MOTD::Archive::Fall 2009 (26 December 2009)

Summer 2009 MOTD

Week Ending 26 December 2009

Computing::Bob Metcalfe Added To the GDT::DreamTeam
Bob Metcalfe was the Fall 2009 addition to the GDT::DreamTeam.

During the fall 2009 semester, I watched a Bob Metcalfe lecture about the Enernet that he gave during July at the Singularity University and I started following him on Twitter.

Prior the last class session of the fall 2009 semester, I was getting ready to add J. Storrs Hall to the DreamTeam, but then I received a tweet that contained a hyperlink to "brain scan" article by The Economist on Bob Metcalfe. [I suspect Hall will be added to the DreamTeam during the spring 2010 semeseter.]

   "Bob Metcalfe has grabbed opportunity at every turn in his multiple 
    careers--ever since he invented Ethernet at the age of 27"
    [source:] the ether

GDT::DreamTeam::Thurman's Favorite Computer People

Bob Metcalfe continued... Metcalfe discusses the Enernet [ July 2009]

The following are Bob Metcalfe tweets that I posted during the fall 2009 semester.

   .@BobMetcalfe's #Enernet ? RT @FCC: Chairman Genachowski: 
   "Smart energy grid & broadband are cousins."    
   12:22 PM Nov 30th   from HootSuite  

   RT @BobMetcalfe GREEN wrong energy "movement" color. Not 
   cause green=greed, but cause green=new red. Use BLUE
   8:05 AM Nov 5th   from HootSuite  

   "The best vehicle for technology innovation is not patents, 
   it's students."~Bob Metcalfe #enernet talk @singularityu    
   8:29 AM Nov 1st   from HootSuite  

   #SmartGrid gets federal funding. #SingularityU YouTube channel 
   "Bob Metcalfe discusses the #Enernet"
   6:36 AM Oct 29th   from HootSuite  

   I'm 1/2 way thru it & it's good. SingularityU YouTube channel 
   "Bob Metcalfe discusses the Enernet"
   7:20 AM Oct 26th   from HootSuite  

Hmm... While I was adding Bob Metcalfe to the GDT::DreamTeam, I received "1 new tweet" and it was...

   BobMetcalfe SiOnyx (Black Silicon) board in Beverly, MA: 
   photodetectors, image arrays, and solar power. Laser 
   processing for quantum efficiency.

Computing::Being Branded a Nerd Has To Become a Good Thing
The following is sad, if true.

   "But not enough young people are embracing computing -- 
    often because they are leery of being branded nerds."

A young person is not going to create the next Google, the next eBay, the next Napster, the next Facebook, the next Twitter, if they don't learn about computing science.

Note: I equated CS with Computing Science, not Computer Science. Programs Aim to Lure Young Into Digital Jobs

Robotics::Singularity Hub's Best Robots of 2009
It's a matter of opinion, but I'm not convinced that we've entered that Age of Robotics. I am, however, convinced that we're getting close. Review Of The Best Robots of 2009

Computing::WTF (Who The Foo) is Howard Schmidt?
Howard A. Schmidt has been named Cyber-Security Coordinator of the Obama Administration (i.e. Cybersecurity Czar). Schmidt was a cyber-adviser in President George W. Bush's White House.

The only thing I know about Howard Schmidt is that he is not the father of Google's CEO Eric Schmidt.

When it comes to computer security I try to listen to Bruce Schneier, Gene Spafford, Phil Zimmermann and Edward Felten; therefore, I am interested in what these computer security gurus have to say about Howard Schmidt. To date, I haven't been able to find much, but I did find the following.


   "Reporters are calling me for reactions and opinions, but 
    I just don't know. Schmidt is good, but I don't know if 
    anyone can do well in a job with lots of responsibility 
    but no actual authority. But maybe Obama will imbue the 
    position with authority -- I don't know."

From Spafford via

   "Well, to be correct about it, neither Bruce nor I was ever 
    contacted about taking the position or about suggesting anyone 
    to fill it."

