Thursday, 31 May 2007 at 11:53Boy, I feel old.
Wednesday, 30 May 2007 at 14:37Photographs from my New England vacation are now online.
I've also updated my .plan file with quotes from LayerOne and other places. Of course, not all of them are safe for work.
Tuesday, 29 May 2007 at 23:59I should know better than to examine my web stats before going to bed... somehow, I was ranked ninth on the first page of results.
(note: This Google search is probably not safe for work.)
Maybe the whole dying-and-regenerating thing has fetishists or something...
Monday, 28 May 2007 at 13:42As you've probably guessed, Lyssa and I got home about half an hour ago from New England.
That said, Lyssa and I also set a wedding date - 25 October 2008. We're still working out the details and specifics, but I'll post more as we finalize things.
Monday, 28 May 2007 at 13:40Rogue and Jessica of the Cruxshadows have set a wedding date - 29 December. Congratulations!
Sunday, 27 May 2007 at 20:46Jean, Lyssa, and I got up early on Saturday morning to hit the highways and travel farther northward, to the Mystic Seaport on the coast of Connecticut for a day-long jaunt. We got dressed and set forth in Jean's car around 0930 EST5EDT on Saturday morning, in the hope of dodging a lot of weekend tourist traffic. We almost pulled it off, too; traffic didn't start getting bad until we were within spitting distance of the Seaport, when traffic started backing up and parking when we got there became a worry. Thankfully, between a local radio station playing a full ninety-six hours of 80's music in alphabetical order by title and Lyssa's iPod, we were able to not go utterly insane while waiting for the opportunity to creep forward a few more feet. Once we arrived, we took a few minutes to secure the car and grease ourselves up with sunblock because temperatures hovered in the high 90's Fahrenheit yesterday, though without the humidity one expects of the DC metroplex.
I'm still very thankful that Jean offered to drive. I'm not sure that I would have made it after Friday night.
After getting ourselves geared up we met up with Shannon, who had the day off, and headed into the Seaport to see what we could find...
More under the cut...
Sunday, 27 May 2007 at 15:38On Friday afternoon, Lyssa and I spent a goodly part of the day laying around Jean's apartment to recover while she was at work. Long road trips wear me out, especially when I'm driving, so I wasn't in any mood to complain overmuch because we weren't doing anything. In fact, we were doing a large amount of blessedly nothing at all. When Jean got home we set forth once more to find dinner and visit Modern Myths, the gaming and comic book store run by old friends of Jean and Lyssa. We wound up at a mall not too distant from Modern Myths and stopped off first to get a gift for Fuscia's birthday (a couple of days past) at a store in the mall called the Blue Moon Market (no URL because there are too many businesses to sort through at the moment). While Jean and Lyssa hunted for a gift for Fuscia I wandered around the store checking out what they had, and eventually picked out a couple of stickers to add to my laptop, a couple of pins to add to one of my jackets, and I also stocked up on some incense that I haven't been able to find since my last trip to Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Blue Moon, as new-agey stores go, was fluffy and light on things that would actually be useful, but had one or two gems that made the hour-and-some drive farther north worth it. As stores in the mall go, on the other hand, I have to give it two thumbs up for the assortment of stuff they have in stock, the quality of the incense, and generally having stuff that wasn't crap, even though I couldn't work with 99.997% of anything.
Dinner was at the California Pizza Kitchen, which is a good restaurant for pizza and salads. We each ordered our personal pizza of choice (I opted for pepperoni with pineapple, because I wasn't much in the mood for true Hawaiian pizza) and caught up on the events of the day. Dessert came from Munson's Chocolates in the form of freshly made chocolate confections right out of the kitchen in the back.
Frankly, Godiva can go hide itself. Munson's fare has spanked it thoroughly, in my professional opinion. The chocolate-dipped pretzel rods were not only tasty in that salty-but-sweet kind of way, but not stale inside, which was a first in my book. The chocolate dipped s'mores were also amazing, and we'll probably be heading back there to pick up a few things for the drive home. On top of all of this, I got a free sample of their raspberry jam filled chocolates by accident, a candy which ranks so far down on my list of favourites that I scarcely give it a first thought when hunting for chocolate.
