22 October 2007

Two quick joyntz

  1. I depart early tomorrow AM for two weeks in North America (San Diego - Baja - Boston), so if you're in one of those zones, give me a buzz!

  2. Today I officially accepted a one year job at Cambridge University, so the UK is stuck with me for one more year (now I just have to submit my thesis...)

15 October 2007


Mahim, Jules and I were out on the town on Friday night, and while heading from pub C to pub D we stopped in a Quik-e-mart to get a couple of redbulls and a snack we noticed pumpkins on sale. Jules started asking me what the hell I was going to do with a pumpkin in a pub so I noticed a bike with a quick-release seat, popped it off and jammed the pumpkin onto the post (see left).

Even more amusing was the look on the girl's face standing next to her (by then reassembled) bike yelling at her friend with the pumpkin launched 20 metres down the side street.

07 October 2007

<i>Under the Blacklight</i>

I recently purchased Rilo Kiley's newest album, Under the Blacklight. After members of the band took some time off to pursue extracurricular projects, the gang is back with another great disc. The album is solid throughout, and features some stuff (e.g. "Silver Lining") reminiscent of Jenny Lewis's solo album, Rabbit Furcoat. It also has some excellent departures from their tried and true style, like "Breaking Up" and "15" (my personal favourite).

Highly recommended.

04 October 2007

Security by idiots

Oxford has set up an online registration system, which requires a username/password separate from any of my existing usernames (one is college-specific, the other two are department-specific). Fine, whatever. But what are the constraints on password choice?

  1. At least eight characters - totally standard.

  2. Letters and numbers, but no special characters - OK, this isn't the end of the world, but definitely limits my password to being less secure.

  3. Case insensitive - OK, this is just insane. You've nearly halved the total space of password characters. Combined with (2) this reduces the complexity of an 8 character password by two orders of magnitude.

  4. No repeating characters - A classic example of something that sounds good, but in fact accomplishes the exact opposite of the goal. Strings which are purged of repeating characters are inherently less random than what would occur by chance. This is once again crippling the strength of the password, as well as forcing people to avoid certain strings that might be more memorable to them.

Oxford IS gets a D plus.