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1 August 2004
MAX: Oh, I’m not confused. I’m just . . . what do you mean?
DEAN: Their eating habits are just the start of what you’re gonna have to get used to. There’s tons of stuff you should be aware of.
DEAN: Oh yeah. Like, don’t ever use the last of the parmesan cheese. And never get into a heavy discussion late at night ‘cause that’s when they’re at their crankiest. Oh, and uh, go with their bits.
MAX: Their bits?
DEAN: Yeah, like, if you’re eating pizza with them and Lorelai decides that the pepperoni is angry at the mushrooms because the mushrooms have an attitude and then she holds up a pepperoni and the pepperoni asks for your opinion…don’t just laugh. Answer the pepperoni.
MAX: Answer the pepperoni.
DEAN: And don’t let them near puppies ‘cause they’ll want to take home every one.
MAX: Oh, that one I knew.
DEAN: Oh, and uh, here’s a big one. If you ever think that they’re doing something crazy, they’re not. You see, after a while, their thinking becomes clear, but by the time it’s clear, they’ve already done two other totally crazy things that you can’t figure out. So there’s no catching up.
5 August 2004
2004-08-03 SECURITY HOLE, fixed in PuTTY 0.55
PuTTY 0.55, released today, fixes a serious security hole which may allow a server to execute code of its choice on a PuTTY client connecting to it. In SSH2, the attack can be performed before host key verification, meaning that even if you trust the server you think you are connecting to, a different machine could be impersonating it and could launch the attack before you could tell the difference. We recommend everybody upgrade to 0.55 as soon as possible.
Updated: email stats. Total volume was up again in July, though spam is still down from May’s high of 75.8% of total volume. That may be due to increased activity in Tech Lists.
Accounts 1% Inbox 6% News 9% Spam 68% Tech List 16%
10 August 2004
Welcome to SaveThe.org, a continuation of SavetheiPod.com… it’s not just your iPod that is threatened by this innovation-killing legislation, everything from VCRs to tech journalists could conceivably come under fire if this overly broad bill is passed. Formerly known as the INDUCE Act (Inducement Devolves into Unlawful Child Exploitation Act), the bill is now called the Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act of 2004 (IICA), but don’t be fooled, it’s still just as dangerous.
12 August 2004
It’s a bit counterintuitive to a lot of the projects people are launching out there, but for what it is, it’s much cleverer (and potentially much more aesthetically pleasing, depending on your tastes) than any wallpaper that blocks cellphone signals. Slather on a coat of DefendAir Radio Shield paint and you’ll filter out radio frequencies between 100MHz to 2GHz (unfortunately that includes TV and AM/FM radio bands, but haven’t you switched to cable and satellite radio yet, anyway?), just like that. It’s just too bad they couldn’t get another 400MHz of filtration up top, then they could wipe out WiFi, BlueTooth, WiMax, cordless phones, and loads of other stuff in the 2GHz range. Oh, and don’t forget, Martha says: multiple coats for even color tones and a better Farraday cage.
Diet Dr. Pepper + Listerine = Ick.
Given an elliptic curve E, and a field GF(q), we consider the abelian group of rational points E(q) of the form (x, y), where both x and y are in GF(q), and where the group operation “+” is defined on this curve as described in the article elliptic curve. We then define a second operation “*” | Z×E(q) → E(q): if P is some point in E(q), then we define 2*P = P + P, 3*P = 2*P + P = P + P + P, and so on. Note that given integers j and k, j*(k*P) = (j*k)*P = k*(j*P). The elliptic curve discrete logarithm problem (ECDLP) is then to determine the integer k, given points P and Q, and given that k*P = Q.
It is believed that the usual discrete logarithm problem over the multiplicative group of a finite field (DLP) and ECDLP are not equivalent problems; and that ECDLP is significantly more difficult than DLP.
In cryptographic use, a specific base point G is selected and published for use with the curve E(q). A private key k is selected as a random integer; and then the value P = k*G is published as the public key (note that the purported difficulty of ECDLP implies that k is hard to determine from P). If Alice and Bob have private keys kA and kB, and public keys PA and PB, then Alice can calculate kA*PB = (kA*kB)*G; and Bob can compute the same value as kB*PA = (kB*kA)*G.
This allows the establishment of a “secret” value that both Alice and Bob can easily compute, but which is difficult for any third party to derive. In addition, Bob does not gain any new knowledge about kA during this transaction, so that Alice’s private key remains private.
15 August 2004
Updated: YAH’s gas and repair logs.
For the third year in a row, software companies are supplying schools with materials that promote their antipiracy position on copyright law. But for the first time this year, the library association is presenting its own material, hoping to give kids a more balanced view of copyright law.
The American Library Association will distribute its materials through high-school librarians this winter or spring. In September, the ALA will hold focus groups with teenagers to better understand how they use the Internet, what they think about the technology and what language they use. That information will contribute to ALA-created comic books that address various copyright issues relevant to students.
The ALA sees a need for this because materials offered by groups like the Business Software Alliance and the Motion Picture Association of America are designed to influence kids with one-sided information, said Rick Weingarten, director of information technology policy for the ALA. Topics like “fair use” — the right to use copyright material without the owner’s permission, a key concept in American law that intellectual-property experts say leads to innovation — are not adequately addressed.
