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Current Topic: Miscellaneous

Jeremy Piven: Mercury poisoning, possible from excessive sushi
Topic: Miscellaneous 10:01 am EST, Dec 19, 2008

Dr. Colker said that an initial battery of tests on Mr. Piven had shown normal results. But after Mr. Piven said he was a frequent sushi eater who consumed fish about twice a day, and that he used herbal remedies, Dr. Colker tested him for heavy metals.

Dr. Colker said that these tests revealed “a very, very elevated level of mercury” in Mr. Piven’s blood, adding that it was five to six times the upper limit that is typically measured. Left untreated, Dr. Colker said, the condition could result in heart problems, cognitive problems, renal failure and, in very extreme cases, death. He said that he told Mr. Piven he could continue in the show, but only with extreme caution.

... ahhhh damn.

Jeremy Piven: Mercury poisoning, possible from excessive sushi

The year of risks in review
Topic: Miscellaneous 9:47 am EST, Dec 19, 2008

So with the Great Depression II: Greater and Furiouser™ approaching, this was a year of massive risk-taking. At every turn, we used chaos as an opportunity to take the nest egg and gamble it--but only after leveraging that nest egg with complicated derivatives that would famously come back to bore the crap out of us.

How crazy did we get? Our presidential election came down to a woman and a black guy, as if the presidency were no more important than those last two Supreme Court seats at the end of the bench. The Republicans picked their Vice President using the same criterion as guys in an Alaskan bar: by going for the only chick there. Sarah Palin got a $150,000 makeover when it was obvious to everyone outside the party that John McCain needed it more. As the year went on, people got even more entranced by risk, placing their roulette bets on green. Barack Obama picked Hillary Clinton as his Secretary of State. Heidi married Spencer. Coors got rid of Zima.

When Obama faced the Rev. Jeremiah Wright scandal, instead of denying or attacking, he led a serious discussion about race--something that has never worked after the first semester of sophomore year. Mitt Romney made a similarly brave gambit when posing with some black children on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and opening the dialogue by saying, "Who let the dogs out? Who! Who!" The nation's fastest-rising politician, Joe the Plumber, got his start with the gutsy decision to ask for a tax break that he didn't remotely qualify for. Even crazier, opponents of gay marriage in California bought ads claiming kids would be taught gayness in schools, when everyone knows kids don't get taught anything in California schools.

Governor Rod Blagojevich, already under suspicion for looking and dressing like a Serbian warlord, publicly dared people to wiretap him, insisting all they'd hear him discussing was what the Cubs should do in the off-season. Baseball things like taking government money in return for firing Chicago Tribune writers who hate him. When what the Cubs really need is a starting pitcher.

Danger-seeking was so popular that somehow pirates came back. Someone gave Don Imus a radio job. When investment banks crumbled, we decided to hand over $700 billion to Henry Paulson, who used to run an investment bank. It was the kind of year when a famous football player could think, Sure, I've drunk a lot and have a loaded gun in my pants, but the music in this club makes me want to put my hands in my pockets and dance!

Never before had non-French, non-soap-opera-character wife cheaters been so bold. After learning about the intricacies of prostitution rings by busting them, Eliot Spitzer sought out a girlfriend experience with a prostitute who is an aspiring singer with a MySpace account. He would have been more discreet making love to a screen live on CNN, as John King did. The mayor of Detroit communicated with his mistress by text-messaging, a form of com... [ Read More (0.2k in body) ]

Creating pseudo 3D games with HTML 5 canvas and raycasting
Topic: Miscellaneous 10:55 am EST, Dec 17, 2008

With the increase in browser performance in recent times it has become easier to implement games in JavaScript beyond simple games like Tic-Tac-Toe. We no longer need to use Flash to do cool effects and, with the advent of the HTML5 Canvas element, creating snazzy looking web games and dynamic graphics is easier than ever before. One game, or game engine, I wanted to implement for some time was a psuedo-3D engine such as the one used in the old Wolfenstein 3D game by iD Software. I went through two different approaches, first attempting to create a "regular" 3D engine using Canvas and later going for a raycasting approach using straight DOM techniques.

