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Comments

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Annual check in

JohnnyComeLately Update (15 comments)

I've been laid off 3 times since my last real update here on /. Also, volunteered for Afghanistan 3 times, and deployed those 3 times to various organizations. Still married here, have a second kid now, a girl. I don't post their names on line (or pics) so I'll just say older boy and younger girl :) I'm working now in Saint Louis but looking to get back to San Diego for work. Starting to get tired of working for government/military circles because of constant funding pressures, but I earn an exceptional income due to my experience, education, training, etc. It's funny you posted this as I just stopped in to see if an old friend was on here. DexterPexter I think was her name. She has a EE and ME background, worked robotics and last I heard went to work for a "three-letter agency" on unmanned sensors.

Glad you found RUU Wuvv here :) I made friends gaming on XBOX Live who later found me here (very similar alias) and so it was funny comparing posts, interests, etc.

about 2 months ago
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New iOS Keylogging Vulnerability Discovered

JohnnyComeLately So far /. is at 3% reading comprehension rate (72 comments)

35 messages on this thread as I read it, and only ONE says in any detail anything that shows the issue and what the vulnerability has as an underlying assumption. Here it is for those who did read the article (RTFA), you have to install a rogue app. So, someone who's breaking the ToS (not being rogue) has to put an app out, then you have to install it, and then it's scraping inputs. This isn't a security vulnerability as most responses on here opine about. My car has a gas pedal. Does the ECM for engine management have a "security vulnerability," because I can press hard on the right pedal and do 180mph (illegal by federal law)?? No. It's functioning as designed. Press hard on gas, go faster. App installed and running in background, can accept device inputs. For example, have a GPS app? It is allowing inputs from other applications (e.g. you can listen to music on the GPS app I have without kicking out to Music app) and inputs (buttons).

Nothing significant to see here. Yeah, more restrictions from Apple development guidelines coming due to asshats being asshats. *sigh*

about 2 months ago
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Schneier: Break Up the NSA

JohnnyComeLately Re:since when is the FBI a spy agency? (324 comments)

There's an internal process to report, and then there are multiple agencies (Inspector General, to name one) who investigate. So there's an internal and external mechanism to investigate illegal usage. Just like any organization that employs humans, there are those who can and will have a lapse. Sometimes it's intentional, sometimes not. For the times it's happened, they've been investigated, and then the appropriate action take against those who have broken the law. These are words spoken directly by Letitia Long, the NGA Director. I'm not in the NSA but she (Director Long) is aware of the investigations and then briefed the results (which I've read). I know there's a certain element here on Slashdot that will always see Dragons and "Lack of evidence of a conspiracy confirm there is a conspiracy," however your question seems sincere so it's all I can offer. Let's pose this question the other way around: Most of the Intelligence Community are former military. They are your typical, "By the book," kind of people who operate in most cases by the letter of the law, or "Technical Order." (Quoting my Air Force background). If there was truly illegal activity rampant, and this was an abuse going on frequently, do you really think it would just be a high school drop out (Snowden) to bring this to light? Given my time in and out of uniform, I can assure you there'd be a lot of pissed off former military who'd love to sound off on something as bad as the pro-Snowden's would like to make this sound. Take for example, "Veteran's For Peace" against the current war. You just don't see it here.

Although I think Obama and the Democratic party are not ones I would normally agree with, I have respect for their position and authority. The President called for an investigation of the NSA programs Snowden leaked. His comments are found here but to skip to the end he says, "The Review Group turned up no indication that this database has been intentionally abused. And I believe it is important that the capability that this program is designed to meet is preserved." And, to appease those who still are skeptical, they're increasing public release of information, increased oversight, and ending the government holding bulk metadata. This last one is curious to me because I've listened to the NSA Director explain why they approached it from the technical perspective, and I've been a telecom engineer, and so I understand why they did it like they did. So, I'm a bit uncertain how they're handing it off and still, as Obama states, "preserves the capabilities we need without the government holding this bulk meta-data." I'm sure very smart people will figure out legal, technical and other means to meet the capability while following our laws.

Hope that helped. And, repeating what I said in another branch... I'm no longer replying to this thread since it (as I figured) devolved to personal attacks (not by you) and the volume of replies. Your reply came in before my self-induced cut off, but I'm just now getting caught back up on personal emails.

about 2 months ago
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Schneier: Break Up the NSA

JohnnyComeLately Re:Author doesn't understand the NSA (324 comments)

I think you're blending two issues into one, or you and I aren't agreeing on the same terms being used. The less than 60 number is in response to the question: How many Americans do the NSA actually spy on? The size of the facility and cooling you're talking about deals with how much data is cataloged. I used this analogy in another thread, and so I'll reuse it here. If you drive down the road, and the cops are watching traffic with a radar gun, while they eat donuts, talk about their nightlife, etc, then you are not being acted upon. If you want to call this "spying," then you and I can't have a discussion using similar terms. Now, if the cops watch YOU come out of your house, and then put a gun on YOU and watch YOU drive to work, then this is active, and you can call this spying.

Hence, there are only less than 60 people where there's an NSA analyst looking at YOUR data, and then passing it to the FBI, or a number of other interested parties in domestic intelligence. Using as loose of an analogy as I believe you're using for "greater than 60" and power/cooling/ etc, then you'd have to say your State's Transportation department is spying on you. The Federal Government's DOT is spying on you. The phone companies are spying on you because I can tell you first hand I was part of the group that moved data about your cell phone use from a maintenance server to another server, which RF engineers then used to measure cell tower performance parameters. There are engineers who looked at your data specifically if you dropped calls often. If Sprint PCS does this and it's not spying, but yet when an NSA analyst looks at this when you've called a believed terrorist (who is overseas) a dozen times, then we can't really talk using the same terms. If you think both are spying, same.

about 2 months ago
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Schneier: Break Up the NSA

JohnnyComeLately Re:since when is the FBI a spy agency? (324 comments)

I'm quoting the Director of the NSA nearly word for word how the system operates, and how the data is used. If he's lying, then he's on public record and there are Intelligence committees in the US Senate and House which will call him to task for lying to either the public (the news piece I'm quoting from) or them (the House or Senate). If you'd like to test the validity of how I've characterized the data collection, methods, analysis and use, then go to CBS.com and bring up 60 Minutes. They have a very good "Intro to the NSA."

If they want to go to a 3 step, then I'm sure no one inside the NSA will really care. There are no NSA teams prosecuting you for terrorism. There are no NSA Team 6's kicking down doors. They follow the POTUS intent for foreign policy and then collect the data to support his ability to make informed decisions. If you think the same analysis is given to John Q Public calling K-mart on his Verizon cell phone, as a Defense Minister in Syria using Skype to call a Russian arms dealer, then you're mistaken about the mission, intent and operations of the NSA. So you can see that the data they scroll through might show you're calling dad on Skype, unless your dad, from his basement in Milwalkee, is moonlighting selling arms to Syria, your data is ignored. Since this is Slashdot and a car analogy is obligatory: If you drive down a road where a policeman has his radar running: Are your police now "spying" on you? Is the metadata that dangerous and prone to misuse? There are many towns across the US now where the patrol cars have 4-6 cameras scanning every plate on every car it can that passes. I'm personally actually more concerned about that than the NSA.

Again quoting, the metadata NSA is using that has everyone in an uproar is: Date - Time - Originating Number - Destination Number. Now think about the scope of that data. Petabytes. Imagine if you're the tin-foil hat type that a computer pops you calling a Kmart in Damascus just as it does Muhammad called Hazziim. Can you imagine the thousands of people who'd have to cull through all those false-positives? It's not going to happen. I think this is part of the problem with "There's dragons in there!!" when people don't think their paranoia through to fruition. NSA would be hiring day and night if they honestly were spying on not only every America, but every American who makes an overseas call. There's be a permanent posting on USAJobs.Gov for "Data Analyst."

