Blog Archive: October 2012

Wed, 31 Oct 2012 23:04:12 UTC

Still more photo processing

Posted By Greg Lehey

I had intended to play around more with Capture One Pro 7 today, but somehow I didn't get round to it. Instead spent some time looking at DxO Optics Pro release 8, in particular with regard to the problems I have had with release 7. In summary: 7.5.4 no longer processes files on SMB file systems. This problem was transient in 7.5.4 and 7.5.5, but I haven't seen it at all on 8.0. Can't save processing settings.

Wed, 31 Oct 2012 21:56:58 UTC

90 seconds @Build: Its a great week for C++

Posted By Herb Sutter

A few hours ago I sat down to give a short teaser for my webcast talk this Friday. Here it is. Feel free to forward. (I dont think they believed me when I said I could keep it to under two minutes.) Filed under: C++, Microsoft, Software Development, Talks & Events

Wed, 31 Oct 2012 16:49:00 UTC

Time to Boot

Posted By Benjamin Mako Hill

Last weekend, my friend Andrés Monroy-Hernández pointed out something that I've been noticing as well. Although the last decade has seen a huge decrease in the time of it takes to boot, the same can not be said for the increasing powerful computer in my pocket that is my phone. As the graph indicates, I think my cross-over was around 2010 when I acquired an SSD for my laptop.

Tue, 30 Oct 2012 17:57:30 UTC

Doping in Professional Sports

Posted By Bruce Schneier

I updated a 2006 essay of mine on the security issues around sports doping....

Tue, 30 Oct 2012 14:24:13 UTC

Rap News on Internet Surveillance

Posted By Bruce Schneier


Tue, 30 Oct 2012 11:49:06 UTC

Dan Ariely on Dishonesty

Posted By Bruce Schneier

Good talk, and I've always liked these animators....

Tue, 30 Oct 2012 05:34:17 UTC

Trying Capture One

Posted By Greg Lehey

By coincidence, also received mail from Phase One, advertising their new (I think) release of Capture One Pro 7, which does many of the same things that DxO Optics Pro does, though in this case the Pro is really in contrast to a non-Pro version. Again I get a free trial, this time 60 days, so I downloaded it and tried it out. Where's the documentation? There's a user guide for release 6, but all I can find for 7 is a Getting Started guide. A bit more searching found an online guide with precious few images, whose rendering upsets firefox, but which with a bit of effort explains what you have to do.

Tue, 30 Oct 2012 00:41:03 UTC

DxO 8: first impressions

Posted By Greg Lehey

DxO Optics Pro release 8 is now available, so I downloaded it to try it out. In brief: it works, and so far it seems that the problems I have seen in the past haven't shown up. But I haven't finished my checks yet. Instead, revisited some comparisons I did 3½ years ago, before I started using DxO. At the time I had two views that caused significant problems. Today I triednot for the first timeto process them with DxO, and this time I completed the task. Here are the comparisons with the base image, the best I got at the time, and what I got today with DxO: ...

Mon, 29 Oct 2012 23:25:08 UTC

Network disconnect insights

Posted By Greg Lehey

After yesterday's power failure, I noticed that my wireless Internet connection was no longer doing any cell hopping, to the point that I started looking at my reporting software. It took over 24 hours before it started again: Oct 28 09:02:51 nerd-gw ppp[1679]: tun0: IPCP: myaddr hisaddr = ... Oct 29 09:14:52 nerd-gw fstats: +CGREG  1  81E3  8FC8F2E And then, of course, I had another remote disconnect: Oct 29 16:52:14 nerd-gw ppp[1679]: tun0: LCP: deflink: RecvTerminateReq(3) state = Opened Oct 29 16:52:14 nerd-gw ppp[1679]: tun0: LCP: deflink: LayerDown Oct 29 16:52:14 nerd-gw ppp[1679]: tun0: LCP: deflink: SendTerminateAck(3) state = Opened Oct 29 16:52:14 nerd-gw ppp[1679]: tun0: LCP: deflink: State change Opened --> Stopping Roll on the radiation tower!

Mon, 29 Oct 2012 22:30:31 UTC

Finding an alternative to DxO

Posted By Greg Lehey

So far my experiences with DxO Optics Pro has been very frustrating. It's slower than anything I've seen, full of bugs, and the support people do everything they can to avoid fixing them. Now I can install a new version and pay more money, and the only mention of fixes is that the display bug I reported (they call it a feature) will not be fixed. So: what are the alternatives? The obvious (and free) one is Olympus Viewer 2. After a bit of investigation, discovered that I first needed to install a version 6 months old and then use that to install the latest version.

Mon, 29 Oct 2012 22:24:43 UTC

Detecting Fake Hurricane Photographs

Posted By Bruce Schneier

A short tutorial here. Actually, it's good advice even if there weren't a hurricane....

Mon, 29 Oct 2012 21:33:22 UTC

AMD Announces Server Targeted ARM Part

Posted By James Hamilton

I have been interested in, and writing about, microservers since 2007.  Microservers can be built using any instruction set architecture but Im particularly interested in ARM processors and their application to server-side workloads. Today Advanced Micro Devices announced they are going to build an ARM CPU targeting the server market. This will be 4-core, 64 bit, more than 2Ghz part that is expected to sample in 2013 and ship in volume in early 2014.   AMD is far from new to microserver market. In fact, much of my past work on microservers has been AMD-powered.

Mon, 29 Oct 2012 18:53:37 UTC

Protecting (and Collecting) the DNA of World Leaders

Posted By Bruce Schneier

There's a lot of hype and hyperbole in this story, but here's the interesting bit: According to Ronald Kessler, the author of the 2009 book In the Presidents Secret Service, Navy stewards gather bedsheets, drinking glasses, and other objects the president has touched­they are later sanitized or destroyed­in an effort to keep would be malefactors from obtaining his genetic material....

Mon, 29 Oct 2012 16:35:29 UTC

The Future of C++: Live broadcast this Friday

Posted By Herb Sutter

In my talk on Friday, there will be announcements of broad interest to C++ developers on all compilers and platforms. Please help spread the word. The Future of C++ Friday, November 2, 2012 12:45pm (U.S. Pacific Time) This talk will give an update on recent progress and near-future directions for C++, both at Microsoft and [...]

Mon, 29 Oct 2012 11:36:19 UTC

Sony Playstation 3 Master Key Leaked

Posted By Bruce Schneier


Sun, 28 Oct 2012 23:46:09 UTC

DxO support: all your fault

Posted By Greg Lehey

My interaction with DxO support continues to be frustrating. They don't read the reports, and they continually blame the problems on my configuration that just meets the minimum requirements. They won't tell me why this is a problem with accessing files via SMB. Indeed, they don't know what that is: Please advise specifically what your issues are with access to shared (CIFS/SMB) file systems. Also please enlighten me as to the characteristics of these file systems, there are so many and I am personally unfamiliar with this specific terminology.

Sun, 28 Oct 2012 01:34:44 UTC

Scrambled display on hi-res monitor

Posted By Greg Lehey

I'm very happy with my new 2560×1440 monitor, but on three occasions now I've had a scrambled display when powering on: The first two cases were shortly after I got it, and the third was today. In each case I powered cycled it and it came up correctly, so I assume this is some kind of power-up race condition.

Sat, 27 Oct 2012 10:11:53 UTC

Coming to Boston today for finale of the Pirate Cinema tour

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Yo, Boston! Today is the last day of my Pirate Cinema tour (after this, I'll be touring complete) and I'm wrapping it up in Boston, the 18th city in 6 weeks, where I'll be appearing at the Boston Book Festival, on a 4:15 panel with MT Anderson, Rachel Cohn, and Gabrielle Zevin. Come on out … [Read more]

Fri, 26 Oct 2012 21:26:20 UTC

Friday Squid Blogging: Squid from the Power Ranger Universe

Posted By Bruce Schneier

Ika Origami....

Fri, 26 Oct 2012 11:46:52 UTC

Hacking TSA PreCheck

Posted By Bruce Schneier

I have a hard time getting worked up about this story: I have X'd out any information that you could use to change my reservation. But it's all there, PNR, seat assignment, flight number, name, ect. But what is interesting is the bolded three on the end. This is the TSA Pre-Check information. The number means the number of beeps....

Fri, 26 Oct 2012 11:31:32 UTC

In Toronto today, Boston tomorrow

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Hey, Toronto! It's my last night in town -- I'll be at Harbourfront's International Festival of Authors doing a double-act with China Mieville (there's still some tickets available). Tomorrow I'm off to the Boston Book Festival for the very last stop of the Pirate Cinema tour -- come on out and watch me attempt to … [Read more]

Thu, 25 Oct 2012 19:00:00 UTC

Cant We All Just Get Along?

