Monday, April 04, 2005

University Security Breaches

I'm so disgruntled right now because I lost one of my books that I need for Philosophy to do my homework. I spent an hour looking for it and tried buying it but no one sells it on its own; only in a pricey bundle. It's so aggravating because I didn't even use it today! Anyway, the main topic I thought I'd talk about today is this article about security holes in institutions of higher education. UT was hacked into a couple of years ago itself, but the person responsible was found and got in pretty deep trouble. I wonder if the people who do this stuff are just messing around and stumble onto the information or they just want to see what they can do or they actually have malicious intent. I think it's most likely the second option since typically the stolen information isn't actually used for fraudulent purposes. It's quite a tricky problem though since it's easier to protect against potential worms and viruses than it is to catch quiet troublemakers. How much can you restrict the network of information in a place that's all about the diffusion of knowledge? You could just keep watchdogs on the servers, which UT kinda does but not rigorously enough I'm sure. However, that could get hard and pricey. It's an interesting dilemma that hopefully I'll get closer to solving once I get through Intro to Computer Security.

Not much going on in the geek world to report about today. If you want to stare the future of computer hardware you may want to take a gander at this discovery at Stanford. They're getting closer to using plasmons, which travel at the speed of light, rather than wires and transistors in computers. It's a crazy concept, but you can read more about it here if you're interested. Speaking of farfetched concepts, imagine controlling gadgets by just gesturing. This is what some researchers in the UK are currently working on, and I can't help but be reminded of Minority Report. I'm a fan of alternative fuels for car, and so the possibility of a hybrid car that uses compressed air really caught my eye. Apparantly it would significantly reduce production costs and would be used for especially strenuous processes like starting the engine, but of course it still can't get the car going fast enough and still needs some R&D if they can get a sponsor. And lastly, I forgot to mention a couple of days ago that Google actually doubled their e-mail capacity to over 2 GB for Gmail. Their goal is to gradually get more ad revenue through increased exposure by wooing away loyalists to Yahoo and Hotmail, and it just may do the trick since everyone hates having to clean out their e-mail.

Not much in the way of movie news either, but I'll do what I can. There is quite a good bit of rumots today. The big one is that Michael Bay (think The Island) will be directing the upcoming Transformers movie. I'm not sure if this is really his type of movie, but he's definitely underrated so it's kind of up in the air in my head. The other rumors today are about casting complications in Die Hard 4. Apparently Ben Affleck got the shaft in being cast as John McClane's son in the movie in favor of Justin Timberlake, and Tony Jaa may be the villain. It all sounds too weird to be true, but as long as it has the Willis it's all good. If you think that's weird though, Jason Mewes (the Jay of Jay and Silent Bob) has signed on with Paris Hilton to star in indie comedy Bottoms Up. Supposedly he falls in love with her in the movie while trying to find success in L.A. and I guess hilarity ensues. Maybe she'll package her next porn movie with it. The sequel to Saw also has a story revolving around the killer being caught by a detective (new character), but now the detective has to stop his current game that follows the murderer's usual style. It sounds a little less contrived than I would've thought and a couple of the characters will be returning. If you're really hard up for Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy updates you can check out some new pictures over here. There's finally a theatrical poster available for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and it looks like this:

What a weird movie

There's also a new poster available for Chicken Little, which looks like it'll appeal much more to kids than adults.

Now for some Monday Madness:

The following questions all begin with Where you live...

1. ...did you have to turn your clocks forward one hour this weekend?
Yes! And it sucked because I only got like 5 or 6 hours of sleep on Saturday night.
2. ...what is the price of gasoline?
Somewhere around $2.10, but I haven't checked recently.
3. ...which natural disasters, if any, do you have to worry about?
Floods and hurricanes, but I've only had serious issues with the flooding personally.
4. you have a local newspaper, and if so, do you subscribe to it?
Yeah, but I just read The Daily Texan every day.
5. you subscribe to a local cable company for television viewing?
Nope. Then I'd never get work done!
6. ...what is the speed limit on your road/street?
I think like 30 mph, but it's a very small street so there's no sign per se.
7. far do you have to drive to the nearest post office?
About a mile I'd say.
8. ...what is the average temperature in April?
No sure, but it's been in the mid to upper 70s so far.
9. ...what is the average temperature in December?
I'm going to guess that it's somewhere in the 50s, maybe the lower 60s.
10. ...are your four seasons drastically different from one another?
Winter is pretty unique, but the others aren't so much. You do see a lot of leaves falling in the fall though and the summer gets to be unbearably hot.

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