Posts tagged ‘education’

Raspberry Pi: Raspberry Pi Compute Module: new product!

This post was syndicated from: Raspberry Pi and was written by: James Adams. Original post: at Raspberry Pi

As regular readers will know, it’s been a busy time here at Pi Towers recently with the launch of our new website, free educational materials and £1m education fund.

On the engineering side of things we’ve also been very busy over the past year, and not to be outdone by the education team, we are ready to take the wraps off something special, this time aimed at business and industrial users.

What's this little thing? Read on to find out.

What’s this little thing? Read on to find out.

From humble beginnings, the Raspberry Pi platform has grown and matured: the software is now full-featured and stable, and is still constantly improving thanks to the continuing hard work of our heroic community of volunteers; as well as targeted injections of funding to solve some specific issues. The Pi, and the Broadcom BCM2835 SoC at its heart, are also steadily becoming more open.

We love hearing about what users are doing with their Raspberry Pis, and are constantly amazed at the range of projects, as well as the inventiveness and creativeness of the community. We are also aware that there are a very significant number of users out there who are embedding the Raspberry Pi into systems and even commercial products. We think there needs to be a better way to allow people to get their hands on this great technology in a more flexible form factor, but still keep things at a sensible price.

Like proud parents, we want to free the core technology of the Raspberry Pi to go forth and become an integral part of new and exciting products and devices, and so today we are announcing the forthcoming Raspberry Pi Compute Module.

CM_and_pi-small

Compute Module on the left. What does it do? Read on to find out.

The compute module contains the guts of a Raspberry Pi (the BCM2835 processor and 512Mbyte of RAM) as well as a 4Gbyte eMMC Flash device (which is the equivalent of the SD card in the Pi). This is all integrated on to a small 67.6x30mm board which fits into a standard DDR2 SODIMM connector (the same type of connector as used for laptop memory*). The Flash memory is connected directly to the processor on the board, but the remaining processor interfaces are available to the user via the connector pins. You get the full flexibility of the BCM2835 SoC (which means that many more GPIOs and interfaces are available as compared to the Raspberry Pi), and designing the module into a custom system should be relatively straightforward as we’ve put all the tricky bits onto the module itself.

So what you are seeing here is a Raspberry Pi shrunk down to fit on a SODIMM with onboard memory, whose connectors you can customise for your own needs.

The Compute Module is primarily designed for those who are going to create their own PCB. However, we are also launching something called the Compute Module IO Board to help designers get started.

Empty IO board on the left: Compute Module snapped into place on the right.

Empty IO Board on the left: Compute Module snapped into place on the right.

The Compute Module IO Board is a simple, open-source breakout board that you can plug a Compute Module into. It provides the necessary power to the module, and gives you the ability to program the module’s Flash memory, access the processor interfaces in a slightly more friendly fashion (pin headers and flexi connectors, much like the Pi) and provides the necessary HDMI and USB connectors so that you have an entire system that can boot Raspbian (or the OS of your choice). This board provides both a starting template for those who want to design with the Compute Module, and a quick way to start experimenting with the hardware and building and testing a system before going to the expense of fabricating a custom board.

IO Board

IO Board

Initially, the Compute Module and IO Board will be available to buy together as the Raspberry Pi Compute Module Development Kit.

These kits will be available from RS and element14 some time in June. Shortly after that the Compute Module will be available to buy separately, with a unit cost of around $30 in batches of 100; you will also be able to buy them individually, but the price will be slightly higher. The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a charity, and as with everything we make here, all profits are pushed straight back into educating kids in computing.

I’m sure people will be keen to get their design process started; initially we are releasing just the schematics for both the Compute Module and IO Board, but we will be adding plenty more documentation over the coming days and weeks.

Happy creating!

*But don’t go plugging the Compute Module into your laptop – the pins assignments aren’t even remotely the same!

Raspberry Pi: PA Consulting Raspberry Pi Competition

This post was syndicated from: Raspberry Pi and was written by: clive. Original post: at Raspberry Pi

The PA Raspberry Pi competition challenges young people to use the Raspberry Pi to make the world a better place. Last year I helped judge the competition and was amazed by the creativity and innovation of the entries (the excellent AirPi was one of last year’s winners). This year’s event was held in the Science Museum, and I went along to judge the Year 4-6 and Year 7-11 categories, and to run some workshops along the way.

The Sonic Pi workshops were fantastic—they almost ran themselves, with the students continually trying out new things in quest to make the best music or silliest sounds (the exploding farmyard was a particular favourite). I’ve said it before, but Sonic Pi is genius.

In the afternoon I joined my fellow judges: Rory Cellan-Jones, the BBC’s technology correspondent, and Claire Sutcliffe, co-founder of Code Club. We spent 15 minutes talking to each of the seven teams.  The winning projects had to have the potential to benefit the world in some way and we were also looking for things like innovation, creativity and originality. What really stood out was the energy of the teams — they all talked passionately and knowledgeably about their projects and how they had used the Raspberry Pi to solve real world problems.

stmarys

St Mary’s CE Primary, with Pi ‘n’ Mighty, their recycling robot

The year 4-6 category was won by St Mary’s CE Primary School with their recycling robot Pi ‘n’ Mighty. The robot scans packaging barcodes and then tells you if it can be recycled and which bin to put it in. The team was bursting with energy and falling over themselves to explain how they’d made it and what it did. I’d love to see a Pi ‘n’ Mighty in every school canteen, encouraging recycling and helping children learn about the topic. And it looks fantastic, exactly how a robot should look!

plantpi

Frome Community College won the year 7-11 category prize with their prodigious Plant Pi, a system to care for plants and monitor their environment. The team had covered every aspect including hardware and web monitoring, and they had even created an app. It really is a brilliantly designed and engineered solution that already has the makings of a commercial product. The project is open source and includes code, instructions, parts list and documentation.

It was a great day and it was a real pleasure to speak to the finalists and to see young people doing remarkable and useful things with the Raspberry Pi. If I could bottle the innovation, enthusiasm, creativity and technical skills in that room then I would have a Phial of Awesome +10. (I would carry it around with me in a belt holster and open it for the occasional sniff when feeling uninspired.) Best of all, I know that we’ll be seeing some of these finalists again: skills like computational thinking stay with you for life and will serve these kids in whatever they do in the future.

Raspberry Pi: Announcing our million-pound education charity fund

This post was syndicated from: Raspberry Pi and was written by: Lance Howarth. Original post: at Raspberry Pi

It’s been a busy month for us here at Pi towers, and after the recent announcement of Picademy and the launch of the new website with an increased focus on educational resources, you may be wondering what’s next for our educational mission.

Without disappearing too far down the rabbit-hole of superlatives, I can say we are all super-excited to announce the launch of the Raspberry Pi Foundation Education Fund. Thanks to the support of the community over the past two years through buying Raspberry Pis and building inspiring, innovative projects, we’ve been able to build up a bag of funds to spend on our education mission. So today we are announcing a £1 million education fund.

cashcase

Emma has been busy getting artistic with the folding stuff this morning.

This fund is in support of our core charitable mission, so we are looking to fund innovative and exciting projects that enhance understanding of and education in computing for children aged between 5 and 18.  The fund does not exclusively target Computing as a subject; we are also interested in supporting projects that demonstrate and promote the use of computing technology in other subjects, particularly STEM and the creative arts.

Our aim is to support a range of projects: from those that increase participation, to those that target excellence. Given our charitable status, priority will be given to organisations that have a not-for-profit ethos. The fund will operate through match funding, so not only are we wanting to hear from people with potential projects ideas; we are also wanting to hear from industry and third-sector partners who’d be interested in co-funding some of the projects.

If you’d like to know more about the fund, how it will operate and how to make an application, you can find out more on our Education Fund page.

 

Raspberry Pi: Welcome to our new website

This post was syndicated from: Raspberry Pi and was written by: Liz Upton. Original post: at Raspberry Pi

You’ll notice that things round here don’t look like they used to. This website has had a comprehensive overhaul: we hope you like what you see. (That stuff from yesterday? April Fool’s. Sorry.)

We are treating this new website as a Beta. There are a few things we won’t be able to move across until this morning, when everything on the server is properly migrated; and we’re sure there are some snags we haven’t spotted. If you find a navigation problem or something that you think is an obvious error, please let us know in the comments below. You’ll notice the nice new friendly URLs for blog posts (/welcome-to-our-new-website/ rather than /archives/6754) but don’t worry – all the old links will still work. And URLs of any pages that aren’t where they used to be should point at their new home. If you spot any 404s let us know in the comments or in the forum.

Everything that you’re used to from our old website is still here: the blog, help pages, forums (which we’ve yet to overhaul and bring in line with the new look – that’s coming in the next couple of months) and Swag Store are all available as usual through the navigation bar you can see at the top of the page. I’m not linking to them here, so you have a reason to start experimenting by clicking around. But there are also some new areas which you might like to spend some time exploring today, and some new ways in which we’re presenting old information.

Teach, Learn, Make

We’re launching a new area of the site for teachers, learners and makers, full of free resources and projects. Teachers will find entire schemes of work, complete with lesson plans, linked to the UK’s new Computing curriculum. Those of you who want to learn on your own will also find materials you can use to find your way around a Raspberry Pi, and what you can do with it; and people who want a step-by-step guide to make their own Raspberry Pi projects will find just what they’re looking for.

All of our materials are Creative Commons licensed. The licence we use is CC BY-SA (attribution and share-alike), which is the licence used by Wikipedia.

cc-by-sa

We welcome your contributions to our materials. What you see here today is only the start: we will be adding more materials very regularly in all three categories: Teach, Learn and Make. Keep checking back; we’ll also flag up on this blog and on Twitter whenever new resources are available.

