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When the Truth is Crazy

Excellent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal,When the Truth Is Crazy.

This is a line I may find occasion to quote in the future:

Failure to conform, in any society, is treated in casual parlance as prima facie evidence of insanity. And the media, in any society, exist at least partly to enforce such conformity, not truthfulness.”

The author, Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., goes on to make the point that the Dems shot themselves in the foot by not exploiting the fact that Trump was himself a Dem or Dem-leaning until recently – or, even, perhaps working with him to pass the infrastructure funds.

My theory about the Russia accusations is that the Wassermann-Schultz IT scandal (an “unbiased” review by the Washington Post, here, and the Daily Caller’s more thorough review, here) as well as Podesta’s “password” password controversy (see the UK’s Guardian coverage, here) , along with the cheating to defeat Bernie Sanders, was serious enough to necessitate distraction. And we all know that there’s quite afew irregularities in the Comey and Lynch, etc., cover-up of Hillary’s illegal server and “carelessness” with government security.

(I couldn’t come up with a better title than Mr. Jenkins’ own.)

Detention, boxcars and “papers”

Please read the link – or at least the entire quote I’ve pasted here – before commenting.

The immigration debate and its ability to divide the Republican Party and split the Conservative vote is not new. Here’s a commentary about the dispute in light of the 2012 Presidential election, written in 2011. (Scroll down the page to “On Immigration,” Saturday, May 21, 2011.)

Dr. Jerry Pournelle has served our Nation in many capacities (including serving in the Army during the Korean War), but he’s probably best known, to those who know his name at all, as the author of Science Fiction written from a conservative, libertarian-leaning viewpoint. I strongly recommend his essays, including this one from 2011:

“We aren’t going to deport them all, and no Congress or President will do that, nor could even if it were thought desirable. The United States is not going to erect detention camps nor will we herd people into boxcars.  We can’t even get the southern border closed. Despite President Obama’s mocking speech, we have not built the security fence mandated a long time ago. We probably could get Congress to approve a moat and alligators, although there are likely more effective means. We can and should insist on closing the borders. That we can and must do. It won’t be easy or simple, but it’s going to be a lot easier than deporting 20 million illegals. Get the borders closed. We can all agree on that.

“That leaves the problem of the illegal aliens amongst us. We can and should do more to enforce employment laws; but do we really want police coming around to demand “your papers” from our gardeners and fry cooks and homemakers?”

This is not a trivial point. I advocate for the necessity of identifying illegal aliens and would prefer that the process begin in the country of origin. However, in practical terms, how would the “Maria” Dr. Pournelle describes, who was brought here as a child, “begin the process?”

Defense and security requires that we secure the border and that we identify as many who are here illegally as possible. A first step would be to better track people who enter on Visas: what are all those computers at border entry spots for?? We should also cease the fiction that our schools don’t know which families with children are undocumented. We should hold employers accountable, but be very careful about instituting new government papers and government computer lists of eligible workers.

We must determine common ground for the sake of success. As pointed out four years ago by Dr. Pournelle,  errors will be used against us, with the hard cases like “Maria” will be splashed across media and social networks. Without common ground, and with emotional demands to “deport them all,” we’ll still be debating this four years from now. And our citizens – and the illegal aliens – will remain at risk from the violent and criminal, if not from the terrorist.

New Braunfels Republican Women mentioned on Alex Jones’ Infowars

NBRW logoWe’ve made it to the big time, Ladies!  via » Web Filtering Company Launches Purge of Libertarian, Conservative Media Alex Jones’ Infowars:

Other sites besides Infowars.com have also been miscategorized by Blue Coat.

In the past, the company also labeled New Braunfels Republican Women, the web site of conservative commentator Carolyn Gargaro and Reunion Ministries as “pornography.”

 

To be fair, at one time there was a pornography site using the initials as NBRW.  You can see our website at NBRW.com and our Facebook page is here.

Best of the Web Today: The Lois Stretch – WSJ

Not only are the emails lost, but they hoped the notice would be, also:

Camp notes that the IRS decided to “bury” the claim of lost emails “deep in an unrelated letter on a Friday afternoon.” He isn’t kidding. It appears on the 15th page of the document, which is actually the seventh page of the first attachment to an eight-page letter, addressed to Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Orrin Hatch of Utah, respectively chairman and ranking Republican of the Senate Finance Committee.

