Jivan Achreja is a UNC alum where he focused on Biology, Chemistry, and Entrepreneurship, and has written for Singularity Hub. Putting off medical school to pursue start up life, he worked as CIO of INRFOOD and Smashing Boxes in Durham, NC. When not teching it up, he loves to read, run, and spend time with his family. You can catch up with him on Google+.
For over two years, denizens of the darker parts of the Internet have conducted various transactions on an area of the Internet called Silk Road. Silk Road served as an online black market for anything and everything nefarious you could possibly imagine. Think of it as an Ebay for everything illegal. Services and products sold included: Drugs, Hitmen, Weapons, Paraphernalia, Child Pornography and Forgeries - to name the basics.
Silk Road was supposed to be completely anonymous, until the FBI shut down the site and arrested Ross William Ulbricht, the 29-year-old creator of Silk Road.
Ulbricht's story is a lesson and shocking reminder about digital privacy to any of the two-billion-plus users of the Internet worldwide. First off, let's dive into the technology behind Silk Road and the TOR Network. TOR itself is short for “The Onion Network” and is required to access marketplaces and sites like Silk Road. Sites like these are part of the “Deep Web” which are sites that are not indexed or searchable by search engines like Google. TOR provides users a method for accessing areas of the internet in total anonymity through a combination of computer networking and cryptographic techniques.
How it Works
Whenever you type in a website's address, you send small amounts of data called packets through your network to your ISP. Your ISP then relays these packets out to wherever they are attempting to reach on the internet and allows for the exchange of data back and forth. If you want to watch where someone is spending their time on the internet, packets of data are your trail of breadcrumbs that you can monitor using a network tool like Wireshark
Wireshark and similar network tools work by allowing someone to listen to what's being sent over a network by analyzing inbound and outbound traffic. Analyzing packets over ethernet or wifi gives you access to any data being sent or received in a network. Keep in mind that anything sent over an unsecured connection is generally sent plain text. This includes all of your cookies, passwords, and other personal information. Having access to this sort of data can lead to fun pranks or, alternatively, your credit card information. --Read On
Internet Summit is returning to the Triangle in it's sixth year of success. Since its inception by TechMedia founders Scott Hedrick and Eric Gregg, the conference has become a fixture in the South Eastern tech circuit. I spoke with Scott this week to find out what's in store for the attendees of the “Largest Digital Gathering in the Southeast” this year.
Internet Summit will be held November 12th-14th at its usual spot in the Raleigh Convention Center. What started six years ago as a small 600-person event has grown to over 2000 attendees -- in similar fashion to the expansion of the tech community in the Triangle.
Part of the secret to Internet Summit's success has been focusing on diversifying their content and overall conference experience year to year. Last year, Internet Summit debuted a 2-day spinoff focused on various entrepreneur-oriented programming with panels, demos, talks, and networking called Startup Summit.
Startup Summit is back with a vengeance this year, and is not exclusive to entrepreneurs this year. The goal of this change is to “Connect entrepreneurs to potential customers and investors with the intention of showcasing what's going on in the Triangle,” said Hedrick.
Years before I knew The Escapist's team personally, I was familiar with their work. In 2007, The Escapist began publishing the world's most watched video game review series, Zero Punctuation.
Outside of video reviews, The Escapist covers a wide range of topics from exclusive sneak peaks of the latest titles to detailed pieces on the lifestyle and culture of video games. Their success catapulted them into a position of online leadership by providing a voice for the video game community.
Alexander Macris The Escapist's founder, describes the site as “Your Escape From the Everyday.”
The Escapist Expo bridges the online and physical worlds by serving as a 3-day escape in “real life” over one epic weekend. Alex mentioned that “The Escapist Expo has always been in the making, even in the original business plan for the company.” The timing just needed to be perfect. The first convention had a tremendous response, with almost 6,000 conference attendees congregating in Durham over the weekend. Last year, the Expo was held primarily in a portion of the Durham Convention Center and the Carolina Theater.
This year, they are going bigger. Much bigger. Double, in fact. --Read On