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Ojan Vafai
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Kinda ruins Calvin and Hobbes with it being so uncanny. :(
Genius. Sooooo good.

"Calvin, the protagonist in Bill Watterson’s beloved comic strip, Calvin and Hobbes, is a 6-year-old boy prone to irrational outbursts, delusions of grandeur, and the occasional whimsy of taking over the world.... At some point, some brilliant person happened to notice the similarities between the presumptive Republican nominee for president of the United States and a frigging fictional 6-year-old child...."

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This is the most demonically clever computer security attack I've seen in years. It's a fabrication-time attack: that is, it's an attack which can be performed by someone who has access to the microchip fabrication facility, and it lets them insert a nearly undetectable backdoor into the chips themselves. (If you're wondering who might want to do such a thing, think "state-level actors")

The attack starts with a chip design which has already been routed -- i.e., it's gone from a high-level design in terms of registers and data, to a low-level design in terms of gates and transistors, all the way to a physical layout of how the wires and silicon will be laid out. But instead of adding a chunk of new circuitry (which would take up space), or modifying existing circuitry significantly (which could be detected), it adds nothing more than a single logic gate in a piece of empty space.

When a wire next to this booby-trap gate flips from off to on, the electromagnetic fields it emits add a little bit of charge to a capacitor inside the gate. If it just happens once, that charge bleeds off, and nothing happens. But if that wire is flipped on and off rapidly, it accumulates in the capacitor until it passes a threshold -- at which point it triggers that gate, which flips a target flip-flop (switch) inside the chip from off to on.

If you pick a wire which normally doesn't flip on and off rapidly, and you target a vulnerable switch -- say, the switch between user and supervisor mode -- then you have a modification to the chip which is too tiny to notice, which is invisible to all known forms of detection, and if you know the correct magic incantation (in software) to flip that wire rapidly, will suddenly give you supervisor-mode access to the chip. (Supervisor mode is the mode the heart of the operating system runs in; in this mode, you have access to all the computer's memory, rather than just to your own application's)

The authors of this paper came up with the idea and built an actual microchip with such a backdoor in it, using the open-source OR1200 chip as their target. I don't know if I want to guess how many three-letter agencies have already had the same idea, or what fraction of chips in the wild already have such a backdoor in them.

As +Andreas Schou said in his share, "Okay. That's it. I give up. Security is impossible."

Quick poll:
1. Did you know that chrome had a UI where you could report bugs and it would take a screenshot of the page you're looking at?
2. Can you find the way to get to the UI?

No spoilers. Don't say where the UI is in responses.

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Just re-read this great post. Have to share it (again).

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The U.S. House is expected to vote Thursday on a bill to defund the low-cost clinic network Planned Parenthood for one year unless it stops offering abortion care.

The bill, the Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015, is sponsored by Representative Diane Black, a Republican from Tennessee. It’s one of many such proposals Republicans have offered in the months after an anti-choice front group released deceptive videos claiming that Planned Parenthood broke the law while contributing to fetal tissue research.

The bill aims to put a temporary moratorium on funding while Congress finishes investigating Planned Parenthood.

So far no state-level investigations have found Planned Parenthood guilty of any wrongdoing. A preliminary report from one congressional committee has also found no evidence that Planned Parenthood broke the law.

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Also, see this video of Pizza Hut Canada doing something really random:
This video is amazing! Nonetheless, I probably won't get one, since IMO this is more art than technology, and I'm not good enough at art.

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Good short.

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Neat! I was better than 98% of people!

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Lol. I love the response of the porn site.
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