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Tweet from David Risney

2017 Jan 13, 12:54
Free startup idea: Legally binding "but you have to survive a night in a haunted house" clauses and infrastructure for hillarious wills.
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Tweet from David Risney

2016 Nov 18, 4:11
@PA_Megacorp I read the title as Couchomancy and imagined a necromancer that summons couches. No one steal my new YA fantasy novel idea pls
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Retweet of chaosprime

2016 Jan 11, 7:41
As a native speaker of several dialects of computer, the idea this = natural language proficiency is horseshit. https://twitter.com/davidjrusek/status/686955968224034816 …
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Tweet from tres dessert

2015 Oct 19, 10:19
NILES THIS IS THE WORST IDEA YOU'VE EVER HAD
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Retweet of latest_is

2015 Mar 18, 9:38
The cord-cutter's guide: calculate what it would cost to get all of your TV online http://www.theverge.com/a/online-tv-stream-price-guide …
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Quadrilateral Cowboy gameplay video “Quadrilateral Cowboy...

2014 Oct 6, 2:41


Quadrilateral Cowboy gameplay video

“Quadrilateral Cowboy is a game we’ve been watching with great interest ever since Thirty Flights Of Loving creator Brendon Chung first debuted it last year. It’s about hacking, but not via irritating minigames or jargon-your-problems-away Hollywood magic. Instead, you learn basic (albeit fictional) code and take down everything from laser grids to gun emplacements with a twitch of your fingers and a wriggle of your brain. It’s already an extremely clever game, and it’s quite empowering despite the fact that you play as someone who probably couldn’t even heft an assault rifle - let alone fire one. Basically, it’s a wonderfully novel idea - more Neuromancer than Deus Ex - but words only do it so much justice. Thus, I’ve decided to play it for your enrichment, in hopes that you will understand why Quadrilateral should be driving your radar haywire.”

PermalinkCommentsgame video-game hack computer

The Strange & Curious Tale of the Last True Hermit

2014 Aug 21, 3:02

The story of Chris Knight, living in isolation in the woods of Maine for 27 years.

'Anyone who reveals what he's learned, Chris told me, is not by his definition a true hermit. Chris had come around on the idea of himself as a hermit, and eventually embraced it. When I mentioned Thoreau, who spent two years at Walden, Chris dismissed him with a single word: “dilettante.”'

'But still, I pressed on, there must have been some grand insight revealed to him in the wild…”Get enough sleep.”'

I don’t want to brag, but I’ve been telling that people all along and I didn’t have to live alone in the woods for decades.

PermalinkCommentshermit

Windows Store on Windows 8 Fun For Independent Developers

2013 Jun 24, 1:00
Having worked on Windows 8 I'm not in a neutral position to review aspects of it, however I'll say from a high level I love taking the following various positives from smart phone apps and app stores and applying it to the desktop:
  • Independent developers can easily publish apps.
  • One trusted place for a user to find apps.
  • User can trust apps are limited to a declared set of capabilities.
  • One common and easy way for users to buy and try apps.
  • Easy mechanism for independent developers to collect revenue.
Relieving the independent developer of software development overhead, in this case Windows taking care of distribution and sales infrastructure is wonderful for me with my third party developer hat on. This combined with my new found fun of developing in JavaScript and the new Windows Runtime APIs means I've been implementing and finishing various ideas I've had - some for fun and some for productivity on my Surface. Development notes to follow.
PermalinkCommentsstore technical windows windows-store

theatlantic: How the 8.5” x 11” Piece of Paper Got Its...

2012 Sep 19, 6:37


theatlantic:

How the 8.5” x 11” Piece of Paper Got Its Size

Why do we use a paper size that is so unfriendly for the basic task of reading? According to a very interesting post by Paul Stanley, the rough dimensions of office paper evolved to accommodate handwriting and typewriters with monospaced fonts, both of which rendered many fewer characters per line. “Typewriters,” he explains, “produced 10 or 12 characters per inch: so on (say) 8.5 inch wide paper, with 1 inch margins, you had 6.5 inches of type, giving … around 65 to 78 characters.” This, he says, is “pretty close to ideal.”

