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How to Summon Your Child’s Inner Coder: 10 Questions With Raspberry Pi Inventor Eben Upton

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Adventures in Academia

Yesterday, at work, I was waiting for my computer to install several software packages to install.

While waiting, I was reading several papers, one of which was Intercepting and Instrumenting COM Applications, which was reasonably easy to read, and very useful (bonus!).

The paper had, in my opinion, some of the funniest writing ever seen in an academic paper! To wit:

An Analogy for the Interface Ownership Problem

The following analogy is helpful for understanding the interface ownership problem. A person finds herself in a large multi-dimensional building. The building is divided into many rooms with doors leading from one room to another. The person is assigned the task of identifying all of the rooms in the building and determining which doors lead to which rooms. Unfortunately, all of the walls in the building are invisible. Additionally, from time to time new doors are added to the building and old doors are removed from the building.

Now, in their defense, that was a pretty reasonable description of the problem at hand. On the other hand, it seems silly in the extreme to simplify a problem by introducing multi-dimensional buildings with invisible walls and magically appearing doors. Luckily, I read a lot of Harry Potter, and (most) everything made perfect sense to me.

Now, I’m going back to watching Microsoft Visual Studio install (mmm. thrilling).

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Tracking PCs anywhere on the Net

Tracking PCs anywhere on the Net

A University of California Ph.D. Student, Tadayoshi Kohno, will be presenting research in the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy. Kohno has apparently managed to fingerprint remote devices, even if they are behind a NAT box, or behind an anonymizer service. Furthermore, Kohno’s techniques work regardless of distance: a target can be next door, or multiple hops and thousands of miles.

This is fascinating work. I’m going to add this to my stack of papers to read.

(Via Mitch Kapor’s Weblog.)