Categories
Furry Fandom

Extinguishing a Flaming Pile of Bad Takes on My Doorstep

There’s an old adage on the Internet: “Don’t feed the trolls.” The reasoning for such an argument is kind of a proof by induction if you squint hard enough at its structure: If you don’t feed the trolls, they’ll have to look elsewhere to get the engagement they crave. If you iterate the advice and […]

Categories
Software Security

EduTech Spyware is Still Spyware: Proctorio Edition

Spyware written for educational institutions to flex their muscles of control over students and their families when learning from their home computer is still, categorically, spyware. Depending on your persuasion, the previous sentence sounds like either needless pedantry, or it reads like tautology. But we need to be clear on our terms. Educational spyware is […]

Categories
Cryptography

Designing New Cryptography for Non-Standard Threat Models

Since the IETF’s CFRG decided to recommend OPAQUE as a next-generation Password Authenticated Key Exchange, there has been a lot of buzz in the cryptography community about committing authenticated encryption (known to the more academically inclined as Random Key Robustness), because OPAQUE requires an RKR-secure AE scheme. Random Key Robustness is a property that some […]

Categories
Cryptography Software Security

Soatok’s Guide to Side-Channel Attacks

If you’re ever tasked with implementing a cryptography feature–whether a high-level protocol or a low-level primitive–you will have to take special care to ensure you’re not leaking secret information through side-channels. The descriptions of algorithms you learn in a classroom or textbook are not sufficient for real-world use. (Yes, that means your toy RSA implementation […]

Categories
Furry Fandom

Amazing Furry Animators on YouTube

Being a furry is like: Every once in a while, you’ll stumble across an enormous contingent of the furry fandom that you were entirely unaware of for years. Sure, you’d expect artists to be furry, but when you’ve run down the checklist of possible hobbies or professions to the point that furry doctors, furry lawyers, […]

Categories
Society Uncategorized

A Few Missing Lessons from American Education

As American students are preparing to return to the classroom during a pandemic–in flagrant disregard of everything ranging from our scientific understanding to matters of good taste–we keep hearing from politicians how essential education is. Of course, if they actually believed the words coming out of their mouth, you’d expect them to be a little […]

Categories
Furry Fandom

All About Dholes and Dhole Fursonas

Some of you may be surprised to learn that my fursona is not a fox, nor a wolf; nor is it a fictitious fox-wolf hybrid popular within the furry fandom (which is usually called a “folf”). No, my fursona is a dhole, which is a real species of endangered wild dogs from Southeast Asia. The […]

Categories
Cryptography

A Brief Opinionated Overview of NIST’s Post-Quantum Cryptography Round 3 Candidates

Earlier this week, NIST announced Round 3 of the Post-Quantum Cryptography project and published their rationale for selecting from the Round 2 candidates. NIST did something clever this time, and Round 3 was separated into two groups: Finalists and Alternative Candidates. Finalists are algorithms that NIST (and the majority of the cryptographers involved in NIST’s […]

Categories
Uncategorized

A Canned Response to My Viral Tweet

This is a bit different from my usual blog post, insofar as I don’t have much of a point except that I’m tired of repeating myself. The other day, I was frustrated about Pinterest clogging up the Google Image Search results and tweeted a really simple and well-known life-hack to counteract their search engine manipulation. […]

Categories
Technology

Dorking Your Way to Search Results That Don’t Suck

I recently needed to find an image that I didn’t have saved on my computer in order to share with a group chat. For laughs. Naturally, I did the first thing most of us do when that happens: I typed the query into Google’s Image Search. To my dismay, all of the first results were […]