July 15th, 2006


(no subject)

A few days ago, I was watching the dance scenes in Dirty Dancing. I once did a routine with my teacher Michelle that was derived from the routine in the last scene. I noticed that Patrick Swayze's frame was very rigid, and also that his arm levels are fairly high for a Latin dance; almost like a ballroom dance. This is different from the way my teacher Gita is teaching salsa, where the frame is not as rigid and the arms are held lower. When I asked her about it, she told me that the Dirty Dancing routine is more of a mambo than a salsa, which explains the frame and arm positions. So it is possible that due to the routine, my salsa became somewhat mambo-fied.

Another change is being made to my east coast swing steps. Gita wants me to start with the first step almost in place, as opposed to moving to the left. It's almost like a tap step (but still done as a triple step with a weight change). This is actually difficult for me and it will probably be some time before I can incorporate this into all of my east coast swing steps.

In piano news, I'm making ok progress on Skating. As this is the first time since starting with my new teacher that I've really tried to tackle a challenging (for me) piece on my own, it will be interesting to see if I'm able to incorporate all of the things I've learned so far. There have been times in the past when I thought I made good progress in the week between lessons, but my teacher still had to correct many flaws in my playing. I guess this is common; even experienced pros take lessons.
classic cylon

A security expert weighs in on the click fraud debate

Bruce Schneier, author of Applied Cryptography, has commented on the click fraud problem from the more formal standpoint of authenticating people. This article has also made it to Wired, and there is another debate on it at Slashdot.

More and more people are talking about click fraud now, and some of them are security people. They have experience in this area; they know what the true nature of the problem is; they know what types of solutions need to be applied. This was inevitable; it is now just a matter of time before some statements are made in very public places about the problem.

So ... a question to anyone who's working at Google, or holds shares in the company. Are you at least a little concerned? Not that I expect you to reply publicly, but doesn't the fact that security experts think CPC advertising is just asking for fraud bother you somewhat? At the very least, are you a little concerned that Google executive management is taking a rather casual attitude towards the whole thing?

Of course there is the argument that the click fraud has been factored into the prices people pay for ads, and thus into GOOG's stock price. OTOH, the highest target I've heard quoted by analysts is $600, but the analyst (unfortunately, can't remember who) seemed to think this was a reasonable valuation based in what MSFT had traded at some time ago. So this estimate had less to do with what GOOG might trade at if click fraud did not exist, and more to do with what GOOG might trade at if it was valued in a way that MSFT was once valued.

Anyway, GOOG and YHOO are reporting earnings next week. Should be some interesting calls ...