Saturday, October 09, 2004

SETI - nope, not in Ohio!

Here's the link to the Slashdot post, and here's the actual article from the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette -

The search for extraterrestrial life has ended at the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services in Columbus, Ohio.

The department Thursday fired a computer programmer who admitted to using a state-owned computer server to process data for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence project, run by the University of California at Berkeley.

Charles E. Smith, 63, told administrators he didn’t think loading the SETI software on the server was much of a problem because he ran the program only when the server wasn’t being used, according to a disciplinary report.

Department head Tom Hayes disagreed.

“I understand his desire to search for intelligent life in outer space, because obviously he doesn’t find it in the mirror in the morning,” Hayes said. “I think that people can be comfortable that security has beamed this man out of our building.”

So OK then. If you are a programmer or systems admin or computer professional working for ANYONE - you shouldn't be loading shareware software onto their servers. I'm down with that. He deserved to get fired in my opinion. No need to kick the man when he was down though. You fired him - you don't need to basically call him stupid as well. Just my two cents.

The second Presidential debate

Watched most of the debate last night - Bush didn't really sway my opinion of him. I still think he's a weasel, and his attacks on Kerry didn't really go anywhere new. He just keeps hammering the same couple of points - "liberal", "flip-flopper", "unfit to be Commander In Chief". I thought Kerry handled himself well, and didn't get rattled by Bush's more forceful and confrontational tone - a real departure from Bush's performance in the first debate where he seemed really tentative and had long silences before coming up with something to say. Apparently, Bush's performance (and a odd bulge in his jacket) have launched a theory that he was wearing an earpiece in the first debate. Some say the picture is doctored, some say when he said "Now let me finish" in the middle of an answer that he was actually talking to the person in his earpiece (here's a link to a forum that has a Real Audio clip of this. I don't know if he did or didn't - but he didn't look like he had an earpiece in for last night's debate. One more debate to go - hopefully Kerry will continue to shine!

Friday, October 08, 2004

Good to be in DC!

Go to Watch "Good to be in DC". Repeat as necessary. That is all.

Seriously - go now. It's really funny. You'll like it, I swear. GO!!!

Thursday, October 07, 2004

A vision of the future

I read Robert X. Cringely's I, Cringely regularly and his latest article really has some food for thought. Although the ability to act as your own broadband ISP/Cable provider/VoIP provider is outside of the means and technical knowhow of most people, it's still a very cool idea. Wish I could do it!

Cheney : Not up on the whole internet thing

Hee. In Tuesday's Vice Presidential debate, Dick Cheney was trying to direct people to look at, a nonpartisan Web site run by the University of Pennsylvania. But what he SAID was "factcheck.COM" - which is a for-profit advertising site based in the Cayman Islands. They re-directed traffic (since they were getting swamped with hits) to a site run by George Soros, a billionaire who makes no secret of his opposition to the Bush administration. A lawyer for the owner of factcheck.COM said his client "picked the Soros site partly for its political views", but also because Soros can afford the cost of all that Web traffic. And traffic to is still being routed there - click the link above if you want to check. They have a disclaimer on their page - "We do not own the domain name and are not responsible for it redirecting to We are as surprised as anyone by this turn of events. We believe that Vice President Cheney intended to direct viewers of the Vice-Presidential Debate to" Hee. I'll bet Cheney could be heard muttering after he was made aware of the error, "F*** the internet." Hee.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

One small step for (a) man...

Congratulations to Mojave Aerospace Ventures (MAV) and their leaders, Burt Rutan and Paul Allen, and also to pilot Brian Binnie - SpaceShipOne completes 2nd Historic trip to space and wins the Ansari X Prize. The second trip needed to clinch the win happened on Monday. I was able to watch the landing, and it was a very cool moment. Check this link out to watch video of the flight.

On a sad note, Rodney Dangerfield died Tuesday afternoon. He was 82 years old. Rodney, we will miss you. And we respect you. RIP.