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Showing posts from November 21, 2010

stuxnet - military grade virus attack

A unprecedented, military-grade virus that attacks nation states. Stuxnet.Stuxnet is a Windows-specific computer worm first discovered in June 2010 by VirusBlokAda, a security firm based in Belarus. It is the first discovered worm that spies on and reprograms industrial systems,[1] the first to include a programmable logic controller (PLC) rootkit,[2] and the first to target critical industrial infrastructure.[3] It was specifically written to attack Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems used to control and monitor industrial processes.[4] Stuxnet includes the capability to reprogram the PLCs and hide its changes.[5]The worm's probable target has been said to have been high value infrastructures in Iran using Siemens control systems.[6][7] According to news reports the infestation by this worm might have damaged Iran's nuclear facilities in Natanz[8][9] and eventually delayed the start up of Iran's Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant.[10] Siemens has stated, how…

new tech toy: Kinect from Microsoft

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Perm url with updates: http://xahlee.org/kbd/kinect.htmlMicrosoft Kinect DeviceXah Lee, 2010-11-19Discovered new tech toy. Kinect. amazonBasically, if you've seen the movie 〈Minority Report〉 amazon, then you know what it's about.It's a device that, quote:provides full-body 3D motion capture, facial recognition, and voice recognition capabilities.Quite a tall order. I suppose, it's not smooth as the spec and demos like us to believe, but, is a inevitable start of a technology. In perhaps 5 years, it might be the dominant way to control our computers, gaming, or at least, for particular software applications.Here's a youtube video showing it used to control Windows 7. amazon“Kinect Treatment of Windows 7” It works by having 2 laser based depth sensor (detecting motion and position), 1 RGB camera (for facial recognization), and a array of microphones (for detecting location and speech recognition).One million of it has already been sold since it's debut in 2010-11-…

Robby Villegas Died (1968-2010)

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Perm url with updates: http://xahlee.org/math/Robby_Villegas.htmlRobby Villegas Died (1968-2010)Xah Lee, 2010-11-24Am deeply touched to have learned today, that one of my very few friend, a best friend, a world's top expert of Mathematica, Robert Villegas, died, in 2010-10.Am still not sure what's the cause or story. I have not been in touch with Robby since 2007. On Robby's site robbyvillegas.com, i found this tribute from Stephen Wolfram (stephenwolfram.com).With the tragic death of Robby Villegas, the world has lost an exceptional mind, and one of the great scholars and guardians of the Mathematica language. It was June 6, 1992, on a pleasant sunny day, just after an honorary degree ceremony at Knox College in Galesberg, Illinois. An eager young man who had just received his own degree came up to me, keen to tell me that he thought that the design of the function Outer[] in Mathematica was inadequate, and needed to be enhanced. We talked for quite a while. And eventuall…

linear algebra, math typesetting, and mathematica export

Perm url with updates: http://xahlee.org/math/typesetting_Mathematica_mathML.htmlMath Typesetting, Mathematica, MathMLXah Lee, 2010-11-29Here's a linear algebra notes i wrote in 1998, using Mathematica version 3, with much math typesetting. linearAlgebraNotes.nb. Mathematica 7 convert it to pdf very well. See: linearAlgebraNotes.pdf. Surprisingly, when converting to html, it actually generated a valid html with valid CSS. linearAlgebraNotes.html But further, it also exported to XML+MathML well: linearAlgebraNotes.xml (can be viewed with Firefox 3.6.12). Very well done!A note about Mathematica's typesetting. Mma's typesetting capabilities is best on this earth. It was invented with Mathematica version 3 in 1996. It's not just a inert incomprehensible code as in TeX. For example, typing 「1/Sqrt[x^2 + y^3]」, press a button, then it gets rendered into a 2-dimensional math notation. Yet, Mma understands it as a live math expression. When writing math, you don't need to…

Ergonomic Keyboards Gallery and Review

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Perm url with updates: http://xahlee.org/emacs/ergonomic_keyboards.htmlFancy Ergonomic Keyboards You Didn't Know ExistedXah Lee, 2010-11-22This page is a gallery of several ergonomic keyboards, from simple ones to radical ones, with review.Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboards“Microsoft Wireless Natural Multimedia keyboard”. amazon Full review at Review of Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard.This one i used from about 2004 to 2007, and love it. This design is a classic, dating back to 1990s. However, this particular model is discontinued, replaced by the “4000”. It's still available new on amazon or other places.This basic ergonomic design is still made by Microsoft, as “Microsoft Natural Keyboard Elite” amazon.Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard 4000“Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000”. amazon This is a much more improved design. This is the one i currently use, since about 2007. Full review at Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000.Scythe Ergo Diver keyboardDiscovered this funky one re…

Remove unwanted Window startups

CCleaner is really a fantastic tool. In a easy way, it lets you delete all the cache and temp files of various browsers and Windows files. If you do it manually, you'll have to find it all over your disk, or thru various browser Preference interfaces. It also lets you clean your Registry, and lets you disable or delete the startup program settings, far better interface than the tiny window of “msconfig”.Here's some startup processes i removed recently:ehtray.exe (Microsoft Media Center) a process is the tray bar process for the Microsoft Media Center. It gives you easy access to the digital media manager.qttask.exe (Apple) lets you have a system tray to start QuickTime.AppleMobileDeviceService (Apple) If you don't own Apple mobile devices, remove it.Reader_SL (Adobe) Garbage.iTunesHelper (Apple) Garbage.switcher.exe (Sony) Wireless switcher thing. Uber junk. About anything from SONY is junk.See also:Microsoft Windows Registry TutorialWindows Starting Too Slow? Disable Wind…

Mathematica Logos thru its History

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Perm url with updates: http://xahlee.org/comp/Mathematica_logo.htmlMathematica Logos thru its HistoryXah Lee, 2010-11-21Here's a history of Mathematica logos thru its versions. All these are designed by Michael Trott.I am updating my Mathematica files from version 4 to version 7 for my Visual Dictionary of Special Plane Curves and other projects. I have been more or less 10 years out of touch with Mathematica. In the process, i need new Mathematica icons to represent Mathematica files. While searching the icons on the web, one thing leads to another, i created this page to update my familiarity of Mathematica's logo of the years i wasn't in touch.Version 8 (2010)Mathematica 8 logo. Version 7 (2008)Mathematica 7 logo. Version 6 (2007)6 Version 5 (2003)5 Version 4 (1999)4 4 Version 3 (1996)3 Version 2 (1991)Mathematica 2 logo. Version 1 (1988)1 Misc NotesMy favorite is version 2's logo. LOL. Second favorite is version 8's. Third favorite would be version 1's logo — the pl…