Internet on Internet action: Routing around the bad to (speech-)recognise the good

Hmm, time to resurrect an old posting format…

Good
The Internet — automatically routing around damage such as a DMCA from Apple.
Bad
Storyline patents — Everytime I think the world has dug itself to rock-bottom, someone hits me on the back of the head with a shovel.
Educational
Kotodama, a video game research prototype for teaching Japanese to anime fans — Now this is where I’d like to be taking my university education… I wonder where the project’s going, and how I can get onboard… And of course, this led me to Julius, a speech-recognition system that I wish I had time to play with.

Thanks to Hellblazer via Slashdot for the heads-up on the patent.

Slashdot is prolly also the viaduct via which I got the Kotodama link, as well as a reminder about the Linux-based GP2X portable gaming doodad, and AnoNet, like FreeNet but built from VPN and SSH tunnels which leave you in control of your own machine’s actions. I guess the difference is that on AnoNet, if someone does work out who you are and they seize your equipment, you don’t have the I didn’t know that was on there defense you get from FreeNet. There’s also the issue that, if you do something heinous enough, such that international authorities can co-operate on it, then you can be tracked down.

One of the things AnoNet’s Wikipedia entry suggests would be a good thing to protect on AnoNet is bnetd, the Battle.net Server that Blizzard Entertainment had shutdown in the US. Mind you, even on the regular Internet finding bnetd source was as easy as following the link from the bnetd Wikipedia entry, once again demonstrating how the Internet routes around damage. ^_^

今日の思う事: 2004年 8月 10日

遅くてすみません

Good news
The server seems stable. ^_^
Bad news
The tutorial to make up for the tutorial I missed on Monday, turns out to be during one of my two remaining lectures this week. (And the other lecture is for the same class, so a clash is unlikely)
Something new
Work expands to fill the available time. And the unavailable time. >_<

I don’t think this needs much explanation. Suffice it to say, I didn’t do this last-night ’cause I got home and was dozing off on the couch within half an hour…. This is at 11:30pm, which is unusual for me. -_-,zZ

今日の思う事: 2004年 8月 9日

Good news
Washed the dishes. Yes, this is news.
Bad news
Managed to sleep in and miss my classes again.
Something new
There are disadvantages to a DVD’s soft subtitles.

Actually, I only missed one class. If I’d hurried, and skipped breakfast and a shower, I could have made the second one. However, it is a tutorial which I’ll make up later this week. Hardly seems worth missing breakfast and being smelly just for one class.

Despite therefore having all afternoon (or at least most of it) available to me, I didn’t do the dishes until The Simpsons came on. Happily, it took less than 90 minutes, since there wasn’t much in there that needed heavy scrubbing. Although my curry saucepan’s looking the worse for wear.

As a reward (and to get me in a settled mood as I have to be at work at 7:30am tomorrow >_%lt;) I finally watched The Godfather Part I on DVD. All was going fine until my terrible sin of skipping the menus punished me by having no subtitles during the Italian-speaking segment in the middle. A bit of skipping around and hitting the ‘Subtitle’ button on the remote eventually yielded a setting where only the Italian was subtitled, not the English. There didn’t seem to be any subtitles for the earlier Italian-speaking scene, which reinforced my feeling that only certain key parts of the dialog in Italian were being translated, and the rest was left to the viewer’s imagination. That was a nice touch.

A less nice touch was that I forgot to check the running length on the DVD cover first, and my plans for an early night were ruined by the movie being 3 hours long, plus a half-hour break in the middle. That plus various going-to-bed delays indicates that I proably should have watched El Mariachi instead.

Still, at least tomorrow’s MGC night. And only one class to go to. But then there’s two jobs in the morning, and I’ll be very very tired by the evening, I’m sure.

今日の思う事: 2004年 8月 8日

Good news
I bought Damia’s Children, despite having 100 pages of Damia still to go.
Bad news
Despite my usual best intentions, I failed to do the washing up, or any of my much-delayed university work this weekend.
Something new
“Time flies when you’re having fun” apparently also applies to going into the office on the weekend.

Even though I’ve prolly got too much to read already, I still bought myself another novel while I was in Tuggeranong on the way to work. On Friday I bought Musashi (only because it was $35, such a bargain! ^_^) but it looks a little thick to be carried around in my backpack at university. It’s 2:30am now, I’ve got to hang out the washing before I go to bed, and I have to be at class at 11am in the morning. Despite all this, I will still probably finish Damia tonight when I go to bed. Anne McCaffery just writes these books where the first 200-odd pages are building up characters, surrounds and suchlike, and all of a sudden you hit the last 100 pages and things start happening and you can’t stop reading. And of course, the disappointment that hits you when you finish the book can only allayed by the knowledge there’s still another four in the series.

I have a strong suspicion that this is how many science-fiction and fantasy writers work. Certainly others I read (eg. Elizabeth Moon having recently established herself withing my bookshelf with Trading in Danger and the Serrano Legacy series) do the same thing. On the other hand, Douglas Adams only did that in Life, The Universe And Everything, in the Hitchhiker’s Trilogy. Then again, Douglas Adams got around the problem science fiction authors all suffered of having the Earth as an easy familiar backdrop by blowing it up in the first few minutes of the series, forever changing the landscape (I’m in a punny mood today) of Science-Fiction Humour. A trick Red Dwarf repeated many years later with equal success. Another author who doesn’t do it (or at least not always) is Raymond E. Fiest. The Magician series tended to be two-thirds build-up, one third uninterruptable action (although they were twice as thick as an Anne McCaffery novel) but the Empire series (co-written with… who? Have to check that later.) tended towards each chapter or two having a mini-climax. This has the added disadvantage that I end up reading cover to cover in one sitting. This is not good for my sleeping patterns. >_<

I slept in (having read, obviously ^_^) and jumped out of bed at about 1:30pm. I threw my washing in the washing machine, stuff happened, and got to work at 4pm, confidently expecting to be done by 6pm. Label printing, Windows CE .net wrestling with, and a quick chat to the security guard (who has read Damia and highly recommends the series. ^_^) and it’s 10pm, and I’m hungry again. My housemate called me just at this time wanting me to bring him food on the way home, so I bought lots of food (meat for barbecueing the entire week, in fact. ^_^) and some McDonalds.