Documentation

We have made a big change to the way we deal with documentation. A bit of background is necessary here. Until now, we’ve relied on the third-party, crowd-sourced wiki at eLinux. This was set up in 2012 when we had absolutely no staff, and we asked the community to help populate it, because we didn’t have the resources ourselves. We at the Foundation have no oversight over that wiki, and we’ve noticed that it’s become a bit out of date.

So we’ve taken the decision to move all of our documentation in-house, but we’ve done so in a way that means that you can make additions and alterations if you think we’ve missed something – with our oversight. All of our documentation is written in Markdown, and lives on GitHub. It’s not an open wiki, but if you want to make a change, please open an issue on GitHub. (Learn more here.) We’ll consider all issues which are opened, and if we accept yours, you can file a pull request with your change. It’s a way to keep things lean, consistent and accurate. Everything gets looked over by the team of people who make the Raspberry Pi to be checked for accuracy: at the same time, it allows you to pull us up on anything you think we should expand on.

Some of what we have here now is based around a kernel of documentation from the old eLinux wiki, and we are very, very grateful to everyone who contributed materials to it that we have been able to use here. The new documentation also covers all the stuff we used to host here separately: datasheets, hardware specs and so on. We’ve still got some editorial work to do on some of what we’ve pulled in to the new documentation, but it should be usable from today.

Thanks

I’d like to thank the education and web folks here at Pi Towers, especially Carrie Anne Philbin, who has written more top-quality resources in the last two months than we thought it was possible for one human being to produce, all while running workshops and organising Picademy; and Ben Nuttall, who has been stumbling around the office muttering and tugging at his hair for the last fortnight, sent three-quarters mad by a mixture of insufficient sleep, ignorant requests from his boss (me) and too much staring at a terminal window. His wild eyes and trembling lip are making me feel guilty, and I have been worried that he might die of overwork or run away and retrain as a sponge diver before we got everything finished. (I think you’ll agree that he’s done a simply amazing job in a very short time. Most of what you see here is down to Ben; despite appearances to the contrary, he’s a bundle of joy, and we’re very lucky to have him on the team.)

This is what not enough sleep and too much coffee looks like.

This is what not enough sleep and too much coffee looks like.

Thanks to Laura for the exceptionally smooth and painless editorial ride she’s given us. Thanks to Dave and Clive for the resources and the cakes; thanks to Lance for his oversight (we couldn’t manage without you, Lance); thanks to Emma for keeping us all in line; thanks to Rachel for the photos; thanks to the team at Du.st for the design work – and no thanks at all to Gordon, who ate all our jelly babies, drank most of the coffee and laughed at us when we asked him what hdmi_ignore_edid=0xa5000080 does.

We hope you like what you see. As for me and the team, we’re going to go and sit very quietly on a lawn somewhere, read the newspaper and drink tea for the rest of the day.

Raspberry Pi: Glock around the clockenspiel

This post was syndicated from: Raspberry Pi and was written by: Liz Upton. Original post: at Raspberry Pi

Are you a primary or secondary teacher in the UK? Do you want some free CPD? Apply to join our free Raspberry Picademy here at Pi Towers in Cambridge with our amazing education team: closing date for applications is March 28. 

Ivan Roulson from RPi Kitchen (really worth some of your time this afternoon if you fancy browsing your way around some rather excellent Pi projects) was at the local recycling centre earlier this year, when he came upon an abandoned glockenspiel.

There are so many places this story could go from here, but you’ve probably already guessed what happened next.

Ivan took that sad glockenspiel home and gave it a Pi for brains. He designed and built some hammers, and hooked up a motor mechanism and some rubber bands to make the hammers snap back up once they’d made contact. Ivan then proceeded to make the whole apparatus dingle-dongle its way through some sweet, sweet music using Python.

The motors are hooked up to the Raspberry Pi’s GPIO pins using two ULN2803 Darlington driver ICs – Ivan’s plan is to build a dedicated PCB to do the job.

This is not the first glockenspiel project we’ve seen (Mike Cook produced one a couple of years ago, with instructions you can follow to reproduce the project at home), but we very much liked the mechanism Ivan built to make his setup work. We’re dying to see a project where someone adapts Sonic Pi to interface with GPIO: seeing some of you replace the pretty-bell command with an honest-to-god real-world bell would make our day. Any takers?

Raspberry Pi: Picademy – Free CPD for Teachers

This post was syndicated from: Raspberry Pi and was written by: Carrie Anne. Original post: at Raspberry Pi

**Update 28 March: Entries are now closed. Thanks to everyone who applied, you’ll be hearing from us very soon.**

I am very pleased to announce the first ever Raspberry Pi Academy for Educators!

The Raspberry Picademy will be a free professional development experience for primary and secondary teachers, initially for those here in the UK. Over the course of two days, (14th – 15th April 2014), 24 applicants will get hands-on experience here at Pi Towers, and discover the many ways in which the Raspberry Pi can be used in the classroom, working with our team of experts.

Raspberry Pi robotics at Kimbolton School

We will be looking to select 24 teachers for this program who meet our criteria and demonstrate a passion for education and for sharing practice, whatever their level of computing experience. In particular we are looking for teachers who:

  • can demonstrate experience of leading inset training sessions or running workshops – we would like our teachers to be able to train others
  • can reach large numbers of educators – through Twitter, teachmeets, blog posts, jams, CAS hubs etc. to spread the love
  • can demonstrate experience in using technology in the classroom – does not have to be Raspberry Pi!
  • are positive role models to young people
  • love challenges and overcoming problems.

We want to build a wider community of pioneering educators through this program, and it would make us all really happy if after the two day event, they go on to:

  • create a scheme of work for the Raspberry Pi Educational Resources section of our new website (coming soon!) that meets the new Computing curriculum programme of study
  • have a positive impact on their community with Raspberry Pi
  • take an active role in the Raspberry Pi Education Forum to help inspire others.

As well as training, educators will have access to a forum to share ideas, get some Raspberry Pi goodies and a special badge.

If you think you might be one of our superteachers, then you can apply by filling out this application form. Please note that although this training is provided free of charge and we will provide your meals, you will have to make your own transport and accommodation plans (we’ll be making information about where you can stay and how to get here available to the people who take part). The deadline for applications is Friday 28th March.

Raspberry Pi: A GCSE lesson

This post was syndicated from: Raspberry Pi and was written by: liz. Original post: at Raspberry Pi

Ben Llewellyn Smith is Head of Computing and ECDL manager at AKS in Lytham St Annes. He showed us this video just before last week’s Jamboree, to demonstrate his newly installed classroom Debian server being used by a class of GCSE students who all use Raspberry Pis.

Ben’s pupils each own a Raspberry Pi: we’re convinced that there’s enormous learning value in the sense of ownership and ability to customise that having your own Raspberry Pi, rather than a borrowed school unit, gives you. It’s one of the reasons we worked so hard at getting the cost of the Raspberry Pi down so low. This also means that the pupils can carry on working with their Pis at home in the evenings.

You’ll see the pupils being given a very simple Scratch task to test Ben’s new system in this video, and get a feel for what a teaching environment can be like. Ben’s aiming towards getting the class’s GCSE coursework done as a Minecraft hack, using Python on the Pi: he’s the kind of teacher I wish I’d had. (True story: my own Miss Lyons had to keep a picture of a floppy disk being inserted on her desk so she could remember which way up it fitted in the slot.)

The investigation that Ben’s class will be doing for the GCSE can be done on a Pi as well. We’re very pleased that Ben’s been able to be able to share this video with us all: I hope it’ll be of some help to other teachers out there. You’ll find a lot more from Ben at his YouTube channel: enjoy!

Raspberry Pi: The Hour of Code and all things educational

This post was syndicated from: Raspberry Pi and was written by: clive. Original post: at Raspberry Pi

There’s been a media brouhaha about coding recently**. The Hour of Code puts this into perspective—it’s all about demystifying what coding is, having a play and realising that it isn’t as arcane or difficult as you thought. Of course at one end of the scale, computer science can be as challenging as it gets. But at the other end you can dip your toe in and start to appreciate that Computing as a subject, and programming specifically, can be creative, purposeful and lots of fun.

And if you’d like to try some Raspberry Pi based activities as part of the Hour of Code week here’s a small taster of the teaching and learning materials that we’re writing and collating for our new website (launching end of March). It includes Sonic Pi, Minecraft Pi, Google Coder and, of course, a screaming jelly baby. Enjoy :)

Carrie Anne and Ben from the Raspberry Pi Education Team are telling me to shut up now as they would like to say stuff. So I’ll leave them to it…

Carrie Anne

During the Jamboree at the EICE conference last week, Ben and I spoke about our work at the foundation on the new website and our vision to produce educational Raspberry Pi resources for teachers and learners. Since this talk we have been inundated with offers of support and want to know more. (This is the best community!)

There are many ways in which you can help us:

  • Firstly by taking an active role in the education section of our forum. If you have created a great resource, ran a good workshop session, or created a video tutorial, then post it here. Let’s get this section of the community talking.
  • Submit your resources to be used on the new website (leave a comment below to get in touch, and we’ll email you). In the not too distant future we would like to create a form for you to submit your resources to be considered for use. We are writing our resources in markdown, so if you already have stuff on GitHub for example it would be easy for us to point to them or fork them for reuse. You may wish to write up your mega cool resources in a similar way.
  • We need testers! Before many of our resources go live, especially those intended for the classroom, we would like them to get feedback from our audience and suggestions. We’d also like to make sure they work! Again, leave a comment if you’d like to help.
  • Run a Jam in your area. Why not start a Jam or attend a jam in your area to support young people and invite teachers from local schools to attend?

The Hour of Code resources are a taster of what is to come on the website, and we would be interested in hearing your feedback on them. Please test, check, and give us productive pointers.

