Learn All About Cyber Security With This Board Game Starring (What Else?) Potato Pirates

Codomo
Codomo

Our private information is all over the internet, whether we realize it or not. And while cyber security is an increasingly important aspect of everyday life, it's not easy to actually understand how it all works. But Codomo, an education technology company based in Singapore, has found a way to soften the blow through a board game that breaks down the inner workings of the internet and cyber security with the help of pirate potatoes (obviously).

In Potato Pirates 2: Enter the Spudnet (which just launched its Kickstarter), you control an individual pirate potato that is connected to other players through shipping routes called the “spudnet” in the “Carbobbean Seas,” which is meant to mimic the internet's connectivity. Your objective is to move your ships around the map to strategically placed warehouses (Google servers, basically) so you can fulfill all your orders at the expense of your enemies. And while that sounds simple on the surface, there's far more to it than that.

In the 30–60 minutes it typically takes to complete the game, three to six players can also form alliances with rivals and launch attacks on the others—all while learning about cyber security topics like malware, how data is transmitted, and DDoS attacks in the process. (To learn more, there’s a rule book online for players to check out as well [PDF].)

With over $76,000 raised, the campaign crushed its original $11,120 Kickstarter goal in just an hour. But you can still back Potato Pirates 2: Enter the Spudnet until February 16. “Regular Spud” backers that pledge $52 will receive a copy of the board game, with the more expensive options offering greater rewards—like extra board games and adorable plush keychains.

According to the campaign, this game is great for ages 10 and up and will teach players “networking and cyber security concepts, all without computers!”

The Potato Pirate board game
Codomo

This isn’t the award-winning company’s first time mixing potatoes and pirates to teach people about computers and the web. You can check out the original version of Potato Pirates, which focuses on coding, on Amazon, where it’s available for $15.

No matter how much you know about computers, this board game is a fun way to learn about a tool that has such a large impact on our day-to-day lives. You can head here to find out more about the Kickstarter.

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Amazon Is Having a Big Sale on TurboTax Software Right Now

TurboTax makes filing your taxes easier and you can find savings on the software by heading to Amazon.
TurboTax makes filing your taxes easier and you can find savings on the software by heading to Amazon.
TurboTax/Amazon

There's no escaping that April 15 tax deadline, but you can soften the blow somewhat by taking 17 percent off TurboTax's Deluxe software for PC and Mac on Amazon, resulting in a final price of just $50.

This program allows you to file five federal tax returns for free and automatically scans more than 350 tax deductions and credits to help you maximize your refund efforts. This version also checks your work for any errors as you’re filing, which could potentially save you some major headaches down the road. And if you happened to have used TurboTax before, the software automatically imports all of your information, including W-2s, mortgage information, and more, to help you save time.

Amazon is also offering 20 percent off TurboTax Home & Business ($80), which is ideal for those who are self-employed. Like the Deluxe, this version searches through more than 350 credits and possible deductions to help you potentially land a bigger refund.

Not seeing exactly what you need? Check out Intuit's other tax software options by heading here.

This kind of software may make filing your taxes more convenient, but knowing some tax terminology, like adjusted gross income, can make the process go even smoother. Check out the tax terminology you should know.

At Mental Floss, we only write about the products we love and want to share with our readers, so all products are chosen independently by our editors. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a percentage of any sale made from the links on this page. Prices and availability are accurate as of the time of publication.

Wine Isn't for Everyone—but Wine Soap Might Be

These wine soaps are made to smell like chardonnay, cabernet, pinot noir, and pinot grigio.
These wine soaps are made to smell like chardonnay, cabernet, pinot noir, and pinot grigio.
UncommonGoods

A bottle of wine is often a nice offering for a friend or party host, but the etiquette of gifting wine can be tricky, especially among non-drinkers. If you’re looking for a memorable gift that doesn’t come with a set of murky rules, consider this set of four wine soaps instead, which is available for $30 from UncommonGoods.

All four soaps are handmade in Monroe, Georgia, from natural ingredients like olive oil, coconut, cocoa butter, and mica. While they don’t contain any actual wine, each bar of soap is inspired by a popular variety of red or white wine—“chardonnay” smells like citrus, while “pinot noir” contains hints of berries, plums, and apples.

Creator Heather Swanepoel told UncommonGoods she was inspired to create the wine-scented soaps when she was invited to the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival at Walt Disney World. “I wanted to make sure to wow the guests and give them no reason to doubt why we were there,” she said.

If wine isn’t your thing, Swanepoel also sells scented soap inspired by flowers, chocolate, and beer.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

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