Chris' Tumblr

Sep 26

I picked the wrong week to quit banging my head on my desk

Sep 24

CryptoWall

My office was hit by the CryptoWall virus yesterday afternoon.

Here’s a description:

When you are first infected with CryptoWall it will scan your computer for data files and “encrypt” them using RSA encryption so they are no longer able to be opened. Once the infection has encrypted the files on your computer drives it will open a Notepad window that contains instructions on how to access the CryptoWall Decryption Service where you can pay a ransom to purchase a decryption program. The ransom cost starts at $500 USD and after 5 days goes up to $750 with the cost increasing again after another 24 hours to a maximum ransom of $1,500 USD. This ransom must be paid in Bitcoins and sent to a Bitcoin address that changes per infected user.

An employee (not me) opened up an infected email attachment that launched the virus that encrypted the files on his computer and then started encrypting files on our server.

The employee didn’t realize his computer had been infected, and so the virus only stopped encrypting files when he turned off his computer to go home. It wasn’t until this morning that anyone realized what had happened.

Many areas of our server had sufficient security measures that prevented the virus from encrypting files in those locations; however, the virus still managed to encrypt about 16,000 files, from what I’m told.

We have yesterday’s noon backup files that we can restore from, which would mean we would lose any work done on those files from that point on. I’m told, though, that management is considering paying the ransom in order to not lose that afternoon’s work, and because restoring all those files will take considerable time. But from what I’ve read about the CryptoWall Decryption Service, decrypting all those files takes significant time, too, so I think the latter point isn’t really valid. Plus I don’t like the idea of paying ransom.

Be careful about what email attachments you open.

Sep 17

My coworker has yet to apologize for calling me “just plain ignorant” in a fantasy football email to 10 other coworkers..
Maybe that’s because he has nothing to apologize for. Maybe I am “just plain ignorant”. I guess if I am, I really wouldn’t know about it because I’d be too ignorant to realize it.
So to help me remind myself of my level of mental acuity, I’ve changed my team name, avatar, and slogan to my reflect my newly acknowledged state.

My coworker has yet to apologize for calling me “just plain ignorant” in a fantasy football email to 10 other coworkers..

Maybe that’s because he has nothing to apologize for. Maybe I am “just plain ignorant”. I guess if I am, I really wouldn’t know about it because I’d be too ignorant to realize it.

So to help me remind myself of my level of mental acuity, I’ve changed my team name, avatar, and slogan to my reflect my newly acknowledged state.

Sep 15

This is not a fantasy football post

Because this post discusses fantasy football, but does not discuss my fantasy football team, and is not about fantasy football, I shall risk the wrath of tumblrites and proceed.

For the past nine years, some of my coworkers and I have participated in a fantasy football league on Yahoo. Its always been very casual; something to talk about on Mondays, but not take too seriously. As evidence, I point to the fact that there are typically only one or two trades made in the league over an entire season.

It appears that at least one person has been approaching the league much more seriously than everyone else.

One of the things that I never liked about fantasy football was that on game days, as injuries occurred, people who were paying attention to all the NFL games could jump over to the free agent list and add newly coveted players to their benches. This system heavily favored people who could react quickly to these developments.

I just found out that there is a setting that can put all free agents on waivers each week from the start of their game through the end of the day Tuesday. This system gives everyone an equal chance to evaluate injuries and decide whether to put in a waiver claim between Sunday and Tuesday. My coworker who acts as the commissioner was not aware of this setting either, but immediately saw that it was fairer to everyone and sent out an email that he wanted to implement this change immediately.

One guy did not like this. He came over to the commissioner and ranted for a while with some mostly-nonsensical arguments about why we shouldn’t change. Then he sent out an email to everyone explaining, again nonsensically, that because he missed out on a free agent he wanted after Week 1, the league shouldn’t implement this new rule following Week 2. I replied to the email questioning why the fact that he didn’t benefit from this rule in Week 1 meant that we shouldn’t use it for the rest of the season, and that I thought that the old system favored people who could watch football all day on Sunday, and that the new system was fair to everyone.

He responded with a very ranty email to everyone that included a paragraph calling me ignorant and that if I couldn’t follow the NFL closely enough to act on injuries then I shouldn’t be playing fantasy football.

