Sarcasm&Tech12 May 2011 02:28 pm

So it happened again today. A totally different aim bot started bothering me to look at it’s webcam or something or other. My second round with an aim bot took a couple more tries, but in the end, it too ceased conversing with me. Was it something I said? Oh, yes, it was, it was ‘) drop table logs; —. Perhaps I need to be a better conversationalist, I keep driving these web cam girls away.

This has me wondering. Maybe I can create an aim bot honeypot that is actually it’s own bot, chatting in sql injection. It’s a thought….

Oops, I did it again

Sarcasm&Tech12 May 2011 08:22 am

So I’m sure many of you have experienced the flood of bots on AIM that are trying to phish or convince you to go to this or that porn site. Well, I believe that for now there is at least one less phishbot riding the tubes.

After one started pestering me today, I gave a shot at the little bobby tables technique (sql injection). It started to reply immediately and then just kind of sat there. I’ve even tried a few more normal responses, and it just doesn’t seem like it wants to talk to me anymore. How sad.

Cat got your tongue?

Sarcasm&Tech03 Sep 2010 01:06 pm

Yesterday, Consumer Watchdog launched it’s Inside Google campaign with a daemonizing video of Google Eric Schmidt suggesting that he’s secretly and evilly trying to find people’s deepest, darkest secrets. This over the top video has him giving children full body scans and telling them about their parents doing things like surfing Porn and getting in touch with old paramours. Further, they create a clearly “evil” caricature of Schmidt with a big head, beady eyes, arched, villainous eyebrows and an evil laugh, a technique that’s been tried a few times before I might add.

This is all part of their drive to create a “Do not track me” list. Well, apparently Consumer Watchdog only wants other people to not track you, because the web site hosting their anti-google campaign is using what? They are using Google Analytics to track visitors:


Do Not Track Me uses Google Analytics

This whole argument is hyperbole. Fundamentally networks track usage, logs are created. The simple fact is, the vast majority of websites track to do one thing, and one thing only: to be able to tell which of their marketing partners are delivering value, and which ones are not. No company cares if you are having affairs on the sly or any of the other garbage that this video suggests. Consumer Watchdog, if you want to be taken seriously, grow up!

Coding&RoR&Tech&Web30 Jun 2010 08:54 am

In 2006 I was introduced to ruby, and for a time I found it to be a fun language to work with. After about 6 months, I started to notice problems and shortcomings in the ruby/rails stack and went on to bigger and better things. The problem is that to this day I have to defend myself to legions of ruby/rails faithful who seem to think that it’s sacrilege to ever leave the faith. (That makes me what, an apostate?) A friend recently asked on a mailing list I regularly traffic why a person would consider ruby to be flawed. The best way I can express this is in some code.

Coding&Tech23 Oct 2009 11:03 am

So I use ssh a lot. And this is one damn powerful little program. I decided to write up a log of some of my favorite ssh tricks.


awesomeaugust&NYCResistor&Projects&Tech&Web25 Aug 2009 02:22 pm

A few weeks ago, a video was passed around our office that was about Google interviewing people in Times Square about what a browser is. The results were fairly appalling. For the most part, people responded with various portal and search web sites instead of something like “IE” or “Firefox”. This coincided with a conversation I was having with someone in which I posited the hypothesis that IE as a browser would bias to the political right, and other browsers (specifically firefox) would bias to the political left. My reasoning was:

  1. Conservatives would be more comfortable with a browser delivered by a major corporation that has faced antitrust charges over that browser then liberals would.
  2. Liberals anecdotally are more prone to counter-cultural choices, and thus would be more likely to seek out an alternative to the default browser.

The Google interviews made me realize one other thing. In testing for this kind of effect, you would need to eliminate people who didn’t know what a browser was. Clearly, a person who doesn’t even know what a browser is is highly unlikely to proactively switch from their system’s default browser. Further, if a person’s political views are correlated at all with their likelihood of understanding what a browser is, not eliminating people who don’t understand could hide real results.

The company I work for, Knewton Inc, is becoming known in certain circles of its clever usage for the vastly underused (IMHO) Amazon Mechanical Turk service. When I mentioned my contention to our guy who’s been pioneering our MTurk usage, Dahn Tamir, he suggested that we build an MTurk task and get some real data to find out whether my hypothesis had any basis in reality. The rest of this post represents my findings.


NYCResistor&Tech20 Feb 2009 10:07 am

My parents recently visited my aunt and uncle in china, and while there they picked up some rather nice high end watches direct from the factories. Most of the time, my father prefers his digital, and only wants to wear the watch he picked up in china when he’s in more formal dress. Thing is, the watch he bought is autowinding, so it’s always either dead, or at the very least really wrong every time he puts it on. So he asked me to come up with a crazy contraption to wind his watch. This is what I came up with:


You can see some more pics in my flickr photostream. The part I’m most proud of is turning the pipe into a bushing to create a pretty good bearing at the top.