Posted By Tim Bray

Heres the weird thing about this identity gig: Theres no enemy. So who can we blame for our failures? Over the years, for each of the things Ive cared about, usually theres been an Adversary, a big strong scary one. Ive championed Unix against VMS, the Internet against the OSI stack, Linux against Windows, descriptive markup against Adobe, REST against WS-*, agile against waterfall, dynamic typing against the statically-typed incumbents, Android against locked-down app ecosystems, and so on. But, in the world of Identity, whos the bad guy? I mean, seriously, is there anyone who thinks the current username/password miasma is worth defending?

Thu, 25 Oct 2012 19:00:00 UTC

Cant We All Just Get Along?

Posted By Tim Bray

Heres the weird thing about this identity gig: Theres no enemy. So who can we blame for our failures? Over the years, for each of the things Ive cared about, usually theres been an Adversary, a big strong scary one. Ive championed Unix against VMS, the Internet against the OSI stack, Linux against Windows, descriptive markup against Adobe, REST against WS-*, agile against waterfall, dynamic typing against the statically-typed incumbents, Android against locked-down app ecosystems, and so on. But, in the world of Identity, whos the bad guy? I mean, seriously, is there anyone who thinks the current username/password miasma is worth defending?

Thu, 25 Oct 2012 11:27:58 UTC

The Risks of Trusting Experts

Posted By Bruce Schneier

I'm not sure what to think about this story: Six Italian scientists and an ex-government official have been sentenced to six years in prison over the 2009 deadly earthquake in L'Aquila. A regional court found them guilty of multiple manslaughter. Prosecutors said the defendants gave a falsely reassuring statement before the quake, while the defence maintained there was no way...

Thu, 25 Oct 2012 11:27:31 UTC

Talking in Toronto today, tomorrow (then Boston!)

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Hey, Toronto! I'll be at the Harbourfront International Festival of Authors tonight and tomorrow night (tonight it's a joint appearance with Larissa Andrusyshyn, Stuart Clark, Corey Redekop and Robert J. Sawyer; tomorrow, it's a twofer with China Mieville). Then I head to Boston for the last engagement in my Pirate Cinema tour, a free, ticketed … [Read more]

Thu, 25 Oct 2012 01:40:05 UTC

Controlling server configurations with IPS

Posted By Bart Smaalders

I recently received a customer question regarding how they best could control which packages and which versions were used on their production Solaris 11 servers.  They had considered pointing each server at its own software repository - a common initial approach.  A simpler method leverages one of dependency mechanisms we introduced with Solaris 11, but is not immediately obvious to most people. Typically, most internal IT departments qualify particular versions for production use.  What this customer wanted to do was insure that their operations staff only installed internally qualified versions of Solaris on their servers.  The easiest way of doing this is to leverage the 'incorporate' type of dependency in a small package defined for each server type.  From the reference " Packaging and Delivering Software With the Image Packaging System in Oracle® Solaris 11.1":  The incorporate dependency specifies that if the given package is installed, ...

Wed, 24 Oct 2012 23:31:43 UTC

High definition: a matter of viewpoint

Posted By Greg Lehey

I'm still looking for a new video card for my computer. It looks as if the Zotac ZT-60201-10L might be the choice. It seems that it can feed two monitors with up to 2560×1600 dpi. High definition indeed, at least in part. Clearly it hasn't filtered through to the spec sheet:

Wed, 24 Oct 2012 18:27:15 UTC

Risks of Data Portability

Posted By Bruce Schneier

Peter Swire and Yianni Lagos have pre-published a law journal article on the risks of data portability. It specifically addresses an EU data protection regulation, but the security discussion is more general. ...Article 18 poses serious risks to a long-established E.U. fundamental right of data protection, the right to security of a person's data. Previous access requests by individuals were...

Wed, 24 Oct 2012 11:05:13 UTC

Coming to Toronto, Boston

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Hey, Toronto! I'll be at the Harbourfront International Festival of Authors on Thursday and Friday nights, both times at 8PM. On Thursday, I'm reading with Larissa Andrusyshyn, Stuart Clark, Corey Redekop and Robert J. Sawyer; on Friday, I'm doing a double-act with China Mieville. From there, I head to Boston for the final appearance of … [Read more]

Wed, 24 Oct 2012 10:57:41 UTC

Weaponizing Office Supplies

Posted By Bruce Schneier

Now this is interesting....

Wed, 24 Oct 2012 00:56:47 UTC

NiZn batteries: more problems

Posted By Greg Lehey

The indoor part of the inside/outside thermometer has again had problems with the Nickel-Zinc batteries. Once again I noticed it because the illumination was weak. And once again the voltage of one of the batteries had dropped to just over 1.0 V. Looking at my records, I see it was the same one I had problems with last time. Here part of my records:             Before       After Battery       Date       ...

Tue, 23 Oct 2012 12:49:10 UTC

Coming to Seattle today, then Toronto and Boston

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Hey, Seattle! I'll be in town for one day only today, making a pair of public appearances -- first at the University Bookstore at 1230h, then at Elliot Bay Books at 1900h. Both are free! From Seattle, I go east for the last two cities in my Pirate Cinema tour: first a pair of evening … [Read more]

Mon, 22 Oct 2012 23:36:29 UTC

GIMP: It must be like that

Posted By Greg Lehey

Callum Gibson disagreed with my comments on GIMP from a couple of days ago. I've heard them before, both from him and from others. I still disagree. In summary (my comments in italics): gimp * is not the correct way to use GIMP. But only because it handles the situation so badly. I'm not convinced that there is a good way to use GIMP. GIMP is very powerful but complicated.

Mon, 22 Oct 2012 12:26:02 UTC

Coming to Vancouver and Victoria today, then Seattle, Toronto and Boston

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Hey, Vancouver and Victoria! Today I wrap up my Pirate Cinema tour weekend in Van with an appearance for the BC Civil Liberties Association and the Centre for Digital Media at 11AM at the Great Northern Way Campus, then I jump on a sea-plane and head to Victoria for a talk tonight at Bolen Books … [Read more]

Mon, 22 Oct 2012 12:18:53 UTC

Camera Jammer that Protects Licence Plates

Posted By Bruce Schneier

noPhoto reacts to a camera flash, and then jams the image with a bright light. The website makes the point that this is legal, but that can't last....

Mon, 22 Oct 2012 09:16:00 UTC


Posted By Benjamin Mako Hill

The seal of the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center declares "Protection is Our Trademark." But, is the same seal violating Nintendo's trademark for the Pokémon Zapdos? I'll let you decide. Thanks to Tomas Reimers for catching this one. Previous lookalikes here and here.

Sun, 21 Oct 2012 23:41:19 UTC

avidemux2: the pain

Posted By Greg Lehey

More discussion on IRC of the problems I've been having with avidemux2. There is no formal maintainer for the FreeBSD port, but Jürgen Lock has done some work on it recently. Did some more examination and discovered that I needed to install a second port, avidemux2-plugins. Why? One of the advantages of the Ports Collection is that this gets done for you. But it seems that there's an issue with the way newer versions of avidemux2 build, and that makes it incompatible with the Ports Collection. I'm sure there's a solution to that, but at the very least the port should print an appropriate message when it's done.

Sun, 21 Oct 2012 17:20:24 UTC

Chemical Element Trump Cards

Posted By Diomidis D. Spinellis

I can still remember the weight of the Lancia Stratus car that featured in the Top Trumps cards were playing as children in the 1970s: 870kg. It was the lightest of all the flashy cars in the set, and therefore a much sought-after card. Other card sets that kept us busy included airplanes, motorcycles, and tanks. Through them we learned tens of useless trivia, but also got a feeling of the compromises inherent in engineering.

Sun, 21 Oct 2012 14:20:26 UTC

Coming to Kidsbooks, Vancouver tonight

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Yo, Vancouver! Thanks to all of you who turned up to both of the sold-out events yesterday at the Writers Festival. If you missed out, I've got another event tonight, at Kidsbooks at 7PM, and I'll be at the Great Northern Way Campus Centre for Digital Media on Monday at 11, before I head to … [Read more]

Sun, 21 Oct 2012 03:11:29 UTC

GIMP: The solution?

