Do spambots use a context free grammar?

posted by collin on 06.04.19 at 06:55, null, math, nonsense, math, random, 1 comment Permalink

Thanks for the special work and information! bed bug prevention exquisite image photography raymond chandler 22 inch wheels name database dandy don football hairless slit produce blue book

"raymond chandler"?

I guess there aren't any conjunctions or propositions so the answer to my question is probably no. Anybody know what statistical measures would show whether or not it's just a random sampling from some lexicon? Also, anybody know where I could get nice downloadable well formatted lexicon that tells you what part of speech the words are?

Comment from: marco [Member] ·
My guess is spambots use Markov models to generate text, trained on samples of real text. Probably second-order (bigram) models, or maybe third-order (trigram).

There are some standard corpora that NLP people use for testing. I don't know where to get them off the top of my head, but one of them is the "Brown corpus" (from the university, presumably) and you can probably find it courtesy of Google. It's a tagged corpus, as are some of the other well-known ones I don't remember the names of.
Permalink 04/20/06 @ 13:43


posted by collin on 06.04.10 at 06:50, null, nonsense, random, technology, tech, Leave a comment Permalink

Koolstof is een scheikundig element met symbool C en atoomnummer 6. Het is een kleurloos niet-metaal.

Carbon is a chemical element with symbol C and nuclear number 6. it is colourlessly nonmetal.

[idea via kolstof surfboards, dutch via wikipedia, english via babelfish]


posted by collin on 06.01.23 at 15:06, nonsense, news, random, Leave a comment Permalink


University of Florida employees have to pledge that they're having sex with their domestic partners before qualifying for benefits under a new health care plan at the university.

The partners of homosexual and heterosexual employees are eligible for coverage under UF's plan, which will take effect in February. The enrollment process began this month, and some employees have expressed concern about an affidavit that requires a pledge of sexual activity.

...In addition to declaring joint financial obligations, prospective enrollees must "have been in a non-platonic relationship for the preceding 12 months," according to the affidavit.

Ira just said...

posted by collin on 06.01.14 at 12:38, math, nonsense, math, random, Leave a comment Permalink
"Because when math fails, what do you have left but pure faith?"

-Ira Glass on This American Life [that is on the radio right now]

I have now lost my mind...

posted by collin on 06.01.10 at 17:11, nonsense, random, 1 comment Permalink

It is January 10th. I just tried to bring a Christmas tree into my aparment. I found it on the street. I quickly gave up.

Comment from: ben [Member] ·
Is there a backstory? You were going to... add it to your canoe, make it into skis, burn it in your nonfunctional gas fireplace?
Permalink 01/10/06 @ 23:29

God damn it!

posted by collin on 06.01.06 at 11:05, news, news, rant, rant, Leave a comment Permalink

This just got posted to /., from the Chicago Sun-Times:

The Chicago Police Department is warning officers their cell phone records are available to anyone -- for a price. Dozens of online services are selling lists of cell phone calls, raising security concerns among law enforcement and privacy experts.

To test the service, the FBI paid $160 to buy the records for an agent's cell phone and received the list within three hours, the police bulletin said.

Apparently this isn't brand new news, and while I find the FBI part ironically amusing, I don't really like it.


posted by collin on 06.01.05 at 19:17, nonsense, random, 2 comments Permalink

He’s been training with gators nearly as long, and is in charge of Colorado Gators’ instruction program. No fooling: Colorado Gators is certainly the only place in the U.S.—and Mather claims the world—where you can take lessons in gator wrestling. All you need is to be of sound physical condition, a stout heart, and $50 to qualify for 3+ hrs. of one-on-one training. Oh, and there’s the little matter of the legal waiver wherein the signer waives legal rights to sue and declares, “I, ____, do hereby admit that if I’m crazy enough to willingly put my hands on an alligator, I deserve to get bit. Furthermore, I promise not to whine too much if I do get a few bumps and scrapes or even a flesh wound.”

[via boingboing?]

Comment from: ben [Member] ·

The instant I saw the words gator and Colorado, I remembered that sign along some long and straight South Park highway... Alligator Farm - 10 miles. Then I started remembering other things. The $7 Dave and I had to get from Boulder to Sand Dunes on our bikes... "Round here we haven't had much call for bicycles since God gave us knowledge of the infernal combustion engine." The 40 cent tip on a $40 three course greasy spoon breakfast... Running down rather hot sand dunes bare foot...

Here's the link.

