TCLP 2010-08-22 News

This is news cast 223, an episode of The Command Line Podcast.

In the intro, an obligatory reminder there will be no new shows on the 29th, the 1st and the 5th because of Dragon*Con. Also, if you are in the north west of the UK, check out U^3 an UnWorkShop being held the 28th of August.

This week’s security alerts are a Firefox bug bypasses URL protection for embedded frames and an old Linux Kernel flaw allows exploits to acquire root privileges.

In this week’s news the end of privacy, a new probabilistic processor design, a thirty year old crypto system is resistant to quantum cryptanalysis, and privacy concerns (among others) over Facebook’s new Places feature. The EFF already has a guide to protecting your privacy against it.

Following up this week EFF appealing the Jewel v. NSA warrantless wiretapping case and negotiators concede ACTA isn’t about counterfeiting after all.


View the detailed show notes online. You can also grab the flac encoded audio from the Internet Archive.

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feeds | grep links > Still More on P and NP, Google Responds to Oracle’s Java Suit, Touch is Coming to Ubuntu, and More

  • Eight signs a claimed P != NP proof is wrong
  • P vs. NP for dummies
    I don’t always follow Scott Aaronson’s explanations of quantum computation and classical mathematics and computer science but not for want of clarity and accessibility in his posts. If you’ve been swimming in deep water following the proposed P != NP proof, his lay explanation of the underlying concepts and problem are required reading.
  • World’s first voice call with a free GSM stack
    The project in question, OsmocomBB, not surprisingly has been targeting the now defunct OpenMoko phone as well as a limited number of Motorola phones. Slashdot links to a mailing list message marking this critical milestone. The cellularl modems have been a pretty consistent holdout even for phones, like those under the OpenMoko project, designed to be as open as possible.
  • Google responds to Oracle’s Java lawsuit
    As the H describes it, there isn’t much to their comments other than accusing the claims of being baseless and promising to “strongly defend open-source standards”. The H quotes some of the other responses to the suit from around the web, including James Gosling, one of Java’s inventors, and outspoken software patent critic, Florian Mueller.
  • Google chief suggests future norms may include name change privilege on reach adulthood
  • Linux distribution Debian turns 17
  • Next Ubuntu to include software stack for touch, gesture interfaces
  • Tab Candy to become standard feature in Firefox
    I had already just assumed this would be the case, but Wired’s WebMonkey confirms it. Chris Blizzard tweeted just the other day that both Tab Candy and Sync, formerly an extension but already on the road map for conversion to a proper feature, had landed in the nightly builds. We may see both show up as soon as the next beta. I intentionally don’t use a lot of tabs in Firefox, I think having a lot open is a symptom of poor focus. I may have to re-think that view after some time with this new way to organize tabs, even saving groups of them for later work or switching between groups to pursue different tasks.

feeds | grep links > More on P != NP Proof, Firefox 4 Beta 3 Released, and More

I didn’t think I’d get Wednesday’s post up until a proper hour in the AM. Cruising at just above 35,000 feet, I guessing technically I am still just a wee bit past midnight being somewhere over Nevada. I’ve already reset all my computing devices to my home time zone, however, and shifted to thinking about how the horrid two hour delay is going to make my drive home from the air port a nightmare. I am scheduled to land smack dab in the middle of rush hour.

I am not predicting a very productive Thursday as in order to get any rest before working from home I’ll have to abbreviate my work day considerably, just to essential tasks. I’m glad to get this taken care of before succumbing to exhaustion and jet lag, sleeping away the rest of the flight home.

Security Alerts for Week Ending 8/8/2010

Security Alerts for the Week Ending 8/1/2010

feeds | grep links > Copyright Preventing Video Game Preservation, USCG Infringes Copyright, and Updates to Firefox Sync, Home

  • Copyright interfering with attempts to preserve video game history
    Mike Masnick at Techdirt points out the double risk of the lack of older hardware coupled with the requirement of clearing considerable permissions. Faced with oblivion, you’d think rights holders would rather brave the risk of possible piracy than their works ceasing to exist altogether.
  • USCG itself blatantly violates copyright
    The US Copyright Group is an early pioneer of the post-RIAA lawsuit business model of waving the heavy club of statutory damages for file sharing digital music to earn tidy profits from settlements. As Ernesto at TorrentFreak explains, the site that the law firm set up to process the settlements is itself a near complete rip off of a site used by another firm exploiting this same horrid infringement for profit model.
  • Mozilla updates Firefox Home and Firefox Sync

feeds | grep links > Firefox 4 Beta 2 Drops, Law Suit over Zombie Cookies, and More

  • Firefox 4 beta 2 released, including app tabs and CSS3 transitions
  • Pirate Party offers hosting to WikiLeaks
  • Law suit targets sites using analysis service that introduced zombie cookies
    As Ryan Single explains, zombie cookies are browser cookies ressurrected from Flash’s client side storage without the users knowledge or consent. It was Quantcast that was identified as using them, though they claimed to have stopped shortly after being outed by researchers at UC Berkeley. Quantcast is in wide usage by many high profile sites and it is their customers being targeted by this suit. The basis of the suit is the use of zombie cookies violated a federal computer intrusion law, which I think is not the best framing but lacking a federal online privacy law there is little alternative.
  • More on ASCAP boss’s fears over being silenced
    Professor Lessig himself messaged about this earlier in the day, linking to an update to his original Huffington Post article from earlier inviting Paul William’s to a debate. Mike Masnick at Techdirt has the open letter from Williams along with a good bit of analysis. The conclusion is indeed as baffling as it seems, somehow equating the call to a civil discourse in a public forum on the merits of both views with an attempt to silence one of those views. It is frustrating when the other side of the question of how we re-balance copyright won’t even engage in a rational conversation.

feeds | grep links > Wikileaks Release 90K Documents, Open Source Software-Based GSM Network, Firefox Beta Delayed, and More

Security Alerts for Week Ending 7/25/2010

feeds | grep links > Android Bloatware, WordPress Firm that GPL Does Cover Themes and Plugins, and More