Friday, November 28, 2008

"Samantha Power is back"

Apparently, Barack Obama's "firing" of Samantha Power was not for real, as she is back at work, looking at State Department staff. This is probably the "hottest" picture of her in existence. She is essentially a bomb-throwing radical foreign policy expert and advisor.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I am trying out NewsBin Pro

I am learning to use NewsBin Pro, which I had only learned about today. The features which caught my eye were that it could use SSL and had a search facility. The down side is that the documentation is pretty pathetic. However, I was able to figure out how to use it, so it must be pretty "user friendly". It also works with many binary file formats. I like being able to download files to directories of my choosing ("folders" in Windows parlance).

Monday, November 24, 2008

YaCy: distributed open source web search

What do you know? Ask and you shall receive (are there any more cliches?). I am going to try YaCy, the open source web search tool.

$1.729 for mid-grade

I paid $1.729 a gallon for mid-grade gasoline at my local Tom Thumb gas station. There are reports of regular unleaded in the Dallas-Fort Worth area under $1.60 per gallon. I have thought that we were near a bottom on gas and oil prices, but I hope that I am wrong. From the perspective of the oil industry in Texas, we need oil above $40 a barrel. Of course, we can be pleased that low prices are making life difficult for the Mullahs and Hugo Chavez.

We need uncensored search of the Internet and Usenet

In 1998, the Internet and Usenet were like the "Wild West". Today, it is like living in the Soviet Union. There is a great deal of "Prohibited Material" that the Government doesn't want us to see. The DCMA, the "war on child pornography", and the "war on terror" are used to justify the excesses and trampling of constitutional rights. Search engines are forced to censor what we see. I have thought that Google had a social agenda that also justified some of that, as well. Two things that would help bust us loose would be to have client-based of both the Internet and Usenet. Server-based options can be shut down by the government, because they cache everything, including "prohibited material". It would be interesting to see if anyone is providing tools for uncensored search.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Underground Economy

"Dr. Helen" thinks that the Underground Economy is unfair, in that the participants pay no taxes while those of us who follow the rules do. I would much rather not have to pay a high proportion of my income as taxes, but the problem is the tax system and government, not with the underground economy. I just happen to be firmly entrenched in the Above Ground Economy.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

My card number and pin were ripped off at a gas station

I bought gas at a Raceway station on Gross Rd. in Mesquite this morning. I used a different pump than I usually use. Right before 5pm today, I got a call from my bank saying that two gas purchases at Shell stations in the Houston area looked fraudulent. I confirmed that I had not made the purchases, and the whole hassle is created of having to change over all my business to use the new card number. Still, I am glad that they didn't get much with my card number and that I won't get burnt. I had heard on the radio (KRLD 1080am in Dallas) about this sort of rip off when they have readers on pumps. Well, I found that it is a real threat. The fix is said to be that if you use a card, don't enter your pin but use it as credit.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The 32nd Division in 1917-1918

My grandfather, my Dad's father, fought in France in 1918 with the 32nd Division. He was injured by a large caliber German artillery shell and from mustard gas. He received disability after the war for his injuries. That paid his way to the University of Michigan with an architectural engineering degree.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Goofiness on the campaign trail

This is the presidential campaign that has gotten extremely goofy. For one thing, John McCain refuses to use the best stuff that they have on Barack Obama, because he doesn't want to be a bad guy. In our family, one family member things that we are in the end times and that Barack Obama is the Anti-Christ. Another family member, who is the atheist, pro-abortion, pro-Israel, anti-radical Islam, is sitting this one out, because the person doesn't like either side. Besides, a vote for Obama would likely mean getting on the jury duty list. Another relative, who is a liberal, thinks that America is not ready to elect a Black man president.