This new thing I am working on has all the bells and whistles and the ajax class is more complex than I would like to admit. It connects to an injected chrome extension with elevated privileges to surpass content security restrictions. So the app can load any page with my authentication cookies, essentially avoiding the whole “Log in with website X” thingy. Scary, but since it’s all my code, I am not much worried. All of this means the ajax class is pretty elaborate.
To day is 7th January (in my timezone) and I will turn 20 tomorrow. The nausea is high, but today I started work on something I wanted to do for a long time. I don’t yet know exactly what it is but will know better as it develops.
So today was the first day of Google I/O and they announced a bunch of things including Jelly Bean 4.1 and nexus tablet 7, nexus Q. Tablet is interesting and I would buy it if it were 10 inches. 7” just won’t cut it for me. The resolution could also have been better, it’s Google’s flagship device after all. 1080p would have been a surprise but a welcome one. They need something to rival retina display at the end of the day. I also feel bad that I am not in US to try all the Google Play stuff, also I am stuck on gingerbread, until i get a tablet or something.
How digital detectives deciphered Stuxnet, the most menacing malware in history
A very very interesting and bone chilling read.
So I did knew about stuxnet for sometime and I had a vague idea that it was a nasty piece of malware but reading in detail of what it is, makes the hair stand on the back of my head. It’s interesting beyond any measure, especially for a geek.
Casually browsing Reddit and Hacker News today, I saw the same piece of news on both sites almost simultaneously. I clicked through expecting some political stuff. But it was not so much. It also linked to the page linked above. The article was very long, 5 pages long. But just a few paragraphs in, I was pretty darn sure I would end up reading all of it. And so it was. I read it and I don’t regret it a tiny bit.
The article describes how stuxnet’s compiled binaries were decoded and how the people who did it experienced everything around them at that time. And the creepy aspect escalated quickly once they figured out the malware somehow was related to Iranian nuclear plant and their two lead scientists being assassinated. Feels like a typical action movie plot, but it is all real!
The technology was mind blowingly sophisticated, or so the author states and I don’t feel like disagreeing with him. Not one but FOUR zero day exploits were somehow used in a single malware. That’s bad ass. US really wanted to slow Iran down. But how much genius went into creating such beast is beyond me. The kind of techniques used by stuxnet seems like taken from a very high budget, action-drama movie written/directed by a programmer. It’s so good, it feels wrong when you read it.
The environment in which such code would have been written also amazes me. What would it be like to be in a room full of smart people churning out revolutionary code. I used to think it would be very exciting to work at Facebook or Google and write code that people use, but then I read about this. This totally destroys the fun. It’s so interesting that it terrifies me. How would it be to wake up one morning and realizing that you were the one who wrote such code. Or you were the one who designed the architecture that can break into a number of computers without anyone noticing it.
There were alot of clever things about stuxnet. One of them being how damn stealth it’s functionality was. The fact that it changed the readings sent back to the control room is very interesting in itself. A good amount of work must also have gone into just making sure the code’s origin was untraceable.
I really wish stuxnet’s authors would come out and share their experience of creating it but I guess we all know that won’t happen.
Looks like I will finally have Google’s C# compiled binary on my mobile. It still surprises me that I didn’t already have it. But the device itself is pretty ok for the range. 800 GHz, 5MP (flash)/0.3MP, gingerbread, 512 gig RAM, 3.5 inch 320x480 TFT. Should be with me in about 2-3 days. I plan to have a better XOOM or Sony Tablet S down the road. Those specs are alot more appreciable but this Moto Fire is not bad for a mobile either. But I can’t hope to do heavy duty stuff on this. And this won’t get ICS either. Bummer since I don’t want to load a custom ROM. There are a gazillion things that i want to do but the current internet connection will take it’s toll at 256 kbps. Let’s hope I am able to upgrade before package delivers. I plan to get atleast 512kbps. Good thing is I already have a ADSL 2+ WiFi router so that is that.
Also I should probably start writing this stuff in a journal, blog does not seem to be right place for such stuff that has no particular audience.
Please have a look at the app wiki for details on how to use the app and how it works.
I suggest using “boxes” image first.
There are still some issues with the algorithm. The call stack size exceeds if a patch is very big since algo uses recursion to count pixels. Please feel free to contribute :)
So I got Google Drive finally. It looks good and I have decided to keep it despite the fact that I am always looking to reduce the number of programs I have installed on my machine. I believe it’s worth it, at least until the novelty wears out.
There are a few glitches here and there, like all links/files open in IE and there is no way to change that. And one of my mercurial repository’s files are not being synced, rendering the whole thing useless as it won’t work on other machine.
I am looking forward to how it works out. And good luck DropBox. I heard good things about you.