Search Ü

Looking for something specific? Try the keyword search below (no query syntax or booleans allowed).


Most popular pages

Words for the wise

Random Oblique Strategy:

Random Turkish proverb:

Praying Mantis Egg Laying

This summer, Eater's progeny kept my office window free from pests. Then one day, she did something amazing, and I was lucky enough to get a few shots of her. If you have never encountered a Mantis in person, then add it to your list of important experiences not to miss. Let me tell you a bit about our favorite Mantis family, and show you some amazing pictures. Read More...

Christmas Musical Selections

The Holly & The Ivy, Jim Infantino, Jonatha Brooke - Snow Angels - Hear Music Holiday Collection An absolutely beautiful version of one of my favorite Holiday songs. The entire album is a must-have for your collection. (( Preview )) Jingle Bells, Esquivel - Merry Xmas From the Space-Age Bachelor Pad This one was an instant hit in the office, and has become a true classic. If it does not make you smile, you're not human. (( Preview )) Christmas Wrap, The Waitresses - The Best of the Waitresses This one has become a modern Christmas classic, and tells a story many of us can appreciate. (( Preview )) Sans Day Carol/Christ Child Lullabye, Grace Griffith - Snow Angels - Hear Music Holiday Collection Another one from the Hear Music album that I really like. (( Preview )) Snow Miser vs. Heat Miser, Dick Shawn, George S. Irving - The Year Without A Santa Claus My favorite songs from the 1974 TV classic are the Snow Miser and Heat Miser bits. (( Preview ))

Crayon Micro-art

Devin has always been good with crayons, and crayons have had a special place in our family for many years. But his latest work is absolute genius, and needs to be shared. Take a look at the inspiration and story behind the eight year old who can carve the alphabet on to the back of a crayon.


Reversal Series: C/C++ goto

This month I thought I would start a feature whereby I point out a professional reversal. I pride myself on having found a way to be both stubborn and flexible at the same time. Obviously, I'm right almost all the time, but that part about being flexible means that I, albeit rarely :-), change my opinion or pattern based on good information or experience. Now, we're not talking Tony Flew suddenly believing on God here, but there are a few more minor reversals that may help developers, engineers, and scientists who are just starting their journey. Read More...

Browser Attack Using Javascript Timers

I discovered a dirty trick the other day, and I thought I would share it with the tech community to get some feedback on practical defenses. The trick essentially allows a crafty Webmaster to get some common data from you, such as name and email address, in a slightly devious way without your full consent.


On Bad Software and Cyberwar

All this time that I was complaining about my PC crashing, Blue Screens of Death, and various email bugs, I was looking at things all wrong. While I was busy complaining, engineers were actually busy saving us from the eventual Cyberwar. It's true. Read on, but I warn you, a sense of humor is required. 

Hiding Your Email Address

Because my email address appears on many papers, presentations, and Web sites, I get hundreds of SPAMs a day to my personal address. In the end I found that limiting the exposure of my email address reduced SPAM significantly, and I have some recommendations for anyone in experiencing similar difficulties who is looking to "hide" their email address from non-human observers.

OWASP Feedback: Does Embedded = Secure?

I recently briefed the OWASP forum in NYC, and I received some great feedback that I'd like to address en mass.

1) Embedded = or ≠ Secure, which is it?
2) How is HYDRA's security posture transferred to the servers it protects?

Allow me to answer your questions, and take you on a journey exploring embedded systems security in general. But be warned, there's math involved...


Monthly Music Recommendations

Haiti, The Arcade Fire, Funeral Haunting, melodic.(( Preview )) Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse, Of Montreal, Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? I am completely unable to classify this music, but I know I like it. I am drawn to the smart lyrics and complex changes.(( Preview )) Homemade Bombs In The Afternoon, A.C. Newman, Matador At Fifteen The Matador label brings yet another great band.(( Preview ))

Türkiye (Turkey)

These are a few photos taken by myself and my good friend and colleague on a couple of trips we took together to Turkey. We had precious little time to be tourists, but we did manage to get a few pictures in between all the work to be done. Turkey is a unique and truly magical place, and these pictures can't possible capture how impressed I was with the people and the places we saw, so all I can do is encourage you to visit for yourself. Read More...

"Deep Storm," by Lincoln Child

I have to agree with some of the other reviews I have read in that the plot line is a bit familiar, but I disagree in their thinking that that detracts from the book. After all, the best stories I know are also some of the most predictable, and they often follow the same time-tested paths to the end. I admit, though, that this one had trouble pulling me in at first. With some of Child's other novels, I was quickly pulled in, but this one needed some more time. Once I was hooked, however, I was hooked pretty well.

