Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Novell Wins Unix Case Against SCO

Novell Wins Unix Case Against SCO
By W. David Gardner
InformationWeek
March 31, 2010 10:53 AM

"The open source community, Novell, and IBM are breathing a collective sigh of relief after a Utah federal jury ruled that Novell -- and not SCO Group -- owns the copyrights to Unix.

SCO had sued Novell in 2004, claiming Novell owed it millions of dollars. SCO attempted to drag IBM and the entire open source community into the issue, claiming that SCO had rights to Unix code that found its way into some open source code.
"

It is now officially over, thank $DEITY.

Aren't sure what this is all about? A Google search will get you more than you could ever want but try starting at Groklaw.
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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Korean navy diver dies in rescue effort near sunken ship

Korean navy diver dies in rescue effort near sunken ship
By the CNN Wire Staff
March 30, 2010 3:29 p.m. EDT

Seoul, South Korea (CNN) -- "An experienced diver and master sergeant in the South Korean navy died Tuesday while conducting rescue efforts for 46 seamen who were aboard a patrol ship when it sank, a military official said.

The 53-year-old chief master sergeant lost consciousness while underwater in the Yellow Sea, the official said. He was taken aboard a U.S. Navy ship, the USS Salvor, but could not be resuscitated.
"

Just keeping up with the story.
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Finding the cure?

Ever wonder why so much time and money is spent on medical research to cure some "plague of our time" but no one ever seems to find a cure?

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Monday, March 29, 2010

SKorean defense min: Warship may have struck mine

SKorean defense min: Warship may have struck mine
By Jean H. Lee, Associated Press Writer – Mon Mar 29, 12:09 pm ET

SEOUL, South Korea – "A naval mine dispatched from North Korea may have struck the South Korean warship that exploded and sank near the Koreas' disputed sea border, the defense minister told lawmakers Monday, laying out several scenarios for the maritime disaster."

And you thought I was being paranoid?
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Sunday, March 28, 2010

French Anti-Piracy Law Actually Increases Piracy

French Anti-Piracy Law Actually Increases Piracy
David Murphy - PC Magazine – Sun Mar 28, 7:22 pm ET

"Don't pirate content in France: That's the mantra of the country's High Authority for Copyright Protection and Dissemination of Works on the Internet law (HADOPI 2), but it's not clear that its intended audience has received the message loud and clear.

[N]ew research is indicating that HADOPI's effect on filesharing might not be as pronounced as lawmakers might have hoped, even given the law's tough stance toward online piracy. Ars Technica reports that French researchers at the University of Rennes have found a three-percent increase for online copyright infringement since HADOPI's inception.
"

Ok, stealing software, or anything for that matter, is wrong. I do my utmost to make sure I and my family do not perpetrate software theft even though I am strongly against the false concept of "Intellectual Property" and the current copyright laws. Just because the laws are bad doesn't give us the right to break them. When the law is bad you change it.

That being said, this article points out how not to go about preventing software piracy. There are far better ways to handle things. Ways that actually work. There is nearly an overabundance of links and information on this subject but I leave it as an exercise for the reader to do their own research. It is better to make up your own mind.
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Friday, March 26, 2010

SKorean naval ship sinks near NKorea; 46 missing

SKorean naval ship sinks near NKorea; 46 missing
By Kwang-tae Kim, Associated Press Writer – 3/26/2010

SEOUL, South Korea – "South Korean authorities stepped up searches for 46 sailors still missing Saturday, hours after a naval ship sank near a disputed sea border with North Korea.

Navy and coast guard vessels, as well as air force planes, were searching the waters near South Korea's Baeknyeong Island where the 1,200-ton Cheonan sank during a routine patrolling mission.
"

I'm not saying anything untoward has happened, but I'm not NOT saying it.
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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Smithsonian human origins exhibit elicits awe, protests

Smithsonian human origins exhibit elicits awe, protests
By Dan Vergano, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — "What could prompt a climate protest at a paleontology exhibit?
The Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History saw this scenario, when Greenpeace protesters arrived Wednesday for the museum's opening of a state-of-the-art $20.7 million "Hall of Human Origins," exhibit.
"

Who would have thought Greenpeace would be there protesting an exhibit on the origins of humans? Creationists, yes. But then again those climate change wackos will protest anything. Seems as far as they're concerned there's never been any climate change in the 4 billion year history of the planet until now.

The other thing that still gets me is this, from the article...

"about 39% of U.S. adults overtly reject evolution, according to a 2006 study in the journal Science."

That's akin to saying 39% of U.S. adults thinking the world is flat. If they want to believe that it is their prerogative. But they should keep it to themselves and stay out of the way of rational, intellectual and truly theological thinkers. And stay away from the rest of the population who actually have some common sense.
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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Texan accused of disabling 100 cars over Internet

Texan accused of disabling 100 cars over Internet
By JEFF CARLTON, Associated Press Writer – Wed Mar 17, 6:49 pm ET

DALLAS – "A man fired from a Texas auto dealership used an Internet service to remotely disable ignitions and set off car horns of more than 100 vehicles sold at his old workplace, police said Wednesday.

