April 30, 2007

Busy...

I've been busy. Sorry about that. It seems that everything likes to pile up at once... figures. Yes, I watched 24 tonight... more on that tomorrow when I can think of something to say that doesn't include profanity to describe what I think of the writers this year. Geeze!

Friday I leave for the Milblog conference! Holy cow that came at me fast. I still have to see if I can get a hotel shuttle from Dulles to the hotel. I am so not renting a car. Then I have to cross all appendages that my plane is on time so I can meet up with Matt and a bunch of other people for a pre-party party... of course, as I commented to Matt, I could always be on time with the plane and get lost going to the bar... that would be me. (having spent last week Monday evening driving all over Boston looking for a place I never found - I don't rule out anything).

The real problem will be on Thursday when I'm freaking out over what clothes I don't have to bring with me! Not that I think I need to dress up... it's just that everything I own is so ratty. Oh well... it's way too late to shop now. Or maybe I'll try looking tomorrow night. Beloved husband will be on an all day business trip which means my evening will be free until about 11pm. However, most excursions of this type, undertaken at the last minute - are a real bust. So I expect jeans and tshirt will end up being the attire. *sigh*

In the meantime, darling daughter got a promotion today at work! Yay!!! More money, better job, great future potential. I think she'll love it. I'm so proud of her. (yes, I'm grinning like a maniac).

So let's end up with some animal headlines...

I thought this was old news... but it is apparently an ongoing problem in Boston... and here I was feeling like I should expend more energy to get downtown for dinner sometimes... Oh who the hell cares - there are some excellent restaurants down there can't let a rat or two in the trash cans stop me... I'm not dumb enough to believe that there is only a rat problem here in Boston. (Queue the scary music)
TV Show Exposes Rats In Hub Restaurants

Here we have rats... in Australia there's a school dealing with bats... (Queue the scarier music)
Bats have school in a flap

Last of all, we have the land where "compassion for animals" is measured by the number of vegetarian restaurants you have in a city. Amazing. (Queue the screaming woman soundtrack!)
Seattle ranks No. 2 in compassion for animals

I think I should make steak for dinner tomorrow. Just to show my total lack of compassion.

Posted by: Teresa in Ho-Hum at 05:51 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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April 26, 2007

Have I Mentioned Lately...

How glad I am we have well water! I wasn't really very keen on the idea when we moved in to this place. Everywhere else I've lived has always had municipal water supplies... no muss, no fuss, no worries. Then we bought a house with a well and had to put in a water treatment system because of various issues. I thought of it as extra work. Then something like this happens... and I'm very happy I don't have to worry about my water supply...

Water Ban Remains In Effect; 100 Residents Hospitalized

A water ban remains in effect in the town of Spencer, where at least 100 people have been hospitalized after an overabundance of sodium hydroxide, also called lye, was released into the town?s water supply.

According to town officials there are still people in the town of 12,000 that are unaware that there has been a problem with the water supply and officials are still trying to communicate with residents to avoid more hospitalizations.

Holy Cats! Lye in the water, now that's the way to start the day. I would have been one of the people headed to the hospital. I am not a person who gets up and turns on the news in the morning. I roll out of bed and into the shower. (Ouch!)

The real question is, what happened exactly? No one is releasing any information about the cause of the incident. It will be interesting to see what they come up with. Anyhow, I'm thinking my well water is looking pretty good about now.

Posted by: Teresa in Current Affairs at 07:00 AM | Comments (9) | Add Comment
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April 25, 2007

Velociman Started It

It's all his fault...

No, the new paradigm is old cartoon videos from our collective childhoods. Even worse for you non-boomers than old Lennon videos.

Of course mostly the guys will like this one... personally it cracks me up when the wolf kisses a cow. So I give you, from the genius of Tex Avery...

Posted by: Teresa in FUN at 04:47 PM | Comments (10) | Add Comment
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April 24, 2007

Seminars...

I went to an all day seminar today. Left the house at 7am and returned at 6pm so it was a long day of listening. After returning home, I cleaned up my emails, threw together some dinner, beloved husband and I cleaned up the kitchen, we went for a walk, wrote my 24 post, and now I just have one more post I want to write.

This is the second seminar I've attended in the last month. Both of them have to do with Computer Security. Naturally different specifics, but falling under that umbrella.

Today's class was fun, the man presenting was enthusiastic and interesting. He encouraged quite a bit of interaction among the attendees (which was a good thing in this case - it doesn't always work). But there is one thing about both of these seminars, presented by vastly different people, that I'm finding to be very irritating.

Neither of the 2 presenters have any solid idea of the laws surrounding the areas they are talking about. In other words, they are presenting the mechanics of what you have to do to achieve a certain result in their area of expertise, but they have no idea what the law says you have to do to be in compliance. None!

Unfortunately, with the various data privacy acts, Sarbanes-Oxley, Gramm-Leach-Blighly, among others, computer security is having lots of laws waved around and everyone is confused... including those who are teaching classes and who I expect should have a passing idea of the basic law in regard to their specialty. Perhaps I'm expecting too much.

During the course of these seminars many people throw out many of their own views on what they believe is the law. And even then, you seldom get consensus among the group. For that matter the teachers admit they don't know the laws and say "anyone know what the law is in regard to this?" Sorry - but that type of sloppiness makes me want to scream!

While I thought today's presentation had some very useful information, I'm beginning to get ticked off that these people don't find a lawyer, pin them down, and get some general answers. Things like "financial industries must keep certain types of records for such-and-such amount of time". OR "ISP's must keep log files for "this" amount of time."

Many of the people attending, work for companies that have a legal staff. They are able to check these things with their legal department... I can't do that. So, I have half-baked information from whatever anyone threw out there. Naturally, I don't consider that to be definitive.

The problem is, I don't even know where to look for answers to these things. Maybe I should go to law school... cause I'm about to the point where I don't want to attend a seminar unless they have a lawyer show up who can give us some real answers and not just guesses.

It's not quite a waste of time, but it is annoying.

Posted by: Teresa in Education at 06:15 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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24 - As Soap Bubbles Rise

Okay, because I got completely lost yesterday evening and finally turned around and went home - I actually made it back in time to watch this mess of a show. Mind you - I would have preferred to have been able to find the meeting I was trying to get to... but it wasn't to be. (driving around Boston - especially on Red Sox game night - just sucks. It's like Wrigleyville when there's a Cubs game... except the streets aren't in squares and I had no idea where I was)

So, on to 24... below the fold as usual... it doesn't deserve the time I'm investing, but I'll finish out the season. more...

Posted by: Teresa in Television at 05:13 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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April 23, 2007

A Truly Excellent Interview

RU Sirius interviews Bruce Schneier about Homeland Security. It's not "technical" or computer oriented, although he talks about computers. He also talks about insects and lima beans... yes, even there we have lessons that can be learned for better security. But most of it is rational common sense. Something often in short supply in the public security world.

RU: Even with trained security people, it seems like they make an awful lot of errors. It seems like America, over the past few years, really has that “Can’t Do” spirit. Is there anything you can tell us about trained security people, and how they could improve their efforts.

BS: Well, they’re always going to make errors. Fundamentally, that’s a problem in the mathematics called the base rate fallacy. There are simply so few terrorists out there that even a highly accurate test, whether automatic or human-based, will almost always bring false alarms. That’s just the way the math works. The trick is to minimize the false alarms.

You’ve got to look at the false alarms versus the real alarms versus the real attacks missed — look at all the numbers together. But terrorist attacks are rare. They almost never happen. No matter how good you are, if you stop someone in airport security, it’s going to be a false alarm, overwhelmingly. Once every few years, it’ll be a real planned attack… maybe not even that frequently.

With training, you’re less likely to stop someone based on a dumb reason. When airport security stops a grandma with a pocketknife, that’s a false alarm. That’s not a success. That’s a failure. It’s, of course, ridiculous. So the trick is to alarm on things that are actually suspicious so you’d spend your time wisely. But the fact that almost everybody will still end up being a false alarm — that’s just the nature of the problem.

