Dec 31, 2013

I don't listen to the radio hardly at all anymore. Recently, I was with my wife while she was just idly flipping through, and I was astounded.

Rappers? Autotuned.

Rockers? Autotuned.

Country? Autotuned.

The electro/techno stuff was autotuned, but that's less of a surprise.

Autotune, autotune, AUTOTUNE!

Not even subtly, either, but cranked up as far as it will go before the high end simply explodes with noise.

Is there anyone left in the music industry that can carry a tune?

Computer Security Haiku

Gold in vault, target
Steel door closed, locked, key thrown away;
Thief laughs "There's no wall!"

Data stream flows, filling
Lake overflows; disaster!
Arbitrary code

Man trusts fellow Man,
fellow Man undeserving.
Script code injected.

Novice celebrates,
Output easy, just append strings!
Master needs new novice.

Dark secrets made, shared
Tells foe the password is lost...
Rubber hose finds it.

"Love", Alice tells Bob
In anger, Eve flips one bit
Now love's checksum fails

Small time differences,
like the blink of a blink, yet,
timing attacks still work.

Chick digs my profile,
sends regards in attachment.
Virus, still no love.

That plaintext password?
Easy, but when the press hears...
thought too hard to bear.

Address sign-up forms,
Security mindset sees
a way to spam foes.

I'm aware of the rule that haiku are supposed to have "season words", but I just couldn't jam them in there. "Arbitrary Javascript injection" is ten syllables already, for instance. It seemed better to not jam them in.

Mathematical Diversions: Producing Helium from Hydrogen
Sep 20, 2013

In response to this story about a possible impending Helium shortage, someone suggested on Hacker News that perhaps someday we can use nuclear fusion to produce helium.

As it happens I'd idly chatted with my wife about that a few weeks ago, but that wasn't enough motivation to run the numbers. This was. Could we produce enough helium to satisfy our commercial production of it through fusion, if we just assume we have fusion?

Read the rest...

Sep 06, 2013

Browsing through some old entries, I see in late 2007 I predicted:

One of the milestones I've been watching for is the first entirely DVD-based TV-style series. It's going to happen sooner or later, and will mark a major shift in how TV is produced, once it becomes possible to make it without advertising or subsidy, the only two models that currently work.

I'm going to give myself only half-a-point. True television-style "seasons" of shows have indeed now been produced without ever being "aired", but they didn't go straight-to-DVD. They went straight-to-streaming. I believe it was either Lilyhammer or House of Cards, depending on how picky you're being about not showing up on TV at all before being available via streaming. (Lilyhammer's first episode premiered on a Norwegian television channel, though this was clearly a publicity stunt rather than an attempt to "air on TV".)

An Open Letter To Meijer
Aug 22, 2013
Bloviation, Reviews

Dear Meijer Corporation:

I love you guys. You guys are great. I know it's tradition for Internet "open letters" to be extended complaints, but nah, you're great.

But you know, I do want to air just one tiny grievance. 'Cause this is the Internet and all, and that's what we do here. But rest assured, it's just a tiny little thing. Hardly worthy of note. But I thought I should point it out anyhow.

Read the rest (705 words)

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