Friday, December 10, 2010

On WikiLeaks

No, I'm not just trying to cash in on traffic from this search. But I do have an opinion here, and I wanted to share it.

I have been reading about the retaliation by hacker groups (Anonymous taking lots of credit there) who seem to be targeting those who would quiet WikiLeaks in any way. While I do agree that the site has damaged the US and the operators should be punished, I wholeheartedly disagree with commercial entities stepping in. Are you listening, Visa and Amazon?

This is a political matter, and you need to stay the hell out of it. This is new ground for many laws, so let the case be set out publicly in full understanding, and let the legal system be upgraded to handle it.

As for the hackers themselves, they have an opportunity to show restraint and still get the message across. I like this bit scoured from the web:

"We are replacing operation #payback with operation #payitforward. Hackers, please perform random acts of kindness."
This could be a great PR move, but must also be matched by governmental restraint along with open discussion. The concept at play here is how to deal with sensitive information. What's become apparent in the news is that the information released has more to do with interaction and personal tactics. The lesson for the government is to understand that the public servants need to learn a little more professionalism

That being said, if you stifle an individual's ability to share their opinion privately, you are losing much of the value of that person in making decisions. There needs to be a venue for off-the-record discussions (so, don't record them, perhaps?). Of course that flies in the face of appropriate documentation. What to do, what to do...?

Here's what I see at the moment, though I admit I have not gone hunting too much: Assange is a dick for supporting the illegal dissemination of sensitive information. Manning is a bigger dick for doing it in the first place (treason in a time of war, but not of the executable variety) this time around. The problem from the government side is releasing info to the wild does not automatically declassify it. But through Executive Order, members of the gov't (i.e., anyone authorized to handle classified info in this case) are not allowed to comment on whether something is truly classified, to what level, or what impact the release may have.

That means WikiLeaks can't legally be shut down without some serious dancing as to why and specifically what might be classified. But, the Feds should have authority to shut down the site so long as there is appropriate public justification and a closed court record. What should NEVER happen in a case like this is business getting involved without direct Federal oversite, again with legal consent. And the citizenry (global, in this case) should strive to demonstrate its power by being reasonable but firm

This is indeed sticky.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Solved: iTunes Home Sharing Problem

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away I was wrestling with an issue where iTunes home sharing between my two Vista computers would not work properly. All the computers were signed in using the same account and they appeared in the other computer’s “Shared” list in iTunes. However, when clicking on the computer in the list the computer would briefly disappear with its home share icon and then reappear with a regular sharing icon. If I clicked on it again it would disappear altogether until the next time I rebooted iTunes.

I wasn’t the only person having this problem and I had gone through a few steps to try to diagnose the issue. I could get home sharing to work with another PC in the house running XP, and I could get it running with the server in the basement running Windows Server 2003. Vista machines seemed to be able to home share with other machines as long as they weren’t running Vista.

And then a (not-so) funny thing happened. The wireless connection on my laptop stopped working... at least it stopped working properly. It would connect with the router and get an IP address and report that everything was happy, but it couldn’t connect to anything else (the entire internet, for instance). After diagnosing that for a while I found out that it was the NCP Universal IPSec Client I am using (the reason I’m using it documented here). After uninstalling it the network connection started working again. I reinstalled the client and the network connection continued to work, so I thought nothing of it.

Until it did it again a few weeks later. I uninstalled the client from my laptop and left it uninstalled as I was away from the house and didn’t have time to go download it and reinstall. Some time later I was using iTunes on the laptop at home and for ha-ha’s clicked on the name of my desktop PC. Voila, it worked and I started copying songs and playlists from the desktop PC iTunes to my laptop. On a hunch I reinstalled the NCP IPSec client and home sharing stopped working again.

I have a few other scenarios to try, but for the time being, for the 3 or 4 people on the internet who may run into this issue, try uninstalling your IPSec client (be it Cisco’s, NPC’s or somebody else’s) if your iTunes home sharing doesn’t work.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Non Sequitor

Herein lies the definition of the phrase “non-sequitor” summed up in an online advertisement.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

How About Being Personally Responsible?

Healthbolt on sex addiction:

Sex Addiction. It's considered an actual problem, enough that there are sex addiction “clinics” and sex addiction treatments. I have an idea. How about we take responsibility for our actions and leave the word “addiction” to serious and real issues, like drug addiction.

Someone who wants a lot of sex is just that. Someone who wants a lot of sex. There's no physical problem that occurs if they don't have sex. There's no mental breakdown if they don't have sex. They just don't have it. They may feel sorry for themselves that they're not getting it, but it's not like their body is going to fall apart because they have to be celibate for a few hours.

But, in our society, which these days doesn't seem to want people to accept responsibility for their actions, has deemed that this is something we can't control either. We now have sex addicts.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Happy New Year


New year, new attitude at the Vickers residence.