Blogger Who Revealed GOP Leader's KKK Ties Had Home Internet Lines Cut
Ah, those were the days. I also remember posting stuff to Usenet with my real name and WORK email address. ... and then eternal September happened.... :(
How Nigeria Stopped Ebola
That's my fear too. I live in a small town in Appalachia with dirt-poor but stubborn^H^H^H^H^H^Hproud conservative folk. When they get sick, they just don't go into the hospital. They ride it out at home. They have no health insurance and won't even sign up for it if they can because -- Obamacare. They *may* go to the free clinic in town that's open Tuesdays from 1-3pm. They live in remote areas down dead-end gravel roads that lead to the side of a mountain that other locals know you don't drive down if you have no business going down. If Ebola comes to visit it'll wipe out my mountain town. :(
Robbery Suspect Tracked By GPS and Killed
OK let's get this out of the way...
He didn't deserve to die for stealing the pills... ... but soon as he chose to put the life of an officer in danger instead of surrendering, then he did.
Don't Be a Server Hugger! (Video)
For a small shop that it's not feasible to hire their own IT shop, I think it's viable. Other than that, no.
I was a very early advocate of moving stuff into the cloud and a very early victim of getting screwed by it. Before the cloud I could spend countless sleepless hours pacing around dealing with things like praying that a SAN spins back up after an extended site power failure with a backup generator fault failure or dealing with irate users on a Christmas morning wondering why I scheduled an email migration to happen that required email to be down for 24 hours. But at least it was my fault and I was in control.
After moving to the cloud I had things like extended service outages where I had irate users and I could do nothing but sit around and look stupid and helpless saying "the vendor is working on it" and not know even if anyone was actually doing anything besides refreshing the ticket system and occasionally posting a ticket update begging for a status update.
Google Announces "Classroom"
Yeah, I was just going to say I wonder how many April 1st's will go by before this one is retired.
Target Moves To Chip and Pin Cards To Boost Security
At least it takes a grad student.
Magnetic swipes can be cloned by anyone. Heck, you can easily buy a cloning card to do it.
Target Moves To Chip and Pin Cards To Boost Security
Most US cards being issued with a chip are Chip and Signature, not Chip and PIN -- because banks have trained Americans to think PIN means debit so banks fear applying a PIN to a credit card would confuse people.
I have one of these Chip and Signature cards and on my last trip to UK it was a real PITA, especially at self-checkouts. Like at ASDA there was a signature signing pad but I had to wait for a clerk to come over to give me the pen and then she checked my signature real closely. Same thing at the duty free at the airport. The self-checking stopped and alerted the clerk to come over to check my signature. Then at other stores the clerk couldn't find a pen, or was surprised when paper spit out and had to ask a manager what was going on.
(I had one clerk hand me the slip to sign, checked my signature, then put the signed slip into the bag with the receipt! If I was an "arse" I probably could have disputed the charge and gotten away with it because they couldn't produce a signed slip)
At the ASDA (far away from where tourists usually go) the clerk remarked it's been years since she saw someone have to sign for a charge. I apologized, said I was an American, and that our banks think we are too stupid to remember a PIN. She got a good chuckle out of that...
Facebook Data Miner Will Shock You
Not really shocking. In the permissions you give it:
and your friends' status updates and photos.
So if one of your friends gave them permission, then they can grab the photos that way.
So yeah, what you share put to your friends can be given away by them.
Opinion: Facebook shouldn't allow an app to gain access to friend's data like this unless that data is marked public.
Facebook Data Miner Will Shock You
Watch Dogs Digital Shadow will receive the following info: your public profile, friend list, News Feed, relationships, birthday, work history, status updates, education history, groups, hometown, interests, current city, photos, religious and political views, follows and followers, personal description and likes and your friends' status updates and photos.
So basically you give them access to all of your data, and then they tell you all about you.
What a shock.
Brazil Blocks Foreign Mobile Phones
I do believe Turkey blocks on individual IMEI. At least that was what I was warned of before I went for a visit. It happens after a few weeks so tourists are probably fine.
Brazil Blocks Foreign Mobile Phones
Your international phone with roaming would still go through their towers and potentially be blocked.
Silicon Valley Billionaire Takes Out $201 Million Life Insurance Policy
We can assume they paid their taxes when they received their paychecks. Why should their heirs pay them again?
