Saturday, December 29, 2007

FoxNews NH Forum

Ron Paul is being excluded from a Fox News Republican forum in New Hampshire. This is fine since they're a business and get to decide what they want to do.

It really doesn't matter if they're supposed to be "Fair and Balanced." We already knew that they weren't. It only matters that they're being fair and balanced in their own minds when looking at the other stations like CNN. If you're the opposite of another entity, doesn't mean that you're any better than that entity.

Republicans and Democrats are different sides of the same coin. They're not really the yin to the other's yang. They're about consolidating power and doing what is best for their own power base.

After the Republican loss you would think that they would understand that America doesn't like where they're going. It's going to happen with the upcoming Va Senate race when they put forward Jim Gilmore as their candidate. Gilmore will be hammered by Mark Warner. Warner basically had to step in to fix the budget mess that Gilmore got us into.

Republicans don't really seem to have any fiscal control. Democrats might want to spend money, but at least they understand that they have pay for it in some manner. Republicans seem to want to spend and spend, but want to defer payment.

I love the following quote from this article:

The Finance Committee's top Republican, Charles Grassley of Iowa, said it was time for Democrats to abandon their "PayGo obsession," referring to the "pay-as-you-go" principle that tax cuts or spending increases should be paid for so as not to add to the federal deficit. With the "clean" AMT bill, "the Senate Democratic leadership seems to realize that the AMT should not be offset," he said.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Circuit City and Bonuses

Here's a good post about cutting top sales people and having to pay bonuses to senior management to get them to stay on. The basic point is that Circuit City fired its top sales people. Their sales are horrible and stock is dropping fast. They're now paying bonuses up to $1 million to keep their executive management.

Of course management isn't going into the store to sell things. It sounds like they're trying to make themselves more appealing as an acquisition target. Keep management around and someone will come along and buy. Why would you buy them unless it's for the property and maybe the brand? CompUSA is out of the picture now. Best Buy will probably rule the retail electronics business.

Friday, December 14, 2007

UK Banning Swords and Other Blade Weapons

Apparently the U.K. is having a problem with knife crime. They're in the process of banning various forms/styles of knives. It looks as though people found other means to commit murder after the gun ban. Here are some more links. A google search will provide many more.

There's even a group called Mother's Against Knives.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Dialects of Mountain People

I was curious about dialects and found this interesting article. What made me think of searching for something was the wasp which as a kid we would turn into wasper or waspers for plural. We discussed this in an Appalachian studies class that I took in college.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Snow Today

It snowed in Abingdon today. It snowed in a most places north of here. It was nasty in Smyth and Tazewell Counties. Icy in patches.

Here's a pic:

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Verizon and Hell Freezing

Hell must have frozen over because Verizon will be opening up it's network to devices that it doesn't sell. The device must certified on it's network so we'll see how easy it is for device makers to achieve this. I'm really interested in an OpenMoko device.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Developers, Linux and Memory

Ulrich Drepper wrote a series of articles for LWN called "What every programmer should know about memory". He put it together into one big pdf that is 114 pages long. I've read parts of it. It's something that I need to read.

The copyright forbids redistribution. It's at the bottom of the first page.

Linux, NVidia, Projectors

Here's an article that tells you how to get the nvidia driver to work with projectors when it won't autodetect the correct settings.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Bangkok and America

Here's a video of Bangkok with it's empty buildings that were left incomplete after the Asian Crisis. I wonder if this is starting to happen in some of the hardest hit by the subprime mess.

If Roubini's forecasts are to be believed, it probably will.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

IE only form

Periodically, I have to fill out some online forms. These forms have their own problem. I live with them since I can do almost everything in Linux using Firefox except for one thing. The one thing is the ability to upload a pdf that contains some scanned images. The form puts the file into a SharePoint repository.

Why would you do that? This upload section has it's own form with a few fields and an attach file button. I cannot do the upload from there. I have to either reboot, startup VMware, or use my wife's laptop. I'm in Linux 100% of the time on my primary laptop.

I don't know if the problem is because of the developers or SharePoint, but I don't care. I've heard enough bad things about SharePoint that I would never willingly use it unless it was for work. Alfresco seems to be a better alternative, plus it's OpenSource.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Ron Paul followup after debate

This is the follow up to the debate. Hannity is complaining about the polling when he knows that a phone can only be logged once. Fox News is driving an agenda just like any other network.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Go Ron Paul

Ron Paul is the only Republican that I'll support in the election. Otherwise I'll be voting for the Democratic candidate.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Never moving to Cali

Traffic is the reason that I never moved to California during the dot com time, besides the cost of living. It's one of the primary reasons why we moved back to Southwest Virginia after spending 5 years in Hampton Roads. The link at the beginning describes going to a concert on a Thursday night in LA.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

I-95 A$$Hole Song

Got this by way of Bob Sutton, it's the I-95 A$$Hole Song. It's appropriate and applies equally well to I-64/I-264/I-81 and just about every other interstate I've been on.

