sefsar

by Youssef Sarhan

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Critical HTC One Lockscreen Bypass

CORRECTION 1: It appears this bug exclusively pertains to the HTC One, rather than Android as a whole. Most likely something to do with the HTC Sense software.

UPDATE 1: A Reddit user seems to have confirmed that HTC have issued a fix. I’ve yet to update and test. If anyone wants to confirm, I’m on Twitter.

One can very easily bypass the HTC One lockscreen by swiping up from the bottom center of the screen during restart. You have a less than 500ms window in which to swipe up before the lock pattern is enforced. I recorded this video to demonstrate the exploit. Once in, one has total access to all the phones settings and apps. This is a very serious exploit that needs to be fixed.

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The importance of a flexible hubris

It’s good to know when you’re wrong, as it allows you to make way for what’s right. If you never know when you’re wrong, you’re just another obstacle in the pursuit of what’s right. This is the single biggest reason why great people, companies and industries fail.

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Twitter has a serious credibility problem

We all have a few fake followers. They seem to be an unfortunate consequence of Twitter’s popularity. However, it becomes problematic once one realises how easy it is to bulk–buy thousands of Twitter followers. In an effort to learn more about this phenomenon, I decided to conduct an experiment.

I created a seemingly plausible fitness orientated Twitter page, @strengthcasual. I retweeted and followed a few people, all in the effort of looking plausible — and therein lies the problem, the lie. The fake accounts are obvious, yet it is when a legitimate –I use that term lightly— account buys fake followers that it becomes a serious issue. The integrity of the account owner is brought into question, and thus Twitter has a serious credibility issue. Credibility is pretty much all Twitter has, and if there’s no credibility behind the Tweets then there’s not much incentive to take part. Alas

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Future Cars

We are stuck with the roads, the grid, the circulatory system that distributes us from place to place — and here’s how I propose we push things forward, all in the pursuit of a greater coefficient.

The idea that two objects travelling towards one another at rapid speeds are controlled only by the frailty of human focus never quite sat well with me. Cars –like many remnants of the industrial age– are dangerous, toxic, perilous devices that would benefit from radical reconsideration. In the future, all cars will be electric, all cars will drive themselves, and so the notion of personal car ownership will be as relevant then, as horse ownership is today.

Consider this. You own a car 100% of the time, yet you use it 10% of the time, if even. During the remaining 90% of the time, it sits dormant in your drive, or wherever you’ve insisted on parking it. Have you ever considered, that the

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The Operation of The Machine

There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part; you can’t even passively take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!

MARIO SAVIO

Fast forward to 4:18

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The Memeification of Cancer

Today, while enjoying one of Ireland’s few sunny days, I couldn’t help but notice a large advertisement on the back of a bus. It was by the Irish Cancer Society, and presumably designed to inform people about the risks of skin cancer. Yet, I couldn’t help but feel offended.

skin.jpg

The advertisement is an insult to humanity. An insult to all affected by the disease, to all those who dedicate their lives to beating cancer. It’s an insult to the Irish Cancer Society. An insult to the long fought war on cancer, to all the fallen and those left behind. There’s nothing about this advertisement that is good. The insidious nature of the advertisement belittles our struggle. It trivialises the concern and makes it all into a joke, a punchline. I, like many others, expect these adverts to be withdrawn immediately.

What is wrong with these people? What influences one to make such poor decisions? What

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Knowledge Exchange

Kyle MacDonald is a Canadian blogger who over the course of a year bartered his way from a single red paperclip to a house. As one would assume, he did so by incrementally increasing the value of each transaction in his favor.

The story began on 14 July 2005, when MacDonald travelled to Vancouver to trade a paperclip for a fish-shaped pen. Later that day he traded the pen for a hand-sculpted doorknob. He then traded the doorknob –which he had affectionately nicknamed “Knob-T"– for a camp stove – and the rest is history.

We all do what MacDonald did. We trade thoughts, emotions, ideas and expressions. We trade the by-products of experience, the elemental fragments of our failures, this post represents a personal failure of mine. The more frequently and mindfully we transact, the greater we understand one another. No piece of experience is wrong or worth more than another. No trade is

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I want a crowd funded news narration and aggregation service

I do not enjoy reading long form writing on my laptop or iPhone. It’s not ergonomic, notifications distract me, and the potential of something interesting happening elsewhere seduces my focus away.

I wish I could sit back, enjoy my coffee, and do nothing but listen to the articles I’d like to consume. That’s a lifestyle I can appreciate, one which I’d pay for.

I have an idea that could make this a reality. I want a crowd funded news narration and aggregation service. The top–voted posts of the day are turned into professionally narrated voice recordings. The narrations would be funded by the upvotes themselves. Each upvote would pledge 50 cent (or some sort of minimum) to the narration cost. One hundred upvotes would equate to $50, which is more than enough to cover a 15 minute narration. The target funding would be directly proportionate to the length of the article in question

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Bebo’s Final Passage, Chapter 11

At its height, Bebo had about 40 million users. I remember using Bebo to keep in touch with friends back home while I travelled around the United States. It was great. It was like some sort of social email experience that all my friends could participate in.

AOL saw opportunity, and so acquired Bebo for $850 million. As time went on, Facebook gained popularity over Bebo. I remember when I switched to Facebook. It was like a breath of fresh air. It was well structured and orderly, I could live here.

Two years elapsed and AOL were ready to sell their darling. They struck a deal with Criterion Capital Partners for $10 million. Now, three years later and in it’s final passage, Bebo has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

What were any of them thinking? A tale of delusion and greed indeed. This could be a great movie.

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The Faux-Humility of the Startup Bourgeoisie

So, Business Insider compiled a luxurious share-bait slideshow of the 75 –yes, that many– best designers in tech today. No doubt with the knowledge that such a post will be shared by at least half of the 75 listed, along with of course the meaningless “humbling” that apparently such an accolade creates. What bothers me isn’t the list, but rather the acceptance of the list as some sort of barometer of quality. I’m sure there’s a ton of smart people on the list, but of course there will be when you pick such a large cohort. I won’t write much about this, but I’m surprised at how quickly people are to endorse something, anything, once it satisfies their ego. If nothing else, this is a great lesson in human psychology.

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