Technical - Dave's Blog


Search

Live coding in VR with the Oculus Rift, Firefox WebVR,...

Oct 6, 2:45


Live coding in VR with the Oculus Rift, Firefox WebVR, JavaScript and Three.js

"I built a live-coding web app for the Oculus Rift where you code in JavaScript using Three.js and watch the world change around you in real-time."

PermalinkCommentsvideo programming javascript 3d vr oculus-rift technical

Why do Nigerian Scammers Say They are from Nigeria? - Microsoft Research

Aug 26, 3:53

Mass mailing Internet scams intentionally use poor spelling, grammar etc to filter down to target ignorant audience .

PermalinkCommentstechnical security statistics

Fish vs Fish in Street Fighter II

Aug 20, 6:22

Fish vs Fish in Street Fighter II - Computer vision translates the location of two fish in an aquarium into SF2 moves.

PermalinkCommentstechnical humor video-game street-fighter fish

The Secret Life of SIM Cards - DEFCON 21 - simhacks

Aug 16, 1:07

A DEFCON talk “The Secret Life of SIM Cards” that covers running apps on your SIM card. Surprisingly they run a subset of Java and execute semi-independent of the Phone’s OS.

PermalinkCommentstechnical phone sim-card security java

Detect login with CSP - When Security Generates Insecurity

Jul 8, 1:13

An interesting way to use the report-uri feature of CSP to detect if a user is logged into Google, Facebook etc.

PermalinkCommentstechnical security csp web

On exploiting security issues in botnet C&C...

Jun 23, 4:26


On exploiting security issues in botnet C&C software:

Hackers “are learning that it’s not so easy to write secure code,” Toro says. “Most of us in the business of securing our applications and systems know that bulletproofing software is an extremely expensive and exhaustive undertaking. Malware creators who have to look to their own defences would have to slow down the production of new attacks.”

FYI, if you want to know what it looks like when you hack a hacker, look no further than the seminal 1995 film Hackers.

PermalinkCommentstechnical security

Netflix API : Retiring the Netflix Public API

Jun 15, 3:02

First they came for our RSS feeds and I said nothing…

PermalinkCommentstechnical Netflix web api api

Netflix responds to Verizon’s cease & desist letter....

Jun 10, 2:54


Netflix responds to Verizon’s cease & desist letter. Somehow I doubt that Verizon will bite on your offer to work together to increase network transparency Netflix. Nice suggestion though.

PermalinkCommentstechnical net-neutrality Verizon Netflix net

U.S. Marshals Seize Cops’ Spying Records to Keep Them From the ACLU | Threat Level | WIRED

Jun 4, 6:08

"A routine request in Florida for records detailing the use of a surveillance tool known as stingray turned extraordinary Tuesday when the U.S. Marshals Service seized the documents before local police could release them."

Also what about the part where the PD reveals that its been using the stingray a bunch without telling any court and blames that on the manufacturer’s NDA.

PermalinkCommentstechnical law security phone

JS NICE: Statistical renaming, Type inference and Deobfuscation

Jun 3, 9:36

JS NICE | Software Reliability Lab in ETH

JS NICE has indexed over 10,000 JavaScript projects from GitHub and then probabilistically infers newly suggested names and types for all of the local variables and function parameters of new JS.

PermalinkCommentstechnical javascript js coding

gitfiti - github contributions pane pixel art

Jun 2, 8:07

gitfiti - abusing github commit history for the lulz

A script that abuses github submissions to draw pixel art in your github contributions pane.

PermalinkCommentstechnical humor github pixel art

MotherJones - Meet the people behind the Wayback Machine, one of...

Jun 1, 4:16


MotherJones - Meet the people behind the Wayback Machine, one of our favorite things about the internet

PermalinkCommentstechnical internet-archive

XSS game

May 29, 1:10

Google’s XSS training game. Learn how to find XSS issues for fun and profit.

PermalinkCommentstechnical web security xss google

So You Want To Write Your Own CSV code? · TBurette

May 25, 1:46

Additional considerations beyond the naïve implementation of a CSV parser.

PermalinkCommentscsv technical

ios - Capture image via captureStillImageAsynchronouslyFromConnection with no shutter sound - Stack Overflow

May 24, 2:42

The best hack I’ve seen in a while. With no way to disable the shutter sound from the capture photo API, the developer creates the inverse waveform of the shutter sound and plays it at the same time to cancel out the shutter sound.

PermalinkCommentstechnical humor ios photo sound

Cloud Share - New App

May 23, 4:06

I've put a new app on the Windows Store: Cloud Share. It connects the web to your Windows 8 share charm.

I did the development on GitHub and quite enjoyed myself. I wasn't sure I liked the game-ification of development in GitHub's dashboard showing you your longest development streak in days. However I realized that it encourages me to do work on my personal project and anything that aids in holding my attention on and helping me finish these projects is a good thing.

