hjst + journal   164

Passwords Evolved: Authentication Guidance for the Modern Era
Troy Hunt with a solid summary of where we're at, as users, with passwords.
journal  security 
28 days ago by hjst
Porting Retro City Rampage to MS-DOS: From PS4 to 1.44MB Floppy
Outstanding talk by Brian Provinciano on the entertaining challenges of this mad endeavour.
journal 
february 2017 by hjst
Standing up to and getting along with China
If you want a clear take on the South China Sea situation, read this excellent speech by Bilahari Kausikan (Singaporean policy advisor).
china  journal 
may 2016 by hjst
Isochronic Distance Map
Click to toggle between beautiful global maps of travel time from London for 1914 & 2016. The world really is a lot smaller than it used to be.
journal 
january 2016 by hjst
How the Great Firewall discovers hidden circumvention servers
Great talk (1h video) by Philipp Winter at 32C3 about DPI developments in China's GFW tech. I saw the effects of this first hand.
journal  video  china 
december 2015 by hjst
The Life of Satoru Iwata
Norman Caruso's excellent documentary about Satoru Iwata, his life and work at HAL & Nintendo.
journal  documentary  video 
november 2015 by hjst
What Happens Next Will Amaze You
Maciej Cegłowski's talk in Copenhagen about how the tech industry has sucked at improving our lives, and what we might do better in the future.
journal 
september 2015 by hjst
The politics of China’s anti-corruption campaign
William Overholt on Xi Jinping's anti-graft drive and the chilling effect it's having on necessary economic reform.
china  journal 
september 2015 by hjst
Demystifying systemd
50m presentation by Lennart Poettering & Ben Breard from last week's Red Hat conference. Solid overview, wish I'd had this when I started playing with 7 (especially the cgroups/slices).
RHEL  journal  systemd  video  linkedin 
june 2015 by hjst
A reimplementation of NetBSD using a MicroKernel
1h presentation by Andy Tanenbaum about MINIX 3. In-place entire kernel updates (instead of ksplice patches) are interesting, as is the use of NetBSD.
netbsd  journal  programming 
june 2015 by hjst
The Red Guard and the Landlady
Alex Ash casually chats with his 66yr old Beijing landlady about her past. "I find it difficult to connect the horrors of the Cultural Revolution as we read about it in textbooks to the people around me."
china  journal 
may 2015 by hjst
Chinese Foreign Policy Database
History nerds rejoice! The Wilson Centre's Digital Archive has added ~1500 newly declassified documents pertaining to China's foreign policy since 1945.
china  journal 
may 2015 by hjst
An Atlas in Cloth
A catalogue of cloth samples from Cook's third voyage around the islands of the South Pacific. "…from the headdresses of kings to the underwear of peasants, there is a place for everything"
journal 
may 2015 by hjst
TMX 1795
The story of how Texas Instruments built arguably the first microprocessor, while Intel dragged its heels.
journal 
may 2015 by hjst
Hubble (The Song)
What better way to celebrate 25 years of the Hubble Telescope than a parody song? I love this so much.
journal  space 
april 2015 by hjst
Tokyo thanks Beijing for helping evacuate Japanese tourist from Yemen
Cynicism about their motives aside, it's nice to be able to say "bravo China" for a change.
china  journal 
april 2015 by hjst
Modern Love in China: Shaking Your Smartphone To Find Your Soul Mate
7 minute NPR radio piece on a heart-warming tale of love in the time of WeChat.
china  journal 
april 2015 by hjst
Meet the Chinese Maritime Militia Waging a ‘People’s War at Sea’
China Real Time report for the WSJ. The idea of a loosely-networked flotilla of 20,000+ commercial/fishing vessels is genius.
china  journal 
april 2015 by hjst
Born Red
Evan Osnos for The New Yorker with an excellent & well-researched profile of Xi Jinping.
china  journal 
march 2015 by hjst
Baidu’s traffic hijacked to DDoS GitHub.com
Good explanation of the recent attack from Insight Labs, with relevant data capturing while it was still in progress. The PLA offensive teams are getting bolder…
china  security  journal 
march 2015 by hjst
All-seeing, all-knowing
Great piece from James Palmer for Aeon on the Chinese government's use of data mining for good and ill.
china  journal 
february 2015 by hjst
Implementation and Implications of a Stealth Hard-Drive Backdoor (PDF)
Regarding the previous link, here's a 2013 paper on implementing a HDD firmware backdoor in off-the-shelf drives with a linux server.
infosec  journal 
february 2015 by hjst
Equation group: questions and answers (PDF)
Thorough introduction from Kaspersky Labs to what's currently known about the Equation group. The HDD firmware attack details are interesting (and terrifying).
