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mattblaze

@mattblaze@federate.social

Scientist, safecracker, etc. McDevitt Professor of Computer Science and Law at Georgetown. Formerly UPenn, Bell Labs. So-called expert on election security and stuff. https://twitter.com/mattblaze on the Twitter. Slow photographer. Radio nerd. Blogs occasionally at https://www.mattblaze.org/blog . I probably won't see your DM; use something else. He/Him. Uses this wrong.

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Alice , to Random stuff
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I have friends from high school who have kids that are graduating from high school and I’m over here celebrating my graduation into a new loyalty tier at my preferred hotel chain.

mattblaze ,
@mattblaze@federate.social avatar

@Alice Wise choice. High school diploma doesn't come with free breakfast or late checkout.

mattblaze , to Photography
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Track 13 (Watch Your Step), Grand Central Terminal, NYC, 2013.

All the pixels, waiting to commute home, at https://www.flickr.com/photos/mattblaze/10101066135

mattblaze OP ,
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Captured with a full-frame mirrorless camera and 21mm lens.

This is mostly a study of lines, particularly the handrail (which provides an anchor for the eye to follow), but also the curved railing at the bottom of the stairs at left. I was attracted to the austere, utilitarian design, yet the curved pipe railing has an almost almost elegant, art deco look to it.

This was a difficult perspective to work from. A tripod was essential for framing, but it was crowded behind me. Had to be quick.

mattblaze OP ,
@mattblaze@federate.social avatar

@darryl_ramm Well used as a location, for sure, but I couldn't get past the fact that they started out on the 1 train and somehow ended up at Grand Central. And that Amtrak was supposedly still running there (to Washington DC, somehow!) in 1993.

mattblaze OP ,
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@darryl_ramm I would all have made sense if they ended up at Penn Station, but that's much less photogenic.

adamshostack , to Random stuff
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Hey look everyone’s quoting the Vox article about how employees lose all their equity if they disparage OpenAI. It’s important to understand that free speech and employment freedom override that as important aspects of a free market for labor, but once the NRLB has said things like this, it’s might be an extra 6-12 months of severance for a lawyer to ask you to sign this, and the phrase “I’m going to consult an attorney” is a fine one to say

*i am not an attorney, or your attorney https://infosec.exchange/@adamshostack/112459017248626936

mattblaze ,
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@adamshostack Yes this. This is one of those cases where the price:performance ratio of an hour or two of a lawyer's time is likely to be an EXTREMELY good deal.

tinker , to Hacking
@tinker@infosec.exchange avatar

A simple observation:

"White Hat Hacker" is NOT synonymous with "Ethical Hacker"

You can legally protect an unethical corporation and in doing so, you are an accomplice to their unethical actions.

You can ethically hack to protect people and still be conducting illegal activities.

Do not conflate the two terms.

mattblaze ,
@mattblaze@federate.social avatar

@tinker Very much this. Also, if you regard the ethical goal as protecting users from harm from the exploitation of a vulnerability, SOMETIMES the best thing to do is to quietly warn the vendor, while other times the best thing to do is warn everyone. It depends on very particular circumstances.

It's easier if your definition of "ethical" is simply "protect vendors from reputational harm". But that's not a very useful ethical system.

mattblaze , to Random stuff
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The secret to a good marriage is to have a clear mutual understanding of which partner is responsible for the flag in front of your house.

https://www.nytimes.com/2024/05/16/us/justice-alito-upside-down-flag.html?unlocked_article_code=1.sk0.ya83.n8G49DAhJEPK&smid=url-share

mattblaze OP ,
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@JoBlakely "My wife handles all the family crimes."

mattblaze OP ,
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@JoBlakely @timo21 No, but there are so many of these you can be forgiven for confusing them. That was the one where Cruz took off to Cancun during a large-scale weather-related disaster in his state.

mattblaze OP ,
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@Tarah @JoBlakely @deviantollam No way. If there ever was a relationship where "parters in crime" applies, it would be you two.

zackwhittaker , to Random stuff
@zackwhittaker@mastodon.social avatar

New, by me: Two universtiy students have uncovered a security bug that lets millions do their laundry for free.

