5/26/2005

Runaway bride faces jail term

Filed under: — menk @ 8:27 am

Jennifer Wilbanks the 32 year old runaway bride from Georgia faces charges that could lead to a six year jail sentence. In my opinion this might be a bit extreme under the circumstances but a few months in “the can” and repayment of the costs associated with the search (over $50,000 in Georgia alone.) should be required.

Everyone seems to be willing to make excuses for why this woman should not be held responsible but at the age of 32 it just doesn’t fit. We need to be clear that pretending you were kidnapped and filing false police reports just isn’t a minor offense.

As for her husband to be (John Mason): Get a clue John if she really had any intention to marry you would she have run away in the first place?

BBC NEWS | Americas | Runaway US bride faces jail term

5/25/2005

warning about Bird flu pandemic

Filed under: — menk @ 3:53 pm

Now if there weren’t enough to worry about … there is the possibility of an outbreak and pandemic of bird flu!

BBC NEWS | Health | Renewed warning over flu pandemic

5/24/2005

iTunes Podcast Support

Filed under: — menk @ 3:53 pm

Steve Jobs and Apple gave the podcast a movement a big push today. Noting the growing interest in podcasting Apple will be building support for finding, subscribing to and listening to podcasts right into the iTunes jukebox. This will go a long way to enabling average users (even those on PC’s) to access all the interesting and specific podcast content. It also creates a large potential audience so that fuels demand for more and better content. (I hear the engine of the economy at work right here)

As my friend Jim Barksdale was fond of saying; “John, you have to find a parade and jump right up there in front!” Apple jumped in front of this trend right on time!

5/20/2005

Good News or Temporary Respite

Filed under: — menk @ 11:11 am

Walmart has conceded the mail-in DVD rental business to Netflix. Walmart’s initial entry to the marketspace had created a lot of concern that Netflix end was near. After 2.5 years and large scale attempted predatory pricing by Walmart, Netflix stands while Walmart takes down their tent.

The concern for Netflix is “In what timeframe can this mail-in media (DVD or anything else) business segment survive?” Most persons believe that at some point in the future all content (Music, Images, Video, etc.) will all come streaming (wired or wireless) based on some license model if the consumer does not already have the content cached or stored at their end. How is Netflix going to leverage itself in the middle of the transaction between consumer and content IP owner? Netflix proficency is in logistics. They are working on some nice things in personalization and community (i.e. Friends Network) Unless Netflix can build real value in the next few years around it’s community it may find it’s just following in Walmart’s lead today.

Let’s hope Netflix is up to the task.

5/17/2005

Stupid is as Stupid does

Filed under: — menk @ 5:12 pm

Yet another moron has left the human gene pool in manner deserving of a Darwin Award. A norwegian man who apparently was undertaking a publicity stunt for a line of clothing jumped to his death from the eiffel tower today.

A parachute he had hidden under his clothing became entangled on the tower and he continued his descent sans ‘chute’. He also was wearing a helmet with a small camera attached so perhaps sometime soon we can get an idea what this mental midget saw on his way down.

The sad thing is this guy is among hundreds who have died at the tower either attempting stupid stunts like this or just seeking an effective suicide.

Firefox: Flexible and Open

Filed under: — menk @ 11:20 am

The fact that the Firefox browser is open source has tremendous advantages to users. One major advantage is Security but most users are aware of the security benefits of Firefox versus IE. One advantage many folks aren’t aware of yet is the abundance of additional software and ‘hacks’ available to make the browser act in ways the user desires.

One such hack is a software widget known as Greasemonkey. By adding greasemonkey to firefox you can tweak your browser by adding pre-written (or creating) scripts that can essentially rewrite web pages and change the behaviors of your favorite web pages.

Users can expect this type of customiziation to become more mainstream over time but for the most part today this type of tweaking is the domain of us geeks.

5/13/2005

Salute to the Enterprise

Filed under: — menk @ 1:58 pm

On the Television since 1966 Start Trek and it’s many spinoffs will be going off the air tonight.

Since I was a young boy, I have watched Star Trek. My favorites were the original and “Next Generation

5/12/2005

ABC News: Gates Says iPod Success Won’t Last

Filed under: — menk @ 2:25 pm

Bill’s Wishful Thinking

At a recent interview with a German daily paper: Bill Gates was quoted as saying “I don’t think the success of the iPod can continue in the long term, however good Apple may be,”

Read this as: ‘Even if Apple has superior products Microsoft will capture marketshare from them over time by leveraging the Windows OS monopoly’

5/11/2005

A Human did this?

Filed under: — menk @ 4:35 pm

          Laura Hobbs        Krystal Tobias

How could anyone do this? Here is Jerry Hobbs (wow is he scary looking!) free from prison and killing an eight and a nine year old girl because he was angry they wouldn’t come home. He believed Laura (8) had taken money from her mother and after her mother sent the girls out to play he trackedthem down.

He had been sent to prison after violating parole in 2003. The 10 year parole was the result of a 2001 charge of aggravated assault for chasing his wife and neighbors around with a running chain saw trying to hack them to pieces! (Why wouldn’t this guy be locked up for life?)

5/10/2005

Antivirus SW vulnerable not Macs

Filed under: — menk @ 2:28 pm

In keeping with their false Press Release on supposed Mac vulnerability, Symantec’s Norton Anti-Virus Software triggered a false alert on users Macintosh systems last week. Users were incorrectly led to believe their systems were infected with some sort of Trojan Horse software that NAV classified as Hacktool.Underhand.

