TEH 033: I Am Root!

In This Episode: It doesn’t have to be a “data breach” to be a real screwup, so how to protect yourself? Corgis, Coffee and Vodka, oh my! British Airways screws up the concept of privacy. Cisco screws up the concept of security. The surprising way 12 new moons of Jupiter were discovered. Satellites using …film?! And the tech behind TEH.

This Week’s Hosts

Show Notes

  • During the warmup, Leo mentioned his love of coffee, so Randy admitted he was sipping Sobieski Espresso vodka, which prompted Leo to mention a cold-brew coffee maker Randy plugged in his newsletter last week. (Tip if you get one: experiment with how long you let it brew: Randy favors several days.) This weekend, Leo is hosting 100 Corgis (the dog) at his house for the 17th year in a row: the Pacific Northwest Corgi Picnic, which has sometimes made it to the news. Here are some of last year’s photos.
  • In an “anti-Breach of the Week” vein, Leo talked about how Google has reduced successful “phishing” attacks on them to zero with a type of two-factor authentication: security keys (Krebs on Security). (What’s phishing? See the relevant page on Randy’s Spam Primer site. Then read the entire site: if you didn’t know that, there’s more you don’t know.) Two-factor authentication (aka 2FA) is supported by a huge number of sites; a web site tries to keep track, but doesn’t have them all.
  • Randy then pointed out how British Airways screwed up, asking people in open Twitter posts for personal information “to comply with GDPR” (the new European privacy law) — and some customers were replying in open Twitter replies with that personal information! (The Verge)
  • Leo then upped the ante even more: Cisco found that their (ISP-level) broadband routers had a massive security hole — a hard-coded password that allowed root access! They’ve issued 25 patches to fix the holes (but of course did not reveal the password). (Bleeping Computer)
  • Randy talked about how planetary scientists looking for “Planet X” “accidentally” discovered 12 new moons around Jupiter. (National Geographic)
  • Leo notes Sony has developed a super-high resolution (48 megapixel) sensor (compared to the 36 MP sensor on Leo’s high-end Nikon DSLR), and it’s designed for …cell phones! Leo mentioned the “arty” photo he took at Starbucks this morning — with his cell phone. Yeah, he post-processed it with Photoshop, but it’s very cool!
  • We wrapped up the episode talking about the tech behind TEH itself. We both use the AT2020+ USB microphone, we both use the Sony studio headphones, and then get together on the Zoom platform where we can all participate, and Zoom records the episode for us, even leveling the various voices. That is then tossed into Audacity — free audio editing software — to add on the intro and outtro music (and edit out any BIG flubs — which are rare), and then mix down to an MP3 file. That’s then loaded to Blubrry (pronounced “blueberry”) for hosting so as to not bog down our server when “everyone” wants to download episodes at the same time, and the player on the Show Page is a product of Blubrry’s WordPress plugin, that’s host agnostic.
  • And Randy gave a brief history of where “CCD” digital camera sensors came from in the first place: Kodak invented it for spacecraft, since early satellites used actual film! Listen to the podcast to learn how the film was processed.

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