A stream of consciousness from the brain of B.K. DeLong


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June 13, 2008

BrainStream: Bio-Tech Augmentation or Full Techno-Cyborgian Implants?

Woah. Two BrainStreams in one week. A new record for the last year or two.

(And, yes, I REALLY like to be overly-bombastic in my grammatically-crippled word-creation when I do these things. It's my little "cherry on top".)

I do this silly thing when I get into large crowds. I "shut down" the fast spinning, erratic, multitasking hard drive that is my brain and go into "navigation and evasion" mode. It sounds very technical and like I'm programming a navigation computer but, in many ways, that's how I treat my brain.

Continue reading "BrainStream: Bio-Tech Augmentation or Full Techno-Cyborgian Implants?"

June 11, 2008

BrainStream: Nanophyte-based folicular body heat regulation and cross-social network trust relationships for building stronger online friendships

I so should be going to bed instead of writing this but I've been trying to get this out of my head since at least Monday and having no success whatsoever.

Techno-futuristic transhumanist daydreaming

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May 17, 2008

In Midtown, New York, @ The Roosevelt, Mon., 5/19 - Wed., 5/21 - Anyone for Dinner, Drinks, Movies etc?

Last minute, per usual. I'll be in New York starting Monday afternoon, 5/19 for our New York Metro InfoSec Forum.

I'm taking the noon Acela and should arrive around 4pm. I'm staying in Midtown at The Roosevelt Hotel. Anyone want to go out for dinner, drinks, a movie or all 3?

Tuesday and Wednesday are directed at work. I should be free in the evening after dinner on Tuesday - around 8pm if anyone wants to go out.

Unfortunately, Wednesday is really out as I'm taking the 6pm Acela home.

Anyone around and about?

May 10, 2008

Whirl-Wind Day - The Little Man, Spa, Blackberry, VZW Woes, Iron Man

A quick post, I thought, since I'm tired of overthinking my blogging.

A great weekend thus far started by jetting right back into Boston to hang out with my friend Julia, munch on burritos, watch a little Countdown and backseat drive GTAIV. What an amazing game - the canonical detail is amazing and it's got such an incredibly rich feature set.

Up late, took the Little Man out to McDonalds for lunch as promised (a treat), got the car inspected a month or two after deadline, and then off to the bikeshop to get his third-hand 12in" bike some air and raise the seat.

After I got him down for his nap it was off on my errands - arranging a day at a nearby spa for Mothers' Day and picking up my new phone - my first Blackberry (a Pearl). It's really my first PDA ever....surprising for this early-adopter but folks may realize I only ever dig into social networks and Web 2.0 that is free. I don't have a gaming console, fancy computer, iPod Video (or iPhone Touch for that matter), huge entertainment center or any of that. Not to say that I don't covet it greatly but I have other obligations.

Unfortunately, what I figured would take an hour at the VZW store took almost 2.5 - and I went grocery shopping for 45min of that. Apparently my phone didn't want to activate. Thank the gods I figured this out while still parked in the store lot because it would take another 1.5 hours for me to get it. They trouble-shot the first phone for 30min, then tried to exchange it with another phone and had the same problem. They asked me to "come back in 30min" so the techs could get some sort of key from VZW support.

I had one hour to get home and get ready to take my wife to see "Iron Man" at that point so not even remotely enough play time with it. Got home and was in a frenzy trying to get the groceries away, play with the phone even a little, check email, get something to eat and help get Will ready for bed. It didn't go well.

Once I was in the car I kept fiddling (and got car sick). Finally, after sitting down in the theatre I was recovering a bit from said earlier frenzy and car-sickness to enjoy the trailers being shown.

Hulk looks pretty good - like something Marvel "fixed" this time around. Indiana Jones is a MUST see. It comes out on the Little Man's birthday but I'm tempted to get a babysitter for once we get to bed and take my wife to see it. She wants to see Speed Racer as well. I could dig this babysitter thing.

