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Comment: The big question nobody has asked... (Score 4, Interesting) 57

by weeboo0104 (#47424741) Attached to: Homestar Runner To Return Soon

Dear Strong Bad,
How do you tweet with boxing gloves on?
I mean, you must hit that 160 character limit every time you touch your smartphone and smash all the keys at once with those things.
Seriously, your twitter feed must look like:
"#Strongbad -
Adflkjad-0u91Adflkjad-0u915kl134-0udfk;lgkm;ldf-qpoilmar,madfv[pairg;lkqmer,m/. adfv[0adlm ,adlav[fqegl,mqdeg,.madfv;oja;ldknfadf890uarjo1k109afomaqer, q34t[0er"
Sincerly,
Chicago, IL

Comment: Important work - gives handle on earth's dynamo (Score 4, Insightful) 80

by Cliff Stoll (#47298935) Attached to: Satellite Swarm Spots North Pole Drift

This is important work, which compliments terrestial geomagnetic measurements and space based observations.

The earth's magnetic field results from a planetary dynamo. Magnetic field lines get frozen into the electrically conductive fluid core. Then, differential motions in the fluid causes the magnetic field to get twisted up -- it's no longer is the simple dipole (like those bar magnets that you played with as a kid). Instead, the earth's magnetic field develops high order moments (sorta like bumps and dips). These shapes evolve as the conductive core moves. Eventually, the magnetic field gets so tangled up, that it unravels. At that time, the earth's field reverses. These magnetic field reversals show up in the geologic record ... every 10,000 to 100,000 years, there's a flipover.

Measurements like the ESA Swarm satellite give us a handle on the evoloution of the Earth's magnetic field, as well as showing how that field interacts with the magnetic and particle environment of the solar wind.

(disclaimer - most of what I just posted is from a terrific graduate class that I took at the Lunar & Planetary Labs way back in 1979, and when I worked with Charles Sonett, who studied the solar wind. Likely, much of this is way out of date!)

Comment: Re:Well, yes, I was there... (Score 1) 120

by Cliff Stoll (#47182183) Attached to: Whom Must You Trust?

And my thanks back to you, oh Anonymous Coward: The 15 cents in royalties from your purchase of m'book is now helping my kids attend college. Uh, it'll last about 1.3 minutes.

You say that you're managing firewalls - all sorts of possibilities! I had the honor of working with Van Jacobson at LBL when he first researched TCP/IP traffic jams and compression. I was amazed at how much could be done by looking at traffic and thinking about the interaction of traffic, buffers, routers, and network congestion. Wonderful stuff - what looks like a boring problem may be an opportunity for research.

With that in mind, here's my encouragement to you: Go and sharpen your tcpdump & wireshark tools. Figure out what's really happening to those packets. Who knows what you'll uncover?

Comment: Re:IF you are the REAL Cliff Stoll? (Score 1) 120

by Cliff Stoll (#47182047) Attached to: Whom Must You Trust?

(blush). Thanks!

Now it's your turn: Go forth and make our networked community friendlier, stronger, more trustworthy, and more useful.

Best wishes,
-Cliff

PS: Of course, you raise a fascinating, self-referential question. How can you tell if this posting is from the real Cliff Stoll? I know it's me - and it's easy to prove in person, but difficult online. For the best proof, well, stop by for coffee. Way more fun than posting online.

Comment: Well, yes, I was there... (Score 5, Interesting) 120

by Cliff Stoll (#47181593) Attached to: Whom Must You Trust?

It's been a quarter century since I chased down those hackers. Hard to think back that far: 2400 baud modems were rarities, BSD Unix was uncommon, and almost nobody had a pocket pager. As an astronomy postdoc (not a grad student), I ran a few Unix boxes at Lawrence Berkeley Labs. When the accounting system crashed, my reaction was curiosity: How come this isn't working? It's an attitude you get from physics -- when you don't understand something, it's a chance to do research. And oh, where it led...

Today, of course, everything's changed: Almost nobody has a pocket pager, 2400 baud modems are a rarity, and Berkeley Unix is, uh, uncommon. What started out as a weirdness hiding in our etc/passwd file has become a multi-billion dollar business. So many stories to tell ...

I've since tiptoed away from computer security; I now make Klein bottles and work alongside some amazing programmers at Newfield Wireless in Berkeley. Much fun debugging code and occasionally uncorking stories from when Unix was young.

Warm cheers to m'slashdot friends,
-Cliff

+ - Are hurricanes more deadly than himmicanes?->

Submitted by grrlscientist
grrlscientist (1127371) writes "A recently published paper claims that the gender of the name given to individual hurricanes is linked to the public's perception of the risk posed by that storm. In short, this study claims that hurricanes given female-sounding names are perceived to be less dangerous than those given male-sounding names (which we refer to here as "himmicanes"). This public underestimation of risk apparently results in hurricanes causing significantly more deaths than himmicanes. We reanalyse the data and find there is no relationship between hurricane name-gender and deaths caused."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Correlation does not imply causation (Score 2, Insightful) 211

by volkerdi (#47143343) Attached to: Study Finds Porn Exposure Associated With Smaller Brain Region

More pseudoscience. They say that they're not sure whether this means that porn shrinks your brain, or if the shrunken brain causes porn viewing. But, this leaves out the very real possibility that this correlation means nothing whatsoever. The site below collects correlations that look pretty convincing in the graphs, but quite obviously are unlikely to be cases of causation in either direction:

http://www.tylervigen.com/

+ - Open and shut: These brainy birds open their own doors->

Submitted by grrlscientist
grrlscientist (1127371) writes "When the University of Victoria in Canada opened a new campus bike centre in the parkade located under the University Centre last November, motion-activated doors were installed to discourage swallows from nesting in the new facility. But when the swallows returned to their familiar nest sites a few weeks ago, they were undeterred by this peculiar impediment: they quickly learned how to open the doors by flying in front of the infrared motion detector."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Not enough people (Score 1) 164

by weeboo0104 (#46919915) Attached to: Is Montana the Next Big Data Hub?

My wife and I visited Ludington a few years ago. I love the West side of Michigan.
We were really impressed by the number of people that turned out on a Saturday morning the week before Memorial Day to plant flowers and beautify the town for Tourist season. If an employer looking for a Senior System Engineer was in Ludington or even Muskegon, we would move there in a heartbeat.

Them as has, gets.

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