Holy shit, they were tasty.
But enough of my drooling about chocolates that don't suck, let's get on with the rest of the weekend, as it stands so far...
More under the cut...
Sunday, 27 May 2007 at 14:14Over at textfiles.com, Jason Scott is adding to his already voluminous archive by acquiring and putting online the contents of archive CDs, such as the shareware, text file, and artpack CDs that we used to burn our connection minutes on downloading files. Herr Scott says that, because he's downloaded these collections of files from the Net there's no way of knowing if they're complete, but you're likely to find something that you remember from back in the day.
As always, he's accepting donations of files to add to his collection.
Friday, 25 May 2007 at 14:06Todd over at A Different Drum has announced that he's taking pre-orders for the new Information Society Single, Oscillator (the announcement was made on the band's website today). Paul Robb of InSoc has stated that only 500 copies of their new CD-5 will be made - half will be sold through ADD, the other half will be sold at live shows. It's already hit #7 on ADD's sales charts, and the announcement only went out yesterday at 1200 EST5EDT. The official release date of the disk has not yet been announced, though when it is I'll post ASAP.
It should also be noted that there will be a data track on the disk, namely, the video for I Like the Way You Werk It, which was assembled out of footage contributed by fans on the Net.
I bought a copy of the Net-only version of Oscillator a couple of months ago, and I highly recommend that all InSoc fans out there get over to Todd's website and get your orders in before they're all spoken for.
Friday, 25 May 2007 at 13:49Yesterday afternoon Lyssa and I struck out northward for New England to visit Jean, an old friend just over the Connecticut border. We loaded up the newly repaired TARDIS and headed for the Beltway around 1500 EST5EDT yesterday afternoon.
Now, seeing as how it was the day before Memorial Day weekend began, we should have realised how bad the traffic on the Beltway was going to be, but we'd figured that if we left early we'd beat the rush and not experience any undue delays.
This was not the case. The Beltway was a parking lot of people leaving work in general and DC in particular, like rats deserting a sinking ship. It took us three wallclock hours to travel the fifteen miles to exit 27 heading northward.
Three hours. Three hours of wanting to turn the engine off to conserve gas, but the temperature was in the low 90's Fahrenheit yesterday afternoon, and would surely have spelled our doom. I like to think that some people driving on the Beltway yesterday would have liked to let us change lanes, but for the fact that traffic was, in fact, bumper to bumper, and there was no way anyone could move enough to let anyone else through. Especially the tractor trailers heading for Pennsylvania.
More under the cut...
Wednesday, 23 May 2007 at 21:06Hillary Clinton is apparently considering running for the presidency of the United States in 2008, and she's trying to draw attention to herself by letting the Net pick her campaign's theme song. Moreover, she's declared that she'll sing the theme song that her would-be constituents select on national television.
The Ferrett was struck with a bolt of inspiration earlier today: Go to the page where you can vote for her theme song. Right above the "Submit your vote" button, there's a text box where you can suggest and vote for another song.
Type in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air Theme by Will Smith and click "Submit your vote". You can vote as often as you'd like, just click the refresh button in your web browser.
Wednesday, 23 May 2007 at 15:48Marine biologists at the Queen's University of Belfast have made an interesting discovery: Hammerhead sharks will reproduce parthogenically under the right conditions. One of a number of female hammerhead sharks kept in captivity back in 2001 (yes, it took them this long to finish their research and publish) was reportedly able to produce young without the presence of a male hammerhead, which lead to some consternation. The original hypothesis was that the female in question had stored sperm from an earlier mating, so they took DNA samples from the sharks in the tank and the young and diff'd them to see which of the four was the mother and whether or not the DNA on file of male hammerheads could be identified.
They were quite surprised to find that there was no DNA characteristic of male sharks in the genome of the baby hammerhead.
This is a first in science, as far as anyone knows - vertebrates do not reproduce parthogenically, or at least we thought that they couldn't. Somehow, female hammerhead sharks are capable of inducing eggs to begin dividing and thus developing into young without the addition of male genetic material. The problem here is that it results in a loss of genetic diversity - without new genetic material from a male, the are only so many genes in a single sample that can be shuffled around, and this can reinforce drawbacks inherent in a particular specimen's genome.