Here’s some video of it in action: (and a second video here)


  • 2 pipe flanges (1/2″)
  • 4 pipe elbows (1/2″)
  • 3 pipe tees (1/2″)
  • 2 pipe bushing2 (1/2″)
  • 4 pipe nipples of various sizes (1/2″) from close to 6″
  • 1 solarbotics gm3 motor
  • 1 zip tie
  • some shapelock (this stuff rocks)
  • a couple laser cut parts (the big plastic wheel and the box that holds the watch)
  • a power supply for the motor (I used what I had on hand, a uChobby breadboard power supply)
Cool Tech Friday18 Aug 2006 04:26 pm

Getting a little breather, so I’m sending out a ctf update. Hopefully I’ll get another one out before more then a month.


  1. Your Brain Boots Up Like a Computer


  1. We Can Detect Liquid Explosives
  2. Did Humans Evolve? No, Say Americans
  3. New Cell Can Tell If You’re Drunk


  1. No sex please, robot, just clean the floor


  1. Satellite Data Reveals Gravity Change From Sumatran Earthquake
  2. Has string theory tied up better ideas in physics?


  1. Earth’s Moon Could Become a Planet
  2. Nine Planets Become 12 with Controversial New Definition
  3. Pluto: Is It a Planet?
  4. Universe Might be Bigger and Older than Expected
  5. Moon`s Strange Bulge Finally Explained
  6. Crack found in Discovery external tank insulation
  7. NASA revives main Hubble telescope camera
  8. Enigmatic object baffles supernova team
  9. Earth Surrounded by Giant Fizzy Bubbles


  1. Speedy silicon sets world record
  2. Man on a Mission – The Skin Sensing Saw
  3. Tracking Your Cell Phone for Traffic Reports
  4. Giant Robot Imprisons Parked Cars
  5. Pigment formulated 225 years ago could be key in emerging technologies
  6. Talking Mirror Not Just for Fairy Tales Anymore
  7. Plasma needle could replace the dentist’s drill
  8. New System Blocks Unwanted Video & Still Photography
Cool Tech Friday12 Jun 2006 07:01 am

Whoops, forgot to release it on friday.

  1. A Dose Of Genius
  2. Researchers grow human heart tissue from stem cells


  1. Proposal to Implant RFID Chips in Immigrants
  2. When Escape Seems Just a Mouse-Click Away: Online gaming addiction in Korea
  3. Simon Caulkin: Pull the other one … how iPods took over the world


  1. Scientists Resolve 60-Year-Old Plutonium Questions
  2. Laser enrichment could cut cost of nuclear power


  1. Good News and a Puzzle


  1. Special forces to use strap-on Batwings
  2. Numbers Stations Move From Shortwave To VoIP


  1. Beer pouring robot


  1. Jupiter’s Huge Storms Converge
  2. Orbiting gas stations key to interplanetary exploration
  3. One small breath for man


  1. A Cleaner, Cheaper Route to Titanium
  2. Super Battery
  3. Ultrawideband Signal Passes Data Through Walls
  4. Fuel cells in laptops edge closer
  5. Top 10 Strangest Gadgets of the Future(Watch the videos, it’s well worth it)
Cool Tech Friday26 May 2006 02:20 pm

Now safely nestled in the wilds of New Jersey, the time has come to restart Cool Tech Friday. Enjoy!

  1. Dolphins, like humans, recognize names
  2. New animal resembles furry lobster


  1. A hangover cure that works
  2. Pill reverses vegetative state
  3. Drug Discovery Team To Explore Newly Discovered Deep-sea Reefs
  4. This robot keeps the doctor away
  5. Immune System Gone Bad
  6. Cure for cancers ‘in five years’


  1. Chicken and egg debate unscrambled
  2. The Rise of Crowdsourcing!Dad, read this one!
  3. Wired Releases Full Text of AT&T NSA Document
  4. Gonzales Says Prosecutions of Journalists For Publishing Leaks Are Possible


  1. Fusion reactor work gets go-ahead
  2. Better Fuel Cells Using Bacteria
  3. Nuclear fusion plasma problem tackled
  4. Hydrogen Fuel Balls
  5. Microbes Convert Wastewater into Useable Electricity
  6. Algae to rescue on warming, fuel source?


  1. Honda says brain waves control robot
  2. Soldiers bond with battlefield robots
  3. Robotic tentacles get to grips with tricky objects


  1. Is evolution predictable?


  1. Planet shine to aid life search
  2. Voyager II detects solar system’s edge
  3. Astronomers Use Innovative Technique to Find Extrasolar Planett
  4. Unique wide-field telescope will make ‘sky movies’
  5. NASA hopes shuttle’s next move won’t be its last
  6. Smokeless rockets launching soon?
  7. Distant ‘Earths’ will only be seen from space
  8. Back to the Moon: Uniting Science and Exploration
  9. Big Meteorite Creates Big Mysteries
  10. Three new planets found around sun-like star
  11. Planets Found in Potentially Habitable Setup


  1. The Digital Ink billboard
  2. Interactive display system knows users by touch
  3. Plan for cloaking device unveiled
  4. NASA Wants Your Innovative Ideas
  5. The M1 Battery
  6. Charge!


  1. MIT Plans to Convert Cell Phone Users into Podcasters
  2. Linksys Launches Wireless-G Phones

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