Monday, December 04, 2006

Blocked... Writing a Thesis

I'm probably in the same position as some writers. I'm blocked! I can't seem to make any progress on my thesis that I have been working on for Way too long now.

It is a huge pile of papers

I sometimes wonder is it good enough? Will it ever be good enough? Is there enough technical information in it to be approved?

I have family and friend who would like to see me get this completed, and so would I!

I think I'm blocked. After thinking about it here are a couple of the things that I've mentally blocked on (currently and from the past):
  • I need an hour of uninterested time to work on it, the half hour I have right now isn't enough to do anything
  • Work is keeping me too busy and when I get home at night I don't feel like doing it
  • Work is depressing me and I don't feel like working on it (my company went through a time where paychecks were delayed and we really didn't know what future would bring)
  • Procrastination (games, solitaire, books, house projects, other projects, ect....)
Now I'm not exactly sure where to go from here but I had to get this written down before I just let it drop, and just throw the towel in on completing the Thesis.

I really do want to get this thesis completed (even though it is way overdue to be completed and turned in), I just need to find a way to get it done and avoid my blocking and procrastination tendencies.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

PGP is 15 years old

PGP Corporation salutes the 15th anniversary of PGP encryption technology. Developed and released in 1991 by Phil Zimmermann, Pretty Good Privacy 1.0 set the standard for safe, accessible technology to protect and share online information.

PGP is used for encryption and signing of content, but it is under utalized on the internet. For a while I used it to sign my email messages and other communications. This is a good opportunity to go look at PGP again and check out what all has been updated and is new.

From what I did digging for finding PGP software, the Authoritative source for PGP software is http://philzimmermann.com The other sites that have related information are http://www.openpgp.org and http://www.pgp.com and for the international people http://www.pgpi.org

read more | digg story

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Escape Pod: The Shoulders of Giants

Just listened to EP078: The Shoulders of Giants by Robert J. Sawyer from Escape Pod, and I just loved the story. I actually listened to the story twice on my daily commute. It is a story about a colony sleeper ship who was headed for Tau Ceti, where they hoped to colonize the planet there. Their travels took them 1200 year, and by the time they did get there they were greeted by a thriving community from earth. They were honored as being among the giants that helped the community actually get there and expand. The end of it puts a new perspective to life and accomplishments that can be made.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Timeline and Risk: How to Piss Off Your Software Developers

Today we're going to focus on a sentence that will make almost any developer, even a mild-mannered one, want to box up their red Swingline and head to Tahiti for early retirement.


This Article hit the issue squarely on the nail, and I couldn't agree More! The Classical Pyramid of Time, Cost and Quality still hold true today, and that good developers already are giving +100% of their time and effort to their job.


read more | digg story

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Buffer Overflows and Security

Buffer overflows and security are very common topics these days and Dr Dobb's just ran an article on it Illusion of Safety. They also ran a follow up article on The Unsecured Integer. The first article presents two options which can be used to prevent buffer overflows brute force and prevention by design. Brute force requires some form of verifying that all incoming data is verified for length before copying with problematic functions. Prevention by design pushes the responsibility to verify that the data doesn't overflow to the edges of the system and has the possibilities to make applications simpler, smaller and run faster, but it requires that each data flow be traced and verified. Preventions is harder to enforce than the brute force method but provides possible efficiency improvements.

One other related article Integral Security . There are 3 variants on integer errors overflow, sign errors and trundication. They reference a special publication 500-262 from NIST as a reference for how to handle Integer Safety.

Also of interesting note they referenced Secure Coding in C and C++, by Robert C. Seacord which appears to be an interesting reference book.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I, Row-Boat

I, Row-Boat was a very interesting story, I first listened to it when Cory Doctorow read the story on the craphound podcast a while back. You can listen to the podcasts of the story part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4. I was fascinated by the story and read it again, you can find the story as published on flurb.net . It is a story from after the emergence of AI and it follows a rowboat which has gained self-awareness. The rowboat is part of a scuba diving cruise ship, where people can project into one of the several human shells on the ship and experience scuba diving along the corral reefs. I greatly enjoyed the short story and loved it.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Tomorrow the Future

Ever get into the discussions of what tomorrow might bring and what technology might look like in 5, 10, or even 20 year? Slashdot had an article today "No More Coding From Scratch?" and that tied in with lunch discussion today. What will technology look like in 10-20 years? With Moore's Law technology has been increasing at a very rapid pace. Will we see a Technological Singularity within our lifetime? (for good or bad)

What type of computer interface will you be using in 10 years? Voice interface, dynamic reconfigurable and adaptive displays? We already have multi-touch displays which have been prototyped, and another here.

hmmm....
lcars

Will we be working with easy to use systems, which seamlessly integrate into our lives and are just part of society and life or will they still be items that you buy and use when you need a computer? Will we still be driving or with the computers drive better and smarter than us and get us around faster cheaper and safer?

