Nov
06
2014
0

Why Commercial Development at GSU Cannot Possibly Succeed.

We’ve been getting the occasional, “Why don’t you try to build a business” email of late.

Here’s why not.

    • Computer Science

The intellectual property rules at GSU say that the university owns every thing you write that is a program. The lawyers say we might license your work to you, and then we might not. It depends.
Forget launching a company under those conditions.

    • Biology/Chemistry

Things are better here. You get to keep the first $20,000 you make. Hurrah. Lets say you launch a start up and it does OK. You make, say $100,000 which is not bad, then the company gets $25,000. Oh well, lets try harder $200,000, you get $30,000. Hmmmn, somethings wrong here. The return is so low that you cannot possibly survive as a company.

On the other hand if you write a book of fiction you get to keep everything you earn. I suppose they might change that, but who am I kidding.

Written by Rob in: pedagogy,rant |
Feb
09
2014
0

Lessons for self-publishing.

I’ve learned a few things about self-publishing the hard way – so I’ll pass them on and hopefully save someone else a headache

  1. Use a search engine to check your title.  My book “new southern vampire” has nothing to do with the “southern vampire” series (only found out about it recently – which is not an excuse for a similar title). They are quite different, but it looks like a cheap attempt at a knock off. Wonder if it’s hard to change titles?
  2. Check to see what are similar books for choosing the book classification.
  3. Page numbers.  This may seem silly but page numbers aren’t generated by the create space book printing engine.  Either you put them there or there aren’t any.  While you’re at it, adjust their template to make the book look more professional. At a minimum play with the paragraph splitting controls to avoid big blank spaces. You should also probably use the text alignment settings to fill paragraphs so that there isn’t a ragged edge.
  4. Proof read. Proof read, Proof read.

Anyway hope this is helpful.

 

Jan
22
2014
0

Book on Programming

In a more serious vein, I’m slowly writing a book on how to program. I’ve noticed that too many of the students struggle with the process rather than the details. This is sort of a digressive way to say they can write a loop, but don’t know how do decide when to do it.

Programming for the Lazy

Written by Rob in: Book Drafts,engineering,pedagogy |
Jan
02
2014
0

The Death of Publishing

I had the chance to try self-publishing with Amazon’s create space and KDP. The book itself, while readable is a bit of fluff. What was impressive was the quality of the automated setup and publishing tools. There may have been one manual step, other than mine, a last review before generating proofs, but that was all.

So the cost of assembling a professional-looking book is almost zero.

This strongly suggests that page charges and all of those sorts of things are a bit of a con-job. It also suggests that textbooks are highly over-priced.

On a pedagogical note, this means that writing a low-copy-number course specific text book would be feasible.

Written by Rob in: engineering,pedagogy,rant,science |
Dec
19
2013
0

spambot script

For your delectation, a script that somehow (I wonder if they learned to program at GSU) didn’t quite work. However it shows the non-deterministic finite state machine used to generate spam.

