Sunday, March 28, 2004

My Way News | Brazilian Hurricane kills 2 and 5 are missing from a sunken fishing boat. Whats sad is they would most likely would still be alive if the Brazilian goverment had reacted with only a minimal of concern for her people. Accuweather and the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Florida expert had called the storm a catagory 1 hurricane with winds between 75 and 85 mph. Brazillion authorities insisted it was ony a subtropical storm with winds betwen 50 and 60 mph. Did the Brazilian Goverment think it was better to let people die than cause them worry? They claimed they understood this storm better than the American experts. Its very hard to understand. Its early yet, and we just don't know what the final figures are. This is what we know now:

  • Homes destroyed 200

  • Homes Damaged 2000

  • Known Injured at least 30

  • Dead 2

  • missing at sea 5

The 5 missing at sea had their fishing boat sink. Surely they would not have been out if the Goverment put out serious warnings. 1 death was a child that was at a beach resort who had a house collapse on him. Beach houses are of course the first place that get evacuted in a Hurricane. The Second death was was the result of a tree falling and killing the driver. If warnings were given it seems unlikely that people would be driving around in the middle of a hurricane.

Hurricanes here tend to get overhyped by the media here in Galveston. When Claudette arrived here in July 2004. Every network camped on the seawall and the damage that was broadcast to the country made it look like the damage here was castrophic. At least the people in the area were warnened and they understood the real damages. Folks weren't going out Fishing, and driving was minimal at the height of the storm. Unlike the folks in Brazil We were able to understand the danger.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

The Register has an intersting article.
Consider an analogy on the size of modern malicious code: if Windows XP were the size of the Empire State Building, then the little barking Beagle virus - the size of a small dog - can come in through the front door, lift its leg, deliver its payload, and somehow cause the entire building to come crumbling down.

With all the money that Microsoft makes, and all the resources available, for their systems to be so vulnerable to these byte sized viri is indeed malpractice. - Rare storm hits Brazilian coast - Mar 27, 2004 Drudge reported this yesterday and it looked pretty alarmming although no one else seemed to be particulaly alarmed about it. Mostly it has been reported as a curiousity than a real danger and threat to anyone. Seemed pretty weird to me. Apparently the Brazilians don't think its a big deal. Not a real hurricane they clame. I hope they are right. A real hurricane strength in a poor area that has never experianced such a storm would be a complete disastor. Brazil has indicated that its not posting any warnings or evacuations. I hope they aren't underestimating this one. Rueters reports it from another perspective

Friday, March 26, 2004

China says Won't sit by if Taiwan Turmoil Worsens | China spews some tough talk and threatens Taiwan while the US meakly says nothing.
"We will not sit by watching should the post-election situation in Taiwan get out of control, leading to social turmoil, endangering the lives and property of our flesh-and-blood brothers and affecting stability across the Taiwan strait," Beijing's policy-making Taiwan Affairs Office said in a statement.

It reiterated that China was paying close attention to events on the island, which has been racked by protests and political paralysis since President Chen Shui-bian, who favors Taiwan independence, won re-election by the thinnest of margins on Saturday. The opposition immediately contested the result and demanded a recount.

The US goverment apparently doesn't want to interfere with the cheap imports that are Walmart standbys, continue with expresident Clintons Policy of kissing Chinas ass by doing and saying nothing. So far there has been no responce from the Bush administration, and none is expected.

I added a new link the Blog, Slightly Rough by Rob Booth. His very frequently updated blog is full of news and opinion. He is liberterian Republican and active in the party. Its an excellent resource to keep tabs on what is happening politically. He sets a high standard which I aspire too.

I've been down. Its been a couple of weeks now. Spring fever has struck and there is lots to do. Its our first sprinf at Casa Refugio, and we are pretty excited about gardening. We planted some tangerene trees and some roses, a few bulbs, trimmed some trees and mowed the weedy yard. Not a whole lot, its just a small yard after all, but my back paid the price. It was causing me problems but I forged ahead anyway. Last Saturday it went out and let me know enough is enough. I was totally Crippled. I went to the Dr. on Tuesday by that time I couldn't walk and was in excriuciating pain. I got Diagnosed with a sliped disk, and got some Meds and am now on the road to recoverey. I hadn't been able to Blog much because sitting here was just too painful. I'm geting back to normal and after missing a week of work I'm raring to go. I still have discomfort, but at least I now feel functional.

The gardening is showing results. Makes it almost worth it.

  • Two Tangerene trees. One is blossomming like crazy. The other hasn't shown much new growth but still looks pretty healthy.

  • Planted two Rose bushes. Trimmed back another one that looked pretty scawny. One has lots of leafing started, the other hasn't done much, The One we trimmed bach is comming back thick and rich. I have no Idea what the blooms are gonna look like.

  • The neighbors mango tree is in bloom. Looks like I'm going to get lots of Mangos on my side of the fence.

  • The bulbs have all come up. Looks like this Summer is going to be very colorful. The Single calla lilly is in bloom.

  • We planted some Cantalope seeds. They are still in pots and are looking nice and healthy

  • The yard was forrest, I couldn't mow it. Equality mowed it this week and looks pretty good. I was starting to fear an armed revolt from the neighbors.

Monday, March 22, 2004

No-smoking forces taking new territory: the beach | Beaches are becoming No Smoking Zones as the Coastal towns pass ordinences tomake their beaches smoke free. It appears that the towns really beloieve the second hand smoke propaganda generated from the EPA.

Solana Beach was the first California city to ban smoking at the beach when it enacted its prohibition last September. San Clemente imposed a similar ban last week. Santa Monica is likely to follow suit Tuesday, and Encinitas may vote on the issue within a month.
With the momentum of early victories, antismoking activists are taking their arguments to other coastal cities, from San Diego to Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, and beyond.

