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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Soldering, FTL Travel, and more Security Analysis...

There seems to be a common theme regarding posts on this blog of late. Obviously, many involve DIY solutions. Over the past week I've had a USB flash storage device as well as a mouse malfunction. In both cases, it was down to a soldering defects during manufacture. It's not the first time and as others have also discovered it's quite common on devices with micro/mini USB ports. Obviously, having a break occur at the port rather than the PCB level is preferable as you just resolder though... If there's anything I've learnt recently is that if you dabble in computing/electronics you should probably learn to solder. With the advent of SMD components things are obviously a bit more difficult and an Air Pencil is an unrealistic option (price) for most people. For others, I've come across the many options including (obviously, they aren't suitable for all situations/circumstances though. As a wise man once said, "think twice, cut once"):

- Solder Paste
- Liquid Silver
- Wire Glue
- other glue like hybrids/solutions are conductive...

If you have issues with plastic joins there are a range of glues/epoxies/cements out there but recently I started experimenting with plastic welding (heat source to weld pieces of plastic with one another using a third party (I've been using the plastic ring from soft drink bottles) plastic as a joiner). Success has been limited. It seems to work but only in a limited number of situations. I would not recommend it for stress bearing loads.

Some interesting reading for those looking to save energy.

Some wierd and wonderful ways to save energy.

Find it strange that many eReaders/USB flash storage (even Smartphones) devices continue to present FAT32 as their 'best' filesystem option. I understand the commercial reasons behind the decision but in this day and age of multi-gigabyte flash storage, critical data, and large file sizes it's not ideal. If it's a choice between raw speed and filesystem integrity then I choose the latter.

While contemplating/working on other research I was exploring the possiblity of WARP drive technology (yes, Faster Than Light (FTL) transportation technology). One of the avenues that I was pursuing similar to this one.


I didn't crunch the numbers but apparently, the energy levels required are actually realistic. There are many problems pursuing this particular line of thought though. For instance, how do you calculate where you end up? How does conventional communication deal with being sent through folded space time? Does it radiate isotropically? Can you change its radiation aperture? Is it possible that it may behave in a subspace like fashion? On to more practical matters, if you're basically moving at infinite speed how do your calculate your speed/WARP factor? How does biological material deal with such travel?

My suspicion is that if we are able to achieve FTL travel (Rocketry works but has many limitations and problems. Cost, safety, complexity, efficiency, and so on... Moreover, let's put put current space travel into perspective here. Voyager 1/2 were sent decades ago and were involved in all sorts of astronimical gymnastics, have only been able to achieve 10-30km/s, and have only just reached the edge of the solar system. We need a realistic alternative to truly explore space.) than it won't be via conventional science. It will revolve around going around rather than breaking through existing problems as has been outlined above and it will take a significant level of intermediate science to get from theory to practice. In spite of all this, I suspect the journey to the stars will be a difficult, though fascinating, and enjoyable one...

Found another minor problem with LibreOffice. On long documents it doesn't repaginate properly/quickly enough. You can force a proper refresh by restarting the program but obviously this isn't perfect. I'm around 604+ pages/170K+ words on my 'Cloud and Internet Security' report now. It's reached the point where editing has become much more difficult and I'm considering splitting into it into 2 or 3 volumes, of around 200-300 pages each? I didn't think it would reach this size but the fact is there is a lot of insecure technology out there. Basically, anything you look at in your vicinity can be used in a defensive/offensive capability in the context of cyberintelligence/cyberwarfare.





Since a lot of technology seems to be based off of the same theories (and the same goes for security technology as well) and modification of practical solutions we've seen throughout this document that once there is a break in a core theory there is a very big and real problem depending on the nature of the technology and how widely it is used. The problem is made worse since since it seems clear that time after time our existing paradigms/theories/solutions are being broken. Active Authentication/Cognitive Fingerprinting (behavioral/continuous authentication over time, a concept that I've been toying around with for a while (published in the 'Cloud' document, refined/detailed in the 'Convergence' document, and I'm continuing work on...), pursued by DARPA, Israeli, QUT and other researchers but whose roots go deeper and further back in time then most people would believe. It goes back to the Cold War and I suspect much earlier from there, see Clifford Stoll's Cuckoo Nest) represent one possible avenue of research.



No Dependency Debian Packages, Random Stuff, and More

- come across issues with packages on Debian from time to time. Came up with a following script which basically strips dependency checking ...