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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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