We just have a different definition of corruption. Unfortunately, most who scream the loudest against it have the least access to what we're discussing: Intelligence-related docs. It's just as easy for someone to accuse a government worker of being blind, as it is for someone with clearance to say those without access to what's really being done are ignorant. Most people really have no idea what Snowden has released. They've read press articles about it. They have listened to people opine who got 3rd hand accounts of what MIGHT be happening, and then formed their own opinion. Unfortunately, I can't give you specifics on why it's not corrupt. President Obama has ordered a review. If they agree it's corrupt, he will change his guidance on intelligence collection, Congress will change what they fund (or not fund), and the process will change. If you don't agree, you have a course of action: Do not re-elect the Congressmen who sit on those Intelligence Committees, or get involved with the Judicial Branch's process of Constitutional review.

about 2 months ago
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Schneier: Break Up the NSA

JohnnyComeLately Re:Author doesn't understand the NSA (324 comments)

No. Unless those companies have overseas areas that become associated with threats to Western countries. Create an app to solve a problem, NSA will care less. Create an app to target US military bases in _____, and you'll become a probable place of interest to a number of three-letter agencies.

Yes, if you get into intelligence you will go through a very regular polygraph test, which looks for any unauthorized use, and now other regular reviews of your personal finances, etc. Why you did it is irrelevent (personal gain, ideological, or jilted boyfriend) as you get your badge pulled, and walked to the door.

Agreed. And this is where your legislative oversight comes into play. When "intelligence agencies," first were formed, there was 0 oversight. Most senators didn't even know the organizations existed. Then, there were issues. Oversight began, but only senior senators on secret committees knew. Then there were issues, and the Committees became public record with more Senators brought in. Then there were issues, and their budget and senior leaders were routinely brought before legislators to explain themselves. I'm hoping the takeaway isn't "See!! We can never trust them!!" and more, "Yes there will always be that 1 or 2%, and the system adjusts to reduce the risk of a repeated abuse." Just as we will always having Mannings, Snowden's and other spies who hurt their country, we will also have good men and women who try to take the pieces, put them back together and make things better.

I'm not in the NSA but I'm sure they just want the President's intentions and Federal Law to be clear and to move past this. The problem with this, just as it was with Federalized Healthcare and a 1000 other government issues, is a public understanding. Ignorance, fear, hate and such all go hand in hand. If you believe the NSA is this big evil thing, and people feed you enough ignorance to keep you scared, then it never gets better. This is why we will never get rid of tin foil sales for those who make them into hats. Being more serious, I'm sure the pendulum will swing back. NSA will lose capability to politically make people feel better. Then in about 7-15 years we will have another spectacular attack on US soil that the intelligence community will be able to point out, "We lost our capability to see that coming when we started ignoring all metadata that MIGHT be a US citizen." And then, smart men and women will decide if we made the right choices during these times and adjust.

about 2 months ago
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Schneier: Break Up the NSA

JohnnyComeLately Re:Author doesn't understand the NSA (324 comments)

I assume you drive to work every day. Just as the local Department of Transportation observes traffic flowing, the NSA is watching data flowing. If it's you driving to work, or a terrorist driving to a drop point, they have no idea until there's a correllation. It's just random people driving by. It's hard to call that "Spying." Spying implies you are a target. The NSA doesn't care about John Q Public in the US. Their mission lies elsewhere and there's not enough manning to "spy" on Americans. Petabytes of data (spying or not) is useless unless a person can look at it. Back to my example, let's say the drop point has just been visited by a known terrorist. Yes, in the process of looking at the data of the terrorist driving through Main and Grand Street, there will be you 3 cars ahead. No one will care about your travels. Now, if you start popping up at the same time and multiple locations as the terrorist...you might get a 2nd look (by the FBI... not the NSA). Are you equally as irritated the Department of Transportation is "Spying" on you? I would like to warn you that DoT is more progressive with their use of their spy data. They envision spy data being networked so that the spy network can tell you theres traffic ahead. Think of it, your car will become a part of one of the largest spy organizations of the world with more data processing capability than the entire nation had during WW2. Use your powers for good.

about 2 months ago
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Schneier: Break Up the NSA

JohnnyComeLately Re:since when is the FBI a spy agency? (324 comments)

I understand your point. Only problem then becomes, "OK now what?" Following your scenario, let's say they start tracking you stateside, after you've made an international call to known or suspected threats overseas. Their systems aren't set up to intercept your calls. It's metadata only. So, they collect reams and reams of your phone calls to mom, the store, work, co-workers, and one or two known threats. Now what? They don't have jurisdiction to go to a FISA court, and a judge would laugh them out of the room with, "We know he made 100 phone calls to Abdullah Muhammad," for probable cause for anything. Now, if we're talking about CIA and FBI, then you have a great point. Domestic spies would be handled by the CIA and FBI, where information sharing becomes an issue. However, NSA is not domestic, and to be honest, doesn't care what Americans are doing stateside. Now, an American flies to Syria for "spiritual training," and you've crossed into their domain of interest.

about 2 months ago
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Schneier: Break Up the NSA

JohnnyComeLately Re:Author doesn't understand the NSA (324 comments)

What initiates the process is your act of calling internationally, and correllating to a known or suspected threat. 99.999% of us will never "accidentally" call anyone the NSA is interested in. Have you made a call and accidentally gotten the German president? Also, there are literally millions of calls. The only thing that gets an analyst looking at your specific call is multiple calls. You'd have to call President Joachim Gauck quite a few times in my ficiticous scenario. The very same thing would happen with the DEA if you called a drug dealer the next street over. "Roving wiretaps," is the term for what would catch you. "Opps, wrong number" and you're not very likely to get a surprise visit at home. Call 5-10 times asking, "for the suff," and you might come home to guests.

Also, in this specific case I believe you're trying to make, the NSA surveillence tip isn't admissible in court. If you've read an intel document, a large number state at the very beginning in no uncertain terms, "This information is not to be used in a court of law or for any judicial purposes." (I'm paraphrasing). It's on the FBI to investigate, find probable cause, get a prosecutor to agree, find a judge to agree, and then charge you. Whether it's the NSA seeing your metadata linking your phone call to a Taliban bomb-making expert in Syria, or a NYPD officer seeing, as he performs a walking patrol, large tubs of liquid in your car's backseat, leading to multiple triggers and a remote receiver, while parked at a shopping mall during Christmas season, is there really a difference? No. Before you say, "Well my car is in a public place," remember your international call crosses the same legal threshold. If you absolutely want to be unspied upon while calling your TB bombmaker by the NSA, then fly him stateside so it's a domestic phone call. This assumes the guy isn't already on a no-fly and being monitored, so good luck. Back on point, governments watch other governments. Part of this is agencies with specific missions.

The NSA is in charge of monitoring overseas communications. They are within the Legislative Branch's oversight and follow federal laws on what they can look for, how they look, etc. If you don't want to know what threats are overseas, then write your Senator and Representatives. As you draft that email, keep in mind thousands were saved during WWII by the fact we broke German encyption. 9/11 was missed because there was no system at the time to catch the two Al Quida operatives in San Diego who were calling their AQ handler overseas, and there was no process for the NSA to tip the FBI that there's two phone numbers in the US who are calling a known bomb maker overseas. If you think it's bad to catch this, mail the letter (or hit "Send" on the E-mail, "Submit" on the website submission).

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Should I Get Google Glass?

JohnnyComeLately Re:Yes. (421 comments)

Upskirt shots and it'd be "hard to know?"

"Hey, why's that guy with really weird looking glasses down on the ground looking up next to that lady in a skirt?"
"Oh, he probably just dropped a contact lens."
"But he's wearing glasses."
"Oh, good point. That is weird. Maybe we should help him look, she's probably going commando too."

about 2 months ago
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Schneier: Break Up the NSA

JohnnyComeLately Re:since when is the FBI a spy agency? (324 comments)

Which is exactly how it's organized. The NSA is spying on overseas comms. When it links to a date/time placed/received call stateside, they hand that information to the FBI, and say, "This phone number in the US is talking to some very bad people overseas." The FBI then starts the investigation.

about 2 months ago
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Schneier: Break Up the NSA

JohnnyComeLately Author doesn't understand the NSA (324 comments)

This is akin to a guy who has flown on an aircraft thinking he knows how to run an airline. "The NSA should hand off to the FBI spying on Americans." They do. NSA does not investigate domestic nor Americans unless specifically given a court order to do so (which is less than 60 Americans in the entire US as of December 2013). If the NSA stumbles upon metadata that links an American, or domestic entity tied to overseas terrorism (which is what they're lookin for), they hand off the metadata (phone number called, date/time stamp of call) and say to the FBI, "Whoever this is, is talking to terrorists overseas." Then the FBI runs with it.

