August 2009

At work, we all have confusing ‘multi-language’ keyboards, covered with accented letters for French and with important keys (such as pointy brackets) moved to strange locations. Thankfully, you can just tell Windows to behave as though the keyboard has a standard US layout – a neat way of confirming that you really do have the […]


Christopher Dickey’s Securing the City: Inside America’s Best Counterterror Force – the NYPD describes the evolution of New York’s counterterrorism capabilities following the 2001 attacks against the World Trade Centre. Much of the responsibility is attributed to Raymond Kelly, who still serves as Police Commissioner, and David Cohen, his intelligence chief. Key among the changes […]


There are some sorts of problems where it is relatively easy to check that a solution is correct, but hard to find that solution to begin with. For example, it is easy to check whether a large number is the product of two primes (429,496,729 = 19 X 22,605,091), but it is hard to find […]


My upcoming photo show involves ten images. They were selected largely on the basis of colour. Above are the ten photos, represented only by the mean colour value of each, sorted by when they were taken. Come see the actual images at Raw Sugar Cafe, between September 4th and the end of the month.


We are now 100 days away from the climate change conference in Copenhagen. Between 12,000 and 15,000 people are expected to attend and, at best, the conference will produce a treaty to succeed the Kyoto Protocol. Canada is basically going to the conference with no intention of negotiating. The government has been clear that their […]


I became aware of Fred Burton through the free weekly defence briefings put out by STRATFOR, his current employer. They stand out from other media reports, both as the result of the details they focus on and the thrust of their overall analysis. While I wouldn’t bet heavily on them being entirely correct, they do […]


WPA is a more secure encryption system for wireless networks than the older WEP system, which was notoriously vulnerable. Now, Japanese researchers have devised an attack that cracks WPA networks using the Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP) algorithm quickly and easily. So far, WPA2 and WPA using AES are not vulnerable to the attack. On […]


The basic idea of the peak oil hypothesis is that global oil production will follow a bell-shaped curve over time, and that we are somewhere near the top of the bell. Once it is passed, a steep decline in output is expected, probably alongside quickly rising prices. The bell-shaped progression is one that has been […]


Rumours are circulating that Apple’s Snow Leopard OS will include antivirus capabilities. This is a welcome development. While OS X rightly has a good reputation for security, there is no commercial operating system that is immune from malware. In addition to malware that targets OS X itself, there are also exploits based around flash, Adobe […]


Apparently, the Conservative government has ordered Canada’s diplomats to stop using the terms ‘child soldier’ and ‘international humanitarian law.’ I heard about it on CBC’s The Current before leaving for work today, and it doesn’t seem to have been picked up much by the mainstream press. Apparently, “gender equality” is also on the chopping block. […]