How long will it be before you are asked how many processor core computer do you want and how many gigabytes of ram and terrabytes of harddrive space do you want?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Podcasts Worth Listening

I have distilled down my favorite list of podcasts to the top contenders.

Voices of Tomorrow - Flash Fiction brought to you every week, podcasts of stories from 365 Tomorrows.
Escape Pod - Science Fiction Podcast Magazine.
Cyberspeak - Two Former Federal Agents Talk About Computer Forensics, Network Security and Computer Crime.
Cory Doctrow's craphound.com - Podcast by Cory Doctrow, his stories and other content.
Geek Fu Action Grip - Mur Lafferty's podcast of stories and other content.
Nuketown Radio Active Podcast - Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Geekdom.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Phidgets Inc. :: Unique and Easy to Use USB Interfaces

Phidgets Inc. :: Unique and Easy to Use USB Interfaces

This past week at work, I had the opportunity to work with these neat devices! They are versatile little devices which allow you to work with a TextLDC output, Analog input devices and digital input and output devices. All for very reasonable prices and what I really did like was that they have a reasonably complete software programming API which is available for most development platforms, Windows, Linux, MS VC++, Java and several other languages as well.

What I was working with was the following LCD display and a couple of other sensors


I was amazed, with only a couple of hours I had it up and working and was able to get most of the interfacing with the device done and then able to get down to actually writing the rest of the application that I needed to do.

If you are ordering from the US order from http://phidgetsusa.com/. For documentation and information or for the Forums head over to http://www.phidgets.com where the forums and documentation is slightly more up to date.

If I actually had any extra cash on me right now I'd pick up some of these for putzing around with in my spare time at home.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Computer Manages Restaurant Workers and Manna

Slashdot | Computer Manages Restaurant Workers was an interesting article and a wonderful link to a story I hadn't read before but found a very interesting and insightful story titled Manna by Marshall Brain.

I would wholely recommend taking the couple of hours and read the book Manna. Then taking a gander over at the article about Hyperactive Bob. With the best quote from the article being
Hopefully, no one will tell the makers of Hyperactive Bob about the Manna story; it has too many practical suggestions for the enslavement of humans.

That is just a great quote. When I was reading the Manna book online I was very impressed and I think it is on par with 1984 in dystopic quality.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Endgame: Singularity

Just ran across this very interesting sounding game review by PCBurn. An I was hooked. A little more digging and I found the Python Game Programming Challenge site called PyWeek. The actual game's page is found on http://www.emhsoft.net/singularity/index.html.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Nuketown - Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Geekdom

Nuketown is a pretty cool site, and Kenneth Newquist has done a pretty good job on his Nuketown podcast as well.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame

The Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame looks very interesting and it is now on our list of to visit eventually locations.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Why Google OS Already Exists

OSWeekly.com - Why Google OS Already Exists

What constitutes an OS?
Consider this. Google already offers e-mail, picture editing, blogging, a personal calendar and its own brand of instant messenger. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the Google OS is already alive and well. The best part is that it has gone largely unnoticed by even the most observant of us. It's called web applications and the World Wide Web.

Interesting to say the least.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Hawking Says Humans Must Go Into Space

Slashdot | Hawking Says Humans Must Go Into Space

Article

Interesting and provocative article about why the human race must go into space and expand there.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Podcasts that I follow, Science Fiction, Tech news, and a bit more

I recently started listening to podcast a lot more, (since my commute increased to 1 hour each due to road construction). These are the list of podcasts that I follow and listen to on a regular basis.

World News

Science News

Tech News

Short Stories

Gaming and tech talk
  • roll2d6 - Adam and Nate talk about games, gaming and gamers
  • Daily GizWiz - Giz(mo) Wiz(ard) Biz(ness)........a haven for gizmo and gadgets lovers!

Music and stuff

Radio Stories and news


Other podcasts from comments

Friday, May 26, 2006

Working Engineer

I just ran across this Working Engineer blog. On it they have an insightful discussion of personal Finance and Engineering Tips for living. I'll be following this blog for a while to see what other interesting entries come up.

YaZug

Sunday, April 16, 2006

San Francisco


img_2894
Originally uploaded by YaZug.
Interesting Picture we got of the San Francisco skyline.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Spyware

For anti-spyware, i recommend the following 4 things, in combination:
SpyBot: Search & Destroy ( http://www.safer-networking.net )
AdAware ( http://www.lavasoft.com/ )
Spyware Blaster ( http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareblaster.html )
Hosts File ( http://everythingisnt.com/hosts.html )

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Startup Connects Multiple Monitors Over USB

How cool is that?
extremetech.com article
They say it won't handle the bandwidth for playing intensive games,
but it's still awesome.

JFreak

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Multi-Touch Input

A couple of months ago I saw this awesome demo of a multi-touch input screen demo on Slashdot - The Ultimate Dual-Hand Touchscreen. Needless to say I was amazed and blown away by the reality that a lot of new and innovative interfaces could actually be this close.

Remember the interface used in Minority Report, well it demonstrated a similar style interface to that.

