The Golden Braid

Weaving Wonderful Worlds

WGA Debate

I am by no means an advocate of the Windows Genuine Authentication initiative, but I do understand their attempts to put a stopper on rampant copying of their software. I think that it would be in Microsoft’s best interest to have a healthy dialogue with its users about how and when to go about this in the proper way.

That being said, I think it is also in poor form on the user’s end to point fingers at seemingly innocuous details. Sensationalist comments like this do nothing more than drum up support for specters of the real Intellectual Property debate. I have already noticed that the author’s comment has been “dugg” and is quickly climbing on the site’s front page. I ask that anyone that reads this to stand back and take a moment to muster a true perspective of the topic in question.

Microsoft’s PR response in the comment was that 80% of WGA positives are due to the unlawful duplication of volume license keys. Microsoft has already confirmed that many of these are likely due to pirated copies of its OEM versions that have been reverse engineered to dodge its initial activation step in some way. There is nothing surprising about this, as XP enterprise versions and volume license keys are targeted because they were engineered to avoid this activation step. This does not imply that there are not other methods around activation; it is simply the most actively used method because it is the easiest. While one may read into the comment thinking that WGA is throwing false positives once for every 5 legal keys, the real number is likely a tiny fraction of that.

The author should be commended for his pursuit of the truth, but my opinion is that we don’t need to “call up the troops” to support something that may not even be an issue yet.

It will be become quite evident if any real news comes from this. Meanwhile, there is really nothing exciting about this story as of yet. Move along.


July 4, 2006 Posted by | Daily thoughts, technology | Leave a comment

MySQL gets cozy with Microsoft

Let me note that I can’t always discern MySQL’s competitive strategy. I understand they want to leverage their Windows user base by creating a VS compatible IDE, and I actually think it is a solid move.

I can’t shake the thought that this news comes right on the coat-tails of MySQL criticizing “crippled” closed source database freeware offerings. Now they are announcing that they are partnering with yet another head of the very same hydra. Will the partnership have an adverse effect on their bottom line as a support service provider when part of their software is externally dependant on a closed source competitor as historically anti-competitive as Microsoft?

MySQL gets cosy with Microsoft | The Register:

MySQL, the open source database firm, is to receive Microsoft marketing support along with Visual Studio technical integration. The company has paid $3,000 to become a member of Microsoft’s Visual Studio Industry Partner (VSIP) program in a move that will help cement the database’s use on Windows. MySQL joins more than 240 other ISVs also working with Microsoft.

June 30, 2006 Posted by | Daily thoughts, Databases | Leave a comment

Weeky Brain, Part IV

Sorry it has been a while. I was out of town last weekend and received a last minute rush project at work…you know how the story goes.

Pushing ahead. Here is where I am this week:

I got the dev. server up and running. I had to brush up a bit on my subnetting, but all turned out well after that tiny bit of frustration. In case you're curious how the config turned out; I did wind up running two daisy chained NAT/SPS routers behind a Hamachi VPN with software firewalls on all clients. You may call it overkill, I will continue to call it a fun excercise in paranoia. The next step is implementing a traveling key-drive encryption set up which will eventually replace all but on-site admin logins once the site goes live.

I did choose XOOPS for a CMS manager, but I fear I will not have the time to sit down with it in the next few weeks. It does look promising due to its native technologies, but I can't say I've done much more than read the basics.

I need to do some fact finding on Squids (the cache servers, not the sea creatures). Which reminds me, I did get to pet some sharks and sting-rays while I was on holiday…that was a riot.

June 18, 2006 Posted by | CMS, Daily thoughts, Security | Leave a comment

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

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

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

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

Bum Bum Bum

Sorry to anyone who actually reads this (??). I have a huge project due next Monday at work, so I have been a bit brain fried. Couple that with my new-found love for World of Warcraft and it fathoms a recipe that will bake to a golden brown crumb-cake of ennui. Hopefully, things will die down and I can officially start using this infernal blogging machine

April 17, 2006 Posted by | Daily thoughts | 1 Comment

Are you Living in a Computer Simulation?

There is a significant probability that you are living in computer simulation. If the simulation hypothesis is true, you exist in a virtual reality simulated in a computer built by an advanced civilization. Your brain, too, is merely a part of that simulation. This is a very interesting read.

“You are in simulation. It’s called real-world.Taking account positions, mass and speed of all particles in Universe, applying physics laws – all our future is predictable.
Even particles inside brain will be possible to predict there they will appear and that you will think.”

actually due to the uncertainty principle you can’t.

  1. you’re wrong, its theoretically possible, but physically impossible. Go re-read heisenberg. We can’t determine with a sufficient degree of accuracy both the velocity and position of any given particle (hence probability waves, this is why it is said that electrons can exists in more than one place at a time), because whe need to modify something in order to measure these things.
  2. No, you forget that by looking at an atom, you change it. before you see it, its all the possibilities at once, it is only predeicted when you look at it, hence… you can’t predict the future of rthe simple reason that it hasn’t been written till you look at it. But then… if you would predict it, predicting it would change it and predict it, so predicting it would be like looking at it… you can’t predict the future, but on other hand, the predicting would predict it self. so the problem is that booth ways are right.


I’ve taken the liberty of posting a few of the more interesting users comments on the article above.

Consider for a moment Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle and how it might relate in a presumably false reality. It could be mere fact that a civilization modeling our own does not obey the rules that are observed within our reality. After all, if this reality were an exact replica of the physical model of our observers, wouldn’t Heisenberg’s principle be applicable in their situation as well? This adds a layer of complexity to the mix that I find fascinatingly reflected in the thought experiment Schrodingers Cat.

Just take a brief moment to think about it.


March 4, 2006 Posted by | Daily thoughts | Leave a comment