Ben

Introducing Raspberry Pi Learning on GitHub! We set up a new GitHub organisation to host our learning resources and educational material. Each resource will have its own repository here, and we’ll be using git to manage changes in the team and from the community. Within hours of these being live (even before we announced it) we had our
Ctrl+Click to follow link” href=”https://twitter.com/raspitv”>Alex Eames – who fixed some typos and cleaned up some Python GPIO code with better practices (thanks, Alex!).

Our resources are written in Markdown, which is really easy to use and to manage. The links in the Hour of Code page show the markdown rendered by GitHub, and when we launch our new website they will be rendered nicely in the site template, which work beautifully on screen. We’ll also provide printer-friendly alternatives. (We’re not showing you what things will look like in the new site template yet because we don’t want to spoil the surprise!)

If you’re writing any resources or documentation (or anything, really) I’d recommend you look at using Markdown – you can pick it up quite quickly with this issue to alert us of it, or even fork the repository, fix it and open a

Errata Security: C programming: you are teaching it wrong

This post was syndicated from: Errata Security and was written by: Robert Graham. Original post: at Errata Security

It’s been three decades. There is no longer an excuse for the fail way colleges teach “C programming”. Let me help.


Chapter 1: the debugger

C programming starts and ends with the debugger. Before they write a line of code of their own, students need to be comfortable single stepping line-by-line through source, viewing local variables, and dumping memory.

A good first assignment is run the following program, and have the student report the values for ‘a’ and ‘b’, which can only be gotten by stepping through the code in a debugger.

int main() {
    int a = rand();
    int b = rand();
    printf(“a + b = %d\n”, a + b);
    return 0;
}

The “printf()” function is not a debugger. If that’s how you debug your code most of the time, you are doing it wrong.

GDB is not an adequate debugger. The reason people rely upon “printf()” is because GDB is too difficult. Even the “TUI” interface is inadequate.

The debugger is not your “last resort”, the thing your struggle with when there is no other way to fix a bug. Instead, the debugger is the “first resort”: even when your program works correctly, you still use the debugger to step through your code line-by-line, double checking variables, making sure that it’s behaving the way you expect.

Microsoft’s VisualStudio and Apple’s XCode both have excellent debuggers. I haven’t used Eclipse much, but it looks adequate. The problem with these is that they also require you to create a complicated “project” that manages everything. That’s a big hurdle for small one-file programs (like the example above), but students have to learn to deal with the overhead of these “projects”.

To repeat: unless you have an adequate, easy-to-use source-level debugger, you really shouldn’t be programming in C. Any course on C needs to start with the debugger, before even teaching students to code.

Chapter 2: smashing the stack for fun and profit

C is an inherently dangerous language. When a bug writes outside it’s buffer, it’s not immediately caught, as it would be in Java or other high-level languages. Instead, memory gets corrupted. It’s only later in the program, sometimes much later, when that corrupted memory gets used, that the program crashes. This teaches students that bugs happen by magic, and are deep impenetrable mysteries that no mortal can understand.

Students need to be taught that they have no training wheels, that C will happily corrupt memory with no error indication (until later). They need to be told upfront that, unlike Java, when the program crashes, the line-number in the code is usually not the code that’s at fault.

In particular, students need to learn the “stack frame” and “heap” structures to the same level of detail in the document “Smashing the Stack for Fun and Profit” [*]. Before even teaching students the syntax for calling a function, students need to learn that there is a structure of data for every function call. When a function crashes on return, they need to be able to dump the stack memory and find out what happened. They need to be familiar with how parameters are pushed on the stack, then return address, then local variables. The need to watch, in a debugger, as this happens. Students need to learn that memory corruption isn’t a mystery, but something deterministic that they can trace back and solve.

Teachers of C avoid these difficult technical details, but that does a disservice to the student. The student’s first bug is going to be stack/heap corruption crashing on the wrong line of code, and they’ll learn that solving bugs in C is hopeless.

This would also be a good time to teach students bounds-checkers like Valgrind. It adds the training wheels missing from other languages.

Chapter 3: strcpy_s()/strlcpy()

A decade after “buffer-overflow” worms ravaged the Internet, professors are still telling their students to use the functions that caused the worms, like strcpy() and sprintf(). This needs to stop.

We have safer replacement functions. Microsoft has created standard safe functions, like  strcpy_s()and sprintf_s() that have been adopted by the standards committee. Or, since GCC doesn’t really support this standard yet, you can teach functions like strlcpy() and snprintf() instead.

Students should be taught that using the old, non-bounds-checking functions, shouldn’t be even an option when writing code. C is an inherently dangerous language — the early students learn to program as if C were dangerous, the better.

Chapter N+1: internal vs. external data

What makes C different from other languages is that it allows you to access raw memory. Just because you can do this doesn’t mean you should.

Typical C paradigm is to have a point ‘p’, then do arithmetic on the pointer, such as incrementing it in order to enumerate objects in an array, something like this:

    for (p=start; p<end; p++)
        printf(“foo = %s\n”, p->foo);

This is bad. In general, C should be programmed like any other language, where an index variable enumerates an array:

    for (i=0; i<count; i++)
        printf(“foo = %s\n”, p[i].foo);
 
When parsing a two-byte integer from external input, a C programmer is taught to the do the following:

    x = *(short*)p;

This is bad. Historically, it has meant that RISC processor crashes unexpected on unaligned data. On Intel processors, teaching this method has led to unending confusion about “byte-order” (aka. “endianess”). The correct method to teach students is the following:

    x = p[0]*256 + p[1];
It’s the same way that you’d extract an integer using any other language, and it doesn’t need those pesky “noths()” macros to swap bytes.

Even though C doesn’t enforce it, students still need to learn that “internal” data should be kept separate from “external” data. They have to be aware of what C is doing internally, but they should mess with it. They shouldn’t “cast” data structures on top of external data, and they shouldn’t use pointer arithmetic for everything. When quickly glancing at the code, it should look similar to Java or JavaScript.

Conclusion

In other engineering disciplines, you learn failure first. If you are engineering bridges, you learn why the Tacoma Narrows failed. If you are architecting skyscrapers, you learn why the World Trade Center fell. If you are building ships, you learned why the Titanic sank.
Only in the discipline of software engineering is failure completely ignored. Even after more than a decade of failure, students are still taught to write software as if failure is unlikely to be a threat they ever face. This is wrong in general, but especially wrong with the C programming language. It’s not that students need to “take security seriously” and spend all their time learning every rare hacking technique in code, but their education should include the basics, like those outlined above.

By the way, this post comes from me spending some time on a college campus this week. Travis Goodspeed, Sergey Bratus, and I were watching a student struggle with a bug in C. For example, the student knew what line was crashing because she put a “printf()” right before that point. I want to strangle whichever professor was teaching the class that didn’t teach the students to use a debugger. Some of this post reflects some of their comments in our discussion.

Raspberry Pi: Get Carrie Anne’s book for six quid! (And a competition!)

This post was syndicated from: Raspberry Pi and was written by: liz. Original post: at Raspberry Pi

A lot of you have had huge success in the last few months using our very own Carrie Anne Philbin’s Adventures in Raspberry Pi as a resource for kids of all ages. It’s engaging, friendly and works really well in getting kids excited and confident about using their Raspberry Pi. So much so that we’ve found schools are ordering classroom sets; so are after-school clubs, and we’ve had amazing feedback from kids and their parents.

Carrie Anne (whose job title here at Pi Towers is Education Pioneer) says:

“I’m totally stunned by the success of Adventures in Raspberry Pi so far. I’m  amazed that teachers and after school club mentors are buying it and using it to teach programming.”

We aren’t amazed at all – the book’s brilliant.

Shortly after taking this picture, Carrie Anne tried to saw Ben’s ear off.

We wanted to make Adventures in Raspberry Pi easier for schools to buy (at full price, with shipping, a classroom set can be expensive). So we’ve bought a pallet full here at Pi Towers so we can sell them to you at a much reduced price compared to other vendors (we’ve reduced the margin we take by selling these to almost nothing), with very low shipping costs for bulk orders. If you only buy one book, shipping is £4 (which works out cheaper than buying it on Amazon even if you have Amazon Prime): but it becomes an amazing bargain when you buy more than one, with P&P at only £6 for between 2 and 10 books, so if you’re ordering them for a class or club, or for all your tiny relatives, then you end up paying much less. Here’s a table of prices:

Units Unit cost including P&P
1 £10
2 £9
5 £7.20
10 £6.60

We are also celebrating the addition of Pimoroni’s PiHUB to the Swag Store – it’s a really handy, super-reliable, powered USB hub for your Pi that works with every USB device we’ve tested on it. If you would like to win a bundle including one of five copies of Adventures in Raspberry Pi, some Raspberry Pi stickers and your very own PiHUB, please leave a comment below telling us what you would like to see us stock in the Swag Store. We’ll pick the five ideas that made us laugh the most or that made little lightbulbs go off in our heads as the winners. The competition is open worldwide to people of all ages, and closes on February 26. Make sure that you use a genuine email address when you comment so we can get in touch with you if you win.

Here is a bonus video of Carrie Anne at the last Cambridge Raspberry Jam. She’s planning on visiting Alex from RasPi.TV with the Minecraft sword unless he adds the bit where she later got the highest score of the day…

(If you’d like a go yourself, you can buy the Seven Segments of Pi kit you need to make this and other games, which comes with some great tutorial materials, from Cyntech. Some soldering required.)

Raspberry Pi: GitHub goes to school

This post was syndicated from: Raspberry Pi and was written by: Ben Nuttall. Original post: at Raspberry Pi

Yesterday, GitHub announced a new initiative to help students, teachers and schools use GitHub for collaboration and sharing to provide a better learning experience for all: GitHub Education.

