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Our Yappie Bracket Champion is…

After three rounds of play, our Yappie Bracket Challenge has a champion: Kentucky YMCA Youth Association!

They brought together their incredible youth to contribute to their Yapp, growing their followers by more than 1,000. Look for a feature on the awesome organization early next week.

YBChallenge

Thanks to all of our participants, their followers and everyone who voted. All 8 Yappers made our first foray into March (and April) Madness exceptional!

What the Tech?! OpenSSL

heartbleedOpenSSLnoun;
The most popular open-source library used to implement secure encryptions for websites, e-mail servers and applications. SSL stands for ‘Secure Sockets Layer’, and OpenSSL simply means that anyone with the means can contribute to

You’ve likely heard a lot about OpenSSL lately because of Heartbleed, the security issue that was reported last week. And you’ve probably been told to change your password on every site you care about (if you haven’t, you should). An error was added into the OpenSSL code that allowed anyone who knew how to read chunks of memory and retrieve extensive security information (like passwords and cookies) that are usually protected by encryption. The vulnerability affected about 500,000 secure sites running OpenSSL, which is about 66% of the Internet.

The bug (called Heartbleed because it occurred in the heartbeat extension within the code base) was present for two years before being discovered and patched last week. If you’re running Android on your mobile phone, you can use the Heartbleed Detector app to tell if your information has been compromised. Apple doesn’t use OpenSSL on any of it’s operating systems.

Now that you’ve got a grip on the news story, go change your passwords.

 

A Note About “Heartbleed”

Yesterday, it was reported that a large security bug was found and is being repaired. You can read more about it from the BBC here.

We are aware of the OpenSSL “Heartbleed” vulnerability and have worked with our hosting vendor to upgrade OpenSSL to an unaffected version. We have rekeyed, reissued, and updated our certificates, as well as updated relevant passwords.

In layman’s terms, we think we’re in the clear. But, while we have no reason to believe that any private information was accessed via this vulnerability, we would recommend that Yapp users update their password as a precaution.

-The Yapp Team

What the Tech?! Multi-hop Mesh Networking

 

Never heard of it? It’s all around.
Multi-hop Mesh Networking

Multi-hop Mesh Networking, v;
Using connected devices within range of each other to create a network of connections to the Internet. A mesh network is a web of linked devices working together to provide the least expensive and strongest connection to the Internet. Basically, it is made up of nodes (like your smartphones, tablets and computers) that distribute data to and through one another to get to the Internet via the most stable route possible.

Recently, the app Open Garden — which has previously been able to achieve linking your various devices to a small, personal network — has expanded to the “multi-hop” part of the mesh networking world; this means linking your smartphone to your neighbors tablet and his or her neighbors smartphone to get the best possible connection to the Web. By using mesh networking and sharing data, users of the app create a crowdsourced network that can support connections at gatherings. If it becomes a popular enough practice, it could be used at conferences, farmers’ markets, festivals, and plenty more events to offer an inexpensive solution to wireless connectivity.

Right now, apps like Open Garden aren’t used en masse, which makes the network weaker. Once it (and possibly other apps that catch on) further penetrate the connected market, it’s possible that data and connection sharing will be become a more widespread way to access wireless Internet.

5 Apps to Zen Out

5 Apps to Zen Out

 

Ever thought of your smartphone as the key to your daily zen? Probably not.

There are tons of great apps to help measure your health and stress, or to guide you through meditations and yoga. We’ve picked out 5 that you can use whether you’re at home or wandering through the Spring streets of a big city.

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Celebrating Autism Awareness with Apps

Autism Awareness MonthApril 2 is World Autism Awareness Day, kicking off a month of Autism awareness. We changed our blog header for the month to show our support for the Autism community with a Yapp-colored puzzle piece, and are planning a month-long series of featured apps that help those with Autism spectrum disorders overcome some of the challenges they face.

Today, we’re checking out Toca Band, which has gone free for World Autism Awareness Day.

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