Test archive post.

16 January 2007

The sixth volume of the information security webzine Uninformed is now out.

I've been using my Grandtec flexible silicon rubber keyboard for about two days now, and I'm not entirely sure that I like it. Because it's flexible, one would expect a lack of tactice and audible feedback from the unit, but one would not expect the sheer difficulty of getting characters to register when touch-typing normally. The layout of the keyboard is a little weird (there are four shift keys on the fifth row, in the first, second, thirteenth, and fifteenth positions) but there are no 'real' HOME, END, PAGE UP, or PAGE DOWN keys (those are implemented using a Fn+key combination, which is a real bitch for coding). Also, there are three distinct SPACE keys on the sixth row (one on either side of the obligatory spacebar), which, if you are used to typing on smaller keyboards, are really going to cause you problems because that's where one expects the ALT keys to be. Also, most every key on this keyboard is the same size, which again hampers touch-typers because the slightly different keysizes are an important tactile cue used to determine where your fingers are on the keyboard.

Oh, also, did i mention the two ENTER keys, one full-sized oddly-shaped one, and a much smaller one on the fourth row, right where the apostrophe key usually is on a PC keyboard... Also, the general mushiness of the keys is making my wrists act up; I've been feeling a goodly amount of RST-related pain in my left wrist, and at this rate the right is sure to follow. Not good.

I think I'm going to take this back to get a refund tonight. If they have something like a Happy Hacker keyboard that I can tote around with me, I'm going to go with that over a more portable yet worse-for-me silicone rubber keyboard.

The Sci-Fi channel is turning Neal Stephenson's novel The Diamond Age into a six-hour miniseries. Moreover, Stephenson himself is writing the adaptation himself, so hopefully it'll survive the transition of media.

The first pirated HD movie has hit the Net - and it's a copy of Serenity. It was ripped and encoded into an .evo file, but because it's a high-def media complex it's huge, weighing in at nearly twenty (20) gigabytes in size. A programmer calling him- or herself Muslix64 has released a utility called BackupHDDVD that will do the deed of ripping the media, but there's a catch: The user of BackupHDDVD has to hunt through the memory of the computer the HD DVD is playing on to find the runtime key. If you read this thread at the doom9 forums, though, you will find directions for doing this. In a nutshell, you need to start playing the DVD in WinDVD, and then load up a hex editor to search through the system's memory for the fourth occurrance of the string 'VPLST000.XPL'. At the offset +0x0181 you will find the decrypted TK table, and at offset +0x1571 you will find the volume's unique key. Feed these values into BackupHDDVD and it'll do the rest. Of course, there will be some variation here, but if you read the rest of the posts you'll get a pretty good idea of what exactly you should be looking for.

Troy Hurtubise, who invented the anti-grizzly bear suit, is as it again. This time he's developed a suit of combat armour for military use that (somehow, unsurprisingly) looks like it came out of a video game. It's made out of ceramic composite and weighs about 40 pounds, which isn't too bad for full body ballistic armour. It's stood up to live fire tests, and Hurtubise is more than willing, he says, to wear the armour while being fired upon. He's even put it through some of the paces that the military would, like driving for four hours in the armour.