. If you already get it – loan out a few copies to your friends. This magazine deserves some more evangelism!
One gift that geeks undeniably love are tools. The tricky thing is finding ones that not only they don’t have, but also need. I can’t imagine anyone interested in electronics NOT owning a soldering iron, but almost all beginners start out with a really useless $8 radioshack iron. That thing usually has a very blunt tip, is uncomfortable, and is almost never the right temperature. It really is amazing anyone can learn how to solder on one of those. Last year I became the proud owner of a Weller WLC100, and I suggest you do the same.
I’m sure you are wondering what makes this is soldering iron better.
-It’s MUCH more comfortable in your hand
-It has a variable temperature dial so that you can gently heat components.
-It is much more stable on the desk, and it has an orange light on it that lights up whenever the unit is powered (and therefore much less likely to light your shop on fire!)
-And lastly, when you work with it you feel like you are using the proper tool for the job. We have all been in a situation where you are stripping wires with a kitchen knife, or cutting a hole in a box with a plastic fork. Sometimes you need to use the wrong tool for the job, but when you have the perfect tool for the job it really makes the process much more enjoyable.
I am going to do a series of posts on things that geeks might need for Christmas / the holiday season. It will be a learning process, as I am going to rely on the collective wisdom of the internet to pick between a few similar products. Some might be big and some might be small, but I can guarantee that more than a few people are lusting over these…
One important disclaimer is that you need to know the kind of geek you are shopping for
. If you buy a unix geek some anime, they might not be too excited. These gifts are for the kind of geek who is interested in hardware, robotics, DIY electronics, and microcontrollers (particularly Arduino!) If that describes the person on your wish list – you are in luck!
The first gift idea is a desktop mini vice. This is useful for soldering and working on small(ish) tabletop projects. These can not be used for holding a 2×4 while you cut it, but they are perfect for holding a circuit board while you solder in the components.
I saw this the other day while wandering around home depot. It looks like something I need. I’ve been lusting over this panavise for a bit, and there is a strong pull for the dremel one at half the price!
The dremel one looks like it would be easier to set up on a benchtop (i think you have to bolt the panavice down, the dremel has a clamp) and it looks like you could use either one for light machining, soldering, and dis/assembly.
The only contender to those two might be this cheapie panavice, but it doesn’t look like it could stand up to some dremelling, and I like my tools to be multi-taskers!
So I’ll put the question out there; has anyone used any of the three? I’d love to hear thoughts, or suggestions if you have something better!