Blog Archive: June 2011

Thu, 30 Jun 2011 16:48:00 UTC

Berkman Fellowship

Posted By Benjamin Mako Hill

Last week, the Berkman Center for Internet and Society announced it's 2011-2012 list of fellows. I'm honored and excited that they elected to include me in a pretty incredible list of fellows, faculty associates, and other affiliates. It seems I'll be at Harvard next year. In my first year as an undergraduate -- when fights over Napster were raging -- I took a class taught by a Berkman Fellow on the political and social implications of Internet technology. The next year, I worked part-time as a teaching assistant for Harvard Law professor (and Berkman director) Jonathan Zittrain. These experiences had a enormous influence on my life and work.

Thu, 30 Jun 2011 15:00:00 UTC

The end of MySpace

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

"After $35 million sale, MySpace is now an advertiser's space" I should have linked to this article when I saw it a few months ago: Workers inside MySpace tell me that this infrastructure, which they say has "hundreds of hacks to make it scale that no one wants to touch" is hamstringing their ability to really compete.I seem to recall another article claiming that MySpace had no dev-test-live system; developers pushed code directly onto the live system. I can't find a this article, so maybe I dreamed it. Either way, could you imagine the fear of pushing new features if you had to work like that?

Thu, 30 Jun 2011 13:50:04 UTC

Free download of Little Brother audiobook

Posted By Cory Doctorow

The Random House audiobook edition of my novel Little Brother is a free MP3 download this week through Sync, a program that develops the audience of teen/YA audiobook listeners (it's paired with Kafka's The Trial, which is pretty cool). The file itself can only be downloaded with a proprietary downloader from Overdrive, which I couldn't … [Read more]

Thu, 30 Jun 2011 13:45:44 UTC

Forthcoming story in Technology Review's anthology

Posted By Cory Doctorow

MIT's Technology Review is putting out an electronic science fiction anthology called TR:SF; I wrote a story for it about the future of "Internet of Things" called "The Brave Little Toaster" that was pretty fun. Other stories in the book will also focus on contemporary technology subjects.

Thu, 30 Jun 2011 13:15:00 UTC

Chinese Army Developed Online Wargame

Posted By Bruce Schneier

This is a really weird story: After setting up its own cyber-warfare team, China's military has now developed its first online war game aimed at improving combat skills and battle awareness, state press said on Wednesday. After setting up its own cyber-warfare team, China's military has now developed its first online war game aimed at improving combat skills and battle...

Thu, 30 Jun 2011 11:25:03 UTC

Publishers and the internet: a changing role?

Posted By Cory Doctorow

The Guardian

Thu, 30 Jun 2011 11:24:49 UTC

Publishing in the Internet era: connecting audiences and works

Posted By Cory Doctorow

My latest Guardian column, "Publishers and the internet: a changing role?" looks at how today it's possible to "publish" a work without distributing it, without duplicating it, without doing any more than connecting a work with its audience, sometimes without knowledge (or permission) from the work's creators: In a world in which producing a work … [Read more]

Thu, 30 Jun 2011 05:59:28 UTC

Google+

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

In the future, the ultimate insult will be in the form: I know you can't see it, but I've added you to a Google+ circle called __.

Thu, 30 Jun 2011 05:20:34 UTC

Moral Suasion

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Make Magazine

Thu, 30 Jun 2011 05:19:59 UTC

Denial of service, sit-ins and the politics of the cloud

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Make Magazine's just reprinted my column, "Moral Suasion," in its online edition. It's a discussion of the politics of cloud computing, including denial-of-service attacks against cloud providers who cave to government pressure: I grew up in the antiwar movement and participated in my first sit-in when I was 12. Sit-ins are a sort of denial … [Read more]

Thu, 30 Jun 2011 00:55:57 UTC

Driving Bandwidth Cost Down for AWS Customers.

Posted By Werner Vogels

Often we think about innovation as going after new unchartered territories, but it is also important to innovate in those existing dimensions that will remain important for customers. For Amazon retail, some of those dimensions are low pricing, large catalog, fast shipping, and convenience. Every effort we put into improving these drives a flywheel that yields benefits both immediately and for the long-term. For example, when our retail customers contributed to create larger economies of scale for Amazon.com, we used the savings to lower pricing such that our customers could also benefit. In Amazon Web Services there are similar dimensions that are forever important to our customers; scale, reliability, security, performance, ease of use, and of course pricing.

Thu, 30 Jun 2011 00:27:16 UTC

YouTube markup: Still more issues

Posted By Greg Lehey

So yesterday I finally thought I had got my markup for YouTube videos right. But the W3 validator disagreed with me: Line 5187, Column 31: "allowfulscreen" is not a member of a group specified for any attribute allowfulscreen> So I removed that, and the page validated. And, surprise! I still had the full screen functionality. So that invalid keyword is also unnecessary. And both YouTube markup suggestions are invalid. That wasn't all, though.

Wed, 29 Jun 2011 16:41:00 UTC

Another Summer European Tour

Posted By Benjamin Mako Hill

I've been in Europe for the last couple weeks but pretty occupied with things like attending my brother wedding and a series of outdoor excursions in Spain. Today Mika and I arrived in Berlin where I am going to attending and giving a talk at the Open Knowledge Conference on When Free Software Isn't Better. I'll also participate in a session on Wikipedia research facilitated by Mayo Fuster Morrell. On July 2nd, I'll be taking an overnight train to Vienna where I'll be attending the Open and User Innovation Workshop -- an academic conference where I'll presenting some of my research.

Wed, 29 Jun 2011 14:13:20 UTC

Yet Another "People Plug in Strange USB Sticks" Story

Posted By Bruce Schneier

I'm really getting tired of stories like this: Computer disks and USB sticks were dropped in parking lots of government buildings and private contractors, and 60% of the people who picked them up plugged the devices into office computers. And if the drive or CD had an official logo on it, 90% were installed. Of course people plugged in UBS...

Tue, 28 Jun 2011 23:40:05 UTC

Embedding YouTube videos, continued

Posted By Greg Lehey

After some discussion with Callum Gibson, found that YouTube is not consistent in its suggested markup. When I uploaded this clip, I got a URL http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cajZMd9HkVM and this code to embed it (after reformatting):       <object width="425" height="344">         <param name="movie"                value="http://www.youtube.com/v/cajZMd9HkVM?hl=en&fs=1">         </param>         <param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param>         <param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param>         <embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/cajZMd9HkVM?hl=en&fs=1"                type="application/x-shockwave-flash"                allowscriptaccess="always"                allowfullscreen="true"                width="425"                height="344">         </embed>       </object> The problem here ...

Tue, 28 Jun 2011 19:00:00 UTC

Audéo

Posted By Tim Bray

I've been listening to a Shure 3C in-ear headset for seven years; wow! It's been just fine; but on a recent flight a clumsy seatmate bent the jack, so I needed something new. Audéo is made by Phonak, a Swiss outfit who've historically been about hearing aids not music. Apparently the disciplines are closely related, because the Audéo PFE 122 offers, by a wide margin, the best headphone sound I've ever heard. I did some poking around the Web's audiophile landscape and, while the latest from Shure and Etym¿tics and Sennheiser all got good reviews, I kept running across eye-rolling over these sanely-priced Phonak offerings, about comfort and isolation and accuracy.

Tue, 28 Jun 2011 00:04:55 UTC

More GPS navigator games

Posted By Greg Lehey

More playing around with my GPS navigator today. One bug relates to finding petrol stations: And yes, the message is correct: the file doesn't exist, and the navigation application stops and you're back in the start menu. I thought I could fix that by using the POI (Point of Interest) file from my old navigator, which worked correctly. Copied it across, but it didn't make any difference.

Mon, 27 Jun 2011 19:51:13 UTC

Stack Overflow DevDays is Back!

Posted By Joel Spolsky

Stack Overflow DevDays, the universe's best conference series for coders, is back, and it's bigger than ever! Here's the idea behind DevDays. You're a developer. You'd love to learn all the latest hot new technologies. Things like DVCS, HTML 5, Node.js, CSS3, Hadoop, etc. The stuff the cool kids are all talking about on the playground while you're stuck in the basement somewhere grinding away on Java Enterprise Visual Basic. The idea behind DevDays is a fast, high-bandwidth, fire hose tutorial on at least ten interesting concepts. We'll assume that you're a developer, you know what a loop is, but each tutorial starts at the ground level and gives you a whirlwind tour through a technology by showing you actual code.

Mon, 27 Jun 2011 14:16:25 UTC

Mark Twain: How I Edited an Agricultural Paper

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Here's my reading of Mark Twain's classic short story, How I Edited an Agricultural Paper, a seriously funny and trenchant look at both journalism and agriculture. The guano is a fine bird, but great care is necessary in rearing it. It should not be imported earlier than June or later than September. In the winter … [Read more]

Mon, 27 Jun 2011 11:15:52 UTC

Common PINs

Posted By Bruce Schneier

There's some great data on common iPhone passwords. I'm sure the results also apply to banking PINs....

Mon, 27 Jun 2011 01:05:41 UTC

Spam from Oracle

Posted By Greg Lehey

Spam is getting bad enough as it is without big companies getting in on the act. I recently received the following message: From SEMA-CR-3-[email protected]-mail.com  Fri Jun 24 14:00:11 2011 Return-Path: <SEMA-CR-3-[email protected]-mail.com> Received: from mx1.freebsd.org (unknown [IPv6:2001:4f8:fff6::34])         by hub.freebsd.org (Postfix) with ESMTP id 0B6EA106564A         for <[email protected]>; Fri, 24 Jun 2011 03:48:14 +0000 (UTC)         (envelope-from SEMA-CR-3-[email protected]-mail.com) Received: from acsinet52.oracleeblast.com (acsinet52.oracleeblast.com [141.146.5.52])         by mx1.freebsd.org (Postfix) with ESMTP id B43DC8FC12         for <[email protected]>; Fri, 24 Jun 2011 03:48:13 +0000 (UTC) Received: from amts748.us.oracle.com (amts748.us.oracle.com [140.84.104.66])         by acsinet52.oracleeblast.com (8.14.4+Sun/8.14.4) with ESMTP id p5O3OKDi020518         for <[email protected]>; Fri, 24 Jun 2011 03:24:24 GMT Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2011 20:24:20 -0700 X-Mailer: Siebel EMS 80 [EMS 2017]   main/201012131828 Sender: "Oracle" <[email protected]-mail.com> Subject: Oracle Webcast: ReJAVAnate Your Enterprise Client ...

