Sunday, February 27, 2011

North Korea Warns of Military Response Against South Over Leaflet Drops

North Korea Warns of Military Response Against South Over Leaflet Drops
By Jun Yang - Feb 26, 2011 9:45 PM ET

"North Korea threatened to take military action if the South continues to drop leaflets fomenting revolt, Korean Central News Agency reported.

North Korea said it will fire at the “source” of balloons containing leaflets and video clips saved on flash-memory devices and DVDs, along with books and one U.S. dollar bills. The leaflets were a psychological plot to “shake up our socialism and break the trust of our military and people,” state-run KCNA said today."

I hope someone is paying attention to this. Yes, the Middle East is a powder keg and oil prices are on their way to the moon. But even with all of that, the chances of nuclear immolation is much smaller than what could happen if North Korea decides to get stupid.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Majority of US Internet users on Facebook: market tracker

Majority of US Internet users on Facebook: market tracker
Thu Feb 24, 6:08 pm ET

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – "Figures released Thursday by Internet tracker eMarketer indicated that more than half of US Internet users log in monthly to Facebook while about 20 million US online adults "tweet.""

I have to say this isn't a surprise to me. What is interesting is the number of people that I know who have jumped ship off of Facebook. There are many reasons why, most of them quite valid. The real question is what will be the Next Big ThingTM that takes the place of Twitter and Facebook?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I came across this post while wandering aimlessly around Twitter. It is on the Tumbler account of @Clare and is very thought provoking.

"The law discriminates against rape victims in a manner which would not be tolerated by victims of any other crime. In the following example, a holdup victim is asked questions similar in form to those usually asked a victim of rape."

Read the rest...

Friday, February 18, 2011

Microsoft: Typhoid Mary wants others to carry the can

Microsoft: Typhoid Mary wants others to carry the can
By Sam Varghese
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 08:23

COMMENT "Passing the buck is a game at which Microsoft is adept. In the computer security industry, one needs to have tons of chutzpah to hold others responsible for one's own security stuff-ups."

Microsoft has the greatest marketing division in the history of computers. They screw up and make it look like it's everyone else's fault. Your computer is hit by viruses? It's your fault for not running a host of security software. Just because other operating systems are virtually immune to virus attacks means nothing.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

History of Copyright, part 6: Hijacked By Record Industry

History of Copyright, part 6: Hijacked By Record Industry

"During most of the 20th century, a battle of prominence raged between performing musicians and the record industry. For most of the century, musicians were regarded as the important party in law and in common sense. However, the record industry would rather see music corporativized. Active intervention by the self-declaredly fascist regime in Italy tipped the scales in this direction."

This is part seven of a multi-part series on Copyright. If you ever felt that the music and film industry were being a little overzealous in their pursuit of "pirates" who "steal" content, this will explain just how things got so bad.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pa. teacher strikes nerve with 'lazy whiners' blog

Pa. teacher strikes nerve with 'lazy whiners' blog

By PATRICK WALTERS, Associated Press – Wed Feb 16, 3:46 pm ET

FEASTERVILLE, Pa. – "A high school English teacher in suburban Philadelphia who was suspended for a profanity-laced blog in which she called her young charges 'disengaged, lazy whiners' is driving a debate by daring to ask: Why are today's students unmotivated — and what's wrong with calling them out?"

This is one of those things where the teacher has a very good point but she shouldn't have posted this on her blog. At least she should have been more diplomatic about it. What you say online is part of who you are to the world. Yes, it was her personal blog, but it's not like writing in a diary book. If you don't want it splashed across the evening news don't put it online. Period.

