Jay McGavren's Journal

2013-08-15

Malware and your brain...

Consumer-level brain-computer interfaces (they exist!) are rather limited at this point, and therefore so is this hack. Still, this is troubling.

Object recognition brainwaves can reveal sensitive info about you

I, for one, am really eager to control my computer with my mind. But I had never thought about the possibility of malware that could read my thoughts…

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2013-08-13

Here’s the kind of code sample I have to throw away every day because it won’t fit in the available space…

scene = ['bullseye teacup prisoner',
         'ballerina waldo tablecloth',
         'zebra fencepost awning']

result = scene.find do |area|
  area.include?('waldo')
end

puts result # => ballerina waldo tablecloth

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2013-08-04

Chromecast

Got our Chromecast a couple days ago, and it’s an awesome way to view Netflix and YouTube on your TV. Just pull out your phone, pick your program, and then it’s sent to the television. From there you can fast-forward, rewind, pause, and control the volume from your phone. You can queue up your program while someone else finishes theirs. If your TV has HDMI v1.4 (mine doesn’t), the Chromecast will even turn it on and switch to the correct input for you.

One caveat - my phone sometimes loses its LAN connection to the Chromecast, and I have to flip through various menus to get it to resume control. Time will tell how big a problem this is. But since the device was $35, I won’t be mad if it doesn’t work out perfectly.

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2013-07-07

From Wordpress and HTML to Jekyll and Markdown

It took every bit as long as I feared to port everything, but this blog is now powered by Jekyll. Of course, Jekyll couldn’t host all my old content out of the box. Here are the tweaks I made:

  • Enabled pagination.
  • Disqus for comments.
  • Initializr HTML/CSS templates.
  • I found the Maruku parser for Markdown was choking on my old embedded HTML, so I switched to Redcarpet via the configuration.
  • Some posts linked to other posts, so I had to alter them to use Jekyll’s baseurl.
  • All my old code was in <pre> blocks, so I had to switch it to use Jekyll syntax highlighting.
  • Initializr wrapped code snippets by default. Adding a CSS style of overflow: auto made them scroll instead (if they were too wide for the page).
  • Mou (OSX only) is a pretty sweet Markdown editor. I’m just starting with it, but I already like it.

I’m glad to have this done. The record of one’s development career should not be trusted to something as brittle as a Wordpress database. Plus, Markdown and Git are just how I work, now. Maybe if the flow of writing is a little more natural, I’ll get this thing updated more often.

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2013-04-23

Scary (and not in the terrorism sense). The stock market is completely automated now, and this is all it takes to cause a major disruption. http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2013/04/23/stocks-plunge-quickly-recover-on-fake-tweet/

Also, if even the AP can’t keep an account secure, what hope do the rest of us have? We need a replacement for passwords that’s safe and yet easy to use.

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