Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Now that I have embraced my facebook account I have to start telling everyone the same things that I talk about at work. Don't click on strangers. If someone sends an email to you and you don't know them, delete it.

"Cybercrime is rapidly spreading on Facebook as fraudsters prey on users who think the world's top social networking site is a safe haven on the Internet."

One of the ways they do this is guess simple passwords.

"Scammers break into accounts posing as friends of users, sending spam that directs them to websites that steal personal information and spread viruses. Hackers tend to take control of infected PCs for identity theft, spamming and other mischief."

I have dealt with spam, spyware, and viruses on more computers than I care to think about, so dont think this can't happen to you.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Public Privacy?

I don’t like to share a lot about myself. I have always been that way, I prefer to internalize and hide behind aliases. When the web was young I did searches for myself and demanded removal from sites listing my name, phone, address, etc… and it was largely effective back in the day. Yes, I had websites to show the family out of state pics of the kids, and I saved domain names because it was cool, but I never thought about posting much more.
Forward to 2009, with social networking sites, blog sites, tweets and search engines nothing is private. Nothing. As I have gotten older I can’t stop complaining about news and happenings, this turns every website I have ever had into not just a online repository of my links and notes, but my own little soapbox. Nothing I post is Private. I am aware of this, I accept it.

I understand how much information about everyone is out there, waiting for the right search to show itself in a search. (This is why some search engines were supposedly started with government seed money. Look it up yourself, and believe what you want. ) I know more than most about this because I have had positions where finding that private information on the internet was part of my job. And this is where Facebook comes in.

Years ago, I was asked to look for company info on social networks. As a requirement to search, I had to have an account on most social network webpages, and I took the opportunity to save one of my common aliases on all the sites. Now I will periodically get request emails asking “Is this you?” from former classmates, co-workers, and sometimes family members asking about some account somewhere. Well, I give. I have now embraced my Facebook account. (Go ahead and search for me.)

This brings me to my true point: Privacy. I don’t kid myself, if anyone wants to know my name, address, phone, birthday, and other private info it is not hard. Heck, get my address and you can look up my property value or drive by our house and see the cars in the driveway on Google Earth. Most people only require a few clicks to get the information together about anyone. I do remain guarded about my life but let's get real, we are all an open book these days. So the most important thing to do is think about what you share, how you share it, and when you share it. NOTHING YOU POST ON THE INTERNET IS PRIVATE. (Then again, sometimes that is the point.) Here is a short checklist of things I think about while posting.

  • You are not anonymous. They can find you.
  • Don’t post pictures that you don’t want used by others. You may have copyright, a watermark, but people will still use it, and in ways that may offend/exploit.
  • Don’t post something that you would not want others to read 5 years down the road.
  • Don’t do this stuff at work. Losing your job it not worth the post. In most cases.
Below are 4 links of people who did not think about these things. Enjoy, and remember, we are all watching.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Dual Widescreen Wallpaper Part 2

Some more wallpaper in 3360 x 1050 format.

How to Own Public Domain

I have complained about intellectual property rights and abuse before. This is a new angle of how companies constantly avoid their property going into public domain while using free knowledge and art to make money.
"The public domain is the greatest resource in human history: eventually all knowledge will become part of it. Its riches serve all mankind, but it faces a new threat. Vast libraries of public domain works are being plundered by claims of "copyright". It's called copyfraud - and we'll discover how large corporations like Google, Yahoo, and Amazon have structured their businesses to assist it and profit from it."
Read the three page article. It is informative. The last paragraph says it all;
"Publishing should not be permitted to become a Google-Amazon oligarchy. Let us not forget what happened when a single portal to the entirety of the world's books was assembled: the ancient Library of Alexandria burned to the ground, taking everything with it. Nobody should be allowed to become a single portal to the world's knowledge. ®"

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Loud Silence of the Iranian People

In case you have been under a rock for the last few weeks, Iran has been having some internal problems. Google 'Iran elections' to educate yourself if you have any questions.

What I can glean from all of the news articles is even the small governments have a strong control of their people's voices.

This post was fueled by the following links;
From the Slate article "The Revolution Will Not Be Digitized How the Internet helps Iran silence activists." By Farhad Manjoo "The big story in Iran is confusion—on a daily basis, there are more questions than answers about what's really happening, about who's winning and losing, about what comes next. The surprise isn't that technology has given protesters a new voice. It's that, despite all the tech, they've been effectively silenced."

From the Salon article "Unveiling the revolution" By Tracy Clark-Flory "The world has been shocked by young Iranian women fighting on the front lines -- but their rebellion is nothing new"

From the CNN article "Iran says Neda's death may be tied to 'terrorist' group" ""It's heartbreaking," President Obama said Tuesday, referring to the video of Neda, which means "divine calling" in Farsi. "And I think anyone who sees it knows there's something fundamentally unjust about it.""