I find this (neither Bruce nor I [Gene] was ever contacted) beyond amazing.

Spafford continued via

   "This may or may not say something about the search itself. 
    I do not know of anyone with a primarily cyber technology 
    background who was contacted -- only people with business 
    and/or military backgrounds.  This is another factor that 
    made me believe that the view of this position is skewed 
    in a direction that will limit its effectiveness."

Keyphrases... Schneier: "a job with lots of responsibility but no actual authority." Spafford: "this position is skewed in a direction that will limit its effectiveness."

Quote::835 Quotes and Counting
The following quotes have been added to the GDT::Quote collection during Winter Break 2009-2010.

Ninety-eight percent of the adults in this country are decent,
hard-working, honest Americans. It's the other lousy two percent
that get all the publicity. But then--we elected them.

-- Lily Tomlin (01939-) {American actress/comedian; more...} [politics]

'Just say no' has done as much for drugs and sex as 'have a nice day' has done for depression.
-- Dr. E. Tyson (?????-) {received via a tweet by John Perry Barlow [life]

Those who welcome death have only tried it from the ears up.
-- Wilson Mizner (01876-01933) {American playwright; more...} [intelligence]

To think is easy. To act is difficult.
To act as one thinks is the most difficult.

-- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (01749-01832) {German poet/polymath; more...} [life]

The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative
the day after the revolution.

-- Hannah Arendt (01906-01975) {German Jewish political theorist; more...} [life]

[26 December 2009 (chilly outside; 38° at 8:48am) top]

Week Ending 28 November 2009

Biotech::About My Corn Genome Comments on on 2009.11.20: "Research group cracks corn's genetic code"

I posted the following comment...

   Kudos to the Arizona Republic for making this front-page news. 
   Like it or not, we have entered the Age of Genomics (for example, 
   just a couple of weeks ago the first draft of the pig genome 
   was published).

   What does a scientist/researcher say when they have access 
   to a supercomputer that can do one quadrillion arithmetic 
   calculations per second (flops)? More flops please!

   [4 thumbs up; 2 thumb down]

And I posted this comment...

   After reading some of the comments posted to this news article, 
   I am so glad President Obama (and Congress) made Francis S. Collins 
   director of the NIH (National Institutes of Health).

   Dr. Collins has a "longstanding interest in the interface between 
   science and faith, and has written about this in The Language of 
   God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief (Free Press, 2006)."

   [1 thumb up; 6 thumbs down]

And I posted the following comment in response to a comment in which somebody said, "I doubt the scientists can predict anything about what modifying it might do to our bodies once we ingest it."

   And this is why scientists and researchers need faster 
   supercomputers, infinite storage, a vastly improved 
   cyber-infrastructure and high-performance visualization 
   systems (e.g. ASU's Decision Theater).-

   [4 thumbs up; 3 thumbs down]

Math::Sum of Consecutive Primes
While working a nBAB for the number 124, MathBabbler learned from the Wikipedia that 124 is the "sum of eight consecutive primes (5+7+11+13+17+19+23+29)."

MathBabbler wanted to add a program to the MBNA (MathBabbler Number Analyst) that will check if a number 'n' is the sum of consecutive primes; therefore, this C++ program was written during the CSC100 class at SCC on 24 November 2009.

Three nBABs were created after the "sum of consecutive primes" program was written and all three numbers were equal to a sum of consecutive primes.

   1859 is the sum of 23 consecutive primes

   2564 is the sum of 12 consecutive primes

   1981 is the sum of 7 consecutive primes

I keep adding pictures to

[30 November 2009 (it's my least favorite time of the year; 52° at 6:37am) top]

Week Ending 07 November 2009

Yottagoo::Yikes! I Created Yet Another Blog
I felt the need to become WordPress literate so I created a blog at

Computing::SourceForge, Inc. Changes Name To Geeknet, Inc.
I'm going to be writing more about this when time permits...