But "Iron Man", oh Marvel.....John Favreau , Avi Arad....I don't know which of you are responsible for this masterpiece but damn that was an amazing experience. The acting was really good and the special effects truly awe inspiring. It was a comic book movie without the cheesy, exclamatory schlock we've come to expect Hollywood to ruin such adaptations with. And the hardware and software CGI was so believably realistic.

I hope Hollywood looks closely at this movie, its success and figures out the magic combination for all future adaptations. This is a way to do it right.

Off to bed!

April 12, 2008

Home Alone - Plans for Tonight?

Through circumstances that I will explain later, I am home alone this weekend. I have to clean the house, do some grocery shopping, and get a little work stuff done but I'd love to hang out with friends tonight.

Anyone doing anything interesting? Would anyone mind me tagging along? This big house gets quite lonely and since most folks are out on a Saturday night I'd like to be one of them. I'm tired of being tethered to my computer staring at the TV.

So Comment, Tweet, IM, Text me via Facebook or Call me on the cell / at the house.

Lemme know what's going on.

March 20, 2008

A couple of updates: Twitter, SecondShift, SourceBoston, Potter Fandom, Paul Gross, and Karaoke

I am presently typing this with my mind. I have gone to bed early, my eyes are shut and I am using the movement of my pupils behind eyelids to move the cursor of the GUI being projected into my visual cortex. The text of this post is being generated through subvocal recognition as I lay on my sweet, chilled pillow. Ah....so relaxing.

I wish.

Continue reading "A couple of updates: Twitter, SecondShift, SourceBoston, Potter Fandom, Paul Gross, and Karaoke"

March 18, 2008

Facebook to add LJ-like Friend List Privacy Controls Tomorrow

Yay! This is SO about time. Now I can finish setting up my trust-relationship groups.

"The new privacy controls, which will launch on Wednesday morning, allow users to do more with Friend Lists. Users can now set specific privacy controls for different friend groups, said Naomi Gleit, a Facebook product manager. Users can create a friend grouping for co-workers, for example, and share different profile information, updates and other information with that group. Users can put friends into multiple groups."

February 24, 2008

Look at me, Here in DC

OK so mea culpa. I didn't tell any of you I was coming down but it's for work and I'll most likely be "inside" and heading home. ;)

Although it occurs to me that even despite the Oscars going on some of you might actually be close enough to join me for a drink downstairs.


For the record, I'm here in the Hilton Garden Inn on 14th St. and will be at our (IANS) DC Forum at the Reagan Center during the day. Text or tweet me - I'm around.

February 3, 2008

Social Network - Making them Far Better with Trust Relationships and Metrics

It's about time for my annual bitch about the lack of robust, truly protected trust relationships on social networks. Google's announcement and release of the Open Social API has gotten me to thinking about this again and, truth be told, I'm not sure how much closer the OpenID project is to solving this problem.

In order for this to happen, grouping needs to be more explicit - Livejournal continues to do this very well with "Custom Friend Groups" with the exception that we're missing a good set of standard groups we can pull from. Those "groups" might be based on the core XFN values or the vocabulary terms of the FOAF "relationship" schema. At least if every (major) social network utilized one of these as a base, we could get closer to having initial uniformity across the Social Networks (SNs) we use.

[Continue for How Social Networks could be way, far better than they are today.]

Continue reading "Social Network - Making them Far Better with Trust Relationships and Metrics"

February 2, 2008

Tool for Managing LiveJournal Custom Friends Groups?

I want to get better at managing my Custom Friends Groups. Does anyone know if there's an app or a better GUI for creating groups? I'd love to be able to alias LJ nicks to actual names or how I know people.

With Google knocking out FOAF (Friend-Of-A-Friend) I'm trying to come up with a better trust metric with certain segments of my life that I'm willing to share and then add people to groups according to that metric/subject matter. The current list style is abysmal to try and work through.

Thanks in advance for any help.

