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30 November 2007

Switch to Google Reader?

I'm seriously thinking of switching to Google Reader (from Feedreader).


  • Ability to check feeds on other computers, instead of pile up a large chunk of feeds to check at night.

  • Ability to quickly mark favorite posts so my readers (you) can get them, instead of having to write a separate post for every post I like.

Cons: Not having a popup on a new item (which can be a boon during movies).

I think I'm switching :)

In the meantime, here's the crappy graph of the day:

28 November 2007

Future GUI

Watch Bump Top, a really cool (though useless, for me at least) replacement for a desktop. Also, it seems holograms are getting really good.

(All this from
this article

25 November 2007

24 November 2007

Crappy Graphs

My creation:

Look like it's graph number 874. Not bad.

22 November 2007

21 November 2007

Using Google to reverse MD5 and how I almost revealed my password to the world

In this article Steven explains how he used Google to find the password for a given MD5 hash for a user that hacked into his site.

In one of the comments a reader points to this website that offers a direct database of md5 hashes. You enter a string and get its MD5, you enter an MD5 and (if it's known) you get the original string.

The database only works on known (text, MD5) pairs. If I ask for the text of an MD5 the db hasn't seen before, it won't give an answer.

I use a single password to all my internet activities, because I'm lazy. So I almost went ahead and entered that password into the md5 database in order to check if the md5 is known. Then I realized how stupid this would be - it would actually add the information to the db, and actually reveal to the world my password.

Instead I privately checked what my MD5 is (using this C# code), then entered the MD5 into the DB to check if it knows the original password.

The result? No it doesn't :)

20 November 2007

Very Nice XKCD

Fitting into molds

(Credit to Eran for forwarding this to me).

19 November 2007

Fwd: מזמינים אותך להיאבק ביחד, ולא להיכנע כי "ככה זה"

טוב שהם לא נסחפים :)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: GSO <>
Date: Nov 19, 2007 11:06 AM
Subject: מזמינים אותך להיאבק ביחד, ולא להיכנע כי "ככה זה"

לסטודנטים, למתרגלים ולמרצים שלום,

כפי שרבים ורבות מאיתנו ודאי שמעו, אנו נמצאים בימים אלה בשלבים ראשוניים של הקמת ארגון עובדים יציג של הסגל הזוטר בטכניון. זוהי יוזמה בעלת חשיבות רבה, אשר הצלחה שלה תביא לשיפור דרמטי הן בתנאי העסקתנו, הן בבזכויותינו ומעמדנו כמורים.

כדי שמהלך כזה יוכל להצליח, דרושים לנו - כציבור וכפרטים - כלים של ידע ושל תודעה על מצבנו אנו, על המתרחש באוניברסיטאות אחרות, ועל המשמעויות החוקיות והמשפטיות של קיום ארגון עובדים.

לשם כך, אנו מזמינים אתכם ואתכן ל מיני-קורס של למידה אקטיבית בנושא. קראו את כל הפרטים בקישור הבא:

הקורס מתקיים בשיתוף עם המכללה החברתית כלכלית.

Course promotional image




13 November 2007

Whys is Open Source so hard?

Today I came with with an idea for a cool feature for RSS clients. What I want is intelligent filtering like StumbleUpon - users would click "I like it" or "I like it not" on RSS items, and the client could learn a user's "taste" and prioritize future items. Google revealed someone just thought of this about 2 weeks ago. Still, I don't want to pay 20$ for an RSS reader, and I don't want a reader that specializes in this, I want this as just another feature of a standard RSS reader, so I went on to try and add this to some existing open source RSS client.

I immediately found NClassifier, an open source .NET text classifier. Looks promising.

For an RSS client I mainly found Rssbandit. A bit ugly, but I could work with that.

Then, crash. I spent several good hours just trying to get the blasted code. At first I naively thought perhaps the code would be attached to some version of the installer. Nope. I went to the CVS, installed TortoiseCVS, and failed to login with a blank password. At this point I decided to try accessing the SVN version, since I'm already familiar with SVN. I managed to get the code, but it did not build due to a LicenseException :(

I figured the SVN version might be different from the CVS, so I went back to my efforts to use TortoiseCVS, and succeeded ... to connect. In SVN, I could just get the entire latest version. In CVS, I had to choose "packages" to download. Trying some packages, I found that TortoiseSVN does download, only it deletes the downloaded file just at the end of the download. ARG!

I really don't understand why this entire process has to be so complicated. This entire process should have taken half an hour, including downloading the code, modifying and initial testing. Why almost every time you download open source code, it never compiles on the first build. Why the SVN and CVS versions are different.

Bottom Line
I still like my idea of intelligent, learning RSS reader. If anyone has more knowledge in the mysterious ways of Sourceforge and wants to help, call.

Some xkcd

What's amusing, beyond the Kill Bill 2 analogy, is that "hacking" and "algorithm complexity" are almost orthogonal concepts. An 1337 hacker doesn't necessarily knows his algorithms, and of course algorithm designer (אלגוריתמיקאי?) is usually a lousy hacker if anything.


12 November 2007

Pre-Installed Trojans

Some hard drives now come with pre-installed Trojans and viruses. Genius!

Always make sure to format your disk on purchase. I wonder if some of the non-original Windows systems out there on bittorrent might have the same viruses. Or if the original MS Windows might also...

11 November 2007

1994 technology

Here's an episode of the series 24, if it would be filmed 13 years ago. I wonder about 13 years into the future.

Lesbionic Woman

10 November 2007

File Destructor

Rather silly

07 November 2007

Evil Roller Coaster