Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Recent electronic privacy violations

Man your screwed if you applied or attented BC, Berkly or Chico, are insured by Kaiser, use your GM charge card, have a case in LexisNexis, shop at DSW, and had a BofA account through the government!

Man you just can't catch a break - did every thing by the book, including using Iron Mountain storage but Time Warner Inc. on Monday said data on 600,000 current and former employees stored on computer back-up tapes was lost by an outside storage company, which the U.S. Secret Service is now investigating. Time Warner's data storage company, Boston-based Iron Mountain Inc. , lost the tapes during transport, Time Warner said.

Ameritrade's unnamed shipping company looses a tape with 200K user accounts.

GM MasterCard notifies 187,000 GM MasterCard customers may have had their personal information compromised.

Tufts warns 106,000 alums and doners of possible data disclosure.

Update on LexisNexis (its worse than they first admitted) An investigation by the firm's Anglo-Dutch parent Reed Elsevier determined that its databases had been fraudulently breached 59 times using stolen passwords, leading to the possible theft of personal information such as addresses and Social Security numbers.

UC Berkeley (not to be left out) has just disclosed the theft of a laptop with 98,000 alumni, graduate students and past applicants data containing SSNs, birth dates, and locations.,1848,67052,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_3

California State University, Chico - hackers gained access to 59,000 names and Social Security numbers of current, former and prospective students, faculty and staff.

Boston College warns server hosting a fund-raising database containing 120,000 identities was rootkit-ed.,10801,100439,00.html

Kaiser Permanente - notifying 140 patients that a disgruntled former employee posted confidential information about them on her Weblog. The woman, who calls herself the ``Diva of Disgruntled,'' claims it was Kaiser Permanente that included private patient information on systems diagrams posted on the Web, and that she pointed it out.

LexisNexis - fraud artists had assumed the identities and used the passwords of legitimate customers to download the customer data.

DSW Shoe Warehouse - theft of credit card and purchase data of customers at 103 of its 175

Bank of America -- Lost backup tapes which contained personal information, including Social Security numbers, addresses, and account numbers for employees in several government agencies.

ChoicePoint - perpetrators were able to dupe the company, which provides consumer data services to insurance companies, other businesses and government agencies, by passing themselves off as legitimate customers.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Just what America needed - BK's Enormous omelet

Now you can start piling on the calories first thing the morning at BK. The No. 2 fast food chain debuted its Enormous Omelet Sandwich Monday. The sandwich has one sausage patty, two eggs, two American cheese slices and three strips of bacon. That works out to 730 calories and 47 grams of fat -- more than a Whopper sandwich, which the Burger King Web site said has 700 calories and 42 grams of fat. I bet you can get it in a combo meal with hash browns and get it up to an even 1,ooo calories! Congrats to the fast food genius who added both sausage and bacon to it!

That much fat has got to make it taste great! Its a heart attack first thing in the morning.

I still say - best thing we could do is federalize the fast food industry -it would be cheaper in the long run!

Friday, February 11, 2005

Strategery Democratic Style

The new Democratic strategy to turn red states blue. Make Dean the chair of the DNC.

I liked Donna Brazile. I though she was overall more moderate, and might draw more people to the Democratic party. Clearly not what the party wanted - too moderate? too black? too female? Dean should be an interesting ride.

The pluses and minuses I see are:

  • He's a heck of a fundraiser - will his grassroots internet model work at the party level?
  • He's not a stupid guy, and he's know what he stands for.
  • He'll be out of play in 08 so Hillary won't be forced to run to his left
  • He's a doctor just in case Bill has the 'big one'
  • He emerged on the national scene from the left, but it seems like in general he was fairly moderate in VT. Certainly a moderate in VT = lefty in Texas.
  • He'll polarize the heck out of the Democratic party
  • The RNC will get allot of mileage just running against him
  • Dean's wife won't have to worry about being first lady
  • Stowe, VT site of the 2008 Democratic national convention!
  • He'll do great raising funds in Florida, They love guys from the northeast down there.
  • The guy's got a temper - how will he do under pressure? and what kind of a leader will he be.
  • He's used to being the smartest guy in the room -- not sure how that's gonna play (this is a problem Terry McAuliffe never had).
  • We'll have to suffer through several hundred re-runs of the Scream speech.

