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Journal Journal: Odd Sports Injuries 1

Found this article over at ESPN. Basically, a French goalkeeper hurt his back ... playing Scrabble. The article lists several other strange injuries soccer goalies have gone through.

Reminds me of an injury the Flyers had a few years ago - Dan McGillis broke his thumb during Thanksgiving dinner while unloading the dishwasher.

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Journal Journal: Now THAT's a Basketball Game...

Ok, so it's been a while since I've done a JE or even a normal post. I've been that busy with my life.

Drexel had their first game that's sorta home. We went down the street to The Palestra to play UPenn. Someone on ESPN or something had picked Penn to be a Top 25 or close to it this season. Hence, we had little to no chance. First five minutes or so showed it. We were down 10-0. We battled back, getting a one-point lead during the half, to be down by three at halftime.

Second half we opened with a 15-0 run, and never looked back. The closest they got since that point was 5, but Drexel seemed to have the answer every time to go back up by a decent margin. In the we won it 71-62.

Should be a very good season.

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Journal Journal: Getting Hired At MS - Riddle Solution 7

Ok, here's the solution to the riddle from my last JE. If you haven't seen the problem yet, now would be a good time to go look and try to solve it for yourself.

To note, at time of posting this, no one proposed the correct solution.

Recall the situation:
Four people. The first is hidden from the rest, and is wearing a black hat. The other three are lined up single file such that they only see those in front of him. Second is wearing white, third black, and fourth white. The fourth only sees second and third, the third only sees the second, and the second sees no one. None can see their own hat.

The fourth person (furthest back) can only see the second and third. He sees that they have differing colors to their hats, and hence, cannot determine his own hat's color. If they had the same color hat, then he would know what his was. Therefore, he keeps his mouth shut.

The third person notices the fourth's silence, and realizes why. He concludes that he must have a hat of differing color from the second person. Hence, he can say "I have a black hat" without fear of getting all four men the chair.


Journal Journal: Getting Hired at MS 11

I found this interesting. A friend of a friend had a job interview with Microsoft. Apparently, they're interested in how your brain solves problems. During the interview, the person was treated to the following problem:

There are four prisoners on death row. The warden lines them up in a single-file line, and places a wall behind the first person. He then takes two black hats and two white hats, and places them on each prisoner. The first has black, second white, third black, and fourth white. The prisoners do not know what hat they have, but can see the hats in front of them, but cannot see past the wall.

The deal is that the warden will wait until someone says "I have a __ hat." If he's correct, all four get off and can go home. Otherwise, all four immediately proceed to the chair.

All four walk without lucky guessing. How?

Now a realistic question: How many job interviews have you been on have asked stuff like this?

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Journal Journal: How long 'til the paranoia wears off? 10

Ok, so a few weeks ago, my car got broken into. The passenger rear door has a little triagular piece that was shattered. I think the guy got scared off, as nothing was gone and only that door was unlocked. $200 to replace the window.

In the few weeks leading up to my car getting hit, I noticed a few other cars in my neighborhood with smashed windows, bags over windows, glass in the street, etc. Given what I've learned in my crime class, I decided to report it, knowing full well that it wouldnt result in an arrest, but would increase patrol for a while, which maybe would purge the vandals from the area.

Naturally, I'm a little paranoid about where I keep my car. When it was hit, it was less than a block from my apartment, in a relatively crime-free neighborhood. But the street was a low-traffic side street. I've since been trying to keep it on more main streets, streets with regular traffic (both cars and on foot), in hope that a would-be vandal wont try. I've also noticed I've been keeping it (mostly) within view of my apt.

So, the simple question is, how long until that paranoia wears off?

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Journal Journal: GUILTY! 4

In a recent journal entry, I mentioned the trial of Ira Einhorn, a man who spent 20 years on the lam in Europe, found guilty in absentia in 1993, and extradited back to Philly July 2001 from France.

Jury got the case last night, deliberated for an hour, and went back to the hotel. This morning, a verdict was in after 90 minutes. (total deliberation was actually LESS than during his absentia trial)

He's guilty.


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Journal Journal: Gotta love the YRO Alarmists.... 5

This story makes a rather striking claim: Yahoo distributing CivIII for free - but with spyware. But -- Where's the link to their EULA, or the download page? All that's provided (by an anonymous submiter, no less) is a cut-and-paste of a section of that EULA.

Most posters assumed it was true, talking about how bad it is, there should be a law, disputing what the legallese actually means, etc.

But others posters said the same thing as I did above - where's the link? - and went searching for that CivIII download -- to find EULAs that dont have the "spyware" clauses. These: 1 and 2, sum it up nicely. But the post of all is this one, addressed specifically to the editors.

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Journal Journal: Goodbye Email! And Hello Fall Term

Well, this sucks. I mean, really, sucks.