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I {couldn’t|could not} {resist|refrain from} commenting.
{Very well|Perfectly|Well|Exceptionally well} written!|
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Thanks.|
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{Saved as a favorite|bookmarked!!}, {I really like|I like|I love} {your blog|your site|your web site|your website}!|
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{and the|and also the|plus the} rest of the {site is|website is}
{also very|extremely|very|also really|really} good.|
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{blog|website|web site|site}. I stumbledupon it ;) {I will|I amm gong to|I’m going to|I may} {come back|return|revisit} {once again|yet again} {since
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{In addition|Additionally|Also}, the blog loazds {very|extremely|super} {fast|quick}
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{Superb|Exceptional|Outstanding|Excellent} Blog!|
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Any way keep up wrinting.|
{I love|I really like|I enjoy|I like|Everyone loves} what you guys {are|are usually|tend to be} uup too.
{This sort of|This type of|Such|This kind of} clever work and {exposure|coverage|reporting}!
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{Howdy|Hi there|Hey there|Hi|Hello|Hey}! Someone in my {Myspace|Facebook}
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I’m {book-marking|bookmarking} and will be tweeting this to my followers!
{Terrific|Wonderful|Great|Fantastic|Outstanding|Exceptional|Superb|Excellent} blog and {wonderful|terrific|brilliant|amazing|great|excellent|fantastic|outstanding|superb} {style and design|design
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{I love|I really like|I enjoy|I like|Everyone loves} what you
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{tough|difficult|hard} time {making a decision|selecting|choosing|deciding} between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
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P.S {My apologies|Apologies|Sorry} for {getting|being}
off-topic buut I had to ask!|
{Howdy|Hi there|Hi|Hey there|Hello|Hey} would you mind letting me
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I’ve loaded your blog iin 3 {completely different|different} {internet browsers|web browsers|browsers} and I must say ths blog loads a lot
{quicker|faster} then most. Can youu {suggest|recommend} a good {internet hosting|web hosting|hosting} profider at a {honest|reasonable|fair} price?
{Thanks a lot|Kudos|Cheers|Thank you|Many thanks|Thanks}, I appreciate it!|
{I love|I really like|I like|Everyone loves} it {when people|when individuals|when folks|whenever people} {come together|get
together} and share {opinions|thoughts|views|ideas}. Great {blog|website|site},
{keep it up|continue the good work|stick with it}!|
Thak youu for the {auspicious|good} writeup. It in fact was a amusement
account it. Look advanced to {far|more} added
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{Howdy|Hi there|Hey there|Hello|Hey} just wanted to give you a quick
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I’m not sure if this is a {format|formatting} issue or something
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The {style and design|design and style|layout|design} look
great though! Hope you get the {problem|issue} {solved|resolved|fixed} soon.
{Kudos|Cheers|Manny thanks|Thanks}|
This is a topic {that is|that’s|which is} {close to|near to} my
heart… {Cheers|Many thanks|Best wishes|Take care|Thank you}!
{Where|Exactly where} are your contact details though?|
It’s very {easy|simple|trouble-free|straightforward|effortless} to find out any {topic|matter} on {net|web} as compared to {books|textbooks}, as I found this {article|post|piece of
writing|paragraph} at this {website|web site|site|web page}.|
Does your {site|website|blog} have a contact page?
I’m having {a tough time|problems|trouble} locating it but, I’d like to {send|shoot} you an {e-mail|email}.
I’ve got some {creative ideas|recommendations|suggestions|ideas} for your blog you might
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{Hola|Hey there|Hi|Hello|Greetings}! I’ve been {following|reading} your {site|web site|website|weblog|blog} ffor {a long
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Greetings from {Idaho|Carolina|Ohio|Colorado|Florida|Los angeles|California}!
I’m {bored to tears|bored to death|bored} at work so I decided to {check out|browse} your {site|website|blog} on
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{A great|An excellent|A fantastic} read. {I’ll|I will} {definitely|certainly} be back.|
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{marvelous|wonderful|excellent|fabulous|superb}.|
{Howdy|Hi there|Hi|Hello}, i read your blog {occasionally|from
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If so how do you {prevent|reduce|stop|protect against} it, any plugin or anything you can {advise|suggest|recommend}?
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greatest|the most important|the most significant} changes.
{Thanks a lot|Thanks|Many thanks} for sharing!|
{I really|I truly|I seriously|I absolutely} love {your
blog|your site|your website}.. {Very nice|Excellent|Pleasant|Great} colors & theme.
Did you {create|develop|make|build} {this website|this site|this web
site|this amazing site} yourself? Please reply back
as I’m {looking to|trying to|planning to|wanting to|hoping to|attempting to}
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{Thanks|Many thanks|Thank you|Cheers|Appreciate it|Kudos}!|
{Hi there|Hello there|Howdy}! This {post|article|blog post} {couldn’t|could not} be written
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{Excellent|Wonderful|Great|Outstanding|Superb} choice of
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and feeding of graduate students (life as a professor)Okefenokee Trip | care and feeding of graduate students (life as a professor).
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{Hi there|Hello}, I enjoy reading {all of|through} your {article|post|article post}.
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My {coder|programmer|developer} is trying to {persuade|convince} me to move
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But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using {Movable-type|WordPress} on {a number of|a
variety of|numerous|several|various} websites for about a year and am
{nervous|anxious|worried|concerned} about switching
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Is there a way I can {transfer|import} all my
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{Hello|Hi|Hello there|Hi there|Howdy|Good day}!
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{Terrific|Great|Wonderful} {article|work}!
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{I just|I simply} {would like to|want to|wish to} {give you a|offer you a} {huge|big} thumbs up {for the|for your} {great|excellent} {info|information} {you have|you’ve got|you have
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{coming back to|returning to} {your blog|your site|your website|your web site} for more soon.|
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{article|post|piece of writing|paragraph} in news papers but now as I am a user of {internet|web|net}
{so|thus|therefore} from now I am using net for {articles|posts|articles or reviews|content}, thanks to web.|
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{Hi|Hello} there, {I found|I discovered} your {blog|website|web
site|site} {by means of|via|by the use of|by way of} Google
{at the same time as|whilst|even as|while} {searching for|looking
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{I’m|I am} {gonna|going to} {watch out|be careful} for brussels.
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case you|for those who|if you happen to}
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be|shall be|might be|will probably be|can be|will likely be} benefited
{from your|out of your} writing. Cheers!|
{I am|I’m} curious to find out what blog {system|platform} {you have been|you
happen to be|you are|you’re} {working with|utilizing|using}?

