THE ILLUSION OF SURVEYS
Every day we are bombarded with surveys. News outlets, magazines, radio, television, product reviews, special interests and lobby groups. All with their own agendas, all with survey results to back them up and quite often with diametrically opposite results. How is this possible? Due to what I call the Illusion of Surveys.
AN OPEN LETTER TO GOVERNMENTS
An open letter to the governments of Canada and the United States of America regarding Do Not Call Lists.
12 DAYS OF COMPUTER WISHES
I was recently going through same old papers and found an article titled “Twelve Wishes for a Computer Christmas” by Peter Talbot. It was a fairly old article as such things go, having been published in The Computer Paper, Metro Toronto Edition in December 1992.
A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON PIRACY
Over the years many piracy studies have been released by industry stakeholders. Almost without exception, these have been done by entertainment and software companies, or their umbrella organizations based of course on their own figures (mostly estimates) of alleged losses. However, recently a group made up of dozens of academics have collaborated to produce the most objective and elaborate piracy study done to date. Not surprisingly, their results differ significantly from that of the copyright lobby groups that have been promulgated out over the years.
A CHARITABLE CHRISTMAS TRADITION
During the Christmas season many people put up lights and decorations. Some in celebration, joyful festivity or just for fun. Others work towards this charity or that, usually one that has meaning for them. One man manages to combine the two.
If you're looking for something salacious (based on the article title) I’m sorry to disappoint you. The article title is the name of a drink / cocktail I created quite a few years ago (1997). The name is a bit of a private joke but is not otherwise related to sin (unless you happen to be one of those folks who regard alcohol consumption as sinful). I have had several people ask for the recipe so I decided to post it here. The recipe is fairly simple, like most good mixed drinks. Please share it with your friends just provide me due credit.
MEN, WOMEN AND MARRIAGE
What keeps a marriage going? Not surprisingly there is a fair bit of agreement between men and women on the top reasons. But after the first seven, opinions differ, often dramatically.
FOR MEMORIAL DAY
For Memorial Day the following prayer is offered: The Marine’s Prayer
Prime Minister Steven Harper has prorogued Parliament. What that essentially means, is that he has suspended all parliamentary business until after a set date (there is more to it but you get the idea). From the furor being raised by the Liberal opposition and the caustic criticism for doing such a thing you would think it was something had never happened before.
DEPLORABLE OLYMPIC MANNERS
As the opening of the Winter Olympics in British Columbia near, one can’t help but consider how they reflect upon the society and political arena in which they take place.
CASH FOR CLUNKERS ET AL ?
The “Cash for Clunkers” program in the United States ran last summer and resulted in 700,000 government subsidized trade-ins. The new cars were, theoretically, more fuel efficient by about an average of 58% (which may not be accurate due to speculations regarding the inflation of EPA fuel saving by auto manufacturers). Of equal interest to car enthusiasts is how many units of significant interest, collectibility or otherwise notewrothy models were turned in by misguided individuals and were subsequewntly destroyed.
A CHRISTMAS POEM
Christmas is here and some credit is due to our service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities. In some small payment towards what we owe these brave folks, stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us. May God bless and watch over each and every one of the men and women in the Canadian Armed Forces.
OPEN LETTER ON SELF-DEFENSE IN CANADA
The following is an open letter written following a discussion in an on-line forum. The arguments and information is cogent and rational, unlike much rhetorc surrounding the issue of self-defense in Canada.
CANADIAN WEATHER HUMOUR
Some Canadian weather humour comparing temperature activities.
Some Canadian trivia.
NEED TO KNOW
A long standing and well known concept in many security and intelligence communities is “need to know”. This is the idea that unless there is some specific compelling reson for a person to have access to a piece of information then they should not have access to it.
I was recently cleaning out some old papers from a desk and came across the following short piece about friendship and thought I would share it.
While looking through some papers I found a small article that listed how the various Canadian provinces came by their names. While some I remembered others were a “learning again” experience. For your edification, and perhaps education, the list follows.
WHY AN OLYMPIC BOYCOTT
Someone asked me why I would put an Olympic boycott link on my site, “don't I support my country’s athletes”?. The answer is quite simple - I do support my country’s athletes. But . . .
TERRORISTS HAVE BASICALLY WON
The terrorists have basically won (though most won't admit it). They have scared people, understandably, and due to the knee jerk reaction of politicians, their desire to be seen as saviours, and the ulterior motives of those who benefit by restrictions have forever changed the way of life in previously free and easy democratic societies.
A CHRISTMAS PRAYER
A recent Christmas card serves as a reminded of the true meaning of Christmas.
SOME HOLIDAY HUMOUR
A little holiday humour I found in going trough some old bulletin board files.
IT MAKES ONE WONDER
Sometimes you have to wonder what some people are thinking - what reasoning processes they use to come to certain decisions and conclusions. Two items about two very different men prompted this article. The gentlemen are Danny Carlton and Al Gore. What have they in common? Nothing as far as I know other than triggering the thought “Does this person just not get it?”.
WHO ARE YOU ?
How much data would it take to uniquely identify you? No names, no Social Insurance or driver's license or passport numbers, no fingerprints or retinal patterns or DNA profiles. The answer might surprise you.
