False alarm

Sunday, October 30th, 2005

I thought my server was hacked this weekend, but I think in reality someone on Peer1’s network took my IP address by accident, caused an IP conflict, and because I detected ssh running on a non-standard port, I assumed I had been rooted. In fact, when I returned to my machine today, I found no such rooting, and chkrootkit reported nothing. What really freaked me out was that I found vsftpd running on port 21, but wouldn’t accept any of my usernames/passwords, so I really assumed I had been rooted. But here I am, and nothing has been changed.

Whew, I guess?

Free Coders at NYU

Wednesday, September 21st, 2005

I’m organizing a group of people interested in hacking open source software in a team environment. Right now I’m calling it Free Coders at NYU, and have already set up a wiki and mailing list. This could end up being very cool. Next meeting is hopefully this coming Tuesday.

I set up a mailing list with GNU Mailman (link above), which was decently painless under Debian Sarge. The only annoying thing was utilizing my virtual e-mail address mappings which are stored in MySQL, but I figured out a trick for that.

I’ve already spoken, via e-mail, with an open source developer who works on gstreamer among other projects, Ronald S. Bultje. He has already tentatively agreed to do a talk for us sometime this year.

Classes change, new schedule

Thursday, September 8th, 2005

Well, this week I was caught up in classes, but then eventually decided that I had to change the classes I’m in. Why? Well, let’s just say that in high school, I supposedly took AP Calculus, but in reality, I used to use that period to think up my best ideas. I recently found my Calculus notebook, and about 90% of it is very unrelated to integrals and derivatives. It’s amazing but although I got an A in Calculus, and thus tested out of having to take in college, since I literally have never used it for 3 years, my brain has all but forgotten about the discipline entirely. Therefore, I dropped by Calculus II class, and am going to audit a Calculus I class so that I can actually get up to speed for next semester.

Meno male, as the Italians say, because I got to get into a class I wanted to take anyway–US History up to 1865. I e-mailed the professor and was let in today. Lots of reading, but thankfully, most of it interesting. So now I am taking two non-CS courses (this one and one on Modern Philosophy) alongside one pure CS course (Theory of Computation) and one sort-of CS course (Introduction to Motion Capture). This last course is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen in my life–more on that later.

Alas, my schedule isn’t as sweet at before, especially with a “fifth” class to audit, but I’ll make do.

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
      US History
US History Theory of
US History Theory of
Calculus (review) Motion Capture Calculus (review) Motion Capture

To Snip?

Saturday, August 27th, 2005

I need to read this.

UPDATE: I heard about the same studies mentioned here (re: circumcision lowers HIV rate among Africans) years ago in a documentary on the topic.

However, the context not provided here is the actual paradox in circumcising to prevent HIV. What the study finds is that of men who have sex with HIV infected women, you are say 70% less likely to contract the virus if you are circumcised. However, mass circumcision would do nothing but slightly slow the spread of AIDs, since Africans will treat the procedure as “protection” and therefore not use condoms or any other form of protection.

The proper way, instead of slicing off as many foreskins as you can find, is to distribute condoms, educate the people to use them, and get people to start having safer sex. Not only is this cheaper, but it’s, morally-speaking, much more sound.

Yay, ddrescue saves the day

Monday, August 22nd, 2005

It turns out GNU ddrescue did just the trick, and I was able to get 98% of the data off that dead hard drive. Now to set up a new Windows system for these poor bastards (why, oh why, can’t everyone run *nix?). I need a cup of coffee first.

Server “secured”

Thursday, August 4th, 2005

I stopped by my web host, Peer1, in order to check out my server and see if I could come up with an explanation to yesterday’s downtime. Nothing looked fishy, but it seems likely it was the stupid power cable again. So, to completely eliminate that variable, I hooked two metal ties into the grill of the nearby fans and wrapped them around the power cable’s plug. Now when I yank on the cable, instead of it coming out, it pulls the whole fucking server across the racking slide. That’s right, sysadmin soup du jour: metal ties as power cable securer.

I am Jack’s raging anger

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2005

I find myself studying in the Kimmel Center for my Linear Algebra final, which is this Thursday. There I am, minding my own business on the second-floor study lounge.

But then, a group of three girls shows up in the seating area right near me, and starts chatting about whatever inane topic comes to mind. They are then followed by a German foreign student whom they know, who asks them if they know words like blitzkrieg and rammstein. They respond with blank stares and Southern accents conceding they never heard the terms. The German boy responds, “Surely you must know blitzkrieg, I heard you use the term when you study German military history.” Indeed, they probably know the words, but have never heard them pronounced properly by a German, and thus cannot make the connection.

Well enough, however, slowly more and more girls file in. A few guys show up as well. They ask to have the extra chairs around the desk at which I’m working, and make a lot of noise chatting and chatting. After a few minutes, there are probably twenty people, 15 girls and five guys. And they begin their club meeting. What’s the club? Bible study.

Is there a floor dedicated to clubs at Kimmel? Yes, floor seven. Is the second floor meant for study? Yes. Could I possibly focus on Linear Algebra with talk of Leviticus and Genesis in the air? Certainly not. What the hell is wrong with these people?

Photos pouring in

Wednesday, July 20th, 2005

I am beginning the somewhat painful process of uploading my thousands of images to Gallery, so that I finally have them in a nice web photo album. I’m gonna have to leave a computer on at night uploading all of them and then use Gallery’s “add from folder on server” feature to add each one.

For now, though, I need to get some homework done.

First Post!

Wednesday, July 20th, 2005

It’s finally done! I have finally managed to get my new and improved site online. I am now fully powered by WordPress and Gallery, two amazing projects (written in PHP) which allow for blog/content management and photo gallery management. I even integrated the two together by having them share stylesheets wherever possible.

Now to begin the actual posts, and the fun.

Leaving for Italy

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2005

Will not be blogging for quite awhile.