On 4 November 2009, SourceForge, Inc. changed its name to Geeknet, Inc.

"Our new name is a more accurate articulation of our business," said Scott Kauffman, President and CEO of Geeknet.

Kauffman continued...

   "The geek demographic is bigger than most people realize, 
    and it is growing every day in both scope and influence. 
    Its product appeal extends beyond servers and slide rules 
    to include video games, soft drinks, automobiles, fast food, 
    fashion, entertainment, consumer electronics and other goods. 
    We call this phenomenon the 'geekification' of the world, 
    and we believe that our network provides the best platform 
    for advertisers to reach this highly coveted audience."

Go Geeknet!

Computing::Firefox Turns Five
Tweet received from @arstechnica on 9 November 2009...

   Firefox turns five: half a decade of Web liberation - via @arstechnica

I was always a Netscape fan, but that went away and along came Mozilla Firefox.

Firefox is a great example of the power of Open Source. turns five: half a decade of Web liberation

Computing::The First Computer Virus?
The first episode of Sesame Street aired on 10 November 1969. Fast forward 14 years...

   "1983: Fred Cohen, a University of Southern California graduate 
    student, gives a prescient peek at the digital future when he 
    demonstrates a computer virus during a security seminar at 
    Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. A quarter-century later, 
    computer viruses have become a pandemic for which there's 
    no inoculation." 10, 1983: Computer 'Virus' Is Born

[10 November 2009 (Thanksgiving is approaching; 84° at 5:10pm) top]

Week Ending 31 October 2009

I posted the 1000th tweet to the @nanofoo Twitter account on 29 October 2009 and the 300th tweet to the @mathbabbler Twitter account on 31 October 2009. In addition, I am uploading lots of pictures the @nanofoo Twitpic account. {}

HPC::When Schmidt Speaks, I Listen
Eric Schmidt (CEO of Google) "knows" the future of computing. When Schmidt speaks, I listen.

   "A billion people on the planet are carrying supercomputers 
    in their hands. Now you think of them as mobile phones, but 
    that's not what they really are. They're video cameras. They're 
    GPS devices. They're powerful computers. They have powerful 
    screens. They can do many many different things, and oh, 
    by the way, you can talk on them too. That's what the 
    mobile phone of today is."--Eric Schmidt

The "location, location, location" edict of the 20th is "mobile, mobile, mobile" in the 21st century.

Another quote from Eric Schmidt...

   "It's [cloud computing] a bigger phenomena than, for example, 
    the PC industry, and probably the next big wave of computing," CEO Imagines Era Of Mobile Supercomputers

Computing::10 Things Google Has Taught Us
I wrote the following in a Computing::Bit on 27 July 1999.

   If you have an ethically grounded SysAdmin that can keep 
   systems simple, open, secure, efficient, and maintainable, 
   then you have yourself a good one. Keep them happy and 
   show them some respect. 

Fast forward to 26 October 2009...

Ken Auletta posted an article that dicussed "10 things Google has taught us" and "thing" number five was " treat engineers as kings."

   "Innovation, as Bill Campbell told The McKinsey Quarterly, 
    comes when 'the crazy guys have stature, where engineers 
    really are important.... empowered engineers are the single 
    most important thing that you can have in a company.'" things Google has taught us

[01 November 2009 (we've hit November; 59° at 8:10am) top]

Week Ending 17 October 2009

Facebook::Postings From 13 October 2009 To 18 October 2009
I never paid attention to Ted Turner (b.1938), but I enjoyed reading about him. I knew Turner Enterprises owned a lot of land, but I didn't know it was "about 2 million acres." Turner quote: "I see what keeps people young: work!" Doh! Hyperlink to: "Turner Lost CNN, Fonda, Fortune, Feels Like a Dummy (Update1) -"

"Every man [human] should have a built-in automatic crap detector operating inside him [them]." ~ Ernest Hemingway (d.01961). I found this quote while reading Howard Rheingold's "Crap Detection 101" essay about information literacy in the Internet Age.

