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Editorial

Journal: Slashdot port scanning

Journal by Martin Spamer

My logs today revealed the following two port scans.

Fri, 2009-09-04 15:24:10 - TCP Packet - Source:216.34.181.45 Destination:X.X.X.X - [PORT SCAN]
Fri, 2009-09-04 15:24:12 - TCP Packet - Source:216.34.181.45 Destination:X.X.X.X - [PORT SCAN]

So I left wondering why slashdot is port scanning from 216.34.181.45?

User Journal

Journal: Programming Tests

Journal by Martin Spamer

I recently attended an interview for a role as Software Architect. At the interview I was asked to complete a written programming test. The first two questions where to write in Java the functions IsOdd() & ToUpper(). This was so monumentally stupid I didn't know where to begin. My first through was that the test was really designed to see If I would stand up and point out the stupidity of the situation. Apparently not. They really did want to test a Software Architects skills with a programming test. They really didn't understand why these two functions are out of place in an OO language. They really didn't understand why static utility functions are a really bad idea. They really did want two functions that broke the Java language naming conventions. They really did want two functions that not only re-invent the wheel but have a cyclomatic complexity of 1. After two hours of this and other stupidity I asked why they had spent two hours asking a Software Architect programming questions. To which the interviewer responded "Oh we call our Developers, Software Architects because it impresses the customers". Needless to say I made my excuses and left, something I should have done much earlier.

User Journal

Journal: Interactive Digital Television

Journal by Martin Spamer

Interactive Digital Television using IP over ADSL offers a way to smash the existing broadcasters monopoly, and open the mass public to unique and original programming from independents content producers. The technology built on open standards provides low barriers to entry for independent content producers and offer a number of additional services to make a compelling customer services. This disruptive technology is both cheaper and more capable than Satellite and Cable offerings; it is the future.

Interactive Digital Television.
- True Interactive Television (iTV) can conduct polls and quiz's in real time, it can also break out into on Demand Content at any time.
- True Interactive Electronic Programme Guides (EPG), can search for your preferences amongst the morass of polularist trash. Smart programme notifies can provide hints based on previous logged preferences and behaviour.
- Interactive

Content On Demand.
        Video (Movies/News/Documentaries);
        Audio (Music/Radio);
        text and other media;

Server Side PVR.
- Technical advantages, more flexible and reliable;
- Cost advantages, lower centralised cost;

Interactive Service
- Telemedicine
- Order a Fast Food Delivery (Pizza) using your remote from an Arm Chair.
- Mail Order goods (Video,CD) and services (Insurance,Investments,University Prospectus).

Internet access.
- Open Standards (HTTP, RTSP, MPEG, SMTP, SNMP)
- High speed Broadband connections.

integrated Communications Portal
- Email
- Instance Messages, SMS, IRC etc.
- VOIP
- TAPI

Think this is a pipe dream ? Well you'd be wrong we are doing all these today:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/england/annualreview/10.shtml
http://www.broadcastpapers.com/data/KingstonCaseStudy01.htm
http://www.mpowerassociates.com/broadhorizons/BH%2520Symposium/keynotes/presentation_ppt/MikeAlexander.ppt&e=912

Interactive documentaries (The Blue Planet,Walking with Dinosaurs) from the BBC
http://www.bbc.co.uk/england/annualreview/10.shtml
http://www.bbc.co.uk/humber/connecting/6.shtml
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/696116.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/689887.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/696138.stm

Interactive Advert, technology applies equally to Games and Movies where you choice the plot development.
http://media.guardian.co.uk/mediaguardian/story/0,7558,759378,00.html
http://www.depaultrust.org/tv_ad_links_page.html

User Journal

Journal: Dear Mr. Architect, 1

Journal by Martin Spamer


Please design and build me a house. I am not quite sure of what I need, so you should use your discretion.

My house should have between two and forty-five bedrooms. Just make sure the plans are such that the bedrooms can be easily added or deleted. When you bring the blueprints to me, I will make the final decision of what I want. Also, bring me the cost breakdowns for each configuration so that I can arbitrarily pick one at a later time.

Keep in mind that the house I ultimately choose must cost less than the one I am currently living in. Make sure, however, that you correct all the deficiencies that exist in my current house (the floor of my kitchen vibrates when I walk across it, and the walls don't have nearly enough insulation in them).

As you design, also keep in mind that I want to keep yearly maintenance costs as low as possible. This should mean the incorporation of extra-cost features like aluminum, vinyl, or composite siding. (If you choose not to specify aluminum, be prepared to explain your decision in detail.)

Please take care that modern design practices and the latest materials are used in construction of the house, as I want it to be a showplace for the most up-to-date ideas and methods. Be alerted, however, the kitchen should be designed to accommodate (among other things) my wobbly 1952 Gibson refrigerator.

To assure that you are building the correct house for our entire family, you will need to contact each of my children, and also our in-laws. My mother-in-law will have very strong feelings about how the house should be designed, since she visits us at least once a year. Make sure that you weigh all of thses options carefully and come to the right decision. I, however, retain the right to overrule any decisions that you make.

Please don't bother me with small details right now. Your job is to develop the overall plans for the house and get the big picture. At this time, for example, it is not appropriate to be chosing the color of the carpeting. However, please keep in mind that I like blue and my wife likes cream.

Also, do not worry at this time about acquiring the resources to build the house itself. Your first priority is to develop detailed plans and specifications. Once I approve these plans, however, I would expect the house to be under roof within 48 hours.

While you are designing this house specifically for me, keep in mind that sooner or later I will have to sell it to someone else. It therefore should have appeal to a wide variety of potential buyers. Please make sure before you finalize the plans that there is a consensus of the potential homebuyers in my area that they like the features this house has.

I advise you to run up and look at the house my neighbor build last year, as we like it a great deal. It has many things that we feel we also need in our new home, particularily the 75-foot swimming pool. With careful engineering, I believe that you can design this into our new house without impacting the construction cost.

Please prepare a complete set of blueprints. It is not necessary at this time to do the real design, since they will be used only for construction bids. Be advised, however, that you will be held accountable for any increase of construction costs as a result of later design changes.

You must be thrilled to be working on as an interesting project as this! To be able to use the latest techniques and materials and to be given such freedom in your designs is something that can't happen very often. Contact me as soon as possible with your ideas and completed plans.

PS: My wife has just told me that she disagrees with many of the instructions I've given you in this letter. As architect, it is your responsibility to resolve these differences. I have tried in the past and have been unable to accomplish this. If you can't handle this responsibility, I will have to find another architect.

PPS: Perhaps what I need is not a house at all, but a travel trailer. Please advise me as soon a possible if this is the case.

received via chain email, author/copyright unknown.

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them WHAT to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. -- Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.

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