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Ricky Pike
Works at NCR Corporation
Attended Stephen F Austin State University
Lives in Fort Worth, Texas
3,717 followers|3,642,851 views
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Ricky Pike

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Remembering Gchat...
Everyone has been talking about Slack lately. The chat app, which is primarily aimed at offices and productivity, is simple, well designed, fun to use, ...
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The good ol days...
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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."
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That's one reason some people are so very concerned about the provenance of the chips that they use. Especially true of state level parties.
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Who are all these people moving to Fort Worth? Stay away. :)
 
The latest numbers show the population increased by 2.3 percent between July 1, 2014, and July 1, 2015.
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Making a sign is too much work. Can someone do it for me? 
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Ricky Pike

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We were cheated out of an extra minute of David Bowie's last album because of an arbitrary limit set by Apple and iTunes.

The original version was actually more than 11 minutes long, but they cut it to 9:57 after learning iTunes won't post songs for individual sale that cross the 10-minute mark.
"We were listening to a lot of Kendrick Lamar," says producer Tony Visconti. "The goal was to avoid rock & roll"
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The crew of Apollo 11 drew a calendar on the wall of their command module, as well as a tribute to the spacecraft, and numbers and other information jotted down from mission control communications.
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Who deserves credit for the unmistakable hook in Gerry Rafferty’s 1978 hit? It's complicated.
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I still like that album. 
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Ricky Pike

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Ingredients equivalent to sugar are: evaporated cane juice, rice syrup, sorghum syrup, malt, and corn sweetener.
Companies cultivating a healthful image often list "evaporated cane juice" in their products' ingredients. But the FDA says it's really just sugar, and that's what food labels should call it.
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19th century ASCII art, before it was cool. Oh. And beer.
How a strange face in a random 19th-century newspaper ad became a portal to a forgotten moment in ASCII art history
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Looking for Spaces to crash? Follow this link.
See the latest about "https://goo.gl/spaces/" and find people who share your interests. Google+ search streams bring you updates from your circles, public Google+ posts and news from around the web.
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Times are hard. So let's go steal a bicycle!
A former bicycle thief reveals exactly how London bikes are stolen and then distributed around the country for sale
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That was a surprisingly candid interview. This quote really struck me: "You can’t live on today’s minimum wage."

Kind of sad that minimum wage leads to working class criminals...
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A victory for the Free Range parenting movement. A loss for overzealous cops.
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There's a nice park <1 mile from my house. I wouldn't have a problem with my kid riding her bike with her friend to the park, they're 9 and 10. My wife, otoh, would probably only allow it if the friend's older sister (13) went along too. Mostly because "what if they crash and need help?" or whatever... well you suck it up, dust off the blood and dirt, and ride home, damnit. That's what we did. 
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My VO2 max is estimated in the upper 40's. Chris Froome's tested an insane 88.2 at his Tour de France weight. Good article.

My Garmin 520 (bicycle computer - http://goo.gl/zAwKJN) uses analytics developed by Firstbeat to guess at my VO2 max. Golden Cheetah software (http://goo.gl/S9fdYO) uses other methods, but they are both wild estimates.
Since the Lance Armstrong scandal, double Tour de France winner Chris Froome has been dogged by doping allegations. Esquire accompanies the British rider into the laboratory to observe the tests he hopes will silence the doubters forever
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Ricky's Collections
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Have him in circles
3,717 people
Vishali S's profile photo
David Forbes's profile photo
William M. Kreitzer's profile photo
Harold N. Helm's profile photo
Vicky Cianci (crazedmom)'s profile photo
S. Hall's profile photo
Lillie K. Hartman's profile photo
Michael Holzinger's profile photo
Shane Steigman's profile photo
Collections Ricky is following
Education
  • Stephen F Austin State University
    B.S. in Computer Science
  • Angelina College
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Looking for
Friends, Networking
Other names
Richard
Story
Tagline
Code Mechanic
Introduction
Father of two boys, software developer, craft beer enthusiast, history buff, family genealogist, amateur astronomer, hobby photographer, occasionally ride a road bicycle, and all around geek.

If you're interested in me professionally connect with me on LinkedIn and see my resume.
Work
Occupation
Software Engineer: Linux, Windows, Android
Skills
Writing Google+ posts. C++, C#, Python, Java, bash scripting, exposure to Python, Ruby, JavaScript and others.
Employment
  • NCR Corporation
    Software Engineer, 2011 - present
    Develop and maintain client, server, and web application software used for administering remote systems and terminals in a secure, PCI compliant manner. C#, C++.
  • Self Employed
    2007 - 2012
    Projects on GitHub include a weather station server, the Android app Latitude Shortcuts (now defunct) and a command line 2 factor HMAC code generator based on Google Authenticator.
  • Radiant Systems
    Software Engineer, 2010 - 2011
    See NCR Corporation
  • Fairmount Neighborhood Association
    Membership Director, 2009 - 2011
    Organized monthly meetings including contacting and scheduling speakers. Maintained membership list and processed membership payments. Organized neighborhood events such as holiday parties
  • RadioShack Corporation
    Software Engineer, 2000 - 2010
  • Tandy Corporation
    Software Engineer, 1993 - 2000
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Fort Worth, Texas
Previously
Ft Worth, Texas - Lufkin, Texas - San Augustine, Texas - Georgia, Florida
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