Archive for April 10th, 2014

Heartbleed (the love poem)

Let’s synchronise our beating hearts and I’ll
lay open just for you my very soul,
secure that you would never take control.
So, [End Of File]

Well thank you for your frankness; I’ll compile
some poems of my own uncensored whole,
that you may take a key companion role,
and take this key to tour my domicile.

My dear, do you not see that you’ve been played?
My heart’s not big; I sent but lies to you,
and used you for your private information;
I felt inside your sockets and got laid.
I understood what hearts are meant to do
is bleed with force to drive the circulation.

For those who have been out in the real world for the last few days instead of living in an internet-enabled cave like the rest of us, there’s a serious bug in OpenSSL which allows private information to be leaked to malicious users in much the same way as illustrated in this poem. It means that you should probably change your passwords on any site that had the buggy version of OpenSSL installed, provided it has been fixed; if the site hasn’t been fixed yet, there’s no point changing your password since the new one could still be hacked. Here is one list of servers and their status with regards to this bug; there are probably others. The bug is called Heartbleed, because it happens when a client sends a ‘heartbeat’ (to keep the connection alive) and pretends that it is sending more data than it actually is, and the server doesn’t check this, so when it tries to respond with the same data, it sends a random assortment of its own data the size of what the client said it had sent.

The ‘SSL’ in OpenSSL stands for ‘Secure Sockets Layer‘, which is supposed to be what keeps secret information safe on the internet, but this bug made it more open than secure. I made sure to include the words (or derivatives thereof) ‘Open’, ‘secure’, ‘sockets’ and ‘layer’ in order (with an additional ‘lay’ for luck) in the poem, so that the lying no-good user is in fact an open, secure, sockets layer.

If you have been living in the right kind of cave, you might be interested in seeing the code change which caused the bug.

I’ve never understood what ‘bleeding heart’ was supposed to mean. Bleeding, forcefully and rhythmically, is the heart’s primary function. Maybe its only function, but you never can tell with biology. If there isn’t blood coming out of your heart, you’re in very bad shape. You should get that looked at even before changing your passwords.

Addendum: I should perhaps point out that the heartbeat has nothing to do with synchronising anything; that’s just a sappy thing lovers sometimes talk about which seemed like a good way to get heartbeats into the poem. Don’t expect anything in the first quatrain to be accurate; it’s a malicious SSL client talking. Also, here‘s an article someone I know from JoCo Cruise Crazy wrote about Heartbleed, which seems like it has some useful links and information; I haven’t read it thoroughly yet, though, so for all I know it has a nice introduction and then an end of file marker.

, , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

The War of the World Series of All Your Baseball

When the alien invaders came,
they ordered us to play this game,
to see how we stacked up against the galaxy.
Like Calvinball hang-gliding aimed
at ice-canoe inside a flame,
there really is no adequate analogy.

Our first team turned to gelatin while fighting Newton’s laws;
they gave us exoskeletons to compensate for flaws.
The next team’s lungs were frozen when their oxygen congealed;
they gave us warmer clothing for an even playing field.
Our next team’s sorely missed inside a super-sized black hole;
but failure of existence isn’t counted as a goal.
They grounded our space-shuttlecock for throttling at max-Q,
and laughed at our rebuttal, mocking weakness of the crew.
Then sudden cell-erasure put our skull bones out of joint.
The next game we lost Asia, but we almost scored a point.
They gave us many chances, then they told us where we stood:
despite all their enhancements, our whole species was no good.
A tackle left us mute or slurred, and just like Stephen Hawking
we had to get computer nerds to synthesise our talking,

and we said:

Maybe we will watch, but we won’t play sport.
We just want to be judged on our own Merritt Island spaceport.
So maybe we could talk before we die out.
We didn’t build antennas to make contact sports team tryouts.

The umpire slapped our station with its integrated truss,
Said, ‘humans, all your baseball inning are belong to us!
You can’t defeat the shogunate of sports tycooniverse;
you’d barely beat the Vogons with your weak and puny verse.
We helped to make you stronger but you never even tried;
you won’t survive much longer if you shun what we provide.
You think that we’re subhuman since our sport is pretty rough,
but we’re far better than you, man, we are strong and we are tough.
We earned our football scholarships with sweat and not a tear
and you think you can stall it with your brains, but it is clear
that only abs like rocks and bulging arms will give you worth
and soon enough the jocks will multiply and rule the Earth.’
And at the Earth’s last launch pad, the last geeks around to man it
imagined that these staunch lads really came from other planets.

They said:

Maybe we will watch, but we won’t play sport.
We just want to be judged on our own Merritt Island spaceport.
So maybe we should talk before we die out.
We didn’t build antennas to make contact sports team tryouts.

We only want acceptance and it’s clear we won’t achieve it;
but we can stop objectin’ since we have a way to leave it.

Maybe we will watch, but we won’t play sport.
We just want to be judged on our own Merritt Island spaceport.
I wish that we could talk before we blast off;
we didn’t build this ship to reach this guy’s idea of cast-off.

I admit, I wrote this purely to make a merit/Merritt Island pun, which I thought of on the way home last night, and started writing about this morning. Merritt Island is the site of Kennedy Space Center, where all NASA manned space missions since 1968 launched from.

This is the first poem of NaPoWriMo that I have written entirely in one day, though perhaps I should have given it a bit more time. The umpire stanza was a bit rushed since I was trying (unsuccessfully) to finish it before midnight, but at that point I could hardly have finished anything else. The title is also hastily slapped together from the first three things that came to mind. This is another one that has a tune in my head, hence the repeating chorus (which I might add a few more times, if I can get the two big stanzas to have an even number of couplets.) Some day I’ll stop writing mediocre songs and get back to writing good poetry, but today is not that day, although I don’t think the tune interfered too much with this one. I added a reference to speech synthesis so that it will make sense if I get my robot choir to sing this.

Be glad I didn’t write another King of Spain parody; according to wikipedia, Merritt Island was the King of Spain’s before he gave it to a nobleman named Merritt.

, , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: