March 30, 2006

The Freedom to Read

Via Tim Blair I just found out that the Borders Group of bookstores has declined to carry the April-May issue of the magazine Free Inquiry because it has copies of the Danish Cartoons.

I decided that the best thing to do was to let Borders know my views on the matter, as I am a paying customer. Therefore, in the extended entry you will find a copy of the email I have just sent out to the Borders Group. more...

Posted by: Teresa in Current Affairs at 12:14 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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March 28, 2006

Their Commercials Give Me the Creeps But...

I am married, so I don't have to worry about stuff like dating (thank heaven or I'd never go out again!). It also means I don't have to use a service like eHarmony to find a companionship. Not that I'd use eHarmony because the commercials make me want to gag... but it is a service for people who want to meet others for dating purposes. So, when I saw this...

Lawyer in midst of divorce sues dating service

I have to say that my sympathies are on the side of eHarmony.

John Claassen, a 36-year-old lawyer, said he was ready to resume dating but maintains that Pasadena, California-based agency eHarmony is violating his civil rights by not letting him use its service before his divorce is official.

First of all - what a sleaze bag this guy is. He's a lawyer... he should kinda "get" the fact that he's still legally tied to another woman - whether or not he wants to be is beside the point. Legally he can't enter into another relationship until this one is dissolved. Not to mention... what's to say that he ever will be divorced? Until all the signatures are in place and the final papers are done and filed - he will continue to be married.

To advertise himself as a "single" man is a false claim. This means that a woman - finding out that this guy she's been matched with, isn't really free from his wife - could sue eHarmony for knowingly matching her with a guy who can't formalize a relationship.

This basically turns eHarmony into a call girl service. The only reason for this jerkwad to want to start dating again before he even gets a formal divorce, is because he wants to get laid - and he doesn't have access to any other women who will give him the time of day. How pathetic!

So what grounds is he suing on?

Claassen said his lawsuit is based on a state law requiring businesses to disregard a person's marital status in the provision of services.

I hope the judge not only throws this case out - I hope he fines this moron for bringing a frivolous lawsuit and wasting everyone's time.

Posted by: Teresa in Idiocies at 08:09 AM | Comments (9) | Add Comment
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March 27, 2006

Am I The Only One Who Finds This Odd

And not for the reasons that bring it to the attention of the Oddly Enough venue...

Drunkard kills himself over meatless dinner

Okay - this guy obviously had more problems than not getting meat for dinner... nope go read the story and see if you see it. I will continue this in the extended entry. more...

Posted by: Teresa in Idiocies at 01:22 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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Why You Should Care

A couple of days ago I blogged here about a guy who was charged with stealing a wifi signal to get to the internet. In the comments Tammi said...

I gotta tell you - my WiFi? Wide Open. I have no issue if someone wants to "sneak a peak" ...

Now like people who go out and never lock their doors or those who leave their keys in the car because it's easier than remembering where you put them, having wide open wifi does put you at risk. What kind of risk? Among other things...

Well, who is browsing the internet using your wide open wifi? You have no idea. What about the person who has a compromised computer and has a spambot installed? Oh joy, oh bliss - they hook up to your wifi and start sending out spam galore from your location... your ISP can shut you down - immediately. It could be they get a complaint or they could shut you down because you've exceeded a certain email volume. (many ISP's have volume alarms now for just this reason)

Then there is the local hacker - using your connection to break and enter into other computers illegally. Possibly stealing information. Guess where the IP address leads them? Oh yeah, right to you. Now you've got cops or private investigators trying to build a case against you in a data theft incident...

Or how about your local kiddie porn scumbag? This person (yes, I believe there are women out there dealing in this garbage too) can use your connection to download that vile crap - leaving a nice little trail back to you! Now there's a nice thought - you can get yourself raided in the middle of the night by cops... whereupon you can be hauled off to jail and spend the next 10 years of your life clearing your name (which no one will ever believe anyhow because you'll end up on the front page of the newspaper - and we all know newspapers always print the truth... right?)

just stay out of my system.