Posted By Greg Lehey

Yvonne has been using xv for her photo processing for some time now. It's 20 years old, and by modern standards it's limited. In particular, it doesn't handle EXIF data, because it didn't exist when it was written. So it occurred to me that she might be able to use GIMP instead. She had taken some photos today, so I got her to try them out. What a pain! She hated it, and I can't blame her. Workflow is terrible. With xv, she simply did: === [email protected] (/dev/pts/9) ~/Photos/20121020 55 -> xv * xv then presents the photos one by one.

Sat, 20 Oct 2012 22:48:55 UTC

Google Mechanical Design

Posted By James Hamilton

When I come across interesting innovations or designs notably different from the norm, I love to dig in and learn the details. More often than not I post them here. Earlier this week, Google posted a number of pictures taken from their datacenters (Google Data Center Tech). The pictures are beautiful and of interest to just about anyone, somewhat more interesting to those working in technology, and worthy of detailed study for those working in datacenter design. My general rule with Google has always been that anything they show publically is always at least one generation old and typically more.

Sat, 20 Oct 2012 16:53:52 UTC

Humble Ebook Bundle breaks the $1,000,000 barrier

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Just now, a few minutes before 10AM Pacific, the Humble Ebook Bundle crossed the $1 MILLION mark. Yes, it's an arbitrary round number, but it's a BIGGUN! For those of you who haven't clocked it, the Humble Ebook Bundle is a collection of 13 ebooks -- science fiction, fantasy, and graphic novels -- for which … [Read more]

Sat, 20 Oct 2012 12:29:32 UTC

Pirate Cinema presentation at Brooklyns WORD

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Joly MacFie from The Punkcast was good enough to bring his cameras down to my Pirate Cinema tour stop at Brooklyn's WORD books, and has uploaded the presentation (including the airing of the runners-up and winner of the remix video contest we held) to YouTube. Thanks, Joly!

Sat, 20 Oct 2012 11:37:13 UTC

Ill be at the Vancouver Writers Festival today with William Gibson

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Hey, Vancouver! Quick reminder: there are still some tickets left for my appearance with William Gibson today at the Vancouver Writers Festival (the conversation with Margaret Atwood is sold out, alas), and I'll be around tomorrow at 7PM for a Kidsbooks event at the West Point Grey United Church, and then on Monday at 11AM … [Read more]

Sat, 20 Oct 2012 01:51:18 UTC

DxO Optics: Not supported

Posted By Greg Lehey

The progress of my bug report about saving defaults with DxO Optics Pro was amazing. First it got folded into a different ticket about the problems that DxO has, apparently with CIFSa completely unrelated issue. Then today I got a response: Microsoft Windows 8 isn't supported. Problem: the ticket relates to Microsoft Windows XP. And he asked for traces, which I had submitted over a month ago. Clearly a problem with the work flow in support. But where did he get the information that I'm running (pre-release) Windows 8? It's not in the bug report: I wasn't able to select it, so I specified Windows 7.

Sat, 20 Oct 2012 00:42:15 UTC

Correctly identifying plants

Posted By Greg Lehey

Over the last few days I've discovered a number of errors in plant naming. I've already mentioned the shrub we bought as Cissus, which I still haven't identified. But by chance I've come across a couple of others. The ginger that I have called Hedychium coronarium is in fact Hedychium gardnerianum. Hedychium coronarium looks very similar, but the flowers are white. Here my Hedychium gardnerianum, then Hedychium coronarium from wikimedia: width="300" /> In addition, while tidying up today, I found a label for an Iberis sempervirens Winter glow, which proves to be what I have been calling Euphorbia Diamond frost.

Sat, 20 Oct 2012 00:04:32 UTC

More video copying

Posted By Greg Lehey

Continued with copying video tapes todayI had forgotten how long this can take in real time. In the process it occurred to me how many different video cameras I have had. In 1984 I borrowed one for a specific event, and in 1985, just before the birth of my daughter Yana, I bought my first own camera/video recorder combination. But that didn't last long: in late 1988, I think, I got a hand-held 8mm Sony camcorder, to be followed up with a second in late 1999. That one died in 1986, and since then we haven't taken any video, though I bought a second-hand Samsung recorder to copy the tapes.

Fri, 19 Oct 2012 21:54:20 UTC

Friday Squid Blogging: Squid Insurance

Posted By Bruce Schneier

This was once a real insurance product. Squid Insurance Marketing was the low-end offering at Astonish, complete with the tagline "Nothing Kills a Squid!" As usual, you can also use this squid post to talk about the security stories in the news that I haven't covered....

Fri, 19 Oct 2012 12:45:59 UTC

Stoking Cyber Fears

Posted By Bruce Schneier

A lot of the debate around President Obama's cubsersecurity initiative center on how much of a burden it would be on industry, and how that should be financed. As important as that debate is, it obscures some of the larger issues surrounding cyberwar, cyberterrorism, and cybersecurity in general. It's difficult to have any serious policy discussion amongst the fear mongering....

Fri, 19 Oct 2012 12:09:46 UTC

Coming to Vancouver this weekend

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Hey, Vancouver! I'm headed your way tomorrow for a pair of ticketed appearances at the Vancouver Writers Festival, the first with William Gibson at 2PM, then another at 5PM with Margaret Atwood and Pasha Malla. On Sunday at 6PM, Kidsbooks (one of the last great independent children's bookstores in the country) is hosting an event … [Read more]

Thu, 18 Oct 2012 23:44:36 UTC

Video processing software

Posted By Greg Lehey

Now that my old videos are gradually trickling in in digital format, it's time to cut them into individual clips. What do I use for that? Recently I've been using avidemux2, but this time I got a message I hadn't expected: OK, that's really for for AVI images, and this is MPEG. In the past I've used Project X, so I tried that again. But how do you use it? There's still no documentation, and I forgot. The only documentation I found was out of date and only addresses small parts of the program.

Thu, 18 Oct 2012 22:34:04 UTC

Coming to Edmonton tomorrow morning

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Hey, Edmonton! A reminder: I'll be at the free PAGES library conference tomorrow morning at the Stanley Milner Library. My keynote is at 9:15 AM, followed by a Q&A at 1130h and a signing at 1, before I head out to Vancouver for the Vancouver Writers Festival where I'll be doing two ticketed events; one … [Read more]

Thu, 18 Oct 2012 11:11:51 UTC

Analysis of How Bitcoin Is Actually Used

Posted By Bruce Schneier

"Quantitative Analysis of the Full Bitcoin Transaction Graph," by Dorit Ron and Adi Shamir: Abstract. The Bitcoin scheme is a rare example of a large scale global payment system in which all the transactions are publicly accessible (but in an anonymous way). We downloaded the full history of this scheme, and analyzed many statistical properties of its associated transaction graph....

Thu, 18 Oct 2012 00:42:21 UTC

Diary topics revisited

Posted By Greg Lehey

About four years ago I made a change to this diary, adding topics, or categories. Nothing new; others have been doing it for years. But of course I wanted to do it My Way. Not too many categories; people will miss things like that. And preferably ones that are orthogonal. At the time, it seems that computers (technology, for want of a better term), photography and multimedia were relatively orthogonal, but they're coalescing. All the more reason for a small number of categories.

Wed, 17 Oct 2012 23:52:30 UTC

Video online

Posted By Greg Lehey

I've been taking photos for over half a century, and I've spent a lot of effort over the last few years to put them on the web in a manner I consider appropriate. But in the early 1980s I was unfaithful: I first borrowed, then bought a video camera, and declared that from then on all my records would be on video. It took until about 10 years ago for me to reconsider. Videos can contain more information than photos, but watching them takes time. Even today I don't often look at YouTube videos, because my experience is that they're seldom worth the expenditure of time.

Wed, 17 Oct 2012 19:00:00 UTC

Sandman Pricing

Posted By Tim Bray

Back in September I recommended (albeit in a sort of snotty tone) Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey. Shortly after that, I found out that its not just a book, its a series. Ive been reading it but Ive stopped because I think Amazons robbing me. I realized that Id enjoyed Slims company and the dark sparkle of the conversation so much that Id ignore the silly back story and cartoon theology and give the sequels a try. Im glad I did, because theyre terrific fun. But then I noticed people talking about how the book was on sale cheap, like for 99¢; Id paid a lot more.

Wed, 17 Oct 2012 19:00:00 UTC

Sandman Pricing

Posted By Tim Bray

Back in September I recommended (albeit in a sort of snotty tone) Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey. Shortly after that, I found out that its not just a book, its a series. Ive been reading it but Ive stopped because I think Amazons robbing me. [Update:] As many commenters have pointed out, the price difference seems to be because Im in Canada. A few points on that: The un-signed-in browser is also coming to Amazon from Canada, and Amazon knows that. I paid $10.36 on September 9th for Sandman Slim, which is now $1.15. I paid $9.35 for Kill the Dead, which is now $4.65 I paid $4.63 for Aloha from Hell, which is (gasp!)

