Still on lockdown.

  life quarantine covid computers coronavirus pictures projects retrocomputing

All of March and most of February were spent in lockdown in the Bay Area.  I've no idea what's still open or not because the last time I was able to go anywhere outside of the house was two weeks ago.  The walk I'd planned for last weekend was cancelled on account of rain, and all things considered I'd rather not risk lowering my immune system a couple of points with cold and damp if I can help it.  Plans for the next 12 to 18 months have been unilaterally cancelled.  I've already sold my Thotcon 0x0b badge even though …

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Have you tried turning it off and back on again?

  computers it software work complexity debugging

Disclaimer: The content of this post does not reflect my current employer, or any of my clients at present.  I've pulled details from my work history dating back about 20 years and stitched them into a more-or-less coherent narrative without being specific about any one company or client because, as unfashionable as it may be, I take my NDAs seriously.  If you want to get into an IT genitalia measuring contest please close this tab, I don't care and have no interest.

Time was, back in the days of the home 8-bit computers, we were very limited in what we …

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Spending quality time with the Pi-Top.

  build computers kit linux raspberrypi review laptop

A couple of months ago for my Lesser Feast I decided to treat myself to a toy that I've had my eye on for a couple of months: A Pi-Top laptop kit.  My fascination with the Raspberry Pi aside (which includes, to be honest, being able to run a rack full of servers in my office without needing to install a 40U rack and a new 220 power feed), it strikes me as being a very useful thing to have under one's desk as a backup deck or possibly a general purpose software development computer.  Most laptops have one unique …

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Linking the Signal CLI with Signal on your mobile.

  communications computers howto signal cli link development notes apps mobile_phones personal_security

20170107: It's not "group name" it's "Group ID."  I don't know how to find that yet.

The communications program Signal by Open Whisper Systems is unique in several respects.  Firstly, its barrier to entry is minimal.  You can search for it in the Google Play online store or Apple iOS appstore and it's waiting there for you at no cost.  Second, it's designed for security by default, i.e., you don't have to mess around with it to make it work, and it does does the right thing automatically and enforces strong encryption by default (unlike a lot of personal …

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A toast.

  computers hacking life work

Here's to the sysadmins, who fight to keep everything up and running.  And reboot printers along the way.

Here's to tier-1 tech support, who know the answers but are only allowed to recite from their scripts.

Here's to the pen testers, who keep plugging away.

Here's to desktop support, who occasionally see things they can never unsee.

Here's to the red team, who throw everything from Devo costumes to pork chops to ballroom gowns to the kitchen sink at the mission.

Here's to the hacktivists, who toil endlessly to make the world a better place.

Here's to the open source …

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I will be presenting at The Eleventh HOPE.

  exocortex presentation HOPE new_york_city hacking computers

UPDATE: Now that the official HOPE schedule has been published I can say that I'll be speaking in the Noether room on Sunday, 24 July 2016 at 2:00pm EST4EDT.

UPDATE: The Internet Society will be livestreaming video of the talks as they happen. Here's the page listing all of the livestreams.

I found out last weekend (yes, I've been sitting on this - timed posts are the busy blogger's friend) that the talk I submitted for The Eleventh HOPE in July of 2016 was accepted. I will be giving a presentation on Exocortex, my latest work (of mad science), entitled …

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Direct neural interface: Hopefully coming soon to a brain near you

  als braingate computers direct_neural_interface eeg electrodes implants injectable_circuitry neural_dust neural_lace neurology optimization software telepathy tms ultrasound

Direct neural interface has long been a dream and fantasy of tech geeks like myself who grew up reading science fiction. Slap an electrode net on your head (or screw a cable into an implanted jack) and there you are, controlling a computer with the same ease that you'd walk down the street or bend a paperclip with your fingers. If nothing else, those of us who battle the spectre of carpal tunnel syndrome constantly know that our careers have a shelf life, and at some point we're going to be out of action more or less permanently. So we …

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I am this week's special guest on the More Thank Bits! podcast.

  adventure advertising byzantium computers hacking lunchtop media morethanbits podcast programming

Last week Alexius Pendragon invited me to be the special guest on the podcast he co-hosts, called More Than Bits! During the interview I fielded a bunch of questions about the RaspberryPi and my lunchtop, Squeak and Scratch, capture the flag competitions and Project 2 by dirtbags.net, Project Byzantium, and being on the Global Frequency.

I was unfortunately ill-prepared for the interview because I ran home from work and jacked in without taking the time to get my head or my notes together, so I made quite a few gaffs. I hate it when I'm operating half in work …

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Neuromorphic navigation systems, single droplet diagnosis, and a general purpose neuromorphic computing platform?

  artificial_intelligence biotech computers diagnosis drones lab_on_chip medicine navigation neuromorphic_processing

The field of artificial intelligence has taken many twists and turns on the journey toward its as-yet unrealized goal of building a human-equivalent machine intelligence. We're not there yet, but we've found lots of interesting things along the way. One of the things that has been discovered is that, if you understand it well enough (and there are degrees of approximation, to be sure) it's possible to use what you know to build logic circuits that work the same way - neuromorphic processing. The company AeroVironment recently test-flew a miniature drone which had as its spatial navigation system a prototype neuromorphic …

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DefCon 22: The writeup.

  cellular computers convention defcon hackers las_vegas nevada security surveillance technology wacky_hijinks

The reason I've been quiet so much lately and letting my constructs handle posting things for me is because I was getting ready to attend DefCon 22, one of the largest hacker cons in the world. It's been quite a few years since I last attended DefCon (the last one was DefCon 9, back in 2001.ev) due to the fact that Vegas is, in point of fact, stupidly expensive and when you get right down to it I need to pay bills more than I need to fly to Las Vegas for most of a week. I'm also in …

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