News of possibly no interest whatsoever

Most of you probably know that we recently moved into a new house.  (If you don't, sorry about that -- I've been  meaning to write a catchup post to talk about it).  One of the biggest things we wanted in a new house was a library.  We had one in our old house, but had to turn it into a playroom once the kids were old enough.

I am fortunately to work with a skilled carpenter who builds furniture on the side.  For those who have seen our wooden castle blocks that we bought at Art Fair, it was his father who made those.  He is building us a set of Jefferson bookshelves for our new library, and is blogging it as it he goes.  If anyone other than us actually cares about it, you can see the progress at  There's not much to report yet, as he just took deliver of the wood, but I'm always fascinated by the details that go into making something and he's already got some interesting tidbits about what it takes to do this kind of work with real wood.

The reason they are called Jefferson bookshelves is that this is the style that Thomas Jefferson used in his home and in his library at congress.  They are simply wood boxes of different sizes that can be stacked to make any combination of shelves and shelf sizes you like.  And then when it's time to start your new congressional term, you can just pick up each box, put it on it's back, nail some boards across the top, and throw it in the wagon for the trip down to that new swamp-infested capital they are building.  When you arrive just remove the boards, stack them up, and viola! -- instant library.
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God help me

I'm seriously starting to consider getting an iPad.  I can't decide if this is because I actually have a use for it (I have a lot more travel coming up where it would be handy for both entertainment and light work) or because I'm just succumbing to the cool factor of the technology.

Come see me talk!

For those of you who are in the Detroit area or are already planning to attend, I will be giving two talks at this year's ConFusion the annual Detroit-area science fiction convention. It is being held this weekend (1/21 - 1/23) at the Troy Marriott, just off of I75 at Big Beaver Rd.

The first talk will be at 10:00 AM Saturday, and covers the really cool work I've done measuring the Internet with some colleagues at Arbor Networks over the past 2 years.  If you are interested in this whole Internet thing and would like to know how it's evolving, I think you will be interested in this panel.

My second talk is at 5:00 PM on Saturday, and covers the current state of Internet Security. It will include some results of our annual ISP survey, where we get real data from real ISPs about the kinds of attacks they have seen.  It will also include some details on the recent Anonymous attacks in support of Wikileaks that made the news this past December.

If you are at all interested in this whole Internet thing, please come to one or both of my panels and bring your questions!

Music for the winter

Once again I find myself listening to my Carolina mix, a mix album of songs about North Carolina thoughtfully given to me by <lj user=legocoach"> and <lj user="sarahf"> for Christmas a few years ago.  A great set of music for the cold, gray winter months. Thanks again, guys.
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(no subject)

I just found out that the first patent I was part of filing, patent No. 7844696 -- Method and System for monitoring control signal traffic over a computer network -- has finally been granted.  We applied for it in June of 2002, and it was actually granted in the UK in 2004, but it took until last week for the USPTO to approve it.  I have a couple more in the queue somewhere.

If you want, you can read the whole thing in all of it's glorious detail (after obfuscation by lawyers) at the USPTO website.

Incidentally, you may wonder how I found out it was finally granted.  (OK, you probably aren't wondering, but I'm going to tell you anyway.)  I found out tonight when I opened a piece of strange looking junk mail and it turned out to be an offer from a company in Indiana wanting to sell me a commemorative plaque for my new patent.  They have an impressive turnaround time -- the patent was granted on 11/30, and I got the offer in the mail today (12/6).  Kooky.
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You know it's a good day when...

I was listening to some of my favorite music while cleaning up the dishes earlier this week and Alex told me he really liked it.  I pulled it out in the car on the way to work this morning and again he said he enjoyed listening to it.  This makes me very happy, since music has been such an important part of my life.  And the fact that it was my favorite blues/Jazz band makes it even better.  Thanks to The Seatbelts!
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    Tank!, The Seatbealts