System Overlord

A blog about security engineering, research, and general hacking.

Twitter banned from misleading consumers 'for 20 years'

Twitter has been, among other things, "barred for 20 years from misleading consumers about the extent to which it maintains and protects the security, privacy, and confidentiality of nonpublic consumer information..."  I believe that Twitter should not be misleading consumers about any aspect of their security, but it almost seems that a specific bar of this nature, and with a specific duration, seems like an implicit permission for other companies to mislead consumers (as they have not been so barred) and that, after 20 years, Twitter can mislead consumers all they want.  Seems like a bit of common sense that the FTC has felt the need to spell out...

AOL prevents use of Shoutcast

AOL has apparently served the VideoLAN developers with an injunction preventing any ShoutCAST functionality from being included in VLC, or any other application that uses Open Source components or software.  I appreciate this greatly, as the next time I'm tasked with exploring streaming media solutions at work, I'll have one less contender that I will consider.  To be specific, as far as I'm concerned, ShoutCAST is not a viable solution for any form of streaming media, and must be avoided like the proprietary plague it is.

Needing more focus...

I've come to the conclusion that I need to become more focused in some areas of my life.  I want to be able to contribute to open-source projects, including Ubuntu, but I realized that I don't know enough about any single project to really dive in and work on the code.  I need to find a single project to contribute (codewise) to.

I sometimes feel that there's this technological void in my life, with a desire to work on a project of some sort.  The big problem is that I have diverse interests: user experience, information security, embedded systems/robotics, etc.  I know it's a ridiculous statement to make, but even at 25, I feel like I'm behind where I'd like to be in my life.

How do you all find your niche, and satisfy that urge?  Anyone got a favorite project that needs some love?

Binary Heaps are Slow

Most CS professors would probably take a look at the title of this post and assume it's a senseless rant or otherwise misdirected, but it turns out it's true: binary heaps are slow on real computers (not the theoretical systems often discussed in CS classrooms).  Poul-Henning Kamp, author of the Varnish HTTP Accelerator, discovered and wrote about this for the ACM.

Android Development on Ubuntu 10.04

If you've been trying to use the Android SDK on Ubuntu 10.04, you might be getting an error like:

No command line parameters provided, launching UI.
See 'android --help' for operations from the command line.
Exception in thread "main" java.lang.UnsatisfiedLinkError: no swt-gtk-3550 or swt-gtk in swt.library.path, java.library.path or the jar file
at org.eclipse.swt.internal.Library.loadLibrary(Unknown Source)
at org.eclipse.swt.internal.Library.loadLibrary(Unknown Source)
at org.eclipse.swt.internal.C.<clinit>(Unknown Source)
at org.eclipse.swt.internal.Converter.wcsToMbcs(Unknown Source)
at org.eclipse.swt.internal.Converter.wcsToMbcs(Unknown Source)
at org.eclipse.swt.widgets.Display.<clinit>(Unknown Source)

If you're getting this, try installing libswt-gtk-3.5-java and then running the android SDK via: ANDROID_SWT=/usr/lib/java ./android

Hope this helps somebody.