Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Cloud Computing Is A Trap

Richard Stallman says that cloud computing is a trap and a hyped fad. It is only there to make you pay more over time and trap you in a proprietary format. In other news, the Internet is a fad that should be fading sometime soon.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Still Out Of Power

I've been out of power since Sunday at 4:30PM. I thought I would be going crazy by now but strangely I am enjoying being disconnected from all the technology I have in my life. Don't get me wrong, I will be happy to have television again. It just just isn't as critical as I thought it would be. Instead of zoning in front of the TV, I have begun reading in earnest again. I've read 3 books this week:

The Man With The Golden Torc
Street Of Shadows (Star Wars Coruscant Nights Book 2)
Against the Tide Of Years

It's amazing how much reading you can get done when you don't have the television distracting you.

Friday, August 15, 2008

How Invulnerable Can We Be From Terrorism ... Not Very

From Bruce Schneir's CRYPT-GRAM Newsletter and John Mueller:

In an excellent paper by Ohio State political science professor John Mueller, "The Quixotic Quest for Invulnerability: Assessing the Costs, Benefits, and Probabilities of Protecting the Homeland," there are some common sense premises and policy implications.

The premises:
"1. The number of potential terrorist targets is essentially infinite.
"2. The probability that any individual target will be attacked is essentially zero.
"3. If one potential target happens to enjoy a degree of protection, the agile terrorist usually can readily move on to another one.
"4. Most targets are 'vulnerable' in that it is not very difficult to damage them, but invulnerable in that they can be rebuilt in fairly short order and at tolerable expense.
"5. It is essentially impossible to make a very wide variety of potential terrorist targets invulnerable except by completely closing them down."

The policy implications:
"1. Any protective policy should be compared to a "null case": do nothing, and use the money saved to rebuild and to compensate any victims.
"2. Abandon any effort to imagine a terrorist target list.
"3. Consider negative effects of protection measures: not only direct cost, but inconvenience, enhancement of fear, negative economic impacts, reduction of liberties.
"4. Consider the opportunity costs, the tradeoffs, of protection measures."

The whole paper is worth reading.
http://psweb.sbs.ohio-state.edu/faculty/jmueller/ISA2008.pdf

Monday, July 21, 2008

Getting Back Into "Art" Again

I had some free time this last weekend and whipped this up. Maybe it will go good on a t-shirt ... maybe not ;-).

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Constitution ... We Hardly Know You Any More

This country took one more step towards a Constitutionless future today. The Senate joined the House in passing the FISA Amendments Act. This basically lets the telecom industry off the hook for wiretapping American citizens unconstitutionally. It's official, the government no longer needs a warrant to spy on your private communications as long as you are talking to a foreign national.

If we add the Patriot Act and various other things into the mix, the last 8 years have been some of the worst in American history for the rights of Americans. I am ashamed that I voted twice for a President that has so little regard for the principles upon which America was founded.

911 was a great tragedy for this country. It is only compounded by the fact that because 2,974 people died, we are willing to hamstring the rights of 304,095,000 people in the country. It is further compounded by the fact that these terrorists have successfully changed they way we treat our own citizens. They have radically affected our foreign policy. They have inspired us to commit acts which only bring more people to their cause. In effect ... they have won by killing .000977% of our populatation. Am I the only one who finds that repugnant?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Baggage Mishandling

Hey wait. If the airlines are going to be charging me $15 for each checked bag, shouldn't they be doing a better job. 1/138 of all bags get lost forever. This statistic does not include luggage that gets to you late. If the airlines want to charge you money for something they used to give you for free, shouldn't they at least have to provide value? Just a thought.

Real Grief In A Virtual World

I just found out a long time SecondLife friend (Vx Shaw) passed away last month. I had not been in SL since last year. I had gotten really burnt out after 2.5 years of playing and needed a break. Weeks turned into months. I kept meaning to go back and check in but my home computer died and I just got it fixed. Now I'll never have a chance to talk to Vx (aka Bazoo Benton) again.

