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New York Times Halves Monthly Free Article Views To Ten

SwedishChef Who gives a crap... (178 comments)

I pay almost zero attention to east coast media; mostly because they don't pay any attention to the west coast (except for Hollywood).

more than 2 years ago
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Why Linux Can't 'Sell' On the Desktop

SwedishChef I *AM* a grandparent.... (1091 comments)

And I've used Linux since 1994. Although Grandma still uses Windows. Go figure.

more than 2 years ago
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NSA Building US's Biggest Spy Center

SwedishChef Notice how the "crypto guys" are the "old guys"??? (279 comments)

I wonder if that sentence says more than they intended it to. Could it be that the skills of the NSA people are eroding just like the skills at CIA did? I knew that CIA was in trouble - tradecraft-wise - when a COS let an asset into their HQ and he blew half the station to kingdom come. No one would have done that in the old days. Maybe NSA is having the same problem.

more than 2 years ago
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UK Plan Would Use CCTV To Stop Uninsured Drivers From Refueling

SwedishChef Time to learn who's boss around here... (691 comments)

And, apparently, it's the insurance companies. In the USA the insurance companies have to share power with the bankers and the Wall Street traders. The UK clearly has a more efficient system.

more than 2 years ago
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Chinese Spies Used Fake Facebook Profile To Friend NATO Officials

SwedishChef Re:Even CIA officers have families... (117 comments)

I apologize if this is a personal question, but, just out of curiosity, why did you friend serve for 26 years if it made his family unhappy?

First of all, it's difficult to look for a job when you're in Djibouti (I don't think he was... but he did serve in some seriously nasty places). It's also not easy to leave if you are, like most CIA staffers, overseas most of the time... you don't have a lot of US contacts (because you don't live in the USA) and you don't have a base of operations. Thirdly, you might not find it surprising to discover that there is not much of a one-to-one mapping of job requirements for a former CIA officer moving into the job market in the USA.

But I think the biggest reason is that, like many people, hope springs eternal and most assignments are just 2 or 3 years long. And while they weren't always "happy" they were not always unhappy; if that makes any sense. Also, the longer you stay with the Agency the easier it is to adapt to a new area and it's a small cadre of staff officers (most of the Afghanistan and Iraq "CIA" people are contractors not staffers); every station you go to you find old friends. And everyone hopes for that dream job in Paris or Rio or Buenos Aires. The Agency knows all this so they dish out a plum assignment now and then so you get to live in a house and not an apartment for a couple of years. And even get rotated back to the USA where the HQ types are all getting promoted to division chief spots.

And the life wears on you, for sure. Kids come home from school and say, "Daddy.... Bobby says you'rr a CIA agent... are you?" And your college pals (and in-laws, often) think you're a flake who can't keep a job. Plus the possible dangers your family face. The Soviet KGB and the CIA maintained a clear "family is off-limits" policy but modern terrorists have no such scruples.

It's not like the movies.

more than 2 years ago
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Chinese Spies Used Fake Facebook Profile To Friend NATO Officials

SwedishChef Even CIA officers have families... (117 comments)

A friend of mine who retired from CIA after 26 years once told me that his family was only happy for six of those years... and not six consecutive years. Cut off from family and friends back home and in contact only by letters and the occasional "home leave" of a month or two, he was trying to fit back in to the country he spent his life trying to serve (back in the days when the Agency was less of an operational force and more of an intelligence gathering organization). I can see how Facebook would have made their lives more enjoyable with all the family and friends news (and even minutia). I'm sure it's a security risk par excellance but I can certainly understand why they'd do it. And I can especially understand why a wife, stuck inside an apartment in Djibouti trying to order six months of canned food from Denmark, might.

I don't expect Slashdot readers to grok it, though.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Is an Acceptable Broadband Latency?

SwedishChef Re:In my opinion, CenturyTel is run by idiots... (396 comments)

I didn't read beyond the first page but I can't see that you made any egregious mistakes. You are, in short, correct that the "private" IP addresses are not to be routable. Apparently this is commonplace. I wonder how many VPNs have broken down because of this. Just goes to show you that you should pick a private IP subnet way out of the way of the first 100 or so.

Thanks for your post. :)

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Is an Acceptable Broadband Latency?

