But does does this kind of attack actually work or is it merely a myth? To put this attack to the test, researchers from the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign and the University of Michigan, along with Google anti-abuse & security researcher , dropped nearly 300 USB sticks on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus and measured who plugged in the drives.
They found that users picked up, plugged in, and clicked on files in 48% of the drives dropped. Furthermore, users did so quickly: the first drive was connected in under six minutes! Head over to Elie's blog, where he summarizes the study, highlights the key findings, looks at what motivates people to plug in USB sticks, and discusses possible mitigations to improve USB security.
Take the time to read Simon's account on how his discovery was treated. https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/sci.math.symbolic/a3kVKVYJhgc
There are many identities for Pi in existence, some very old. But this "new" one I find especially beautiful. It is a closed-form expression, and can be used to find the nth digit of Pi (base-16) without doing all the work for all the digits leading up to the nth digit.
There is a paper published in 1997 describing the formula in more detail. Sadly, the credit for Plouffe's discovery was unscrupulously taken by the first two authors of this publication, Bailey and Borwein. Plouffe shared his regret for seeking their co-authorship: http://goo.gl/RI8R1
For this injustice I suggest we refuse to recognize the nomenclature "Bailey Borwein Plouffe Formula" (a.k.a. BBP formula) and refer to it as the "Plouffe Identity", and aptly abbreviate it "PI"!
In any case, I was glad to rediscover this while going through old analog papers, and I got to think about my Dad and his disdain of such injustices in life.
I encourage you to give this post a share. :-) #pi
Jon Krakauer, the author of the book "Into the Wild" just shared his latest research regarding McCandless's death, 20 years after his book was originally published. It seems Krakauer likes to get the facts right. He tells the story of his investigation of the plant(s) involved, and how they were tested for alkaloids as a toxin, with no luck finding a smoking gun.
In 2012 Krakauer got a new lead from another writer who had remembered reading about symptoms similar to McCandless's occurring at a World War II concentration camp, Vapniarca. The prisoners of that camp were subjects of a cruel experiment, having been given food made from the "grasspea", a plant that humans have known for 2400 years to be toxic. It turns out to be an amino acid that makes the grasspea toxic, as well as the plant that McCandless ate. So when Krakauer searched for this kind of amino acid, he succeeded in finding what very likely killed McCandless.
I find it interesting that the "frontier of human knowledge" and the literal/physical "frontier of wilderness" can have such gaps between them. Generations of successively standing on shoulders have allowed humans to evolve our societal blueprints; we've increased our probability of survival living together vs. going it alone. But knowledge, even if recorded somewhere, is useless unless it is present at the moment that it has the greatest utility. Think about how we go about our daily routines. The various knowledge we must apply to our daily lives in order to "not die today", is pretty narrow. And should something life threatening confront us, living in a herd has its benefits. But leave society. Go off the grid. And here's a known toxin that exists in a plant. And it got eaten. So even if McCandless had all the up-to-date, current human knowledge at his fingertips while he was in the Denali Borough, would that have allowed him to survive alone in the wild?
I rarely plug my laptop in (although I do have a spare cable near the couch that I could/should use).
To further the digression, I think the NYT did an analysis and found that paywall was a bit of a pain. Which is why they have an N free views per month. It lets people see their content and if you are interested you can buy into the paywall.
Also, Meraki (bought by cisco) had some intriguing mesh networking stuff. I haven't kept up with it to see if Cisco actually did anything usual (for us residential scum) with it.
FYI: At the end of the page where you apply for IO16 registration, the link to the terms and conditions is an empty page. I.e., this link:
I kinda wanted to read it before clicking. :-)
Also, much cheaper to evolutionary rewrites than a "clean slate" approach. Lets you keep making money while upgrading.
That is of course until you hit those chunks that are "fuck, we gotta break the world to upgrade to the better stuff". Hopefully by then that "world" is smaller and more manageable.
Good article and discussion y'all. I like this stuff (but I'm a sysadmin so I'm regularly in the swamp trying to drain it while killing alligators and trying to remember it's not all alligator killing).
I am currently bootstrapping SendTree, a company that helps people send text messages to groups. Small businesses, churches, and organizations use SendTree's web based tools to compose, schedule, and deliver texts to their audiences. I've learned that the biggest challenge in starting a business is time.
Prior to SendTree, I spent 13 years creating software at Purdue University. While at Purdue's Rosen Center for Advanced Computing, I learned a fair bit about carbon emissions while writing software to support climate change research.
Prior to Purdue, I designed hardware and software for altimetry devices, and I programmed machines to manufacture small glass parts at Pynco, Inc. In 2008, I began serving on the Board at Pynco. This followed the untimely death of my father, Jim Seib, who founded Pynco in 1987.
I graduated from Purdue University in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. I still enjoy creating a circuit once in a while.
- SendTreeSoftware Engineer, 2013 - present
- Gentomi, Inc.Owner, 2008 - present
- Purdue UniversitySoftware Engineer
- Pynco, Inc.Engineer