CyberCommand, a command I'm very familiar with as prior-Air Force, doesn't have a reason to take over what the NSA does. The author of this article really doesn't know what he's talking about.

about 2 months ago
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Target's Internal Security Team Warned Management

JohnnyComeLately yes, with Sprint PCS (236 comments)

When we went from 2G to 3G, I noticed our security protocols weren't updated appropriately. At first I was blown off, I followed up for a few weeks, and then set back for awhile (1-2 months). With the public launch coming soon and the issue not being addressed, I changed tact. I had root permissions and access to the most sensitive servers, the billing server feeds, and these servers will break careers if mismanaged. So, I took a screen shot of a tracert from the public side of the network with a billing server as the successfully reached end point and emailed it to the responsible group. No explanation, just the tracert screenshot inserted at the top of the e-mail string dismissing my initial concern. Problem fixed in under 2 days from last E-mail sent.

about 2 months ago
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Weapons Systems That Kill According To Algorithms Are Coming. What To Do?

JohnnyComeLately I wish you had to be military to write mil article (514 comments)

I've been on this site forever, and I love the technical or technology articles. People often are insightful on those topics, but cross over to military and suddenly the mindless take over. As a military officer with over 16 years in uniform, there will not be "autonomous" anythings that kill. There will ALWAYS be a human in the kill chain. No matter what. Period. No debate. Why? Because the US follows something called the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC), and Rules of Engagement (ROE). Ask anyone in uniform what "LOAC" is, and they should be able to answer. Ask any US Marine what ROEs are and how important they are to be memorized when deployed in combat, and they will tell you.

Appropriately, this is why systems with lethality are engineered to higher levels. Take a battle cruiser in the US Navy for example. There are numerous Windows, SuSe, Linux Red Hat and similar OSs installed on dozens of virtual machines running all sorts of various IT systems. However, you won't find them touching weapon controls. You won't read about "Stuxnet" viruses suddenly affecting a ship that starts shooting at birds that fly by (or some similar, bizarre scenario). OK, you might read it, but it will be nearly fiction.

about 3 months ago
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JetBlue Launches Satellite-Based Inflight Wi-Fi

JohnnyComeLately News to noone who's flown lately (79 comments)

I just flew 2 days ago on SouthWest and watched NFL and Discovery Channel the whole way via Wifi with my iPad (3rd gen). No glitches, ran fine. They utilize DishTV receivers I believe and you have about 15-20 channels to chose live broadcast from. You can pay for internet, but seriously, there's nothing so pressing on the Internet I can't wait 2 hours to access (for free at the airport).

about 4 months ago
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Elementary School Bans Students From Touching Each Other

JohnnyComeLately Re:what about freeze tag? (336 comments)

So glad you mentioned this incident. We had a report of workplace violence from the International Space Station. They were looking down on the Earth when they said someone pointed a gun-looking object towards them. They felt very threatened. Turns out it was just a kid calling someone a loser on a playground. We can now close the file.

about 5 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Do You Sell an Algorithm To Venture Capitalists?

JohnnyComeLately Re:"Enhance, zoom in!" (205 comments)

This should somehow get a bonus mod above the "5" score. We should somehow flag posts that are first person, "been there, done it and understand it." I would add that not only should you read those publications he (AC) cites, but also, if you have time Google other startups the VC has funded. Just perhaps, you know one of them. Perhaps, you know someone who knows them. You get the idea. Call them. Don't talk specifics about your plan, or theirs, but get an idea of what the VC's non-verbals gave away. Were they mostly interested in finance? How technical did their questions get? How prepared were they (eg. 10 slide PPT as someone above mentions, or 2,000 page business plan that the VCs actually read, etc)?

To also build upon AC's comment, "Be really sure you want to do it," keep in mind you're now "locking in to buying your job." I owned a small retail and service business. If you are 50% of the "company," you often can't "just call in sick," when you feel bad. If you own your own business, you have the stress of knowing your livelihood rests on your decisions. This isn't bad, but it is stressful. Now with a VC, add the fact you have a VC's money. Keep in mind that if you go under, personal assets aren't as "safe," as business classes try to make you believe in "Why to incorporate," lessons. The VC may ask you to sign a personal guarantee, which is above and beyond a business debt.

about a year ago
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North Korea's Twitter and Flickr Accounts Hacked By Anonymous

JohnnyComeLately Re: How can you tell North Korea was hacked? (212 comments)

I used to think reading comprehension was a dying art, but I guess it's just my ineffective writing. I will elaborate. The subject was human suffering. The subject was not crime. As you'll see in the replies below, your "daily" observations are not the norm, unless things have drastically changed since I left the US two years ago.

Which brings me to the next lapse in communication. When I write, "I saw this today in Afghanistan," it means I am seeing this first hand, in the country called Afghanistan within 24 hours of writing it. I saw it again today. This wasn't a meth addict. This was a boy who's family lives in dirt. Not figuratively. Literally. The scraps he gets before the goats got there (they were about 300 yards to my left), are for his family. There is no infomercial showing me this. I very rarely watch TV, possibly an hour every couple weeks. I haven't had a professor since I finished Grad School 13 years ago.

I've been around the world. I've seen Jamaicans who's "house" was a piece of corrugated steel leaned up against a tree, just 5 miles from a pristine Nike factory that likely made the shoes you're wearing, or some like them. I've been around Europe (France, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Holland, UK, and a few others) where I see what freedoms and opportunities we, as Americans, enjoy that so many, like you, take for granted.

So, I'll conclude this with the same statement I made before: Get out of the US. See the world. Spend two months ANYWHERE. I don't care where. Anywhere outside North America, and then come back and complain about the US. It's nearly a rhetorical statement, because anyone outside of the US wouldn't complain. Why do you think most of the world tries to immigrate here? It's certainly not because of the picture you paint with your "daily" happenings and local newspaper articles. The corruption of our news media is also a completely different topic.

My main point still is undisputed: Even our homeless in the US are far better off than the suffering in many 3rd world countries, where people are literally starving to death on the street.

1 year,10 days
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North Korea's Twitter and Flickr Accounts Hacked By Anonymous

JohnnyComeLately Re:I approve. (212 comments)

Good points to consider. We threatened with war when missiles were being placed in Cuba.

1 year,11 days
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North Korea's Twitter and Flickr Accounts Hacked By Anonymous

JohnnyComeLately Re:I approve. (212 comments)

You do realize nearly every military defeat is preceeded by your exact comment that it's "Just a threat." Kuwait didn't think Iraq would invade. Saddam didn't think the US would go to war, despite the buildup before January 1991. Afghanistan didn't believe we'd do anything when we said to turn over OBL and turn over those who planned 9/11. Poland didn't expect Hitler, as they'd just signed a "Non Aggression Treaty." History is ripe with examples where a threat was made, it was ignored, and those who ignored it paid dearly.

1 year,11 days

Submissions

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JohnnyComeLately JohnnyComeLately writes  |  more than 7 years ago

JohnnyComeLately (725958) writes "Simple questions: With the latest version of Windows now upon us, How many are seriously thinking of converting to Mac? Is so, Business, Personal use or both? And finally, what are the success stories for Enterprise level conversion?

I had thought of buying a Mac, and also of buying Vista, but until I got an Email from Apple, I had never intended to use Vista as a reason to convert. In hindsight, it makes perfect sense!

Here is the E-mail I received: "It's time to get a Mac. If you're thinking of upgrading to Vista, you'll probably need a new computer. Why not get a Mac? It's simpler, more secure, and way more fun. And it works with the stuff you already have, like printers and cameras. So before you upgrade anything, you owe it to yourself to check out a Mac."

The link takes you to some of their more clever ads on TV. Anyway, I'm really now thinking harder and honestly more inclined to switch. There's very little reason anymore to stay with a PC (for the average user). I even showed the E-mail to our IT director and he candidly said, "Once we get some new file servers online, we could easily convert marketing over and just might!". Very Nice!! (except for everyone NOT in marketing)"

Journals

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Whats with the garbled articles?

JohnnyComeLately JohnnyComeLately writes  |  1 year,14 days

I don't want to have to click, sign-in etc to read articles here. I don't know why it's changed, but if Slashdot was looking for a way to stop me from coming to this site daily (which I've done for many years), they did an awesome job.

