Monday 28 September 2009

Most remarkable inventions of the human species

Indeed, I should have been taking a shower now so I could do my reading afterward, but given my mental status (i.e. stressed, angry et. al.), I decided to catch up a bit with all the Reader posts that piled up.

So, I came across xckd's post The Search, more specifically its tooltip.

So, here we are to the [rather funny] objective of this post, i.e. a Liviu index of the human species' most important discoveries/inventions (I have first written it as a funny comment on my shared items on Google Reader).

First, discovery/invention of the cat flap (by Sir Isaac Newton). I admit, it's taken from Hitchhiker's Guide, since it's brilliant. Go ahead, laugh!

Second, Sir Isaac Newton's (yes, he got second place too) Law of Universal Gravitation, so he could have a good explanation to present to his wife for his head getting hit all too often when standing under an apple tree. (It's gravity, for God's sake, and even God cannot do anything about it.)
Update (Sep, 30th): since Sir Isaac Newton did not have a wife (see the first comment, thank you for pointing that detail that I missed) and Wikipedia concurs it, I must rephrase my theory: he developed the Law in order to have a good explanation to present to his lovers or mistresses. Now, since he didn't actually have a wife, the theory was either too bad for women to believe it, or too good and kept him both popular and trouble-free. (There's also the possibility he did not have any interest whatsoever in women, but that would prove boring to develop comments on.)

Third, Einstein's general theory of relativity, to prove, in part, to his wife that every time he had been late (just as I used to be many times) he has in fact arrived sooner. (One may find entertaining the relativity priority dispute, especially considering his wife was very smart also.)

Fourth, e-mail, so students can submit their assignments (homework) without having to come to school, therefore longer time intervals could be dedicated to even more assignments, improving both levels of education and stress.

Fifth, my favorite trio: electricity, computers and Internet - so everyone could have access to [and waste their short life with] unlimited knowledge and entertainment.
Knowledge implies studying/learning, and, since it gives quite nice headaches, most humans have learned to avoid it.
Entertainment implies the instant messaging services (text and/or audio and/or video), piracy (software, entertainment TV programs, movies, songs etc.), pornography (which is a feature of Internet, not a bug, as most think), DOS (and DDOS) attacks, e-commerce for those too shy to talk to the pretty/handsome shop assistant etc.

Sixth, running water, both cold and (especially) warm, so everyone has what to wash with their cats once they enter the house through the flap door, and the shower (for humans), which I should have been taking about 1.5 hours now, which means I'm behind my already stressed schedule, making me even more stressed.

Seventh, file sharing networks, which have helped faster development in less developed countries, on the expense of the more developed countries. Ok, piracy is the main issue here, it may be bad, but helped a lot. Thank you! This comment was for real, no kidding included!

I certainly hope I made you laugh a bit or a bit more. Life ain't perfect, so try enjoying the stress!

See you next time with some more technical and boring posts!

Thursday 17 September 2009

BGP: security threats etc. and a bit of Google

While doing intensive reading on Tuesday (yes, school got me again growing some more white hair), I stumbled upon this quite interesting article Analysis of BGP prefix origins during Google's May 2005 outage (full text available from Carleton). One might be interested, I don't know. Or one might just read it and say to himself/herself: well, that was a funny reason.