Gee, and I thought a national ID card would solve everything

Catching up on some Tomalek posts I read a fascinating article on the inherent insecurity of a national ID program. I was already against this whole Orwellian plot, but Bruce Schneier really nails some major points even more important than the typically vague “invasion of privacy” argument. And it all centers around, perhaps, the greatest quote on security I’ve ever read:

[S]ecurity must be evaluated not based on how it works, but on how it fails.

I mean, that’s everything in a nutshell. Sure you have to take risks somewhere, but a nationwide database linked to an undoubtedly forgable card with the private information of 250+ million people… Do you understand the concept of single point of failure? You don’t trust my out-of-state license, here look at my credit cards… or maybe my passport… or any of my any other IDs that corroborate who I am. I won’t bother rewriting the article (it’s short anyway), but if you’re interested in security issues I suggest you check it out.

Now that I’ve changed my shorts…

So I hate traffic reports because they never tell me what’s really going on. Hmm, Route 3 is backed up today so I best listen in. Yup, they say it’s really bad and even after it clears up it’ll get bad again around Route 21. So it seems like I’ll head up to I80 as quickly as possible and take that to work. Yay! I’m driving fast again! For a whole half mile that is. Then it’s a standstill once more. Oh, whoops, we forgot to mention that they’re still clearing a tractor trailer accident on 80 and it’s still backed up from exit 57. Thanks a lot guys, I skipped the clear part of 3 to get to the backup of 80 faster. Now it’s noon and I’ve been at work for half an hour.

The worst part of the whole morning was my attempt to cut through Secaucus. Sure the sign said “No Turn on Red”, but I get sick of waiting at those lights. Besides, no one was really close. Of course as soon as I turn I notice the cop heading in the opposite direction. Oh crap! But no way is he going to turn around just to nab me… Why is he pulling over? Why is he turning around?! Why is he putting his lights on?!?! Well this ought to be just great (especially with my overdue inspection sticker on the car). So I pull over along with a couple cars behind me. He waves the van behind me on and I know it’s because he wants me. Then a funny thing happens – he pulls in behind the car that was behind the van! I pause for a moment to reflect, then gun it to make my getaway (at 25 MPH). I take that as my lucky break and go easy the rest of the ride, which takes me 3 times longer than usual! Gonna be a crappy day…

The… um… Friday Five?

I try to limit the number of memes I take part in, simply because I don’t want this site to become a listing of silly quizzes and pointless questions, most of which don’t make any sense. I was actually going to start doing the whol Friday Five thing until I hit the site and noticed it’s on a hiatus. Oh well. Instead I’ll do one from last month that I liked and never got around to:

(Originally asked Mar 19, 2004)

If you…
1. …owned a restaurant, what kind of food would you serve?

Something like a fancy comfort food restaurant. If you’ve ever been to The Company in Hoboken you would know exactly what I mean. The kind of place that would serve burgers, pizaa, and waffles, but add the word gourmet in front of them. Trust me, you’d like it.

2. …owned a small store, what kind of merchandise would you sell?
Surprise, surprise, music! Of course it would be a record shop. The type of underground hole in the wall that only the cool teenagers would know about about but must people wouldn’t find until senior year of college. Most of the time I could just sit around with people and listen to new albums without the bother of customers. See High Fidelity.

3. …wrote a book, what genre would it be?
Typical “boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, ancient curse on family tears boy into second level of the underworld, boy discovers ancient secrets of origami that save the old kingdoms, boy marries hot chick from another dimension to save the fate of all, other girl dies from overdose on peanuts” type fare. In other words, it’ll be odd, and you’ll never know how serious it is.

4. …ran a school, what would you teach?
Duh, computers. The one thing I could teach. More specifically, I would focus on network and systems administration and teach people how to turn their book knowledge into real world techniques to maintain and upgrade a company’s technical infrastructure.

5. …recorded an album, what kind of music would be on it?
Noise pop. No doubt about it. It would be catchy songs, but the fuzztone on the guitars and basses would be cranked. Lyrics would be potent otherworldly imagery that barely makes sense and is just as hard to distinguish. I might not break any new grounds, but I would certainly uphold the proud Elephant 6 traditions.

