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Mon 15th Feb 2010 @ 00:21 2010: Romantic Cryptography

Romantic Cryptography

Abstract. We show how Alice and Bob can establish whether they love each other, but without the embarrassement of revealing that they do if the other party does not share their feelings.
This is a “secure multiparty computation” of the AND function, where the participants cooperate in producing the result of the AND, but without learning the input bit contributed by the other party unless the result implies it.

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Fri 12th Feb 2010 @ 22:04 2010: Chip and Pin is Broken

This was due to be shown on BBC2's Newsnight, but it seems that the Afghan conflict has pushed it off the schedule. Cambridge University security researchers have shown in their most compelling demonstration yet, that Chip and Pin is Broken.

With a small netbook PC in his backpack, the researcher successfully used the credit and debit cards of the Newsnight team to process transactions, using a PIN of "0000" - any PIN at all would be accepted, since the card-reader believed that it was processing a PIN-verified transaction (and printed a receipt stating "Verified by PIN") while the chip on the card believed that it had fallen through to a card-and-signature protocol. The researchers explain that the negotiation for choosing a protocol (chip-and-pin or card-and-signature) is flawed. The BBC researchers confirmed that the transactions went through although an invalid (an unallowable) PIN of "0000" was used, and that none of the card issuers had contacted them about the transaction.

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Tue 9th Feb 2010 @ 12:19 2010: Oracle can't spell "Solaris"

The address now redirects to However, not everything has moved across yet - the BigAdmin pages have not been indexed, and there are a lot of other pages still missing. Searching Oracle's web site for information on Solaris comes up with a suggested replacement of "solarise":


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Fri 5th Feb 2010 @ 18:06 2010: Red Hat Certified Engineer

Red Hat Certified EngineerI am now a Red Hat Certified Engineer (805010462746660), having passed the RH302 exam today, with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4 This keeps me certified until the release of RHEL7, I believe.

The exam was quite fun, in a way; the NDA means that I can't say much about it at all, but there were no trick questions, and the tasks set were sensible but challenging. You certainly need to know the RedHat way of doing things, it is not a generic GNU/Linux exam.

Scores? Oh, go on then:

RHCE requirements: score of 70 or higher on RHCT components (100 points)
score of 70 or higher on RHCE components (100 points)

RHCT requirement: score of 70 or higher on RHCT components (100 points)

RHCT components score: 100.0
RHCE components score: 93.8

RHCE Certification: PASS

As the two parts have equal merit, that makes for an overall rate of 96.9%. Where did the other 3.1% go? I wasn't entirely happy with the imaps config; I was also not too happy with how I configured NFS with the firewall, but I didn't really want to disable the firewall either. But I will never know how it was marked :-(

Copy of the PDF for reference.

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