Pretty hectic week, what, with Rails getting an absolute slam, Java oh-days and CES going on. If you've been bored on the Internet you've been doing it wrong.
AWS Improvements - so my IaaS-of-choice is primarily Amazon, and it's no surprise that they've had some updates since the start of the year. In fact, they seem to be posting about updates on an almost weekly basis. This update, whilst primarily aesthetic, brought with it a new Android app. I've only had a brief play with it, but, it certainly gives a basic portable access into managing your virtual machines. In addition to this, AWS also updated CloudWatch to allow for automatic stopping of idle machines. I've been hacking together some stuff to perform this same task, so, it's useful to see that they're providing it natively. Another reason to shift from Heroku to Amazon
The Value of Concentration in the Digital Age - I originally saw this article on Lifehacker, and found that a lot of the issues discussed felt very familiar. Whilst the post primarily focuses on the impacts of lack of concentration, and how traditional books can help with this (you can't click buttons on a book), the commentary around associated anxiety is something I certainly agree with. I've struggled on and off with anxiety for a while now and certainly put a high value on 'relaxing' and 'unwinding' to help manage this. Books are a great source of relaxation for me, and this article certainly confirmed for me the benefits of using a fairly dumb ereader (the basic basic Kindle) as opposed to something like an iPad. The Kindle does one thing and one thing well.
Colour Affects Perceptions of Taste - from the design/hive-mind of Core77, a quick summary of some research performed by the Society of Sensory Professionals on how the colours of containers affects the taste. For all the clever shit we, as humans, think we're capable of, there's certainly a whole bunch of unknowns within our minds.
The Dronenet - but, instead of being used for evil, we're actually going to use things little critters for good. Who would've thought? Apart from really enjoying the vids of the quadrocopters bouncing balls, and being horrified of all the invasion-of-privacy stories coming out, there's not too much *positive* stuff that comes out around drones. I found this idea somewhat refreshing. .. As an aside, I'm obviously in the wrong circles, as mostly when I read about drones it's negative, when of course there are in fact a lot of benefits of this sort of tech too.
The Pixel Trade - Really interesting photography project whereby the author is travelling the globe trading his photography skills for accommodation, food, travel etc. I'm quite glad that this sort of exercise is being done by people, and, I sort of wish that I could convert what I do into a similar process... Anyone want to fly me around and hook me up with a couch for security services? People keep on saying I have Penetration Testing skills on LinkedIn .. surely someone finds those skills useful?
Onto the security stuff:
Patch your Rails stuff - The R7 guys have been posting a lot about this issue, which is pretty darn wide. Just read their posts, and, if you're not following them on twitter/RSS, get onto it.
Patch your Java - This is being actively exploited in the wild, and, if it's not in MSF now, it will be shortly.
Realtime iOS Filesystem Monitoring - @Jhaddix has been posting some really good iOS stuff over the past few days. If you don't follow his blog or twitter get onto it. (He just posted Defeating iOS Jailbreak Detection too!)
Q1 Security Projects - Daniel Kennedy over at 451 Research posted some pretty graphs showing the various states of security projects from a sub-set of organisations. I haven't really looked too closely at the data sources or rigour within, but, it might be a quick and easy way for you to gauge where you are at with your projects compared to 'some' sectors.