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Tue, 22 Aug 2006

Same Old Song

PLEASE, please, please tell me that none of you are using Internet Explorer!  If you are, don't fool yourself:  Researcher: Microsoft patch opens users to attack.  The latest patch for IE actually causes it to be a wide open vector for any knowledgeable cracker to take control of your computer.  All, that is needed is to convince you to visit a maliciously crafted website using IE and your machine is theirs.  There is absolutely no excuse for continuing to use IE.  But my bank only works with IE!  Then call them on it, I did with Capital One.  I complained every time I had to access their site and I included articles like the one above.  Now Capital One and Firefox are best of friends!  I'm sure that it wasn't just my complaining but I know that my complaining and pointing out IE's security flaws did help.

This entry authored by Tyran at 15:42

Mon, 12 Jun 2006

Another 4/10 Gripe

Just a quick addition to my gripes about people wishing they had the 4/10 work schedule that I have.  It's clear that they have no idea that I actually lose at least 8 hours of vacation each year because of it.  The reason I lose a minimum of 8 hours each year is that there are 8 holidays which always fall on days I work and I am only given 8 hours for each holiday.  That leaves me two hours short for each holiday and I can either make it up during the week by staying longer each day or I can cover it with vaction time.  I already spend enough time at work as it is; therefore, I spend a minimum of 8 hours of vacation each year to cover holidays.  As I've said before, 40 hour work weeks stinky no matter how they're sliced.  One might ask why, if I'm so dissatisfied with 4/10s, don't I ask to be put on 5/8s again?  To be blunt, CSI needs 10 hours of IT coverage every weekday and there are only two of us in the department.  The math simply requires us to be on a 4/10 schedule and so I deal with it.

What would really make 4/10s bearable in my eyes?  Allowing me to do away with my lunch period so I really am here for only 10 hours.  That would improve my travel time dramatically and return to me almost all the benefits of a 5/8 schedule.  Unfortunately, as CSI is required by law to provide me with a lunch breakk, they also require me to take a lunch break and, no, they won't let me take it the last hour of the work day!

This entry authored by Tyran at 12:47

Fri, 26 May 2006

Reviews and Follow-Ups

In review, yesterday was Towel Day 2006 and a grand towel day it was.  If you click the banner in yesterday's entry, you can see some of the pictures of Towel Day from around the world.

As a follow-up, net neutrality scored a victory yesterday as the US House Judicary Committee voted to send H.R. 5417 to the full House for a vote.

This entry authored by Tyran at 10:26

Thu, 25 May 2006

Towel Day

It is time, once again, for that great and hallowed day:  Towel Day!  Hopefully you and yours have remembered your towels!

towel day

This entry authored by Tyran at 11:30

Wed, 24 May 2006

Net Neutrality

Hopefully you have heard of this, if not here is what net neutrality means in a nutshell:  Network neutrality generally means treating access to the Internet as a common carrier; in other words, access to the Internet should be treated exactly like access to phone lines.  Telephone companies cannot dictate who you can or cannot call and network operators, ISPs, should not be able to dictate what content you can or cannot access.

In the early days of online connectivity, we had separate networks—CompuServ and Prodigy spring to mind—which were private networks.  The only content available was what the network providers offered.  Soon thereafter came full Internet access through local ISPs.  The ISPs provided no content for the most part, they were simply access providers.  Newsgroup feeds, an email account, 20 MB of web space and unfettered access over a 9600 baud modem were the staples of any account and netiquette ruled the day.  Numerous telecos are now trying to turn back the clock to when private networks ruled the day.  They claim that unless they are allowed to reserve part of their bandwidth for premium quality—at a premium price to someone—content that there is no way that broadband can continue to thrive.

Imagine that when you pay Comcast or AT&T or whomever you ISP is that you are actually paying for a pipe to be attached to your home.  Through that pipe is your connection to the Internet.  Under current rules, you have the right to use as much as or little of that pipe as you like.  Under the rules proposed by the telecos, they want to still have you pay for the full pipe but give you full access to only half of it.  The other half you could still access at no extra charge but you could only use it to access their premium content.  If a company wants to be part of the available premium content, then they must pay your ISP for access to the premium half of your pipe.  There are thousands of ISPs out there with thousands of customers each.  Imagine each ISP charging $1.00 per month for each of their customers to access the premium half of the pipe.  Just for simplicity, we'll imagine there are 2,000 ISPs with 2,000 customers each.  As a content provider, I want to make sure that the Whinery is available to each of you over the premium half of your pipe.  So, my monthly access fee to make sure that you can get easy access to my site is $1 X the number of ISPs (2000) X the number of customers at each of those ISPs (2000) or $4,000,000 per month.  You'll please forgive me if I never pay such extortion . . . I mean, access fees.  Imagine what would happen if the phone companies tried to do this with phone access.  You pay for 24 hour a day access and you are allowed to call whomever you please from midnight until noon but from noon until midnight you are only able to call people who have paided your phone company, not theirs, a premium access fee.  What an obsurd concept and yet that is what is being proposed.

Below are a number of links dealing with this issue:
Userfriendly demonstrates life with and without net neutrality.
Save the Internet a coalition of groups attemting to preserve net neutrality.
Snopes confirms that this is not just another hoax.
Vint Cerf, from Google, writes a letter to Congress about this issue.
Not everyone agrees with preserving net neutrality via law.

This entry authored by Tyran at 12:00

Tue, 23 May 2006

IE Security Warning

Because of my blind rage over my earlier entry, I couldn't even bring myself to touch my blogs regardless of what I had to write, as such I forgot about this latest Internet Explorer security flaw.  Basically, this is what the flaw does:  You have two pages open in seperate windows.  Page B uses this particular flaw.  If it is crafted properly, Page B will be able to read everything on Page A.  You can read more details at Secunia.  This flaw is rated a 2 out of 5 because crafting the Page B in my scenario is not simple but it is very doable.  You can also test your browser to see if you are vulnerable.  If you are still using the Great and Broken Browser, please take the time to test your browser for yourself.