CSC ServiceWorks provides internet-connected laundry machines to thousands of residential homes and universities around the U.S., Canada and Europe.

The students found that any security checks are done by the app on the user’s device and automatically trusted by CSC’s servers,

But CSC still hasn't fixed the isue — or acknowledged their findings.

More: https://techcrunch.com/2024/05/17/csc-serviceworks-free-laundry-million-machines

mattblaze ,
@mattblaze@federate.social avatar

@hacks4pancakes @zackwhittaker

You can kind of fill in all the details from the phrase "Internet-connected laundry machines".

mattblaze , to Photography
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Rotary Converter, IRT Subway Substation 13, NYC, 2017.

600 volts of pixels at https://www.flickr.com/photos/mattblaze/32992380451

mattblaze OP ,
@mattblaze@federate.social avatar

NYC's IRT subway, opened in 1904, is powered by a 600 volt DC third rail running alongside the tracks. Power is fed to the system via a number of substations throughout the city, where high voltage AC is converted to the lower voltage DC used by trains. Until recently, this was done with electromechanical rotary converters (essentially a combination AC motor and DC generator). They have been supplanted by solid state rectifiers, but a few of the original rotary converters remain operational.

mattblaze OP ,
@mattblaze@federate.social avatar

It's worth noting that at the time the IRT opened and all this was built, commercial electrical power had only been available in NYC for about 20 years, and still wasn't available everywhere in the city. Much of the subway's infrastructure had to be invented, engineered, or perfected as it was being built.

heidilifeldman , to Random stuff
@heidilifeldman@mastodon.social avatar

The Thomases and the Alitos have pretty icy marriages it seems, what with both Clarence and Sam having so little interaction with their respective spouses over those spouses’ fervent political actions. 🙄🫤

mattblaze ,
@mattblaze@federate.social avatar

@heidilifeldman Not to mention that I'm sure Mrs Alito will be very pleased that her husband made her the bag holder on this.

briankrebs , to Random stuff
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  • mattblaze ,
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    @briankrebs
    A signage feud with a neighbor? That certainly escalated.

    deviantollam , (edited ) to Random stuff
    @deviantollam@defcon.social avatar

    OK who else is dealing with this fresh hell nonsense this morning of "Windows Explorer's Address Bar and Navigation Buttons Are Now Missing after Last Night's Windows Update" ?

    EDIT: It may be a 3rd party software issue. I, like many folk, can't stand the Windows 11 interface and I was using a tool that re-skins Windows Explorer and (most importantly) the Taskbar and Start Menu like Windows 10. Apparently the most recent Win11 UI update broke something. I uninstalled StartAllBack and now I have stock Windows 11 which at least has the address bar working... even if everything else looks awful.

    mattblaze ,
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    @deviantollam guy1: “You should switch to Linux”
    guy2: “He means GNU/Linux”

    mattblaze , to Photography
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    Tanner Creek, OR, 2011.

    A blur of pixels at https://www.flickr.com/photos/mattblaze/5892599507

    mattblaze OP ,
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    This was captured on a short hike with a small mirroless camera, 35mm lens, lightweight tripod, and enough neutral density for a roughly 30 second exposure.

    Flowing water is a subject that lends itself to motion studies that reveal what our unaided eye can't see, controlled by exposure time. At 1/3000 sec, every drop of water freezes in place. At 30 seconds, we see smooth, cloud-like structures that obscure individual perturbations. Only at around 1/30 sec does the camera see what we do.

    mattblaze , to Photography
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    2am, Adams-Morgan, Washington, DC. 2023.

