Posts with mood worried (12)
Stop SOPA! Write your Congresspeople!
Posted on 2011-12-19 10:11:00
TL;DR: Write your Congresspeople to oppose SOPA - it takes less than a minute!
There's a new bill aimed at stopping piracy, and it is extremely dangerous to the Internet's health.
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) makes it easy for IP holders to, if they see infringing content on any other website, stop online ad programs and block access to credit card payments without appearing before a judge or any sort of court order.
A refresher on how it works now: under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), if an IP holder finds infringing content somewhere (say, on YouTube), they can file a takedown notice to YouTube and YouTube is required to respond unless the person that posted the content objects (in which case presumably the IP holder will sue). YouTube is a good example of a "safe harbor" under the DMCA - as long as they respond to takedown notices, they're not required to police their own content. Which is a good thing, because it's nearly impossible to guarantee that no one is posting any sort of infringing material on your site.
Under SOPA, though, just one piece of infringing content anywhere on the site gives the IP holder power to block the entire site, possibly even including messing with the site's DNS entry. This is someone akin to bombing a city block because some guy is selling shady-looking DVD's on the corner.
There's lots of other bad stuff in it, but that's the upshot. Many people involved with the creation of the Internet (including Vint Cerf, one of the "fathers of the Internet") have written an open letter warning about it. Even the Business Software Alliance, who only exists to stop piracy, has serious reservations about it. Many Silicon Valley founders have also written an open letter blasting SOPA. Reddit has said they may have to shut down if it passes.
So: please write your Congresspeople! The bill is still in committee, but is scheduled to be voted on (to go out of committee) on Wednesday...the good news is that it seems like the backlash is having an effect, but as many people as possible need to let their legislators know that this bill is bad, bad, bad.
bridge update (or: programming is hard)
Posted on 2010-10-27 14:00:00
Tags: bridge projects programming
After vacation and traveling and such, I've been working on the bridge program again. I'm at the point in the webOS client where I can now play a complete hand, bidding and all. It even looks relatively nice with cards sliding around, things fading into view, etc. Ask me to show it off if you're interested sometime!
So the next task is adding the AI for playing cards. I've decided to go with a rule-based system, where there are a bunch of rules that can decide if they apply. So I have "second hand low" and "third hand high" rules that go near the end (since they're fairly generic).
Last night I tried to sit down and really hammer out the rule that applies if you can determine exactly what will be played. If you're the last player on the trick, this is relatively easy - see if your partner is winning, if not win as cheaply as you can, if so (or if you can't win) throw some trash.
Even this is a little vague - what card should I throw away? Well, if there's only one suit I can play it's easy, but if not then it's hard. So I put this off with a TODO.
The tricky part is if you're the third player on the trick and the fourth player is the dummy. Then it's something like: look at all dummy's cards and the declarer's card that was played (if it's currently winning), then see if I can beat all these. If so, play the cheapest. If not....well, we are in the third hand and we'd like to force dummy's best card if we can. So find dummy's second best card and see if we can at least beat that. If not...well, at least we should try to beat the current high card played by declarer. If we can't do that, then just toss something.
This took a while to code up, and I need to test it thoroughly because I'm very much not confident in it. And it still leaves a lot of details out - what if dummy has AK6 and I have the 57 - under the algorithm I'd play the 5 which is pretty clearly wrong. It seems like to handle this case I should have been keeping track of which cards are winners in their suit, which is another layer of complexity!
And all this is for a (all things considered) pretty simple case where I can see all the cards. I'd also like to keep track of how many cards of each suit each person has (based on the bidding), which would help but would also add enormous complexity.
Maybe the AI should cheat and see all the cards? Is there some better thing to keep track of?
It could be a long time before the game seems to play intelligently...
in the name of science
Posted on 2010-10-03 11:09:00
Creepy dream: my mom wanted me to sign up for this medical study, so I said sure. I went in to the doctor's office and she explained she'd be cutting out part of my brain to see how that affected me. So her assistant used a giant spiny pizza cutter and she took out a slice. Afterward it didn't hurt hardly at all, although later she mentioned it would hurt like hell later.