If you don’t already know, GitHub is a software projects hosting service – it’s a kind of social networking site for code projects. You use version control software Git on your own computer, and push your code to a repository in your account on GitHub, where it is viewed on the web and can be shared with others. If you’ve worked on a code project beyond single scripts before, you’ve probably thought about taking precautions against losing work, breaking features and maybe even encountered problems with working on a project with a friend. Git allows you to track changes in your codebase and revert back to previous states. GitHub gives you a nice clean interface in the web to help manage these changes.

The real power of GitHub lies in the ability to collaborate on projects with people around the world – and in how people can take existing code written for one purpose and take it in another direction to suit their own project.

GitHub lies at the centre of many operations at Raspberry Pi – our version of the Linux kernel, our userland and firmware source code, as well as NOOBS and raspi-config – and soon, our documentation, learning resources and more. Our version of the Linux kernel is a fork of the main Linux kernel. While diverging from the upstream for our special case additions (we make changes to suit the Raspberry Pi’s hardware), we keep in track with additions that land in the main version, and the enhancements are sent back upstream – to the original Linux kernel where they’re merged in. Imagine trying to manage this without software!

Open Source also helps our community grow stronger. It’s far from uncommon to see the makers behind Raspberry Pi projects putting their code on GitHub and sharing how they built that touchscreen timelapse controller, cat laser toy or universal translator – with accompanying documentation and instructions. Also the various general purpose libraries that get written – they’re shared, then they’re improved and expanded by others and help way more people than originally intended, such as Jason’s Piglow module, Will’s gamepad library and Dave’s picamera module. Isn’t it amazing that you can look at the code behind how these things work? You can even fix bugs or add features yourself!

As Gordon mentioned in the video interview we posted at the weekend, some USB bugs in Raspberry Pi were fixed by a keen and talented member of the community, which were sent over via Pull Requests and merged in to the main repository – he (Jonathan) was then hired to work on the engineering team at Pi Towers. This sort of important contribution, and the ability for it to take place, is invaluable in the tech community.

There’s more to open source than simply making your code public – there’s plenty to learn about communication and collaboration. Big projects like Linux and Python require people to talk to each other, work out where things are going and someone has to manage people and make decisions. There’s usually someone in charge – often referred to as the B.D.F.L. (Benevolent Dictator For Life – Linus for Linux and Guido for Python). Using GitHub in a small team on a school project will shed light on the kinds of problems that come up: you want to prevent two people doing the same work twice; your code needs to be able to interact with other people’s code; you might have different opinions on code styles or ways of solving problems; and there are various workflows people might be used to. It’s a skill to be able to communicate with others, in technology like in any other area – and technology has the advantage of awesome tools that make this more manageable.

One of my favourite tools at the moment is Waffle.io – it gives you Trello-style columns for your GitHub issues. I use it to visualise the workflow of features I intend to write, bugs I need to fix and other things I need to consider. You even have a comment thread attached to each issue, so you can discuss options (your conversations and decisions are open too). Even if I’m the only one working on a project I still use Git, GitHub and Waffle because it helps me manage myself. GitHub can be used for much more than just code; people use it for managing changes in written work such as documentation, blogs and even legal documents. One guy even used GitHub issues to manage the “bugs” (work needed doing) on his house.

Git was created by Linus Torvalds to manage changes in the Linux kernel because at the time no existing version control software worked the way he wanted. GitHub was set up in 2008 by developers in San Francisco and currently hosts more than 10 million repositories. See some organisations on GitHub: NASA, BBC TV, BBC News, The Guardian, Microsoft, GOV.UKThe White House (see Issue #3) … and GitHub.

We <3 Octocat! Check out variations in the octodex (my favourite is Adventure Cat).

If you want to learn how to use Git – GitHub provides a great online tool for getting started: Try Git. Git is very powerful, and has advanced features, but can be used at a basic level with very little experience. Be sure to check out GitHub Pages which is great for making a webpage for your project. Note that at present, GitHub users must be aged 13 or older.

If you’re a teacher or student, head over to education.github.com to find out more about classroom organisations, free accounts and other discounts.

We’d love to see examples of young coders and makers putting their projects on GitHub – especially its use in education. Please post links in the comments.

Raspberry Pi: Code Club Pro: a training programme to support primary school teachers

This post was syndicated from: Raspberry Pi and was written by: clive. Original post: at Raspberry Pi

From September 2014 Computing will be a subject in its own right in UK schools. Of course at Raspberry Pi Towers we are delighted (and I mean dancing around like a drunk uncle at a wedding reception delighted) that young people will now have the opportunity to study one of the most creative, exciting and challenging subjects in the curriculum. But who will teach them? Computing is effectively a brand new subject and there are relatively few specialist teachers to deliver it. The problem is worse for primary school teachers who have to teach a range of different subjects and who typically have fewer IT resources than secondary schools.

So, of course, we need to train teachers, especially primary teachers. And training works wonders—teachers arrive at my courses full of trepidation and weird rumours (you need to be a maths genius; it’s all about programming; coding gives you hairy palms). They walk out of the end of the day confident and buzzing with excitement and ideas. That’s all it takes. Of course no one will be an expert after one day, but the point is that you don’t have to be. Computing at this level is about problem solving and puzzles and creative fun—things that human beings are naturally drawn to and enjoy. And it’s definitely not just about “coding”. Whatever that is.

So hurrah for training! Let’s all sign up for a course at our local school! Except … there isn’t any to speak of. What there is is typically dispersed and expensive and of variable content. What teachers and schools need is widely available, low-cost, high quality, curriculum-centred training.

Which is what Code Club thought too. So in true Code Club fashion they decided to just do it. We love Code Club! Anyway, I’ll let them fill the rest in. I only meant to write a sentence as an intro but as you can tell it’s something I’m passionate about. Plus, I like showboating. And if you are a school or teacher and would like to get involved, pop over to  Code Club Pro’s site for more information.

Code Club, the network of over 1,875 volunteer-led after-school coding clubs, with the support of Google and CAS (Computing at Schools), is launching a nationwide training programme to teach core computing skills to primary school teachers.

The CPD program has been launched in response to widespread teacher demand for training in this area. According to Code Club, which has access to a wide network of schools, the training needs of teachers has so far been overlooked in this process. Its founders said: “Teachers are the key front-line implementers of the curriculum and more needs to be done to support this transition”.

Pupils and teachers with George Osborn

Code Club Pro was launched today by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, at a special Code Club session in Bexton School in Knutsford, Cheshire.

Launching in April, Code Club Pro will enable primary school teachers to quickly understand the requirements of the new computing curriculum. The mission is to deliver training in computing to over 20,000 primary school teachers by 2016, while reaching many more through the provision of online programmes and resources.

Clare Sutcliffe, Co-Founder and CEO of Code Club, said: “The addition of coding to the new primary school curriculum is a great step forward for the UK education sector. However, to date, there has been a lack of focus on how to equip the primary school teachers to actually teach this new subject. We know first hand that teachers are feeling daunted by the prospect of having to teach a syllabus they don’t fully understand themselves. As a result, we decided to create a training programme that would help support them through this period of change.

“As a not-for-profit, Code Club is able to focus on a core objective of supporting as many teachers and children as possible, through the provision of fun, accessible and affordable training, which hands on and experiential. Our goal is to improve access to training, so that teachers can feel confident and excited about delivering the new computing curriculum.”

TorrentFreak: UK Government Plans to “Ensure” That Google Hinders Online Piracy

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Andy. Original post: at TorrentFreak

During last week’s second reading of the UK Intellectual Property Bill the Prime Minister’s Intellectual Property Adviser Mike Weatherley said something highly controversial – persistent downloaders could be put in jail. For clarity:

“My point was that, when we get the education right and people understand that stealing intellectual property is wrong, and when the industry has alternative downloading models, if we exhaust fines and other means of stopping persons downloading illegally, we must consider some sort of custodial sentence for persistent offenders and people who operate on a commercial scale,” he definitely said.

While it is quite clear what he said, Weatherley has now told MusicWeek that he didn’t mean what he said at all. File-sharers won’t be getting locked up, he insists.

So with regular file-sharers now somewhat relaxed, ministers are looking towards entities they can get heavy with, such as Internet and tech companies. This is something the music and movie industries are very keen on. For some time now they have been painting a picture of Google ignoring its responsibilities by not purging infringing results from its indexes.

Reading the notes from the Bill’s debate this week it’s becoming increasingly apparent that UK Members of Parliament take keen notice of the industry rhetoric over online piracy but recall few of the important details. For example, the BPI complains that searches for a band name followed by “download” and/or “mp3″ often turns up music from unauthorized sources. In reality it’s true that people find unauthorized sources when they tailor their searches specifically to find illicit content, but just look at how that has been translated in the House of Commons.

“When you search for the name of your favorite band..[..]..you will be directed to illegal sites. Something must be done about that,” said Pete Wishart MP. Untrue of course, but it gets worse.

“[Another MP] mentioned an astonishing statistic…[..]..to the effect — I hope I have this right; he will correct me if I am wrong — that for the top 20 singles and albums for November 2013, 77% of first page search results for singles and 64% for albums directed the consumer to an illegal site. I have to say to the Minister that that surely cannot be allowed to continue,” said MP Iain Wright.

Of course that’s just not true either, as this search for One Direction’s Midnight Memories shows. Several pages in and iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and several physical outlets are there – but no piracy at all. Still, the MPs believe that more needs to be done.

“[We] need to know what is being done to restrict access to sites that help someone find illegal or pirated copies, which brings me to the role of technology companies, particularly search engines, that allow consumers to find content,” Wright continued. “To what extent are those companies facilitating illegal access to copyrighted material by putting illegal sites at the top of their search lists?”