For the same reason why when I pay my plumber out of money I have that was already taxed, he has to pay taxes on it as well.
Money is usually taxed when it changes hands. Now I'll admit in case of estates it's not really practical because there are so many ways to get around it, and it also makes stupid situations happen, like if a parent wants to help an adult child pay for an expense they have, they are limited to the ~$14,000 a year gift limit without the kid being taxed as well.
So I admit it's a stupid law, but saying it's already been taxed is not a good argument against it in my opinion.
Ask Slashdot: How Do I Change Tech Careers At 30?
I retired at 53 from technology. I still do work part-time but don't need to. The key was to live well below my means for those years. Like I could have bought any kind of car I wanted but took public transit for 20 of my working years and my wife and I just had one car.
How I Cut My Time Warner Cable Bill By 33%
Yes, I know, after the copper wire hits a switch of some kind, it probably gets routed over IP anyway, but at least with copper wire to your house, you almost always have a dial tone, hence 911.
I held onto my copper POTS line for years because of that. But it kept going out and I kept calling in for service. One time my wife called me and said the Verizon guy wanted to get into the basement. I was like "NO. THEY ONLY NEED TO FIX IT AT THE BOX OUTSIDE." She said he insisted he had to get in, so I had her put him on the cell phone with me and he said he had an order to install FIOS.
Of course I never signed up for FIOS so they had to requeue my service call. After a year of it going down about once a month, they finally won. I disconnected my POTS line and got a $12/month Vonage plan.
Apple's Messages Offers Free Texting With a Side of iPhone Lock-In
No. Their imessage chat bubble turns green to let them know their message will go out as a text and not an iMessage -- but it will work.
Quebec Language Police Target Store Owner's Facebook Page
It is obvious that the society and culture are going to change over time, why fight it?
I wonder how Americans would feel if/when Spanish becomes the dominant language. It's already happening in some parts of the country.
Doctors Say New Pain Pill Is "Genuinely Frightening"
Damn, that doesn't sound like much fun. Sorry you had to go through that. :(
Doctors Say New Pain Pill Is "Genuinely Frightening"
Thanks for the warning. I don't take it often enough to probably hit that. The ibuprofen dose is only 200mg, which is one OTC pill.
I pretty much take maybe 1 or 2 a week at most as needed, but they keep me out of the hospital or urgent care place so it's worth it.
(Annoys me that pain pills are hard to get for people who really need them because some people abuse them...)
Doctors Say New Pain Pill Is "Genuinely Frightening"
I take Vicoprofen (for migraine pain). It's mixed with Ibuprofen instead of Tylenol. It still makes me sick all day after taking it. No idea why people abuse it.
For me it comes down to a choice between being in horrible agony all day or having no pain but stuck in bed feeling dizzy and like shit all day. I'll take that over the pain.
Now there may be some anti-nausea I can take to counteract some of the negative affects, but I haven't asked my doctor about that because the effects now ensure I won't abuse it and I don't want to know otherwise I guess.
Ask Slashdot: Do You Still Trust Bitcoin?
Yeah, and that makes sense. And that can be leveraged by smarter folk. Problem is, there's a lot of folk who buy into the world is ending tomorrow, buy gold now, constantly -- especially those who hate the current President. They are preyed upon by companies who sell gold. My point is, it's not always a safe investment, it's an asset for a larger portfolio that one has to be smart about, like any other asset in a portfolio.
Unfortunately many people aren't. :(
The Nightmare of Active Directory Replication (win 2003)
When they came up, for whatever reason, the BIOS on one of them lost its time and came up as year 2003. It was quickly noticed, fixed, and rebooted with correct time. All was well, or at least I thought.
Our four ADs are across two sites with a replication path resembling a box...
a1 <----> b1
/\ . . . . /\
| . . . . . |
\/ . . . . \/
a2 <----> b2
Site a and b are connected via a wan link and are in different AD "sites."
A few days later, it's noticed that site b isn't getting replicated data from a. Some playing around reveals that b can replicate to a but not visa-versa.
"repadmin /showreps" reveals numerous auth errors saying "logon failure target account name is incorrect."
Doing a "repadmin /syncall" throws a similar error if run on the site b machines.