[Comment to a student posting.] Thanks for becoming a friend. My Facebook isn't for everybody. I'd like every posting to be either about the future; the stock markets; or roadtripping. But, my focus is frequently blurred by political/social realities.

With respect to class -- borrowing from the Jackson Sqrt(25) -- "I'll be there."

"Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd." ~ Voltaire (d.01778). I doubt Voltaire's words would be any different today, but I'm not certain about that.

I find myself needing to see this stuff because it helps remind me that we're living in the 21st century. Hyperlink to: "Spider Pill Walks Through You, Looking for Cancer | Singularity Hub"

[joke] Politicians want Cliffs Notes to help them understand the health care bills. [no joke] If there were Cliffs Notes, I'd need Cliffs Notes to help understand the Cliffs Notes.

[I commented to my joke with a tweet.] @nanofoo tweet on 02009.10.15: When it comes to understanding the health care reform bills, for me it's #LeapOfFaith #LeapOfFaith #LeapOfFaith...

Can't have too many servers. Hyperlink to: "Facebook Now Has 30,000 Servers -- Data Center Knowledge"

Every high school student should be required to read and discuss Bill Joy's opinion about 21st century life. Note: Joy wrote this in 02000. Hyperlink to: "Wired 8.04: Why the future doesn't need us."

[18 October 2009 (record high temp. yesterday; 84° at 9:47am) top]

Week Ending 10 October 2009

GDT::800 Quotes
A milestone... The GDT::Quote Collection has hit 800 quotes.

GDT::7000 Pages
A milestone... For the first time ever, the FreeFind search engine indexed 700 pages on

   Your site has been spidered.

   Our search engine has finished indexing your site:
   Site URL        :
   Pages Read      : 7000

RoadHacker::Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico Caverns National Park and the road to Carlsbad Caverns

[12 October 2009 (cooler weather has arrived; 65° at 7:04am) top]

Week Ending 03 October 2009

ThurmSpeaks::Ignore Everybody
I might try to read the book Ignore Everybody during the upcoming winter break.

Math::I'm an Equationeer
When MathBabbler started helping students learn Algebra, he become a functioneer (i.e. a finder of functions).

He liked the word functioneer because it starts with the word fun (i.e. functions are fun) and it plays off the "eer" in Mouseketeer.

MathBabbler spends a lot of time finding equations using numbers found in road signs and dates (BARS [Basic Arithmetic Road Signs] and BADs [Basic Arithmetic Dates], respectively). Consequently, keeping with the "eer" suffix theme, he has taken on the title equationeer (i.e. a finder of equations).

RoadHacker::Pictures From Pacific Beach Beach, California

[03 October 2009 (we've hit October; 80° at 11:50am) top]

Week Ending 19 September 2009

Robotics::Spare Parts For Robots
My emotions run deep when I think about human spare parts, but I'm emotionless when I think about spare parts for robots.

   "This order calls for the delivery of spare parts for 
    iRobot's PackBot line of tactical mobile robots."


   "iRobot has delivered more than 2,500 PackBot robots 
    that make a difference every day by conducting dangerous 
    missions that keep warfighters out of harm's way." Announces $6.1 Million Order from the U.S. Army for Robot Spares

Quotes::More, More, More...
The GDT::Quotes collection is now at 785 quotes. It will probably hit 800 before the end of this year.

Man is most nearly himself when he achieves
the seriousness of a child at play.

-- Napoleon Bonaparte (01769-01821) {Emperor of the French; more...} [hope/leader]

There can be no question, however, that prolonged commitment
to mathematical exercises in economics can be damaging. It
leads to the atrophy of judgement and intuition...

-- John Kenneth Galbraith (01908-02006) {Canadian-American economist; more...} [economics]

Logic, like whiskey, loses its beneficial
effect when taken in too large quantities.