Permalink 01/05/06 @ 20:07
Comment from: collin [Member] ·
It's the same place. And you forgot the Doritos. That was a good trip, kinda insane, but a good trip. I think the only thing that could have made it crazier is if we stopped to wrestle gators.
Permalink 01/06/06 @ 10:56

Cool blogs I've started reading...

posted by collin on 06.01.05 at 19:14, nonsense, random, Leave a comment Permalink

Notes from the Technology Underground

Positive Ape Index



posted by collin on 06.01.05 at 19:10, technology, tech, Leave a comment Permalink

It combines an algorithm in this paper from U Washington with flickr. Pretty cool, but a little rough. [via boingboing]


posted by collin on 06.01.05 at 19:05, nonsense, art, random, technology, rave, tech, Leave a comment Permalink

This is the best book I've ever seen from Project Gutenberg, The Boy Mechanic: Volume I 700 Things For Boys To Do. Ok, let's go through a short list of just some of the wonders inside:

  • p.151 How to Make a Pilot Balloon [and inflate it with hydrogen]
  • p.188 How to Make a a Non-Polarizing Battery
  • p.190 A Fish Bait [minnow in a glass tube]
  • p.195 Attaching Runners to a Bicycle for Winter Use
  • p.213 How to Make Glider [pic above]
  • p.242 How to Make an Electrolytic Rectifier [it just looks like 4 caps to me]
  • p.268 Driving a Washing Machine with Motorcycle Power
  • p.292 Taking Button from a Child's Nostril
  • p.313 Saving an Engine: Turning the water on before starting the gas engine may prevent breaking a cylinder on a cold day. [that's it?]
  • p.330 Rubber Bands in Kite Balancing Strings
  • p.357 An Illuminated Target [to shoot at]
  • p.376 How to Build an Ice-Yacht
  • p.401 How to Make a Sailomobile
  • p.440 Electric Rat Exterminator [scary]
  • p.453 Right Handed Engine: Standing at the cylinder end and looking toward the flywheel of an engine, the wheel will be at the right if the engine is right-hand. [?]
  • p.470 The Winged Skater
  • p.475 The Norwegian Ski: You have often read of the ski, the snowshoe used by the Norwegians and other people living in the far north... Any boy with a little mechanical ingenuity can make a pair of skis (pronounced skees).
  • p.507 An Emergency Glass Funnel
  • p.516 Glass Blowing and Forming
  • p.523 How to Attach a Sail to a Bicycle [pic below]
  • p.524 Piercing Glass Plates with a Spark Coil

Edit: I forgot this, it's from the PG preamble:

Another class of projects illustrate the caviler attitude toward environment and health in 1913. These projects involve items such as gunpowder, acetylene, hydrogen, lead, mercury, sulfuric acid, nitric acid, cadmium, potassium sulfate, potassium cyanide, potassium ferrocyanide, copper sulfate, and hydrochloric acid. Several involve the construction of hazardous electrical devices. Please view these as snapshots of culture and attitude, not as suggestions for contemporary activity.

But those are the best projects!

How many convicted felons do you know?

posted by collin on 06.01.05 at 16:43, nonsense, rant, random, Leave a comment Permalink

I "know" two. Not really more than acquaintances, Alexander Pring-Wilson and William "Billy" Cottrell, convicted of murder and arson respectively. Although it seems that Alexander has been released, is under house arrest and is receiving a retrial. But I don't really want to talk about him for various reasons.

I met Billy a few times at UChicago, and heard some crazy stories about him from my friend Mike Schmitt. I knew that Billy was a genius, he was taking upper level graduate courses at Chicago and may have been trying to prove the Poincare Conjecture. [I remember Mike saying he was trying to solve some big topology problem, and it think it was the P.C.] And so it's no suprise that he was going to CalTech as a gradstudent in physics.

I'm not going to get into all the details of what he did, google his name if you want more info, but involved an SUV dealership, the ELF, and Molotov cocktails. Billy said he didn't set anything on fire. But the prosecution made a large point of him not leaving immediately when he realized what was going on.

And that's the rub. The defense tried to use the fact that Billy has been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, and from the little contact I had with Billy I wouldn't doubt that that's true. So if Billy wasn't able to quickly asses what the conciquences of the situation would be, that would explain him not fleeing.

But, like everything, it's more complicated than that. I talked the the court reporter for judge Klausner for the central California federal district in LA where the trial took place about getting a copy of the trial transcript. Apparently it would cost me "about $1000 for the whole transcript, or $100-$200 for the closing arguments." So that idea is out.

I hadn't thought about Billy in a while and was doing some googleing this week. One thing I found pissed me off: [from here]

Earlier this week, William "Billy" Cottrell testified that he had been present at the scene of an Earth Liberation Front action. He admitted to painting ELF slogans and to causing criminal damage. However he then went onto say that he did not start any fires and named two people, Tyler Johnson and Michie Oe, who he claims were responsible for the fires.

