Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

Finally! A Main Stream Use for Deep Learning!

Tuesday, February 6th, 2018

Using deep learning to generate offensive license plates by Jonathan Nolis.

From the post:

If you’ve been on the internet for long enough you’ve seen quality content generated by deep learning algorithms. This includes algorithms trained on band names, video game titles, and Pokémon. As a data scientist who wants to keep up with modern tends in the field, I figured there would be no better way to learn how to use deep learning myself than to find a fun topic to generate text for. After having the desire to do this, I waited for a year before I found just the right data set to do it,

I happened to stumble on a list of banned license plates in Arizona. This list contains all of the personalized license plates that people requested but were denied by the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division. This dataset contained over 30,000 license plates which makes a great set of text for a deep learning algorithm. I included the data as text in my GitHub repository so other people can use it if they so choose. Unfortunately the data is from 2012, but I have an active Public Records Request to the state of Arizona for an updated list. I highly recommend you look through it, it’s very funny.

What a great idea! Not only are you learning deep learning but you are being offensive at the same time. A double-dipper!

A script for banging against your state license registration is left as an exercise for the reader.

A password generator using phonetics to spell offensive phrases for c-suite users would be nice.

Fun, Frustration, Curiosity, Murderous Rage – mimic

Monday, January 15th, 2018


From the webpage:

There are many more characters in the Unicode character set that look, to some extent or another, like others – homoglyphs. Mimic substitutes common ASCII characters for obscure homoglyphs.

Fun games to play with mimic:

  • Pipe some source code through and see if you can find all of the problems
  • Pipe someone else’s source code through without telling them
  • Be fired, and then killed

I can attest to the murderous rage from experience. There was a browser-based SGML parser that would barf on the presence of an extra whitespace (space I think) in the SGML declaration. One file worked, another with the “same” declaration did not.

Only by printing and comparing the files (this was on Windoze machines) was the errant space discovered.


“Smart” Cock Ring Medical Hazard

Sunday, December 10th, 2017

World’s first ‘smart condom’ collects intimate data during sex and tells men whether their performance is red-hot or a total flop.

From the post:

The smart condom is a small band which fits around the bottom of a man’s willy, which means wearers will still need to strap on a normal condom to get full protection.

It is waterproof and features a band that’s ‘extraordinarily flexible to ensure maximum comfort for all sizes’.

Bizarrely, it even lights up to provide illumination for both partners’ nether regions.

Or better, a picture:

With a hand so you can judge its size:

It’s either the world’s shortest condom or it’s a cock ring. Calling it a condom doesn’t make it one.

The distinction between a condom vs. cock ring is non-trivial. Improperly used, a cock ring can lead to serious injury.

Refer any friends you are asking for to: Post coital penile ring entrapment: A report of a non-surgical extrication method.

Catalin Cimpanu @campuscodi tweeted this as: “Security disaster waiting to happen…” but competing against others poses a health risk as well.

How Email Really Works

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

There’s truth to both!

HT: @oxpss

Russians Influence 2017 World Series #Upsidasium (Fake News)

Monday, October 30th, 2017

Unnamed sources close to moose and squirrel, who are familiar with the evidence, say Russians are likely responsible for contamination of 2017 World Series baseballs with Upsidaisium. The existence and properties of Upsidaisium was documented in the early 1960s. This is the first known use of Upsidaisium to interfere with the World Series.

Sports Illustrated has photographic evidence that world series baseballs are “slicker” that a “normal” baseball, one sign of the use of Upsidaisium.

Unfortunately, Upsidaisim decays completely after the impact of being hit, into a substance indistinguishable from cowhide.

Should you obtain more unattributed statements from sources close to:

By Source, Fair use, Link


By Source, Fair use, Link

Please add it in the comments below.


Journalists/Fake News hunters: Part truth, part fiction, just like reports of Russian “influence” (whatever the hell that means) in the 2016 presidential election and fears of Kasperkey Lab software.

Yes, Russia exists; yes, there was a 2016 presidential election; yes, Clinton is likely disliked by Putin, so do millions of others; yes, Wikileaks conducted a clever ad campaign with leaked emails, bolstered by major news outlets; but like Upsidaisim, there is no evidence tying Russians, much less Putin to anything to do with the 2016 election.