The things I remember best about V is her upbeat attitude and the endless support that she provided her friends. She let me camp my store out on Abydos for a year for free. She also always supported my many and sometimes wacky endeavors in-game. She will truly be missed.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Telecom Companies Need To Buy A Clue

I was just reading on law.com that telecoms are suing municipalities for rolling out free wifi to their constituents. These same telecoms often cannot be bothered to roll out any internet whatsoever to these municipalities. This is what happens when you base your business plans on artificial scarcity. You end up having to sue your own customers (i.e. the music and movie industries). Once your services are ubiquitous commodities you have to either find another business or employ economies of scale to make more money. Suing your customers is not a viable alternative ... ever. If you do so, do not be surprised when your customers walk all over you on their way towards a better alternative.

Monday, July 07, 2008

SXE Phil Is Awesome

Can I just say the SXE Phil is one of the smartest and funniest guys I've ever had the pleasure to see on YouTube? Well, if you won't allow it I'm going to say it anyway ;-)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Some People Have Too Much Time On Their Hands

I just got told by our service manager that someone had connected this blog with some software I wrote for my company. They told him I did not represent my company well on this blog and I had an awfully high opinion of myself. Maybe there is a reason for not representing my company well ... hmmmm. Oh yeah, this is not my company's blog. It is my personal blog. I have removed references to the software I created for my company. Hopefully, that will prevent this from happening in the future.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Senator Christopher Dodd's Housing Bill And You

Well, the federal government is at it again. Slipped into a new housing bill is a data collection policy requiring payment systems to track and report information on nearly every electronic transaction to the government. Yes, this is the same government that managed to lose 800,000 social security numbers by leaving a backup tape in an employees car. It's the same government that lost millions of veteran's social security numbers when a Veteran Affairs employee took the data home without authorization. Do we really trust them with our credit card and payment information? Why is this slipped innocuously into a Housing Bill? Are they ashamed to foist this turd in its own bill?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Where's My Fiber?

In a time when our Internet Service Providers are planning on foisting "pay as you go" plans upon the American consumer, it might be useful to look back 12 years to 1996. In 1996, America's Congress was ready to pass the Telecommunications Reform Act. The telephone companies "promised" to run fiber to 86 million American homes by 2008. They also promised that this fiber would enable us to cruise the Internet at 45 Mbps. In exchange for this promised, the telcos received $200 billion in tax breaks and beneficial legislation. That is about $2000 per American home in benefits we never received.
If you or I had scammed every household in the United States to the tune of $2000 we would be sitting in prison. Of course, you and I don't have millions of dollars to pay the American government hush money.
Telcos ... I'm still waiting for my fiber. Next week would be fine with me.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Chosing Between Crap And Poo

Ahhhh, politics is in the air again campers. Aren't we all just so excited? I don't know about you but I am sick of all the political parties and candidates. It just seems like every elections we get the choice between crap and poo. They both stink and taste bad going down. Just once, I would love to have a candidate that was not:
  1. In bed with special interests
  2. Lying to me
  3. Pre-compromised
  4. Looking for as much power as they can grab
Oh well, I guess I won't hold my breath. I don't want to turn blue and pass out.

Friday, June 13, 2008

RIAA Bullies At It Again

Just read about the RIAA doubling settling costs for people that try to quash their automated "piracy" pre-litigation letters. You know, the ones that try to link IP addresses to people (sometimes with horrifyingly unreliable results).
In other news, school yard bullies are doubling the amount of lunch money they take from their victims if they try to fight back.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Bruce Lee's Top 7 Fundamentals For Getting Your Life In Shape

Just read some crap at a site called the positivity blog. It is the authors re-interpretation of 7 rules Bruce Lee had to make his life better. They are:
  1. What are you really thinking about today?
  2. Simplify.
  3. Learn about yourself in interactions.
  4. Do not divide.
  5. Avoid a dependency on validation from others.
  6. Be proactive.
  7. Be you.
Not bad rules necessarily (if a little general). The only problem is that you have to wade through so many pages of flipping Google ads to get to the rules. I did not even realize the site had completely loaded because no content besides ads was coming up. My only other gripe is that the author forgot to include Bruce Lee's 8th rule:

Don't do too much cocaine. It's a real killer.

I know. I'm utterly tasteless.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Twitter Is Like A Big Whale ... Suspended By Birds


This just seems Sooooooo appropriate. Look everyone. It is the Twitter Whale suspended in the air by some really small birds. Maybe that's why Twitter is so unreliable?