journal  infosec 
february 2015 by hjst
Why Chinese Promote Confining New Mothers for a Month
Rachel Lu's first-hand account of the traditional "Zuo Yuezi" period of post-partum home confinement for new mothers in China. It's an intriguing, if nonsensical, cultural relic.
journal  china 
february 2015 by hjst
Invincea Threat Research Report on the November Forbes.com attack
Codoso strikes again. Chained 0-day exploits on a major news site, targeting employees of a few specific US defence & financial firms (and, interestingly, political dissident groups).
journal  infosec 
february 2015 by hjst
Stalking the wily hacker (PDF)
Clifford Stoll's account of the hunt for Markus Hess, a KGB-recruited hacker targeting US military ARPANET & MILNET sites in 1986.
security  journal 
january 2015 by hjst
Ken Thompson's acceptance speech for the 2011 Japan Prize
How an alligator helped introduce him to the senior staff when he started at Bell Labs in the 1960s.
journal  video 
january 2015 by hjst
Why the Teixobactin discovery is more important than you may think
Great explanation of how the culture problem was solved. You don't need to be a biology major to follow it, and it's fascinating.
journal  biology 
january 2015 by hjst
How to tell when a robot has written you a letter
I honestly had no idea handwriting robots were this advanced or were being used in this way.
journal 
january 2015 by hjst
From Gongkai to Open Source
Fascinating technical account of the process of reverse engineering an open OS for Mediatek's MT6260 SoC (powers many $10 GSM phones). Also a thoughtful essay about differences between Chinese & Western IP systems.
china  journal 
january 2015 by hjst
Special Report: Fear and retribution in Xi's corruption purge
Good round-up of the current state of the official purge. It's interesting, if unsurprising, to see how openly it's now being used by businesses to attack rivals.
china  journal 
december 2014 by hjst
Modern security tradecraft for journalists
Quick 20min presentation by Ross Anderson (Cambridge Security Research) for The Logan Symposium. Using TLS'd comments on an old blog post via Tor strikes me as smart plausible deniability.
journal  security 
december 2014 by hjst
China’s 13 most valuable startups in 2014
Yearly infographic roundup of the big players in China's internet startup scene. Not surprised to see Wandoujia climbing up the ranks.
china  journal 
december 2014 by hjst
Rural China’s economic model limps on
A Graeme Smith chapter sample from his upcoming book. Fascinating research. Read his earlier paper "Political Machinations in a Rural County" to get an idea of how corruption works in rural China.
china  journal 
december 2014 by hjst
A Rare Peek Into The Massive Scale of AWS
Nice, well researched article with lots of detail. As the author says: "if you are wondering why your network performance has improved recently on AWS, now you know". The custom networking gear with <2ms latency between regions... wow.
journal 
november 2014 by hjst
Chomping at the Bitcoin
Good episode of the Sinica podcast (42 mins) all about the past, present & future of Bitcoin in China now that the government has stepped in to regulate it.
journal  china 
october 2014 by hjst
Mirage OS
One of the most interesting projects I've seen in a while: the "library operating system" idea re-imagined for the Xen hypervisor. The Mirage libs that provide networking etc. in a normal UNIX dev environment are compiled to actual OS drivers within a "unikernel" for deployment.
journal  programming 
september 2014 by hjst
The Mess We're In
Entertainingly erratic 45min lecture by Joe Armstrong (inventor of Erlang) on where things have gone wrong with computing, the physical limits of computation and why we should name everything with hashes.
journal  programming 
september 2014 by hjst
Spoils of the ‘Tiger’ Hunt
ChinaFile/Caixin interactive timeline of targets/casualties in Xi Jinping's corruption blitz. Not sure who's who? Read this.
china  journal 
july 2014 by hjst
Tiananmen: How Wrong We Were
Jonathan Mirsky's remembrance on the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre. Missed this first time around, great piece for ChinaFile.
china  journal 
june 2014 by hjst
Morris "2 Gun" Cohen
I had no idea that an East End character like this guy was such a close friend of Sun Yat-sen. Fascinating slice of history.
journal  china 
june 2014 by hjst
Using BGP for realtime spam list distribution
Peter Hessler's talk from BSDCan 2014 on a year in the life of his bgp-spamd project. Interesting project, and some fun spam stats.
journal  bsd  spam 
may 2014 by hjst
The Internet With A Human Face
I found myself nodding a lot while reading this talk about privacy by Maciej Cegłowski (owner/operator of Pinboard). His "idle words" blog is also worth a read.
journal 
may 2014 by hjst
China, Cyberspies and the Moral High Ground
NYT Sinosphere Q&A with Adam Segal (Council on Foreign Relations) regarding the PLA corporate cyberespionage indictments, and the wider issue of state-sponsored hacking in China.
china  journal  infosec 
may 2014 by hjst
A Long Time Ago in a China Far, Far Away...