A lot of supposes, maybes and could have beens are reported, but no evidence. But US media outlets have kept repeating “Russia influenced the 2016” election until even reasonable people assume it is true.

Don’t do be complicit in that lie. Make #Upsidasium the marker for such fake news.

A cRyptic crossword with an R twist

Friday, October 13th, 2017

A cRyptic crossword with an R twist

From the post:

Last week’s R-themed crossword from R-Ladies DC was popular, so here’s another R-related crossword, this time by Barry Rowlingson and published on page 39 of the June 2003 issue of R-news (now known as the R Journal). Unlike the last crossword, this one follows the conventions of a British cryptic crossword: the grid is symmetrical, and eschews 4×4 blocks of white or black squares. Most importantly, the clues are in the cryptic style: rather than being a direct definition, cryptic clues pair wordplay (homonyms, anagrams, etc) with a hidden definition. (Wikipedia has a good introduction to the types of clues you’re likely to find.) Cryptic crosswords can be frustrating for the uninitiated, but are fun and rewarding once you get to into it.

In fact, if you’re unfamiliar with cryptic crosswords, this one is a great place to start. Not only are many (but not all) of the answers related in some way to R, Barry has helpfully provided the answers along with an explanation of how the cryptic clue was formed. There’s no shame in peeking, at least for a few, to help you get your legs with the cryptic style.

Another R crossword for your weekend enjoyment!


Euromyths A-Z index

Monday, October 9th, 2017

Euromyths A-Z index an index of foolish acts by the EU that are false.

See the EU site for foolish acts that are true.


PS: There are Snopes and Politifact for US politics, should there be a more legislation/regulation oriented resource?

The IRS hiring Equifax after its data breach for security, for example (true). I don’t find that surprising, compared to government security practices, Equifax is the former KGB.

Searching for Butt Plugs in Congressional Offices

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

It’s a click-bait title but I’m entirely serious. There are security flaws in IoT adult toys, flaws that enable you to discover and manipulate those toys. I use Congress as an example but the same principles apply to banks, Wall Street offices, government agencies, law firms, etc.

Discovering such a device could result in a lower mortgage interest rate, a favorable administrative decision, changes to pending legislation, dismissal of charges, any number of things normally associated with class-based privilege.

I encountered John Leyden‘s report Dildon’ts of Bluetooth: Pen test boffins sniff out Berlin’s smart butt plugs – You’ve heard of wardriving – say hello to screwdriving (warning NSFW image) first:

Security researchers have figured out how to locate and exploit smart adult toys.

Various shenanigans are possible because of the easy discoverability and exploitability of internet-connected butt plugs and the like running Bluetooth’s baby brother, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), a wireless personal area network technology. The tech has support for security but it’s rarely implemented in practice, as El Reg has noted before.

The shortcoming allowed boffins at Pen Test Partners to hunt for Bluetooth adult toys, a practice it dubbed screwdriving, in research that builds on its earlier investigation into Wi-Fi camera dildo hacking earlier this year.

BLE devices also advertise themselves for discovery. The Lovense Hush, an IoT-enabled butt plug, calls itself LVS-Z001. Other Hush devices use the same identifier.

The Hush, like every other sex toy tested by PTP (the Kiiroo Fleshlight, Lelo, Lovense Nora and Max), all lacked adequate PIN or password protection. If the devices did have a PIN it was generic (0000 / 1234 etc). This omission is for understandable reasons. PTP explains: “The challenge is the lack of a UI to enter a classic Bluetooth pairing PIN. Where do you put a UI on a butt plug, after all?
… (bold emphasis added)

Indeed, a UI for a butt plug is difficult to imagine. 😉

For the technical details, with more NSFW images, Alex Lomas describes the insecurity of adult toys in great detail in Screwdriving. Locating and exploiting smart adult toys.

From the post:

Alex is using LightBlue Explorer® — Bluetooth Low Energy (Google Play), (AppStore), although other Bluetooth discovery apps would work just as well.

