SkyNET Robot Hacker – DIY Mobile Hacking for under $600

It was only a matter of time before bored DIY geeks began combining fun toys with dangerous snooping technology; which is exactly what someone did when they combined a DIY remote-control toy helicopter with wireless-network-hacking computer. The end result is the ominous sounding SkyNET bot, a menacing hacker drone with an even more dubious-sounding name.

The Terminator-inspired name SkyNET may be just the ticket to purveying exactly how ominous a fly-in-the-air wireless hacking machine can be. This cheap and easy to build machine can be built for less than $600 ($300 for the helicopter alone) by anyone with a curious mind and even the slightest technical know-how. Building the machine requires only a remote-control helicopter (SkyNET uses a Parrot AR Drone Quadricopter) modded with a lightweight computer (SkyNET uses Linux), a 3G connection, a GPS receiver, and 2 Wifi cards (one for the remote control and one for attacking the wireless networks).

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3D, enhanced 2D and gaming takes center-stage in Flash Player 11 and AIR 3

Adobe announces the immediate availability of Adobe Flash Player 11 and Adobe AIR 3. This release pushes the boundaries of what’s possible on the web, and helps customers deliver innovative games, data-driven and rich media apps consistently across multiple devices and platforms including Android, iOS, BlackBerry Tablet, Smart TVs, Internet-connected Blu-Ray players and set-top boxes, Windows, Mac and Linux.

As the game console for the web, Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 allow game publishers to instantly deliver console-quality, immersive games; with new 3D and enhanced 2D support, game publishers and developers can more easily monetize their content by delivering engaging 3D games to desktops and TVs, as well as greatly improving 2D game performance. Dozens of new features in Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 allow developers to deliver a new class of gaming and rich media application experiences, as well as sophisticated, data-driven content with back-end systems integration across devices, including the iPhone and iPad via AIR. Media companies can take advantage of new features to seamlessly deliver protected feature-length, cinema-quality HD video through the web, in apps, and complete with surround sound for connected TVs.

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Will love-hate relationship continue with Flash 11?

The love-hate relationship that millions of computer geeks around the world have with Flash is about to change. Flash Player has gotten a makeover and released its version 11. The widely-used browser plug-in from Adobe got an overhaul, undoubtedly due to threats to its monopoly from rapidly-growing web standards competitors like HTML5, Silverlight and Java FX. Web standards coming to market is the only threat to Flash’s supremacy though, Adobe’s brainchild has also been locked out of iOS devices and has only a small foothold with Android.

With this new release of Flash Adobe seems to be forgetting the iOS lockout and other cellphone and tablet platforms, and instead is targeting high-end technology — specifically within gaming, high-end video, in-house application building and the growing 64-bit world.

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Balsamiq Mockups – Smart tool for those who wants to chill

Balsamiq MockupsOk, here is how it started. I usually hit the whiteboard or the glass-board or even paper and pen to chalk down plans, ideas and visual elements that goes in any project module. I’m not smart enough to use the fancy tools that does things that makes you look smart.

I’ve heard about Balsamiq Mockups before but never tried it seriously. Today, I installed it and tried looking for the limitation of the trail, so I can decide if I should buy it or not. As I could not find it easily and quick enough (yes, I’m lazy too), I emailed Peldi asking him, “What are the limitations of the Balsamiq trial?”

Coupla hours later, I got this reply from Peldi;

Brajeshwar, your money is no good with me! :) After all that you’ve done for the Flash/Flex/FMS community, the least I can do is send you a free license.

Ain’t that awesome. I’m feeling elated and happy — “Wow! Just like that.”

Balsamiq Mockups

Balsamiq Mockups from Balsamiq Studios LLC is a platform independent AIR application (Windows, Mac, Linux). This Mockup tool intentionally uses hand-drawn UI elements, so that people don’t get attached to “that pretty color gradient” or think that your mockup has actual code behind it and is “practically done”.

Using Balsamiq Mockups feels like you are drawing, but it’s digital, so you can tweak and rearrange controls easily, and the end result is much cleaner. Teams can come up with a design and iterate over it in real-time in the course of a meeting.

There are over 60 pre-built controls to choose from, you can design anything from a super-simple dialog box to a full-fledged application, from a simple website to a Rich Internet Application. Browse through the samples or download more Mockups.

Buy Balsamiq Mockups for $79.

Note: The limitation with the Trial was that it won’t let you save your files (but you can still export/import and save it manually).