Thursday, September 22, 2005

Infelicitous Choice of Words

Dean's World : "A grand jury in Philadelphia has released its report on sex abuse by Catholic priests in the area and the coverup by the Philly Archdiocese. 'Searing' is the word used in this Philadelphia Inquirer story about the report (pain in keister registration necessary). "

"Pain in keister registration"? Ouch!!

The Bitter Irony of Genocide Day

What is The Bitter Irony of Genocide Day?

As a general matter, national days of Holocaust Remembrance strike me as, at best, not worth the effort, and, at worst, harmful. . . .

They are meant to instill some form of Jewish pride. But Jewish pride in what: That we are history's champion victims? That we have suffered more and longer than any other people? Does the reduction of Jewish history to one long mural of suffering offer to the young, marginally identified Jew any reason to explore his or her identity more deeply? Why should it? In order to add his or her name to the long scroll of Jewish victims? . . . That does not mean, however, that I view all Holocaust education as pointless. [But] [i]n general, national days of Holocaust commemoration occasion neither any in depth study of the Holocaust nor any testimony to convey the enormity of the evil through the experience of individual victims. Commemoration ceremonies tend to become a form of being yotzei zein by those with scant knowledge of the Nazi horrors, and often serve little purpose other than to confirm the exquisite sensitivity of those who proclaimed the Day of Remembrance in the first place.

WHATEVER THE VALUE of days of Holocaust Remembrance, however, the recent proposal by Moslem advisors to Prime Minister Tony Blair that Holocaust Day be replaced by a Genocide Day, which would also commemorate, inter alia, "genocidal" Israeli policies against the Palestinians, must be fought tooth and nail.

Blair's Moslem advisors complain that Holocaust Day is too exclusive. They envy our special day. We Jews, however, would be only too happy to trade our "exclusive day" for the 6 million lost in the Holocaust.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Live Linux Virus!

This is very attention-getting.

Here's the first Unix/Linux virus we've seen since the Great Internet Worm.
Okay, it's in a Korean version of old versions of stuff, but still.

The Morris worm, which appeared 17 years ago, in 1988, infected an unknown number of machines (6,000 is the number often cited, but this was comparable to the 10,000 deaths in New Orleans: a number pulled out of thin air), bringing some of these machines down for an entire weekend. (The virus's attempts to replicate itself put such a heavy load on infected machines that it created what was effectively a denial-of-service attack.) CERT was created in response to this event.

The author, Robert Morris, Jr., a graduate student says it got loose accidentally. He was fined heavily, and sentenced to three years probation plus community service. Morris has since become a professor at MIT. I have a picture of him and Eric Allman, together, in my office, which I took at a Usenix conference shortly afterwards. (Morris exploited a bug in sendmail, which Eric wrote.)

Since then, although proofs-of-concept have been written, the actual mechanics of writing infectious malware that will propagate, in the wild, on Unix/Linux are difficult enough that I've never seen any.

None. Zero.

Writing Linux anti-virus software has been likened to playing a banjo for the money. Okay, admittedly, I still haven't actually heard of anything appearing on machines of anyone I've ever met, but is this a harbinger of problems to come?

Time will tell.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Google Blog Search

Google Blog Search seems like a good idea, but I often still can't find stuff in my own blog when I use the Blogger search box, and Blogger's owned by Google.

we make money not art

What you mean, we, paleface?


Spamgourmet's lovely, but Mailinator is sometimes just what I want: a mail address I can make up on the spot that I don't care about mail to.


Here's yet another Ajax offering. To me it looks pretty much like the Google home page, except I can't get signed in.

Fast is good. Works is even better.

The first theorem of computer programming: Every program can be made shorter.
The second theorem of computer programming: Every program has a bug.

Corollary: Any program can be reduced to a one-line program that doesn't work.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Sing Along

The Music Industry lies awake worrying, for you, about how to stop the web from eating into their revenue stream. I'm not sure whether this is part of the problem or part of the solution. If you know either the Music Industry or Stokely Carmichael, ask them for me.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Chutzpah in the Courts

If you're following the Roberts hearings, you have to be disgusted at the chutzpah of it all.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Hurricane Names

Hurricane names are chosen from sequential letters of the alphabet. After Katrina, for example, we needed names beginning with L, M, and N. Perhaps you've been asking yourself why we didn't -- indeed, have never -- chosen these names to honor three of our greatest Americans: Larry, Moe, N'Curly?

I'll tell you why: Sexism.

My sisters claim that liking the Three Stooges is a sex-limited trait: when administering a Turing test, you can unerringly determine the sex of the person, or computer, on the other end with a single question, "Do you like the Three Stooges?"

The government isn't using these names because of deep, institutional, sexism.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

House of Gilligan's Isle

My sister Nan asks that, in tribute to both Bob Denver and Hurricane Katrina, we all sing "The Gilligan's Island Theme Song" to the tune of "House of New Orleans."

Make Eric Burdon and the Animals proud, sing it loud.

