Monday, January 08, 2018


...it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, 
it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, 
it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, 
it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair




Friday, January 05, 2018

Hax!

Everyone is talking about the newly-discovered vulnerability in the architecture of a bunch of CPUs. But the vulnerability is to "side-channel attacks" and I didn't know what that was. So I looked it up. I seems that a side-channel attack requires physical access, so maybe the security threat isn't as dire or widespread as the media is making it out to be. But on the side-channel attack page they mention rubber-hose cryptanalysis

In cryptography, rubber-hose cryptanalysis is a euphemism for the extraction of cryptographic secrets (e.g. the password to an encrypted file) from a person by coercion or torture—such as beating that person with a rubber hose, hence the name—in contrast to a mathematical or technical cryptanalytic attack.

And that's just beautiful.

Monday, January 01, 2018

Remember when...

...the Russians fought valiantly to defeat fascism?

An attack technique of the night bombers was to idle the engine near the target and glide to the bomb release point, with only wind noise left to reveal their location. German soldiers likened the sound to broomsticks and named the pilots "Night Witches."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_Witches



Friday, December 29, 2017


You know, if you outlaw celebratory gunfire, then only outlaws will engage in celebratory gunfire. Or something like that.

Somebody please go read about:

Engaging Your Community Now to Prevent Illegal Celebratory Gunfire on New Years Eve

and report back here. I'd do it, but I'm kind of tied up with the persimmons and whatnot.





Thursday, December 28, 2017




Kuyashi [悔し]



It's the fever behind your eyeballs when your crush marries your friend.


Plagiarism



Kids today have it so easy. Back in the day, if we wanted to plagiarize something, we still had to manually retype the entire passage. None of this mamby-pamby copy and paste. And the typewriters we used were clumsy mechanical contraptions that required about 32 pounds of force to actuate the keys. And the typewriter ribbon would occasionally go all chaos theory on you for no good reason whatsoever, and it would take six weeks of fiddling around with it to get it repositioned. And by then you’d have missed the deadline for the paper you were writing, so you’d have to go ask the professor if you could hand it in late. And he’d say yes, but only if you join his Cthonian Death Cult and prove your loyalty by sacrificing a sibling on the Dark Altar of Hate. And that’s why people had so many children back then, because the average student would go through half a dozen family members just to get a bachelor’s degree. 


Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The Mind-Body Problem – Part 3


Part 1

Part 2

----------------------------------------------------

Brain: All right, we’re pushing up on three hours here, and this router is still not doing the thing with other thing and goddammit I’m getting pissed off. If I have to reset to default config one more time, I’m gonna…

Body: EAT BAG OF POTATO CHIPS!

Brain: Not now Body, I’m… wait, what?

Body: GO TO BRIGHTLY LIT STRUCTURE WITH DING-DONG DING-DONG ENTRANCE. TAKE LARGE BAG OF POTATO CHIPS IN EXCHANGE FOR METAL TOKENS. BRING BACK HERE AND EAT ALL THE CHIPS.

Brain: And how in the hell is *that* supposed to help me?

Body: IT… UM… WE ARE UNDER STRESS! IS DANGER! BLOOD PRESSURE IS RISING! BECOMING DISTRACTED! MAYBE GET EATEN BY TIGER BECAUSE WE CANNOT PAY ATTENTION TO SURROUNDINGS!

Brain: But that doesn’t make any sense. Potato chips don’t reduce stress. We’d be in the same mental state but with greasy fingers. And tigers, like wolves, are not a problem in this age.  

Body: LOOK MOTHERFUCKER, I DON’T EVEN UNDERSTAND WHAT A “ROUTER” IS, OR WHY WE ARE ALL MAD AT ITS “PISS-POOR DOCUMENTATION.” IT’S MY JOB TO MAKE SURE THAT WE SURVIVE AND PROCREATE. THAT’S IT. IF SOMETHING IS TELLING ME TO EAT POTATO CHIPS TO CALM DOWN, THEN IT’S PROBABLY THE SUBCONSCIOUS.  DON’T TRY TO BLAME THIS ON ME OR THE PENIS.

Penis: Did someone call my name? Are we going to have sex?

Brain and Body:  NO! GO BACK TO SLEEP!

Subconscious: Hey guys. Yeah, the potato chip thing is me. 1977 – 1979. We used to curl up in the extra room at grandma’s house with a bag of chips, and watch ‘The Mickey Mouse Club.’ It was pure serenity.

Brain: So I should go buy the chips?

Subconscious: Whatever works.

