. . . . and now for something different

My teen years were the early 70’s and it was pretty much fast cars, fast bike and fast women. All three are still fast but I’m slower and this is something I could get into easily . . . . a swamp bug-gy


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Did the NSA scandal damage the future of the Cloud and SaaS?

A lot of people use Cloud storage, some of it for sensitive material and worry about security. It would seem that anything can be hacked and stolen, either from within or from without. The Cloud vendors do everything they can to make your data secure and there are some things a user should do, mostly due diligence as outlined in this Forbes article. But there are still lessons to be learned even by prominent companies like Oracle that even though the Cloud is safe, it is only as safe as the user, doing due diligence, makes it.

There are some alternatives, such as the one outlined in this article. The article doesn’t mention end-to-end encryption, which keeps the NSA from “listening” in UNLESS they have the encryption key, which they very well could. Realistically, with a reliable vendor, your data is safe once it is on the cloud server, but that’s the rub, the transmission.

The server is like a bank vault protecting your money, but you have to get your money there for it to be safe, but it is still vulnerable to “inside” attacks like email phishing and a password being compromised on your end or the company end. So is the cloud safe, from hackers it is safe as it can be. From the government, no. The same applies to SaaS (software as a service).

Again it all comes back to transmission. SaaS, such as a text editor, resides on a server on a Cloud server and on the server, the info is safe, but the info is transmitted across the internet and can be “picked off” then with a simple packet sniffer. But what about if it’s encrypted? Strong encryption can defeat even the governments efforts but there is still one gap – the vendor giving the government the encryption key.

Would a vendor do that? Not willingly. But with the secret national security letters they’d be forced to and because they are secret the vendor can’t tell you that your information has been seized, they are prohibited by law from doing so. 

The final analysis is if you want to keep info private from abusive government surveillance, keep your files to yourself on your computer

Does The Beggar On The Street Have A Moral Claim On My Earnings?

A question I have long considered without a satisfactory answer – what obligation do we have to the less fortunate? There is this Forbes article that makes a point . . . . 

A presidential campaign in which the winner campaigned on class warfare, implying that the success of a few is somehow connected to the economic problems experienced by everyone else.

America is the land of opportunity and if you don’t exercise your opportunity, why should society carry you and redistribute wealth from those that worked for it to those that didn’t?

First off, not everyone gets an equal chance at the opportunity that America is suppose to be. You grow up in a family that cannot afford a lot or if you do, you can fall below a sustainability line and climbing back up is extremely difficult. I, personally, have come close to falling below that sustainability line and I can see what it takes to stay above it and those resources are hard to come by. 

So we, as a society, need to provide those resources so people that want to can climb up and succeed. Isn’t that what America is about, each generation providing for the next?

But what of those that don’t want to even try? The term “social security” is not about retirement or providing for the elderly and disabled. It is about security of the society; to prevent a reoccurrence of an event like the French Revolution and the wave after wave of worsening extremism and chaos that eventually results in the rise of a dictator.

That doesn’t mean that the people subsisting at the teat of the welfare state deserve everything that those that worked for it have earned. They, to ensure social order, deserve a minimum living that affords them the ability to work their way up the ladder of opportunity – nothing more, nothing less. THat does not include cellphones or other like items, that’s part of the rewards system for having succeeded. Why work, why care about succeeding, if you are freely given the rewards, paid for for by those that did go out and work?

That brings us back to the beginning . . . . is the success of a few at the expense of the many? If there was no success, no people who have, there would be nothing to redistribute. You’ve have a 3rd work country constantly seeking handouts

Will the IRS unite the Tea Party and the Occupy Movement against Obama?

Article link

Did they? Or is the IRS saying this to make it look like they are unbiased. I think the hole just got deeper with the IRS saying, “we discriminate against everyone that is a threat to the administration”

I just wonder, could this be the issue that unites the Tea Party and the Occupy Movement?

Why wireless phone service is a bad idea for regular service

Wireless phone service is a limited capability service that in some ways exceeds the service offered in the days of Ma Bell and in some ways is less then what Ma Bell provided, most notably no ability to have remote alarm monitoring. Also, no internet  . . . . 

“As laid out in Verizon’s terms of service, Voice Link isn’t compatible with “fax machines, DVR services, credit card machines, medical alert or monitoring services or some high speed or DSL Internet services.”


” . . . . it doesn’t allow customers to accept collect calls or use calling cards or make other dial-around calls. To make an international call, customers will need an international plan.”

There is this article that describes the benefits, as described by Verizon, and the drawbacks, as described by detractors of the service. In my opinion the negative side outweighs the positive EXCEPT as an emergency, temporary fix till regular phone lines are repaired.

“Unlike landlines that work during power outages, Voice Link will not work without power. That means if the electricity goes out during the next hurricane, customers will be relying on a rechargeable battery backup to call for help.”

” . . . . Verizon wants consumers to be clear that if an emergency call fails, they won’t be able to blame Verizon. A separate paragraph printed in bold type specifies that by agreeing to the terms of service, consumers also agree to limit Verizon’s liability to the cost of the service.”

One of the detractors offers the theory . . . . 

“Voice Link is supposed to have been a temporary fix but it is now a permanent downgrade,” Bruce Kushnick, the executive director of New Networks Institute, wrote in a blog post this week. “This is part of a larger plan Verizon and AT&T have put in motion to ‘abandon’ whole areas of the U.S. and force them onto their wireless service—or not get service.”

If that is true, rural areas, like Fire Island, which is only a few miles from NYC, would be forced to accept service that does not and will never include internet service creating another layer of have-nots in America

“The common theme among all these new limits on Verizon’s Fire Island voice service is that Voice Link’s failings all hit the most vulnerable the hardest,” writes Jodie Griffin, a staff attorney at Public Knowledge, a public interest advocacy group.

Maguire (Verizon’s senior vice president of network operations support) said Verizon is working to make Voice Link compatible with data. In the meantime, residents of Fire Island can enjoy a new phone service that boasts the characteristics of yesteryear—minus the peace of mind that the phone will work when they need it most.


Which brings me to a point not addressed in the Forbes article – weather. If you are someone who has satellite TV then you know, and cable companies play this up, that weather – rain, snow, dust storms – degrade or entirely disrupt your service. The wireless phone service relies on an antenna much like the one satellite TV uses. So, bad weather, forget it? The article doesn’t say it, but I would guess the service would be line-of-sight so putting a weather dome over the antenna, like the military does (those white domes that look like golf balls) probably wouldn’t work, and even worse, make the esthetics even worse with a white golf ball on your roof 🙂 

If you live in Connecticut, this is one of yours . . . . Democratic Congressman: ‘Not Fair’ To Subject Congress To Obamacare Just Like Everyone Else

What? Obamacare disproportionally hurts those with lower incomes? It may come as a surprise, but it shouldn’t. We’ve known this since before the legislation even passed.

More to the point, why did Rep. Larson vote to impose on the country a health coverage system that “is simply not fair”?

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