Car Problems, Pictures and RSS Feeds

I need to find somewhere to take 2' by 2' for my Hong Kong visa application. I have no idea where to look. I am such a useless git once I'm not talking about XML.

I told my girlfriend that my hands were blistered from putting together an Ikea bookcase this weekend and she commented on how manly that made me sound in a voice dripping with sarcasm. :)

My car is ticking me off. It's been making this clunking noise for weeks after I accidentally put in drive from reverse while rolling backwards. I've taken it to a transmission shop, a tire shop and some local mechanic but no one knows what's wrong. My co-worker's keep telling me to just buy another car since no one keeps their college car for long after joining MSFT.

I noticed from Sam Ruby's weblog that Don Box created an RSS feed for his GotDotNet page. I probably was supposed to be the GotDotNet guy for the XML Core team but considering that I'm already the newsgroup guy and the Extreme XML guy I decided to pass. Of course, considering that there is an Extreme XML message board on GotDotNet I effectively am the GotDotNet guy for the XML Core team.

Anyway after that segue, the point of bringing that up was because I was considering an RSS feed for my diary but realized that it would be generally applicable to anyone with a K5 diary. So does anybody want to work on this or would anyone be interested in me working on this [in a few months]?

Obfuscation and .NET

For a while people have been clamoring for a .NET obfuscator to "protect their IP" from prying eyes especially competitors. For the uninitiated, teh intermediate byte code format for .NET called MSIL is very similar to Java byte codes in that it carries around so much metadata that one can decompile it to source code quite easily.

So many users of .NET want an obfuscator to protect their IP. Now in some cases, an obfuscator is enough of a deterrent to stop casual snoopers but the fact of the matter is that no degree of obfuscation whether intentional or not can prevent a determined party from figuring out the algorithms at work in your code. To highlight my point I give you Exhibits A and B
The moral of the story is that a determined hacker can reverse engineer your algorithms regardless of how much dead code you pad it with via obfuscation. Sadly, this means that the best way to protect your IP is via legal means like the DMCA and other such legal shenanigans.

Palladium Technical Details

I've been exchanging email with Mitch Wagner about Palladium after watching his arguments with Joshua Allen. He recently turned up an excellent link containing an extremely detailed account of Palladium by Seth Schoen. This is an excellent compliment to the TCPA and Palladium: Sony Inside article on here on K5.

Squeak Smalltalk

Kimbro Staken's weblog has an entry about Squeak Smalltalk which many Georgia Tech Computer Science undergrads learned to loathe. If it was the constant crashing, pastel colors or lack of documentation in the source code pissing you off it was the fact that core APIs were developed by creating homework assignments for our Objects & Design class and adding the A projects to Squeak regardless of how poorly documented or badly designed they were. Of course, you may wonder how an A project in an Objects & Design class could be poorly documented or badly designed then again you may know how things work in schools.

Unfortunately, Squeak turned me off Smalltalk forever which is sad because I've heard great things about the language. Best quote about Squeak and Smalltalk by Nick Black (GA Tech CS undergrad legend)
> emacs' interface is not clean. text-based everything is no better than
> Squeak's theory of OO everything. =)

s/Squeak/smalltalk/, asshole. squeak's only "theory" was that it could make smalltalk suck as much as everything else, upon which it delivered.

SEC Looking In The Wrong Places

Just saw that Merck's financials may be off by $21.4 billion. Wow. It now seems rather absurd to look back and see that the SEC just recently was investigating MSFT for underreporting income.

Amusing Quote Of The Day

"Even the fire doesn't want them" - Officer Wiggum talking about ButterFingers on the Sweets and Sour Marge episode


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