Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Low Carb Cream-a-Latta Ice Cream

This recipe was adapted from “Incredible Ice Cream” by Malcolm Stogo. It was originally written as a gelato to be made in a large batch freezer. I reformulated it for home ice cream makers.

I tried to find any references to “Cream-a-Latta” other than this recipe on the Internet, but came up empty. Perhaps Mr. Stogo made it up? I don’t know, but it’s delicious and that’s all that matters!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Using Metrics to Drive Improvement: The Tail Wagging the Dog

Performance metrics help quantify the overall health of an organization or product being developed. Quantitative analysis is a mark of a mature organization. Everyone knows that successful companies collect metrics; therefore, it follows that every company needs to measure things in order to be great. Measurements gauge the efficacy of processes that affect budget, schedule, quality, and safety. Critical business decisions are made based on the results of this data.

Most articles about measurement and analysis opine on the pitfalls of measuring the wrong things, getting buy-in from stakeholders, or how to interpret the numbers collected. Obviously, our ability to make accurate predictions requires proper measurements and good statistical tools. None of that is what this blog entry is about. Instead, I’d like to challenge the very idea that performance metrics themselves ought to drive improvements.1

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

OpenSSL FIPS 140-2 - Part Three - Windows OS

Compiling OpenSSL with the special FIPS module on Windows is a little more complicated than on Unix. As before, we are not allowed to make source code or build process changes to the FIPS module. (See part one of this series for more information on the build restrictions.)

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

OpenSSL FIPS 140-2 - Part Two - Unix OS

Compiling OpenSSL with the FIPS module on Unix-ish operating systems like Linux and Cygwin is pretty straightforward.

I was not able to correctly build the FIPS module on 64-bit Cygwin. There’s a bug in the ./config script that prevents it from compiling. I could get around the issue by running ./Configure linux-generic64 instead of the standard ./config script, but that would violate the mandated build procedure. The 32-bit version of Cygwin compiles everything without issue.

If you’d like to use the Cygwin compiled openssl.exe binary on a Windows system without Cygwin installed, copy the cygwin1.dll and cyggcc_s-1.dll files from the Cygwin bin directory and put it in the same directory as the openssl.exe file. Of course, it makes more sense to simply use the native Windows OS build.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

OpenSSL FIPS 140-2 - Part One - Security and the infinite regress fallacy

Building the FIPS object module for OpenSSL must be done in a very strict manor. Deviation from the mandated compilation instructions means we cannot consider the resulting binaries as validated. They would then require “private label” validation that costs thousands of dollars. Let’s try to avoid that, shall we?

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Encrypting “Data At Rest” Using FIPS 140-2 Cryptographic Modules

Sensitive information falling into the wrong hands is a major security concern. The US government’s latest approach to combat this problem is to essentially encrypt everything that transmits or stores data. VPNs or secure socket layers protect data flowing across networks.  Data at rest, which is data stored on physical mediums like hard drives, CD-Rs, DVD-Rs, USB sticks, etc., must also be protected. Hard drive encryption is easy since most modern enterprise-level operating systems include this feature. Removable storage, on the other hand, is a hodge-podge of solutions and very few of them are compatible with each other.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Low Carb Sweet and Sour Sauce Ice Cream

There was a video I watched a while back where a bunch of weird ice creams were made and the guests tried each of them. One that surprised them both was sweet and sour sauce ice cream. I don’t think they actually tried an ice cream made with sweet and sour sauce. I think it was actually duck sauce. I say this because of the ice cream’s color in the video. Duck sauce is a mixture of vinegar with apricot and peach flavors. Sweet and sour sauce is pineapple, vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup, garlic, and soy sauce. A duck sauce flavored ice cream isn’t a stretch of the imagination. But real sweet and sour sauce? Ketchup and soy sauce in ice cream?! Could this actually work?