Author Archives: mbalducci


An approximate answer to the right problem is worth a good deal more than an exact answer to an approximate problem. – John Tukey

An excellent dissection of the Heartbleed bug affecting OpenSSL

Heartbleed Dissection The short version is that the heartbeat for OpenSSL sends data to the server and the server sends the data back. The issue is that the length specified in the header isn’t checked to verify it matches the length of the actual data, so the server simply responds with the number of bytes […]

Is suppressing fever a good thing ?

Fight the Flu, Hurt Society? My belief is that in complex, non-linear, dynamical systems (e.g. the human body, the environment, economics) that the default position should be one of non-intervention. All interventions tend to have both positive and negative consequences, as well as, unforeseeable consequences. However, I’m also skeptical of studies where the result hasn’t […]

DD-WRT configuration

I was setting up my home network with two identical wireless routers. However, I was having issues getting everything to work properly. Consistently, one of the two wouldn’t work. Long story short – DD-WRT allows you to clone the MAC address via the web interface. However, it only alters the WAN and Wireless MAC and […] and development and the Gulf Between Planning and Reality It’s a rather long read. One important take away is that it’s not possible to plan out any large project to the n-degree entirely up front. To do so is to believe that you’ll learn nothing during the development process that will impact the plan. Don’t get […]

Blockbuster to close its remaining 300 stores

Blockbuster Closes Time and time again, the same scenario repeats.  A business optimizes itself for the current market and wins the battle against its competitors… only to one day wake up and the battle it’s fighting is no longer relevant and it has lost the war.  I think in publicly held companies this is due […]

Inflation and Inflation Indicies

MIT has taken a novel approach to calculating inflation by pulling prices of approximately 1/2 million items from online retailers.  The results are published as part of their Billion Prices Project (BPP)  @ .  Note that one would expect that the BPP index to lead the CPI (Consumer Price Index) due to the higher […]

Xilinx ISE and Ubuntu

I recently had to install the Xilinx ISE toolkit on an Ubuntu machine (12.04 LTS for the record).  There were to changes that I had to make to the system in order to get the tools to function. Xilinx uses ‘gmake’. Ubuntu doesn’t come with gmake.  This was resolved by simply creating a symbolic link […]

Development Schedules

I’ve been pontificating about the problems with planning project schedules lately.  Unfortunately, I’ve been involved with companies that have, for whatever reason, had schedules that were grossly unrealistic.  In more than one instance, management was claiming the project was only a couple months from completion when all of the engineers were openly stating that completion […]

Hello World

Well, I’ve had this installed for a while now, but have yet to post anything. So here goes… The reason I’ve setup this space is to make notes to myself in a central location that I can reference in the future.  Additionally, the process of writing something out, in a style as if it were […]