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Of course you can't trust scientists on politics

Many people make the same claim as this tweet. It's obviously wrong. Yes,, the right-wing has a problem with science, but this isn't it.If you think you don't trust scientists, you're mistaken. You trust scientists in a million different ways every time you step on a plane, or for that matter turn on your tap or open a can of beans. The fact that you're...

Risk analysis for DEF CON 2021

It's the second year of the pandemic and the DEF CON hacker conference wasn't canceled. However, the Delta variant is spreading. I thought I'd do a little bit of risk analysis. TL;DR: I'm not canceling my ticket, but changing my plans what I do in Vegas during the convention.First, a note about risk analysis. For many people, "risk" means something...

Ransomware: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes

Many claim that "ransomware" is due to cybersecurity failures. It's not really true. We are adequately protecting users and computers. The failure is in the inability of cybersecurity guardians to protect themselves. Ransomware doesn't make the news when it only accesses the files normal users have access to. The big ransomware news events happened...

Some quick notes on SDR

I'm trying to create perfect screen captures of SDR to explain the world of radio around us. In this blogpost, I'm going to discuss some of the imperfect captures I'm getting, specifically, some notes about WiFi and Bluetooth.An SDR is a "software defined radio" which digitally samples radio waves and uses number crunching to decode the signal into...

When we'll get a 128-bit CPU

On Hacker News, this article claiming "You won't live to see a 128-bit CPU" is trending". Sadly, it was non-technical, so didn't really contain anything useful. I thought I'd write up some technical notes.The issue isn't the CPU, but memory. It's not about the size of computations, but when CPUs will need more than 64-bits to address all the memory...

Anatomy of how you get pwned

Today, somebody had a problem: they kept seeing a popup on their screen, and obvious scam trying to sell them McAfee anti-virus. Where was this coming from?In this blogpost, I follow this rabbit hole on down. It starts with "search engine optimization" links and leads to an entire industry of tricks, scams, exploiting popups, trying to infect your machine...

Ethics: University of Minnesota's hostile patches

The University of Minnesota (UMN) got into trouble this week for doing a study where they have submitted deliberately vulnerable patches into open-source projects, in order to test whether hostile actors can do this to hack things. After a UMN researcher submitted a crappy patch to the Linux Kernel, kernel maintainers decided to rip out all recent UMN...

A quick FAQ about NFTs

I thought I'd write up 4 technical questions about NFTs. They may not be the ones you ask, but they are the ones you should be asking. The questions:What does the token look like?How does it contain the artwork? (or, where is the artwork contained?)How are tokens traded? (How do they get paid? How do they get from one account to another?)What does the...

Deconstructing that $69million NFT

"NFTs" have hit the mainstream news with the sale of an NFT based digital artwork for $69 million. I thought I'd write up an explainer. Specifically, I deconstruct that huge purchase and show what actually was exchanged, down to the raw code. (The answer: almost nothing).The reason for this post is that every other description of NFTs describe what...

We are living in 1984 (ETERNALBLUE)

In the book 1984, the protagonist questions his sanity, because his memory differs from what appears to be everybody else's memory.The Party said that Oceania had never been in alliance with Eurasia. He, Winston Smith, knew that Oceania had been in alliance with Eurasia as short a time as four years ago. But where did that knowledge exist? Only in his...

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