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Evidence of governments breaching SSL
Mar 29th, 2010 by Ken Hagler

Gov’t, certificate authorities conspire to spy on SSL users?.

SSL is the cornerstone of secure Web browsing, enabling credit card and bank details to be used on the ‘Net with impunity. We’re all told to check for the little padlock in our address bars before handing over any sensitive information. SSL is also increasingly a feature of webmail providers, instant messaging, and other forms of online communication.

Recent discoveries by Wired and a paper by security researchers Christopher Soghoian and Sid Stamm suggests that SSL might not be as secure as once thought. Not because SSL itself has been compromised, but because governments are conspiring with Certificate Authorities, key parts of the SSL infrastructure, to subvert the entire system to allow them to spy on anyone they wish to keep tabs on.

[Ars Technica]

The weaknesses of SSL are well known, which is why people who know anything about security don’t trust Certificate Authorities, but in the past this has just been known as something that governments were probably doing. Now we have the first bit of evidence that they’re actually doing it. I don’t think this will make any difference in the long run–after all, nobody cared when, after years of suspicion, the US government admitted to using cell phones as tracking and listening devices–but hopefully at least a few people will read this and recognize that the government can and does spy on them.

Misleading sign
Mar 13th, 2010 by Ken Hagler

Seen on a sign at a street festival in Hollywood: “Bake Sale–No More Deaths.” It turned out they were raising funds for a humanitarian organization, but my first thought was that it was a comment on the quality of their previous batches of baked goods.

Life in prison
Mar 11th, 2010 by Ken Hagler

Dear Old Golden Rule Days.

A recent graduate of Virginia’s public schools explains how
searches, surveillance, and zero-tolerance policies have produced a
whole new way for childhood to suck.

[Hit and Run]

From what I’ve read, prisons public schools in other states are just as bad. I really can’t understand why anyone who has kids and doesn’t hate them would want to subject them to this sort of treatment.

A bigger iPhone isn’t just an iPhone
Mar 5th, 2010 by Ken Hagler

iPad Application Design. The iPad may be a larger version of the iPhone in terms of the hardware and operating system, but treating it as the same device would be foolish. It turns out that increasing the display size of touch-screen hardware can transform it into an entirely new class of device. [Matt Legend Gemmell]

It’s true that the iPad is basically a larger iPod Touch, but the difference that extra size makes is actually pretty significant. The author looks at some of the ways that being bigger matters.

Quote of the Day
Mar 2nd, 2010 by Ken Hagler

The only way this Monday could get worse is if a rabid velociraptor appeared and started rampaging through the office.

Someone who has much better co-workers than I do

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