Friday, December 31, 2010


This is kind of interesting.

Being on the private network and all, I can't see the main stream of internet traffic - or, I don't know how to watch it from an external host, same thing. Anyways, I am reduced to watching Sitemeter to see if anything interesting pops up there. So we get the Italia thing from last time.

Sitemeter tells me the referring URL for most visitors to this site. 98% of them are referred from Google, because they've searched for MS-WBT-SERVER and that April page is the top return for that search. The ones that aren't from there are the interesting ones. Today I get the following referral:

An IP address starting with 10.* is a private network address - so at first I thought this was a referral from some site on my own network, which doesn't make any sense at all. Then, slightly more sensibly, I thought it must be a reference from within the Blogspot network. Then I gave up guessing, and Googled it.

A number of forum questions suggest that someone on a private network tried to see this site, but it (i.e. was blocked by WebSense software. So WebSense poked the site, found it was on its block list, and probably gave that person a notification that it was blocked - 15871 is the port used by the WebSense monitor or something, so this actually reveals (I think) the user's own IP address. The request came from an address in Tamil Nadu, India.

So, strangely enough, this is a way of getting information about a user from within a private network - get your site blocked by them, then you can see their external, public address when they attempt to connect, and their private address when WebSense bounces them off. Neat!


The public address sitemeter gave me was 203.99.193.* - this is registered to Cognizant Technology Solutions - long story short, Cognizant is (among other things) an outsourcing company. No way of knowing exactly what they're doing there, some sort of white collar stuff, call centers, that sort of thing.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Oh, also I am always watching Sitemeter, keeping track of how many people are coming to check out my invaluable MS WBT tips. Somebody on an Italian network actually seems to have searched this site out by name, strangely enough: they Googled the terms "internet what i am going to learn today", which is pretty weird. May have just been a coincidence, but I think they were looking for me.

Sitemeter doesn't give the whole IP address of the visitor, just the prefixes, and in this case it couldn't be certain where the visitor was coming from. I tracerouted the whole block, though, and they all belong to the Telecom Italia backbone, called "Seabone".

So today I learned that Telecom Italia's international backbone is called Seabone.

Publication Report 2010

My internet research has dwindled to nothing!

Meanwhile, this year's publication history:

Published manuscripts: 2
Submitted manuscripts: 0
In-preparation manuscripts: 1
Abstracts submitted: 2
Conference papers written: 2
Conference presentations: 1
Invited lectures: 1

SUBMITTED MANUSCRIPTS = 0.0, this isn't so good. I have a waiting list of whatever comes right before "in-preparation", though.

Okay, what did I learn today:
Well, I built a model of adapted image quality (blur/normal/sharp) matching yesterday, and fixed it up today. It does just what it should: it "normalizes" when adapted to one or another type of input, though for now its starting point is "blank adapted" which isn't quite right. It also displays the loss of blur/sharp gain that I found in the matching experiment (which accounts for 4 of the above objects: paper in preparation, abstract accepted, presentation and lecture given).

The model is your basic contrast transducer array, a set of Foley functions (Stromeyer-Foley, Naka-Rushton, etc.) with thresholds set by a standard function. I've built it several times before, but this is the first time I came up with a good way of implementing the adaptation part. This is the transducer function, with w in the denominator standing in for some added (only added, yes) gain control function:

The idea is that the system wants R to be kept relatively constant, at a particular level above threshold but not terribly near saturation - but C keeps changing, so how to keep R in that ideal range? Yes, we adapt, and here adaptation basically means setting the value of w. That's easy to do, just solve for w. This introduces probably the most important free parameter in the model, R, because I don't know what it should be, though I have a good idea of the range, and luckily the thing only really behaves if I put it in that range. So okay, it works!

So what I learned is that the third time you build something, it might actually work. From now on I need to make sure to build everything at least three times.