Mon, 27 Jun 2011 00:27:21 UTC

More playing with GPS navigation systems

Posted By Greg Lehey

Spent some time playing around with files on my GPS navigator. Added the newer maps and some voice files from my old navigator, and to my surprise they worked. The maps I bought last September work in the new navigator, but they didn't work in the old one, and I had suspected that there was some incompatibility. Just how slow is the navigator? Took a look at the test of motorbike navigators in c't, where they tested the time to calculate two journeys: one from Hamburg to Königsdorf, and the other from Tromsø to Cadiz. Now that I have European maps in the system, I could compare it.

Sun, 26 Jun 2011 23:54:25 UTC

1000 days and counting

Posted By Greg Lehey

One of my external servers (not http://www.lemis.com/) has now been up for 1000 days, the longest I've ever had a machine up and running: Sat Jun 25 23:24:36 UTC 2011 11:24PM  up 1000 days, 53 mins, 2 users, load averages: 0.00, 0.01, 0.00 That's a virtual machine, what's more, and both host and guest are FreeBSD. I worked with and for Tandem computers for 15 years, but I've never seen an up time like that.

Sun, 26 Jun 2011 23:25:01 UTC

The next firefox crash

Posted By Greg Lehey

Since switching from multiple windows to mainly tabs, my firefox processes have become much more stable. It ran from Wednesday until today, and I noted that the memory use was much less, only about 700 MB instead of 1 GB. But today it reached 1 GB and crashed again, though in a different place from usual. So it's still not clear whether the improvement was due to lack of race conditions in window handling, or some issue with the memory size itself. And how do I like tabs? I still hate them. Yet another instance of the “there can only be one” mentality.

Sun, 26 Jun 2011 19:00:00 UTC

Orange Circle

Posted By Tim Bray

Bright and spattery. Obviously left there by a city worker to highlight what I assume must be a survey marker. No, not enhanced at all, it really was that bright.

Sat, 25 Jun 2011 11:01:29 UTC

Facebook Fatigue

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

I stopped using Facebook 8 months ago. CNN's article "Why some dissatisfied users are shunning Facebook" reminded me that I haven't written an article to explain why. There were a number of reasons. Obviously, yes, as a Google employee I was kind of sick of hearing the media yammer about Facebook, Facebook, Facebook. There was an extra large amount of hype then, especially since "The Social Network" film came out. (As an aside... I enjoyed that movie immensely and recommend it to all. I love Sorkin's writing style.) However the big reason was time management related. I had a number of big important projects on my plate, both at work and outside of work.

Sat, 25 Jun 2011 08:26:38 UTC

The end of the world, part 4711

Posted By Greg Lehey

Chris Yeardley sent me a URL for a description of why the world will end at the end of next year, being swallowed up by a black hole. I don't believe a word of it, of course, but there was nothing (apart from typical lack of substantiation) that I could point to to disprove it. It's not until you go to another page on the site that you realize that yes, indeed, the information on the site is correct. It'll be interesting to see what effect this has.

Sat, 25 Jun 2011 08:06:12 UTC

External viewfinder monitor

Posted By Greg Lehey

Earlier in the week I read an article describing a Sony monitor for displaying the live viewfinder or monitor images of a DSLR. In itself, not very interesting (and the links are in German), but what got me was the size and resolution of the device: 5", 800×480 pixels. That's the resolution of my new GPS navigator, which is 2" larger, and it has an aspect ratio of 15:9 (or 5:3), which no video or still camera has. Clearly the thing wasn't originally designed for cameras, which have aspect ratios like 3:2 (most SLRs and 35 mm cameras), 4:3 (compact, Olympus), or 16:9 (wide screen video).

Sat, 25 Jun 2011 07:56:40 UTC

Getting the Youtube videos right

Posted By Greg Lehey

Last week I finally got Youtube videos to display in this diary, using the <embed> tag. It was very clear that that's not the way to do it: <embed> is not standards compliant. The W3 validator gave explanations and pointed me to a page that claimed to make “flash satay”, though I don't understand the analogy. It's a mess, as the author confirms, made necessary (it seems) by Microsoft “Internet Explorer”. I've simplified things, which, it seems, means that people using “Internet Explorer” will have to wait until the whole file has been loaded before it starts playing. See if I care.

Sat, 25 Jun 2011 03:19:27 UTC

NY State Passes Marriage Equality Act

Posted By Joel Spolsky

Need to hire a really great programmer? Want a job that doesn't drive you crazy? Visit the Joel on Software Job Board: Great software jobs, great people.

Fri, 24 Jun 2011 21:19:38 UTC

Friday Squid Blogging: Eating Humboldt Squid

Posted By Bruce Schneier

Chris Cosentino, chef at Incanto in San Francisco, wants to serve you Humboldt squid....

Fri, 24 Jun 2011 19:00:00 UTC

Remote Harmony

Posted By Tim Bray

We finally got a universal remote for the video setup at home. We're not early adapters and this is a pretty mainstream category, so quite likely you know all about it. In case you don't, just wanted to say that Logitech Harmony 650 is a super-nice product and works really well for us. Our setup is totally vanilla: a big 2010 Insignia TV, a new Motorola cable box, a middle-aged Toshiba DVD player, and an elderly NAD amp. Some of the remotes were broken, others claimed to be universal, ha-ha-ha. I'd tried universals a few years back and they basically just didn't work for whatever I'd had.

Fri, 24 Jun 2011 18:59:57 UTC

Selling a Good Reputation on eBay

Posted By Bruce Schneier

Here's someone who is selling positive feedback on eBay: Hello, for sale is a picture of a tree. This tree is an original and was taken by me. I have gotten nothing but 100% feedback from people from this picture. Great Picture! Once payment is made I will send you picture via email. Once payment is made and I send...

Fri, 24 Jun 2011 16:40:28 UTC

Assisting a Hostage Taker via Facebook

Posted By Bruce Schneier

It's a new world: An armed Valdez, 36, held a woman hostage at a motel in a tense 16-hour, overnight standoff with SWAT teams, all while finding time to keep his family and friends updated on Facebook. [...] In all, Valdez made six posts and added at least a dozen new friends. His family and friends responded with 100 comments....

Fri, 24 Jun 2011 11:37:53 UTC

Protecting Private Information on Smart Phones

Posted By Bruce Schneier

AppFence is a technology -- with a working prototype -- that protects personal information on smart phones. It does this by either substituting innocuous information in place of sensitive information or blocking attempts by the application to send the sensitive information over the network. The significance of systems like AppFence is that they have the potential to change the balance...

Fri, 24 Jun 2011 00:08:24 UTC

New navigator

Posted By Greg Lehey

Then down to Clayton to pick up the new navigator, not helped by Google Maps' complete lack of understanding of the street numbers in the Prince's Highway, just one of Australia's main highways; it put the address in the middle of a main highway junction. It's interesting to see the other side of an eBay operation: a couple of young blokes in a room in an industrial area. Changed the unit pretty quickly, and confirmed, yes, the power connector is OK. The Microsoft “Windows CE” is also the English version, and one of the blokes (Maurice; the other is Ken) showed me how to get the spoken street names.

Thu, 23 Jun 2011 23:21:11 UTC

SIGMOD 2011 in Athens

Posted By James Hamilton

Earlier this week, I was in Athens Greece attending annual conference of the ACM Machinery Special Interest Group on Management of Data. SIGMOD is one of the top two database events held each year attracting academic researchers and leading practitioners from industry.   I kicked off the conference with the Plenary keynote. In this talk I started with a short retrospection on the industry over the last 20 years. In my early days as a database developer, things were moving incredibly quickly. Customers were loving our products, the industry was growing fast and yet the products really weren't all that good.

Thu, 23 Jun 2011 20:46:35 UTC

Happy 99th Birthday, Alan Turing!

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

"Today marks the 99th anniversary of the birth of Alan Turing, a noted polymath and cryptanalyst who is regarded by many as being the grandfather of modern computing." The link is to a great article. Worth the read.

Thu, 23 Jun 2011 18:16:57 UTC

NSA Style Manual

Posted By Bruce Schneier

National Security Agency (NSA) SIGINT Reporter's Style and Usage Manual, 2010....

Thu, 23 Jun 2011 14:42:51 UTC

Presentation on FOR THE WIN at Children's Lit Association 2011

Posted By Cory Doctorow

.prezi-player { width: 600px; } .prezi-player-links { text-align: center; } Digital Natives, the Mushroom Kingdom and the Global Village on Prezi Anastasia Salter gave a presentation on my novel For the Win at the Children's Literature 2011 conference; I haven't seen the presentation, but her notes (embedded above) are fascinating!

Thu, 23 Jun 2011 11:29:24 UTC

Insider Attack Against M&A Information in Document Titles

Posted By Bruce Schneier

Protecting against insiders is hard. Kluger and two accomplices -- a Wall Street trader and a mortgage broker -- allegedly stole and traded on material nonpublic information about M&A deals over a period of 17 years, according to federal authorities. The trio, facing charges from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice, allegedly made at least...

Thu, 23 Jun 2011 07:18:33 UTC

Navigator problems: cause identified?

Posted By Greg Lehey

Somehow it seems funny that the problems I'm having with both GPS navigators are so similar. In each case, the only problem is charging them. And in each case they charge via the micro-USB port. Went to take a look at the port itself. The results were informative but somewhat disappointing. Here's the socket on the new navigator: One pin missing, one bent. I wasn't sure how many pins were supposed to be there—it's at least hypothetically possible that pin 5 isn't always needed, so I bent the bent pin back to shape and tried again, still with no success.

