26c3 Berlin

Thursday, December 31, 2009 

26c3 was a blast, as was Berlin. It’s a good conference in the olde school hacker style: mostly younger people, mostly wearing black. There weren’t a lot of women, but Carolyn, Isabella, and Meredith tried to even out the ratio a bit.

Some of the best lectures included one by some German engineers working on the lunar x-prize. They had their prototype rover with them and gave a great talk about the various challenges.

Another great one was Dan Kaminski’s talk on PKI. I don’t agree with the premise that SSL should be a reliable method for identifying the owners of websites as people just can’t tell the difference between bankofamerica.com and bancomerica.com and so it doesn’t make anyone safer if the bankofamerica site is super green if bancomerica.com is also super green, and so the complexities of getting an accepted certificate simply reduce the use of secure connections and the overall security of the internet. But he had some pretty great attacks on the security of SSL that causes problems no matter what.

We enjoyed fuzzing the phone as well. It was a very entertaining talk on attacking phones with crafted SMSes. The method of creating the attacks was very clever – rooting the phone, redirecting the radio to a wifi link to a CPU so they could try zillions of SMS and see what would happen. In the process they discovered they could remotely root the communications manager (which runs as root). And %n to specific windows phones and they’ll crash and fail to reboot until the SMS is cleared out of the inbox.

Berlin is a great city and it was fun working in the shadow of the TV tower.

We made reservations for lunch but we could tell it wasn’t going to be a great day. In the end it was a very intimate lunch with pretty clouds pressing against the glass.

The fog lifted but was replaced by snow, which is a lot of fun in a city when you don’t have to drive.






Posted at 11:42:34 GMT-0700

Category: Cell phonesEventsFreeBSDLinuxphotoPlacesTechnologyTravelWeather

Combinations Coffee at TXL

Thursday, December 31, 2009 

As airport coffee makers go, this one is mediocre. The milk handling is excellent and it produced light and even froth, but the coffee flavor is weak.

Media CardBlackBerrypicturesIMG00249-20091231-0817.jpg
Posted at 00:20:43 GMT-0700

Category: NegativephotoPlanesReviewsTravel

A week of tweets: 2009-12-27

Sunday, December 27, 2009 
  • Golem is quite a show. Klezmer punk, who’da thunk? #
  • First bmw rental: 328. Hertz is getting better and better. #
  • 2 nights under 2 hours. On my way to PS biz to JFK. Wifi? Hrm, that’s my sleep time! #
  • Yesterday’s bb outage didn’t just delay my mail, all data services were out. No bbmail, no gmail, no gmaps, no ubertwitter. 2012 came early! #
  • UAL Ps to jfk: free wifi, regular ac outlet: shoulda brought the W700, it’d be like being at the office in the air, but with free drinks. #
  • Tweeting from 30,000 feet on ual’s gogo. #
  • Gogo detects browsers, charges 7.95 for a blackberry, 12.95 for laptop. 1790 kbps down, 236 kbps up. #
  • Great advance: my M70 blows the 110v in seat breaker after a while. That never happened with the 12V DC:DC power. 110 is retarding progress! #
  • My first time over the verrazano narrows bridge! #
  • Bastards! “Free” boingo Google wifi NOT free on mas day at IAD. #
  • Uh reboot the plane! #
  • UAL Xmas FAIL: 2:45 in the plane at the gate at IAD to FRA waiting on luggage gymnastics the APU fails and we wait for a new plane. #
  • EPIC UAL FAIL waited 90 minutes for our spare plane then the jetway failed! Now a mobile lounge to plane. 7:15 departure my ass! Merry xmas #
  • Never boarded a plane from a mobile lounge before. To add to the fun, we rear boarded behind all of economy. #
  • We’re moving! #
  • Xmas night is over! Spent it IAD. Whoo hoo, but plane is finally moving, 5 hours late. Bring me a drink and dinner! Oh hai, fra. #

