N-Blox Reloaded…

January 20, 2009 at 12:29 am | Posted in arbit, chappar, criticism, Ethics, Internet, nitk, protocol, Visions | Leave a comment
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Not exactly a post. [ Ergo, something better.]
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[Btw, My hiatus is surprisingly, not due to a writer’s block. This is your chance. Enjoy while it lasts…For be warned, Soon, I’ll be back. With my regular doses of textual – harassment. Phew, I can’t be booked for that] /************************************************************************************************/
My love for tetris has been documented pretty well over here. So I’ll not kutch further.

I discovered N-Blox some days ago, when chappar , wanting to get some cheap highs, was looking at psychedelic visuals on this site. And sent it to me.

Turns out Paul Neave is a brilliant Flash designer, with a passion for Retro games. Kewl. And I found Tetris. Blissh.

The gameplay is superb[ Considering that there’s not much scope for innovation]. But as it turns out, Neave is a bit of a N*gger [ Southpark fundaes]. With the sole intent of pissing off fans, he sets out and puts a score_reset which is called at the stroke of midnight.

I could think of only a few possible excuses that he could have.

  • Probably to save on diskspace of the scores.txt file. [Wtf]
  • To give every newbie a chance to figure on the highscore board. Turns out they already do. Through simple,stupid, “Injection” techniques. [Come on, Man you…]
  • “It’s my game.”  “Respect Mah Authoritah“…[ Awesome ]

Well, the third reason seemed the most logical, and we laud his spunk n all that, but we didn’t like it in principle. He could have at least given people the source code and allow us to tinker with it. But that’s his choice and we respect that.

But, we did want the game.

So, The php whiz from college, and myself, tweaked around the flash file for a while to send the scores to a different location. And the php to receive, process the scores at this remote location, and send back the results back to the flash file. No edits to the gameplay/graphics. Honest.

Did someone miss a beat? Never mind, Let me beat you again.

Me n php? Ha ha…

Well, truth be told, he did both of those. Great work dude, and btw, the Inci site rocks, as usual.

And me, with my stupendous Html skills, set up an oldschool website, which is approximately Web 0.2. So, enjoy Nblox on the site shown below ( while it lasts), and u get to post ur highscore as well.

So, without much ado, here’s N-Blox Reloaded peoples…

Phree Publicity: Check out http://byethost.com/   Free, and Hassle-free webhosting, with php support, and nice technical support as well.

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BAD, Very BAD…

September 14, 2008 at 2:20 pm | Posted in criticism, Politics, protocol, Technical | 1 Comment
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      A standard procedure when the comment to a post grows longer than the post and is mostly disconnected to it, is to write a new one. Hence drawing from this, I continue.

      The Monty analogy fits the situation perfectly. Resilience at its stupid best.

      And now there is this new thread that Narendra Modi had pre-warned the PM, and M.K.Narayanan – the N.S.A , regarding a clear threat to Delhi. Several people might wonder why Modi didn’t bring this out to the public.

      The idea of any intelligence/security related pre-warnings is that the government/authority is to be made aware of it before a public disclosure. Standard protocol.

       As an analogy it is something followed even by white-hat hackers/ exploit researchers as well. The 30-90 day disclosure rule. So that the vendor [ in this case , the Government of India ] can act on it much in advance, without tipping off the adversaries.

       So, this brings an interesting situation. Why, even in the face of an imminent threat, was there no clear cut action taken? Why are bombs defused only after some go off?.. and so on.

I would completely understand if this is just the Home ministry going lax, on what is just a tiny issue of National Security. But if this is childish cross-party obstinate behaviour, something that we are all to used to by now, it raises some serious concerns.

        Especially since the PM wants to create a Federal Agency to tackle terror. A federal agency is built on the premise of state-centre co-operation pertaining to every aspect regarding the security of the nation. Now, if this isn’t a major example of a BAD game of Chinese Whispers, I’m not sure what else to call it.

        Now, to the newly cropped up development of hacking Wi-Fi Networks, and then using that to send terror emails to media organizations.

