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Author: kris

So how badly is WPA2 broken?

It’s all over the news since yesterday: »WPA2 Wifi-Encryption is broken.« German news stations are asking people to not do online-banking via Wifi (that’s nonsense, but more about that later).

So what is WPA2? Wifi connections are connections over the air, radio signals in the 2.4 GHZ and 5 GHZ band. Because radio waves propagate everywhere around the antenna, they can be listened in by everybody. In order to give the over-the-air piece of the Internet connection some privacy, a simple encryption protocol had been cooked up, WEP. The WE in WEP stood for “Wire equivalent”, so the encryption wasn’t supposed to be milspec, it was supposed to give privacy comparable to a wire.

WEP was broken a long time ago, and it did not provide much of anything for a decade now. The successor protocols were WPA and later, WPA2. WPA2 was actually proven to be correct and secure, and that proof remarkably still stands.

So how is that possible?

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Fertig gelesen: Asperger’s on the Job

Asperger’s on the Job

These weird people with headphones on, working strange hours, not wanting to stand in front of the group in Standups and for talks – what are they, where to they come from and how do you handle them at work?

The book is structured as a self-help book, assessing various aspects of Asperger Syndrome, how they manifest and what that might mean in the workplace. It also discusses personal and environmental mitigations.

Each chapter concludes with a list of things that the Aspie and their employer could do, and leaves a number of questions that can help to develop a personal or environmental programme.

Useful for people that live with a geek population, where the number of Aspies is supposedly higher than average, and for geek herders as well. Fast read, but not everything is useful. Still worthwhile.

Asperger’s on the Job“, Rudy Simone, EUR 13.45

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So what is the state of the Ads mess?

Ads on the web have many problems:

Ad selection criteria have been abused for dissemination of propaganda, for targeted malware attacks. Content sites have basically lost the control over what kind of stuff they deliver through the ad-space on their site. Tracking is increasingly a concern for users. Ads bloat sites, slow down page display times and mess with peoples mobile data plans. Ads use power and create heat in devices with a tight power budgets (basically, anything that runs on a battery and has no fans, phones, tablets, laptops). Ads play unwanted video and audio, open layers and windows, popovers and popunders. Ads destroy usability and layout on content sites.

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What GPUs can do…

Pcgamer reports “Nvidia CEO says Moore’s Law is dead and GPUs will replace CPUs“. Now, Jensen Huang might be a bit biased here, but he reminded us that “GPUs are advancing at a much faster pace than CPUs” and “that GPUs will replace CPUs soon, adding that at this point, designers can hardly work out advanced parallel instruction architectures for CPUs.”

So what can a modern GPU do? Well, apparently Font Rendering is still a hard problem for GPUs, and a bottleneck in modern browsers. That’s not to say it’s not being done – the linked article contains lot of pointers.

And an older article about the Ubershaders basically explains how the Dolphin GameCube/Wii-Emulator uses modern GPU hardware to live-emulate 2002/2006 GPU hardware, in realtime (for a short time, while the CPU in the background creates more optimised precompiled GPU setups and code).

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Horizontal Space

We mentioned McMansion Hell previously as a Tumblr of the Day. In Looking Around: Horizontal Space, Kate Wagner speaks about the Horizontal City and Flattened America:

If there is one truth about the second half of the 20th Century it is that, by all accounts, we started moving out rather than up; horizontal rather than vertical. Not only through the process of suburbanization, the building of massive highways, and the rapid capital flight from cities, but also in how we designed everything from our homes to our workplaces.

In doing that, Kate also speaks about the Federal Housing Act of 1934, which we met previously in Peter Moskowitz’ “How to Kill a City, Gentrification, Inequality and the Fight for the Neighborhood“. Like Peter, Kate highlights how these policies of razing neighbourhoods for highways and the practice of Redlining have been an integral tool for implementing structural racism in the US.

Unwalkable cities didn’t happen by accident, they have been deliberately constructed.

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The large scale impact of offshore windfarm structures on pelagic primary production in the southern North Sea

The large scale impact of offshore windfarm structures on pelagic primary production in the southern North Sea

We are going to build a lot of off-shore wind farms in the North Sea. These have often in deep water where fewer mussels and other animals live. The rotors have foundations, which essentially are forming a lot of shallower islands in the deep water, an artificial riff. This is good for mussels and other animals that like protection, shallower water and a solid base. Life in the sea is likely to become richer and more diverse.


Crossing the Road…

English language video from the French Ministrère de la Transition écologique et solidaire, explaining how cyclists driving at red make crossings safer.

This video explains at length and through examples how allowing cyclists to pass crossings during red lights can make crossings a lot safer. I had this video in my G+ stream yesterday without a lot of explanation, mostly to see who actually watches it and how just runs the usual »Rowdy Cyclists Are Killing Us All« comments by reflex.