Ever wondered what Star Wars would look like, drawn as a comic in 1980 in China? Maggie Greene has some PDFs you might like to see.
china  journal 
may 2014 by hjst
Fishing for Hackers: Analysis of a Linux Server Attack
Great writeup from Gianluca Borello. Interesting that rather than using the more usual honeypot setups he did this with real, "vanilla" machine instances. It's also a powerful sales pitch for sysdig: examining bytes written to disk by a wget process and grepping tcp traffic, all from a trace file after the fact, is neat.
journal 
may 2014 by hjst
A Passage from Hong Kong
Great NYRB piece in which a Harvard History Professor takes a cabin on a container ship from HK to Southampton and gets to know the crew.
journal 
april 2014 by hjst
Promotion of young Chinese banker with alleged military links sparks controversy
Li ChunXiao piece for SCMP on the ABC/PLA story. Opaque nepotistic hierarchy breeds suspicion. Not exactly shocking.
china  journal 
april 2014 by hjst
Visualising China
Exceptional photo archive of China from 1850-1950, nicely presented and cross-referenced.
china  journal 
april 2014 by hjst
We will make you learn to love Báijiǔ
Derek Sandhaus guests on the Sinica podcast to talk about his book "Báijiǔ: The Essential Guide to Chinese Spirits". Fun episode, although I'm not sure I'm ever going to love the stuff.
journal  china 
march 2014 by hjst
The Alibaba IPO and what it might mean for Western luxury brands
Elizabeth Paton's take on the Alibaba IPO rumblings - I'm not sure it's all about the luxury brands. The big hitters are already here; a US-floated Alibaba with international partners/subsidiaries seems like more of a win for the middle of the market.
journal  china 
march 2014 by hjst
The Bloomberg Fallout
"Where Does Journalism in China Go from Here?" ChinaFile collects some thoughts on Ben Richardson's resignation and the recent Bloomberg goings on.
china  journal 
march 2014 by hjst
Gears of war
Entertaining feature in Ars about the history of mechanical computers used in naval ballistic calculations. Includes old fire control instructional footage.
journal 
march 2014 by hjst
Chinese Workers at IBM Factory on Strike Amid Company Sale
IBM's sale of its x86 server business to Lenovo isn't going as smoothly as might be hoped. Strikes aren't particularly noteworthy any more, but the last couple of paragraphs are both hilarious and depressing.
journal  china 
march 2014 by hjst
The Strangers
Sadly, given yesterday's attack in Kunming, James Palmer's excellent piece from last September on Uighur-Han ethnic relations in Xinjiang has become even more relevant reading.
china  journal 
march 2014 by hjst
Say Goodbye to Taiwan
According to John J. Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, Taiwan as it exists today is doomed. This piece in National Interest is apparently adapted from a speech he gave in Taipei in December. I'd love to know how that went down.
china  journal 
february 2014 by hjst
The New TextSecure: Privacy Beyond SMS
Big update. Threema has some serious competition at last - the group messaging implementation and (currently in development) desktop client in particular stand out.
journal  security  cryptography 
february 2014 by hjst
Messaging: Mobile's Killer App
Ben Thompson's piece on why mobile messaging is important to consumer businesses. I think he's spot on, which is why the Facebook/WhatsApp announcement this morning makes sense. I don't like this trend but it does seem inevitable.
journal 
february 2014 by hjst
Super Hexagon
Oh dear, how have I only just discovered this game? Edge put it succinctly: "Forget about VVVVVV. This is Terry Cavanagh’s masterpiece."
iOS  Android  games  journal 
february 2014 by hjst
Bloomberg suspends reporter over China leak
Mike Forsythe has a long history of excellent writing on China, so while this is a shame I suspect he'll have no trouble finding other publishers. The strangest part of the story though is Matthew Winkler apparently "Godwin"-ing himself.
china  journal 
november 2013 by hjst
Subor NES/SNES clones
This story combines the Nintendo consoles of my youth with Jackie Chan and (what appears to be) an IBM Model M keyboard. Forget Guangdong in the '90s, I want one today!
journal  china 
november 2013 by hjst
Living in a Surveillance State
20 minute TEDx talk from Mikko Hypponen on NSA/GCHQ surveillance overreach, why people are right to be worried, and what can be done. A well-presented, non-technical summary.
journal  security 
november 2013 by hjst
Attacking Tor: how the NSA targets users' online anonymity
Bruce Schneier writing in The Guardian about the current state of the NSA's Tor attacks. I've always found Tor interesting, so examining how the NSA attacks it is fascinating to me. Also, they have some great codenames: EgotisticalGiraffe and DireScallop are my favourites.
