Archive for January, 2006

RFID Passport Security

Technology, being used for technology’s sake, rarely is effective, unless it is done with a thorough understanding of the underlying issues and requirements. That is not the case here. RFID technology is not a technological panacea that will make national security or identifying the bad guys easier, unless it is properly used. In fact, it is more likely to make national security, especially for our citizens abroad, far lower, and make them more easily identifiable by the bad guys.

Republicans & Corruption

Apparently, the Republican party is corrupt at the state level as well as the federal level. Given the state of the current Republican leadership, and how much of it is current either under indictment or investigation, this isn’t all that surprising.

Third World Economy

Well, glad to say that GWB did not disappoint (see my previous post). The government of the United States is officially in default. They’ve exceeded the debt ceiling of $8.18 trillion dollars, and are now at $8.19 trillion dollars, as noted in the Homeland Stupidity blog. Of course, what would you expect from a man […]

No News About GWB

I was chatting with a friend over AIM earlier today, saying how I was wondering what to write about for my blog. Normally, GWB or his administration does something incredibly stupid, either with foreign policy or domestically, and then I have something to write about. But for the last few days… nothing… Probably a good […]

The TSA and National Security

I was reading Bruce Schneier’s blog and he had an article on a man who was on the Transportation Security Administration’s no-fly list. The person was detained and had his passport confiscated upon his return to Canada. The strange part in this story is he never set foot in the United States, having flown from […]

ChoicePoint Revisited

Apparently, the Federal Trade Commission is close to deciding what should happen to ChoicePoint regarding their selling consumer credit data to a ring of identity thieves. They’re being fined a currently undisclosed amount, and are required to setup a fund to help victims of identity theft, which is to be administered by the FTC. I […]

Working on Our Weakpoints

( Misc. andThoughts )

Sherry, over at Stay of Execution, has an excellent article about Doing Something You’re Bad At….Her mentor rocks… and now I want the readers of my blog, myself included, to go out and work on those short pencils…and do something we’re not good at, and try to strengthen our weakpoints.

MPAA Hypocrisy

Everyone knows that the Motion Picture Association of America is very much against unauthorized copying of movies. Then why is the MPAA admitting that it copied a movie, when it was specifically told not to by the copyright owner. The movie in question is Kirby Dick’s This Film Is Not Yet Rated. According to the […]

Why a Telstar 28?

( Sailing andTech andThoughts )

I’ve recently gotten a few e-mails asking why I chose the Telstar over monohulls or other trimarans. Instead of firing back a bunch of e-mails, I decided to post my response here, on my blog. My reasons for picking the Telstar are based on about four years of pretty solid research into what I wanted […]

Getting Too Big

( News andStupidity andTech )

SBC is getting a bit too big for it’s britches. You might not know this, but SBC just recently acquired it’s former parent company, AT&T. Most recently, SBC has been trying to turn its ISP services into a new profit center. Unfortunately, the way they’re trying to do this is by asking large websites, in this case Google, to pay fees to get sufficient broadband to their site for customers on SBC’s ISP network.

New Year’s Resolutions

I know it is a bit late to start talking about New Year’s resolutions, but Sherry over at Stay of Execution has cast down the gauntlet for her students. Tillerman, over at Proper Course has picked it up, as has Carol Anne over at Five O’Clock Somewhere. Seadated has goals set for the year too. […]

Gore and Clinton: Two Different Takes on Democracy

The Irregular Times blog, one of my regulars, has an excellent analysis on the differences between Al Gore and Hillary Clinton’s take on democracy and the actions of the Bush Administration. You can read the whole article here. I’ve quoted the conclusion below. It is one that I strongly agree with. Whereas Al Gore’s speech […]

More on the Telstar 28, Part II

The more I learn about the Telstar 28, the more I like her design.

The Zork Presidency

Found a really funny parody of the Bush administration. It will only make sense if you’ve played a text-based adventure game like Zork.

The Rule of Law, Al Gore and George W. Bush

Apparently, the Democrats have realized that George W. Bush has broken the law. Al Gore denounces GWB in his speech on Martin Luther King Day. In his speech, he and Congressman Barr, a conservative Republican, both denounce the actions of George W. Bush. Barr has also stated that we are close to becoming a totalitarian society here. I have quoted Gore’s speech below.

Republicans and War

Apparently, the Republicans really don’t care if our troops die in Iraq or Afghanistan. Our troops have been told that they may not qualify for the $400,000 SGLI life insurance policy if they are KIA wearing non-government issue body armor, as seen in this story.

