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Avvisi for the week of March 19th

Self reflection for 3/23

Introducing the all new Hashem’s Guide to Learning Swift. For anyone who wants to become an expert at making Applications especially designed for iOS or OSX (but also other softwares) then you should definitely consider learning Swift! Here is a link to a playground in XCode which includes the basics for anyone interested in learning the language. More advanced Step-By-Step Walkthroughs will follow soon. Stay tuned.

PicoCTF dates have been announced!  This year’s Capture-the-Flag competition, designed specifically for high school students, will occur between March 31st and April 4th.  This is the gold standard for CtF high school competitions and is watched by the NSA, among other organizations.  If you have an interest in computer security, encryption, or hacking this is a great competition to enter. See below for more details.

Web apps may intrigue you, like many others.  If so, there’s a new platform called Glitch that allows you to quickly try out web apps, play around with them, and quickly see if you’re interested in doing more.  It’s a fun, no-cost way to dip your toes into various web apps, platforms, libraries, and systems.

 

PicoCTF Competition

A practical scenario

Our hacker finds an undocumented vulnerability in the website owned by AcmeLabs.com. A black hat hacker would tend to either exploit this vulnerability by accessing the AcmeLabs’ customer data and exploiting it directly or selling the information of the vulnerability to a third party with an equally nefarious plans. A white hat hacker would immediately inform AcmeLabs of their vulnerability and proceed no further. A grey hat hacker would inform AcmeLabs of their vulnerability but, in the case of AcmeLabs failing to close that vulnerability, they might make the vulnerability public to force AcmeLabs to take action…

picoCTF is a computer security game targeted at middle and high school students. The game consists of a series of challenges centered around a unique storyline where participants must reverse engineer, break, hack, decrypt, or do whatever it takes to solve the challenge. The challenges are all set up with the intent of being hacked, making it an excellent, legal way to get hands-on experience…

The competition starts with a very shallow learning curve that can make the most inexperience high school, even middle school, student feel comfortable. At the same time, the later problems are as difficult as any collegiate for professional level CTF competition.  Interested?  

Get started!

Avvisi for the week of March 12th

Introducing the all new Hashem’s Guide to Learning Swift. For anyone who wants to become an expert at making Applications especially designed for iOS or OSX (but also other softwares) then you should definitely consider learning Swift! Here is a link to a playground in XCode which includes the basics for anyone interested in learning the language. More advanced Step-By-Step Walkthroughs will follow soon. Stay tuned…

Writing good code is a perennial topic among programmers.  There are many suggestions you can use for this sort of thing but they tend to be scattershot and hard to integrate.  Christian Mackeprang has written a succinct set of 5 principles you should follow that will produce good code with any language, library or situation.  My favorite quote is this, one principle which can make the single largest difference (shown by research!): “Choosing good names is known to be one of the larger issues in software development…. Names that convey purpose will even reduce the need for documentation.”

Learning looping in Finland might be done in gym class (dance moves), or craft class (knitting) or language arts (storytelling, poetry).  It’s all computer science though.  They believe it’s quite possible to fully understand the fundamentals of computer science without ever doing any programming at all.  You know what?  They’re right.  [Source: The Atlantic]

Ethics isn’t commonly taught as part of Computer Science, but there is a group of high school students who think that should be changed.  They’ve created a group called EthiCS that is focused on debating whether we should use computer science and programming to address social issues, at all.  It’s a pretty thought provoking read. [Source: The Stanford Daily]

 

 

 

Boss challenge is over

Boss Challenge time once again.  This time I’m sending you out to help the Acra, the sailing people who move goods and messages across the Sea of Yarra.  They’ve been having trouble with a dragon and after your smashing success with the last one, I thought you could take care of this one, too.  Be careful, though, I’ve heard this one is a bit tougher!

-Lm Rellim

The boss challenge is over

If you need to retake the challenge, see Loremaster Rellim to schedule a time.

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