I replied that I took exception to him calling me ignorant, and that he had degenerated a civil discussion in a workplace environment to something akin to an anonymous internet message board post, and that this was just fantasy football we were talking about. He ignored that and sent out an email that since it appeared that everyone else liked the new rule he was withdrawing his objections. I guess that was his version an apology?

I don’t know this guy very well. He’s probably in his late 20s, and been with the company maybe 4 or 5 years. I can’t say that I’ve ever had any kind of extended conversation with him. Though I’m much more senior than him, he’s not in my group and I have no direct authority over him. Still, I don’t understand what would possess someone to respond that way. It was near the end of the day when that all went down, and I didn’t see him between the emails and when I left. I guess I’ll wait to see if he says anything if I see him tomorrow (I usually see him in passing).

Sep 13

Sunday night was quiet in town. Except for Goose, who was in the bag quite early that evening.

Sunday night was quiet in town. Except for Goose, who was in the bag quite early that evening.

Sep 09

Angry Mom Shreds Common Core By Writing This On Her Son's Test - Top Right News -

coyotesqrl:

abundanceofcalm:

My life every night during the school year - and my kid is a great math student.

I’ve posted on it before and I’ll do so again now…

I’m sure that this Angry Mom - who holds a BS in EE - wouldn’t trust someone with a PhD in elementary education to analyze a circuit, but she feels perfectly justified in analyzing the way math is taught. Because getting an undergraduate degree in applied engineering is so very, very similar to devising modalities of teaching. In fact, hell…she should take that undergraduate degree and walk into a hospital and demand to be hired into a surgical residency because I’m sure it applies there as well. And Italian…she should explain to the simpletons in high schools teaching foreign language how to do that as well.

I recognize that parents are frustrated that they can’t help their children with their homework. That sucks, truly. It sucked in the ’70s as well, when parents complained about New Math and how it wasn’t what they learned and what they learned was so much more correct than all this silly Set nonsense.

Of course, as Set theory is one of the building blocks for computer science and everything our modern economy is built upon, you’ll excuse me if I’m not all teary eyed that my parents and your parents weren’t successful in showing those uppity teachers that their newfangled ideas were stupid. (Much in the same way I despise my parents’ and their cohort for fucking up our transition to the Metric system.)

Common Core math, especially at this level, is quite simple to understand. This question, in isolation, makes no sense because the context in which the algorithm for subtraction is explained is missing. Yep. It’s hard to say how an implementation of an algorithm has gone wrong if you don’t know what right looks like.

But I’m sure Angry Mom can explain the algorithm for her subtraction method, right? I mean, she can break it down into steps that are easily written down? That pesky “carry-over” issue is easy to document, right?

I agree with Richard here. The issue is not the complexity of the problem. The actual math solution is simple as long as the student has been adequately taught to use the number line as a problem solving tool.

One issue is whether the students have been adequately taught to use the tool. Have they? I don’t know. I’m not in the classroom. But I’ve read elsewhere that teachers may not be receiving adequate training in order to properly teach students how to use the new tools.

Another issue is that parents certainly haven’t been taught to use the new tools. I myself have a fancy schmancy engineering degree and have on occasion been befuddled by a problem on my son’s math homework. I sometimes must make him first teach me the methods he’s been learning in class in order for me to be able to help him on a specific problem. I think because of my background this approach has worked out well for me; I can see how it may not work for other parents. It certainly doesn’t help that (for my son’s school, anyway) the schools do not send the children home with textbooks that instruct on the new methods; they just come home with homework sheets. The schools aren’t giving the parents any resources to help their children.

image

donthenerd replied to your post:Yet Another Chris
I was once one of four Dons in an office of 20 people. Anyway, they’re dead.

This is an alternate strategy I hadn’t considered.

Sep 08

Yet Another Chris

A new employee started today. Another Chris. Five out of 45 people (11%) in this office are now named Chris.

