just another web log

24 Nov 2008 21:56
I need to pay homage to http://www.ripestudio.com/ for all there help on the rotation math for Face Monkey and now for the parabolic and tangent math on an upcoming project (name to be confirmed).
24 Nov 2008 21:49
I decided to revisit twitter and default passwords, this time with a larger sample size.
Out of 103880 accounts tested only 285 had a password of either the user name or "password".
As I mentioned previously at no point did I 'log on' these tests used the verify_credentials API call.
Normally if you 'log on' to an account on web site a large number of resources will be applied to ensuring you (the user) has all the requirements at hand to make best use of the service. By instead, just using this API (hopefully) only a minor resource is required to check the user name and password in the database.
So the result is not far off what I had previously, was 0.00272%, now 0.00274% which is pretty good, barring my previous comments that 'password' might not be 'password' in the majority of users languages.
14 Nov 2008 22:34
I have been playing with Silverlight again.
this time I have gone for a goofy paint application called Face Monkey.
For those of you without Silverlight, there are screen shots of what lunacy can be created monkeying around.
I started just loading an image from the users local hard drive and displaying it (does not upload the file anywhere), then stretching to fit.
Then I added a couple of buttons that created drag-able vector drawings of hats and glasses, then then then ...
I just kept adding images and features and now its got all sorts of weird and wonderful things, from transparent and rotating glasses, videos, rendered hair (thanks blender to the bubbles and 'cheese' options.
the best thing was being able to build containers, one type that simply scaled the input image/video and made it appear as a button and the other that provided true rotate/scale plus 'delete' and 'stamp' controls.
Stamping means removing the container and affixing the current element to the canvas, making it non interactive.
But most time was taken up with the scaling and rotation.
I added scaling and got that working, then I added rotation, seemed to work but was a *bit* odd. The scaling was applied after any rotation so scale a square to an oblong and when you rotated the shape would warp.
It was all about the math, once the container was rotated any interaction i.e. scaling via the mouse had to be rotated to match.
Here are a few screen shots showing what can be done.
screen shotscreen shotscreen shotscreen shot
There is also an embarrassing list of missing features on the page.
Bottom line it was just a bit of fun, fun to write (except the math) and fun to play with.
14 Nov 2008 22:32
Just for *fun* I took the ispell 354984 word list and rot13'd it. then I checked how many *encoded* strings matched real words from the original list.
Zero matches :( I am very disappointed. I expected at least 1% to *encode* into another valid string.
I was amazed how quickly the following commands ran
cat ROT13.LST | uniq -u > BIG.LST
cat mword10/SINGLE.TXT | uniq -u >> BIG.LST
cat BIG.LST | uniq --repeated > ROTRES.LST

ROTRES.LST was empty, uniq -u removed any duplicates.
echo owl >> test.file
echo fox >> test.file
echo owl >> test.file
echo owl >> test.file
cat test.file | uniq --repeated

Gave the correct result "owl"
14 Nov 2008 22:31
"to the aliens that visited me on Wednesday night:

Please can I have the 1in piece of skin currently missing from my lower back.

While we are talking about you, please also remove any currently installed micro chips from my body.

Many thanks.

Yours uncomfortably


I woke up and found a very sore area on my back that burned in the shower, on closer inspection it looks like I am just missing a big ol' hunk of skin, for no reason.
Damn aliens.
07 Nov 2008 22:49
Finally (and only because I could not find any more "Neal Stephenson" in my local) is Neal Stephenson's "The Diamond Age" a steam punk future opus.
Starting with a guy with a gun in his head and ending with the images of an ocean city, the story follows mainly Nell as she grows up led by the "Primer" a book/super computer that was never destined for her but she is its perfect match.
Together the story twists and turns with the read never quite sure what is going on, this is a good thing. More cerfisticated than "Snow Crash" this is a more rounded novel clearly defining a future that mankind could easily find itself in.
07 Nov 2008 22:48
Next up was "Snow Crash" by Neal Stephenson. I was convinced I had already read this, but everything in it was fresh and new to me. Another well written, easy to read, fun engaging novel, this time set in the future where a digital virus is infecting humans.
The story starts with a guy dressed as a ninja trying to deliver a pizza on time and ends up with Y.T. going home with her mum.
In between there is virtual reality, robot dogs, blood letting, religion, skate-boarding, the future state of the world and few other things.
One thing I will say against "Snow Crash" is it feels a bit juvenal compared to "Cryptonomicon", still well written and I am sure others will view the anarchy in the writing as plus point.
07 Nov 2008 22:47
After reading cryptonomicon I grabbed another book from my pile of unread tomes, "The Arctic Event" by James cobb
There was nothing wrong with this book, in fact I rather enjoyed it but it lacked an complexity or subtlety, very 'Hollywood', ideal for a long plane ride where the engaging nature of "Neal Stephenson" may prove problematic.
07 Nov 2008 22:46
Must review cryptonomicon before I read another Neal Stephenson book.
The key thing about cryptonomicon is the way the story is split over between two time lines one from the second world war breaking German codes and the other being the first offspring in modern world trying to create a secure data haven.
Instead of this making the book difficult to read it instead pulls you in deeper and with many plot twists and funny turns and great characters there should be no supprise I have crowned this volume my "Favorite book ever" !!
I was worried the code breaking would become mathematical and overly technical but all technical subjects are handled with the upmost care insuring the reader never loses interest while maintaining the realism, that said "finux" ?
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