Well, if we can’t have our flying cars, maybe we can use these mini jet wings to fly to and from work. I’m really interested in this sort of thing since my commute has gotten a bit longer lately.

Yves Rossy flew 22 miles from France to England in 13 minutes.   He leapt from a plane a mile and a half from the ground and fired up his jets.    He managed to get across to England without any problems and parachuted into a field beyond the famous white cliffs of Dover.

Man flies across English Channel with jet-propelled wing [via Geeks Are Sexy]



In my continuing efforts to provide my readers with all that is good and right with the gadget world, I present the Silverwolf Rubber Band Gun:

Based on Metal Gear Solid 4, The “Silver Wolf” semi-automatic rubberband gun is made out of shiny stainless steal and features a laser targetting system, allowing you to devastate your colleagues at that next office war.

The Amazing “Silver Wolf” Rubberband Gun [via Geeks Are Sexy]



We got into an interesting conversation at work the other day regarding the role of risk in an agile project. Perhaps I have an extremely broad definition of risk, but I believe that risk is a primary, and perhaps the most important, thing to consider when running such a project. Read more



I’ve blogged in the past about botnets, and it should be pretty clear that they can be powerful entities for good or evil. With human nature being what it is, they’re mostly used for evil. As a botnet controller, I imagine it must be very seductive to look at a popular service such as Facebook and drool at the prospect of all those computers we could recruit. But how to infect them?

Researchers in Greece apparently thought the same thing as well, and they’ve produced a research application called Picture of the Day.  This little app claims to display a different picture from National Geographic on your page, and it does that.  Unfortunately, it also serves up software to turn your computer into a botnet zombie.

It didn’t take much to get people to install it, apparently. According to the report on Dark Reading:

Interestingly, the researchers did not invite users via Facebook to download the application, but still managed to attract around 1,000 users who downloaded Facebot within the first few days it went live. They merely announced its availability to members of their research group and asked them to pass it to their colleagues. From there it apparently spread to other Facebook users.

As a security-type person, this sort of thing really concerns me.  I know that the average user isn’t really all that concerned about security until it bites them in the hinder. I can’t even get developers to be concerned about it most of the time! The spread of social networking sites creates a target-rich environment for the spread of just these sorts of compromises, and it’s not at all clear how to fix it.



Okay, okay, I’m a Mythbusters junkie, heck my wife even got me a signed picture when they visited Milwaukee (she got to go on stage with them!) but this is over the top anyway. The boys built an 1,100 barrel paintgun to paint the Mona Lisa in under a second, which they demonstrated at nVIDIA’s NVISION show this week.  Make sure to wait for the slo-mo replay at the end!

Via [Gizmodo]



So I’ve been absent for a while. Daniel and I are working on a book on agile adoption anti-patterns, and frankly it’s taken a good deal of my time, and sapped much of the desire I had to write in my spare time. We’re currently trying to find a publisher before we continue on with the process, so there’s a bit of a breather.

While I’ve got some “spare time” I decided it was high time I got more familiar with the Google Web Toolkit, or GWT.  I worked quite extensively with AJAX applications back at Lontra, and have some familiarity with a number of them, but was only extensively versed with SmartClient, a commercial AJAX toolkit.   GWT has the nice advantage of being free.

Since I’ve been coaching teams in agile adoption at my current client, and they have a problem getting dedicated space for their teams, I thought a good thing to build would be a virtual “card wall,” where you can drag stories from “not started” to “in progress” and eventually to “done.”  ThoughtWorks has a product somewhat similar to this called Mingle, which I’ve not really looked at very much, since I don’t want it to taint my ideas just yet.

Being familiar with the Java technology stack, I opted to use Spring 2, and for a change of pace I’m using iBATIS rather than Hibernate for this go-round.  For persistence, I’m using PostgreSQL.  It’s still a work-in-progress at this point, but making it’s way along.  I’ll share screenshots as it progresses, if there’s interest.

So that’s why I’ve been absent for so long.  I’ve been monitoring all the usual sources of input (i.e. groups and whatnot) but haven’t really felt the need to say much.  I joined the CISSP Yahoo Group, and man, what a bunch of chatterers those lot are.  I’m seriously thinking of un-subbing that one.

As a parting thought, anyone have any good suggestions for e-groups in Chicago, Milwaukee or Madison for Agile, J2EE, Enterprise Architecture or IT Security?


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