Google searches on this indicate problems with machine account password, a duplicate machine name, or even dynamic dns problems. I note that if a DC at site b just accesses \\a1.domain.name\c$ it gives the same error, but not if done via \\a1\c$ or \\ipaddr\c$ so that makes me believe it's not an auth issue but a name resolution issue.
So much time is spent checking DNS, the guid version of each dns machine's name, comparing the guid on each box to see if it's identical, etc, etc...
ok, all works there, so time to think about the machine acct password. Find references and kb articles saying how to use "netdom resetpwd" where each article details the steps like purging the kerb ticket list at different places. Arrggh...
Since b can't talk to a, try resetting the password on b boxes. No go. Then try an a box, still no go. Was missing a vital step that took digging through usenet posts to find and which isn't clear from the microsoft tech docs.
Syntax for the netdom resetpwd command is:
netdom resetpwd /s:servername /userd:domainadmin /passwordd:*
... where domainadmin is a domain admin account. Well, the "servername" specified is critical to making it work. The netdom command will reset the machine account password on that box (and in the case of an AD box, its own AD records) PLUS record it into AD on the box specified by /s. We were setting that to the local AD server.
So the key to making it work was doing this on each box on site a and specifying the server as its replication partner in site b to inject a good password record there.
After that was done, credentials worked again and replication started happening again.
The steps required to do this include purging the ticket list and starting and stoping the kdc service.
net stop kdc
netdom resetpwd /s:b1.domain.name /userd:domain\admin /passwordd:*
net start kdc
I'm hoping this gets indexed into google and helps someone else out with this problem someday.
My wife's World Trade Center Memorial Competition entry
My wife's entry is up there.
The entire 9/11 event had a very deep impact on my wife, and I believe working on this memorial helped her out a lot. She, and three of her students (she teaches architecture) worked on the model for much of last summer. It cost us a good chunk of change for their salaries, but they got some good experience out of it and seemed to enjoy it.
Anyway, I'm quite proud of the ole girl, even if she didn't win! :-)
I got a copy of SCO's motion to dismiss case against Redhat
I had never done something like that before, so heading into the court's clerk office and figuring out what to ask for, the procedures for getting copies, examining various dockets (learned a new word!) on the case, etc, was fun.
Equal fun was getting to read it before most everyone else of course, then OCRing it and getting it posted.
I sent it to groklaw site and they posted it for commentary. I was going to post it on my own site, but it's best served from there. It's great to read the commentary on the board from various paralegals and law students. Interesting stuff!
Back road trip between Wilmington DE and Manassas VA
First of all, let me say how useless AAA is for trip planning for this
tipe of trip. The AAA person wanted me to use the Interestate. When I said
I wanted backroads, she drew a pink line down US 1 to the Baltimore
Beltway. I explained I wanted to go north of Baltimore, then around west
of DC. She basically just connected dots on the map and not a good path
either. And despite me saying I wanted to use the Ferry, she said "Oh, you
don't want to do that," and drew me a route that went down US 15 over the
Well, forget that, so I tried Mapquest. That took a lot of fiddling
around, even with plotting various intermediate points so it too wouldn't
force me down the turnpike. Mapquest will send you way out of your way to
get some interstate miles in.
So I had to plot several subtrips...
- Newark to Blue Bell MD
- Blue Bell to Hickory MD
- Hickory to Hapstead
- Hampstead to Damascus
- Damascus to Martinsburg
- Martinsburg to Catharpin VA
- Catharpin VA to Manassas
Summary of my outbound routing (5 hours)
MD 273 - US 1 - MD 23 - MD 137 - MD 138 - MD 482 - MD 27 ~ MD 109 ~
... white's ferry ...
US 15 - VA 232
Summary of return trip (4 hours, 10 minutes, southern leg different)
VA 234 - US 15 - VA 7 - VA 9 - VA 287 - MD 79 - MD 180 - US 15 -
MD 27 - MD 26 - MD 482 - MD 138 - MD 137 - MD 23 - US 1 - MD 273
- No congestion entire trip. Yippee!
- A Beautiful relaxing drive
- Three Maryland Roundabouts!
- White's Ferry - neat
- Maryland state route system is illogical and not real helpful at times
Left Newark, DE heading west on SR 273 towards Conowingo Dam. A bit of a
boring road that hasn't change much in the 30 years I've been going down
it except for one neat thing. Just after Rising Sun at 276 there is a new
roundabout! This must have been a new installation within past year. It
would be the first of three that I saw during my trip.