I was wondering when this would show up: Merrystar found the BBC feeds on Friday…
The Summer Olympics, which began Friday in Athens, is the first Olympic Games to be broadcast from a collection of websites. The BBC and other European networks are offering live, on-demand Internet video streaming of Olympic events to broadband viewers. But the BBC and fellow members of the European Broadcasting Union are required by their Olympic broadcast contracts to block U.S. Internet users and others from outside their home counties.
NBC paid $793 million for the exclusive U.S. Summer Olympic broadcast rights, and NBCOlympics.com is the only U.S. website licensed by the International Olympic Committee to broadcast video coverage of the games. The network is offering 1,210 hours of Olympic coverage — live and tape-delayed — on NBC, CNCB, MSNBC, Bravo, USA, Telemundo and a high-definition channel.
Despite its contractual lock on Olympic footage, NBCOlympics.com is offering only highlights of selected events after they have been broadcast on one of the network’s TV channels. U.S. customers of AT&T Wireless’ mMode information service will also get video clips. By contrast, those online in the United Kingdom can watch live simulcast coverage from BBC TV’s five video streams.
“Ultimately it will fail,” said Len Sassaman, a privacy-technology researcher. Once the American Internet viewing public realizes that U.K. Web surfers are watching better Olympic coverage than they are allowed to see after forking over their credit card, said Sassaman, they will look for better ways to access those images. “Bandwidth has gotten a lot cheaper over the years, so it is not so far-fetched to think that someone will set up proxy servers in Britain that would do this.”
And on the subject of burning books: I want to congratulate librarians, not famous for their physical strength or their powerful political connections or their great wealth, who, all over this country, have staunchly resisted anti-democratic bullies who have tried to remove certain books from their shelves, and have refused to reveal to thought police the names of persons who have checked out those titles.
So the America I loved still exists, if not in the White House or the Supreme Court or the Senate or the House of Representatives or the media. The America I love still exists at the front desks of our public libraries.
16 August 2004
Picture a large man on a huge black and chrome cruiser, dressed in jeans, a t-shirt, and leather gloves puttering maybe 25mph down a quiet residential street…and in the fight of his life with a squirrel. And losing.
17 August 2004
18 August 2004
(T)he Mozilla team released the first ‘official’ beta release of Mozilla Sunbird, version 0.2, a stand-alone calendaring application (similar to Apple’s iCal). There are two flavors of this project, one that works as a ~700 KB plugin to Firefox/Thunderbird/Mozilla (titled Mozilla Calendar) and the ~8 MB stand-alone calendaring application, Mozilla Sunbird.
19 August 2004
EFF has won its Grokster case in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals — this is the case that establishes that if you make truly decentralized P2P software — like Gnutella — you can’t be held liable for any copyright infringement that takes place on their networks. This is the “Betamax principle,” from the famous Supreme Court case that established that Sony wasn’t responsoble for any infringement that its customers undertook with their VCRs.
The Studios’ argument was that people who make P2P software should be obliged to build it in such a way as to make it easy to police — i.e. not on Gnutella-like lines — an idea so sickeningly dumb that it’s a tremendous relief that the court refused to buy it.
20 August 2004
Happy day 10958 of life to me!
(For those keeping score, it’s also day 671 of my marriage, each one better than the last.)
21 August 2004
But it was not until this year, when two satellites operating above Antarctica began to map the anomalies in the gravity, that the scale of the crater emerged. The mapping showed that the holes in the rock created by the strike had refilled with a mixture of ice, rock and other debris far less dense. This material, called breccia, shows where and how deep the craters are.
Prof Van der Hoeven said: “The extraordinary thing about this meteor strike is that it appeared to do so little damage. Unlike the dinosaur strike there is no telltale layer of dust that demonstrates the history of the event. It may have damaged things and wiped out species but there is no sign of it.”
One thing that did happen at exactly the same time was the reversing of the Earth’s magnetic field. There is no other explanation as to why this took place and Prof Van der Hoeven believes it was caused by the impact.
23 August 2004
Thank you, Jeff, for choosing a soundtrack to celebrate my 30th birthday; Slayer’s “Soundtrack of the Apocalypse” is really quite appropriate.
So that’s what it’s like to find out you’re going to be a father.
I can quite safely say that I’ve never experienced anything like it: surprise, elation, not so much fear — a lot of ‘wow.’ I had to stop from running out and telling everyone I met in the hall, spamming my contact list, and getting on the phone to my entire family. (The phone calls were tonight, after the second test confirmed the first.)
Two weeks ago, Merrystar and I took a trip to Montreal. Originally, I was just going to share some pictures from the trip. This news is so much better.
Here’s my favorite picture from that trip of my favorite model:
Wow. Wow. Wow.
New Flotsam: revelation.
27 August 2004
Jaws in 30 seconds, re-enacted by bunnies, at Angry Alien Productions.
31 August 2004
How odd: I was reading this Wired article about Hayao Miyazaki’s work on Howl’s Moving Castle when it hit me that Merrystar has the book (by Diana Wynne Jones) down in our bookroom. Unfortunately, it seems like there’s little credit given to the original.
- Click the make bullshit button.
- Watch bullshit appear in the box.
- Repeat to taste (use your Enter/Return key).