Quantum oscillator responds to pressure

“In the far future, superconducting quantum bits might serve as components of high-performance computers. Today already do they help better understand the structure of solids, as is reported by researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in the Science magazine. By means of Josephson junctions, they measured the oscillations of individual atoms “tunneling” be-tween two positions. This means that the atoms oscillated quantum mechanically. Deformation of the specimen even changed the frequency.”



Are You A Uber-Hacker, Do You Want Be Uber-CSI?

What about combining these skills? Since 2006 the Defense Department’s Cyber Crime Center, known as DC3, hold a competitions that allows teams or individuals test themselves against the best.

The event is called the DC3 Challenge. One of the features of this challenge that I like is the competition has skill levels from novice to developer. The event is open to individuals or teams from around the world. There are openings for high schools, universities and commercial entities.

This is what you will be working on in this competition: file signatures, suspicious software, meta data, passwords, breaking encryption, finding concealed data, developing new tools just to name a few.

The sponsors for this event are: the Defense Cyber Crime Center, the computer security organization SANS, the Malaysia-based International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber Threats, the International Council of Electronic Commerce Consultants, the John Hopkins Carey Business School, Cyber Watch, and the United Kingdom Cyber Security Challenge.

There are awards for the following categories: overall, international, U.S. and U.S. academic.

So why not sign up, get a team together show that you have the right stuff and along the way you might even learn something new. For the lucky few, the geniuses of keyboards & circuit-boards, you will develop new tools that will help fight the next generation of cyber criminal.

Computational Intelligence for Security and Defence Applications (CISDA), 2009

Ottawa as has a cool conference coming up IEEE Symposium: Computational Intelligence for Security and Defence Applications:Detecting and Adapting to Emerging Threats (CISDA), 2009. The Symposium runs 8-10 July 2009 here in Ottawa it look like a good line up of presentations.

* Applied Computational Intelligence in Biometrics
* Military Operational Logistics Modeling and Simulation
* Adaptive Network Security and Management
* Advanced Information Systems, Intelligence Exploration and Utilization, and Computer Architectures for Military and Security Applications
* Complex Systems Engineering: Defence and Security Applications
* Computational Intelligence Techniques for Complex Adaptive Systems in Defence and Security
* Computational Intelligence Systems in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

I will be attend at least two days and maybe more. I look forward to this opportunity to hobnob with a bunch of super geeks. 🙂

EDIT NOTE (Wed. 17, June, 2009): It is confirmed. I will be attending the full 3 days of this conference. 🙂 Life is good.

Yet Another PHP Security Book

[openbook booknumber=”/b/OL22553066M”]

PHP is one area that really needs work when it comes to security. Its wide spread implementation has lead to numerous security concerns. In the last year we have seen several books on the topic. I can only hope that those that write PHP will take the time to read what is available, including this book. Too many times as a have I heard for customers/programmers say that security is not their problem… let the Sys. Admin’s take care of that…. Other PHP books is O’Reilly’s Essential PHP Security by Chris Shiflett and Pro PHP Security by Chris Snyder and Michael Southwell

Check out the Amazon reviews

Faintfuzzies.ca Now Has a New Server

Transferring data
Transferring data via the Dell Precision 670

Well after weeks of tinkering I’ve got a new home for Faintfuzzies.ca. This required the physical moving of various hard drives, installing my favourite flavour of Linux, Gentoo Linux. The downside of my distro of Linux is it is compile from source code. Yup ever piece of software used in this server must be compiled before it can be used. To get the most out of this distribution I needed to find out all the optimizations that could be applied via the compiling process to take full advantage of 64 bit Xeon, also known as EMT64. This is what Gentoo is all about. Now you will not get huge performance gains, but they’re enough to go to the trouble of using Gentoo.  If you want, you can find benchmarking stats on the following, linux.com , and Anantech.com.

Gentoo Linux uses a global make file and 4 other files to achieve the customized install that its users require. The global make file is called make.conf and for my web server it contains the following options:

CFLAGS=”-march=k8 -O2 -pipe”
USE=”-X crypt ctype pcre session unicode PHP apache2 mysql mysqli mmx sse sse2 acpi mmx sse3 3dnowext 3dnow ntpl ntplonly JSON curl jpeg jpeg2k png tiff hdri truetype exif bash-completion mp3 ssse3 xvid encode mmxext gd threads”

AMD Dual Opteron Tower, Old Desktop, New Web Server

The other 4 files that can be used to adjust performance or package choice (software, for you windows users) are:  package.keywords, package.use, package.mask, package.unmask.  The first file package.keywords allows me to chose software packages from the unstable development branch.  Package.use allows me to apply specific USE options to specific software packages. Here are the what is in that file.

www-servers/apache log_forensic
www-apps/gallery  mysql ffmpeg gd imagemagick netpbm raw sqlite unzip zip
dev-lang/php pcre session mysql pdo gd

IBM Intellistation Dual PIII 500
Old Web Server (IBM Intellistation Dual PIII 500)

Now this is not to be construed as a definitive list of USE Flags possible.  But based on the research that I’ve done to date is the best I could come up with that balanced performance against stability.

In order to use WordPress in Gentoo I had to use the file package.keywords. This is what is in this file:

www-apps/wordpress ~amd64
www-apps/gallery ~amd64
sci-misc/boinc ~amd64
dev-perl/JSON ~amd64

So to be web server
Dual AMD Opteron, Awaiting New Hard Drives

The old server will be retired to a good home. It was a great work horse for a long time. But I’ve had many complaints that the web site was getting slow, particularity for those people accessing the photo gallery. Initially I put this down to my Internet connection. Then I did a test mirroring the website on my desktop which at the time was the Dual Opteron. That clearly showed that the problem was not a bandwidth issue. I’m taking my old Dual AMD Opteron desktop and converting to be my new web server. Here is what it looks like as I prepare it for its new like as the web server.

Dell Precision 670 Workstation
Dell Precision 670 Workstation, My New Desktop

This upgrade was all precipitated by the arrival at my place of work Computer Supplyhouse of some Dell Precision 670.  Our store carries all the normal computer items, but also specialized in Off-Lease Government and Corporate leased computers.  We also stock a full line of  computer books.  These where in excellent condition and the price was… well, irresistible. The spec.’s on these bad boys was dual 4.3Ghz EMT64 Xeons, with 80Gb SATA-II drives and 2Gb of DDR2 ECC ram.  To this setup I’ve add a 73Gb Seagate Cheetah hard-drive used for the OS, Apache2, Gallery2, and WordPress.  The 80Gb hard-drive will house the Gallery2 photos and back-up files.

Web Server With Cooling Fan Hack
Web Server With Cooling Fan Hack

The speed difference of the new web server is quite remarkable. This change for the web server means I should be about to get many good years out of it. This is assuming no hardware failures. The one thing to keep on eye on with this computer is that it is quite heat sensitive, well at least in the last few years or so.  To mitigate this issue I had a friend of mine cut a hole in the side across from the CPUs and have added a 120mm fan.  It was added to the outside as there is no real room to mount the fan inside and still be able to side the side panel off.