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Old Blog Posts April 10, 2006

Subject Software Patents
Posted Date: April 10, 2006 – Monday – 4:35 AM
An excellent, balanced article on software patents, for those interested in that sort of thing.
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Subject Ironic being the Keyword
Posted Date: April 10, 2006 – Monday – 2:39 AM
“Ironically, by invading Iraq, George W Bush has boosted oil prices and effectively transferred billions of dollars from American consumers to the Venezuelan government.”

Link to full article, talking about Venezuelan oil.

Canada’s going to do OK for themselves too.

Hopefully other unexpected consequences will come out of having high gas prices. Like, ohh, I don’t know; more efficient cars? Hydrogen, or other alternate fuels? nano batteries?

And in other news, Exxon posts record profits

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Subject Blog Subscriptions
Posted Date: April 7, 2006 – Friday – 9:12 AM
Did you know that you can be notified when one of your friends posts a blog? Simply click the “Subscribe to this Blog” button on their main profile page (right above this list of their latest blogs). I have most of my friends on it, and it’s great to know exactly when someone has written a new article.

So, if you are reading this, click your back button and then subscribe! It’ll make me feel special, at the very least.

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Subject I just got EVDO! (Wireless Broadband Internet)
Posted Date: April 7, 2006 – Friday – 8:56 AM
Way cool. I just signed up for Verizon’s brand spankin’ new wireless internet, generically called EVDO . I will be getting fast wireless access to the internet (400 to 700 kbps) anywhere in their coverage area. Currently the coverage area in Washington is from Bellingham to Olympia along the 1-5 corridor; which is quite good for now. It will eventually be everywhere that mobile phones can get service.

This has been a longtime dream for us techno-geeks. Imagine being able to sit on the beach, log into your work computer, and hack away! Contrast this with commuting to the office, sitting in a cubicle, and putting in a nine to five. The whole concept of work is changing, especially for us programmers.

So, then I had to get myself a laptop, considering my only computer right now is a six year old dell desktop from Dell. My new laptop is an HP Pavilion, with a 100 gig hard drive, 512 MB of Ram, and a DVD/CD burner (double layer). Pretty stinkin’ sweet!

I just went from being years out of date to be being cutting edge! [sarcasm] And all it cost me was $900 for a new computer plus $60 bucks a month [/sarcasm] Yeah, that’s some moolah. Still, it’s half the price that my desktop was in 2000 (hence having the same dam’ computer for 6 years!), so all in all I guess it’s a pretty good deal.

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Subject Favorite Quotes 0
Posted Date: April 6, 2006 – Thursday – 1:25 PM
Brick: I love… carpet.
Brick: I love… desk.
Ron: Brick, are you just looking at things in the office and saying that you love them?
Brick: I love lamp.
Ron: Do you really love the lamp, or are you just saying it because you saw it?
Brick: I love lamp! I love lamp.

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Subject Detention, Treatment, and Trial of Certain Non-Citizens in the War Against Terrorism
Posted Date: April 13, 2006 – Thursday – 9:43 AM
“A British man accused of being behind the largest ever hack of US government computer networks could end up at Guantanamo Bay, his lawyer has claimed.”link.

For those not familiar with this case, Gary McKinnon is being extradicted from the UK for port scanning government computers looking of unpatched windows installations. As virtually all users know, ignoring Windows updates opens you up to all sorts of security risks. As vulnerabilities are discovered and exploited, Microsoft fixes them and releases new versions for people to upgrade to.

Our amazingly competent government apparently hasn’t learned the importance of this; so Gary was able to download easy to use tools and break into these unpatched and unprotected computers. We call this being a “script kiddie”; someone with little to no hacking skills who uses other peoples code. Script kiddies are the easiest to lock out of your systems; a firewall (XP has one built in) and fully patched version of Windows is all that you need. if the US can’t protect themselves from bottom rung hackers; how safe are we?

But that’s not the only point I’m making here. Sure, Gary is most likely guilty, and deserves to be prosecuted and punished if found guilty. But his claim is that he cannot be guaranteed this in the US. And the incredibly sad thing is, here is RIGHT.

Gary is afraid that if he is extradicted to the US, he will be held under Presidential Military Order One as a terrorist (this is not a stretch). Under this order the executive branch clams to be able to detain terrorists indefinitely, without trial. This is all thanks to the Bush “above the law” Administration, mind you.

