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From Inside Edward Snowden’s Life as a Robot: Wizner had...

Jun 23, 7:04


From Inside Edward Snowden’s Life as a Robot:

Wizner had to jump on a phone call during a meeting with his whistleblower client. When he got off the phone, he found that Snowden had rolled the bot into civil liberties lawyer Jameel Jaffer’s office and was discussing the 702 provision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. “It was kind of cool,” Wizner says.

It is neat but they’re marketing video is at times strangely terrifying. Put different music on when the Susan-bot comes up behind the unknowing Mark and this could be a horror movie trailer.

PermalinkCommentsedward-snowden beam robot telepresence

The decline of the mobile web...

Apr 8, 6:49


The decline of the mobile web http://cdixon.org/2014/04/07/the-decline-of-the-mobile-web/

PermalinkCommentstechnical web browser mobile phone

FitBit and WebOC Application Compatibility Errors

2013 Aug 29, 7:17
I just got a FitBit One from my wife. Unfortunately I had issues running their app on my Windows 8.1 Preview machine. But I recognized the errors as IE compatibility issues, for instance an IE dialog popup from the FitBit app telling me about an error in the app's JavaScript. Given my previous post on WebOC versioning you may guess what I tried next. I went into the registry and tried out different browser mode and document mode versions until I got the FitBit software running without error. Ultimately I found the following registry value to work well ('FitBit connect.exe' set to DWORD decimal 8888).
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\FeatureControl\FEATURE_BROWSER_EMULATION]
"Fitbit Connect.exe"=dword:000022b8

For those familiar with the Windows registry the above should be enough. For those not familiar, copy and paste the above into notepad, save as a file named "fitbit.reg", and then double click the reg file and say 'Yes' to the prompt. Hopefully in the final release of Windows 8.1 this won't be an issue.
PermalinkComments

Shout Text Windows 8 App Development Notes

2013 Jun 27, 1:00

My first app for Windows 8 was Shout Text. You type into Shout Text, and your text is scaled up as large as possible while still fitting on the screen, as you type. It is the closest thing to a Hello World app as you'll find on the Windows Store that doesn't contain that phrase (by default) and I approached it as the simplest app I could make to learn about Windows modern app development and Windows Store app submission.

I rely on WinJS's default layout to use CSS transforms to scale up the user's text as they type. And they are typing into a simple content editable div.

The app was too simple for me to even consider using ads or charging for it which I learned more about in future apps.

The first interesting issue I ran into was that copying from and then pasting into the content editable div resulted in duplicates of the containing div with copied CSS appearing recursively inside of the content editable div. To fix this I had to catch the paste operation and remove the HTML data from the clipboard to ensure only the plain text data is pasted:

        function onPaste() {
var text;

if (window.clipboardData) {
text = window.clipboardData.getData("Text").toString();
window.clipboardData.clearData("Html");
window.clipboardData.setData("Text", util.normalizeContentEditableText(text));
}
}
shoutText.addEventListener("beforepaste", function () { return false; }, false);
shoutText.addEventListener("paste", onPaste, false);

I additionally found an issue in IE in which applying a CSS transform to a content editable div that has focus doesn't move the screen position of the user input caret - the text is scaled up or down but the caret remains the same size and in the same place on the screen. To fix this I made the following hack to reapply the current cursor position and text selection which resets the screen position of the user input caret.

        function resetCaret() {
setTimeout(function () {
var cursorPos = document.selection.createRange().duplicate();
cursorPos.select();
}, 200);
}

shoutText.attachEvent("onresize", function () { resetCaret(); }, true);
PermalinkCommentsdevelopment html javascript shout-text technical windows windows-store

Ben Goldacre’s TED talk on publication bias, drug...

2012 Sep 28, 3:55


drug companies hiding the results of clinical trials.

(via I did a new talk at TED, on drug companies and hidden data.)

PermalinkCommentsscience video ted

Stripe CTF - Level 7

2012 Sep 13, 5:00

Level 7 of the Stripe CTF involved running a length extension attack on the level 7 server's custom crypto code.