Wed, 22 Jun 2011 19:00:00 UTC

Turntable.fm

Posted By Tim Bray

All the geeks know about it, but not many civilians; in the Blues room this evening, we ended up talking about Web-server stuff and NodeJS. The idea is powerful; one symptom of which is, I keep thinking about ways to make it better. I could spend time describing what it is and so on, but the page title says it all: Play Music Together. Go check it out. Here some ideas that present themselves: The graphics are a good start, but there's plenty of room for improvement. In the avatars, in the groove animation, in the feedback meter, in everything.

Wed, 22 Jun 2011 18:40:52 UTC

Did Reason Evolve as a Persuasion Tool?

Posted By Bruce Schneier

Many of our informal security systems involve convincing others to do what we want them to. Here's a theory that says human reasoning evolved not as a tool to better understand the world or solve problems, but to win arguments and persuade other humans. (Paper here.)...

Wed, 22 Jun 2011 15:00:00 UTC

screen gone; moving to tmux

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

I've been using "screen" since 1995ish. After reading "Is tmux the GNU Screen killer?" I gave tmux a try. I' a convert. Amazingly enough, I haven't even set up a config file. I'm using the defaults and so far I'm happy. The only changes I might make in the config file: The default command key should be CTRL-] (that's just a matter of taste) Cmd-SPACE should go to the next window Color me impressed!

Wed, 22 Jun 2011 11:23:33 UTC

Firesheep in Use

Posted By Bruce Schneier

Nice article on Firesheep in action....

Wed, 22 Jun 2011 01:08:04 UTC

GPS navigator: disaster

Posted By Greg Lehey

While in town, picked up my new GPS navigator. Compared to the old one it's enormous: Headed back home via the back roads, and the navigator happily told me to leave the main road and take a detour through a paddock, something that not even the old one did. Like the old navigator sometimes did, it didn't show a charge light much of the time—I wonder if there's a software problem there. The software itself looked almost identical to the software on the old navigator, and I had no difficulty using it.

Wed, 22 Jun 2011 00:29:34 UTC

Upgrading the friends' computer infrastructure

Posted By Greg Lehey

Into town today to meet with some of the committee members of the Friends of the Ballarat Botanical Gardens. They've discovered my computer background and have asked to take their computer infrastructure in charge. That looks like it'll be fun, and hopefully not too much work.

Tue, 21 Jun 2011 16:20:05 UTC

My Next Book: Title and Cover

Posted By Bruce Schneier

As my regular readers already know, I'm in the process of writing my next book. It's a book about why security exists: specifically, how a group of people protects itself from individuals within that group. My working title has been The Dishonest Minority. The idea behind the title is that "honesty" is defined by social convention, then those that don't...

Tue, 21 Jun 2011 15:10:00 UTC

Your Dial Telephone

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

If only my cell phone was so simple! Now You Can Dial: An Instructional Video from AT&T. 1954!

Tue, 21 Jun 2011 10:58:12 UTC

The Problem with Cyber-crime Surveys

Posted By Bruce Schneier

Good paper: "Sex, Lies and Cyber-crime Surveys," Dinei Florêncio and Cormac Herley, Microsoft Research. Abstract: Much of the information we have on cyber-crime losses is derived from surveys. We examine some of the difficulties of forming an accurate estimate by survey. First, losses are extremely concentrated, so that representative sampling of the population does not give representative sampling of the...

Mon, 20 Jun 2011 23:49:52 UTC

Firefox with tabs

Posted By Greg Lehey

My firefox problems are getting no better. People keep telling me I should be using tabs, not windows (Window manager? What's that?) . I have my reasons, some of which are more philosophical than practical (why should a web browser want to be a window manager?) , but it seems worthwhile reviewing the situation, especially in view of my suspicion that the crashes are related to the number of windows open. So today I reconfigured things for tabs, and I've been trying to live with it for a while. The problems with tabs are real: on the one hand, I want to be able to have a page load in the background and work in another.

Mon, 20 Jun 2011 17:12:58 UTC

The Life Cycle of Cryptographic Hash Functions

Posted By Bruce Schneier

Nice chart....

Mon, 20 Jun 2011 16:07:58 UTC

Is Making Movies Like Making Software?

Posted By Robert V. Binder

¿ After proving that good project management and software engineering could result in on-time, in-budget, high quality results for contract software development, I was designated as the project manager of a large fixed-price development project. Despite my objections, a second project manager … Continue reading →

Mon, 20 Jun 2011 15:00:00 UTC

The journey of a thousand miles begins...

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

The journey of a thousand miles begins... with a field trial to verify assumptions. You need to do one before you do a thousand. If you are painting a house, try the paint on a part of the house people can't see. If you are upgrading systems, do a few first before you start the mass migration. The journey of a thousand miles begins... with doing it manually a few times, writing down the process, making sure the team agrees, then automating it. The only way to automate something is to make sure you know how to do it manually first.

Mon, 20 Jun 2011 12:01:32 UTC

RAND Corporation on Trusted Traveler

Posted By Bruce Schneier

New paper: "Assessing the Security Benefits of a Trusted Traveler Program in the Presence of Attempted Attacker Exploitation and Compromise": Current aviation security procedures screen all passengers uniformly. Varying the amount of screening individuals receive based on an assessment of their relative risk has the potential to reduce the security burdens on some travelers, while improving security overall. This paper...

Mon, 20 Jun 2011 02:03:33 UTC

Youtube: the pain

Posted By Greg Lehey

For a couple of reasons today I had to deal with YouTube. Firstly, I wanted a link to the video of the GPS receiver that I mentioned yesterday, and secondly Yvonne wanted me to put some videos up on YouTube. How do you reference a video on YouTube? I still don't understand completely, but you can embed a video player in a page like this:

Mon, 20 Jun 2011 00:58:18 UTC

Daniel Moth's C++ AMP session is now online

Posted By Herb Sutter

In my keynote on Wednesday, I highlighted just the top two important features in the C++ AMP programming model. That afternoon, my coding colleague and demo demigod Daniel Moth gave a 45-minute session covering the entire C++ AMP programming model that walked through all the features with more examples. Daniel’s talk is now also online [...]

Mon, 20 Jun 2011 00:58:18 UTC

Daniel Moths C++ AMP session is now online

Posted By Herb Sutter

In my keynote on Wednesday, I highlighted just the top two important features in the C++ AMP programming model. That afternoon, my coding colleague and demo demigod Daniel Moth gave a 45-minute session covering the entire C++ AMP programming model that walked through all the features with more examples. Daniel’s talk is now also online [...]

Sun, 19 Jun 2011 23:09:57 UTC

BranchOut... and fall over?

Posted By Greg Lehey

More copious mail from BranchOut today. I'm obviously not professional enough to understand it. So far I haven't found the text of any of the messages I was informed of, not even the ones I wrote myself. In fact, I can't remember having written any messages, but they tell me I did. Maybe I'm just getting senile, which would also explain why I can't navigate this site—it looks different every time I go there. On one occasion I was asked if I wanted to get to know Doug Rabson (already one of my “friends” on Facebook), and on the same page, not far away, I was asked to endorse him.

Sun, 19 Jun 2011 23:05:27 UTC

We don't need no steenking testing

Posted By Greg Lehey

From time to time bugs, even big ones, sneak into development projects. The biggest usually get caught immediately during testing. But in some cases it seems that not even the minimum of testing gets done. It's a commit to fix a single-character mistake: @@ -348,7 +348,7 @@ case "$DISTRO" in    ln -s /usr/lib/mesa/ld.so.conf /etc/alternatives/gl_conf    rm -rf /etc/alternatives/xorg_extra_modules    rm -rf /etc/alternatives/xorg_extra_modules-bumblebee -  rm -rf /usr /lib/nvidia-current/xorg/xorg +  rm -rf /usr/lib/nvidia-current/xorg/xorg This one is a variant on a classic UNIX mistake. One character wrong, and you delete your entire /usr hierarchy.

Sun, 19 Jun 2011 00:49:50 UTC

Buying a navigator on eBay

Posted By Greg Lehey

Spent more time today comparing GPS navigators. It's almost impossible: even last year I noted that the manufacturers think that their raison d'être is as MP3 players and games, and that trend has continued (now they're MPEG-2 players too). The descriptions I get hardly address my requirements at all. Here they are again:   - FM transmitter for voice instructions   - Hungarian?   - Speed cameras   - Free map update The “Hungarian” is an indirect requirement: of course nobody tells you what applications software the thing runs (the best is “Windows” CE), but I'm guessing that any receiver that has a Hungarian language option uses the Nav N Go iGO 8 software, which comes from Hungary.

Sun, 19 Jun 2011 00:34:40 UTC

Facebook branches out

Posted By Greg Lehey

Yes, I have a Facebook account, for reasons I don't really understand. I look in about once every month or two to see who wants to be my “friend”, and then leave again. Today, though, I got a mail message: From: "Facebook" <[email protected]> Subject: Max Khon posted on your Wall. Max wrote: "" To see your Wall and reply to posts, follow the link below: http://www.facebook.com/n/?permalink.php&story_fbid=2053361701260&id=1402575842&mid=4658b895G6714702G291bcdbG1&bcode=2v1J2ZKJ&n_m=farcebook%40lmeis.com OK, what did Max have to say? Was it really nothing, or did Facebook mess up? Went to take a look.

Sat, 18 Jun 2011 19:00:00 UTC

50M

Posted By Tim Bray

Which is to say, 50,000,000 bits per second to our home. It feels great. I was one of Vancouver's earliest broadband adopters, back in 1997 when it was still called “ADSL” one big megabit per second and hot damn was that fast after years of dial-up. We've upgraded modems a couple of times but it's still been DSL via the telco. The current plan had us at 3M down (we didn't get anything like that) and some pitiful trickle upstream. Shaw is a local cable company; they just upgraded their network and have some nice-looking plans. We signed up for “Broadband 50” ($49/month); they also offer a “Broadband 100” which I'd spring for if I believed there were sites out there that could get me data that fast.

Sat, 18 Jun 2011 18:06:58 UTC

Fourth SHB Workshop

Posted By Bruce Schneier

I'm at SHB 2011, the fourth Interdisciplinary Workshop on Security and Human Behavior, at Carnegie Mellon University. This is a two-day invitational gathering of computer security researchers, psychologists, behavioral economists, sociologists, political scientists, anthropologists, philosophers, and others -- all of whom are studying the human side of security -- organized by Alessandro Acquisti, Ross Anderson, and me. It's not just...

