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Tech Tips, Tricks & Trivia

by 'Anil' Radhakrishna
An architect's notes, experiments, discoveries and annotated bookmarks.

Search from over a hundred HOW TO articles, Tips and Tricks


TWIL - Week #28


This Week I Learned:

Web:

  • Google crawls for websites. Shodan crawls for devices. The Shodan search engine crawls the internet looking for devices, many of which are programmed to answer. It has found cars, foetal heart monitors, office building heating-control systems, water treatment facilities, power plant controls, traffic lights and glucose meters. It has become a crucial tool for security researchers, academics, law enforcement and hackers looking for devices that shouldn’t be on the internet or devices that are vulnerable to being hacked.  Its creator & sole operator, 29-year-old John Matherly says "I don’t consider my search engine scary. It’s scary that there are power plants connected to the internet". Matherly hopes Shodan leads to more transparency and public shaming of companies that are selling vulnerable systems
  • Google is extending its Vulnerability Reward Program to include "key third-party software critical to the health of the entire Internet".
  • Since more and more websites are trying to tailor their content to you, you may get caught up in a digital “filter bubble” and not get “exposed to information that could challenge or broaden [your] worldview”.
  • Everywhere you go online, you’re tracked; a lot more than you might suspect. Web tracking isn’t 100% evil, but websites certainly track you a ton, so it’s worth informing yourself what they use that information for. (The above 2 links & a few others are from the post "100 incredible things I learned watching 70 hours of TED talks last week" on A Year of Productivity blog. The author of the blog has licensed all original content under an Attribution 3.0 Unported copyright license and encourages his blog readers to steal his posts.)


Science:

  • Bees have been around for 50 million years, but they recently started dying en masse because of “parasitic mites, viral and bacterial diseases, and exposure to pesticides and herbicides”.
  • Tropical cyclones are formed in eight basins - Northern Atlantic, Northeastern Pacific, North Central Pacific, Northwestern Pacific, Northern Indian Ocean, Southwestern Indian Ocean, South and Southwestern Pacific and Southeastern Indian Ocean. Each basin has a different naming system. In the North Atlantic Ocean, Northwest Pacific Ocean east of the International Date Line and South Pacific Ocean, they are called hurricanes. Typhoon is the name given to a tropical cyclone formed in the North west Pacific Ocean west of the dateline. In the southwest Pacific Ocean and southeast Indian Ocean, its called a severe tropical cyclone.  Naming of cyclones started in early 20th century when an Australian forecaster named the cyclone after politicians whom he disliked. Now, cyclones are given names contributed by member nations of the World Meteorological Organisation. The new names include those of men, women, flowers and so on. In the North Atlantic and Northeastern Pacific, feminine and masculine names are alternated in alphabetic order during a given season. (Source: Times of India)

Numbers:

  • 66% of the U.S. is obese 
  • This year, there are 1426 billionaires in the world, according to Forbes. 960 of them are self-made, while the rest inherited their wealth. 
  • About 0.7% of individuals world-wide are millionaires - about 32 million people. They control 41% of world's wealth (Source: WSJ)
  • 35% of Russia's wealth is in the hands of just 110 people.

India:
Everything else:

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