Joined up with US 1 and head across the (toll free) Conowingo Dam towards
Hickory. At Hickory, headed west on MD 23. The next hour or so was the most
difficult, navigation wise. Idea was to head west towards Westminster, then
southwest on MD 27. But getting to Westminster is not easy.
Took MD 23 towards Jarrettsville. An interesting curiosity. I don't
think Maryland cares much for multiplexed routes. Something I
concluded on this leg of the trip and saw other examples as I
went. When MD 23 hit MD 165 in Jarretsville, it should multiplex with
165 north for about a mile, then continue west from there. Dog leg or
zigzag if you will. But at the T junction, instead of pointing right
for MD 23, it had a "TO 23" sign with a right arrow. As I head north
to Jarretsville, I saw another sign that said "Junction 23". I turned
left there. On the return trip through this area however, when I hit
165 from 23, there was no corresponding "TO 23" pointing south. No
signs whatsoever. Had I not known from the prior day's trip in
opposite direction, I would have continue straight at that
Looking at a map later, I saw that that road that continue straight is
called Jarretsville Road and continues to US 1, pretty much
paralleling 23 which was south of it. At one time Jarretsville Road
must have been MD 23 and that's why the discontinuous segments of MD
23 happened. They should really sign it better.
But enough of Jarettsville. Continued west on MD 23 for about 3 miles,
then turned left on MD 138. Except for the first mile or so, it's a fairly
narrow road, speed limits around 30 to 40. It snakes around until Hereford
where I had to go north for about 1/10 mile on 45, then left on 137. Life
would have been simpler had 137 and 138 been given the same route number,
but that would have meant having a multiplex for 1/10 a mile on 45, so I
guess we can't have that. Sigh...
Continued west on 137 until it dead ended on a road with no indication
of what direction 137 took. From the map I had, it seemed like 137
continued to Hampstead, but that was not the case. There *was* a sign that
said "TO MD 30" pointing left. I took that and eventually after a
couple of turns that thankfully also said "to MD 30" found my second
roundabout at MD 88. A 1/2 mile further was was Hanover Pike, which I went
north on for about 1/2 mile, then west on MS 482 until I reached "Mexico."
At Mexico I piked up MD 27. Finally, roughest part done. I took MD 27
south to Damascus. The route from Damascus to White's Ferry isn't very
straightforward. ie, not an easy set of signed routes. I branched off onto
Oak Road, then Kingstead Road, Burnt Hill Road, north on MD 355 for about
1/2 mile, then west on Comus Road (under I-270) to -- Comus! The plan at
that point was to turn left on MD 109, but the bridge was out, and
scheduled to be reopened on 8/26. Sigh, few days too early. So I continued
west and found the entrance to Sugarloaf Mountain Park. Nice.
Heading south towards MD 28, then followed MD 28 towards Beallsville,
down W Hunter Road, Wasche Road, then right on White's Ferry Road.
White's Ferry had a nice queue of cars waiting for it that backed up
outside their property limits. I didn't think I'd make it on to the next
Ferry, but when it pulled up, there was plenty of room for everyone. A
short ride across for $2.00 (m/c fare) and I was in Virginia!
White's Ferry Road dumps out onto US 15 near Leesburg. South on that
around Leesburg to VA 234 about 20 miles later. A short 6 mile drive down
that road and bango, soon as I go under I-66, congestion, traffic, massive
civilization. First mess I was in during the entire trip, and thankfully
For my return trip, I altered the southern leg of the route somewhat. I
headed north towards Leesbug on US 15, but then went west on VA 7, then
branched off to VA 9. then north on VA 287 towards Brunswick MD. A nice
road, and the bridge over the Potomac offered nice views.
And lo and behold, soon as you enter Brunswick, yet another roundabout! I
must be back in Maryland! Coming north out of Brunswich was a fairly
decent climb with speed limit 30 MPH. I saw two police officers "camping"
and running radar for the poor folks coming south down the hill.
I continued north on MD 79, then east on MD 180, which must have been
the old US 340 route. Over I-70 (no junction) and onto US 15 north
again, but not for long. Branched off onto MD 26 and took that until
MD 27, then retraced my steps back using same route I went out on.
