sharkfinning - verb, gerund - Learning something from scratch in an entirely hands-on way, which is to say, "Swimming with the sharks." When you don't know what you're doing or how to do it, but you have a job to do.
As the title of this post implies, I've been working on some stuff lately that's been taking up enough compute cycles that I haven't been around to post much. Some of this is due to work, because we're getting into the really busy time of year and when I haven't been at work I've been relaxing. Some of this is due to yet another run of dental work that, while it hasn't really been worth writing about has resulted in my going to bed and sleeping straight through until the next day. And some of it's due to my hacking …
debuggery - noun - The unshakable feeling that your code is completely fucked when you spend multiple all nighters in a row tracking down a single annoying bug that winds up not being in your core code, nor any modules you've written, nor any of the libraries you're using, but in a different part of the system entirely. In other words, your code is so poorly architected that you can't tell when problems aren't actually in your code.
In the last post in this series I talked about the origins of my exocortex and a few of the things I do with it. In this post I'm going to dive a little deeper into what my exocortex does for me and how it's laid out.
My agent networks ("scenarios" in the terminology of Huginn) are collections of specialized agents which each carry out one function (like requesting a web page or logging into an XMPP server to send a message). Those agents communicate by sending events to one another; those events take the form of structured, packaged pieces …
So, after going on for a good while about software agents you're probably wondering why I have such an interest in them. I started experimenting with my own software agents in the fall of 1996 when I first started undergrad. When I went away to college I finally had an actual network connection for the first time in my life (where I grew up the only access I had was through dialup) and I wanted to abuse it. Not in the way that the rest of my classmates were but to do things I actually had an interest in. So …
Here and behind the cut are the notes I took at DefCon 23. They are necessarily incomplete because they're notes, and I refer you to the speakers' presentations and eventually video recordings for the whole story.
- Knowing your operations and resources
- More effective and efficient
- Competitive intelligence
- What's happening outside of your business
- Know your competitors and markets
- Collect, analyze, and apply external data
- There is a professional association of people who do competitive intelligence
- Applied intelligence is actionable and changes what you do
- Most is useless unless you develop it …
Last week Alexius Pendragon invited me to be the special guest on the podcast he co-hosts, called More Than Bits! During the interview I fielded a bunch of questions about the RaspberryPi and my lunchtop, Squeak and Scratch, capture the flag competitions and Project 2 by dirtbags.net, Project Byzantium, and being on the Global Frequency.
I was unfortunately ill-prepared for the interview because I ran home from work and jacked in without taking the time to get my head or my notes together, so I made quite a few gaffs. I hate it when I'm operating half in work …
user@host $:~ man 3 memcpy
What could possibly go wrong?
It's been a couple of weeks - far too long, really - since I've written anything about Project Byzantium. We've been hard at work when we haven't been working our day jobs though we haven't really made a lot of it public (or at least visible). A few weeks back an official developers' page was set up on the HacDC wiki and the mailing list was fixed at long last so you don't have to subscribe to a Yahoogroup and worry about cross-posting. Right now only a little conversation takes place aside from notifications whenver code is checked into our repository at …