Friday, October 17, 2008

So, turns out I'm social-liberal. What a surprise... NOT.

Du bist ein

(78% permissive)

und ein...

Sozialer Markwirtschaftler
(43% permissive)

YAm besten beschreibt man dich als einen:


Link: Der Politiktest an Ok Cupid
Also: Der OkCupid Dating Typ Test

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A security idea...

While reading about the latest ATM card skimmers (which apparently send your card details via SMS to the thieves), I got an idea.

Traditionally, security of physical objects is certified by a sticker which acts as a seal... you see the sticker, it's not broken, you know the device hasn't been tampered with. But of course with modern color laser printers, you can easily forge such a sticker, and the resulting arms race with watermarks etc. will make the stickers prohibitevly expensive, with no real security gain (ever examined all security marks on a bank note? Do you even KNOW all of them by heart?).

So my idea is a little different... by using 2-dimensional barcodes (QR-codes and suchlike) you can put digital information onto a sticker, and a small handheld device like a mobile phone can be used to make that information visible. Now... what if you'd take some form of identification (ATM location, serial number, stuff that a customer can easily verify), digitally sign that information, and put that onto a sticker?

By doing this, you give the customer something he can verify himself (aforementioned ATM location, serial number, whatever), and a means to verify that the sticker wasn't forged (since it has a digital signature). The stickers could be easily made individually for every sealed object, all you need is a common label printer, a laptop and some software.

The only problem still to solve would be what identification marks to use that people could use to verify that this sticker really certifies THIS object - one possibility would be embossing serial numbers on all critical parts, for example right above the slot for the ATM card. This would effectively prevent a card skimmer being glued on top, as this would hide the serial number, and the sticker and embossed serial number would at least create an obstacle to the criminals - they'd have to emboss the serial to each of their card skimmers, making them effectively single-use, AND they'd still not be able to forge the security sticker (which would therefore not be attached to the ATM AND the fake faceplate).

Managing myself..

Trying to get myself more organised, as I noticed myself getting more and more swamped in work, I was loosing track of all the stuff that needed doing both at work and at home.
But even with New Year months away, I took steps to remedy that...
1) Read "Time Management for Sysadmins" (Remarkable book, quite recommended!)
2) Started using Remember The Milk as my primary Todo-list manager instead of merely relying on my Outlook schedule at work
3) Syncing Outlook to Remember The Milk using Milksync frequently
4) Started carrying a PDA again, or at least keep my Mobile handy to jot down new tasks immediately before forgetting them again (RTM allows for adding tasks through email or Twitter)
I'm already seeing the first benefits, as I don't discover "Oh, I have to do THAT, too - damn, almost forgotten that" anymore, plus I get a nice list of things I've finished, which for work tasks means I got documentation to show to $PHB, too :-)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

My collection is complete...

Just to make a few people envious, I've bought a new (and so far my most expensive) replica gun.

It's a Classic Army SAR M41, replica of the Schwabenarms M41, which in turn is the civilian version of the H&K G3.

Therefore, I've just about finished my collection - I now got one full set of combat gear of the Bundeswehr as issued 1993, when I did my military service.

Note to other collectors - yes, the flak jacket DOES have flecktarn camo - that's correct for that time period! Back then we were issued with normal green uniforms and gear, and a brand new green nylon backpack, but the flak jacket itself never was produced in plain green for some reason... the other camo uniform parts were just being phased in, but training units didn't rate new uniforms - but no old flak jackets existed.

That's the Army for you ;-)
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