Tuesday, 22 May 2007 at 23:10Yesterday afternoon my automobile insurance bill from Progressive came in, after wondering when it was going to arrive and whether or not it was going to get there before my policy expired partway through June of 2007. After opening the envelope to see what the damage was, I promptly wished that they'd taken a bit more time before mailing it out.. they were demanding $1274us to renew my six-month car insurance policy, with a minimum down payment of $515 to renew the policy. Seeing as how I'd been paying between $600us and $700us for insurance prior to that (they'd never explained the reasons for the differences in premiums between one half of the year to the next), the words 'unacceptable' and 'hell, no' came immediately to mind.
Let's go to the hardcopy...
More under the cut...
Saturday, 19 May 2007 at 14:41Summercon 2007 - in Atlanta, Georgia?
Stay tuned for more details...
Saturday, 19 May 2007 at 14:14This morning in lieu of breakfast (which, yeah, I screwed up by not defrosting the bacon last night) Lyssa and I trekked out to Fairfax, Virginia to hit the luncheon buffet at Minerva (10364 Lee Highway; Fairfax, VA, 22030; phone 703-383-9200), which is probably one of the best Indian restaurants in the area. They seem to specialize in southern Indian cuisine, as opposed to the northern style of Indian cooking that you usually find around here. We've been there a couple of times for dinner, but this is the first time we've made it for the buffet (which runs from 1200 until 1500 EST5EDT on the weekends).
I've yet to have anything that's less than "wow, this is good" at Minerva. As one would expect, they have a lot of vegetarian dishes there that are heavy in chickpeas, lentils, potatoes, and cauliflower. If that's not your speed, they also have a lot of chicken, lamb, and goat dishes, and not a few tasty curries, so there's an excellent chance that you'll find something that you'll like. If you're new to Indian cuisine, I highly suggest going to the buffet first so that you can sample a little bit of everything to see what you like and what you don't like. The past few times I've been there, I've had (and thus, can recommend) the dosa (rice crepes, which we refer to as 'dinner scrolls'), the chicken 65, tadka da (lentil curry), mutter paneer (lightly spiced cheese cubes in sauce), palak paneer (lightly spiced cheese cubes in cooked spinach), masala aloo gobi (a personal favourite - curried cauliflower and potatoes), malai kofta (minced vegetable croquettes in a sauce of cardamon, saffron, and garlic), chicken masala, and what is probably my new favourite dish, gobi manghuria (cauliflower fried in a sweet-but-spicy sauce that I can only compare to the sauce used in General T'sao's chicken in appearance and texture).
I don't think that most of the dishes I've had were too spicy, but then again I have a much higher tolerance for spicy heat than a lot of people. I've quite enjoyed everything I've had, which means that most of you are probably going to need bread or milk to cut the burn at some point.
Overall rating: Half a flaregun out of a possible four. If you're in NOVA and you like Indian food in particular or spicy food in general, run, do not walk, to Minerva. If traffic's bad, charter a helicopter and head for Fairfax. When you see Hooters, instruct the pilot to land in the parking lot, disembark, and run for Minerva.
Saturday, 19 May 2007 at 01:10When working with the Perl, you can use the module Getopt::Long to implement your command line argument parser. However, if your script can take a string of words after the arguments, like this
./my_script.pl --arg1 --arg2 --arg3 foo bar baz quux
the -- options will be removed from @ARGV, leaving only the other words (foo, bar, baz, et al). This means that you don't have to write any routines to dig them out of @ARGV.
Friday, 18 May 2007 at 18:59In preparation for a cross-country drive in a couple of weeks, I took the TARDIS into the dealership for a checkout and routine maintenance yesterday morning, figuring that it would only take an hour or two before the mechanics were finished and I could get on with my work. As things are wont to happen to me, it's never quite as easy as it seems.
