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It was a cold November evening in the bullpen at Oregon State University. uberj and ngoke were sipping tea and getting work done, when the idea of an impromptu hackthon came into our minds. At the strike of 5, we powered ourselves up into coding mode and set off to hack away at a Python Soundcloud API that would allow us to download music from the streams.

We first attempted to use Mechanize to scrape the pages. uberj had previously used Burp to monitor what requests the browser was sending to Soundcloud and found that it was passing a "stream token", which was needed to request the stream, and the song's "uid". And we figured we needed to have a valid cookie as well. Security by obsurity much?

We ran into a slight hitch. We were able to compose a valid URL with the stream token and the uid, but we weren't able to print out the ...more

Ian Milligan, a math graduate student, gave the LUG an introduction to Haskell. Haskell is a functional programming language that is quite different from the usual imperative programming languages. We did calculated Fib numbers and generators (infinite lists on the fly) Haskell-style. It was an intense experience that left several of us dazed, but it was interesting to see something different. At the end, here was our demo code.

module Demo where 
import Prelude hiding (fst)

    function notation doesn't ...more

Beaver Bar Camp 8 was a large success. For those who don't know, Barcamp is ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. It is an intense event with discussions, demos, and interaction from attendees. This year, Mozilla signed on to generously sponsor BBC8 and gave a focused, hands-on workshop on Web Security. Along with Mozilla was ThumbArcade who also sponsored BBC8 and hosted a couple speed-hack sessions and commentary on how Apple killed the publisher.

barcamp board

Not only did companies give talks but students and former students as well. For example, Ben Kero, who recently gave a talk last meeting about ...more

GPG Powerpoint Presentation

Ben Kero, former OSU student and current Mozilla employee, came down to Corvallis to give a talk on GNU Privacy Guard (GPG) encryption and key-signing. A crowd of one PSU student visited as well to help create this web of trust. After Ben's presentation, which entailed a Bradley Manning example and spamming Ben's IRC nick, everyone went around to each other to sign each other's PGP keys. For example, here is my PGP key. Along with that, there was pizza.

Creating and Signing GPG Keys

The first step to key-signing is to actually generate GPG public and private keys (check the SSH guide for general information on public and private key pairs)

How do these keys work......more

In what many refer to as "the golden days", the OSU LUG was highly active in promoting Mozilla, namely celebrating the 50th, 100th, and 200th downloads of Firefox in creative ways: a lot of sidewalk chalk, high-altitude weather balloons, and for the finale...a crop circle. Led by the current founders of Cloudkick, they were able to pull off some cool displays. OSU LUG takes inspiration from its predecessors to do the same. Below is their story.

Take Back the Sidewalk

"It was Wednesday night when several of us were throwing around ideas as to what we could possibly do for the 50 million download contest. After thinking of a bunch of ideas, we thought of using chalk to draw a huge Firefox logo on the quad outside the Memorial Union Building at Oregon State University. The idea was pretty cool, but, being students, we couldn't really find the time during the week. Finally, Friday arrived, and we were itching ...more