Who IS this guy?

As an update on my recent post, apparently this Australian cleric is no stranger to contentious remarks - I found this article here as a follow up ... very strange (Oh, and forget what I said earlier about coherent arguments - this guy seems like a Muslim Fred Phelps - and he's Australia's most senior cleric ... oh my)


One more random post

Well, I figure since this has been my most prolific blogging day in a while, I may as well cap it off with one final post - I have invented a word - it is convoluted and glorious. The word is "pok" It comes from the phrase "Piece of Crap", acronymized to "POC", and phonetisized. It is a great and glorious word, and is useful in sentences like "My Aliant DSL modem is an annoying pok!" - Please remember, use, and spread the gloriousness of pok. Thank you very much, and good night.

Editors note: Oops, forgot pronunciation - pok rhymes with dock, sock, block, clock, ect. I did not put in the "c" because pok is NOT a "four letter word" and is perfectly acceptable to say in front of your grandmother (if she reads this blog and understands it :-) )

They are coming ....

The little Norwalk bugs are coming for us all - FEAR! One of our own UNB students has contracted the Norwalk virus and since recovered, and the University has sent out three health bulletins in the last week. On the one hand, it seems like an extreme response ... on the other, I really don't want Norwalk ... sounds most unpleasant.

Why "Computer Science" is a Misnomer

Ok, this is just a pet peeve of mine, but the terms "computer scientist" and "computer science" seem like misnomers ("computer scientist" especially, has struck me as odd since the first time I heard it). Computer Science implies the study of computers, as political science is the study of politics, social science is the study of society, ect. However, I would argue, that, though you do need to know about computers to study computer science, the computer itself is not the focus. If you are focusing on the computer itself it becomes computer engineering. Computer science, by contrast, is USING computers to solve problems, which are usually in other fields. The computer is merely a tool. (This position comes from my overview of CS textbook (Invitation to Computer Science: Java Version (3rd edition) by Schneider & Gersting)). Calling the field "computer science" then becomes like calling carpentry "hammer science". So - another term for computer science ... I would suggest "computer logic" except "logic" means something different in a computer sense ... "computer analytics" perhaps ... something else? I mean, perhaps this is just personal bias, but I always thought that computer science was closer to math than science anyway, so one would expect the name to reflect this mathematical nature - the computer as a tool can be used in many different disciplines, (science, yes, but also business, the arts, the social sciences, ect.) very similar to the tool of mathematics.

No Comment ... well, maybe

Came across this online - thought it interesting enough to pass on ... Australia just seems like an atypical location for a Muslim cleric to be saying insensitive things. His (amended) argument seems coherent (I said coherent not correct), but he picked an extremely poor analogy.

Senior Muslim cleric in Australia has apologised for his comment that Muslim women who did not wear the hijab headdress looked like "uncovered meat" and were inviting sexual assault.

Sheikh Taj El-Din Hamid Hilaly said he had only intended to protect women's honour and that comments had been taken out of context in a report in The Australian newspaper.

The Australian quoted Hilali as saying: "If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden, or in the park, or in the backyard without cover, and the cats come to eat it ... whose fault is it, the cats' or the uncovered meat's?"

"If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred," he said in a sermon last month to mark the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, referring to the headdress worn by some Muslim women.

However, the comment has caused an uproar in Muslim communities worldwide.

Leading Muslim women had called the comments repulsive.


Microsoft vs. Security Vendors

So, apparently Microsoft's controversial PatchGuard technology, which is to be included in the 64-bit edition of Vista, doesn't even guard the kernel against unauthorized access. One security company, Authentium, has released news that they have hacked through the system to maintain their kernel access, rather than wait for Microsoft to release its API's to security vendors. I support Microsoft on the issue of PatchGuard - anything that makes Windows more secure is a good thing, and the security vendors shouldn't be complaining if PatchGuard will work - they exist only to fill gaps in Microsoft's security - in a perfect world, extra security would be unnecessary. For one, if Microsoft has to include these extra API's to provide kernel access to the legitimate vendors, how long will it take the hackers to get their hands on it? You just can't lock that type of information up, and say "this can only be used for good". The extra attack surface to the kernel is not a good thing ... still, it appears that PatchGuard is ineffective anyway, so we'll still need external vendors to fix Windows' security features even ... brilliant ...


Nice to see this is getting attention

Hmm ... UNB made the news again, this time for not having an accessible campus - its true - I am lucky enough not to be disabled, but I wouldn't be attending UNB if I was. There is a young man in a wheelchair in one of my classes, and he's perpetually late, likely because he probably has to go halfway around campus to find a route that uses ramps, not stairs, to get up the hill. There are large numbers of rooms that simply cannot be reached without using stairs, and many other places where one would have to go far out of their way to find a path without stairs. I would agree with the writers of the CBC article that the university could, and should, be doing more to make the campus accessible.


How on earth did that get there?

Wow - piece of weird news of the day - there have been a couple recent (admittedly small scale - look here and here) instances of brand new mp3 players selling pre-loaded with, not new music, but viruses. How do you get a virus on a mp3 player straight from the factory? Is there an inside man or something in the factories loading this thing for the fun of it - how would it happen? If anyone has any ideas I'd be glad to hear them.