security  journal 
october 2013 by hjst
Puzzle Script
Stephen Lavelle's fun combination of engine & DSL for 2D puzzle games. I know what I'll be doing this evening.
journal  linkedin 
october 2013 by hjst
Secure QR Login ("squirrel")
Steve Gibson's typically exuberant proposal for a new authentication mechanism which "eliminates every problem inherent in traditional login techniques". Worth a read.
journal  security 
october 2013 by hjst
“Beat Him, Take Everything Away”
This May 2012 report from Human Rights Watch is getting coverage again. It's an overview of China's "chengguan" Urban Management Officers, from their formation in 1997 through to today's scandals. This is a contentious topic in China; everyone has either seen this sort of abuse first-hand or knows someone who has. If this is the first you're hearing of it, or you'd like some less sensationalist/more thorough reading about the chengguan issue this is a good report.
china  journal 
september 2013 by hjst
What’s Behind China’s Recent Internet Crackdown?
ChinaFile does a typically fine job of summarising last weekend's CCTV episode with Charles Xue Manzi and collects a variety of opinion on the wider issue of rising censorship and political in-fighting.
china  journal 
september 2013 by hjst
Living with Dead Hearts
Charlie Custer's excellent documentary about the trade in kidnapped children in China. You can watch the whole thing on the site but be warned: it is heartbreaking.
china  journal 
july 2013 by hjst
Why a Reporter Feels Sympathy for an Airport Bomber
Very personal, and moving, article from Luo Jieqi about Ji Zhongxing's bombing of Beijing airport (and the conflict her sympathy for him has caused).
journal  china 
july 2013 by hjst
NSA presentation on Big Data and graph theory (PDF)
Presentation dated May 20th 2013 detailing an NSA Research Directorate experiment scaling graph operations to a cluster of 1200 machines. Interesting in and of itself, but perhaps also quite telling given the context.
journal  linkedin  security 
june 2013 by hjst
Live Music - from Dance Hall to the 100 Club
28min Radio 4 show: Professor Simon Frith talks about how the organisation and enjoyment of live music changed between 1950 and 1967 offering new insights into the evolving nature of musical fashions; the impact of developing technologies and the balance of power between live and recorded music businesses. The first volume draws on archival research, a wide range of academic and non-academic sources, participant observation and industry interviews.
journal  music 
may 2013 by hjst
Who spends the most on science?
Science spending as a percentage of GDP across the G20 countries, split by government and private sector spending. Nice to see an infographic with shown working and fully cited sources for a change. Sad at the familiar picture it paints of UK science funding.
journal 
may 2013 by hjst
Almost all you need to know about China Development Bank
Good Q&A session on the FT beyondbrics blog. I was not aware of the extent of CDB's funding of local government projects. Eye-opening.
china  journal  linkedin 
may 2013 by hjst
A Cryptic Crossword Clue Solver
Robin Deits has done some very impressive work with natural language clue solving. If you have any interest at all in crosswords and/or programming you should take a look at this.
journal  crossword  programming 
may 2013 by hjst
Vertical Horizon
A photography collection by Romain Jacquet-Lagrèze, showing Hong Kong's huge variety of building styles from street level (often looking straight up, which can be surreal).
journal  photography 
april 2013 by hjst
Xi's War Drums
Interesting piece for Foreign Policy by John Garnaut, looking at China's recent military movements in light of Xi Jinping's succession.
china  journal 
april 2013 by hjst
25 minute video tour of the ISS
In her final days as Commander of the International Space Station, Sunita Williams of NASA recorded an extensive tour of the orbital laboratory just hours before she departed in a Soyuz TMA-05M spacecraft for a landing on the steppe of Kazakhstan. The tour includes scenes of each of the station's modules and research facilities with a running narrative by Williams of the work that has taken place and which is ongoing aboard the orbital outpost.
journal  space 
april 2013 by hjst
China's internet: A giant cage
Don't miss this Economist overview from Gady Epstein on the state of China's domestic internet. If you're curious how the CPC regulates the internet, and what it means for businesses & consumers, this is a good place to start.
china  journal 
april 2013 by hjst
Internet Census 2012
"We would also like to mention that building and running a gigantic botnet and then watching it as it scans nothing less than the whole Internet at rates of billions of IPs per hour over and over again is really as much fun as it sounds like."
security  journal  networking 
march 2013 by hjst
The Children Devour the Revolution
Must-read piece by John Garnaut for Foreign Policy about a February speech given by Liu Yuan, a senior PLA general, on the dangers of Western influence. "Qaddafi's mistake was not that he had failed to reform towards democracy and law, as many believed, but that his son, seduced by Western ideas, persuaded him to reform at all."
china  journal 
november 2012 by hjst
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