As the debate over search engine responsibilities in respect of piracy has mounted in the recent months, the question has always been in the background – would the government legislate to force companies such as Google to do what the music and movie industries have asked? While the “L” word wasn’t mentioned specifically this week, there was definitely a strong hint with the inclusion of a new clause titled Online copyright infringements: technology companies.

“The Secretary of State will, within three months of this Act coming into force, report to both Houses of Parliament on proposals that will have the purpose of ensuring technology companies hinder access via the internet to copyright infringing material,” the clause reads.

So it seems the ball is well and truly rolling towards Google and others being required by law to do something about online infringement. Quite what that might be remains unanswered for now, but will become clear in the months to come.

Finally, there was a little gem of an exchange between MPs Jim Dowd and Iain Wright which will have the “copying is not theft” brigade up in arms.

“[The] other aspect of illegal downloading is that it increases the costs for those who buy the product legitimately. Clearly, the rights owner needs to recover the loss from so much of it being traded illegally,” Dowd said.

“People often say that this is a victimless crime, in the same way as stealing from a supermarket might be a victimless crime, but we all pay for it as a society,” came Wright’s response. “Supermarkets mitigate the risk of shoplifting by increasing prices. This is no different as an economic model.”

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and VPN services.

TorrentFreak: Wrongly Blocked Websites to Be Added to ISP Whitelist, UK Govt Says

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Andy. Original post: at TorrentFreak

stopstopOnce it became evident that Prime Minister David Cameron was dead set on the introduction of a “think of the children” approach to web censorship in the UK, those who understand the Internet knew there would be problems.

Filters of most kinds are incredibly blunt instruments that lack the finesse to deal with the complex nature of the online world. Sadly, it didn’t take long for them to live up to that billing.

During the past few months dozens of innocent sites have been blocked – TorrentFreak included – a situation that really hits the credibility of what the government has been trying to achieve.

Blocking entities such as charities and drug advice sites obviously leads to terribly bad publicity, so the government has been looking at ways to deal with the problem. According to the BBC a working group has been looking into accidental blocking with a view to finding a solution. They believe one has been found.

The idea is that some kind of master white-list will be drawn up containing sites that have already been wrongly blocked or might find themselves subjected to wrongful blocking in the future. That list would then be passed around Internet service providers so that filters could be tweaked to avoid the censorship of innocent domains. Charities are involved in the creation of the list so it appears public service sites may be a priority.

Also under discussion is the creation of a mechanism which would allow the owners of regular but wrongly-blocked websites to contact ISPs in order to have their sites added to the white-list.

“There’s a feeling that some sites sit in a gray area and more needs to be done for them,” a spokesman for the Internet Service Providers Association told the BBC.

While it is commendable that the government is looking into the problem of over-blocking, one has to question why the filtering mechanisms being put in place aren’t erring on the side of caution. If some sites are in a “gray area” then they should be given the benefit of the doubt, not found guilty until proven innocent.

If a system can’t tell the difference between a sex education charity and a porn site there must be something seriously wrong. A white-list is probably just a Band-Aid.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and VPN services.

Raspberry Pi: Ooh, BETTy (look, it’s Sunday morning, it’s the best I can do)

This post was syndicated from: Raspberry Pi and was written by: clive. Original post: at Raspberry Pi

The RPF Education Team is just back from BETT, the education technology show, and it was very good indeed. I love BETT: you get to talk to lots of interesting people about stuff that you’re passionate about; play with the Raspberry Pi and pretend that it’s work; see all the latest education tech; and generally show off. (At the same time it’s also an extraordinarily gruelling four days of demos, talks, meetings, interviews and PR. I feel like I’ve spent the last week being simultaneously coddled with a tickling stick and beaten with a sock full of oranges.)

The show got off to a great start for us when Education Secretary Michael Gove called Raspberry Pi a “brilliant British tech business” in his opening keynote and highlighted the MOOC that we’ve helped create with OCR and Cambridge University Press. It was also surprising and gratifying to see Raspberry Pis on so many stands and in products around the show. Anyway, it’s Sunday so less writing and more pictures are in order:

The Raspberry Pi Foundation Education Team. From left: Dave Honess, Carrie Anne Philbin, Clive Beale and Ben Nuttall

Dave doing technical stuff that I don’t understand.

 

Carrie Anne doing her funky Sonic Pi thing. Or a rabbit puppet show.

Ben gets personal with a Raspberry Pi camera

Clive talks mainly with his hands

The graffiti at BETT is of a very high quality

No one would listen to me when I told them that the command to invert the picture was ‘rm -rf *’

Teaching the world how to be awesome. Go Team Pi!

Wearing the Pi with pride

Showing off our new animation ‘What is a Raspberry Pi?’

Finally, a big thanks to:

  • everyone who came to talk to us and to watch the demos and seminars;
  • OCR for hosting us;
  • Dave, Ben and Carrie Anne, the RPF Education Team. Let’s do it again next year :)

TorrentFreak: UK Considers Throwing Persistent Internet Pirates in Jail

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Andy. Original post: at TorrentFreak

parliamentThe second reading of the Intellectual Property Bill took place in the House of Commons this week, with parliament debating the finer details on matters covering design rights to the thorny issue of Internet piracy.

The main aim of the Bill, which was introduced late August 2013, is to bring aspects of the law pertaining to intellectual property up to date, with a view to creating greater clarity and accessibility for related industries.

From listening to the debate it’s clear that the politicians present see the Internet piracy problem from four main directions – pirate sites, Internet users, ISPs and search engines. It will come as little surprise that Google came in for a lot of criticism and perhaps even less of a surprise that many politicians seem to have completely absorbed the music industry’s line. They see the search giant as responsible for piracy but doing nothing.

Infringement and the Google ‘monopoly’

Gerry Sutcliffe MP said that he believed that “millions of complaints [to Google] have not been dealt with”, a point underlined by John Leech MP who recalled “the complacent attitude taken by [Google's] representatives to the whole issue, as though it had nothing to do with them and was not their problem.”

Worryingly for Google, Sutcliffe went on to escalate the matter beyond mere copyright issues, right up to the ‘M’ word.

google-bay“At some time, this Government must have a proper look at the almost monopoly status of this huge, multinational, non-UK business and ask whether it is good for our content industries. I have a sneaking feeling that it is not,” Sutcliffe said.

“I have seen the evidence from the British Phonographic Industry. It sent 50 million notices to Google asking it to take down links to illegal — I emphasize, illegal—sites. Google should not be doing that. What on earth is going on if it receives 50 million requests to take down links to illegal sites?

“It is time to call in the Competition Commission: we cannot continue to allow Google to be the gateway to content industries when they do them so much damage.”

Also speaking at the debate was Conservative MP Mike Weatherley, a former record label worker and Vice President of the Motion Picture Licensing Company. He was appointed last September as Prime Minister David Cameron’s Intellectual Property Advisor. Part of his brief is to look at enforcement issues surrounding online copyright and he certainly has some tough actions in mind.

Ten years in jail for Internet piracy

Weatherley noted that the Bill does not currently match penalties for online infringement with those available to punish infringers in the physical world. The point was detailed by John Leech MP, who called for the maximum penalty for digital infringement to be increased to 10 years’ imprisonment instead of the current two years.

“The discrepancy I mentioned is a source of great frustration. For example, the private prosecution by the Federation Against Copyright Theft of Anton Vickerman, who was making £50,000 a month from running a website [SurfTheChannel] that facilitated mass-scale copyright infringement, saw him convicted of conspiracy to defraud and sentenced to four years in prison,” Leech explained.

“This level of sentence would not have been possible if he had been prosecuted under copyright law, but FACT was able to prove conspiracy in his actions. Without proof of conspiracy, a serious criminal could have been left subject to a disproportionately low maximum penalty.”

In addition to bringing parity to the on-and-offline worlds, Weatherley said several other anti-piracy tactics should also be brought to the Bill.

Hold ISPs and search engines liable, throw persistent pirates in jail

weatherley“Another enforcement measure would be to follow the money and stop advertising and payment facilities on websites that host illegal content. Internet service providers and search engines would also be accountable if there was known to be criminality,” he said, highlighting an article he wrote for the World Intellectual Property Organization last December.

Weatherley, who we should not forget is the Prime Minister’s advisor on such matters, continued by revealing just how far he feels the government should go in dealing with the problem, starting with Internet disconnections and ending in a much darker place.

“Ultimately, we need to consider withdrawing internet rights from lawbreakers, along with imposing fines and, as a last resort, custodial sentences,” he told the debate.

Helen Goodman MP countered by stating that a line needs to be drawn between punishing the occasional downloader and those who run pirate sites.

“It is important that we distinguish between 14-year-olds in their bedrooms downloading two or three Justin Bieber tracks on to an iPod and people who make multi-billion pound businesses out of providing illegal material. It is not right to treat the two groups in the same way,” she said.

Clarifying his stance, Weatherley underlined that he did indeed mean prison should be an option not only for those running sites, but those who keep on downloading despite the warnings.

“My point was that, when we get the education right and people understand that stealing intellectual property is wrong, and when the industry has alternative downloading models, if we exhaust fines and other means of stopping persons downloading illegally, we must consider some sort of custodial sentence for persistent offenders and people who operate on a commercial scale,” he said.

The fact that Weatherley is prepared to rank persistent but non-commercial downloaders in the same way as those running commercial operations is a serious concern, especially when the end result for both is a custodial sentence. Whether that will be the current two years in prison or 10 will be a matter for future debate.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and VPN services.

TorrentFreak: IP Advisor: Hold ISPs Responsible For Facilitating Piracy

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Andy. Original post: at TorrentFreak

Early September UK Prime Minister David Cameron appointed a brand new intellectual property advisor.

Conservative MP Mike Weatherley, a former record label worker and Vice President of the Motion Picture Licensing Company, began with a brief to focus on intellectual property enforcement issues relating to the creative industries.

