Monthly Archives: February 2007

Giant Monsters Fool's Mate

This painting is quite large. I finished sketching it today.

So I was thinking that instead of a regular car key, cars should start using a USB dongle/key. For security, it would be mated to the car using public key cryptography, both to authenticate the car, the key, and documents the car produces that are stored on the key. Having a USB key as a car key would have a few advantages (and a few obvious disadvantages — like what happens if the system is cracked):

  • You could plug it into your computer and put audio and video files on it to play in your car (just like copying files to a USB stick or MP3 player). Sure, there are other ways to do this (burn a DVD, get an iPod transmitter, etc.), but this is about single device convenience factor.
  • You could transfer map directions from your computer to the car's GPS/navigation system.
  • Diagnostic problems would be reported using a standard interface (ie. USB), allowing customers to see the problem for themselves on their computer, and then optionally electronically report the problem to mechanics in their area for an online quote.
  • Driving details (up to and including engine data and full GPS tracking) could be recorded for the purpose of anything from insurance (accident disputes and documentation, lower rates for good drivers, etc.), monitoring (employees, kids, personal, etc.), to vehicle tuning.
  • Standard interface allowing the key to be used with virtually all computer hardware (since for the computer, it's just like a USB drive).
  • Kid/employee/valet keys could be programmed with different restrictions (for example, the valet key would not allow trunk access) and warnings (if the car leaves a given area, if a speed limit is exceeded, etc.).
  • Advertising system (totally optional of course), partnered with Google Local or a similar service, that plays ads that are relevant to your location and interests, and pays you to listen to them (inserting them between MP3 tracks for example). In city driving, this would certainly cover the cost of gas (so if you listen to ads, you drive for free).

The whole thing wouldn't even cost very much… Just a few more microcontrollers in the car really, and the USB key. I'm actually surprised that it's not standard issue in any cars yet…

Common Solutions


Jeez, my knee (like the joint) has been aching like crazy the last day or so… The good news is that the muscle's pretty much 100%, but the joint's no fun, probably because of the weather changes so I'm very uncomfortable and can't sleep. I'm not writing that to complain — what I'm complaining about is that one of my bank cards got cloned and penetration tests were run on the account ($331 and $663 withdrawal attempts somewhere in the USA), so I had to spend about 45 minutes at the bank standing and waiting for it to get sorted out. I really like the people at my bank and have known them for a long time so I kept up the smiles, but I wish it could have been resolved over the phone.

Six feet across…

This is just a rough first doodle, but I think I'm actually going to paint this but huge, on that 72″x54″ canvas I got last week… Please excuse my crayola marker coloring. It's kind of silly but I think it'll be a really fun painting when it's all done (if I do it). I really like doing children's style drawings (both in the style of and style for) at this size.

It's also kind of based on that famous painting of the dogs playing poker.

Other than that I got two pieces of crappy news today but I was expecting both of them…

I should post more often…

First of all — the [new] error that was making it so buddy list edits trashed your main description, and the subsequent problem of things being uneditable should be all fixed now… If you find more problems, let me know or post them in the tech support forum.

A few days ago I posted a “map” of what parts of my leg have surface sensation and which parts don't. I mapped it out again this morning to see if it's changed (it has). The area is also quite cold (the whole lower leg, not just the numb area) in comparison to the other leg. If you're interested in this sort of thing, Asurfael has started doing similar mapping out on her [doctor performed] implants.

While it has changed, I think that those changes are just a result of the subtleties of how it's swollen today and what nerves are getting pushed on.


Anyway, it's still sore, but a million times better. I find that as the day goes by I get more “pissed off” feeling, like I'm irritated at little stuff but I think I'm a pretty mellow guy so it doesn't really come out or anything. I waffle between whether it's better to stay clear headed and just consciously keep calm and happy, or whether it's better to be a bit muddled from painkillers.