Read more. [Image: Picsfive/Shutterstock]

PermalinkCommentstechnical paper history

Stripe CTF - XSS, CSRF (Levels 4 & 6)

2012 Sep 10, 4:43

Level 4 and level 6 of the Stripe CTF had solutions around XSS.

Level 4

Code

> Registered Users 

  • <% @registered_users.each do |user| %>
    <% last_active = user[:last_active].strftime('%H:%M:%S UTC') %>
    <% if @trusts_me.include?(user[:username]) %>

  • <%= user[:username] %>
    (password: <%= user[:password] %>, last active <%= last_active %>)
  • Issue

    The level 4 web application lets you transfer karma to another user and in doing so you are also forced to expose your password to that user. The main user page displays a list of users who have transfered karma to you along with their password. The password is not HTML encoded so we can inject HTML into that user's browser. For instance, we could create an account with the following HTML as the password which will result in XSS with that HTML:

    
    
    This HTML runs script that uses jQuery to post to the transfer URI resulting in a transfer of karma from the attacked user to the attacker user, and also the attacked user's password.

    Notes

    Code review red flags in this case included lack of encoding when using user controlled content to create HTML content, storing passwords in plain text in the database, and displaying passwords generally. By design the web app shows users passwords which is a very bad idea.

    Level 6

    Code



    ...

    def self.safe_insert(table, key_values)
    key_values.each do |key, value|
    # Just in case people try to exfiltrate
    # level07-password-holder's password
    if value.kind_of?(String) &&
    (value.include?('"') || value.include?("'"))
    raise "Value has unsafe characters"
    end
    end

    conn[table].insert(key_values)
    end

    Issue

    This web app does a much better job than the level 4 app with HTML injection. They use encoding whenever creating HTML using user controlled data, however they don't use encoding when injecting JSON data into script (see post_data initialization above). This JSON data is the last five most recent messages sent on the app so we get to inject script directly. However, the system also ensures that no strings we write contains single or double quotes so we can't get out of the string in the JSON data directly. As it turns out, HTML lets you jump out of a script block using no matter where you are in script. For instance, in the middle of a value in some JSON data we can jump out of script. But we still want to run script, so we can jump right back in. So the frame so far for the message we're going to post is the following:

    
    
PermalinkCommentscsrf encoding html internet javascript percent-encoding script security stripe-ctf technical web xss

Stripe CTF - Input validation (Levels 1 & 2)

2012 Sep 6, 5:00

Stripe's web security CTF's Level 1 and level 2 of the Stripe CTF had issues with missing input validation solutions described below.

Level 1

Code

          $filename = 'secret-combination.txt';
extract($_GET);
if (isset($attempt)) {
$combination = trim(file_get_contents($filename));
if ($attempt === $combination) {

Issue

The issue here is the usage of the extract php method which extracts name value pairs from the map input parameter and creates corresponding local variables. However this code uses $_GET which contains a map of name value pairs passed in the query of the URI. The expected behavior is to get an attempt variable out, but since no input validation is done I can provide a filename variable and overwrite the value of $filename. Providing an empty string gives an empty string $combination which I can match with an empty string $attempt. So without knowing the combination I can get past the combination check.

Notes

Code review red flag in this case was the direct use of $_GET with no validation. Instead of using extract the developer could try to extract specifically the attempt variable manually without using extract.

Level 2

Code

    $dest_dir = "uploads/";
$dest = $dest_dir . basename($_FILES["dispic"]["name"]);
$src = $_FILES["dispic"]["tmp_name"];
if (move_uploaded_file($src, $dest)) {
$_SESSION["dispic_url"] = $dest;
chmod($dest, 0644);
echo "

Successfully uploaded your display picture.

";
}

Issue

This code accepts POST uploads of images but with no validation to ensure it is not an arbitrary file. And even though it uses chmod to ensure the file is not executable, things like PHP don't require a file to be executable in order to run them. Accordingly, one can upload a PHP script, then navigate to that script to run it. My PHP script dumped out the contents of the file we're interested in for this level:


Notes

Code review red flags include manual file management, chmod, and use of file and filename inputs without any kind of validation. If this code controlled the filename and ensured that the extension was one of a set of image extensions, this would solve this issue. Due to browser mime sniffing its additionally a good idea to serve a content-type that starts with "image/" for these uploads to ensure browsers treat these as images and not sniff for script or HTML.

