May 18, 2007

It's been a bit quiet here because I've been very busy. My long waiting game is over and I finally have a new job with Barracuda Networks. They are most famous for their effective spam firewall appliance, but I'll be working on the IM Firewall appliance (which may be slightly misnamed; it provides IM server services and ships with a client, it's not just a "filter").

They're opening an office in Ann Arbor, but to interview I had to fly out to California, and I'll be spending some time in Cali before the office opens. That probably won't affect my blog much though. If anything it'll help it. :)

As long as I'm here with a general status report-type post... Programming Wisdom stalled because I've been very unsatisfied how the next section came out. I think I finally got it straightened out, and I'll probably have it ready next Monday. It took four tries to get it right.

May 13, 2007

A dream I once described here:

I dreamt that somebody came up with a symbol that would cause you to die if you looked at it. I’m not sure exactly what the symbol was, but it was an 8 by 8 grid of single-digit numbers and a few lines. (Matrix mathematicians beware!)

The funny thing is this: Nobody believed it when told. They’d demand to see it, snatch it out of the person’s hands, and as they are collapsing to the ground loudly declare, “See, I told you so.”... their final words.

And this would happen over and over again. One person watches someone kick the bucket right in front of them, refuses to believe it, grabs the symbol out of the dead person’s hand, and again proudly announces in their last two seconds of life that they knew it wasn’t true.

Here's a serious science fiction story dealing with that basic premise. (And of course there was a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode where our heros propose destroying the Borg this way.)

I'd note that while it's impossible (literally and with mathematical backing) to rule out the existence of an image that could "crash" the human mind, it would likely be very different for every person, not the same for everybody. And failure-to-process need not manifest as "crash"... I think optical illusions are basically exactly such a failure to be able to express an image using the biases of the human mind, and the power of an optical illusion tends to top out at "giving me a headache". Although, to be fair, they do sometimes do that, which is pretty impressive for a simple image.

May 13, 2007
The last five minutes of St Elsewhere is the only television show, ever. Everything else is a daydream. - Dwayne McDuffie

May 10, 2007

The best argument against the War on Terrorism is that terrorism simply isn't enough of a threat to be worth the resources we're pouring into it. On the balance, in a universe that permits things like nuclear weapons, I'm not quite willing to bet the farm on that argument, but I certainly think it's well within the field of factually-viable opinions on the issue.

Read the rest (1012 words)

May 07, 2007

Holy cow.

That's not a special one, either, they all look like that.

(And the humor's pretty good, too.)

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