Showing posts with label learn it you morons. Show all posts
Showing posts with label learn it you morons. Show all posts

24.4.08

found bigotry

usually, Truthdig is a really nice Yankee politics resource. i use it to get a non-Fox viewpoint on American current events, and usually it serves me well.

until today. i'm reading The Left has Lost its Way, a report by Chris Hedges - yeah, the same author of I Don't Believe in Atheists, which is too fucking stupid for me to give you links to. Hedges is a bigot in his own right, in that he doesn't believe atheists can even be taken seriously in our core statement ("I don't believe in gods,") but he quotes someone who rivals Vox Day for pure idiocy, one Susan Thistlethwaite:

“The other side has religion, and we need some,” said the Rev. Susan B. Thistlethwaite, president of Chicago Theological Seminary. “We need a more robust understanding of the role of religious values, values that prevent us from compromising the sanctity and dignity of human life. The left, because it is largely secular, did not do enough as the working class was finished off. And now the same thing is happening with the middle class. It is the loss of the left’s spiritual resources that has crippled the movement. The left forgot that nations, like individuals, have souls. Once you sell your soul, it is hard to get it back. History is not linear. History is about constant struggle. It is the struggle, if you come out of faith, which matters.”
ignorance doesn't begin to define the attitude of someone who can blame secularism for the US' political ills, not to mention tout blind faith in primitive literature as the cure.

once again. secularism is what the Founding Fathers wanted. it is what makes Europe a good place to live. it is what makes countries great. it is not a religion, or a strategy by the left-wing conspiracy, or a product of Satan. fucking deal with it.

L

13.4.08

Microsoft's statistical technique

from a ZDNet Vista article:

"It's a myth that users click 'yes,' 'yes,' 'yes,' 'yes,'" said Cross. "Seven percent of all prompts are canceled. Users are not just saying 'yes.'"

yep. 93% of them don't cancel their prompts, but they don't all cancel them! UAC ROCKS!

L

17.2.08

long live science, Lepht not so much

when i die, my body's never going to get buried. i'm proud of this.

i realise how fucked-up that sounds; i ain't gone nuts, though, and i'm not doing the whole viking pyre thing (as cool as that would undoubtedly be.) i don't go in for the valhalla scenario, and i ain't so sure i've exactly distinguished myself enough in combat to get there... what i do go in for is science, and that's what my body's gonna be for once i'm dead. it's gonna be preserved in formaldehyde and dissected by professors, then put back together and prosected time after time by medical students - people who can actually get some benefit from it - and eventually, bits of it will be plastized and put in the University's anatomical museum, and the bones will be wired back together, both for use by more students, for decades. this is a good thing.

so why does it get such a visceral reaction from non-medical students? i've been trying to get other people to do the same thing - either become organ donors or anatomical ones - and so far, all i get is That's fucking disgusting, Lepht or Oh, you'll change your mind about that soon enough, once you've thought about it. the registrar at the Anatomy Department asked my proxy about three times if i was "sure i wanted to do this": i even got "You know they'll cut you up with saws and scalpels, right? You know you're not going to be left in one piece?" from one particularly moronic onlooker. i have a vague idea of what's going through their heads as regards that process, but it's totally fucking illogical - those reactions make no sense.

for a start, yeah, i do know what's gonna happen to the corpse. i'm not going to be there: ergo, it doesn't phase me. i'm the collective function of a brain's multiple systems, and once the brain ceases to function, i will cease to be. my knowledge will have been passed on to the larger matrix of what humans know, my job will be over, and hopefully, i'll have taught as much in life as 'i' will after it, but i'm never going to feel those bonesaws; i'm not going to be there while people poke over my open chest. i won't be hurt by any scalpel.

second, it's not disgusting. it's science. you can't learn about the human systems if you don't have the balls to examine them in vivo, and even though i can't watch anatomy videos, other people can, and they need cadavers more than i need to protect people's pathetic victorian-era concepts of "eww gross". if no fucker donated their bodies because it's "nasty" to cut them up, we'd have no doctors.

