IPv6 – Are we there yet?

Internet Addresses: An Uneven Shortage but an Inevitable One
USC Viterbi School of Engineering (02/01/11)

University of Southern California (USC) Viterbi School of Engineering researchers recently conducted an Internet census to monitor Web address usage. The researchers found that despite upcoming announcements from the Number Resource Organization and the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority stating that there are no more available Web addresses in the current IPv4 protocol, that is actually not the case.

The researchers found that although some allocated address blocks, which can hold has many as 16 million addresses, are heavily used, others are barely used at all. USC professor John Heidemann says that “probably only 14 percent of addresses are visible on the public Internet.” However, the researchers note that “as full allocation happens, there will be pressure to improve utilization and eventually trade underutilized areas.”

There were 2.8 billion available Internet addresses when researchers at USC’s Information Sciences Institute (ISI) conducted their first census in 2007. The latest census, conducted by Heidemann and ISI’s Aniruddh Rao and Xue Cui, found that 3.5 billion addresses are currently allocated out of a possible 4.3 billion. The researchers measured addresses in use by sending a message ping to each possible Internet address.


So far my favorite comment on this problem has come from @gruber – He said (tweeted),  “When does the black market for IPv4 addresses start?”

Want a Job? Get a Computer Science Degree

Network World (02/22/10) Marsan, Carolyn Duffy

Leading universities are reporting that enrollment in computer science and engineering is up significantly this year as students discover computer-related degrees offer better job prospects and earnings potential.

“The government has made it clear that computer science is a growth field, and I think that message is getting back to students and their parents,” says Bruce Porter, chair of the Department of Computer Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin. Corporate recruitment of top computer science graduates has stayed strong despite the economic downturn.

Last spring Georgia Tech’s College of Computing had the highest job placement rate of any major on campus, as well as the highest starting salary.

“The financial sector–credit card companies, insurance companies–are very much interested in computer science students, as are defense companies and software development and networking companies,” says Georgia Tech’s Cedric Stallworth.

Last year, computer science graduates from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign received an average of 2.3 job offers and had an average starting salary of more than $72,000. The number of students enrolling as computer science majors is up 40 percent from last year at Stanford University and Carnegie Mellon University reports that computer science applicants are up 14 percent from last year and 76 percent from 2005.

Free, Free At Last

Four day weekend starts NOW! Martinis all around!

Bob earned brownie points today – he sent Valentine’s day roses to me at the office. So he not only remembered the holiday he also remembered that I wasn’t going to be in the office tomorrow.

I like getting flowers in the office. People actually come and speak to me when they see the flowers. Granted, they mostly just poke their heads in the door and ask, “Blowjob?” but that’s better than what they usually do which is to complain about software they can’t figure out.

I takes my little comforts where’s I gets ’em.

Jobs 2010

6 Hottest Skills for 2010
Computerworld (12/29/09) Brandel, Mary

U.S. business executives recently responded to a Computerworld survey about the availability of information technology jobs and what skills will be in demand in 2010. The skill set that is in the highest demand is programming and application development, according to the survey. New projects are being green-lighted thanks to the rebounding economy, leading to a demand for application developers who also can act as business analysts and project managers.

The survey found that companies will look for programmers with knowledge of .Net, Java, Web development, open source, and portal technologies such as Microsoft’s Sharepoint, says Computerworld’s Dave Willmer. Demand also is growing for programmers who are familiar with programming languages such as Ruby on Rails and AJAX.

Help desk and technical support professionals also will be in high demand in 2010. Many companies cut technical support as the recession hit, and those companies are now looking to refill those positions.

Meanwhile, the demand for networking professionals is growing with the complexity of networks. New approaches such as cloud computing and software as a service have forced companies to hire people with expertise in networking. Project management is another area that is growing in importance.

“Professionals who understand technology and how it fits in the overall business strategy are the ones who add the most value, get paid more, and have the most fulfilling careers,” says analyst Tom Silver.

Some companies are concentrating on hiring people with cybersecurity skills, while graduates who studied computer engineering and digital controls also are in high demand. Business intelligence was rated as the sixth most important skill, according to the Computerworld survey.


Hellz, people, I can do ALL of that.   I just need someone to kick me in the ass.


September 5: nerd-person

The voice someone uses when explaining something technical or generally nerdy.

I always switch to the nerd-person when discussing the finer points of ewok economics

Order a nerd-person mug — or a mug with any definition — on urbandictionary.com.

This made me laugh this morning.  It instantly reminded me of my friend Mark, the programmer guy, who explains technical things to me until my eyes glaze over, thinking I will understand.  I’m sure I DO get information out of it, but ohmyfuckinggod.   Speaking in the nerd-person, for sure.

So,  if you noticed that I haven’t been around much, it’s because I have my head down and am working 70+ hours a week.  It’s killin’ me.  The powers that be (at my work) are on a rampage to cut costs and casting aspersions upon at least half of the people in the office.  It is very tense,  jobs are going to be lost, mine included.  So much for 20 years of loyalty.  It’s not worth much, apparently.   I think the boss doesn’t think females should do IT because we’re not analytical enough.   Or maybe it’s just me.  I’m not articulate under the best of circumstances and when I get railed at by male authority figures I go into DeerInHeadights mode.  Not a good survival tactic.