Um.... Why? You've left the door open - invited them in. If they have the ability they can certainly check out your system if they want to and it would be difficult to stop them - especially if you don't have a good working knowledge of computers.

Now granted - the chances of this happening in the Illinois cornfields is pretty small. But - it does exist. Just like leaving your doors unlocked opens you to a burglary, even in the safest neighborhoods... leaving your wifi open gives others an anonymous opportunity to do bad things in your name. Then YOU are the one stuck with all the hassle of trying to clear yourself and get your reputation back. (Think Identity Theft here...)

People who live in a city have a far greater chance of having something like this happen because of population density. Yes, I am emphasizing this because it's something city dwellers really need to remember! "Just leave my system alone" is a dangerous form of wishful thinking... the type that puts everyone into your mindset and simply ignores the fact that there are others out there with different agendas. Unfortunately we simply don't take security threats to computers as being a threat to ourselves and our way of life. It may be that someone just wants to get online and check their email. Unfortunately, it's the ones who want to do the bad crap that should make you think twice before dismissing safety precautions.

Or just think about it this way - how much time and MONEY do you want to devote to cleaning things up when someone DOES walk all over you?

Posted by: Teresa in WebTech at 11:04 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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March 25, 2006

Are You a Munuvian?

I've posted a request for Yay's! over at Ellis Island. The wonderful, witty, and lovely Liv at Not A Shrinking Violet is losing her hosting service. I'm trying to get her a home on Munu.

So, if you could all head over and say Yay! I would most certainly appreciate it.

Posted by: Teresa in Weblogs at 01:15 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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Stealing Wi-Fi

I came across this story today and found a couple of things amusing...

Illinois Man Fined For Piggybacking On Wi-Fi

First let's look at what he did - which is not the amusing part...

David M. Kauchak, 32, pleaded guilty this week in Winnebago County to remotely accessing someone else's computer system without permission, the Rockford Register Star newspaper reported. A Winnebago County judge fined Kauchak $250 and sentenced him to one year of court supervision.

One of the biggest problems with Wifi is securing the connection so others don't steal your bandwidth. Most people don't know or don't bother with even the low level protections that would keep unwanted people off of their systems. Things such as encryption or only allowing certain MAC addresses to use the router... not to mention putting in proper logons and good passwords to the router itself.

Oh yeah, people who are wifi savvy and want to take the trouble can certainly get around these things, but most of those out and about, hunting for a free signal are looking for one that requires no extra work - in other words an open connection. So, a little extra diligence would go nearly all the way toward keeping unwanted people off your system.

The article is not specific about what the officer observed before approaching the vehicle. After all - Mr. Kauchak could certainly have been browsing on something like a Verizon Wireless card which would not be illegal. I wish the story had been more specific.

Sadly this poor man has a spot in the county legal history books...

Kauchak has the dubious distinction of being the first person to face the charge in Winnebago County, and prosecutors say they're taking the crime seriously.

Which is one amusing little side note (for me not for him). The other is this...

A police officer arrested Kauchak in January after spotting him sitting in a parked car with a computer. A chat with the suspect led to the arrest, Wartowski said.

You will notice that the word "led" is a link. When I first read the story I thought this might be a link to yet another article about the arrest, so I clicked it... turns out it's one of those cute little "definition links" and it leads to a page that defines the term LED or Light Emitting Diode...

OOPs. I think their automatic check for linkable terms kinda backfired. Which is pretty funny because I've always hated that feature in online news articles.

Posted by: Teresa in WebTech at 12:59 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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March 24, 2006

A Little Blog Work

Yesterday I got a very nice email from a Sergeant at Centcom asking me to have a look at their site and please link to it if I found it worthwhile.

So I did (visit the site) and I do (think it's worthwhile) and I have (put up a new logo on my sidebar). Or you can click here.

It's a little bit slow loading for me, but that could just be an artifact of what's going on online or if their server is being blitzed by denial of service hits (which wouldn't surprise me a bit). It looks like Centcom is working on bringing us the military news we want to know about. I'm still poking about looking at how it's set up since there seem to be some idiosyncracies. For instance no permalinks on stories.