third, i'm not gonna change my mind about this. this is the logical lead-on from my (much) earlier logical conclusion that there is no afterlife - my reasoning is as sound as human reasoning can ever be, and unless someone shows me repeatable, solid evidence that i could a. exist independently of my own neurons and b. might somehow need to keep their useless rapidly-decaying mass untouched after death as a result of this, i'm not gonna feel the need to revise my logic.

so i'm not gonna be buried. i specified in my will that i don't want any christian funeral like cadavers are usually eventually given, either: i don't want people thinking i ever subscribed to that bullcrap. i'm honoured to be able to be of use without it. all i want is for, in a hundred years' time, someone to look at my flayed and plastic-infused hand in a dissection room and be able to marvel at its workings, like they would anyone else's; that, and for me to not be the only one with enough sense to have let them see that. i just want people to benefit from medicine while they live, and benefit it in kind once they die.

is that so fucking disgusting?

L

25.12.07

guess what tramadol does

# can tramadol fuck you up
# tramadol fucks me up
# solpadol
# does tramadol fuck you up?
# what does tramadol
# does tramadol fuck you up
# tramadol fuck you up
i like the guy asking "what does tramadol" - ask the others, bro, it fucks you up.

13.12.07

users want:

anonym for pain (yeah, that's why i'm constantly drugged up until i resemble Mike Huckabee at a NASA briefing. i LOVE pain.)
tramadol fuck (ha ha, not on tramadol you won't.)
java lab + quizes (you want the Patent Lepht Method.)
does tramadol fuck you up (yep.)
anonym (it makes me laugh that they're never actually looking for me...)
pronounce antonym (... just for their grammar homework. here's a tip, Murikans: the crippled hacker is Anonym (ann-onn-im), the grammatical construction is an ANTONYM (ann-ton-im). there's a fucking T in there.)

12.12.07

covered in holes and electrode goo

dear algorithms students:

please just do what i told you to do when you find me passed out. i said don't call Security, fuck's sake. you called Security. i've been through this a lot, so i knew what had happened when i was woken up from my semi-overdose stupor on the lecture theatre floor by a black leather boot to the chest and a fucking megadecibel of Scots voice sounding like Billy Connolly on crack, informing me that I WAS OK NOW DID I HEAR HIM I WAS OK NOW I WAS GONNA BE OKAY DID I TRY AND KILL MYSELF THE AMBULANCE IS ON THE WAY OK.

it is not a good thing for the ambulance to find me. i have told you this, students, and you forgot, you bastards. i get taken to hospital, my entire fucking gastroenteral system and then some gets flushed (that's two cannulae, one in each arm, four IV bags to go on each one, and bedpans, fucking bedpans) in case it was a paracetamol overdose (what am i, twelve?), i gotta see a goddamn psychiatrist and they keep me in for a night and a full fucking work day, usually two.

now, unless you fuckers wanna find yourselves being yelled at by undereducated health professionals with room-temperature IQs, listening to more kinds of maddening constant noise than Guantanamo in a hospital that makes Soviet Russia look luxurious - you gotta love the NHS - with a Glaswegian trainee stabbing holes in your arms and muttering gibberish about you've got so much to live for, just do what i told you: sit me up, slap me round the face, and get me the fuck outta there.

L
(is covered in holes and electrode goo as it types)

1.12.07

idiocy has no lowest low

as demonstrated by the not one, but two students in my algorithms course who don't use any AV or firewalls whatsofuckingever on their Windows XP boxes. one of them refuses because Norton slows down his games (and apparently Norton is the only damn AV suite out there), and the other told me nonchalantly

"Oh, it's OK, I just wait until it gets really bad and then reinstall the operating system."
i can't believe i gotta do this, cause it's like having to give sex ed classes to nineteen-year-olds - in fact some of them are older than that - but here's the reasons why yeah, you do have to run AV:

1. you protect your data: i believe the American for that is duh. especially in university, where losing all your work will fuck you over good and proper, this should be one of your first priorities.