The IRS asserts that it has “determined that Ms. Lerner’s computer crashed in mid-2011. . . . The data stored on her computer’s hard drive was determined to be ‘unrecoverable’ by the IT [information technology] professionals.” The agency further claims to have “confirmed that back-up tapes from 2011 no longer exist because they have been recycled.”

via Best of the Web Today: The Lois Stretch – WSJ.

 

And there’s more:

IT professionals from outside the administration say the Lois Stretch is quite a stretch, too. Norman Cillo, identified as “an Army veteran who worked in intelligence and a former program manager at Microsoft,” tells TheBlaze.com that if the IRS is telling the truth, it means the agency is “totally mismanaged and has the worst IT department ever.” According to Cillo, there should be multiple backups, on server hard drives as well as tape.

 

Health record app for Google Glass developed by Drchrono

Cool! Security will need to be tight, though.

Google Glass was put to work as part of a system involving a QR code posted on the doorway to each patient’s room and software that can read the code and call up the record of the patient. Dr. Horng noted how each second counts in a hospital environment and fast access to timely information can be life-saving; Horng also said he wanted to use technology in a way that kept doctors in front of patients, not screens, away from the computer and back to the bedside

via Health record app for Google Glass developed by Drchrono.

A Penguin in XP’s Clothing | Malwarebytes Unpacked

I’ve used Malwarebytes to protect my PC from viruses, worms, and other Internet vermin for years and have never had a problem. (There’s a free version, but consider paying to keep them alive.)

Malwarebytes’ blog, UnPacked, is also promising protection to those of you who are still using Windows XP and understands the problems of switching to Windows 8 for some users:

 

Rest assured Malwarebytes will continue to offer support for XP, to assist users who find themselves in this unfortunate position.

Many readers of our blog are also the familial tech support, and trying to migrate grandma to Windows 8 might not only be an expensive affair but also a potentially traumatic experience. Windows 8 is proving to be … challenging.

One of my family members went back to his laptop with the broken hinge and wobbly screen rather than switch from Windows 7 to 8, so I can imagine there are many, many who won’t like to jump even more evolutionary leaps.

The rest is a description of switching to another sort of code, Linux Mint, that can be made to look and act like a (safer version of) Windows XP. I probably could do it with a lot of coffee and some new cuss words, but anyone with a genuine problem with switching operating systems would most likely need some help from someone more tech savvy.

The important message is that Malwarebytes will protect your computer, even if you won’t or can’t switch

Compromise or computers: ObamaCare delay inevitable

 “But in some situations, you may see a redefinition of what ‘start’ means.” (Wall Street Journal quoting Obamacare consultant.)

President Obama and Democrats everywhere should be grateful to the Republicans for saving them from a huge embarrassment. Instead, the Dems continue to dig in, escalating their claims to have won a mandate on ObamaCare in 2012, in spite of the fact that the Republicans won enough seats in the House of Representatives to secure a strong majority.

House Republicans passed a new Continuing Resolution that compromises on Obamacare, by changing from refusing funding altogether to setting up a one year delay. Included in the Bill is a measure that would ensure that our military is paid in the event of a shutdown. The Bill also repeals the 2.3% tax on medical devices and the mandate that business owners with religious objections buy insurance that includes controversial “free” contraception.

The Wall Street Journal, in addition to reporting the redefinition of “start,” outlines the many ways that the Federal and State exchanges are not ready to launch Obamacare on October 1:

In the District [of Columbia], people who use the online marketplace will not immediately learn if they are eligible for Medicaid or for subsidies.

In Oregon, people will not initially be able to enroll in an insurance plan on the Web site.

In Vermont, the marketplace will not be ready to accept online premium payments until November.

In California, it could take a month for an insurer to receive the application of someone who applies for coverage on the exchange on Oct. 1.

. . . But as the launch nears, more delays are occurring. On Thursday, the administration announced a delay in the online shopping system for small businesses and confirmed that the Spanish-language site for signing up for coverage will be delayed until mid-October. Earlier in the week, officials said Medicaid applications will not be electronically transferred from the federally run exchange to states until November.