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Bridging a Mac for Internet sharing, such as for XBOX in hotel's Wifi

JohnnyComeLately JohnnyComeLately writes  |  more than 2 years ago

I'm putting this here since I need a good place to reference this document in the future. Since I seem to be too busy to create and maintain my own domains, and squatters quickly jump on lapsed names, I'll put stuff here to live in infamy.

First, thanks to the comments on last journal. I now realize /. sends emails when I get replies to comments, but not journal entries. I'll need to check if that's a configuration error on my part. OK, for the technical details. I am on my way, possibly, to a war zone and like any good gamer geek, I have my XBOX360 with every type of interface cable (VGA, S-Video, Component, Composite, HDMI) and a few of my favorite games. While traveling, I got stuck in Belgium for NATO training and I lamented one day, "I wish I could get my XBOX online," to which a fellow geek said, "Don't you have a working Mac on WiFi in the hotel?" The light came on! Bridge the XBOX to the WiFi, via an Ethernet cord between the console and Mac. The reason I'm putting this together is after a couple of hiccups, I'd like a troubleshooting reference, along side an installation "how-to."

The beginning steps are very straightforward. Set the XBOX on a sturdy location, preferably in a corner because they're louder than a nearby freight train. Hook the Video cable up to the TV, power to power, etc. Remember, unlike nearly every other manufacturer in the world, M$ has a NON switching power supply. Hook a XBOX to European 220 volt plug, and you've got a really nice brick. Good luck finding replacement power supplies while on travel. Many hotels lock their TV's. In the case of Mercuer, I googled the TV's model number and utilized the unlock code. For Best Western, they use a Smart Card built in to the TV, so there is no way to unlock and your guest remote doesn't have the "configure" switch. At Ibis, I used the PC input.

For audio hookups alongside VGA or DVI, you have a few solutions you can try. The first I utilized was Line In for the Mac, which allowed me to use the Mac as a "pass thru" for audio. So the VGA hooked to the TV (or monitor which "borrowed" for awhile), and then the audio (RCA to mini-phono plug) went to the MacBookPro (now referenced as MBP), and then I hooked my headphones into the MBP's headphone port. Later, when I used the TV, the MBP wasn't really close by, so I bought Turtle Beach Gaming headset which is the wired version for $50. There is a wireless version for about double, or $99. So now the audio and video are good to go.

The XBOX has a configuration menu. From your XBOX dashboard, go to "My XBox". Scroll to the "System Settings," and then "Network Settings." I refuse to pay $99 for a Xbox only WiFi adapter, so mine's always set to "Wired," even at home where I use a WiFi bridge to connect the XBOX and a Blu-Ray player to my home WiFi, fooling both into thinking they're wired. From this menu, "Configure Network," will give you two parts to modify: IP and DNS. I'll come back to this in a moment as now we'll jump over to the MBP to get the settings needed to configure the XBOX.

Being old school, I love command lines. They're fast and easy, and if you know what you're doing, they're insanely more powerful. Once again, I digress. I like command lines, but there are graphical interfaces that are easy and will also get you this information. I will jump between them at times. First the GUI. Click on the Apple logo (top left corner) and "System Preferences." Click on Network, under "Internet & Wireless." Go to "Ethernet" and switch it to "Configure IPv4 Manually." I used 192.168.2.1, with subnet of 255.255.255.0. Do not put in a router. Go back to the Xbox, and bump the last octet by one and make sure it's the same network. So, Configure the XBOX to "Manual" IP with 192.168.2.2, subnet to 255.255.255.0 and then tell the XBOX the MBP is the gateway by putting 192.168.2.1 for "Gateway."

Now go back to "System Preferences", and look for "Sharing." Click on it and then look under "Service" for "Internet Sharing." Click on the box, and hit confirm/ok for the nag. You should now see "Internet Sharing: On", Share your connection from: Wi-Fi, To Computers using "Ethernet". If you're impatient or like to verify each step (for you ex-military types), a test will now show a good "Connection," but will fail for Internet. This is because the test for Internet does a DNS query of who is XBOXLIVE.COM and XEXDS.XBOXLIVE.COM, and at this point it won't likely find a DNS. I'm not sure why DNS requests fail on "Auto" and the MBP doesn't just pass the request along to it's own DNS, but it doesn't.

To find the MBP's DNS (assigned by the hotel's wifi router), click on "Wifi" on the MBP's Network Preference listing, and then "Advanced." You will see a tab, which reads, "DNS." Click it. On the left, you'll see two IP addresses. I think once I had nothing there, so the other way to see this is open "Terminal," and type in cat /etc/resolv.conf | grep nameserver and hit enter. These should be the same. Now on the XBOX, go to the DNS Settings and "Select" (A button). Select "Manual," and "Primary" server and enter the first IP address. Go back one, and do the "Secondary," with the second. Make sure when you finished to scroll down to "Done," as using "B" (Back) will back you out but NOT save your settings. Now, under Configure Network on your XBOX, you should see under "Basic Settings," the IP and DNS. To recap the XBOX's settings:
IP setting Manual
IP Address is your MBP + 1 (192.168.2.2)
Subnet 255.255.255.0
Gateway is your MBP IP (192.168.2.1)
DNS Setting Manual
Primary DNS xxx.xxx.xx.xx (from MBP)
Secondary DNS xxx.xxx.xx.xx (from MBP)

Back up and "Test XBOX Live Connection." The first link is the Ethernet cable between the XBOX360 and the MBP. If the test fails, then first go back to the MBP and check the Network (under System Preferences). The dot should be green and say "Connected" if the physical cable is good. If it's red, get another Cat5E or Cat6 cable. If green, click on it and verify your IP address and subnet. Go back to the XBOX, and make sure the MBP's IP is the gateway, the IP is on the same subnet and mask (e.g. 192.168.2.1 for the MBP and 192.168.2.2 for XBOX is good, if the XBOX is 192.168.3.1 it's bad. And for simplicity, just always use 255.255.255.0 for masking right now.). If it still fails, try returning to "Automatic", and reboot the MBP. I haven't had to reboot, but can't hurt. Now, go back to Manual, and retry the test.

The next step is a bit tricky. It does a DNS query. So your MBP can be on the Internet and this still fail. If the second step fails, then double check the DNS settings again. I used Wireshark at this point, and I could see the DNS query come in, but nothing go out. I opened up terminal, typed in nslookup and then entered EXACTLY what the console was looking up. At the > prompt I entered WWW.XBOX.COM and got back
Server: 195.238.2.21
Address: 195.238.2.21#53

Non-authoritative answer:
WWW.XBOX.COM canonical name =
www.gtm.XBOX.COM.
www.gtm.XBOX.COM canonical name =
www.xbox.com.edgesuite.net.
www.xbox.com.edgesuite.net canonical name =
a1123.dsw2.akamai.net.
Name: a1123.dsw2.akamai.net
Address: 194.78.100.155
Name: a1123.dsw2.akamai.net
Address: 194.78.100.154
However I noticed on Wireshark that on en1 (the Wifi) I didn't see the request go out, which I could see coming in en0. So I disabled internet sharing, and re-enabled it and the test passed. So despite Internet sharing working great for weeks, one day it just stopped "Sharing."

The last step is the most frustrating because you can't typically control it, or fix it. The last step first gets out to XBOX, but then connects via port 3074. So if you fail the last step, first check XBOX.com to see if others are complaining. I don't see a health page which tells you if they're down. If XBOX is up, then it's possible your hotel blocks port 3074, such as Best Western in Mons, Belgium does.

OK, few gems for posterity:
cat /etc/resolv.conf | grep nameserver (to get DNS)
ifconfig (to see configuration of network devices)
nslookup (to run DMS queries)

Thanks for reading and I'll edit this as I find errors or more tips, etc.

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Let's see if anyone reads this: Current State of the Internet forums

JohnnyComeLately JohnnyComeLately writes  |  more than 2 years ago

I've always enjoyed that certain forums I've posted in had a certain decorum. For example, I used to get on F-Body.com every couple hours and swap info with Camaro and Firebird enthusiasts, until one day someone, rather than respond calmly, wrote, "F... you, you're full of s.." and let's just say that was the best part of it. I stopped going that day and have been back 3 or 4 times in the 6 or 7 years since.

