Saturday, March 30, 2013

Booze Culture

From today's SMH:
"The NSW Police Commissioner says that dealing with alcohol and its effects consumes about 70 per cent of a frontline police officer's time.

Someone had hacked the site and defaced the headline. 
Need I say more?
I am not anti-drinking but I am not impressed by the alcohol soaked "culture" either.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

As safe as . . . . .

I'm not even going to mention any names here since I don't want anyone else doing stupid things and I have NO idea who reads this (if anyone).
I find this whole thing very disturbing: as a well known geek site told me recently, anyone who wants to can find sites that will allow them to conduct DOS attacks and a whole raft of other net nastiness  . . . . . very cheaply, from a paypal account or credit card- then you merely add the target address and choose from a pulldown menu your type of attack. There are a variety of plans you can get - each attack lasts sixty seconds after which you need to renew.   There are a couple of caveats - you can find out who uses the site, and it is not protected against all of  the attacks it can provide.  . . . . supposedly the site is only for security people to test their servers.  Yeah right.

I always knew the net was as holey as a swiss cheese but this is just nuts. A teenager with a grudge can attack anything on the net. Of course, bigger and better protected servers won't notice so much but an individual might.

Did you hear about that guy who worked for WIRED who lost all his data, IDee etc.?  Apparently it was a seventeen year old kid who did it using one of these attack sites.  Yah, it's gossip but as I said above, I don't want everyone to know all about these sites: it's a bit like publishing a hitman's phone number in a national paper. You could hope that it was safe but I am not going to bet on that.

Is this freedom?

Are we being wound up in the leadup to some new global mega-agency of "Net Cops" appearing? 

I'm not sure I like either of these scenarios. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Popularity Vs. Progress

Today, a couplet of stories that caught my eye:
1. Your Facebook likes can be use to determine your intelligence and sexuality.
This not only appears on WIRED but also in the new slimmed-down Sydney Morning Herald which adds that apparently liking the "Wu-Tung Clan" denotes masculinity.  I thought it was Wu-Tang myself, but then I have no idea who they really are, I assume a rap act . . . . .
Okay, I exist on Facebook but that is all.  Why I would want to tell the corporations what I like and dislike is beyond me.  The popularity of things is no measure of their worth, especially in the long term. 

and then there is this:
NIST has created a refrigerator chip that can get down to 256 mK, which is pretty close to the temperatures where superconductivity occurs if I am not mistaken. The unit is very small too, which would mean that superconducting computer chips could be made. That would not only produce possible speed gains for computers but also since this is such a small cooler and all solid state,  maybe these coolers could be added to more conventional chip designs to boost performance.
No report of the power consumption of the cooler though.
To me this is much more interesting than the Farcebook survey, but then I guess I really am a nerd.

In other news: By the number of views, m y artwork blog (The Z-Buffer) is much more popular than this blog. I guess no-one really gives a shit about reason, sense or philosophy,  but someone cares about a bit of art.

Finally, today is the end of my second voyage of  misery and defeat at the hands of a dating website.
I don't think it is just me either: there is something weird and bad going on there. Stay away from all "dating" websites folks,  remember if you meet "the love of your life" after a few days they don't get any more $ out of you so they have no interest in helping you really, and there are some very sick people out there who want to rip you off.I was contacted by several of them. I have never had so many vampires and panhandlers hitting on me before. It's not that they are even intelligent or even tactful about it either: tragic really.