I suppose I can build my own through Excel / Word and C&P. It's so FRUSTRATING not being a programmer. So many ideas and absolutely no way to implement them. Are there still sites out there to "hire" programmers' time for quick projects?

January 3, 2008

Hacking the Friendly Skies

I know, the title is totally cliche but horribly, disappointingly true. According to this doc from Cryptome, the same network that the inflight entertainment kiosks run on the new Boeing 787-8s also host the Flight-safety-related control and navigation and required systems (aka Aircraft Control Domain) and the Airline business and administrative support (aka Airline Information Domain).

Because of this new passenger connectivity, the proposed data network design and integration may result in security vulnerabilities from intentional or unintentional corruption of data and systems critical to the safety and maintenance of the airplane. The existing regulations and guidance material did not anticipate this type of system architecture or electronic access to aircraft systems that provide flight critical functions. Furthermore, 14 CFR regulations and current system safety assessment policy and techniques do not address potential security vulnerabilities that could be caused by unauthorized access to aircraft data buses and servers. Therefore, special conditions are imposed to ensure that security, integrity, and availability of the aircraft systems and data networks are not compromised by certain wired or wireless electronic connections between airplane data buses and networks.

Absolutely unbelievable. In theory, someone could access the systems controlling the plane from the seats and crash them or possibly even control them. It's also possible that someone could access the Airline Information Domain on the ground and hack into the same in-flight Aircraft Control Domain. They're all on the same network!

From what I gather, the only plan is to put in a "firewall" rather than to "air gap" or put the systems on different networks. It says the flight crew will be able to disable passenger access to the other two systems but I'm not impressed. This article from earlier in the year showing how to crash all other Inflight Entertainment Kiosks from a single one does not make me any more confident.

I am far from a person who would spread FUD but this is ridiculous. I'm guessing (hoping) that the release of this information will pressure Boeing and airlines to air gap the systems from each other. Then we can cease the speculation that such vulnerabilities could crash a plane or allow a plane to become a remotely-guided bomb.

ETA: I told my wife this story with what I can only guess was wild eyes and flailing (Paul Gross) arms her response was: "oh - so they can track what you're watching?" focusing on the clear invasion of privacy angle. I assumed that was part of the package re: inflight entertainment.

So I explained that no - it was the chance that evil hackers could break into the Aircraft Control Systems from the Inflight Entertainment! (sounding like many vendor companies and security charlatans I've interacted with). Her response again? "Eh - highly unlikely". So I sputtered a bit declaring loudly that the systems should be "air gapped" and that there have been similar critical infrastructure vulnerability scenarios declared "highly unlikely" usually shortly before someone (usually benevolent) finds a glaring hole easily exploited or some stupid idiot kid blunders into some Flood Control System or Air Traffic Control system of a small airport and unwittingly causes minor damage.

I don't really want to wait to be in the air for some security researcher to figure out if they can cause the flight controls to crash due to a buffer overflow initiated via the seat-based inflight entertainment. Please, no. Thanks.

December 17, 2007

Doctor Who: Voyage of the Damned plans

So. Voyage of the Damned in a little more than a week. What are American fan strategies to watch it in a timely manner? I noticed BBC America said they had no plans to air it anytime soon but didn't see any real concentrated campaign to harass them. Must we really resort to Bittorrent? Does Sci-Fi have plans to air it? I need to get some new Who on and just can't wait.

I must admit the advent calendar has been fun with the trailers and flash games.

This is a fandom I think I could embrace. Where are the best hangouts?

Feed my addiction!


December 13, 2007

B.K's Day in Snow Hell

I....I am just agog at the complete lack of planning by the state and cities of Peabody and Salem regarding this storm. Maybe there's something I don't get about snow removal but there was very little sanding and salting done on the roads today.