SINCEREST FORM OF FLATTERY
They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I suppose in many ways it is — emulating the style of a favorite athlete, artist, musician or writer. One needs to draw the line though at what amounts to plagiarism.
BLAME CANADA EH ?
One again the unbalanced right in the United States are indulging in a favorite pastime — making Canada out to be a semi-communist Third World home of yokels who don’t properly appreciate what the the great government of the United States has done for them.
OIL COMPANIES GAS PRICE GOUGING
Not that it will come as a surprise to anyone that has recently filled their vehicle with gasoline, but a study by independent researchers has found that Canadian consumers are paying gasoline prices far higher than can be justified by production costs or historic profit margins.
COLLUSION IN CANADIAN POLITICS
Well, just when I though politicians couldn’t surprise me anymore with their idiocy, Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion will not run a Liberal candidate against Green party Leader Elizabeth May in the next federal election. The leaders have agreed not to run a candidate in each other’s riding. In the past, Liberal Party members have disparaged other parties for not being national parties (the criteria for a national party is to run candidates in all 308 ridings in Canada). As of this deal, only the New Democratic Party and the Conservative Party fill this requirement.
BOOK REVIEW: CELTIC CHRISTIAN COMMUNITIES
A brief review of Celtic Christian Communities by Ian Bradley, Northstone Publishing, 255 pages, ISBN 1-896836-43-7.
VANITY & SEGREGATION COME TO SECOND LIFE
As if there wasn’t enough vanity, prejudice, discrimination and subtle segregation in real society, now those who seek a break from the frustrating and demeaning judgements of day to day existance can reimmerse themselves in all the same superficial mind games when they go on-line.
A MERRY AND BLESSED CHRISTMAS TO ALL!
May the spirit of Christmas be with you and yours, now and always.
THE DIVINE OFFICE
The liturgical offices of the Church, which marked the daily and nocturnal passage of time in monasteries, were called “opus Dei”, the ‘work of God’ (not to be confused with the organisation of the same name), and constituted the major work of the monks.
I came across the following while looking for something on the web and the sheer "jabberwockyness" struck my fancy so I offer it here for your perusal.
It is during November that we celebrate Remembrance Day (or Armistice Day). It is a time for reflection on what has gone before and the lessons learned. It is a time to remember and venerate the honoured dead who gave their lives in service to their countries during times of war, and to honour those living who have and do serve in both war and peace.
Halloween is a contraction of two words Hallow's Eve. All Hallow’s Eve is the evening vigil prior to the celebration of All Saints’ Day on November first in the Christian calendar. The celebration of a holiday on this day is far older however.
PINK FOR OCTOBER
October is Breast Cancer Awarenes Month
. In support of this, the site
has started a campaign for web sites to show their support by incoporating pink somehow into their design for the month.
SOFTWARE: OPEN, CLOSED AND DOCUMENTED
In the world of software and documentation, long before there was closed source and open source there was . . . open source.
NOT WELCOME TO FLY BRITISH
It seems that there will be no more working on that presentation, spreadsheet, trade negotiation or playing your favorite game or watching your favorite movie using your laptop/notebook on British airlines.
Planned obsolesence. It is nothing new, it has been around for decades - the idea that a company deliberately perceptually renders one of its products less attractive and useful in order to sell a new version. perhaps the most high profile example is the automotive industry but it is pervasive in hi-tech as well.
OBSOLETE OR JUST UNFASHIONABLE ?
Are all those computers out there more than a year or two old obsolete? The PC
manufacturers, software makers and marketers would certainly have us think so. But is it true?
I was housecleaning parts of an older version of my website and came a cross five short blurb type things that are pretty small to post by themselves so here they are as a small smorgasbörd of readings.
MERRY CHRISTMAS MY FRIEND
What follows is a is a rather poignant poem titled Merry Christmas My Friend
written by a by James M. Schmidt, Lance Corporal, USMC
Battalion Counter Sniper, about a veteran at Christmas time.
THE EDITORIAL THAT ISN’T
This is an editorial that isn't. What do I mean by that? Well, I really don't have a topic of deep interest or technical tips to share at the moment. But rather some musings on an occurance I observed last evening.
COMMENTS ON THE HACKER’S MANIFESTO
The following are reprinted comments received when the “ Conscience of a Hacker
” and its preface were published on the Sleepy Hollow BBS
. They are reprinted here as reflecting, expressed in less subtle terms, the same angst as Mentor’s more famous declaration.
CONSCIENCE OF A HACKER
The Hacker’s Manifesto was written by a ‘hacker’ named Loyd Blankenship ( aka
The Mentor). The first time I encountered the Manifesto was its initial publication in Phrack Magazine (Volume One, Issue 7, Phile 3, January 8, 1986). Since then it has found its way first across the electronic bulletin board systems ( BBS
) of the world, and then across the Internet. It has been translated into many languages and has even seen dissemination in a very abbreviated, abridged and somewhat reworded form by Hollywood in the movie Hackers
. One can only hope that permissions, credit (and royalties) for its use were accorded to Mr Blankenship.