2. you also protect a hell of a lot more, because when you're at least moderately AV'd, you don't get drawn into botnets: that is, you don't fall to 10% of your system's capacity because your machine is running a DDoS attack on some Russian's ex, you don't get arrested for data fraud your compromised machine committed or the pr0n server you had no idea it had become, you don't suddenly find your hard drives the playground of a gang of twenty 1337-speaking SubSeven fans... you see where i'm going here.

3. your identity is a small margin safer when it's not at risk of being grabbed by trojans. that is, your identity which comprises access to your entire private life, your home, your finances, your job and employment history... yeah.

4. your browser history is shielded from cookie-spy trojans, which in turn means you're getting less spam, less ad downloaders, and therefore, you're less likely to get scammed or infected secondarily.

5. AV can also protect you from rogue P2P nodes, meaning you've got less of a chance of getting your ass RIAA'd.

6. your system is more under your control, making it a hell of a lot easier both to trace and retaliate against genuine attacks (rather than virus damage), and to see where memory is leaking - if there are virii loose all over the shop, you've got pretty much no chance of speeding the system up or getting any kind of security. without security apps, you're basically operating in a warzone that could just as easily be a comfortable living room.

7. you're not just endangering your own machine: if you're on my network with no AV, you're essentially a huge, neon-lit gateway to everything else that's on there, unsuspecting, thinking it's safe. one unprotected host compromises the entire net, making the damage inflicted by a virus on the net 100% your fault, and the costs of repair your liability.

all of that is a shorthand for the question why the fuck? having no antivirus is just as stupid as not using condoms, or refusing to lock your apartment door because you've never been robbed before. amazingly, however, the offenders know all this and still haven't done shit about it.

i'm debating whether it's justifiable to isolate their machines and hit them with something nasty just to spank them into submission. idiocy really does have no lowest low.

L

26.11.07

i say, google, does tramadol or does it not fuck you up?

this week's net belches:

4. tramadol fucks you up (1 time) yes, yes it does.
5. Sapiens Windows (1 time) I'M INFESTEEEED!
7. "jacked in" (1 time) always was, always will be...

plus your average quotient of number string DDoS attempts, idiot Yanks looking for antonyms of words you shouldn't need to Google anyway, even a couple people who were actually looking for me.

but who the fuck actually feels the need to search for "tramadol fucks you up"?

L

17.10.07

i'm not laughing

Ephesians 4:16, Inerrant Book of Magical Funtime Happy Joy:

He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
(okay, the real name of that particular Bad Book is the New Living Translation.)

this on the shirt of a girl in the front row of my lectures, who has to sit there on account of her hearing aid.

L

11.10.07

eco-terrism

thus concludes my little vacation. i'm back, peeps: been pretty fucking ill recently, scared the crap outta my new maths class smacking my head against the wall in an unsuccessful attempt to stop myself passing out, upped the dosage on everything, changed a few things round and couldn't fucking think for a couple days, etc. it's all good, i'm dealing with it.

the worst side-effect of said meds, in fact, is their effect on your perception. you notice different things on large doses of opiates: it's like waking REM or something, you can't concentrate on your lecture (was i talking about Delphi or Java, kid?) but you start looking at trees and seeing Darwin's phylum diagram spreading out in front of you, or reconstructing the function of the vocal chords, the sound waves moving across the room and their reception in your eardrums and then your neurons when you hear someone sing. i've been in that state all week; today i realised something really, really fucking weird.

in the compulsory core lectures for Computing Science at the University, there are two people in the theatre using a machine. one of them is me, and one of them is a kid with a Vista laptop trying not to look like he's reading the BBC Cricket News instead of listening.

