Tuesday, November 21, 2006

"Vacation" with Family

Spent Saturday and Sunday in Québec city with my family.

But, my week was not void of action too. Papers and presentations, here we come!

On Wednesday, my supervisor told us to put aside all our current work to start working for a paper in an encyclopedia. So, I had to rush to the Concordia and McGill libraries, take books to widen our previous work a bit. So that was a bit of reading to do.
I still managed to invite people for Friday's apologetics presentation on archeology, which was interesting. There was a section on superstition that was interesting and that I never saw covered before. There were not too many people though :(
On Saturday morning, I used allo-stop and went to see my family. We saw the movie Babel, which is NOT disciple-friendly, but definitely interesting in the themes covered. Lack of maturity, lack of preparation to life, lack of communication, emptiness. I liked most of the Japanese girl, who's so void of love that she's on the verge of suicide. The role was well done to show her increasing despair. Its a great commentary on the shallowness of our society.
After, I spent time with my parents, ate supper, talked about their updated wills and mandate. I then worked a little bit on my presentation, filling in details such as dates and explanations of theologies. Went to bed at midnight, was woken up by the cat feeding at 4:30... grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
Church was good. The teaching was on the Holy Spirit! I loved it! Then, I ate and prayed for all afternoon with 3 brothers. Then, final meal with parents, and back I went.
Now, I'm back in paper-writing. Yay!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Pains and Pleasures

So, I spent pretty much all of last week trying to get an example using JAAS to work. The stuff on the web shows how EAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSYYYYYYYYYYYYYY its supposed to be.
Its not. I have some kind of lame bug somewhere that just makes things NOT working. Snif :'(

On Saturday, I did the standard exam for potential hires by the Québec government. Just reading skills and some basic math. Nothing hard, really, just a big waste of time, as far as I'm concerned.

On Sunday, a great day. We went to Québec City for the church service and it was inspiring. We welcomed a new brother, who was just baptized, and we learnt that quite a few sisters are now pregnant. Talk about a baby boom! The songs were super inspiring. They modified "Our God in an Awesome God" in a very poignant form, with the Hebrew names in it! The preach was good too! I got to share about my conversion and I was told I was touching, real and down-to-earth. We ate out in the Old Québec and the waiter started asking questions about the church and stuff... one of the easiest sharing of my faith ever. Anyway, that one did get me on a good mood.

I also solved a dispute with a sister, so things are pretty good.

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Crazy Road Trip

So, after PST, I spent time with a sister before attending a midweek church service in downtown Toronto.

On Thursday, I took the bus to Detroit and was warmly welcomed by a brother and his wife. I was driven around and treated like a prince. I joined a Bible Talk in Wayne State University, had a great group date (the sister who did the cooking knows how to cook, oooooooooooooh yeah!).

On Friday, I had a prayer walk on Belle Isle, had a breakfast with my hospitable couple, and then was 'handed over' to another brother. We took care of the car rental, tried to purchase a Chinese Bible (the one thing I can't seem to buy without ordering from the web), went to a mall, etc. I bought a small chess board and some dominoes. On the evening, I took a sister to a campus devo and back.

Then, the road trip began. See pictures taken by a brother.

On Saturday, after a good quiet time, we left to Oxford, Ohio. We spent some time adjusting the tire pressure, etc. The road went well, although longish. We ate out in a Mexican restaurant in uptown Oxford, saw a hockey game at Miami State University.

On Sunday, we had a mini quiet time and went to church in Cincinnati. The preach was super good, talking godly living. After eating with the disciples there, it was time to head back.

I overall enjoyed the company in the car, although the whole ordeal was challenging for me emotionally (won't say more here).

On Monday, it was a looooooooooooooooot of bus, oh man! Detroit -> Toronto -> Montreal, 10h45 -> 24h15.
Suffice to say I didn't come to work too early today.

PST 2006

From October 30th to November 1st, I attended a conference: Privacy, Security, Trust, in Markham. The proceedings are not online just yet, but they eventually will. Both CCECE and PST aren't online yet... that's annoying!

I presented a paper there, which went well. Security Hardening of Open-Source Software. We described an onthology based on security engineering, defined 'security hardening' and showed examples in C. There were no hard questions or anything like that.

There were a few interesting things that I saw:

Sushil Jajodia presented the fruits of his team's research in a tool named CAULDRON, which maps your network's vulnerabilities, draws attack graphs to your crown jewels, and correlates Snort information with this attack graph. Very useful for any sysadmin. I don't know if it is publicly available though.
Brian O'Higgins presented the software sold by Third Brigade. Deep packet inspection in a driver, that works with a few rules that just WORK. Looks sweet too!
The paper of Horkoff et all, "Analyzing Trust in Technology Strategies" is one of the few "Trust" papers that won't put me to sleep by the end of the first page.
Folkerts and Bischof, in "A Comparison of Reputation-based Trust Systems" come up with metrics and a framework to evaluate reputation systems. I didn't read the paper through, but it looks like a turning point in the field.
Alam et al. propose a new form of access control, Constraint-based RBAC (CRBAC), targeted to service-oriented architectures. They developed a language to specify access constraints (as far as I understand) on top of classical RBAC. It allows for partial inheritance of rights too.
Kong et al. propose protected data paths by allowing the kernel to keep a cache on the behalf of the application, so that the application is not able to access the data itself.
One of the neat things I discovered is the Quero toolbar. I installed it on IE7. Its a convenient search toolbar, and it has an integrated ad blocker. I can get the same in Firefox, but its good to know I can have it in IE too. It allows to replace the standard address bar of IE7 so that there is no visual duplication between IE7 functionality and the toolbar. I like it!
I still need to sift through many papers... will keep on updating this page as I go along
P.S. some presenters very very boring... its almost shameful.

Good analysis by Olbermann

Remember, if you can still vote, vote Democrat!