October 2003

September 2003 -- 2003 -- November 2003

October 8, 2003

I suppose it's time for another update. Or else I'm just relaxing a bit after yet another long day of studying, as I have 3 midterms, a quiz, and a large programming project all this week. Well one midterm I took on Monday, but I have a Stat midterm and Solid State quiz tomorrow. Fun fun fun!

I rode a mechanical bull for the first time on Friday night. I won't mention how long (or lack of long, my hands were slippery ok!) I was on there, but if I'd done it "like the guy in the cowboy hat!" did it, perhaps I would have lasted longer.

The Half Life 2 source was stolen from Valve last week, which means that HL2 might be delayed until April now. It almost sounds like something out of a fiction novel, as it was a methodical attack and they're now releasing beta's of the game on the internet. Just proving once again, the only truly secure machine is buried 6 foot underground with no power.

The Electronic Fronteir Foundation recenetly released their annual report of how the DMCA is trappling all over our rights, which is presented in a paper titled Unintended Consequences: Five Years under the DMCA. Examples included threatened researchers, foreign scientists avoiding the US after a Russian programmer was arrested under DMCA charges, free speech censorship, press censorship, keeping printer ink cartridge prices sky high, and of course the infamous DeCSS lawsuits. When will the madness end?

The VeriSign redirections are no more, at least for now. No one liked the idea of a company having that much power over what people see, and so after the threat of lawsuits and court injunctions, VeriSign caved in. So typing in nonexistant URL's gives you the familiar "Address Not Found" browser error. The redirection was causing all sorts of havoc with spam scripts that checked to see if a domain name was valid or not, and some ISP's decided to take matters into their own hands and give address errors if VeriSign's "SiteFinder" site was accessed.

October 14, 2003

Big changes in how UF basketball games are being done this year was announced today. They're doing some kind of weird reservation system, which I personally don't see the point of. There's never been a problem getting a student seat for basketball games, people just waited in line to be the first 1,000 students to sit in the Rowdy Reptile section down by the court. Out of the 16 or so home games last year, only about two were even sold out for the students. And if you want to sit in the Rowdy Reptile section, you still have to wait in line, only this time they don't allow it for as long. Which will lead to a crush of people standing on the street corner opposite the O'Dome waiting for 1 PM to hit so they can all run across the street and get a place in line. On the other hand though, I know there were a lot of complaints from the dorms surrounding the O'dome last year about how loud the line was (as people are up at all hours of the night), so I guess the new rules just reflect that. The one thing they do need to fix is cutting in line, but this new plan doesn't solve that at all. At least I went to at least eight games last year so I can "register" for the semester early. But I don't like the idea of being penalized for 3 home games if I can't make it, as sometimes things come up and you can't really help it if your grandfather died or something. Anyways, Midnight Madness is this Friday so I'm really looking forward to that.

Remember kids, Stop, Drop, and Roll

Mandrake 9.2 was released today. Unfortunately for me, at the moment it's only via BitTorrent, which is banned in the UF dorms, so I can't get it. I really do hate DHNet.

I recommend K's Choice - The Paradise in Me. Muy good CD.

October 16, 2003

Here's some more info on the history of Midnight Madness. Pretty cool stuff, and I'm getting excited. Looking over the game times though, I'll have a microprocessor final during the Maryland game. Who the heck schedules this stuff?

There's artwork in your computer, but it's just a little small to see. There's some pretty good one's there, like this one about getting too close and a nice diagram about how big these pictures really are.

Wired has a great piece on Linus Torvald, creator of the Linux operating system and cult hero to geeks everywhere. He's probably near the top of my list of living person's I would like to meet one day. And to think he started it all as a 21 year old grad student.

And finally, China became just the 3rd nation to ever send a man into space. It's not as unexpected as it may seem, they've been doing tests since at least March 2002 on manned space flight. Eventually I think they'll go for the moon, and it'll happen sooner than anyone expects it to. Unfortunately it doesn't look like another space race is going to get started, so we won't be going to Mars anytime soon. Maybe when China makes it to the moon we'll feel compelled to do something other than Earth orbital flights.

October 22, 2003

It's about that time of the week again, where I say to myself "Hmmm, some people might want to know I'm still alive, so I better do an update."

Currently I'm sporting a nice sore throat, and sucking down like no tomorrow strawberry flavored Mentho-Lyptus which is a fancy name for cough drops. I stopped by the student health care center to make sure it wasn't strep (as I have a history with that as a kid) and take advantage of the heath care fees I pay every semester that gets included in my tuition. It's essentially a free doctor's office for UF students, but you pay for any tests or medicnes you need. Pretty neat place really. I'm really hoping I get better before the weekend as the Southeast regionals of the International Collegiate Programming Contest are this weekend. At least it's just my throat that hurts, everything else feels fine. But man does it hurt...

As far as this past weekend went, Midnight Madness was awesome! One of the freshman looks like the identical twin of one of our star Freshman last year (now a Sophmore) and I think we'll do really well this year. I got in line about 6:30 with a friend of mine, to make sure we were in the first 1,500 to get a free shirt. Here's some pictures from it:
Me and my friend Heather eating pizza in line
Hundreds of students "lined up" to get in at 9
Sumo wrestling for free breadstix
Gator cheerleaders and Al and Alberta
Slam dunk contest
David Lee with a dunk
All the free stuff I got!

Then Saturday we won the Arkansas game (I always remember how to spell it as AR-Kansas) and I went to go see a pretty cool ballet at the Phillips center. And then I was throughly schooled in Trivial Pursuit by my friend. It's not my fault I'm not a history major so I don't know all this obscure history stuff. They should have computer Trivial Pursuit, now THAT I could do awesome at.

Play-doh is the coolest stuff ever.

The modern concept of the atom was concieved exactly200 years ago yesterday by John Dalton, who came up with the idea of representing atoms as circles that make up other elements. The idea of an indivisible particle dates back to the Greeks, but he came up with a molecular weight table, which is where the Dalton unit comes from today.

The NYT has a interesting article on how much cheaper textbooks are oversees compared to the US. Exact same book, half the price. My OpSys book which costs $95 new on Amazon.com costs $67 new on Amazon.co.uk. Exact same book, just says "International Edition" on there. And being if I didn't buy from friends, I'd have easily over $500 in books plus lab expenses, I can take any break I can get.

October 26, 2003

The competition was really really fun! Our top team (we sent 4) placed 5th out of 88 teams which traveled from 39 different colleges. My team placed 44th, to put us right in the middle of the pack. There were 11 problems with 5 hours to solve as many as we could, but we only got 3 correctly submitted. Several of the other one's had weird bugs that we couldn't figure out. I have never seen so many computer nerds in one spot at one time though, it was really cool. Unfortunatly computer science is still a relm of the male as out of the almost 270 students, there were all of about 20 females. And of course lots of guys with really long hair, to fit the hacker sterotype. I had a blast, and I can't wait to do it next year. I brought my digital cam too, so here's some pictures from it:
Studying dynamic programming in the hotel room
Our shirts that they gave us
Suitcase full of books (since you can't have any electronic/internet access, but all the books/hardcopy you can carry)
One of the 4 labs they had us in
Out of focus picture of my group!

Today is live one hour, get one free day. Otherwise known as fall back. I wonder what my clock will do. It's 1:57 as I type this and so will it go to 2:01 or 1:01 in the next 4 minutes? I'll let you know.

I need this. LED glowing feet, how cool is that?

5... 4... 3.. 2.. 1... It went back to 1 AM! Hooray for correct programming!

September 2003 -- 2003 -- November 2003