Rope bridge

April 10, 2014

in Photo of the day, Toronto

Carla Hamady-Schroeder crossing a rope bridge

{ 0 comments }

Many websites rely on SSL / TLS to encrypt communication: everything from passwords to credit card numbers to emails. OpenSSL is a very widely used implementation of these encryption protocols.

Right now, the internet is abuzz with the news of the ‘hearbleed’ bug. Because of a flaw in OpenSSL, attackers can extract 64 kilobytes of information from a webserver for each ‘heartbeat’. This information can include secret encryption keys, usernames and passwords, and other kinds of sensitive data.

In response, the Canada Revenue Agency has stopped accepting online filing of tax returns. There is a lot of other discussion online: Schneier, XKCD. A tool for testing webservers for the vulnerability is also online.

One take-away from this is that once various web servers are fixed, we will all need to change our passwords.

{ 15 comments }

Swinging

April 9, 2014

in Photo of the day, Toronto

Milan Ilnyckyj swinging

Photo by Carla Hamady-Schroeder

{ 0 comments }

Rooftops

April 8, 2014

in Photo of the day, Toronto

Sarah Harland-Logan with crime scene scarf

{ 2 comments }

University of Toronto varsity track

{ 0 comments }

Googly-eyed bust

{ 0 comments }

Kai Hebel at Massey College

{ 0 comments }

Animated GIF of paint-blowing at a Holi celebration

Yesterday, at University College, there was a Holi celebration. I got some photos.

{ 2 comments }

But that’s how the civil service works, in practice. Each department is controlled by the people who it’s supposed to be controlling… Why, for instance, do we have comprehensive education? Who wanted it? The pupils, the parents? The National Union of Teachers wanted it. They’re the chief client of the Department of Education, so the DES went comprehensive. You see, every department acts for the powerful sectional interest with whom they have a permanent relationship. The Department of Employment lobbies for the TUC, whereas the Department of Industry lobbies for the employers. It’s rather a nice balance. Energy lobbies for the oil companies, defence lobbies for the armed forces, the Home Office lobbies for the police, and so on.

Yes, Minister. Series three, episode five. “The Bed of Nails”

{ 2 comments }

Apparently, cutting one kilogram from the weight of a commercial airliner saves about $2,200 in lifetime fuel costs. By contrast, putting a single kilogram of cargo into space costs $25,000 (a bit of a drag for those with aspirations of asteroid mining).

{ 1 comment }