Just take care of the patient

Focus on Health, Healthcare will follow 2What causes a frail elderly person to become a patient in the hospital and can we do something in the home to prevent that event?  What causes some people to develop chronic illnesses and can other people intervene to prevent the consequences of those illnesses?

What if healthcare reformers asked these questions rather than focusing (or appearing to focus) only on costs? Better yet, what if they recognized the system changes that work, rather than insisting that all doctors must become employees of mammoth organizations, touting the business opportunities inherent in expensive, user-unfriendly electronic medical records and/or forcing an even more expensive change from the 5-digit medical diagnosis codes in ICD-9 to the 7-digit ICD-10 codes?

The source for the graph above is a report by the Oliver Wyman Healthcare Innovation Center, reviewed in Forbes Magazine last January by author Dave Chase. Yes, 5% of patients are responsible for 45% of the costs. What works to lower costs? Taking care of the patient:

In 2008, when physicians from CareMore, an independent medical group based in Cerritos, California, heard news reports of a brutal heat wave, they began contacting their elderly emphysema patients. Physicians worried that the scorching heat would drive their at-risk Medicare Advantage patients to the emergency room. So when patients said they had no air conditioner, the physicians purchased units for them. The theory was that the roughly $500 cost paled in comparison to the cost of an emergency-department admission. As it happened, this non-medical “intervention” kept CareMore’s patients out of the hospital. But if they had needed to go and lacked transportation, CareMore would have offered a free ride.
CareMore has an expansive, counter intuitive approach to healthcare. The group fends off falls by providing patients with regular toenail clipping and by removing shag rugs—a common household risk for the elderly. Patients engage in iPhone conference calls with healthcare professionals and are remotely monitored with devices that feed data automatically to doctors;  for example, patients with congestive heart failure are given a wireless scale that reports their weight on a daily basis—a key step in preventing hospitalization. They have singing pillboxes that chime when it’s time to take medications.

These unusual tactics produce enviable outcomes: CareMore’s  hospitalization rate is 24 percent below average, hospital stays are  38 percent shorter than average, and the amputation rate among diabetics is 60 percent below average. Overall member costs are roughly 18 percent below the Medicare average.

The electronic medical record helped CareMore identify patients at risk, but the EMR is a minor tool compared to the minds of the innovators who recognized the real problems and acted in the best interest of the patients.

Neuroscience, Special Forces, and Ethics at Yale | Psychology Today

What would you do?

Last month, a proposal to establish a U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) Center for Excellence in Operational Neuroscience at Yale University died a not-so-quiet death. The broad goal of “operational neuroscience” is to use research on the human brain and nervous system to protect and give tactical advantage to U.S. warfighters in the field. Crucial questions remain unanswered about the proposed center’s mission and the unusual circumstances surrounding its demise. But just as importantly, this episode brings much needed attention to the morally fraught and murky terrain where partnerships between university researchers and national security agencies lie.

via Neuroscience, Special Forces, and Ethics at Yale | Psychology Today.

Hat Tip to James J. Hughes and the Institute for Emerging Ethics and Technology newsletter

“Pearl Harbor,” Iran, Panetta and Cyber Attacks

Leon Panetta  implied that World War is on the horizon, and that our Pearl Harbor may come in the form of cyber attacks on computers. In the briefing, he pointed to the increasing threat of such attacks from Iran. (Who needs nuclear power, these days?)

National security experts have long complained that the administration needs to be much more open about what the military could and would do if the U.S. were to be the victim of cyberattacks. They argue that such deterrence worked in the Cold War with Russia and would help convince would-be attackers that an assault on America would have dire results. Panetta took the first steps toward answering those critics in a speech analysts said was a thinly veiled warning to Iran, and the opening salvo in the campaign to convince Tehran that any cyberattack against America would trigger a swift and deadly response. “Potential aggressors should be aware that the United States has the capacity to locate them and hold them accountable for actions that harm America or its interests,” Panetta said in a speech in New York City to the Business Executives for National Security. And while he did not directly connect Iran to the Gulf cyberattacks, he warned that Iran’s abilities were growing. Security analysts agree. The presumed Iranian cyberattacks hit the Saudi Arabian state oil company Aramco and Qatari natural gas producer RasGas using a virus, known as Shamoon, which can spread through networked computers and ultimately wipes out files by overwriting them.