This entry authored by Tyran at 08:19


I've had to wait a while to write about this subject because when I first learned the details I could feel only rage over the situation.  Still, this brings such strong anger to me that I will be uncharacteristically brief in writing about it.

A 3rd District Court judge Monday dropped the charges against a father who was forced to give his infant daughter back to her mother and boyfriend, who were suspected of being drug users.

The child died eight days later after ingesting a bag of methamphetamine left lying around the house.

Cole Morrow forcibly took his 5-month-old daughter, Estella Lacey, from her birth mother's home in Salt Lake City on Dec. 18. He feared the infant was in danger because of the conditions in the house where she was living. He took his daughter back to his home in Nevada.

Deseret Morning News, 28 March 2006

Just the facts:  An estranged husband believed that his infant daughter was in mortal danger staying with her mother.  As a result of this belief, he took whatever steps were required to immediately remove his daughter from this perceived danger.  Utah DCFS, Utah State Courts and Nevada State Courts worked together to force the man to return his daughter to his wife's custody.  The father's belief became reality eight days later when the child died from ingesting a bag of methamphetamine.  Why is there no investigation of DCFS for FAILING to check out this father's situation and thereby INDIRECTLY CAUSING this child's death?  The same goes for both judges!  Every single person involved in returning that child to her mother is GUILTY of that child's death.  Had they left that child in her father's care and instead investigated his claims, that innocent little girl would be enjoying the spring weather instead of resting six feet below it!  This is not a terrible tragedy, it is an outrageous miscarriage of justice.

This entry authored by Tyran at 06:00

Mon, 01 May 2006


Today is supposed to be a day without immigrants in the United States.  I have also recently read and heard that unless I am of American Indian decent that I am an immigrant.  That begs the question, exactly what does the word immigrant mean?  Webster says this:

one that immigrates : as a : a person who comes to a country to take up permanent residence b : a plant or animal that becomes established in an area where it was previously unknown

As I'm not a plant nor an animal, I'll presume that definition A is the one that would apply to me.  I also learned in days of yore that using either the word or a form of the word being defined in the definition is worthless, so I will now see what Webster has to say about the verb immigrate:

to enter and usually become established; especially : to come into a country of which one is not a native for permanent residence

And just for clarity, I'll look up the definition of native as applied above:

2 : belonging to a particular place by birth 4 : belonging to or associated with one by birth

Now, according the Webster an immigrant is one who was not born in a specific country, the United States in this case, that then enters that country, again the United States in this case, and becomes a permanent resident of said country AND according to the propaganda, excuse me, information I have seen and heard recently, anyone who is not of American Indian descent is an immigrant.  Excuse me?  I was born on American soil, the son of American parents who trace their ancestry back almost 400 years on this land.  If I am supposedly an immigrant, exactly from which country did I immigrate?! If you're going to go back 400 years for my country of origin, why stop there?  The Normans, of whom I am a descendant, came from France in 1066 but why stop there as I'm sure that there's likely at least some Roman influence in the area that likely could have helped muddy exactly where my TRUE country of origin might lie!  Whether I or anyone else likes it or not, I can in no way be considered an immigrant.  I don't even qualify as a son of immigrants, grandson or even great-grandson of immigrants.  The closest is great-great grandson and that on only one line of my ancestry but even that line gives me 134 years of history in the United States.

The next argument is that while my great-great grandfather might have been a legal immigrant, those ancestors from 400 years ago certainly weren't legal immigrants.  Let's think about that for all of one second . . . there was no nation here at the time!  This argument is so lack luster that I won't even waste any more time on it.

My stance on the immigration situation is quite simple.  Anyone who enters this country legally is a guest in my home whom I welcome with a smiling face and open arms.  Anyone who enters this country illegally is an intruder, an invader and a thief.  Yes, I said thief.  Illegal immigration steals from citizens and legal immigrants and those seeking legal immigration in the form of wasted taxpayer funds, in the form of suspicion of every person who speaks with a foreign accent and in the form of cheapening the efforts of those who legally enter this country and become permanent legal resident aliens and citizens.  It angers me that American citizens are not only asking me and other to blatantly ignore the laws of this nation but are so ignorant as to think that because I want to see those very laws enforced that I am racist or narrow minded.  No, I am simply a law abiding citizen and I demand that others within this country abide by those same laws.  If those laws need reforming—which is highly likely—then let us reform them, legally.  For so long this fight against illegal immigration—not against immigration, only illegal immigration—has solely focused on the illegal immigrants and rarely if ever upon those who capitalize on the criminal status of these illegal immigrants—yes, illegal immigration is illegal making those who do it criminals.  I must say that I was thrilled to learn that the employers were also arrested in the latest sweep.

Another tactic being used is that if we deport the illegal immigrants, then we are breaking up families.  Not true as there is absolutely nothing preventing them from living together as a family so long as it is not within the United States.  What about the children born here to illegal immigrants?  Those children are, by law and right, citizens of the United States.  However, that fact does not grant their parents special privileges.  Were I in that position, I would have to weigh which was more valuable to my child, living with his family outside the United States or living in the United States with relatives, a foster family or even an adoptive family?  Regardless, I would safe-guard the proof that that child was indeed born in the United States.

One final note on why I am so vehement about this issue:  Illegal immigrants know, beforehand, that there is a legal and an illegal way into this country and chose the illegal route.  If a person is willing to break the laws of this nation before they even enter it, why should I trust them to abide by any other of its laws once they are here?

This entry authored by Tyran at 06:30

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