A rambling record of various things I have shared with the web.  Things here are generally targeted at my friends and family.

— Jayson


The Blog Lives Again!

After quite a hiatus, I’ve finally found the time to set up new blogging software and import all of my old content.  It was actually a remarkable amount of work, but I think it’s turned out rather nicely. Stay tuned here for more entirely personal posts.  If you’re looking for technical / professional goodness, you might want to look at my other blog.

Blogger Sucks

Well, it’s the end of an era folks. Whenever I have the time, I’ll have to move this blog to something else. In the meantime, Google is remove a feature that has been with Blogger since the beginning. They claim that keeping this particular feature is holding them back. I can’t help but think that they’re just lazy or perhaps being evil. What feature is this you ask? It’s called SFTP. Basically, it uses a secure connection to upload my blog to my server. When I post, Google renders all of the pages and uploads static copies of them toRead more

New Technical Blog

I’ve recently started to find that the mix of technical entries and personal entries is slightly confusing to my family and rather boring to my technical readers. To help remedy that, I’ve started a new technical blog at http://needlesslymessianic.com. If you’re one of my technical readers, feel free to head over and read some of my new posts.

Vindictive Botnets?

On Wednesday, an ISP that served as command and control for some botnets was taken offline. On Thursday, a distributed denial-of-service attack disrupted three major US social network sites. No solid evidence has been released as to why this may have happened or if the above two things are related. That means it’s time for a conspiracy theory! Maybe this wasn’t automated, but it’s an insidious idea. What if this was automated retribution for attacking the botnets’ C&C; infrastructure? Think of it as a bold new stride in mutually-assured-destruction between the security community and cyber-criminals. Would security professionals (or theRead more

A Quick Guide To Twitter

It seems like I have to explain Twitter every few days. While I think it’s a wonderful service, I think everyone can agree that it’s a bit obtuse. In order to save myself some trouble, I’m writing this post so that I can refer people to it. Call me lazy. What Is Twitter? This is a very good place to start. The easiest way to describe Twitter is: A little bird that tweets in all of your friends’ ears. Basically, Twitter is a service to make communication easier. This is important to keep in mind. It is VERY easy toRead more

Interpreting The Evidence on Human Reasoning

I recently read two largely unrelated articles. Much like french fries and milkshakes, they go together well even though you might not expect it. If you have a technical bent, read this whole article. It’s about a guy building electronic brains, and it’s fascinating. If you just want the salty-sweet juxtaposition, just read the first question on the third page here. Now read this article on the recent friction between science and politics. What’s interesting is the fact that the observations of the first article cast the second article in a disturbing but understandable light.  As thinking creatures in whatRead more

What Java Should Learn From Ruby and Rails

I hate to say this, but Java has gotten a bad rap among some programmers. It’s deserved at times, but it’s worth noting that it’s often more about the people behind Java than the technology itself. Here’s an example. Clearly, this is horribly wrong. Sun refuses to fix a bug because people have worked around it, thus it must be maintained–to the detriment of all programmers to follow. This gradual growth of cruft is one thing that has driven people away from Java. Why is this important to me? Well, it’s mostly important because I think that it prevents goodRead more

Random MacOSX TCP Behavior

TCP is an interesting protocol. It’s interesting mostly because it is less a specification of bytes and more a specification of behavior. Most TCP implementations have developed from the sort of arcane knowledge that you can only amass after trying to implement such a basic protocol over a long period of time. By the time TCP (and indeed the whole IP stack) has made it to my desktop, it had been on a long journey. MacOSX’s network has a storied pedigree that goes back deep into the iterations of the original BSD Unix. There is, as they say, heavy voodoo.Read more

One Year Update

Who gave this guy permission to grow?  I sure didn’t!  I guess it’s okay, though…  :) Here are some good pics grandma Vantuyl got of the birthday boy: One down, seventeen to go.  ;P

On Tail Recursion Elimination

There was a bit of a controversial post on Guido van Rossum’s blog that I thought deserved a little comment. To sum up Guido’s argument, he doesn’t feel like implementing Tail Recursion Elimination (henceforth referred to as TRE) in Python because: Stack traces help debug, TRE makes them useless TRE Is Not An Optimization (it creates a class of code that explodes without it) Guido does not subscribe to the “Recursion is the basis of all programming” idea Due to Python’s highly dynamic namespaces, it’s very nontrivial to know if a call is a recursion. The funny thing is that,Read more