Now all I have to do is hang out the washing, read for a while, and go to bed, and only the washing up will be there to terrify me in the morning. >_<

今日の思う事: 2004年 8月 7日

Good news
PGSM Act.43 came out.
Bad news
Slept in, and missed my personal Iaido/Jodo time. And next week if I make it, I have to share the dojo with a Kendo team full of enthusiasm after today’s competition.
Something new
Sometimes, if you ignore a bug, it _does_ go away by itself.

Another Saturday morning, so another episode of PGSM. Even though we’re all terrified of what will happen after Act. 50, it’s taken nothing from the atmosphere of anticipation and jubliation on Saturday mornings on IRC.

And since I missed the dojo booking this morning, and haven’t had my gi pants repaired and couldn’t train in Jujutsu this afternoon, I spent the entire day on IRC having fun.

It was supposed to be my first Iaido and Jodo training in more than twelve months. And my first self-directed one in two years. Instead, I read Damia (by Anne McCaffery) until some stupid hour of the morning. >_< On the plus side, it’s a good book. ^_^

The other thing I played with today was my work on pulling apart the source code for WinNY that I found on the Internet once. It looks like it’s been decompiled from an unpacked executable, and large chunks are missing. The missing stuff is largely the interface support code, but half the software (including much of the network protocol) is done using Winsock callbacks, so I can only decode the first few messages (up to the first rekeying) of a conversation.

On the other hand, the file formats are quickly revealing their secrets to me now. I can now decode a nodelist into the node addresses, and pullall the metadata from a cache file. I actually had most of that already working, but the data I had was giving bad results. So I fired up the English-localised WinNY on my housemate’s laptop, which is based on the same version as the source code I had, and found that its cache files would decode fine. So I used them to complete the meta-data extracting code, and apart from the MD5 verification failing, it was good. Then I pointed it at the earlier data from a later version of WinNY, and instead of getting the ‘bad key’ I was getting before, I got output. O_O!! Anyway, I don’t know what was wrong with the old code. It’s gone now.

Oh, and in perl, $value & 0xffff doesn’t seem to do what a C programmer like myself expects. Happily, $value % 0x10000 does the job. ^_^

NASA no longer takes my calls…

(Slight PGSM spoiler)

NASA: “Hello, NASA”;
Me: “Hi! I understand you’re sending a Messenger to Mercury
NASA: “Uh huh…”
Me: “Hey! I just noticed the irony, given that Mercury was the messenger of the gods…”
NASA: “Yes, very good sir. Can I help you with something?”
Me: “Yes. Can you give an extra message to the Messenger? Tell her Nephrite’s no good for her, she can do better.”
NASA: click. beep beep beep.

今日の思う事: 2004年 8月 6日

Good News
Watched two PGSM episodes (Act 41 and Act 42) at long last
Bad News
Dropped two uni courses (Structure of English and Second Language Acquisition) to allow me to focus on Phonetics, Syntactic Structures, and my all-too-big TODO list
Something New
The use of まさか in a non-question sentence. (Also from PGSM ^_^)

Man, it’s good to catch up on PGSM. Especially over greasy Oporto’s chicken.

I would definately like to have children like Usagi… Or to be more specific, I’d like to have lots of wild monkey-sex with Ikuko-mama. Whether children like Usagi come of it, I’m happy either way.

Act.41 and Act.42 possible spoilers inside the spoiler thingy:

Geez, we finally get the Makoto/Motoki plot half-going… Things start to get good, she transforms in front of him, and he drops the ball. Motoki, you アホ! Perfect moment to reassure her, tell her it’s a wonderful thing, and you just stand there with your mouth open. Admittedly, I can understand, I’d prolly stand there with my mouth open if I saw Makoto turn into Sailor Jupiter. But I’d stand there even if she wasn’t tranforming so much as just being in such proximity. I’d dopey like that but, Motoki, I expected so much better from you. o_o;

Still, at least I know which part I’d want to play if I was in PGSM. Motoki, obviously. Especially the kissing scenes. (What kissing scenes? Lemme just say, if I got that close to Motoko, I’d… adlip.)

And then there’s the issue of The Lunar Looney (AKA Princess Sailor Moon). She’s as evil on the inside as Mio looks on the outside. I mean, at least Berryl’s doing it for a man (and maybe incredible power, but we all have our vices). The Lunar Looney just likes to make things explode.

I realise that paragraph’s not at all fair, but it’s my weblog. Naah!

Oh, and Motoki attacking the Nazghuul, that had me in fits of giggles, almost as badly as “Nephkichi”. Shame Motoki dropped the ball later on. >_<

It’s a shame I had to drop those courses. They both looked very interesting, and I may try and take them during my honours year or something. However, between my ACTEWAgl work, my TransACT work (mentioned earlier) and general laziness, I’m better off concentrating on less. No Centrelink since I’m now a part-time student again, but I should be able to turn over enough to make ends meet.