Los Angeles is also drafting a no-smoking ordinance for Venice, Dockweiler, Will Rogers, and Cabrillo beaches.

While California destroys itself fiscally, its nice to know the smoking Taliban still haven't lost the will to go after the evil smokers. If it were really about keeping the beaches clean they would outlaw condoms and beverages at the beaches.

Friday, March 19, 2004

STRAIGHT AIDS MYTH SHATTERED Seems like the press wants us to believe sraight folks who don't do intravenous drugs are threatened by AIDS. Its just not true ! AIDS hasn't become an epidemic to the straight community in the US. The odds for a male to get AIDS from unprotected sex with a non drug using sexual partner is 1 in 5 Million.

What do you call a man who gets AIDs from his girlfriend?

A liar !

Sunday, March 14, 2004

Today is Sunday, and NASA has big news to release but it won't release it untill tommorrow, the lazy assed press isn't going to pick up on it till after the official press release. This is because they don't need reporters and editors working more than 9 to 5 Monday through Friday. At any rate, there is a press release anouncement on NASA web space. That Monday 12:00 CST they will have a phone in Press Conference to announce:
Dr. Michael Brown, associate professor of planetary astronomy, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif. will present his discovery of the most distant object ever detected orbiting the sun. He and colleagues made the discovery as part of a NASA-funded research project.

However The Australian apparently showed a little initiative and reported the story. Apparently they went to the source (Michael Brown of the California Institute of Technology) and got the story. The new planet is almost 2000 Kilometers in diameter and is made up of ice and snow. It even has a name, Sedna. Sedna is controversial even before it is officially announced. Some atronomers feel that it isn't big enough to be a planet, that even pluto was misclassified. Hopefully we will learn more tommorrow, there are even supposed to be picures available, most likely they won't be very detailed.

Sedna is the biggest object discovered in the solar system in 74 years.

I have been told I'm pretty pig headed, and don't adapt to change very well. I help maintain the work website and have been trying to grow a large site on my SBC hosted sites. I have adapted from building and editing a sites using MS's Notepad and Netscape Composer to using Frontpage, and Interdev. Along the way I have played with a few other HTML editors, most them were crap. Macromedia has had their Dream Weaver package out for quite some time. I have always associated Flash with them and I always wanted my sites free of Flash, Java, and other flashy stuff. I have only recently conceded to using a little bit of JavaScript to help with menuing. At work we purchased Macromedia MX Studio. Its got it all built in. I haven't played with whole package, I just read a few of the Help files and I was off. It is a really slick package, It works well with pages, and sites that have been built using any number of template and programs. It uploads and downloads from remote sites with real ease. I think I'm sold on this puppy. Its real easy top move from WSIWYG to Code, You can change things like tables any number of ways.

Saturday, March 13, 2004

AP Reports on George Carlin's take on the indecency uproar
Carlin has based his career, on the absurdity and inconsistency of censorship, and has this to say.
"The whole problem with this idea of obscenity and indecency, and all of these things - bad language and whatever - it's all caused by one basic thing, and that is: religious superstition. ... There's an idea that the human body is somehow evil and bad and there are parts of it that are especially evil and bad, and we should be ashamed. Fear, guilt and shame are built into the attitude toward sex and the body. ... It's reflected in these prohibitions and these taboos that we have."

He also feels that the current mood is temporary, and this too will pass.
"These bursts of interest and decency are just like when you're in the Air Force, Army and Marines, whatever - the discipline in your unit may get a little lax, people live with it, it's fine for months at a time then some colonel notices it and suddenly they crack down ... enforcing all the minor rules and regulations. Then what happens after these bursts of bothering people, that wears off and we get back to normal, relaxed discipline, but things still get done.

"Society can be counted on to let this fade."

We can only hope he is right.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Sunday, March 07, 2004

There is a quote I've seen a couple of times on USENET sig tags, that is appropriate to the Howard Stern controversy;

There are some words which I have known since I was a schoolboy."With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censored, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably." These words were uttered by Judge Aaron Satie -- as awisdom, and warning. The first time any man's freedom is trodden on, we're all damaged.

- Jean-Luc Picard

Saturday, March 06, 2004

Spring is in the air on our fair isle. Lots to do in our short season, planting trees shrubs and other plants need to be done. However the rewards are pretty nice. This morning Equality left me this on my desk. Hopefully the things we do this spring will continue to provide sweet rewards.

Monday, March 01, 2004

One of the important things that the innternet has promised is the free exchange of information. In some places and in some situatations this simply isn't true. One can be arrested in many places for simply reading or distributing information about a different form of goverment. One of the tools available to keep data and messages secure and is secret is PGP. PGP and its Open Sourced cousin GPG are the staples for secure communications and security, and be can found with a Google search. I use a variety of PGP, which can secure files and sign them so that users can be sure that a message or a file is really from the person who claims to send it. My puplic key is found on my web site an on most of the pulic servers.

Unfortunately encryption is illegal in many country's, and is monitored. PGP and and its varients have headers and signatures which can be dettected by these goverments, and by our own Echelon program. There is one Encrypion program that I found that doesn't leave any trce of itself in the encrypted files that it creates. This program is called BURP.EXE and can be found on Geodyssey's web site. I have also made it available on my site Burp creates encrypted data that apears as totally random digits, and they should be able to moveed arrounnd the net and be stored on ones Disk drive discretely Burp is a command line program that can be renamed and is tiny enough (44K) that it can fit on on a floppy, CDR or even on flash memory disk. The distribution includes all the source code and can be modified to fit any individual requirements.