26
Nov

happy thanksgiving!

For US readers, tomorrow is the Thanksgiving holiday.  I will be making pumpkin pies as soon as I get off work…  Wishing everyone a pleasant and safe holiday!

- GG

15
Aug

police or soldier?

I have been disturbed by the continuing militarization of our police forces for some time now.  It’s now gaining some national attention asking if things have gone too far.  One only needs look at what happened in MA, and what is currently happening in MO to see the slippery slope in action.  And the Ferguson, MO police have made things far worse by targeting journalists and displaying their mocking and hostile attitudes towards those that can relay it straight to the public.

Now I’m not commenting on the Michael Brown situation directly, I don’t have enough evidence yet to make a determination.  But it would be hard to imagine handling a situation worse than what the police have done in the aftermath.  I mean the governor had to strip the local police of their authority for dealing with the protests and send the state police for Pete’s sake.

Personally I think things will only get worse until the police return to working with the community where the officer is a neighbor and not a soldier with military gear.  What say you?

Has the militarization of the police gone too far?

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Journalists arrested at McDonalds

State police take control in Ferguson

Police gas reporters and take down their equipment

14
Jun

android permissions blues…

In a particularly bone-headed move, Google has removed granular permissions info from Android on application installs and updates.  Even worse they have now grouped permissions into generic profiles that I disagree with on scope.  Android was already frustrating in that you could not grant/deny individual permissions but had 3 options when an app claimed more; accept them, don’t update/install the app, or delete the app.  I have exercised all of those options in the recent past.

We tend to laugh these days at people still clinging to their Blackberry handsets but one thing BB did really well was permissions.  It had very granular settings and the user was in control granting or denying them one by one if they so chose.  I loved my Curve but was eventually lured away by modern touch-screen phones.

I don’t want to be locked into just one provider and I already have an iPhone for my business calls.  (That’s how much I value privacy, I carry 2 separate physical phones.)  So Google is now causing me to go further than ever before in modding my phone.  I’m thinking CyanogenMod.

I’m pissed.

24
Jan

when seconds count, the police are only minutes away…

If you are looking for an NRA certified class to get your OH CCW license (or for IN people looking for a FL license) then Conceal Cincinnati is highly recommended.  They can also do other classes such as tactics or even personal coaching.  Whether you actually plan to carry a firearm all the time or not, getting your license is a very visible way of standing up for your 2nd Amendment rights.

26
Mar

Zimbra (ZCS) zmconfigd crashes…

This won’t mean much to most of you.  However, I have to give a shout out to Abidoon Nadeem for having the answer to an issue bedeviling me for 2 days.  I migrated my old mail server to new hardware and was fighting a problem with “zmconfigd” crashing.  Zimbra is a wonderful communication suite (email, calendar, etc.) even if it has the occasional weirdness.  Abidoon had the simple answer, just one package to install.  Thanks man!

zmconfigd crashes [abidoon.com]

18
Jan

Stop the blacklist…

Stop SOPA/PIPA, contact your Congressional representatives.  For more info see, the EFF site.

29
Oct

Big Brother has another eye in the sky

You know how all the sci-fi shows about a dystopian future show the citizens being surveilled by small flying units?  Guess what, it’s now coming true in Texas.  The same battle field technology used (illegally) in conflicts abroad is now being purchased by domestic police departments using federal dollars.  My favorite line from the article is

“We’re not going to use it to be invading somebody’s privacy. It’ll be used for situations we have with criminals,” Gage said.

Wow, if you believe that then I have a bridge in New York I’d like to sell you.  Just look at how they have been using counter-terrorism laws that were rushed onto the books as charges against completely unrelated offenses just a couple of years after 9/11.  What say you?

New Police Drone Near Houston Could Carry Weapons

Update 12/12/11:  Perfect example  [LA Times]

15
Oct

Another legend passes…

Just a few days after the passing of Steve Jobs, we lost another critical figure in the IT world named Dennis Ritchie.  Although less well known (outside of the IT crowd) he was one of the giants that other great people stood upon the shoulders of.   For those who do not know, he was a co-founder of the Unix operating system as well as the creator of the C programming language.

While non-programmers may not know much about the C language, chances are good that every electronic device you have runs software created in C.  Non-IT people may also be less familiar with Unix but the majority of internet servers run a Unix or Unix-like operating system and it also is the basis for Mac OS X and iOS.

Even though the reaction will be less emphatic as those commenting on Steve Jobs, Apple would literally not be where they are today if not for Dennis Ritchie.  So I pay the same respect to Dennis, RIP sir.

Dennis Had A Bigger Effect Than Jobs: Pike [EFY Times]

 

10
Oct

DHS testing “pre-crime” detection technology

The good folks at EPIC have used FOIA requests to get some sparse details on a Department of Homeland Security project to detect “mal-intent” via “non-invasive” biometric scanning.  This is very reminiscent of Minority Report minus the pre-cogs.  The DHS can’t even agree on whether PII (Personally Identifiable Information) will be stored in the system as they say it won’t but their own privacy assessment indicates it will.  I think based on what has leaked out about the backscatter x-ray machines we all know how trustworthy their assurance that it won’t is.

I thought the mention of ethnicity as a component in the algorithm was quite interesting as well, is it still racial profiling if it’s a machine instead of a live agent making that decision?  I think so, an obvious facet to challenge it on.  It’s no wonder they are so tight-lipped about it.

“That which grows in the shadows and withers in the light of day, does not belong on the vine.” – Unknown

Homeland Security moves forward with ‘pre-crime’ detection [CNET]

06
Oct

RIP Steve…

Steve JobsAlthough I haven’t been an Apple user for a long time, I fondly remember working on my first Apple II and Macintosh machines.  He was truly a visionary who has had a very large impact on the commercial world and helped to shape the careers of professionals like myself.  Rest in peace and “one more thing”  – thank you.