Anyway, then all the people that were part of the study got in a group and talked about how what they had done to them made them feel. (I was the only one with a brain slice taken out, other people had different things) When it was my turn I said I felt slower, it was harder to think, and the people who ran the study kinda nodded.
Then we were walking back somewhere through my old neighborhood, and I had a lot of questions for the woman who ran the study, and I had a lot of questions about things that didn't make sense. Like, why wouldn't they do some sort of SAT test or something to measure the difference in intelligence instead of just asking me how I felt? The answer was that would exclude people who hadn't taken the SAT from being in the study. This made a little sense to me, but not much. The other question I really had was were they going to put the slice of my brain back or what? But that question never got answered, and I was getting worried by their evasiveness...
(the dream started by my playing Civilization 5 and getting crushed by the computer, and so before the surgery I was thinking about what techs to research first. One way I could tell the missing brain slice was making me slower was that I was having trouble remembering which techs lead to what...)
Posted on 2008-10-27 17:38:00
Stories like this are why, when I wake up and see a CNN Breaking News alert I wasn't expecting (like, say, this morning), I get involuntarily nervous.
Posted on 2008-09-12 10:01:00
People sheltering at ground level at Galveston Bay when Hurricane Ike hits face "certain death," the weather service warns.is a frightening CNN Breaking Alert to see. Hope everyone got out of there...
not a complaint
Music: Peter Gabriel - "Down to Earth" (from Wall-E soundtrack)
Posted on 2008-07-16 10:38:00
Tags: movies music asmc
but we have to be off-script and music by Friday. Like, two days from now. That is extremely frightening/implausible.
I bought the Wall-E soundtrack and I'm liking it enough to review it, mostly because I still associate the music with what's happening in the movie and I'm pretty sure that's gonna fade away soon. To that effect:
(you probably shouldn't read this if you haven't seen the movie. and you should probably see the movie.)
Put On Your Sunday Clothes - this is the music that plays over the opening credits when they show what's left of Earth. It even has the nice fade-out effect over the last line "and we won't come home until we've kissed a girl!" which gives it an emptyish feeling. Catchy! 4 stars.
2815 A.D. - the main theme as I think of it - pretty harp music with slightly unsettling background music. Nice xylophone part later. Very...harpy and spacey. 4 stars.
Wall-E - a playful theme - I think this is him doing stuff outside, oh and probably the cockroach bit too. 3 stars.
The Spaceship - Something's happening! A bit of a dancing theme (with the red landing dot, I assume), and then off to the races. This is when Eve's spaceship lands. 3 stars.
EVE - the theme when Eve emerges and flies around gracefully. Harpy again and very pretty and flowing. Definitely 5 stars.
Thrust - not sure what's happening here - maybe the ship is taking off? Back to unsettling/cautious feeling. 3 stars.
Bubble Wrap - I'm guessing this is when Wall-E is showing Eve his home, with the Rubik's cube and bubble wrap and whatnot. Mostly calm, although building a bit. 3 stars.
La Vie En Rose - After Eve shuts down, this is the montage of Wall-E trying to wake her up/take care of her (I think). Or maybe it's Eve and Wall-E adventuring around together. Good Louie Armstrong number. 4 stars.
Eye Surgery - Hmm, maybe these songs aren't exactly in order? Because this is presumably when Eve breaks Wall-E's eye and he has to find a replacement. Harpy and a bit playful. 3 stars.
Worry Wait - oh, or this is when Eve shuts down. Sounds very worried/panicked at first. 3 stars.
First Date - aww. Maybe this is Wall-E taking care of Eve? Upbeat, kinda cheesy and muzaky. Ends with the sound of Pong being played. 4 stars.
Eve Retrieve - back to the main harpy spacey theme. I presume the ship is landing to pick Eve up now. Now it's more action-y as Wall-E tries to get to the ship before it takes off. Danger! But then triumph! 3 stars.
The Axiom - Starts out peaceful and pretty. They're flying through space! Then they approach the Axiom and a nice trumpet theme which is big and regal at the same time kinda implying something is wrong (with some neat discordance). 4 stars.
BNL - Cute little BNL jingle. I like jingles! 4 stars.