-- Edward Plunkett (01878-01957) {18th Baron of Dunsany; more...} [logic]

There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.
-- Benjamin Disraeli (01804-01881) {British Prime Minister/parliamentarian; more...} [statistics]

I continued to do arithmetic with my father, passing proudly
through fractions to decimals. I eventually arrived at the
point where so many cows ate so much grass, and tanks filled
with water in so many hoursI found it quite enthralling.

-- Agatha Christie (01890-01976) {English crime writer; more...} [arithmetic]

In the company of friends, writers can discuss their books,
economists the state of the economy, lawyers their latest
cases, and businessmen their latest acquisitions, but mathematicians
cannot discuss their mathematics at all. And the more profound
their work, the less understandable it is.

-- Alfred Adler (01870-01937) {Austrian medical doctor/psychologist; more...} [professions]

I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty
to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study
mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval
architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order
to give their children a right to study painting, poetry,
music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.

-- John Adams (01735-01826) {2nd President of the United States; more...} [generations]

RoadHacker::Earth, Texas
TempeHiker::Healing Field

I wanted to visit Earth, Texas, so I did and the pictures from Earth have been posted to Picasa.

Once again we visited the Healing Field at Tempe Town Lake and the pictures of Healing Field 2009 are on Picasa.

[20 September 2009 (summer lives; 74° at 7:12am) top]

Week Ending 12 September 2009

Computing::STEM Must Become CSTEM
I've been advocating replacing STEM with CSTEM because 21st century STEM depends on Computing.

It was refreshing to see that the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) recently submitted comments on the federal government's Race to the Top Fund to "make sure that computer science education receives the same level of support and attention as other science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines." Computing in Education's Core

Computing::Did RFC 681 Make Unix the OS of the Internet?
The Internet seems to have two birthdays: 2 September 1969 and 29 October 1969. An exact date for the birthday is Unix appears to be undefined; however, Unix was definitely born in 1969.

From Dennis Ritchie's home page.

   "Besides the financial agitations that took place in 1969, 
    there was technical work also. Thompson, R. H. Canaday, 
    and Ritchie developed, on blackboards and scribbled notes, 
    the basic design of a file system that was later to become 
    the heart of Unix."

Also according to Ritchie.

   "Although it was not until well into 1970 that Brian Kernighan 
    suggested the name 'Unix,' in a somewhat treacherous pun on 

Then there's RFC 681 from 18 March 1975.

   "The  Unix  time-sharing  system  [1] presents several interesting
    capabilities as an ARPA network mini-host."  

   [1] Unix time-sharing system Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie
       Communications of the ACM July 1974, Vol 17, Number 7 

Did RFC 681 make Unix the operating system of the Internet? 681 - Network Unix

Computing::Can Twitter Make You Dumb?
I received the following tweet from Steve Case on 7 September 2009.

   SteveCase Twitter makes you dumb, says psychologist

Hmm... I might be in trouble.

   "Dr. Tracy Alloway claims working memory is more 
    important to success and happiness than IQ."

If Twitter can "make you dumb," then it's because it's not being used correctly. In a nutshell, the power of Twitter depends on whom you follow. makes you dumb, says psychologist

[13 September 2009 (it remains hot, hot, hot; 84° at 7:38am) top]

Week Ending 05 September 2009

Internet::U.S. Gets an Internet Addiction Center
Internet addiction... What does it mean?

A former heroin addict can't use any heroin, yet most former Internet addicts still have to use the Internet. For Internet addicts this sounds like a catch-22.

I got the following hyperlink via a tweet from Steve Case. for internet addicts opens in US

Nanotech::IBM "Sees" Inside a Molecule
I tweeted the following on 3 September 2009.

   When I think IBM, I think computing. But IBM is also a 
   nanotechnology/nanoscience leader. 
   {cool video embedded}

Molecular nanotechnology requires being able to "see" the atomic structure of molecules. Scientists First to Image the 'Anatomy' of a Molecule

[Extra] The IBM press release contained the following. "A new facility for world-class collaborative nanoscale research, the Nanoscale Exploratory Technology Laboratory, will open in 2011 on the campus of IBM Research--Zurich. The nanotech center is part of a strategic partnership in nanotechnology with ETH Zurich, one of Europe's premier technical universities."

