Author Archive for admin


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]



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]


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.





Abolish the TSA

I was reading an interesting blog post over at Forbes today.  My response?  “AMEN!”


Express Cab (Milford, OH) = FAIL!

If you should find yourself in need of a taxicab in Cincinnati you can remove Express Cab of Milford, OH (513-575-0721) from your list.  Totally unprofessional and obviously not wanting any business.

Finding myself in need of a cab today to retrieve my vehicle from the repair shop I began calling several companies just to get someone to answer.  I reached a gentleman at the listed number who seemed pleasant enough but he indicated it would be at least 45 minute wait (acceptable actually) and he would call me back.  A few minutes later the phone rang from a different number and it was a woman who asked if I was calling about a cab.  I said yes and asked which company she was from (wanted to make sure it wasn’t another one calling back from caller ID) and she said Express Cab but went on to say that “if I had called other companies she wasn’t going to bother with me” and hung up just like that.

Now I don’t know what their experience has been but I can only assume they are concerned with people booking multiple companies to play them against each other.  However, I was not doing this but rather just making sure I knew who I was talking to.  (Side note:  Why do almost none of these companies answers with the name of the company? Mighty shady if you ask me.)

Moral of the story, I wouldn’t touch Express Cab with a ten-foot pole and someone else’s money at this point.  If you are needing a cab specifically in the eastern region call Dano’s (513-797-4411, although they can be hard to get on the phone–they do cell phone dispatch via the shift leader) or anywhere in Cincinnati/NKY call Towne Taxi (513-761-7700, the heroes today.)  Towne is a big operation with real radio dispatchers and everything and both the dispatcher and driver were helpful and friendly.


Merry Christmas!

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.


Something closer to the truth leaks out…

Well, well, well…  It seems that Mr. Julian Assange’s (of WikiLeaks fame) hands may not be so bloody after all.  Despite a predictable and immediate rush to vilify the organization and its editor after leaking US military documents, the US Department of Defense is backpedaling a bit according to a letter leaked to CNN.

Now whether you agree with WikiLeaks’ actions or not, keep in mind that the press (loosely defined) performs an important duty shining light on things the establishment would rather not have seen.  In an age of corporate monopolization of the “news” sometimes it takes outsiders including bloggers and others to perform that service.

I’ll leave you with a thought:

“Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

Gates: Leaked documents don’t reveal key intel, but risks remain [CNN]


Biometrics: Dubious security

A very interesting article clearly laying out a viewpoint I have long held.  As we continue to rush blindly into security measures based on things we don’t really understand, often trashing personal rights and privacy in the process, we are actually setting ourselves up for failure.

Biometrics: The Difference Engine… []


Fix bootup resolution with ATI/nVidia cards in Ubuntu 10.04

If you use the proprietary 3D video drivers with Ubuntu 10.04 you may notice that the bootup resolution (GRUB and Plymouth) is extremely low even though things are right when you get to the desktop.  I ran across an excellent post with some ideas for fixes.  The main solution worked flawlessly for me.

High resolution Plymouth & Virtual Terminal for ATI/NVIDIA… [Tux’s Idyllic Life]


Take your child to work? Not so much…

That whole take your child to work thing?  Maybe not…more like get humiliated in front of them when you’re fired for bringing them in.  Wow.

Mom Brings Daughter to Work and Gets Fired []

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Random opinions of a slightly jaded geek in Cincinnati, OH, US.

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