There were some interesting twists, but they were subtle character or relationship surprises more so than major plot twists, which I actually appreciate more. I further found the true nature of what they found under the sea to be unique and imaginative, and I really enjoyed the final interpretations by some of the characters.

I continue to be a reader of Child's and of his collaborations with Preston, and I've never been disappointed. Deep Storm may not be my favorite of Child's novels, but it was an enjoyable listen and more thought provoking than it appears on the surface. In an odd way, this novel reminded me of Lovecrafts works, whereby a far fetched or fantastic tale was told, but there was always a hint the the truth was simpler, and could be explained by science. Then, in the end, the truth is more horrible and implies such terror that the fantasy of the story is paled and replaced with something right at the edge of our ability to imagine. For that most of all, this book is a winner.

Monthly Music Recommendations

Mighty Rearranger, Robert Plant And The Strange, Mighty Rearranger Old Zepplin sound with an odd mix of Middle Eastern textures.(( Preview )) Ba Nou Zouk La, Kassav', Té kit Izi I discovered Zouk in the Carribean, and fell in love with Kassav's energy and powerful rythm.(( Preview )) Bongo Bong, Manli Chao, World Playground - A Musical Adventur For Kids The Putumayo label puts out a huge volume of fun music like this, and freeform feeds like Gogaga were all over it.(( Preview )) Little Suzi, Tesla, Mechanical Resonance A classic first introduced to me by sister. The album is named for an admittedly wacky theory by a scientist I idolize.(( Preview )) Chelsea Dagger, The Fratellis, Brits Hits The Album Of The Year I saw this artist clicking around some of the music from the BBC's Doctor Who series, and this sound stood out as a fun, Brit-pop hit.(( Preview )) Allah Uya, Ali Farka Toure, Niafunke I first heard of Ali when Bonnie Rait mentioned his influence on her work at a concert. I really love all his work, which sounds like African rhythms melded with Chicago Blues.(( Preview )) Haiti, The Arcade Fire, Funeral Haunting, melodic.(( Preview )) Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse, Of Montreal, Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? I am completely unable to classify this music, but I know I like it. I am drawn to the smart lyrics and complex changes.(( Preview )) Homemade Bombs In The Afternoon, A.C. Newman, Matador At Fifteen The Matador label brings yet another great band.(( Preview ))

Poison the Mangos

As a Mac user and an information security expert, one of the most common questions I am asked these days is wether or not it is safe to run Windows on the new Intel-based Macs. Assuming people have generally accepted the poor state of desktop security, I suppose the real question they mean to ask is whether or not a vulnerability on the Windows side could impact the Mac side.

The short of my answer is that yes, it could. Although the operating systems run in different partitions (simplifying it here) of the hard drive, there is no theoretical reason why someone could not create a low-level piece of code on either side to access any random portions of the drive and thus impact the other.

So how safe is it? And is a Mac really more secure than a PC to begin with? Read More...

Monthly Music Recommendations

Fleur de saison, Emilie Simon, The Flower Book A great album, but admittedly this is my favorite song. Check out the videos as well - some are really unique. (( Preview )) Steal Away, Blackbud, Heartbeat EP Like much of Blackbud's music, this one is reminiscent of driving home alone on a hot summer night. (( Preview )) Young Folks, Peter Bjorn And John, Young Folks Interesting - but listen all the way through a couple times before you decide. (( Preview )) Heretics, Andrew Bird, Armchair Apocrypha The hook line here really brings it home for me. (( Preview )) Hold On, Hold On, Neko Case, Fox Confessor Brings The Flood A little bit of that Chris Isaak twangy guitar, but with a modern female twist to it. No, I don't really know what that means either - just listen to it. (( Preview ))

"The Loom of God: Mathematical Tapestries at the Edge of Time," by Clifford A. Pickover

I've read this off an on over the months, and I am sure I will read it many more times - which I think is about the best recommendation I can give. It's my first Math Fact plus Fiction book I've ever read (or heard of), and it's definitely not for those of us not entranced by metaphysics and fractal gaskets. The book is written in an interesting way, from the perspective of a time traveler and his crystalline companion. I was a bit put off at first, but after the almost campy nature of the characters came through, I really had fun with it. Math geeks, I promise you will, too.

Password Branching

Password Branching creates multiple passwords from a single seed password. This technique is useful in situations where you must remember many passwords, such as logins to multiple Web sites. Say, for example, you regularly purchase songs from the iTunes Music Store, and you also have an online email account with Yahoo. It would be unwise to make both passwords the same, because a security incident with one vendor would lead to exposing your personal information from both vendors. The average person has to remember passwords to dozens of e-commerce and other sites, as well as passwords at work and sometimes for home computers as well. That same average person has a short term memory that can recall only nine passwords, and then only if they are simple. Simple passwords that are easy to recall are often just as simple to guess or crack. Read More...