I’m {experiencing|having} some {minor|small} security {problems|issues}
with my latest {site|website|blog} and {I would|I’d}
like to find something more {safe|risk-free|safeguarded|secure}.

Do you have any {solutions|suggestions|recommendations}?|
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writing skills {and also|as well as} with the layout on
your {blog|weblog}. Is this a paid theme or did you {customize|modify} it yourself?
{Either way|Anyway} keep up the {nice|excellent} quality writing,
{it’s|it is} rare to see a {nice|great} blog like this one {these days|nowadays|today}.|
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writing, {it’s|it is} {rare|uncommon} {to peer|to see|to look}
a {nice|great} {blog|weblog} like this one {these days|nowadays|today}..|
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your|together with your|along with your} {site|web site|website} in {internet|web}
explorer, {may|might|could|would} {check|test} this?

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Written by Rob in: engineering,pedagogy,security |
Dec
24
2012
0

one of these is not like the others

I found my self thinking about the differences between “adult-centered” and “youth-centered” organizations. Which of these most reflections what your organization is like?

  1. I, (last name, first name), joining the ranks of the  Pioneer Organization, in the presence of my comrades solemnly promise: to passionately love and cherish my Motherland, to live as we were taught, as required by the laws of the Pioneers.  (slightly edited)
  2. I am a member of the Young Pioneers. Under the Flag of the Young Pioneers I promise that: I love <my nation>, the motherland, and the people; I will study well and keep myself fit, and to prepare for: contributing my effort to the cause. (slightly edited)
  3. In the presence of this blood banner which represents our nation, I swear to devote all my energies and my strength to the  our country. I am willing and ready to give up my life for it, so help me God. (slightly edited)
  4. In the name of God and <my leader>, I swear that I will execute his orders and serve the cause of the revolution with all my strength and, if necessary, with my blood. (slightly edited)
  5. From this day forward, I sincerely promise to set an example for all youth to follow. I shall never do anything to bring disgrace or dishonor upon my God, my country, its flag, my parents, myself or the <organization>. These I will honor and respect in a manner that will reflect credit upon them and myself.  (slightly edited)
    1. Obey my parents and all others in charge of me whether young or old.
    2. Keep myself neat at all times without other people telling me to.
    3. Keep myself clean in mind by attending the church of my faith.
    4. Keep my mind alert to learn in school, at home, or at play.
    5. Remember having self-discipline will enable me to control my body and mind in case of an emergency.
  6. On my honor I will do my best
    To do my duty to God and my country
    and to obey the Scout Law;
    To help other people at all times;
    To keep myself physically strong,
    mentally awake, and morally straight.

      A Scout is:

    1. Trustworthy,
    2. Loyal,
    3. Helpful,
    4. Friendly,
    5. Courteous,
    6. Kind,
    7. Obedient,
    8. Cheerful,
    9. Thrifty,
    10. Brave,
    11. Clean,
    12. Reverent

There is only one of these that focuses at all on our duty to help each other. The others focus much more on obedience. There is something different about that.  Only one of these organizations tries to develop the kind of person that is a citizen of a democracy.