Wed, 17 Oct 2012 16:16:45 UTC

Google Throws Open Doors to Its Top-Secret Data Center

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

The photos look like "IBM meets Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory". For the first time, the company has invited cameras inside its top secret facility in North Carolina. Our tour guide is Google's senior vice president, Urs Hoelzle, who's in charge or building and running all of Google's data centers. 'Today we have 55,200 servers on this floor. Each of these servers is basically like a PC, except somewhat more powerful.' 5 minute video from CBS Morning Show: A detailed article by Steven Levy:

Wed, 17 Oct 2012 15:31:43 UTC

The App Developers Alliance

Posted By Joel Spolsky

A couple of months ago, Jon Potter came over for lunch and asked me to be the chairman of the board at the Application Developers Alliance. I said, Sure! On one condition: I get to define what you mean by Application, what you mean by Developers, and of course, Alliance has the standard definition from Star Wars: A New Hope. He agreed to that. So, heres my attempt to define those things. Historically, the computer industry has divided software into two types. Systems Software is inward facing: it controls the computers themselves. That includes things like operating systems, internet servers, and so on.

Wed, 17 Oct 2012 11:23:52 UTC

Genetic Privacy

Posted By Bruce Schneier

New report from the Presidential Commission for the Study of Biothethical Issues. It's called "Privacy and Progress in Whole Genome Sequencing." The Commission described the rapid advances underway in the field of genome sequencing, but also noted growing concerns about privacy and security. The report lists twelve recommendations to improve current practices and to help safeguard privacy and security, including...

Wed, 17 Oct 2012 10:02:46 UTC

A Japanese animation pirate cinema makers story

Posted By Cory Doctorow

A reader of Pirate Cinema sent me her amazing story of how she became a video remix artist, and how she views the law and rules for copyright. We've published it as a feature on Boing Boing; here's a little taste of it: When MegaUpload was shut down, the Japanese media fan community was in … [Read more]

Wed, 17 Oct 2012 09:37:46 UTC

Universal Computer Users

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Citing my talk on General Purpose Computing and regulation (and many other works), Olia Lialina describes a "General Purpose User... that was formed through three decades of adjusting general purpose technology to their needs": General Purpose Users can write an article in their e-mail client, layout their business card in Excel and shave in front … [Read more]

Wed, 17 Oct 2012 09:24:30 UTC

Coming to Bethesda tonight

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Hey, DC! I'm heading to Bethesda today for my Pirate Cinema tour -- I'll be at the Bethesda Public Library tonight at 7PM. Come on out and say hi before I head to Edmonton, Vancouver, Victoria, Seattle, Toronto and Boston! Here's the full schedule.

Wed, 17 Oct 2012 01:40:26 UTC

Interview on the Command Line podcast

Posted By Cory Doctorow

I recently sat down with Thomas Gideon of the wonderful Command Line podcast, and talked about Rapture of the Nerds, Pirate Cinema, and the future of the Internet. It's always a pleasure to be on Thomas's show. MP3 Link

Tue, 16 Oct 2012 23:43:46 UTC

DxO bug reports

Posted By Greg Lehey

Finally got round to putting in a bug report for the problems I'm having with DxO Optics Pro. Their bug report site is only for customers, so here's the content: Since installing version 7.5.4 of DxO Optics "Pro", I have had numerous difficulties with the interface. In particular: The "process" window now shows the selected images, very slowly and out of sequence. In particular, the incorrect sequence is very irritating.

Tue, 16 Oct 2012 22:59:42 UTC

UPS problems solved

Posted By Greg Lehey

Another power failure at 3:21 this morning. Again only a brief failure, again the new UPS and the new power supply on eureka didn't help. Vented my anger on IRC, with unexpected results: gr00gle: Grrr. gr00gle: Another brief power failure, another system down. gr00gle: New UPS.  New PSU. gr00gle: What can be causing it? callum: It's not plugged in to the UPS? peter: snap Darius: hehe callum: Seems the most obvious. callum: After all, you do have a messy desk. * gr00gle . o O ( For every complex problem there's a solution that is simple, elegant * gr00gle and wrong ) gr00gle: Still, worth a try.

Tue, 16 Oct 2012 19:29:47 UTC

Five more books join the Humble Ebook Bundle!

Posted By Cory Doctorow

We've hit the halfway mark on the Humble Ebook Bundle, a name-your-price, support-for-charity, DRM-free ebook promotion. With one week to go, we've added in FIVE more books: XKCD Volume 0; Zach Weiner's Save Yourself, Mammal and The Most Dangerous Game; Penny Arcade: Attack of the Bacon Robots; and Penny Arcade: Epic Legends of the Magic … [Read more]

Tue, 16 Oct 2012 15:53:44 UTC

Reader Q&A: volatile (again)

Posted By Herb Sutter

Sarmad Asgher asked a variant of a perennial question: I am implementing multi producer single consumer problem. I have shared variables like m_currentRecordsetSize which tells the current size of the buffer. I am using m_currentRecordsetSize in a critical section do i need to declare it as volatile. If youre in C or C++, and the [...]

Tue, 16 Oct 2012 13:07:29 UTC

ACM Queue interview on research into the hardware-software interface

Posted By Robert N. M. Watson

ACM Queue has posted my August 2012 interview on research into the hardware-software interface. We discuss the importance of a whole-stack view in addressing contemporary application security problems, which are often grounded in how we represent and execute software over lower-level substrates. We need to consider CPU design, operating systems, programming languages, applications, and formal [...]

Tue, 16 Oct 2012 11:12:52 UTC

Studying Zero-Day Attacks

Posted By Bruce Schneier

Interesting paper: "Before We Knew It: An Empirical Study of Zero-Day Attacks In The Real World," by Leyla Bilge and Tudor Dumitras: Abstract: Little is known about the duration and prevalence of zeroday attacks, which exploit vulnerabilities that have not been disclosed publicly. Knowledge of new vulnerabilities gives cyber criminals a free pass to attack any target of their choosing,...

Tue, 16 Oct 2012 10:36:55 UTC

My head, made of sugar

Posted By Cory Doctorow

I'm heading to Philly tonight on the Pirate Cinema tour, and jrdnmlr from the Hive76 hackspace has downloaded the 3D scan of my head from Thingiverse, and is, even now, printing it out in sugar, using a Barracuda extruder. Can't wait to see it IRL.

Tue, 16 Oct 2012 10:28:59 UTC

Coming to Philly tonight

Posted By Cory Doctorow

I'm heading to Philly today for an event at Indy Hall, co-sponsored by the awesome Geekadelphia and the Hive76 hackerspace. From there I go to Bethesda, Edmonton, Vancouver, Victoria, Seattle, Toronto, then, finally, Boston! Here's the schedule, looking forward to seeing you!

Tue, 16 Oct 2012 00:59:51 UTC

This Week in Tech

Posted By Cory Doctorow

This weekend I appeared on the This Week in Tech Podcast, to talk about the tech news of the week, as well as Rapture of the Nerds, Pirate Cinema and Humble Ebook Bundle. The other guests on the show were Jason Hiner and Larry Magid, and Leo Laporte, as always, played host. It was a … [Read more]

Tue, 16 Oct 2012 00:10:03 UTC

More thoughts on NiZn batteries

Posted By Greg Lehey

A couple of days ago I noted that mixing different kinds of batteries is a Bad Thing after all, due to the possibility of passing more current through a discharged battery than it can handle. On that occasion the device was the indoor part of my wireless inside/outside thermometer, and I had put one Nickel-Zinc battery with one NiMH battery because two NiMH batteries weren't enough to run the illumination. So this time I put in two NiZn batteries, and sure enough, the illumination was wonderful. But that was 4 days ago. Today I looked again, and it was as dim as if I had had NiMH batteries in there.

Mon, 15 Oct 2012 19:00:00 UTC

Twitter OAuth, Easy

Posted By Tim Bray

Back in 2009 I wrote this little Ruby script I run Mondays to grab the last weeks tweets and publish them into the Short-form Fragments stream here on the blog, because who knows when Twitter might make my history vanish? It broke today and I fixed it and had another instructive OAuth experience. The error message was a 404 on something called user_timeline.xml; a bit of poking around produced contradictory evidence, but some of it was that this had been deprecated in favor of a JSON version. I was a little irritated but not too much; Id been using XPath probes to pull the interesting bits out of the XML, and tweets arent document-like at all, so JSON should be a better fit.