Monthly Music Recommendations

You're Famous Baby, Nicholas Tremulis Orchestra - Napoleon Any song that mentions Telsa is OK in my book. (( Preview )) Club Foot, Kasabian - Club Foot - Single Like Stone Roses? You'll love this. (( Preview )) Gonna Be Some Changes Made, Bruce Hornsby - Halcyon Days Nice work from a fellow head. I love his voice and his piano work, and the clever message. (( Preview )) Old And Wise, Alan Parsons Project - Eye In The Sky Moving. Genius. (( Preview )) The Vigil, Blue Öyster Cult - Mirrors Aliens. Guitars. Yes! I love the haunting promise of the saviour who themselves is searching to be saved. BÖC at their best. (( Preview ))

"Book of the Dead," Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

If you have been reading the Pendergast books from these two authors, which you should be if you have the time and enjoy a good thriller, this is the best to date. I believe it was meant to be a culmination of the story involving D'Agosta and his pursuit along with Pendergast of the later's evil brother, however the last pages once again leave you waiting for more. As usual.

Monthly Music Recommendations

Before My Eyes, Tesla - Mechanical Resonance
A haunting melody that really moved me. (( Preview ))

The Night Owls, Little River Band - Greatest Hits
LRB made so much great music, and this may not be the best choice to represent them, but it's still one of my favorites. (( Preview ))

Queen of Hearts, Juice Newton -
Yet another one my dad played on an old LP. I usually despise Country, but this song is an absolute classic. (( Preview ))

Strange Powers, The Magnetic Fields - Holiday
I love these haunting, yet upbeat melodies. (( Preview ))

Freedom Hangs Like Heaven, Iron & Wine - Woman King
A bluesy kind of melody with hints of a deeper meaning. (( Preview ))

"Tyrannosaur Canyon," Douglas Preston

Truly one of the most interesting novels I have read in a long time, I found that I could not put this one down. Preston had me researching paleontology and exobiology, and I had a great ride from beginning to end of this one. Given the similarities between the often scientifically-slanted material of Preston and that of Crichton, and the fact that both this novel and Jurassic Park have a dinosaur on the cover, you may think this is an attempt to capitalize on the whole "Dinosaurs are scary" movement the film adaptations started. Nothing is further from the truth, and Preston is as inventive and clever as always in this very unique story.

"Devil in the White City" by Erik Larson

I think I'd have tp classify this as eduatinment, because I learned an incredible amount of history regarding my birthplace and the importance of the World's Columbian Exposition. The first major application of AC power thanks to Tesla, the Ferris wheel, Cracker Jack, the hamburger, and so much more. Larson's research was obviously deep and well conducted. He shows true mastery in weaving the characters, from the almost supernaturally evil villain to the architects of the fair, in with historical anecdotes. The book kept me deeply engaged from start to finish, and appeals to those of you that like a good thriller as much as those who enjoy Historical Fiction. If like me you're both, I can't recommend this one strongly enough. I was fascinated as well by how little the politics and character of the region has changed in over 100 years.

Monthly Music Recommendations

Cherry Yo Yo, Babaloo - There is no way you can listen to these guys and not smile. No way. (( Preview )) Ali's Here, Ali Farka Toure - Niafunke I was in a small venue with Bonnie Rait when she mentioned Ali, and I looked up his music. I was hooked, and bought all of it I could find. (( Preview )) Sugarcube, Yo La Tengo - Everything Is Nice: The Matador Records 10th Anniversa.ry Anthology (Disc 2) I heard this trio on GoGaGa Internet Radio before the DMCA killed them and other innovators. Whatever Happened to Gus, Medeski Martin & Wood - Combustication A good friend turned me on to this Jazz group, and this is by far my favorite piece. (( Preview )) All Wrong, Morphine - Cure For Pain A Random guy in a music store turned me on to this incredible sound. (( Preview ))

"Death Match," Lincoln Child

Spoiler Warning!! As a fan of Child's work with Preston, I pick up books by either author when I can. I found this one an interesting and entertaining read, and in many ways (pace, high-tech setting) similar to his other work "Utopia." I actually prefer this one between the two, and I liked the device of the computer turning out to be the über-hacker. The computer character, Liza, is born of the system much the same way the Jane character is in the Ender's Game series from Orson Scott Card (which I also cannot recommend highly enough).

For Fun, why not try a chat with Liza's baby sister, Eliza.