17 October 2017

KUL team cracks WPA2

The crypto team at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven found a flaw in WIFI encryption, compromising its security. Anyone who can capture the signals during the handshake can decrypt the traffic and in some configurations insert and modify data sent over the protocol.
The crack replays message 3 (of 4) in the handshake of WPA2 that establishes the crypto channel.  The message is used to reinstall the encryption key and reset the nonce and replay counters.
Linux and Anroid implementations suffer most from the attack as another bug sets the new key to all zero's rendering decryption trivial.
The protocol can be patched in a backward compatible way. Look out for updates on all your WIFI devices!

11 October 2017

Oracle handing over java products and standards

Oracle is reducing its Java costs and commitment. The latest platform releases (Java SE 9 and Java EE 8) were surprisingly low key.
With the releases out of the door, Oracle is drastically reducing its teams and handing over control of related products.

Given that the EE spec moves to an organisation whose main product is a Java IDE, Apache seems a second choice for Netbeans, where it can rest in peace.
Only remaining question: with Oracle giving up control over the enterprise Java libraries, how long will it take before the language will be moved out?

6 May 2017

MS Word: keep tables on one page

Page breaks are an annoyance in word. Whenever you update your document they shift and mess up your layout.
Easily to avoid this by using the paragraph properties keep with next & keep lines together (and I don't know why these do not appear in the ribbon for east access).
But for some reason I never got tables to work with this.
Easy enough to select the table with the little cross in the left top that appears on hovering and setting the paragraph properties, but they did not take effect.
In a document with many small tables they kept on splitting across pages, and I had to revert to page breaks.
It appears that you have to make sure that in the table properties Text Wrapping is set to None. Now all is well!

29 March 2017

powerpoint: swap presenter view and demo

When presenting on windows, switching between a powerpoint (2016) presentation and a demo is problematic.

The goal

During a presentation I am projecting the slides in extended view behind my back to the audience and have the presenter view on my laptop in front of me.
When I switch to a demo I want to duplicate my laptop screen to the projector.
I want to swap easily between both modes.

The Problem

I set up my PC in extended view (F8 on my laptop)  and start the presentation: the full slide is projected and the presenter screen is on my laptop: fine.
When I start a demo, I duplicate my screen. The demo shows up in front of me and on the extended projected view: fine
When I switch back from demo view (duplicate screen) to extended view, the powerpoint presentation does not migrate back to the extended view.

The solution (sort of)

  1. Switch back to extended view
  2. right mouse menu in powerpoint presentation>duplicate slide show: the presentation is now shown in extended view (projector) and on my screen
  3. right mouse menu in powerpoint presentation>show presenter view: the presenter view is on my laptop, the full slide is on the projector.
I reach the result I want. Only this takes three steps. Isn't there more fluent way to do such a common task?

9 February 2017

UK: insurance for self driving cars

UK plans to have a car insurance that does not care whether you or the car is driving. In both cases, an accident is an accident, and you are insured either way by a uniform car insurance.
This is a major step towards the general acceptance of self driving cars.