the daily dub

January 20th, 2009

Inaguration means one thing

Posted by rdub in Musings
tagged:

</bush>

Back to your regularly scheduled America.

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November 19th, 2008

Calculus jokes??

Posted by rdub in Musings, Quotes
tagged: |

Only funny if you’ve ever studied calculus. Hilarious if you have though.

“An infinite number of mathematicians walk into a bar. The first one orders a …” – hot soup? anyone?.

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November 5th, 2008

More on Prop 8

Posted by rdub in Life, Musings
tagged: |

To me, this says it all:

Prop. 8 Votes by Education Level

Prop. 8 Votes by Education Level

Education is the path to fairness for all?

What makes it even more painful, is that this legislation flies directly in the face of the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Where is the pursuit of Happiness now?

Let me put it thusly:

If these churchs believe so strongly believe that gay marriage is wrong, then they should simply not perform gay marriages in their churchs.  Don’t go telling everyone else in the state that they have to believe the same way.  In fact, it could be construed that this is unconstitutional.

The First Amendment of the constitution states this:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibing the free exercise thereof;…

Now, what if my religion happens to support gay marriage.  This law is now a law that prohibits the free exercise of my religion.

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September 23rd, 2008

Damn Good Idea

Posted by rdub in Musings

Recently, some kid hacked Sarah Palin’s Yahoo! email. He explained how he did it in detail on the 4chan forum.

Turns out, he made a huge mistake of only bouncing through one proxy server. Oops!

When he realized that, he chose to do what, at first glance, sounds like a stupid idea: post the password and the story to the forum. Upon further consideration, what he did might have increased his chances of evading discovery better than just walking away:

By posting the password and login information to a widely travelled public forum, he effectively decreased the signal to noise ratio by two orders of magnitude (at least). With 1000 IP addresses to comb through, instead of just 1, your chances of escape are infinitely better.

Finding the person behind the first IP would constitute circumstantial evidence at best, and not conclusive that he was the one responsible. He could just as easily have been one of the 1000s of people on the forum who logged in out of curiosity (still probably illegal, but I’d imagine it’d be a) way harder to bag them all, and b) much less of a sentence than the original break-in and leak).

However, there’s still the major gaffe that he posted under an account on a forum. An anonymous craigslist ad posted from a public library in a neighboring town, all while bouncing that through a couple of proxies would have been a much better idea.

The only way security researchers “tentatively identified” him was by his forum post.

EDIT: Ctunnel is apparently cooperating with the FBI, and the hacker’s screenshots with the Ctunnel URL in it may be his undoing. Three proxies would have been better. And do it from a library, you fool.

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July 31st, 2008

Bricked? think again.

Posted by rdub in Musings, Rants
tagged: | |

It’s amazing how often I’ve been hearing the term “bricked” used these days by people with little or no hardware/firmware engineering experience.  People in the media are claiming that iPhones are being bricked by not activating; if they can’t use it to make phone calls or check email, it’s now bricked.  If it doesn’t come usable out of the box, it’s bricked. Some people claim any device that has become or is otherwise useless is “bricked.”

By that definition, those programmable remotes all ship bricked – they don’t perform any useful function until you program them for your TV. Clearly, however, they are not bricked.  They still work, all you have to do is program them.  

Similarly, by this definition, any device that requires battery power, but has no batteries is bricked.  But those devices aren’t bricked – add batteries again, and you’re back in business.

Bricked is a special term, not to be used lightly, or without understanding its meaning.

A little education goes a long way.

Definition: BrickedAdjective.  Bricked means the device will no longer power on, due to some irreparably misconfigured hardware or firmware or a fried (e.g., permanently destroyed) internal component. Bricked is only slightly different than destroyed (e.g., physically smashed with a sledge hammer), in that is is theoretically possible to ressurect the device, but you god damned better have a JTAG device or soldering iron or other hardware debugging device to load new firmware/components back on it (and even then, it’s really only a 50/50 chance you’ll ever see it boot up again).  

Usage: “I’m sorry, Bob, the firmware flash for your embedded device failed halfway through, and now it wont even boot up.  The damn things bricked, and without a JTAG board to restore the bits, it’ll never function again.”

Basically, if you’ve never had an electrical engineering class, or developed embedded firmware, you probably shouldn’t be using the word “bricked” in casual conversation.

If your iPhone doesn’t let you use it without activating, that is not bricked.   

That’s locked.

That’s you (or AT&T) being an idiot.

Unless you’re flashing firmware on a device, and it never boots up again, don’t say your device is bricked.

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