Kirky picked me up from the Cambridgeside Galleria at 1:45pm ET. WE GOT HOME AT 7:00PM!!! Unbelievable. First mistake, (though based on news reports and calculations it wasn't too far off), was taking Rt. 28 to the Lynnway up to Rt 1 instead of getting on Rt 1 from the get-go. Either way it took about 2.5 hours to get up Rt 1. 128N was running OK and we figured we were home free.

Rt 114 in Peabody was running extremely slow. In fact, it took us about 45min to go 1 mile. We opted to have Kirky park at a gas station after letting me off to run down a steep driveway to pick Will up from daycare and walk back to the car. We made the shrewd choice to stop at McD to grab a bite to eat 0p because it took about an hour and a half to go the next mile home.

None of the roads looked plowed let along sanded or salted. IMNSHO they should have been salting and sanding BEFORE the storm started and kept it up.

I must pile absolutely huge amounts of kudos to Kirky who chose to drive home, deal with my mumbling anxiety from the passenger seat the whole 5 hours and as Will fell asleep the last hour home, she unloaded the car and SHOVELED while I got him up to bed. She is a saint and wonderful woman.

Meanwhile, I want answers from the State and the various cities and towns I drove through on what the hell happened and why the ball was dropped.

December 2, 2007

Will's First Christmas

OK, well it's not quite his first but it's going to be the first one where he has a good inkling of what's going on.

If you read my previous post, you'll note that we spent it at an SCA Yule event. The morning of the event, it was starting to flurry outside and there was a dusting of the white as we left the house. Because of his early rising, he also was stuck in front of the digitally animated claymation "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer II" while Mommy and Daddy tried to catch a few more Z's behind him.

On the way back to our place, I finally relented and we switched between two all-XMas tunes stations. I found myself longing for the true classics - Bing Crosby/Fred Astaire/Danny Kaye or the Revels, Chanticleer and other traditional holiday music. Wasn't going to find but a slight few on those stations.

We got home and started settling in. We did watch Shrek the Halls but I'm not sure he really "got it". Before long, it was time for bed so I took up some of his winter/holiday books to read. I think we chose an adaptation of the original Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer story (he did correlate it to the horrid video he watched on Sat morning), and Clifford's First Snow Day.

After I turned out the lights, we hit the bathroom one more time and looked up at the skylight to see another light coating of show. Then we ran back into his room, carefully opened the blinds and side-by-side pressed our warm noses to the cold glass. As we steamed up the clear view we were looking for lights upon which to see the snowfall and reveling at the dusting on the rooftops below.

This holiday season is interesting. I found myself getting very frustrated at the ads and festivities happening before Veteran's Day and plowing through Thanksgiving. I wasn't going to acknowledge it until Thanksgiving was over but as I thought about it, I really want Will to understand the true history behind the holiday.

I am not a Christian but I think it's important for him to know as much as he can understand about the original Christmas Story. He hasn't gone to church or sunday school yet but that day will come as I know it's important to his mother and I think it's important for him to begin his path of learning towards an end of choosing himself.

I also want to differentiate between the birth of Jesus and Santa Claus but I suspect he's too young. I think introducing other winter holidays such as Hanukkah and Kwanzaa will only serve to confuse as well so I think I'll start simple. I'm still looking for the right books for his age. Any thoughts?

I think for now I'm just enjoying being with him, talking to him, asking questions and listening as he becomes more and more awakened to the world around him. He's into Hot Wheels and Monster Trucks but he's learned a lot from Magic School Bus and Diego that he's applying to his environment and it's fascinating to watch.

I'm such a happy dad.

SCA Weekend in WMass (Bergental)

I'm sitting here in the dim of the house listening to Bing Crosby, the dog snoring while snow lazily flurries about outside finally feeling that winter is well on its way and the holidays right behind.

Early last week I sprung the idea of going to Western Mass to visit my mother and attend the SCA Yule event for the area Barony - Bergental. After agreement, I then approached my mother who was suffering from a lack of housecleaning assistance since the summer but she still welcomed our visit. What a weekend it was - and I spent most of it in a kitchen:

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