Thursday, May 27, 2010

On passwords (or passphrases)

I read this article trying to justify having a password file storing all of the rest of your sensitive information. I think the author is completely wrong.

I have a system of password templates for specific tasks being done by the password. If the password is being used to complete an administrative task, I have a template (I actually call it a passphrase). For general tasks requiring a password, I have a specific password template.

For instance, l3t_m3_1n_$sitename (template isn't real, just for showing purposes) would be a fairly legitimate passphrase, replacing $sitename with a word that describes the website at hand (maybe the site name, maybe the site topic). If you subscribed to the wall street journal's website, your passphrase may be l3t_m3_1n_wsj. If you were an admin for wall street journal, you may use the template l3t_m3_adm1n_wsj.

With this system, your password will be different for each website you use, thoroughly complex enough keep the passphrase from being cracked, and the templates themselves don't change, so what you remember is far less than what the password itself is.

The only nuance I have found is that not all websites allow the same characters in passwords, which does get annoying.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

According to Google... Phillipines search The Constitution more than the USA

The primary language searched in (afaict) is Tagalog then English, but Salt Lake City, UT is the #1 city, followed by Washington, DC.

Interesting stuff.

Monday, May 17, 2010

I am not second

I am helping with a new website. Please check it out.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Trees in low-gravity: Colonizing another planet is harder work than you think.

The gravity on Mars is 38% that of here on Earth. Think about the great redwoods here on Earth, that survive for maybe even thousands of years. They grow to enormous heights that really makes a person far more humble while in the presence of these trees.

But what would happen if we tried to grow great redwoods on Mars. I think it would be incredibly difficult. We think that the trees are large now, but they could very well grow up into the little atmosphere Mars has. We could say, then, that the trees would be 62% larger than they are here on Earth. I doubt this is true, but for arguments sake, it is plausible.

There is no way the trees would be able to survive such a drastic change in size. The trees would snap because the fibers of the tree will have been stretched beyond anything on Earth could have done. We would require decades of cultivation, just to grow a sustainable trees. Very much like how Cannabis cultivation over the past 20 or so years has yielded higher and higher THC levels because of cultivation.

How can we get around the problem of less tensile strength in the tree fibers so that we may skip the decades of cultivation, just to find, and possibly even "create" trees that are sustainable on Mars?

Look to the oceans :-). Plants have learned to live in environments where changes in gravity have played a key role how the plant grew and evolved over time. I can imagine on Mars, buildings whose sole purpose is to house algae. Rows upon rows upon rows of algae, feeding on carbon dioxide. The change in gravity may affect the algae, but not anywhere near how it would affect traditional plants such as trees or flowers.

So, NASA, send me to Mars. I want to help.

Friday, May 7, 2010

System76 info?

I will be starting college next semester and am looking for a laptop. I am seriously considering a system76 machine, but one thing is holding me up. Maybe someone can clarify.

My main concern is that the machine only works with the version of ubuntu that is on it. If I try and upgrade, bits and pieces won't work. Is this a legitimate concern? I would be getting one of the more powerful laptops as code will be being written on it.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Why this stock market drop really does suck: A lesson on stop-loss orders

I think most people won't understand (or even know of!) exactly how bad the stock market drop today was in terms of the general economy.

Many people use what are called stop-loss orders. Basically, they are rules that say "If a stock goes down to this price, automagically sell it.". There were a few stocks that were quite popular that either traded at incredibly low prices, or even at 0. I think P&G, 3M, and Accenture were mentioned? This means, that if anyone had stop loss orders for any of the stocks at the time these stocks so drastically dropped, they just lost that money. It's gone, you can't get it back. This is the stock market.

I am not sure if hedge fund managers using stop-loss orders is common practice, but these hedge funds can be massive.

I am sure that a lot of money in our economy simply vanished today. And not to mention other countries investing in this country for protection from theirs.

Cannot get mod_rewrite to work with drupal 6 on LAMP

I have been battling apache for the past few days trying to enable Clean URL's in Drupal using mod_rewrite. IT just won't work. I can't seem to get drupal to want to allow me to enable clean urls.

root@VolatileMinds:/var/www# apache2ctl -M
Loaded Modules:
 core_module (static)
 log_config_module (static)
 logio_module (static)
 mpm_prefork_module (static)
 http_module (static)
 so_module (static)
 actions_module (shared)
 alias_module (shared)
 auth_basic_module (shared)
 authn_file_module (shared)
 authz_default_module (shared)
 authz_groupfile_module (shared)
 authz_host_module (shared)
 authz_user_module (shared)
 autoindex_module (shared)
 cgi_module (shared)
 dav_module (shared)
 dav_svn_module (shared)
 authz_svn_module (shared)
 dir_module (shared)
 env_module (shared)
 include_module (shared)
 mime_module (shared)
 negotiation_module (shared)
 php5_module (shared)
 proxy_html_module (shared)
 rewrite_module (shared)
 setenvif_module (shared)
 ssl_module (shared)
 status_module (shared)
 suexec_module (shared)
Syntax OK

The module is indeed being loaded properly, but Drupal always tells me there is something wrong with my configuration for apache and never allows me to enable clean urls.

Any thoughts on this? Has anyone run into this before?

EDIT: I got it! the .htaccess had a RewriteBase of /drupal5. It needed to be just /.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Dark space

We have dark energy and dark matter. Can we not have dark space (assuming space is merely a medium for information storage, it may be just a lack of information)? Would light behave differently in "dark space" than it would our perceived space? Maybe quasars emit "dark space" allowing the light to travel at a speed in which time dilation seems to disappear.