Computer warming is a risk to online anonymity

December 31, 2006 at 2:22 pm (Computing, News, Technology)

Article via Wired

This new research highlights a novel and difficultly defendable against technique to attack the Tor system. This is due to the fact that it exploits “clock skew”, an issue inherent to all modern computers.


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The egg came first

December 29, 2006 at 8:40 am (Humor, News)

According to this news article, the “egg or chicken” debate has come to a conclusion. Great! now all that remains is to solve another great philosophical issue: ninja or pirate?

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Paypal launches the Virtual Debit Card

December 28, 2006 at 2:32 am (Computing, News, Technology)

“You can use PayPal Virtual Debit Card when making online purchases anywhere MasterCard is accepted. PayPal Virtual Debit Card generates a virtual card number each time you make a transaction online so you don’t have to use your personal debit or credit card number”. More.

The idea is simple: VDC lets you generate a one-time credit card number that expires right after using it. This means that the online buyer does not have to disclose their credit card details. In theory, this translates to more online shopping security.

VDC is still in beta release but the concept is certainly compelling. What’s more, there is no fee associated with the use of the service. What remains now is to wait and see whether the idea catches on. If it does, this will deal a serious blow to online credit card piracy.

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Why is AspectJ failing to take off?

December 23, 2006 at 6:40 pm (Computing, Programming, Technology)

There is a great deal of discussion going on the Java Lobby website about the usefulness of AspectJ and Aspect-oriented Programming in general. Some argue that it is not useful because it hinders human code readability and does not add anything that cannot be done in OOP. Others, in favour, argue that it is a very good addition to your development environment because it allows the separation of concerns and achieves some modularity that cannot be achieved in OOP.

I think that AspectJ is a great way of programming specific concerns. For example, you can write code for database access or exception handling in an aspect and not worry about doing that in every class or method that require it. This has a number of advantages, for instance, easy maintainability and the assignment of particular concerns to the programmers that have the “know-how” in a team. However, I think it is for this very reason that AspectJ is still not taking off: presenting it merely as a technology that is aimed at a limited set of usages. This can be observed in the limited set of literature on AspectJ: many introductory papers and books on AspectJ I can across present the same set of examples of applications: exception handling, database access, logging and trace monitoring. In essence, AspectJ is not selling itself well.

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Next-Generation Typing? May be not.

December 20, 2006 at 9:32 am (Computing, Technology)

Article via TechEBlog

This sounds interesting, just like any other idea that breaks our pre-built conceptions. However, a number of (obvious) problems can be spotted on the video:

  1. Typing looks slower than when using conventional keyboards.
  2. Technology is usually ruled by cost-benefit analysis (amongst other things). Therefore, if this device, in particular, does not provide sufficient benefit in exchange for the learning curve associated with it, it might not succeed.
  3. Unlike conventional keyboards, all 10 fingers are needed to type, which might present a challenge to people who do not possess all their fingers.
  4. For the moment, the project proposes to use special gloves as an input device. It just sounds like not everyone will be happy to put on their gloves just to type in a couple of phrases.

For the moment, the project seems at its early stages, but the result so far does not look like the breakthrough that the video describes.
Check out for more.

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Hello World

December 20, 2006 at 8:54 am (Uncategorized)

Welcome to my web log. This is a miscellaneous collection of news, commentaries and other things that are of interest (to me).

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