Monthly Archives: October 2005

Fila what?

Now that Bush has nominated another Supreme Court justice, the knives are coming out and it looks like the political war will begin. Don’t be surprised if by December and January all the political talk will be about filibusters. But what is a filibuster, anyway? And how did such a weird-sounding word get into our language?

It all begins with pirates, involves a Tennessee man trying to make California his own kingdom, and ends with Rosa Parks and the KKK.

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CIA Leak: Common Sense

A couple of years ago, we were told that the current administration was “outing” undercover CIA agents as part of a political smear campaign.

As a former marine, voter, and patriot, I was outraged. Anybody who jeopardized our national security in this manner should go to jail, perhaps even being convicted of treason.

Well, it’s two years later. The special prosecutor has returned with results from his work. What does all this add up to?

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Haunting Songs

I heard the most awesome song last night; I had to drive from Richmond to Raleigh and back to give a presentation. On the way back, one of the NC stations was doing a most “haunting songs” list, I guess for Halloween.

Most of the stuff was 80s and 90s metal and hard rock, but they had one song, of all things, by Johnny Cash.

Turns out he had abused himself with drugs for years and had a hard life. On his death bed, he decided he wanted to do one more album. He had read the lyrics from a song by some group? Nine-inch nails maybe? About the pain and hurt of being a junkie.

It was called “hurt”, and I’m still thinking about how haunting that song was. They say when he recorded it, there wasn’t a dry eye in the studio. He died very soon afterwards. Just an incredible story and song.

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Best Business Tapes for a Techie

There are a lot of business tape sets out there. For a technical person, so many of them seem like “ra-ra-ra” type material. A lot of fluff and little meat. But there are some that really have made a difference to me. Here’s the best set of business tapes I have found coming from a technical background. Please feel free to let me know if you’ve ran into others.

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Publicity Stuff

I will be speaking at the IBM Rational User’s Group in Research Triangle Park on the 20th of this month at 6:30. The topic will be “Advanced Use Cases” and will include how process risk (the MAT) effects how you do requirements.

I will also be featured in an October edition of the Blue Ridge Business Journal as an upcoming inventor and businessman. I’ll post a link when the story comes out.

Finally, I am just now completing negotiations to speak at the Region 2000 Wired Wednesday technology lunch on March 15th.

Thanks for all the friends that have helped enough for me to get a little more visibility by the press. I owe you guys one!

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China Opens Up “Internet Addiciton” Clinic

Spending a little too much time online? In China, the government has an answer for you — internet addiction treatment. The BBC is reporting that the facility is giving two-week-treatments to citizens deemed “going online for too long”. It is unknown whether the treatment will be effective, or even what the word “effective” means in such a context. I also have some serious worries about the folks who will receive such “treatment” at the hands of a loving state. One supposes that political bloggers would be high on the list of people considered “ill”. And with the look of that headgear, the treatment doesn’t look all that enjoyable.

In related news, the “Manchurian Candidate” is playing on late-night TV this Friday.

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RFID In The News

Here’s another round-up of RFID technology. This month Dr. Dobbs, the technical programming magazine, has an excellent article about RFID programming with Java — good article for the bit-heads. Dobbs has done some neat RFID articles in the past, including “tag blockers” that will block the emissions from other tags. There could be both a privacy issue and a possible fraud issue with this technology.

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Power Plastic

Here’s an idea whose time has come: plastic that produces power. A start-up company called Konarka is using nano-technology and conducting polymers to combine solar cells and industrial plastic. The result, observers say, could be cell phones that power themselves up when left in the sun, or cars that generate some of their own power just by sitting out in the driveway. I’m sure the efficiency ratio of these devices is still low, but any power produced without extra panels or wires is a freebie. Neat idea. Source: Konarka web site.

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The Mind Molester

Ahh. It is the simple things in life that matter.

Got somebody you don’t like? The new mind molester is guaranteed to drive them crazy. It is a simple little device, which you can hide anywhere (suggested places: under heavy furniture) Once it is activated, it will make one loud annoying beep every 3 minutes. In testing over at Real-Tech News, the device drove a room of people half crazy, lifting furniture, roaming through the house, etc. The 3-minute interval is almost perfectly timed: by the time people have given up and went on to something else, there’s another beep. Rumors have it that John McCain is already moving to outlaw the use of MindMolesters on US prisoners.

Source: ThinkGeek

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The Ultimate WTF

From Real Clear Politics

Friday, September 30

UPDATE: Habib resigned earlier today.

THE TRULY UNBELIEVABLE: “I don’t believe it was 19 … hijackers who did those attacks.” Those are the words of the Saudi-educated Imam slated to be sworn in today as the second Muslim chaplain in the history of…….the NEW YORK CITY FIRE DEPARTMENT.

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