10.19.16: What is DDOS, Willa Cather, & The Bookshelf

Oct 19, 2016

A group calling itself New World Hacking took down the websites for BBC Global in January, 2016 through denial of service – or DDOS attacks. Other hacks have hit the Trump campaign and MasterCard. The hackers say it’s just the beginning. That could affect all of us, thanks to our increasingly connected lifestyles. Our tech dude explains the internet of broken things.

Also, novelist Willa Cather wrote of pioneers on the plains from a farm in Peterborough. More than 65 years after her death, a series of local events and newly published letters reveal the hidden side of a fiercely guarded writer.

Listen to the full show. 

What is DDOS?

In January, 2016 the BBC experienced one of the largest and highest profile distributed denial of service (or DDOS) attacks to date. "New World Hacking," the group behind the attack, promised that it would be just the beginning. DDOS attacks have since prevented access to web sites for political campaigns, banks, and other financial websites including MasterCard, Visa, and PayPal.

For more on what DDOS means and why denial of service has become the most publicized tool for digital sabotage, we're turning to Rob Fleischman: principal engineer at Akamai Technologies - the group which restored service to the BBC in that 2016 attack - and our go-to tech guy.

Homeless Hackers

Hackers are big players in San Francisco's new tech economy - but as more Silicon Valley workers and tech money move in, long-time residents are being priced out. Homelessness is on the rise, becoming a challenge for the city - and for hackers. Holly J McDede checked in with one hackerspace to learn more. This story was originally produced for Crosscurrents.   

You can listen to this story again at PRX.org

Willa Cather's New Hampshire Legacy

This June, Franklin Pierce University earned a prestigious honor--  it became the first university in New Hampshire to receive a "Big Read" grant from the National Endowment of the Arts, just one of 77 organizations across the country were awarded one. They'll be using the grant to illuminate the life and work of novelist Willa Cather, who, although her books are set in the plains of Nebraska, spent a great deal of time living and writing in the Monadnock region. The university is hosting a Willa Cather walk on October 21st  at her writing retreat in Jaffrey.

Dr. Donna Decker is a Professor of English at Franklin Pierce University and heads its “Women in Leadership” program.

Dr. Andrew Jewell is a Professor of Digital Projects at Cather's alma-mater, the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, and editor of the Willa Cather archive. He is also the co-editor of the book The Selected Letters of Willa Cather.

The Bookshelf: Short Story Writer Allegra Hyde

As part of NHPR's series The Bookshelf with Peter Biello, we're hearing about another author with a New Hampshire connection: Allegra Hyde. Her new collection of short stories, Of This New World, is the winner of the John Simmons Short Fiction Award from University of Iowa Press.

You can learn more about Allegra Hyde and listen to this full story again here: The Bookshelf: Short Story Writer Allegra Hyde