With the appointment of Weatherley, a chartered accountant and former finance director of record producer Pete Waterman’s empire, there can be little doubt that the Government is looking to tighten things up on the IP front.

Writing for the World Intellectual Property Organization magazine, the 56-year-old says that he faces a key question of whether the solution to the piracy problem requires government and/or industry involvement, or a partnership of the two.

Weatherley begins by touching on the complex issue of content licensing and the domestic issues raised by the Hargreaves Review. However, he soon moves on to what many believe is one of the main drivers of infringement over the past decade – a failure by content distributors to move forward with technology.

“At the end of the day, the creative industry must take responsibility for its failure to keep pace with the digital age. Technology will always open up new ways to access content. If creators do not begin to embrace these technologies they will lose out, and by default, the market will be dictated by ‘open rights’ interest groups. The creative industry alone is responsible for not evolving fast enough. The music industry, for example, has spent years saying ‘no’ instead of ‘how?’,” Weatherley says.

Interestingly, the MP also says that the creative industries are very good at talking to themselves but notes they are doing little to educate the public and are even “losing the propaganda war.”

“In 2010, at the UN Worldwide Internet Governance Forum in Vilnius (Lithuania) it was shocking to see that no one from either industry or government was present to make a case for supporting the protection of IP rights. The Pirate Party, however, was there in full force arguing that all content should be made available for free,” Weatherley notes.

Echoing growing sentiments of many in the digital domain, the MP says that the “efficient and plausible way forward” would see the industry not only educating consumers but meeting their demands by offering “simple, affordable and legal access” to copyright-protected works.

“Proponents of piracy say downloading content legally is too complicated. Industry, therefore, needs to find innovative ways to ensure that content is easily available and in so doing make piracy a less attractive option. We need to let go of old dogma and identify and further develop new, workable solutions, Weatherley says.

But what if education plus fresh and innovative offerings can’t do the job of seriously reducing copyright infringement? Legislation can, it seems.

“Government must back up industry by putting the necessary enforcement mechanisms into place. This would include holding Internet Service Providers responsible if they knowingly facilitate illegal downloading practices and do not take steps to stop this form of piracy,” the MP states.

The issue of liability for third-party infringement has been well-trodden in the past 12 months, with both the music and movie industries taking the leading ISPs to the High Court in order to hold them responsible for the unauthorized file-sharing of their customers.

The evidence of subscriber infringement on sites such as The Pirate Bay is now considered enough to put ISPs on notice that they need to block sites to stop it. The big question now is what Weatherley envisions on the legislative front that isn’t already covered.

Will ISPs be expected to warn and disconnect infringing customers in order to maintain their safe harbor? Or perhaps actively blocking a wider range of sites once wide-scale infringement is established will be acceptable? A combination of the two might seal the deal but all options are very much political hot potatoes.

Time will tell, but in the meantime Weatherley signs off with a note to the industry.

“The creative sector needs to show greater flexibility and to be part of the solution,” he concludes.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and VPN services.

TorrentFreak: U.S. Army Base Runs Unlicensed Windows 7 Computers

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Ernesto. Original post: at TorrentFreak

microsoft-pirateThe United States is known for its aggressive stance when it comes to copyright infringements.

It therefore came as quite a surprise that the U.S. military had been using unlicensed logistics software for years, a case the Obama administration settled for $50 million last month.

However, a signal soldier serving in Qatar informs TorrentFreak that this incident may not be as unique as it sounds. According to the soldier, who we will name Mark, the soldiers’ education center at his base has 18 computers which all run unlicensed copies of Windows 7.

“All of the computers in this computer lab show that the operating system is not a genuine copy,” Mark says.

The picture below shows several of the computers in the education center of Camp As Sayliyah. The facility is open to all active and reserve military personnel as well as DOD civilians.

center

The computers have been running in this state for quite a while according to the soldier, and he is unaware of any attempts to properly license the software.

invalid

The picture below again shows a Windows 7 copy that hasn’t been activated. The product-ID displayed is a generic OEM one, which is often used on Dell machines.

workgroup

The desktop of the machines also shows a clear reminder that the Windows copy is not genuine. In addition, users also get the occasional popup warning that they “may be a victim of software counterfeiting.”

screen

Mark informs us that this is the first time he has seen a military base openly run unlicensed Windows systems. He brought up the issue with his direct superiors a few weeks ago, but that hasn’t changed anything.

“I am not anti-government in any way, but I have been in the army a long time and I feel the army should be kept honest and accountable for what they do, especially when it is so public and a hot button issue in these times,” Mark told us.

From the information we received it is unclear why the computers are not licensed. Perhaps the legitimate keys were lost, perhaps there are no valid keys available, or maybe the Army has fallen victim to the consumer unfriendliness of DRM.

What we do know is that the Department of Defense has a long-standing relationship with Microsoft. Earlier this year both parties signed a $617 million licensing deal to bring Windows 8 to the Army, Air Force, and Defense Information Systems Agency.

Considering this new deal, Microsoft will probably forgive the U.S. for running a few computers without a license.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and VPN services.

Krebs on Security: Hacked Via RDP: Really Dumb Passwords

This post was syndicated from: Krebs on Security and was written by: BrianKrebs. Original post: at Krebs on Security

Businesses spend billions of dollars annually on software and hardware to block external cyberattacks, but a shocking number of these same organizations shoot themselves in the foot by poking gaping holes in their digital defenses and then advertising those vulnerabilities to attackers. Today’s post examines an underground service that rents access to hacked PCs at organizations that make this all-too-common mistake.

Makost[dot]net is a service advertised on cybercrime forums which sells access to “RDPs”, mainly Microsoft Windows systems that have been configured (poorly) to accept “Remote Desktop Protocol” connections from the Internet. Windows ships with its own RDP interface built-in; to connect to another Windows desktop or server remotely, simply fire up the Remote Desktop Connection utility in Windows, type in the Internet address of the remote system, and enter the correct username and password for a valid user account on that remote system. Once the connection is made, you’ll see the remote computer’s desktop as if you were sitting right in front of it, and have access to all its programs and files.

Makhost[dot]net sells access to thousands of hacked RDP installations. Prices range from $3 to $10 based on a variety of qualities, such as the number of CPUs, the operating system version and the PC's upload and download speeds.

Makhost[dot]net sells access to thousands of hacked RDP installations. Prices range from $3 to $10 based on a variety of qualities, such as the number of CPUs, the operating system version and the PC’s upload and download speeds.

Makost currently is selling access to more than 6,000 compromised RDP installations worldwide. As we can see from the screen shot above, hacked systems are priced according to a combination of qualities of the server:

  • city, state, country of host;
  • administrative or regular user rights;
  • operating system version;
  • number and speed of computer processors;
  • amount of system memory;
  • network download and upload speeds;
  • NAT or direct

KrebsOnSecurity was given a glimpse inside the account of a very active user of this service, an individual who has paid more than $2,000 over the past six months to purchase some 425 hacked RDPs. I took the Internet addresses in this customer’s purchase history and ran WHOIS database lookups on them all in a bid to learn more about the victim organizations. As expected, roughly three-quarters of those addresses told me nothing about the victims; the addresses were assigned to residential or commercial Internet service providers.

But the WHOIS records turned up the names of businesses for approximately 25 percent of the addresses I looked up. The largest group of organizations on this list were in the manufacturing (21 victims) and retail services (20) industries. As I sought to categorize the long tail of other victim organizations, I was reminded of the Twelve Days of Christmas carol.

twelve healthcare providers;
ten education providers;
eight government agencies;
seven technology firms;
six insurance companies;
five law firms;
four financial institutions;
three architects;
two real estate firms;
and a forestry company (in a pear tree?)

How did these companies end up for sale on makost[dot]net? That is explained deftly in a report produced earlier this year by Trustwave, a company which frequently gets called in when companies experience a data breach that exposes credit card information. Trustwave looked at all of the breaches it responded to in 2012 and found — just as in years past — “IP remote access remained the most widely used method of infiltration in 2012. Unfortunately for victim organizations, the front door is still open.”

The report continues:

“Organizations that use third-party support typically use remote access applications like Terminal Services (termserv) or Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), pcAnywhere, Virtual Network Client (VNC), LogMeIn or Remote Administrator to access their customers’ systems. If these utilities are left enabled, attackers can access them as though they are legitimate system administrators.”

Source: Trustwave 2013 Global Security Report

Source: Trustwave 2013 Global Security Report

“Would-be attackers simply scan blocks of Internet addresses looking for hosts that respond to queries on one of these ports. Once they have a focused target list of Internet addresses with open remote administration ports, they can move on to the next part of the attack: The number 2 most-exploited weakness: deafult/weak credentials.”

In case the point wasn’t clear enough yet, I’ve gathered all of the username and password pairs picked by all 430 RDP-enabled systems that were sold to this miscreant. As evidenced by the list below, the attackers simply needed to scan the Internet for hosts listening on port 3389 (Microsoft RDP), identify valid usernames, and then try the same username as the password. In each of the following cases, the username and password are the same.