SwedishChef In my opinion, CenturyTel is run by idiots... (396 comments)

I had a VPN customer on CenturyLink and a previous network engineer had put their home office LAN on 192.168.1.xxx (which is pretty common). The outlying offices were on 10.x.x.x subnets. One day, suddenly, no one could reach the home office file server. I discovered that there was a whole collection of computers with 192.168.1.xxx addresses on the WAN side of the routers. This, of course, broke the VPN links. He didn't just have them on that subnet but he had addressed one as 192.168.1.1 and up through a numerical sequence. When I finally got through to the chief admin guy (in Portland, OR) and told him he had internal IP addresses on a routable network he responded that the WAN side of our network was his INTERNAL network and he saw nothing wrong with putting a bunch of servers on those IP addresses. Nothing could convince him otherwise, either... because he was studying to take his Cisco Certified Network Administrator test.

We readdressed the home office (that was fun!) and then moved to a better provider; one who at least would listen.

more than 2 years ago
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How Steve Jobs Patent-Trolled Bill Gates

SwedishChef What I don't understand ... (307 comments)

Why would Bill Gates invest in Apple if Jobs admitted that Apple wouldn't survive long enough to win a patent lawsuit against MS anyway? Something's fishy. Gates could just wait 'em out and let Apple go away and gobble up the patents. Must be something more to the story.

But I have no trouble believing that MS was infringing... I don't think they (or, probably, anyone else back then) paid much attention to "patents". They were paying more attention to copyright but even then, not very much.

more than 2 years ago
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Remastered Star Trek: the Next Generation Blu-ray a Huge Leap Forward

SwedishChef Re:FUCK YES (470 comments)

I bought one for our motor home... $58 at Costco!!!

more than 2 years ago
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France's Bold Drunk-Driving Legislation - Every Car To Carry a Breathalyzer

SwedishChef Re:What I'd like to know is.... (706 comments)

Good link. Not many seem to find this issue significant. I'm amazed at the irony of selling booze and gasoline at the same outlet and then being surprised that so many people drink and drive.

more than 2 years ago
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France's Bold Drunk-Driving Legislation - Every Car To Carry a Breathalyzer

SwedishChef What I'd like to know is.... (706 comments)

So who was the rocket scientist who decided to sell alcohol products where people buy fuel for their cars?

more than 2 years ago
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Obayashi To Build Space Elevator By 2050

SwedishChef Re:Bring it on (488 comments)

And they've been predicting that everyone would have a flying car since the late 1940s. Hell, most people car barely control their non-flying car. And just imagine the fun a terrorist in a Cessna would have running into the "space elevator".

more than 2 years ago
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Aging Eyes Blamed For Seniors' Health Woes

SwedishChef How about people in the PNW? (149 comments)

What does this theory say about the poor folks who live in places like Seattle and Portland? Are they all doomed to a dismal old age at age 45? This would mean I waited too long to move away. :P

more than 2 years ago
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Tech Billionaire-Backed Charter School Under Fire In Chicago

SwedishChef Re:Should government rule our schools? (326 comments)

Look at it like a toll road versus a freeway. You pay for the public roadways regardless of whether or not you choose to take the toll road. If you take the free roads to work you may forego certain benefits but at least you're getting something for your money. If you take the toll road you pay extra for whatever benefits you feel you get. Either way, it's your choice. Would you advocate a refund of the money paid out in taxes for the miles you traveled on the toll road? If so, expect lots more traffic on the toll road.

more than 2 years ago
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Followup: Ultraviolet Vision After Cataract Surgery

SwedishChef Re:My Father's Cataract Surgery (311 comments)

Well... in all fairness I had already left my smart-ass comment. :)

more than 2 years ago
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Followup: Ultraviolet Vision After Cataract Surgery

SwedishChef Re:My Father's Cataract Surgery (311 comments)

Wonderful story. It's life-transforming for almost everyone who gets the surgery; certainly it was for me. I was mid-50s when I had the surgery. My mother had gone blind from cataracts in the 1960s so I knew it would happen but I was unprepared for the impact it would make. I could swim, kayak and ski without worrying about glasses fogging. And lights at night were pinpoints.

Happy for your father and for you. :)

more than 2 years ago
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Followup: Ultraviolet Vision After Cataract Surgery

SwedishChef I didn't get U/V vision... (311 comments)

But I did get X-ray vision... it's not as good as you'd think. For one thing, I'm never going in to the senior center ever again!!!

more than 2 years ago

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Journals

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I am responsible for the increase in gas prices!

