How to clean the goo dot gl virus when you run it?
The worm spreads on Twitter as a link. Careful with this.
I found this the other day, via WPRandom:
Generating random numbers is pretty complicated if you need them for cryptographic algorithms. This software generates them based on spam comments…
It caught my eye as a sort of “spinning spam into RNG gold”, or more likely, PRNG (pseudo-random number generated) gold. Many WordPress blogs, whether self-hosted on WordPress.org or not, effectively use Akismet as a comment spam sieve. As I’ve learned during my time with WordPress, and with spam comments, Akismet will not publish comments that it identifies as probable spam. This provides a possibly crucial aspect of SecurityDump’s application:
no one will be able to see the source of your numbers, unless they hack into your database
All the details are available on the Google project site for WPRandom, Problems and Attack Vectors wiki. I have no idea if SecurityDump worked the bugs out of this yet or not. I found it an amusing idea, though, to squeeze some genuine value from the efforts of spammers.
I never attended DEFCON, though it remains a dream I hope to realize one day, soon. It may soon become too logistically awkward due to increasing numbers of attendees.
Shodan is a remarkable search engine. Traditional search engines use “spiders” to crawl websites. Shodan culls data from ports. It was created by John Matherly in 2007. He continues to develop it.
Shodan is helpful for locating web server vulnerabilities. It is available as a free service, for up to 50 searches. Query syntax includes searches by country, host name, operating system and port. Shodan can search for software AND hardware. It has been acknowledged by mainstream media. The most prominent coverage was in early June, via The Washington Post, when Stuxnet received so much press attention.
Two new elements, flerovium and livermoreium, also known as
Lv, and formerly known by the much blander names of
ununhexium, have been approved for entry into the Periodic Table of the Elements!
In honor of the event, I assembled a minor gallery of favorite periodic tables.
The children’s Periodic Table on the U.S. EIA site provides the basics. Better yet, it links to the Los Alamos National Lab (LANL) Periodic Table, which is just as impressive and complete as I would expect.
While viewing, consider a recent post by senior LANL employee David Hobart, Actinide Analytical Chemistry, History of the periodic table…and my history with it, which was charming, as well as educational.
There is an “evolution of the table” section, facts about the table’s inventor, Dmitri Mendeleev, born 175 years ago, and this:
As the legendary physicist Richard Feynman put it, “If some universal catastrophe was to engulf the world and humankind could retain only one scientific concept to rebuild civilization, what would it be? The chemist’s answer is almost invariably the Periodic Table of the Elements.“
Edward Tufte’s first text, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, introduced standards for graphical representation. It is considered the definitive guide for visual display of complex data.
I found this while surfing Flickr. Austin Kleon of Austin, Texas is the artist. The image represents the cognitive process by which Edward Tufte transformed raw data into digestible information while writing Envisioning Information, one of his many follow-on publications to Visual Display. It is a mind map.
IEEE Spectrum’s Innovation blog featured the topic of data visualization, profiling Edward Tufte as a practitioner. The emphasis was unusual for IEEE. Use of words like “doyen” was too. I’m enjoying IEEE Spectrum more and more these days! If only I could become a member… (more…)
Last night I read about The Black Swan a.k.a. Nassim Taleb on EL&U SE (English Language and Usage StackExchange website). Apparently Professor Taleb wants to introduce a new word to the vocabulary of global financial collapse, antifragility:
So let us coin the appellation “antifragile” for anything that, on average, (i.e. in expectation) benefits from variability.
Consensus on EL&U was that this was blatant tub-thumping by Taleb.
I agree with my EL&U comrades-in-arms: Antifragility will cause obfuscation. There are many adequate, extant words*that Taleb could use. Instead, he is intent on creating a term that will be uniquely associated with him. I am not convinced that there ARE any entities that benefit from variability. A delta hedge that is long volatility is the only construct that I can think of off-hand, and I don’t think something that contrived was what Taleb had in mind.
Nassim Taleb already co-opted “Black Swan”. If Thomas Mann were still alive, I think he would have a decent case for plagiarism or even theft of intellectual property. Couldn’t Taleb have thought of an expression that wasn’t previously used by someone who won a Nobel Prize in Literature, who wrote a book with the same title, and pertaining to an anomalous event, also known as a statistical outlier?
Anyway, after the briefest of browsing on a search engine or two for antifragility, antonyms and humor, I found Fragile Web Development with SQL on Rails. (more…)
Last Tuesday, 13 December 2011, The U.S. Mint announced that current production of one dollar coins is ending. The Mint will continue to produce a few one dollar coins for collectors, as required by law. But these will have numismatic value, and cost more than $1.00.
instead of producing 70-80 million coins per president, the Mint will now only produce as many as collectors order.
Forty percent of $1 coins were returned, unwanted, to the Federal Reserve Bank each year.
Circulating demand for $1 coins will be met through the Federal Reserve’s existing stockpile, which will be drawn down over time.
My favorite $1 coin featured Sacagawea, guide to Lewis & Clark. This is the 2010 Native American $1 coin, reverse side. It is beautiful. Click through for full details from the U.S. Mint. (more…)
Be receptive! Be open to each and every type of user input for authentication.
This very user-centric approach for identity resolution leverages the many open API’s now available for web services. Feel free to select your user name-of-choice!
@Twitter user name
user name.wordpress.orgblog URL
In his identity resolution related post, developer Luis Farzati emphasizes that:
the objective is to allow the user to input whatever wanted [in order] to login… If it exists as a valid username out here, we’ll find it and suggest it!
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is standardizing over 100 specifications for the open web, in at least 13 working groups. The CSS Working Group alone is in charge of 50 specifications. This does not include work on Unicode, HTTP and TLS.
I was waiting to post this until the debate between W3C and WHATWG about the status of HTML5 scope was resolved. However, I have waited since February 2011. Consensus is that HTML5 is being inappropriately used as a catch-all for every standard supported by modern browsers. Modern browsers actually include much more: CSS3 styling, WOFF (web fonts), semantic web elements such as microformats, 3-D graphics including SVG, and performance enhancements. HTML5 tags are merely one part of semantic web support. As a result, terminology was modified by WHATWG. HTML is the new HTML5. (more…)