Silicon Valley or Soviet Union

This made my day.

In Support of Strong Encryption


IEEE supports the use of unfettered strong encryption to protect confidentiality and integrity of data and communications. We oppose efforts by governments to restrict the use of strong encryption and/or to mandate exceptional access mechanisms such as “backdoors” or “key escrow schemes” in order to facilitate government access to encrypted data. Governments have legitimate law enforcement and national security interests. IEEE believes that mandating the intentional creation of backdoors or escrow schemes – no matter how well intentioned – does not serve those interests well and will lead to the creation of vulnerabilities that would result in unforeseen effects as well as some predictable negative consequences.
— IEEE Position Statement

Why hardware + software is cheaper than hardware alone

Thomas Dullien of Google’s Project Zero on why security suffers because it’s actually cheaper to build more complex things (i.e. ship some piece of hardware with a general purpose processor and define features in software instead of using a purpose-built chip).

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Exciting Unlimited Register Machines

A brief and entertaining talk by an obviously excited presenter. 🙂 It goes into the same directions as Jim Weirich’s talk about the Y combinator.

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OnePlus One Screen Repair

After almost three years I the glass of my OnePlus One broke. A repair shop in town refused to repair it, because it was a “not  so common” model (i.e. no Apple or Samsung phone).

The good thing is there’re several tear-down/screen replacement guides on the Internet. Also the screen + touch digitizer assembly + tools can be ordered from Amazon (for around 40€).

The phone is fairly easy to disassemble, and there’re tons of videos showing you the step by step (dis-)assembly.

There’s not much adhesives and it’s not very strong, so they’re not much of an issue (except the one for the battery, see below).

There’re still a few points to look out for:

  • the adhesive for the battery will deform the red wrapper around the battery
  • beware of the antenna connector behind the main board
  • don’t remove the ear piece speaker. It will more easily come apart than come out (and cost you around 3-5 € and 2-6 weeks of waiting time for a replacement) … been there, done that. 😐
  • there’s a thin black frame around the screen, don’t remove it. It has a small ledge on the inside where the screen assembly is fixed to with adhesive.
  • It’s quite a tedious task to heat up the corners of the screen frame and remove the old screen especially if it has splintered … and splinters of glass in the corners are the worst. 😫

In the end I managed to repair it, but the ribbon cable coming from the display is 3-5mm to long so it’s pushing on the display from below. After a few days one side of display separated from the adhesive tape below opening a gap. 😕

Comparing Signal-protocol-using messengers

There’re still privacy differences when you compare messenger apps all using the Signal protocol:

In this article, I’m going to compare WhatsApp, Signal, and Allo from a privacy perspective.

While all three apps use the same secure-messaging protocol, they differ on exactly what information is encrypted, what metadata is collected, and what, precisely, is stored in the cloud — and therefore available, in theory at least, to government snoops and wily hackers.

In the end, I’m going to advocate you use Signal whenever you can — which actually may not end up being as often as you would like.