You can probably guess (young poineers (1,2), Itallian Fascist (4), Hitler youth (3), Young Marines with creed(5), and Boy Scouts (6)).

Written by Rob in: pedagogy,rant,scouting |
Jul
20
2012
0

Virtual Machines with QEMU

Linux KVM (kernel virtual machine) is now part of the current kernel – including Ubuntu. One of the classes I teach involves computer security and it is always hard for the students to have their own “root” or “administrator” machine. There is no way on this earth that I will let them use mine – because I want the machine to still work.

So I’m investigating QEMU/KVM. I followed the instructions from http://qemu-buch.de/cgi-bin/moin.cgi/QuickStartGuide, which seem to be quite good. On a quad core AMD machine, I’ve been able to create images for windows XP sp2, and windows 2000. I’ll shortly try windows XP sp4. I have a copy of Red Hat 2.0 – wonder if that’ll work too?

You have to create a boot disk with qemu-img and install the operating system into that. (qemu -cdrom /dev/dvd ….). The reason for this is that the QEMU virtual hardware isn’t the same as the real hardware so the drivers on disk may not work. You also can run into complications if the file system is being accessed by two operating systems at the same time without a locking mechanism. Once done you have a disk image that can be examined and modified from the Linux partition. It is a regular file so it can be created once and then copied for each new experiment. So we could move beyond simple virus-like constructions to real viruses in a controlled environment. (windows viruses do not, in general, infect linux). I could even demonstrate the killer double fork script on a linux machine with some chance of not actually harming the original hardware.

It seems to fit the bill on a single machine. Our computer lab is already somewhat virtual in that the individual workstations are virtual images so there may be complications. I doubt they are insoluble. In any case it will work on the instructor’s workstation which is not virtual

A couple more notes:

  1. Create the disk images with the raw mode if you want to examine them. Qcow2 is QEMU specific. Qcow2 is better for general use as you can resize it.
  2. Make sure virtualization is enabled on your hardware. (kvm-ok, run as system will tell you)
  3. Big raw images can be difficult to move. There are ways to mount qcow2 images in loopback mode.
  4. windows 95 seems difficult. I’ve installed Dos622 from a boot image (copy the files to c:, then use sys c: to make it bootable). Windows gets about half-way through starting up then crashes. ARGH!
Written by Rob in: pedagogy,science,security |
Sep
29
2010
0

The NRC rankings are out

The national research council graduate department rankings are out. These are based on objective measurable quantities, like how many papers are published per faculty member and how long it takes Ph.D. students to graduate (and where they go). This is fundamentally different from the US & World report ranking which is based on reputation.

On reputation we’re about number 300. Based on facts my department is about about 10x higher (around 30) nationally.

I wonder how long it will take perceptions to catch up with reality?

I plan to make the GSU/CS logo much more prominent on poster in the future.

Written by Rob in: pedagogy |
May
06
2010
1

Beneficial effects of lightweight packing

Just back from CIBCB’10 which was held in Montreal Canada.  Great city, a fun chance to practice my small amount of French, good food, good company, and great science.  GSU actually showed up quite well with three (of about 25) accepted papers (two from my lab – but all the graduate students whose papers were accepted share the same office). You can get the details from the conference website, and the proceedings – so I won’t bore you with them here.

I was surprised at how light-weight I packed.  For a 4-day trip, I went easily on carry on, which isn’t surprising.  However, I went with a daypack!.  My lighter weight bias has resulted in using lighter more compact clothing, and fabrics that are rinse and wear.  Since it was so light I could sprint around the airports or to catch the 747 bus to the airport (Montreal has a direct express bus to the airport, $7 buys a daypass for it).  Since the clothes wash so easily, I came back with only one set of dirty clothes – so as usual – I overpacked.

Mar
29
2010
3

Neitzsche & Buddha Quotes

Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

Frederich Nietzsche

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.

Buddha
Not dissimilar and worth remembering.  (also a bit hard to remember in the “heat of battle”).

Written by Rob in: pedagogy,scouting |

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