Austin police arrested Omar Ramos-Lopez, 20, on Wednesday, charging him with felony breach of computer security.
"

Sometimes I wonder if all this technology isn't getting a little carried away. When OnStar came out with their service it seemed like a good idea but I kept wondering about the security of it all. If the OnStar reps can start your engine remotely the signal has to come from somewhere through the air. If you are broadcasting a signal over an open medium then it can be received by anyone. Even an encrypted signal can be spoofed. But, as with the vast majority of all security breaches, it is the inside human aspect that is the mos vulnerable.

Ever wonder what someone with internal access to your bank account might do if they were fired?
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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Fashion Police - What is wrong with these people

I do not generally consider myself fashionable. I don't care about fashion trends and what's hot for spring, blah, blah, blah. Being a fan of ANTM, I have, over the cycles, picked up on some trends. Plus, my enjoyment of women wearing sandals and dress shoes has added a bit of knowledge on that front. (Both QVC and HSN helped in that endeavor).

With all that being said, what is with the current trend of celebrities wearing porn/hooker shoes? The micro-mini took off a decade ago but now the ensemble is complete. It is funny that through the 60's and 70's the Women's Movement worked very hard to make the point that women are not sex objects, or at least they are more than just that. Fast forward a few decades and today the young girls are nothing if they don't dress and act like porn star whores.

Now, I'm no prude. I like hot women in (and out of) hot clothes. But why can't sexy dress come from the sensual side as opposed to the "jump me now" side?
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Friday, March 12, 2010

You know you're getting old when. . .

Here is another entry in the aging ponderings to go along with my previous one.

Spring break! Sun, flesh, booze and boobs. What more could a guy ask for? Well, I've never been on spring break, at least not the Florida/Cancun/wherever one. To be honest, I don't think I missed anything either. So why am I talking about it? Thought you'd never ask.

I was watching one of those mindless "entertainment" shows the other day, "Wild and sexy Spring Break," or some such. Mostly showed lots of girls in bikinis, wet t-shirts and various stages of naked (all the good bits blurred out, of course). While I was watching, it dawned on me that the idea of being in one of these hot spots for spring break was, well, unpleasant. My first thought was that if I lived there I would definitely leave the area while the revelers were infesting the place. Being around all the partying and sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll would give me a headache. Therefor,

You know you're getting old when the idea of half-naked young men and women whooping it up is a good reason to take a vacation to somewhere quiet.

There are some vague memories in the dusty parts of my mind about my actually enjoying this kind activity. But that was 25 to 30 years ago. And the realization that some of this years spring breakers might consider 25 to 30 as being to old for spring break... Well, it could be depressing if I really cared about age. But, if being old is just a state of mind, then I'm probably not old enough to go on spring break anyway.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Saving Money Tips For Hair and Nail Care

Saving Money Tips For Hair and Nail Care
Thursday March 11, 2010 - Denise's Parenting Teens Blog on About.com: Teens
Aside from getting a haircut, having your teen's hair or nails done at a salon is an expense many families are forgoing in these tough economic times. But that doesn't mean you or your teen have to forgo looking good.
  1. Clip coupons for cosmetics and hair coloring or highlighting supplies. The 2 for 1 coupons are wonderful for mother and daughter supplies.
  2. Enjoy a nail night or style night at home while spending time together. For $15 of nail polish and embellishments you'll get two $30-$40 dollar manicures and some good memories.
  3. Add a week to your hair-cutting schedule and get your cut every seven weeks, instead of every six. You'll save the price of one haircut a year per person.
  4. Make your own hair accessories, here are two I made up recently: Flower Headband and Flower Hairpin.
  5. Buy generic products you can trust. Read the labels and see if there is any difference in the more expensive products and the generic. If not, save your family the money.
Just some random stuff I thought was interesting. I mean, who doesn't want to save money on their hair and nails?
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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

New Inductees Into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame

New Inductees Into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame
March 10, 2010 by Michael Hickerson || Category: Book News, TV News

"The Science Fiction Hall of Fame has announced four new inductees for the year."

Octavia E. Butler
Roger Zelazny
Douglas Trumbull
Richard Matheson


Seems to me that Zelazny should already be in there by now.

If you like Science Fiction then you've probably read some, if not all, of these authors. If you aren't necessarily a fan of the genera but would like to understand how the minds of techies work then I highly recommend reading any of these authors. In fact, any good F&SF books will give an interesting insight into how we techies think.

