1. Forget pizza money, how about chipping in to hire a bouncer?

    16 October 2007

    In London, England, someone posted details about the birthday party of one Stephen Worthy, age 18, on the Net, which was summarily read by some number of people Out There... the day of the party the location was invaded by over one hundred teenagers, who not only crashed the party but trashed the house and sent the poor guy to the hospital via airlift. His father, 53 year old David Worthy, was put on the shelf with a broken nose, provided at the hand of one of the party crashers. It was supposed to be a private 18th birthday party …

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  2. Like holding 'tea' and 'no tea' simultaneously. In a 'not' sort of way.

    16 October 2007

    Notorious BitTorrent tracker The Pirate Bay somehow came into possession of the net.domain of an organization called the IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry), which is said to be one of the Net's foremost anti-piracy organizations. The IFPI's been a thorn in the side of Pirate Bay for years, even going so far as to try to get hold of files on the 'tracker held by the Swedish police force, with no success. Supposedly, black hat tricks weren't needed to get hold of the domain (somebody probably sniped the domain the moment its registration expired), and as result …

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  3. First weekend update in a while.

    15 October 2007

    For the past couple of weeks, my weekends have been busy enough that there hasn't been much of interest to write about. Not that they weren't interesting interesting, but to be frank talking about driving around all over the place running errands, going to appointments, and things like that doesn't make for terribly gripping reading. This weekend, however, stands out in memory because it was the first really laid back weekend that we'd had in a long while.

    On Friday night Lyssa and I went shopping to get the stuff to make a lamb stew, some of which we'd be …

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  4. Somehow, I doubt that many will mourn this guy's passing.

    12 October 2007

    The notorious Russian spammer Alexey Tolstokozhev was found shot to death in his apartment just outside of Moscow earlier this week. Apparently, someone took rather violent offense at all of the advertisements for Viagra that he was hammering out and shot him a number of times, including one head shot. Supposedly, Russian police forces think that this is the trademark of a hitman employed by Russian organized crime, who don't take kindly to people muscling in on their territory (or declining "polite requests" to become part of their territory). It is thought that Tolstokozhev was personally responsible for roughly 30 …

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  5. I'm going to step out on a limb here.

    12 October 2007

    Right now, it's de rigeur for people on the Net to make fun of the ingominous death of the Reverend Gary Aldridge, who was found dead in his home this past Sunday. Because the details in the news report may not be safe for work, I'm going to put the rest of this article behind a cut... It seems that the good Reverend, a buddy of Jerry Fallwell's, had a thing for rubber (he was found wearing not one but two wetsuits), self-bondage, and autoerotic asphyxia, and when he was found dead it seems that the ligature around his neck …

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  6. HIPAA doesn't imply that you can trust those in control, now does it?

    12 October 2007

    Joseph Nathaniel Harris, a former branch manager at the San Jose Medical Group in California was sentenced to 21 months in prison and fines in excess of $145kus for stealing medical data. When Harris left his position after allegations that he'd been stealing money and medication from the facility, he is said to have stolen two computers and a DVD-ROM disk containing sensitive information about 187,000 patients, including Social Security numbers, medical histories, and diagnoses. The computers were found to have been sold for cash, but kept the disk containing the patient data. Thankfully none of that data got …

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  7. If anyone else did this, they'd have been fired faster than you can blink.

    12 October 2007

    One Jerry Miller, head of the payroll team for the Administrative Knowledge System project of the Ohio Department of Administrative Services screwed up in a pretty major way - he let one of his interns take a backup tape containing, among other things, data on better than 130,000 employees of the state of Ohio, former employees and contractors of same, and sundry Ohio residents. Seeing as how it was payroll information, I'll leave it to you to guess what kinds of information were encoded on that tape. The tape was stolen from the back of said intern's car in June …

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  8. New releases from Steampunk Magazine.

    11 October 2007

    The staff over at Steampunk Magazine have a pair of new releases for the edification and amusement of everyone out there. First off, issue number three of their 'zine has been released under the terms of the Creative Commons v2.5 license for download or purchase at the cost of $3us. Secondly, a short book entitled A Steampunk's Guide to the Apocalypse has hit both the Net and printing press (cost, $5us), and features the paintings of Mr. Colin Foran (XKCD-flavored technical drawings by Anonymous). Tongue in cheek in nature, it briefly describes how one would stay on one's …

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  9. A word to would-be presenters out there.

    09 October 2007

    Unless it involves 0-day security vulnerabilities that amount to a global panic in the style of bad Hollywood action movies never, ever install updates of any kind on the laptop you're going to carry into the field with you the week before, or you'll spend every waking moment up until the time you go before the crowd trying to fix your laptop. Don't be That Presenter At the Con.

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  10. Working around patent licensing problems with evolutionary algorithms.

    08 October 2007

    Evolutionary computer algorithms are good at solving a relatively common set of problems through trial and error - the set of problems that we know of with a large number of equally valid possible solutions, of which some subset of those are faster or more efficient. The only way to see which of these solutions will do what you want is to try one and mess around with it for a while, and then try a slightly different approach. In other words, by tinkering, tweaking, and hacking around, which is great on a small scale but when you're looking at a …

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