Well see to what degree democracy really does come to the new Iraq. But I know this: The American people, in whose name this war was waged, need to hold this administrations feet to the fire. Its obviously too late to stop this war, but we as a democratic nation still have a responsibility to make the aftermath as beneficial to the Iraqi people as possible now that its over. That means that corporate cronyism that seems to be the preferred method for awarding lucrative rebuilding contracts needs to be protested loudly. Any backsliding on democratic actions or a disconnect between administration actions and rhetoric have to be combatted as vigorously possible.
If I read this article (Settlement Seen as Changing Ways Consumers Use Debit Cards) correctly, after the settlement between retailers and Visa/Mastercard takes effect, retailers will be free to choose whether or not to accept debit cards at all, and if they accept them, whether to require a PIN as the “signature” or an actual signature. By using a PIN, the retailer pays mere cents for the transaction, by accepting a signature the retailer pays much more. On the other end of the transaction though, the banks that hold the cards apparently are charing consumers up to $1.50 per transaction if they use a PIN to sign the transaction, instead of a signature. So, even with the settlement, the banks get their $1.50 (or more), only now the retailer isn’t forced to fork over the money.
So, why would anyone who’s minding their money use a debit card? If you put the purchase on a credit card, and pay that card off every month, you end up getting a little interest on the float in your account between when you made the purchase and when you pay your credit card bill (assuming your credit card has the typical billing grace period).
I am a thirty-something I/T hack. I’ve been doing Internet stuff since the late 1980s and computer stuff since the late 1970s. That’s not supposed to impress you, you’re supposed to take pity on someone who’s spent far too much time playing with computers.
I went to "Allegheny College" (where I studied Arthurian Literature and Pascal) and "Carnegie Mellon" (where I studied technical writing, interface design, and comp.sys.mac.*).
While at IBM I did all sorts of interesting things, ranging from writing some books for MVS, RACF, and CASE/390, and, well, helping to put IBM on the Internet and world wide web. I worked on a few Olympic Games web sites (Atlanta, Nagano, Sydney) and the Deep Blue web sites (still smarting over that). I designed some pretty nifty web hosting infrastructures if I do say so myself. Really. Ok, fine, write me off as another .com dropout. See if I care. Phhhthttbtbt.
In 2001 I took a sabbatical since I was, well, rather burned out. I returned in September 2001 as a “consultant” (meaning: they had no idea where to place me). After spending two months flying around the East Coast and sitting in rooms playing Snood (because they didn’t want me to do anything either, just bill your time to the customer please), I decided I had better things to do with my life and left for netomat, inc. where I ran the technology and software development team.
I left netomat in 2002, because, you know, the worst job market in a century is the best time to quit a paying job.
I currently do some consulting and take care of "Frisket", our Golden Retriever (I have to admit this, Frisket’s web site gets far more traffic than this site).
These are in no particular order:
- Wireless technologies (bluetooth, wifi)
- web logs and ideas derived from them (content syndication, things you can do with XML,).
- Complex I/T problem analysis and solutions
- Web site infrastructure design and operations, problem management, etc.
- emerging technologies and their impacts on communications
- Writing So you want to be a webmaster? (hey, it’s a working title, ok?). About my time served as webmaster of www.ibm.com and "IBM" in general.
- Writing a novel. Everyone should try to write one. If you’re lucky, this one won’t get published.
- Exploring "Bittorrent"
- Exploring RSS and RDF
- Reacquainting myself with the BSD variants of Unix
- Some light Java work
This site is geared towards friends and family and other colleagues. If you don’t fall into one of those categories then you are a welcome guest, but don’t complain that this doesn’t meet up to some self-inflated standards of what a weblog is supposed to be.
This site is the follow-on to http://epc.editthispage.com which in turn was a follow-on to both http://bluelogs.webahead.ibm.com/epc and http://ibm.com/~epc (bluelogs died out of non-participation by IBM employees, ibm.com/~epc died when I left ibm.com in 1999).