Foreign Contaminant - Mouse droid is chasing after Wall-E and stuff. Very active theme - sounds like movement and robots and stuff. 3 stars.
Repair Ward - Eve gets fixed. Kind of an "undercover" feel here. A little boring. Weird drill noises at the end. 3 stars.
72 Degrees and Sunny - Kinda the general Axiom theme, when you see all the BNL signs and everything. Strangely upbeat. 3 stars.
Septuacentennial - yay, 700 years! Short and frantic. 3 stars.
Gopher - not sure what this is, but sounds like robots are moving. 3 stars.
Wall-E's Pod Adventure - dramatic! This is when he's headed back to Earth but manages to escape. Nice cello/viola/something line. 3 stars.
Define Dancing - Wall-E and Eve's dance through space. Very pretty, flowing, harpy. 4 stars.
No Splashing No Diving - I suppose this is when the two people actually get in the pool. Calm, followed by a funky robot beat. 3 stars.
All That Love's About - pretty little love theme. Maybe when Eve is watching what Wall-E did for her after she found the plant? 3 stars.
M-O - that "undercover" theme again. I'm guessing something to do with the mouse droid. 3 stars.
Directive A-113 - captain sees plant is missing, I think? A bit of slow spacey theme at first that turns more sinister and then Axiom-ish. 3 stars.
Mutiny! - um, the mutiny part. Fast moving and robot-y at first, then more action. 3 stars.
Fixing Wall-E - the bit in the trash center on the Axiom where they almost get vented into space. Slow, sad, and xylophony! Turns more upbeat near the end. Pretty. 4 stars.
Rogue Robots - sounds like chase music. Presumably chasing them through the ship :-) 3 stars.
March of the Gels - Axiom-ish theme. I think this is when the broken robots defeat the sentry bots. 3 stars.
Tilt - Presumably when Otto steers the ship and everyone on the Lido Deck (that's a great name for a deck, btw) falls down. Sounds dangerous and dramatic! More of the neat axiom theme with some choir stuff at the end. 3 stars.
The Holo-Detector - When the plant goes in the plant detector? Triumphant at first, then more Axiom-y, then...xylophony, maybe? Something like that. 3 stars.
Hyperjump - Jumping back to Earth! Excited-sounding and dangerous, then triumphant again (with a bit of dissonance). 3 stars.
Desperate Eve - Eve zooms off to try to fix Wall-E. Robot-y, concerned. 4 stars.
Static - Aww, Wall-E doesn't remember Eve! Sad sad xylophone and violins. 3 stars.
It Only Takes a Moment - The love song from Hello Dolly - ends with "to be loved our whole life long". Awwww. 4 stars.
Down to Earth - plays over the end credits. I really like songs over the end credits of good movies, presumably because I'm in a good mood because the movie was good. Anyway, I love this song and it's been stuck in my head for a few days and will probably stay there for a while. 5 stars!
Horizon 12.2 - pretty music that maybe also played over the end credits? Sounds spacey and harpy. 4 stars.
Anyway, wow that was a lot of typing for minimal benefit. Next time I do this it will be on an album with fewer than 38 tracks!
this is the beginning of the end (of moving)
Posted on 2008-03-12 09:53:00
Tags: moving rant smashbros wii
Last night we got our stuff ready to pack, which means the whole moving thing is happening soon. People are coming over tonight to help us pack (thanks, people!) and we'll be living out of boxes for a while...the movers come for real on Saturday. Until we get settled in at the house we may be somewhat incommunicado, so call me on my cell phone (or better yet, call djedi on his since mine seems a bit unreliable). Moving brings out the worst in me, so I will likely be crabby and irritable and unhelpful for a while, so being incommunicado isn't the worst thing in the world. (sorry, people around me!)
Played a little Smash Bros last night - did the easy job of unlocking (spoiler alert: highlight to read) Snake , and then djedi got up to 29% in Subspace Emissary (the adventure mode). Next up to unlock I think will be (spoiler) Captain Falcon , so I might do that tonight. (Just kidding! Tonight is packing)
We've been trying to get cable/internet set up at the new place for a while now. We scheduled Time Warner to come out February 29 to hook it up, and the contractor guy said that the signal coming into the house was too weak and a supervisor would have to come out and look at it. Last Friday I called Time Warner to see what the deal was (the contractor said someone would call me to schedule an appointment), and luckily the woman was able to schedule an appointment for that day. So someone did come out to the house, did the same stuff as the contractor, and verified that that was indeed the problem. (not sure what the deal was there) He said engineers (I'm an engineer!) would have to work on the problem outside but I didn't need to be there or set up an appointment or anything.