Because I was in the middle of changing jobs last year, I never took my car in for the 15k mile maintenance checkout, which the manufacturer requires to keep the warranty up to date and valid. Seeing as how I paid a pretty penny for the bumper-to-bumper plus 15 billion years extended warranty, I was in no position to argue yesterday when this point was raised. The base cost for the 15k was in the neighborhood of $277us: A considerable expenditure at the drop of a hat, but a drop in the bucket when compared to possible mechanical failures. I signed the paperwork and had the shuttlebus drive me to Tyson's Corner mall to kill time, because I normally wait in the Koon's Tyson's Toyota dealership's customer lounge, and the change of scenery would be nice to stir things up a little bit.
The two hour projected wait turned into something like six hours. A number of mechanical problems were detected by the mechanics, including the need to rotate the tires and re-align the wheels, and on top of all of this the air conditioning needed to be dismantled, cleaned, and reassembled. Frankly, they had me at the word 'mildew', and seeing as how most of my friends in DC have health problems of one kind or another (Lyssa's asthma, in particular, is a concern of mine) I didn't want to put anyone at risk if I absolutely didn't have to.
In the interim, I got a couple of projects tackled while drinking coffee at Barnes and Nobles, wandered the stacks, hiked the length of the mall a couple of times and poked around in some stores, walked back to Barnes and Nobles, and generally acted like a pop culture tourist with nothing better to do than wander the Tyson's Corner Mall pretending to be well-to-do with a couple of hundred dollars American burning a hole in my pocket. Somewhen along the way I took the elevator up to the food court on the third floor because they offer free wireless net.access and checked my e-mail. Unfortunately, they made it hellishly difficult to get an SSH or VPN connection out of their firewall, so I wasn't able to finish everything I needed to. Quite frankly, I don't trust public wireless networks any farther than I can throw my TARDIS, and I won't have anything sensitive going out over an unencrypted link, or for that matter encrypted but passing through at least one machine that I didn't construct personally.
I'm fairly certain that the final hour at the mall was spent waiting for the shuttlebus to get around to finding me and haul me back to the dealership. There seems to have been a lot of that going around lately, because I was sitting with a few other people who were waiting for a pickup also, only a bit less patiently than I was. I think that I could have waited just a bit longer to pay the piper, though.
Net cost: $470us. So much for my discretionary budget this month.
If nothing else I don't have to worry about the engine mounts disintegrating in a spray of oxidation and the cooling system winding up in my lap.
Friday, 18 May 2007 at 16:33Worth1000.com has done it again.. this time, the theme of their Photoshop contest is if h4><0rz pwn3d the Earth.
Wednesday, 16 May 2007 at 23:47Lionsgate Home Video has announced that it'll be releasing a DVD boxed set of the Sci-Fi Channel's original show, The Dresden Files (based on the novels of the same name by Jim Butcher). Season one is slated for release on 7 August 2007 and has some very interesting features planned, including the movie-length version of Storm Front (which was originally supposed to be the pilot), audio commentaries for at least two episodes (Robert Wolfe says that he recorded commentaries with Paul Blackthorne for Things That Go Bump and Rules of Engagement), and the usual collection of deleted scenes.
The suggested retail price will be in the neighborhood of $40us. The official pre-order date is 11 July 2007, though supposedly you can get orders in earlier than this. To that end, I did some poking around on Amazon, but they don't have it listed yet.
Wednesday, 16 May 2007 at 20:00College professor and performance artist Stelarc has been talking about performing an experiment for years, namely, finding a plastic surgeon who would fabricate for him a third ear out of his own flesh. The problem, he said when I spoke to him about it a number of years ago, was finding a plastic surgeon who would have no trouble designing and implanting the prosthesis, when in fact plastic surgeons make all sorts of modifications to people every day, such as increasing and decreasing the sizes of breasts.
He's finally pulled it off. It's now protruding from the inside of his left forearm, though it needs a bit more work to look more like a normal human ear.
The next step is even more unusual (as if a college professor with a biosculpted ear sticking out of his arm wasn't enough) - he's designing a wireless microphone that will fit into what would be the ear canal of his third ear that will link to a computer hooked into the Net via the Bluetooth protocol so that anyone can listen to an audio stream of what's going on around him at any moment.
