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ICYMI: Quizotron, College, Scary Jesus, and the Uselesssness of Math

Teen Skepchick

Science Sunday: Denial of Service Attacks and the Cost of Security
Elisheba explains how DDoS attacks work and why they are so hard to protect against.

What Actually Happened and a Rough Timeline
Grimalkin clarifies his objection to ablesim.

On the Uselessness of Mathematics and Resultant Magical Oracular Godness of Computers
Just because computers can do math for you doesn’t mean you don’t need to understand it.

Mad Art Lab

Design Diaries – Quizotron Championship Belt
Labbers Ryan and Brian design and create the championship belt for Rebecca’s Quizotron. This year’s winner is Phil Plait!

The Art Assignment
New YouTube channel “The Art Assignment” that asks viewers to collaborate in making art launches

Escéptica

More Than Letters: The Ethical Slut (en español)
This month Silvia reviews the book The Ethical Slut, by Janet Hardy and Dossie Easton.

School of Doubt

Pop Quiz: Is Mike Rowe Delusional?
Jennifer wonders if we should really be pushing so many kinds into going to college.

Creationists in Astronomy Class are Not Fun!
Jodee talks about the difficulties of teaching students who refuse to believe in scientific evidence.

Pop Quiz: Email
Dan gets too goddamn much email.

Grounded Parents

Scaring the Shit Out of Your Children for Jesus
Watch out kids! You’re being judged by a being that has absolute knowledge and wields unlimited power…and has the emotional maturity of a 5-year-old.

Your Privilege is Showing
Steph goes into the privilege behind a HuffPo article titled, “Why Do Your Kid’s Allergies Mean My Kid Can’t Have a Birthday?”

A Quick Look at Gender Development
As we investigate gender identity and its development during childhood, we see influence from both innate and societal factors which can vary significantly between individuals. The more we learn, the more we’re drawn to one conclusion: gender is complicated.

Featured image credit: Jason Bache via Flickr

Mindy

Mindy

Mindy is an attorney and Managing Editor of Teen Skepchick. She hates the law and loves stars. You can follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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1 Comment

  1. February 25, 2014 at 12:33 pm —

    On DDOS attacks, the good news is, they don’t do any permanent damage. They’re just weaponized spam. (Seriously, this is where the term ‘spam’ came from, because it drowns out all real conversation, much like Vikings singing about spam when you’re just trying to choose between the spam and eggs and spam and sausage or the eggs and bacon and spam.) Permanent damage typically involves two types: One is cracking a site through its SQL, which I can’t describe very well without giving ‘how-to’ instructions, so…let’s just leave it at that. The other is…If your password is something like ‘sexy’ or ‘awesome’ or (I wish this was a joke, but you’re free to laugh either way.) ‘password’, anyone can figure it out. (And no, ‘p455w0rd’ fools no one.) The better way is to use three or four unrelated words that form a mnemonic that only you understand. So if, as a child, you had a black lab named Lady who once got in the rhododendrons, you could say ladydogshrub. (Disclaimer: That’s not my password.)

    If they were to DDOS someone rich and powerful, like the Church of $cientology (which, of course, was the start of Anonymous), all that happens is the Co$ gets the DDOSers’ IPs.

    One final thing: Most DDOS attacks involve hiring more talented cybercriminals to provide the botnets. Actually, the botnets provide over 99% of DDOS attacks. (And yeah, it’s creepy, because they’re using your computer, your entire online presence, for their own nefarious purposes, without your consent. It’s the type of thing that gets under your skin, so security people often call those computers zombies.) The consenting members of a DDOS attack are really the minority.

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