Friday, May 27, 2005

Hacker Heros

First of all, I passed my road test! I got 25 points taken off in all, but very few "bad" marks and so I consider it to have been a great test. I drove on my own for the first time today to go to 24 Hour Fitness for my first hearty workout in a while. It's cool to finally have that privelage and I can't wait to bring a car to Austin. It would appear that not all hackers out there are bad. There are groups of vigilantes out there who are frustrated with the unchecked evil of phishing scams and other fraudulent sites, and so they've decided to take matters into their own hands. They deface the sites and try to provide warnings so that those who click-through know that the site is ill-omened. Do they get the praise they deserve though? Law enforcement is slow to act, and yet they disagree with the methodology of these so-called "heroes" of the internet. I think it's great that there are people willing to do this because it's hard to shut down people in other countries and its great practice for these hackers who are no doubt computer scientists or aspiring programmers with a strong interest in security and/or networks.

There much more techie news today. While I'm on security, airport screeners may get a whole lot sexier as they may be able to see through clothing! This is far from being accepted and implemented yet, but it's being fought for and I can both sides of the argument so it's hard for me to decide myself. I finally found an article stating the obvious: all browsers are unsafe. Exploits are inevitable, and all we have to do is be careful where we go on the internet. Oh, and in case you're still curious about the tabs in IE 7 there are some more details up on the IE blog. And while we're on Microsoft, it turns out that Longhorn is not written in .Net, a framework invented by Microsoft, because 2.0 isn't due out for a while and so it will instead only be used for the Avalon file system and Indigo communications system. That's the problem with big companies; too much going on. If you're tired of all this M$ talk then you'll be pleased to know that HP is coming around to support Linux for its new laptop computers, which is great because I know my friend Sid couldn't put Linux on his laptop and he wanted to try it out. Good job HP! With Google's introduction of a Q&A service to read your mind and answer your questions, those geniuses at Stanford have been taking an even closer look at semantical web searching. It's stuff like this that fuels my desire to go there for grad school.

The movie news today is pretty cool. There's an unusually long clip from The Honeymooners at Yahoo! Movies, and unfortunately it's not too impressive. It's nice to see John Leguizamo in another comedy, but this is a straight up family flick. If you missed the 10-minute Batman Begins preview last week then take solace in checking it out over here, and you definitely want to see it. Oh, and apparently the voice pitch change in the batsuit is a result of his bat ears, which is a nice touch. In worse news, a Ring 3 has been confirmed and they've officially beaten a dead horse. On the bright side, reviews are in for Serenity and it sounds like a delight for Firefly fans so I presume the rest of us will enjoy it as well. Silas in Da Vinci Code has finally been cast as Paul Bettany, which is probably a good decision given how he looks. This interview with Mark Steven Johnson has renewed my faith in the direction of Ghost Rider and so now all we can do is hope that all goes well. I thought it was notable that Lucy Liu is doing a thriller called Rise with Michael Chiklis because I think her acting ability is underrated and I'd like to see it really shine. Lastly, there are some character posters for Fantastic Four now available, but there's so predictable that I thought the poster for The Brothers Grimm would be better to showcase:

Hey there pretty-boys

I'm pleased to finally be able to embark on the Friday's Feast meme:

What job would you definitely not want to have?

Trashman. I thought of that because I saw the tv show Dilbert last night for the first time in a while and the trashman character just reminded me of how much that job would suck. You would smell bad for most of your weekdays!

Oprah calls and wants you to appear on her show. What would that day's show be about?

Hot, genius Indian kids are taking over the country! That would be an interesting topic, but I'd rather it be about some successful company I'd have started up or some crazy product I'd have engineered at least.

Name 3 vegetables that you eat on a regular basis.

I love salad, I think black-eyed peas are the bomb, and I can't get enough of corn-on-the-cob. Sometimes I have to eat it from the can, but I season it up nice to hide the out-of-the-can taste.

Main Course
If you were commissioned to rename your hometown, what would you call it?

Pintosville! Actually, this place sucks so maybe I'd call it Crapstown! Or I guess Houston is good enough. That name already evokes enough dread from people as it is so there's no point in changing it.

If you had a personal assistant, what kind of tasks would you have them to do?

Trim my nails and shave my face! Those are two of my more tedious habits, and the former is for classical guitar for those of you who don't know me well enough (my left hand is totally nail-less whereas my right hand is all grown out). Laundry is kind of boring, too, so he could do that as well. I enjoy typing though, so I certainly wouldn't want him to do secretarial stuff in that respect.

Have a great weekend everyone! My Sunday post will either be really late or really early but I'll get it up here somehow.


Lora said...

What an unexpected suprise to run into another Austin Blogger through Friday's Feast.

Lora said...

Of course, sweet potoates count as a vegetable! They may be a root vegetable, but they're still a vegetable. I'm loving Austin. You'll have to arrange some time of internship next summer so that you don't have to stay in Houston. With it being such a tech city I have no doubt that can be easily done.

Enjoy your driving privileges. With those, I'm sure it will make your summer more bearable.