Quick Security Alerts for the Week Ending 10/24/2010

Quick Security Alerts for the Week Ending 10/17/2010

feeds | grep links > New Cable Box Rules, France May Subsidize Downloads, Firefox 4 Could Be Delayed, and More

  • Bjarne Stroustrop reflects on 25 years of C++ , Slashdot
  • Wikileaks donations account shut down, Slashdot
  • FCC approves changes to cable box rules
    Slashdot links to a post at Hillicon Valley discussing this latest news in a long standing fight for competition and consumer choice. I can’t help but think that if the FCC, or Congress, had worked to keep DRM out of our media stack, as its embedding in the HDMI connector standard, that there would be less of a need for pushing Cablecard. On the flip side, with the first Google TV devices coming out, this could open the way to smarter set top devices being able to integrate much more seamlessly into our media ecosystem than ever before.
  • French government may subsidize music downloads
    There isn’t much more detail in the article to which Slashdot links, especially as to the detailed reasoning. This is an anti-piracy move but once the vouchers are spent, the effective prices will rise returning everything back to where it was. I’ll give them credit for trying but a more thorough shift is required, one that incents labels as much as young people to meet over legitimate online distribution sites.
  • Blocker bugs snarl next Firefox 4 beta release, The H

feeds | grep links > Firefox Mobile Beta, Text Adventures on E-Readers, No CC Music at the CBC, and More

  • Firefox 4 beta for mobile devices
    Ryan Paul at Ars Technica has a good run down of both improvements in the latest release of Fennec, now just simply referred to as Firefox 4, as well as the remaining challenges for the mobile version of Mozilla’s browser to stack up well against other mobile browsers. Still trying to get my hands on 4-5 inch Android MID for, among other things, testing these mobile builds my own self.
  • Interactive fiction on an e-reader
    Tim Carmody at Wired provides what I think is the most compelling reason to get a dedicated e-reader yet, the ability hacked together by some gamers to play interactive fiction. Carmody calls out the one downer that occurred to me too, the pain of entering text on some of these devices. All the same, it definitely is a good match in terms of display capabilities and processing power. Well, and it’s intensely nerdy fun.
  • Caught spying, FBI wants its bug back, Wired
  • Software evolution storylines, inspired by xkcd, Slashdot
  • CBC bans use of Creative Commons music on podcasts
    Michael Geist links directly to the discussion in the comments at the Spark site. He also explains that it is a consequence of some collective agreement with talent agencies. It is easy to speculate that this is specifically targeting CC but I suspect that it may be mere boiler plate language that includes exclusivity as part of the deal which would preclude any other licenses, not just CC. Still, how quickly do you think the parties involved might backpedal?
  • A step closer to workable brain-computer interfaces, Technology Review

feeds | grep links > Plans for Firefox Home, Review of “Get Lamp”, Open HDCP Software Implementation, and More

  • Contest to produce JavaScript demos no more than 1Kb
    Slashdot links to this now concluded contest that sort of reminds me of the demo scene in terms of the constraint to bum down code as much as possible. The results are a bit more diverse, including many interactive games as well as passive animations. More so than a lot of recent and fairly contrived “HTML5” demos, the finalists in JS1K really showcase what modern browsers can do.
  • Firefox Home adding more devices, social capabilities
    Chris Cameron at ReadWriteWeb shares news of Mozilla’s plans for their Sync client for iPhone. Personally, I cannot wait to get an Android powered replacement for my iPod Touch and start running Fennec, their full mobile browser, but in the interim I’m happy that Home is getting such attention from the lizard wranglers. I especially cannot wait for the password sync support planned for a future release.
  • Congress passes internet, smart phone accessibility bill, Washington Post
  • Update to private cloud-based file system, Tahoe-LAFS, BoingBoing
  • Android software piracy rampant, Slashdot
  • A Review of Jason Scott’s “Get Lamp”
    Text adventure games figured largely in my earliest experiences of computers. It was a no brainer for me to pick up a copy of Scott’s documentary on the subject. I enjoyed it immensely and am far from finished exploring all the material he has included in the two disc set. Jeremy Reimer at Ars Technica has a glowing review that resonates very strongly with my own experience of the work.
  • EFF, others, support Microsoft in case trying to make patent invalidation easier, EFF
  • Open HDCP software implementation released
    Ars Technica, among others, has news of researchers using the recently leaked HDCP keys to build an open source program capable of decrypting encoded digital video streams. Peter Bright questions the utility of the effort as it would still require some sort of hardware to connect into your home media ecosystem. I think the overlooks the very strong tradition of these sorts of proofs of concept developed by security researchers interested in the system more so than its applications.

Security Alerts for the Week Ending 9/12/2010

feeds | grep links > Faster JavaScript for Firefox 4, Details of Google’s New Search Index, Leaked EU Surveillance Plan, and More

feeds | grep links > D in Gnu’s Debugger, Police Raids Hit Wikileaks and Pirate Bay, Hope and Hype in Quantum Computing, and More

I am back from Dragon*Con but thoroughly wiped out. It looks like I will return to my usual blogging routine tomorrow. For now, here are some more links.

feeds | grep links > Mozilla Cloud Editor Renamed, Google to Simplify Privacy Policies, Brazil May Legalize File Sharing, and More

I am still on the road, returning from Dragon*Con in Atlanta. There four more hours between me and DC, which will be tackled tomorrow, bright and early. My blogging should return to normal either tomorrow or Wednesday.

Security Alerts for the Week Ending 8/29/2010

I should have posted these yesterday, going by my usual schedule. Being on hiatus from the podcast is disrupting my usual force of habit though.