Mon, 15 Oct 2012 19:00:00 UTC

5k: Hard Again

Posted By Tim Bray

In the mid-Seventies, old Mississippi/Chicago bluesman Muddy Waters had record-label problems, but still an audience. Young Texas bluesman Johnny Winter had never been a pop star, but had one too. So Johnny producing and playing on an album by Muddy wasnt really a long shot; and Hard Again came out great. (5k series introduction here; with an explanation of why the title may look broken.) The Context Nobody has ever played electric blues better than McKinley Morganfield. I saw him a few times, the last time just months before his death; of that, I wrote here: He was old and seemed older; was helped onto the stage and performed sitting down.

Mon, 15 Oct 2012 19:00:00 UTC

Why Vinyl?

Posted By Tim Bray

As an engineer and Internet guy, I feel almost guilty about the fact that I like listening to LPs so much; the technologies used to record the music and play it back should be obsolete. But I do. [This piece was originally going to be the last paragraph of 5k: Hard Again, but it got out of control; you can love Seventies electric blues without caring in the slightest about audio technology.] Im OK with digital music; my big setup is perfectly capable of vanishing when its playing anything produced with even modest competence, and regularly does better, grabbing my attention when its wandered, making me think damn, that sounds good. But theres the occasional work on well-recorded vinyl that goes further: when suddenly, the musicians...

Mon, 15 Oct 2012 19:00:00 UTC

Why Vinyl?

Posted By Tim Bray

As an engineer and Internet guy, I feel almost guilty about the fact that I like listening to LPs so much; the technologies used to record the music and play it back should be obsolete. But I do. [This piece was originally going to be the last paragraph of 5k: Hard Again, but it got out of control; you can love Seventies electric blues without caring in the slightest about audio technology.] Im OK with digital music; my big setup is perfectly capable of vanishing when its playing anything produced with even modest competence, and regularly does better, grabbing my attention when its wandered, making me think damn, that sounds good. But theres the occasional work on well-recorded vinyl that goes further: when suddenly, the musicians...

Mon, 15 Oct 2012 18:21:40 UTC

Apple Turns on iPhone Tracking in iOS6

Posted By Bruce Schneier

This is important: Previously, Apple had all but disabled tracking of iPhone users by advertisers when it stopped app developers from utilizing Apple mobile device data via UDID, the unique, permanent, non-deletable serial number that previously identified every Apple device. For the last few months, iPhone users have enjoyed an unusual environment in which advertisers have been largely unable to...

Mon, 15 Oct 2012 16:02:37 UTC

Interview with CBCs CanadaWrites

Posted By Cory Doctorow

I did a little eight-question interview with the CBC's CanadaWrites program. Here's a few of 'em: 6. Sharon Butala asks, What do you think of the age-old notion that the best writing comes out of a life led outside the bourgeoisie, where so-called "rules" of normal middle-class life are deliberately broken and impulse is your … [Read more]

Mon, 15 Oct 2012 12:02:08 UTC

Master Keys

Posted By Bruce Schneier

Earlier this month, a retired New York City locksmith was selling a set of "master keys" on eBay: Three of the five are standard issue for members of the FDNY, and the set had a metal dog tag that was embossed with an FDNY lieutenant's shield number, 6896. The keys include the all-purpose "1620," a master firefighter key that with...

Mon, 15 Oct 2012 11:16:51 UTC

Coming to Brooklyn tonight

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Hey, Brooklyn! I'll be at WORD Books tonight at 7PM for the last New York stop on my Pirate Cinema tour. Tomorrow I'll be in Philly at Indy Hall, before heading to Bethesda, Edmonton, Vancouver, Victoria, Seattle, Toronto and Boston (whew!). Looking forward to seeing you there! Here's the whole schedule -- be there or … [Read more]

Mon, 15 Oct 2012 00:04:04 UTC

Flowers in garden again

Posted By Greg Lehey

Garden flower photo day today, again without too much difficulty. The real issue was with DxO Optics Pro. I strongly suspect that a(nother) bug has slipped in in the last version. I can save my workspaces all I want, but when I load them again, it is still missing a number of settings. More experimentation needed, but for the time being I need to set all the parameters manually Every Time. The other issues I have are that DxO, Microsoft Windows 8 and VirtualBox all seem to be buggy enough that together they crash about one run in 3. And when I restart Windows, it doesn't reconnect the network drives, for reasons that aren't obvious to me.

Sun, 14 Oct 2012 21:02:33 UTC

Interview with Dan Patterson

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Dan Patterson interviewed me for his podcast at New York Comic-Con. We talked about comics, network policy, and my new novel Pirate Cinema MP3 Link

Sun, 14 Oct 2012 19:00:00 UTC

Lightroom Hint

Posted By Tim Bray

Probably everyone else already knows this trick, but in case you dont: You can tell Lightroom that whenever you import photos, if it recognizes the lens, to just go ahead and apply the default lens correction. Go into Develop mode; in the left side panel there are Presets, and at the bottom of that there are User Presets. Find New Preset in the menus, and uncheck everything except for the default lens correction. Give it a name and save it. Next time you go into Import, theres an Apply During Import thingie in the right panel; put your new lens-corrector preset in there.

Sun, 14 Oct 2012 00:49:55 UTC

More network disconnects

Posted By Greg Lehey

Three more network disconnects today, for once all clearly pointing at Optus: in each case I received a terminate request. But does that help? The Optus people who determine policy probably don't even understand the issues, and I'd probably still need to reproduce it with a different dongle. Is it worth it? Roll on the radiation tower.

Sun, 14 Oct 2012 00:27:23 UTC

More fun processing photos

Posted By Greg Lehey

House photo day today, without very much to report. The weather was moist, but I managed to get most photos done without trouble. The processing was a different matter. In the last few months I've changed the environment in which I run DxO Optics Pro. I used to run it on a Microsoft machine that Chris Yeardley lent me, until Powercor destroyed it with a power surge. Then I ran it on VirtualBox, first with Microsoft Windows XP, then with a 64 bit Windows 8 preview, since DxO claim it's faster that way. I've also installed a couple of new versions.

Sat, 13 Oct 2012 12:28:56 UTC

Another Liars and Outliers Review

Posted By Bruce Schneier

I was reviewed in Science: Thus it helps to have a lucid and informative account such as Bruce Schneier's Liars and Outliers. The book provides an interesting and entertaining summary of the state of play of research on human social behavior, with a special emphasis on trust and trustworthiness. [...] Free from preoccupations and personal attachments to any of the...

Sat, 13 Oct 2012 10:51:50 UTC

Coming to NY Comic-Con today

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Hey New Yorkers! I'll be at New York Comic-Con today, speaking in the Author Spotlight on the Unbound Stage at 12 o'clock, and then signing books at the Tor Booth (#920) at 3PM. On Monday night, I'll be at Brooklyn's WORD books at 7PM, before heading to Philly, Bethesda, Edmonton, Vancouver, Victoria, Seattle, Toronto and … [Read more]

Sat, 13 Oct 2012 01:00:00 UTC

Back-to-Basics Weekend Reading - Automatic Reconfiguration in Autonet

Posted By Werner Vogels

I wrote this post last week but didn't get around to publishing it. I am heading to Europe this weekend for, among other things, Structure Europe and the AWS Summit in Tel Aviv. My time in India is almost over and I am heading back to Seattle. I am bringing with me on the plane a relatively unknown paper that I really enjoyed when it was first published. Autonet was a point-to-point network designed at Dec SRC research lab by Mike Schroeder's group. The original paper on Autonet can be found here. I am actually picking a follow-up paper to read this weekend, it deals with fault-tolerance of the network through automatic reconfiguration of its components.

Fri, 12 Oct 2012 23:35:20 UTC

Yet Another ls option

Posted By Greg Lehey

Once upon a time, files were small. The First Edition of Unix had a maximum file size of 64 kB, and even today we see the effect of the ancient 2 GB limit in the Linux O_LARGEFILE flag to open. But the truth is much larger. I back up my systems to disk, and looking at them is something like: === [email protected] (/dev/pts/14) ~ 29 -> ls -l /src/dump/boskoop/ total 168169 -rw-r--r--  1 root  wheel  36211690564 Mar 20  2012 boskoop.disk0-1.bz2 -rw-r--r--  1 root  wheel  16596907252 Dec 24  2009 boskoop.disk0.bz2 -rw-r--r--  1 grog  wheel   4173914809 Jul 20  2006 boskopp.tar.gz -rw-r--r--  1 root  wheel  10273920512 Mar 18  2012 delicious-image -rw-r--r--  1 root  wheel  80026361856 Mar 18  2012 old-boskoop-image -rw-r--r--  1 root  wheel  28968755200 Mar 16  2012 root.tar What are those values?

