How long will it take to guess your password?

I came across Bruce Schneier’s article on choosing secure passwords some time ago but just reread it again. I find the description of the efforts that AccessData’s PRTK goes through to guess a password fascinating. Once of the things they teach in security classes is that brute force attacks will always work; the only protection is in the amount of time it will take to succeed. Throw a little intelligence into the guessing and that amount of time can get very short!

My latest toy - the Nokia N800

I picked up a new toy for myself for this last holiday season, a Nokia N800 Internet Tablet. It’s very cool. I bought it mainly to listen to streaming media and to keep up with e-mail and RSS feeds when not at my computer — which so far means lying in bed.

The experience has been pretty good so far. I’ve moved all off my personal e-mail and feed reading to Google services, which offer plain XHTML interfaces if you know how to find them, and they work really well. Actually Google calendar doesn’t work at all, which is a bummer, but I’ll see if I can find a N800 iCal reader and subscribe to my calendars there.

Media has had its ups and downs, but I’ll have to write about that another time, too tired now. This post will be a test of using the tablet for blogging — the whole thing has been written using the on-screen keyboard. It will take some getting used too, but it’s quite workable so far.

Upgraded to Drupal 5.1

As part one of attempting to get back to blogging at this site I’ve upgraded it from Drupal 4.7 to Drupal 5.

The old theme was quite ugly so I switched the system default to Drupal’s Garland theme and changed the colors to that sort of mix of sunburn and suntan than Lentigo suggests! This looks better than the themes I’ve come up with in the past so I think I’ll stick with it.

This will have to be it for my first update in almost a year as my battery — both computer and body — are about to run out.

Dia de los Muertos

We put together the following altar to celebrate family and friends passed…

Scarier than The Master…

The clueless-ness of big content owners is just amazing…

Fox shuts down Buffy Hallowe’en musical despite Whedon’s protests:
Cory Doctorow: Fox has shuit down a plan to perform a fan version of the Buffy musical episode, Once More with Feeling, even though creator Joss Whedon has asked them not to. Jason Schultz has written a great analysis of this here.
Is this the kind of copyright policy we want? Those are tougher questions. Just as artists are an engine for creativity in our culture, so are fans. An artist on their own can make a work of art, but only fans can make it mean something in our society. Fans take art and translate it into culture. They invest in it, obsess over it, share it, and spread it to others. They turn it from an isolated item into a means of communication. (For more on this, see danah’s posts here and here where she breaks it down more eloquently).
But where is the recognition of this reality in copyright? Well, before the digital age, it was often in the idea that copyright was a public right and fandom was a private series of acts. Copyright would control public distribution of works and fans would collect them and share them and discuss them in private. More importantly, they would do so without making “copies” of them; instead, they would trade physical goods and have verbal conversations. Some would make costumes or their own art based on the subject matter, but those were generally kept private or only exhibited at limited forums like Comic Cons.

Do the marketing departments of Fox, Disney, etc, have any say over the actions of their attack-lawyers? Do these organizations even have marketing departments any more? I remember taking marketing classes way back in college but I must have missed the day where we were taught that attacking one’s best customers is an effective sales driver.

What does your printer say about you?

Here’s something to be aware of:

EFF cracks hidden snitch codes in color laser prints:
Many color laser printers hide information about your printer’s serial number and the date and time of your print job in every job you print. It’s believed that this is done to get your equipment to incriminate you without your knowledge. Now EFF has decoded the information-hiding scheme on the Xerox Docucolor series, by getting EFF supporters to print out pages from their printers and mail them to our researchers, who examined them under magnification and special light and cracked the code.

Whether or not you care what your printer (your property) is telling others, it’s important to know that it is telling something to somebody if they want to look hard enough!

Stuff I Like

Now that I spend about 90 minutes on the train each day I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts during my commute. My favorite, by far, is the Evil Genius Chronicles. Good stories, excellent music, and great attitude, Dave rocks! If anybody actually reads this page they should go there, listen to a few podcasts, and buy the stuff package.

Back to Ecto

Well, the test with MarsEdit didn’t go very well so we’re back to using Ecto for blogging. It seems to integrate much better with other Mac apps so I’ll just need to learn how to sort out its quirks.

BTW, I’m trying to get into the habit of blogging more, really!

Hope, Aaron and Jeffrey on KDH

Here’s a picture of Hope, Aaron and Jeffrey on the beach in Kill Devil Hills, NC. This was taken on our last beach day of our 2005 summer vacation. …s.