Anyhow, go check them out - it will be worth your while. Besides, how often have we complained that the military isn't doing enough PR on their own? Looks like they're reaching out to bloggers (even little bloggers like me)... that's a terrific strategy.

Posted by: Teresa in Weblogs at 01:09 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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March 23, 2006

Is CBS Desperate?

Over at Slashdot I ran across the following

In the continuing struggle to capture viewers, CBS is pairing with SignStorey Inc. to provide short-form programming designed specifically for shoppers on topics such as health, nutrition, as well as short news and sports items and entertainment. This programming will be displayed on video screens in the produce and deli sections of 1,300 supermarkets nationwide.

So, if they can't get you to watch them on their regular news broadcasts, they're going to stand in your face and feed you garbage... in the grocery store! How do I know that anything they put on these broadcasts is really true? After all it might just be "fake but accurate". In which case, since it's something I'll be eating - might cause me more direct harm than Dan Rather dissing President Bush... I'm just sayin'...

Posted by: Teresa in Ummmmm at 08:03 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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March 22, 2006

Long Day...

Been busy all day - so I thought I would end the day with one of the better searches in my Stat Counter list...

"gay male truckdrivers support groups"

Sometimes I wonder how search engines work... I really do ... amazing.

Posted by: Teresa in FUN at 05:53 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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Because He Can!

My blog sis Army Wife Toddler Mom is having issues with her father.

My Father measured 21 inches of snow on his back deck, oh and not only did he measure it. What else would a Cardiac patient with chest pain do, especially one that just spent a day at the ER, and a day at the cardiologist.

Well that certain cardiac patient would proceed to "SCOOP HIMSELF OUT". Yeah, you read right. He fucking thought he needed to scoop, even with nowhere to go.....

As there seems to be no earthly reason for him to put his life in danger - she is at the hair tearing stage. I, however, am not a bit surprised.

In the end the reason is very simple... as long as you keep doing the things you've always done... as long as you don't acknowledge a disability... it doesn't really exist.

In a way my parents are very much like AW's only their problems aren't (so far) of the life threatening variety.

My father is almost 100% deaf. He has been deaf for about 6 or 7 years now - yet he refuses (outside of a hearing aid which doesn't work) to do anything to make his life easier. He won't watch television with the closed caption, he won't get any special phones in the house so he can communicate, he wouldn't even take any classes in either sign language or lip reading. If I want to talk to him, I basically have to write out what I want to say... we don't talk much.

My mother has lost the central vision in both eyes. She has macular degeneration and retinal bleeds. She's ticked at all the doctors for not being able to fix it. Plus when I tell her she needs to go back to the doctor and get some glasses to help her with the vision she has.... or go to the Institute for the Blind and see what they can help her with... she says "oh I'll just wait and see if it gets better"!!! Therefore, she can't dial the phone without great difficulty, she can't read most things, she can't see the television... those sorts of things. Yet, when I tell her she should go get some help - she says - well, I don't want to do all that. If it gets better then I will have done it for nothing! When I tell her - it's not going to get better. She continues to insist she needs to wait and see.

In the case of both my parents, they think if they simply deny the obvious (that they need some extra help) then there will be no problem. And after dealing with this for the last 6 or 7 years... I've got to say I'm pretty tired of it. Mostly I leave it alone. My dad doesn't complain. But it doesn't make life very easy when the only way to communicate is through notes. And when my mom starts moaning about not being able to see - I tell her her life would be easier if she went and got help and since she won't, just don't talk to me about it. That kinda shuts things down... at least for 5 minutes until she forgets and starts all over again.

The way I look at it, I not going to insist that they "must" do anything. They were adults when I was born - they can make their own decisions. But I don't want them to complain to me when they don't like the results! However, AW has all my sympathy - it is the most frustrating thing in the world when you have to deal with someone who is afraid to accept limitations.

Posted by: Teresa in Life Stuff at 11:05 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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