Never mind The Magna Carte

New mind The Constitution

Never mind the Geneva Convention.

Never mind who polices the secret police.

Never mind, until you are imprisoned without council, without facing your accusers, without a trail (or worse, trial by kangaroo court), without any way to defend yourself. But by then it will be to late…

What a lawless government we have. I wish I could say that we don’t deserve this, but we do. We’ve traded freedoms that have stood up for over a thousand years for the illusion of safety. This is just wrong.

I could go on about this, but I’d rather urge you to read this article.
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Subject It’s Yuri’s Night!
Posted Date: April 12, 2006 – Wednesday – 8:32 AM
For all you space nuts out there (or should I say space balls?), don’t forget it’s Yuri’s Night. Help celebrate 45 years of space flight.

Other resources on space flights:
NASA. They have a beautiful website; worth poking around.
Virgin Galactic. Private space travel will soon be a reality.
Blue Origin. Onother private space flight company. These guys are building something right down the street from my work. Don’t know what they’ll be doing there yet, though. small website; but you can google for more info.

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Subject Movies0
Posted Date: April 11, 2006 – Tuesday – 12:00 PM
I saw three excellent movies over the last week.

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring
A deceptively simple buddhist tale that follows a man from youth to old age. It is a celebration of the cycle of life and the peace of selflessness (and the dangers of selfishness and lust). If any of you have read Siddhartha you’ll know what I mean here.

I am becoming a huge fan of Korean filmmaking. Oasis and Oldboy in particular are incredible films; pushing boundaries in story, style, and technique. You will never be the same after watching Oasis; I guarantee it.

Good Night, and Good Luck
A very important movie in these dark, backwards times. All about the McCarthy trials, and the role of the media in politics. Everyone should watch this movie, and talk about it loudly.

If you like Todd Solondz, then you’ve probably already seen this. If you’re not a fan then you’ll probably hate it. Well, I FINALLY saw it; and loved it. Todd is starting to really show his stuff; this movie is mature, balanced, and non-exploitative despite the subject matter. If you want to watch a movie that deals with pedophilia, abortion, and religion in an honest and open manner, then this movie is for you. But can you handle it? This is not a “pro”or “anti”, preachy type of movie; every character is three dimensional, and is both good and bad. Heavy stuff.
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Subject Amendment IV – Search and seizure.
Posted Date: April 10, 2006 – Monday – 11:18 AM
“After citing his concerns that there was no limiting principle to the Administration’s claim of authority in the War on Terror, Rep. Schiff asked the Attorney General whether the Administration believes it has the authority to wiretap purely domestic calls between two Americans without seeking a warrant.

“I’m not going to rule it out,” responded the Attorney General.” link.

So, Alberto, just in case you haven’t read it; here’s a quote from the Constitution (Bill of Rights).

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

This is really not up for negotiation. Wiretapping falls under search and seizure; and is clearly forbidden without a warrant stating precisely what they are looking for. So, constitution says no search without warrant; Executive branch says that wiretapping without a warrant is within their rights. Uh…I hate to say it, but the constitution wins!

Or does it? Looking at Bill or Rights articles 6-11; and tell me if they are being followed.

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Subject MAFIAA – Music And Film Industry Association of America
Posted Date: April 10, 2006 – Monday – 10:12 AM
An apropos name change, don’t you think?

This is obviously a parody; the Mafia has much more reasonable prices, at least in Russia.

All joking aside, allofmp3.com is actually a 100% legal site. You get un-DRMed media (mp3 format) for about 10 cents a song. This means you can usually pick up the full album for a few cents more than ITunes charges you for a single song. And, unlike ITunes; you can play them on any mp3 player of your choice. How easy is that? Hard to believe it’s still legal, huh?

The availability over the Internet of the ALLOFMP3.com materials is authorized by the license # LS-3-05-03 of the Russian Multimedia and Internet Society (ROMS) and license # 006/3M-05 of the Rightholders Federation for Collective Copyright Management of Works Used Interactively (FAIR).

Related links:
Drop out of school!
Radiohead calls music industry retards.This one actually offends me some. Mentally Deficient people don’t deserve that kind of comparison.
RIAA crying wolf all the way to the bank

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