Innovation, Technology & Science

Security in the palm of your hand

05.31.07 | Permalink | Comments Off on Security in the palm of your hand

Things tend to appear in clumps and for whatever reason, this week it’s interesting Linux based appliances. A colleague forwarded along information on this interesting device, the Pico Pro, from Yoggie Security Solutions yesterday. Effectively, this is a USB device with an onboard processor in addition to the expected storage that acts as a personal security device. The images below show the internals of the device:

yoggie pico pro internals

This device has many different security applications working in concert to protect your computer: firewall, vpn, network address translation, intrusion prevention and detection, proxies (ftp, http, smtp, and pop), anti-* (spam, spyware, and phishing), URL CAT, and coordinating frameworks for the software. It’s effectively a Linux-based security appliance on a USB fob. Pretty cool.

While I understand that Yoggie was trying for a specific look and form factor, I do take issue with the fact that the device is invasive as it replaces low-level communications drivers in the operating system with Yoggie drivers that divert traffic to the device. Subsequently, the device only functions with Windows devices at this time. I would have much preferred an inline device that creates a private network with no invasive software meaning it’s cross platform to start. In fairness, it looks like Yoggie has a SOHO device that does such a thing.

You might expect these things to cost an arm and a leg, but they start quite reasonably priced at $179.

Innovation, Technology & Science

Slurpr: Wifi high-bandwidth bonding device

05.30.07 | Permalink | 1 Comment

Have you ever wanted to take advantage of not just a single open wifi point, but up to 6 of them in a single location and bond them into a single, high speed pipe? If so, Slurpr is the answer to your dreams. Take a look at a picture of the appliance below:

Slurpr Appliance

Hats off the the folks at GeekTechnique for pulling this great little appliance together. Legal issues aside, this presents an interesting set of opportunities to harvest and use wifi for high bandwidth operations.


These are not the droids you’re looking for

05.29.07 | Permalink | Comments Off on These are not the droids you’re looking for

It’s tough to imaging that it’s been 30 years since Star Wars was released and redefined the entertainment world. There is no shortage of coverage on this milestone, though one of my favorites is Kevin Chu’s story of working as an extra he posted last week.

One of the things that is really cool about Star Wars is that if you’ve seen the movie, even 30 years later, you’ll likely recognize the quote above from Obi Wan Kenobi as he, Luke, C3PO and R2D2 arrive in the space port of Mos Eisly to seek transport to Alderan. The series of films is simply chock full of these sorts of moments. My personal favorite of these is Yoda’s “Do or do not. There is no try.” when instructing young Skywalker in the ways of the force.

Yoda on Dagoba

I was on the cusp of turning 9 years old when the first movie was released in 1977 and so it’s not surprising I was caught up in the carnival that surrounded the movie. But the thing that has been shocking is how it’s stayed with me and how I’ve seen it infect new people over the years (it is sort of a benign virus I think.) For instance, my daughter loves to watch the original Star Wars (A New Hope) – she thinks the story is all about Princess Leia and seems to grasp the good vs. evil struggle that is ongoing in the films.

Last night Ellen and I watched a History Channel program called “Star Wars, the Legacy Revealed.” Record it, it will be on again (and btw, it compresses 120 minutes with commericals down to 88 minutes of content…) This was a facinating examination of the series demonstrating how George Lucas used the enduring myths and archetypes in the creation of the story and the characters. It inspired me to read the Joseph Campbell book The Hero with a Thousand Faces referenced in the show.

It’s clear George Lucas was influenced by myth, history, and westerns, but it’s somewhat unclear to me how much he intended consciously vs. what is being read into the movies by people who are experts in the field. That was the one missing piece of the show last night was an interview with Lucas to understand just how much symbolism was intended. In any case, 30 years later, it’s clear that Star Wars has legs – it is now making an impression on yet another generation of young people and it seems to strike a major chord with those who view it.

I know I’ve enjoyed the series of movies and think of them all fondly.


Yet another use for grapefruit

05.28.07 | Permalink | Comments Off on Yet another use for grapefruit

Just when you thought you’ve seen it all, something new appears. Take a look at the video above and you’ll start traveling with copper tubes and grapefruit just to make sure you can start your car if the battery runs down. An interesting life hack, though I have to wonder how much current really bleeds into the battery. Since you can make citrus batteries pretty easily, it’s greater than zero.

According to the results of this budding scientist’s school project, they would have been better off using lemons! It’s creative nonetheless and made me smile. Hope you enjoy this video too.


Got to finish the job…

05.27.07 | Permalink | Comments Off on Got to finish the job…

…no time for details.

Bad paint job

At least I hope that was the reason for this. The other acceptable reason would be for humor…

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