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Pondering Google, Facebook And Wasting Time
Topic: Miscellaneous 8:18 am EDT, Jun  4, 2009

All Things Considered, June 2, 2009 · When she was 10, my wife, Laura, belonged to a junior librarian club whose motto was, "We never guess; we look it up!" Bless their little hearts. Her club came up when I was complaining about the tons of e-mail I get asking questions people can look up. I thought about signing off with, "Don't ask me anything you can Google," which is kind of rude but necessary in these days of little time and too much communication.

If you ask me anything you can Google, then you force me to waste time being Google, just another appendage of an empire that's already stolen half my waking hours.

After some well-meaning fan put up a Facebook page for me, I signed up for it myself, and now I get messages on Facebook that I could have gotten just as easily in my regular e-mail, a time-wasting redundancy that also carries other time rip-offs with it.

My regular e-mail now tells me I have Facebook messages, forcing me to go to Facebook, which is slow on account of the jillion egos battling for verbal-audio-visual attention. And when I get there I find some cute thing that it's taken me years to ignore in real life, and I start wandering involuntarily among postings in the hope of something to get that sickly saccharine taste out of my mouth, and I find more cute — a real sugarplum tree made by millions of bored people. After that honey bath, I'm ready to Twitter in rude Anglo-Saxon.

The new media's given me several new insights:

1. Most people have too much time on their hands;

2. Most people are passive receptacles for whatever goes by;

3. Most people are not bothered by redundancy — they can do the same thing three or four times in a row without feeling defrauded; and

4. Most people want to be recognized for something, even if it's just dumb repetition.

Maybe there is an upside to this, something organic that's good for evolution, but I'm inclined to think that it's deliberate extortion by aliens.

Google me timbers!

The name alone is so cute, you can hardly go on for an hour without hearing or saying it.

Google. Google. Yo Google.

If Google ever takes off its mask, you might be surprised to find that it doesn't look cute at all, that it's more insect than human, like almost happened when it agreed to censor itself in China. I suspect, too, that this Google is just the first of many coming Googles, one cuter than another, each with more time-chomping jaws than the next.

I wonder where all this time we seem to have come from? Did the washing machine and the car really create such leisure time that we are giving it over to Google? Are the machines really working that well together?

I guess, but I just don't know. And this time I can't just look it up, oh junior librarians, 'cause there is no Google for this question.

I could listen to Andrei Codrescu all day.

Pondering Google, Facebook And Wasting Time

RE: Is the Hacking Threat To National Security Overblown? | Threat Level |
Topic: Miscellaneous 3:24 pm EDT, Jun  3, 2009

Acidus wrote:

“Is hacking a national security threat?,” Yoran said. “The one word answer is yes.”

As proof, Yoran pointed to stories about the denial-of-service attacks in Estonia, attacks on government contractor Booz Allen Hamilton and the recently reported breach of a defense contractor that let hackers get at information on the Joint Strike Fighter.

“Cyber 9-11 has happened over the last ten years, but it’s happened slowly so we don’t see it,” Yoran said.

I'm going to beat the shit out of the next person who uses the phrase "Digital Pearl Harbor" or "Cyber 9-11" with a god damn PIPE.

In regards to the JSF breach I found this article interesting Turns out the JSF plans were found on a P2P network. .. They should of used a Darknet...

RE: Is the Hacking Threat To National Security Overblown? | Threat Level |

What video game system should I own?
Topic: Miscellaneous 11:12 pm EDT, May 17, 2009

What video game system should I own?

Your Life Ambition
Topic: Miscellaneous 11:08 pm EDT, May 17, 2009

Your Life Ambition

Lily Allen - The Fear
Topic: Miscellaneous 3:56 pm EDT, Apr 30, 2009

I am a weapon of massive consumption.
It's not my fault, its how I'm programmed to function.

Lily Allen - The Fear

End the University as We Know It
Topic: Society 11:13 am EDT, Apr 29, 2009

GRADUATE education is the Detroit of higher learning. Most graduate programs in American universities produce a product for which there is no market (candidates for teaching positions that do not exist) and develop skills for which there is diminishing demand (research in subfields within subfields and publication in journals read by no one other than a few like-minded colleagues), all at a rapidly rising cost (sometimes well over $100,000 in student loans).

European colleges seem to be doing right in the sense that students often switch between schools depending on what they are studying at the time. The whole idea of "ranking" is very loose that they don't really care about what school you graduated from since a lot of knowledge is shared between them. Unlike in Asia where reputation is more important and within departments, there are a lot of politics based on reputation and funding.

I believe GaTech's Threads program is a great step in the right direction along with Penn State's school of IST.

End the University as We Know It

moot wins, Time Inc. loses
Topic: Society 1:44 pm EDT, Apr 28, 2009

This morning published the final result for their annual TIME 100 Poll. Time reports that the new owner of the title ‘Worlds’s most influential person, is moot’. What TIME doesn’t say is that their poll was so totally manipulated that the results of the poll are not an indication of who is the most influential, but instead they stand as a monument to Time’s incompetence.

A great analysis of the Anon hack on's poll. It scars me to think that Australia allows online voting to elect government officials.

What Anonymous realized was that if they always labeled the unknown scanned text with the same word - and if they did this thousands and thousands of times eventually a large percentage of the unknown words would be mislabeled with their word. All they had to do was look at the two words in the captcha, enter the proper label for the ‘easy’ one (presumably that would be the one that the two optical scanners would agree upon) and enter the word “penis” for the hard one. If they did this often enough, then soon a significant percentage of the images would be labeled as ‘penis’ and the ability to autovote would be restored (one side effect, that was not lost on Anonymous, was the notion that for years to come there would be a number of digital books with the word ‘penis’ randomly inserted throughout the text.

ReCaptcha claims they can prevent a 'penis flood' attack... Only time will tell...

moot wins, Time Inc. loses

Aimee Mullins on running | Video on
Topic: Miscellaneous 6:06 pm EDT, Apr 24, 2009

In this TED archive video from 1998, paralympic sprinter Aimee Mullins talks about her record-setting career as a runner, and about the amazing carbon-fiber prosthetic legs (then a prototype) that helped her cross the finish line.

This is one of the most inspirational stories I've heard in a while.

Aimee Mullins on running | Video on

Like A Boss (ft. Seth Rogen) - Uncensored Version
Topic: Miscellaneous 11:54 pm EDT, Apr 23, 2009

I'm the boss.

Like A Boss (ft. Seth Rogen) - Uncensored Version

RE: Verizon: Cracking PINs for Fun and Profit
Topic: Miscellaneous 3:10 pm EDT, Apr 15, 2009

Acidus wrote:
As Decius and I have said for years, at the bottom of most good security tales you always end up with either Felton or Anderson. :-)

Sweet! Fresh 2nd edition -- Publisher: Wiley; 2 edition (April 14, 2008)


RE: Verizon: Cracking PINs for Fun and Profit

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