Micah Lee at The Intercept provides a deep and wide introduction to encryption (with a clever but helpful Romeo & Juliet framing device) then brings us all the way through the doorframe, past thinking or talking about it—Chatting in Secret while we're all being watched. [more inside]
What happens when you type google.com into your browser and press enter? [I]nstead of the usual story, we're going to try to answer this question in as much detail as possible. No skipping out on anything.
Many people are familiar with computer case modifications, thanks to the photogenic nature of mods. On the software side, most operating systems feature some potential for customization, though this is often limited to tweaking the colors and sounds. For some, this isn't enough. Enter "skinning," the casual term for interface customization. To a degree, the history of the media player Winamp (YT, 7:03; transcript with pictures) mirrors the history of skinning. From a version 0.2, a visually dull app in June 1997, to easy user customization in version 2 in September 1998, and the complexly customizable Winamp3 in August 2002. Wired captured something of the excitement at its peak in an article from 2000, before computing began shifting to more closed devices. Now approaching a post-WIMP (windows, icons, menus and a pointer) era, where skinning is done with alternative launchers. But for those still using traditional computers of one sort or another, it's not too late to modify your interface. [more inside]
Here is Incursion: Halls of the Goblin King, a computer game that adapts the 3rd Edition rules of the Dungeons & Dragons game to roguelikes.
CreativeApplications.Net scours the net for platform independent apps that help sharing and engaging with information. They look at OSX, Windows, Linux, iPhone, Web Apps, Flash, Physical Interfaces, Max MSP development, Processing and others. [more inside]
[Patent Lawsuit Filter] On Wednesday Sun Microsystems announced a counter suit against Network Appliance, wherein they will draw on their "defensive portfolio" which is "one of the largest patent arsenals on the internet". They are going to be requesting a permanent injunction to remove all of NetApp's filer products from the marketplace, and also seeking monetary damages (half of which they've pledged to donate to the Software Freedom Law Center and Peer to Patent Project). Last month, NetApp sued Sun for patent infringements in ZFS. Earlier this month in Texas, the first ever patent infringement lawsuit against Linux distributors was filed. [more inside]
The How-To Geek provides hints and tips for a variety of operating systems and popular pieces of software. The how-tos cover a pleasing range of head-slapping I-should-have-known-thats to relatively advanced techniques. Follow the latest page to read the site in blog form.
Remember Oxyd? You can find this shareware game on abandonware sites, but you probably won't have much luck playing it on your new PC. Even if you run it under DOSBox, it's hard to get it looking and sounding right. Fret no more! There's Oxyd extra for Windows and Enigma for lots of platforms. Time to dust off my Oxyd Book...