Math::My Mom Turned 80
On 5 September 2009, my mom turned four score years old. I created a MathBAB (Basic Arithmetic Bit) to celebrate the occasion. { Hits 80 Years of Age (ditto for Bob Newhart)}

[06 September 2009 (we got rain yesterday; 78° at 7:46am) top]

Week Ending 29 August 2009

Computing::Pictures From the Computer History Museum
I have never visited the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, but I hope to get there before I die. History Museum Photo Gallery

Computing::Politicians and Biometrics
I get nervous when politicians create bills that involve the use of biometrics. One Arizona politician got a biometrics related Letter to the Editor published in the Arizona Republic and posted the following comment.

   Biometrics is the future and it is refreshing to see a 
   couple of Arizona politicians doing something that hints 
   of the 21st century. I feel good about Giffords ability 
   to learn about 21st century technologies, but I can't 
   say the same for Harry.

   I looked at the "full text" of the New Employee Verification Act 
   and the term "biometrics" is used a total of five times; however, 
   no specific biometric details are given. It's almost as if the bill 
   wants to be buzzword-compliant. Granted, biometrics is an emerging 
   technology and it would be unwise to restrict it to specific types 
   (e.g. face recognition, DNA, voice, nose hair [humor], etc.), but 
   leaving it blank makes me nervous.

   Another item that bothers me is that H.R.2028 states biometric 
   data will be encrypted, but it defines zero minimal encryption 
   requirements.  In other words, the biometric data could be encrypted 
   using ROT13 encryption and that would be 100% unacceptable.

[side-bar] claims it is Arizona's homepage, but my experience with respect to hyperlinking is that they like to cause linkrot. In other words, the following hyperlink might stop working at some point and time. does tout biometrics for firms

Computing::What is a Cybersecurity Emergency?
My heart rate exponentially increases every time I read about politicians considering bills that are related to computing. It appears that at this point and time, the definition for "cybersecurity emergency" gives the the President of the United States of America way too much power. would give president emergency control of Internet

[30 August 2009 (fall semester is up and running; 88° at 7:56am) top]

Week Ending 22 August 2009

MOTD::First Posting For Fall 2009
This is the first posting to the 37th edition of the MOTD (Message Of The Day). I've been doing the MOTD since the fall of 1997. The Summer 2009 MOTD has been archived.

SCC::Lots of Students
Fall 2009 classes start tomorrow (24 August 2009). All four of my math sections are full and total 112 students. The CSC100 class (CS for Non-CS Majors) has an enrollment of 14. Overall, I will be starting the fall 2009 semester with five classes and 126 students.

Quotes::More, More, More...
I've already started collecting quotes for fall 2009. GDT::Quotes is now at 775 quotes and counting.

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are
always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.

-- Bertrand Russell (01872-01970) {British philosopher/mathematician/historian; more...} [life]

It is true that a mathematician who is not also something
of a poet will never be a perfect mathematician.

-- Karl Weierstrass (01815-01897) {German mathematician; father of modern analysis?; more... [mathematics]

Education is the acquisition of the art of the utilisation of knowledge.
-- Alfred North Whitehead (01861-01947) {English mathematician/philosopher; more... [education]

Nobody likes to pay fines, but because I'm a public official, I do.
-- Tom Horne {Arizona's superintendent of schools} [humor]

Think of blogging vs. re-tweeting as digestion vs. bulemia.
-- Doc Searls (01947-) {American journalist/columnist/author/blogger; more...} [communications]

All I want to know is where I'm going to die so I'll never go there.
-- Warren Buffett (01930-) {Buffett quoting an unknown wise man; more...} [life]

[23 August 2009 (classes start tomorrow at 7:30am; 89° at 9:57am) top]

Creator: Gerald Thurman []
Last Modified: Saturday, 05-Jan-2013 11:17:46 MST

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