    More pixels than required at https://www.flickr.com/photos/mattblaze/52991590112

    mattblaze OP ,
    @mattblaze@federate.social avatar

    This is a high resolution stitch of three captures with the Rodenstock 32mm/4.0 HR Digaron lens, yielding a 230 MP image with roughly the angle of view of a 14mm "full frame" rectilinear lens. The high resolution invites you to look closely for signs of life, but they remain elusive.

    While this is literally a photo of the street, it's not a "street photo" at all. The empty nocturnal streetscape is completely devoid of life and human activity, though it hints at sometimes being a bustling place.

    mattblaze OP ,
    @mattblaze@federate.social avatar

    So this was mostly a play on the concept of "street photography". The street is the literal subject, but everything about it - the absence of people or any depiction of street life, the use of a heavy, tripod-laden camera, the compositional formality - defies the conventions of that genre.

    mattblaze OP ,
    @mattblaze@federate.social avatar

    Camera movements - shift in particular - make it relatively easy to make stitched images like this, since the lens perspective can remain fixed. You can simply stitch the adjacent frames together without any geometric correction. Panning the camera, on the other hand, alters the perspective between frames, and so requires geometrically transforming (at some cost of resolution) to make the frames line up correctly.

    georgetakei , to Random stuff
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    mattblaze ,
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    @LinuxAndYarn @georgetakei Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest? And by "no one", I mean you, Fred.

    mattblaze , to Photography
    @mattblaze@federate.social avatar

    Pescadero, CA, 2014.

    Grains of sand turned into pixels at https://www.flickr.com/photos/mattblaze/14832380095

    mattblaze OP ,
    @mattblaze@federate.social avatar

    Captured with a small full-frame camera and 21mm lens. A three second exposure smoothed waves and surf.

    This was an exercise in tone, perspective, and convergence. The four major boundaries of the scene converge (approximately) near the center of the frame, forming a flattened X.

    I composed this both with and without the driftwood in foreground, which interrupts the composition but, I decided, helpfully anchors the frame.

    mattblaze OP ,
    @mattblaze@federate.social avatar

    The metadata for this image claims it was shot at f/16. That's wrong; it was more like f/2.5 or so. This was an artifact of the too-clever-by-half way Leica M cameras estimate the f stop. There's no mechanical link between the aperture ring and the camera body, so instead they estimate the f-stop with a separate light sensor that's compared with the brightness of the recorded image. This works reasonably well, except when you use an ND filter (as here), which confuses it to no end.

    mattblaze OP ,
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    @plantarum Right, no control of the aperture by the body. The Leicas can do Aperture-priority (where it varies the shutter speed), or Shutter priority (where it varies the sensitivity), but not Shutter-priority where it varies the aperture. But it's really designed for fully manual use.

    mattblaze OP ,
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    @jyrgenn no, it’s not tilted. There are rocks under the surf at left.

    mattblaze OP ,
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    @jyrgenn ah, no. That’s not actually the horizon. That’s a rocky barrier. You can (barely) see the actual horizon in the mist above it (most visible near the shore).

    mattblaze , to Random stuff
    @mattblaze@federate.social avatar

    Got my mail-in ballot for the Primary today and it included an "I Voted" sticker. But there's nothing to stop you from wearing the sticker without returning the ballot, opening the door for massive I Voted sticker fraud.

    mattblaze OP ,
    @mattblaze@federate.social avatar

    STOP THE STICKER

    ai6yr , to Random stuff
    @ai6yr@m.ai6yr.org avatar

    I am unsure if this is click bait (outrage baiting?) or is CNBC trying to make their wealthy readers feel good? 🤔

    mattblaze ,
    @mattblaze@federate.social avatar

    @ChuckMcManis @ai6yr Depending on whose yacht we're talking about, they might be able to do an even bigger public service by towing them out to sea and leaving them there.

    violetblue , to Random stuff
    @violetblue@mastodon.social avatar

    For people who were certain they had but their Cue tests kept coming out negative: Cue diminished accuracy of its tests August, 2022 and again in October, 2023.

