Brave. New. Etc

Martin Dittus · 2008-01-01 · a new world, conferences, data mining, drop culture, intellectual property, privacy · write a comment

Photo by mlcastle, taken at 24c3. …

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Prepaid MasterCards: the Missing Link in Financial Privacy

Martin Dittus · 2007-08-25 · a new world, konsum, privacy · 2 comments

Yesterday on the tube to Brixton I saw an ad for a really exciting product: a prepaid MasterCard. The promise was the possibility to take part in financial transactions that require cards (phone/Internet shops) without having a bank account. Which is a huge fucking deal. For me personally there are already two use cases that make it worth the fees: Having lots of cash but no bank account. Happens to drug traders and women traffickers, but also to people who move to a foreign country for a job. Especially when that country happens to have strict banking laws that …

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OpenID: Making Throw-Away Accounts Reusable Since 2005

Martin Dittus · 2007-02-20 · a new world, privacy, web services · write a comment

Since there are so many announcements about OpenID these days I decided it's time to actually have a look at the OpenID 1.1 spec. Turns out it's a light and fairly quick read, and its authors paid delightful attention to some crucial details. I especially liked this: The main advantage of [OpenID's delegation mechanism] is that an End User can keep their Identifier over many years, even as services come and go; they'll just keep changing who they delegate to. And was impressed to see stuff like this in the spec: It is RECOMMENDED that the form field [for the …

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Privacy Preserving Data Mining

Martin Dittus · 2007-02-19 · a new world, data mining, konsum, privacy · write a comment

Just saw this at a bookstore. Flicked through it, looks great, doesn't seem like a fluff piece. Lots of mathematical symbols everywhere, transformation methods etc. Will buy lots of stuff like this when I'm rich. Update Look what I found: Privacy Preserving Data Mining Bibliography, a categorized collection of papers. The table of contents provides you with a brief overview of the research field. Judging from the title, the paper you (and I) will want to check out is State-of-the-art in Privacy Preserving Data Mining by V. S. Verykios, E. Bertino, I. N. Fovino, L. P. Provenza, Y. Saygin, …

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Fuck Convenience

Martin Dittus · 2007-02-06 · a new world, drop culture, privacy · 1 comment

So regarding that upcoming + forced Flickr-Yahoo-ID merger... got the email a couple of days ago, read the Slashdot thread, and kinda felt unaffected by it all. I faintly remembered discussing this in some old Flickr group, but had forgotten the details; the whole thing seemed to have little real impact on my digital life. Will have to remember another login. But seeing Anil point to Bruce Sterling's commentary on the Flickr Yahoo login merger reminded me of my original reason not to like being forced to switch, just when I was about to cave in: A Yahoo login is …

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Apple's Proprietary .dmg Encryption Successfully Reverse-engineered

Martin Dittus · 2007-01-21 · conferences, osx, privacy, software, tools · write a comment

I'm start to look into more secure ways to store sensitive data, and Apple's encrypted DMG disk images seem like a good compromise between security and convenience. If you're worried about long-term storage and retrievability it of course has the disadvantage of being a proprietary format, which means you would need an OS X machine to decrypt those disk images. Not any more! In one of the interesting talks I missed during last year's 23C3 (while being busy doing other things) Jacob Appelbaum, Ralf-Philipp Weinmann and David Hulton presented their successful attempt to reverse-engineer the file format. They provide slides …

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Data Mining for World Peace

Martin Dittus · 2006-06-15 · a new world, data mining, privacy · 1 comment

Just listened to a recent edition of Radio Open Source on the NSA wiretapping case, and was struck by how well the topic maps to social networks as we know and use them. Data mining, degrees of separation, pattern analysis, and more. With comments by William Gibson! Apparently it's not about surveillance, it's about mapping social networks. For these large-scale operations the content of each individual phone-call becomes irrelevant; what's more interesting is to find the degrees of separation between everybody, and then to be able to map out interesting subgroups. (See also my Datenspuren 2006 report.) Patrick Radden Keefe …

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Back from Datenspuren 2006

Martin Dittus · 2006-05-15 · a new world, conferences, data mining, privacy · write a comment

Yesterday night I returned from Datenspuren 2006 in Dresden, a conference on privacy and technology organized by the local CCC. This was both the first time I was in Dresden, and also the first time I attended the Datenspuren conference, so I was curious to see both. Short version: I'll probably come back next time. What follows are random excerpts from my conference notes. update 2006-05-17 -- From the Chaosradio "Chaos TV" feed: "Bericht von den Datenspuren 2006", with an MP3 download of a radio special produced during the conference. 15 minutes of interviews with organizers, participants and guests (including …

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Surprise, Surprise: Music Software Still Sucks

Martin Dittus · 2006-03-02 · commentary, privacy, software · write a comment

I just wanted to check out the beta of Ableton Live 5.2 -- since switching to a Mac last year I haven't found a decent audio sequencer yet that I could actually afford, and had been hearing great stuff about their recent improvements. Well what can I say: I didn't get to actually use Live, because its copy protection mechanism sucks, and clashes badly with my stubborn viewpoints on privacy -- and then some. For example... When you start up the application for the first time it requests admin privileges?! After canceling this request you're informed that it just …

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Flip4Mac WMV Has a Very Strange EULA

Martin Dittus · 2006-01-14 · commentary, drop culture, intellectual property, osx, privacy, software · 4 comments

There currently are quite a number of very happy reactions over the announcement that Telestream's product Flip4Mac WMV is now available for free -- Flip4Mac WMV is a collection of "Windows Media® Components for QuickTime" that allows you to play certain Windows Media formats from within Quicktime, among them apparently some older formats that Microsoft's Media Player 9 for OS X can't play (I'm not actually sure about that, but this seems to be a reason why people install it -- that and the fact that MS has just discontinued their own Media Player.) It's curious that there is a …

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OS X 10.4.3: Minor Case of Phoning Home

Martin Dittus · 2005-12-10 · osx, privacy, software, stuff · 21 comments

I just updated to 10.4.3, and after the first reboot Little Snitch reported a network request by to -- something which had never happened before. The first time I let it slip, but the second request came when I opened Dashboard for the first time, and this time I started tcpdump before granting access. Among the expected traffic (updating the weather forecast) was a rather unusual request: 22:19:57.059318 IP (tos 0x0, ttl 64, id 27097, offset 0, flags [DF], length: 147) > P [tcp sum ok] 1:108(107) ack 1 win 65535 0x0000: ..[.q>..$..^..E. 0x0010: ..i.@.@......... …

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Schedule for 22C3 is Now Online; Some Recommendations

Martin Dittus · 2005-11-25 · a new world, conferences, links, privacy · 2 comments

The Fahrplan (schedule) for 22C3 (the Chaos Computer Club's Chaos Communication Congress) is now online, along with the blog, Flickr pool, wiki, and podcast. So I started to browse and collect lectures I'd like to see, and then realized that like last year I have a scheduling problem... I'm still trying to find out how I can use the iCal calendar file for things beyond looking at dates in iCal. Apparently the data is imported read-only, which means I can't annotate; and it would be great to find ways where iCal can help you schedule your congress experience. There of …

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