Sat, 18 Jun 2011 12:36:00 UTC

With a Little Help in the Harvard Bookstore

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Last week, New York's McNally-Jackson Books started printing and carrying my DIY short story collection, With a Little Help using their on-site print-on-demand machine. Now, the most excellent Harvard Bookstore has begun to do the same, retailing the book in its Cambridge, Mass store.

Sat, 18 Jun 2011 02:28:17 UTC

More firefox experiments

Posted By Greg Lehey

The firefox crashes continue unabated—if anything, they're getting more frequent. Today tried setting up a completely neutral profile to see if they still didn't happen, in the process discovering how many things you depend on in the profile. Some don't appear to be settable any more, and the continual change in font sizes really gets on my nerves. Why do so many web programmers think they know better about how big characters should be? Anyway, it didn't crash. It hung. And when I tried to restart it, the profile no longer showed up in the startup menu. What a pain!

Sat, 18 Jun 2011 00:59:47 UTC

eSATA: The solution?

Posted By Greg Lehey

Finally my eSATA adapter has arrived. It must be one of the smallest boards I have ever seen: It's also the first board I've seen in a very long time which physical jumpers on it. It came with cables and a mini CD with drivers, presumably for Microsoft. In the afternoon, got round to putting it in dereel, and discovered that the cables supplied were SATA, not eSATA—the adapter (4 port) has two SATA and 2 eSATA connectors.

Fri, 17 Jun 2011 21:35:09 UTC

Friday Squid Blogging: Beautiful Deep-Sea Squid Picture

Posted By Bruce Schneier

From the Telegraph (also here)....

Fri, 17 Jun 2011 19:32:33 UTC

Horse "No Ride" List

Posted By Bruce Schneier

Excellent satire....

Fri, 17 Jun 2011 19:00:00 UTC

Public Isn't Private

Posted By Tim Bray

After the hockey was over, we had a hideous riot in Vancouver. The only serious injury, thankfully, was someone who fell off an elevated highway. You can't begin to imagine how hurt and angry with the rioters the people of this town are. There's an interesting sort of Facebook-vigilante justice going on. But first, let me push back on our Police chief and Mayor, both of whom I'm normally reasonably OK with. Their post-riot statements tried to blame the event on “anarchists”. That's just bullshit. I'll tell you who the bad guys were: they were us. Ordinary Vancouverites of the young male sub-species; sure, a lot of suburbanites, but look at the damn map; suburbs is what most of Vancouver is.

Fri, 17 Jun 2011 17:09:39 UTC

Court Ruling on "Reasonable" Electronic Banking Security

Posted By Bruce Schneier

One of the pleasant side effects of being too busy to write longer blog posts is that -- if I wait long enough -- someone else writes what I would have wanted to. The ruling in the Patco Construction vs. People's United Bank case is important, because the judge basically ruled that the bank's substandard security was good enough --...

Fri, 17 Jun 2011 11:34:52 UTC

The Decline of al Qaeda

Posted By Bruce Schneier

Interesting essay....

Fri, 17 Jun 2011 10:35:30 UTC

Networks are not always revolutionary

Posted By Cory Doctorow

The Guardian

Fri, 17 Jun 2011 10:34:46 UTC

Networks are necessary, but not sufficient, for social upheaval

Posted By Cory Doctorow

My latest Guardian column, "Networks are not always revolutionary," argues that networks are necessary, but not sufficient, for many disruptive commercial, cultural and social phenomena, and that this character has led many people to either overstate or dismiss the role and potential of networked technology in current events: "For most artists," as the famous Tim … [Read more]

Fri, 17 Jun 2011 00:35:49 UTC

LiIon pain

Posted By Greg Lehey

Later in the day I wanted to look at something on my GPS navigator. Not for the first time, the battery had drained while in “sleep” state. Connected it up to a power source. Nothing. Connector problems? Cable problems? No idea. Finally connected it via a USB cable to dereel—just what I didn't want to do. And with good reason. It started to charge, and I turned it on. Then: Jun 16 15:03:09 dereel kernel: ugen0.2: <vendor 0x1941> at usbus0 (disconnected) Jun 16 15:03:09 dereel kernel: uhid0: at uhub0, port 2, addr 2 (disconnected) Jun 16 15:03:09 dereel kernel: ugen5.2: <JMicron> at usbus5 (disconnected) Jun 16 15:03:09 dereel kernel: umass0: at uhub5, port 1, addr 2 (disconnected) Jun 16 15:03:09 dereel kernel: (da0:umass-sim0:0:0:0): lost device Jun 16 15:03:09 dereel kernel: (da0:umass-sim0:0:0:0): Synchronize cache failed, status == 0xa, scsi status == 0x0 ...

Fri, 17 Jun 2011 00:35:49 UTC

LiIon pain

Posted By Greg Lehey

Later in the day I wanted to look at something on my GPS navigator. Not for the first time, the battery had drained while in “sleep” state. Connected it up to a power source. Nothing. Connector problems? Cable problems? No idea. Finally connected it via a USB cable to dereel—just what I didn't want to do. And with good reason. It started to charge, and I turned it on. Then: Jun 16 15:03:09 dereel kernel: ugen0.2: <vendor 0x1941> at usbus0 (disconnected) Jun 16 15:03:09 dereel kernel: uhid0: at uhub0, port 2, addr 2 (disconnected) Jun 16 15:03:09 dereel kernel: ugen5.2: <JMicron> at usbus5 (disconnected) Jun 16 15:03:09 dereel kernel: umass0: at uhub5, port 1, addr 2 (disconnected) Jun 16 15:03:09 dereel kernel: (da0:umass-sim0:0:0:0): lost device Jun 16 15:03:09 dereel kernel: (da0:umass-sim0:0:0:0): Synchronize cache failed, status == 0xa, scsi status == 0x0 ...

Fri, 17 Jun 2011 00:21:25 UTC

C++ AMP keynote is online

Posted By Herb Sutter

Yesterday I had the privilege of talking about some of the work we’ve been doing to support massive parallelism on GPUs in the next version of Visual C++. The video of my talk announcing C++ AMP is now available on Channel 9. The first 20 minutes has nothing to do with C++ in particular or [...]

Fri, 17 Jun 2011 00:21:25 UTC

C++ AMP keynote is online

Posted By Herb Sutter

Yesterday I had the privilege of talking about some of the work we’ve been doing to support massive parallelism on GPUs in the next version of Visual C++. The video of my talk announcing C++ AMP is now available on Channel 9. (Update: Here’s an alternate link; it seems to be posted twice.) The first 20 [...]

Fri, 17 Jun 2011 00:15:19 UTC

More USB pain

Posted By Greg Lehey

Came into the office this morning to find dereel dead in the water. Further investigation showed a far-too-common syndrome: Jun 15 22:21:18 dereel kernel: (da0:umass-sim0:0:0:0): AutoSense failed Jun 15 22:21:18 dereel kernel: g_vfs_done():da0p1[WRITE(offset=1699643392, length=131072)]error = 5 Jun 15 22:21:18 dereel kernel: g_vfs_done():da0p1[WRITE(offset=1711505408, length=131072)]error = 5 Jun 15 22:21:18 dereel kernel: g_vfs_done():da0p1[WRITE(offset=1716944896, length=32768)]error = 5 Jun 15 22:21:18 dereel kernel: g_vfs_done():da0p1[WRITE(offset=1728184320, length=81920)]error = 5 By the time I got in, the only thing that it could do was to respond to a ping. So: USB is still not ready for prime time on FreeBSD, though I don't know which of the two is to blame.

Thu, 16 Jun 2011 19:00:00 UTC

Conundrum

Posted By Tim Bray

On his tweetstream, author William Gibson linked to an interview he gave the Paris Review. He had me right away, narrating the cooking-up of the term “cyberspace”. Then the text ran into a paywall: “To read the rest of this piece, purchase the issue.” I followed the link and discovered that said issue also contains an interview with Samuel Delany, another writer whose work has been important to me. Also, that they wanted $12.00 for it. I considered briefly then hit the Paypal button. Suddenly it was asking my choice of (expensive) shipping options, and I realized that it wanted to sell me an actual physical book.

Thu, 16 Jun 2011 12:33:35 UTC

Threat Models Colliding at Movie-Theater Projectors

Posted By Bruce Schneier

Interesting....

Thu, 16 Jun 2011 02:00:22 UTC

Why I hate USB

Posted By Greg Lehey

Took some photos for Yvonne today, then in to read it in to my computer. It didn't work. Instead, it crashed the system. It seems that there was some interaction between the flash card and the USB disk. This time I got a photo of the messages: High time for the eSATA adapter to arrive.

Thu, 16 Jun 2011 01:47:45 UTC

TV Reception problems: better or not?

Posted By Greg Lehey

Since setting the fine tune flag on cvr2, I haven't had any serious problems with TV reception—until today. Then I found, while recoding: Recoding 2032_20110614212700.mpg (The-Beat-My-Heart-Skipped-2011-06-14-2127) 2011-06-15 13:16:10.087 2.9% complete 2011-06-15 13:16:10.282 Deadlock detected.  One buffer is full when                 the other is empty!  Aborting *** Failed, status 232 It died right at the beginning, like it sometimes does with terminally corrupted images. Took a look at it, and it didn't seem that bad. I suspect that this deadlock issue occurs with particular and relatively rare kinds of corruption, so the more corrupt the image is, the more likely it is to happen.

Thu, 16 Jun 2011 00:45:24 UTC

Goodbye MBR

Posted By Greg Lehey

Today I got round to installing the second of the 2 TB disks I bought last week. For decades now, there has been the One True Way to partition disks, so much so that it doesn't have a qualifier: Master boot record. There's also a program that goes with it, fdisk, which has been around as long. But gradually the time has come for change: MBR stores information about the disk as cylinder, head and track information, long after that kind of addressing has lost any meaning.

Wed, 15 Jun 2011 21:28:07 UTC

Booting FreeBSD 8.2 on a Soekris box over the network

Posted By Eric Allman

I've been working on bringing up a new Soekris net5501 box on FreeBSD 8.2. Since the Soekris boot ROM doesn't understand locally attached CD-ROM drives, you have to do this over the network. Read more »Original post blogged on b2evolution.