Slashdot really hasn't gotten close, but it seems like we're a lot closer than a few years ago. It used to be, if you quoted stuff, threw in firsthand knowledge, you were safe. Now, you get people Google and Wiki mensa members that are great at cut and paste, but light on context. For example, you could state, "I'm a pilot and I promise you that in my x years of flying, the Air Force really tries a landing descent rate at X rate to minimize stress on the chassis." About 10 minutes later, you'll get a reply email. When you click the link to the reply, you'll see something like, "OH! LOGIC FAIL. There was this guy who descended at a faster rate." You're scratching your head, because the context was how to safely land. Most pilots prefer to land in the plane they took off within. Not dangling at the end of a parachute (hopefully deployed). 8 times out of 10 if the person actually read the entire article they quote, they would see that it supports the original statement. I had a neighbor do my legal work for me when he threatened to sue me.

I get a copy from a neighbor of the complaint to the Home Owners Association which also includes an intent for civil court action, in response to my solar panels on my roof. Within the complaint is a reference to a California legal proceeding against someone who had a solar device on his roof. The court rules against this person, so he's made a strong case. Right? Wrong. If he'd continued all the way through it actually completely destroyed his claim. The person had taken a bathtub, painted it black, and put it on his roof. The court rules he can't do this, not because he's not entitled, but because there is a suitable, comparable, practical commercial equiv which is not an eye sore. When you keep reading, it says the homeowner CAN use a commercial system and that this right is affirmed in the California Solar Rights Act. So... My neighbor has handed me all the ammo I need: Case Precedent and a copy of the California Solar Rights Act (quoted in the court case file). I point this out in a reply and never hear from him again.

So I guess I'm done with complaining now. I just wish know it alls really knew it all, as it would save me a ton of time explaining stuff that's quoted out of context or just plain wrong. I know, we're all shocked when something that isn't true is found on the Internet. I had one person kindly suggest that I correct the Wiki page. Right, if there's anything I love more than re-explaining things online, it's spending hours proofing Wiki. *DISCLAIMER* I have actually gone through cleaning up some wiki pages, but I'd rather floss or watch paint dry to be honest.

:)

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2009 Recovery Act - Read it when you've got a spare day or 2

JohnnyComeLately JohnnyComeLately writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Well, I have always wanted to read an actual bill being proposed in front of Congress, and I finally did it today. I didn't read all of it. I read about the first 20 pages and then needed to get to work. What did I read? The Senate 2009 American Recovery Act. Wow, let's just say they're having fun spending our money. Madoff has nothing on this Ponzi scheme in action, err, I mean Democratic lead congress. :)

I will one day get back to reading this but I want to wait and read whatever ends up getting voted on in Congress (both sides), but just this partial list confirmed what I was afraid of, they're making for lost time to spend money on their own agenda.

  • $1.4 Billion on waste disposal services (Page 8, line 9). Wow, I guess the economy will be great if you take out the trash, or are union... ummm... yeah..
  • $198 Million on school lunches (P.8, L24). OK, no school lunch people will be out of work. Of this, $20 Million is slated to convert to "Web Based Supply Chain" (p9, L8)
  • $500 Million for WIC. (p10, L1) So if you're staying at home with kids, you have more money. More money for low income parents is a good idea, but "2009 Recovery" related? its a stretch...
  • $150 Million for "State Emergency Food" (p 10, L15), but here's the kicker, $50M of it is set aside to "administer" (p10, L25). It costs $1 to spend $2? I need to renogitate my salary. I need $33k more a year to spend my money.
  • $119 Million-$200 Million annually (depending on what month they pass this) on food stamps, errr, sorry, they renamed it last year to "Food and Nutrition Act". (p12, L14)
  • $150 Million for the government to monitor how all of the recovery act money is spent (p15, L11) with $5M on just "monitoring".

I'm not saying any of these aren't good programs. I just fail to see how they get people working, encourage investing (to create self-employment or become employable), etc. Remember Obama said there was no problem redistributing the wealth (his words on video) and we're seeing that in action now.

If you've taken economics courses, you should have had the professor mention during macro discussions that the huge swings we used to have in the economy were government created. We go through a Depression, congress steps in, but it's not doing much until too late, and then the market swings madly the other direction. Then it gets too far to the top (such as Enron, which resulted in Sarbanes -Oxley Act) and the government slams it back the other way too hard. Of course in the last sentence I've mixed regulatory policy with monetery policy, but it's just to point out that Congress still gets involved, gets in late, and usually gets it wrong (Sarbanes Oxley act, to name just one). So what stopped the swings? Look at the macro graphs for yourself. Once Paul Volker and later Greenspan try to stay out of the markets things get more stable, compared to previous. If you compare the pre-Federal Reserve banking swings, you'll see it much more heavily pronounced than AFTER we pull politics out of monetary policy, and the Federal Reserve is created. Yes, there's occasional hiccups, such as the Kool-Aid everyone was drinking from 95-2000, but that's normal. I'd prefer to not really get into a discussion on Monetary policy here, but rather, just point out that the government has historically, and almost without fail, been wrong when it comes to helping the economy. Dem or Republican. It's simply not the means to quickly get things going. Long-term, yes. People buy houses because they see the long-term tax benefits. When capital gains taxes drop, you see emperical data that people invest more.

Your thoughts?

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I'll call it now: Obama wins, we return to Carter/Clinton

JohnnyComeLately JohnnyComeLately writes  |  more than 5 years ago

I think we're about to see a huge repeat of history. Those who don't know their history are doomed to repeat it (sorta like the credit crisis...do a google of the S&L Bailout from the 80's). Carter came from no where and had a similar grass roots background, but no real exposure to leading in business or politics. If you look at most political failures, whether it's W, Carter, or most others, it's inexperience leading to appointing the wrong people to important positions. Reagan and Bush Sr surrounded themselves with bright people and had outside barometers (e.g. Nancy Reagan) and they did well. Inexperience tends to lead to the problems Clinton often had. The economy hummed along and everyone ignored the failing Foreign Policy (e.g. keeping North Korea, India, etc from going nuclear) and constant sideshows (e.g. "I did not have sex with that woman").

So why will Obama win? The perfect storm brewed and McCain seems to have the same problem as Bush Sr. Communication. Joe Plumber is late to the game but a prime example. Why should I buy a $250,000 business when I know I instantly have a target? Let's put it another way, if you believe Obama's got a great plan to tax the rich more and "spread their success", then you've got to be a fan of the current financial market bailout. We're taking from those who are successful, meaning businesses and rich people making money, and giving to those who aren't successful (today) like AIG, and the ilk. Didn't this approach work well for Russia, China, Cuba....oh wait, that's right. It didn't. Enter Joe SixPack Plumber. I'm rewarded for staying where I am now, but if I increase my chance of success by buying this business I increase my taxes automatically. I've personally owned my own business, so I really don't believe Obama when he says 95% are below. If you have a retail store, you need close to $200k in annual income just to meet overhead (taxes, payroll, utilities, etc). My rent alone was close to $50k annually for prime retail in Southern California, but I digress. Although I don't care for McCain or Obama, McCain's actual rhetoric has the better chance of turning things around, however that message doesn't make it across Joe Q. Public.

The perfect storm has also risen to give Obama the edge. The economy has hit several storms. Everyone laughed at Dubya (Bush) when he was a presidential candidate in 1999 and said we were about to see a contraction in the market. I guess he actually did pay attention to some MacroEconomics classes during his MBA. I saw it, my mom saw it while working on Wall St, and yet, everyone in the news thought the "irrational exuberance" would continue. The bubble burst, and the skid began. Then energy started to play it's hand. Warren Buffet started heavily investing in energy in the early 90s. Hmmmm....why? At the time gas was still around $1.40, so why? As I've always said about Wall St, "He who has the best information wins," and he saw the rapid expansion of overseas demand for energy. We haven't invested in new sources of energy in decades: so when demand spikes with no relief valve for supply, what happens?? Welcome to $4 a gal gas. It's here to stay unless we find a relief in supply (drill for more, alt sources, less regulatory burdens, etc). But energy and the bubble bursting wasn't enough, Wall St had a taste for double digit returns and started undervaluing risk. Enter subprime lending... Stage is set and the cast is in motion for a great tragedy... I saw it. People were willing to give us crazy money to buy our house and it was way to easy to "verify income". A highschool drop out could forge the documents and "qualify" for a $500k home. The well was poisoned when those loans got repackaged with more traditional, stable loans, and this brought the "good guys" down with the bad guys. Of course, none of this has anything to do with the president, but most people aren't smart enough to know this. Obama says we need to regulate and create more oversight, yet we had some of the most restrictive regulations in history leading up to the Savings S&L crisis. What unleashed the 2 decades of thriving economy afterwards? De-regulation. You saw it in S&L, airlines, and telecommunications (Baby Bell breakup). However, people buy into this "change" and "dream" notion that an inexperienced guy beats out decades of experience. They did it with Carter and they'll do it with Obama. Ignore the 16 years of success in financial markets, but we'll associate the Republicans, W, and McCain with the last 2. Funny thing is this: The president has no real influence over regulation, financial markets, or any of the failures we see today (with the exception of the perceived failures in Iraq and Afghanistan...he's directly responsible for foreign policy).