Body: YOU KNOW ELSE WILL WORK? DRINKING MUCH WHISKEY AND SMOKING MANY CIGARETTES! NO MORE STRESS! NO MORE WORRIES ABOUT STUPID ROUTER AND STUPID PROPRIETARY WIRELESS PROTOCOL!

Brain: Body, it is 3:00 in the afternoon. Is Lays OK? Swiss cheese flavor?


BODY: EAT THEM! EAT THEM NOW!


The Truth Is...




...I'm nutless.



.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Episode 4 - Battle of Yavin



WARNING: The following contains a sort-of spoiler for The Last Jedi!


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DODONNA
“The battle station is heavily shielded and carries a firepower greater than half the star fleet. Its defenses are designed around a direct large-scale assault. A small one-man fighter should be able to penetrate the outer defense.”

In the back, a tall unshaven Chaon, smoking a cigarette and drinking a beverage from an aluminum can, tries to get Dodonna’s attention:
“Wait! We can just…”

Gold Leader, a rough looking man in his early thirties, stands and addresses Dodonna, cutting Chaon off.

GOLD LEADER
“Pardon me for asking, sir, but what good are snub fighters going to be against that?”

DODONNA
“Well, the Empire doesn't consider a small one-man fighter to be any threat, or they'd have a tighter defense. An analysis of the plans provided by Princess Leia has demonstrated a weakness in the battle station.”

R2D2 stands next to a similar robot, makes beeping sounds, and turns his head from right to left.

Chaon tries to move to the front to get Dodonna’s attention, but drops his beverage can. He bends over to pick it up, but wastes several seconds sucking away the foam pouring out of the lid.

DODONNA
“The approach will not be easy. You are required to maneuver straight down this trench and skim the surface to this point. The target area is only two meters wide. It's a small thermal exhaust port, right below the main port. The shaft leads directly to the reactor system. A precise hit will start a chain reaction which should destroy the station.”

A murmur of disbelief runs through the room.

Chaon, becoming increasingly agitated, starts yelling at Dodonna:
“Guys, there is a better way! If we take out the primary weapon, then the battle station is tactically useless! We just take a large ship, aim it at the weapon on the station’s surface, bump the ship into hyperspace from close range! The kinetic energy will…”

DODONNA
“Only a precise hit will set up a chain reaction. The shaft is ray-shielded, so you'll have to use proton torpedoes.”

Luke is sitting next to Wedge Antilles, a hotshot pilot about sixteen years old.

WEDGE
“That's impossible, even for a computer.”

LUKE
“It's not impossible. I used to bull's-eye womp rats in my T-sixteen back home. They're not much bigger than two meters.”

Chaon is now yelling and waving his arms, spilling beer everywhere:
“We could do this with a couple of ships, just to make sure! We don’t even need kamikaze pilots – we can make droids pilot the ships. Droids like C3P0. Nobody likes him anyway!”

DODONNA
“Man your ships! And may the Force be with you!”

The group rises and begins to leave. Chaon steals a ship and heads for the Mos Eisly spaceport, where he will in all likelihood fit right in. 


Monday, December 18, 2017

Thursday, December 07, 2017

New Product Names in Taiwan - A 25 year odyssey


Company A: We need a name for our new motorcycle. It’s not fast, but super reliable.
Me: Call it the Centurion
Company A: Too violent. We’re going to call it “Hartford”

Company B: We have a new kind of machining center, very high capacity.
Me: Call it Hephaestus
Company B: Too weird. We’ll call it “Golden Lucky”

Company C: We need a new name for our USB flash drive lineup.
Me: Coeus, Celeritas, or Reposita
Company C: We don’t understand any of those. We’ll call it “DashDrive”

Product Manager of Company D: Karl, we are developing a system that integrates IoT with vertical farming for better management and improved crop yield. We need a cool name for this system.
Me: *Sighs* OK…  
Product Manager: But here’s the thing. I don’t want a name that’s some variation of ‘Tech’ or ‘Net’ or ‘Link’ or any of those. They’re all overused. Can you think of a name that’s a classical reference? Like is there an ancient god of farming or something?
Me: *tears of happiness streaming down my face* Demeter, Greek goddess of agriculture. The system is called Demeter.  
Product Manager: Perfect! Thanks!

Me: *retires*

Tuesday, December 05, 2017


Brutal.

YOUR MASS SHOOTING THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS ARE ACCIDENTALLY GOING TO THE ANGRY GOD OF A DISTANT PLANET (McSweeny's)

Now… I know this isn’t My place — and keep in mind, this is coming from a horned snake with 10,000 legs and infinite teeth who demands tri-annual virgin sacrifices and who wipes out all life on His planet every time someone has a single impure thought — but your relationship with guns is seriously fucked up.