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Comment proper use of hashing algorithms (Score 5, Informative) 217

So this also proves that, ultimately, this list of passwords was not properly hashed.

People jump up and down and scream that SHA1 and MD5 are broken, but if properly used, they still offer significant password security. One trick is to use salts when storing passwords in the database.

password: 'foo'
salt: '2010-11-16T08:39:05Z - some_random_string$#@!'
password-hash (md5): 14e80778512f578a5fe263abe4b58e9c

that increased the amount of time required to brute-force the password significantly. Also, the use of a database of hashes is largely worthless since each password in the list would have a completely unique hash. for the sake of brute-forcing the data, short passwords don't matter (on the other hand, brute-forcing login to the application is not affected). Having a different salt for each password makes the time spent on each other password completely worthless once the cracker gets to the next item in the list.

to improve that, we can say... hash the result 1000 times in a row. For someone trying to brute force the hash, they would spend 1000x the CPU resources creating the hash. It's mostly not a big deal to run that hash 1000 times when creating the information for the database or authenticating the user.

of course, SHA1 and MD5 are still broken when it comes to file integrity checking (when it comes to tampering) since there are documented collisions. For this case, cryptographic signatures are where it's at. You can guarantee that not only was the file not tampered with, but also that the person who supplied the signature was who they say they were. Gotta love public key encryption.

Comment Re:What automobile ? (Score 1) 1141

hooray for public transportation!

since moving to NYC in 04, I haven't had a car and it's AWESOME. no more insurance, worrying about people breaking in, parking, oil changes, cleaning it, gas, etc etc etc.

plus I walk like 10x more than I used to. it's great.

I'd get a bike, but I've been hit by a car on my bike in the past and I don't want to deal with that again. I value my safety too much.

Comment Re:IE? Seriously? (Score 2, Insightful) 142

The worst thing is that, when it comes to upgrading their browser, their assumption IS valid. They shouldn't HAVE to install a 3rd party browser. I'm not saying that there shouldn't BE 3rd party browsers, but the browser that comes with your OS should at least work properly.

One of my semi-techie friends saw those Chrome commercials and said to me "you told me that google was NOT a browser, but look, it is! You don't know what you're talking about!" I seriously think that it's a conspiracy to confuse consumers lately. Between confusing branding (Motorola Droid vs HTC Droid Incredible vs Android OS vs "Droid Does" and this whole 4G thing) and confusing metrics that are difficult (if not impossible) to explain to non-technical users (4MP vs 8MP camera, it's possible that the 4MP takes better pictures... and the difference between 4" and 5" display, when the 4" has higher pixel dimensions). And don't get me started on the difference between a fast internet connection, fast network connection, fast computer and fast browser.

So now you have uninformed users throwing terms around that they think they understand, you've got companies leveraging these misunderstandings to sell overpriced, sub-par electronics, and all these inexpensive electronics that you buy every year that are incompatible with each other (chargers, data cables, etc).

Keep consumers in the dark and confused so you can sell them whatever you want.

Comment Re:IE? Seriously? (Score 1) 142

Although I still feel that way, I've been forced on several occasions to make things look and function in IE (8 or newer only, luckily). One customer hounded us to get their site working in 6, and after we spent a week building a system to detect the browser and output different HTML and were only 1/2 done, they changed their minds.

It's sometimes difficult for non-technical customers to understand that each version of IE is a different beast and requires you do do much of the front-end work over again for each version.

If it was up to me, I'd just say that we don't support IE, but a good chunk of windows users on the public internet have not installed an alternate browser. I just don't get it.


YouTube Hit By HTML Injection Vulnerability 224

Virak writes "Several hours ago, someone found an HTML injection vulnerability in YouTube's comment system, and since then sites such as 4chan have had a field day with popular videos. The bug is triggered by placing a <script> tag at the beginning of a post. The tag itself is escaped, but everything following it is cheerfully placed in the page as is. Blacked out pages with giant red text scrolling across them, shock site redirects, and all sorts of other fun things have been spotted. YouTube has currently blocked such comments from being posted and set the comments section to be hidden by default, and appears to be in the process of removing some of these comments, but the underlying bug does not seem to have been fixed yet."

Geologists Might Be Charged For Not Predicting Quake 375

mmmscience writes "In 2009, a series of small earthquakes shook the region of L'Aquila, Italy. Seismologists investigated the tremors, but concluded that there was no direct indication of a big quake on the horizon. Less than a month later, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake killed more than 300 people. Now, the chief prosecutor of L'Aquila is looking to charge the scientists with gross negligent manslaughter for not predicting the quake."