People want change and I can't blame them. However, perception is reality. If you paint the picture and people buy it, then it's real. Clinton made the economy strong (nevermind Volker or Greenspan), Reagan tore down the wall (nevermind Congress approving billions in defense spending and the bankrupt model of communism), and Carter is a foreign policy/economic genius (bwaahahahahahahaa....I can't believe I wrote that). I mean, Carter's got a Nobel Peace Prize, right?

I'll just leave this one parting shot: Get your this W-4 out, no matter how much money you make, because you're going to be paying more taxes after next year when Obama wins. It happened with Carter and Clinton, and it's about to happen again. The democrats control the House and Senate, and with the Presidency, they'll probably try to make much of Obama's plan happen. Health care will die a quick death as it did with Clinton, but we'll see class warfare and redistribution of wealth. Government and spending will rise, while your after-tax dollars drop (when adjusted for inflation). When you're bummed that you work harder to make less, be happy!! Obama helped you share your success!! YEAH YOU!!

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China's Olympic Committe: They just don't get it

JohnnyComeLately JohnnyComeLately writes  |  about 6 years ago

Hola!!! I haven't posted in quite some time, but today I have some free time :)

I was reading this article when I hit this quote at the end,

"The act of defiance from this small group of people is not popular," said Sun Weide, a spokesman for the Beijing Olympic organizing committee. "It will definitely be criticized by people who love peace and adore the Olympic spirit. Their attempt is doomed to failure."

The subtle beauty of arrogance is the ignorance of what's about to come. It's like watching the video clip of a bad accident the SECOND time through. You know it's coming, and you're cringing...just waiting.. BAMO!!!! Someone's life completely changed with no warning.

So my musings now are: How long till they figure out it's not "a small number of people who feel this way?" Will they figure it out? How many countries will have the fortitude to make human rights an issue and boycott the olympics? Who will it be? Will China actually change or will this be quickly forgotten in a few years?

I'm not really versed in Chinese history, so I'm not really able to make an educated guess. However, my gut feeling is this may just embarass them enough to make some moderate changes. I do think future Olympic Site Committees will give more thought into host nations and their world image before approving a site like China again. 2056 Olympics in North Korea, anyone?

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End of 10 Nuke warhead ICBM

JohnnyComeLately JohnnyComeLately writes  |  more than 8 years ago The AF has decommissioned the last of the Peacekeeper missiles. This was an ICBM that could put 10 nuclear, megaton warheads into just about any continent in the world in a matter of minutes. For those who don't know the cold war history, it was our counter to Russia who surpassed us in the # of warheads per ICBM.

SALT I tried to limit the number of nukes and warheads, and President Carter gave away the farm with SALT II. Reagan was wise enough to realize the SALT II put us at a severe disadvantage (in terms of deterrence). GWB finally pulled us practically all the way out with deploying a test ICBM intercept program on the west coast (US Army runs it at Vandenberg AFB). In my opinion, we needed it because North Korea is right around the corner from the capability to plant a nuke in San Diego. Sure the program has some issues, but most do when they're new (reference: Osprey, Patriot, etc).

Since pulling out, we were also able to upgrade the 1950's era mechanical radar up in Alaska. Now we have a much better Phased Array system watching our eastern neighbors.

Just thought I'd share.

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Protesting Moms

JohnnyComeLately JohnnyComeLately writes  |  more than 8 years ago Yahoo article pops up after I thought to myself, "Funny, dont see much press coverage of pro-war rallies". I have to agree with the Marine who, like me, hasn't served in the Middle East but doesn't want my service used against it. I can't begin to explain the betrayal and sadness to hear that your mom took part in an anti-war rally only a matter of days after returning from officer school and getting commissioned. Actually, I could begin, but won't.

If it didn't appear too disingenuous, I'd say it seems everyone has an opinion about things they know nothing about. The more capability we have to communicate, the more overused it becomes. I like the blog from someone on the war front (major thanks to RW for his JE link) but yet people like Michael Moore gets more play, yet has less experience and education.

I'd post something more, but I'm at the end of a 14 hour work day and don't feel like typing more.

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From the, "Yeah, they really said that" Department

JohnnyComeLately JohnnyComeLately writes  |  more than 8 years ago Sir Iqbal Sacranie, secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said, "It's absolutely vital that the utmost care is taken to ensure that innocent people are not killed due to overzealousness." Anyone see the irony in this statement?? Too bad a few hundred of his comrades haven't gotten this memo.

This just in...water is wet, and with the clouds clearing, I see the sky is still blue.

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Tales from the weary and tired

JohnnyComeLately JohnnyComeLately writes  |  more than 9 years ago This is a personal journal entry, so sorry, no geeky, business or valuable info to be found here today.

I'm just so burnt out. It seems like I bust my ass for everyone but me. You could say that I'm burning the candle at both ends and the middle by holding a full time job, owning a tanning salon with my wife, pulling Guard duty, finishing up a Masters in Software Engineering, and trying to be a dad/husband. The thing is, I do these things for others, except for Guard Duty.

Is is wrong to volunteer for a military deployment to "simplify life"?

What do you do when you spend every waking moment trying to make others happy, but you just get more grief the harder you try?

I'm happy with where I am, but I'm told, "You need an engineering degree to get where I want you." OK, so I go to school to get another MS. I don't mind and enjoy learning about software engineering. But then, when I need to do homework, or when chores back up, I'm told I don't contribute?

I'm told "you're a partner" but many suggestions I make for the business is usually met with open hostility?

I used to race my supercharged Trans Am. Now I drive a Hyundai with oversteer so bad I take corners at half the speed and still border on not under control. I have a sportbike but haven't been on a twisty in 4 months. I used to have saltwater tanks, and now all the gear (minus tanks sold long ago at garage sales) sits on shelves in the garage. I enjoy woodworking, but haven't touched the power tools except for 12 hour marathon sessions to renovate the salon (lot less personally satisfying than building nice, Honduran Mohangony cabinets for home).

Mid life crisis? No. I'm not regretting anything or would necessarily do anything differently. Just wish I'd be appreciated...

Thanks for listening....off to do the hour commute home...

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Just when you think it couldn't get worse than danglin chads

JohnnyComeLately JohnnyComeLately writes  |  more than 9 years ago Yahell is running a story about the different variations of dead people voting. In Florida, a woman who mails in her absentee ballot on the same day a soldier in Iraq does will see different outcomes if they both died before the election. Who's vote doesn't count? The soldiers. Yet his buddy who died right next to him, who is from Tennessee (apologies if I get the state wrong...read the article) DOES get his vote counted from absentee ballot.

Not that any of these freak voting scenarios really matter one way or the other to me, but I thought it was a bizarre twist.

Again, my apologies for a political JE. Man, I can't wait until Nov 4 (since the lawyers will be muckying everything up Nov 3). Only thing is, I REALLY don't want to listen to Kerry talk for 4 or 8 years. I was thankful when Gore lost because I didn't want to feel "lectured to" for 4 years (plus package deal with Tipper and the record labeling...yes I'm still irritated by that...and yes...that was back in 1985 or so).

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Life update: Buying tanning salon, resuming MS in Soft Eng..

JohnnyComeLately JohnnyComeLately writes  |  more than 9 years ago Thought anyone who is curious might appreciate an update and I have a question maybe someone here can answer.