The trip down took me just shy of 5 hours, with about 30 minutes spent
waiting or riding on the White's Ferry. The return trip was 4 hours and 10
minutes, and if I had just remained on US 15 instead of the scenic ride
through Brunswick, I probably could have got it down to 4 hours.
Total mileage each way was around 165-175 miles compared to 130 miles
using I-95, I-495, and I-66. When using the Interstate, I can do the
trip in 2.5 hours, provided there are NO traffic slowdowns. On really
bad congested days, it can take over four hours. Given the choice of
interstate and congestion, or a beautiful country drive, I'd go for
the scenic drive unless I was in a real hurry and felt like taking a
chance on the Interstate route.
Since my sister now lives in Manassas, I'll be taking more trips. The
drive is longer, but far more pleasant, although I'm not sure how
pleasant it will be if I am doing that run over and over! :)
Dear Microsoft, Hot Fixes...
You could go a long way to making me happy if you just standardize the hotfix install programs to use the same command line arguments. I have to run a batch of these things after an install to automatically bring a desktop up-to-date.
The way it is now, it's ridiculous. Here's some actual examples:
Msjavx86.exe /c:"javatrig.exe /exe_install /l /qq" /q:a /r:n
q307274 -u -n -z
vbs56nen /q /r:n
start /wait q318202 /q /c:"dahotfix /q /n"
start /wait vm-sfix3 /q /r:n
Why can't there be a standardize hotfix installer? Please....
If not, at least document the unattended install procedure in the kb article describing the hotfix. As it is now, I have to hunt all over to find it if one of the old methods doesn't work. Like look at that java vm update. My God, where did THAT come from?
My long post to Macslash about businesses switching to macs
I'm an IT manager, responsible for 2,000 desktops. I "switched" at home to iMac a few months ago (well, not quite switched, added one to my several at home). I love it -- a lot, but I can't see deploying them at work. Why? Well, for one thing, control. Corporate IT is all about homogonizing the work environment, remote management, consistency, standard operating environments, etc.
So, before I would consider advocating any sort of switch, I'd need a Mac to do the following. Note, they may or may not be possible, but the point is, I don't know. Apple is not reaching me if this stuff is possible.
Group Policies: Ability to classify groups of users and machines and then apply policies to them. A policy controls how the machine works. It can tighten control, change behavior or appearance of an app, dictate where files are saved, define file permissions, and even be used to deploy applications remotely.
RIS: Remote Install Service Boot a PC, hit F12 on the bios startup screen, authenitcate to the domain controller, and get a list of install images that can be used on that machine. Select one, walk away, come back an hour later, machine back up to your standard operating environment including all needed applications. No install choices or interaction needed. For those familiar with Ghost, it's not Ghost. Ghost is very limited, where you need a literal image of each install type. RIS allows variations, does all hardware detection, and stores the "image" as plain files on the server, allowing them to be edited or manipulated.
Roaming profiles: If a user logs on to any machine anywhere on the network, their desktop settings and stored files follow them from place to place. This behavior can even be modified as needed through group policies, so for example, if an employee logs into an informational kiosk at HR, it can not roam, but provide a locked-down consistent interface for that one purpose.
Remote control: One thing my support techs are in love with is XPs new remote assistance feature. It's built into the OS. A tech can request control of any user's desktop and watch them work (with the user's explicit permission and knowledge), and even take over control to help them with a problem. Again, who can do this and where can be controlled through group policies. I know there are remote desktop features on Macs, but they are extra cost options per machine. A big extra cost. We had been using VNC for remote control and remote desktop, but scrapped it when we deployed XP. Much better. Remote desktop for servers is a big plus too...
Scripting of administrative tasks: I can script just about anything in Windows through vbscript and interfacing with WMI and ADSI (computer management, directory management). I know apple has Applescript, but I have no idea how extensive and useful it is. (For the record, anyone who claims Windows environments are easier to manage than Unix environments is just plain wrong. Everytime I want to do something that seems simple, like get a listing of disk quotas, you have to jump through so many hoops in Windows by writing a damn vb program to do it instead of a simple unix command or two piped into whatever filter to get the data you need...)
Delegation of authority: Control how much a user or IT technician has control over. I can, for example, create an OU (organizational unit) for a separate part of the company and delegate control of it to their IT staff while still having oversight control of it. They can create and manage users and desktops within that OU but not outside that OU.