Wed, 15 Jun 2011 21:28:07 UTC

Booting FreeBSD 8.2 on a Soekris box over the network

Posted By Eric Allman

I've been working on bringing up a new Soekris net5501 box on FreeBSD 8.2. Since the Soekris boot ROM doesn't understand locally attached CD-ROM drives, you have to do this over the network. Read more »Original post blogged on b2evolution.

Wed, 15 Jun 2011 21:28:07 UTC

Booting FreeBSD 8.2 on a Soekris box over the network

Posted By Eric Allman

I've been working on bringing up a new Soekris net5501 box on FreeBSD 8.2. Since the Soekris boot ROM doesn't understand locally attached CD-ROM drives, you have to do this over the network. Full story »Original post blogged on b2evolution.

Wed, 15 Jun 2011 18:19:14 UTC

WEIS 2011

Posted By Bruce Schneier

I'm at the Tenth Workshop on Economics of Information Security (WEIS 2011) , at George Mason University. Most of the papers are online, and Ross Anderson is liveblogging the talks....

Wed, 15 Jun 2011 18:14:19 UTC

Last-minute signing tomorrow in Pittsburgh at CMU bookstore, 2-5PM

Posted By Cory Doctorow

I'm coming through Pittsburgh tomorrow for a private event and I'm going to drop in to the CMU bookstore from 2-5 for a signing. This is all very last minute and there hasn't been much public notice, so please let your friends know!

Wed, 15 Jun 2011 17:03:12 UTC

Malware in Google's Android

Posted By Bruce Schneier

This is not a good development....

Wed, 15 Jun 2011 15:00:00 UTC

Avoid using the term "Cloud Computing" except when being ironic

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

I've stopped using the term "Cloud Computing" except when referring to the general trend. I use SaaS, IaaS and PaaS so that I say exactly what I mean. As a technical person this helps me keep my conversation succinct and focused. SaaS: Software as as Service: Salesforce.com, Google Apps, etc. IaaS: Infrastructure as as Service: Amazon EC2, Eucalyptus, etc. PaaS: Platform as a Service: Google App Engine and similar systems. Or, if you want a way to remember it easier: SaaS: It's a web site! IaaS: It's a VM! PaaS: It's a framework! " Cloud" is what marketing and non-technical people use.

Wed, 15 Jun 2011 11:22:00 UTC

The Non-Anonymity of Bubble Forms

Posted By Bruce Schneier

It turns out that "fill-in-the-bubble" forms are not so anonymous....

Wed, 15 Jun 2011 05:49:58 UTC

Seattle and Eastside Movies - 2011

Posted By Jeff Barr

The long-awaited Seattle summer is almost here. There’s nothing more fun than heading outdoors in the evening to catch a classic movie at a local park. The most popular nights are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. On some nights you can choose between two or three different movies. Take some snacks, a blanket, and a low-profile [...]

Wed, 15 Jun 2011 00:10:31 UTC

AFDS Keynote Live Stream

Posted By Herb Sutter

Just a reminder for those interested in using C++ to harness GPUs for fast code: My keynote at AMD Fusion Developer’s Conference will be webcast live. I’ll post another link when the recorded talk is available for on-demand viewing. The talk starts at 8:30am U.S. Pacific time tomorrow (Wed June 15). Today Jem Davies of ARM [...]

Wed, 15 Jun 2011 00:10:31 UTC

AFDS Keynote Live Stream

Posted By Herb Sutter

Just a reminder for those interested in using C++ to harness GPUs for fast code: My keynote at AMD Fusion Developer’s Conference will be webcast live. I’ll post another link when the recorded talk is available for on-demand viewing. The talk starts at 8:30am U.S. Pacific time tomorrow (Wed June 15). Today Jem Davies of ARM [...]

Tue, 14 Jun 2011 23:32:04 UTC

With a Little Help at McNally-Jackson, NYC

Posted By Cory Doctorow

I've teamed up with McNally-Jackson, a most excellent indie bookstore in Soho, NYC, to print and sell my DIY short story collection With a Little Help right in the store, using an Espresso book-machine. You can order them here, or buy them in-store. It's similar to the deal I've struck with The University of Melbourne's … [Read more]

Tue, 14 Jun 2011 19:00:00 UTC

“Web” vs. “Native”

Posted By Tim Bray

Back in February of 2010 I interviewed for a new job. It was the typical Google hiring-process siege; I talked to six or eight people over the course of the day. At least half of them asked me “Native vs Web apps on mobile; what do you think?” I think about it all the time. And I talk to developers all the time so I think I know what they're thinking. Thus this piece, which is goes on and on and on but that's OK, blogging is for long-form pieces! Includes a case study with screenshots. Disclosures I'm a Web guy.

Tue, 14 Jun 2011 18:45:13 UTC

Status Report on the War on Photography

Posted By Bruce Schneier

Worth reading: Morgan Leigh Manning, "Less than Picture Perfect: The Legal Relationship between Photographers' Rights and Law Enforcement," Tennessee Law Review, Vol. 78, p. 105, 2010. Abstract: Threats to national security and public safety, whether real or perceived, result in an atmosphere conducive to the abuse of civil liberties. History is littered with examples: The Alien and Sedition Acts of...

Tue, 14 Jun 2011 15:00:00 UTC

Tonight at LOPSA-NYC! Ganeti open source virtualization

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

As previously mentioned, I'll be the speaker at LOPSA-NYC. Come here me speak about the Ganeti open source project. Think virtualization clusters have to cost big bucks? Think virtualization isn't useful for a small site? Come and find out why a person that usually talks about Time Management thinks virtualization is his new favorite time management trick. Hope to see you there! (Please pre-register so you can get through security quickly.)

Tue, 14 Jun 2011 14:31:54 UTC

Links for Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Posted By Jeff Barr

Network World: 3D Conferencing Hits the Enterprise - “Immersive virtual meeting environments allow participants to use avatars to walk around a virtual environment, and are useful tools for collaborating on and prototyping 3D designs, such as new products, buildings, or factories. Companies are also finding them useful training environments, since meeting managers can create virtual [...]

Tue, 14 Jun 2011 12:54:26 UTC

Yet Another Way to Evade TSA's Full-Body Scanners

Posted By Bruce Schneier

Last night, at the Third EPIC Champion of Freedom Awards Dinner, we gave an award to Susie Castillo, whose blog post and video of her treatment in the hands of the TSA has inspired thousands to complain about the agency and their treatment of travellers. Sitting with her at dinner, I learned yet another way to evade the TSA's full...

Tue, 14 Jun 2011 01:21:44 UTC

Firefox crashes, more of the same

Posted By Greg Lehey

Today's firefox crash was once again the same: #4  0x8322f682 in js::MarkContext () from /usr/local/lib/firefox/libxul.so #5  0x0d873744 in ?? () #6  0xbfbfac7c in ?? () #7  0x00000000 in ?? () This is no longer news; I'll keep information on a separate page.

Mon, 13 Jun 2011 23:13:22 UTC

A dog with persistence-of-vision LEDs in her shirt writes my novel Makers in the park at night

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Michael created a dog-shirt equipped with persistence-of-vision LEDs controlled by a LilyPad soft Arduino, and programmed it to output the text of my novel Makers as his pooch ran gleefully around the park at night. Then he photographed it and sent it to me, and my head exploded with delight. Mounting 5 LEDs on a … [Read more]

Mon, 13 Jun 2011 20:17:35 UTC

Reminder: I'll be speaking at LOPSA-NYC tomorrow

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

on the topic of Ganeti: http://everythingsysadmin.com/2011/05/lopsanyc201106.html

Mon, 13 Jun 2011 19:00:00 UTC

Two Angles on Apricot

Posted By Tim Bray

Just because I've run pictures of this plant... [Enough! -Ed.] As I was saying, just an opening rose. Yeah, I photograph this plant too much. But when my little girl asks me “what's your favorite color?” I say “Apricot.” Back in 2000, I was hit by a car while bicycling and spent an unpleasant number of unpleasant days in hospital being reconstructed.

Mon, 13 Jun 2011 19:00:00 UTC

Two Angles on White

Posted By Tim Bray

Just a dogwood blossom, front and back. It is the Official Provincial Flower hereabouts. Its flowers are a bit floppy and ungainly; out of proportion to our very-young tree. But still, one must smile.

Mon, 13 Jun 2011 16:19:30 UTC

My head is a 3D scan

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Last week, my wife Alice and I stopped into MakerBot Industries, the DIY 3D printing company in Brooklyn, and got our heads scanned. The MakerBotters covered us in cornstarch (so that the laser-scanner could resolve our hair and eyebrows) and waved this crazy, six-degrees-of-freedom laser-scanning wand around us until we had been turned into polygons. … [Read more]

Mon, 13 Jun 2011 14:09:09 UTC

Knights of the Rainbow Table 07 – CONCLUSION

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Here's part seven, the conclusion of my reading of my story-in-progress, Knights of the Rainbow Table, a story commissioned by Intel's Chief Futurist, Brian David Johnson. Brian oversees Intel's Tomorrow project, which uses science fiction to spark conversations about product design and use among Intel's engineers, and he was kind enough to invite me to … [Read more]

Mon, 13 Jun 2011 11:52:50 UTC

Why it's So Difficult to Trace Cyber-Attacks

Posted By Bruce Schneier

I've been asked this question by countless reporters in the past couple of weeks. Here's a good explanation. Shorter answer: it's easy to spoof source destination, and it's easy to hijack unsuspecting middlemen and use them as proxies. No, mandating attribution won't solve the problem. Any Internet design will necessarily include anonymity....

Sun, 12 Jun 2011 23:05:29 UTC

Publishing video clips

Posted By Greg Lehey

Yvonne has been asking me for some time to prepare the video clips from her camera for publication on the web. I've been dragging my heels, and I should be ashamed of myself. That's almost a basic copy operation. The real problem is the sheer size of the files: -rwxrwxrwx  1 yvonne  home  357399582 May 24 09:29 MVI_0093.AVI That's a 3 minute clip in 640×480 format. Why is it so big? It's clearly far too large to publish (and if I did, it would use up 4% of my monthly traffic quota).

