Muse Food

Posts containing food for thought.

After my tinkering with IT as a kid progressed to more of a hobby, followed by almost 22 years of full time employment as an IT engineer, I’m started to wonder if I’ve been a tad foolish.

I’m starting to think that there is more to life than IT (despite seeing more and more people that seem to think that it’s more important to walk around looking at the screen of their mobile phone rather than looking where they’re going), and with this realisation comes another realisation — that a life of IT has left me with very few practical life skills.

So now I find myself at a point where I want to do something that’s actually useful to people/society, but all I know how to do is IT.

I’m wondering how to implement ideas and make them a reality? How can I build (physical) things — how do you join pieces of wood for instance? How do businesses work?

How can I do something useful, and hopefully change lives — if not the world — when I don’t seem to be able to change a tap washer?!

It is a hundred years to the day since the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZACs) landed on a beach at Gallipoli, Turkey, to fight in a war — not a ‘cyber’ war, where people often lose web servers, but the type of war where people often lose mates, comrades, loved ones, and their lives. This is a change from my usual technical writing, and given the sensitive subject matter, the lack of sleep that I got last night, and the fact that I’m more comfortable writing about my technical endeavours, I’m hoping that I don’t cock this up.

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What do you do when you’re a university student who’s just learnt about network sniffing and how anyone can capture your (unencrypted) UNIX account credentials from the network and log in as you? You create a challenge-response authentication system using a Bourne Shell script to stop them of course. It is also how I almost locked myself out of my university UNIX account. Continue Reading

Malware isn’t the only malicious stuff that you need to look out for when venturing out on to the Internet, as it isn’t just computer software that is vulnerable — computer users are too. Instead of the usual social engineering and phishing issues, I’m going to mention two documentaries that describe an attempted murder, and an actual murder, both the result of people using the Internet. Continue Reading

Ever wondered whether it would be possible to find strings that have been xored, without undoing the xor? After seeing Lenny Zeltzer demonstrate the ‘xorsearch’ command, I started to wonder if it was possible to find xored strings by considering how each byte differed from the byte next to it.

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Introducing the Muse Food category. This category is for ‘food for thought’, that is, ideas or concepts that I’m thinking about but haven’t yet done anything useful with. It is basically me thinking aloud.

The ideas aren’t guaranteed to be practical, correct, or even sensible, but they may provoke ideas/discussion in other people in which case I’d appreciate a comment and, if applicable, a blog link.

Alternatively, you can leave a comment if you would like to start a train of thought of your own.