**Warning: Profanity in the form of A$$Hole is used through out the song

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Lee Ann and I picked up a kitten from a teacher that her sister works with. We named it Mossy.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

ATI and device specs?

Supposedly ATI will be releasing specs to make it easier to write open source drivers. I'll believe it when I see it. This is one of main reasons that I don't buy laptops with AMD chips. The video card is typically an ATI and the wireless card is something that does not have open specs.

Perhaps AMD and their vendors can purchase some intel wireless cards to bundle with their laptops. By buying an Intel Centrino laptop, I know that usually there's an Intel wireless card in the laptop.

If you didn't see it, AMD/ATI has released specs for the 2D portion of one of their graphics chipsets. We'll wait to see what happens with the 3D specs. The link will take you to X Org's website.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Our Server Won't Go Down Either

Got a clue about the QSOL ad via a link from Obie Fernandez blog. Before you click the link consider that the number of women entering CS/Tech programs are down. Then number of women entering IT is declining. The question that everyone is asking, "Does sexism exemplified by the ad cause women not to enter the field?"

The ad is in this month's Linux Journal to which I subscribe. I hadn't even noticed it. I don't normally read the table of contents because I usually flip through the whole thing.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Y2K Climate Bug

Got this from Apparently there was a Y2k bug in the processing of the climate data. The warmest year on record was 1934 and 5 of the 10 warmest years occurred before WWII.

Wow, it sounds like the peer review process didn't really work.


NASA has now silently released corrected figures, and the changes are truly astounding. The warmest year on record is now 1934. 1998 (long trumpeted by the media as record-breaking) moves to second place. 1921 takes third. In fact, 5 of the 10 warmest years on record now all occur before World War II. Anthony Watts has put the new data in chart form, along with a more detailed summary of the events.

Jim Cramer on the Colbert Report

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Cisco VPN on Fedora 6 & 7

Unfortunately, I have a need to access a network behind a Cisco VPN. I didn't really want to install the Cisco Linux VPN client. I found vpnc. There are rpms that can be installed using yum.

Here are the steps that I used to setup the connection. The assumption is that your logged in to your system as a userr and gnome is running.

You'll need the filename.pcf file, typically located in c:\Program Files\Cisco Systems\VPN Client\profiles

In Fedora, as root do:
yum install vpnc NetworkManagervpnc rdesktop

If NetworkManger is already running restart it.
service NetworkManager restart

If you don't have NetworkManager started do the following:
service NetworkManager start
service NetworkManagerDispatcher start

You should have a NetworkManager icon in the sys tray.
Left click VPN Connections->Configure VPN
Click Add in the VPN Connections box.

There should be a Create VPN Connection box.
Click Forward
Choose Compatible Cisco VPN client.
Click Forward
Click the "Import Save Configuration box "

You may get an error about TCP tunneling not being supported. I've gotten the same error and the connection still works.

In the Override username enter your username.
In the Optional tab, enter your domain name.
Click Forward, Apply, Close

Your connection should be setup now.

Left click the NetworkManager choose VPN Connections.
Choose the connection that you just started
Enter your password.
Enter the Group Password
Click connect.

The group password is typically encrypted in the pcf file on the line encGroupPwd. This password can be decrypted. The instructions for this are located here.

Update: Removed duplicate sentences.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Monday, August 06, 2007

Small Victories against big companies

I love it when things like this happen.

Warrant Issued For Verizon's Arrest

Verizon lost in small claims court for not correcting erroneous information on a man's credit report. He sued and won. They didn't take it seriously either.

Customer sends bailiffs in to seize bank's computers
In this case a man sued the bank of Scotland, won and they didn't take it seriously. He went to bank with bailiffs to take equipment including a cash drawer.

Update: Fixed formatting

Friday, July 27, 2007

USB boot for Linux/Fedora

I purchased an eSATA enclosure so that I could boot multiple OSs and have something for backup. I've got CentOS4 (repackaged RHEL 4) on there for some older software that I use for work. The eSATA enclosure also has a usb port while my laptops don't have an eSATA port.

I want to be able to boot the eSATA enclosure when using USB. Since most of the kernels that come with a distribution don't support booting from USB, I had to make some changes. Using this website as a guide I was able to setup the CentOS update kernel.

