Chris often cites this xkcd cartoon in security talks, since it's a) funny and b) a good example of SQL Injection.
I was curious to see what sorts of shenanigans one can get away with in a legal name. I'm still waiting to hear back from the NYC agency that issues birth certificates but here's what the US Social Security Agency told me:
The maximum number of characters to be shown on the Social Security number (SSN) card for the first and middle name is 26; the maximum number of characters for the last name is 26. Full names will not be reduced to initials unless the combination of first and middle names exceeds 26 characters. The only acceptable characters are alphas, hyphens, and apostrophes. The SSN card will be printed as entered into the enumeration system, but the SSN record will not display the hyphens/apostrophes.
So with hyphens and apostrophes you might be able to get away with a little syntax error mischief, I suppose.
I had never heard of Haskell Curry before I read the preface to SICP just now, but it occurs to me that his distinction of having each of his names (first and last) turned into a term used in the discipline he studied (Haskell the programming language and Curry the operation) is sort of like how Glenn Seaborg, working at LBL, could have a letter addressed to him using element names (seaborgium / lawrencium berkelium / californium / americium.)
Who else can you think of that falls into this admittedly fuzzy-edged bucket?
I would say something like "Of course, this entire exercise is just for fun and in practice is totally useless," but whenever I start out thinking that something actually productive eventually emerges. So perhaps this is totally useless, perhaps not!
Everybody seems to want to play poker these days. I have been wondering what has caused this explosion in the past few years. There's a feedback loop between movies, all of the poker TV shows, and individual interest in the game, I suppose, but what got that loop going?
Poker became television fodder when the toy mogul Henry Orenstein invented a camera technology that allowed viewers to see a poker player's cards through a window in the table. Mr. Orenstein is the creator and executive producer of "Poker Superstars."
"Before, you never knew who had what cards," he said in a telephone interview. "Now you can actually see the strategy in the middle of the game."
It was the Internet, however, that changed the odds in big-money tournaments. Last year an Internet player named Christopher Moneymaker - his actual name, by the way - won the World Series of Poker and $2.5 million. He had never played in a live tournament in his life ... There are no faces in Web card rooms, only players and lots of them. Last year ... Internet gambling revenue totaled almost $6.35 billion.
Manypiles of information on the Internet have been compiled by loosely affiliated interested amateurs.
There are great advantages to this method, in particular harnessing the complementary knowledge, motivation, and energy of lots of different people.
But there are drawbacks, too: concerns about the accuracy and completeness of the information and the timeliness with which it gathered.
What kind of research (formally or informally) has been done to analyze different approaches in this area? Are there "best practices" for how people are admitted to the editor community, oversight and approval of contributed data, etc.?
Apparently, customer service is shoddy or nonexistent nowadays. When I make calls to straighten out a bill or other problem, I try to keep notes about when I called, to whom I talked, and what we talked about.
It would be even handier if I could have an automatic library of recorded phone calls. And the automaticness of the library creation could be even easier on a mobile phone than on a regular land line, since "mobile phone" is just shorthand for "tiny computer that has many features, one of which is to let you talk to other people with it."
Here's how my ideal setup would work:
- when you make a call on your mobile phone that you want to record, you press some button on the phone to activate recording. This can happen as you're starting the call or during the call
- the phone records by streaming the digitized audio of the call to a (web) server set up somewhere running some software to accept the digitized audio
- the outgoing stream from the phone is timestamped and annotated with the phone number (and other info, if available) of the other end of the call
- the phone automatically handles any legal or regulatory requirements (on a state-by-state or country-by-country basis) such as announcing that the call is being recorded or generating a periodic beep.
- the server that stores the streamed recordings lets you browse, sort, and annotate them. That way, on a future phone call with whatever soulless corporation refuses to refund the $2.96 they owe you, you can easily make reference to previous calls
- the server that stores the streamed recordings (and your phone) also work together to let you play back previous calls (or sections of previous calls) into a new call. So when the rep from the aforementioned soulless corp. says that surely there was no way that Charlie told you on your last call that you are not allowed to speak to a supervisor because it is their policy that anyone can talk to a supervisor whenever they want, you can play back the bit about Charlie telling you to stuff it.
Does this exist already for any mobile phones? If not, can it be built? If not, why not?
I am a very low volume faxer/scanner. Here's my ideal fax machine/scanner: a cylinder (or prism) about 9 inches long, 1/2 inch high, and 1/2 inch deep. There's an 8 1/2 inch slot through the middle of it.
When I need to scan, I pull out the retractable USB cable, plug it into my computer, and feed a piece of paper through the slot. (Plugging in the cable or pushing a piece of paper into the slot should wake the device up.)
When I need to fax, I do the same thing, but instead of the USB cable, I pull out the retractable RJ-11 phone cord and plug it into an outlet and punch the phone number in on a tiny keypad on the top of it. The buttons could even be laid out in a row, instead of in a grid.
I'd like this to be powered from the USB cable and the phone line, but if that's not enough power, I suppose I could deal with rechargeable batteries.
I'd even settle for a scan-only mode, since then I could use some eFax or tpc.int-style service to send my faxes.