    Link to new FDA warning: https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/safety-communications/do-not-use-cue-healths-covid-19-tests-due-risk-false-results-fda-safety-communication

    mattblaze ,
    @mattblaze@federate.social avatar

    @violetblue I believe the Cue tests were distributed by Google and some other companies to employees.

    mattblaze , to Photography
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    Cathedral of Learning, Pittsburgh, PA, 2023.

    42 floors of pixels at https://www.flickr.com/photos/mattblaze/52977939495

    mattblaze OP , (edited )
    @mattblaze@federate.social avatar

    This was captured with the Rodenstock 50mm Digaron lens and about 13mm of vertical shift to maintain the geometry (but setbacks in the building design make it appear to converge toward the top).

    The 42 story Cathedral of Learning houses offices and classrooms for the University of Pittsburgh. Completed in 1937, it took 11 years to construct. It remains the tallest academic building in the US.

    mattblaze OP ,
    @mattblaze@federate.social avatar

    @lindsey I didn’t, but yes, what a gorgeous space.

    mattblaze , to Random stuff
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    Remember when Tump claimed that he couldn't release his tax returns or say anything about them because he was being audited (something that makes no sense)?

    Now that he's literally a defendant in a criminal trial - a time when you very definitely need to be extremely careful about what you say publicly - he can't shut up.

    mattblaze , (edited ) to Photography
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    Commuter Trains, Ewing (West Trenton), NJ, 2010.

    All the pixels at https://www.flickr.com/photos/mattblaze/4377309058

    mattblaze OP ,
    @mattblaze@federate.social avatar

    This was captured with a DSLR and a 400mm lens, which contributed to the compressed perspective. The conductor boarding the leftmost train is essential to the composition, I think.

    Ewing, NJ ("West Trenton") is the last stop on SEPTA's commuter trains from Philadelphia on the former Reading Railroad's line to northern NJ. CSX freight trains still use the tracks north of the station, beyond the end of the overhead electrified wiring used for passenger service.

    mattblaze OP ,
    @mattblaze@federate.social avatar

    Long lenses, with their narrow field of view, are essential for some compositions (such as this), but I find I only rarely actually use them. In fact, the longest lens I have for my main medium format camera system is 180mm (which yields the 35mm equivalent view of about a 120mm), and I hardly ever use even that for the type of photography I do.

    For wildlife photographers, on the other hand, 400mm is practically a wide angle.

    mattblaze OP ,
    @mattblaze@federate.social avatar

    A quick note on terminology: People often conflate the terms "long", "telephoto", and "zoom" when describing lenses. A "long" lens is simply one with a focal length that yields a narrower than "normal" field of view (like a telescope). "Telephoto" lenses use a particular optical design that allows them to be physically smaller than their focal length; most telephotos are long, but not all long lenses are telephoto. "Zoom" lenses have variable focal length, and might be long, wide, or in between.

    mattblaze OP ,
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    @acsawdey That is insane.

    mattblaze OP ,
    @mattblaze@federate.social avatar

    One of the challenges of long lenses is that they tempt you to compose images of subjects that are very far away. But the farther away something is, the more the atmosphere can distort the image. The effects of heat distortion, pollution, humidity, and weather are amplified across longer distances, no matter how sharp the lens is or how high resolution the sensor.

    mattblaze OP ,
    @mattblaze@federate.social avatar

    @acsawdey @mjf_pro It's interesting that video and film people figure out shoulder-mounted camera rigs years ago, but you almost never see it for still photography.

    mattblaze , to Random stuff
    @mattblaze@federate.social avatar

    It seems that the clouds are getting even during the auroras for my good fortune during the eclipse.

    peterhoneyman , to Random stuff
    @peterhoneyman@a2mi.social avatar

    vatican city

    image/jpeg

    mattblaze ,
    @mattblaze@federate.social avatar

    @peterhoneyman "My kid could do that", if your kid happens to be Rembrandt or Vermeer.

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