Tuesday, 15 May 2007 at 13:59About four years ago, a retired professor emeritus from the University of Pittsburgh named Bernhardt Lieberman was doing research on the hacker subculture. He interviewed a number of people in Pittsburgh (myself included at the time), and in 2004 attended the HOPE conference to interview another group of attendees about their lives, practices, education, and interests (computers and hacking aside).
I kept in touch with Bernhardt up until I left Pittsburgh in 2005, at which time I didn't have a net.connection for a couple of months. Life being what it is, I didn't actually get around to contacting him again until last week...
More under the cut...
Saturday, 12 May 2007 at 16:57The guys over at the Hacker Foundation have put together a jaunt for globetrotting hackers that will be hard to pass up, a project that they're calling Hackers On A Plane. Through much wheeling and dealing, they've cut deals with the organizers of Defcon in Las Vegas and the Chaos Computer Camp in Germany, and they've made it possible to attend both. Here's how:
For $1,337us (or €1,337eur), you can attend Defcon in Vegas (though you'll have to pay for your own food and sleeping space), fly from Vegas to Frankfurt, Germany, catch a charter flight to the Finow Airport, attend the entire Chaos Computer Camp (with crash space reserved for you at Camp Anaconda), and then fly back to one of a number of airports in the US (alternatively, if you're already a citizen of the European Union, your flight to Las Vegas from the EU for Defcon will be covered by this deal instead).
Nick talked about this a bit at LayerOne but I hadn't heard anything about it until today.
I wish I could attend this; I'd love to go to Defcon this year but I'm not sure that I'll be able to make it, what with work and all.
Thursday, 10 May 2007 at 21:29From the Livejournal of Hasufin:
Rainbow kites. On the National Mall. Nothing "in your face", but if we can get enough people involved, it'll get noticed.
We've created a community for this. It's called gbltkite.
Due to the somewhat sensitive nature, it's going to be moderated for now. If you're interested, join up!
If you have a Livejournal, I highly recommend that all LGBT folk and allies in the DC metroplex give it a look, and consider helping us out. You don't necessarily have to be queer to join in - if you care, you're welcome.
Thursday, 10 May 2007 at 19:38A little searching revealed a Flickr group for LayerOne conference photographs.
Thursday, 10 May 2007 at 15:25Now available: Photographs from the LayerOne conference in 2007
Also available: Photographs from the burlesque show at LayerOne (NOTE: Not safe for work!)
Thursday, 10 May 2007 at 14:33The theme of our annual Samhain party was simple: Comic books: DC vs. Marvel. DC comics, sparing no expense, sent some of its heavy hitters from their Vertigo imprint to represent, vis a vis Papa Midnight from Hellblazer and King Mob from the Invisibles. Marvel called in the services of Rorschach from Watchmen.
Thursday, 10 May 2007 at 13:35
Panasonic really did buy ad space on the seat-back trays of at least one US Air passenger jet. In this case, they're advertising their latest generation of Toughbook notebook computers.
Thursday, 10 May 2007 at 13:29I don't know about anyone else, but this is going to make the 'good' kids angry that they aren't trusted, and the 'bad' kids are going to get even more crafty.
Thursday, 10 May 2007 at 13:23
Wednesday, 09 May 2007 at 14:071048 PST8PDT - Burbank Airport.
What a dump. I finally got to see more of it because I'll be stuck here for a few hours. When I originally arrived we were ushered out of the terminal to the curbside baggage pickup without ceremony, only security guards, so I wasn't able to take the fifty cent tour of the terminal.
It's small. There's noplace to eat, save for a really, really crappy cafe' that serves hideously bad wraps and lousy smoothies. By 'noplace' I mean just that - there are no other places to go in terminal B for food unless you want to try to live on chewing gum and potato chips that I don't much trust given how bad everything else is. On top of all of this, there are only pay-for-play wireless providers in this airport, which I studiously avoid if I can help it (not because I'm cheap but because I don't trust sending my credit card information out over wireless networks of any kind; I've done wireless security for too long to have any illusions about how safe it really is). On top of all of this, large numbers of ceiling tiles are gone, revealing shielded power cables (standard for large buildings), dangling hanging ceiling wires, and metal struts. You'd think that they started renovating and then gave up shortly after the effort began or something.