Searching Congressional Offices For Newbies

If you are comfortable with Bluetooth and hex commands, you have all you need to surf for butt plugs in congressional offices.

Others, especially those who only use smart phone apps, may need some additional instructions.

At the risk of more NSFW images, the Hush butt plug homepage advises:

(Google Play), (AppStore),

You install the Hush app, fire it up (sorry), walk about waiting for a connection to appear. How hard is that? (Scanning tip, 360 degrees, standing, up to 30 feet; sitting, 5 to 10 feet.)


Unauthorized interception of even advertised signals may be a crime in some jurisdictions. Not to mention unauthorized interaction with a remote device is likely to constitute battery (a crime).

That said, the insecurity of Bluetooth devices and other cyberinsecurities are opportunities to challenge existing privilege systems. Whether you take up that challenge or choose to support the status quo, is entirely up to you.


Thursday, August 17th, 2017


If you aren’t familiar with Emojipedia, be forewarned: It’s a real time sink! 😉

In small doses it’s highly entertaining and a necessity in some communities.


Theresa May (UK) Out Dumbs Donald Trump (USA)

Monday, June 5th, 2017

Theresa May (UK) has made a dumber proposal than Donald Trump (USA), at least this week. But it is only Monday.

The Independent reports Theresa May is calling for regulation of the internet, after a van and knife on London Bridge.

From the story:

“We cannot allow this ideology the safe space it needs to breed – yet that is precisely what the internet, and the big companies that provide internet-based services provide,” Ms May said.

“We need to work with allied democratic governments to reach international agreements to regulate cyberspace to prevent the spread of extremist and terrorism planning.”

She warned there was “a new trend in the threat we face” and that while the three recent terror attacks in the UK were not linked by “common networks”, they were “bound together by the single evil ideology of Islamic extremism”.

Completely unhinged.

Do take the threats of regulation seriously.

Search for and publish 0Days upon discovery. Computers are breached may belong to governments attempting to regulate the internet. Any diminishing of their capabilities and/or secrecy, is a win for everyone.

The “blue screen of death” lives! (Humorous HTML Links)

Monday, May 29th, 2017

A simple file naming bug can crash Windows 8.1 and earlier by Steve J. Vaughan-Nichols.

From the post:

In a blast from the past, a Russian researcher has uncovered a simple bug in the NTFS file system that consistently crashed Windows Vista to 8.1 PCs.

Like the infamous Windows 95/98 /con/con bug, by simply entering a file name with “$MFT” the file-system bug locks up Windows at best, or dumps it into a “blue screen of death” at worse.

The bug won’t deliver malware but since it works in URLs (except for Chrome), humorous HTML links in emails are the order of the day.


Critical: Draw Coffee Cup In TeX/LaTeX

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

How to draw a coffee cup.

I’m sure everyone who has ever seen a post, article, book on TeX/LaTeX has lost sleep over how to draw a coffee cup.

Thanks to a tweet from @TeXtip, we can all rest easier. Or at least be bothered by other problems.

@TeXtip points to answers to vexing questions such as how to draw a coffee cup and acts as a reminder to use a little TeX/LaTeX everyday.


Executive Order on Cybersecurity [“No Snide Remark Seems Adequate”]

Thursday, May 11th, 2017

Presidential Executive Order on Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure

You do remember this Dilbert cartoon from May 23, 1989?

Laptops Banned To Drive Alcohol Consumption

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

Clive Irving writes in U.S. to Ban Laptops in All Cabins of Flights From Europe:

The Department of Homeland Security will ban laptops in the cabins of all flights from Europe to the United States, European security officials told The Daily Beast. The announcement is expected Thursday.

Irving does a good job of illustrating the increased risk from the laptop ban, but misses the real motivation behind the ban. Yes, yes, DHS says it:

…continues to evaluate the threat environment and will make changes when necessary to keep air travelers safe.

“Threat environment” my ass!

Remember the UK has been reduced to claiming people with knives are terrorists.

Armed police carrying out a counterterrorism operation Thursday swooped in on a man they said was carrying knives in a bag near Britain’s Parliament and arrested him on suspicion of planning terrorist acts.