SwedishChef SwedishChef writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Forgive me. I am (mostly) sorry. But let me tell you the story.

It all started with my wife who converted a business trip to Wenatchee into the purchase of two jet skiis. Instead of going to the craft store while I was in my meeting, she went to the local SeaDoo dealer and did some shopping. To be fair, she did show me the jet skiis (yes, I know that "Jet Ski" is a TM of Kawasaki) and I did approve the purchase. But she bought them.

And, oh my, they are fun. Up until this summer I had more-or-less congratulated myself on being environmentally friendly in my recreation. I flew gliders, paddled kayaks, sailed sailboats, and rode bicycles. Hell, my wife and I lived for 5 years aboard a 32-foot sailboat with solar panels and a wind generator supplying 90% of our electrcicity.

I knew that the gliders were towed into the air (for 15 minutes - after which I flew for hours) and that I got to the river in a pickup truck, but I figured it was still better than driving an ATV all over the sand dunes.

I can no longer make that claim. I now joyously squander our precious petroleum supply on swooping around the lake.

Such behavior never goes unpunished. The day after buying the jet skiis the price of gasoline began to climb. Oh sure, experts blamed the war, sabotage, declining reserves, and China for the increases. But I knew better. I knew it was my fault. I even sorta felt bad about it.

My sailboat sits idle in the water. I haven't flown the glider this season. I have paddled a kayak exactly 3 times (pre-jet skiis). But I leave my office at 5pm, go downstairs, change my clothes into a swim suit, grab the 3-yr-old who lives here , and go through the gate and down to the dock where we untie the jet ski and get on board. Then we head to the end of the lake and the sandy beaches for swimming lessons.

On the way back we are likely to swoop and soar over some wakes, turn tight circles to look at cormorants and turtles, and yell when we go under the freeway (for the echo).

You all are paying for this, of course, I only hope you can forgive me.

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Another summer...

SwedishChef SwedishChef writes  |  more than 10 years ago

It's over a year since my last entry in this journal (or blog, or whatever). Last winter was fabulous for cross-country skiing! I went at least once a week from November 5th until April 9th and generally twice a week. I learned to "skate ski" but that really takes it out of a person. On the bright side, when I strap on kick skiis I can outpace a lot of 20-somethings now. (grin)

I'm sitting at the lake house (yes, being a nerd does have some economic advantages) watching jet skiis and wakeboarders go by. If it werent late I'd jump into a kayak and try to catch some surfing on their wakes. It's terrific.

All in all, there continues to be life after 60.

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Damn... I miss Winter

SwedishChef SwedishChef writes  |  more than 11 years ago

It's amazing how quickly one can be addicted to a specific activity. This winter, even with a low snowpack, I managed to get dependent on cross-country skiing. Even to the point of getting "skate" skiis only to have the season end abruptly before using them. The question now is, "Can kaykaking take the place of x/c skiing?" Well, for adrenaline there is nothing quite like hearing the sound of rapids around the next river bend but not knowing quite what is in store for you until you can actually see them. Ok, maybe landing a glider (one shot, make it good).

Cross-country skiing offers little in the way of adrenaline rush but it is satisfying on so many levels. There is the athletic level where you learn new techniques; there is the conditioning level where your body goes farther every weekend; there is the aesthetic level where you come around a bend of the trail and are presented with a view of snow-covered mountains and valleys with frozen lakes and blue sky and clouds and are struck dumb with the beauty of it all.

Yesterday we partied in Wenatchee during their Apple Blossom Festival, eating teriyaki in the park and listening to some friends perform in their rock band. We had gone up to Cashmere to watch kayaks play on Granny's Hole and we had roller-bladed for a couple miles on the riverfront trail system. It was a pretty satisfying day.

I'm new enough to roller blades so that it doesn't take much to give me a workout so that part was great. Watching those guys and gals play on a wave (one using over-sized mitts in place of paddles!) was fun because even though I've surfed on a river, there is no way I can do what they do on a wave. But I'm thinking that with both kayaking and roller blading I might just be able to hold on to some physical conditioning this summer.