This was the only command that I had to was:

mkinitrd --preload=ehci-hcd --preload=usb-storage --preload=scsi_mod --preload=sd_mod /boot/usbinitrd.img 2.6.9-1.667smp

Make sure that you modify it for your kernel version.

The difference in speed between eSATA and USB is really evident here. The timed buffered disk reads are:
eSATA ~71MB/sec
USB: ~31MB/sec

I recommend that you setup the usbinitrd image while you're still connected to the eSATA connection, otherwise you may have to use the rescue CD to perform the operations described by the external website.

Also, I have USB 2.0 ports on my laptop and the enclosure supports USB 2.0. I would imagine that a USB 1.1 port is very much slower. See the comments sections.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Eclipse CDT Packaged for Windows

Doug Schaefer is putting together a pre-packaged Eclipse CDT for Windows called Wascana Desktop Developer. It includes the following:
  • Eclipse Platform runtime
  • Eclipse CDT runtime
  • MinGW toolchain: binutils, gcc, g++, gdb
  • MinGW runtime libraries: mingw-runtime, w32api
  • Simple Directmedia Layer library, better known as SDL
  • MSYS GNU command line environment
  • Sun's redistributable Java Runtime Environment
Another nice to have features would be a subversion plugin.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Earmarks and congress

None of Viriginia's elected representatives in Congress would provide CNN with information about their earmarks. I checked the response for each district.
  • Senator Jim Webb (D) - Would not provide
  • Senator John Warner (D) - No Response
  • District 9 Boucher (D) - No Response
Here are the links to the stories. There are ways to see what your representative provided.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Buying a house

Yes, my wife and I are buying a house. We should close May 30. We'll be living just outside of Abingdon. I know that this is probably the wrong time to be buying, but what do you do (maybe rent).

Global Warming Thoughts

I never really expected to post as many article on global warming as I have. They're mainly information links. I believe that Global Warming is real. I just don't believe that we may have played as big a role causing it as some would have us to believe.

Almost all of the articles about have the term "very likely" when talking about our carbon footprint causing the warming. It's not definite. Our understanding of the earth's systems are not complete, but people are trying. Newton's laws are flawed, but they worked just enough. Later, they were refined by scientists like Einstein. Global Warming will be understood eventually and what causes it may not be what we think it is now.

Please don't misunderstand me. I don't want to breath exhaust everyday. I think that it's a good thing to clean up our ways. It is wrong to use lies and half truths to change people's behavior.

Sunspot Activity near 1000 year high

Here's some interesting information about sunspot activity.
Sunspot Activity reaches 1,000 year high

Upcoming sunspot activity peak news:

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Global Warming on Mars

There's an article out in this months' Nature on Martian Global Warming (editor's summary). I don't have access to read the Nature article. There a short article from Reuters on CNN's website.

It's interesting how they throw this in the following commentary:

"On Earth, carbon dioxide traps infrared radiation which can affect global climate. This a phenomenon is known as the greenhouse effect. Fossil fuel emissions add to the problem."

I wonder if the Nature article made that claim.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Rebuttal of "The Great Global Warming Swindle"

To help even out the links on Global Warming, here's a rebuttal of the "The Great Global Warming Swindle".

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Global Warming Swindle

I hate posting these things about Global Warming. If no one posts them so that others can see, who will know that there are dissenting opinions that deserve to be heard. This is a documentary that can be downloaded from Google if the Google Video button is clicked. It is ~500MB in size.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Intellectual Property Quote

You see the quote at the bottom of the post in many different places on the net. It's on the signatures and websites of those who understand what current intellectual property laws are doing to basic research and innovation. The atmosphere is being stifling and will only get worse. It may never get better. You never see this quote being bandied about by those that wish to increase the duration and strength of the current patent/trademark/copyright regime.

The quote is from Thomas Jefferson. It sums up balancing act of intellectual property and how silly it really is to consider thoughts and ideas as property to be owned and horded. Algorithms, business processes, DNA, and other such things cannot be owned. Once there out there everyone knows them. Media (music, films,etc) is just as bad. Musicians and filmmakers don't create in a vacuum. Look at the number of re-makes.

Here's the quote as I got it from SlimDevices:

He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density in any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property. Society may give an exclusive right to the profits arising from them, as an encouragement to men to pursue ideas which may produce utility, but this may or may not be done, according to the will and convenience of the society, without claim or complaint from any body.
—Thomas Jefferson, letter to Isaac McPherson, 1813

Monday, March 12, 2007

More Global Warming stories

More information about scientists that dissent and are being threatened.

Mars ice caps shrinking.