A European security official familiar with the individual said the suspect was known to British security agencies and was thought to have been inspired by the Islamic State group.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence matters, said the discovery of knives suggested an attack might have been close to fruition. Authorities haven’t released the man’s name.

London’s Metropolitan Police said the 27-year-old suspect was stopped and detained “as part of an ongoing operation” by the force’s counterterrorism unit.

“…swooped in on a man they said was carrying knives in a bag…”

That sounds more like a Saturday Night Live skit than a terrorist attack or potential one.

Shake the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) tree really hard, by leakers or FOIA requests and I’m betting the following will fall out:

Alcoholic Drink Consumption On Europe to US Flights

  • Underage and kill-joys: 0
  • Parent with one child: 3
  • Parent with two children: 5
  • Business flyer with no laptop: 1 per hour of flight time

Once this data began to circulate among airline companies, the fate of laptops was sealed.

Increase alcohol sales are the primary goal of the laptop ban.

PS: If you think I am being cavalier about the risk from terrorism, consider that 963 people were killed by police officers in 2016. Versus 54 people in “terrorist” attacks, all by US citizens.

Interstellar Cybersquatting (Humor)

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

The inhabitants of one or more of the planets orbiting Trappist-1:

  1. Are unaware the name of their system is Trappist-1
  2. Are unaware their domain,, has been registered by an interstellar cybersquatter.

Some days it doesn’t pay to read interstellar news!


At 25% of the speed of light, that’s approximately 156 years one way or 312 round trip, allowing three years for pleadings to be drafted, so 315 years before litigation over the cybersquatting to begin.

Is anyone looking for particles entangled with particles at Trappist-1?

Might not be able to visit but a conference call perhaps? 😉

The Best And Worst Data Stories Of 2016

Sunday, January 1st, 2017

The Best And Worst Data Stories Of 2016 by Walt Hickey.

From the post:

It’s time once again to dole out FiveThirtyEight’s Data Awards, our annual (OK, we’ve done it once before) chance to honor those who did remarkably good stuff with data, to shame those who did remarkably bad stuff with data, and to acknowledge the key numbers that help describe what went down over the past year. As always, these are based on the considered analysis of an esteemed panel of judges, by which I mean that I pestered people around the FiveThirtyEight offices until they gave me some suggestions.

I had to list this under both data science and humor. 😉

What “…bad stuff with data…” stories do you know and how will you avoid being listed in 2017? (Assuming there is another listing.)

I suspect we learn more from data fail stories than ones that report success.



The best of Lower Case 2016 (CJR)

Saturday, December 31st, 2016

The best of Lower Case 2016

From the post:

IF WE HAD TO PICK ONE CJR tradition in particular that has survived and thrived in the digital age, it’s The Lower Case, our weekly look at unfortunate, cringe-worthy, or ironic headlines.

It turns out headlines can be just as awkward and occasionally inappropriate on digital stories and social-media posts, even though these days we have to catch them before a sneaky editor covers up the evidence (alas, there’s no more paper trail). Luckily, our readers continue to help us out, delivering screenshots of Lower Case offenders to our inbox at

The editors who wrote these headlines probably would prefer a do-over, but they should take heart: All of us can all learn from headlines gone wrong, and hopefully enjoy a chuckle in the process. Here are some highlights from 2016, including classics from the archives:
…(emphasis in original)

A column you defend to friends by saying: “I read other parts of the CJR too!”



The Course of Science

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

No doubt you will recognize “other” scientists in this description:


Select the image to get a larger and legible view.

I should point out that “facts” and “truth” have been debated recently in the news media without a Jesuit in sight. So, science isn’t the only area with “iffy” processes and results.

Posted by AlessondraSpringmann on Twitter.

Geek Jeopardy – Display Random Man Page

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

While writing up Julia Evans’ Things to learn about Linux, I thought it would be cool to display random man pages.

Which resulted in this one-liner in an executable file (man-random, invoke ./man-random):

man $(ls /usr/share/man/man* | shuf -n1 | cut -d. -f1)

As written, it displays a random page from the directories man1 – man8.

If you replace /man* with /man1/, you will only get results for man1 (the usual default).

