Welcome to Bright Defile. If you are a fan of the works of Roger Zelazny, it is likely you will recognize the name of the last remaining city of dead Man from the short story For a Breath I Tarry.

I chose the name because, although I attach a sociological rather than religious significance to the phrase, I believe Judgment Day Is Not a Day Which Can Be Put Off, and to remind me that a world in which the collected artifacts of humanity are the only evidence of our existence is as barren as if the surface had been scraped clean of all evidence of our existence.

I host examples of work completed in pursuit of professional, academic, and personal research goals here, as well as miscellaneous artifacts. I'm a bit of a minimalist, at least at the present. I firmly believe site navigation should complement the functionality offered by most web browsers, not compete with it. In addition, due to the ephemeral nature of some of the resources I've encountered during my research, and the Internet in general, I rarely link to external resources. I do, however, cite them in my research.

Contact me.

Please contact me with any questions, comments, or concerns.

Graduate research.

I graduated from Christopher Newport University in August, 2010 with a master of science in applied physics and computer science. The title of my thesis was: "A Case for Simulation: An Evaluation of the Use of Player and Gazebo to Identify Key Factors Contributing to Success During the 2004 and 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge". I also published a technical report providing relevant technical data, justification for conclusions, and resolution of discrepancies supporting research documented by the thesis.

Both documents are discussed in more detail here.

Route Data Definition File (RDDF) analysis application.

As part of my research, I developed an application to analyze an arbitrary Route Data Definition File (RDDF) conforming to the 2005 RDDF specification published by the Defense Advanced Research Research Projects Agency (DARPA) using PHP and MySQL. To better visualize the actual course geometries involved, the RDDF analysis application was later modified to use the Google Maps™ mapping service to re-create the 2004 and 2005 Grand Challenge Event (GCE) courses, and to evaluate the risk of rollover based on the Static Stability Factor (SSF) of team challenge vehicles and course geometry.

Interested users may download the 2005 GCE RDDF directly from the Archived Grand Challenge 2005 website. The 2004 Qualification, Inspection, and Demonstration (QID) and GCE RDDF are no longer hosted by DARPA, but are available from alternate sources, such as RoboSUV, an Internet repository independent of DARPA.

I host local copies of the 2004 QID (4K) and GCE (90K) and 2005 GCE (102K) RDDF used during my research. The 2004 QID and GCE RDDF were modified as described in the technical report to produce input conforming to the 2005 RDDF specification published by DARPA, and are marked "CORRECTED", although either file originally hosted by DARPA may be used to re-create the 2004 QID or GCE course without modification. The 2005 GCE RDDF conformed to the 2005 RDDF specification and required no modification.

Interested users may use these files to re-create the 2004 QID and GCE and 2005 GCE courses using Google Maps™. The RDDF analysis application calculates the length of the geodesic between two points represented by latitude and longitude pairs using Vincenty's Inverse Solution. Vincenty's Inverse Solution is reproduced in Appendix B (78K) of the technical report and cited in section References (143K). Calculated course lengths closely conform to course lengths reported by DARPA and images from published records closely conform to the map output generated by the RDDF analysis application. See Figures 9 through 29 (15.2M) of the technical report.

The source code for the RDDF analysis application was published as Appendix A (82K) of the technical report. As noted, PHP include statements and my Google Maps™ key were deleted from the source code prior to inclusion in the technical report.

Encryptor: a password generation utility.

During my job search, I accumulated over one hundred unique passwords1. However, each web service provider establishes different requirements, and password expiration requires users to change their password on demand and at unexpected times to a different, but conforming, password. Because of my information security work experience, education, and training, I refuse to write passwords down. This is a problem.

To resolve the problem, I developed a password generation utility to generate conforming passwords, i.e., passwords which meet the minimum requirements established by web service providers, such as length, mixed case, use of letters and numbers, and use of special characters. The utility uses parsable tokens and a Personal Encryption Algorithm (PEA) to generate conforming passwords. As a result, I can write the tokens down and reconstruct them using my PEA.

The combination of something I have and something I know allows me to quickly generate conforming passwords which are not based on dictionary words and which, for all intents and purposes, appear to be random.

In addition, because the algorithms used to encrypt the plaintext password are known, I can re-create any password at any time with pencil and paper, providing some assurance that I will be able to generate the password on demand as long as the parsable tokens are known.

The encryptor is discussed in detail here.

Validation of the encryptor is discussed in detail here

Whitepaper: Document Control Practices for Consumer Electronics and Appliance Companies In General

I maintain a list of proposed whitepapers describing problems the investigation of which would directly benefit consumers or citizens, but which provide little incentive to corporations, local and state governments, or the federal government to investigate, either by funding an investigation directly, or directing the resources of the appropriate agency or organization to investigate and publish findings.

I also believe it is not in the interest of corporations, local and state governments, or the federal government to objectively evaluate some problems which affect consumers or citizens. In most cases, I do not believe it is an inherent conflict of interest, but a simple failure to recognize the value of the information that would result from an investigation, and over-reliance on the legal system to correct systemic deficiencies in general.

For example, one of the earliest notations on my list is: "no document control / poor document control practices by consumer electronics retailers in general - later revisions are packaged with retail items than are available on the manufacturer's website."


On references.

Many potential employers require that I provide contact information for personal or professional references.

I neither provide this information nor consider the request appropriate for reasons which are best summarized as: "This requirement motivates the wrong behavior" and "Such a request requires me to accept risk on behalf of someone who is not party to our agreement to take reasonable steps to maintain my privacy".


Thoughts on auditing.

I have held positions as a quality auditor, lead quality auditor, and audit and compliance manager in organizations which provide engineering and information technology services. I occasionally document my personal insights:

Letters I've written...

I occasionally write letters. This is a collection of letters I've written.

My "voice" has changed over the years. Looking back at what I've written, it's been tempting to make changes, particularly where what I've written is awkward or otherwise inadequate. No one would know any better. But the letters are, with the minor changes noted, unedited.

Image galleries.

The image galleries include pictures of the renovation of my house in Newport News, Virginia. The renovation took over five years to complete. I sold this house in 2009.

The image galleries also include pictures of the raised bed garden I planted over several years, and other random, miscellaneous pictures.


Actually, I accumulated over 150 unique passwords to various corporate career websites and other online resources, over 50 of which were retired due to their ever-changing minimum requirements, mergers and acquisitions, and the relocation of resources such as the "Careers" section of websites.

Last updated: Thursday, 25 August, 2011