Monday, January 31, 2005

Random Thoughts About The Nation's Airports

After a month of extensive travel, I've had a few epiphanies and subsequently forgotten them - hey that's jetlag for you! Here are a few I remember.

First, why do we wash our hands after we use the restroom and not before? On Monday I stumbled into a bathroom with a hands-free urinal, hands-free sink, hands-free soap, and hands-free paper towel. However, before going in, I had been touching everything in that filthy airport and plane. So the real germ issue is when I head to the urinal - which, as of this date, is not a hands-free operation.

Business travelers should remember that when you are on a Monday morning or Friday afternoon flight, you're on there with other business travelers; that is to say, people that may be purchasing your services. So if you're from...oh, I don't know....say, IBM Global Consulting Services and you bring 2 enormous bags for carry-on on a flight to San Francisco and then get shitty with the crew when they point out your idiocy, don't think we'll have a pleasant recollection of IBM.

Also, if you're from IBM and you're shouting into the phone before take off and divulging your client's technology secrets, you can be shot by management upon landing. Example: "Client X now runs Cisco Call Manager without IDS and without Domain Service Accounts." Fucking idiot. Use your inside voice next time.

Bring cash on your business trip. You look like an idiot expensing $1.75 for coffee at the airport. Just a thought. If you need a loan, ask me.

If you have checked luggage and you sit in seat 27, the odds of your standing up and quickly grabbing your carry-on helping you are slim. And believe it or not, even if you didn't check luggage, you'll still have to wait for all 26 rows to clear out. It means: sit down and relax and stop shouting into your cell phone like the assholes from IBM.

Finally, let's give props to the pilots and crews of U.S. Airways. Despite bankruptcy and salary reductions, they continue to be polite and professional - more so then other airlines (like ones out of Detroit). I think it's pretty impressive. I know I'd be threatening some people after going through way they have gone through. Much respect. Reprezent!

Thursday, January 20, 2005

9,756,308th Workplace Phrase That Grates Upon My Precious Nerves

"Let's think about this logically."

No shit? I'd rather think about this in a completely irrational and superstitious way completely based upon FUD and wild speculation...or what the vendor tells me.

My god, these people are idiots.

Good News for Those Linux Servers You Forgot to Mention in the Security Review

If you're like me and were just told you have 2 weeks to secure those Red Hat Linux servers, this report from the Honeynet Project should make you feel better. Another link here (to PCW).

Now to find out why people are hiding shit from me.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Federal Taxing, Donor vs. Mooch

Ok, so that was probably some strong language. I shouldn't call our friends in the South mooches. Anywho, check out this list of Federal taxing and spending based on a state-by-state basis. There were a few that surprised me.

Alaska at #2 was probably the biggest shock. Shows you what Ober knows huh?

Monday, January 17, 2005

Tsunami Images

These images really give you an idea of the scale of things in the Indian ocean.

Note: I don't vouch for this site or any "background" code.

Friday, January 14, 2005

MSFT Windows Anti-Spyware: You'd be Stupid Not

Along with your anti-virus software, personal firewall, firewall at your router, and secure internet behaviour (you do have this stuff don't you?) why not try Microsoft's Windows Anti-Spyware Beta.

I haven't been able to judge whether it's the best out there but it is free. ...and it is probably better then what you have now right?

Pick Your Favourite Part of this Hack

The humble folks at T-Mobile lost control of their systems a few months ago. Shit happens I suppose.

But think about which part of this is scarier. Was it that the perpetrator was in their network for a year before anyone noticed? Was it that he got Social Security numbers? Is it that T-Mobile (and other businesses) is wingin' your SSN around like a stud in an orgy? Is it that a SSN is required for everything now and everyone has yours? Is it that corporations don't seem to follow laws? Is it that laws aren't upheld? What laws you ask? Read below.

T-Mobile, which apparently knew of the intrusions by July of last year, has not issued any public warning. Under California's anti-identity theft law "SB1386," the company is obliged to notify any California customers of a security breach in which their personally identifiable information is "reasonably believed to have been" compromised. That notification must be made in "the most expedient time possible and without unreasonable delay," but may be postponed if a law enforcement agency determines that the disclosure would compromise an investigation.

What a Strange World

In the early 90's IBM was fighting anti-trust litigation and for most techoids, was public enemy #1. Despite doing so for its own benefit, IBM's embracing of open source software and release of patents to that software is pretty OK.

With work on the third iteration of the GPL underway to include indemnification language, this quote should tell you why IBM's actions are significant.

An audit conducted last year by Open Source Risk Management turned up 283 potential patent infringements in the Linux 2.4 and 2.6 code base. Of those 283, 60 are from IBM, 27 come from Microsoft, and an additional 20 are owned by HP. Some analysts believe that it is only a matter of time before Linux is assaulted with patent infringement lawsuits by one of its competitors.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

GM Blogs

Because two-thirds of my content is stolen from George anyway...

Check out GM's blog featuring Bob Lutz.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

The Road to Hell....

...is paved with little 17 ounce plastic bottles.

I was a big fan of Oz when it was on the air. One of the last episodes centered on good intentions gone bad. It was from that episode that I remember Augustus (the narrator) discussing bottled water and how, while drinking bottled water is good for your health, the waste from all the bottles is a real downer.

I was working at a partner-vendor's office this week here in Charlotte and was not that surprised to learn that everybody drinks bottled water in the office. So much so that the Aquafina delivery women comes no less then 2 times per week with no less then 3 crates of water. While many of the employees of this company and mine did recycle their bottles when I was there, it just seems like a total waste of resources.

Today, when going to an office or store, one can't even find a tap to pour a simple glass of water. Its bottled water for every man, women, and child and it's packaged in a nice 17 oz bottle that many times doesn't get recycled. But even if it did get recycled, one has to examine the cost/benefit of their actions. What good is it to use all those resources and add to waste when there are no added benefits save maybe a better taste in some circumstances?

Answer me damn you!

Friday, January 07, 2005

Too Busy fo' Bloggin'

Keeping it real in the CLT this week. Come back tomorrow when I can better regale you with my insight.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

..and Have a Happy New Year!

Really, please do. Tell 'em Ober sent ya!

Pension Schmension

New reader "Rog" reminded us of the glorious obligations met by fine, fine American corporations.

Here's an article.

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