Friday, July 22, 2011

Where Hackers and Security Experts Come to Train - Enigma Group

Since 2005, Enigma Group has been providing its members a legal and safe security resource where they can develop their pen-testing skills on various challenges provided by this site. These challenges teach members the many types of exploits that are found in todays code; thus, helping them to become better programmers in the mean time. By knowing your enemy, you can defeat your enemy.

This is the mission statement of the Enigma Group website.... 

And the statement says it all on what they do and who they are. They give out missions starting from basic skills to realtime scenarios and all of these are learnt in a controlled environment. For those who want to learn how to protect your computer from external hacking harm this is the best place to learn about them. And am proud to say am one of the members of this forum.

Google+ hits 20 million mark in three weeks

Google's latest social-networking foray has reportedly hit the 20 million member mark in just three weeks.

Google+ has had 20 million unique visitors since its release late last month, including 5 million from the U.S., according to data released today by research firm ComScore. Google apparently reached that milestone just a week after Google CEO Larry Page reported that the social network had reached 10 million visitors and had received "a ton of activity" with more than 1 billion items shared and received each day.

"It is definitely the fastest ascent to 20 million visitors that I can think of," Andrew Lipsman, ComScore's vice president of industry analysis, told the Los Angeles Times

A Google spokesperson declined to address the report, saying the company does not comment on third-party metrics.

Google launched Google+ late last month not even in beta, letting in only a handful of users, who could later invite their friends and family. Page noted at the time that the service remains in a "field trial" mode, and with "a lot of barriers" to use it right now, but that the company is continuing to expand how many have access to it.

Despite its meteoric growth in its first three weeks, a population of 20 million pales in comparison with Facebook's 750 million, half of whom log in daily.

Google's first major foray into the social networking world came by way of Orkut, a service that has seen some success outside the States but has largely been ignored by U.S. users. Google tried its luck again with the launch of its Buzz social network, but the service came under fire from users who criticized the service for violating their privacy by automatically making some of their contacts public.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The End of a Saga

On July 15, Harry Potter and his friends from the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry will make their final appearance on the big screen with, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.” After the 1997 release of the first novel, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” and the debut of the film version of that novel in November 2001, an entire culture of Harry Potter enthusiasts have been glued to page and screen for more and more of the young wizard’s adventure.

British author J.K. Rowling talks about her latest project, Pottermore, a website extending the life and times of Harry Potter. With 10 years of history, many fans are still not ready for the saga to end. Even though author J.K. Rowling says there will be no more Harry Potter books or movies, she, along with at least one other author, will keep the magic alive. Rowling announced on June 23 that a new website,, will launch in October and will give visitors of all ages a chance to be sorted into their Hogwarts houses, choose a wand and experience other magical moments that were previously only possible at Hogwarts itself.

“I wanted to give something back to the fans that have followed Harry so devotedly over the years, and to bring the stories to a new digital generation,” Rowling said in a press release.  “I hope fans and those new to Harry will have as much fun helping to shape Pottermore as I have.”

Rowling explained that, just as she has contributed to the website, everyone will be able to join in by submitting comments, drawings and other content in a safe and friendly environment.
“Pottermore has been designed as a place to share the stories with your friends as you journey through the site,” she said.

What we do not want to admit is that we are horribly protective of the Harry Potter series. We tut and glare at the children who squeal at Nagini (Lord Voldemort's serpentine version of the white fluffy cat carried by Muggle supervillains) yet when Hermione utters a spell to remove herself from her parents' memories, or later when Dobby the House Elf makes his final heroic attempt to "save Harry Potter and his friends", we are totally silent. Not because the acting is awe-inspiring but because these are our characters, our films, based on the books and the craze that swept our generation.

Eleven-year-olds picking up the first Harry Potter book now will never understand the anticipation and yearning we felt as we waited three years for the release of the next instalment, or the sight of a silent playing field at school the next day when 300 children and most of the teachers spent lunch break hunched over their new hardback copies. They will read the books and picture Daniel, Emma and Rupert in their minds' eyes, while we shake our heads, knowing full well that Hermione isn't meant to be "fit" (at least not until the Yule Ball in Goblet of Fire) and there is much more to Ronald Weasley than arachnophobia and a comically British way of shouting "bloody hell!" When the latest film deviates from canon and Harry and Hermione share an all-too-romantic dance in their tent, the unruffled nine- and 10-year-olds don't bat an eyelid, while the cinema is filled with the outraged hisses of the young adult audience: "That is just wrong." Everybody knows Harry and Hermione are simply friends, just like everybody knows that the Weasleys' house did not burn down in the sixth book.

To say we "grew up" with Harry, Ron and Hermione might be cliched, but you'd be hard pushed to find an 18-, 19- or 20-year-old who did not feel a certain sense of shame knowing that when, at 13, they lit their first cigarette in a park after school, the corresponding character doing the same in Potterland was the repulsive Dudley Dursley. At the age of 11 it was comforting to know that untameable frizzy hair, teeth that needed a good spell of orthodontic magic and an irritating tendency to shout out the right answer at school didn't make me a freak.

The Potter films were never going to live up to the books, simply because it would be impossible to please an audience for whom the series is so deeply personal. It is unnerving to see the visual proof in the now mature cast that we have, sadly, grown up, and will probably watch Deathly Hallows Part One with our uni friends, not our English teachers, and follow it up with a pub trip, not Pizza Express. There is a "goodbye, childhood" feel to the latest film, aided by the fact that Hogwarts itself is left behind while Harry pursues Voldemort for the final time. At least defeating the Dark Lord will look good on his Ucas application.

Below is the Trailer of the Deathly Hallows part 2:

And now the Coun