Fri, 12 Oct 2012 21:17:00 UTC

Friday Squid Blogging: Squid Car

Posted By Bruce Schneier

A squid art car. As usual, you can also use this squid post to talk about the security stories in the news that I haven't covered....

Fri, 12 Oct 2012 15:00:00 UTC

IPv6 Flashcards

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

IPv6 is an entirely new protocol. It isn't IPv4 with larger addresses. It is new enough that you'll feel like you are starting over on a new planet; one that invented the internet using protocols that remind you of IPv4 but are.... different. I find flashcards are a useful way to learn new terminology. I found these online: General IPv6 Knowledge: High level. Types and Ranges of IPv6 Addresses. Learn those new IP ranges! CCIE IPv6: Lots of technical details. Enjoy! Tom Limoncelli

Fri, 12 Oct 2012 10:30:09 UTC

Pirate Cinema in the Bradford Telegraph and Argus

Posted By Cory Doctorow

The Bradford Telegraph and Argus covers Pirate Cinema today, thanks to David Barnett, who explains how Pirate Cinema came to be set in his paper's town. Mr Doctorow says he didnt just pluck Bradford out of a hat  hes visited the city several times and spent some time here in 2009 when the big … [Read more]

Fri, 12 Oct 2012 10:17:26 UTC

Coming to NY Comic-Con today!

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Hey, NYC! Start spreading the news, etc, as I'm appearing today and tomorrow at NY Comic-Con -- signing today at 1715h at Table 2, speaking Sunday at 10AM, and signing again at the Tor booth on Sunday at 3PM. I'll be at Brooklyn's WORD books on Monday night (today's the last day to submit your … [Read more]

Thu, 11 Oct 2012 22:55:45 UTC

Don't mix battery types

Posted By Greg Lehey

I've had mainly good experience with the Nickel-Zinc batteries that I bought last year. My only concern is that the high voltage (1.8 V) would be too much for some devices designed for conventional 1.5 V ZnC or alkaline batteries, so in many cases I tried mixing them with NiMH batteries to get voltages such as 3 V from one of each. People say you shouldn't do that. Why? They're in series, so the voltages just add up. But in practice, I've noticed that when they discharge, it's the NiZn battery first, and it shows alarmingly low voltages. The first time I thought it was possibly a defective battery, but it happened again today.

Thu, 11 Oct 2012 19:00:00 UTC

Help Plan My 2013

Posted By Tim Bray

The Identity group where Im working now is going to be launching some stuff soon, and I want to go out and talk to the world about it. Im looking for input on good developer-focused meetings and conferences that I should be at to talk and, more important, listen. Subject Matter At the moment, heres what I believe: The username/password dance sucks and doesnt scale, particularly on mobile. People putting up apps and sites regard identity  getting people signed up & signed in  purely as a tax; something they gotta do, but unrelated to what they care about. Most developers dont understand identity standards like OAuth, or the related crypto and signing technologies, dont want to learn them, and shouldnt have to.

Thu, 11 Oct 2012 18:30:58 UTC

Doing a Reddit AMA today at 1PM Pacific

Posted By Cory Doctorow

I'm doing a Reddit AMA ("Ask Me Anything") at 1PM Pacific today! Come along and ask me anything!

Thu, 11 Oct 2012 18:04:49 UTC

Amazon Event in Palo Alto (10/[email protected])

Posted By James Hamilton

The last few weeks have been busy and it has been way too long since I have blogged. Im currently thinking through the server tax and whats wrong with the current server hardware ecosystem but dont have anything yet ready to go on that just yet. But, there are a few other things on the go.  I did a talk at Intel a couple of weeks back and last week at the First Round Capital CTO summit. Ive summarized what I covered below with pointers to slides.    In addition, Ill be at the Amazon in Palo Alto event this evening and will do a talk there as well.

Thu, 11 Oct 2012 14:16:09 UTC

Virtualize Me

Posted By Diomidis D. Spinellis

The virtual machine (VM) is the most dazzling comeback in information technology. IBM implemented a VM platform architecture in the late 1960s in its CP/CMS operating system. The companys goal was to provide the time-sharing capabilities that its batch-oriented System/360 lacked. Thus a simple control program (CP) created a VM environment where multiple instances of the single-user CMS operating system could run in parallel. Thirty years later, virtualization was rediscovered when companies like VMware found ways to virtualize the less accommodating Intel x86 processor architecture.

Thu, 11 Oct 2012 12:03:15 UTC

"Ask Nicely" Doesn't Work as a Security Mechanism

Posted By Bruce Schneier

Apple's map application shows more of Taiwan than Google Maps: The Taiwanese government/military, like many others around the world, requests that satellite imagery providers, such as Google Maps, blur out certain sensitive military installations. Unfortunately, Apple apparently didn't get that memo. [...] According to reports the Taiwanese defence ministry hasn't filed a formal request with Apple yet but thought it...

Thu, 11 Oct 2012 10:38:27 UTC

Coming to Evanston, IL tonight!

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Hey, Evanston, IL! I'll be at the Evanston Public Library tonight, on the final stop of the Chicago-area part of my Pirate Cinema tour (if you're coming, you can RSVP here). Tomorrow, I head to NYC for appearances at Comic-Con and WORD Books in Brooklyn (here's our video remix contest), and thence to Philly, Bethesda, … [Read more]

Wed, 10 Oct 2012 15:00:00 UTC

Mechanical Computer instructional video

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

US Army 1953 training film on mechanical computers. Gears! Cams! Great animations!

Wed, 10 Oct 2012 13:18:42 UTC

The Insecurity of Networks

Posted By Bruce Schneier

Not computer networks, networks in general: Findings so far suggest that networks of networks pose risks of catastrophic danger that can exceed the risks in isolated systems. A seemingly benign disruption can generate rippling negative effects. Those effects can cost millions of dollars, or even billions, when stock markets crash, half of India loses power or an Icelandic volcano spews...

Wed, 10 Oct 2012 10:25:57 UTC

Coming to Naperville, IL tonight

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Hey, Naperville, IL! I'll be speaking and signing at Anderson's Bookshop tonight at 7PM, in part two of the Chicagoland leg of my Pirate Cinema tour, which wraps up tomorrow night at the Evanston Public Library. Anderson's is one of the nation's great indie bookstores, ranking in my books with the likes of Powell's, and … [Read more]

Tue, 09 Oct 2012 19:00:00 UTC

Dont Change Your Hair For Me

Posted By Tim Bray

For the first time since 2003 Im seriously thinking about switching to Ubuntu. It feels like, since Snow Leopard, more things have been subtracted from than added to my Mac. This syndrome infects product-management groups everywhere not just in Cupertino; We know better; the experience for the average user will be better without that. But there aint no such thing as an average user, and its almost always a bad idea to subtract a shipping feature. In Particular Since Snow Leopard, theres been exactly one useful new OS X thing: windows you can resize at any edge. And there have been brutal amputations (most painful for me: loss of the Apache GUI and the moronic refusal to tell me what screen resolutions Im using).

Tue, 09 Oct 2012 19:00:00 UTC

CL XXIII: High Pressure

Posted By Tim Bray

I mean the large zone of elevated atmospheric pressure which has blessed the Pacific Northwest for many weeks now, making this past summers Cottage Life a more or less weather-untroubled sun-bath. Me, I cant wait for the rain (coming Friday they say). The huge cedars and hemlock around our cabin are hanging in but theyre hurting; you can see lots of brown patches among the needles. I know perfectly well that winters winds will blow the dead bits down on the cabin by the bushel and clog our gutters and downspouts. There seems no technology that can address this. I was sitting under the cedars and glanced up; my eyes were caught by an odd lighting effect as the slanting October sun caught the boughs and needles sideways.

Tue, 09 Oct 2012 17:54:04 UTC

Pirate Cinema, for your downloading pleasure

Posted By Cory Doctorow

It took me a little while, but the Pirate Cinema website is finally up, with multiformat downloads and purchase links for the ebooks, print books, and audioboks. Have at it!