Some of these credential pairs even give you an idea of the type of organization involved, the employee account that was compromised (“intern,” “techsupport,”); the purpose of the hacked system (“payroll”, “fax,” “scanner,” “timeclock”); even the geographic location of the compromised PC within the organization (e.g., “front desk,” “conference room,” “garage”). Incredibly, some of the systems appear to be named after actual security features or backup devices (“symantec,” “sonicwall,” “sophos”):

owner owner
showroom showroom
operations operations
train train
test test
colin colin
robert robert
install install
besadmin besadmin
tony tony
guest guest
symantec symantec
stacey stacey
stephanie stephanie
jessica jessica
install install
frontdesk frontdesk
sophos sophos
tim tim
lisa lisa
guest guest
guest guest
timeclock timeclock
dale dale
djohnson djohnson
john john
staff staff
student student
cw cw
guest guest
inventory inventory
aspnet aspnet
scanner scanner
tablet1 tablet1
timeclock timeclock
rsmith rsmith
tara tara
gary gary
user user
billing1 billing1
shipping1 shipping1
warehouse warehouse
scott scott
cnc cnc
training training
personnel personnel
template template
training training
faxserver faxserver
nicole nicole
sales sales
jbrown jbrown
driver driver
ksmith ksmith
sys sys
engineering engineering
gking gking
guest guest
kclark kclark
kwebb kwebb
guest1 guest1
robert robert
AdMiNiStRaToR AdMiNiStRaToR
ipad ipad
rae rae
canon canon
shipping shipping
fax fax
remote1 remote1
mission mission
reporter reporter
dispatch dispatch
guard guard
rm rm
marcia marcia
sales sales
makik makik
kbrown kbrown
kbrown kbrown
ray ray
jrobinson jrobinson
shop shop
remote remote
dharris dharris
user user
bkexec bkexec
cmm cmm
toolcrib toolcrib
test test
temp temp
sbrown sbrown
dispatch dispatch
carpet carpet
laura laura
techsupport techsupport
bkexec bkexec
ganderson ganderson
buexec buexec
twadmin twadmin
acs acs
acs acs
bkexec bkexec
testu testu
bookkeeper bookkeeper
rtcservice rtcservice
jcampbell jcampbell
mlee mlee
email email
owner owner
bethb bethb
sisadmin sisadmin
cmartinez cmartinez
beadmin beadmin
mattp mattp
conf conf
prod prod
ws ws
jackie jackie
tempadmin tempadmin
install install
support support
wendy wendy
ricoh ricoh
simmons simmons
agarcia agarcia
jens jens
prod prod
timeclock timeclock
specialist specialist
christine christine
training training
sqlexec sqlexec
production production
testuser testuser
garage garage
sms sms
ldap ldap
sharepoint sharepoint
epicor epicor
epicor epicor
sandy sandy
resource resource
carrie carrie
nancy nancy
remote remote
lisa lisa
sales sales
kristina kristina
facilities facilities
erika erika
seagate seagate
mmills mmills
checkout checkout
susan susan
peter peter
insurance insurance
Administrator Administrator
maureen maureen
mike mike
training training
av av
schedule schedule
brad brad
timeclock timeclock
awilson awilson
spadmin spadmin
cecilia cecilia
renee renee
fax fax
sonny sonny
joey joey
caroot caroot
xray xray
dallen dallen
triage triage
ewilliams ewilliams
djordan djordan
clerk clerk
danny danny
bkupexec bkupexec
bu bu
monroe monroe
mmiller mmiller
seagate seagate
mmurray mmurray
recruiting recruiting
jsmith jsmith
jwilson jwilson
buexec buexec
mikeg mikeg
jking jking
bobc bobc
caroot caroot
kronos kronos
jgreen jgreen
bkupexec bkupexec
lab lab
jaime jaime
davidf davidf
kronos kronos
xray xray
rbrown rbrown
bizhub bizhub
julie julie
bec bec
checkout checkout
tuser tuser
bjohnson bjohnson
jbox jbox
dataentry dataentry
itsupport itsupport
sharepoint sharepoint
pc pc
volunteer volunteer
mail mail
konica konica
mill mill
canon canon
volunteer volunteer
heidi heidi
carla carla
tracy tracy
frontdesk frontdesk
driver driver
operations operations
trainer trainer
accounts accounts
labuser labuser
production production
jsmith jsmith
sup890 sup890
installer installer
help help
intern intern
la la
timeclock timeclock
confrm confrm
assembly assembly
john john
spadmin spadmin
jdoe jdoe
bloomberg bloomberg
resume resume
attach attach
assembly assembly
faxes faxes
faxes faxes
aevans aevans
tjones tjones
dbagent dbagent
Scanner Scanner
frontoffice frontoffice
Billing Billing
Nurse Nurse
MS MS
buexec buexec
xray xray
joan joan
frontdesk frontdesk
bkupexec bkupexec
kjohnson kjohnson
marcia marcia
kbrown kbrown
str str
awilliams awilliams
lsmith lsmith
voicemail voicemail
lsmith lsmith
wilkerson wilkerson
wilkerson wilkerson
wilkerson wilkerson
faxadmin faxadmin
faxadmin faxadmin
faxadmin faxadmin
vismail vismail
aspuser aspuser
jh jh
pmartin pmartin
tammy tammy
melanie melanie
mfg mfg
dwright dwright
sharepoint sharepoint
mobile mobile
forms forms
conference conference
examroom examroom
insurance insurance
confroom confroom
archiver archiver
Production Production
restore restore
Email Email
export export
Payroll Payroll
schulung schulung
tablet tablet
temp temp
cci cci
michele michele
jimm jimm
techsupport techsupport
exadmin exadmin
randerson randerson
ecopy ecopy
triage triage
ecopy ecopy
pool pool
jcampbell jcampbell
labcorp labcorp
jtaylor jtaylor
dmartin dmartin
markd markd
rsvp rsvp
beadmin beadmin
ataylor ataylor
police police
backup backup
template template
presentation presentation
setup setup
jeffm jeffm
spiceworks spiceworks
labcorp labcorp
croom croom
vorlage vorlage
summit summit
exchange exchange
user2 user2
corpconf corpconf
exadmin exadmin
rrobinson rrobinson
tserver tserver
faxes faxes
faxes faxes
cmm cmm
west west
shipping shipping
SYSTRAY SYSTRAY
scanuser scanuser
besadmin besadmin
davidm davidm
labcorp labcorp
cnc cnc
faxes faxes
faxes faxes
assist assist
toshiba toshiba
labcorp labcorp
exadmin exadmin
tadmin tadmin
resumes resumes
resumes resumes
scan1 scan1
shipping shipping
adminsch adminsch
exchangeadmin exchangeadmin
debbie debbie
edi edi
kate kate
exam exam
exam2 exam2
workstation2 workstation2
trainer2 trainer2
scanner scanner
cs cs
books books
katie katie
Chief Chief
ricoh ricoh
konica konica
laurie laurie
classroom classroom
pt pt
mill mill
staff2 staff2
research research
frontdesk frontdesk
dispatch2 dispatch2
pete pete
smiller smiller
Office Office
conference conference
bookkeeper bookkeeper
sales1 sales1
router router
user1 user1
fax fax
exchadmin exchadmin
stacy stacy
oncall oncall
postgres postgres
toolroom toolroom
backups backups
ricoh ricoh
confroom confroom
production production
jake jake
kitchen kitchen
client2 client2
archive archive
ws ws
delia delia
qbdataserviceuser qbdataserviceuser
brac brac
spd spd
sonicwall sonicwall
rec rec
itadmin itadmin
pack pack
volunteer volunteer
mail mail
printer printer
south south
testing testing
testing testing
parts parts
conferenceroom conferenceroom
voicemail voicemail
reports reports
parts parts
voicemail voicemail
shipping shipping
scanner scanner
training training
watchdog watchdog
amanda amanda
user4 user4
student1 student1
lo lo
jackie jackie
scan scan
classroom classroom
client1 client1
client1 client1

If you’ve read this far, I hope it’s clear by now that the easiest way to get your systems hacked using RDP is to pick crappy credentials. Unfortunately, far too many organizations that end up for sale on services like this one are there because they outsourced their tech support to some third-party company that engages in this sort of sloppy security. Fortunately, a quick external port scan of your organization’s Internet address ranges should tell you if any RDP-equipped systems are enabled. Here are a few more tips on locking down RDP installations.

Readers who liked this story may also enjoy this piece — Service Sells Access to Fortune 500 Firms — which examined a similar service for selling hacked RDP systems.

Raspberry Pi: Kids: we’re giving away 2000 Pi kits for your class, or for your home projects!

This post was syndicated from: Raspberry Pi and was written by: liz. Original post: at Raspberry Pi

You met Lance Howarth, the CEO of the Raspberry Pi Foundation (this means he heads up our charitable giving), when he joined us earlier in the autumn. Today Lance has some news for you – and a very silly hat.

Lance says:

Ho Ho Ho!

He’s leaving presents under the tree, not stealing them. Honest.

Here at Pi Towers we are getting into the festive spirit, and we’ve been thinking how best to pay back the goodwill our community has shown us over the last year. So, in support of “Hour of Code”  as part of Computer Science Education week, we got together with our friends from Google and we are going to give away Pis for Christmas. That’s right: we’re giving away up to 2000 Google Raspberry Pis to anyone under the age of 18 in the United Kingdom. To qualify for a free Pi you need to do one of two things. Either:

  • Get your school to do an “Hour of Code” between now and the end of term and we’ll send a Pi for every participant to your school (up to a maximum of 20), or
  • Design a “My Pi Project” poster and send it to us here at Pi Towers, and we’ll send you your own Raspberry Pi.
How do I take part?

You can get more information on Hour of Code week from our friends at Code.org. They have lots of great ideas of what you can do for the Hour Of Code. If you are a member of Code Club, how about getting your class to have a go at their festive project Christmas Capers? To qualify for your Google Pi, just ask your teacher to register here. At the end of next week we’ll take the first thousand Raspberry Pis and start shipping them out on a first come, first served basis, so the Pis should be waiting for you when you come back to school in January.

Not everyone is going to get the opportunity participate in the Hour of Code week, but don’t worry, you can still get a free Google Pi. All you need to do is design a poster showing us what you think would be a cool Raspberry Pi project. This might be something to do with your pet, like an automatic cat flap or feeder; something to do with photography, like looking at the thermal image of your house; or something festive like controlling the Christmas lights so they flash along to music. If fact, anything will do, we are just looking to see how imaginative you can be and to learn what you think would be a cool project. Once you have designed your poster you need to get your parent to print this form out, fill it in, and then send it with your poster to us by post at:

Poster Competition
Raspberry Pi Foundation
Mount Pleasant House
Huntingdon Road
Cambridge
CB3 0RN

You can also send us a scan of your poster and completed form by email at postercompetition@raspberrypi.org.