For the longest time I wondered why Lyssa would not eat rather than eat marginal food. I now understand the wisdom of doing this (or not doing this, depending upon your point of view). I want my $15us back.
Yes, in addition to being horrid it was also overpriced. I should have done the smart thing and got a muffin and coffee or something. Burn me once, shame on you. Burn me twice, shame on me.
More under the cut...
Monday, 07 May 2007 at 12:04I made it to the LayerOne conference safe, sound, and on a shuttle bus that runs from the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, California to the Hilton in Pasadena. Travel tip: If you can avoid it, don't catch a cab, they cost an arm and a leg. If you can charter a shuttlebus you'll pay much less for the trip. A cab ride would probably have cost me about $70us, while I paid all of $23us for a leisurely ride to the hotel, in air conditioning (not that we needed it) and comfort. Of course, I hadn't been there for a half-hour before work called because something came up. I wound up spending the next six hours fixing stuff that had broken during the flight out west.
Note to other travellers: The Pasadena Hilton has wireless net.access (802.11g at 54 mbps) but it's not free, it's pay-for-play. Any laptop can associate with the access points (ESSID "hhonors", channel 6) but if you want to get out of their network you have to pony up. It's $9.99us for noon-to-noon access or $25us for three days straight of access. If you try to browse any websites before then you'll be redirected to a hotspot's gateway server (HTTPS protected) where you'll be prompted for your room number, full name, and the last four digits of the credit card number you used to make your reservation. I'm told that you can pick just about any room number at the hotel (four digits, first two encode the floor number, second two the individual room), use name 'Smith', and give the numeric string '1234' but I didn't personally try that. What I do know is that I was able to run a few TCP traceroutes to Google and Yahoo without problems, and ping a few more systems Out There Somewhere without having to pay, but when I tried to SSH back to the Network my connection attempts kept timing out at the gateway. Talking about this
with other con-goers makes me wonder if I didn't try hard enough because at least a few people had not trouble getting out on oddly-numbered ports. One individual managed to use pot 53/TCP (which is normally used for DNS).
More under the cut...
Friday, 04 May 2007 at 16:460814 EST5EDT - Writing offline on Windbringer, high above the state of Virginia, I believe.
Somehow I managed to get to bed at a decent time last night in preparation for my trip to the LayerOne conference in Pasadena, California this weekend. However, that should not be construed to mean in any way that I had an easy time of falling asleep... being naturally inclined to life as a night owl (professionally and otherwise), retiring before midnight is often problematic, unless I've run myself into the ground and really need the rest anyway. Still, somehow I caught a few hours of sleep and one of REM to get ready for today. I was showered, dressed, packed, and ready to roll by 0430 EST5EDT for Hasufin's house. He was kind enough to let me leave the TARDIS there while I was gone, and drive me to the airport to catch my flight.
I forgot to leave him a spare key. Damn. Note to self: Have Lyssa bring one to the cookout on Saturday.
More under the cut...
Thursday, 03 May 2007 at 22:28I'll be leaving for the LayerOne conference in a couple of hours. Hopefully I'll meet up with some of my readers while I'm out there.
Oh, and I updated my .plan file.
Thursday, 03 May 2007 at 16:04I just want to watch DVDs on my Linux machine.
Thursday, 03 May 2007 at 15:26One C. Scott Ananian will be interviewing at Google in a couple of days, and posted in his Livejournal about the non-disclosure agreement that he has to sign before he can even be interviewed. This is unusual in and of itself, because usually you sign an NDA after you sign on with a company which tells you what you can and can't talk about and the length of time that these restrictions would be in effect. Google's pre-interview NDA has no time limit on it, and covers not only what they discuss during the interview but the compensation and benefits packages, who he'll be interviewing with, and even the fact that he went on an interview. The NDA also requires the signer to never again mention Google in any public manner after signing.
Some brave soul posted the verbatim contents of the Google pre-interview NDA to a weblog in case you'd like to read the original text.
