Introducing: Poncho, the Northeast’s sassiest weather service, to Providence

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As of yesterday morning, the previously boutique NYC weather service Poncho has expanded to Lil’ Rhody.

Q: What is Poncho?

A: A simplified weather service customized to your daily morning routine, Poncho delivers only the hard facts via e-mail or text message every morning, complete with a sassy pop culture reference and a GIF to match. Poncho aims to prepare you for your day with the simplest impression of the forecast, rather than burdening you with a bevy of indecipherable statistics.

Take notes, incoming freshmen: Blog gets weak at the knees for all things Mean Girls.

Poncho has an endearing mascot to boot: phe is a domestic animal of ambiguous genus and species wearing a “poncho” that looks oddly similar to an American Apparel hoodie.

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Register for Providence-centric Poncho here and you’ll never have to worry about a (weather-inflicted) bad hair day again.  We’ll still have to live vicariously through New York to bookend our days with weather services, because it doesn’t look like anyone will be waxing poetic and scribing Providence weather reviews any time soon.

Images via and via and via.


Everything you need to know about “Heartbleed”

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Some call it CVE-2014-0160. Some like to refer to it as TLS heartbeat read overrun. Some know it as OpenSSL v1.0.1. I like to say it’s the worst thing to happen to the Internet since BuzzFeed.

However you know it, the bug commonly known as Heartbleed remains shrouded in mystery to many. But no longer! By the end of this article, you, my fellow Brunonian, will be able to proudly discuss the intricacies of Heartbleed with your friendly local CS concentrator. Kind of like how you discussed that book in AP English after only reading the Sparknotes.

(Disclaimer: CS people, please don’t get angry at me for the technical transgressions I’ve committed in this article.)

What is Heartbleed?

Brief review: HTTPS is a thing. (You know, like https://) The S stands for Secure. It’s for when you don’t want other people to be able to see your passwords and other personal information.

You know that little lock in the top left corner?

HTTPS Lock

This one.

Well, Heartbleed allows hackers to unlock that lock (in certain cases) and see parts of your personal information. Yeah. No bueno. Especially when the https:// precedes yourbank.com.

What’s up with the name?

Sometimes, when your computer is talking to a website, it sends it a “heartbeat” to let it know that it’s still there. Kind of like when your doctor uses a stethoscope to make sure you’re still there. Without getting into technical details, suffice to say that the bug came from those heartbeats. So someone thought, “Oh, it would be kind of cool to nickname the bug Heartbleed, cause the site is bleeding information to hackers. Get it?”

And so it was.

How bad is it?

How bad would it be if your heart were bleeding?

Shit. Have all my passwords been stolen?

Uh, it’s sort of difficult to say. One of the worst things about Heartbleed is that it’s really hard to tell if anyone actually took advantage of it, and if so, who.

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Which social media site should you drop?

It seems like there is a new social media craze every month, and with so many options, it has gotten impossible to keep up. Unless you have a team of publicists, there is no way you can maintain an active presence on all the various social media platforms and still write that daunting midterm paper. And no, linking your Instagram to your Facebook and Twitter will never be enough.

Friends, it’s time for some spring late winter cleaning. But which site isn’t right for you? The following somewhat Mean Girls-themed forecast — complete with percentages! — will help:

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Twitter: Unless you are a Real Housewife, Lady Gaga circa 2010, or 257 Thayer,  you don’t need to be on Twitter.

80% chance of dropping, 20% chance your favorite comedian just has suuuuuch clever thoughts throughout the day that you can’t bare the idea of not reading them while you’re on the toilet.

 

 

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Instagram: “I’m sorry that people are so jealous of me, but I can’t help it that I’m popular.” – Instagram

Insta may be the easiest social media app to make fun of, but it doesn’t matter. It’s fun, it’s a low time commitment, it’s colorful, and it makes you feel artistic. It’s one of the few social media outlets that allow you to express your creativity. Yes, in reality, Insta provides less in the way of art and more in the way of “someone you went to high school with is about to eat a fancy sandwich at a popular lunch spot in San Francisco.” But it’s the thought that counts, and with Facebook already on the decline, what else are you supposed to do with all your photos? Printing them out and framing them so that your memories will be preserved for years to come isn’t going to give your friends FOMO.

15% chance of dropping, 85% chance that you can’t because “think of the spring weekend pics!”

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Snapchat: This isn’t a question. Snapchat is a college essential.

100% chance of not dropping, 100% chance that if you don’t already have one you need to get one.

 

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Brown CIT Ticket login

Tired of Brown-Secure? Let’s start a movement (in three easy steps)

Hey, remember eduroam? You may have noticed that it’s not working as well as it used to. That’s because so many students jumped the Brown-Secure ship that eduroam is sinking, too.

Captain Jack Sparrow

Just like the Jolly Mon!

But our network activities, or unfortunate lack thereof, have clearly been garnering attention from higher up–and it’s not just the NSA anymore. If you took the UCS Fall Poll, you may have noticed the conspicuous question regarding Brown-Secure.

As it happens, CIS was essentially unaware of the problem until Blog put the street knowledge on record, since nobody has been submitting help desk tickets. I’ve sent a couple of those since the original post, and saw results: a new wireless access point in Wilson 302!

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Maybe she'll end up becoming the governor of a major US state

How we should spend the $44 million engineering grant

It's a Transformer, not because it can change between car and mecha form, but because it has a fluid sense of gender identityIn case you missed the news, the Engineering Department got a generous donation of $44 million. The University is probably going to be spending it on boring practical things, like infrastructure, but Blog would like to remind the Corporation that this is Brown—incubator of crazy, innovative, and not-necessarily-feasible ideas. Thus, we present a list of suggestions of what we’d do with $44 million and faculty doing awesome research.

1. Martian Housing

I mean, we already have professors who send robots to Mars. How hard could building a new dorm on the Red Planet be? This could be for the students who really, really want to study abroad. Besides, it couldn’t be a worse trip than going to Perkins.

2. Weather Machine

Of course, there are the practical applications, such as global climate change, and professors here are doing really cool work on that. But really, that’s missing the bigger picture: Never a rainy Spring Weekend ever again. Spontaneous snowball fights in spring. No more freak Halloween snowstorms.

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@BrownUAdmission accidentally linked to employee’s private Facebook account

Everyone knows the internet is a scary place where it becomes frighteningly easy to do slightly awkward things, like when you “Like” a mupload of someone you’ve never spoken to (stupid Facebook for iPhone), or Reply All when you REALLY did not want to.

To accidentally link the @BrownUAdmission Twitter to your private Facebook account is kind-of on another level.

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Yes, it seems that someone working for our Admissions office—hopefully in an attempt to link the Admissions Twitter with the Admissions Facebook page—somehow managed to send all his/her private status updates as tweets to Brown alumni, students, and whoever else follows @BrownUAdmission.

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