Thursday, December 31, 2009

Down on a dime

My server is having issues. Seems I might have mucked something up and it's killed the mail exchange. Nothing in or out since early on the 29th. This happening now is typical; right in the middle of a holiday. Just need to find a DVD drive.
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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Voyager 2 Continues To Explore Beyond Our Solar System

Voyager 2 Continues To Explore Beyond Our Solar System December 28, 2009 by Michael Hickerson - "Voyager 2, which passed out of our solar system two years ago, continues to send back data and discoveries about the nature of our universe.

The probe is giving NASA scientists a look at the universe beyond our solar system and is currently 8.3. billion miles away from the sun. It’s giving us some news from this region, called the “heliosheath,” by astrophysicists.

You'll have to pardon me while I listen to the angels sing.
Yes, I think this is awesome. Can't help it. I am a techie, after all. I hope this little bugger keeps sending data for years to come. Or at least until it gets all tricked out and comes back.
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Friday, December 25, 2009

Hey Ubuntu, Stop Making Linux Look Bad

Hey Ubuntu, Stop Making Linux Look Bad Christopher Smart Wednesday, November 4th, 2009 - "It’s the same old story. A new Ubuntu release, a new series of pain and frustration.

Canonical releases a new version of Ubuntu every 6 months, come what may. Unfortunately what most often comes is a system full of bugs, pain, anguish, wailing and gnashing of teeth - as many “early” adopters of Karmic Koala have discovered.

While I am very much against distro wars, there is something to be said for "telling it straight." Right now, Ubuntu is one of, if not the, most popular Linux distributions out. If it leaves a bad taste in peoples mouths it hurts the entire Linux community. And we need to keep Linux moving forward. For obvious reasons.
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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Chinese state media reveal secret, illegal jails

Chinese state media reveal secret, illegal jails From Jaime FlorCruz CNN November 30, 2009 4:56 a.m. EST | Beijing, China (CNN) -- "Secret, illegal "black jails" exist in China, a state-run weekly has confirmed, despite official denials otherwise.

Chinese citizens in search of justice often end up in such detention centers when they file complaints against the government, the state-run weekly magazine Outlook reported last week.

And you thought the Communist Threat was gone.
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Swedish service performs your last online wishes

Swedish service performs your last online wishes By Louise Nordstrom, Associated Press Writer – Fri Dec 11, 11:26 am ET | STOCKHOLM – "Sunniva Geertinger was devastated when her boyfriend took his life early this year.

To make matters worse, his Facebook account proved almost impossible to put to rest, haunting her like a ghost with new wall-posts from network pals and holiday photos from the past.

Believe it or not this is a real concern. Over the decades I have known a number of fellow online mavens who had passed away leaving a big footprint still on the wire. In one case the BBS the guy was running ran for months after he was gone with no one attending it. His wife finally took it offline.

As for myself, I am in the same kind of situation. If I were hit by a truck (albeit one driving through my living room) there's no one who knows all the places I'm online. Hell, I don't even know all of them. I'm going to have to see how much this service costs.
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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Malware Lab's Rogue Gallery

Lavasoft has published a site that is "a resource dedicated to keeping computer users safe from rogue security software. By providing a comprehensive database of current rogue security applications, you have the ability to clearly see what programs are considered rogue – and avoid them." Basically they let you know about bad programs that pretend to be security software. This is a very good resource.

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Iran seizes rights lawyer's Nobel Peace medal

Iran seizes rights lawyer's Nobel Peace medal By Associated Press Writers Nasser Karimi And Ian Macdougall Thu Nov 26, 9:59 pm ET - TEHRAN, Iran – "Iranian authorities confiscated Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi's medal, the human rights lawyer said Thursday, in a sign of the increasingly drastic steps Tehran is taking against any dissent."

Just in case you were still wondering why we are "over there." I wish that everyone in The States could spend a few years overseas. Just to see what the world really looks like. Then they could make an INFORMED decision on US foreign policy. $DEITY knows the populous is clueless about the rest of the world.
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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Secret copyright treaty leaks. It's bad. Very bad.

Secret copyright treaty leaks. It's bad. Very bad. Cory Doctorow POSTED AT 2:13 PM November 3, 2009 - "The internet chapter of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a secret copyright treaty whose text Obama's administration refused to disclose due to "national security" concerns, has leaked. It's bad."

Read this if you ever want to use the Internet for any purpose. This is the kind of stuff that keeps rational men (and women) awake at night.
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Messenger Probe Finds Seasonal Changes On Mercury

Messenger Probe Finds Seasonal Changes On Mercury November 4, 2009 by Michael Hickerson - "NASA’s Messenger space probe has discovered what appear to be seasonal changes on the planet Mercury, according to the Associated Press."

This is very interesting. It was always believed that Mercury had only a hot side and a cold side. Guess there's more to the planets than anyone suspected.
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Monday, December 21, 2009

Worms Invade Corporate Computers, Microsoft Finds

Worms Invade Corporate Computers, Microsoft Finds - "In its latest Security Intelligence Report, Microsoft documents the doubling of worms in enterprises during the first half of 2009."

Now there's a shocker. The reason that worms are on the increase in the enterprise is because Microsoft's products are for $#it! If you use any version of MS Windows, and that includes Win7, you are inviting the bad guys to do bad things to you like moths to a flame. In a world where security and functionality were considered to be important Microsoft would not be a blip on the radar in the IT industry.
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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Lazy Workers May Be Deemed Hackers

Lazy Workers May Be Deemed Hackers Mark Rasch, 2009-08-25 - "From his office job at the Shelby City (Ohio) Wastewater Treatment plant, he was browsing adult Web sites, including one called Adult Friend Finder to meet women. When some of the women asked Wolf for nude pictures, he bought a digital camera, took pictures, and e-mailed them using his work computer."

Ok, the guy was dumb enough to use a work computer to send nude pics and booking online a dominatrix. He should be gigged for that. But to indict him under a "hacker" law is absurd. This is just one in a growing trend of laws being passed with such vague wording that anything and everything could be considered illegal.

Back in the old BBS days there was a case where a company in CA sold porn over a bulletin board. It was perfectly legal to do so according to the laws of their jurisdiction. Then, some idiot in the Midwest decided that, since it was illegal to do so in their state, they'd try and shut down the porn board. So they had someone, a law enforcement officer if I remember right, buy some porn then they indicted the company under the local obscenity laws. Now, the federal law says that these things are governed by the community standards. The BBS company asserted that, since they are in CA, the local community standards allowed them to sell porn. But the prosecutor held that, since the end point of the transaction was his local community, he had jurisdiction. The courts upheld his position of community standards and the BBS was shut down.

This kind of thing is so wrong that no one with two brain cells to rub together would ever think it was right. Unfortunately, the people in the positions of making and enforcing laws are often those few who don't meet the above criteria.

$DEITY help us.
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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Happy Birthday to a brand new teen

My son turns thirteen today. Can you believe it? I'm just as excited as I am worried, though. He's a good kid but being a teen is hard enough without all the things this generation have to deal with. It's a good thing he's tougher than his mom and dad.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It's alive!!!!!

Semester finished. Caught up on sleep. Time to catch up on here.

I have a bunch of backlogged things to post so I'll see about getting them in before Christmas. Some will be slightly dated but still interesting. Well, at least interesting to me.

Anyway, I'm headed off to get a few more days... Uh, I mean hours of sleep. Then, watch out!