By Collin Allen

Secure Communication

July 31, 2005

An interesting article describes how scientists are using a single beam of photons to create a “secure” data line, as opposed to lasers, which emit many streams. How having a single beam helps make it more secure, I’m not quite certain. I would guess that if you could intercept one beam of photons from a laser, it would be possible to intercept the single one as well.

The security of information depends on the properties of light that is used to transmit data. Laser beams which are used at the moment send billions of photons, making it easy for hackers to steal some of them and break the code, said Rabeau.

Despite their efforts, this won’t stop people from writing their passwords down beside the sending or receiving computer at either end. The weakest link of the chain is often the people involved, not the technology. That’s not to say it isn’t susceptible to attack, but unfortunately all the advanced technology in the world can’t stop the power of a Post-It. [via digg]


July 28, 2005

While I’d like to keep this a Mac-oriented site, I can’t help but chuckle at how fast technology gets cracked. Case in point: Several days ago, Microsoft launched their Windows Genuine Advantage program which ensures that only real, licensed copies of Windows can receive updates. Pirated copies of Windows will only be able to get patches up to the launch of the WGA program, but will be left behind from future updates. Not anymore.

It’s always a bad idea to tout your product as uncrackable. Doing so is nothing more than a big, blinking, neon sign attracting talented individuals to try their best to break it. I can’t think of a piece of technology yet that hasn’t been cracked in some way. Xbox, PSP, TiVo, and software activation of all sorts have been cracked…

Dockless hotTunes

July 25, 2005

I’ve found a way to make my favorite iTunes controller, hotTunes, disappear from the Dock while running. While I’m sure it’s unsupported, it seems to work quite well for me. Using Dockless, you can make any Mac OS X application invisible in the Dock, and it works on hotTunes just as well as any other app.

ChapterTool for Gapless Audio

July 23, 2005

Here’s a unique use for ChapterTool: combine audio tracks from a “gapless” audio CD into one file, but maintain chapters as different songs. Combining songs in this way lets you play the album straight through without gaps, but still allows the choice of song by skipping though chapters. The iPod image near the bottom makes it quite clear as to how it works. Check out the tutorial on wanderingFocus.

iMac LC III on G4TV

July 22, 2005

While watching the recent items in my iTunes podcast subscriptions, I saw Phil Torrone (of MAKE Magazine) mention some hacks on G4/TechTV’s Attack of the Show. While describing the philosophy behind the magazine, one of the items he featured was my iMac LC III hack, where I fit the parts of a gumdrop shaped iMac into an LC III case and made it work. This totally made my day.