Sound Advice: Explaining Comcast cable encryption

Question: What’s up with the Comcast cable encryption you are writing about? Wasn’t cable always encrypted?

A. MUSZALSKI

Castle Shannon

Answer: Not all cable channels were encrypted.

Unencrypted basic cable is (or should I say, was) a beautiful thing for the consumer. Until recently the FCC required cable companies to retransmit over-the-air local channels (including high definition channels) without encryption, which meant Limited Basic subscribers could just connect the cable from the wall to an HDTV without a cable box or digital adapter (DTA).

The TV’s remote changed channels and volume, and you could make high-quality recordings with digital recorders containing a QAM tuner. Subscribers with expensive packages could use the unencrypted cable in places where there is only occasional viewing to watch local TV without paying for an additional box.

After lobbying from the cable companies, the FCC changed the regulations so they can now encrypt these channels. There are four large benefits to the cable companies: a reduction of piracy, a limit to the number of televisions that can be connected without charge, a new potential revenue stream from equipment rentals and now it is no longer necessary to send out trucks for service disconnections and reconnections due to nonpayment.

I am sorting through a lot of information regarding the pricing of the standard definition (SD) DTAs and HD DTAs. The situation varies greatly nationwide. Comcast, DirecTV, Dish and Verizon FIOS charge for equipment and all are entitled to make a profit for their services. The issue is using encryption to take away HD channels people once had and then charging them to get them back.

HDTV technology isn’t new. The first HDTV broadcast was in 1998, which makes it about 15 years old. Remember the ubiquitous AOL CDs for dial-up Internet? How long has it been since you saw one of those? That’s the time frame. People are junking their tube-type analog TVs at such a rate that Goodwill won’t even accept them as donations anymore. There is even Ultra HD 4K now!

Sending customers the SD DTA as the default would be funny if it were not so tragic. Everyone with a flat-screen TV who receives the SD adapter is going to end up with a crippled television. For everyone who writes me, how many others are out there (especially older people) who are just living with their crippled TV and regretfully accepting it?

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Sound Advice: Explaining Comcast cable encryption

Report: NSA looking to crack all encryption with quantum computer

The U.S. National Security Agency is attempting to build a new breed of supercomputer that theoretically could make short work of cracking most keys used for encrypted communications.

The project to build a cryptographically useful quantum computer is part of an $80 million research project called Penetrating Hard Targets that is taking place at a campus in College Park, Maryland, according to The Washington Post. The newspaper quoted documents it said were provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Since the early days of encryption, an important defense in the security of each system has been the amount of time it would take to attack and discover the encryption key. The longer the time required, the greater the motivation and financial investment needed to discover the key.

As computers have gotten more powerful, longer encryption keys that are harder to crack have been employed, so today keys of 256 bits or more are common, especially for sensitive information. Even with a powerful supercomputer, experts generally agree it would take many years to crack a single key of 256 bits or more.

Quantum computing turns all of that around.

Unlike traditional computing, which relies on single bits of information that represent either one or zero, a quantum computer employs quantum bits that hold the value of one and zero at the same time.

If youre wondering how thats possible, youre not alone. Even the worlds leading quantum computing experts dont totally understand how it works, but they are in agreement about what it means for encryption keys.

Because each quantum bit holds two values at the same time, a string of quantum bits can represent all numbers simultaneously. That means a future quantum computer could do many calculations in a single step, not one by one as todays computers do. So, cracking an encryption key could become childs play.

At least, thats the theory.

Scientists are yet to get reliably operating quantum computers capable of doing complex mathematical calculations, but it appears the NSA program is aimed at doing just that.

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Report: NSA looking to crack all encryption with quantum computer

Report: NSA building comp to crack encryption types

Published January 03, 2014

FoxNews.com

An undated aerial handout photo shows the National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters building in Fort Meade, Maryland.Reuters

The National Security Agency is reportedly racing to build a computer that will be able to break almost every kind of encryption used to protect medical, banking, business and government records around the world.