Your poster needs to be with us by the 8th of January, so you’ll have plenty of time to get this done over the Christmas break. So get thinking!

Who ate all the Pis? Santa, of course!

A couple of notes: this promotion is only open to schools and kids in the UK (this requirement is placed on us by our partners at Google UK). You’ll receive Google Pi kits, which include a cased Model B Raspberry Pi, an SD card, a power supply, a copy of The MagPi, some projects recipe cards and a Getting Started guide. If you are a teacher and you send us a successful application, we will be getting in touch later in 2014 to talk about what you’re doing with the Raspberry Pis.

Raspberry Pi: The Wolfram Language and Mathematica on Raspberry Pi, for free

This post was syndicated from: Raspberry Pi and was written by: eben. Original post: at Raspberry Pi

One of the best things about working on Raspberry Pi has been the opportunity to meet groups of people who are trying to bring about the same sort of change in the teaching of other subjects that we’re aiming for in computing. One great example is the computer-based math(s) (CBM) movement, which aims to redefine the teaching of mathematics in schools away from mechanical calculation and towards problem solving. From their website:

The importance of math to jobs, society, and thinking has exploded over the last few decades. Meanwhile, math education is in worldwide crisis—diverging more and more from what’s required by countries, industry, further education… and students.

Computers are key to bridging this chasm: only when they do the calculating is math applicable to hard questions across many contexts. Real-life math has been transformed by computer-based calculation; now mainstream math education needs this fundamental change too.

computerbasedmath.org is the project to perform this reset. We’re building a completely new math curriculum with computer-based computation at its heart, while campaigning at all levels to redefine math education away from historical hand-calculating techniques and toward real-life problem-solving situations that drive high-concept math understanding and experience.

Today, at the CBM education summit in New York, we announced a partnership with Wolfram Research to bundle a free copy of Mathematica and the Wolfram Language into future Raspbian images. We believe this will make the Pi a first-class platform for teaching CBM techniques to children of all ages. As Conrad Wolfram said today: “Coders will be able to use the power of Mathematica’s maths out of the box, not only enriching what they can do but also showing off the power and importance of maths.”

Plotting 3d graphs with Mathematica on Pi

Deeply inappropriate use of the Heaviside step function

Future Raspbian images will ship with the Wolfram Language and Mathematica by default; existing users with at least 600MB of free space on their SD card can install them today by typing:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install wolfram-engine

You’ll find Mathematica in the app launcher under the Education menu.

We’d like to thank the team at Wolfram Research for the enormous amount of effort they’ve put to get the Wolfram Language and Mathematica running well on the Pi. Over the next few months we’ll be running a series of blog posts from Wolfram exploring some of the neat tricks you can get up to with them. This is going to be fun!

TorrentFreak: Torrent Site Admin Who Turned Pigsty into Datacenter Jailed for a Year

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Andy. Original post: at TorrentFreak

powerbitsWhile there are undoubtedly file-sharing sites in existence operated as individuals’ sole source of income, many sites are run as side-projects by people in full-time employment elsewhere.

It’s common for sites to be run by people employed in the computing industry or by those still in education and hoping to get into that area in the future. However, a case brought to a conclusion yesterday is probably the first in which the accused was a farmer.

The case, brought by Antipiratbyran and the IFPI, dates back to December 2011 and claims that the defendant, a man from Sweden, was responsible for administering the PowerBits private BitTorrent tracker between 2007 and 2009.

As is so often the case, the plaintiffs in the case claimed that PowerBits was a “commercial file-sharing service” and its admin “regularly received and assimilated payments from the users.”

Those payments took the form of donations from PowerBits users but were framed as direct payment for illegal content by the anti-piracy companies. Making matters worse, the tax authorities said the income had been generated in the course of running an Internet business and as such was both undeclared and untaxed.

In June 2012 the Varberg District Court accepted that the then 34-year-old hadn’t uploaded content himself but had indeed assisted in the copyright infringements of PowerBits users. He was also found guilty of tax and accounting offenses relating to the income generated from the site.

The case went to appeal and yesterday the decision was handed down.

A Court of Appeal judge upheld the earlier ruling and found the now 35-year-old guilty of aiding in copyright infringement. He was also found guilty of accounting fraud and was sentenced to one year in jail.

In addition to the custodial sentence the man was told to pay almost $62,000 against an undeclared income of $126,600 generated from the 65,000 member site during 2007 and 2008, some of which was spent converting a pigsty into a datacenter.

Source: Torrent Site Admin Who Turned Pigsty into Datacenter Jailed for a Year

Raspberry Pi: The world’s largest Raspberry Pi display?

This post was syndicated from: Raspberry Pi and was written by: liz. Original post: at Raspberry Pi

David Whale, a STEM ambassador and all-round good egg, mailed me last week to tell me about a project he’d been involved in at Goodwood race course.

The Greenpower Education Trust run an electric car series for schools and businesses, where students and staff build electric race cars, and compete in 4hr mileage marathons around the country.

Essex Goblins 2013

They’ve been doing a lot of work with Raspberry Pis (many of the cars have a Raspberry Pi inside), and asked David if he could use a Raspberry Pi to populate a giant display at the Goodwood course with race information. Ninety six entrants’ information needed to be displayed, so David produced a system whereby the top three cars were always displayed at the top of the board, and everybody else scrolled down the rest of the page on a loop.

David says:

One of the things I often get asked in my role as a STEM Ambassador, is ”What’s it like to be an engineer”. I’ve thought about this a lot and honed my elevator pitch quite a lot now, but there is one phrase that always comes out “It’s a huge lot of fun, and hard work”. I certainly had a lot of fun and did a lot of hard work (at the last minute!) putting this one together. The program was finished 11pm Saturday night, I boxed it all up, went to bed, got up at 5.30am Sunday and drove to Goodwood to install and run it. But it all worked in the end!

You can read about the build from the bottom up (and download code; have a think about displays and data processing; and marvel at the fact that there’s anybody in the world still using Delphi) on David’s blog. It’s a really thorough write-up, and one we think you’ll get a lot out of.

Meanwhile, if you’re interested in getting involved with The Greenpower Challenge and building your own electric car (there are categories for everybody over the age of nine), you can learn more at greenpower.co.uk.

Raspberry Pi: 1.75 million sold so far – and 1 million made in the UK

This post was syndicated from: Raspberry Pi and was written by: liz. Original post: at Raspberry Pi

We’ve reached a bit a landmark. As you’ll know if you’ve been following us since we started documenting what happens when you decide to make a tiny computer for education back in 2011, the first Raspberry Pis were made in China. Back in September 2012, we started moving manufacture to a plant owned by Sony in South Wales. Gradually, both of our manufacturing partners, RS Components and Premier Farnell, have reshored all the production of Raspberry Pis to that factory, and for the last few months, all the Pis you buy have been made in the UK.

The really big news today is that the Pencoed factory has made its millionth British Raspberry Pi. Add these to the existing Chinese ones, and that makes one and three quarter million Raspberry Pis out there worldwide, the majority of them made right here at home. Sony’s Pencoed factory has just won a slew of trophies at the British Factory Awards: they took home the Best Factory award, Best Electronics Factory, Best Factory for Innovation – and were highly commended for their work on minimising energy use and environmental impact. They’re great to work with, their quality control process and attention to detail is exceptional (as those of you with UK Pis have been happy to tell us), and we can’t think of anyone who deserves those awards more.

What’s happened to the millionth British Raspberry Pi, you ask? Sony have made us a gold-plated case to keep it in, and we’ll be displaying it proudly here at Pi Towers.

Rory Cellan-Jones, the BBC’s Technological Correspondent (and a man without whose blog there might never have been a Raspberry Pi – it was only when some personal footage he’d taken with his phone went viral that we realised that hundreds of thousands of you might actually be interested in buying the thing) dropped into our offices last week to do some filming about the millionth Pi. Keep an eye on BBC news bulletins today, and especially on BBC Breakfast – you might spot us there!

Updated to add: the BBC has a big article by Rory on its news website, along with some video of Gareth talking to Rory at the factory and showing him how the Pi is built, and an interview with Eben. Head over and have a look.

SANS Internet Storm Center, InfoCON: green: CSAM Week 1 Recap, (Sun, Oct 6th)

This post was syndicated from: SANS Internet Storm Center, InfoCON: green and was written by: SANS Internet Storm Center, InfoCON: green. Original post: at SANS Internet Storm Center, InfoCON: green

CSAM Week 1 Recap

We kicked off the tenth annual Cybersecurity Awareness Month with the official theme of ‘Shared Responsibility’.  We all succeed by furthering the education and awareness of the community we live as a whole, not just the technical folks.   Adrien talked earlier this week about how we at the Internet Storm Center are all about logs, and the basis for much of our work has always been the Dshield project.  The Dshield database of information is provided by everyone who contributes, thus supporting the efforts of the ISC. 

The other half of the equation for the ‘Shared Responsibility’ of the Internet Storm Center is the Handlers. The Handlers of the ISC are all volunteers, with day jobs to take up the other half of our brains not committed here.  Of course the ISC is not the only volunteer opportunity that we as security professionals can actively engage to bring our expertise and experience together to share amongst ourselves and others.  One that comes to mind that is active in many areas across the globe is the Information Systems Security Association

Where else can we help? Submit your comments to us below, and help spread the word!

Tony d0t Carothers –gmail

(c) SANS Internet Storm Center. http://isc.sans.edu Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.