Lifehacker’s top ten of 2010

The end is near and Lifehacker is looking back on their favorite how-to articles from 2010. We found at least half of these interesting, including the hidden HTPC, lockpicking, and micro-TV-b-gone showcased in the image above. But you can also find tips on using your WRT54G router, stacking malted beverages, and making things glow through chemistry. If your heart goes out to our plague carrying house-mates there’s a no-kill mouse trap. They’ve even included a hack to add a USB port to your car… an article which we covered back in 2009. Enjoy!

Homebrew Wii via the bannerbomb exploit

bannerbomb_exploit

The Twilight Princess hack doesn’t work on newer versions of the Nintendo Wii, but thanks to a new exploit for the Wii, homebrew is still possible. Using an SD card and a few files, you can have the homebrew channel up and running in no time. The folks at Lifehacker show us how it’s done. It’s good to see that the Wii modding community is still in full force. Hopefully, this won’t turn into a back and forth battle between modders and Nintendo, like it has with Sony and the PSP.

Crack WEP using BackTrack

wepcrack04

Lifehacker wrote a guide for cracking a WiFi network’s WEP password using BackTrack. BackTrack is a Linux live CD used for security testing and comes with the tools needed to break WEP. Not just any wireless card will work for this; you need one that supports packet injection. The crack works by collecting legitimate packets then replaying them several times in order to generate data. They point out that this method can be hit-or-miss, especially if there are few other users on the network, as the crack requires authenticated packets. We covered cracking WEP before, but using BackTrack should smooth out compatibility issues.

Wireshark 1.2.0 available

wireshark

Everyone’s favorite packet sniffer has a new stable release. Wireshark 1.2.0 has a slew of new features. They’ve included a 64-bit Windows installer and improved their OSX support. A number of new protocols are recognized and filter selection autocompletes. One of the more interesting additions is the combined GeoIP and OpenStreetMap lookups. We’re excited about this new release as Wireshark has proven an indispensable tool in the past for figure out exactly what was going on on our network.

[via Lifehacker]

Boxee and Apple TV

boxee

We’ve been following Boxee (not Boxxy) since its public alpha debut last Summer. We were captivated by it. Who expected a project built off of code originally intended for hacked Xboxes would be shown on NBC’s Today Show? We’ve been promised internet connected set top boxes for years, but it seems like Boxee is here to stay for two solid reasons: 1. It’s free. 2. Major content providers have finally figured out how to publish online and Boxee supports them. You can replace your network television with on demand content from Hulu, ABC, and the like.

One of the most affordable platforms currently supported by Boxee is the Apple TV. Lifehacker has a guide for installing Boxee on an Apple TV. You prepare a USB flash drive that is then used to patch the stock firmware. Once installed you can take advantage fun features like downloading torrents directly to the box.

Securing your data

Lifehacker has published an overview of some of the many ways you can secure your data. The post was prompted by recently released browser vulnerabilities: first IE, then Firefox. They cover techniques far beyond just browser security, like how to properly wipe your iPhone. They mention disk encryption go-to TrueCrypt along with password management tools like KeePass. They also suggest using temporary credit cards to mitigate the impact of fraud.

[photo: Rija 2.0]

Chrome and Firefox showing JavaScript improvements

With new betas for both Firefox and Chrome being released, CNET decided to find out how good their JavaScript performance was. Both browsers got a performance boost with Firefox slightly edging out Chrome. You have to turn on TraceMonkey, Firefox’s new Javascript engine in 3.1b1, to get the improvement. We never thought Google was that serious about building a new browser. They just want wanted Firefox to get their act together and suck less. It seems to be working.

[via Lifehacker]