* Posts by Richard Kettlewell

12 posts • joined 5 Jan 2008

Going viral 9,500 years ago: 'English descended from ancient Turkey'

Richard Kettlewell

It doesn’t seem particularly likely that a single paper is going to shift the views of large numbers of linguists on this point!

(If anyone’s interested in more detail) a good recent presentation of the kurgan hypothesis is David Anthony’s _The Horse, The Wheel And Language_ (ISBN 0691058873); a (compressed) summary of the argument against the anatolian hypothesis is that the relationships between wheel-related words in IE languages indicate that PIE speakers had the wheel, and that this is inconsistent with the timeline of the anatolian hypothesis on archaeological grounds. The argument in favour of the steppe origin in particular is based on (according to my notes l-) farming-related vocabulary and relationships with other eurasian language groups.

Colin Renfrew has a decent book holding the opposing view, though it’s getting on a bit now - I don’t know if there’s anything more recent.

Provider: Anti-piracy ruling has 'killed Usenet'

Richard Kettlewell

I have wondered for some time how NSPs carrying the binaries groups got away with it; the service they are selling is quite obviously piracy.

BT on site-blocking: Every case will need a court order

Richard Kettlewell


I've long been curious why the MPAA (etc) don't go after the NSPs directly, rather than wasting their time on indexing sites. As far as I know there aren't even that many of them (that actually carry binaries groups).

Apple yanks C64 emulator from App Store

Richard Kettlewell

odd policy

A BASIC interpreter is not allowed but a 6510 interpreter is? Something doesn't quite add up there.

Clever attack exploits fully-patched Linux kernel

Richard Kettlewell


What would be nice would be a -Wdeleted-null-pointer-checks (and similarly for any other optimization options that infer that certain bits of code can be deleted). Then it would be possible to have the optimization without also the risk of bugs.

Ready or not, IPv6 is coming

Richard Kettlewell

making IPv6 a requirement

The US DoD decided to transition to IPv6 by 2008. I don't know if they met their deadline though...

Crypto hash boffins trip on buffer overflow

Richard Kettlewell

"current hash standards such as MD4, MD5, and SHA-0"

MD4 and MD5 haven't been "current" for some time (though MD5 keeps popping up like a bad penny) and SHA-0 was replaced by SHA-1 in 1995.

Apple's Mac OS X update breaks Perl

Richard Kettlewell

Seems unsurprising

If I'm reading this and the associated blog post right, it's saying that if you mess with the system's Perl outside its knowledge then things will break on update. Which seems less than surprising.

Heaviest Virgin Media downloaders face new daytime go-slow

Richard Kettlewell

"no download limits"

http://allyours.virginmedia.com/websales/service.do?id=2 currently claims "no download limits". While it may be true that there's no limit after which you're cut off or have to pay more, a limit after which your bandwidth is reduced is a limit nonetheless.

Debian fixes serious crypto bug

Richard Kettlewell

register comment form insists on a title

Ironically, the diff posted above (with #ifdef PURIFY) is the harmless half of change 141. It was the change to ssleay_rand_add() that was a disaster, not the change to ssleay_rand_bytes(), which is harmless.

Richard Kettlewell

regarding #363516

The bug report reference is correct, but the patch in it is not the problematic change (read the patch in the context of the code it changes if you're unsure about this). The Debian maintainer ignored it and made their own change elsewhere.

It's also not in fact true that OpenSSL upstream were not consulted about it; indeed it seems Kurt got a go-ahead (http://marc.info/?l=openssl-dev&m=114652287210110&w=2) in a response from a member of the OpenSSL development team.

Camouflaged code threatens security apps

Richard Kettlewell

multiple hash

Using multiple hash functions turns out not to improve things as much as one might expect. IIRC the paper showing this is by one Antoine Joux.

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