Some masterful photography: r12a

While there are a number of gifted photographers among my colleagues, Richard Ishida (aka r12a, for being the i18n activity lead) truly stands out. His latest stunning photography shows us Wazir Khan Mosque, and the Streets of Lahore. But also go …

While there are a number of gifted photographers among my colleagues, Richard Ishida (aka r12a, for being the i18n activity lead) truly stands out. His latest stunning photography shows us Wazir Khan Mosque, and the Streets of Lahore. But also go see his collection of Bhutan photos, and the pictures he took in Hyderabad.(To point to just a few of my favorites. The collection of photos that Richard has online is vast, and worth spending time with.)

The Painted Veil

Even though movies typically get butchered for showing on airplanes (and then the screen is just miserable), there’s the occasional movie that grabs me. On the latest transatlantic flight, I was lucky to watch The Painted Veil, after a novel by W….

Even though movies typically get butchered for showing on airplanes (and then the screen is just miserable), there’s the occasional movie that grabs me.On the latest transatlantic flight, I was lucky to watch The Painted Veil, after a novel by W. Somerset Maugham. Naomi Watts and Ed Norton play the main characters. The story is set in 1920s Southern China, where a freshly-married English couple moves from London to Shanghai. The two of them don’t really love each other, she meets another man, there’s adultery; he (cruelly?) threatens divorce unless she joins him on a daunting mission to a cholera-infested area where he’ll help as a microbiologist and M.D., and where they may both well die.And there, the real story begins. I’ll leave it at that to not post too much of a spoiler. It’s love story, big drama, tragedy, with great music and marvelous photography to underpin it all.

When security meets reality: AACS

Engadget reports about the next step in the AACS saga (via BoingBoing): During the time window between one cracked AACS key getting all over the place, and industry revoking that key, yet another key has been compromised. This is not just a glimps…

Engadget reports about the next step in the AACS saga (via BoingBoing): During the time window between one cracked AACS key getting all over the place, and industry revoking that key, yet another key has been compromised.This is not just a glimpse at the sorry state of DRM technology and deployment, but also a study in failure modes of security technology. What has been demonstrated by this particular crack is nothing less than the total collapse of the protection that AACS is supposed to deliver, because the attackers are capable (probably reproducibly) of opening a new hole while the defenders in the system are still in the process of rolling out the countermeasures to the last. We might end up living in a world in which no Blu Ray or HD-DVD disk will hit the market protected.Meanwhile, it looks as if we’re going to see the defenders engage in an exercise of whack-a-mole in which all they do is burn money, without ever achieving their protection goals. The security technology and the organizational measures surrounding it turn around to damage the defenders more than they’ll ever damage the attackers.For some more reading on the design aspects exposed in this particular DRM debacle, have a look at these links:

(In the last one, Ed Felten tries to model an attacker with an economic incentive to break the keys, and predicts certain behaviors. It’s interesting to observe how the behavior we’re seeing in real life is (a) different, and (b) even more damaging to the defenders.)

What blog platform to choose?

I’ve been a happy user of Movable Type 2.66 for a long time, and along with moving my personal server elsewhere, have upgraded to Movable Type 3.35. Turns out that not just is the license constraining (I thought I was within the constraints, since…

I’ve been a happy user of Movable Type 2.66 for a long time, and along with moving my personal server elsewhere, have upgraded to Movable Type 3.35. Turns out that not just is the license constraining (I thought I was within the constraints, since I only really run a single, personal blog any more), but so is the set of available features. Implement the random pointers part of this blog — on a purely technical level — as another blog installation (as I had done back then)? Well, go for Movable Type Enterprise, or buy the appropriate additional plugin to make it all fit together.Being the “cheap” type who likes extensibility and the ability to play around with the software he uses, I’m now wondering what blogging platform I should choose to run on this Linux machine — as nice as MT 3 is in terms of UI, I won’t stick to it. WordPress? b2evolution? S9Y, as =F6 recommends? Something else that I haven’t heard of, yet?A smooth migration path from Movable Type is among the most critical criteria for the choice. A decent and simple web interface to post new items and administer comments as well. Oh, and I want to be able to syndicate an external RSS feed into this blog’s sidebar, seamlessly. (Now, that’s so 2002, as far as feature requests go…)