        Wi-Fi networks are not safe. Lets face it. For chrissakes, there have even been comic strips about it.

For a government that is so obsessed with getting a backdoor entry into the 256-AES encryption algorithms used by RIM-Blackberry , isn’t this a bigger and more feasible a threat to ignore?

         I mean, an absconding tech-trained terrorist would find it a piece-of-nilgiri-cake work to hack into some fat-american’s un-protected wifi network, than strut around with a neat Blackberry sending Indian Mujahiddeen mails on the fly.

          Then, there is the issue of security pepped up all around the major cities as soon as an attack is done. Previously, there used to be a large time-frame between two attacks. So, it was almost passable that the security didn’t know it was coming.

           Now, that attacks are happening just weeks apart, one wonders, what exactly this pepping up is all about.

           For an honourable minister of India ( Kapil Sibal @ War of Words to Arun Jaitley ) to tell that these attacks are a result of the BJP’s antics in Gujarat 2002, is nothing short of a lame excuse. These do nothing other than incite a political flame-war, doing more harm than good. What any party at the centre needs to realize is that the situation has changed drastically since 2002.

           For the major worry, in the recent set of attacks, is the choice of soft-targets. Be it local trains, or busy markets; hospitals, or bus stops. As one Mr.Das of the TOI puts it, prior to POTA being removed, most attacks were by so-called Pakistani para-troopers, militants born, brought-up, and trained in Pakistan. Post-POTA has seen an influx of home-grown terrorism.

           I’m not stupid to believe that Correlation implies Causation . That is the job for conspiracy theorists. All I say, is that current mechanisms are not adequate. If the POTA was a draconian law, improve upon it. We don’t need something as uncivilised as the U.S. Patriot act, but we sure need something effective and soon.

          India has seen different methods of attack over its resplendent history. It has survived through each of them, and in most cases, has emerged out stronger.Unfortunately, that opinion is being shattered in the wake of these recent developments.

          In dark and troubled times such as these, the country should stay united and focussed, sense should prevail, and actions be taken at the earliest, lest these insane acts crumble the beautiful ethos of the nation, that is India.

 

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As of writing this post, there have been two major updates:- (September 22, 2008)

Update 1: Indian Government successfully installs Deep Packet Inspection. This means better sniffing of all your emails in realtime. Yay. Read here.

 

Update 2: IB has successfully cracked the BlackBerry Code. Without help from RIM of course. Yay Yay.

Read here.

 

Both of these developments happened after yours truly wrote this post.

But as I said before, I am not implying  that “correlation implies causation”. 🙂 🙂

Some quondam Protocols

December 15, 2006 at 5:53 pm | Posted in protocol | Leave a comment

For the Angrezi Mein Weak – Quondam means “Belonging to some prior time”. It’s pronounced as you commonly know it.
I was browsing across the web ( what’s new?), and came across these connecting protocols of the yester years.I knew of them before itself, but did not know that they still existed.

  • Gopher:- It’s a searchable, information directory that was created in 1991 at Minnesota.For the history and technical details read Gopher
    This was popular till about 1994 . That’s when the WWW took over, owing to the rich interface and easy to use addresses. However Gopher enthusiasts, mainly in the academic and military community still continue to support and run this on many servers. The best part is since it is UNIX/Linux based,Mozilla and hence FIREFOX still support it. The addresses are like gopher://something. IE7 officially stopped recognizing the gopher protocol. The search engine for Gopher is VERONICA( a funny acronymn, check it out).Currently only one server for this exists. A site named floodgate maintains the list of servers supporting gopher currently. There is suppposedly one in INDIA , (will have to check that out).
  • TELNET:-This is a communications protocol created in 1969.For history and tech-details read TELNET. Largely UNIX based, considered very prone to security attacks, Used for Handshake protocols also. The Bulletin Board Systems of the 80’s were also based on TELNET. Currently very uncommon. Almost extensively replaced by SSH, (also on UNIX).
    Have you heard of a ftp client called “Putty”?. It supports SSH as well as telnet.
    Windows still has it inbuilt.

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