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale
A tale of a fateful trip,
That started from this tropic port,
Aboard this tiny ship.

The mate was a mighty sailin' man,
The Skipper brave and sure,
Five passengers set sail that day,
For a three hour tour,
A three hour tour.

The weather started getting rough,
The tiny ship was tossed.
If not for the courage of the fearless crew
The Minnow would be lost.
The Minnow would be lost.

The ship aground on the shore of this
Uncharted desert isle
With Gilligan, the Skipper too.
A millionaire and his wife,
A movie star, the professor and Mary Ann,
Here on Gilligan's Isle.

So this is the tale of our castaways,
There here for a long long time.
They'll have to make the best of things,
it's an uphill climb.

The first mate and his Skipper too
Will do their very best,
To make the others comfortable
In their tropic island nest.

No phone, no lights, no motor car,
Not a single luxury
Like Robinson Crusoe
It's primitive as can be.
So join us here each week my friends,
You're sure to get a smile,
From seven stranded castaways
Here on Gilligan's Isle!

Friday, September 09, 2005

New Orleans

The best slide show I've seen.

Thanks to David Aitken for the pointer.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

I Need One of These

An emergency survival kit is something I should probably have. More emergency-preparedness suggestions on Instapundit, here. Maybe if I blog about it, I'll remember to actually do it.

The Post-It note, masquerading as blog.


I'm glad someone smart is writing about child-custody issues. Maybe it can save someone else's family.

By the time she was 10, Gillian Haemer knew what she wanted to do when she grew up. Every 10-year-old should. They should want to be a baseball player, or a rabbi, or an astronaut, or the President of the United States.

Gilly knew.

"I'm going to grow up, get married, have kids, get a divorce, then take all my kids and all his money and move into a little house and get a maid."

At least in Boulder County, that's a realistic goal. Her little sister Zoe's wasn't.

"When I grow up, I'm going to have the doctors take everything out of me that comes from Daddy."

These weren't angry teens. These were 8- and 10-year-old little girls.

I escaped blaming my ex-wife for it. I saw, from ground zero, that the problem lay squarely in the "let's you and him fight" laps of divorce professionals.

"Remember to leave your check with the receptionist on the way out."

The solution lies in the same place. It's much too late for my three little girls and for me (and for my ex-wife, really). It's not too late to reform child-custody law and the divorce courts.

More and more states, especially west of the Mississippi, are moving from custody law based on "best interest of the lawyers, uh, child" -- duelling, adversarial, professionals fight in court over who the children get to have for a parent -- to "presumption of joint custody" -- you were both parents before the divorce, and unless there's something wrong with one of you, you both stay parents afterwards.

It can't be done by civilians like me. It needs big guns, working from inside the legal field.

Eugene Volokh offers a ray of hope.

Free beer, today.

Well, this would be worth knowing about if I lived in England or Ireland. Maybe someone reading does.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Amazing Grace

To mourn Bob Denver's passing, sing it with me. To the tune of the Gilligan's Island Theme Song.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Gilda Radner and Chevy Chase Discuss The Kyoto Protocol

Chevy Chase: Uh, Emily...? Emily? That's global warming.

Emily Litella: Oh. That's very different. Never mind.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Take my Lips, I Want to Lose Them

Would this put a cramp in Willie Nelson's wish list? Or Ron Sommers'?

Give for Their Children

My mother said her parents always made them donate to the American Red Cross. She made us do it, too.

During the Civil War, her grandfather, a Confederate soldier, was trapped in a wrecked train. After a couple of days, the Red Cross showed up, found him, and freed him. Had they not been there, he'd have died, and I wouldn't be blogging tonight.

By coincidence, my mother and her family are from Louisiana. I donated (through Amazon) today.

With the money, the Red Cross will save people whose great-grandchildren will be doing something, 150 years from now, that we can't even imagine. But there will still be disasters. And there will still be a Red Cross.

Give if you can.

Hard Drive Data Recovery for Hurricane Victims - Reduced Rates

My friend Jack Moore of Eagle Eye Forensics, LLC sent this along. It's not free, but if you know someone who has to worry about this, you may want to send it along.

Hard Drive Recovery Offer to Victims of Hurricanes

We are offering special, reduced-rate services to victims of hurricanes to recover the data from their hard drives.


* Special handling of hard drives is required to enable data to remain recoverable!

* Even if you are not ready for recovery of your data, contact us ASAP for instructions about how to prevent permanent destruction of the data on your hard drives.

We want to help you recover as easily and as soon as possible.

Our prayers remain with you and yours.

Jack Moore
Director of Business Development
Eagle Eye Forensics, LLC
Digital forensic services for the legal community
Woodstock, GA

It's George's Fault

I understand from the media that while the hurricane was not the President's fault, the failure to quickly get the ugliness of the situation under control is. Why his fault? Because he is President and has omnipotence.

Now, do the things that go right redound to the President's credit? I'm only asking. Because most things seem to work pretty well for most people. That must be the result of his omnipotence too, right?