So yesterday I call Time Warner to see if they know if the work's been done or when the work will be done, since we're getting awfully close to moving in. Using their nifty callback feature, I get a call 10 minutes later, and the woman said that in fact the last guy hadn't scheduled anything to be done and that someone did need to be at the house. Le sigh. So that's scheduled for Friday along with hot tub stuff.
But it's annoying to have to always call after anyone does anything to confirm what they said/actually get the next step of the process to happen.
Posted on 2007-12-05 09:45:00
The big news two days ago was that the new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) (PDF summary) said that Iran stopped their military nuclear program in 2003. The big news yesterday was that President Bush held a press conference (I'd love to see a transcript including questions, but can't find one) in which he said Iran is still a threat. Which, of course, is possible, given that our NIEs have been wrong before (e.g. the one in 2005 that said Iran still had an active nuclear military program), but it's scary that he seems to just believe this even when our "most authoritative written judgments on national security issues" go against him. (he said a few things in the press conference that really drove this home; he believes it no matter what anyone else says, it seems) Also, there's some weirdness where Mike McConnell (the Director of National Intelligence) said there was some big news in August but didn't tell him what the news was and he didn't ask and didn't find out until October. That's mildly frightening.
Totally unrelated (or is it?), Gmail released support for colored labels and AIM integration, so you can chat on AIM through Google Chat. Neat! You may have to sign out and back in to see the changes. (I think they're being rolled out a little bit at a time)
Haskell wearing me down
Posted on 2007-08-15 10:57:00
Tags: math haskell projects
but first, math!
From last time - the answer is that they're not symmetric. If a=10, b=11, c=20, then C enters A's stall at time 10 and you get to enter B's stall at time 11. However, if a=20, b=11, c=10, then C enters B's stall at time 11 and you have to hold it until time 20. More formally, the time you have to wait is
min(min(a,b) + c, max(a,b))
Using the formulas min(a,b) = (a+b-|a-b|)/2 and max(a,b) = (a+b+|a-b|)/2, this expression simplifies down to (a+b+c-|c-|a-b||)/2, which is clearly not symmetric in a and c. I'd be interested to see how this formula works for more people and stalls - it seems to blow up pretty quickly, although it would be easy to write a program to calculate it. I have a gut feeling that you want the fastest people earlier in the line (ideally if there are n stalls the n-1 slowest people will be all in their stalls when you get to go in, so you don't have to wait for them) but proving that seems rather tricky.
When will LJ get inline LaTeX?? :-)
Good article about risk management and terrorism (via schneier)
I'm making good progress rewriting the Pretty Pictures picture generator in Haskell - it spits out valid PPM images that look correct for simple cases, but it needs more testing. (and I need to see if browsers support PPM natively or if I have to convert to PNG which would be a pain) I'm not enjoying it a whole lot, though. The idea of learning Haskell was to expand my mind and change the way I programmed, and I guess it has done that some, but I always feel handcuffed when I sit down and try to do seemingly easy things, like write out a raw PNG file. (got about halfway there and said forget it)
To antidote this (yes, it's a verb!) I think my next project will be less challenging technically and more interesting, like involving lots of neat data (census? past wars?) and some sort of neat visualization. (R?) We'll see.
I have a bad feeling about this...
Music: bass line to "Here in My Car" or whatever it's really called
Posted on 2006-02-12 00:12:00
So most of Friday afternoon, djedi and I noticed a party going on somewhere near us, and we eventually figured out it was the apartment directly below us, which apparently has some new occupants. When we returned to the apartment, it smelled like cigarette smoke (actually, what it really smells like is a hotel room where people have smoked in the past or something. ewww.).
