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Comment: My essentials for home Windows PC (Score 1) 531

by SpammersAreScum (#46383043) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Software Can You Not Live Without?
Emacs
Firefox
Dexpot (best multi-desktop tool for my needs, out of several I've tried)
IZArc (7zip's GUI just annoys me for some reason)
vlc
ClamWin
Agent Ransack (I'll admit I've not tried the alternatives)
Cygwin
(I haven't got a clear favorite for music yet -- Foobar2000 or MediaMonkey, usually, but might give MusicBee a try)

Comment: Careful about the name of the island (Score 1) 108

"... Caribbean island of Sint Maarten with a new .sx domain name. 'Control of the island ... is split between France and the Netherlands." Yes, the island is split into French and Dutch parts. The Dutch part is called Sint Maarten and the French part is called Saint-Martin. The respective residents may use those names for the island as a whole as well, just to be confusing; English speakers call the island Saint Martin. I believe the TLD .sx is officially assigned specifically to the Dutch dependency of Sint Maarten, not the island as a whole; the French dependency ISPs apparently uses .fr or .gp (from nearby Guadeloupe). Also, Sint Maarten (the Dutch entity, not the island) used to be part of the Netherlands Antilles, which recently dissolved, and so may be using its .an TLD...

Comment: Summary is even stupider (Score 2) 326

by SpammersAreScum (#43510953) Attached to: Senate To Vote On Internet Sales Tax (For Real This Time)
"to allow states to tax online sales to residents outside their state" is exactly backwards! The taxing would, if directed by the state, apply to sales to residents _in_ that state. The writer probably confused "sales by vendors outside the state" with "sales to residents outside the state" for some bizarre reason.
Encryption

+ - Everyday Cryptography

Submitted by
benrothke
benrothke writes "Untitled documentol{margin:0;padding:0}.c5{max-width:468pt;background-color:#ffffff;padding:72pt 72pt 72pt 72pt}.c0{text-align:justify;direction:ltr}.c2{color:#1155cc;text-decoration:underline}.c3{color:inherit;text-decoration:inherit}.c4{font-style:italic}.c1{font-size:12pt}.title{padding-top:24pt;line-height:1.15;text-align:left;color:#000000;font-size:36pt;font-family:"Arial";font-weight:bold;padding-bottom:6pt}.subtitle{padding-top:18pt;line-height:1.15;text-align:left;color:#666666;font-style:italic;font-size:24pt;font-family:"Georgia";padding-bottom:4pt}li{color:#000000;font-size:11pt;font-family:"Arial"}p{color:#000000;font-size:11pt;margin:0;font-family:"Arial"}h1{padding-top:24pt;line-height:1.15;text-align:left;color:#000000;font-size:18pt;font-family:"Arial";font-weight:bold;padding-bottom:6pt}h2{padding-top:18pt;line-height:1.15;text-align:left;color:#000000;font-size:14pt;font-family:"Arial";font-weight:bold;padding-bottom:4pt}h3{padding-top:14pt;line-height:1.15;text-align:left;color:#666666;font-size:12pt;font-family:"Arial";font-weight:bold;padding-bottom:4pt}h4{padding-top:12pt;line-height:1.15;text-align:left;color:#666666;font-style:italic;font-size:11pt;font-family:"Arial";padding-bottom:2pt}h5{padding-top:11pt;line-height:1.15;text-align:left;color:#666666;font-size:10pt;font-family:"Arial";font-weight:bold;padding-bottom:2pt}h6{padding-top:10pt;line-height:1.15;text-align:left;color:#666666;font-style:italic;font-size:10pt;font-family:"Arial";padding-bottom:2pt}

When Bruce Schneier first published Applied Cryptographyin 1994, it was a watershed event, given that is was one of the first comprehensive texts on the topic that existed outside of the military.



In the nearly 20 years since the book came out, a lot has changed in the world of encryption and cryptography. A number of books have been written to fill that gap and Everyday Cryptography: Fundamental Principles and Applicationsis one of them that have recently been published.



While the title Everyday Cryptographymay give the impression that this is an introductory text; that is not the case. Author Keith Martin is the director of the information security group at Royal Holloway, a division of the University of London, and the book is meant for information security professionals in addition to being used as a main reference for a principles of cryptography course. The book is also a great reference for those studying for the CISSP exam.



While the book notes that almost no prior knowledge of mathematics is required since the book deliberately avoids the details of the mathematical techniques underpinning cryptographic mechanisms. That might be a bit of a misnomer as the book does get into the mathematics of cryptography. While the mathematics in the book is not overwhelming, they are certainly not underwhelming. For those that want a deeper look, the book includes an appendix for many of the mathematical concepts detailed in the book.



Two benefits of the book are that it stresses practical aspects of cryptography and real-world scenarios. The mathematics detailed avoids number throaty with a focus on practicability. It also shows how cryptography is used as the underlying technology behind information security, rather than simply focusing on the abstracts of the potential of cryptography.



