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Month: October 2017

ASLR

#define MH_PIE 0x200000                 /* When this bit is set, the OS will
                                           load the main executable at a
                                           random address.  Only used in
                                           MH_EXECUTE filetypes. */

If that flag is on, MacOS will enable ASLR and the binary will have different load addresses for code, data, heap and stack every time it is running.

$ sudo otool -h '/Library/Application Support/TrendMicro/TmccMac/iCoreService_tmsm'
Mach header
      magic cputype cpusubtype  caps    filetype ncmds sizeofcmds      flags
 0xfeedfacf 16777223          3  0x80           2    20       2656 0x00018085

Check the ‘flags’ for this. No 0x200000, no ASLR. Not here, and not on any other binary with “TrendMicro” in the pathname. And that is why you can’t have nice things.

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Fertig gelesen: Edgedancer

Edgedancer

Right now, one month before we get Oathbringer, the third part of The Stormlight Archive, we get Edgedancer. This is a Novella that previously was part of Arcanum Unbounded, a collection of short stories playing in the Cosmere. As a standalone Novella is has been expanded and is now 40k words long.

Edgedancer picks up the story of Lift, a scrappy Reshi thief that happens to bond with a Spren to follow the path of the Edgedancer. Because Lift also had contact with the Nightwatcher, she has interesting additional capabilities, among them to touch Spren and to turn food into Stormlight.

Lift is a vagabond and has no desire to attach herself to anybody or anything, she sees connection as a liability. This is aligned with the Agent-of-Change aspect of the Edgedancer path, but in conflict with the caring and healing aspects of the Edgedancer, and the story explores that in the casual way that is typical for Sandersons storytelling.

Lift gets into a conflict with Nale, the damaged Herald of Justice, and manages to bring this story arc to conclusion as well.

Edgedancer“,  Brandon Sanderson, EUR 5.49

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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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