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Do you like the new Gmail?

October 20, 2012

I don't like the new Gmail...but there's nothing Google would do about it.

Anticipation

December 21, 2011

irony

December 19, 2011
tags:

If you ask yourself:

“what is something that only I can do?”

The answer is:

“that is something that only I can find out.”

 

i hate irony.

Programming is like a

April 17, 2011

I spent 1 hour programming and 8 hours debugging on a project at work today.  That’s a whole lotta sitting on me bottom!

Programming is like a contraption: it’s a beauty when it works, and a bitch to get it working just right. And you want to get it to work right, so you spend 9 hours sitting and debugging.

I recently came across this article, you might enjoy reading it:
http://www.cancer.org/AboutUs/DrLensBlog/post/2010/07/22/How-to-Ruin-My-Day-New-Research-Shows-That-How-Much-You-Sit-Counts-More-Than-How-Much-You-Exercise.aspx

…time spent sitting trumped physical activity when you looked at the impact of both of these factors together.  So no matter that you were physically active, the longer you sat the greater the chances you would die.

craaaaaap…and I’m not physically active either…

Can somebody please write a program that refutes this research?

Osmosis

December 15, 2010

How it’s supposed to work:

1. put textbook on table
2. put Cal hat over textbook to let hat absorb material from book
3. add two Totoros next to hat to encourage hat
4. let sit overnight
5. put hat on head
6. go take exam
7. ace exam
8. party

What actually happens:

1. put textbook on table
2. put Cal hat over textbook to let hat absorb material from book
3. add two Totoros next to hat to encourage hat
4. let sit overnight
5. put hat on head
6. go take exam
7. be asked to take off hat during exam
8. fail exam
9. no party

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thoughts on online safety

December 14, 2010

I just watched this CNN video titled “stealing your identity in 45 minutes”
http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2010/12/11/exp.nr.digital.fingerprint.cnn

The host asks an expert to find out as much information about a certain man on the internet.  He started with just a piece of paper with a man’s
– login (username only, not password) and
– name

and in less than an hour, he found the man’s
– salary range
– home address
– home values
– picture
– credit card information: where he used, ideas of credit range
– social networking sites that that man uses
– where he shops

He says that usually he can find out more on average about a person given the two pieces of information he started with.  If he had more time and more tools, he says that he can find out “everything“, including:
– transaction history
– stuff illegal to share

To help protect yourself better, he suggests the following:
– stop thinking of the internet as a private space. “Everything you do is collected and profiled
– use encryption if you’re using wifi
– using https. “s” stands for “secure”
– using private mode in browsers

What this guy was able to do in under 45 minutes with one laptop and an internet connection is amazing, but it makes sense.

Internet is a public space, everything you do is collected. Why? Because these sites that you use want to “remember you” so that they can “serve you better in the future” (read: “keep track of your information so they can give you customized deals so you will buy more”). We give out our credit card information, our home addresses, and tons of other private information, not thinking twice about how they can be mis-used. Most people install anti-virus softwares and think that they are taking measures to protect themselves, but don’t understand that some things are not in their control. For example: what if those sites that you trust get hacked by malicious users, or they simply mess up?

Consider an online service called “Blippy” (http://blippy.com/).

From their website (http://blippy.com/about):

What is Blippy?

Blippy is a fun, free and safe site that lets you share your purchases and see what your friends are buying online and in real life.

What does it do?

Blippy lets you communicate about and share purchases with friends by syncing already existing e-commerce accounts to Blippy such as iTunes, Netflix, Woot, eBay and more.

So similar to how you post about “what’s happening?” on Twitter, you post about “what am I buying?” on Blippy.  Your credit card and debit card purchases are shared with your friends.  You enter your credit card account info on their site and start sharing your purchases. Hm.

Not surprisingly, somebody found a way to find the user’s credit card information via Google: http://venturebeat.com/2010/04/23/blippy-credit-card-citibank/ This is because Google indexed private information that Blippy displayed (due to sloppy coding on Blippy’s part) and made it easily accessible. Hmmmm.

This story shows 2 important facts:
1) we are moving toward a society that shares more and more information with others and tons of new technology emerge every day to make sharing easy
2) the information that you post online can be retrieved by people that you do not know and do not intend to share with

This is how it is.

How much do I really want to share online? Why? How much do I really need to share online? ” Ask yourself those questions next time you sign up for an account with one of these social sites.

For many people that don’t know what “https” is, how to enable encryption, how to use the private mode in the browsers, what is the best way to prevent others from stealing your online identity? Simple.

Stop posting personal information online, or stop using the internet.

Disclaimer: I am not an expert on online security. I am merely a programmer with some thoughts about the matter.

2:45 to write this blog

December 11, 2010
tags:

I’m about to watch Family Guy on Hulu and it gave me two choices at the beginning:

1) watch a long commercial (2 min 45 sec) at the beginning and then watch the entire show commercial-free
2) watch the show in normal format (ie commercials are weaved in)

Given those two choices, I chose 1 and came here to write this blog post while the commercial is playing in another browser tab. My question is, given those two choices, why wouldn’t you choose choice 1?  I do not see choice 2 being better in any way, unless you end up watching less total commercial in choice 2 (like less than 2:45 total).

Ok my 2:45 is almost up. Pretty amazing how much I can write in 2:45. Now off to watch Family Guy.  I love tabs on Firefox.

 

Edit Dec. 13: I didn’t get the choice today when I watched The Simpsons. I had to watch 4 commercials:

45 sec + 30 sec + 50 sec + 60 sec = 3 min 5 seconds total.

conclusion: option 1 is much better.

 

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