Walking Back The Cat

2017/04/24

(FTB stderr) – Marcus Ranum:

The origin of the expression “walking back the cat” is lost in the early cold war, but it refers to the process of decompiling and recompiling intelligence after a breach, usually caused by a mole.

I’m quite sure that nowadays it’s got a lot to do with computer forensics; it’s probably a tremendous amount of fun for anyone who hasn’t got a stake in the outcome. For anyone who does, historically, it’s a slice of hell. …

stderr 2017/04/23 walking-back-the-cat

March For Science

2017/04/23

(BuzzFeed) – Tamerra Griffin:

These March For Science signs are so wonderfully nerdy. …

buzzfeed march-for-science

March for Science

Ivanka’s Notes for the Babysitter

2017/04/23

(New Yorker Daily Shouts) – Ellis Weiner:

Donald is seventy. His normal bedtime is two or three in the morning, but don’t worry, we’ll definitely be back by then. He can watch Fox News as much as he wants. If he starts yelling at it (smh), just ignore him. The kids are used to it and their rooms are soundproofed. …

newyorker ivankas-notes

IvankaTrump and family

Paranoid and Delusional

2017/04/22

(Independent) – May Bulman:

Donald Trump has ‘dangerous mental illness’, say psychiatry experts at Yale conference. …

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Paranoid tweeting

Torching the Modern-Day Library of Alexandria

2017/04/21

(The Atlantic) – James Somers:

Somewhere at Google there is a database containing 25 million books and nobody is allowed to read them. …

theatlantic 2017/04 523320

Burning Library of Alexandria

Under Trump’s Skin

2017/04/20

(Atlantic Culture) – Chris Jones:

Alec Baldwin stands in the dark and waits for his cue. His stomach begins to turn. His makeup is touched up. He goes over his lines in his head. He watches the action on the other side of the door on a monitor. The White House press-room set is rolled out for the second time tonight, and a deep, low rumble of anticipation runs through the building. His nerves start to crackle. McCarthy slays; somewhere, Sean Spicer is curling up into a ball. “LIVE FROM NEW YORK, IT’S SATURDAY NIGHT!” she screams.

The door opens for Baldwin. All he can hear is applause and trumpets. …

theatlantic 2017/05 521433

Alec Baldwin with Trump mask

Stories About Code Obfuscation

2017/04/20

(FTB stderr) – Marcus Ranum:

Code Obfuscation is really neat stuff. Or, it can be.

Other than the rare programmer such as the one guy I encountered in a certain university’s database research group in 1988, most programmers write somewhat readable code. It has to be readable because the compiler/interpreter’s parser is almost always more strict than a human would be – programming languages have a specific syntax that strikes a balance between the computer’s ability to be sure what the programmer wants to do, and the programmer’s laziness about expressing it. There are fun philosophical debates among programming language proponents as to the degree to which the computer should try to figure things out. …

If I’ve got to give you a copy of my source code, why not turn “prompt” into “0x000010” or something less readable? Why not turn all my variables into unreadable crud? What if my variables look like: “01oI00”, “0I00Ioo” and so forth? And all my function names can be changed, and my strings can even be removed. …

stderr 2017/04/17 stories

Stunnix obfuscation

Hair Feud

2017/04/19

(New Yorker::Daily Cartoon) – Pat Byrnes:

This town ain’t big enough for the both of our haircuts.” …

newyorker hair-feud

Pat Byrnes: Trump-Kim Hair Feud

Romeo and Juliet: Act 3, Scene 1 (part 2)

2017/04/19

(Good Tickle Brain) – Mya Gosling:

Violence in Verona …

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Mya Gosling: Romeo and Juliet: Act 3, Scene 1 (part 2)

Hidden Figures

2017/04/19

(Guardian Books) – Margot Lee Shetterly:

Before a computer became an inanimate object, and before Mission Control landed in Houston; before Sputnik changed the course of history, and before the NACA became NASA; before the supreme court case Brown v Board of Education of Topeka established that separate was in fact not equal, and before the poetry of Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a dream” speech rang out over the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Langley’s West Computers were helping America dominate aeronautics, space research and computer technology, carving out a place for themselves as female mathematicians who were also black, black mathematicians who were also female. For a group of bright and ambitious African American women, diligently prepared for a mathematical career and eager for a crack at the big leagues, Hampton, Virginia, must have felt like the centre of the universe. …

theguardian 2017/feb/05 hidden-figures

Margot Lee Shetterly: Hidden Figures