[Warning: spoilers for Shutter Island below.] Over the last few nights I watched Shutter Island, a nice atmospheric horror film. Near the end someone pulls out a chalkboard and writes down the names of four important characters, which turn out to contain two pairs of anagrams. This is ridiculous: puzzles of this sort only work […]

On the Synergy Between Facebook and CAN Bus Error Confinement

One of my favorite lectures in my embedded systems class covers the design of CAN bus: a highly robust network most often used in automotive applications. CAN’s design is elegant in many ways and it includes several mechanisms to help keep the network operating under adverse conditions. One of these mechanisms is error confinement (see […]

Why Be Polite?

I’m generally not extremely rude, but as Sarah and many others would be happy to tell you, I’m not all about pleasantries. Basically I’ve never seen the point of certain kinds of small talk. To make things worse, I know almost nothing about sports and have thus disqualified myself from a large proportion of male […]

Is There Anything Knol Could Have Done to Attract Plagiarists More Effectively?

It is known that Google Knol has some plagiarism problems, but I wanted to share a quick anecdote. In early 2010 I noticed this Knol, which plagiarizes an article originally written by Nigel Jones. I’m sure that Nigel’s article is the original because it appeared in print nine years ago. I was annoyed to see […]