12 September 2002
New fall fashion: Anti-radiation pants?. <<Forget stain-resistant slacks. Levi Strauss plans to sell Dockers with an "anti-radiation" cell phone pocket, for people distressed by the as yet unproven health risks.>> [CNET News.com]
6:59:26 PM  #   your two cents []

So what did I learn in school today? All about gummy fingers and cookie poisoning, among other things. Today was the closing day of the wonderfully odd COSAC security and crypto conference in Ireland (see yesterday's entry for more). Once again I made my surreptitious, low-tech arrival on a bicycle, which has been carried each day for free to and from the nearby town of Naas (pronounced 'nase') very kindly by the coach drivers of Bus Eireann. (They are supposed to charge a surcharge to my ticket, but in that typically Irish way, each confided to me that I "might get charged" on my return by some other bus driver, but that they personally "usually don't charge." I think that 'usually' is supposed to lift your spirits, as you are clearly one of the chosen). The combo of the coach to Naas, then onto the bike for a quick cycle a mile out of town to the rather extravagant Killashee House Hotel, past some very pleasant fields of cows, sheep and big trees, was all very enjoyable as an alternative to renting a car and steaming in Dublin traffic.

I made it for two of the final sessions: Ernst and Young's quite young and eager Mike Harris, from Ireland, had a zippy and informative talk on web apps and hackers, where I learned about cookie poisoning (altering the code of cookies to make them nasty things), a term I hadn't heard before. Then came the closing keynote by Prof Tsutomu Matsumoto of Japan, who in an amusingly tour de force presentation, showed us all how to make 'gummy fingers' (like gummy bears, but grosser) from a simple silicone mould, all for mere euros/dollars! These can then be used to sneak past biometric fingerprint scanning devices with an extraordinarily high level of success -- like, well over 90 per cent of the time. You can even make an artifical print by lifting someone else's print (off a glass, say) and using photoshop and an inkjet printer. Well, you need an electron microscope as well. All I have to say is, I just know my whole life would have been different if, like Prof Matsumoto, I could have released academic papers with the titles "General and Gummy Fingers" (my favourite) and "Conductive Silicone Rubber Fingers". Instead all I have is this stupid blog.

6:47:33 PM  #   your two cents []
Vendors show Tablet PC wares. <<Corel, Pen&Internet tout software for forthcoming PC form factor>> [InfoWorld: Top News] I've seen these demo'd and I think they're pretty cool. Not perhaps for a home market so much as a business market, where you could effectively carry your whole desktop around with you, to meetings etc.
8:46:38 AM  #   your two cents []
UnitedLinux OS to make public debut. <<This month, the public will get its first look at the unified version of Linux for businesses, developed by a four-company consortium. Can it really challenge niche leader Red Hat?>> [CNET News.com]
8:45:29 AM  #   your two cents []