All of which made me think of Geek Jeopardy!

Can you name this commands from their first paragraph descriptions? (omit their names)

  • remove sections from each line of files
  • pattern scanning and processing language
  • stream editor for filtering and transforming text
  • generate random permutations
  • filter reverse line feeds from input
  • dump files in octal and other formats

Looks easy now, but after a few glasses of holiday cheer? With spectators? Ready to try another man page section?



  • cut: remove sections from each line of files
  • awk: pattern scanning and processing language
  • sed: stream editor for filtering and transforming text
  • shuf: generate random permutations
  • col: filter reverse line feeds from input
  • od: dump files in octal and other formats

PS: I changed the wildcard in the fourth suggested solution from “?” to “*” to arrive at my solution. (Ubuntu 14.04)

Phishing John Podesta

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

Reconstructions of the phishing email and Google login were posted to Twitter. I make no warranty as to their accuracy and/or resemblance to what may or may not have been seen by John Podesta.



(selecting the images will display a larger version)

Recognition Warning: A phishing email sent to you will have your name, not John Podesta, in the email. The alleged Google login page will have your image and your name.

If you get the fake Google password page for John Podesta, that is a poor phishing attempt.

If you would fall for this phishing attempt addressed to you (or John Podesta):

Turn off your computer. Unplug your computer (to avoid accidentally starting it).

Inform your employer you require a position that does not involve computers.

Thanks for making the internet safer for your employer and everyone else!

George Carlin’s Seven Dirty Words in Podesta Emails – Discovered 981 Unindexed Documents

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

While taking a break from serious crunching of the Podesta emails I discovered 981 unindexed documents at Wikileaks!

Try searching for Carlin’s seven dirty words at The Podesta Emails:

  • shit – 44
  • piss – 19
  • fuck – 13
  • cunt – 0
  • cocksucker – 0
  • motherfucker – 0 (?)
  • tits – 0

I have a ? after “motherfucker” because working with the raw files I show one (1) hit for “motherfucker” and one (1) hit for “motherfucking.” Separate emails.

For “motherfucker,” American Sniper–the movie, responded to by Chris Hedges – To: Podesta@Law.Georgetown.Edu

For “motherfucking,” H4A News Clips 5.31.15 – From/To:

“Motherfucker” and “motherfucking” occur in text attachments to emails, which Wikileaks does not search.

If you do a blank search for file attachments, Wikileaks reports there are 2427 file attachments.

Searching the Podesta emails at Wikileaks excludes the contents of 2427 files from your search results.

How significant is that?

Hmmm, 302 pdf, 501 docx, 167 doc, 12 xls, 9 xlsx – 981 documents excluded from your searches at Wikileaks.

For 9,011 emails, as of AM today, my local.

How comfortable are you with not searching those 981 documents? (Or additional documents that may follow?)

Self-Destruct Smart Phone Feature

Saturday, September 10th, 2016

The Samsung Galaxy 7 Note offer a self-destruct feature may defeat even quantum computers. It melts itself.

Like most new features, it’s erratic and difficult to invoke reliably. The 35 known cases don’t establish a pattern of how to make the Galaxy 7 Note explode on-demand, an essential characteristic for a self-destruct feature.

Having discovered this feature accidentally, one expects Samsung to offer the self-destruct feature on a standard Galaxy 8. Pricing has yet to be determined.


From the post:


PS: The self-destruct UI should be two-buttons. Say on/off plus phone. Something easy to remember and perform as you are being seized.

Frinkaic (Simpsons)

Saturday, August 20th, 2016


From the webpage:

Frinkiac has nearly 3 million Simpsons screencaps so get to searching for crying out glayvin!

With a link to Morbotron as well.

Once you recover, consider reading: Introducing Frinkiac, The Simpsons Search Engine Built by Rackers by Abe Selig.

Where you aren’t trying to boil the ocean with search, the results can be pretty damned amazing.

Nomination For #1 Impediment To IT Reform

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

I saw this on Twitter and nominate it as the #1 impediment to IT reform. In government or private industry (in case you think there is a difference).