This is pretty hair-raising stuff.. sure, Google is one of the hottest companies on the planet but I don't think that there's any reason for them to pull any of these "If you tell anyone that you interviewed with us, we'll have to kill you" shenanagins. I wonder if the dust-up last year with the guy who left Microsoft for Google had something to do with it.. as I recall there was a nasty legal battle involved in that situation.
I wonder how the NDA affects their Summer of Code program, come to think of it...
Wednesday, 02 May 2007 at 00:04For the past couple of days, the Linksys 802.11b wireless access point that I've been using since my days in Pittsburgh has steadily been going downhill, much to my chagrin. I got about four years out of it, which isn't bad for an access point, but now it's making work difficult and so it's become a liability. Seeing as how I just got my paycheque I decided that while I was out and about I'd run down to the geek's equivelent of Wal-Mart and pick myself up a new access point, a Linksys WRT54G v6, to be precise.
Right out of the box it seems a bit more stable, which is to say it only had to POST (power on self-test) once before I could log into it (default IP address 192.168.1.1, no username, password 'admin') and start configuring everything.
My only complaint is that I can't configure it to act as a pure wireless access point - it's designed to be a router and it more or less has to be used as a router if you're going to use it at all. Seeing as how I went to the trouble to fence off a block of RFC 1918 IP addresses (well, no trouble really, but it's the principle of the thing) and set up a DHCP server on my lab network, I'm a little peeved. Then again, it's one less thing to worry about in the long run. What I wound up doing was setting up a second network behind the 54G and letting it act as a NATting router into the lab network with transparent forwarding of everything active. Setting up WPA took only a few minutes; transferring the list of MAC addresses to permit took longer.
After tweaking Windbringer's configuration a little bit, I was up and running from my
Next up: Run emerge --sync and see how long it takes Windbringer to pull down updates.
Tuesday, 01 May 2007 at 23:47A team of researchers at MIT have figured out how to partially compromise quantum cryptography systems through a creative interpretation of the entanglement principle. In a system protected with quantum cryptographic principles, bits of information are encoded by assigning meaning to the polarisation of individual photons of light (up-down could mean a one, left-right could mean a zero) and thus exchange keying material. The very act of observing quantum particles changes their properties and thus destroys the data encoded in the particles, so in theory an eavesdropper Somewhere Out There listening in would corrupt the stream of data by damaging the key used for a portion of the message. If one end or the other of such a protected link detected a sudden spike in the error rate, they would assume that someone is monitoring and move to another communications medium to dodge the efforts of the eavesdropper.
The researchers were able to entangle (and thus correlate) the polarisation of photons with their momentum, and thus determine what about 40% of the bits used in the key were without disturbing the keying information or corrupting the message on the other end. That is not much of the key but it is enough to figure out nearly half of a message.. that 'nearly half' could be the most dangerous part of a military communique', for example.
Tuesday, 01 May 2007 at 23:06Ashran now has skin on his foot - the third degree burns are completely gone, and he's able to wear shoes once more. Granted, he's only got one layer of skin now and it's looking pretty bad (from a cosmetic perspective) but the wounds are closed over and tissue regeneration continues apace.
Tuesday, 01 May 2007 at 08:13E-Gold is an online bank which allows customers to anonymously deposit money into an account and transfer it electronically to other accounts on financial networks around the world, very much like Swiss or South American banks allow you to do if you've got enough money. The thing about E-Gold is that you don't have to be as rich as a James Bond villain to open an account, you only need a small amount of money to open one of their numbered accounts. For the past couple of years, however, the United States government has been investigating them, and brought the founders up on charges of violating anti-money laundering laws. Some pretty unsavory folks, like identity thieves and drug dealers, they say, have been caught using E-Gold to store and launder money related to their transactions, and so the people who run the company are in trouble for it. To make sure that the prosecutors stir up the maximum amount of outrage from the people so that their reputation they also paged one of the Four Horsement of the Infocalypse, Child Pornography.
There is no word yet if the US government will go after PayPal, Western Union, or the countries of Switzerland, Bolivia, or Argentina next. Cash is still readily available in this country, though I don't expect it to last another fifty years.
Even though you can't trust all of the information in this Wikipedia article (it's Wikipedia, after all), it's got a good overview of how anonymous electronic currencies in general and E-Gold in particular work.