Friday, December 24, 2004
Sheez, that kind of sounds like that song... "Let it Sn*w."
Anyhow, I will be going somewhere very warm soon, and I'll be blogging while I'm there ... but I'll be blogging on paper until I get back, so prepare for a big day of posts when I return.
Friday, December 17, 2004
Not only do I hate finals, but I had an exceptionally stupid memorization-based final for a stupid class. We had this "book" of notes that had to be more than 200 pages long, and it was chock full of formulas. Anyhow, we were expected to recite some of the formulas on the exam. This is grad school! I have the book, can't I just use it to reference the rarely-used formulas?
Anyhow. It's over.
Now I'm finally getting some time to relax (read: do last minute xmas shopping). It's nice to have a little free time...
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
Currently there are more than 60 people in our department who need teaching assistantship funding for next semester... and there are 45 or so slots. Because of the low enrollment, some people may get the shaft.
Of course it's not entirely the fault of the school (and their budget calculation "mistakes"): 80 of the grad students in our department haven't registered for next semester's classes yet. The deadline was two weeks ago. If the classes don't fill, the TA jobs don't get allocated. Makes sense, huh?
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
Apparently the sudden cold has shocked the crows into a fighting frenzy to keep warm. Tonight they're gathering in the trees around my apartment and cawing ... and flying around at each other to keep warm.
It's snowing a very light flurry of crow feathers.
It's kind of eerie to hear the sound of wind and then realize it's just crows ... that many of them ... flying around outside my apartment.
I'd take a picture, but it's dark, and they're dark, and it's cold.
Not much sounds creepier at night than a huge flock of crying crows.
Thursday, December 09, 2004
80% of email is spam
Only about 50 PhDs in infosec are graduated each year, but more than 4000 lawyers are.
Spaf sez, "Security is not about circling the wagons, it's about getting over the mountain safely" Like brakes in a car (the analogy he uses frequently) computer security features shouldn't be considered a circle-up defense mechanism, rather it should be a feature that lets you "drive faster."
What about epidemics? Most of the security threats are epidemic in nature. Getting rid of them may be impossible, but minimizing the outbreaks would be a huge accomplishment.
At many times during the talk, there were network interference problems, and in fact the video system crashed and burned halfway through. Here's Sid's Grand challenge: interference free video conferencing.
Spaf sez about our armed services using Microsoft Windows, "We've gone from the world's greatest blue-water navy to the worlds greatest blue-screen navy"
Did you know there are over 110,000 different viruses for MS products? There are at most dozens for other platforms. This is so bad that on an unprotected connection, automated scans will usurp and zombify a computer running XP in an average of 4 minutes (shortest in a recent test was four seconds).
We need trustworthy record systems. Hospital workers often don't trust their systems, so they don't use them to their full potential.
We don't measure computers in terms of dependability, reliability. We need to in order to do risk management in IT! But how do you measure the security or privacy risk on computers? This is a severe business problem.
(Link to relevant slides) (Link to similar stream) (Link to related paper)
Friday, December 03, 2004
This is somewhere on the IU campus... I need one of these. I hate shoe-shopping, it would be nice to just wait until the fall and then stand under it with a bucket to catch some new sneakers.
There must be $1000 of shoes in that tree. That's a $1000-of-used-shoes tree!
Nonetheless, the calls kept coming throughout the morning until I finally got a chance to answer one.
Me: Hello?Anyhow, they got it all worked out, but three of the strange calls that originated from an industrial plant in TH.
Voice: Wow... I'm surprised to get you!
Voice: yeah. (long pause) I'm with Verizon -- we're trying to set this number up for a new customer.
Me: (amazed) Really.
Voice: Yeah, this number hasn't been assigned!
Me: Well, I've been using it with AT&T. I took it with me when I switched from you guys.
Voice: (amazed) Really.
I'm glad to see that Verizon has the number switching system working perfectly. </sarcasm>
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
I make a conscious effort to avoid such behaviors, but I know I'm too a bubble-person at times. I urge everyone to be aware of others and at least realize that other people may be sharing the same space as you! Although, this has kind of a poetic mirror to the "me! me!" attitude we have in this country...
On a lighter note, I learned that stuffing, salad, turkey, and cranberry relish makes a great burrito, and that sometimes you get lucky: my long-term parking receipt from the airport says 3:23:59. One minute more, and I would have been charged for the fifth day!
Monday, November 08, 2004
I went to the pet store over the weekend, and saw a frantic chinchilla, some really lazy ferrets, and rats that clustered inside the running wheel. Little animals can be funny. I think I should get a cat. Maybe I'll just play with my parents' if they're milling around the house over thanksgiving.
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
On the other side, I worry about religious legislation. Recently states such as Missouri and Kentucky passed laws that ban same-sex marriage. On what legal grounds? Personally, I'm not too empathetic to people who don't care for the opposite sex, but who are we to say they can't have what they want? I say leave 'em alone. Sure the majority should have the rule, but it doesn't mean the minority should be oppressed or filtered out. Our country was founded by outcasts who were undesirables back home and needed a place to go where people would let them be. If a gay couple were to marry in our country, what harm would it do me? None! Leave them alone. Of all people, I would like a ban on pairs of psychopathic serial-killers who want to get married with intent to raise a herd of baby psychopaths. This is currently legal! There's no law against convicted felons getting married. We might as well pass a law about that too. While we're at it, since the "terrorists" of the 9/11 incident were Muslim, why don't we just ban Islam in the US too? Because it would be unconstitutional! So who says that gay marriage is unconstitutional!? By inflicting our religious beliefs on our set of laws in this country, we are becoming what we detested at the beginning: a country that shuns the minority with different values.
Granted, religion isn't always an excuse to oppress minority. Sometimes it can help. But in the case of Christian motivations behind civil rights, the religious influence was motivation for equality, not to pass laws against non-Christians.
The thing I find funny is that the so-called "Conservatives" are all about banning same-sex unions. What ever happened to non-interfering small government? Don't destroy our beautiful, free country. Supposedly we fought in Iraq to free the country---what would it say to the international community if we invade others to set them free but act like control freaks with our own citizens? Hands off, lawmakers. Hands off.
Monday, November 01, 2004
We lit them up last night and, boy, did they look neat. :) (Link)
Thursday, October 28, 2004
Today I fixed that. I woke up early and went outside with a hammer... An hour later, I had folded in a flap in my fenders that sticks in towards the tires. After a short test drive I was pretty satisfied.
Hopefully the paint chips won't rust fast, I need to sand down those edges now (hammering cracked them) and repaint. Luckily the damaged parts are out of view.