Your nominations?

iTunes Prohibits Development of WMDs

Monday, August 1st, 2016


I feel certain that if I were planning on developing a weapon of mass destruction, a device that could only be used to cause widespread death and suffering, fear of violating the iTunes EULA would end my efforts in that direction.

Would be WMD developing tyrants should take fair warning to stay off of iTunes. Apple lawyers will gobble you up!

The Apple EULA.

Threats Against Democracy – Try Threats Against “Innocent” Users

Monday, August 1st, 2016

After posting about truth telling being a threat to democracy, in the eyes of some, I encountered: Facebook Phishing Scam Using Pornographic Images to Steal Login Data, which reads in part:

There is no way to stop cyber criminals from stealing login credentials of innocent social media users — Recently, one of the HackRead’s writers found a Facebook phishing scam targeting users and stealing their login data. What makes this phishing scam dangerous is the fact that apparently non of the phishing filters have detected any wrongdoing with the links used in this campaign.

Cyber criminals behind this scam have three motives one is to steal users’ login credentials, the second is to get some likes on their Facebook page and third is to profit financially. It starts with scammers posting a link in the comments section of several Facebook groups with a large thumbnail of a nude girl but to make it look like a legit link scammers also mention that video already got hundreds of comments, shares plus thousands of views. The description on the link goes something like this ”groups teen-girl-japannese-18-[retracted]–010 Click HERE to view video recorded 2.381 Likes, 749 Comments, 9.185 Views, 571 Share.”

Now there’s a serious security issue!

Taking advantage of users who are surfing Facebook for porn.

Talk about fishing (sorry) in the shallow end of the security pool.

Hard to say what other access could be leveraged using Facebook logins of such users.

Nuclear launch computers, remote admin at NSA, White House switchboard, free pizza line at Papa Johns. I take that back, Papa Johns probably has better OpSec than the others I mentioned. (That’s sarcasm for all the literalists in the crowd.)

Phishing With Pornography would make a great book title but I don’t know what sort of animal(s) should go on the cover. (Something from National Lampoon perhaps?)


PS: If you think this indicates I have little sympathy for victims of pornography-based phishing schemes, take a point for your house.

How-To Get Published In Scientific American

Friday, July 29th, 2016

Summarize the obvious:


“There are hackers, hackers I say that are breaking into computer systems!”

If the near omnipresence of hackers in all information systems surprises you, may I suggest that you join a survivalist community at your earliest opportunity?

The rest of the post summarizes the conclusion-rich but fact-poor popular opinions of US security contractors whose Magic-8 ball pointed towards Russia for this latest hacking incident.

Skip this article if you are looking for “scientific” content in Scientific American.

Ferengi Rules of Acquisition

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

Ferengi Rules of Acquisition

From the webpage:

The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition are a collection of two hundred and eighty-five sayings that form the basis of Ferengi philosophy.

The jury verdict against Oracle and in favor of HP for $3 billion reminded me of rule #8:

“Small print leads to large risk.”

You would think Ellison could recite them from memory by now. 😉

Scientists reportedly close to finding a use for LinkedIn

Monday, June 13th, 2016

Scientists reportedly close to finding a use for LinkedIn

Following a four-year multinational, interdisciplinary, cross-disciplinary study involving social scientists, computer scientists, algorithm developers, statisticians, mathematicians, programmers, engineers and clairvoyants, reports are circulating that there may be a breakthrough in the search for a use for the LinkedIn social network website.

“We don’t want to get people’s hopes up too much”, said Prof. Don Key of Stanford West University, “but we feel we are nearly there”.

“We have partnered with IBM and have used several hundred racks of their BlueGene/Q platform for the past four years and the results will almost certainly be out by next Friday”, said Prof. Key.


One serious use of LinkedIn is to collect images for your facial recognition cameras.

LinkedIn is one of the many “leaky” public sources of data. Even without breaching its security.

You can find stories similar to this one at: The allium.

PS: I just saw this news scrolling across the screen: “Study confirms the wicked get 63% less rest.”

May’s fake news quiz (FirstDraft News)

Friday, June 10th, 2016

May’s fake news quiz

Best played on smart phones, in a group, at a bar.

Hilarity will ensue!