The Golden Braid

Weaving Wonderful Worlds

Weekly Brain, Part III

I will do a quick follow up on some of the things I've figured out in the past week.

* The whole Bill Inmon DW2.0 idea is good in theory, but I hesitate at the thought of implementing an entire architecture at once. ETL is almost necessary until a scenario like this has been perfected. To me it all still seems a bit rough around the edges.

* I need to set up a temporary web server to play out a few scenarios. I haven't done something along these lines since the days of seperate Apache/PHP/MySQL installs. From what I understand the situation is a bit easier these days with the incredible amount of Open Source solutions. I'm still trying to decide between XOOPS and Plone. I'm looking for something flexible with strong file storage & collaboration features, yet simple enough for the un-initiated.

* I haven't quite decided what I'm going to do for security considering this is just a temporary dev project. I think I'll just setup the server on a spare box between a pair of shotgunned NATs. I'm not sure if I'm willing to invest the time in setting up an SSH or VPN solution. Now that I think about it, maybe I should look at just setting something along the lines of a private Hamachi server. Any objections?

* I finally broke down and learned some Python & Ruby this week. They are very easy to pick up if you are familiar with basic programming concepts. If you are just starting in your endeavors, I would strongly suggest either of these languages as a fundamental launch pad.


May 29, 2006 Posted by | CMS, Daily thoughts | 1 Comment

UK Government Seeks Power to Demand Encryption Keys

A new law proposes to allow UK police to request the master key for encrypted files. Anyone who refuses to comply with the request can be imprisoned for up to two years. In a terrorism investigation, that penalty can be increased up to five years of jail time.

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What if the encrypted message contained a dialogue on over-throwing the prime minister? Boy would those guys faces be red…I'm sure the world would have a good chortle then. I have a better idea, we should throw the lot of them in jail for using a door on the privy. The "powers-that-be" need to watch you take a wee, it's one of those national security things.

Go back to bed citizens!

May 21, 2006 Posted by | encryption, Privacy, Security | Leave a comment

Weekly Brain, Part II

As a follow-up to last week's post, here is my weekly brain:

* There are some interesting LIFO/FIFO simulation tools out there, I wish I had some time to review a few of them. I may have to eventually, but for now it is a mere curiousity. Does anyone want to recommend one?

* The great space-time trade-off. Specifically I'm looking at the optimal balance between creating a transactional database with dimensional query speeds. What factors do I need to examine (obviously price points for physical storage, processing speed, etc.) My current assumptions lead me to believe it is cheaper to build a traditional mirrored data warehouse and ETL all data over. How would this be accomplished in a distributed system?

* Why does anyone ETL these days anyway? I think Bill Inmon is on to something with the whole DW 2.0 movement. Anyone care to explain how one would leverage metadata in a situation like this? It honestly is a new concept for me so I haven't given it much thought.

May 20, 2006 Posted by | Daily thoughts, Data Warehouse | Leave a comment

Self-Study Course in Block Cipher Cryptanalysis

This is an amazing course put together by Bruce Schneier. Everything you need to prep for that job in CTU; and it's free, of course.

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May 20, 2006 Posted by | Privacy, Security | Leave a comment

On second thought.

Perhaps I was a bit hasty in my lust for lust for devices that glow and beep. I would rather wait until this "cools down".

May 20, 2006 Posted by | Daily thoughts, technology | 1 Comment

The great debate.

The MacBook Pro just got a sexy little sister and I've been considering purchasing one. I honestly haven't done much more than ogle a Mac in a retail environment since Ye Olde HyperCard days.

Is this the path of righteousness or shall my soul be purged in eternal fire for the mere inference to candy flavored electronics?

May 16, 2006 Posted by | Daily thoughts, technology | 3 Comments

DOJ files to block AT&T suit “under cover of night”

The Dept. of Justice went ahead and filed to dismiss the class-action wiretap/data-mine suit against AT&T, claiming it is protecting state secrets.

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May 14, 2006 Posted by | Politics, Privacy, Security | Leave a comment

Patented Silliness — Full body teleportation system

A true example of the flawed US Patent system at work.

Some other examples of the inventor's pending patent applications (original source):


[0001] This invention is a system that teleports a human being through hyperspace from one location to another using a pulsed gravitational wave traveling through hyperspace.


[0002] The basis for this invention is an event, referring to FIG. 1, occurring on May 2, 2004, in which the inventor ("he") personally experienced a full-body teleportation while walking to the bus stop (A) along a road (B) that runs perpendicular to the nearby commercial airport runways where planes are landing. There is a wide iron grating (D) for water drainage that crosses the road at the center of the bus stop. The grating width is such that one has to make a concerted effort to jump across it in order to get from one side to the other. Approximately 50 meters from the iron grating, he (E) felt a vertical wave (F), similar to a flag waving in the breeze, traveling down the street toward the bus stop. The wave velocity was about 1 meter per second, which was slightly faster than his walking speed. In the next instance, he (G) found himself down the street near the corner of the next block. Realizing that he had passed the bus stop, he turned around to see the iron grating approximately 50 meters up the street in back of him. Because there was no recollection of having jumped across the iron grating nor of having passed the bus stop's yellow marker line, he realized that he had been teleported a distance of 100 meters while moving along with the traveling wave. It was obvious that the wave was pulsed because the front edge overtook the inventor, moved with him momentarily, and then the back edge of wave left him as it moved on down the street. While contemplating this sequence of events, he then looked up and saw in a span of a few seconds a twin-turboprop airplane (C) in the distance crossing above the road while making a shallow descent in order to land at the airport.

[0003] It took a number of days in order to understand this sequence of events. The explanation involves knowledge of a wide range of subjects such as gravitation physics, hyperspace physics, wormhole electromagnetic theory and experimentation, quantum physics, and the nature of the human energy field."

— United States Patent Application 20060071122

May 13, 2006 Posted by | Politics, Science | 1 Comment

Weekly Brain, Part I

In an attempt to define some sort continuity to my postings. I will let you take a peak at what I'm interested in this week and maybe a bit of why.

Please feel free to roll up your sleeves and discuss any of these topics.

– Queueing theory: FIFO, LIFO, inventory & line simulations (a problem came up at work for simulating inventory movement)

– Relational Theory & Language: (A friend came up with a new "system" that he is pitching this week, I have to admit I'm curious.)

– Non-Profit organizations and the resulting stigma of "We must do good".

– Getting Things Done (GTD) by David Allen – (I'll be the first to admit that browsing the self-help/succeed in business sections of the local bookstore makes me feel an overwhelming sense of uncleanliness. Regardless of my untidy thoughts I think he might be on to something.)

May 13, 2006 Posted by | Daily thoughts | Leave a comment

Stephen Hawking says, right now you’re actually creating your Past!

Hawking and Hartle’s original work on the quantum properties of the cosmos suggested that imaginary time, which seemed like a mathematical curiosity in the sum-over-histories approach, held the answer to understanding the origin of the universe

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May 6, 2006 Posted by | Science | 2 Comments