It should be noted that, as has been proven time and time again, you can not trust the word of a police informant, as they will happily name innocent people to get themselves off the hook and no charges have ever been bought against Tyler or Michie, although the FBI have now named them as "fugitive co-conspirators".

However as of now Cottrell is regarded as a police informant and will
receive no more support from ELP.

ELP would like to apologise to all those who have supported Cottrell and we would remind everyone that although Cottrell has turned traitor there are many other good prisoners who need our support and we hope this will not put you off supporting them.

Screw you. Yeah, Billy named innocent people who then fled the country. And calling him a traitor? Looking into this I also found an interesting blog about radical environment/animal-rights written by a retired research physician who used animals in his research.

Fly fierce chariot...

posted by collin on 05.11.15 at 23:14, nonsense, random, 2 comments Permalink

The family lost two automobiles today, one to a siezed engine and one to sale. I don't really care about the siezed Toyota, but I'm gonna miss my Rover on account of my being a sentimental bastard.

[Note: this isn't my Rover, mine was green and in much worse shape]
Comment from: graham [Member] ·
The 914 is still allright, I hope?
Permalink 11/21/05 @ 13:20
Comment from: collin [Member] ·
I did start the 914 when I was back home for Thanksgiving. It turned over surprisingly easily, considering it hasn't been driven in a few months. Though it did blow some fuel lines and sprayed gas every where. But besides that, it's fine.
Permalink 11/29/05 @ 20:56

Physics is more fun than math.

posted by collin on 05.11.14 at 16:56, nonsense, visual, science, random, Leave a comment Permalink

Sometimes I wish I had stayed in physics.

Now I know what you're thinking, "Wow... some high speed photos of a splash." But that's not what they are. The time between frames is on the order of a second. What substance is it? Everyone's favorite goopy plaything, oobleck or cornstarch and water. Just vibrate it at ~120Hz and watch the amazing nonlinear dynamics. There's a video and a copy of the Phys. Rev. Let. paper on the lab's page. You should really watch the video, it's crazy. [Though I had some troubles with it not playing in quicktime. And I'll mirror the paper and video incase they disappear]

For those who don't want to read the paper or watch the video [through you should really watch the video], here's two paragraphs from an Ars Journal post [where I saw this] that sums it up better than I can:

The research team created a phase diagram for this system as a function of acceleration and frequency. They found four distinct regions: unstable, meta-stable, stable, and delocalized. Unstable is just like it sounds—the holes collapse quickly after formation. In the meta-stable region holes would form, however they would collapse after some amount of time (<100,000 cycles of the mechanism). The stable region is where the holes would exist for very long times and not collapse. The final region—delocalized—is very interesting. It was found that the rims of the holes in this region would experience a build up of material. This build up of material (the finger) could grow as high as 2cm, before falling back down and creating a new hole where this process would be repeated. This would become a chain reaction that would spread across the surface, turning it into a writhing mass.

For those thinking, "What's so new about this? People have known that corn starch solutions have odd behavior for years," the research team also showed that the same phenomena occurs for solutions of small glass beads, 1-20 microns in diameter. While the exact mechanism of why this happens is unknown at this time, the researchers believe it be due to the shear thickening behavior of the fluid. Shear thickening fluids have a "critical shear rate," where they transition from a thick fluid to a very thick fluid, it is theorized that the shear rate at the edges of the holes is very close to this critical shear rate allowing the holes to be stable.

This begs the question, "Anybody know how to build a function generator and where to steal some nice piezo transducers?"

Damn it.

posted by collin on 05.10.29 at 16:28, nonsense, art, visual, random, art, Leave a comment Permalink

Artists get to have all the fun.


posted by collin on 05.10.28 at 23:04, math, math, Leave a comment Permalink

They're good. They're what kept me wanting to do math. I had a little one the other day when I was looking at this page on the formal logic of mathematics. It has some interesting things, like a proof 132 theorems long that shows 2+2=4.

When ever you think about these things, Godel allways pops into your head. I always believed [not to open an epistomological can of worms, but I think that's the best word] Godel's Incompleteness proof, but I kind of wanted a constructive example: ie an actual unprovable statement.

I realized why you can't do this, or at least the conditions that would allow you to do this which generate contradictions. Given a set of axioms, one can generate a set of theorems. I think to show that a statement is unprovable the set of theorems that can be generated by the set of axioms needs to be finite. This is at least sufficient, though I can't say if it's necessary. If the set of theorems is finite then obviously it's possible to show that a statement and it's negation are not proveable, which I guess simply means showing the statement is not a theorem. So for any interesting set of axioms, say one complex enough to give you arithmetic, the set of theorms is obviously infinite, and hence there is no constructive way to show a theorem is unproveable.

Ok, my head hurts. I'm going to sleep.