Divide by Null - undefined

Infinitesimals

Voicemail has its uses, for example, when one won't be able to pick up the phone for awhile, but needs to relay a message immediately, or when other forms of communication are not possible, i.e. e-mail or texting is inconvenient or irrelevant.

However, I still usually end up ignoring it, thus rendering most of the pros as moot.

(1) Oct 10, 08 - 11:18 AM

On the subject of high school friends, just because you're different, doesn't mean you can't be friends.

(0) Jun 17, 07 - 11:41 PM

Pi is wrong.

Well, actually, maybe it would just be better to use what is currently known as 2*pi. I've always thought it would be easier if sine and cosine had periods that were just pi, not 2pi.

So should pi be 6.283185...? Should pi be the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its radius, instead of diameter? If so, it would take about 50 years for this to gain any momentum in the mathematical community.

(0) Apr 20, 07 - 1:07 AM

On Procrastination

Monday, September 25, 2006 | 1:25:00 AM
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So. Everyone knows that procrastination is bad. At least in the long run. "Hard work pays off later, but procrastination pays off now", or something to that effect.

But anyway, right now I have homework to do. Namely, I need to read and write entries about the book Wuthering Heights. I had other homework to do, and I completed that first, but still at a slow pace. I had been far too distracted by the internet. And now, it's 10:00 and I have over 150 pages to read. It's not a small book with large print, either.

And still, I am avoiding doing the work by writing this entry.

I realize that this is something I will need to get over. I have made some progress, in fact; however, it is often lost after a few days.

I did my other work. That interested me more. Enough to make me at least start it. This, however, I have yet to even read a word. I only opened the book to see how many pages I needed to read. That was only for the purpose of this entry.

And so I am ranting instead of working. Illogical, yes. A confusion of priorities, sure. But does it bother me? Well... somewhat. I realize that I need to get to work on this. All I need to do is pick up the book and read a sentence (and turn of the monitor of the computer). Starting it is the hardest part.

I'm sure I could slither by and not put forth a full effort, but that would simply make it harder for me the next week, compounding the work I need to do on this book. Plus, next week is a cutoff, as we will have finished the period and need to turn in our work.

And so, procrastination bites us in the end. The far and and the near end. Because of procrastination, I'm losing sleep tonight (or not, as I may have stayed up late anyway). And then, I'll be losing sleep next week (definitely working to get it done due to the incoming deadline).

Why do people procrastinate when they know that it will just cause problems? By this stage of development, people are able to understand that their actions have consequences. Regardless, they continue to do the actions that will have negative consequences.

"If you have to, you might as well want to."

But too bad I don't even pretend I want to do this work.

Well, I might as well get started now. (Riight. Like that'll happen.)

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Thoughts from a Sentimental Senior

Wednesday, July 5, 2006 | 4:43:05 AM
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Something about late nights must make me ponder about life.

I am a senior. I have a year of school left before this era of my life is over. How time flies. Wasn't I just a freshman?

I don't want the good times to stop. I know that I have to move on. I realize that the future is full of great times, too. But still, I can't deny the great moments spent in high school.

Next year is the last year. I want to make the most of it. Carpe Diem! Take chances and go forth! This summer has so far felt... different. I believe it to preclude a change in school life next year. But will this be so simple?

Change is constant, but likewise, always resisted. Some people will always try to stop change. This year is going to be different, but definitely not without its problems.

Thing that I may have regretted not doing in the past, I will try to go after. Will this new approach to life be well-received by others? Who knows? Will it be better for me? Who knows? I feel somewhat obligated, however, to do what I can to make sure that this last year in high school is the best possible.

Thinking back to 9th grade, so much has changed. I was more of a reserved introvert, held by self-restraint, unwanting of the unknown. Now I am embracing it, seeing it as a chance for revitalization. In the course of 3 years, 75% of high school completed, the metamorphosis is almost complete.

There is one more year left before I will be pushed out into the real world, before all the others will be getting jobs, serving in the military, studing in universities, living a much different life than now. Scary, yet exciting.

I can't wait for college. Not that I'm not sad to leave high school, but I understand that I must move on and tackle this new challenge.

It's all been leading up to this point. Every action, thought, idea, instruction, and interaction has made me into this person. Everything since I was born has had some effect that eventually led up to this. Now I can take control and push forward. I will gain momentum and not grow weak. The past is good to remember, but I must not lose grasp of the present and not lose sight of the future.

It's about halfway into the break and thus it's enough winding down. Time to start accelerating to prepare for 12th grade.

Here I come, June 15, 2007!

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White hat, black hat, and ethics

Sunday, June 25, 2006 | 4:44:31 PM
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It seems that one person who tried to help reveal a security flaw to a large university was reprimanded for his actions. In turn, the university did nothing to correct the problem. A few years later, a few people with malicious intent discovered the same flaw and exploited it, extracting personal information (including SSNs) from over 367,000 files.

Those who accidentally encounter a security flaw are recommended to keep quiet about it.

Thus it becomes a question of personal or public safety. If one alerts the company, they may either thank them and fix it, punish them and fix it, or punish them and ignore it. If you keep quiet, you would be aiding the crime a la criminal negligence. Then again, no one would know.

This is definitely not the first time something like this has happened. It's all about ethics, pride, and suspicion. Telling them the flaw is ethical. You'd be helping them and potentially save them from problems in the future. If they have too much pride, they will disregard it and deny having any problem at all. Then, they may also be suspicious, thinking that the white-hat hacker has more to hide and has previously exploited the vulnerability.

Some companies actually employ people to hack into their system to uncover vulnerabilities so that the IT department can fix them. The difference here is that they were given permission.

Let's shift it to me. I know how to crack some Masterlocks. I haven't caused any serious problems aside from switching locks and such, merely in jest. I have not gone in to steal someone's personal items. I have the knowledge, but I don't abuse it. I haven't told anyone how I do it either. I merely point them to the internet, as that's how I found out. I have actually helped people by cracking locks that have found its way to the wrong locker or whose combination has been long forgotten.

The problem is, can we trust people to use such information only for good? Or rather, that they haven't already used it for evil?

And to companies who have been shown a security flaw and ignored it... what's wrong with you!? It's like leaving a time bomb in your office and hoping it won't explode (or say... a levee in New Orleans?). The effort to fix the problem before it's compromised might be time-consuming and tedious, but it's nothing in comparison to the effort required after it gets out of hand. Hey, some people like to gamble, I guess.

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