Very very sexy. Seems better than Canvascape. I think this is cooler than Wolf4K (Wolfenstein in 4K of JavaScript),

Creating pseudo 3D games with HTML 5 canvas and raycasting

Its not a 'Search.' Its just a search.
Topic: Miscellaneous 11:12 am EST, Dec 15, 2008

For some reason, the government did not appear to make the argument invited by the Supreme Court by its rulings in the FedEx and dog-sniff cases. The government could have argued that -- if the EnCase scan for a particular MD5 hash matches -- that the search is constitutionally permissible without a warrant because it revealed nothing except the existence of contraband. And, because there is no reasonable expectation of privacy in contraband, the government might argue, a search which only reveals the existence of contraband invades no legitimate privacy right.

In the Crist case, however, the court never addressed that critical issue, because it never had to. The government merely argued that an automated search was no search at all.

This unanswered question -- whether a scan of hash values looking for contraband is a permissible search -- is really the rub.

If the government may conduct warrantless searches as long as they only reveal the presence of contraband, then they could lawfully put automated sniffers on any computer, searching for the presence of files for which the MD5 hash matched that of contraband. While the software categorizing the files might be considered to be conducting a search -- and I think it is -- the contents of this search are not revealed unless the program believes it is contraband.

... ... How did I not see this earlier? Pretty sure this is the same guy writing about how data stored "in the cloud" can be legally searched without a warrant because you have involved a 3rd party who can consent to the search.

And don't think about kiddie porn. Think about the MPAA.

Its not a 'Search.' Its just a search.

The 2009 Bailout Car Ad
Topic: Miscellaneous 11:04 am EST, Dec 15, 2008

You won't buy our shitty cars.
So we'll be taking your money anyway.

The 2009 Bailout Car Ad

President Bush at Summercon
Topic: Miscellaneous 10:22 am EST, Dec 15, 2008

Billy: [slurred] If I'm not making any sense ya'll just throw a shoe at me or something...

[WHUMP!] (as shoe hits projector screen)

Billy: ... Well ok then... [continues drunken hacker con preso]

President Bush at Summercon

Content Handling Mechanisms
Topic: Miscellaneous 11:17 am EST, Dec 11, 2008

Content handling mechanisms

The task of detecting and handling various file types and encoding schemes is one of the most hairy and broken mechanisms in modern web browsers. This situation stems from the fact that for a longer while, virtually all browser vendors were trying to both ensure backward compatibility with HTTP/0.9 servers (the protocol included absolutely no metadata describing any of the content returned to clients), and compensate for incorrectly configured HTTP/1.x servers that would return HTML documents with nonsensical Content-Type values, or unspecified character sets. In fact, having as many content detection hacks as possible would be perceived as a competitive advantage: the user would not care whose fault it was, if rendered correctly in Internet Explorer, but not open in Netscape browser - Internet Explorer would be the winner.

As a result, each browser accumulated a unique and very poorly documented set of obscure content sniffing quirks that - because of no pressure on site owners to correct the underlying configuration errors - are now required to keep compatibility with existing content, or at least appear to be risky to remove or tamper with.

Content Handling Mechanisms

"The Ratio" THE GTGs, Georgia Tech's gtg491y & gtg562h
Topic: Miscellaneous 5:43 pm EST, Dec  8, 2008

There's only one girl. Hope we get to meet the other one soon

[sigh]. So so true.

"The Ratio" THE GTGs, Georgia Tech's gtg491y & gtg562h

Google Trends: inflation, deflation, and "OH SHIT!"
Topic: Miscellaneous 5:26 pm EST, Dec  3, 2008

Decius wrote:
The news references chart is particularly useful.

You get a much funnier graph when you trend "deflation" and "no shit"! Direct correlation baby!

Google Trends: inflation, deflation, and "OH SHIT!"

Topic: Miscellaneous 10:27 am EST, Dec  3, 2008

On Tuesday, software-as-a-service company Zoho announced CloudSQL: a new, cloud-friendly middleware layer giving cloud applications access to its SaaS reporting and database software, Zoho Reports. Though still in its early stages of development, CloudSQL will bridge the gap between software-as-a-service, cloud computing, and on-premises software by allowing cloud developers to access data on Zoho's servers through web services, and on-premises developers to access it using SQL as if it were a conventional database.



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