Crashed Linux



Crashed Linux, originally uploaded by milliped.

From the site:

Everyone is familiar with blue-screening kiosks and travel information displays, but this one was pretty new to me. The route display on this Air Algerie Airbus a330 was visibly experiencing some disk issues. (They rebooted the aircraft in midair, everything was fine after).

New phishing scan

I know so many people who would jump at this…. This is disturbing.

   Dear <removed> Bank Customer,
  

   CONGRATULATIONS!

  

   You have been chosen by the <removed> Bank online department
   to take part in our quick and easy 5 question survey.
   In return we will credit $20 to your account – Just for your time!
   Helping us better understand how our customers feel benefits everyone.  


   With the information collected we can decide to direct a number of changes to improve and expand
   our online service.


   We kindly ask you to spare two minutes of your time
   in taking part with this unique offer!
 

   SERVICE: 
<removed> Online® $20 Reward Survey
   EXPIRATION: March –  20 – 2006


   Confirm Now your $20 Reward Survey with 
<removed> Online® Reward services.

      

   The information you provide us is all non-sensitive and anonymous
   No part of it is handed down to any third party groups.
   It will be stored in our secure database for maximum of 3 days while we process the results
   of this nationwide survey.

Email Cheats

I was hoping this article might help me. However, I already use some of these. Maybe I just need to refine and use them a bit more?

Inbox Zero: Five sneaky email cheats | 43 Folders

  • The template
  • The link
  • The question
  • The “I don’t know”
  • The delete key
    (Ones I use in bold)

The template has been part of my arsenal for years now. The Outlook signature tool makes this useful without springing for plug-ins or dealing with MS forms. Since I do web design, I have made tons of FAQ web pages. Instead of re-typing that information, I pop into the message my tempate response which links to the appropriate FAQ entry. Responding to simple inquiries takes one minute not ten.

Deleting things is hard. However, I do delete pretty frequently.

I don’t like to say “I don’t know” too much. It would be a lot easier
to just say, “I don’t know”. I could do the “Do you still need this?”
more.

Another cheat I use is filtering. Perhaps too much so. I encourage customers who call or email me to use the appropriate online form. Results of those forms go to one of the folders under “to-do”. Bolded folder names with a number beside them warn me how many notices of certain types are waiting on me. Much easier than going through my Inbox for which are important and which can be ignored.

Not So Secret

Keeping secrets is difficult. People blab. People are slackers. People are clueless. However, due to the media we expect the CIA (and FBI and federal government in general) to be on the ball. Their job is to protect us. So we want to believe they are best of the best of the best; that everyone there has a 150+ IQ, has a ENTJ personality, is moral, is just, and is closest gadget freak.

Reality is people who work for the CIA are not like James Bond. They are more like accountants. Mistakes are common. Failure of imagination lies with the administration whose task is generally to keep things running smoothly. Only when things embarrass the administration do they seek to be more imaginative.

Report: Web Searches Can ID CIA Employees – Yahoo! News

The identities of 2,600
CIA employees and the locations of two dozen of the agency’s covert workplaces in the United States can be found easily through Internet searches, according to an investigation by the Chicago Tribune.

The newspaper obtained the information from data providers who charge fees for access to public records and reported on its findings in Sunday editions. It did not publish the identities or other details on its searches, citing concern it could endanger the CIA employees.

Changing the Speed of Light

Kurzweil is an interesting thinker. His stuff gives me the willies. Don’t ask me why. He seems perhaps a little too far out there.
NPR : Thinkers Lay Out the Beliefs They Can’t Prove

At this point, we run up against a seemingly intractable limit: the speed of light. Although a billion feet per second may seem fast, the universe extends over such vast distances that this appears to represent a fundamental limit on how quickly an advanced civilization (such as we hope to become) can spread its influence.

There are suggestions, however, that this limit is not as immutable as it may appear. Physicists Steve Lamoreaux and Justin Torgerson of the Los Alamos National Laboratory have analyzed data from an old natural nuclear reactor that 2 billion years ago produced a fission reaction lasting several hundred thousand years in what is now West Africa. Analyzing radioactive isotopes left over from the reactor and comparing them with isotopes from similar nuclear reactions today, they determined that the physics constant a (alpha, also called the fine structure constant), which determines the strength of the electromagnetic force, apparently has changed since 2 billion years ago. The speed of light is inversely proportional to a, and both have been considered unchangeable constants. Alpha appears to have decreased by 4.5 parts out of 108. If confirmed, this would imply that the speed of light has increased. There are other studies with similar suggestions, and there is a tabletop experiment now under way at Cambridge University to test our ability to engineer a small change in the speed of light.

Percentages

This is an interesting opinion piece. I kind of think of the Bank of America commercial where the CTO or CIO says their goal is not to get right almost every time but to get it right once and replicate it every time.

Wired News: Why Data Mining Won’t Stop Terror

Let’s look at some numbers. We’ll be optimistic — we’ll assume the system has a one in 100 false-positive rate (99 percent accurate), and a one in 1,000 false-negative rate (99.9 percent accurate). Assume 1 trillion possible indicators to sift through: that’s about 10 events — e-mails, phone calls, purchases, web destinations, whatever — per person in the United States per day. Also assume that 10 of them are actually terrorists plotting.

This unrealistically accurate system will generate 1 billion false alarms for every real terrorist plot it uncovers. Every day of every year, the police will have to investigate 27 million potential plots in order to find the one real terrorist plot per month. Raise that false-positive accuracy to an absurd 99.9999 percent and you’re still chasing 2,750 false alarms per day — but that will inevitably raise your false negatives, and you’re going to miss some of those 10 real plots.

This is exactly the sort of thing we saw with the NSA’s eavesdropping program: the New York Times reported that the computers spat out thousands of tips per month. Every one of them turned out to be a false alarm.

Finding terrorism plots is not a problem that lends itself to data mining. It’s a needle-in-a-haystack problem, and throwing more hay on the pile doesn’t make that problem any easier. We’d be far better off putting people in charge of investigating potential plots and letting them direct the computers, instead of putting the computers in charge and letting them decide who should be investigated.

Go MD!

About time… Now FL, its your turn!

Maryland House votes to oust Diebold machines – Computerworld

The state of Maryland stands poised to put its entire $90 million investment in Diebold Election Systems Inc. touch-screen e-voting systems on ice because they can’t produce paper receipts.

The state House of Delegates this week voted 137-0 to approve a bill prohibiting election officials from using AccuVote-TSx touch-screen systems in 2006 primary and general elections.

The legislation calls for the state to lease paper-based optical-scan systems for this year’s votes. State Delegate Anne Healey estimated the leasing cost at $12.5 million to $16 million for the two elections.