Then I was trying to remember it this week and telling a co-worker about it, and Rembrandt how awesome it actually was and what it could actually mean for things we could see out in the next couple of years.

So I went digging and found one site that had the video and a number of tidbits that people have collected together on it at http://multi-touchscreen.com/. I sat and watched the whole video again twice tonight, in amazement and wonder of what might be reality in the next couple of years!

Now for some details that I saw in browsing and reading about it.

One person behind some of this is Jeff Han at NYU's Department of Computer Science
The other is Yann Lecon Professor of Computer Science, The Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University

Multi-Touch Sensing through Frustrated Total Internal Reflection pretty cool demonstration.

This was presented in March 2006 at the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference during a session called The Future of Interfaces Is Multi-Touch

Blog entry at Makezine.com Multitouch interaction research
Blog entry at Makezine.com The Future of Interfaces Is Multi-Touch

A Very interesting area and I plan to keep track of it as time goes by and when I can figure out a way to justify it I'm getting one for my computer!

Just ran across a very interesting post linking to Lemur - The Multitouch Control Surface


And one last link to some continuing research on Multi-Touch Interaction Research

Enjoy the interesting Information

Interesting Technology

TrackStick GPS Data Logger

Found this interesting device in my browsing online today. It is supposed to run on 2 AAA batteries and it tracks where it's been. Then when you connect it to your computer you can retrieve where it's been. Pretty cool device

Think Geek - TrackStick GPS Data Logger
TrackStick.com


Wi-Spy
Interesting Spectrum Analyzer for the Wi-Fi spectrum. It is a USB dongle with a CD that is runnable under windows as well as software for running under Linux. The neat thing is it's only $99. It give you an interesting look at the Wi-Fi spectrum.

Think Geek - Wi-Spy
MetaGeek - Wi-Spy

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Underhanded C Contest

2006 Underhanded C Contest

Ever wonder why a program just runs slow on your machine and just fine on other machines?

This Programming contest actually encourages people to make programs that run just fine and even pass light code review to be correct but take a looooooonngg time to run on another platform. Go check it out for a few chuckles.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Just testing this out

Self explanitary title. Just checking this out.

Intellectual Icebergs podcast

One podcast that I have really enjoyed since I found them is Intellectual Icebergs.

Intellectual Icebergs: helping to reveal the geek god inside of you!

I even got a brain from them just last week.... but I don't have a picture of it yet

Go check them out and enjoy their interesting and informational podcast

Cool Soccer Videos

Brazilian Soccer players
Soccer is about Heart, Speed, and Joy
www.nikesoccer.com


Check it out when you have 15 min or so. ;-)

Leadership Conference

Just posting a link to the Willow Creek Leadership Summit which is August 10-12, 2006

I've been asked to consider attending.

Leadership Summit 2006

Registration would be at the satellite Location, and super early bird registration is 5/23/06

Thesis Work

Today I'm sitting down and putting some more work into my Master's Thesis. It has been sitting for too long and it needs to get written, and the only way that will happen is if I spend some time on it.

Just found a couple of links How to Organize Your Thesis and Dissertation/Thesis Guide

Also you can check out a copy of my thesis as it's forming here .

Another useful page that I ran across is The Quest to write a thesis in Word an intersting read and some helpful insights.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Graphical Relationship exploration

Just had a request by a friend to see if I remembered any software that would allow you to explore relations graphically and drag them around on the screen and see the relations dynamically.

After a bit of digging I remembered where I had seen it before.

It was the old pmbrowser for exploring category research citation chains, and related documents. After a bit more digging around I ran across what looks like the core functionality at http://www.touchgraph.com.

This is useful visualization tools that are provided and available. I'll have to check this TouchGraph out some more when I get a bit of free time again. Especially going to have to explore TouchGraph Google Browser

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Ruby on Rails - interesting tutorial

BobCares.com Deploying Ruby on Rails

A Gentoo Walkthrough

kdissert - interesting mind mapping tool

Marcel's Linux App of the Month : kdissert

Thomas Nagy's kdissert is an application referred to as a mind mapping tool. Its purpose is to help you create complex documents such as a thesis, or a dissertation, or a presentation. And yes, perhaps even an article or a book. You do that by creating a map of your ideas, a mind map, that allows you to structure the ideas you already have into the basis for producing a high-quality, well-ordered document.

I think I'm going to have to go investigate this further....
kdissert home page

Flickr

Just found the Flickr site and uploaded a couple of pictures there.

My Flickr Photos

Monday, March 27, 2006

SD West 2006

Last Week March 13-17, 2006 I was at a Software Development Conference
http://www.sdexpo.com/ or SD West 2006 Blog



I Enjoyed the conference and expo!

More thoughts and ideas to come.

Gentoo SSH security fix

I run several Gentoo Systems, here is a very interesting article about denyhost for securing your system against dictionary ssh attacks

http://utah-gentoo.org/article.php?story=2006030111575620

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Discworld Mud

Discworld Mud is a very interesting and interactive place that I frequent.

Visit YaZug's Discworld Collection

YaZug