Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Facebook 101

Collected from recent FaceBook 101 updates of a friend of mine.

  • Keep your personal drama problems off of Facebook.
  • Do not write an ambiguous post just so the first commenter will have to ask, "What do you mean?"
  • Learn how to use the privacy features of Facebook and DO NOT leave your profile open to the public.
  • Do not post or comment if it will get you in trouble with your significant other; Offending others is OK, if you are really prepared for the backlash.
  • Block people you know who do not like you, before they blast your wall.
  • If you have to become a fan of something before you can see it, it is ALWAYS an advertisement...(or worse, a virus).

Thursday, December 9, 2010

What Crime Was Committed?

It appears that the politicians who are supposed to represent me are trying to convince me that a website, WikiLeaks, run primarily by a group of Australian citizens has, itself, done something illegal.

I'm usually not one to go out of my way to question things my representatives are saying, but in this case, I feel I have to.

Let me explore this a little bit (with the help of The Telegraph Timeline Reference).

December 4, 2007 A US Army operations manual for soldiers working Camp Delta in Guantanamo Bay was posted on WikiLeaks. Some people wondered how the information was obtained, but nobody said anything about WikiLeaks being a terrorist organization.

September 16, 2008 E-mails from the governor of Alaska and vice-presidential candidate, Sarah Palin's personal e-mail account showed up. Turns out, she was using her personal account for official business. Sarah Palin and some of her supporters had terrible things to say about WikiLeaks (and still do to this day). Overall, nobody cared much.  Don't remember hearing anything about WikiLeaks itself doing something wrong though.

November 18, 2008 A Membership list for the British National Party (an ultra conservative party in UK politics) was posted to WikiLeaks.

November 17, 2009 Climategate. 1000+ e-mails from various climate researchers, mostly at the University of East Anglia were posted to WikiLeaks. Those who disagree with human-caused climate change celebrated the leak. Don't remember hearing anything about WikiLeaks itself doing something wrong.

April 5, 2010 Video from the cockpit of a US Army Apache helicopter in Iraq, attacking and killing 15 people, including two Reuters journalists. Many people legitimately questioned the value of posting this. Don't remember hearing anything about WikiLeaks itself doing something criminally wrong.

July 26, 2010 This is the last big one. Thousands of classified US military documents about Afghanistan were leaked to the web, and hosted by WikiLeaks. Lots of people didn't like it. However, the information within raised serious concerns about troop behavior in Afghanistan. So, few people were saying that WikiLeaks had done something criminally wrong, itself. People WERE saying that the information was posted irresponsibly, but I don't remember hearing the word prosecution applied to the WikiLeaks site.

Obviously, in all of the above, the sources of these leaks are up for prosecution if they are found.  That's not what I'm hearing this time.

Allegedly, some US citizen, and member of the US Armed Forces sent classified communications between US Ambassadors in foreign lands to this same group of Australian nationals with the expectation that those Australian nationals would post that information on the Internet site they run.  They did.

Which brings me back to the present.  Why am I hearing my politicians saying, now, that Wikileaks has, itself, done something wrong?  What, exactly, is different this time?

...Dismissing the hillarious political calls of "Treason" against people who are NOT US citizens. Dismissing that, Mastercard and PayPal have all stopped doing business with the web site on politician's suggestions that this company has done something criminally wrong. And dismissing anything silly that Sarah Palin has to say, being she was an early victim. Also dismissing anything that the Organization's leader may or may not personally be guilty of...

After all of that, what US law, or even what Austrailian law, is Wikileaks actually guilty of? Doesn't the USA protect free speech? I could have sworn that was one of the things that made me proud of this country.

Seriously, tell me.  I really don't get it.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Time Is Nigh

Just a quick note to say a few minor things.

I'm back from Bangalore.  I had a great trip.  Saw some cool things, met many cool people.  I will, eventually, get around to posting photos.

Christmas time is nigh...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Quasimodo says, "The Horns, The Horns"

I'm on my second day where I feel relatively jet-lag free.  This is as good a time as any, to mention what is different about Traffic in Bangalore.  There seems to be a whole new (but not all new to my experience) rules for traffic navigation.

What's My Beef with Bangalore?

So, I have been in Bangalore now for five days, but something happened two days ago, that I was a bit surprised by...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Bangalore and Rain

Went for a walk (more on that after the jump).  So, back in the hotel... watching TV.  There's an advertisement for a women's beauty product that seems to promise itself as a skin lightener.  I thought of this as crazy (even though Indian friends of mine have mentioned this before), so while writing this paragraph, I found a blog describing skin lightening products for men.  Of course, products that market to a 'better self-esteem' are popular everywhere, but ... from a Politically Correct US viewpoint, it seems very, very wrong to promote skin lightening.

About that walk.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Among The Indians

For the first time, I'll be going to India soon.  I leave at the end of this week, and I'll be back just before Thanksgiving.  I'm very excited and very nervous about this trip.  It seems that this will be a major part of my career development.  It will also be chaotic working hours, as I'll be meeting with different departments that work all different hours of the day.  Many are suggesting that I try to work UK hours, due to the natural overlap that GMT possesses, but alas, I'm already in meetings that will start at 9:30 local time, so .. that probably won't work.  At least not for my first week.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Another Big Change; At Work

Big day at work today. Looks like a lot of things are changing all at once. The biggest thing about this, for me, is that I'm going to be working with a larger team.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Watch Out! Child Playing in the Street! No, A Speed Device

Via [0], The City of West Vancouver, Canada, has unveiled the latest technology to get drivers to slow down.  A photo-realistic image of a little girl grabbing a ball, that is stretched long and flat to give the optical illusion that she is real, when viewed from a distance.  (Image from CTV, after the break.)

