Turtles all the way down: Integrated circuits

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The next phase of the trusted open computer project is actually manufacturing usable integrated circuits that you can plug into a circuit board, apply power to, and use to do whatever it is that you do. In other words, processing information.

I hate to be a killjoy, but this is really hard. A vital question that we have to ask at this point is whether or not this is the point at which the project is pwnable by a determined third party. Fabbing integrated circuitry on silicon wafers is, to be gentle, a nontrivial process. Here are a couple of …

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Have insurance companies sunk to new lows?

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As you may or may not be aware, insurance companies have some pretty manichean arbitrary criteria to decide whether or not a particular procedure, treatment, or medication are covered, or to what extent. To give you an idea of how they operate, I discovered the hard way a few months ago that my insurance company (no names or they'll probably turn around and drop Lyssa and I like a bad habit, knowing those fuckers) informed me that a particular treatment "should not" cost $190us, but "should," in fact, only cost $71us. They then informed me that they would pay only …

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Boot loaders and securing dual-booting portable systems.

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UPDATE - 20170327 - Truecrypt was disconnected in 2014.ev when Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP.  DO NOT USE IT.  This blog post must be considered historical in nature.

If you've been following the news media for the past year or so, stores have been cropping up with frightening regularity about travelers who are detained at the border while customs agents demand the login credentials for their notebook computers so that they can be examined for gods-know-what kind of information. From time to time, the hard drives of computers are actually imaged for later analysis. As if that weren't enough, the United …

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