There is so much more. I'm glad to see he's taken an interest in this:

...I’m looking into how people make security decisions, how they react to security. Why is it that we’re getting security wrong? Why is it that people fall for security theater instead of doing what makes sense?...

While I am much in agreement with Bruce about the way airport security is handled. I see so many people who think that the current inefficient system is actually keeping them safe from terrorists. These are the people interviewed in airport lines when the latest security crackdown is enacted. As this generally happens after a well publicized incident, I must conclude that the outward show of "something being done" makes them feel safer. Even if the reality is totally different. In any case, I can't wait to see the book that comes from this new direction.

I've read all of his other books. Yes, even most of "Applied Cryptography"... although I still have to go back and look up passages if someone asks a specific question. For some reason I have great difficulty keeping the various bits of cryptography straight. It makes my eyes cross.

Now go read the article - it's well worth your time and I promise it won't make your eyes cross!

Hat Tip Instapundit

Posted by: Teresa in WebTech at 05:42 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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April 22, 2007

Baseball Notes

The other night Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox pitched his first ever no hitter, facing the minimum 27 batters. It's also the first no hitter since the Sox moved to the new park.

I figured I would give a hat tip to Buehrle since I was also going to post about the Boston Red Sox and their record breaking game tonight. Not only did they sweep the Yankees at Fenway for the first time since 1990. But they hit a team first 4 home runs in a row off a single pitcher. But how about this.

Wright was only the second pitcher to give up four home runs in a row. Paul Foytack of the Los Angeles Angels did it on July 31, 1963, in the sixth inning of the second game of a doubleheader against Cleveland. One of those homers was hit by Tito Francona, the father of current Red Sox manager Terry Francona, who celebrated his 48th birthday Sunday night.

Now that's what I call a birthday present.

Posted by: Teresa in Sports at 06:19 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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Maybe It's the Name

Glenn has a link to a video of Lawrence O'Donnell pontificating about the VTech shooting. He gets every fact wrong... but that doesn't stop him.

There must be something about the name that short circuits the brain creating a rejection of rational thought. Who needs facts when your name is O'Donnell.

Posted by: Teresa in Idiocies at 04:50 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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Catching Up

Well maybe.

Last week:
Work was outrageous. My husband was out of town. The weather was mostly crap. The news was worse - the little I was able to pay attention to it. Need I even mention that I had a migraine niggling away... I thought not.

Weekend:
Gorgeous weather. Lots of yard work. Cooking on the grill.

While I've managed to hit a few blogs over the past 5 days or so, it hasn't been many.

Tomorrow evening I will be attending a special event. More on that after I get back tomorrow night. (my husband is going to tape 24 for me - guess we need a DVR or something... hell we're still working on getting a new television, I can't think about other stuff yet)

Tuesday I have an all day class which means I'll be out the door at 7am to get there on time. I hope it's interesting. The problem with these things is that they can go either way depending on the person teaching the seminar and the level of the material.

I think we've made a decision (beloved husband and I). Of course we're still wobbly on it... A decision on what you ask? Why picking out the material to cover a new sofa. It's been narrowed down to 2 choices for the past week and a half. But beloved husband left town before we could decide.

Now he's back and we finally got a good look in real sunlight (a commodity in short supply lately). The real problem being - neither of us have any idea how the thing will look once it's complete. Upon soliciting opinions from various friends - the balance tipped slightly in favor of the darker color (darker being a relative term as they are both fairly light). But, every time I think it's settled, he picks the swatches up and starts looking at them again. It's a big decision... it's not like it's trivial to get the thing redone if we don't like it.

Yeah, this is choppy. Yard work makes me tired. More later or tomorrow depending on how motivated I am tonight.

Posted by: Teresa in Life Stuff at 12:46 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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April 17, 2007

Things Forgotten...

Sorry - no 24 update this week (I can see people jumping for joy right now!). I forgot to watch it last night. Totally and completely. Since Charter doesn't offer it in their supposedly wonderful "on demand" shows - I have no way to watch it. I'll just have to go read about it over on the web site.

As the web site always leaves out the good bits, while making sure we know all the hideously soapy crap, I don't know how much I'll get out of it.

Posted by: Teresa in Ho-Hum at 08:44 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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