» Ben

Heartbleed Wasn't a Single Bug

Ben Mesander The heartbleed bug in OpenSSL has been all over the news. XKCD perhaps had the most succinct explanation. I’d like to take a deeper look at this bug and the process that allowed it to be created. Catastrophic failures are often caused by a chain of…

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Using UDP in Internet-of-Things Devices

Ben Mesander I recently read this article by John Carbone about using UDP in embedded systems. The advice in the article is accurate, but there are some other issues to consider when designing UDP based protocols in embedded systems that Carbone did not address.…

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The Difference between HMAC and MAC

Ben Mesander Hash-based message authentication code, or HMAC, is an important building block for proving that data transmitted between the components of a system has not been tampered with. HMAC is a widely used cryptographic technology. I recently came across it…

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More thoughts on security and the Internet of Things

Ben Mesander Attacks that are initially restricted to the realm of esoteric, government-backed spooks become accessible over time to run-of-the-mill cybercriminals. Take, for example, the Linux.Darlloz worm, which attacks embedded devices and is interesting for a…

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Some Programming Gems from the Healthcare Website

Ben Mesander One of my partners pointed this Slate article out to me about healthcare.gov. It is clear at this point that there have been a ton of embarrassing problems with the rollout of this site. I don’t want to get into the politics of healthcare, but I do…

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Inter-thread Communication without a Mutex

Ben Mesander A simple way to avoid mutex-locking issues is to not use mutexes. This post describes a simple technique for passing objects between threads in a thread-safe manner without mutexes, which makes the entire class of possible mutex-related errors imposs…

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Google is feeling creepy

Ben Mesander When you enable location access, Android says “Allow Google’s location service to collect anonymous location data. Some data may be stored on your device. Collection may occur even when no apps are running.” This seems both fair and harmless, s…

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Understanding the Cyclic Redundancy Check

Ben Mesander CRC stands for Cyclic Redundancy Check—an error-detecting code used to determine if a block of data has been corrupted. The mathematics behind CRCs initially appears daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.I’d like to present an alternative explana…

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Using Windows Movie Maker with the Kodak Zi8

Ben Mesander In a previous blog post, I mentioned I had a Kodak Zi8 video camera. This past weekend, I decided I wanted to try Windows Movie Maker (WMM) to edit videos produced with it, instead of the built-in Arcsoft MediaImpression software that the camera inst…

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The h.264 Sequence Parameter Set

Ben Mesander This is a follow-up to my World’s Smallest h.264 Encoder post. I’ve received several emails asking about precise details of things in two entities in the h.264 bitstream: the Sequence Parameter Set (SPS) and the Picture Parameter Set (PPS). Both…

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Posted In: Ben, Video
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