Sun, 12 Jun 2011 22:55:05 UTC

Today's firefox crash

Posted By Greg Lehey

The firefox crashes seem to be converging. This is the third day that it crashed in the same place: #4  0x8322f682 in js::MarkContext () from /usr/local/lib/firefox/libxul.so #5  0xa4267ac4 in ?? () #6  0xbfbfac7c in ?? () #7  0x00000000 in ?? () It's interesting that frame 6 again shows the same address on the stack. Maybe there's some trampoline in the previous stack frame, and it's normal that the remainder of the trace is invalid. Another thing that I noted was the number of threads: one initial thread and 23 others.

Sun, 12 Jun 2011 00:31:47 UTC

Daily firefox crash: a pattern emerges

Posted By Greg Lehey

Today's firefox crash backtrace had a certain sense of déjà vu: #4  0x8322f682 in js::MarkContext () from /usr/local/lib/firefox/libxul.so #5  0x950e5244 in ?? () #6  0xbfbfac7c in ?? () #7  0x00000000 in ?? () It's not identical to the previous one, but the trap occurs at exactly the same location, 0x8322f682 in js::MarkContext (). I suppose it's about time to take a look at the source, but not today.

Sun, 12 Jun 2011 00:19:19 UTC

eSATA: worth the trouble

Posted By Greg Lehey

I've now fixed my backup script, and it no longer uses compression when writing to local disks. Even with a USB connection, that gave a threefold speed increase. But a number of people, including Peter Jeremy and Rick Owens, have confirmed that it was worth paying a few dollars more to use eSATA instead of USB. Rick tells me that he has had a sevenfold speed increase over USB. I don't see this happening to me, but we'll find out once my eSATA controller (delayed by the Dragon Boat Festival) finally arrives.

Sun, 12 Jun 2011 00:11:25 UTC

Photo storage: why not ZFS?

Posted By Greg Lehey

Mail from Rick Owens today, asking if I had considered using ZFS for my photo storage. Yes, I have, but decided against it: I don't know ZFS, and to get to know it would involve some effort. ZFS belongs to Oracle, a company I seriously distrust. It's available for free now, but that could change. One of my concerns about using UFS was related to the long-term viability of the FreeBSD platform.

Sat, 11 Jun 2011 22:13:52 UTC

Links for Saturday, June 11, 2011

Posted By Jeff Barr

Stephen O’Grady: Why You Should Pay Attention to Node.js - “plicit in node is a fundamental rejection of traditional I/O. It's pushing an asynchronous agenda with its event loops, based on the assumption that concurrency cannot be achieved with a thread per connection. Having just recently suffered through a Daring Fireball induced meltdown of RedMonk.com [...]

Sat, 11 Jun 2011 22:09:56 UTC

http://protolol.com/

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

This is too good not to share. This humor site is addicting. These are two of my favorites: "OSI model jokes work on so many levels" "WHO HAS ANY ARP JOKES?" The site is: http://protolol.com/

Sat, 11 Jun 2011 19:00:00 UTC

No, Women Don't

Posted By Tim Bray

I just saw a witty tweet go by, about the different reasons why men and women go into politics. It's wrong. Whenever you see a sentence which beginning with “Men...” or “Women...” followed by a verb, that sentence is wrong. This includes for example all of those beginning “Women want” or “Men won't”. In fact, such sentences are wrong when instead of a gender they begin with “Canadians” or “Africans” or “Muslims” or “government employees” or almost any other collective expression. People do not exist or feel or think or act in the collective. They are individuals and every single one is an exception to lots of average findings about groups they can be sorted into.

Sat, 11 Jun 2011 00:36:39 UTC

Email: more nails in the coffin

Posted By Greg Lehey

Somehow people seem to be trying to outdo each other with bad email. Today it was eBay: Date: Thu, 9 Jun 2011 12:09:34 -0700 (MST) From: [email protected] To: [email protected] Subject: groggyhimself, Please Answer 3 Questions about your Recent eBay Purchase! ----------------------------------------------------------------- eBay sent this message to Greg Lehey (groggyhimself). Your registered name is included to show this message originated from eBay. ... &lt;html&gt; &lt;head&gt; &lt;title&gt;eBay Research&lt;/title&gt; &lt;meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1"&gt; &lt;STYLE TYPE="text/css"&gt; &lt;!-- A { text-decoration: none; } That was a genuine message from eBay. They seem to have taken the HTML and converted the markup to HTML entities and stuffed the whole lot in the text version of the message.

Sat, 11 Jun 2011 00:05:43 UTC

Reliable map data

Posted By Greg Lehey

Call from Peter Dilley in the afternoon, reminding me of the books he lent me. Off after lunch to bring them back. I've never been there before, but I had the address, in Camms Road. That's what I have a GPS navigator for, of course. But, just as it doesn't know Kleins Road, where I live, it doesn't know Camms Road. It does know Cahills Road, a tiny little dead end forest road just across the road from Chris Yeardley, and offered that. Was the address correct? Difficult to say. Decided to check the address in the (online) phone book, but that didn't work either: there's no “Dilley” in there.

Fri, 10 Jun 2011 23:42:37 UTC

Installing the new disks

Posted By Greg Lehey

So now I have a new photo disk and two backup disks, all 2 “Terabytes”. First put one in one of the particularly cheap and nasty external enclosures, in the process coming across this gem on the power supply: It's bilingual German and English. In German, the input is rated at 100-240V ~, and the output is 12 V DC at 2 A, while in English the input is 50-60 Hz at 1 A (where does the rest of the power go?)

Fri, 10 Jun 2011 21:14:18 UTC

Friday Squid Blogging: Squid Cartoon

Posted By Bruce Schneier

Savage Chickens....

Fri, 10 Jun 2011 19:00:00 UTC

Reading Feeds

Posted By Tim Bray

NetNewsWire and its author Brent Simmons have been much in the news recently. NNW's future is a moving target, and that matters because the app matters; it's one of the better reasons to use a Mac. I was an early adopter. I launched this blog in February of 2003 and had built a backlog of articles for launch day; it included two that mentioned NNW, including NetNewsWire 1.0. Since that time, it has not failed to be a part of my daily routine. Lite 4.0 That's the label attached to Brent's most recent iteration, now in the hands of Black Pixel; it's in the Mac App Store.

Fri, 10 Jun 2011 17:59:49 UTC

Two Good Rants

Posted By Bruce Schneier

Patrick Gray on why we secretly love LulzSec, and Robert Cringely on why we openly hate RSA....

Fri, 10 Jun 2011 11:14:54 UTC

New Airport Scanning Technology

Posted By Bruce Schneier

Interesting: Iscon's patented, thermo-conductive technology combines infrared (IR) and heat transfer, for high-resolution imaging without using any radiation. The core of this is state of the art imaging which detects and processes a break in the established thermal balance between the clothes and a hidden object. The IR camera detects the heat radiating from even a tiny object, producing a...

Fri, 10 Jun 2011 01:09:01 UTC

Today's firefox crash

Posted By Greg Lehey

I'm beginning to see some sort of pattern in the firefox crashes. First, they all come out of the signal handler, so the first four stack frames are always the same: (gdb) bt #0  0x845a8147 in kill () from /lib/libc.so.7 #1  0x845a80a6 in raise () from /lib/libc.so.7 #2  0x823cb55a in XRE_LockProfileDirectory () from /usr/local/lib/firefox/libxul.so #3  <signal handler called> My guess is that the XRE_LockProfileDirectory () frame is saving the configuration before accepting the inevitable and re-raising the signal (in this case SIGSEGV). But once again it was in JavaScript code, and once again the backtrace terminated abnormally: #4  0x8322f682 in js::MarkContext () from /usr/local/lib/firefox/libxul.so #5  0xac6176c4 in ??

Fri, 10 Jun 2011 00:56:29 UTC

Still more disks

Posted By Greg Lehey

While in Geelong, went to MSY and bought 3 “2 TB” drives (really 2×10¹² bytes, or 1.82 TB of 2¿¿ bytes). With a couple of eSATA enclosures I ended up paying $316, $22 more than I would have paid for three external drives at Officeworks. I hope the eSATA interface is worth the extra money.

Thu, 09 Jun 2011 19:46:04 UTC

Best IPv6 Media Coverage?

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

PBS had, by far, the best coverage of World IPv6 Day. The piece was technically accurate, informative, picked excellent people to interview, and had no "doom" hype. The broadcast piece is here. Additional material that didn't make it into the broadcast is here. The worst coverage? A certain network magazine that covered it as some kind of Y2K Doomsday Conspiracy Theory. I won't mention their name. F---tards.

Thu, 09 Jun 2011 18:53:27 UTC

Spam as a Business

Posted By Bruce Schneier

Interesting research: Kirill Levchenko, et al. (2010), "Click Trajectories -- End-to-End Analysis of the Spam Value Chain," IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy 2011, Oakland, California, 24 May 2011. Abstract: Spam-based advertising is a business. While it has engendered both widespread antipathy and a multi-billion dollar anti-spam industry, it continues to exist because it fuels a profitable enterprise. We lack,...

Thu, 09 Jun 2011 17:28:56 UTC

Last call for Usenix LISA papers!

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

The official deadline is today, Thursday: June 9, 2011, 11:59 p.m. PDT or UTC/GMT -7 hours (click to see when that is in your timezone). Submission instructions: http://www.usenix.org/events/lisa11/cfp About the conference: http://www.usenix.org/events/lisa11

Thu, 09 Jun 2011 13:40:21 UTC

Amazon Technology Open House

Posted By James Hamilton

The Amazon Technology Open House was held Tuesday night at the Amazon South Lake Union Campus. I did a short presentation on the following:   ¿       Quickening pace of infrastructure innovation ¿       Where does the money go? ¿       Power distribution infrastructure ¿       Mechanical systems ¿       Modular & Advanced Building Designs ¿       Sea Change in Networking   The slides are posted at: http://mvdirona.com/jrh/TalksAndPapers/JamesHamilton_AmazonOpenHouse20110607.pdf

Thu, 09 Jun 2011 00:47:03 UTC

General public illiteracy

Posted By Greg Lehey

I've offered the old dish washer and vacuum cleaner on Freecycle. The dish washer in particular got considerable attention. Freecycle members have no particular computer-related qualifications, of course, but you'd hope for a certain amount of general literacy, and clearly the ability to use email is an advantage. The replies I received showed that a number of people had neither. Here a number of replies: do you still have this available as we are moving to Mt Mercer this week!! Would love this if u still have it !! I would love this dishwasher, I am a little handy with tools and could probably fix this unit.

