Thursday, October 30, 2008

Trick or Treating? Yes, No, Yes, No...

My son informed his mother and me that he was to old to go Trick or Treating this year. He's at that in between age and feels it's not cool to dress up and all. I told him it was no problem but I wouldn't mind if he went so that we could have more candy to eat. But he didn't want to go so that was fine.

This evening I mentioned to him that his nieces were going to try and bring something over that he could wear if he wanted to change his mind. He was still professing that he didn't want to go until he had the idea of going as a hip-hop gangsta thug dressed in white. That got him all excited, since he already has all the clothes anyway, so tomorrow he might actually go. There's a small side street behind our house all the kids call "Candy Lane" because of the inordinate amount of houses that give out TONS of candy. He can't wait to go trick or treating now.

To quote the great song from Bye Bye Birdie, "Kids! What the matter with kids today."

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Voting Machines in the USA

Voting Machines in the USA | "The voting machine you'll encounter on Nov. 4 takes the most important right in a democracy — your right to vote — and makes it real. And just like the people who make and use them, machines aren't perfect. DVICE has researched all of the nation's voting machines to tell you what technology you'll be using on Election Day and what potential problems and vulnerabilities it might have."

These are two very informative maps. If you want to see the correlation between potential voter error and potential for hacking you'll be intrigued by the way they are related.

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Did WWI Hero Sgt. York Have Help?

Did WWI Hero Sgt. York Have Help? | October 08, 2008 | Philadelphia Daily News | "It was 90 years ago today that 17 U.S. soldiers -- including two Philadelphians -- attacked a German machine-gun nest in the heart of France's Argonne Forest.

As the story goes, Sgt. Alvin C. York of Tennessee, a former conscientious objector, single-handedly killed 28 German soldiers and captured 132 others. He won a Medal of Honor and became popularly known as the greatest hero of World War I.

You've probably seen the movie with Gary Cooper about this (and if you haven't you really should) but this article has some very good questions about the event. There's a lot of history from WWI that's hidden, forgotten or just lost. While this is true for all of history before mass media became ubiquitous, WWI had a far greater impact on the coarse of history than is known.

Another question this brings up is whether it's better to have accurate historical records or to keep our legends/heroes. The answer is far less obvious that you might think.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sex Addiction

Yesterday Tyra did an episode on Sex Addiction. From my prior investigations it seems like there are two main types of this addiction. One is a compulsive need for sex rooted in some psychological base. The other looks to my like it's a psychological need rooted in a psychological base. There are likely chemical/biological things in there, as well, especially in the former. But being ultra promiscuous does not make you one. The real issue of sex addiction is not in the sex, it's in the underlying psycho-emotional things that drive it.

At least that's what it seems to me. Granted I have no training in anything remotely related to this topic. That includes an extreme dearth of sexual experience. I have gone years, if not decades, without "gettin' some." Of course I do know the physical, emotional and psychological reasons behind that. Basically, most of the troubles in the world really are all in our heads.

(And a dare anyone to ask what my sexual past was like!)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Time management?

I've got just under four hours to get all of week one's work done. In the one class I have a chapter to read and a short paper to write. In the other I have an assignment with two deliverables (maybe more), a chapter to read and a test to take. I guess this is where time management is needed.

To bad I don't have the remotest ability to do it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bush signs controversial anti-piracy law (Reuters)

Bush signs controversial anti-piracy law (Reuters) | Posted on Mon Oct 13, 2008 5:45PM EDT | WASHINGTON (Reuters) - "President George W. Bush signed into law on Monday a controversial bill that would stiffen penalties for movie and music piracy at the federal level.

The law creates an intellectual property czar who will report directly to the president on how to better protect copyrights both domestically and internationally. The Justice Department had argued that the creation of this position would undermine its authority.

More crap laws to make rich people richer. Did you know that the penalties for pirated music were already much harsher than for steeling/selling nuclear fuel? I can't find the reference link to this fact but it's probably on Bruce Schneier's Crypto-Gram. Anyway, while the big companies are moving closer to making software piracy a capitol offense, you can kill someone and get only 12 years. Or less.

If there was a way to make greed a crime world piece would be significantly closer to realization.
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Thursday, October 02, 2008

Blaming the Good Samaritan

Blaming the Good Samaritan | Houston Carr, 2008-09-26 | "In the early 90's, I attended an academic conference in Hawaii. At one presentation, a colleague from the University of California at Berkeley whom I'll refer to as "the supervisor," told a story of young hackers, who he referred to as the Urchins.

The Urchins, according to the supervisor, remotely accessed several corporate mainframes as a way of learning and found vulnerabilities in their systems. They told the supervisor, who contacted the effected companies and told them of the illicit access and the vulnerabilities. He explained what he was told by the Urchins: There was no intent to do harm and they only wanted to notify the companies of weaknesses in their systems.

This is something that's become a real issue in the last decade or so. People doing the right thing yet getting in trouble for it. And the laws that have come into existence boggle the mind. Did you know that the penalty for "hacking" is harsher than for stealing plutonium? Does this make any sense? Is the world being run by idiots?

Don't answer that.

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