PermalinkCommentsdevelopment github javascript JS technical windows

Debugging anecdote - the color transparent black breaks accessibility

May 22, 10:36

Some time back while I was working on getting the Javascript Windows Store app platform running on Windows Phone (now available on the last Windows Phone release!) I had an interesting bug that in retrospect is amusing.

I had just finished a work item to get accessibility working for JS WinPhone apps when I got a new bug: With some set of JS apps, accessibility appeared to be totally broken. At that time in development the only mechanism we had to test accessibility was a test tool that runs on the PC, connects to the phone, and dumps out the accessibility tree of whatever app is running on the phone. In this bug, the tool would spin for a while and then timeout with an error and no accessibility information.

My first thought was this was an issue in my new accessibility code. However, debugging with breakpoints on my code I could see none of my code was run nor the code that should call it. The code that called that code was a more generic messaging system that hit my breakpoints constantly.

Rather than trying to work backward from the failure point, I decided to try and narrow down the repro and work forwards from there. One thing all the apps with the bug had in common was their usage of WinJS, but not all WinJS apps demonstrated the issue. Using a binary search approach on one such app I removed unrelated app code until all that was left was the app's usage of the WinJS AppBar and the bug still occurred. I replaced the WinJS AppBar usage with direct usage of the underlying AppBar WinRT APIs and continued.

Only some calls to the AppBar WinRT object produced the issue:

        var appBar = Windows.UI.WebUI.Core.WebUICommandBar.getForCurrentView(); 
// appBar.opacity = 1;
// appBar.closeDisplayMode = Windows.UI.WebUI.Core.WebUICommandBarClosedDisplayMode.default;
appBar.backgroundColor = Windows.UI.Colors.white; // Bug!
Just setting the background color appeared to cause the issue and I didn't even have to display the AppBar. Through additional trial and error I was blown away to discover that some colors I would set caused the issue and other colors did not. Black wouldn't cause the issue but transparent black would. So would aqua but not white.

I eventually realized that predefined WinRT color values like Windows.UI.Colors.aqua would cause the issue while JS literal based colors didn't cause the issue (Windows.UI.Color is a WinRT struct which projects in JS as a JS literal object with the struct members as JS object properties so its easy to write something like {r: 0, g: 0, b: 0, a: 0} to make a color) and I had been mixing both in my tests without realizing there would be a difference. I debugged into the backgroundColor property setter that consumed the WinRT color struct to see what was different between Windows.UI.Colors.black and {a: 1, r: 0, g: 0, b: 0} and found the two structs to be byte wise exactly the same.

On a hunch I tried my test app with only a reference to the color and otherwise no interaction with the AppBar and not doing anything with the actual reference to the color: Windows.UI.Colors.black;. This too caused the issue. I knew that the implementation for these WinRT const values live in a DLL and guessed that something in the code to create these predefined colors was causing the issue. I debugged in and no luck. Now I also have experienced crusty code that would do exciting things in its DllMain, the function that's called when a DLL is loaded into the process so I tried modifying my C++ code to simply LoadLibrary the DLL containing the WinRT color definition, windows.ui.xaml.dll and found the bug still occurred! A short lived moment of relief as the world seemed to make sense again.

Debugging into DllMain nothing interesting happened. There were interesting calls in there to be sure, but all of them behind conditions that were false. I was again stumped. On another hunch I tried renaming the DLL and only LoadLibrary'ing it and the bug went away. I took a different DLL renamed it windows.ui.xaml.dll and tried LoadLibrary'ing that and the bug came back. Just the name of the DLL was causing the issue.

I searched for the DLL name in our source code index and found hits in the accessibility tool. Grinning I opened the source to find that the accessibility tool's phone side service was trying to determine if a process belonged to a XAML app or not because XAML apps had a different accessibility contract. It did this by checking to see if windows.ui.xaml.dll was loaded in the target process.

At this point I got to fix my main issue and open several new bugs for the variety of problems I had just run into. This is a how to on writing software that is difficult to debug.

PermalinkCommentsbug debug javascript JS technical windows winrt

A Complete Guide to Flexbox | CSS-Tricks

May 22, 1:02

"The Flexbox Layout (Flexible Box) module (currently a W3C Candidate Recommendation) aims at providing a more efficient way to lay out, align and…"

Great diagrams showing the use of the various flex css properties. I can never keep them straight so this is perfect for me.

PermalinkCommentstechnical css flex

CodePlex - Virtual Router - Wifi Hot Spot for Windows 8, Windows 7 and 2008 R2

May 21, 2:30

The original open source Wifi Hotpot for Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012!

Free open source software based router you can run on Windows to wirelessly share your Internet connection with other devices

PermalinkCommentstechnical tool wifi router free open-source windows

Guardian - Secrets, lies and Snowden’s email: why I was...

May 21, 2:11


Guardian - Secrets, lies and Snowden’s email: why I was forced to shut down Lavabit

"For the first time, the founder of an encrypted email startup that was supposed to insure privacy for all reveals how the FBI and the US legal system made sure we don’t have the right to much privacy in the first place"

PermalinkCommentslaw legal encryption technical
Older Entries Creative Commons License Some rights reserved.