2010-12-08

Another case against copyright laws

.. or at least in their present form. Copyright laws even seem to threathen the freedom of press. Consider this article commenting that the US might use copyright laws to press charges against Julian Assange.
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2010-12-07

Wikileaks

It's really incredible how far governments go to suppress the transparency of their own democratic systems. And of course all those coward companies like PayPal, Amazon, MasterCard and Postfinance.

Like someone said, make governments transparent and secure the people's privacy, NOT the other way round! That is the real way to support democracy, you have to know what the elected ones are doing with the responsibility put into their hands.
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2010-11-17

Truecrypt Bootloader

The TrueCrypt Bootloader which enables the full-disk encryption for Windows resides in the MBR and some sectors following the MBR (sector 0), in my case the first partition starts at sector 2048, which implies the Boot Loader residing in MBR + sector 1-2047.

For backup / copying reasons, you might however want to omit the copying of the partition table which also resides in the sector 0. Thus you copy the first 446 Bytes (see Wikipedia/MBR) of sector 0, as well as sector 1-2047 with a sector size of 512 Bytes for backup/restore - that worked for me. Watch out for possible changes and check the start of the first partition on the disk!
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2010-10-11

Verifying horoscopes

Wouldn't it be interesting to pose the problem of an inverse horoscope to some fortune-tellers? In the sense that they can ask me questions and have to determine my birthday/zodiac sign. Obviously this should work if the fortune-tellers put any faith in their predictions. I wonder about the outcome of such an experiment..

A different version could also be the repeated verification of horoscopes only with newspapers; after the predicted week/time period, the candidate is read all predictions from another person and has to pick the most fitting one. If there is some significant tendency towards their real sign, one could say that a horoscope would make some sense.

Of course you need to perform multiple tests to get any meaning out of this process, but I wonder...
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2010-09-24

Grammar for parsing lists with optional trailing commas (elements)

This is a standard problem when parsing programming languages. Many languages allow an optional trailing comma in constructs, to allow programmers to add them in order to not forget them when adding new list elements.

Consider an anonymous object declaration in C# 3.0:

var a = new { X=1, X=2 }

however it seems asymmetric, you may want to always add a member AND a comma:

var a = new { X=1, X=2, }

This is allowed and also for instance in C++ enums. This creates the problem of parsing this with LL(1) grammar rules. Doesn't seem that hard, however it took me a while.

Here a solution in CoCo/R ATG:

AnonymousObjectInitializer
=
"{"
[ MemberDeclaratorList ]
"}"
.

MemberDeclaratorList
=
MemberDeclarator [ "," [ MemberDeclaratorList ] ]
.

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2010-07-11

"this" on a type level

Una aplicación natural del principio "Don't repeat yourself" sería la introducción de una palabra clave para el "Type" construyendo. Así que no se repita el nombre del "Type" y podría cambiar el nombre más facil.
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2010-05-29

Nations

Someone asked me about nations. And people.

And I thought about it, tried to gather my memories, and I came up with:

I am an Austrian, my Mom is from Germany, my great-grandfather is from Romania. I went with my parents to Spain for vacation. My friends took me to Italy. Work sent me to France and Milan. I enjoyed London with classmates after graduation. Had one of the best times with a Japanese in Moscow. I like the states, who couldn't! Love the memories of the west coast.

Looking forward to Buenos Aires and New York, further tearing down those borders.


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2010-01-19

Unicode Key Bindings under X

Who'd thought of that, it DOES work:

xmodmap -e 'keycode 69 = U2227'

This binds the logical and ( ∧ ) to the F3 key. Note the uncommon syntax of prefixing solo a U for Unicode and not a U+ as often custom. However this doesn't seem official, the man page doesn't mention that notation at all.

Have fun!
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2010-01-05

Tor

Tor relay is up and running! Though I don't have that much bandwidth (upload limit, damn asynchronous DSL) but the slice is already fully used. Need to work out a node at the university, should talk to some people there again..
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Bandwidth monitoring in Linux

IPTraf shows a nice per interface total bandwidth usage, whereas jnettop breaks bandwidth usage down to single connection. Both available as Ubuntu Packages.
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2010-01-01

Pidgin Oscar (ICQ) Security

Just threw out pidgin for empathy, because it basically authenticates using the plain password over the wire. Pidgin relies on libpurple for the implementation of the protocol. Libpurple transmits the password by xoring with some magic bytes, such that the password can be retrieved by any listener of the network traffic.

Consider using wireshark for sniffing the TLV block "roasted password bytes" and the following C++ code to reconstruct the password. There seems no option for changing the login method to a more secure setting. Empathy at least implements a challenge response and hashing system (not evaluated in detail).
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26C3

..is over. Just returned from there, very interesting and entertaining too. Next years congress seems to bring some change:

26C3 Wiki

The next C3 will certainly take place at another location...


Its a pity to give up the bcc, but the crowd growth over the last years was immense. Looking forward to next year.
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