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Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Off the Record -- deniability amd perfect forward secrecy

Nikita Borisov and Ian Goldberg have released Off-the-Record Messaging. This is a really cool IM plugin for private communication. It goes beyond the usual encryption and authentication of GPG. It also deniability and perfect forward secrecy. Deniability means that no one can prove that a message is from you, while still maintaining authenticity for for the intended recipient. Perfect forward secrecy means that your past messages and conversations remain protected even if your keys are compromised.

I've read their paper and I'm very impressed. Their system is very clever, while being based entirely on tried-and-true technology (DH key exchange, HMAC, etc). If you are interested in secure communication, I do recommend you take a look at this. They have a GAIM plugin and an LGPL library.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Bi-Weekly IRC conference -- Success !!

If you are in the discuss or native-lang list, you know about the bi-weekly IRC conferences. These are informal talks, around 10-20min each. Each talk is followed by Q&A and then group chat. The goal is for diffrent language groups to exchange ideas, and have more contact.

The first talk was today. You can see the IRC log , and the slides. I admit I was nervous, but it turned out quite well. We had 16 attendees, the talk went well, and the discussion was great. I heard some very good ideas. I'll let you read about them in the log.

Coming next time is Ian Lynch. Ian is the head of the OOo for schools project. He'll talk about the INGOTs program, and how it can educate kids about open source and open standards. And how it teaches them to become FOSS volunteers. I've seen his talk, and I highly recommend it.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Multilingualism at OOoAuthors ?

A couple of days ago I made a top-level folder at OOoAuthors for the German team to put translations in: http://oooauthors.org/de. They looked pretty happy, so I thought of doing the same for Korean. After all, Jeongkyu Kim already maintains Korean FAQs at OOoAuthors. So I offered him a top-level folder too: http://oooauthors.org/ko. He loved the idea and will encourage the Korean team to contribute.

A few hours ago, Agnes (OOoAuthors reviewer) asked me for a similar folder for French http://oooauthors.org/fr. So she could try translating a few docs too. Of course I said yes, and wished her luck.

This is a neat development, not something I expected. I hope that these projects are successful. I'm eager to see how things turn up.

If you are looking to translate OOoAuthors docs to your favourite language, just give me a shout (dcarrera at openoffice.org). I would be happy to see these docs being used.

Friday, February 25, 2005

The Germans are comming! :-)

Today I've had to pleasure to find that the German NL team is interested in translating documents from OOoAuthors. Here is the IZ issue:


If you don't speak German, check out this neat online translation program. You give it a URL and it translates the whole page. So cool!

I'm glad that people find the OOoAuthors documents interesting, and worthy of translation. I made a folder for the German docs ( http://oooauthors.org/de) if you want to use it. Just to help you feel at home. :-)

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Business cards -- Just did it!

You may have seen a recent thread about making business cards. Simple, right? Nothing is simple at OpenOffice.org. Inevitably, a long argument ensued.

"You can't do that" someone cried, "it's not official". But I continued with my plan, and drew some cards.

"We have an art department, they should do this". Other people liked my cards, and sent in a few more to add to the pool.

"We must have standards. The art project must set standards". I picked a card I liked. Linda kindly offered to print some and send them to me.

Today, a week later, I have gorgeous business cards (thank you Linda!). They arrived in the mail two days ago. Meanwhile, an "official" set of business is nowhere in sight. There is a lesson to be learned here:

If you want to get something done at OOo, JUST DO IT.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

IRC bot

Whoo hoo!! I just wrote my very first IRC bot and I'm happy. I wrote it to help with IRC conferences.

I want to start a series of bi-weekly IRC conferences. They would be informal "lighting talks". Someone speaks for 10-20min (may include slides, just tell us where to get them). After the talk comes a 5min Q&A. This is where the bot comes in. During the Q&A the channel is moderated. To ask a question you would:

/msg QuestionBot Your question.

The moderator sees the question and posts it when the speaker is done answering the previous one. The moderator would also try to give everyone a chance, and if there are too many questions, pick the better ones.

Then comes a "free for all" period where the channel is unmoderated and anyone can talk. We'll see how this works out.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Daniel joins Blogger.com

That's right. After much peer pressure :-) I have decided to join blogger.com and start blogging. I'm looking forward to this, it'll be fun I'm sure.