Thu, 09 Jun 2011 00:11:49 UTC

Reception problems: config issue?

Posted By Greg Lehey

I've been keeping notes of less-than-perfect recordings lately, and gradually I'm seeing a pattern: they seem to be quite dependent on the channel. Most of the recent ones have been on two frequencies out of 5 (7 and Nine). Then it occurred to me: there's a column finetune in the configuration database. Was it maybe not set? No, it wasn't. Anywhere. All the rows had it set to either 0 or NULL. So I set it to 1 for all of them. Now to wait for the results.

Wed, 08 Jun 2011 23:41:31 UTC

Officeworks for computer supplies

Posted By Greg Lehey

While in town, also dropped in at Officeworks to buy some DVD+Rs. I'm planning to go to Geelong tomorrow, and while I'm there I'll probably buy some new 2 TB disks at MSY. But it's always good to compare prices, and to my surprise Officeworks had 2 TB external drives for $98. The cheapest ones at MSY, a real low-price company, are $99. That's quite surprising. Unfortunately, all their disks were USB-only, and I wanted eSATA, so I didn't buy anything.

Wed, 08 Jun 2011 23:12:21 UTC

Another firefox crash

Posted By Greg Lehey

The next firefox crash happened under similar circumstances to the last: I was trying to leave feedback on eBay. Is this also JavaScript? It's not in member functions, but it still appears to be JavaScript: (gdb) bt #0  0x845a8147 in kill () from /lib/libc.so.7 #1  0x845a80a6 in raise () from /lib/libc.so.7 #2  0x823cb55a in XRE_LockProfileDirectory () from /usr/local/lib/firefox/libxul.so #3  <signal handler called> #4  0x831dcfae in JSCompartment::wrap () from /usr/local/lib/firefox/libxul.so #5  0xbd5c3048 in ?? () #6  0x00000000 in ?? () #7  0xbfbfa798 in ?? () #8  0x82cba12d in xpc_LocalizeContext () from /usr/local/lib/firefox/libxul.so

Wed, 08 Jun 2011 20:46:13 UTC

25% of U.S. Criminal Hackers are Police Informants

Posted By Bruce Schneier

I have no idea if this is true: In some cases, popular illegal forums used by cyber criminals as marketplaces for stolen identities and credit card numbers have been run by hacker turncoats acting as FBI moles. In others, undercover FBI agents posing as "carders" ­ hackers specialising in ID theft ­ have themselves taken over the management of crime...

Wed, 08 Jun 2011 19:41:57 UTC

Collection of the intros to my ebooks

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Jon Bard and Lauren Backes have assembled the introductions to the free ebook editions of my novels and collections into one free electronic volume they call "the problem isn't piracy. the problem is obscurity." It's fun to see these little essays I wrote as ephemeral forematter take on a life of their own.

Wed, 08 Jun 2011 19:30:36 UTC

Populations by timezone

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Paul Clip was inspired by my novel Eastern Standard Tribe and made a set of analyses of world population by timezone. I cheated a little by using a simplifying assumption: if a country has multiple time zones, I divide its population evenly between them. This inaccuracy doesn't change the fact that our top three are... … [Read more]

Wed, 08 Jun 2011 19:00:00 UTC

Driftwood Triptych

Posted By Tim Bray

Just a dead tree by the ocean. It's a well-known dead tree, big enough to show up at the center of this satellite photo. I have heard that it washed up during the Seventies. Friends took me down here, I think, on my first adult visit to Vancouver; it has decayed visibly but gracefully since then. I usually try to take first-time visitors here.

Wed, 08 Jun 2011 16:33:18 UTC

What "World IPv6 Day" Means To Sysadmins

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

I'm going to be extremely technical here. Sysadmins should really understand what World IPv6 Day is. Does it mean the world is converting to IPv6 today? No. No, not at all. The upgrade requires technical planning and work. It can't happen without your help and without your knowing. Besides, the plan is to move to "dual stacked" IPv4+IPv6 on all hosts/networks and run that way for a good long time. Does it mean my ISP is going to enable IPv6 on my connection? No. Not at all. (Seriously, folks, when was the last time your ISP added a feature without you having to beg for it first?)

Wed, 08 Jun 2011 14:15:58 UTC

Closing keynote at Personal Democracy Forum

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Watch live streaming video from pdf2011 at livestream.com I gave the closing keynote at yesterday's Personal Democracy Forum in NYC; they've posted the video already. It was a remarkable event, filled with speakers who inspired me and got me riled up and wanting to do stuff. It was an honor to be on stage there … [Read more]

Tue, 07 Jun 2011 23:02:10 UTC

Another firefox crash

Posted By Greg Lehey

Firefox continues to crash at far-too-frequent intervals. I'm collecting stack backtraces. This one was much shorter: (gdb) bt #0  0x845a8147 in kill () from /lib/libc.so.7 #1  0x845a80a6 in raise () from /lib/libc.so.7 #2  0x823cb55a in XRE_LockProfileDirectory () from /usr/local/lib/firefox/libxul.so #3  <signal handler called> #4  0x8322f682 in js::MarkContext () from /usr/local/lib/firefox/libxul.so #5  0xb5ff1fc4 in ?? () So again it seems to be in JavaScript. This one was an eBay page.

Tue, 07 Jun 2011 16:00:26 UTC

“Ask Me Anything” interview is now live on Channel 9

Posted By Herb Sutter

The “Ask Me Anything” interview is now live. Thanks again for all your questions; we took as many of the most popular ones as we could. I hope you enjoy it. Filed under: C++, Software Development, Talks & Events

Tue, 07 Jun 2011 16:00:26 UTC

Ask Me Anything interview is now live on Channel 9

Posted By Herb Sutter

The “Ask Me Anything” interview is now live. Thanks again for all your questions; we took as many of the most popular ones as we could. I hope you enjoy it. Filed under: C++, Software Development, Talks & Events

Tue, 07 Jun 2011 10:32:48 UTC

Tennessee Makes Password Sharing Illegal

Posted By Bruce Schneier

Here's a new law that won't work: State lawmakers in country music's capital have passed a groundbreaking measure that would make it a crime to use a friend's login -- even with permission -- to listen to songs or watch movies from services such as Netflix or Rhapsody. [...] The legislation was aimed at hackers and thieves who sell passwords...

Tue, 07 Jun 2011 00:34:57 UTC

64 bit FreeBSD: the next attempt

Posted By Greg Lehey

The real problem I have in migrating my system to 64 bits is that I don't want any significant downtime on my main machine. Today I thought of another way to attack the problem: migrate Yvonne's system first. She's currently running FreeBSD 8.1, about a year old, so it's time for an upgrade anyway. Set off to do that: the first step was to add a new disk: for some reason I had forgotten to put a spare root partition on the system. But first to boot the system. Connected up the external USB drive with the 64 bit system and tried to boot.

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 19:59:17 UTC

Fighting Terrorism with Cupcakes

Posted By Bruce Schneier

MI6 hacked into an online al-Qaeda magazine and replaced bomb-making instructions with a cupcake recipe. It's a more polite hack than subtly altering the recipe so it blows up during the making process. (I've been told, although I don't know for sure, that the 1971 Anarchist's Cookbook has similarly flawed recipes.)...

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 17:34:44 UTC

Interview with BookBaby about publishing, business and copyright

Posted By Cory Doctorow

I sat down with BookBaby's Brian Felsen last month at the London Book Fair for a long interview about business, publishing, authorship and copyright. Brian's just posted the first installment of several that comprise the whole discussion.

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 15:00:00 UTC

Tom @ LOPSA-NYC, 7pm, June 14, 2011 speaking about The Ganeti Project

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

I'll be speaking at LOPSA-NYC Tuesday, June 14, 7pm. Please pre-register to speed your way through security. Come here me speak about the Ganeti open source project. Think virtualization clusters have to cost big bucks? Think virtualization isn't useful for a small site? Come and find out why a person that usually talks about Time Management thinks virtualization is his new favorite time management trick. Here is the official announcement. Topic: Ganeti: Open source virtualization (like VMWare ESX + VMotion but open source) Speaker: Tom Limoncelli, Google, Inc When: Tuesday, June 14, 7pm - 9:30pm Description: Ganeti is a cluster virtual server management software tool built on top of existing virtualization technologies such as Xen or KVM and other Open Source software.

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 14:07:41 UTC

Knights of the Rainbow Table 06

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Here's part six of my reading of my story-in-progress, Knights of the Rainbow Table, a story commissioned by Intel's Chief Futurist, Brian David Johnson. Brian oversees Intel's Tomorrow project, which uses science fiction to spark conversations about product design and use among Intel's engineers, and he was kind enough to invite me to write a … [Read more]

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 12:06:54 UTC

Analysis of Redaction Failures

Posted By Bruce Schneier

Redaction failures are so common that I stopped blogging about them years ago. This is the first analysis I have seen of technical redaction failures. And here's the NSA on how to redact....

Sun, 05 Jun 2011 23:54:58 UTC

Dying firefoxes

Posted By Greg Lehey

Firefox continues to crash. Today I ran ps -l against the process every second, and caught the output when it died. An extract:   UID   PID  PPID CPU PRI NI   VSZ   RSS MWCHAN STAT  TT       TIME COMMAND  1004 54918 54586   0  44  0 1038764 741776 ucond  S      7   41:01.34 /usr/local/lib/firefox/firefox-bin  1004 54918 54586   0  44  0 1038764 715868 -      T      7   41:01.98 /usr/local/lib/firefox/firefox-bin  1004 54918 54586   0  44  0 1038764 727948 -      TL     7   41:02.03 /usr/local/lib/firefox/firefox-bin  1004 54918 54586   0  44  0 1038764 727672 -      TL     7   41:02.10 /usr/local/lib/firefox/firefox-bin ...

