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From User: Decius

Current Topic: Miscellaneous

Taking a principled stand on Wikileaks
Topic: Miscellaneous 4:47 pm EST, Dec  9, 2010

I've changed by profile picture to support EFF's anti-censorship campaign, and I have donated $100 to their cause. This is a protest and I urge you to participate. We are protesting the use of political pressure by American politicians to shut down a website.

If you believe in due process of law and the right to freedom of expression you should join us in taking a stand. It is important that we take a stand right now.

It doesn't matter whether or not you support what Wikileaks is doing. If I were handed such a rich trove of private information I might have moral qualms about dumping the whole thing on the Internet. That is totally irrelevant.

In the United States of America we are a country of laws. If Wikileaks has violated a law than the appropriate way to respond to that is through the use of the legal system. In fact, like it or not, it is most likely the case that Wikileaks has not violated the law. Therefore, senior politicians in this country have taken it upon themselves to use their personal influence to shut the website down, and a number of corporations, large and small, have obliged them.

In a free country with a strong legal system and a tradition of upholding the right to freedom of speech, this sort of thing is not acceptable. Life, liberty, and property should only be taken away through due process of law and not simply because some powerful people desire it and present thin arguments in favor of it.

As The Internet Society recently stated in their newsletter:

[Wikileaks] must be subject to the same laws and policies of availability as all Internet sites. Free expression should not be restricted by governmental or private controls over computer hardware or software, telecommunications infrastructure, or other essential components of the Internet.

Unless and until appropriate laws are brought to bear to take the domain down legally, technical solutions should be sought to reestablish its proper presence...

Anger about these events runs deep. Right now, many of the companies who assisted in cutting off Wikileaks have been subjected to distributed denial of service attacks. While I share the anger of those who are launching these attacks, I cannot condon... [ Read More (0.1k in body) ]

Taking a principled stand on Wikileaks

The 100 Best Signs At The Rally To Restore Sanity And/Or Fear: Pics, Videos, Links, News
Topic: Miscellaneous 1:32 pm EDT, Oct 31, 2010

Best compilation I've seen floating around, but they missed God Hates Figs.

Seen any others?

The 100 Best Signs At The Rally To Restore Sanity And/Or Fear: Pics, Videos, Links, News

YouTube - INCEPTION Trailer 3 - Official HD
Topic: Miscellaneous 7:36 pm EDT, Jul 26, 2010

Certainly worth the price of admission. Extremely intense intellectual scifi.

YouTube - INCEPTION Trailer 3 - Official HD

Buddha Quotes
Topic: Miscellaneous 8:05 am EDT, Mar 26, 2010

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.

Buddha Quotes

My Blackhat DC paper, slides and videos are online
Topic: Miscellaneous 1:40 pm EST, Feb  7, 2010

There is material covered in the talk that isn't covered in the paper, so it might make sense to start with the sides. I'm very interested in any thoughts, comments, or feedback that you might have.

My Blackhat DC paper, slides and videos are online

Cisco's Backdoor For Hackers -
Topic: Miscellaneous 4:57 am EST, Feb  5, 2010

Activists have long grumbled about the privacy implications of the legal "backdoors" that networking companies like Cisco build into their equipment--functions that let law enforcement quietly track the Internet activities of criminal suspects. Now an IBM researcher has revealed a more serious problem with those backdoors: They don't have particularly strong locks, and consumers are at risk.

In a presentation at the Black Hat security conference Wednesday, IBM ( IBM - news - people ) Internet Security Systems researcher Tom Cross unveiled research on how easily the "lawful intercept" function in Cisco's ( CSCO - news - people ) IOS operating system can be exploited by cybercriminals or cyberspies to pull data out of the routers belonging to an Internet service provider (ISP) and watch innocent victims' online behavior.

Cisco's Backdoor For Hackers -

YouTube - MAKE presents: Ohm's Law
Topic: Miscellaneous 9:53 pm EST, Dec 31, 2009

Voltage, Current, and Resistance - three of the most important electrical properties, are elegantly intertwined by way of a the simple equation - V = IR, better known as Ohm's Law.

This is the most basic concept in electronics presented for those of you who read this blog who have taken an interest in circuitry but don't happen to be operating with a degree in engineering...

YouTube - MAKE presents: Ohm's Law

Fox News (Chicago) Makes the Best. Pie Chart. Ever. | The Big Picture
Topic: Miscellaneous 2:17 pm EST, Nov 28, 2009

I just know some arrogant asshole looked at the bar graph and said, “pie charts look better on TV.” Reply, “Good idea boss.”


Fox News (Chicago) Makes the Best. Pie Chart. Ever. | The Big Picture

The post TI censored has been reposted.
Topic: Miscellaneous 8:01 am EDT, Oct 27, 2009

As many of you know, about two months ago TI sent me an email referencing the DMCA and demanding that I take down one of my blog posts. I complied at the time, but I also sent TI a response, requesting that they reconsider their position. They did not respond.

Two weeks ago Jennifer Granick at the Electronic Frontier Foundation sent TI an email on behalf of myself, and several other bloggers who received similar notices from TI. In that email Jennifer told TI that we would repost our censored blog posts today if TI did not respond and clarify their position. TI has not responded.

Therefore, the original blog post has been restored, and if you didn't read it before, you can read it now. Its hardly the best post I've ever written. It was jotted down at 9:30 in the morning while I was getting ready for work. I tend to shoot first on this blog and ask questions later, and that certainly leads to posts which are poorly articulated and easily misinterpreted. In a later post I did a much better job explaining the technical concept which drew my interest to this calculator key cracking effort in the first place.

I'd like to thank the EFF and particularly Jennifer Granick for working with me as well as the other bloggers in this case. My blog post is not important, but it is important that people have a right to blog without worrying about receiving legal threats when they haven't done anything wrong. Its important that people stand up for that right, and we're fortunate that there are people out there who are willing to do it. Thank you EFF.

The post TI censored has been reposted.

Why hack a calculator? Why climb Mount Everest? | Deep Tech - CNET News
Topic: Miscellaneous 8:33 am EDT, Oct 20, 2009

Among their achievements: adding new features, creating new operating systems, connecting the calculator to keyboards and other hardware, playing a video excerpt from "The Matrix," and even running Nintendo Game Boy video games. Not bad for calculators such as the $100 TI-83 Plus, introduced in 1999 with a Z80 processor running at 6MHz, 24KB of memory, 160KB of flash memory, and a 96x64 pixel display.

Why all this work for projects that realistically are not going to reshape the future of computing? Much of the motivation parallels mountaineer George Mallory's rationale for climbing Mount Everest: "Because it's there."

Why hack a calculator? Why climb Mount Everest? | Deep Tech - CNET News

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