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Security

Submission + - Analysis of a hardware backdoor (ksplice.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Remember Reflections on Trusting Trust? We know we can't trust our compilers, or our operating systems, or our userspace software. Now even our hardware might be out to get us. This post describes how to install a backdoor in the "expansion ROM" of a PCI card, which patches the BIOS to patch GRUB to patch the Linux kernel to give the controller remote root access. The upshot is that even if the compromise is detected and the victim reinstalls the operating from CD, the backdoor will still be there. Now you know why the NSA builds all its own hardware!
Wireless Networking

The Many Faces of 3G 122

An anonymous reader writes "Did you ever notice how each new generation of cell-phone tech gets branded '3G,' and the previous thing is retroactively downgraded to some lesser number of Gs? An MIT engineer explains why in this brilliant essay about '3G' over the last 10 years, showing how the cell carriers have kept offering it and swiping it away to sell more stuff. He cites numerous Cingular/AT&T and Sprint press releases showing how the companies have made '3G' into a brand name ideally suited for amnesiac consumers. Meanwhile, no cell carrier is foolish enough to sell you bottom-line throughput like an ISP in 1996 — you could actually hold them to that (PDF)."
Wireless Networking

Submission + - The many faces of 3G (ksplice.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Did you ever notice how each new generation of cell-phone tech gets branded "3G", and the previous thing is retroactively downgraded to some lesser number of G's? An MIT engineer explains why in this brilliant essay about "3G" in the last 10 years, showing how the cell carriers have kept offering it and swiping it away to sell more stuff. He cites numerous Cingular/AT&T and Sprint press releases showing how the companies have made "3G" into a brand name ideally suited for amnesiac consumers. Meanwhile, no cell carrier is foolish enough to sell you bottom-line throughput like an ISP in 1996 — you could actually hold them to that.
Unix

Submission + - Writing filesystems now as easy as Web apps (reddit.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Remember the old days of writing Web apps, when you had to parse the CGI arguments separately, do all the safety checks yourself and implement everything manually? Neither do I, but it looks like all the cool stuff from Web apps is making its way to writing filesystems. This guy shows how to writing an entire Linux filesystem in 50 lines of Python using "dispatch" techniques totally stolen from Ruby on Rails. Are we ready to give up the Web and go back to just using the filesystem for everything, the way Unix intended?

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