Research, Research, Research

2014/03/24 21:09:18
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Lately, over the past few years, I’ve been pursuing my Master’s Degree in Computer Science from Old Dominion University. It’s been a crazy ride. Some of the courses have merely been a review of information I already knew. Others were some of the most difficult in my life.

Now, I face a new challenge: the thesis.

I’ve done some preliminary work with Memento, RFC 7089, as developed by my colleagues at Old Dominion University and Los Alamos National Laboratory. Memento is a way of browsing the web as if it were a date in the past. I’ve identified a new use case: avoiding spoilers in TV shows, movies, and books.

I’m working on bringing my work on the Memento MediaWiki Extension into my thesis, which I hope to publish by the end of the year.

Wish me luck!

Music Question: Apple or Amazon?

2011/11/26 12:58:44
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I’m in. By in, I mean I have the MacBook Pro (it’s got Unix!), the iPad, the iPod, the iPhone, and the MacMini Server. For documents I still use Microsoft Office like the majority of the rest of the world, but for personal documents increasingly I’m using iWork because of some of nifty features, like autosaving and iCloud.

So, now I want to buy P!nk’s Greatest Hits…So Far!!!. Usually, I purchase my music at Amazon’s MP3 store, or, if I’m really feeling nostalgic, Second Spin; but iCloud presents me with a new opportunity: the idea that if I just buy my music with iTunes I will have access to it wherever I am.

My first concern is space. You see, I’ve ripped about half of my CDs so far and I’m taking up 22GB of space on my iPod with music. As time goes on, I’ll probably reach 45GB in CD music alone. I’m in no danger of hitting my upper limit today, or next year even. My iOS devices (iPod, iPhone, iPad) all have 64 GB of space. I don’t put music on the iPad, preferring to use that device for movies and books, so the space taken up by the different forms of media shouldn’t interfere with one another.

I don’t have a lot of music with iTunes. I bought one album because it was only available there. If I continue to buy MP3s via Amazon, then I will continue to take up more and more space on my iOS devices.

I’m not sure where Moore’s Law will taper off in terms of more and more storage being available in these consumer devices. I doubt this trend will continue for consumer devices because more and more people are moving their storage to the cloud. My theory is that this will lead to fewer folks buying hard drives (whether they be magnetic or flash, it doesn’t matter), thus driving the demand down and the price back up again. With the price up, Apple (or Amazon, or Samsung, or whoever makes your portable music device) will not put as much storage into your portable device. This means that I will hit an upper limit on how many MP3s I can put onto my iOS device in the future. Apple wants me to use iCloud instead, because they see this future coming. More importantly, they are helping that future come.

So, the question is, do I continue to use Amazon’s MP3 store and manually move songs onto and off of my iOS device in the future, or do I just bite the bullet now and move to iTunes altogether? iTunes has the largest collection of music out there and I can always store a few MP3s for those artists and labels that I have to buy on Amazon.

Then there is an issue with preservation. The music on iTunes is (as most of you know) not stored in the MP3 format, but AAC (with various file extensions). As of 2009, it is supposedly DRM free. I opened one of my iTunes songs in VLC player, and it played fine, without asking me for a password like the DRM-full songs do. If this is the case, and AAC players are available in the future, then my concerns about preservation may be unfounded, as I will always be able to play the songs I’ve purchased.

iTunes is big, and with that many customers, I wouldn’t be surprised if AAC stayed around for a long time, so there should be no issue with finding an AAC player if iTunes goes away.

To recap:

Amazon MP3 StoreApple’s iTunes
storage space issueswill require more and more storage on my iOS deviceshandled by iCloud
preservation capabilityMP3s are playable on many, many devicesAACs are no longer encumbered by DRM and are playable by a lot of open source software, meaning conversions are possible

So, there really is no reason I can’t just jump on the iTunes bandwagon and enjoy the benefits of iCloud.

Yet another site change

2010/02/18 00:21:16
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I’ve been spending the last few days updating this site to something more useful, or so I hope.

I have a desire to share what little I learn from day to day, yet I don’t have an interest in maintaining a lively conversation about it.  I like writing articles, but not blog posts so much.  I also needed a place to point folks to when they asked for a resume or anything about me.

For years, I maintained multiple web sites, and  The org site was for my personal endeavors and the com site was to be more professional.

Now Facebook takes care of my personal needs and I can focus on just keeping this site up to date with articles and the occasional blog post.  My hope is to have a place I can point to for my writing should prospective employers, colleagues, and others want to see what I can do.

Life is returning to normal?

2007/07/10 14:25:00
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Where’s the fun in normal?

I’m home sick today. Another doctor’s visit. If anyone wants to know, I’ll email you with what’s up. Thank you all for your support during this painful time.

The ladyfriend and I went to Baltimore where we checked out the aquarium. Pics are here. You should check them out. I’m getting better.

I’m not going to make it to Otakon this year. She’s taking me to a Dave Matthews concert and I don’t know if I can afford this much traveling. Sorry folks.

On the home front, Koneko has moved out. I’m sad now. She’s not around. Even though she didn’t do much with me while she was here, at least the company was nice. I’ve got the freedom to cook naked (like Joey on Friends), but I can’t help but want to bug someone occasionally. The cats are only marginally interesting.

I’m glad I’ve got a new friend to bring over and bug. B)

On the other hand, I can finally get down to business with some things I want to do to the house with impunity. Also, it’s nice to be able to browse porn^W^W enjoy some alone time.

Next week is CISSP training. The test promises to be quite difficult and I’m not sure if I’m up for this, but we’ll give it a shot. I should really review the books before the class!

Speaking of books, I’m still making my way through my Ruby on Rails book. Eventually my plan is to redo this entire site in rails, giving me the control I want. I have to say, though, b2evolution and gallery have been meeting my needs quite nicely.

I haven’t talked to Sigje lately and think I should give her an email/call/etc.

Oh, and the solution for Spamassassin didn’t work. I’ve put the following into my file:


Wish me luck. Hopefully this will force it to just accept anything from itself without checking it. The fact that SPAM URLs were in the log emails was tripping it, but then again, these SPAM URLs are what the log emails are reporting. Sheesh. This wasn’t an issue on the previous version of CentOS.

I really miss my girlfriend. I really need to ask her what name to give her on the blog. I could pick, but I don’t want to be mean.