Serenading Gone Wrong

On Friday, September 8th Vassar held its annual serenading tradition. It’s a gentle form of hazing where seniors launch approved food items at groveling freshman while they, for the most part, sing back. It’s a harmless and joyous occasion.
A Vassar College employee (read: boxer) who belonged to neither side unfortunately got caught in the crossfire this year. While most are smart enough to steer clear of the craziness, one unlucky and impatient Vassar employee found herself trying to drive her car through a mob of singing freshman and squirting seniors. Someone launched onto her car, and she punched the guy. It was quite an event.

1. The Jump.

jump

2. The Exit

skitched
Continue reading “Serenading Gone Wrong”

Better Internet for Better Lives

It’s really nice to be off campus with my own internet and my own network rules. What if I wanna do usenet? Sure! What if I want to use bit torrent? Go for it! What if I want to download at 800 KB/sec and not wait 15 minutes for a flash video to load?

Vassar Internet

oncampus

My Off Campus House’s Internet

offcampus
I wish that I could make a gateway between my network here and the one on campus. It would allow me to print, access subscribed databases… Perhaps an ssh tunnel and a dedicated host on campus? It could work, that is if ssh isn’t disabled.
I remember my freshman year (2003) when the DC++ hubs were sprouting up everywhere. Those were wild times. We had a clever Freshman who set one up for the school. He started it with a login system and an aol username ‘Vassarhub’, but then got overwhelmed and just opened it up to anyone who could log in. Terabytes of data crossed the fiber lines of Vassar over the next couple weeks, enough to freak out our CIS (computing and internet services) folks. He was shut down. Articles were written.
At times there were 30 people in the DCC hub. Needless to say, the LAN speeds had a lot of people drooling.
I was withdrawn for a couple minutes when it was shut down, but I set up an FTP server of some DVDs I had burned from the library (fairuse, anyone?). (We have an impressive collection) It worked for the rest of the year, but CIS did some light reading over the summer, and found some ingenious ways to COMPLETELY CLOSE PORTS internally and externally making it impossible to do VPN, SSH, SFTP, USENET or anything remotely non-academic. The one port they believed they did not have to deny us was the Itunes music sharing port (ahh… ourtunes…).

3689

When I discovered this, I was a happy boyo. I had tried TOR, port scanners, and even encrypted bit torrent.
Whenever I miss living on campus, I just look at this graph and imagine how sad everyone is, even with 64 megabits of download speed.
vassar

Back in the Saddle

Keeping on top of my favorite things is what I’m all about, and Google Reader is perfect for that.
At the time of this writing I have 343 subscriptions. Of course I don’t read every blog… and not all of them are blogs. Some of the feeds I subscribe to are bacn-like feeds of aggregates of feeds. Let me explain.

They’re not exactly ‘posts’ but they’re a aggregate of one array of information. Here’s some examples:

Popular Video Files on Delicious

I find that this feed gives me the most reliably awesome videos on a daily basis. Instead of looking for bookmarks in delicious that are tagged with video, these have been recognized as video files themselves. Because delicious tends to have a lot of techies, most of these videos are really engaging tech lecturers. Link here and feed here.

Flickr Contacts Recent Favorites

This feed, created by Yahoo Pipes, notifies me of when my friends favorite an image on Flickr. I tend to trust their judgement. You can find the pipes page here.

Digg, del.icio.us, Reddit, Slashdot Mashup

I hate to go to all the ‘crowd powered media’ sites but this yahoo pipes consolidates the most popular stuff in one feed for me. It guarantees me a hot dose of popular with no aftertaste. Find it here.

And now, a flyover of some beautiful landscape in Afganistan, set to a Sigur Ros song. I recommend you skip 5 minutes ahead, unless you want to see a guy meet everyone on the flight, including the Afghani pilot.