In order to minimize the potential for misunderstandings*, I’ve proposed a rule that only the longest-tenured Chris** may be referred to as “Chris”. All other persons named Chris must be referred to in conversation by a pseudonym. Pseudonyms may consist of ‘Chris’ in combination with the person’s surname or initial (e.g. Chris Brown, Chris B.), as long as the surname or initial does not duplicate that of the longest-tenured Chris. Pseudonyms may also consist of ‘Chris’ and a descriptive modifier (e.g. Hairy Chris, Stinky Chris, Bronie Chris). Pseudonyms may NOT consist of ‘Chris’ followed by a numerical identifier (e.g. Chris #2, Chris #3) because of the potential for virulent flashbacks of Mr. Flangheddy’s 11th grade English class. Finally, pseudonyms which do not contain ‘Chris’ may be used, provided that they are not similar to other employees’ names (e.g. Blue Ivy, Apple, Amarok of the Fire Elves).

Actually, now that I’ve thought a little more about it, I might be willing to go by a pseudonym.

*Think Three’s Company minus the sexual innuendos***.

**Me.

***I hope.

Outrage

There’s a huge flare-up today over the video just leaked to TMZ showing Ray Rice punching his then-fiancée Janay Palmer in the face in an elevator and knocking her unconscious. People are calling for Ray Rice to be released, calling out the Ravens for glossing over the incident and victim-shaming, calling for Roger Goodell to come clean over whether he had seen this video before suspending Rice for a ridiculously-low two games.

Why?

Everyone has known since the incident occurred in February that Ray Rice hit Janay Palmer in the face so hard that he knocked her unconscious. Video of Rice dragging the unconscious Palmer out of the elevator was leaked to TMZ and seen by all back in February. And sure, people were upset then, but I don’t recall the outrage being up today’s fervor.

The video doesn’t show anything counter to what people have known about the case. Rice’s hand is a blur as he throw’s a punch and Palmer falls to the ground. Yes, it’s outrageous that he did this, but it was outrageous back in February, and it was outrageous that the Ravens glossed it over and victim-shamed Palmer, and it was outrageous that the NFL handed down only a two-game suspension. That was all outrageous based on the fact that we all knew what happened.

To my knowledge, no one has ever claimed that the incident went down differently than shown in today’s video.

So why did it take actually seeing the punch to get people outraged?

Sep 06

You can keep your new car smell

Give me the smell of extinguisher chemicals on a grease fire any time.

Followed up with a chaser of oven cleaner smell.

mmmmmmm…heaven

Sep 05

sometimesawitch replied to your post:That thing where you have a common name and have…
how do you know it wasn’t me being stealthy?

Areola diameter.

That thing where you have a common name and have it as your email address and always get emails intended for other people with the same name and it’s annoying as hell and then one woman thinks you’re her significant other and emails you a photo of her boobs and then you don’t remember why you were so angry about having a common name as your email address.

Sep 04

In Stockholm, Sweden, the central telephone exchange was the Telefontornet, a giant tower designed around 1890 that connected some 5,000 lines which sprawled in every direction across the city. Just by looking at historical photos it’s easy to recognize the absurdity and danger of the whole endeavor, especially during the winter months. Everything that could possibly go wrong did. From high winds to ice storms and fires, the network was extremely vulnerable to the elements. Luckily, phone networks evolved so rapidly that by 1913 the Telefontornet was completely decommissioned in favor of much simpler technology. The remaining shell stood as a landmark until it too caught fire in 1953 and was torn down.
(via A 19th Century Telephone Network Covered Stockholm in Thousands of Phone Lines | Colossal)
It must have been just like having a giant shade tree.

In Stockholm, Sweden, the central telephone exchange was the Telefontornet, a giant tower designed around 1890 that connected some 5,000 lines which sprawled in every direction across the city. Just by looking at historical photos it’s easy to recognize the absurdity and danger of the whole endeavor, especially during the winter months. Everything that could possibly go wrong did. From high winds to ice storms and fires, the network was extremely vulnerable to the elements. Luckily, phone networks evolved so rapidly that by 1913 the Telefontornet was completely decommissioned in favor of much simpler technology. The remaining shell stood as a landmark until it too caught fire in 1953 and was torn down.

(via A 19th Century Telephone Network Covered Stockholm in Thousands of Phone Lines | Colossal)

It must have been just like having a giant shade tree.

Sep 03

[video]

Sep 02

Brian found out that there’s something called a Fire Phone. He has no idea what it is, but he desperately wants one.

So that makes, what, six people?