Best of luck Howard!

News FLASH! 2/15/2005

Kind of funny, but oh comments like this could backfire fast!
NY News Day

"You think the Republican National Committee could get this many people of color in a single room?," Dean asked to laughter. "Only if they had the hotel staff in here." -Howard Dean

News FLASH! 2/16/2005 - Heres number 2!

DNC Chair Howard Dean has declared a news blackout of his appearance and requested the media not quote, record, and/or paraphrase his remarks in a debate with top Pentagon adviser Richard Perle on 'Post 9/11 foreign Policy'-- to his credit it was reversed. Best as I can tell this was a pay to attend event at Pacific University. Must have been a big yawn - google can't find any post debate spin.

Debate Coverage Blackout

Thursday, February 10, 2005

North Korea Goes Nuclear

This North Korea mess should have been taken care of years ago. Now we have our first nuclear equiped tyrant. Now is a time for diplomacy. Condi needs to diplomatically say - 'Drink up you SOB - were toping off the tanks on the B-52s and B-2 for a special delivery!'

No matter who was elected in this past November - North Korea and Iran will have to be dealt with.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Al, Howard save us from boredom

If you made it through the State of the Union the thing that was on TV after it was the Democratic Response. I was interested I wanted to hear the counter points on Social Security I don't know what the facts are on that one.

Harry Reid may have communicated some great ideas but he was more boring than a bowl of cold oatmeal! I woke my self up snoring! It was boring even by CSPAN standards! So once I was awake again, I watched Nancy Pelosi. As best as I can tell Reid got domestic policy, and she got foreign policy. She was no dynamo but I mostly stayed awake.

I'd say Pelosi got the short straw. Its hard to dump on the President too much regarding Iraq without dumping on the 60% of Iraqis voters who came out under the real threat of death to vote! Her biggest point is we don't have a withdrawal plan - agreed! but that's like saying Lance Armstrong, I know you've beaten cancer, and won your 5'th Tour but you don't know how your getting home...

By now I'm seriously wishing Al Sharpton and Howard Dean were on TV, at least it would be lively!

The title of this CNN article just jumped off the page at me.Democrats hope response will give them momentum Momentum is not the word that comes to mind - cold oatmeal does.

The Protesters

After observing protests in the DC area for the last few years I have formed the following opinions. The modern day protest is really more of a social gathering rather than it is an instrument of change. I'm not against it (except when they block traffic), most protests remind me of Mardi Gras without floats. You can be part of a group. Your encouraged to show your creativity -- think way-cool hats and subtle signs. Your get to show off your individuality - think white guy's with dreadlocks, pink hair... You get to be brave - yelling at the cops. Finally you get to dabble in being anti-establishment - breaking the windows out of the Gap after you got a Venti Caffé Late from the Starbuck's next door!

But how do you get a protest off the ground and how do you get people to turn out?

  • The professional protesters are the brains of the operation, they organize and coordinate - they are the people who love causes. They use the web and messaging effectively, and manage the media. They are really good at mobilizing people, but it takes.... feet on the ground.
  • Next are the true believers in a cause, they are the grunts who make it happen, make signs, and get the word out. They recruit the worker bees.
  • The worker-bees (I call them the want-to-bees) who are willing to take orders from the true believers. They are like the guys who hold the balloons down in the Macy's parade. They are the ones most likely to be arrested, they do the hard work of chaining themselves together, getting a face full of pepper spray, and spend the night in jail.
  • The rest - the overwhelming majority of attendees to a protest are there because... quite simply they think they might get LUCKY!