Monday, February 14, 2011

"Win your O'Reilly Media Wish list" Sweepstakes

Here is my wish list of O'Reilly publications. These are the things I would buy if I had the funds to get them (in no particular order) -

Mercurial: The Definitive Guide
By Bryan O'Sullivan
June 2009
Print: $39.99

grep Pocket Reference
By John Bambenek, Agnieszka Klus
January 2009
Print: $12.99

Microsoft® XNA® Game Studio 4.0: Learn Programming Now!
By Rob Miles
February 2011
Print: $29.99

Head First C#, Second Edition
By Jennifer Greene, Andrew Stellman
May 2010
Print: $49.99

The Art of Debugging with GDB and DDD
By Norman Matloff, Peter Jay Salzman
September 2008
Print: $39.95

C++ Cookbook
By Ryan Stephens, Christopher Diggins, Jonathan Turkanis, Jeff Cogswell
November 2005
Print: $49.99

McCullough and Berglund on Mastering Git
February 2011
Video: $49.99

Creating List-Based Android Apps in App Inventor
By David Wolber
January 2011
Video: $19.99

Connecting to Web Data and APIs with App Inventor
By David Wolber
January 2011
Video: $19.99

Seven Languages in Seven Weeks
By Bruce A. Tate
November 2010
Print: $34.95

Hello, Android, Third Edition
By Ed Burnette
July 2010
Print: $34.95

bash Pocket Reference
By Arnold Robbins
May 2010
Print: $9.99

Version Control with Subversion, Second Edition
By C. Michael Pilato, Ben Collins-Sussman, Brian W. Fitzpatrick
September 2008
Print: $39.99

Programming Python, Fourth Edition
By Mark Lutz
December 2010
Print: $64.99

I hope that I have a chance to win this sweepstakes.

Bomb-sniffing plants to the rescue

Bomb-sniffing plants to the rescue
By John Roach

"Bomb-sniffing plants could make airport security a whole lot greener – at least until a bomb-packing terrorist walks by and causes the leaves to turn white, researchers report in the journal PLoS ONE.

The plants are being grown by a research team headed by June Medford, a biologist at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, with funding from the Depart of Defense and a host of other agencies."

This sounds interesting. If they can get these to be properly cultivated it would make for a great and inexpensive security method.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Flash is working

I mentioned in a recent post how my Fedora upgrade went really smooth with the exception of flash movies. Well, today Adobe released an update to their Linux flash player and now I can play movies and vid clips again. Now I can watch all the porn I want again.    [wink] [wink] [nudge] [nudge]

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Zach Wahls Defends Gay Marriage To Iowa Legislators (VIDEO)

Zach Wahls Defends Gay Marriage To Iowa Legislators (VIDEO)
First Posted: 02/ 3/11 01:35 PM Updated: 02/ 4/11 02:33 PM

"A 19-year-old University of Iowa engineering student defended gay marriage in a rousing testimony in front of the Iowa House of Representatives this week. Zack Wahls spoke out against a resolution which would end civil unions in Iowa by describing his own experience as the son of two lesbian partners."

This is one very good son. Quot: "[T]he sexual orientation of my parents has had zero effect on the content of my character." And, hopefully, his words will reach someone.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Zach Weiner, Destroyer of Homophobes

Zach Weiner, Destroyer of Homophobes

"My [Phil Plait] pal Zach Weiner is a good guy. Smart, funny, talented — and he draws Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, my favorite web comic bar none. And it’s that last bit which has elevated him into my exclusive pantheon of personal heroes. Let me tell you this tale (and you can read Zach’s version too)."

This is one good way to mess with bigots.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Finally upgraded to Fedora 14

As the title says, I finally got around to upgrading my main Linux box to Fedora 14. The upgrade was smoother than I've had with any OS in a long time. The only problem was with Flash. Of course, every upgrade has had a problem with Flash. It's 99.9% caused by Flash, too. When I try to play flash movies there's no sound and the frame rate is double or triple normal. Now, while this is annoying, it's not a critical problem. I'm sure it's been encountered by others so all I need to do is hit the support list. But I'm not in the mood to mess around with it right now. And it's not like I watch movies or videos that often anyway. What this does mean is that proprietary software sucks when compared to open source software.

Next on the list is upgrading the server to CentOS 5 and then the frelling Windows box to Win 7 (ugh).