a lecture lasts an hour. there's an average of sixty kids in any given lecture, and each kid (i've noticed) covers about three sheets of A4 paper with notes. nobody uses either voice-recog software or an oldschool Dictaphone, and that one kid doesn't actually use his machine for notes. that's a hundred and eighty sheets of A4 per lecture, there are four core lectures and two electives (at least) per week, the kids take notes in tutorials too and i'm thinking there's something a little fucked up here.

now, i ain't no ecowarrior, but we can use that paper for other shit, right? the kids've got machines, i know; i hear them yammer about them. it seems like it just hasn't occurred to them not to use paper notes, which is fucking weird because they're CS students. you can also see them using the pricey University print service (yeah, 5p per sheet, no exceptions until you get your PhD) to print off the entire set of slides for a lecture before they get there. i just wanna know whether this is really necessary. i mean, they're not going anywhere, nobody's gonna steal them off the projector's buffer and permalete them before you finish copying down that formula... hell, maybe they just don't like all that exhausting typing or something.

i don't know whether to get them all enrolled with some Government scheme so they can all have cheap, oxygen-producer-saving laptops, or just to interrupt Database Management 50554 with some sort of guerrilla protest.

L

ed. the single most beautiful opener to a white paper ever: "Everything evolves. There are no exceptions, even for shell code." (Evolving Shell Code, Masaki Suenaga, Symantec Security Response Japan - get it from the ridiculously well-hidden Symantec whitepaper cache) this in contrast to the London Review of Books article i came across today (i ain't gonna link it) arguing "The Case Against Natural Selection". sometimes i just wanna kick someone healthier than me. - L

20.9.07

to the CCTV operators:

yes, it is i you see march into the laboratory foyer at 1639 determined to grab a Snickers. it is i you see shoving coins into the vendi and kicking it when it doesn't work, and it is also i who can then be observed using a high-grade Southord C2010 pick set to get both the coins i lost and the coins everyone else lost outta the damn slot where they're all stuck. for the three minutes or so it takes me to do that, you may also observe three security guards walk right past me, one of whom stops and immediately walks away after i give him the explanation (and i quote) "Locksmith."

and that is why i am now £5.25 richer, and also have both Snickers and much less confidence in you guys. i mean, you're in the damn lab building, for fuck's sake.

13.8.07

that bridge is not my roof

my lab-attending little friends: look, i know, okay? i don't need to be told about the holes in my sweater. i know. i also know about the rips in my shoes, the less-than-superior quality of my laptop, the fact that my backpack is almost as old as i am, my eighties casque headphones (yeah, it's not a retro fashion statement) and that all the games you see me playing in tutorials are '90s abandonware. in short, i know i look like a hobo, but it's rude to be making bum jokes about the only entity in the room which happens to be both prepared to do your homework for money and capable of getting 95% on it: i ain't gonna help you if you diss me, morons.

so. in order to convince you, i propose a sociological study. i got a hypothesis: the kids who look the poorest in class, i.e. those who bought the textbooks and a portable HDD instead of using their loan money on four Prada T-shirts and a fake-ripped pair of jeans (hell, i can show you how to get a more authentic pair for free), will actually turn out to have learned more over the course of a year. since most of you have just finished your first year, i suggest using you as the experiment population. i'll submit you all to an independent, randomly-selected panel, who will give you each a "hobo rating" of 0 to 1, based on the newness of your clothes, brand presence, how bothered you seem about your hair, etc.

i will then take your hobo ratings, and plot them against your CSx grade averages. i predict at least a +0.2 correlation between hoboness and average exam mark. if i don't find one, i'll leave you alone and stop chewing you out for writing XHTML in all caps. if i do, you have to shut the fuck up about my ripped-up goddamn fatigues.

behold the STFU-inducing power of stats.

