Banana Walnut Bread

125g sugar
50g unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
4 ripe bananas, mashed
4 tbsp plain yogurt
1 tsp vanilla powder
260g all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
60g walnuts, small pieces

1. Cream together the sugar and butter until fluffy.
2. Stir in eggs. Stir in bananas, yogurt, vanilla and walnuts.
3. Gently stir in flour mixed with baking soda and salt.
4. Pour into a 9x5x3 loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 1 hour.

Zune FUD

There’s an amazing amount of Zune FUD on the net these days. I’ve owned several generations of iPods and I’m looking forward to the release of Zune. It will be the first portable player to support MP3, AAC, WMA, WMV and H.264 (though apparently H.264 support will be through transcoding at launch; native support will probably follow in a future firmware update). The 3-play/3-day limit on wireless music sharing is a major handicap, though.

Microsoft Zune

Greek spice cake

2 c. sifted all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
3 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cloves, ground
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. allspice
2 eggs
1 c. white sugar
1 c. light brown sugar
1 c. salad oil
1 c. sour milk

Beat eggs thoroughly and mix with brown sugar and set aside. Mix the dry ingredients together and add the milk. Then add the eggs and brown sugar and stir thoroughly. Add the oil last. Pour into a lightly greased 7 1/2 x 7 1/2 inch pan. Bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees.


Looking for cryptographer

I am looking for a cryptographer for a small paid project. Experience analyzing AES is required.

No anonymous inquiries please.

Update: Found someone, but feel free to get in touch anyway.

More gadgets for sale

I am moving to a new apartment so I’m cleaning out old stuff. The following is for sale to anyone in San Francisco:

I am also selling a 7 day old 1.83GHz MacBook. Used for testing. Original box. $1120.

Update: The MacBook and the webcam have been sold.


The fan in my ThinkPad died last week. On bootup the ThinkPad gives me “Fan error” and shuts down automatically to prevent the CPU from frying. I contacted IBM early last Thursday and they said they would get me a box by the end of the next day so I could send the machine to Memphis (!) for repair. It’s now the end of Monday and I still haven’t received the box.

My dad had his ThinkPad repaired in Oslo recently. He dropped it off at IBM’s service location and 3 hours later it was repaired. When they called it was rush hour so my dad decided to wait until the next day to pick it up. The next day IBM delivered it for free.

You’d think that getting a ThinkPad repaired would be easier and quicker in Silicon Valley than Oslo, but I guess not…

Update: DHL delivered the box on Tuesday. IBM had a quick turnaround; they repaired the ThinkPad and sent it back on Wednesday.

One more thing: DHL sucks. I was supposed to have the ThinkPad back on Thursday, but didn’t have it until Friday. DHL somehow managed to completely lose track of the package for about 24 hours. When I called, they apologized and said that “sometimes the driver forgets to scan the package”. Their “noon next day delivery” ended up more like two days. I had to head over to the DHL depot and wait in line for 30mn to actually get my package.

White Burgundies

I was thinking of buying a bottle of 1996 Chassagne-Montrachet Colin-Deleger En Remilly, but then I read this article.

Something is killing the 1996 White Burgundies. When the class of ’96 first hit the market, it was hailed as a sublime vintage, the best since 1990. Collectors snapped up case after case. But now, just as the wines should be reaching their prime, they are turning up dead on dining-room tables—the victims of premature oxidation.

See this forum for discussion on the issue. I bought a bottle of 2002 Meursault Francois Jobard En la Barre instead.

Arstechnica on hacking DRM

Arstechnica has published an article called “Hacking Digital Rights Management” that mentions some of my work.

QTFairUse would not be the program to bring unencumbered iTunes downloads to the mainstream user, but it did represent one possible line of attack. Another approach was provided by playfair, a little program capable of stripping the DRM from iTunes files.

In retrospect, releasing QTFairUse was a mistake. In winter 2003 I did two things:

1. Released QTFairUse
2. Reverse engineered FairPlay and added support to the VideoLAN Client for playing FairPlay files. The tools m4p2mp4, playfair and hymn all use the VideoLAN FairPlay code.

For some reason a lot of people think I only did the first. I guess keeping two facts in your head at the same time is hard.

QTFairUse relied on Apple’s software to decrypt the protected song files and then grabbed the unencrypted music from RAM. It then wrote this data to an unencrypted AAC file that turned out not be readable by most music players.

QTFairUse was aimed at a technical audience and as such I did not include documentation for normal users. In retrospect, that was a mistake. Many non-technical users, not knowing the difference between a raw AAC file (extension .aac) and a MPEG4 AAC file (extension .mp4 or .m4a), claimed that QTFairUse did not work after they had tried to play an .aac file in an audio player that doesn’t support .aac files.

Note: the Arstechnica journalist wanted to interview me for the article but I was busy moving to SF at the time so I declined.


1l half & half (cream and milk)
100g sour cream
200g butter
150g sugar
500g flour
2 eggs
1/4 ts salt
1 ts baking soda
1 ts cardamom or cinnamon

1. Whisk sugar and eggs together until light in color.
2. Mix in the half & half and sour cream.
3. Mix in the mixed flour and salt, baking soda and spice.
4. Mix in melted butter.

Leave in the fridge for 1 hour before making waffles.