Black Hat 2008: EFF Coders’ Rights Project announced

The EFF has just announce the creation of the Coders’ Rights Project website at the Black Hat conference. The sites’ main goal is to centralize legal information for coders, and to help protect important security work from legal actions that may be taken against them with the DMCA and other legal black holes. While this is in no way a fully comprehensive list of everything you need to know, it looks like a good place to start, and provides a few FAQs for suggestions on how to stay in the legal clear as much as possible. At numerous points the documents suggest you speak with a lawyer, if you have any deeper questions, which you absolutely should. This can be very helpful if a person or group finds a security risk, and wants to publish it, or just wants to start looking into possible security risks.

Detecting ISP throttling


ISPs have recently become very aggressive towards their customers. They’ve been blocking or altering traffic to prevent you from using specific programs or protocols. Google’s Senior Policy Director recently stated that they’re developing tools to allow people to detect ISP interference. A couple other groups have been building tools as well: The Network Neutrality Squad just released the second beta of their Network Measurement Agent. The tool currently detects spoofed packets by monitoring the round trip time of the connection; early reset packets will have lower than average RTT. If you want to go more in depth, the EFF has published a guide for using Wireshark to do the detection. We’ve even heard rumors of people building tools to tunnel a session inside of one that looks completely different.

[photo: nrkbeta]

Maker Faire 2008: Schwag


As our final Maker Faire post, we thought we’d talk about some of the curious items that were handed us during the event.

While checking out Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories‘ latest generation CandyFab were given their AVR business card breakout board.

[Garrett] gave us a handful of ShiftBrites to play with in a future project.

We donated to the EFF, as we’re wont to do, and received a super bright blue flashlight for spotting the yellow tracking dots on color laser printouts. If you’re not familiar with this topic, you should check out bunnie’s blue light scanner.

Our final stop was at ifixit to pick up a free set of spatulas (spudgers?) for popping open iPods. All around a decent haul.