According to documents provided by NSA whistle blower Edward Snowden, a $79.7 million research program titled Penetrating Hard Targets includes a project to build a cryptologically useful quantum computer a machine considerably faster than classic computers, The Washington Post reported Thursday

The implications of the NSA building a quantum computer are far reaching. Such a machine would open the door to crackingthe strongest encryption tools in use today, including a standard known as RSA that scrambles communications and make them impossible to read for anyone except the intended recipient. RSA is commonly used in Web browsers for encrypted emails and secure financial transactions.

The development of such a machine has long been a goal of many in the scientific community, and would have revolutionary implications for fields like medicine as well as for the NSAs code-breaking mission.

The NSA reportedly sees itself as in a race with European Union and Swiss sponsored quantum computing labs.

The geographic scope has narrowed from a global effort to a discrete focus on the European Union and Switzerland, one NSA document says, according to the Washington Post.

The Snowden documents also indicate that the NSA has been carrying out a part of its research in large shielded rooms designed to prevent electromagnetic energy from leaking. The rooms are required in order to keep quantum computing experiments running.

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Report: NSA building comp to crack encryption types

SCALE 11x: Evolution of an Open Source Software Foundation – Stephen Walli – Video



SCALE 11x: Evolution of an Open Source Software Foundation – Stephen Walli
Slides: http://www.socallinuxexpo.org/sites/default/files/presentations/fossfoundations-scale11-130401050016-phpapp01.pdf Link: https://www.socallinuxexpo.or…

By: Southern California Linux Expo

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SCALE 11x: Evolution of an Open Source Software Foundation – Stephen Walli – Video

Open Source Initiative – Official Site

Open source software is software that can be freely used, changed, and shared (in modified or unmodified form) by anyone. Open source software is made by many people, and distributed under licenses that comply with the Open Source Definition.

The Open Source Initiative (OSI) is a global non-profit that supports and promotes the open source movement. Among other things, we maintain the Open Source Definition, and a list of licenses that comply with that definition. See our about and history pages for more.

OSI is a member-based organizationjoin and support us!

Nov 21, 2013: Hello OSI Community Members As our new General Manager, I’d like to take a few moments to introduce myself, and also provide a bit more information about both the new GM role itself, as well as some of the new programs identified by the OSI Board of Directors to extend and enable our mission. Read more…

Oct 22, 2013: OSI Names New General Manager: Newly Appointed General Manager Patrick Masson Joins OSI from University of Massachusetts. Read more…

July 24, 2013: Election Result: Individual Members elect Richard Fontana as new OSI Director. Read more…

June 14, 2013: Board News: OSI opens recruitment for General Manager. Read more…

May 11, 2013: Board Report: The OSI Board has made plans for the election of the first Individual Member Director, as well as to hire OSI’s first General Manager. Read more…

May 2, 2013: Affiliates Select New OSI Director Read more…

July 18, 2012: Individual Membership: The next step of OSI’s transformation into a member organization starts today! You can become an Individual Member. Read more…

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Open Source Initiative – Official Site

Find Open Source Alternatives to commercial software | Open …

Today the future of internet begins – and open source is ready Companies world-wide start to embrace the new standard for communication on the internet; the Internet Protocol version 6 – also known as IPv6. IPv6 will at some point replace existing IPv4 which have been used to transport our data through the internet for more than 30 years.

The main reason to switch is that IPv4 only allows around 4 billion internet addresses. In order for one device to communicate with another on the internet each of them has to have a unique internet address (IP address). With the number of devices currently on the market – computers, smartphones, smart tvs and set-top boxes – we are already out of addresses. However, clever manipulation allows some devices to share IP addresses with other devices, but this is not an ideal situation. The sharing of addresses makes it difficult for devices to communicate freely on the internet, thus limited functionality.

IPv6 solves the IP address issue simply by introducing a new type of IP address that can handle 3.4e+38 – or 4 billion times 4 billion times 4 billion times 4 billion. It a huge number – difficult for most people to understand. But lets just assume that we will not be running out of IP address ever again.