ACLU Sues To Protect Your Right To Swear Screenshot-sm 698

The ACLU is suing the police in Pennsylvania for issuing tickets to people who swear. They argue that it is every American's constitutional right to drop an F-bomb. From the article: "'Unfortunately, many police departments in the commonwealth do not seem to be getting the message that swearing is not a crime,' said Marieke Tuthill of the ACLU of Pennsylvania. 'The courts have repeatedly found that profanity, unlike obscenity, is protected speech.'" This is a big f*cking deal.

No HTML5 Hulu Anytime Soon 202

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF writes "The Hulu website briefly commented the other day about why they would not be implementing HTML5 video for their service: 'We continue to monitor developments on HTML5, but as of now it doesn't yet meet all of our customers' needs. Our player doesn't just simply stream video, it must also secure the content, handle reporting for our advertisers, render the video using a high performance codec to ensure premium visual quality, communicate back with the server to determine how long to buffer and what bitrate to stream, and dozens of other things that aren't necessarily visible to the end user.' They plan to release a dedicated application for the iPad and iPhone instead, likely a paid subscription service. Perhaps this is a good sign for Web-based television, as it will move more users away from the single, locked down channel from the networks and to more diverse options less interested in extracting subscription fees (like YouTube)."

Sprint's $199 HTC EVO 4G Gets Release Date of June 4 182

Chameleon Man writes "The first 4G phone ever to be released, the HTC EVO 4G, announced back in March, has finally been given a release date of June 4. Along with the release date, Sprint has provided information on phone plans and pricing. From Engadget: 'Unfortunately, there's a downside to all this: customers will be paying a mandatory (as confirmed to us by Sprint reps) $10 per month "Premium Data add-on" on top of their plan — ostensibly for the privilege of enjoying WiMAX when they're in a Sprint 4G market — and the 8-device Wi-Fi hotspot feature runs an extra $29.99 a month, which Sprint is quick to point out is half what you'd pay for a dedicated mobile broadband account.' In 4G areas, it might be a formidable option for anyone who hates their ISP *ehem* Comcast *ehem.*"

Comment Roller Coaster (Score 1) 422

My old Nokia fell out of my pocket whilst riding the roller coaster (Medusa) at Six Flags. It fell about 30 feet onto the sidewalk and the only issue with it was that the casing kinda split a little and the bottom 4 rows of pixels on the screen stopped functioning. I stuck some tape on the thing and it kept chugging along for about another 6 months before finally failing.

Comment Re:hmm (Score 1) 381

I have a feeling that this part hype, part inept programmers who don't actually understand SQL, or database optimization.

This is part of the problem... similar to PHP, most people learn some examples that teach some bad habits right off the bat (sticking SQL in your view, etc) because it's so easy to get started, but you've gotta get a grasp on the tech before you can do anything big.

Also, I feel that one of the root causes of the hype is that SQL and RDBMSs in general don't solve all your problems and sometimes get in the way of your application design. Between rigid schema definitions and the SQL language that has a bit of a learning curve when you start dealing with nested queries and handling shards/partitions/etc, I think that's the reason we're starting to see more non-RDBMS databases.

At work, we had a project that we started building on MySQL, but was falling short because we were constantly making schema changes. We begun to build a system where we could have arbitrary attributes attached to arbitrary objects, but then our queries were getting REALLY nasty. We discovered MarkLogic which is an XML database server and uses XQuery to query the data. We were ingesting around 100MB of XML a day, and we needed to be able to handle just about any XML that went into the system. MarkLogic was a natural fit since we needed to put XML in and we wanted XML out most of the time.

We're still using MySQL for tracking the ingestions and managing the frontend to the system (which is built on Rails), but having XQuery at our fingertips has been a godsend.

There's a lot to be said about new technologies that solve needs and get around shortcomings of the more ubiquitous technologies, but, as with anything that people see as a solution, it's not a silver bullet. You've gotta be careful not to get trapped in "everything looks like a nail" syndrome.

Comment Re:Warning Bell (Score 1) 173

It really depends what kind of service(s) you're launching on the cloud. If you're building generic infrastructure to cover some area of the market that AWS doesn't cover well or at all, then you may be in for a rude awakening in the future. This doesn't mean that such a service should not be built, it's just that one should realize what kind of risks are involved when developing something like that.

There are plenty of services that build on top of AWS that will probably be safe from competition well into the future. Those include services that are very specific such as Heroku's Rails app hosting, which will actually benefit from additions such as this MySQL instance type and the price cuts of EC2.

Also, when building apps that essentially turn you into a reseller of AWS services, although there may come a time when amazon starts competing directly with you, you've got your app built. If you built it properly, it should not be difficult to re-wire your backend to utilize some other service or build your own cloud infrastructure. If you're big enough and have the necessary capital, it may actually be a cost savings to do such a thing.

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