I finished up Space and Missile training for Air Force officers. I apologize for not keeping up to date with the daily journal, since I think RedWarrior and a couple others were intersted. I moved from a hotel with WiFi and had some academic difficulties. The two combined meant I spent most free time studying. I ended up with a mid-90's average, but my goal was to be eligible for Distinguished Graduate. Unfortunately, being a father, full time worker, and full time grad student meant my body is not as fit. When fitness is now a part of the "judgement process" for DG, an overweight, early 30s body just doesn't compete well with 22 year olds. I did double my fitness score in the eight weeks, and I've since kept up the gym routine (at the expense of family time). I also beat all but one of the other 30-somethings. Next time my goal is to DG (I have another class coming) and do the 1.5 mile in under 12 minutes. My personal all time best is 13:30..I've been a 15 year soccer player with great bursts being my strength, but no endurance or long distance running, meaning anything over 100 yards has been a weakness.

Starting back up on Software Engineering. Another goal is to pull a first A in this grad school. I had quite a few in my MBA, but I've started this MS degree behind (no prereqs or previous classes in software). Fortunately, the next class is on ASP.NET, so I have some background in the area.

Finally, my wife is buying a tanning salon. It's something she's wanted to do for awhile, and we have enough saved up to get a loan for the remainder (2nd mortgage, no SBA bullshit thank you). So I've been racking the brain to remember all the training I got in Finance and Accounting as I read the last 4 years of financials and tax papers from the seller. We've retained and seen a lawyer and visit a CPA tomorrow (backup in case we've missed something). In addition, I'm looking to make it a high tech salon. I've gotten cameras and will soon purchase a video card with digital recording/streaming software. We'll put in DSL (no cable ISP avail) and stream. My question is this: Anyone ever dabbled in setting up a barebones Linux machine as a proxy? The shop uses Windows so I know its not secure, but it makes us $$ so it needs to be 100% reliable, 100% of the day. The second question: Anyone know of software/hardware that takes an incoming stream from the internet and will send it out a composite video out on a PCs card? The reason I ask is it would be really cool to take the web-based video feed, and send it to a modulator I have at home. This means I could turn on any TV in the house to channel 119 and watch the cam live in the tanning salon. Cool for a geek!

Enough for now. Just glad to post a non political JE.

John

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Former General slandering the sitting President

JohnnyComeLately JohnnyComeLately writes  |  more than 9 years ago I haven't posted yet on this topic, because I wanted to find a reference to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Specifically, a negative comment about a superior officer is a serious offense that results in punishment. However, I can't find the reference and I want to mention this before I lose interest.

I can't make the statement, "Captain SoAndSo is a coward and a liar," in a public setting without serious, legal consequences. An officer's integrity must be spotless. In fact, Lt Gen Hubert R. Harmon, the first US Air Force Academy Superintenent, established an honor code that is emphasized in all Air Force sources of commissioning officers. The honor code reads, "I will not lie, steal, or cheat, nor tolerate those who do."

With that said, I take exceedingly great exception to Army Gen. Wesley Clark statement Bush, "scrambled and used his family's influence to get out of hearing a shot fired in anger". The more I look into this comment, and Kerry in general, the more morally bankrupt their camp appears. Do I say this to say Bush is perfect or in anyway make him look better? No. Consider the Democrat camp, and what they say and do.

DraftClark2004.com reports,(sorry for cache copy, his site blocks requests from my IP directly)

Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., a decorated veteran of the Korean War who is backing Clark, said the former NATO supreme commander "is Teflon to the question of being a patriot." Democrats "need someone who'll stand up with Bush and doesn't have to say, 'I'm as patriotic as you are, now let's debate the issues,'" Rangel said. Funny, I don't hear him moving past the patriotic issue. Now let's move on to the next leader, Dean. Vietnamwar.com reports,

February 1970, with the Vietnam War raging, 21-year-old Howard Dean carried a set of X-rays and a letter from a Manhattan orthopedist named Hudson Wilson to Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn, where U.S. military doctors determined that he was not fit for military service because of a back condition called spondylolisthesis. Dean was classified 1Y, according to military records, meaning he was exempt from service for the duration of the war and free to head to Colorado after his Yale graduation, where he skied at Aspen and poured concrete. Spondylolisthesis is a condition caused by an unfused vertebra. When diagnosed nearly four years earlier, he was cleared to participate in all sports except long-distance running."I didn't try to get out of the draft," Dean has said. "I had a physical."

Those in glass houses should not throw stones is a common saying in our culture. I don't understand why Kerry's camp is making such a large issue about military service in general. Kerry openly spoke out against the Vietnam war and called the leaders (of those times) cowards. The very leaders who approved his awards and decorations during the war. He points to those who didn't go, when his camp has people in the same boat. Have we forgotten it was President Carter, a keynote speaker at the DNP Convention, who pardoned thousands that illegally avoided service by going up to Canada?

The final exception is to the implication that serving the in Air National Guard in some way equates to avoiding "real" military service. I will admit that when I was active duty I did not know much about the Guard and Reserve elements. However, now I know that at least a third of every servicemember in Iraq comes from the Guard or Reserve. Maybe that wasn't the case with Vietnam, as I couldn't find a list of deaths in Vietnam which mention Guard, but there are two fatal flaws with the criticism of Bush. 1. Serving as a commissioned officer in the Guard is still military service that reports to the Governor and President. The president could have called the Guard unit Bush was in to the war front. 2. They call the integrity of Bush's leaders into question. If Bush was AWOL or someway fraudulent, his leadership would have been responsible for documenting and correcting it.

I apologize for making all my journals political in nature. It wasn't the original intent, but it's what has been on my mind. Off to bed...start a new block of instruction in training to become a Satellite Operations Officer.

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Offsite journal of my Air Force Space Officer training

JohnnyComeLately JohnnyComeLately writes  |  more than 9 years ago I am eventually becoming more and more like the people whom I read about on Slashdot. I've often followed links to journals, thinking, "My journal would never be that detailed or worthwhile."

Welp, I'm not sure if it was a former thought of humility, or a supersized current ego, but I thought some, one, or maybe no one would be interested in the day to day happenings of a "New" officer entering the career field of Space and Missiles in the Air Force.

I was active duty AF, and enlisted in this same career field, however enlisted don't learn missiles. They have converted a lot of jobs from officers to enlisted, but I have a feeling the guys who "turn keys" on the nukes will always be officers. So this is the reason I am attending a class I already attended and a school I formerly taught a class within

Enjoy!

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Carter and Middle East politics

JohnnyComeLately JohnnyComeLately writes  |  more than 9 years ago I was doing a little research into Carter, after reading the AP account of his words last night (at the convention). His words about, "leaders being trustworthy" and, "leaders being misled", instantly brought back memories of the Iran hostages, the botched rescue, his cabinet scandals and the double digit inflation.

So I started doing a little digging, and found this timeline. I won't go into a synopsis of what I found (which sticks much to the above recollections), but I wish events of those days had stuck.

Ignoring the SALT II treaty which gave the Soviets a huge tactical advantage with nukes (e.g. we were limited to current stockpiles with 2 or 3 warheads, meanwhile they were allowed to continue with 10 warhead missiles), there were multiple stories from abroad in those days that held promise. Iranian Shaw was at the Whitehouse, and later President Carter spends the New Year in Iran, while toasting the Shaw as, "an island of stability in the troubled region". Egyptian president visits and addresses Israel. America hands off any interest in the Panama Canal. Relations are normalized with China.

The point I'm trying to illuminate is that the world had hopeful events transpiring. It's sad that things have actually regressed from those days. I could easily dismiss it by saying it's terrorists and those who peddle fear, arms, drugs, and the like. However, I am afraid the root cause is really beyond my current comprehension of world events.

Coming around to domestic issues, which I do feel I can lend some level of confidence, the one thing that has not changed is the Democrats doom and gloom message. Taking from notes on Carter's 'Malaise' speech, he basically blamed the American people for the downfalls of his policy decisions. He was quick to find problems and talk about the inequities of life, but short on answers. Hence, it seems a sad irony that he is pointing a jagged finger at the President who has taken the most action in over 10 years. Isolationism consistently proves throughout history to be a failure. Speaking many words, but taking no action, has also proven to be a failure. Carter was eventually handed his ass on a platter by Reagan, who offered hope and optimism. Regardless of your opinion on all his policies, his legacy is accredited with ending the Cold War. He was "just an actor," so how do we know a "Party-Frat" boy from Texas can't do the same??

