Apropos of Just About Nothing [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Matt Beaumont-Gay

[ website | My Website ]
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City Beer Maps [Dec. 8th, 2008|05:10 pm]
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[mood |thirsty]
[music |Dandy Warhols - We Used To Be Friends]

This is pretty much awesome.
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On fairness [Sep. 16th, 2008|12:08 pm]
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[mood |busy]
[music |Live - I Alone]

Seen in a comments thread about paper deadline extensions:

"If people don't like randomly distributed unequal treatment, then why do they keep submitting papers to security research conferences?"
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"Street legal" jet-powered Beetle [Sep. 15th, 2008|12:12 am]
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... Built by a MechE Ph.D. with (I presume) too much time and money on his hands:

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Greatest sentence I've seen all day [Sep. 8th, 2008|09:32 am]
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[music |Bad Pennies - Remains The Same]

Schneier: "Cory Doctorow wanted a secret decoder wedding ring, and he asked me to help design it."

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fortune [Jul. 29th, 2008|09:36 am]
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[music |work chatter]

"No skis take rocks like rental skis!"
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Security history [May. 1st, 2008|04:17 pm]
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[music |Mighty Mighty Bosstones - Toxic Toast]

Via Nate Lawson's blog, TEMPEST: A Signal Problem is a recently declassified NSA document on the history of "compromising radiations from communications and Comsec equipment." Unfortunately, big chunks are still redacted, but there are still a couple pages worth of interesting reading there.
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How do they keep finding awesome features to add? [Apr. 19th, 2008|07:02 pm]
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Google Maps will now show you predicted traffic conditions for a given day and time. Is there somewhere I can sign up to be told about these things without having to stumble upon them?
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Schneier on the "security mindset" [Mar. 21st, 2008|11:09 am]
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I, and a great many people I know, think like this.
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"Meet Me Room"? [Mar. 3rd, 2008|10:30 pm]
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[music |No Doubt - Just A Girl [181.fm]]

Wired is carrying a small photo gallery of One Wilshire.
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How big is Alaska? [Mar. 3rd, 2008|10:18 pm]
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[mood |buzzed]
[music |Pepper - Your Face [wazee]]

This big. (h/t my best friend from back in the day.)
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On Metrics [Feb. 5th, 2008|10:57 am]
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[mood |sleep-dep'd]
[music |Green Day - Working Class Hero]

Somebody over at Veracode has found the only valid measurement of code quality.

h/t Emergent Chaos
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Word of the day [Jan. 31st, 2008|11:32 am]
[mood |caffeinated]
[music |Ozomatli - Eva]

Paralipsis, n. The rhetorical device of emphasising or drawing attention to something by professing to say little or nothing about it, or affecting to dismiss it (usually with such phrases as not to mention, to say nothing of, etc.); an instance of this. [OED]

E.g.: "I will not stoop to mentioning the occasion last winter when our esteemed opponent was found asleep in an alleyway with an empty bottle of vodka still pressed to his lips." [Wikipedia (Apophasis)]

I saw this word years ago in the context of a fantastic example from, I believe, George Washington's farewell speech. I promptly forgot it, and have been trying to rediscover it off and on ever since. Hat tip to Wikipedia's glossary of rhetorical terms.
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Fortune (from an actual fortune cookie) [Jan. 28th, 2008|12:34 pm]
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[music |Wallflowers - Everybody Out of the Water]

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On the edges of the internets [Jan. 22nd, 2008|03:32 pm]
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[mood |busy]
[music |Tegan and Sara - Walking With A Ghost]

Because I can't climb for three hours straight, my shift at the rock wall included reading "Characterizing Residential Broadband Networks" (Dischinger et al., in Proc. IMC 2007). It's not the best-written paper ever, but their results are fascinating (at least if you're a networks geek and/or care why you get the performance that you do from your home broadband connection). I'm sad they only measure networks in North America and Europe (i.e., not in Japan or Korea), and there are a few mysteries left unexplained (why do three different providers' networks show a strong modality in downstream queue length at 130ms?), but there are a lot of really awesome graphs and numbers in there.
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In case you're bored at work [Jan. 16th, 2008|11:24 am]
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[mood |amused]
[music |Marcy Playground - Saint Joe on the School Bus]

Along the lines of The 213 Things Skippy is No Longer Allowed to Do in the U.S. Army, I give you 1025 Things Mr Welch Can No Longer Do in an RPG, e.g. "92. The name of the weapon shop is not 'Bloodbath and Beyond'." Also, bonus points for repeated The Last Starfighter references.
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Hooray for bored geeks [Jan. 14th, 2008|11:02 am]
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[mood |dehydrated]
[music |forgot iPod :(]

Somebody went and wrote a script that crawls Newegg's hard drive listings and then generates a plot of GB/$ versus size. I approve.
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Google suggestions FTW [Dec. 4th, 2007|01:02 pm]
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[mood |amused]
[music |Stranger's Six - Back to the Start]

I wanted to chase some references from "My Botnet is Bigger than Yours," so I started typing the title into the search bar. After getting through "my botnet", Google helpfully suggested "my botnet brings all the feds to my yard". I can't even begin to imagine how that phrase got sufficiently popular to be returned by the suggestion engine...
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Guerrilla clock repair [Nov. 26th, 2007|12:22 pm]
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[music |Offspring - I Choose]

These guys are my new favorite:
For a year from September 2005, under the nose of the Panthéon's unsuspecting security officials, a group of intrepid "illegal restorers" set up a secret workshop and lounge in a cavity under the building's famous dome. Under the supervision of group member Jean-Baptiste Viot, a professional clockmaker, they pieced apart and repaired the antique clock that had been left to rust in the building since the 1960s. Only when their clandestine revamp of the elaborate timepiece had been completed did they reveal themselves.
(h/t Emergent Chaos -- the first comment is genius.)
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Easily amused [Oct. 30th, 2007|08:38 am]
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[mood |caffeinating]
[music |Weezer - Undone]

% cd ~/Downloads/linux-2.6.22 
% grep -r 'on fire' *
arch/i386/kernel/cpu/mcheck/p5.c:               printk(KERN_EMERG "CPU#%d: Possible thermal failure (CPU on fire ?).\n", smp_processor_id());
drivers/char/lp.c:                      printk(KERN_INFO "lp%d on fire\n", minor);
drivers/net/eexpress.c:         "board on fire"));
drivers/usb/class/usblp.c:static const char *usblp_messages[] = { "ok", "out of paper", "off-line", "on fire" };
drivers/macintosh/therm_windtunnel.c:   {  1, 0xfffff, 1 }      /* on fire */
include/asm-sparc64/solerrno.h:#define  SOL_ENETDOWN       127   /* Your subnet is on fire           */
include/asm-sparc/solerrno.h:#define    SOL_ENETDOWN       127   /* Your subnet is on fire           */
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Shinies (or, "Research imitates art") [Oct. 11th, 2007|11:24 am]
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[mood |hungry]

The Measurement Factory has a number of maps of the IPv4 address space, with blocks colored according to various metrics. Of note: "Here, 1-dimensional IPv4 address space is mapped into a 2-dimensional image using a 12th order Hilbert curve, as inspired by xkcd."

(I think this showed up on Slashdot a while back, but I didn't find it until this morning...)
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