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Programming: DebDialer, Python Unicode Mess, Plain Old Documentation (pod) and TLCockpit

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Development
  • DebDialer : Handling phone numbers on Linux Desktops | GSoC 2018

    This summer I had the chance to contribute to Debian as a part of GSoC. I built a desktop application, debdialer for handling tel: URLs and (phone numbers in general) on the Linux Desktop. It is written in Python 3.5.2 and uses PyQt4 to display a popup window. Alternatively, there is also a no-gui option that uses dmenu for input and terminal for output. There is also a modified apk of KDE-Connect to link debdialer with the user’s Android Phone. The pop-up window has numeric and delete buttons, so the user can either use the GUI or keyboard to modify numbers.

  • The Python Unicode Mess

    Unicode has solved a lot of problems. Anyone that remembers the mess of ISO-8859-* vs. CP437 (and of course it’s even worse for non-Western languages) can attest to that. And of course, these days they’re doing the useful work of…. codifying emojis.

    Emojis aside, things aren’t all so easy. Today’s cause of pain: Python 3. So much pain.

    Python decided to fully integrate Unicode into the language. Nice idea, right?

    But here come the problems. And they are numerous.

  • Plain Old Documentation (pod) – write documentation for Perl, Perl software, and Perl modules

    Plain Old Documentation (known as pod) is a simple, lightweight markup language used for writing documentation for Perl, Perl programs, and Perl modules. This markup language is designed to make it easy for programmers to add documentation to their software and modules.

    Pod markup consists of three basic kinds of paragraphs: ordinary, verbatim, command. There’s also a data paragraph.

  • TLCockpit v1.0

    Today I released v1.0 of TLCockpit, the GUI front-end for the TeX Live Manager tlmgr.

    [...]

    CTAN and will soon be available via tlmgr update. As usual, please use the issue page of the github project to report problems.

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Security: Nest Lockout, Moment of Truth for Cyber Insurance, DNS Hijacking Attacks and Australian Cracking

  • Nest is locking customers out of accounts until they fix their security

    Emails were sent last night to all users that may have been affected by recent [breaches], with a new password being mandatory, as it tries to avoid the "I'll do it later" attitude that means that often vulnerable passwords remain in use for months or years.

  • A Moment of Truth for Cyber Insurance

    Mondelez’s claim represents just a fraction of the billions of dollars in collateral damage caused by NotPetya, a destructive, indiscriminate cyberattack of unprecedented scale, widely suspected to have been launched by Russia with the aim of hurting Ukraine and its business partners. A compromised piece of Ukrainian accounting software allowed NotPetya to spread rapidly around the world, disrupting business operations and causing permanent damage to property of Mondelez and many others. According to reports, Zurich apparently rejected Mondelez’s claim on the grounds that NotPetya was an act of war and, therefore, excluded from coverage under its policy agreement. If the question of whether and how war risk exemptions apply is left to the courts to decide on a case-by-case basis, this creates a profound source of uncertainty for policyholders about the coverage they obtain.

  • A Deep Dive on the Recent Widespread DNS Hijacking Attacks

    The U.S. government — along with a number of leading security companies — recently warned about a series of highly complex and widespread attacks that allowed suspected Iranian hackers to siphon huge volumes of email passwords and other sensitive data from multiple governments and private companies. But to date, the specifics of exactly how that attack went down and who was hit have remained shrouded in secrecy.

    This post seeks to document the extent of those attacks, and traces the origins of this overwhelmingly successful cyber espionage campaign back to a cascading series of breaches at key Internet infrastructure providers.

  • With elections weeks away, someone “sophisticated” [cracked] Australia’s politicians

    With elections just three months away, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on February 18 that the networks of the three major national political parties had been breached by what Australian security officials described as a "sophisticated state actor."

  • Australia's major political parties [cracked] in 'sophisticated' attack ahead of election

    Sources are describing the level of sophistication as "unprecedented" but are unable to say yet which foreign government is behind the attack.

  • Parliament attackers appear to have used Web shells

    Attackers who infiltrated the Australian Parliament network and also the systems of the Liberal, National and Labor Parties appear to have used Web shells – scripts that can be uploaded to a Web server to enable remote administration of a machine.

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