Strange smells, 1337 H4x0rZ, and a late epiphany…

So it was the twentieth of April last Thursday, or 420 as it is colloquially known. While I neither partake not condone the use of ‘weed’, It seems that someone in apartment block does!

Ooohh, the stench is real! I almost certain it is getting worse. I barely noticed it last week,  I first thought something smelled a bit burnt down the corridor, now I can actually smell it from inside my apartment block. When I came back from work today, it smelled like some one came with a deodorant and tried to spray the smell away but it was only a matter of time before it came back.

I am fairly certain the smell will have dissipated by the end of the week but if you are going to be smoking, at least do it outside or at least somewhere well ventilated, save us the trouble of smelling your dirty hobbies…

(Reminds me of when we made artificial banana flavoring in high school… that class room smelled like bananas for weeks…)

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I have been meaning to watch Mr. robot for a while now. I heard a lot of good things about the show and how it portrays hacking more realistically than a lot of other films/TV shows. Being a techie myself and working in a big tech company, I love me a good hacking story. As it turns out The first season of Mr Robot is included with my amazon prime membership and decided to watch the first episode Saturday night and was completely hooked, so much so that I ended up binge watching the last seven episodes on Sunday. I don’t think I have been this enthralled by a TV show since a couple summers ago when I watched all of Stargate.

There is a couple of plot twist that I saw coming but I found the story well done. I really like the fact that they show some more subtle ways some can take control of your computer with CDs and USB drives or how Social engineering can fool you into giving away your password. On the other side there a couple things that are still in the realm if fantasy. The way they go about destroying tape backups is questionable and the main characters “wipes” his computer and destroys his RAM sticks which is completely pointless. I am surprised that they did not mention burner phones, but I guess that it is mainstream now a days anyway.

One thing to note is that they never actually go into the specifics of how their code or some of the hardware actually works. So if you were hopping to learn to be a hacker by watching the show, be prepared to be disappointed, though you will learn about how to prevent yourself from being hacked. Don’t use random USB drives you find in street, or sketchy CD someone pressured you to buy in the street and most importantly have a strong password.

If I had just one complain to make it would be that it does have a whiff of that forced diversity to it. There are couple instances where the plot takes a backseat so that the show can take moment to show you how diverse its characters are and that feels a bit unnecessary.

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So along time ago, back when Age of Ultron came out, there was a bit of a “discussion” going around the web about the Infinity Gauntlet, one of Marvel’s most famous artifact and the subject of the upcoming Marvel Avengers movie. Some of the more hard core Marvel movie fan had noticed something strange about the one shown in the post credit scene. The infinity gauntlet had already been spotted as an Easter egg of sort in the first Thor movie, where it is briefly visible in the back ground of a shot when Ice giant break into the weapons vault. That gauntlet was right handed will the one seen at the end of Age of Ultron was left handed, meaning there was two Gauntlet! Gasp! How could it be? well, I think I figured it out.

I was reading the Infinity gauntlet story arc the other when I realized that the glove itself never was anything special. In fact, the glove used in the original comic is just the one Thanos always wore! He literally wear the same gauntlet on the other hand and pops a new one on when he eventually loses possession of the Infinity Gauntlet! Of course there is a pair of Gauntlet! they were never special in the first place!

Now, there still are a couple questions left unanswered. Why would Asgard keep one of Thanos’ gauntlet in its vault? and what were the gems that were already attached to it? I think there a rather simple, if somewhat unsatisfying answer: Marvel did not have a comprehensive shared universe set up yet and just wanted the gauntlet as and Easter egg to excited the fans. basically a continuity error more than anything.

I am sure a lot of people already came to the same conclusion and argued about it in some obscure forum or sub Reddit, but who cares really. No one can possibly know every thing that happens on the internet…

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Spring Cleaning…

Ahh… Spring time. Nothing like starting spring cleaning early and enjoy the rest of spring fully. I had a couple things on my hit list of things to improve and probably spend way to much money..

My old office chair had developed a bad slant to it. One of the weld on the mounting plate has a bad crack in it and every time I would lean back, it would get worse. By the time I got my replacement chair, I basically had no back support. What did I buy? Some really expansive “gaming” chair from DXracer. Is it worth all the money? well so far, I can say that it is far more comfortable than the old one and it is clearly far better built than the $70 dollar chair that I bought last time.

cof
Mean green gaming chair! 

I also had to replace the band on my watch but because my watch is oh-so fancy, I can’t just bring it to a run of the mill watch store. It has some special hex lugs and they basically expect you to go to an authorized retailer to get the band changed. Since the nearest of such retailer is all the way down in Kansas City, I spent $40 to get my own set of tools… and another $40 on a replacement band… Still cheaper than going through retailers I suppose… (I had the watched shipped last time and that was $150).

mde

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I think I mentioned several time in the past that the apartment complex where I live has a lake. It’s great for running and when the weather is nice, people actually fish in it. I have not yet seen people fishing but there are plenty of evidence in the form of bobbers stuck in tree branches.

I am going to guess the amateurs came out first. I have not done all that much but I am pretty sure that I would manage to not tangling my line in a tree, heck I would know better than fishing next to the trees…

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If you are interested in Rubik’s cube style puzzles, you might have heard that V cube has release their latest giant puzzle. Yes, they finally released a nine layered puzzle, three whole years after the eight layered one, and to be honest, I am a bit disappointed.

The main issue that I have with it is that it’s not that much more challenging than the eight layered or even the seven layered puzzles. If you look at the difficulty curve between the difference Rubik’s cube, there is a big leap between the standard three layered cube and the next two cubes. The five and four layered cubes required new techniques to solve the centers and the edges that you don’t need in the three layered cube. The seven and six layered had their own twist on how to solve the last two centers but the rise in difficulty was not that big. The main difference between the nine and seven layered puzzle is mostly having to deal with more pieces. The eight and nine layered cube have no new techniques required to solve them. If you can solve the six layered puzzle, you can solve anything bigger.

Oh, and it’s massive. Even with my massive hand, it is hard to handle.

cof
9×9 to 6×6 V-cubes

I was hoping was a new challenge to tackle but it turned out to be more of the same. To be honest, I actually have several challenging (and horribly expensive) puzzles that I have yet to solve.