I’ll be sure to get involved with some more memes when I get the chance, especially considering I already submitted my first entry for Photo Friday last week.

A magical, musical (and expensive) weekend

Saturday finally rolled around last weekend (can you believe I had to wait all week for it?!?!) and Lisa and I planned a shopping trip. That was also the day of the draft, which meant the Eagles were holding a rally down in Philly with players (and cheerleaders 😉 ) making appearances. Unfortunately neither Mike nor Brian could make the trip, so I decided that shopping was good enough for me. What can I say? I may be an avid football freak, but I still grew up with six older sisters!

The shopping itself went rather quickly, because I just wanted some new pants and maybe a couple shirts that would easily be located at the Van Heusen store at the Seacacus Outlets. Also, Lisa didn’t have anything too specific to look for, so she was practically just tagging along. I was also in a bit of a rush as Brian was planning on going to Rondo Music, and after a description of the place I was intent on going, too.
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And the pick is…

I just wanted to mention how much football rocks and why the NFL is the most popular league in the country. It’s a Saturday in the middle of April, months removed from both the Super Bowl and the start of next season, and I’m watching the draft on TV. I’m getting excited about who teams – that I don’t even care about – pick. Brian and I have already screamed our heads off over the stupidity of the Giants, not to mention how cool the Raiders and Jets picks are. And oh yeah, the Eagles haven’t even picked yet! I love this game!

Where time becomes a loop

Woke up this morning to find an IM from the dj rekall saying that Orbital would be calling it quits in June. I had hoped his news source was a little mixed up – alas he was right. I guess it’s good to see them go out in top form (well, I’m assuming their last album will be yet another masterpiece 🙂 ), but it’s doubtful that I’ll get to see either of their final shows in England. At least I got to see them a few times when they were here in the States.

For those of you unfamiliar, Orbital are the Brothers P+P – Phil and Paul Hartnoll. Possibly the most groundbreaking electronic act of our time. Since ’89 they’ve been pumping out music that not only pulsates across dance floors, but fills your mind with the amazing possibilites held within our aural senses. Their performances demonstrated that electronic music could truly be live and included improvisations their antecedents had not dreamt of. I suggest that you take some time to visit their site and listen to some samples. I’ll more than gladly recommend additional listening material to anyone interested.

Lost in Discussion

I’m slowly making it through the day after a somewhat ill-advised late evening with Joseph. As usual there were rampant discussion about philosophical and scientific theories, effects of the Internet on humanity, the many uses of a nail gun, and a brief history of Scandinavian mythos.For some reason people avoid us at the bar. There were more personal topics broached that had necessitated the evening of drinks, but the big finale was a breakthrough discussion on the movie Lost in Translation.

Lisa and I absolutely loved the movie, but Joseph and his companions left the film somewhat disinterested. Fortunately, around 2 AM this morning he finally got the chance to truly discuss Sophia Coppola’s masterpiece with me 🙂 . I don’t think I’ll be revealing any spoilers here, but if you haven’t seen the film you might want to skip the next paragraph.
Continue reading “Lost in Discussion”

Former Cardinal Safety Killed in Combat

A rather unsettling news report has come out saying that former Cardinals safety Tillman was killed in Afghanistan. I’m not one to say that it’s more upsetting when a famous person dies, but you have to understand that Tillman walked away from a $3.6 million contract to join the military. That takes a lot of courage and strong convictions. I may be against the war and all for its politics, but I still respect the men and women who are over there fighting for what they believe in.

Also noted is the fact that his brother, Kevin, was also a professional athlete and decided to join the Rangers (not the ball club) in the conflict.

The Thunderbird remains the same

It looks like Mozilla Thunderbird will not be undergoing the ephemeral naming process that has plagued Firefox. I say this because the Thunderbird icon has also undergone a redesign. Check it out. I like the look and it’s rather fascinating to take a gander at the design process itself. Indeed, the name Firefox itself is most likely going to stick after the last stellar release, which helped considerably in solidifying its overall look and feel – including a new icon. Firefox will also be the final name of the standalone browser, and Jon Hicks (part of the design team) also showed some of that design process. Sometimes it truly is in the details, and the entire Mozilla Foundation feels like it is headed in a stronger direction thanks to these efforts in branding.