Code

@app.route('/logs/')
@require_authentication
def logs(id):
rows = get_logs(id)
return render_template('logs.html', logs=rows)

...

def verify_signature(user_id, sig, raw_params):
# get secret token for user_id
try:
row = g.db.select_one('users', {'id': user_id})
except db.NotFound:
raise BadSignature('no such user_id')
secret = str(row['secret'])

h = hashlib.sha1()
h.update(secret + raw_params)
print 'computed signature', h.hexdigest(), 'for body', repr(raw_params)
if h.hexdigest() != sig:
raise BadSignature('signature does not match')
return True

Issue

The level 7 web app is a web API in which clients submit signed RESTful requests and some actions are restricted to particular clients. The goal is to view the response to one of the restricted actions. The first issue is that there is a logs path to display the previous requests for a user and although the logs path requires the client to be authenticatd, it doesn't restrict the logs you view to be for the user for which you are authenticated. So you can manually change the number in the '/logs/[#]' to '/logs/1' to view the logs for the user ID 1 who can make restricted requests. The level 7 web app can be exploited with replay attacks but you won't find in the logs any of the restricted requests we need to run for our goal. And we can't just modify the requests because they are signed.

However they are signed using their own custom signing code which can be exploited by a length extension attack. All Merkle–Damgård hash algorithms (which includes MD5, and SHA) have the property that if you hash data of the form (secret + data) where data is known and the length but not content of secret is known you can construct the hash for a new message (secret + data + padding + newdata) where newdata is whatever you like and padding is determined using newdata, data, and the length of secret. You can find a sha-padding.py script on VNSecurity blog that will tell you the new hash and padding per the above. With that I produced my new restricted request based on another user's previous request. The original request was the following.

count=10&lat=37.351&user_id=1&long=%2D119.827&waffle=eggo|sig:8dbd9dfa60ef3964b1ee0785a68760af8658048c
The new request with padding and my new content was the following.
count=10&lat=37.351&user_id=1&long=%2D119.827&waffle=eggo%80%02%28&waffle=liege|sig:8dbd9dfa60ef3964b1ee0785a68760af8658048c
My new data in the new request is able to overwrite the waffle parameter because their parser fills in a map without checking if the parameter existed previously.

Notes

Code review red flags included custom crypto looking code. However I am not a crypto expert and it was difficult for me to find the solution to this level.

PermalinkCommentshash internet length-extension security sha1 stripe-ctf technical web

Why Your Links Should Never Say “Click Here” - UX Movement

2012 Jun 25, 1:06

I’ve been following this advice for many years now to the extent that I find myself rewriting text to make linking my nouns easier and shorter.

The one I wasn’t following that seems obvious only after I read it is to keep links towards the end of your text to allow users to follow the link once they’re done reading.

links at the end of the sentence allow users to take action faster

PermalinkCommentsweb technical ux html

A New HTTP Status Code for Legally-restricted Resources

2012 Jun 11, 2:00

451 Unavailable for Legal Reasons: The 451 status code is optional; clients cannot rely upon its use. It is imaginable that certain legal authorities may wish to avoid transparency, and not only forbid access to certain resources, but also disclosure that the restriction exists.

That was fast.

PermalinkCommentshttp internet web 451 law legal rfc ietf censorship technical

Ready Player One Easter Egg Hunt - Contest Announcement (by...

2012 Jun 5, 8:32


Ready Player One Easter Egg Hunt - Contest Announcement (by ernestcline)

PermalinkCommentsready-player-one video ernest-cline book easter-egg video-game delorean

Code: Flickr Developer Blog » Parsing Exif client-side using JavaScript

2012 Jun 1, 2:51

Flickr parses the exif out of images using Web Workers, and Blob (File API)!

PermalinkCommentsjavascript blob exif image technical programming dom webworker web-browser

Clippy.JS - Add Clippy and friends to any website (smore.com)

2012 May 29, 6:15

A great JS API to add Clippy or other agents to your website!  Make them talk, dance, gesture, etc

PermalinkCommentshumor microsoft js javascript web

Favorite Windows 8 Feature: Intra-Line Tab Completion

2012 May 9, 3:30

Fixed in Windows 8 is intra-line tab completion - you can try it out on the Windows 8 Consumer Preview now. If you open a command prompt, type a command, then move your cursor back into a token in the middle of the command and tab complete, the tab completion works on that whitespace delimited token and doesn't erase all text following the cursor. Like it does in pre Windows 8. And annoys the hell out of me. Yay!