Sun, 05 Jun 2011 23:47:52 UTC

More Hugin games

Posted By Greg Lehey

There are a number of new features in the latest version of Hugin. One of them—I think—is a direct display of various projections in the fast preview window. I've looked at various projections before, but I recalled it being quite a pain. Now I can select projections and look at them almost immediately.

Sun, 05 Jun 2011 19:00:00 UTC

Struts and Shadows

Posted By Tim Bray

Just a part of a rocking chair. People, I find, are remarkably forgiving when you pull out your camera, screw on another lens, and point it at their furniture.

Sun, 05 Jun 2011 19:00:00 UTC

Who Follows?

Posted By Tim Bray

Anyone who's been on Twitter for a while and has built a following occasionally wonders how many of them are real people; because plenty aren't. So I took some measurements. Methodology For a little while, I routed all the “<someone> is now following you on Twitter!” emails into a folder, and when the count got to be up over 100, I went and sorted 100 new followers into baskets which I made up as I went along: Real people: For better or for (sometimes much) worse, these accounts give the impression of being actual members of Homo sapiens who, implausible though it seems, may want to read my tweets.

Sun, 05 Jun 2011 17:56:23 UTC

Pattern-Welded Kurzsax

Posted By Niels Provos

Sat, 04 Jun 2011 23:50:37 UTC

Against the light panoramas and new hugin

Posted By Greg Lehey

Photo day again today, and again it was sunny. Took my photos as usual, and while converting them installed the latest version of Hugin, in the hope that the mask processing would be better. I wasn't completely disappointed. I can now reshape a mask by dragging on the corner points. Previously this moved the entire mask, not quite what I was looking for. But I still can't get include masks to work, and the mask boundaries are always shown in white, which makes them almost impossible to detect in my situation, where I'm working around the brightest parts of the image: And wouldn't it be nice to have the same mask for two images, one as an exclude mask and one as an include mask?

Sat, 04 Jun 2011 10:57:16 UTC

Welcome to Bordertown group signing in NYC, Jun 9

Posted By Cory Doctorow

While I'm in New York for Personal Democracy Forum, I'll be participating in a group signing/launch for Welcome to Bordertown, the shared-world fantasy anthology of stories about Bordertown, where faerie and the human world meet and magic and technology are equally unreliable. In attendance will be Holly Black, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Annette Curtis Klause, Ellen … [Read more]

Sat, 04 Jun 2011 00:27:15 UTC

Why copy zone info file?

Posted By Greg Lehey

On most UNIX-like systems, the canonical way to install a time zone file is simple: # cp -p /usr/share/zoneinfo/Australia/Melbourne /etc/localtime But why? An obvious reason is that /usr is usually a separate file system. That's not the way I do things, so I could equally well do: # ln -s /usr/share/zoneinfo/Australia/Melbourne /etc/localtime That would arguably make things easier when updating time zone files, which seems to be happening a lot lately.

Sat, 04 Jun 2011 00:04:17 UTC

Seamless system downgrade

Posted By Greg Lehey

I'm still puzzling about the problems starting X on the AMD-64 image for my machine, but it's not the highest priority. Today I saw another minor issue: the statistics program for my 3G modem counted bytes in 32 bit integers, and currently I have transferred about 3 GB (“-997 MiB”) since last starting PPP. Clearly a case for widening the integers. But what's the name of the program? It should be e169-stats, but I've been playing around with it, and for no particularly good reason the current version is called fstats. Went looking for it and didn't find it where I thought I should.

Fri, 03 Jun 2011 21:13:48 UTC

Friday Squid Blogging: LOLCat and Squid Toy

Posted By Bruce Schneier

Cute....

Fri, 03 Jun 2011 18:49:20 UTC

World War II Tunny Cryptanalysis Machine Rebuilt at Bletchley Park

Posted By Bruce Schneier

Neat: The rebuild team had only a few photographs, partial circuit diagrams and the fading memories of a few original Tunny operators to go on. Nonetheless a team led by John Pether and John Whetter was able to complete this restoration work. Pether explained that getting the electronics to work proved to be the most difficult part of the restoration...

Fri, 03 Jun 2011 15:24:06 UTC

Atul Gawande on Performance

Posted By James Hamilton

Earlier today Alex Mallet reminded me of the excellent writing of Atul Gawnade by sending me a pointer to the New Yorker coverage of Gawande's commencement address at the Harvard Medical School: Cowboys and Pit Crews.   Four years ago I wrote a couple of blog entries on Gawande's work but, at the time, my blog was company internal so I've not posted these notes here in the past:   As a follow-on to the posting I made on professional engineering (also posted externally http://perspectives.mvdirona.com/2007/11/07/ProfessionalEngineering.aspx) Edwin Young sent me a link to the following talk by Atul Gawande: Outcomes are very Personal.

Fri, 03 Jun 2011 11:41:21 UTC

Security vs. Privacy

Posted By Bruce Schneier

Daniel Solove on the security vs. privacy debate....

Fri, 03 Jun 2011 00:30:51 UTC

Firefox surpasses itself

Posted By Greg Lehey

I've been watching firefox crash with regular monotony. I wonder if it's running out of some internal memory space: it seems to hit about 1 GB in size and then crash. Just before it does, top shows it in STOP state:   PID USERNAME    THR PRI NICE   SIZE    RES STATE   C   TIME   WCPU COMMAND 80977 grog         21  44    0  1030M   897M STOP    0  30:17 16.65% firefox-bin If it's a memory limit, it's complicated: I've seen larger process images.

Thu, 02 Jun 2011 23:43:37 UTC

Cutting over to 64 bits

Posted By Greg Lehey

Carried on with the next step of the 64 bit upgrade today: upgraded the system to the latest FreeBSD 8-STABLE, built a new, custom kernel and booted as dereel.lemis.com. The system is (currently) on an external USB disk, so the cutover involved moving the disk to the correct system and rebooting. How did it work? Here are the things that I should have done before rebooting, some of which I really did do as described: Move /var/log and /var/squid to /home/var.

Thu, 02 Jun 2011 19:00:00 UTC

Cheap Laughs

Posted By Tim Bray

Reading the tech news of the day, I was moved to sneer at one story, and the Internet piled on in a way that gave me a few chances to snicker, so here they are. [Warning: Adult language.] I tweeted: “I mean, it's just fucking coupons. #amIcrazyOrAreTheyCrazy”. Selected responses: @datcatisfat: “No, it's like a ponzi scheme”. @hfiguiere: “I have some coupons for Bubble 2.0. $10 buys you plenty of steam. :-)” @coneslayer: “They are. If your whole business consists of taking in $10 and paying out $5, and you can't turn a profit...” @codinghorror: “HOLY SHIT DID YOU SAY COUPONS?” @getwired: “But these are REALLY, REALLY GOOD coupons.

Thu, 02 Jun 2011 19:00:00 UTC

+1

Posted By Tim Bray

The official statement is: The +1 button is shorthand for “this is pretty cool” or “you should check this out”. This blog now has 'em. If you're one of the (vast majority of) people who are looking at this in one feed-reader or another, you can't see them, but you might want to glance at the home page to get the feel. Or just open this article in a browser and look down at the bottom. Why? First of all, anything that makes search better makes the Web better. Right now, the only way to “vote something up” on the Web is by linking to it.

Thu, 02 Jun 2011 17:11:51 UTC

Open-Source Software Feels Insecure

Posted By Bruce Schneier

At first glance, this seems like a particularly dumb opening line of an article: Open-source software may not sound compatible with the idea of strong cybersecurity, but.... But it's not. Open source does sound like a security risk. Why would you want the bad guys to be able to look at the source code? They'll figure out how it works....

Thu, 02 Jun 2011 14:48:51 UTC

Spear Phishing Attacks from China Against Gmail Accounts

Posted By Bruce Schneier

Reporters have been calling me pretty much constantly about this story, but I can't figure out why in the world this is news. Attacks from China -- old news; attacks from China against Google -- old news; attacks from China against Google Gmail accounts -- old news. Spear phishing attacks from China against senior government officials -- old news. There's...

Thu, 02 Jun 2011 12:32:24 UTC

Man-in-the-Middle Attack Against the MCAT Exam

Posted By Bruce Schneier

In Applied Cryptography, I wrote about the "Chess Grandmaster Problem," a man-in-the-middle attack. Basically, Alice plays chess remotely with two grandmasters. She plays Grandmaster 1 as white and Grandmaster 2 as black. After the standard opening of 1. e4, she just replays the moves from one game to the other, and convinces both of them that she's a grandmaster in...

Thu, 02 Jun 2011 06:42:53 UTC

Walled gardens vs makers

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Make has posted on of my columns from the print edition online; "Walled Gardens vs. Makers" is a look at the way that modern, Internet-era making is built on knowledge sharing and collaboration, and how walled gardens get in the way: Because, of course, today I have millions of hacks and tips and tricks and … [Read more]

Wed, 01 Jun 2011 19:00:00 UTC

Clamshadow

Posted By Tim Bray

Just a broken seashell on a beach. There weren't enough pictures in this space in May. We can fix that.

Wed, 01 Jun 2011 19:00:00 UTC

Pink Edges

Posted By Tim Bray

Just a tulip, and mostly out of focus at that. The tulips are about done for 2011 and this is the only worthwhile picture. Feaugh.

Wed, 01 Jun 2011 13:59:08 UTC

Three-Volume History of Counterintelligence

Posted By Bruce Schneier

CI Reader: An American Revolution Into the New Millennium, Volumes I, II, and III is published by the U.S. Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive. (No, I've never heard of them, either.)...

Wed, 01 Jun 2011 00:11:44 UTC

Reboot solves Microsoft problems

Posted By Greg Lehey

Another strange thing happened during processing the images. A while back my wine emulation of Ashampoo photo optimizer started to hang. I found a workaround, but never the cause. Now, since yesterday's reboot, things are back to normal. I wish I knew why. It seems to be the Microsoft Way to solve problems by rebooting, even prophylactically, but this is almost certainly a FreeBSD issue, and it shouldn't happen there.