Or, for those with MTV attention spans, you can watch TV shows like Chuck and The Big Bang Theory to get the cliffsnotes version.
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Sunday, March 07, 2010

Seven Students Punished in Grade Changing Scheme

Seven Students Punished in Grade Changing Scheme
By TONYA LAFLEUR Updated 10:01 PM EST, Fri, Feb 5, 2010
"At least seven students at Churchill High School in Potomac, Md., will be punished for their roles in a grade-changing scheme.

The Montgomery County state’s attorney has yet to decide if charges will be filed.
"

Some fun in one of the local school districts. Seems a couple of kids found out some of the teachers passwords and went to town. There's a number of questions about this story that won't be touched on by the media but I'll pose them.
  • How did the kids get the passwords? The teachers probably had them written down somewhere obvious or used any of the most common worst passwords.
  • What kind of security measures were in place in the system itself? I'm guessing nothing more than ID/Passwd access.
  • Did the kids change any of their own grades? I seriously doubt it.
  • Will the teacher training be improved to keep this from happening again? Yeah, right.
If this happened on a network with strong security policies and procedures then I would get these kids into a White Hat program. The odds are, though, that the security of the school system was virtually nonexistent.

That's enough of my ranting for today.

Do these kids need to be punished? Yes.
Should the school and the school district need to be held accountable? Definitely.
Is anyone going to listen to me?

Well, you know that answer to that one.
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Saturday, March 06, 2010

Taiwan Earthquake Damages Undersea Internet Cables

Taiwan Earthquake Damages Undersea Internet Cables
Dan Nystedt, IDG News Service – Fri Mar 5, 4:50 am ET
"A major earthquake and several aftershocks in Taiwan, which injured dozens of people and caused several fires on Thursday, also sent Chunghwa Telecom workers scrambling to fix undersea fiber-optic telecommunications cables to prevent service disruptions around Asia."

Let's see...

7.0 in Haiti
8.8 in Chili
6.4 in Taiwan

Were the fanatics right after all?
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Friday, March 05, 2010

Fake-Pot Panic

Fake-Pot Panic
By Mary Carmichael | Newsweek Web Exclusive Mar 4, 2010
"Jack Shafer, the media columnist at Slate, is famous for pointing out "bogus trend stories," especially those involving drug use. Of them, he once said, "Whenever I fall into a funk over the press corps' abysmal coverage of illicit drugs, I console myself with the knowledge that, as awful as the coverage is, it's always been that way." He's even blasted drug coverage in sister publications The Washington Post and NEWSWEEK."

No commentary on this one. Just read, research and draw your own conclusion.
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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Cell phones show human movement predictable 93% of the time

Cell phones show human movement predictable 93% of the time
By Casey Johnston | Last updated February 23, 2010 5:02 PM

"We'd like to think of ourselves as dynamic, unpredictable individuals, but according to new research, that's not the case at all. In a study published in last week's Science, researchers looked at customer location data culled from cellular service providers. By looking at how customers moved around, the authors of the study found that it may be possible to predict human movement patterns and location up to 93 percent of the time. These findings may be useful in multiple fields, including city planning, mobile communication resource management, and anticipating the spread of viruses."

This is interesting on so many levels. First, there's the whole Big Brother aspect. If you carry a cell phone with GPS, someone somewhere will know where you are. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, though. I use AT&T FamilyMap to keep an eye on my son when he's oot and aboot (that's Canadian for out and about). It's nice to have that kind of reassurance. But the idea of being tracked 24/7 is a little hinky. Would you want someone to know where you were all the time?

On the other side of the coin, the scientific data related to predicting human movements sounds like the first steps to what Iaasc Asimov called Psychohistory. Being able to predict how people react can be beneficial for things like planning traffic routs for a community or escape routs for buildings and such.

The personal privacy solution is to not carry around a cell phone. But can anyone in today's industrialized society honestly do without one?
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Monday, March 01, 2010

Clay Aiken Takes Stand for Gay Rights..."And It's About Damn Time"

Clay Aiken Takes Stand for Gay Rights..."And It's About Damn Time"
Sun., Feb. 28, 2010 3:45 PM PST by Brandi Fowler

"More than a year after Clay Aiken announced he was gay, the former American Idol star is taking a stand for gay rights issues."

I knew he was gay but didn't know he was an American Idol alum. That's to be expected, though, since I haven't watched any American Idol episode. Ever.

Anyway, more visability for the advancement of Human Rights is alwayd a good thing.
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Packing With Shrooms, Not Styrofoam

Packing With Shrooms, Not Styrofoam
By Alyssa Danigelis | Fri Feb 26, 2010 02:58 PM ET

"Recycled cardboard is a decent replacement for styrofoam packaging, but what about heavy items that [need] stronger protection? A company called Ecovative Design is banking on mushroom roots."

This is one of those "sounds ridiculous but is really good" ideas. I mean, if it works it can't hurt to use it, right? Styrofoam is fun and all but it is a bit messy and can get into everything.
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