Social Issues

Hiram Mann's "No man survives when freedom fails"

Its been a while since I had time to blog, but this seemed worthwhile. I ran across a short poem by Hiram Mann that goes something like this: No man survives when freedom fails; the best men rot in filthy jails. And those who cry 'Appease, appease!' are hanged by those they tried to please. I say "something like" because there appear multiple variations online. If you can point to an authoritative source, please drop me a note.

Animal Cruelty

I eat meat and I have no illusions about where it comes from. Like it or not, we are a carnivorous species and the meat industry has grown out of a real necessity. But that is not what this post is about. I think intentional animal cruelty, such as encountered and described by Sara Ford is just unforgivable. Yes, it is too often that people take on pets without realizing the full extent of the burden they take on, but one has to take responsibility for one's actions. As the absolute last resort, if you are not able to take...

Rigged Corporate Board of Directors elections

Raymond Chen gives an interesting insight into the elections to the board of directors of Allstate. In other words: These thirteen people will be elected to directorships regardless of what you do. Read the full post here.

DevDays 2004: attendee demographics.

One more comment on DevDays: is it just me or are developers getting older? Looking around, it appeared to me like the average age of attendees was pushing high thirties. Made me feel decidedly young. Is it that there is no fresh blood in Valley? Was this event marketed only to the “senior” people? Should I remove the quotes? Or have all the younger devs defected to the OSS side? On the other hand, there was much comfort (yes, I am being sarcastic) in there being only 2.35 women in the audience. It looks like on that front things haven't changed at all....

Explosive News: RFID's in cash

Via Raymond Chen, apparently the new US dollar bills have built-in RFID's (that explode, sort of). So pretty soon a technologically inclined thief will be able to discriminate his victims by the amount of cash they carry. Not likely? How about if I substitute “casino” for “thief”? [Update: see my previous post on the subject.]

RFID's and your privacy wrt libraries

This afternoon I had an interesting conversation with a gentleman on a train. He started it with a simple question: “What can you tell me about R.F.I.D. in 25 words or less?”. It turned out that my answer contained just the things he was looking for. I was able to define RFID, name the first big implementer, and mention the fact that there are privacy issues surrounding the technology. The rest of the time he spent trying to convince me that RFID's are particularly dangerous in the context of a public library. The gist of his argument was that RFIDs tied to...