Apparently Symantec released a corrupted virus definition file that led to the problem. They have released a corrected definition file that once again shows the users Macs as free from any actual virus software.

Some users spent hours rebuilding perfectly good Mac systems as a result of this error by Symantec. I would suggest that Symantec NAV users delete the antivirus software and spend your money on something more useful. Given the robust nature of Macintosh OS X and the inherent security of the system overall adding a tool like NAV to the Mac is pure and simple ‘a waste of cash’. In this case, the lack of QA by Symantec actually cost users time and money beyond the wasted license fee.

5/5/2005

Real ID Bill it’s about time!

Filed under: — menk @ 5:28 pm

Members of congress today overwhelmingly approved a military funding bill containing an amendment that mandates the 50 states actually ensure that when they issue a Drivers License the recipient actually is a legal resident of the country. Across the land individuals, states and groups have decried this act for a variety of reasons a vast majority of which are fluff and red herrings.

As a citizen of this country I am incensed at the negative spin surfacing about this act. It is the right thing to create legal requirement that States ensure they issue licenses to legal residents. Wasn’t it always the understanding of legal residents here that States would not issue these critical documents to just anyone?

The fact that states are calling this an unfunded mandate is nonsense. The Federal Government is holding States accountable to perform reasonable due diligence before issuing a license. They aren’t asking states to do anything more than validate that they issue these nationally recognized documents only to individuals that in fact can be accounted for as legal. I consider myself a reasonable person and I expect that this sort of approach be taken in any case. The fact that the States are whining now just points up the fact that until now they just shortcut and issued licenses to anyone who could fog a mirror.

Groups like Amnesty International reknowned for being more concerned about the rights of criminals and terrorists than the rights of the US Government to protect legal residents wellbeing, has now taken to disparaging the act for it’s possible consequences on asylum seekers. The group says; “The Real I.D. Act allows a judge to deny asylum for lack of consistency in any statements, oral or written, sworn or not, made at any time.” Ok so where is the problem? Some foriegn national comes to the US and tells conflicting stories as to why they are here seeking asylum and that should be not be considered by a Judge hearing the Asylum appeal? I would consider this critical to be considered in the course of a decision to grant or deny asylum. Amnesty International is once again spouting total fluff.

I for one applaud the Congress for putting action ahead of rhetoric and taking a proactive approach to Homeland Security.

Kansas Board of Ignorance

Filed under: — menk @ 11:04 am

In Kansas today the (incorrectly named) Board of Education is poised to begin a theatrical presentation of alternatives to Evolution. The hearings will have little (read as ‘No’) effect on the board’s pre-ordained decision to vote to teach ‘Intelligent Design’ in Kansas schools. The conservative board members have essentially set the hearings to establish a soap box for proponents of Intelligent Design fantasy to tout the supposed lack of scientific proof of evolution.

Coming from the state where Dorothy’s journey to Oz originated, this is not really much of a surprise. According to a reliable source the Kansas ‘Board of Ignorance’ has stated that it is their firm belief that the origins of life on this planet was planned and orchestrated by a large green orb with a face; which resides in a Green Crystalline Castle in the land of Oz. This Orb (also known as the Wizard of Oz) is omniscient and really smart so was able to bypass any neccessity for life to develop over millions of years with incremental improvements and natural selection as proposed by Charles Darwin. Apparently so powerful is this ‘wizard’ that life on this planet under his direction went straight to it’s current condition with Kansas being the center of the universe.

The next heretical theory the Kansas Board of Ignorance will take on is that annoying ‘Theory’ that the world is round. Steve Abrams, chairman of the Kansas Board is quoted as saying: “We all know now that Magellan lied and after nearly falling off the edge of the earth he and his crew snuck back around Portugal and pretended the world was round. It’s time we set the record straight.”

Apparently on learning of the plan to teach “Intelligent Design” Dorothy was heard to say: “Are those Board members Idiots? I could have told them that the Orb was in fact a bunch of crap. I personally met the man behind the curtain and he couldn’t even control a bunch of flying monkeys much less drive the direction of life’s development.”

Interestingly enough a pair of ‘Ruby Slippers” is now for sale on e-bay as apparently the owner no longer needs the shoes as they have no desire to return to Kansas.

5/2/2005

Why have data on 600K former employees?

Filed under: — menk @ 11:18 pm

Time Warner admitted today that a box containing backup data with personal information (Social Security Numbers, Credit Card Data, Payroll info, Birthdays, Addresses, etc.) on 600,000 current and former employees was lost in a shipment to Iron Mountain a warehousing provider. TW is saying it is the fault of Iron Mountain but I question: Why are they still keeping all that data on TW employees since 1968? Why is it still online and requiring backup? As a former employee of AOL Time Warner, I want to know. This company has now lost my personal info and god knows ‘who has it and what they will use it for’? It will not be used for good of that much I am certain.

Thanks again Time Warner! Is Porky Pig managing your IT systems? Time Warner CIO

BTW: Time Warner is providing all current US employees a subscription to an ID theft protection service from Equifax. So where does that leave the roughly 500,000 former TW employees whose data was also compromised due to incompetence? “Hey Porky! Where’s my ID theft protection?”

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