PermalinkCommentsinput-validation php security technical

wired: cnet: Mp3 playing retainer transmits music through your...

2012 Jul 3, 2:31




wired:

cnet:

Mp3 playing retainer transmits music through your teeth:

Bone conduction audio, retainers, and shiny hip-hop teeth grills aren’t new inventions, but tech hacker Aisen Caro Chacin had the clever idea to put them all together.

The Play-A-Grill MP3 player prototype fits in your mouth like a retainer, shines on the outside like a precious metal rap grill, and plays music through bone conduction through your teeth.

Read more

Oh man, this would have made puberty just a touch cooler. Maybe. 

PermalinkCommentshumor mp3 tech

Minimal Mac: TV Is Broken

2012 Feb 27, 1:58

minimalmac:

I say all of this to set up the fact that Beatrix has little idea of how traditional TV works and seeing her first real exposure to it was enlightening to say the least.

PermalinkCommentshumor technical tv netflix

What a cool idea! (via Mad Science Monday: Never Visit The...

2012 Feb 16, 5:43


What a cool idea!

(via Mad Science Monday: Never Visit The Dentist Again)

PermalinkCommentshumor teeth dentist video bow-and-arrow

Blackmail DRM - Stolen Thoughts

2012 Feb 13, 4:00

Most existing DRM attempts to only allow the user to access the DRM'ed content with particular applications or with particular credentials so that if the file is shared it won't be useful to others. A better solution is to encode any of the user's horrible secrets into unique versions of the DRM'ed content so that the user won't want to share it. Entangle the users and the content provider's secrets together in one document and accordingly their interests. I call this Blackmail DRM. For an implementation it is important to point out that the user's horrible secret doesn't need to be verified as accurate, but merely verified as believable.

Apparently I need to get these blog posts written faster because only recently I read about Social DRM which is a light weight version of my idea but with a misleading name. Instead of horrible secrets, they say they'll use personal information like the user's name in the DRM'ed content. More of my thoughts stolen and before I even had a chance to think of it first!

PermalinkCommentsdrm blackmail blackmail-drm technical humor social-drm

DRM is to publishing as science was to Stalinism

2012 Jan 30, 9:11

I hadn’t heard of “Social DRM” (described in this article). Sounds like my blackmail DRM idea.

PermalinkCommentsdrm publishing

(via Defend our freedom to share (or why SOPA is a bad idea):...

2012 Jan 18, 3:21


(via Defend our freedom to share (or why SOPA is a bad idea): Clay Shirky on TED.com)

PermalinkCommentsvideo copyright clay-shirky sopa pipa legal politics mpaa ted

The three terrifying minutes that created The Gunstringer

2011 Sep 29, 8:35This story is funny and also reminds me to go eat at Matador... "Twisted Pixel chief creative officer Josh Bear had responded with abounding confidence, if only to mask the truth. Because the fact of the matter, the fact that he and CEO Mike Wilford were all too aware of, as they sat in Redmond, WA Tex-Mex restaurant The Matador, was this: The idea wasn't "awesome." It was nonexistent."
PermalinkCommentsfood microsoft game gunstringer humor technical

Telex

2011 Jul 18, 2:38Neat idea: "When the user wants to visit a blacklisted site, the client establishes an encrypted HTTPS connection to a non-blacklisted web server outside the censor’s network, which could be a normal site that the user regularly visits... The client secretly marks the connection as a Telex request by inserting a cryptographic tag into the headers. We construct this tag using a mechanism called public-key steganography... As the connection travels over the Internet en route to the non-blacklisted site, it passes through routers at various ISPs in the core of the network. We envision that some of these ISPs would deploy equipment we call Telex stations."PermalinkCommentsinternet security tools censorship technical

"Space is meaningless": Hazard is indie, non-Euclidean, brilliant

2011 Feb 11, 5:43PermalinkCommentsgame indie hazard video
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