Today (6/6/12) was been chosen by the Internet Society to mark the launch of IPv6 . IPv6 has been around for many years but the deployment very limited – and mainly used for research within companies and institutions. ISP, hosting providers and other companies on the internet have been repluctant to start offering services on IPv6, primarily because of the investment required both in hardware, software and training.

The Internet Society on the other hand has tried to initiate a movement encouraging ISP, webiste and hardware vendors to take the leap to IPv6 anyway – and thus promote their businesses by using cutting-edge technology.

Another reason why IPv6 has taken such a long time to be accepted is that it is not compatible with IPv4, even though they can exist side by side. But not being compatible means that every piece of software communicating on the internet has to be re-written to support IPv6. Luckily, a lot of software already supports IPv6 – and especially open source software. The communities around each of the open source projects have a natural interest to support new features; and many projects strive to be forerunners in these areas.

On Open Source Alternative we have tagged each open source project that supports IPv6 with an IPv6 tag – making it easy to see and search for software that supports IPv6. A list of all IPv6 enabled open source projects is available here: Open source alternatives with IPv6 support

One of the most important projects is Apache – the open source web server that hosts almost 2/3 of all websites on the internet. Apache is also the web server used by Open Source Alternative to make our website available on both IPv4 and IPv6. The software, however, gets you nowhere, unless your hosting provider also supports IPv6, which is the reason why Osalt switched to Linode VPS for great hosting and IPv6 connectivity to the internet.

On the other end of a connection to an IPv6 webserver is of course an IPv6 web browser. Again, the open source community has the answer in terms of Firefox and Google Chrome.

If you want to explore the new world of IPv6 – either check if you ISP offers IPv6 or visit http://www.tunnelbroker.net/

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Find Open Source Alternatives to commercial software | Open …

Wyplay’s Digital TV Middleware Source Code is Now Available to Members of the Frog by Wyplay Community

Marseilles, France (PRWEB) January 03, 2014

Wyplay, a creator of software solutions for leading pay-TV operators, announced today the opening of Frog by Wyplay, an initiative that aims to free all actors in the TV ecosystem from being locked-in to proprietary solutions.

With the release of the first version of the Frog source code to our partners and licensees today through the Frog web portal, we are delivering on our promise to free the digital TV technology industry. said Wyplay CEO Jacques Bourgninaud. We look forward to our partners product and service deployments, based on our technology, with operators who will reap the benefits of an open source and collaborative approach.

Frog by Wyplay is the first independent open source software solution for pay-TV operators. This comprehensive solution includes access to the complete source code and all the components to build operators products. The initiative brings together a growing ecosystem of almost 40 companies across the entire digital TV technology value chain including chipset vendors, device manufacturers, independent software vendors, software service providers and operators.

Within this ecosystem, Frog introduces a marketplace of complementary 3rd-party solutions pre-integrated with Wyplays technology. The marketplace is readily accessible to all members of the Frog community, and includes technical assets and documentation on the http://www.frogbywyplay.com private portal.

In addition, the initiative brings together system integrators who provide a one-stop-shop offering for operators to create custom digital TV solutions based on the Frog by Wyplay open source middleware. Operators and integrators can also tap into the resources and expertise of Frog Scaling partners who cover the whole spectrum of services required in set-top box projects including device drivers, middleware, conditional access systems integration, HTML5 application development and user interface design.

Wyplay previously announced that the Canal+ Group, a market leading pay-TV provider, is in advanced deployment of a software upgrade to its entire installed base of decoders. The new solution was co-developed with Wyplay using Frog By Wyplay.

The following companies have endorsed the Frog by Wyplay initiative:

Frog By Wyplay will be officially launched at the CES Las Vegas tradeshow in January, 2014. The source code and documentation are available at http://www.frogbywyplay.com .

# # # About Wyplay Independent and internationally recognized, Wyplay develops open, modular and innovative software solutions for IPTV, cable, satellite and terrestrial TV operators and broadcasters around the world.

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Wyplay’s Digital TV Middleware Source Code is Now Available to Members of the Frog by Wyplay Community