Tue, 09 Oct 2012 16:59:14 UTC

CTP of Windows XP Targeting with C++ in Visual Studio 2012

Posted By Herb Sutter

The three by-far-most-requested missing features from Visual C++ 2012 were: Conformance: Keep adding more C++11 language conformance features. XP Targeting: Deliver the ability to build applications that could run on Windows XP, as well as Windows Vista, 7, and 8. Desktop Express: Deliver a free VC++ Express compiler that can be used to create traditional [...]

Tue, 09 Oct 2012 11:31:43 UTC

Story of a CIA Burglar

Posted By Bruce Schneier

This is a fascinating story of a CIA burglar, who worked for the CIA until he tried to work against the CIA. The fact that he stole code books and keys from foreign embassies makes it extra interesting, and the complete disregard for the Constitution at the end makes it extra scary....

Tue, 09 Oct 2012 08:51:33 UTC

Coming to Deerfield, IL tonight

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Cory in Deerfield, IL tonight Hey, Deerfield, IL! I'll be at the Deerfield High School Auditorium tonight at 7PM for the latest stop in my Pirate Cinema tour. I've got two other stops in the Chicago area: tomorrow, it's Anderson's Books in Naperville; on Thursday it's the Evanston Public Library. From there, I go to … [Read more]

Mon, 08 Oct 2012 23:15:23 UTC

EDID: Good when it's right

Posted By Greg Lehey

Looking at the EDID information for my new 2560×1440 monitor was instructive, though I didn't really need to go into that much detail: the monitor Just Worked. But it was another matter with my Sanyo PLV-Z700 data projector: in the over 2 years I have had it, I haven't been able to get a really clean display at the native 1920×1080. Time to look at the EDID. What a surprise!

Mon, 08 Oct 2012 15:00:00 UTC

Has the job of a Google SRE changedover the years?

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

Someone recently asked me if Google's SRE position has change over the years. The answer is 'yes and no'. Yes, the job has changed because there is more diversity in the kind of work that SREs do. Google has more products and therefore more SRE teams. Each team is unique but we all work under the same mission, executive management, and best practices. All teams strive to use the same best practices for release engineering, operational improvements, debugging, monitoring, and so on. Yes, since each SRE team is responsible for a different product with different needs, you'll find each one can be unique priorities.

Mon, 08 Oct 2012 13:12:38 UTC

New Developments in Captchas

Posted By Bruce Schneier

In the never-ending arms race between systems to prove that you're a human and computers that can fake it, here's a captcha that tests whether you have human feelings. Instead of your run-of-the-mill alphanumeric gibberish, or random selection of words, the Civil Rights Captcha presents you with a short blurb about a Civil Rights violation and asks you how you...

Sun, 07 Oct 2012 23:45:42 UTC

Efficient power supplies save power

Posted By Greg Lehey

I've now had my new Antec EA-550 power supply for over a week, and I've been keeping track of the power it uses: Reading                   Total       Power (kWh)       Date       Time       Power       usage ...

Sun, 07 Oct 2012 13:01:29 UTC

Coming to Redondo Beach today

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Yo, Redondo Beach! You're my last west coast stop on this leg of the Pirate Cinema tour, and I'll be at Mysterious Galaxy today at 2:30PM (I'll be back on this coast later to visit Vancouver, Victoria and Seattle). Tomorrow, I'll be in Lansing, MI, before a multi-day Chicagoland extravaganza. The tour has stops in … [Read more]

Sat, 06 Oct 2012 13:02:02 UTC

Coming to Pasadena this afternoon!

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Hey, Pasadena! I'm signing and speaking at Vroman's Bookstore this afternoon at 3PM, as part of the Pirate Cinema tour. I'll be in Rendondo Beach at Mysterious Galaxy tomorrow, before heading east to Lansing, MI, then Chicago, NYC, Bethesda, Edmonton, and many other cities in the US and Canada. Here's the full schedule -- I'm … [Read more]

Fri, 05 Oct 2012 23:57:27 UTC

Domain name renewal: for you, four times the price

Posted By Greg Lehey

The domain is coming up for renewal, and I got a reminder with typical content: The following domain(s) will expire on the date indicated unless renewed. Please visit to renew. Of course there's no information on domain renewal at; it's far deeper. Took the search function and arrived at And the price was really good: $17 for two years. But how do you renew? There's no information there about renewal. In the end called TransACT up and asked. They didn't know either, but they got Steve McCulloch to call me back.

Fri, 05 Oct 2012 21:38:19 UTC

Friday Squid Blogging: Giant Squid Engraving from the 1870s

Posted By Bruce Schneier

Neat book illustration. As usual, you can also use this squid post to talk about the security stories in the news that I haven't covered....

Fri, 05 Oct 2012 19:00:00 UTC

The Playoffs

Posted By Tim Bray

I watched more baseball this season than I have in years (partly due to having gotten into Roku and; now the fun part starts. Lets have our own fun with predictions and opinions. Baseball Its better than other sports because they play on dirt! And also, because theres no clock, theres never a reason to run it out. And because the tension in the late stages of a close game; not remotely equaled by any other sport. Its really done astonishingly well; the virtues of baseball and the Internet mesh without any visible stress or strain, and I know that didnt happen by accident.

Fri, 05 Oct 2012 18:24:43 UTC

When Will We See Collisions for SHA-1?

Posted By Bruce Schneier

On a NIST-sponsored hash function mailing list, Jesse Walker (from Intel; also a member of the Skein team) did some back-of-the-envelope calculations to estimate how long it will be before we see a practical collision attack against SHA-1. I'm reprinting his analysis here, so it reaches a broader audience. According to E-BASH, the cost of one block of a SHA-1...

Fri, 05 Oct 2012 13:55:42 UTC

Pirate Flix: Video remix contest

Posted By Cory Doctorow

On the NYC leg of my Pirate Cinema tour, I'll be stopping at Brooklyn's wonderful indie bookstore WORD. The WORD folks have cooked up a remix video competition for the event, inviting you to make short remix videos, 1-3 minutes long. I'll be judging the finalists, and the winner will be screened at my reading … [Read more]

Fri, 05 Oct 2012 13:36:42 UTC

Coming to Berkeley tonight

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Hey, Berkeley! I'll be at Books Inc tonight on 4th Street at 7PM, as part of the Pirate Cinema tour. Tomorrow, I'll be in Pasadena and then Redondo Beach, then Lansing, MI, Chicagoland, and many (many!) other US and Canadian cities. Here's the whole schedule -- come on out and say hi!

Fri, 05 Oct 2012 12:44:48 UTC

Maps Showing Spread of ZeroAccess Botnet

Posted By Bruce Schneier

The folks at F-Secure have plotted ZeroAccess infections across the U.S. and across Europe. It's interesting to see, but I'm curious to see the data normalized to the number of computers on the Internet....

Thu, 04 Oct 2012 23:53:59 UTC

More network disconnects

Posted By Greg Lehey

Another network disconnect today, the first in nearly a week. Another of the kind that I suspect is a firmware reset, but this time clearly heralded by Optus network activity: Oct  4 15:39:50 nerd-gw fstats: +CGREG  1  81E3  8FC8E66 ... Oct  4 15:43:40 nerd-gw fstats: +CGREG  1  81E3  8FC8E4A ... Oct  4 15:48:08 nerd-gw fstats: +CGREG  1  81E3  8FC8E52 ... Oct  4 15:56:49 nerd-gw fstats: +CGREG  1  81E3  8FC48E8 Oct  4 16:00:46 nerd-gw fstats: +CGREG  1  81E3  8FC8F2E Oct  4 16:00:58 nerd-gw fstats: +CGREG  2 Oct  4 16:00:58 nerd-gw fstats: +CGREG  2 Oct  4 16:00:58 nerd-gw fstats: +CGREG  1  81E3  8FC48E8 Oct  4 16:04:04 nerd-gw ppp[1663]: tun0: Phase: deflink: read (0): Got zero bytes Oct  4 16:04:04 nerd-gw kernel: ugen0.2: <HUAWEI Technology> at usbus0 (disconnected) Oct  4 16:04:04 nerd-gw kernel: u3g0: at uhub0, port 1, addr 2 (disconnected) Oct  4 16:04:04 ...

Thu, 04 Oct 2012 23:48:43 UTC

Ballarat Gardens in Spring 2012

Posted By Greg Lehey

Spent most of the morning preparing a web page for Ballarat Gardens in Spring 2012, not too early. Somehow I need to wean the Friends from PDFs to proper web pages.

