Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Solar Car Strategy

The Solar Car Project has been recruiting really successfully. We now have an absurd 10% of the new Class of 2014 on our mailing list, and more than a hundred people who have showed up at the shop for over the past week.

The strategy team has lots of cool projects Sam and I have been working on. Going from one- or two-person projects to full teams with a wide range of math and coding experience is going to be both difficult and awesome. The list will keep growing.

array power simulation


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Another day, a new year

I just got back to Stanford. California is still glorious.

The summer was cool. I interned at a proprietary trading company that deals in equity options, in Chicago. Learned a ton. Didn't blog much because everything I worked on was, well, proprietary.

So today, I have two signs of the impending apocalypse.

#1. The flying robots from Half-Life have become reality
Yes, like this one
#2. The Solar Car Team's neighbors in VAIL are building a robotic rally car.
And when they say their fully autonomous car is going to climb Pike's Peak at "near race speed", it means quite a lot:


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Round two, featuring Bruce Schneier

 Bruce Schneier just wrote a post on all the suggestions to add authentication to the internet. The idea behind those is that if nobody on the internet was anonymous, legitimate users would be largely unaffected and the bad guys would be out of business. Schneier does a nice job refuting this. He says that the technological problem of attaching real names to everyone on the internet is "insoluble", and that trying to implement such a scheme will only hurt free speech, especially in countries that try to censor their citizens. As his first commenter summarizes, "if you outlaw anonymity on the internet, only outlaws will have anonymity on the internet."

Then, Schneier draws a parallel between universal authentication and copy protection:
The whole attribution problem is very similar to the copy-protection/digital-rights-management problem. Just as it's impossible to make specific bits not copyable, it's impossible to know where specific bits came from. [...]
Just as the music industry needs to learn that the world of bits requires a different business model, law enforcement and others need to understand that the old ideas of identification don't work on the Internet. For good or for bad, whether you like it or not, there's always going to be anonymity on the Internet.

Couldn't agree more.

Monday, January 4, 2010


It's been an adventure. After
...after all that, I'm back at Stanford now, five minutes out from my first lecture in six months. CS110: "Principles of Computer Systems." Based on MIT's 6.033, I hear. I'm also taking CS108, where I'll write an ungodly amount of Java, and CS109, stats for programmers, taught by the always-awesome Mehran.

The solar car team is meeting tonight for the first time since the race. A few fixes and, if all goes according to plan, we'll be rolling around campus on battery power, recruiting freshmen. Sometime between now and this summer, we'll have to build a new top shell and get ready for the North American Solar Challenge.

This will be an interesting quarter. More news as it comes in. Peace.