Lepht

PS. two more globbets of awesome - 1. i have an official TriOptimum mail account and 2. i can offer the System Shock games as .iso images or cracked files to anyone who wants them, purely because more people could have fun playing them. and they compare me to Professor Snape.

26.7.07

crypto? is that some Southern kid's name?

i'm always amazed at the mental unfitness of the large majority of my country's population. on auditing the passwords for a small section of a network, i found that despite the strict password policy, all the passwords but three - out of several hundred - were words. the policy demands alphanumerics and mixed case, so most users had a "Password123"... oy.

i asked a couple users what the hell was with that. the response?

"Well, normal people can't remember codes."

like fuck they can't. i'm a normal person, apart from being slightly better educated than the general public, and i remember about 10 different alphanumeric codes with random punctuation marks for all the different shit i have to authenticate to in a day. if you have to use each code once or twice a day, it really isn't difficult to memorize them; and these students only have the one system password that's enforced to be so complex. the rest of their passwords, for all the things i keep finding them wasting their time with - Bebo or Myspace, usually (you know what i think of Bebo and Myspace) - are set by themselves, of course, and they're uniformly simple.

so what's the problem? why can't these kiddies remember one code? i guess that's a question for a psychologist. my problem is that when they can't remember it, they write it down; and when they write codes down, the security of the system is down to someone not finding the paper.

obviously, that ain't acceptable. my solution with my own citadel was to implement a token system, which i'm in the process of linking to a chip in my hand (more on that when it's more developed) - and i'm unfortunately not allowed to RFID my coworkers. but i still think the token idea stands, and i'd kill to have a say on whether or not it's implemented here.

here's how the simplest token protocol works, from the seminal textbook, Ross Anderson's Security Engineering:

you have a token, a little transponder thing that can be shaped like a key, or a button, or even embedded in your ID card or something. i have a gate, or a door. you walk up to the door, and your token sends a string to the door's reciever:

token -> gate: serial number, {serial number, onetime number}


the stuff in braces is encrypted under a key known to both the transponder and the reciever, meaning my gate can then decrypt it, check that the two serial numbers match, check that the onetime (Anderson calls it a nonce, but in my country that's slang for a child molester...) hasn't been used already (this way i know you're not just replaying someone else's earlier access attempt) and lets you in.

now, replace the gate with the logon system, and you're flying. it's a little more difficult than that, unfortunately, so i won't be seeing it around here anytime soon. unfortunately, the fact remains:this kind of system is the only way to let normal people slack off remembering their codes.

so, users, you got a choice: either ya remember your damn password, or you let the University's totally non-medically qualified, slightly paranoid security nut embed machinery in your hand. okay?

...where y'all going?


Lepht

19.7.07

the ueber-rant

i had a debate with a Philosophy student yesterday. it went like this:

Lepht (on way to coffee shop, having ended up in casual conversation in transit): ... of course, that's a faith-based conclusion, and if that's all she's got -

Student: You know, this thing you've got against faith is something you should really work on before you really insult someone.

Lepht (momentarily taken aback): What? I don't care if I insult people with faith, Harry.

Harry: You should care. You've got to respect it, even if it's not right for you. You always seem to write things off if you disagree with them, just because they're not right for you, and that doesn't seem fair.

Lepht (by now absolutely astounded): It's not that it's "not right for me". It's that faith is based on an absolute lack of evidence. That doesn't make it "not right for me" and "right for some others", it makes it wrong for anyone who lives in the real world. By your logic, everything's right for someone - hell, Nazism is "right for some people". You can't say it's wrong, just "not right for you".

Harry: That's not the same. I'm talking about spirituality, not religion.

{i usually do end up in this kind of fight with students. in this case i ignored his blatant change of subject and went with his next point.}

Lepht: They're both based on faith. Where's the difference? Why should I leave one alone but not the other?

Harry (becoming agitated): No! Religion is, is dogma and rules and regulations. Spirituality is about... (turns away) It's about personal (inaudible).

