- Using the cloud to deliver security, ReadWriteWeb
- Facebook private pages still accessible, The Register
- New programming language with security baked right in, Slashdot
- Flaw allows bypassing of iPhone lock code, Wired
- Security and privacy app for Facebook debuts, ReadWriteWeb
- Rise of the small botnet, Slashdot
- Firefox zero day under attack at Noble Prize site, Zero Day
- Mozilla patches critical Firefox zero day flaw, The Register
- Critical vulnerabilities in Firefox 3.5, 3.6, Mozilla Security Blog
- Facebook worm ported to OS X, Zero Day
- New credit card flash attack may be responsible for up to $500K stolen a month, The Register
- Adobe Reader drive-by zero day flaw actively under attack, The Register
- Inside Google’s anti-malware operation, Slashdot
- Hiding back doors in hardware, Slashdot
- Cracking complex 14 character passwords in 5 seconds, CIO Zone, via Hacker News
- Dutch hotels must register as ISPs , Slashdot
- Tracking social influence through Facebook apps, Ars Technica
- An alternate interactive HTTP tool
- Techniques to kill the indestructible browser cookie, Via Hacker News
- IBM and Oracle agree to Java pact , New York Times Bits Blog
- Telnet like tool for HTTP
Via Nat’s Four Short Links at O’Reilly Radar. He remarks it looks like a useful teaching tool, which it no doubt is. I think it actually has more utility than just pedagogy. A lot of application development consists of plumbing together HTTP based services and having something a little more friendly than telnet and wget to explore and test is very useful for that end too.
- Is passing query string data in referral URLs a privacy violation?, Techdirt
- IBM’s plans for the Cell processor, Slashdot
- Microsoft patents GPU-accelerated video encoding, Slashdot
The EE Times links to the announcement from the Universal Parallel Computing Research Center (UPCRC) at the University of Illinois of the Deterministic Parallel Java project.
The broad goal of our project is to provide deterministic-by-default semantics for an object-oriented, imperative parallel language, using primarily compile-time checking. “Deterministic” means that the program produces the same visible output for a given input, in all executions. “By default” means that deterministic behavior is guaranteed unless the programmer explicitly requests nondeterminism. This is in contrast to today’s shared-memory programming models (e.g., threads and locks), which are inherently nondeterministic and can even have undetected data races.
UPCRC is a cross disciplinary project across several departments at the university and with Microsoft and Intel. The DPJ project is being led by Professor Vikram Adve and Ph.D. student, Robert Bocchino. The emphasis is on ease of use rather than exploring beyond the current conceptual horizon of parallel programming research.
My first thought on reading that this was based on Java was to dismiss it as a minor step forward. Looking through the tutorial, though, I think this is worthy of more attention. The choice of Java was driven more by the ease of implementation than the current approach to parallelism in that language. The fork-join model described reminds me, at least conceptually of Go, Google’s C-like concurrent programming language. The UPCRC is also working on a set of extensions for C++, with the help of Intel, that would make their implementation even more available to more programmers.
The real value of efforts like these is getting concepts like the fork-join approach to task parallelism out and into the hands of working programmers. The work at UPCRC was presented at last year’s OOPSLA but this announcement is the first I’ve heard of it. The open source license (GPL2), available code, tutorials and other documentation is very encouraging for those who simply want to grab the fruits of this team’s research and see what it makes possible.
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.
“In programming language (PL) research, we like to write up fancy evaluation rules containing lots of Greek letters. Unfortunately, these rules tend to be inscrutable to anyone who isn’t a PL researcher. Even for PL researchers, there is something unsatisfying about seeing a bunch of rules on a piece of paper.”
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.
- Gnu debugger adds D language support, The H
- Pirate Bay down, police raids across Europe, TorrentFreak
- Wikileaks caught in Swedish police raids, The Register
- Separating hope from hype in quantum computing, Slashdot
- NSA director says US must secure the internet, Slashdot
- Google, Yahoo come together on OpenID, ReadWriteWeb
- ACLU sues over warrantless laptop border searches, Wired
- Firefox 4 beta 5 is out, Mozilla
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.
- Mozilla Bespin renamed Skywriter, The H
- Google to simplify its privacy policies, New York Times
- Brazil considering legalizing file sharing, Slashdot
- Mozilla starts culling Firefox 4 features to focus release, The H
- Programming knowledge that is more useful to know earlier rather than later, Slashdot
- Cheap, portable 3D printer, Boing Boing
- Brazil undertaking all digital census, using smartphones, Slashdot
- Contribute to SETI@home from your browser
Via Hacker News.
- Re-targeting ads stalk surfers for weeks after they shop
Slashdot links to a story at NYT that I find fascinating for its potential to drive home the point about widespread behavioral advertising. If more users notice these sorts of creepy practices, the more fuel we’ll have for debate around better practices around transparency and affording the ability to opt out.
- Cyanogen, after market mod for Android smart phones, now supports FroYo, ReadWriteWeb
- GPU assisted sorting algorithm breaks giga-sort barrier, Slashdot
- iPhone app in approval limbo goes open source, Slashdot
- New model developed to help organize, keep private massive amounts of online data, Science Daily
- Some California schools decide to track students with RFIDs, EFF
So much for only posting some links tonight.
I saw this project via Hacker News, which reminded me of two other recent stories. One I shared a while back was video of sonification of various sorting algorithms. The first sample at the CodeSounding project page sounds similar which is surprising to me. A sort algorithm only has a few dimensions of interest, mostly time and relative magnitude of elements being sorted.
The reason I am surprised by the similarity between some of the samples and the very simple sonic space produced from sorting is due to the other recent story, Jonathan Berger’s lecture (mp3 link) on TVO’s Big Ideas about the social ethics of music. In that lecture, he specifically presents sonification of data sets that have a deep social dimension, for instance the spread of the oil plume in the gulf. Berger is a composer so perhaps his work, which uses similar techniques, shows more of his hand as a maker. His finished work definitely is meant to be as evocative in the result as the original input.
However one of the things he said that stuck with me is how music, and sound more generally, is better than visualization for representing multidimensional data. I would expect code to open up much more fully using sonification than the CodeSounding samples represent. Maybe it just wants for a hacker/musician to do a better job mapping the interesting dimensional elements of source code into the sound scape.
Word of warning, I could not find any license information so I suspect it is all rights reserved. That and the fact it takes in Java class and jar files, being written itself in Java, may be a turn off. Or an inspiration for an open source project to do one better.