Anyway, I feel pretty good about yesterday. And less than three weeks after getting out of the hospital for appendix surgery I'm out and physical. Yes, Virginia, there is life after 60. :P

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Snow

SwedishChef SwedishChef writes  |  more than 11 years ago

Winter is finally here... we have been cross country skiing for the past two weekends in the mountains and just a few days ago actually went around the farm on skiis (in the dark). I expected this to be harder on my bad knee that it has been... but find that taking a few codeine pain pills enhances the experience considerably. LOL

Washignton State has a system of groomed X/C trails (from which snowmobiles are banned) and the cost for using them is a permit you put in the window of your car. The permit costs $40 per season for as many people as you can cram into your car!!! Compare this with one day lift tickets at Mission Ridge (Wenatchee, WA) which are over $35.

For those of you who live in Arizona: Eat your hearts out!!! (OK.. at least southern AZ.)

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Lame uplink providers

SwedishChef SwedishChef writes  |  more than 11 years ago

Our reverse lookups failed suddenly two weeks ago and a dig showed that they were stopping because no one had SOA. So I called my provider who opened a trouble ticket and then told me that the problem was with a swip that didn't go through and it would be fixed later that day.

A week later it was still broken and I began a series of emails with the network engineer for this outfit who insisted, over and over, that it was our DNS that was broken. While I tried to convince him that it was their fault because we could not get SOA (Start of Authority) for the block and they had to point their DNS to ours and secondary it.. Finally after a couple days of this nonsense I called ARIN which told me that it was the uplink provider's fault and, just as I suspected, they needed to secondary my DNS onto their DNS.

To get this more formally I sent an email to ARIN (with a copy to my uplink morons) asking them to clarify what to do and who should do it. Two hours later I got an email from a network engineer upstream of the uplink provider (but still controlled by them) saying "I don't see a problem". Because they had implemented a secondary DNS off mine and it finally worked.

Every time I contact these guys with a problem I have to teach someone their job. And it takes time. Maybe I should send them a bill for that time. Sigh. Apparently it's not possible to hire competent people and equally impossible to get rid of them when they show they are incompetent.

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Three fans!

SwedishChef SwedishChef writes  |  more than 11 years ago

Ok, I know bragging about fans is lame. So sue me.

Of the three fans, two of them give every appearance of being female. This, for some reason, is somewhat troubling. It must be my age which, frankly, means I'm not much of a threat to any young women. Therefore I'm safe to flirt with and be fans of.

To top it off, LadyGuardian's writings make me think of my daughter (who also has two huskies but was an education major).

My daughter married a chem. engr. last summer after swearing never to consider pairing up with anyone remotely like me. He is exactly like me. LOL Oh god, revenge is soooo sweet. When he's here we spend hours talking geek talk and annoying her with references to calculus, physics, etc. He does a lot of processes and that ties in well with computers and electronics so we are exploring new ways of blending the two without MS intervening.

Christmas here is over and it was pretty nice. The tree went up at Thanksgiving (it's fake so there's no fire hazard). I don't much like decorating trees but I sure like to have them up. And all the other nice stuff: the Christmas mugs, the little village with the lights and the train going around it, the music boxes, the lights on the house at night when I get close (we can see houses here a LONG ways away).

Daughter and her hubby were here and he and I celebrated by touring the local sewage treatment plant at the request of the public works director. He had a few problems and between us all we figured out a few cheap work-arounds. That was fun.

No days off of course, except for Christmas Day I've worked every day for two weeks on at least something. Those of you who ponder starting up your own consulting shop should think hard and long. If you don't actually like what you do and would do it even if no one paid you, then find a job.

That's it for now. Thanks to my three fans. I'd add you but I haven't figured out how it works. LOL

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Two fans!

SwedishChef SwedishChef writes  |  more than 11 years ago

How appropriate that just a couple days before Thanksgiving I notice that I have *TWO* fans listed. Finally the number of fans has outgrown the number of freaks. I was getting worried there. Too bad the second fan isn't also a girl; as a lifelong nerd I always feel proud when a member of the opposite gender takes any interest in me. Unfortunately my female fan hasn't posted since July of 2002, thereby proving that any interest in me by the opposite gender is short-lived. I'd try being gay but, frankly, haven't a clue how to begin. Anyway, I'm pretty sure that if I were gay, no cool gay guys would show any interest in me either. Anyway, thanks to the new fan. :)

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Damn... I have a fan!

SwedishChef SwedishChef writes  |  more than 11 years ago

Sitting here before work checking /. and listening to NPR I noodled into my info section (always disappointing since Karma points disappeared) and noticed some areas I had never looked at before. Friends, fans, foes, freaks... etc. It turns out I have a fan. Golly! :) I wonder if she would like to buy some cats. :P

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