Will Newman

Philosophy student at Rutgers.

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Hoardr: Flickr as a cloud backup service

After years of being relegated to nothing more than a container for whacky cat antics, it turns out the humble Gif is capable of more than meets the eye. Specifically, it is able to carry more than just image data – you can actually append whatever you want to a Gif and still have it function as normal. This has a fairly scary implication, since it means any Gif on the internet could theoretically be hiding malicious code or other files that you want nothing to do with. A slightly less nefarious and more interesting use case lies in the fact that we can get files into or past a system that may not usually accept that filetype. And that’s what Hoardr does – it packs whatever files you want into gifs and turns your Flickr account into a cloud backup service.

Hoardr uses zip archives in particular due to the nature of both filetypes. Simply changing the file extension of a combined file...

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Mad Decent Crypto

Just yesterday my team and I took 3rd place at HackRU for our submission, MAD DECENT CRYPTO. The application performs steganographic encryption on messages it receives through a text message, and sends a decryption key to the recipient specified in the message. The messages are encrypted into pictures of Riff Raff, which we pull from Flickr and then post in a stream. The recipient gets a timestamp along with their key, which they use to find their image in the stream. When they enter their key, the image is decrypted and they receive the message. As soon as the message is decrypted the image is deleted from the server. We used a steganographic PHP class, the Flickr API, and the Twilio API for sending/receiving text messages.

Check it out here

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Shopify For WordPress

I just finished up and released a WordPress plugin for pulling and display products from Shopify web stores. If you’d like to check it out and jump into using it you can find it on Github right here. If you’d like to know a little more about it and the motivation behind creating it, keep reading.


A few months back a project I was working on had an e-commerce aspect that was going to be built using Shopify. While very good at what it is – an e-commerce platform – Shopify doesnt quite have the functionality or allow the customization that warrant calling it a full-fledged content management system. Without the ability for custom content types, custom metadata, and the fairly limiting Liquid template language, its usefulness is definitely on the low end when creating dynamic and feature-intensive websites.

The site in question, however, required a wide array of content types...

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