Lepht: Look, what do you even mean by spirituality?

Harry: They're not the same!

Lepht: But what does the word mean?

he just wouldn't, or couldn't, define "spirituality", or tell me how it was at all different from religious faith, or why i should respect either of them. i've had thousands of these conversations, with all kinds of believer, and none of them can ever tell me why either faith or spirituality deserve respect.

that's it, of course: every human being deserves respect. the human genome is so beautifully adapted, the body such a wonderful product of evolution over an inconceivably long time, that i couldn't conclude otherwise; it's one of my core tenets, that everyone on the planet has a brain worthy of the most complex theories we can imagine, and then some. i respect all people for what they are, no matter how foul and reprehensible their behaviour or stupid their choices.

what i can't respect is their silly, mushy beliefs. i won't sit back and be told that Jesus will save my soul. i won't be sermonised about my immorality. and i won't allow philosophers and Pagans to demand my tolerance of their vague and ill-defined notions of non-religious faith, either, no more than i would tolerate someone touting Peruvian creation myths as truth or trying to stop my security classes because they're against the teachings.

i respect humanity. i serve humanity. but i despise faith, and i'll afford it no tolerance.

it doesn't deserve tolerance.

Lepht
(about to be blown off the face of the earth by angry Pagans)

26.6.07

the saga of the mouth-breathers

or, why must you morons deny your IQ? this is a soapbox of mine, so bear with me.

i'm always bitching about something or other on campus. it's really not as huge of a disadvantage as it might sound like sometimes - for a start, i have free net access, and access to all the labs and equipment i could want is coming my way soon. it's safe, too.

its biggest disadvantage is the mouth-breathers who've somehow shoved their way onto the science courses here. my classes are full of them; you can actually sit in the back of something like elementary stats (for people like me who don't have any formal maths qualifications beyond age 16) and watch them not understanding it. they don't get functions. they don't get tangents. they don't get the Gauss distribution, for fuck's sake, they don't even know what a fucking distribution is, and yet they're still here, so they must be able to do at least something.

if you're thinking there's more to this, you'd be right.

it isn't limited to stats and maths, either. they're all over the fucking place, asking your ML tutors what a verb is again, demanding that the demonstrators in the guided Java labs give them "the answer", refusing to understand what a variable is. i've taken to sitting right at the back of logic lectures purely because these idiots sit at the front, collectively not getting it and adding to the emanated cloud of their stupidity by whispering to each other that this is all "just too hard".

so why are these tards still here? and why do i talk about them with this much vitriol?

because they've all passed. that stupidity is fake. for a start, the tests are easy in the first place, and you only need eight marks of 20 to pass most of them. for another thing, these people are not inherently knuckle-dragging, cheerleading tards. i don't flatter myself by thinking that this is the best they can do; they're university students, for fuck's sake. (you've got minds, haven't you?)

of course they have. this is my question. is it that i'm just not seeing something here, and they're actually expending all their effort on something else, meaning that these low barriers are necessary because CompSci classes are their chance to kick back and act dumb? (sure doesn't fucking look like it.) or is it that the low barriers are just not pushing them, to the extent that they don't even bother trying when they don't need to? is that why they act like this, just out of laziness?

i'm not an egotist. i don't honestly think they're that stupid; i know they could do anything i can do - same brain capacity, same structure, same human intelligence. we're all human, even if our abilities aren't precisely the same, and half are explicitly training to be computer scientists.

so why, why, don't these fucking morons use their brains? why spend more time reading Playboy than actually doing something worthwhile? why join in with this dumbfuck, hairspray-and-lipstick, football culture instead of realising what an adaptive, smart human being you are and using that intelligence to your advantage? in short, why deny your IQ?

i just don't get it.


Lepht
(whose isolation from reality is, perhaps, affecting its mood and opinions just slightly; otherwise it is very sedated, and thus fine)