1. Trust issues (and the web)

    The last couple of days, a company named DigiNotar was in the news for issueing fake SSL certificates. I don't need and want to go into details, but what was clear before, has now officially been proven big time: The whole trust concept of SSL certificates and with it a corner stone of http security does not work and thus is completely worthless. The sad thing is, that this is the only http/web security system supported on a large scale to this day.

    Overall the concept of trusting a hand full of companies out of good will is just stupid. Each and every one of them is very susceptible to single hackers or small groups of hackers, not to mention foreign agencies and more importantly local agencies with proper funding or even a "legal" way to mess with certificates.

    So, what is a solution that works? Learn from filesharing. To this day a lot of filesharing networks have been put down due to the SPOF nature they share with the CA companies. A single target which can compromise the whole network and system. What followed was decentralization - and with so many other systems (from network architecture over source ...

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  2. Blackburn Flea Review

    I usually don't like to do product reviews, but I find the following deserves one because of the misconceptions it is facing.

    I recently bought Flea bike lights by Blackburn. In fact, I bought a set a while ago already, but I lost one of the lights. This is easier than I thought because those things are damn tiny, and I'm not even sure if I lost it on the bike or somewhere else.

    As I was pretty happy with the devices, I decided to replace the missing one and got myself a new set; this time the 2011 edition in contrary to the 2009 I had before.


    There are two main differences introduced in 2010 and 2011: The USB-Charger was introduced in 2010 and replaces the included battery-charger so you can recharge the lights on any 5V DC power supply over an USB port. New in 2011 is an additional led under the lights buttons that shows the charging state.

    Here's a picture showing the new USB-Charger on the left and the old battery charger (that can be attached by magnets to any standard battery) on the right: Chargers

    The chargers attach to the devices by ...

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  3. Here comes the Panda

    Some days ago my Pandaboard finally arrived!

    Currently Digikey is still the only reseller for it and it seems they are permanently out-of-stock since the Pandaboard is for sale. Anyway, over a month ago I decided to just order it, even though I don't really had enough time for it, because it seemed it could take some months.

    Anyway, now it is here, as usually deliveded by FedEx in the blink of an eye. They did not even charge the usual import fees (EUSt) - it probably did not actually go through customs as a development kit.

    As everyone seems to do unpacking pictures, videos and so on, I don't bother, but there are some nice pictures of the device in my gallery. Mr. Panda in the Wild

    Anyway, it comes in a box and is very lonely because there is nothing else in it (what is good!).

    You just need a 5V powersupply to get it running - according to the wiki it should even be possible to get power over the mini-USB port, though I haven't tried that yet.

  4. 27c3

    I'm currently sitting in the train from Berlin to Nuremberg, so I got some time to catch up here.

    The reason I was in Berlin was, as every year, the Chaos Communication Congress. Unfortunately I couldn't go by car, as I normally do, so I decided to travel by train, to spare me the pains of security checks at the airport (especially because I had quite some electronics and so on with me). But thinking back, this would have spared me quite some waiting time and other annoyances. On the way to Berlin my train came about 30 minutes late, not to my surprise, so I could live with it. But when it came in, I had to notice, that the train was only half the length, missing some wagons, including the one I had a reservation in. Luckily I could still get a seat, so no complaints. Anyway, because of the cold weather, the train had to come to a stop only a few kilometers before arriving in Berlin, and even had to turn and take another route to arrive there. In the end, I had over 2 hours delay.

    Now, on the way back, my train ...

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