Also from Salon "Tehran dispatch: The regime shows us movies
They want to keep us indoors, and quiet. But which subversive programmer picked "The Lord of the Rings"? Editor's note: For reasons of personal safety, the author chooses to remain anonymous. By Anonymous

Friday, June 19, 2009

How to get into modeling for the whole family

Imagine you live in St Louis suburbs with your wonderful family and decide to post your family Christmas card in your family blog. Something like this:

So after a while you forget about your picture posted on your blog. Then one day a friend of yours call from eastern Europe while visiting and tells you that he saw your picture at a grocery store advertising the delivery service. Something like this:

Not that this would ever happen. Right?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Dual Widescreen Wallpapers

When I bought my most recent computer one important thing was having dual monitors (having on computer with 2 monitors attached and the desktop seamless between the 2). No dual monitors is not for a cool effect, it is for efficiency. If you have not used a dual monitor setup try it for a month, you will never want to go back to a single screen. When I got my monitors I got them from Dell and on sale. The reason they were cheaper than most was they were not a common resolution or size screen (3360 x 1050 to be exact). So when I went to find some desktop wallpapers I found I was a little limited. That was when I found http://widewall.blogspot.com/ with a nice collection a wallpaper that I would not have to explain to my wife or kids. But alas, like most blogs it has not been updated for a long time now. So I have copied the pictures and will be posting them to my website periodically. Here is the first few wallpapers at 3360 x 1050 resolution for dual widescreen monitors.

A Super Thanks

Thank you to all that responded on and off the blog to "Super Joes" Sunday sundaes video. He is very happy. Other videos will be made available as soon as his people talk to my people and reasonable terms are agreed on. New up and coming stars are also planning to appear but that will be in the new season lineup.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Grass-Eating Men

I have been fascinated by Japanese culture for years now. They have an unique culture that has so many fascinating things about it. Manga and Anime are interesting view of the culture. Another recent phenomenon of the culture is soushoku danshi, translated to , "grass-eating boys." "Named for their lack of interest in sex and their preference for quieter, less competitive lives, Japan's "herbivores" are provoking a national debate about how the country's economic stagnation since the early 1990s has altered men's behavior."

For a country that had its population decline every year since 2005 this is not a good thing.

Another part of the article shows how life and art influence each other. "Yoto Hosho, a 22-year-old college dropout who considers himself and most of his friends herbivores, believes the term describes a diverse group of men who have no desire to live up to traditional social expectations in their relationships with women, their jobs, or anything else...Hosho believes that the lines between men and women in his generation have blurred. He points to the popularity of "boys love," a genre of manga and novels written for women about romantic relationships between men that has spawned its own line of videos, computer games, magazines, and cafes where women dress as men."

The above Slate article is not a surprise with the understanding of the Hikikomori phenomenon, reclusive individuals who have chosen to withdraw from social life. This phenomenon was highlighted in the Anime series "Welcome to the NHK" ( I highly recommend the series if you enjoy Anime/Manga. It is for mature audience. Amazon Welcome to the NHK)

In my opinion they are both examples of people not wanting to run the "rat race", or "keep up with the Joneses". In the high stress of Japanese culture it is no surprise that these "alternative" life styles would appear. Then again maybe I'm just jealous.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Cooking with Super Joe

Our children have all wanted to make videos of things they enjoy. This is a video that our son wanted to make about him "cooking". Enjoy.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Catching up the Lazy, I mean the Easy Way

So one of the many reasons I have a blog is to keep track of interesting news and facts in one spot. The problem becomes posting them in a way that I can make sense of it all later and posting it before I forget about it. We have been busy lately and I have several links I wanted to write about and when that happens blogging is the last thing I worry about. So here is a quick and dirty dump of News and links.
Death knell sounds for Europe's beekeepers I don't know why this is not bigger news, this is happening more every year. The kids and Lemony went to a bee farm last year in MD and they said most bee keepers were seeing at least a quarter to 1/2 of there bees disappear. I don't like bees but I love what they do for us. " "It is a complete crisis," said Francesco Panella, who tends about 1,000 hives in Piedmont, northern Italy. "Last year, I lost about half my production. I can't survive more than 2 or 3 more years like this. My son won't be able to continue my trade."
Mystery has surrounded the recent decline of bee numbers, but most keepers blame modern farming methods and the powerful new pesticides used on crops like sunflower, maize and rapeseed."
Why does Craigslist run kinky ads? This amuses and saddens me. This is a long explanation of why Craigslist runs Erotic services ads. Read the article.
This last one is a brief article from a snarky online tech site I love to read. Britain leads world in police state survey; Gold medals for snooping, spying and surveilling Remember these are our allies. Right?

Monday, June 1, 2009

GM Bankruptcy

I have mixed feelings about GM. My view point is a little closer than some being born in Michigan. Two other view points are from Ralph Nader and Michael Moore.
From Naders statement, I encourage you to read the entire statement;
"The proximate cause of the bankruptcy was supposed to be the inability of GM and the government's auto task force to reach an accommodation with GM's bondholders. But late last week, the bondholder problem was moving toward rapid resolution, and was clearly resolvable. Why then are GM and its multibillion government financier proceeding with bankruptcy?
The bankruptcy and the GM restructuring plan are the product of a secretive, unaccountable, Wall Street-minded government task force that assumed power because of a Congressional abdication of historic magnitude. By all rights, the restructuring plan should have been submitted to Congress for deliberative review and decision."

From Moores website, and again I encourage you to visit the site and read the entire article:
"I write this on the morning of the end of the once-mighty General Motors. By high noon, the President of the United States will have made it official: General Motors, as we know it, has been totaled.
As I sit here in GM's birthplace, Flint, Michigan, I am surrounded by friends and family who are filled with anxiety about what will happen to them and to the town. Forty percent of the homes and businesses in the city have been abandoned. Imagine what it would be like if you lived in a city where almost every other house is empty. What would be your state of mind?"

I find more hope in Moores statement, but I agree with Nader on several points. My question is if company's has the right of "corporate personhood", then what kind of person would GM be?