With that, the books 13 (made up of 4 parts) chapters provide a comprehensive overview of the theory and practice around all as aspects of contemporary cryptography. Each of the chapters end with a summary, detailed lists of items for further reading, and sets of penetration questions that challenge the reader. Readers are advised to spend time on these questions as it is often easy for the reader to feel that they understand the material. The questions can quickly humble the reader and show them that it may not be the case.



Part 1 is titled Setting the Sceneand provides a comprehensive introduction to the fundamental of cryptography. Chapter 1 (freely available here) details the basic principles about cryptography and provides a high-level introduction.



Chapter 2 provides a good overview of the history of cryptography. It details a number of obsolete, yet historically relevant ciphers, such as the Vigenère cipher from the 1500's, to the Playfair cipher from the mid-1800's and others. Martin provides a good overview of the cryptanalysis of the Vigenère cipher and lessons learned from it.



Chapters 4-9 comprise part 2, and provide a thorough overview of the various forms of encryption (symmetric and asymmetric) and digital signatures. This section gets into some of the deeper mathematics of cryptography. While the author states that almost no prior knowledge of mathematics is needed; those without a background will surely be confused by some of the material.



Chapter 7 closes with a good overview of the relationship between digital signatures and handwritten signatures. The author notes the importance of resisting any temptation to consider digital signatures as a direct electronic equivalentof handwritten signatures. He then provides a detailed outline of the environmental, security, practical and flexibility differences between them.



Key management is one of the most important aspects of cryptography and often the most difficult to execute on. Part of the difficulty around key management is at the user level, with key updates, passphrase management and more. Ultimately, effective key management is essential to the underlying security of the cryptosystem. The 2 chapters in part 3 provide a thorough synopsis of the fundamentals of key management.



Part 4 closes the book with two chapters on practical cryptographic applications. Chapter 12 details how cryptography can be used on the internet, secure payment cards, video broadcasting and more.



The book concludes with an appendix on the mathematics of cryptography, which takes a look at the basic mathematical concepts the underlie some of the material in the book.



This book is not for the fainthearted and is not an introductory text on the topic. It is meant for the advanced reader or someone taking a college level course. For such a reader serious about a significant overview of the essentials on the topic, Everyday Cryptography: Fundamental Principles and Applicationsis an excellent reference.







Ben Rothkeis the author of Computer Security: 20 Things Every Employee Should Know."

Comment: Re:2027? 2045? (Score 1) 159

by SpammersAreScum (#36279824) Attached to: Japan's MagLev Gets Go Ahead
Romaji should be very easy to pronounce correctly (barring the "r"), but Americans manage to severely mangle it anyway. "karaoke" is pronounced as written "ka-ra-o-ke", not "carry okie". And, along the same lines, I should note that "shinkansen" is not pronounced "...-sane"; it's pronounced as written: "...-sen", as in "hen" or "yen".

Comment: Re:The patent-filer Dan Abelow lists his phone num (Score 1) 229

by SpammersAreScum (#36122828) Attached to: Small Devs Attacked Over In-App Purchase Button Patent

On his web site http://abelow.com/ can be found his phone number, which correlates to: ... It seems he invites telephone contact...

To quote TFS: "... Dan Abelow, who sold his extensive portfolio of patents to holding firm Lodsys in 2004. Lodsys is indeed the company issuing the threats of a lawsuit regarding the patent in question." So, seems like your beef is with Lodsys, not Abelow, no? Unless you want to harass him for filing a patent that probably shouldn't have been granted, in which case you should be harassing practically every tech company.

Comment: TFA's DMCA response seems wrong (Score 1) 250

by SpammersAreScum (#35959136) Attached to: Dropbox Attempts To Kill Open Source Project
Ok, so there's some confusion as to whether there really was a DMCA notice, and whether such notice was (would have been?) valid. Quite aside from that, I am puzzled about the notice response quoted in TFA. Basically, the responder says the material is non-infringing because it has a copyright notice allowing copying/modification/etc. But the existence of such a notice does not in any way guarantee that someone else does not have a legitimate claim of infringement, right? Which is not to say that DropBox has one, just that this does not seem to be a valid argument that they don't.

Comment: YACR (Yet Another Continuing Resolution) (Score 1) 385

by SpammersAreScum (#35774260) Attached to: No U.S. Government Shutdown This Week

FTFA: "To keep the government running through Friday, lawmakers approved a short-term spending measure overnight — the Senate at 12:20 a.m. and the House at 12:40 a.m. — and said the final agreement should be approved next week."

In other words, there's a good chance we'll be repeating the whole scenario in another week. Again.

I picture our fearless leaders in a meeting:

A: Let's extend the deadline another week again.
B: Yeah! That way, we can continue to remind everyone each and every week just how dysfunctional we are!

Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves. -- Lazarus Long

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