Panetta called for regulation on the federal level, one way or the other,

“Congress must act and it must act now,” he said. “This bill is victim to legislative and political gridlock like so much else in Washington. That frankly is unacceptable and it should be unacceptable not just to me, but to you and to anyone concerned with safeguarding our national security.” Specifically, Panetta called for legislation that would make it easier for companies to share “specific threat information without the prospect of lawsuits” but while still respecting civil liberties. He also said that there must be “baseline standards” co-developed by the public and private sector to ensure the cybersecurity of critical infrastructure IT systems. The Cybersecurity Act of 2012 contained provisions that would arguably fit the bill on both of those accounts. While Panetta said that “there is no substitute” for legislation, he noted that the Obama administration has been working on an executive order on cybersecurity as an end-around on Congress. “We need to move as far as we can” even in the face of Congressional inaction, he said. “We have no choice because the threat that we face is already here.”

More on that Executive Order, here, at “The Hill.”

Keep alert, and your Constitution and anti-virus handy!

What’s up with those # and @ signs? #TxSen Candidates and Fans on Twitter

jroger777: So if the #TeaParty fails to show up and the retirees get real excited about voting for Dewhurst then @tedcruz won’t be our next #TXSen   (Twitter comment on a poll showing that people over 65 are more likely to vote for David Dewhurst)

By now, we’ve all heard that there’s a runoff race on for Texas’ U.S. Senator Republican candidate. Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst has received the endorsement of Governor Rick Perry, 18 of 19 Republican State Senators, and the bulk of State-Wide office holders.  Former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz is backed by many leaders of the “Tea Party,” especially those most interested in controlling illegal immigration. South Carolina’s Senator Jim DeMint recruited former Texas Solicitor Ted Cruz to run  last year and has been campaigning with him this past weekend. We’ve seen the fanfare with Sarah Palin, Glen Beck, and Rick Santorum. A few know that Norman Adams, who masterminded the “Texas Solution” guest worker Plank in the Republican Party of Texas 2012 Platform, endorsed Cruz in the Primary.

But who are the grassroots supporters and what do they say in support of and against the candidates? One way to get an idea is to follow the race, the candidates and their “fans” on the social networking sites. The most popular are Facebook and Twitter. A cadre of supporters of both candidates post on Twitter, gathering together under the “hashtag” (see my “Primer” below) #TxSen, That’s why I’ve been putting the # in the title of most of my posts for the last month or so.

I posted about the news coverage and fallout from one conversation on Twitter back in early June, when Katrina Pierson, founder of Garland, Texas Tea Party and Grassroots Texans Network, and volunteer for Cruz, called former Marine Captain Dan Moran “a deformed disabled vet.”

That was about the time I got wrapped up in Facebook and Twitter – especially Twitter – – okay, addicted to Twitter –  political social networking.  I also started saving a few of the more notable Tweets sent by the Cruz crowd. (Sometimes derogatorily called “Cruzbots.” I wouldn’t do that. I call them the #CruzClan.)

Unfortunately, the conversation above is not that unusual, except that it got some press. The @DavidHDewhurst fans (voters) tend to be polite and rule followers. In contrast, the @tedcruz supporters follow a different drummer.  I’ve argued politics on the Internet for nearly 20 years and have never seen the spite and name calling that comes from the #CruzClan, even when talking to atheists, pro-aborts and RonPaulers.  That last statement reads like an incredible exaggeration, even to me, but just watch #TxSen or my “feed” after this blog is published.

The biggest surprise came in the form of questions indicating that some of the #CruzClan might not agree with their candidate, who says he’s pro-life and believes in laws protecting marriage as “one man and one woman,”  on “social issues,” such as abortion and marriage. Here are a few examples:

KatrinaPierson: @bnuckols Social issues are not constitutional issues. What are his fiscal conservative achievements. #txsen

KatrinaPierson: @bnuckols What page of the constitution is homosexuality on. I must have missed that one. #txsen #tcot

smurfdawginnc: @KatrinaPierson @bnuckols Why would the Constitution discuss a persons private sexual preference?

