Welcome to Bob & Eileen's web site. Bob generally blogs here while Eileen blogs over at her site. You can see our photos from here or click the little camera in the upper right corner.


May 2024

March 21, 2013

Would you click this? No

Filed under: Commentary,Work,World Wide Web — Bob @ 9:36 pm

Screen Shot 2013-03-21 at 10.24.47 PMThere is zero chance that I would click on this box on a web page. Neither should you.

Its very common for malware to do a bit of social engineering, trying to convince users to download a plugin or application to view special content (especially videos). Its a really bad idea. The most dangerous malware you might face will record every keystroke you make (including your passwords) and send those keystrokes off to someone ready to hijack your accounts. Another type of malicious software will encrypt your computer files and demand payment to release them. Ransomware. This stuff is tough to detect and tougher to get rid of.

Oh yeah, in case you forgot, I work for a company that is very interested in computer security.

Digging into the web page code it appears to be an ad generated from The Rubicon Project, an online advertising platform. Might be legit, but certainly doesn’t look like it, especially the gobs of script code that is attached to the iframe.

This was seen on a Cheezburger site (can’t remember which one). No sane person should ever click on that. Never, ever.

The best advice I can give is to keep your OS and applications up to date, disable Java applets in your browser, and never download programs or plugins from sites you didn’t explicitly visit. And of course never open those files sent to you in email even if it appears to be from a close friend or family member. Spoofing email accounts is a common social engineering trick.

Lastly if you use Windows, upgrade to Windows 7 or 8. If you us Mac OS X, upgrade to 10.7 or 10.8. Really.

August 1, 2009


Filed under: Electronics,Games,Robots,Work — Bob @ 10:57 am

From the exceptionally low frequency of updates to this site this year you’d think that I have nothing interesting to post about. Not true. Things have been exceptionally busy at work, and I’ve also managed to find some interesting things in my pursuit of building robots.

I took a trip for work to the Sophos HQ in Abingdon, United Kingdom a couple of weeks ago. Its just outside of Oxford, and its a great place. It was really nice to meet people I’ve been talking to (over the phone) for quite a few months now, and the week I spent there was incredibly productive. This was the culmination of a lot of work since spring, and it seems like its only getting more busy now through the summer.

For my robotics hobby I picked up a Hammer board from Tin Can Tools. This is a development board built around a Samsung processor with an ARM 920T core. I have this crazy idea of making a Line Maze robot that runs Linux for the Seattle Robotics Society Robothon event this October. Seriously!

The other major “toy” is my new iPhone 3GS. I’d been waiting for the new model to come out, and I even took time off from work to go stand in line on the morning it was released. I really like it, definitely another solid Apple product. I’ve slowly been re-incorporating Apple products into my household: a 15″ MacBook Pro, a Time Capsule, and now an iPhone. It is just so much better than my previous phone (Motorola Razr) and its also much better than any other device I looked at including the Blackberry product line and the phones running Google Android. I’ve got the iPhone SDK installed and have started writing my first applications. Learning Objective-C is nifty although it makes my brain hurt a little after so many years of writing C++ and Perl/Python/etc.

The day I bought my iPhone I left it with Eileen and I went out to play golf with a friend. By the time I got back she had fallen in love with it too, and demanded we go out and buy her one. So now we are a two-iPhone household.

Golf. Yes, golf. I’ve been playing pitch-n-putt (par 3) golf with people from work this summer and having a great time. I’m not that good but still its a great way to be outside and includes a small amount of physical activity. I don’t think I’ll graduate to playing a full-size course but these short courses are a lot of fun. We’ve lived around the corner from a course for a number of years but never been there. Now I will often get home from work, pick up the clubs and walk five minutes down the street to play nine holes. Lots of fun!

March 1, 2009

Battlestar Galactica, the game

Filed under: Games,Work — Bob @ 2:03 pm

pic354500_tIts been a long time since I updated this site, so let’s start with what I did last night. A few friends I used to work with at Kodak were getting together to play Battlestar Galactica, The Board Game. The fellow organizing it was also the one who introduced me to a number of excellent board games such as Ticket to Ride and Modern Art. There were six of us in total, the game is much better with a large group.

The BSG game uses the storyline through Season 2 as its backdrop. The basic conflict pits the humans against the Cylons, but initially the identity of the Cylons is secret. Each player is one of the cast members although the “who is a Cylon and who is not” is still very much in play. For example, Boomer is already a known Cylon by this time in the storyline but in the game there is no guarantee. In a six person game at least one person is a secret Cylon from the beginning. Their job is to sabotage the work of the humans for as long as they can, and they can choose to reveal themselves as Cylon to gain new and different ways to play the game. Halfway through the game one of the humans is privately informed they are really a Cylon too, and their goals then switch to insure the destruction of the humans. This tension creates a lot of paranoid decision making, and if the humans are truly unlucky the Cylon can be a very powerful figure such as the President or the Admiral of the Fleet (or both, as happened in one of our games).

If you are a fan of the series and really enjoy moderately complex board games I’d recommend this one. It takes a bit of time to find the optimal move for each player on each turn, but the basic rules are pretty easy to learn and it moves along at a reasonable speed. The first game can be pretty long (ours was about four hours long) due to having to learn the rules. The second game went much quicker, once everyone was up to speed.

One word of caution: don’t play this game with people who are easily upset by duplicitous behavior. The whole point of the hidden Cylon agenda is to wreak the most havoc on the humans at the worst possible time. Get used to it, this is how the game works.

November 30, 2008

30 Days of Movember

Filed under: Commentary,Humor,Work — Bob @ 9:22 pm

The end of Movember is upon us and I must admit to a certain amount of pride in my newly-discovered ability to grow a decent looking moustache. It isn’t the best facial hair I’ve ever seen but it is way ahead of my original expectations.

Eileen has grown to like the moustache, even trying to convince me I should keep it. Nope. It catches my lunch and that is very, very disturbing. I find myself pulling at it, there is a certain obsessive-compulsive quality to it that I’d rather avoid.

Shaving around it has become a chore as well. I will be clean-shaven once again by this time tomorrow, at least for eleven more months – I’m sure I’ll be participating in Movember 2009.

I got Eileen to take a few pictures throughout the month (posted to my MoSpace page) and I’ve now assembled them into a short video that allows a time-lapse Movember experience.

I’m very grateful to friends and family who donated to the Movember cause. I raised $602.84 and our team at Sophos (Team Mophos) raised a total of $6,929.14. Yay! Thanks everyone!

November 8, 2008

Movember 2008

Filed under: Commentary,Humor,Work — Bob @ 9:04 am

A number of people at work cornered me at the end of October and coerced me into participating in this year’s Movember charity event. The concept: grow a moustache (no beards allowed) for the month of November, and use it as an excuse to raise money.

The Movember Foundation aims to raise awareness and money for prostate cancer research as well as general men’s health issues.

I’ve never let my facial hair grow, except for maybe not shaving for a day or two over a long weekend. I didn’t have high hopes for an attractive moustache, and I was certain I wouldn’t manage anything quite as bushy as George Parros (NHL player for Anaheim) but I really didn’t know what to expect.

So far I’d say it is going ok. Not great nor bad, just ok. Visit my MoSpace page to track the progress of the moustache, including pictures, and maybe donate to this worthy cause.

Our friend Jamie wrote about it, expecting a lack-luster moustache. Drop by her blog and let her know whether she is right or wrong.

Next Page »
Powered by: WordPress