The Sound of Pi


Or the first 1000th digits anyway. Assign a number to each note and play the digits of Pi. No pattern, but beautiful anyway. This reminds me of when I was at the University of Michigan. Some of us will play a game in which one person would write the beginning of sequence of numbers, at least 5, and then that person would write each subsequent number every day for two weeks or so. If someone discovered the pattern they would write the number for the day first and then say how he/she got it. If no one could guess the pattern, the poster would win. I once won using the technique of assigning a number to each key in the Piano and then writing Beethoven's 9th Symphony in numbers. I think we stop playing shortly after that.


Either I'm too dense or you have it backwards...

A couple of days ago, Apple's Ex Chief Financial Officer, Fred Anderson, release a statement accusing Steve Jobs of guilt in the Stock options backdating scandal. Anderson says: "Fred relied on these statements by Mr. Jobs and from them concluded the grant was being properly handled." I thought about it and considered the fact that Fred Anderson had to settle with SEC, but Steve Jobs hasn't and I'm moved to ask: Is Mr. Anderson justified in relying in his CEO statements on a financial matter? Shouldn't that be the other way around? Is Steve Jobs so domineering as to do Mr. Anderson's work for him? And Mr. Anderson accepted that? The sad thing is that I held Mr. Anderson in high regard, I always thought he did a lot to put Apple's house in order, now, it seems, he did little more than sitting down while Steve did the job for him. Would we discover the same with other people at Apple? Could it be true that Avie Tevanian is not a brilliant manager of programmers but just a lazy bun who left Steve Jobs manage the whole Mac OS X Project? A one man company. That must be the reason behind the quality problems some people have suffered lately. Why, between building the iPhone, developing Leopard (that's why it's delayed people! ), managing the financial, operational and every single detail at Apple (he probably even does the Tech support himself! ), not to mention sitting on Disney's board and doing the CEO stuff both at Apple and at Pixar, it is reasonable that Steve Jobs was less than thorough while assembling a few Macs in the middle of the night.


An easy 500 quid?

Cristina sends word of a 500£ contest from the UK Royal Chemistry Society. They have put forward two problems presumably common in china but impossible to conceive in the UK. The problems are similar to what you find in Math Olympiads, so I don't think they are that hard. It is curious that they realized that students in the UK are more creative, but still worry about the lack of chinese math training. Yes, those problems foment abilities to solve problems (duh! ), but they do not imply an ability to do math. They only show the students are taught techniques to solve those problems.


My Family Never Understood...

That when my teachers used to say that I had a lot of promise, what they meant is that I was always promising to behave better, to do my homework next time, to stop talking in class, etc. etc.


Justice isn't just blind...

it's also retarded.


Mac Hacked or Publicity Stun?

The news that a Mac was hacked in a contest has made the rounds with the usual suspects taking their usual positions. I've been asked about it, though I would've prefer not to. Here is my answer:

As with a lot of security vulnerabilities (Windows or Mac) there is a lot to be explained and the fact that they don't explain it makes the whole thing suspect. First, was the hack done remotely? within the Network? or sitting down in the computer? The difference is important. I think we all agree that any machine (Mac, Windows, Whatever) can be pwned if someone knowledgeable gets physical control of it for a enough time. So, how was the URL inputted? Second, what exactly did they do after getting control of the machine? Did they got files? with what level of protection? Did they ran apps? with what level of privilege, root? Nothing short of full disclosure is reasonable for research. For security research even more so.


The Missing Manual

The Missing Penis Manual, that is.
WARNING!
Using your privates for anything other than their intended purpose voids all warranties, written or implied.



An update on a classic...



RMS sings Guantanamero, You can get the ogg file here.


Venezuela Celebrates the Dark Ages



We, Venezuelans, are little more than misunderstood fans of the Dark ages. In that spirit I built a Trebuchet in order to celebrate my national identity. This is a small one, but I plan to build a much bigger and deadly one, capable of creating real mayhem and solving my problem of not being able to see The Magic Mountain (El Avila) from my apartment in Caracas. Medieval weapons are really popular in Venezuela, as are any other type of weapons, in fact, over 15% of all violent deads are caused by medieval weapons. Specially around April 19th when we normally celebrate our very own independence day by shooting rocks at things we do not like. The trebuchet is great at that! Enjoy...


Not violent enough...

Venezuela is only number 4 on homicides per capita worldwide, so no podium for us. Five hundred death for each million is not enough. I wonder if they counted violent deaths, maybe then we could win?


Six important life lessons

1) If you share critical information pertaining to credit and risk with your shareholders in time, you may be in a position to prevent avoidable exposure.

2) Always let your boss have the first say.

3) If you are not well informed in your job, you might miss a great opportunity.

4) To be sitting and doing nothing, you must be sitting very high up.

5) Bullshit might get you to the top, but it wont keep you there.

6) Not everyone who shits on you is your enemy. Not everyone who gets you out of shit is your friend. And when you’re in deep shit, it’s best to keep your mouth shut!

Here is the exemplification.


Massa Wins! Triple tie in points!

As if to contradict me, Massa wins in Bahrain. Interesting that there have been three different winners, and there is a triple point tie in the standings. I reckon Alonso is winning because it has more wins than Hamilton and more second places than Kimi. With Massa victory it looks like we have a two way fight in the constructor championship and a four way fight in the drivers. I still think Alonso will get it, but I see a small threat in that McLaren and Denis could see the chance to get an amazing story out of a British champion in Hamilton, who definitely is a great driver. What we saw today could be a turning point in Alonso's career, or it could be that McLaren's problem from last year were not all driver related. European races are next, that's when reality stars.


Venezuelan Wunderkind to lead Los Angeles Philharmonic


Venezuelan director, Gustavo Dudamel, will lead the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2009 after current director Esa-Pekka Salonen ends his tenure. Congrats to him. Most Venezuelans will probably ignore him... as they do with anyone who is successful.


Didn't I say they were in trouble?

It seems it was Avie Tevanian the one keeping Apple upgrades on time. Either that or Apple cares so little about Mac Sales now. At any rate Leopard has been pushed back to October, and the company keeps missing deadlines... Will Leopard bring stability or more problems to the platform?


Kurt Vonnegut passes away


Writer Kurt Vonnegut dies at 84
Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why.
And so it goes...


Alonso wins Malasya, Things back to normal...

Alonso wins sooner than we thought, I guess we are back to normal... He leads and is the favorite now. Great start, great race also for Hamilton. Is Massa a bluff? Raikkonen at least got third...


Microsoft R.I.P.


Paul Graham thinks Microsoft is dead, but this guy thinks they still have too much money. I think this is old news...


Massa on pole

Massa on pole ahead of Alonso, Raikkonen, and Hamilton... Good race toonight.


Milka in Indy


In this year Indy 500, there will compete 3 women racers including Venezuela's Milka Duno. I am very proud of her and I am rooting for her to win come May 27th. I believe she is the first Venezuelan to race at Indy.


Why do they call it April's Fool?


If they are fools every month!


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