Monthly Archives: September 2006

Besides loving stationary and mechanical pencils,

I also love bags. Backpacks, messenger bags. briefcases. Whatever. As long as they are slightly manly looking. I have still not found the perfect bag for carrying my laptop, a few files, my ipod, and a book, yet. I would like the bag to look professional, but not too fuddy-duddy. And the bag itself shouldn’t be heavy. I have come close, but no cigar. Maybe one day.

I had many of the bag makers bookmarked on my browser—or sadder yet—their URLs memorized, when i realized that I could not keep up.

I just found this this to try keep me up-to date. We’ll see.

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Small field

I work in a relatively large field. But if you asked me the biggest mistake that I made early in my career, I would probably tell you that back then I acted like it was a much bigger field. There are very few things you can do secretly in my field. Everyone knows what everyone else is doing, pretty much. And everyone knows who the good referees are, who screwed who (figuratively and literally), and so on.

It’s a small world afterall.

I am going to have that damn song in my head for the rest of the night.

Crunch time

Why is it that the closer I get to a hard deadline, the less motivation I have to do the work to meet the deadline. All the getting things done (GTD if you are fancy) stuff does not help with that. I always make the deadline, and then tell myself: ‘Never again.’

And it happens again and again.

Why?

Argh.

Nirvana

equals google calendar setup to send SMS of the appointments/calls to my new cell phone.

And its cheap enough so that I don’t feel extravagant doing it. Now I won’t be having coffee across campus when I am supposed to be meeting someone.
Update: and the thunderbird extension ‘nostalgy’

(I am probably a year behind the curve on this.)

Some hockey logos:

worst hockey logos of all time (from james mirtle). Oh what fun it is to look at digg. The Denver spurs really take the cake. But the Ice Dogs are bad too.

I wonder if it is possible to do worst academic letterhead, or worst PhD robes? Would they be as bad?

My favorite line of the day

From the Wall Street Journal, Cubicle Culture by Jared Sandberg, September 19th (I don’t think that I can link the article.)

And they discovered a statistical correlation that explains a lot: “When you hear someone say ‘it is a fact,’ in our data what they are going to say is absolutely not going to be a fact,” says Prof. Cardie.

I will remember this next meeting/seminar/class. And when I formulate my replies to questions, as well. I wonder what fraction of people do believe you when you say ‘it is a fact?’ (I am not sure I have my punctuation right here. No time to check, right now though.)

Freedom to Tinker » Blog Archive » “Hotel Minibar” Keys Open Diebold Voting Machines

Scary. And I never knew that you could get minibar keys on the internet.

Freedom to Tinker » Blog Archive » “Hotel Minibar” Keys Open Diebold Voting Machines:
<snip>

The access panel door on a Diebold AccuVote-TS voting machine — the door that protects the memory card that stores the votes, and is the main barrier to the injection of a virus — can be opened with a standard key that is widely available on the Internet.

On Wednesday we did a live demo for our Princeton Computer Science colleagues of the vote-stealing software described in our paper and video. Afterward, Chris Tengi, a technical staff member, asked to look at the key that came with the voting machine. He noticed an alphanumeric code printed on the key, and remarked that he had a key at home with the same code on it. The next day he brought in his key and sure enough it opened the voting machine.

<snip>

This seemed like a freakish coincidence — until we learned how common these keys are.

<snip>

Chris’s key was left over from a previous job, maybe fifteen years ago. He said the key had opened either a file cabinet or the access panel on an old VAX computer. A little research revealed that the exact same key is used widely in office furniture, electronic equipment, jukeboxes, and hotel minibars.

<snip>

via: digg

I do wonder if that makes it more or less risky to use these machines rather than paper votes. After all, there are lots of people involved in counting paper votes, and each could cheat, too. But I don’t know. I do wonder why just because the Diebold is a machine that it is suddenly worse. Or yet, only someone really naive would think any system is foolproof.