Toward Long Term Article Availability

This site has been publishing many articles and documentations from various topics, and I have recently found that older articles are attracting many page views.

Today, I am kicking off new project of converting those articles for permanent storage, in the form of textual format of TeX, and PDF.

To ensure referencing (links) from those articles are more stable, I will try to cite documentation utilizing system such as BibTeX.

With this process:

  • Articles will be available in a more accessible format. TeX is a text markup format that will be viewable even when software to read the article may not be available.
  • More appropriate citing will ensure each referencing will be more to the point.
  • Output will be properly typeset, making it more consistent experience.

While this project won’t produce anything close to academic papers out there as most of my contents are casual in nature, the aim is to provide something useful to public by offering information that can be referenced from various venues.

More information about this project will be available when some of my articles are done converting for publication.

A Statement Regarding Interview by NHK of Japan About Tor Technology

This is a document originally written on September 20th, regarding interview about Tor conducted by NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation)

Written on 9/20/2012

I’ve received inquiries from NHK (Nippon Housou Kyoukai) regarding interview they want to do with me. As they will be having a discussion of anonymizing technology in their show called Science Zero to be aired on October 7th, they wanted to do a segment with me, in the topic of why use Tor.

I maintain information site for GnuPG in Japanese and advocacy of information technology is a big thing for me, thus, I accepted their inquiry to appear on TV.

The interview itself was conducted over Google Hangout, for about an hour. Being myself not used to those press interviews, there were times I have explained things for quite a bit of time. (They wanted something simple.)

And this is what happened so far.

So answering their questions, why use Tor, first point is that it is useful when searching for “questionable” matters. (For instance, I am interested in military technologies, like submarines) I feel it is a real threat as in post-9/11 era, information that used to be public is now obscured. Also, eavesdropping capability of NSA is improving in recent year, it is a real fear my activity online would be interpreted in pieces, causing misunderstandings. Another point is simply that the importance of this type of technology only increases over time. I am not sure how they will be using my interview footage, but I wanted to write few words about it.

I am in a stance that information itself should never be incriminating. It is more of the statement that what matters if what action people take with these information in hand, and it’s not the information itself that is a crime. This is also related to freedom of the speech, but regulating information itself will inevitably infringe such freedom of the speech. This is because globally speaking, the only way to protect your own free speech is to also protect someone else.

It is very challenging to describe question of why use Tor without myself sounding like a conspiracy theorist. In practicality, deep webs, such as Hidden Service and Freenet are also important to cover, but as a scope of this interview, I mainly explained it in context of Tor use in public web. (As deep web is not easily perceived by the general public, it would require its own session to explain about it.)

These technologies are in surge of being more important, and I am looking forward to see how this is covered in the show.

More opinions to come after viewing the show.

[ Updated 9/24 ]
NHK just wrote to me that they had to cut my segment due to time constraints. Bummer, but oh well.

An encrypted version of this document is released first and key will be released on certain days (when they have the show listed with the topic on their webpage) so everyone can decrypt. For verification, a passphrase for decrypting encrypted version of this document as follows:

gOsuUwhhUPb6FUBvBW

http://int.tumblr.com/
http://google.com/+HidekiSaito

This document is released under Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported (CC BY-ND 3.0).

Errata

  • Grammatical changes but overall meaning should be same.
  • Terminology fix: Darkweb -> Deepweb
  • Few hyperlinks are added.

Pros and Cons of Operating Systems I Use

I use multiple operating system, and I thought I’d share my personal opinion about each of platforms.

Windows

+ Well supported platforms with plenty of drivers — hardwares are well supported
+ Most of games are for Windows
– When something goes wrong, it is hard to diagnose the issue
– Upkeep is expensive
– CUI is not as advanced as other offerings
– Shutdown takes forever in some configuration
– Going toward managed platform (WindowsRT, Metro, etc.)
Artificial RAM limit is imposed to each editions

Mac OS X

+ Good combination of nice GUI and UNIX platform
+ Many commercial software available
+ Relatively low cost of upkeep. (although hardware tends to be expensive)
+ Powerful CUI support
– Memory managements need work — requires frequent “purging” of memory
– Limited hardware support
– Often offers subpar usability when living outside of Apple eco-system.
– Going toward managed platform (heavily discouraging sideloading of applications)

Linux (Ubuntu)

+ Good platform management
+ Fast boot and shutdown
+ Good out-of-box experience with access to many (and mostly free) software from built-in software management scheme
+ Troubleshooting is relatively simpler as it exposes errors more than other platforms.
+ Upkeep is next to nothing
+ Powerful CUI support
– Hardware support tends to be very polarizing
– Sometimes resorting to more user-unfriendly config is required in some hard-to-diagnose issues
– Poor availability of commercial software

Chrome OS

+ Simple and fast
– Limited hardware support (OEM only)

Back to WordPress

I’ve moved Hideki’s Random Stuff back to WordPress. It was Drupal based until yesterday.

