‘Episode 1 Main Theme’ by Bear Stearns Bravo OST
music to do rails of polysilicon off of an early 21st-century cybertoilet by
after 5 years and a bit, I’m leaving my current job at MS, effective close of business 9/25. long story short, I’m just not feeling it any more.
I’ve got a bit of cash saved up, so I decided to let my head clear a bit before looking for a new gig, so I don’t have anything lined up at the time of this writing. in truest slap-dash Colin form, I don’t really even have my resume together at this point.
if you’d be down to work with me, feel free to e-mail me at (vogon at outlook.com), and I’ll drop you a link to it once I get it freshened up.
ideal jobs are (in roughly descending order of importance):
- not at Google (no non-competes or anything, I just really hate Google);
- located in greater San Francisco north of Redwood City or so, or within 45ish minutes of the Seattle Central Business District by bus;
- product or agile dev, not program management or dedicated test roles;
- working on a product with a name and a Web site, not internal goop;
- ideally doing something cool with embedded software, music, or biotechnology (bonus points for consumer genetics);
- at least not doing something with advertising or SEO.
a brief sketch of me:
- 5.5 years professional generalist-ass software development experience: 2 years in Java, J2ME on BlackBerry; 2.5 years in C/C++ on Windows Phone 7.0/7.5/8.0, Windows 8/8.1, and self-hosted environments (i.e., bootloaders); 1 year in C# on Windows 8/8.1;
- pretty reasonable at C, C++, C#, and Java;
- knows enough to be dangerous about speech recognition/synthesis and information security, but never really employed in a dedicated role on either;
- some experience with Ruby and web technologies through side projects, but still definitely apprentice-level;
- 4-year degrees in computer science and linguistics from the University of Washington.
love to work with you, or grab a drink and share war stories if not!
‘Good Thing It’s A Ghost Town Around Here’ by Still Flyin’
the jam of every day you just want to get through the day and have it be another day closer to the weekend
- how to build the middle layer of a computer system (the part that doesn’t actually do anything useful but connect the user to the system they actually want to be connected to)
- how to not build the middle layer of a computer system because all of the other people’s code is late and you don’t even know the shape of the thing you need to build yet and it’s 2 days until code complete
- how to get invited to meetings where people ask for requirements when your only requirement is “why is it August and you’re asking me now how to design a system that was supposed to be finished in June”
- how to take full responsibility for everyone else’s shit being late because they technically still made code complete but only left you two days to learn how to use their system
So, last night Gone Home – which, I will reiterate, is an excellent game that everyone should go play, even if they don’t really like games – came out. I started playing it within 7 hours of launch (and finished playing it within 9 hours) and still managed to have a key plot detail spoiled for me on Twitter.
So that kind of sucks. But it gave me an idea.
Back in the ‘60s and ‘70s, two computer scientists, Bell and LaPadula, worked on a secure operating system designed to operate US Government computer systems on classified networks. The classification system used by the government consists of four levels (Top Secret, Secret, Confidential, Unclassified) of decreasingly-secret information*, and each person within the system is cleared to a certain classification level, allowing them to read any data at that level or below**.
* plus a bunch of unimportant stuff that I’m not gonna bring up
** subject to need-to-know and a bunch of other things, of course
The security model they designed for this operating system proposes three properties which are sufficient to ensure that data never ends up in the hands of someone who isn’t cleared to handle it:
- The Simple Security Property: no person within the system can read a piece of information they aren’t cleared for (no read-up).
- The Star-Property: no person within the system can write a piece of information cleared for anyone lower than them (no write-down).
- The Discretionary Security Property: this one’s boring and I’m going to ignore that it exists.
From this highfalutin use case, it’s pretty simple to draw a parallel to spoilers for a video game. Instead of clearance levels, substitute some metric of plot completion (say, act breaks or boss fights), and rewrite the security properties as follows:
- The Simple Security Property: no person within the system can read a piece of information written by someone who has completed more of the game than they have.
- The Star-Property: no person within the system can write a piece of information readable by someone who has completed less of the game than they have.
A forum tied to an achievement/save system which is designed to enforce these properties should be fairly resistant to spoilers. (Obviously, there’s nothing that prevents someone from smurfing – creating a new account with lower completion to leak information – and there’s nothing that prevents someone from learning information outside the system and bringing it in. But that’s true of the existing system.) The system could also be enhanced with analogs of “declassification authorities”: trusted entities which are allowed to violate the star-property in order to move spoiler-free information to people who are still earlier in the game.
It’s dumb and maybe overengineered, but hey.
Addendum: For games without linear completion (e.g., the Robot Masters in the Mega Man series), it’s possible to expand the system to allow for this, though it gets more confusing. Instead of a single hierarchy of completion, expand the classification of a person to the set of all parts of the game its author has completed (“has beaten Wood Man, Bubble Man, and Air Man.”)
The security properties become:
- The Simple Security Property: no person within the system can read a piece of information written by someone whose completion is not a subset of theirs (i.e., a “Wood/Bubble/Air” post can be read by someone who’s “Wood/Bubble/Air/Metal” cleared, but not “Wood/Bubble/Crash” cleared).
- The Star-Property: no person within the system can write a piece of information readable by someone whose completion is not a superset of theirs (i.e., a “Wood/Bubble/Air” author can write posts which are “Wood/Bubble/Air/Metal” cleared, but not posts that are “Wood/Bubble” cleared.)
fucking spoilers. holy shit. do not even think about reading after the jump unless you’ve played and completed Gone Home. maybe don’t even read it then. you might not have found these things.
‘Melody Circus’ by Savant
I have been listening to hell of Savant thanks to @zumpiez recently, it’s the most bizarre combination of electro-swing, VGM, and wobble bass