Update 3 on iOS smart home application analysis

During the past weeks, I have been focusing on exploring smart home apps in their assembly form. Specifically, I was trying to find out the exact implementation of SSL/TLS trust. However, I realized after two days that this is not going anywhere. This is due mostly because the assembly form of any of the smart home apps is packed with library functions and regular functions by the nature of smart home apps. As soon as I realize this, I tried to readjust myself, and approach this problem from another angle instead of trying to brute force my way through the assembly code. I first constructed a flow chart demonstrating how applications are connecting to the web in general. Then I listed out all the possible ways that could be potentially go wrong. This helped my narrow down the list of options and the areas I have to research in detail. I also realized that this could potentially be applied to every app, so that’s pretty cool.

[Read more…]

Fossil Oysters and Environmental Productivity

Crassostrea gigantissima

This summer I’ll be working on my thesis for the geology department. My primary interest is paleontology and most of my research is on extinct oysters. My thesis focuses on one species of oyster, Crassostrea gigantissima. C. gigantissima lived about 30 million years ago along the coast of the southeast United States. Its known for being one of the largest species of oyster, living or extinct. A large modern oyster may grow 10 centimeters in length. A typical C. gigantissima grew 25-30 centimeters long, with a remarkably thick shell. I’m interested in understanding why C. gigantissima grew so large, and hopefully applying that knowledge to help modern oysters. [Read more…]