Thursday, September 30, 2010

The lesser evil can hit the road.

I will no longer vote for the lesser of two evils.

I'm done.

The only vote anyone is going to get from me from here on out is an affirmative one... either I like you, or you're not getting my vote. I'm not falling for the lie of "throwing my vote away".

We're now entering the Greater Depression... it's only a matter of time before The Union is seriously threatened... and there is no substantial difference between either of the incumbent political parties. I refuse to give them my support, ever again.

I hope that we can emerge from this with representative government... it might be nice if it's still called the United States, but I don't really care what it's called, as long as Freedom and Justice for all result.

The currency has been debased, and collapse of Federalism is imminent. Unfortunately, the States are not much better off, for the most part, though North Dakota does seem to have it's banking act together.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hunting for a photo

Ansel Adams would often revisit places, and a curator of one of his exhibitions stated that he "hunted" a photo across time. I feel myself doing the same thing.

A few days ago, on a whim I followed one of my friends off the train at the Van Buren exit in Chicago. I then took this photograph.


I've been revisiting the location as I can, looking for something, I'm not sure what....   Today I met Rachel on my quest, and she was kind enough to pose for this photograph, which still needs a bit of tweaking.

A Photographer in the Garden

I'm still not sure what it is I'm trying to find, but the quest continues.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fixing RSS with UDP

I like parts of Russ Nelson's idea about fixing RSS. I think it would be far better to use UDP packets instead, that would save everyone a lot of time and effort. The key would be to send a subscription packet, which would then get a current item index... if this was newer than the last observed item, there could be a request for more items. (Or... the request could be built into the subscription packet if things are efficiently stored)

New items after that would just be UDP broadcasts of packets to the subscribed hosts. UnACKnowledged packets could be retried a few times, then written off the list of subscriptions.

This would work through NAT if the timeouts don't get in the way, just like they would with a TCP connection.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Blame game... a bit of a rant

So I get an email making a joke and blaming our current administration for the mess we find ourselves in...

I shot this back in reply


Wasn't it the Bush Jr. administration who spent us into oblivion in two wars for what should have been an Interpol action, while simultaneously redistributing welfare to the richest 1% in our nation?

Wasn't it the Clinton administration who tore down the protections of the Glass-Stegal act which enshrined the hard won lessons of the Great Depression?

Wasn't it the Bush Sr. administration who needed to raise taxes after all, but didn't have the balls to do it directly, and so hid new taxes as fees everywhere?

Wasn't it the Regan administration and a compliant Congress that de-regulated everything, and incentivized offshoring all of our manufacturing capabilities?

Wasn't it the Carter administration who arbitrarily decided the nuclear fuel cycle should be snipped in the middle, and what would have been a valuable commodity ready for reuse should become one of our nations many headaches?

Wasn't it the Ford administration who covered up the crimes of the Nixon administration?

Wasn't it the Nixon administration who arbitrarily pulled us off the Gold standard instead of straightening out our finances?

Wasn't it the Johnson administration who debased our coins?

Wasn't it the Kennedy administration who got us involved in Vietnam?

Wasn't it the Eisenhower administration who let the Military Industrial Complex get out of hand?

Wasn't it the Truman administration who started the CIA on it's merry mis-adventures?

Wasn't it the Roosevelt administration who helped our country out of the Great Depression and did the grunt work of winning WWII? Oh... good place to stop.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

InterTubes as filtering mechanism

I'm still trying to figure out all of the details of my InterTubes idea. I was replying to one Doc Searls blog posts, and had this to say... and I think it applies to InterTubes

...imagine a world in which twitter isn’t a silo, and it’s possible to rate other users on any scales you wish. You could rate someone on how “corporate shill” or “honest” or “intelligent” or “funny” or how they lean ideologically… and share those ratings.
You’d be able to do it on a single piece of data, or a string of them, or on the person sending them.
This would be a tremendously useful filtering mechanism.
It could apply to almost anything, not just tweet streams.
This is, in fact one of the core features of a Tube, the ability to share metadata about objects in the tube. I think this is a new use case.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Mike's code of IT conduct

I was recently answering a question at a discussion site I frequent... and the question of person code of conduct arose... I put some time and thought into my answer, so I thought I'd repost it here.

My code for being an IT guy is pretty simple.

0. Computers are a tool to help people get real work done. That work pays the bills.

1. My job is to absorb uncertainty.

2. Backups are important, and should be tested often. 

3. When things go wrong, it's NOT YOUR FAULT. Example... drag an icon from one folder to another on the desktop... what happens? 3 different things depending on conditions you can't possibly know about. Don't worry... you won't break it.

4. The users lie, but they don't mean to... never assume they know the nuances, nor should you assume they know how to answer your precisely worded question correctly. It's a skill to be able to work through them and get things fixed over the phone... fortunately with UltraVNC-SC, that's not as necessary any more.

5. Computers do everything with high speed and great precision, even if it's stupid and wrong.

6. Always help people out with "personal" stuff... it's a fringe benefit of working for the company to get that kind of IT help.

7. Did you reboot yet? ;-)

8. Can you see CNN? Do you see the story about X? (Always test for internet connectivity before troubleshooting access problems)

9. We can do anything, if you can get a job # to bill it to.

10. I'm on call 24x7, call my cell if there is an emergency.

11. If you have any doubt, don't open the attachment, if you did... pull out the power cable, THEN call me. I'll NEVER yell at you about it... it's not your fault. (See #3 above)

12. I am NOT a network Nazi... I do not monitor your email, browsing, or other habits. You are an adult, and I'll treat you as one.

13. Save important stuff on the G: drive, it's backed up every night.

14. I'm getting paid... I'll gladly help out in any way I can, even if computers aren't involved.

So, I hope that all makes sense, and is sensible.