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Attention Span 2009.04.28

Some of the things that caught my attention today:

How Hackers Can Steal Secrets from Reflections

In experiments here at his laboratory at Saarland University in Germany, Backes has discovered that an alarmingly wide range of objects can bounce secrets right off our screens and into an eavesdropper’s camera. Spectacles work just fine, as do coffee cups, plastic bottles, metal jewelry—even, in his most recent work, the eyeballs of the computer user.

Recipe for Disaster: The Formula that Killed Wall Street

For five years, Li's formula, known as a Gaussian copula function, looked like an unambiguously positive breakthrough, a piece of financial technology that allowed hugely complex risks to be modeled with more ease and accuracy than ever before. With his brilliant spark of mathematical legerdemain, Li made it possible for traders to sell vast quantities of new securities, expanding financial markets to unimaginable levels. ...Then the model fell apart.

Virtual Reality

Organizations looking to the future of virtualization and cloud computing must also consider what will be necessary to move their infrastructure from traditional static architectures to more dynamic implementations. In order to support the dynamic and volatile nature of virtualized / cloud computing infrastructures, flexibility in the supporting network and application network infrastructure is necessary.


Kindlefeeder is a service for Amazon Kindle owners that lets you aggregate your favorite feeds and have them delivered to your Kindle in a convenient, easy-to-navigate format. You can also have your feeds delivered to your Kindle automatically on a schedule.


DestroyTwitter is a compact though robust Twitter application built to run on Mac, Windows, and Linux using Adobe AIR. It consists of a series of canvases that constantly update to keep tweets up-to-date using notifications that appear when a new tweet arrives.

The "Open" Cloud is Coming

It means something different to be an ‘Open Service’. We all want to be able to export and move our applications from Google App Engine or Force.com when we leave. We also want to take the virtual machine images that we build on Amazon or GoGrid and move them elsewhere. Today we can, but it’s just a nuisance. New standards will make interoperability and portability easy and convenient. If anything, cloud computing is becoming ‘open’ faster than anything before it.

A Twitter Convo with George Hulme

Once in a while, George Hulme and I will banter on Twitter. What's nice about it, is the constraint that 140 characters places on the conversation will often allow me to focus better. Tonight's conversation was a perfect outlet for some thoughts that have been rattling around my brain for the past weeks.

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