Friday, April 21, 2006

Spring


It's spring, a time of new beginnings and the return of life after the dormancy of winter.

Maybe I should focus more on this, rather than the ill feelings of politics.

--Mike--

Saving Democracy

Doc talks about wanting to save the net, but I worried about the bigger picture. As I pointed out recently, I feel that Democracy is at stake. We've got a press thats been neutered, and a culture that only worries about quarterly results.

The stakes are bigger than the amount we're going to have to pay to download the White Album for the 10th time (along with the bonus DVD)... it's the very nature of our society that is truely at stake.

Doc thought part of it to be hyperbole when he mentioned Hal Crowther's article about the neutered press. I think we need to all collectively gather up our courage, and commit ourselves to doing a few simple things, with as much persistance as we possibly can:
  • Don't repeat the party line, don't feed the corporate propaganda machine with its insistence on topics de jure. Doc linked to a propaganda piece in The New Republic, and he was nice enough to link to my comment flagging it as such (as I'm composing this!)
  • Don't just react, be proactive... think about the message you're sending... if all else fails, let the post sit overnight before posting it. (Breaking my own rules here.... hmmmm)
  • Try to think in the biggest possible picture, but do what you can to make a difference that you can see (and measure). We need the ego gratification of getting something accomplished to help sustain our efforts.
  • Speak up in person, as well as online. If someone says something you disagree with, please use your hard won right to express your view point, and who knows, you both might learn something.
  • It's all about dialog... not just rants (which this may prove to be.... time will tell)
Maybe I'm just doing the very things I caution against, but I feel the country is nearing a tipping point, and we need to assert ourselves, or lose any real chance we have at taking it back.

Thanks for your time and attention.

--Mike--

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Desktop de jour


Since Dave posted his, I figured I might was well pile on.... here's a smaller version of my desktop.

I'm standing next to the giant cow in front of the Cedar Crest dairy in Manitowac, Wisconsin. It was part of a wonderful road trip with Noran.

I've got one of those "widescreen" laptops, so I've moved the task bar over to the left edge to save space. For the most part it works, but someone at Microsoft needs to use it like this for a few days to see where the quirks are, and get them fixed.

Failure of Imagination

It occured to me today that there is a massive failure of imagination taking place in the area of computer security these days. I see a world where you can run any program you please, without fear, on any ordinary computer.

I don't know of anyone else who shares this vision. I see myself as alone in a world of people who are trapped within the view that you just can't ever have a computer that is safe. I'm surrounded by people who are quite justifyably paranoid, based on the facts of their experience.

It doesn't have to be this way. I've got lots of things going on in my life, and it's about to get even busier... but I hope that one of the things I can do is to get rid of this pessimism and fear by helping to bring real security to computing.

Fear is a useful warning mechanisim in the sort term, but it makes you insane in the long run.

--Mike--

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Democracy - Broken

Here's the quote of the day from a posting at Daily Kos:
Democracy as a government relies upon the ability of factions to compromise on divisive issues through rational debate instead of violence. The current political power brokers have figured out how to short circuit this process by focusing national attention on issues which are based on differences of non-negotiable, irrational moral sentiment, and are thus not subject to resolution through rational reconciliation. They've broken democracy.


Totally independent of any spin from either side, I'd say this is the most accurate assessment of the state of our Union to date. It is imperative that we replace the mass media with real discussion and debate... Now!

--Mike--

Thursday, April 06, 2006

New toy!

We got a spiffy new Ricoh copier today at work. It does 11x17 double sided color, and does it quickly. I managed to convert my April 2006 issue of CIO magazine into a 18 Megabyte PDF in about 2 minutes using the scanner (after removing the binding).

It's amazing how productive this new tool is going to make us.

8)

Still not secure

I said it before, I'll say it again... NO current PC operating system is secure, nor will any of them become secure.
Mac OSX, Windows and Linux will all succumb to virii, trojans and worms.

Looks like it just got a little worse for Windows, but don't worry ALL 3 will eventually get killed.

Any OS that trusts applications is doomed.

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