An example of how I’ve lost my marbles:   A couple of months ago I had decided it was time to upgrade the blackberries for staff while we still had some budget.  The new iPhones were coming out and everyone was excited,  but realistically, their battery life sucks.  We were standardized on blackberries and everyone already knows how to use them so that’s what my plans were, new blackberries.   But the big boss, that male authority figure, never talks to me and he likes gadgets, so I thought I would engage him with a little debate and get some input from him about whether we should get blackberries or iPhones.  We went back and forth and I argued for the iPhones just for fun.   He wanted me to present a business case for them (why did I start this? yes, I am insane) which was more or less impossible because it’s a fairly bad idea.  He threw all of this in my face during our “meeting” about my job telling me I was not analytical and we should not run IT based on my “feelings”.   Could I explain any of what I just wrote here to him?  No.  DeerInHeadlights mode.  I sat there and took it for 90 minutes.  I didn’t cry, which was apparently a big disappointment for him.   He kept saying things like “Don’t take it personally, but are you even equipped to do your job? I’m going to get someone in here to see if you can really do your job.”  Sweet jeebus, I BUILT that job.  We had 3 un-networked PCs when I started there.

A lot of what is going on seems to be office politics, and the rest is the boss being on a diet and having hunger rage.  It’s scary having your future in hands like that and not being able to do much about it.   There’s more to it, of course, and the bottom line is always money, but it’s certainly been painful for the last few weeks.  I’ve now got a repetitive stress injury in my mouse arm called ulnar nerve compression (I think) and the fix is to not use it until it’s better.  That’s not really an option, of course.  But I haven’t been going online for fun.  😦 I miss you guys.

Anyway, Bob’s got me on his health insurance so if I do get canned there will be that.  I don’t have a degree and no current credentials, my bad for being complacent and learning things on my own.  It’s a tough job market out there and I don’t suppose I can compete.   Look, I’ve already given up before I’ve started!

I guess I can always go wash dishes somewhere.    Feh.

Re-use, re-cycle, re-purpose and … hack it?

Your College Gets a Supercomputer! And Yours, and Yours!
Chronicle of Higher Education (08/10/09) Young, Jeffrey R.

There may soon be a supercomputer for every college thanks to the declining assembly costs and growing power of these systems. Monmouth College, for instance, built a homemade supercomputer out of dozens of old high-end computers purchased on eBay for about $200 per unit.

Meanwhile, the U.S. government has constructed a series of shared supercomputers that any college can access online. Supercomputers are critical tools for the modeling of complex phenomena, and also are instrumental in many projects that display high-resolution images of data.

A 2006 report from the National Science Foundation (NSF) contends that increasing supercomputer access is vital to the maintenance of U.S. research’s competitiveness, and says that “problems of national need” will not be addressed unless more schools and more professors can use supercomputers to tackle their biggest challenges.

Last year several colleges initiated a program to spread awareness about supercomputing by designating a professor at each participating campus as a proselytizer and tech-support contact for the NSF-supported TeraGrid supercomputer network.

Monmouth professor Christopher G. Fasano, who put together the institution’s supercomputer, is concerned that “a new kind of digital divide” could manifest itself if small colleges do not make appropriate supercomputing investments, and thus fail to draw the best students and researchers. He says that exposure to supercomputing is becoming an essential need for students, especially if they are to go to graduate school in technical disciplines.


In other news, one of my work websites got hacked tonight [at 10:14, to be precise.  TMI, I know].  Didn’t matter, because I’d completely hosed it the night before which also didn’t matter, because it’s one of the WP blogs that someone begged me to set up and then never used at all.  Grrr. That’s way more annoying than the hack job, just for the record.

It sat for a year, with me updating it periodically with the WP updates but nothing else ever happening to it, and then I updated to 2.8.3 on the 11th which was IMMEDIATELY prior to WP coming out with the news of the bad wp-login file.  Sheesh.  Anyway, I tried something different when I updated it and ended up hosing it all but did NOT get the wp-login file up to the safe version, just had a generic 2.8.3 install there …  and lo and behold I started getting password change emails to the admin account tonight.  Bastards.  The 22 blogs that we DO use were all updated* again* today so they were fine.

Man, those hackers/spammers/scriptkiddies were right on top of this.   I haven’t really read about it (perhaps I should?) but I imagine the idea is to take over the blog and use it for spamming purposes.  The blog’s on a hardened Linux box so they won’t be able to do anything else but it I guess it was instructive.


Later, that same week:  I am full of shit, as usual.  Wasn’t any hack, just an annoying hacker attempt to change a password with that vulnerability in the wp-login file.  No breach.  I cleaned all the bad install up, anyway, and took the thing down.  If the user wants a new one she will have to buy me something pretty or drinkable.    Ciroc would be just right.