I can't stress how important it is for a business to be able to control their desktops. While you may consider this IT nazi behaviour, it's a necessary fact of business life. While Renezvous sounds all nice and happy, I can't have staff just installing hardware devices casually and making them available to everyone. For example, someone gets the bright idea of plugging in a wireless access point into the computer so they can use their laptop to get to the net from an adjoining conference room. How nice for them, and how nice for the intruder sitting in the parking lot with a high-gain directional wireless antennae running kismit to gain access inside my firewall.
So, with that, let's discuss what really sucks about the PC from my experience. The file system is horrible. While NTFS certainly is nice when it comes to fine tuning ACL lists, it's overall weakness is its inability to remove or replace a file that is open. What you say? Unix based file systems have this neat feature where you can have multiple hard links to a file. When you "remove" a file, it just removes a link. If the file goes down to zero links and processes still have the file open, the file remains accessible to them and the final link won't be removed until all processes accessing them go away. can't do that on NTFS. That is why on Unix you can replace system libraries and commands and not have to reboot (although you should stop/restart processes that use them if, for example, the library is a security related issue). On NTFS, Windows, if the file or DLL is in use, must throw it in a temporary area and set up a process so next time the machine reboots, the DLL is copied into place during the reboot. That's why the damn things have to be rebooted so often. Rebooting a server while people are using it is a real drag.
The GUI in windows is too darn wired into the OS meaning a problem with the GUI screws the computer. While the Mac is kind of similar, I can at least boot into single user mode if needed and fix a lot of stuff without having to resort to a re-install to fix.
Windows registry sucks, nuff said.
Most Windows applications just aren't "logo compliant." That means they don't follow the rules making all that happy stuff above possible and that demands kludges. For example, Adobe products just insist on being able to write crap to their program directory and "HKLM" registry (trust me, it's just wrong). Autodesk products are bad too. Their answer, just give your users administrative privileges on their PC. "Ah, no, how about we just use Publisher instead of Pagemaker instead?" These vendors don't package their installers as .msi files that can easily be deployed through group policies either, forcing IT staff to follow a problematic and time consuming process of "re-packing" it.
Well, I've gone on far too long. I just don't think Apple cares. They have a niche market and are happy with it. If they want to get into business, they need to provide solutions and then get to IT managers and let them know they exist. Microsoft has all kinds of migration papers detailing, for example, how one can switch from Apache to IIS. Does Apple have anything like that geared to the Windows IT professional detailing how they can integrate Macs into a PC world and how they can effectively manage them en masse?
Review of H2K2
Aaron McGruder, the creator of Boondocks comic strip was keynote. Jello
Biafra makes a repeat appearance as well as some other past favorites,
such as the "former spy" Robert Steele, as well as some surprise guests
such as former Talbin fighter, Aukai
This is my personal review of h2k2. There were so many things happening
at once that one person can't obviously see it all. This is based on what
I saw, experienced, felt, and my personal opinions. (This was submitted that Sunday night to /. but later rejected as a story, so into the journal it goes! :)
Keynote Speaker: Aaron MgGruder,
author of Boondocks, spoke on Saturday. This was my favorite speaker and
worth the price of admission. He was invited because he did a short
sequence of strips covering the DeCss subject and, as Emmanuel Goldstein
said, "the only person in popular media to get it right." Aaron was very
articulate, intelligent, and of course, opinionated. What I liked most
about him was his admitting that he does not know it all. He made fun of
political experts who sit around and debate political topics based on what
they are spoon fed by popular media. He says there is not much difference
between us and people who live in censored countries except they KNOW they
aren't getting the full story. We all think we are smart and know it all.
His advice to people who love to rant about political topics, "Shut the
hell up, you don't know anything."