PermalinkCommentscli technical windows cmd32.exe

Internet Archive - Downloading in bulk using wget

2012 Apr 26, 2:08PermalinkCommentstechnical internet-archive wget http archive cli

Another Comedy Bang Bang preview clip this time with Zach...

2012 Apr 18, 6:02


Another Comedy Bang Bang preview clip this time with Zach Galifianakis.

PermalinkCommentszach-galifianakis comedy-bang-bang video humor preview scott-aukerman tv clip

Dark Patterns are UI patterns used to trick users into doing...

2012 Mar 12, 7:05


Dark Patterns are UI patterns used to trick users into doing things they’d otherwise rather not: buy traveler’s insurance, click on ads, etc.  Covers the anti-patterns and how we as technical folk can help stop this.

PermalinkCommentstechnical ui programming dark-pattern

Cursor:none abuse (trick users into clicking Facebook 'like') (co.uk)

2012 Mar 6, 7:19

Cursor spoofing. Great job!

PermalinkCommentstechnical javascript css html cursor security

Star Trek: TNG Season 8 illustration has us longing for more [Star Trek]

2012 Mar 5, 3:17

Fictional plot summaries of TNG S8 episodes.    Like:

  • Q’s back: he’s wearing scuba gear and needs Picard’s help dumping his girlfriend. Barclay accidentally locks himself outside the ship.
  • Geordie and Data nurse a space bird back to health, and are sad when they have to release it. Picard is trapped in a turbolift with a baby.
  • Starfleet sends a cantankerous admiral to boss around Picard during delicate peace talks. Data seems to have mastered bragging.
  • Riker’s ex-girlfriend arrives and dies, leaving behind a pile of glowing dust and a mystery. Picard is trapped on a turbolift with a horse.
  • A planet of suspicious docents abduct Riker for their museum of amazing men. Geordi and Data are too excited to sleep at their sleepover.
  • Picard is trapped inside a sentient turbolift. A clip show highlights the most memorable “Picard is trapped on a turbolift” moments.
PermalinkCommentshumor twitter tng tv

Client Side Cross Domain Data YQL Hack

2012 Feb 27, 2:28

One of the more limiting issues of writing client side script in the browser is the same origin limitations of XMLHttpRequest. The latest version of all browsers support a subset of CORS to allow servers to opt-in particular resources for cross-domain access. Since IE8 there's XDomainRequest and in all other browsers (including IE10) there's XHR L2's cross-origin request features. But the vast majority of resources out on the web do not opt-in using CORS headers and so client side only web apps like a podcast player or a feed reader aren't doable.

One hack-y way around this I've found is to use YQL as a CORS proxy. YQL applies the CORS header to all its responses and among its features it allows a caller to request an arbitrary XML, HTML, or JSON resource. So my network helper script first attempts to access a URI directly using XDomainRequest if that exists and XMLHttpRequest otherwise. If that fails it then tries to use XDR or XHR to access the URI via YQL. I wrap my URIs in the following manner, where type is either "html", "xml", or "json":

        yqlRequest = function(uri, method, type, onComplete, onError) {
var yqlUri = "http://query.yahooapis.com/v1/public/yql?q=" +
encodeURIComponent("SELECT * FROM " + type + ' where url="' + encodeURIComponent(uri) + '"');

if (type == "html") {
yqlUri += encodeURIComponent(" and xpath='/*'");
}
else if (type == "json") {
yqlUri += "&callback=&format=json";
}
...

This also means I can get JSON data itself without having to go through JSONP.
PermalinkCommentsxhr javascript yql client-side technical yahoo xdr cors

Prime HTTP Status Codes

2012 Feb 22, 4:00
These are the prime HTTP status codes:
PermalinkCommentshttp prime technical useless

Mothereffing animated gif

2012 Feb 17, 7:31

Client side animated GIF creator web app.

PermalinkCommentstechnical javascript gif animated compression html5
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