Hopelessly passionate husband, engineer, hacker, gamer, artist, and tea addict.

  1. The Only Winning Move

    DARPA's Cyber Grand Challenge took place this year right before DEFCON 24 and was a watershed moment for automated security analysis. All of the raw data from the competition has been out for awhile now, but I haven't seen anyone analyze it yet. So, I took a stab at it myself.

  2. Starting My Pu'er Journey

    Over the past two years or so, I've been starting to experiment with more than just the few green and black teas I've been in the habit of drinking. I'm extremely glad I have. As it turns out, tea offers an incredibly broad range of flavor profiles (even within a given "category" of tea, like green tea). But, so far, one thing I still haven't explored is Pu'er - a style of fermented tea originally from Yunnan, China.

  3. 2016 RAIDed My Life

    In 2013, I built a RAID5 array with 8 drives in my file server. Unfortunately, due to a configuration error on my part, I was never notified that, on December 4th, 2016, one of my drives had suffered read errors and was subsequently removed from the array. Even more unfortunately, on December 31, 2016, the degraded array suffered another read error. This left me with two failing drives and a busted RAID5 array. Happy New Year!

  4. Pokémon Symphonic Evolutions

    After our experiences at the last two video game orchestra events, I knew I had to find more. In my quest to experience even more live video game music, I stumbled across Pokémon Symphonic Evolutions! Like Symphony of the Goddesses, we traveled to Miami, Florida. Only, this time, we found ourselves in the Adrienne Arsht Center.

  5. The Charleston Tea Plantation

    I spent this past week in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with my brothers and in-laws for Thanksgiving. We'd chosen Myrtle Beach as a "meet-in-the-middle" option since half of us are in Florida while the other half are in Pennsylvania or New York. Most of my time was spent chilling with family. But, being a huge fan of tea, I couldn't pass up an opportunity to visit the Charleston Tea Plantation! So, last Wednesday, I drove 3 hours south to get my tea fix.

  6. A Legitimate Business Syndicate

    I've been playing and running CTFs for awhile now. This year was my 4th as a CSAW judge, 7th as a DEFCON competitor, and I had previously helped run Ghost in the Shellcode for 4 years. Although I've been to DEFCON finals 4 times (2011-2014), I haven't had much luck over the last 2 years. Men in Black Hats failed to qualify in 2015 and disbanded. My new team, Mammon Machine, missed qualifying this year and seems to be on a similar course. So, when Legitimate Business Syndicate, the organizers of the DEFCON CTF, approached me with an offer to join them...I took it.

  7. The 2016 Election

    I don't normally comment publicly on politics. I have my own opinions, some of them quite strong, but I'm not generally in a position to gather my own data and provide worthwhile commentary. I still try to stay informed, of course, but I keep a healthy dose of skepticism - especially when dealing with mainstream media. This election, however, I think has been singularly unique and is worth writing about.

  8. An Ozark Vacation

    My wife and I had an opportunity to stay at the Ozark Mountain Resort in Kimberling City, Missouri this past week. I'd never been to Missouri or the Ozarks before, so I jumped at the chance to cross another state off my list of US states I need to visit (17 left!). What followed was a much-needed, relaxing vacation in a tranquil mountain locale with some very worthwhile hiking opportunities.

  9. Hurricane Matthew

    I've been living in Florida for almost 10 years now and have consistently had every hurricane and major tropical storm hit somewhere else. This year, my luck (almost) ran out. A few days ago, Hurricane Matthew was projected to hit not only Florida, but the city of Melbourne directly.

  10. The SMB3 Input Polling Glitch

    In addition to tracking down how the fireball works in SMB3, dwangoAC has also asked me to give my interpretation of how the bug works in the recent SMB3 TAS run. This is all of my analysis after having spent many hours playing with it in a debugger.