I had a several-day discussion about the Constitution and abortion with this Cruz supporter:

@Clint_Stutts: @bnuckols You’re still reading into the texts of the DOI and Const what isn’t there. Still have not shown they had unborn in mind #txsen

Even with a limit of 140 characters, the discussion followed the same old pattern that all such conversations do.

Wonder how popular Cruz will  be with his fans in a couple of years, if he’s elected, but proves more or less Conservative – and effective in the designed-to-be-immovable-Senate than they expect him to be?

Short primer on Twitter and Tweeting

If you are reading this on your computer or phone, you have all the skills necessary to be a social networker on Twitter. Join in!

If you want to see – or “follow” –  the real time conversation, you have to sign up for Twitter at Twitter.com. (Hint: Pick the shortest name you can, so you don’t eat up the 140 character limit!)  If you are interested in a topic or person, enter the word or name in the search box at the top. You can save the search to return to it over and over. You may have to pick the most appropriate result, or find your specific interest as a “hashtag” – subjects that appear frequently enough to form a subheading or group of Tweets – in the list of Tweets given. “Top Conservatives on Twitter” is a good place to start, #tcot. Or #TxSen/#txsen, “Texas Senate” will allow you to follow that subject through the election.

You’ll also see a list of people who tweet about your subject. People are contacted and referred to by @TheirName. I’m @bnuckols.

Don’t touch the NameServer! (another hard lesson learned)

I think I’m so tech-savvy. And then, I hit one little old button and shut down the website for hours.

WingRight is back up after a silly mistake. GoDaddy and WordPress are communicating again. And I won’t mess with critical settings without a lot of research – at least until the next time.

Nominate a grassroots blogger for CPAC Blogger of the Year! @SonjaHHarris @CPAC2012

Do we want a big name blogger – one who is nearly a member of the traditional media – named to the CPAC Blogger of the Year? Or do we want a grassroots, self-taught blogger like you and me to represent us?

I know many of the bloggers who will most likely be nominated and would be proud to call them friends, but Sonja Harris better represents me and most of the Pajamas crowd.

So read the blog, nominate Red Sonja!

EMAIL THIS FORM, FILLED OUT WITH YOUR INFORMATION, TO BloggerAward@conservative.org

CPAC 2012 Blogger of the Year Award
Please submit nominations by COB on Wednesday, February 8

Your Name: ____________________
Your Organization/Blog:_____________
Your Email Address: ___________________
NOMINEE: ________Sonja Harris, Conservatives in Action_____
Nominee’s Blog Title: Conservatives In Action_____________________
Nominee’s Blog URL: http://redsonja-conservativesinaction.blogspot.com/
Nominee’s Twitter ID (if applicable): @SonjaHHarris
Nominee’s Email Address: __libertyphoto@att.net_________________________________

Description of Merit:

Self-taught conservative with an email list that is forwarded to over 10,000 readers a week, including Israeli and other international readers. While the e-mail is her biggest effort, Sonja has a facebook page https://www.facebook.com/#%21/pages/Conservatives-in-Action/219411951422716 and publishes a blog under the name “Red Sonja” at http://redsonja-conservativesinaction.blogspot.com/
She also publishes on TexasGOPVote.com http://texasgopvote.com/users/sonja-harris
Sonja was a volunteer blogger for the Rick Perry campaign in Iowa http://redsonja-conservativesinaction.blogspot.com/2012/01/rick-perry-and-iowa-caucus-2012.html , live-blogged the Newt Gingrich/Herman Cain debate in Houston http://redsonja-conservativesinaction.blogspot.com/2011/11/cain-gingrich-debate-on-november-5-2012.html ,

and has covered Texas http://redsonja-conservativesinaction.blogspot.com/2011/06/medina-valley-hs-class-of-2011-and.html , national and international news.
Please read her coverage of Pro-life rallies, take a look at her photographs of political and social events and her series on art. http://redsonja-conservativesinaction.blogspot.com/2011/02/photographys-place-in-art-art-for-our.html
http://redsonja-conservativesinaction.blogspot.com/2011/04/arts-in-your-community.html
http://redsonja-conservativesinaction.blogspot.com/2011/04/art-and-conservatives.html

So for one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, it is a sin.
James 4:17
CONSERVATIVES IN ACTION

“Will You Live Forever—or Until Your Next Software Release—By Uploading Your Brain into a Computer?”