Drupal is not a bad system, and in some ways, I like it better than WordPress. (and I still use it for some projects, too.)

During transition, most of posts are preserved, however comments are gone. (but it should be fairly minimum as hardly anyone was commenting on this system.) But if you are affected, sorry about that.

Summer 2011 Animes I’m Watching

As shown on my watchlist.

I’m continuing to watch:

New anime this seasons I’m now watchings are:

I really didn’t have much of high expectation when I started watching Usagi Drop. I do like it so far. It’d be interesting to see how the story progresses. The Idol Master, I haven’t played the game, and I don’t know much about it — I am happy to finally get to see characters that I have heard about; it’s more like, “ohh, that’s the girl who’s fond of digging a hole to bury herself in.” Characters looking good from what I’ve seen in the past, it looks quite faithful to the original version. YuruYuri is strange. I’m not so much into yuri stuff, but it’s funny.Moritasan wa Mukuchi is very short, like 3 minutes, but I guess that what makes it good. It’s a bite sized fun. R-15 is relatively mature themed, but not too much. Will they be removing those white censors for DVD release or what? And finally, the Mystic Archive of Dantelian is worth watching just by the fact that Miyuki Sawashiro does Dalian’s voice.
From the last season, I finished watching A Bridge to the Starry Skies (星空へ架かる橋). It seems like there have been some critics, mainly from people who have played the game version. Not knowing the game version, it was quite typical story executed fairly decently, though being 13-episodes show, it was bit rushed in my opinion.

How to Use SSH Tunneling on Chrome OS


Google Chrome OS has built-in shell called crosh, and I have discovered stable release of Chrome OS has built-in SSH subsystem.
Connecting to SSH host is easy part, a little different from typical SSH command line.
Here are steps:

  1. Launch crosh by pressing Ctrl-Alt-T
  2. Type in ssh
  3. Depending on SSH server in question, you may have to supply different set of information to this interactive shell:
    • host [hostname]
    • user [username]
    • port [port number] (if the host is using anything other than standard SSH port)
    • dynamic-forward [port number] (with this example, I will use port number of 8800, thus dynamic-forward 8800)
    • key [key file name] (if the host requires private key)
    • nocmd (this prevents shell on the host to launch, because for the port forwarding, you do not need this.)
  4. Type in connect
  5. Type in password of the server, or passphrase to the secret key

These steps would establish the connection to the SSH server, forwarding port 8800 as SOCKS port.
The problem is ChromeOS currently does not support SOCKS5 configuration from its UI. Therefore, you will have to do little bit of workaround. (It only supports SOCKS4, if you specify SOCKS proxy through UI — this is bad because this means DNS resolution takes place locally, which could result in potential security risk as whoever on the network you have connected could redirect DNS requests.) Chrome OS supports SOCKS5 internally, but since there is no UI to configure it, it needs to be configured through Proxy Auto Config. This allows SOCKS5 proxy to be supplied to ChromeOS, which makes it resolve to remote host.
Here's a configuration file that will force ChromeOS to use SOCKS5 on port 8800.

function FindProxyForURL(url, host)
{
return “SOCKS5 localhost:8800;”;
}

You can transfer this file to ChromeOS system. (You can also download this from my site — ssh.pac.) Go into proxy setting in the ChromeOS, specify this script under proxy script. (If you've downloaded to your download directory, you can specify file://home/chronos/user/Downloads/ssh.pac. You may want to specify different file name so it won't be overwritten.) After you've done this, head to chrome://net-internals/#proxy. If Effective Settings calls for your PAC script instead of DIRECT, then it should be configured correctly. (Also try heading tothis link to see if it appears to be coming from the remote host.)
Unless you are connecting through your SSH tunnel all the time, you may want to use direct connection time to time. You could also change proxy setting for direct connection, however doing so will wipe file name for the script, which could be inconvenient, as you will have to remember full path to the PAC script. You can tackle this problem by having another script like the following:

function FindProxyForURL(url, host)
{
return “DIRECT;”;
}

(The file is also available from my site — direct.pac.)
This way, you can simply replace file name under the script setting when you need to switch between two.

Tokyo to Outlaw Fictional Characters Breaking a Law?

It has been a while since I’ve written about so-called Tokyo Wholesome Youth Fostering Ordinance (青少年健全育成条例) earlier in the year. So what’s happened with it?

Adaptation of this ordinance has been indefinitely deferred, but not surprisingly, they are still pursuing this, even with stricter control.

They are seeking new ordinance to cover, any act of sexual behavior in fiction, regardless of their age, that would break a law. (Again, please note, that this ordinance is specifically talking about such activities expressed in fiction and not real life.) It even doesn’t have to be explicit — if Tokyo somehow define some work indecent, even ambiguous, they could classify them as “inappropriate.”

As with past authors from various media are already standing up to oppose this. This could be death of anime and manga, people. Especially if you are into moe stuff!