So, fine, a party on Friday night isn't such a huge deal, and the music wasn't too loud. Unfortunately, ever since we got back from dinner tonight, there's another party going on. Same smell (actually, it never went away), louder music, and hearing of conversations on the balcony below us. (I mostly hate listening to other people's conversations, especially inane ones). If this keeps up, we may have to drop a depth charge on them or something. Although, on the plus side, I won't feel guilty playing DDR at my place anymore...
tired, and ugh
Posted on 2005-08-01 15:36:00
Tags: asmc charlottesweb
So this weekend was ASMC weekend #1. The show Friday night didn't go very well, but the rest of them (3 on Saturday, 2 on Sunday) went from fine to good. All the shows (except for the friends and family Friday show) sold out, which is quite a difference from last year (perhaps because "Peter Pan" is a better draw than "Fractured Fairies and Tails", which is a little less clear exactly what it is). I had fun, but it really drained my energy so I was both physically and mentally tired by Sunday evening. The kids seemed to enjoy it, though, so that's good.
So I've been stressed this weekend and today about totally different things. Today I'm stressed about work, which I think is a sign that I need to be less invested in my work. Which I'm not good at doing. So, um, we'll see how that goes.
The other thing I've been stressed about (I think this is the big thing) is Charlotte's Web - I started trying to learn my lines during performances and downtime this weekend, because lately I've been almost entirely unable to not do something I consider "productive" during free time. But that's another story. Anyway, I'm really worried about learning all my lines (there are gobs and gobs of them). And I'm having second thoughts about the whole thing (not in the sense of backing out - I've already signed a contract and all that, but whether I would say yes again if I had the chance). It's not like I've ever done any sort of "real" theater before...the acting and stuff was all incidental to the singing.
So, I'm a little down.
Music: Puddle of Mudd, "Heel over Head"
Posted on 2005-01-19 13:14:00
For those of you that haven't experienced the wonder that is TiVo, allow me to explain. TiVo is a Digital Video Recorder, which means that it records all the shows David and I watch for me when they come on, and we can watch them at our leisure. I've had my TiVo for around 2.5 years now, and I can't imagine going back. We just sit down later in the week whenever we feel like it to watch our shows that have come on earlier. It also records all sorts of random stuff that we only sometimes watch in case we feel like it. It is very magical! Hopefully the company will live long and prosper.
So, anyway, over the last 6 months or so, we've seen some random skips and stutters in playback that have been getting a little worse as time goes on. Nothing too serious, although sometimes it would stutter for a few seconds, but that's a pretty good indication that one of the hard drives is dying. (it came with a 60 GB hard drive, and I added a 120 GB drive soon after I got it) Since David was gone this weekend, I decided to go ahead and replace one of the hard drives. I assumed the problem was the 60 GB hard drive, since that was the older one, so I went to Fry's, picked up a 60 GB hard drive, and did the replacing on Sunday. It took a while (since I wanted to keep all of our recordings, I had to copy 60 GB's from one drive to another, which took around 4 hours), but no biggie. Watched a Futurama episode Sunday night, and things seemed to be fine.
Unfortunately, this was not the case. On Monday, David watched a program or two, and said the skipping and stuttering was worse than ever. When I got home, we watched an old Newsradio episode (the one with the suggestion box...good stuff!) and it was still skipping and stuttering. When we tried to watch the Futurama episode I had watched Sunday night, it played for about 9 minutes, got stuck, and eventually rebooted, which is pretty unheard of for a TiVo (they're very stable). After doing this a few times, we got the dreaded Green Screen of Death, which I looked up and found out that the filesystem was messed up, and it was trying to fix it. Which it eventually did, but there were still all sorts of resetting problems and such.
So we figured the 120 GB drive must be the problem, bought another 120 GB drive and set it up to copy over overnight. Got up this morning, and the copy had failed. When I checked the logs, there were all sorts of read errors trying to read the 120 GB drive.
Anyway, we're pretty sure that's the problem, and we're still trying to copy the data over (skipping sectors that can't be read). But the upshot is that I can't get to my computer (since the TiVo drives are in it), which means I can't listen to music or anything (although I did listen to some in the car on the way to lunch). And there's no TiVo. And I want it to get better!
This backup was done by LJBackup.