Transhumanism is a field composed of many interesting mind games (pun intended) but the really great title of this Scientific American review of Connectome, a new book by Sebastian Seung on cutting edge neuroscience, the state of the science behind the Human Brain Project and the transhumanist religion that is adopting it, is what made me post tonight.

Can you remember the last update of the operating system software on your phone or the browser you’re using to read this note? Or did you buy a Windows 7 computer only to find that your year-old wireless printer was not supported? Or – horrors! – have you, like me, found that your entire computer system is no longer “compliant” and won’t be supported by your vendor after a change in Federal law?

If you have a smartphone and have installed “apps,” how many of them are due an update? That software will completely replace your old program which will be removed from your phone’s memory.
Now, just imagine that your consciousness, your whole brain full of connections and thoughts, a program that, according to a certain group of transhumanists, will think, feel and essentially be you.

The idea is to dispose of the fallible human body that inevitably degrades and dies for a program that will live forever.

My experience with technology is that it, too, decays, degrades or comes with bugs and glitches that require constant upgrades with code that may be worse than a human malignancy. And that security programs can themselves be as bad as the hacks and viruses they’re supposed to protect me from.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to beta this one.

Truth, Logic, Siri, and PCMag.com

The Lord does work in mysterious ways, but most of the time He just uses the laws of physics and the logic that He invented. Still, I was surprised to find an argument for pro-life versus abortion logic on a technology blog at PCMag.com. And the simple logic of pointing out that abortionists don’t use the word “abortion” when advertising their services is much more telling than I believe the author knew.

 

“”Siri is doing exactly what it was built to do—provide answers to questions like, “Where can I get an abortion?” using its own algorithms and the online resources it has available to craft answers.

***********

“”Consider the current kerfuffle. This is simplifying things a bit, but the gist of this story is that Siri is getting hung up on a word, “abortion,” because organizations that actually offer abortion services tend not to use the word as much as anti-abortion organizations do. So when Siri goes looking for where to get an “abortion” in the digital wordscape of the Internet, lo and behold, it returns addresses for Crisis Pregnancy Centers rather than Planned Parenthood.””

(via Siri is Dumb. There, We Said It. | News & Opinion | PCMag.com.)

 

Or, it could be Steve Jobs’ last word from beyond the grave reminding us of all we could have lost if his mother hadn’t chosen life rather than abortion.

 

For those who don’t use the iPhone: Siri is a voice-activated program that searches for answers to questions. Think of a “Google” that you can talk to.

 

Okay, I will admit to a lot of bias in favor of protecting the lives of our children of the future.  I’m a pro-life advocate and serve on a couple of Boards for Pro-life advocacy: Texas Alliance for Life which lobbies for pro-life laws and regulations in Austin, Texas and even a “Crisis Pregnancy Center,” Options for Women in New Braunfels, Texas.   But this irony is too rich.

 

There is no big conspiracy paid for by “anti-abortion” forces to influence us to “Choose Life.” Steve Jobs most likely didn’t set this up before his death in order to contrast his adoption by loving and nurturing parents with abortion and to remind us of what we lose by the death of every child whose life is intentionally ended before birth.

 

And this is not a “glitch.”

 

The Creator of the Universe didn’t have to break a single law of nature to point out the simple fact that abortionists don’t tend to admit what they do. Truth and Logic worked as they should in this case.

DPS caught up (for me, anyway)

The DPS website let me know that my State permit to prescribe has been renewed for another year.Yeayy!

The story is that DPS brought in extra people and have been working nights to put about 3000 delayed permits through their new software before Midnight, August 1.

I’m glad they’re catching up, but I still believe that it was irresponsible for them to install the new software program during what is probably their busiest time of the year, when they knew they’d have less personnel, because of budget cuts and because of vacations, etc.

@bnuckols tweets

Click here to get your “Choose Life” license plate

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