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31 March 2011

Ducati Desmosedici RR

One of the past weekend's highlights was spotting a rare bike... Alice.

Alice is a Ducati Desmosedici RR: a £40k road legal MotoGP motorcycle replica. This is a rare find, particularly due to its price, but also because of scarce availability.

There's a lot special about this bike from an engineering point of view.

Here's a detailed technical description and comparison between a Desmosedici RR and a GPn:
And this is a very good succinct 3d model of a desmodromic valve:

From a rider's standpoint this is probably as close as one can get to a road legal motogp bike. And that's ~200bhp at the rear wheel, slipper clutch, 171Kg (== over 1000 bhp per 1000Kg), a beautiful growling Ducati V-4 engine attached to a glorious - barely legal - exhaust and handling manners of a race bike.
This is _not_ my type of bike, but it's as exciting as a GT1 racing car. Like such, I would not pass the opportunity to try it out. :-]

This week's reading list

A covert distributed file system implemented on top of hacked printers.
Video here:

A more generic, yet much longer and deeper printer hacking presentation. Included in the discussion are the issues of firmware infection and remote attacks to printers with malicious physical consequences.

Cisco's guide of IPv6 for dummies. This is a long PDF presentation that is well worth the time to go through.

TCP hijacking state of the art (in the context of proxy services)
Complements well with this tool:


08 March 2011

eroded compact disc

Metallica: the black album, an album of a very rare breed of musical work. I bought this CD a long time ago - around 1994 (about 17 years ago). Shortly after I bought it, maybe a year or so, I noticed these tiny cracks appearing around the edges. Those tiny cracks have been growing as if erosion or corrosion has been taking place in the reflective material.

eroded compact disc?
No other CD I own has ever had this kind of issue. I'm guessing this was a manufacturing defect, perhaps a one-off or an entire batch, who knows? The last track doesn't play any more - there's no reflective material left to cover the entire surface that contains it.

Isn't it ironic that this kind of physical wear would develop in a compact disc - one of the most robust digital support ever made, originally developed and aimed at the consumer market as reliable media to record and playback music? The fact that this was a one-off in my collection and that a (quick) google search revealed nothing of this kind probably means that this is indeed rare.

But a curious one, nonetheless...