Yes you know what I'm talking about. What is the one thing that would make 5 college guys drive all night in a 87 Toyota from Ohio to DC binging on Beer, Red Bull, and Taco Bell Gorditas..... the chance of meeting easy protest chicks. If you impress the right person - you might just score! Lets face it that's better odds than most college guys have on any given weekend, and beats the hell out of studying for a Calculus III test! You disagree - how many great protest have ever been held during football season! Or at an all boys prep school? I rest my case.

So finally we have it! The central force binding the electrons of the protest universe is the protest chick, they are the nucleus! Think of all the big ones, there were always women on the forefront! Here's why...
  1. They are approachable women - you have something in common - the "cause"
  2. No Barbies - you might actually have a chance -- not too many cheer leaders carrying signs against globalization!
  3. The what the hell factor - you'll never see them again so what the hell its worth a try
  4. Its one heck of a good story - the girls at the protest were so wild! (You head it here first "Girls Gone Wild Protest edition")
One thing that puzzles me is, why do the protest chicks show up? I think many of them are from local colleges vs. the out of town guys. All I can figure is they are believers in the cause, but they must like the attention of getting hit on by semi-grungy guys from out of state drinking Red Bull!

Next time you see a good protest: WTO, IMF.... look around I dare you!

Friday, January 28, 2005

Women in science, not at Harvard

If Bush referred to 'innate differences between men and women' people all over the country would be marching on Washington with tar and feathers! If Ashcroft said it about race or ethnicity or sexual orientation he would be lynched! But when the President of Harvard says it, he gets to weasel his way out of it by saying it was supposed to be provocative. He should be out of a job! God knows I would be.

Not to be outdone George Will (the twit with the bow tie) sounds off in defense of Larry Summers. One day George will realize the bow tie is for weddings and waiters.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Cream or sugar with your coliform coffee?

CNN... "The latest round of testing produced positive results for presence
of the bacteria coliform in 29 of 169 randomly selected passenger aircraft
carrying domestic and international passengers. The tests were done on water
from galley water taps and lavatory faucets on planes at 14 airports
throughout the United States."

So if the airframe is in good shape, and the pilot is not drunk, and there
are no bad guys on board - your still not safe - the water is bad so says
the EPA. Now I only drink bottled water, and don't sip watter in the potty
BUT the flight attendents wash their hands in it, and I bet they make coffee
with it - YUCK!

So exactly what is coliform ...
Coliform is a family of bacteria common in soils, plants and animals. The coliform family is made up of several groups, one of which is the fecal coliform group, which is found in the intestinal tracts of warm-blooded animals including humans.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Prince Idiot

Centuries of inbreeding, years of the finest schools in the UK, Queen Grandma and this is the product! Third in line for the throne of England. This guy is a punk, a playboy, and a neir-do-well in the finest tradition of the crown! Maybe his free pass with the media is over.

He's always reminded me of one of the rednecks in the movie Deliverance.

His Bio
You be the judge (prince or redneck?).

Heard any good lawyer jokes lately?

On advice from my legal council - I'll refrain from a rant - but if you could read the bubble over my head you would see a quote from Shakespeare's Henry VI, and a bus joke ending with "its a good start".

Tell a lawyer joke, go to jail? on msnbc

Apparently these were the guys telling the jokes

Monday, January 10, 2005

If your a college freshman...

You were probably born around 1987, and you probably never...

  • popped popcorn in anything but a microwave
  • listened to an 8-track tape
  • watched a movie on betamax
  • bought a vinyl album new in a store
  • dialed a 7 digit phone number on a rotary dial phone
  • tasted 'old' coke
  • booted a pc in DOS off a 5.5 inch floppy

Your share the birth of IBM's OS/2 which you have luckily outlived and never had to use.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Pouvoir vous dit, Designed in the UK?

The French have not done much right lately, but the Millau viaduct is a spetacular bridge. Funny that the new pride of France was designed by the UK firm Foster and Partners who also did the Millennium Bridge & Tower, .