With that said, I can understand the anti-war movement and some people's disdain for President Bush, but at least be fair and point out he's stuck to his beliefs, been consistent and positive in outlook. Even if it's a bit naive to take Bush's claim, "We're safer now," on face value, I will take that optimistic outlook over the "bitch and moan" mentality that the other side offers. Coming full circle, it just seems ironic that Carter didn't learn this lesson from his own failures.

I read a quote from Norman Schwarzkopf that, "retired generals should never miss an opportunity to remain silent concerning matters for which they are no longer responsible." I'd say I respect former Presidents who refrain from criticizing current leaders. They (former leaders) don't lay awake at night, knowing their decisions still sway world events and the deaths of innocent sons and daughters.

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My First Campaign medal

JohnnyComeLately JohnnyComeLately writes  |  more than 9 years ago Air Force Personnel lists the Air and Space Campaign Medal may be awarded to, "members of the United States Air Force who, after 24 March 1999, participated in or directly supported a significant U.S. military operation designated by the Chief of Staff of the Air Force". I'm not sure if this means I'll ever be allowed in the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars), but at least it means us Space-Weenies get some sort of recognizion. Our unit was awarded this medal a few months ago.

I started to write this JE with the intention of tooting the space-based weapon system "horn". However it seemed to be the antithesis of why I serve, or really, why most of the military serve. So I have deleted most of it to keep the focus on serving. My heart and prayers are with US military who are overseas, away from family or in harms way.

John

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Bush's Guard service makes sense with new details

JohnnyComeLately JohnnyComeLately writes  |  more than 9 years ago The AP is reporting that Bush's new records show a few months of service and flesh out some of the details of his ANG service in Alabama during 1972.

I suspect my opinion will be considered biased, but I'd defend anyone, such as Kerry, Edwards, or even Ross Perot, if they have a similar background.

The reason is because I'm in exactly the same boat (previously and will be in the near future). I enlisted in the ANG in December of '02. I left for Officer Training in March of '03 and spent a little over a month on "active duty status". Just like Bush, I didn't drill every month of the year. Similarly, I will have orders in hand to report to Active Duty again, very soon. Since every day on active duty counts as points, it is up to me if I still drill during the remainder of 2004. I could conceivably not drill the rest of the year, because of the number of days I will be active duty will meet my commitment for the year. In order for a year of service to count towards duty time and retirement, you must accrue so many points based upon your duty status. Several weeks in Active Duty will fulfill all the points you need for the entire year.

Hence, this is why the White House is saying he didn't need to serve because of training. I might not serve. My employer pays the difference between my civilian pay, and duty pay. Since I make well over 50% more (as a civilian), any extra duty days I pick up by drilling during the active duty period, will just decrease how much my civilian employer pays. I actually like drilling less during the rest of the year (not on active duty) because I drive 250 miles, each way, to pull duty. Let me clarify... I like drilling, but dislike the drive.

Anyway, hope this was helpful for anyone not familiar with the Guard.
Take Care,
John

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Girlie Man Reference in homophobic? WTF? Please get a grip

JohnnyComeLately JohnnyComeLately writes  |  more than 9 years ago One of my favorite skits of all time, from Saturday Night Live, is now deemed "homophobic". In a article about Gov Schwarzenegger, the chairman of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Caucus and some others have deemed saying "girlie man" is homophobic and degrading of women. Hmmm...yes, SNL is so Homophobic I'm positive they wouldn't run a whole series of cartoons, skits and characters based upon them. I guess the upside to this is that I was forced to look up the word misogynist, as I thought it was part of a physical exam or something.

I guess if these people are serious (which I'm certain they're not) than it means if I say State Sen. Sheila Kuehl is a "manly girl", than I hate men!! Would that make me heterophobe? I hate me again!! Drats!! Cursed are my loins and urges!!

On a serious note, for anyone who has been in a critical thinking, this seems a prime example of a fallacy we see all to often in politics.

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In the Air Force, we're told to "Re-Blue"

JohnnyComeLately JohnnyComeLately writes  |  more than 9 years ago Commissioned and Non-commissioned officers in the Air Force are encouraged during Professional Military Education to "Re-Blue". Re-Blue'ing means to stop your daily activities, or what have you, and reflect on why you wear a uniform. More specifically, ask, "What does wearing this uniform mean to ME?"

It's an introspective time to analyze your priorities, thoughts, activities, and see how they align with your core values. The Air Force's core values (recently, badly misquoted on a Discovery or other TV show I was barely watching) are Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence in All You Do.

I won't bore you with the details, but here is the life of a Marine that not only "Re-Blued" me, but gave pause to everything I value in life. There is a commercial, it may have been the Army or Navy, which asked the question, "Would someone make a movie about your job, and if so would you watch it?" If you take the time to read his entire account of military service and civilian life, you will not be disappointed. Resist the urge to skim. Read the whole thing, and don't skip the civilian life afterwards. I think you'll find it to be a very rewarding read.

Lately I seem to like to end my postings or journal entries with a parting thought. Here is one of many statements made that really cut to the essence of armed conflict and the tough choices to be made.

Today one hears men with their revisionist speeches, trying to say the bomb was never necessary, that Japan would have surrendered anyway. To them I would ask; "How many battles did you fight with the Japanese. How many men have you seen die? How many men and women have you seen raped and tortured in a manner that even the German's found repulsive. How did you become an expert when you weren't even born when this happened. How many thousands of Americans would you have been willing to sacrifice, simply to find out if the Japanese would have surrendered without the bomb. I say to you, before you attemp to judge the man who actually had that awsome responsibility, please engage your brain before opening your mouth. (Source of Original Quote)

Thanks for reading,
John

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News Flash! War is messy!

JohnnyComeLately JohnnyComeLately writes  |  more than 9 years ago The latest from the "Obvious as the nose on your face" department is a report from Toomucha Freetime, who wrote this Insightful Piece *cough*of crap*cough* about the dark side of war.

At the risk of sounding insensitive, just because Michael Berg's son was beheaded doesn't make A: His opinion newsworthy B: Him a foreign affairs/military or domestic policy expert. The fact he is against war and those responsible is not unexpected, given the graphic, public pain he has been exposed.

Such journalistic gems as this could be gleamed, "People like George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld don't see the pain that people have to bear." I can understand attacking their policy, but this is such a fallacy I can't believe it was spoken. Yes, Mr. Berg. Mr Rumsfield theDEFENSE Secretary has no idea what his entire realm of authority (Air Force, Navy, Army and Marine Corp) is capable of inflicting.

Fallacy #2. "News media is ignoring the 'horrible face of war'." What channel is he watching? Disney? I have watched on every news channel a clip of his son, right up to his last moments. I did not WANT to watch it, but if I chose to watch the news in its full length (meaning I was walking around the room and didn't want to be forced to flip channels) there was no way around it. I do not know of a single war where there wasn't graphic, gut-wrenching footage. If you recall, the images of the Highway to Hell out of Kuwait sped up the end of Gulf War I, during Bush-40th's presidency.

"What I'm trying to do is show to the American people and the British people ... that war has a wretchedly horrible face" Honestly, there isn't a single person listening that does not agree. Anyone who does not know war is complete hell is either still in disbelief that we landed on the moon, or less than 10 years old (and never played Sega). But be equally accountable and acknowledge in some cases NOT going to war allows "wretchedly horrible" events to continue.

One last caveat: "Observing someone's pain just makes you think just how can they (Bush and Blair) possibly do this. There isn't enough money in the world that could ever make this worthwhile." Foreign policy is about a great deal more than money. However, he is somewhat correct, but not for the reasons he thinks. There was an interesting, analytical paper written by economists about the subject of war. I can't remember enough about it to accurately quote or find a Google reference, but it basically concluded: A majority of wars are fought over lands containing easily exportable economic goods. This could be diamonds, gold, oil, precious metals, etc. Is it worth it? An idealist would say no, because life is invaluable. A realist would say, obviously many people have decided the answer is yes. Why do you think Saddam invaded Kuwait to begin with?

For further reading on this topic of wealth vs poverty, as they relate to war, here is an intersting research paper written at Harvard.

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