Gheorghe Curelet-Balan Blog

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Cool Martian pictures.

While admiring the pictures of the Martian Landscape at this site I remembered that the color imaging system that took them was manufactured at the Bromont, Quebec manufacturing facility of the successful Waterloo firm, DALSA.

This is the second space program DALSA participated. The first one was to provide the CCD camera electronics for the Canadarm 2 robotic arm of the International Space Station.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Online privacy with Internet Explorer 6 (IE6).

If you are interested to learn about it follow below links:

1. IE6 privacy user experience:
2. IE6 privacy features:
3. Privacy statements:

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Even Einstein could be wrong.

If you want to know how he was wrong... come and see on March 2nd, Anton Zeilinger's ("Mr. Beam") Perimeter Institute public lecture "From Einstein to Quantum information".

For reference I'm quoting below from the lecture page:

"Anton Zeilinger has worked in top level universities and research centres around the world. In 1997, Zeilinger and his colleagues confirmed aspects of quantum teleportation by actually teleporting light particles – earning him the nickname ‘Mr. Beam.’

The year 2005 is the World Year of Physics, because 100 years ago, Albert Einstein published his first ground-breaking papers including two on the theory of relativity. Actually, the first paper published deals with quantum physics, where Einstein proposes that light consists of particles, today called photons. This is the only paper from that year which he himself called “revolutionary”, and it is the one for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize.

Despite having opened up an important door for quantum physics, Einstein remained a critic of the new quantum theory for all his life. His criticism focused around three points. Firstly, he did not accept the new role played by randomness, which implies that for the individual event in quantum physics, no causal chain exists. Secondly, he criticized the phenomenon of entanglement, where measurement of one particle changes the quantum state of another one instantly, no matter how far away. Thirdly, and most generally, he criticized the notion of complementarity as proposed by Niels Bohr, which ultimately implies that it is wrong to assign quantum objects well-defined properties without actually performing an experiment allowing us to determine them.

Following Einstein’s criticism, a number of experiments have been performed, which confirm quantum mechanics even for individual particles. Most surprisingly, these have given rise to a new field, quantum information science, where just the points criticized by Einstein, randomness, entanglement and complementarity are applied to transmit and to process information in novel ways. The most interesting applications are quantum communication, quantum cryptography, quantum teleportation and quantum computation."

1+2+3+...+n = ?

If you want to know the answer click "Proof and Pictures" link on this page. A clue on how to prove it is given at minute 5:17 of the video stream.

The video is the recording of the presentation given by Professor James Robert Brown on November 3rd as a public lecture organized by the Perimeter Institute about which I talked here.

Note that to see the video you need at least Windows Media Player 9 and a broadband connection of course :)

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Willie "predicts" an early spring.

How Canadians warm up during the winter? One way is to watch at the beginning of every February what the Wiarton groundhog is predicting on how soon the spring will come. Wiarton is a beautiful Ontario city situated in the Bruce Peninsula. Last week the Wiarton groundhog Willie predicted an early spring.

To learn more about the history of the Groundhog Day visit this page.

Other links:
- Wiarton photos
- Willie photos:

An example of online attack.

One of the most recent type of security attack named phishing attack is presented in this post:

Social Engineering as a hacking technique.

This link explains the social engineering technique used by criminals to steal personal information.

Another link of interest is this.

Back online.

It looks like I've underestimated my sickness. The cold bothered me more than the usual one week period, my PC wasn't quite all right after a while and my car needed more repairs :) After installing the latest security updates from Microsoft my PC is fine again. It looks like I had some malware software on my machine that have been annihilated by the Microsoft Antispyware tool. Someone was trying to lower my Internet connection security settings below the safe limit. The Antispyware tool noticed it right away and asked me if I want to block it. Then, some ActiveX component was trying to autoinstall but couldn't since I've been warned again.

In the mean time I've read about how to increase PC security while online. The first thing I did was to create an non administrative user account and do all the online activity from there. If you are using a Windows XP machine all the accounts have administrative privileges by default. To create a non administrative account go to Control Panel , click on the User Accounts screen and make the new account as Limited. Then logon from there when going online. For more information visit the following page:

Other links of interest:
- online security tips:
- user experience about online security:
- home PC security: