Review: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Last night I went with most of the Fools and some other friends to go see Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy on opening night. As any self-respecting geek would, I did bring along a towel. Some of the harder-core geeks even wore a bathrobe, which I thought was a nice touch. My towel did come in handy several times that night. For example, I was able to properly dry my hands after using the restroom, and it makes a reasonable makeshift weapon when some people wouldn’t stop singing the intro song to the movie when leaving.

Oh yeah, the movie. So how was it, you ask?

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Winding Down

Minutes ago I sent off the report for my Access Controls project, all 20 pages of it, with an added bonus of the source code of the prototype compiler for the language described therein. Now except for a meeting with the professor about the project Monday afternoon, that’s it for the class.

The Programming Languages project got turned in Thursday, even though the deadline got extended to Saturday. If it’s done, no point in sitting on it.

All that’s left for the semester are the Cryptography and Programming Languages finals, both on Wednesday: one in the morning, one in the evening.

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Project Projections

The Crypto project, she is finished. And with a top grade, nonetheless. It’s almost always good when you go more in depth than the professor expects.

Fun fact: in the not-too-distant past, group member Dave was asked by one of the other students in the class if we had started the project yet. Started. At a time when we were revising the final report for our semester’s work. Yet, I can’t honestly say I’m surprised there’d be people who’d wait until the penultimate week or so even for a big project.

Fun fact: penultimate is a fun word and should be used whenever possible.

The Programming Languages project is essentially done, aside from typing up a README and turning it in. A realization this afternoon led to simultaneously shrinking the amount of code and improving the correctness. Then there’s the Access Controls project, where all the code I care to write for it is written and all that’s left is writing the report (much of which can be cribbed from the proposal and/or presentation).

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Week in Review

Oh great, another one of those “one big post to cover a bunch of largely unrelated things that happened over the past week” sort of things.

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Quote of the Week #37

When it comes to consoling 19-year-old girls, I’m about as useful as a palsy patient performing brain surgery with a pipe wrench.

John Hartigan (Sin City)

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My Logic Hurts

When you see that today’s (well, yesterday’s, now) opinion article in the Exponent is titled “Laws encourage drinkers to drive while intoxicated,” you know you’re in for an, um, interesting argument.

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Miami! Oh!

The second Ship of Fools road trip in two weeks!

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Quote of the Week #36

Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place. Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are, by definition, not smart enough to debug it.

– Brian W. Kernighan

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Where in the world is Paul Kuliniewicz?

What’s been so demanding on his time that he’s only posting here once in a while instead of sporadically?

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Quote of the Week #35

Classical information is like the information in a book and quantum information is more like the information in a dream. If you have a dream and somebody asks you about it, there’s a certain privacy to it. Pretty soon, you’re remembering your explanations rather than what the dream originally was. So in the course of making it public and making many copies of it, the original content of it has altered in an unpredictable way.

– Charles Bennett

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Halting Problem Comics

Guess who now has guest art on Dinosaur Comics? You know it’s good, since Ryan North even mentions me by name in the news blurb! Woo!

Behold, Halting Problem Comics!

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April Fools’ Weekend

An overdue retrospective on what I was up to this past weekend.

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Cutting-Edge Security

I’ve often joked that if biometric access controls were widely adopted, thieves would stop trying to steal my password and start trying to steal my finger.

I guess it’s not just a joke any more.

But having stripped the car, the thieves became frustrated when they wanted to restart it. They found they again could not bypass the immobiliser, which needs the owner’s fingerprint to disarm it.

They stripped Mr Kumaran naked and left him by the side of the road – but not before cutting off the end of his index finger with a machete.

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Quote of the Week #34

Wiio’s Law:

Communication usually fails, except by accident.

– Osmo A. Wiio

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Pentagon Confirms Plans for New Fighter

WASHINGTON – A spokesman for the Pentagon confirmed reports Thursday that a next-generation fighter aircraft is currently under development.

“With its fuel consumption dramatically lower than our current state-of-the-art, the JLRF will be capable of executing extended-range missions in locations where stable supply lines have yet to be established,” Anna Gemmara, deputy public relations secretary for the Pentagon, announced at a press conference on Thursday.

The key feature of the JLRF — or Joint Localized Rapture Fighter — will be its revolutionary propulsion system.

“Instead of relying on conventional propulsion techniques, the JLRF will produce a ‘localized rapture event’ in which the pilot will be able to spontaneously rise into the air,” explained Gammara during the press conference. By careful manipulation of the event, the pilot is expected to have control over his altitude and velocity.

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