This site is currently run using "Radio Userland", however I plan to change over to "Moveable Type" soon. Radio was kind of interesting for awhile, until I tried customizing it. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out the most simplistic scripting (you can see the result in various “macro” errors throughout the site). The markup is supposed to be "XHTML" compliant, though I haven't verified it lately. The CSS is based on a Radio version of a "Moveable Type" style, though I've completely rewritten the "HTML" gorp and modified most of the "CSS" to my own taste. I don’t have comments enabled intentionally...If you want to let me know what you think, send me a note (the little envelope icon thing at the top of each day) or add a comment to your weblog (the catch being that radio.weblogs.com doesn’t run a "trackback" server).
Hello all. I'm gathering material for research on the B2I proposal, and wanted to ask the readers some questions. Feel free to answer in the comments or email me.
Dinner tonight was at Isobel. We’ve been going more frequently due to the new menu they adopted (their first menu was very shellfish heavy). "Frisket" got a new shipment of knuckle bones and tendons to chew on so she was happy today.
While on the way to an important speech, Thailand's finance minister got locked inside his luxury car because of an onboard computer malfunction and had to signal someone to smash a window for him to crawl out. "It was pretty bad because nothing worked, everything was locked," a shaken Finance Minister Suchart Jaovisidha told reporters yesterday. [...] The engine stopped, the air conditioning shut down, the doors got locked and the windows wouldn't roll down, he said, adding that he was trapped for about 10 minutes.
Mr. Sorkin's "West Wing" was a boy's vision of the true Camelot: knights at the Round Table and Guinevere safely upstairs and locked in her chastity belt. Certainly the show will be less literate. It is hard to believe that in a Sorkinless "West Wing" a young White House aide will sarcastically refer to a French rival as Tartuffe.
Lisa and I wanted Frisket to get quite tired so she wouldn’t miss us while we ate dinner and caught the series finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I thought it was one of the better episodes of the season, and probably in my top twenty for the series though not one of the best episodes.
Story one: Last month while visiting Charleston, three women went into a Starbucks. They were spending the weekend together and one of them had a disposable camera with her. To commemorate their time with one and other they decided to take round robin pictures while sitting around communing. The manager evidently careened out of control, screaming at them, “Didn’t they know it was illegal to take photographs in a Starbucks. She insisted that she had to have the disposable camera because this was an absolute violation of Starbuck’s copyright of their entire ‘environment’--that everything in the place is protected and cannot be used with Starbuck’s express permission.
Story two: At our local [North Carolina] Starbucks, a friend’s daughter, who often has her camera with her, was notified that she was not allowed to take pictures in any Starbucks. No explanation was given, but pressed I would think that the manager there would give a similar rationale.I wonder what would happen if hundreds of people from around the country experimented this holiday weekend by taking pictures at their local Starbucks … [Lessig Blog]
It’s raining, for the third day here in NYC, and the fifth or sixth for us (since it rained the last couple days in Lake Placid).
I did some mad techno-geek stuff over the weekend, rearranging my hosting at pair.com (where frisket.org is hosted, amongst other sites), rearranging the jungle of cables under my desk, almost eliminating a power strip but not quite, realizing I ordered both the wrong DVI extension cable for the G4 as well as the wrong KVM for sharing my wireless keyboard between the mac and stinkpad. By far, I wasted the most time trying to figure out why the FreeBSD box mars.gothic-egg.net keeps shutting down after an hour of uptime. I had set it up to host DNS and some other minor home-networking stuff, which isn't much work but it does need to be running. I am contemplating upgrading it to FreeBSD 5.1beta to see if that exorcises whatever daemons are bringing it down.
No slacker, I haven’t upgraded the G4 to 10.2 yet so no iTunes sharing yet.
My little lesson here: email is never private. There are degrees of privacy you can try for, but in the end it is never private. It can be shared intentionally or completely by accident. Email is never private.
In a nationally televised address before an estimated audience of 150, President Bush praised the Citizenship Redefinition And Income-Based Relocation Act. "The swift passage of this very important law proves what I have always believed: that government works best when spared the constant carping and criticism of naysayers," Bush said. "I am proud of all the senators, representatives, regional overseers, and metropolitan sub-commanders who worked so hard to make this law a reality. Almost as proud as San Antonio is of its Spurs."