McGruder thinks our society is falling apart and the only thing that can
fix it is revolution. He has hope, but not much. He spoke about Bush's
line that countries that hurt American are going to have to pay, which
means we kill a bunch of their innocent civilians so they get to claim
that we will then have to pay, where they kill a bunch of us. McGruder's soluti\
is that people should just go kill the leaders of these nations. He then
back-peddled (remembering the place was probably full of feds) and
disclaimed that he wasn't advocating that anyone go out and shoot Bush
(who he has no love for). He reminded us that if Bush was killed, we'd be
left with Cheney, who is far far worse in his opinion. "If Cheney was
President, Afghanistan and Iraq would be glass, and we may give the
neighboring countries 30 minutes of warning to get away from the
Jello Biafra: Jello was keynote at H2K in 2000 and returned this year to speak
late Saturday night. He was well loved by most people there, based on the
reactions I saw that night. I didn't like him. He reminded me of Rush
Limbaugh except on the left side. Loads of rhetoric, wild claims, and
positioning himself as an expert. He was supposed to speak for one hour,
and then the film "Freedom Downtime" was to be shown. He rambled on for
two and a half hours, then took his shoe off and asked for donations for
his legal defense fund involving his former record label. People flocked
up and stuffed it full of money as he started to spin records. At this
point it was 12:30am and I gave up and went to my room and and got some
Robert Steele : Former spy, and
backer of a concept called "Open Source Intelligence" where countries share
intelligence information freely with each other and their citizens. His
speech on Hacking National
Intelligence was, to me, frightening. He claims that 9/11 involved a
serious failure of our intelligence network and Washington is trying to
white wash it all. He also claims that he has no doubt at all that New
York City will be the target of another terrorist attack soon. "When
foreigners think of the U.S. they think of New York City. It is the center
of capitalism." He is an excellent speaker. I hope he returns next time.
During his talk, he introduced Aukai
Collins who told us of his experiences fighting for bin Laden (during
the 90s when we were paying bin Laden's salary and he allegedly was a good
guy). When the embassy bombings started to occur, he went to the CIA and
offered himself as an intelligence source. He worked for them and the FBI
a few years and during that time was invited by bin Laden's runners to
come work closely with him. When he bought this opportunity to get close
to bin Laden to his superiors, they told him not to go. He feels we lost
probably our only opportunity to get one of our guys close to bin Laden.
He has written a book on this called
If this so far sounds like h2k2 was more politics than tech, I got the
same impression. I skipped out on most of the DMCA updates and other legal
updates. They were hosted by members of EFF and their lawyers. The small
bits I saw sounded very informative and I applaud their works in these
areas. Since I've kept up on all the news on these cases, I decided to
skip these forums.
The best of the tech presentations was Fun with
802.11b hosted by Dragorn, Porkchop, and StAtic FuSIOn. (I sometimes
hate silly handles). During the days before h2k2, they mapped out over
400 open wireless networks accessible from within three blocks of the
hotel in midtown Manhattan. They demonstrated passive snoopers like
kismet and showed us
different directional high-gain antennas. Their recommendation for a
good PCMCIA 802.11b card was Cisco's 352, which I of course didn't have. I
ran out and bought an SMC card for my company laptop before the conference
and had a tech load Linux on my laptop. I told him he could pick the
distro of his choice, but unfortunately he picked the one I'm least
familiar with, Slackware. I could not get the damn card working for the
life of me. I wanted to scream.
A big disappointment was the Cult of the Dead
Cow Extravaganza . It was to be held down on the lower level in the
network room and broadcast up to the conference rooms on the 18th floor.
Well, it didn't work. I was upstairs and they mucked with the equipment
for an hour trying to get a a/v feed going. After all this time of
wondering whether we should fight our way downstairs to watch it in
person, we got an announcement. "Sorry, but we can't get it to work. Oh,
by the way, they have already started downstairs."
Urge to kill. My friend and I wondered how they screwed this one up and
traced the wires to a display table and behind a closed stairwell door. We
looked at each other and said "Nooo". We popped into a neighboring
stairwell as everyone fought for the elevators. We went down one floor
then popped over to the stairwell that we saw the wires going down. Sure
enough, they had run the wires down the open portion of the stairs so they
were hanging by their own weight for a distance of about 22 floors (the
hotel has 18 number floors, about 4 lettered floors like A, B, C, D, a
mezzanine floor, and lobby floor). I'm not sure what the stress would be
introduced by a cable hanging by its own weight for that kind of distance,
but I bet the center copper core couldn't bear it and broke inside.
So we run downstairs and saw some talented but unwanted female singing
about how great the CDC was. Then someone else got up and swung a black
briefcase looking device around. Had no idea what it was because we
couldn't understand squat in the back. Basically we said to hell with them
all, and left.