Drexel's mail systems went offline around 6pm Tuesday. Everyone school-wide is without email. It was a hardware related failure that forced a total outage yesterday while the IT dept made the repairs. They then found damaged files on the system. Based on the incident details on their website, it looks like the lost files were only system files, not user data files. The files would be restored from backup. I first saw this notice at about 4pm yesterday, and was still there when I went to sleep.

Well, this morning I come in and open up Outlook, and find that my mailbox is empty. All the old mail was gone, including every folder I had sorted everything into. Some new mail was there, probably queued from last Tuesday. AHHHH!!!!

Check their incidents board to see that the server is indeed running again, but they have to restore all the email from tape -- A two-day process. Meanwhile, queued incoming email is suddenly now being force fed into the system, making everything go slowly.

Fingers are already being (jokingly) pointed at various suspects in this crash. All signs point to the freshman that moved in last Sunday.

Thank god this was the summer/fall break and nobody important is around. School starts Monday (Drexel follows a quarterly schedule, 10 weeks + 1 week finals per term). I have five classes this term - Networks, Algorithms I, Thy Computation, Criminology & Justice, and History in Tech Perspective. I was gonna take History of WWII, but they cancelled it last week (which sucks, I was looking forward to it), despite a full 40-person class that was orignally for 25 students. They had increased capacity because of reasonably high demand. Why they cancelled I dont know, but it sure pisses me off.

Networks and Computation I'm not too concerned about. I know plenty about networks already, and Thy Comp was a pre-requisite to Compilers I, which I took last Winter. Algorithms, OTOH, I'm told the guy will scare the s*** out of you each lecture. As such, I'm already reviewing material from past courses related to various proof techniques (ie, Induction) and simple combinatorics.

My crime class (a sociology course) has a lit-style book required, and I'm already reading that given I have nothing else to do aside from Algorithm prepping. It's a story about the Philadelphia Mob and the FBI's investigation of them in the early-to-mid 1990s. So far a good read into life in the FBI and life in organized crime. I might even be done the 200 page book before Monday. The story was primarily based on the author's examination of FBI info (from undercover mobsters wearing wires, informants etc), interviews of mobster types, and reviews of court proceedings.

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Journal Journal: Football.... 4

First of all, thanks to all those for ideas related to a vegetarian dinner, I'll let you folks know what I pick and how it went whenever I get around to it.

Now ... Football season. I see a lot of bitch/moan/groans about the NFL, college, peewee, whatever. The Eagles tonight are playing on MNF against the Redskins. Hopefully they would have figured out the meaning of the phrase "second half" for tonight.

As far as college ball is concerned, I'm not too worried about my school's performance. Drexel has not lost a football game since the late 1960s, and I dont see them losing their edge anytime soon.

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Journal Journal: Good Food For Vegetarians? 6

Ok, so I've seen a lot of JEs about food, cooking, etc. Now I'm about to jump into the fray.

Basically, my g/f of >3.5 years is vegetarian. She'll eat some seafood and eggs and such, but wont eat anything that contains chicken, beef, ham, or turkey, in any capacity.

So here's the problem. For the past week, she's been at home (in MD) helping a friend prepare for her wedding (which was last night). Unfortunately, the friend kinda forgot about Kathe being a vegie. All week lunch somehow involved something she couldnt eat, leaving her to salad salad salad.

Well, she's a little upset, and is ready to scream to the world that vegetarians dont have to be explicitly restricted to salads. What I want to do is make her dinner sometime soon (preferably this week, before classes start the 23rd).

I know of some things I could make her, like pasta or something. But I'd like to be a little more original. Any suggestions or ideas? Links to recipies? TIA.


Journal Journal: New reasons for securing WLANs 10

In a talk at the International Security Users Conference in London, Adrian Wright has an interesting theory about future trends in spam: Drive by spamming. Most organizations configure their mail relays to be completely open from within their LAN, and closed to all those outside their subnet. The problem comes from the use of open wireless LANs being used to exploit this for sending spam.

User Journal

Journal Journal: The work I do.... 3

Several people already know that I'm a student at Drexel U in philadelphia. I do research work in software reverse engineering, something that entails software visualization. Enter today's story about mapping the Linux kernel. That's what we do. Well, not exactly, but it works as a good illustration (no pun intended).

Software visualization is the process of creating visual descriptions of software programs and systems through either static (ie, source code) or dynamic (ie, run time) analysis. We work almost exclusively with static analysis. Such visuals include data flow charts, creating UML Class or Sequence Diagrams from OOP code, or dependency graphs (which appears to be what the kernel map is). These can use any number of code facts, like function names, calls, variables, macros, even location of functions in source files; anything that can be determined from the source code in an automated fashion. Our work involves developing applications of such static analysis toward improving software security.

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