Taking Security for Granted

( Essays andMac andSecurity andTech )

I often get asked if I run anti-virus software on my Mac, and if I do, why do I bother. The reasoning of the people asking me is usually something like: “There are no viruses for Mac OS X, so why waste the time/money running an anti-virus package on a Mac.”

More WiFi Security Problems

( Security andTech )

There are two more security problems with WiFi. Both are Windows-related, even though one is due to a flaw in the WiFi drivers, not in Windows itself. You can read about them here and here.

Apple, Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows and Intel

( Mac andTech andThoughts )

With the new Macs being Intel-based, there is now the possibility of running MS Windows on a Mac. One might ask, why would anyone want to run MS Windows on a Mac…especially given how expensive the Mac hardware has been….if you want to run Windows, why not just get a cheap no-name computer to do it with.

The Next Great Chick Flick

I was reading Five O’Clock Somewhere, one of the blogs on my list that I check daily.

There was an entry titled “The Next Great Chick Flick,” and as I got to the third paragraph, I said to myself, “Hey, it’s about a guy named Dan—my name is Dan…”

Innovation—Microsoft Style

( Rants andTech andThoughts )

Here’s a new Windows application that allows you to control your BlueTooth-enabled PC via a BlueTooth equipped cell phone. I’ll quote something from the “article” about the new software: Use Bluetooth Remote Control both for buisness and pleasure! Give PowerPoint presentation and see the actual slides in the phone. Change songs that are currently being […]

Mid-January Travels

This weekend I’ll be traveling. I‘m going down to Virginia to pick up my bird cage chair. I’ll post a photo of the chair later in case anyone is wondering why I call it a bird cage chair. I’m making these posts today, courtesy of the WiFi network at my friend Jesse’s house. I’m also […]

The Art of Looking

The art of looking, and seeing what is really out there, is fairly rare among most people today. As a photographer, I try to see the uncommon in the most common of things. I try to see what is hidden among the obvious, what is really below the surface.

WARNING: Serious Microsoft Outlook Bug

( Security andTech )

If you thought that the WMF (Windows MetaFile) bug was bad…there’s another bug that is far worse. The flaw is in the way Exchange, Microsoft’s e-mail server and Outlook communicate. I’ll post the most relevant quote from the article. The original article can be found here. “All that’s required to exploit this is an e-mail […]

More Gear Arrives, Part II

( Sailing andTech )

The two solar panels arrived late yesterday. I won’t have a chance to check them out until Sunday, as I’m headed off to DC/MD/VA for a few days. Based on a rough energy audit I’ve done, I think the two solar panels will be enough to prevent reliance on the outboard’s alternator for charging the system, but I won’t know if my calculations are accurate until sometime in April or May.

Unnecessary FUD

( Stupidity andTech )

Apparently, the people over at BoingBoing are jumping the gun on the spyware/adware accusations against Apple’s new iTunes 6.02. While I haven’t had a chance to play with iTunes 6.02 all that much, I have taken a look to see what this idiotic screaming was all about. He is accusing Apple of installing spyware because […]

Bush’s Wiretaps are Illegal

There are two more articles about whether GWB’s NSA wiretaps are legal or not. Consensus seems to say that they are illegal, at least with respect citizens of the United States of America at the time of the wiretapping. One is by Orin Kerr, and the other is by Daniel Solove. Both are associate professors of law at the George Washington University Law School.

More Corporate Data Breaches

( Events andNews andSecurity andTech andThoughts )

These companies really need to be brought to task about their careless handling of important customer data. The financial institutions which allow identity theft to occur should also be brought to task, and be held responsible for any losses they authorize.

MacWorld San Francisco

( Events andNews andTech )

MacWorld San Francisco is underway, and Apple has not disappointed the Mac faithful.

On schedule with their switch to the Intel-based Macs, they announced two new Intel-based Macs today. The first is the iMac… not surprising, as it was in need of an upgrade.

The other, more important announcement was the MacBook Pro, which is the Intel-based PowerBook replacement. This was the announcement I was expecting, as the PowerBook line has had little to really distinguish it from the current iBook line, and is the line of hardware in most need of an upgrade.

E-Bay Fraud

Should eBay be responsible for fraud committed through their services. I think they should be. My reasoning is this. They profit from even the fraudulent transactions. They should be responsible for vetting the people who use their services, both buyers and sellers, and should take responsibility when their vetting of users fails.