Archive for October, 2004

Password Scrambler

Remember that javascript password hasher I was talking about? Well now there is a full firefox extension. They want you to click on an asp an auto-install from their server, however, which is irritating. I want to download it and examine it at my leisure before installing it. Call me paranoid, but I think it is worth a little extra time to understand the tool that will be holding all of my passwords in its greedy little fingers.

Update – I downloaded it from extensionmirror it seems that there is a nice binary .dll in there. I don’t understand why and I don’t trust it, so I’m going to try to make the javascript thing work to my satisfaction. In the immortal words of Monty Python “Strange women lying in web-sites distributing binary scramblers is no basis for a system of trusted security.”

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Gmail security hole

I am, um, hoping they fix this quite quickly. It is probably an injection attack based on an otherwise valid login, but no details yet.

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100 Facts and 1 Opinion

Well, I suspect that is more like 95 facts, 1 opinion, and 5 interpretations but it is also definitely 1 good read.

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Nintendo v. Suicide Girls

Alrighty, because apparently some people don’t read Boingboing and surf (wierd eh?) I thought I would link to a nice summary article that includes a link to the destroy-keyboard-with-coffee funny Penny Arcade take on the issue.

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The Globe and Mail

The willingness of the U.S. governement to apply its laws extraterritorially hasn’t been much of a secret for the last, oh, 2 centuries, so I am a little surprised that others are surprised that private information about Canadians held by American companies is subject to the draconian 2001 Patriot Act. Perhaps this will be a wake-up call to all levels of Canadian government to not out-source their IT needs to foreign companies or their Canadian subsidiaries? Canada is supposed to be a highly technologically developed country. We should roll our own as much as possible.

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Controvery erupts

OK, so I take him to task in a somewhat pedantic fashion about “information wants to be free” — which is ridiculous, information doesn’t _want_ anything, it isn’t sentient. I propose an interesting alternative about memes and evolution and he doesn’t like that either.

Perhaps “ridiculous” is too strong a word. But I don’t think that “information wants to be free” is at its heart a commentary on the difficulty of treating information or ideas as property. I think it very much flows from an economic point of view. Now while I tentatively agree with it, I don’t think can be accepted as an a priori assumption for further debate.

We have reached a small dilemma. The original topic of cybot’s post was about the usefulness of information flow monitoring. We segued into the whole information-meme thing (completely bypassing the Big Brother aspect of the monitoring) and left me with a somewhat breathless annoyance at the clumsiness of comments.

So now I have four posts to write — none of which are simple “well lookey here boys and girls” bits. Curse you, nude cybot.

1) information flow
2) free as in beer?
3) sigils and the 3M corporation
4) big brother is watching you.

Sigh. It will have to wait for another day.

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These days, you can find a lot of xml data floating around. A lot of programs have an export-to-xml feature. In the unix world there are a lot of tools that can do very useful things to documents but on a line by line basis and xml documents which have line breaks and padding and indentation and what not can be a pain in the but to parse. So Dan Egnor presents xml2, a nifty little utility that (with it’s brother html2) converts structured documents into a line by line equivalent that you can feed into your favourite grep|sed|awk pipeline.

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Project Computing – Google Desktop Proxy

Just in case you, y’know, wanted to expose your Google Desktop to all and sundry. Actually, you can have fairly fine grained control over the incoming IP addresses so it’s a pretty decent tool to use within a network, say on a file server.

Update: Nudecybot is, as usual, right. He found it. When composing the post on the bus on the way home I had included credit where credit is due. Damn you, public transit, for taking so long.

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Little lady of Flores forces rethink of human evolution

news @ has an article of the recent discovery in a cave on the Indonesian island of Flores of several 13 000 – 19 000 year old hominid skeletons of a new species in the genus Homo. Adults were about 1m tall and had a brain one-third the size of h.sapiens. Also found were many relatively advanced tools that appear to have been in constant but unchanging use for as many as 80 000 years. Skeletal features have lead the discovery team to link the new species closer to us than any of the other hominds that have been around.

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Security Pipeline | The Biggest Threat From Digital Rights Management

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