Lucas Nicodemus

Founder @ Nyx Studios

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A Year with Day One

A year ago, I started writing in a Mac journaling app called Day One. Bloom has won numerous awards for it, and for good reason: it effectively turned me, and so many others, into journaling addicts. Over one year, I wrote 547 entries, with 202 photos attached to them. More importantly, I was consistent in writing at least something every couple days. The longest I went without an entry was five days.

Some entries are long, and others are just sentences. But the captured moments, no matter the length, are an infinitely useful snapshot of consciousness. They’re invaluable to have, and Day One made capturing them addictive and fun.

I’m excited to see how much I write in 2015, that’s for sure.

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Advice in 2015

Advice (n): guidance or recommendations concerning prudent future action, typically given by someone regarded as knowledgeable or authoritative.

Restated: advice is simply suggestion based on an outside or onlooker perspective, typically by someone more knowledgeable or informed. If advice, by definition, is not given by someone who is either more knowledgeable, experienced, or informed, it should not be treated as such.

Financial advice from a bankrupt individual is not likely to be considered by a fortune five hundred company, while a highly skilled investor’s thoughts on the same subject are. Romantic relationship advice, from someone who has never had a romantic relationship, likely fails to understand the requisite qualities and experiences of one. Writing suggestions, from someone who failed their english classes, ought not to be taken into account without many grains of salt....

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CP7 Regional Advancement Prediction Accuracy

In my previous post discussing the accuracy of The Magi, I ended with a warning:

To the teams that are predicted to be in the top three in their state: Cisco will decide your fate.

This was a well served warning, because this round of projections was far less accurate than the past round.

  • 52% of projected wildcard teams were demoted. The odds of a team keeping their wildcard advancement was less than .
  • The Magi correctly identified 221 teams as advancing, out of 280 total teams advancing to regionals. The margin of error was 21%. In other words, a team’s chances of being incorrectly predicted was 1/5.

See you in regionals!

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IPv6 and DOCSIS 2.0 Performance Degredation

Note: This post is exceedingly technical in nature. For those experiencing similar problems, skip directly to the fix.

The Problem

After coming home during break from university, one of my first objectives was to replace a dying wireless router purchased in December of 2013 with a better one. Like many routers in the house prior, it began suffering connection speed degradation issues, to the point where the connection was next to unusable for any more than one client streaming video or downloading files at a time. As a result, I immediately replaced the router with a recently purchased AirPort Extreme Base Station.

While speed and bandwidth metric sites such as speedtest and speedofme showed improvement in download speed (6Mbps down versus 30Mbps), eerie performance problems cropped up. On some websites, performance was not better, but was dramatically worse. Loading a Google search...

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Colorado State University’s Directory: A Nightmare Waiting to Happen

Like many universities and colleges, Colorado State University has a directory. Unlike many universities, the CSU directory also contains the full legal name, college, department, major, mailing address, and phone number of every student enrolled on campus that hasn’t opted-out via RAMweb, the university’s student dashboard.

From a privacy and a security standpoint, this is a distressing concern. From potential stalkers and attackers to web spammers are able to find identifying personal information about a potential target with as little as a student’s name. The search does fuzzy matching on any input, making it not only possible to locate a specific person enrolled, but a collection of individuals with matching names instantaneously.

Their directory clearly appears to be developed for the purpose of locating students, indicating that this was surely not a case of “inclusion by...

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CyberPatriot Platinum Prediction Accuracy

This is a quick update on my previous post, which discussed predicting the platinum tier results for CyberPatriot Seven’s Round 1 & 2 combined scores. With the official results released and the state competition entering its final day, The Magi’s projections are becoming close to final. With this in mind, its worth asking: How accurate was The Magi in predicting platinum teams?

  • The Magi predicted 242 slots, and CPOC created 244 slots. 0.8% error in calculating the number of slots.
  • The Magi correctly projected 232 of 244 slots. 4.9% error.
  • CPOC promoted 12 teams into platinum that it did not predict.
  • CPOC demoted 9 teams from our predictions to gold.
  • CPOC demoted 1 team from our predictions to silver.

Note: Cisco will play an even greater role in advancement this round (20% in the platinum tier) than before.

To the teams that are predicted to be in the top three in their state:...

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Projecting CyberPatriot Outcomes

To view the live projections, go directly to The Magi.

CyberPatriot, the National Youth Cyber Education Program, hosts a new season of its cyber defense competition each year. For the last couple years, I have taken score data that they release publicly and projected outcomes for the open division in terms of advancement. With that system now publicly available and online, it’s worth discussing factors to think of when looking at the projection data.

Competition Changes

In previous CyberPatriot competitions, the advancement from the first round to the National Finals competition was (with minor variations from year to year) as follows:

  • Teams would compete in Round 1 and Round 2. Those scores would be combined, and a given number of top teams would advance to the semifinals.
  • Teams who did not advance to Semifinals would be given a state (and regional?) recognition round. These teams...

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Using Inbox

Inbox Zero Inbox is, in many ways, a step in a new direction for Google. Its launch page has, almost no information as to what it is, and it acts more as an intermediary layer on top of Gmail than a new product entirely. It uses Material Design, and unlike Gmail, which was partially a demonstration of how powerful AJAX apps could be, lacks any indication that it’s built on the same web technologies as its predecessor. Google isn’t marketing Inbox as a replacement for Gmail for new users, but is instead targeting people who are already fed up with email enough that sweeping most of the email out of the Inbox is the best way to go.

It’s worth comparing Inbox and Gmail side by side, but only for the sake of pointing out what Inbox doesn’t have. In order, these are Gmail and Inbox’s settings respectively:

Gmail settings Inbox settings 1 Inbox settings 2

Most Gmail users don’t have as many labels as I do, so expect these menus to be far less...

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The Past

The problem with thinking about the past is that it takes time and energy away from the present. Feeling nostalgic is always good, and thinking about fun memories is worth the expense – but it’s always worth thinking about the toll associated with the past before being consumed by it.

Reliving positive memories brings joy, but reliving negative ones does nothing but bring anxiety and anguish. The older the memory, the more irrelevant this anguish is today.

Every second spent thinking about the past is a second lost from the present, and a second lost from planning for the future.

Pick what you recall from the past wisely, lest you forget the present.

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> Branching Points

Sometimes I wonder about how my life would be different had I made one decision versus another, but I firmly believe in having no regrets about the past. So long as you’re happy with the present, there’s nothing to regret about the past. And if you’re not happy with the present, feeling regret won’t change it. The future is set by looking forward, not backward, and learning from the past while refusing to be hamstrung by it.

Chris writes the truth.

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