How blockchain-based apps and sites resist DDoS attacks

Just last year, experienced the largest recorded DDoS attack, which came disguised as traffic designed to resemble generic routing encapsulation (GRE) data packets, a communication protocol used to establish a direct, point-to-point connection between network nodes.
Even though Bitcoin is a truly open network, its protocol has warded off several attempts made to attack this network.
When it comes to a DDoS attack, the blockchain has protections to ensure transactions can continue even if several nodes go offline.
Ethereum currently has 34,051 nodes; Bitcoin has 7,524.
Each attempt to solve the block requires the miner to calculate a hash value for the block.
They call these attempts a hash, and the speed with which they can make these attempts is called their hash rate.
This is possible if you own 51 percent of the mining capability (hash rate), but it’s extremely expensive.
Yet despite this the Bitcoin core network has remained secure.
Blockchain nodes can run consensus algorithms – if several nodes are offline, others continue – even if they were taken offline by a DDoS attack.
From an IoT botnet perspective, running Ethereum or Bitcoin mining on a IoT device would give you such a low hash rate it would be virtually meaningless.

‘One size fits all’ investing is limiting innovations in East Africa and India

‘One size fits all’ investing is limiting innovations in East Africa and India.
Despite all of the hype, most startups in India and East Africa are failing to attract the investment capital they need to grow and scale.
For example, although startup investment in East Africa is at an all-time high, in the past two years 72 percent of venture capital went to only three startups.
There are three major barriers to scale for entrepreneurs in East Africa and India.
Investors in India and East Africa tend to seek Silicon Valley-style timelines for returns, along the lines of a 10x return in three to five years through equity investments.
Yet the on-the-ground reality for these startups makes such expectations unlikely.
In East Africa, for example, there are very few mid-sized companies that could acquire startups.
Human capital.
As one example, the Argidius Foundation and the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs teamed up to fund five initiatives to improve human capital ecosystems.
These barriers all relate to a one-size-fits-all mentality that is bad for companies, who miss out on capital, and bad for investors, who miss out on high-potential ideas that need more time, cash, and support to grow.

Flash a Light Bulb, Win a Prize

Flash a Light Bulb, Win a Prize.
Judging from the list of entries in the 2017 Flashing Light Prize, so far only seven.
But we suspect Hackaday readers can add to that total.
The system actually has to power the bulb’s filament, so no mechanical shutters are allowed.
Other than that, the sky is the limit — any voltage, any wattage, any frequency and duty cycle, and any circuit.
Some of the obvious circuits, like an RC network on a relay, have been tried.
But we assume there will be points for style, in which case this sculptural cascading relay flasher might have a chance.
Rube Goldberg mechanical approaches are encouraged, as in this motor, thread, stick and switch contraption.
What the heck, your chances are great right now, and it’s enough for a few pints with your mates.
Thanks to [db] for the tip.

3 reasons Southeast Asia is a great place for developers

However, if a developer wants interesting work, there’s another place to look: Southeast Asia.
Mobile phone penetration in the region is already at 110 percent, and Internet penetration, though still low, grew by more than 10 percent in 2016.
You’ll be working on some of the world’s most innovative mobile apps.
What makes Southeast Asia mobile-first?
An app that gets you motorbike rides from point A to B isn’t just a ‘good-to-have’ in Southeast Asia.
Developers in Southeast Asia are helping accelerate financial inclusion by building lightweight banking apps that can run on cheap, entry-level Android smartphones — often the only type poor rural people can afford.
When developers talk about “quitting my job and moving to Southeast Asia,” they’re probably thinking of a lifestyle in which they code from a laptop for a few hours a day and then hit the beach.
You don’t even have to live in Southeast Asia anymore to work for a Southeast Asian company.
As the Southeast Asian tech economy picks up steam, more startups from the region are expanding internationally.
Global TV startup Viki has offices in the U.S., and my own company has an R&D center in Seattle.

Hackaday Prize Entry: Modular Circuits with SnapBloks

Hackaday Prize Entry: Modular Circuits with SnapBloks.
[Ekawahyu Susilo]’s twist on the modular circuit kit, SnapBloks helps you create circuits by stacking components on top of each other with the help of three magnetic contacts that not only keep the modules stuck together but also deliver power, ground, and data to each part.
[Ekawahyu] envisioned it as a prototyping kit, used to whip together an idea without a lot of hassle.
It could also be an educational aid, used to teach Arduino coding while skipping the confusing tangle of wiring.
You can stack a sound module on top of a power module to make a buzzer, or attach power to a wheel Blok to make a robot.
With version 2 of the project [Ekawahyu] updated the look with color-coded shells, with pink signifying input Bloks, green for output, orange for communication, and blue for power.
Each Blok has a Arduino chip inside — an STM32, which Hackaday reviewed back in March.
For version three, he hopes to leverage the ESP8266 to make a WiFi-enabled Blok.
[Ekawahyu]’s idea of having a cheap SMD Arduino in every module seems like a smart way to simplify module creation—no “controller block” needed!

