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Networking Fact of the Day

The default starting port in UNIX traceroute is 33434. This comes from 32768 (2^15, or the max value of a signed 16-bit integer) + 666 (the mark of Satan). Thank you to Richard Steenbergen of nLayer Communications, Inc. for today's fun fact! You can learn more about traceroute, the deceptively simple and easy to misunderstand diagnostic tool, from Mr Steenbergen's presentation notes on the subject here .

Dijkstra's Algorithm

Dijkstra's algorithm. It picks the unvisited vertex with the lowest-distance, calculates the distance through it to each unvisited neighbor, and updates the neighbor's distance if smaller. Mark visited (set to red) when done with neighbors.

All the Best to Boston

Here is to a bit of solidarity with the people of Boston following the attack on the Boston marathon yesterday. Such a despicable, cruel crime met with honor courage and self sacrifice by those immediately effected.

The Geoid

I've been thinking about Earth. Typically we think of the Earth as being a perfect sphere as represented by those silly globes from grade school. In reality, due to concentrations of magma, mountains and deep sea trenches, the Earth is anything but a perfect sphere. Not only does this distort our concept of a perfectly spherical planet, but it also distorts the Earth's gravitational field, causing regional anomalies. Visualization helps. Here are a few images of the Earth's gravitational anomalies in relief:

Kowloon Walled City

I'm Mining Bitcoin Now

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The New York Times on Data Convergence and Privacy Concerns

As more of day to day life and communications takes place on IP based networks, and as the regulation  surrounding that convergence removes barriers to owners of those networks providing information gleaned from those communications to third parties (including the State) without fear of tort or criminal  reprisal, it becomes more and more clear that tomorrow's world is one with much less privacy than that envisioned during, say, the writing of the Federalist Papers. The New York Times just published a discussion on the topic that is worth perusing (even if you are not particularly a fan of the Times).