So while the presentations were hit and miss, the overall best part of
the conference were the attendees. Freaks, geeks, and misfits everywhere,
all being good to each other, curious, intelligent, and sometimes a bit
too paranoid. Of course it was mostly guys, but there were women as well
as one person who had a male voice but noticable breasts and a feminine face
and shape. Many other guys dressed up a bit too flamboyant for my tastes
as well. My point being, everyone was accepted for who they are and all
got along great together. I didn't meet a single person who I talked to
who was rude, or unwilling to strike up a conversation. The network room
had wired and wireless internet access and was open 24 hours a day and the
source for some of the most fun at the conference. But by all means, the best
part of h2k2 was the attendees and they are the reason why I will want to
go again in the future.
Just bought a new DVD player, old one was a year old...
Why replace it? Well, I'm in the process of converting a lot of old video tapes (including the entire series of Babylon 5) to VCDs since I hope they won't degrade as fast as video tape. Also a lot of family video tapes. My old DVD player would only play VCDs burned on CD-RWs which was a drag. The RP56 will use CD-Rs and also will play mp3 CDs although I hear it's kinda crappy (no id3 tag info displayed for example...)
No, I haven't hooked it up yet so I don't know for sure.
I read some good
things about the RP56 and it's fairly cheap ($229 at Best Buy).
I cap the vids with a Hauppauge
WinTV PVR. It was an impulse buy while in a store. NEVER IMPULSE BUY. I got the USB version and later found out they have a PCI version.
But it doesn't matter because it's absolute CRAP. Not the hardware, the software that it comes with. It takes forever to initialize, change channels, and the mpeg-2 files it produces seem wrong. They playback fine in its own player, but in WMP and other players depending on the codec a person has loaded, it often displays in an incorrect aspect ratio (like 480x640 instead of 640x480) and sometimes distorted. mpeg-1 caps seem fine, which is what I am using to burn VCDs but still, I wanted better mpeg-2 capability for some purposes.
I edit the caps with
PowerDirector. So far I am pretty happy with it. It allows editing of mpeg-1 and mpeg-2 streams without having to re-encode the entire stream. It can just remove or insert segments and just encode the changed places. That's pretty impressive when you consider an mpeg stream is not a non-compressed frame-based file. Ever try to edit a compressed file in place without re-compressing the entire thing?!
However, and I blame the Hauppauge crap software, when PowerDirector edits an mpeg-2 stream produced by the hauppauge, it often crashes. I am able to, if careful, load a hauppauge (stupid name btw) made mpeg-2, go into the cropping feature, "stretch" it to normal size, then convert it to mpeg-1, then edit THAT stream OK. But too much mucking with it causes a crash.
(To be fair, it might be the hardware that is crap and not the software since the device does mpeg encoding in hardware...)
But, to get back to original point, the wintv device has composite and audio line-in jacks so I can hook my VCR up to it and do caps fairly easy. That's pretty nice and it actually works fairly well considering it is a USB device. It's just the software it's bundled with is crap.
Oh, one more thing. When buying the box, the kid on the floor tried to push the $50 4-year warranty on me. I'm like, "What, you kidding, a year from now I'll be throwing this bitch out and getting one that can deal with DVD-Audio as well, so why would I need a longer warranty." :-)
Why can't Microsoft just update their distribution CDs?
How to install Microsoft NT securely. First, they say it HAS to be done off the network and from a CD which involves a major hassle...
Then, get this...
- Install SP 6a
- Update IE
- Install Option Pack to upgrade IIS
- Reinstall SP 6a
- Install NT Security Roll-up
- Install patch Q305929
- Install IIS rollup patch
- Install and run Hfnetchk tool
- Install and run IIS lockdown wizard
Why the hell can't they just re-release their products with all security patches and updates rolled into the distribution so it's done during the FIRST install?
Comeback for the "all web servers have vulnerabilities" line
"That's not very smart. It's like saying that it doesn't matter whether you buy a Toyota Camry or a Russian Lada, because you will eventually have to service it. Excuse me, but I'd rather own the Camry, thank you very much, because the probability of trouble is lower for the Camry. Of course I need to get both cars inspected regularly. The name of the game is risk management, and every manager has the responsibility to minimize risks.
Using software of doubtful quality is irresponsible.
demolish MS Anti-Apache FUD.