Powered by Twitter Tools

Posted at 02:11:00 GMT-0700

Category: Twitter

Watching The Clothes Go Round

Sunday, December 20, 2009 

Oh please Oh Please



Posted at 02:32:44 GMT-0700

Category: Funnyphoto

A week of tweets: 2009-12-20

Sunday, December 20, 2009 
  • Camary SE? Oh hertz you got me addicted to the mercedi. At least I earned a spot in the pay lot even when full with a friendly smile and tip #
  • Also: it ain’t common carriage & they ain’t ur wires thus no privacy: watcha gonna do? vote for civil rights over copyright profits? ROFLMAO #
  • New New York Times app for BlackBerry is pretty cool. Works offline. Offline rocks. Get off my lawn. #
  • Oh Hai winter. #
  • Oops, this is winter. LA isn’t winter.http://yfrog.com/35zltej It’s Tops about 12:45 tonight… #
  • Except for an injured FA, I have first to myself this evening. #
  • It’s Tops. It is. #

Powered by Twitter Tools

Posted at 01:11:00 GMT-0700

Category: Twitter

Retarding Progress for Contributions, Again.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009 

Hey, wow… sure, techdirt isn’t the WSJ, but for a blog it is somewhat authoritative and they’re actually noting that fact that we grant temporary monopolies to creators not as property (or to preserve jobs or to fund private jets for industry execs) but solely to promote the progress of science and the useful arts. Any IP law that retards the progress of science and the useful arts, no matter how many jobs or corporate jets it saves, is unconstitutional. Tell Victoria Espinel that she should be sworn to upholding the constitution, not the corporate profits.

This is relevant now because the press was just kicked out of the anti-“piracy” summit at the white house (by “piracy,” they of course mean vigilante trust busting, not the corporate pirates of the public domain).

Posted at 16:41:48 GMT-0700

Category: PoliticsTechnology

A week of tweets: 2009-12-13

Sunday, December 13, 2009 
  • Something you don’t see in sf very often: snow on a car. #
  • Snows in Bay Area hills, flight delayed by 2.5 hours. Incoming flight take a few loops for sightseeing? #
  • At SFO waiting for UAL 888 to LAX. IF it finally leaves it will be at least 6 hrs from car to rental car: would have been faster to drive. #
  • Crap, natural disaster in LA: light rain. Parked at SFO 7 hours ago. #
  • RT @sullrich: Google chief: Only miscreants worry about net privacy. http://bit.ly/7mIbRv … This is a bit troubling to say the least. #
  • The novel cafe, new ownership. Stylish and comfortable inside, laptop friendly. Good food. Much faster than #
  • YAY! Red eye from LAX to BOS. From 50 with wool hats in SM to a balmy 25. But meetings and lectures await. Whee. #
  • How to use the toilet on the plane: #
  • In my old office for the day. Familiar coffee flavors. #
  • BOS-IAD-SFO with @phragments. One night at home then off to LA. #
  • Pretty awesome? Especially awesome? follow the link on the foil hat wearing person’s back to bullet 6 #
  • Heading back to sfo to go to the office holiday party. Away from the airport for less than 10 hours this brief visit home. #
  • LAX RCC toilet closed. Concourse toilets decorated w/ urine and feces. Why pee on the toilet seat? Afraid of being checked out? Wide stance? #

Powered by Twitter Tools

Posted at 02:11:00 GMT-0700

Category: Twitter

Nice C300 rental, thx Hertz!

Friday, December 11, 2009 

My favorite rental cars so far.

Media CardBlackBerrypicturesIMG00140-20091211-1319.jpg
C300 is a beautiful car and fun to drive.
Posted at 14:20:35 GMT-0700

Category: photoPositiveRental carsReviews

Yay! Poopin’ and Flushin’

Wednesday, December 9, 2009 

How to use the toilet on the plane:

1 poop 2 flush

Media CardBlackBerrypicturesIMG00136-20091209-0311.jpg
Posted at 04:23:37 GMT-0700

Category: FunnyphotoPlanes

CCFLs are great but…

Tuesday, December 8, 2009 

CCFLs are a great source of light: more efficient area lights than LEDs and better CRI too and affordable but…

They are not heat lamps.

Media CardBlackBerrypicturesIMG00133-20091208-1009.jpg

Note that this CCFL was installed in a hotel bathroom in the heat lamp fixture, operated by the heat lamp timer. You step out of the shower, crank the timer knob and get a nice blast of cool bluish light.

Posted at 11:37:42 GMT-0700

Category: HotelsOddphoto