Thu, 04 Oct 2012 20:35:10 UTC

Tradecraft and Terrorism

Posted By Bruce Schneier


Thu, 04 Oct 2012 14:18:25 UTC

Pirate Cinema audiobook: no DRM, no EULA, just the spoken word

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Further to yesterday's post about the availablity of a DRM-free, EULA-free MP3 download for the audiobook of Little Brother, I'm pleased to announce that I'm also selling the audiobook for my new novel Pirate Cinema. As with the Little Brother audio, this is a professionally voiced, unabridged audiobook from Random House Audio. This one is … [Read more]

Thu, 04 Oct 2012 13:44:08 UTC

Appearance in San Francisco tonight!

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Hey, San Francisco! I'm at Borderlands Books in the Mission tonight at 7PM, for the Pirate Cinema tour! Tomorrow night it's Berkeley, then south to LA, then all the way to Lansing, MI, and then a host of other cities across Canada and the USA. Check the full schedule -- I hope I get to … [Read more]

Wed, 03 Oct 2012 23:55:36 UTC

You have been endorsed!

Posted By Greg Lehey

Lately I've been receiving messages like this one, sent from LinkedIn: Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2012 19:41:31 +0000 (UTC) From: Tom Rhodes <[email protected]> To: Greg Lehey <[email protected]> Received: from ( [])         by (Postfix) with ESMTP id 9CF323B74B         for <[email protected]>; Wed,  3 Oct 2012 19:41:32 +0000 (UTC) Subject: Tom Rhodes has endorsed you! Message-ID: <[email protected]> Tom Rhodes has endorsed you! Greg, I've just endorsed you for skills &amp; expertise! See your endorsements by clicking here: And yes, the &amp; is in the original.

Wed, 03 Oct 2012 18:47:09 UTC

Download the Little Brother audiobook

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Thanks to the kind folks at Random House Audio, I'm now able to offer direct downloads of the unabridged audiobook of Little Brother, read by Kirby Heyborne. The download is DRM-free, and comes with no EULA -- in other words, the only terms binding your use of it are: "Don't violate copyright law." It's $20, … [Read more]

Wed, 03 Oct 2012 16:01:58 UTC

Poll: What features would you like to see added soonest in your favorite C++ compiler?

Posted By Herb Sutter

I just got back from teaching a class, and I’m always amazed at the breadth and diversity of C++ developers. As Bjarne Stroustrup famously says: “No one knows ‘what most C++ developers do.’” In particular, I’m surprised at how strongly some people feel about certain features, such as refactoring or safety or raw performance or [...]

Wed, 03 Oct 2012 15:10:13 UTC

Pirate Cinema Audiobook

Posted By Cory Doctorow

This unabridged reading of Pirate Cinema, read by Bruce Mann, is sold without DRM, or license agreement of any kind, and by buying it here, you more than triple the royalties I receive for it. The audiobook was produced by Random House Audio. Once you've completed your purchase, you'll get a download link for a … [Read more]

Wed, 03 Oct 2012 15:00:21 UTC

Authentication Stories

Posted By Bruce Schneier

Anecdotes from Asia on seals versus signatures on official documents....

Wed, 03 Oct 2012 15:00:00 UTC

Homomorphic Encryption Explained

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

American Scientist has an article that (finally!) explains homomorphic encryption in simple enough terms that even I understand. Homomorphic encryption permits me to send you encrypted data that you can manipulate but never know the contents. You send it back to me, I decrypt it, and see the result. Imagine if a web-based wordprocessor could store your document, edit your document, but never know what your document says. Yes, it sounds crazy but it is theoretically possible. In the last 4 years that theory has been getting closer and closer to reality. I think sysadmins should read this article to get an idea of what crypto might be like in the future.

Wed, 03 Oct 2012 14:09:09 UTC

Little Brother Audiobook

Posted By Cory Doctorow

This unabridged reading of Little Brother, read by Kirby Heyborne, is sold without DRM, or license agreement of any kind, and by buying it here, you more than triple the royalties I receive for it. The audiobook was produced by Random House Audio (I've embedded their preview below). Once you've completed your purchase, you'll get … [Read more]

Wed, 03 Oct 2012 10:53:51 UTC

Coming to Menlo Park tonight

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Hey, Menlo Park! I'm coming to Kepler's Books tonight at 7PM for the Pirate Cinema tour! I hope to see you there. I'll be in San Francisco tomorrow (Thu), Berkeley on Friday, and then I head south to Pasadena and Redondo Beach, before going east to Lansing, MI, and then many other cities. Here's the … [Read more]

Tue, 02 Oct 2012 21:50:11 UTC

Keccak is SHA-3

Posted By Bruce Schneier

NIST has just announced that Keccak has been selected as SHA-3. It's a fine choice. I'm glad that SHA-3 is nothing like the SHA-2 family; something completely different is good. Congratulations to the Keccak team. Congratulations -- and thank you -- to NIST for running a very professional, interesting, and enjoyable competition. The process has increased our understanding about the...

Tue, 02 Oct 2012 19:26:44 UTC

Book flights to Usenix LISA asap!

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

Flights are filling up. Book soon. And book your hotel too. One thing I learned from traveling is that it is easier to make a reservation early and cancel/change it than to end up close to the date and find there are no hotel rooms or flights left. This is especially important for hotels.

Tue, 02 Oct 2012 19:00:00 UTC


Posted By Tim Bray

I so enjoy being a citizen of the living and in fact sweaty smelly and horny English language. Here are some favorite neologisms of my adult years. I Was Like I remember the first time I noticed this, in an early-Web-era chunk of trash-TV commentary, and remarking how instantly comprehensible it was. I was like, he really shouldnt have done that. The comma is weak there (but typographically and grammatically helpful), much stronger in usages such as She was like, ewwwww. This has totally overrun the territory formerly occupied by I said, in effect, ..., along the lines of, and related idioms.

Tue, 02 Oct 2012 14:41:26 UTC

2013 U.S. Homeland Security Budget

Posted By Bruce Schneier

Among other findings in this CBO report: Funding for homeland security has dropped somewhat from its 2009 peak of $76 billion, in inflation-adjusted terms; funding for 2012 totaled $68 billion. Nevertheless, the nation is now spending substantially more than what it spent on homeland security in 2001. Note that this is just direct spending on homeland security. This does not...

Tue, 02 Oct 2012 10:09:55 UTC

Appearing in St Louis tonight

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Hey, St Louis readers! Looking forward to meeting you tonight at the first stop of my Pirate Cinema tour, at the St Louis County Library at 7PM! Next up, stops in northern and southern California, Lansing, Chicagoland, NYC, Edmonton, Vancouver, Victoria, Seattle, Toronto and Boston.

Mon, 01 Oct 2012 23:15:26 UTC

Kernel and module bloat

Posted By Greg Lehey

I noted yesterday that the nvidia driver module had got smaller. It certainly didn't get small. Once upon a time, UNIX kernels were really small, because they had to: === [email protected] (/dev/pts/6) ~ 73 -> l -rS /src/UNIX/Sixth-Edition/unix /src/UNIX/Seventh-Edition/unix -r--r--r--  1 grog  wheel  28684 Jul 18  1975 /src/UNIX/Sixth-Edition/unix -r-xr-xr-x  1 grog  wheel  51274 Jun  9  1979 /src/UNIX/Seventh-Edition/unix We have more space nowadays, and kernels have increased dramatically in size since then. And why not? The Sixth Edition was designed for a machine with 128 kB of address space, so the kernel took up roughly 20% of the address space.

Mon, 01 Oct 2012 18:12:55 UTC

Security Question Cartoon

Posted By Bruce Schneier


Mon, 01 Oct 2012 15:00:00 UTC

Spiceworks interview: part 2

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

Part 2 of my interview at SpiceWorks is up. Q&A: Tom Limoncelli on the state of IT and junk meetings Q&A Part 2: Tom Limoncelli talks about success, failure and pirates vs zombies Enjoy!

Mon, 01 Oct 2012 11:52:27 UTC

Scary iPhone Malware Story

Posted By Bruce Schneier

This story sounds pretty scary: Developed by Robert Templeman at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Indiana and a few buddies from Indiana University, PlaceRader hijacks your phone's camera and takes a series of secret photographs, recording the time, and the phone's orientation and location with each shot. Using that information, it can reliably build a 3D model of your...

Mon, 01 Oct 2012 10:02:09 UTC

Coming to St Louis and 17 other cities for the Pirate Cinema tour

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Hey, St Louis, MO! I'm headed your way, for the kick-off of the tour for my latest YA novel, Pirate Cinema. I'll be at the St. Louis County Library on Tuesday, October 2 at 7PM for an event hosted by Left Bank Books. There are 18 (!) cities on this tour, so be sure and … [Read more]