Five short links


Photo by Etienne Girardet

TwoFishes – A kick-ass geocoder for everything above the street level, by David Blackman based on geonames and other public data. I’m hoping to roll this into the next distribution of the DSTK, it does a brilliant job handling a lot of tricky problems like native-language unicode.

NIST Randomness Beacon – Provides a new set of random numbers every sixty seconds, along with a checksum linking them to the previous randoms, and an archive of all the random values from previous time intervals. I have no idea what to do with this, but it feels like such an interesting primitive for applications that need verifiable timestamps.

Understanding DMA Malware – After hiding code on hard drive controllers, and then in CPU’s microcode, here’s an example of writing a keylogger that runs entirely through the direct-memory access controllers that most systems support, with demos on both Linux and Windows. As our devices become saturated with computation, there are so many places for malicious code to hide.

What are these giant concrete arrows across the American landscape? – We used to need a chain of massive earthworks across the continent to help planes navigate!

Mapping and its discontents – I’m excited to see Berkeley focusing on the power of maps as stories rather than treating them as a technical subject. I hope I can make this symposium, I’d love to hear from folks like Rebecca Solnit, author of the wonderful Infinite City atlas of SF.

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