Playful’s Paul Bettner is betting on both ‘flat screen games’ and VR

In the meantime, Playful took the world and characters of Lucky and created a deeper platform game for the console.
Back when we debuted that game a couple of years ago at E3, we got way more attention than we otherwise would have because it was something people hadn’t seen before.
GamesBeat: How different is this from the VR game?
Most of the levels were similar – different environments, but you start at point A, collect some things, go to the end of the level.
Bettner: For Lucky’s Tale, we had this idea that third-person character action open world platforming games could work in VR.
When we put those in the game, some people looked at those and said, “That’s a lot more like these other games we like, these 2D side-scrollers.” Those folks basically pitched us all on the idea of making a whole game out of that.
Our idea was, can you make a 2D side-scrolling game work in VR?
GamesBeat: People thought Microsoft would do something big.
VR is only a year old, really.
What I’ve been expecting for a while now is that the companies investing in this technology and building devices—they’ll give it a couple years before the next generation.

Sony: Resident Evil 7’s PSVR success ‘was a big surprise to us’

Sony: Resident Evil 7’s PSVR success ‘was a big surprise to us’.
Five months on from launch and Capcom’s Resident Evil 7 is still the biggest game to come to Sony’s PlayStation VR so far.
In fact the sheer number of people playing in VR has been a surprise even to Sony itself.
Talking about the importance of emphasising Sony’s new headset at shows like last week’s, he revealed that the company was seeing big successes in unexpected places.
That was a big surprise to us.” Ryan’s answer suggests that the number of people that played RE7 inside VR is even bigger than the 232,293 that are currently listed on Capcom’s stat-tracking service.
Players have to opt-in to this service for their stats to be attributed, so it’s likely there’s a good deal more VR players that haven’t opted in.
At the end of April it was revealed the game had sold 3.5 million units.
We gave it 9/10 in our review.
“By uniting elements from the past, such as the slow pacing, focus on exploration, mind-bending puzzles, and desperation for survival, with the pulse-pounding first-person gameplay of the recent era of horror games, Capcom has crafted a veritable modern classic,” Games Editor David Jagneaux said.
“Resident Evil 7 embraces virtual reality as a medium and proves that you don’t have to cut corners or make sacrifices to create a compelling VR experience.”

Get over 1.1 million graphics at your fingertips — for only $31

Get over 1.1 million graphics at your fingertips — for only $31.
Ask any art pro…finding a stockpile of quality vector graphics to incorporate into your own projects is worth its weight in gold.
They’re high quality, they’re versatile, and with their host of customization options, they’re able to liven up virtually any graphics assignment with minimum adjustment.
With a two-year subscription to VectorState (available now for only $31, 80 percent off, from TNW Deals), you’ll likely never have to search out the perfect graphic element again — because Vector State offers a library of over 1 million graphics to choose from.
Over 1.1 million, to be exact — with more added each and every month.
That is an astronomically large number of fully rendered, fully adaptable, fully impressive illustrations, logos, icons and other graphics waiting for your use.
From those million-plus graphics, you’ll have access to download and use 1,800 elements over your 24-month subscription offer.
Each comes with original EPS files to assure you not only have complete control to modify or re-work any image, but a lifetime royalty free license to use that work to fuel your creative process.
Once you start poking around in VectorState’s humongous archive of images, including everything from infographics and backgrounds to cartoons, silhouettes and even inspirational templates, you’ll have all the pieces needed to start work on virtually any graphics project.
Two years of VectorState access usually costs over $160, but by getting in on this limited time deal, you can secure a mountain of top-quality graphics for just $31.

The Artful Escape of Francis Bendetti: Hands-on impressions

The Artful Escape of Francis Bendetti: Hands-on impressions.
It’s a music platform game where you play a budding musician named Francis Bendetti.
Johnny Galvatron, creator of the game at Beethoven & Dinosaur, said in an interview with GamesBeat that he was inspired in part by David Bowie’s persona, which was just as creative as the music itself.
“That’s one of the main themes behind the game.
“I want it to feel powerful, like you’re jamming together with creatures and coming together with the resulting chords.
In the game, you run sideways and jump into space.
As you hurtle through the air, you can press buttons and make the music blast.
You can jump and hang in the air and hear a guitar chord at the same time.
You get through the woods and run into a huge creature that looks like a spider.
It’s a little goofy, but what else do you expect from an Australian guy named Johnny Galvatron.

Another Helping Hands Build

Another Helping Hands Build.
[Punamenon2] wanted a soldering station with integrated helping hands.
He couldn’t find one, but he decided it would be a good 3D printed project.
Total cost?
In addition to holding the Frankenstein monster together, the 3D printed structure also provides a storage tray with special sloped edges to make removing small screws easier.
Usually, we see these builds using machining coolant pipe.
To fit the alligator clips to the tripod, [Punamenon2] had to drill some holes in the arm, whereas the coolant hoses are easy to work with.
We were a little disappointed to not find the STL files for the base, but on the other hand, you’d probably have to customize it for whatever parts you had on hand anyway.
We also wondered if the base ought to have a place to fill it with sand or something for weight.
Of course, you can find plenty of similar builds on Thingiverse, including printable arms, if you want to borrow a few parts for your design.

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