Bob Sutton has a post about Evidence-Based Practices. He links to the recent congressional testimony of his colleague Jeff Pfeffer on Evidence Based Managment. One of the primary focus areas is the Pay-for-Performance systems that the private sector uses.

Here's a quote:
Numerous surveys, including surveys conducted by the same compensation consulting firms that frequently advise on and advocate pay-for-performance systems, provide evidence of widespread dissatisfaction. For instance, a 2004 Watson Wyatt study of employee attitudes and opinions found that only 30% of U.S. workers believed that their company's performance management program did what it was intended to do -- improve performance. That's because fewer than 40% of people felt that the systems generated clear goals or provided honest feedback, while almost 40% believed their performance was inaccurately evaluated and about the same number said they did not understand the measures used to assess their performance. A 2004 Hewitt survey of some 350 companies reported that more than 80 percent of the organizations believed their pay-for-performance programs were at best partly successful or were not successful at all at accomplishing their goals.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Cosmic Rays and Climate Change

Here's some information about how Cosmic Rays could be responsible for global warming.

An experiment that hints we are wrong on climate change

Good quotes from the article:

"Disdain for the sun goes with a failure by the self-appointed greenhouse experts to keep up with inconvenient discoveries about how the solar variations control the climate. The sun’s brightness may change too little to account for the big swings in the climate. But more than 10 years have passed since Henrik Svensmark in Copenhagen first pointed out a much more powerful mechanism.

"He saw from compilations of weather satellite data that cloudiness varies according to how many atomic particles are coming in from exploded stars. More cosmic rays, more clouds. The sun’s magnetic field bats away many of the cosmic rays, and its intensification during the 20th century meant fewer cosmic rays, fewer clouds, and a warmer world. On the other hand the Little Ice Age was chilly because the lazy sun let in more cosmic rays, leaving the world cloudier and gloomier. "

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Global Warming and Science

This is an article that a friend passed along, Global Warming: The Cold, Hard Facts? What's interesting is the fact that most people seemed to think that the scientists are infallible. It's almost as if scientist is the Pope and what they say is true no matter what. Incredibly, it's as if science has become the new religion and you cannot question the leaders. Instead of the church locking up Galileo, we have Scientists wanting remove the credentials of others who oppose the global warming theory.

Here are some of the more interesting quotes from the Global Warming Story:

"Sadly, my experience is that universities are the most dogmatic and oppressive places in our society. This becomes progressively worse as they receive more and more funding from governments that demand a particular viewpoint."

"I was greatly influenced several years ago by Aaron Wildavsky's book "Yes, but is it true?" The author taught political science at a New York University and realized how science was being influenced by and apparently misused by politics. He gave his graduate students an assignment to pursue the science behind a policy generated by a highly publicised environmental concern. To his and their surprise they found there was little scientific evidence, consensus and justification for the policy. You only realize the extent to which Wildavsky's findings occur when you ask the question he posed. Wildavsky's students did it in the safety of academia and with the excuse that it was an assignment. I have learned it is a difficult question to ask in the real world, however I firmly believe it is the most important question to ask if we are to advance in the right direction."

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Lite-Brite shuts down Boston

It looks like a Lite-Brite shutdown Boston Wednesday. The mayor is really upset. The crazy part is that we've become so paranoid that we're afraid of junk lying on the street. I could understand this Israel, but here? It's going to get to the point that we're not going to be able to live our lives because we're constantly looking over our shoulders. The paranoia and worry will kill all of us before the terrorists ever will.

I had the opportunity to watch an interview with the John Mueller, author of Overblown, that has his own opinions about how "overblown" the whole terrorist situation really is. Here are a few other links that might be useful CATO Podcast with Mueller and " The Overblown Terror Threat and Islamophobia".

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Gmail and https

Everybody else in the universe probably knew about this already, but several people that I know didn't. I've always been worried about using Gmail because only the login was protected when using However, after searching the help I discovered that you can use or I wonder if the your IMs are encrypted when going through the web interface?

You should probably use This way you get the little icon when you bookmark the site in firefox.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Network Printing and "Limited User"

If you're using a network printer with Windows XP Home and are having trouble printing from a "Limited User" account. You may have several problems. The limited user can't access the windows directory. As the user that has Administrator rights, change the setup so that the jobs print directly to the printer instead of being spooled.

If you're using an HP all in one printer like the OfficeJet 7310 or 7410, you may need to remove the hex number and put in the IP address. This does not fix scanning problems for the limited user either. Here's a link that describes the issue.

The OfficeJet 7310 works well with Linux.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Snow today

This is the view from where I'm working. As you can see, it snowed here today.