This particular experiment has been installed near a primary school, and only be in place for a week, and there are special signs and extra patrols in the area during this period.  Yet, the very idea of putting something like this in place, and effectively desensitizing drivers along that road to the sight of a child picking up a ball in the road, deeply annoys me.  It would seem that if there's even a chance that someone might teach themselves to ignore what they see, that that this is a bad idea.

In reality, after the week long installation, the observations of driver behavior over this week, it seems, could be used to determine if they are going to start installing images like this in more places.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Getting Rid Of Old Technology

Today, I gave away a second phonograph player that I own.  I've owned two phonograph players for at least 15 years.  Neither of them are "DJ units", just standard home units manufactured in '87 and '91.  The one I gave away isn't as good as the other one, but I had bought it myself.  The better one, that I still use, was given to me.  But one day, maybe I would need the other unit.  Since it hasn't been used for 13 years, perhaps I was just taking up space with a maybe.  Or maybe I was just waiting until I found someone who would actually use it.  So, I do feel good about that part.

I have a few more things to get rid of.  I have a tendency of stacking old technology, even after it's useless.  Often, even if it's broken.  Just a few weeks ago, I sent a stack of ISA (computer expansion cards that have not been used since the mid 1990s) cards to recycle.  I have more stuff like this that I need to get rid of.  Also (strangely) I have two brand-new, never used speakers that I also want to get rid of.  It's hard to let stuff like this go.  I might need it someday.  Someday.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

St. Paul Sink Hole

There was a sink-hole in St. Paul this-morning.

Ever since I heard this story about a woman who fell through a grate in Manhattan, I've been worried about sidewalk grates.  I just can't function if I have to worry about whole sidewalks, too!

Someone I know sent me a PDF file that had some pictures.  This is a really huge hole.  When I first heard about it, I was thinking man-hole cover size, not SUV size.  Anyway, check out the PDF.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Big Change

I just got off the phone with my girlfriend, J.  It was one of those marathon chats that go on and on, but we didn't really say much.  It's Labor day today, so we chatted about that.  I mentioned that I saw a tree on Friday that had half it's leaves brown already.  Fall is closing in early.  She mentioned some of the things she is doing where she is.

We've been in a long distance relationship for some time, and these chats are the meat of what has kept our love alive.  Most people who would bother reading this already know that I have something that I'm deeply looking forward to.

This coming Friday, my girlfriend will move in with me.  This is something that I'm deeply excited about.  There are a few things that make me nervous about this, but mostly, I'm excited.

I still have things to do to prepare, and I have not done them yet.  I'll get to them soon.  Boxing up my summer clothes for storage is high on the importance list now that it's cold out.  I moved completely out of the "big" closet, into the small one (to make room for J), but there's only room for one season worth of clothes in the small closet.  I need to get some storage bins.

Instead, I'm blogging.  Enough of that!  I think I need to go see if Target is open today.  Later.

Friday, September 3, 2010

New Start

This is my new blog space.  My old blog is still available, but due to some account changes with Google, I chose to move my blog around to a new Google user-id.

Ha!  Technically, I just figured out how to import my old blog into this one.  So, now everything is all in one place.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Tea Party : The Republican Green?,8599,2003079,00.html

I read the article above*, and couldn't help but notice that this was the very same analysis that so many had about the Green Party during the G.W.Bush years.

The whole idea, then, was that the Green party, by both attracting Democrats, and then also endorsing occasional bat-shit-crazy candidates basically imploded the realistic chances of either party.

*The Headline is different in the print edition:
Mark Halperin's Take: How the Tea Party Is a Mixed Blessing

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Crazy Morning, Getting Better

It's raining in St. Paul today.  I had an overnight guest, family of a friend*, who was planning to get into work early, and didn't quite make it in early.  To put it lightly, my overnight guest had a really bad morning.  I got up just in time to see her off, and decided to make some eggs as she left.  I just finished making breakfast when I got the phone call...

She got about 1 block from my place, and realized the right rear tire was completely flat.  7:30AM, wolf down eggs, throw on some clothes that can get wet, and head down.  There's a homeless guy being extremely helpful when I arrive, and I jump in to make sure everything is going O.K.  He takes off (I think she gave him some cash, but I'm not sure).  Anyway, the little tiny donut spare is on, and she asks if it'll make the drive home after work (a two hour drive).  I let her know that it MIGHT make it, but the little tire isn't made to go that far at all.

We bring her car back to my place, and I insisted that she take my car for the day.  Then I drove hers over to the local car shop to get the tire patched.

I went home, took a shower, and sent out updates to the people that need them.  Then I got to work by 9AM.

Today is getting better, but I'm really tired out.  I have to leave here around 2:30 to go get her car back, and make sure it's ready for her to go home in.

* I try to keep these a little bit anonymous  ;-)