Satellite shot of the delta of the Siberian River Lena. It has its source in the Bajkal mountains, flows for 4400 km into the Laptev Sea (part of the Arctic Sea), forming a delta of about 150 branches and over 40 thousand square kms.
A few years ago, during a visit to Cézanne’s studio in Aix-en-Provence, I experienced a flash of insight about the artist that I saw as intrinsic to his becoming the father of modern painting. Once having seen it, it inspired me to move in a new direction in my own work.
Cézanne painted his studio walls a dark gray with a hint of green. Every object in the studio, illuminated by a vast north window, seemed to be absorbed into the gray of this background. There were no telltale reflections around the edges of the objects to separate them from the background itself, as there would have been had the wall been painted white. Therefore, I could see how Cézanne, making his small, patch-like brush marks, might have moved his gaze from object to background, and back again to the objects, without the familiar intervention of the illusion of space. Cézanne’s was the first voice of “flatness,” the first statement of the modern idea that a painting was simply paint on a flat canvas, nothing more, and the environment he made served this idea. The play of light on this particular tone of gray was a precisely keyed background hum that allowed a new exchange between, say, the red of an apple and the equal value of the gray background. It was a proposal of tonal nearness that welcomed the idea of flatness.
Our top result was the 10th position, out of 105. Congratulations to our students! See all scores here:
Last year our students came in the 15th position (still a great achievement; read 2016 story). The year before that at 17th. We are climbing relentlessly.
From the Print Edition: “The Myth of Scientific Objectivity,” by William A. Wilson (November 2017) by firstthings on #SoundCloud
Ransomware continues to dominate the cybersecurity landscape in 2017, with businesses large and small paying millions of dollars to unlock encrypted files. These attacks appeared in 64% of all malicious emails sent in Q3, and with major successful campaigns such as NotPetya and WannaCry, show no signs of slowing down, according to a new report from security firm Webroot, released Tuesday.
“This past year was unlike anything we’ve ever seen,” David Dufour, vice president of engineering and cybersecurity at Webroot, said in a press release. “Attacks such as NotPetya and WannaCry were hijacking computers worldwide and spreading new infections through tried-and-true methods. This list is further evidence that cybercriminals will continue to exploit the same vulnerabilities in increasingly malicious ways. Although headlines have helped educate users on the devastating effects of ransomware, businesses and consumers need to follow basic cybersecurity standards to protect themselves.”
Here are the top 10 worst ransomware attacks of 2017 so far, according to Webroot:
1. NotPetyaNotPetya started as a fake Ukranian tax software update, and went on to infect hundreds of thousands of computers in more than 100 countries over the course of just a few days. This ransomware is a variant of Petya, but uses the same exploit behind WannaCry. It hit a number of firms in the US and caused major financial damage: For example, the attack cost pharmaceutical giant Merck more than $300 million in Q3 alone, and is on track to hit that amount again in Q4.
On October 12, Konrad Kulakowski (a professor visiting CI this term as a Kosciuszko Scholar – CS talk on October 3) and I climbed to the top of Mount Boney. Smoke haze from the fires hid the Channel Islands and the Los Padres, but beautiful hike nevertheless.
iSprinkle is a Raspberry Pi powered irrigation controller which will allow a user to set an initial irrigation schedule for a sprinkler system using a web interface, after which it will use the local weather forecast to adjust the base watering schedule as needed. iSprinkle is the result of a senior Capstone project (COMP499) at California State University Channel Islands, undertaken by student Carlos Gomez in 2016, advised by Michael Soltys. A detailed write up of the project, where we partnered with Prof. Adam Sędziwy (who visited CI in June 2016), can be found here:
- iSprinkle: Design and implementation of an internet-enabled sprinkler timer, by Carlos Adrian Gomez, Adam Sedziwy and Michael Soltys.
A short version of the above paper will be presented at INDOTEC2017:
- iSprinkle: when education, innovation and application meet, by Carlos Adrian Gomez, Adam Sedziwy and Michael Soltys, to be presented at the 5th International Conference on Educational Innovation in Technical Careers, INDOTEC 2017.
iSprinkle was also presented at SCCUR 2016, the Southern California Council for Undergraduate Research Conference at UC Riverside on November 12, 2016.
The design of a system such as iSprinkle requires a holistic approach that is very different from most class assignments. The former usually span a few files that are to be turned in within a week or two, making it difficult to implement a system with many “moving parts.” However, iSprinkle’s functionality is divided between the front-end and back-end, both of which need to communicate so that the user’s requests are fulfilled. Designing such a system requires taking into consideration many aspects; from major decisions such as deciding on a backend language to use, to minutiae such as the date and time formats to use across the backend and front end to maintain consistency.
By doing so, iSprinkle will be able to irrigate more efficiently compared to a fixed schedule; by progrmmatically modifying the user’s watering schedule, iSprinkle will increase/decrease the amount of watering that the schedule dictates depending on data that it receives from a weather API. iSprinkle hopes to make it easier for homeowners to conserve water by automating adjustments to their irrigation schedule.