The new system modem should make this blog more readable.
We were down for about 18 hours.
Correction made 4/1/2015: We were down for about 42 hours. (I ran out of fingers and toes.)
Annals of Technology: The Cobweb: Can the Internet be archived? by Jill Lepore. (I believe that you can access one article without hitting a paywall.)
If, like mine, your last name falls near the end of the alphabet and, if like me, you subscribe to at least one magazine, you'll probably have noticed by now that most of the world reads "your" magazine before it graces your postal box. Everyone else has already read and digested The New Yorker, January 26, 2015 issue, I'm sure. My copy came in today's mail.
I'll keep this brief; but, I can't ignore the article entirely. First off, the article was so much fun to read. Secondly, it answered a question that I didn't even know I had.
As you can tell by the sub-title, the article addresses Internet archiving. One of the enterprises engaged in such activitie is the Internet Archive, based in San Francisco CA. In the article, we are told:
"The address of the Internet Archive is archive.org, but another way to visit is to take a plane to San Francisco and ride in a cab to the Presidio, past cypresses that look as though someone had drawn them there with a smudgy crayon. At 300 Funston Avenue, climb a set of stone steps and knock on the brass door of a Greek Revival temple. You can’t miss it: it’s painted wedding-cake white and it’s got, out front, eight Corinthian columns and six marble urns."
"Christian science church122908 02" by Girl2k - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Christian_science_church122908_02.jpg. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Christian_science_church122908_02.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Christian_science_church122908_02.jpg
The following paragraph continues:
"“We bought it because it matched our logo,” Brewster Kahle told me when I met him there, and he wasn’t kidding. Kahle is the founder of the Internet Archive and the inventor of the Wayback Machine. The logo of the Internet Archive is a white, pedimented Greek temple."
And now, we've stumbled upon a question that I didn't know I had. For some years, I've never faltered when running across the term "Wayback Machine" - understanding from context what it meant. I did not know that the "Wayback Machine" had its genesis in a kids' TV cartoon. A later paragraph in the article educates me.
"Kahle is long-armed and pink-cheeked and public-spirited; his hair is gray and frizzled. He wears round wire-rimmed eyeglasses, linen pants, and patterned button-down shirts. He looks like Mr. Micawber, if Mr. Micawber had left Dickens’s London in a time machine and landed in the Pacific, circa 1955, disguised as an American tourist. Instead, Kahle was born in New Jersey in 1960. When he was a kid, he watched “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show”; it has a segment called “Peabody’s Improbable History,” which is where the Wayback Machine got its name. Mr. Peabody, a beagle who is also a Harvard graduate and a Nobel laureate, builds a WABAC machine—it’s meant to sound like a UNIVAC, one of the first commercial computers—and he uses it to take a boy named Sherman on adventures in time. “We just set it, turn it on, open the door, and there we are—or were, really,” Peabody says."
Returning to the Greek Revival temple much later in the article we are told that:
"On the wall on either side of the altar, wooden slates display what, when this was a church, had been the listing of the day’s hymn numbers. The archivists of the Internet have changed those numbers. One hymn number was 314. “Do you know what that is?” Kahle asked. It was a test, and something of a trick question, like when someone asks you what’s your favorite B track on the White Album. “Pi,” I said, dutifully, or its first three digits, anyway. Another number was 42. Kahle gave me an inquiring look. I rolled my eyes. Seriously?"
My hat is off to the author, Ms Lepore!
"Waybackmachine3" by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Waybackmachine3.png#mediaviewer/File:Waybackmachine3.png
P.S. This cartoon pre-dates our family's first TV receiver.
One hundred years ago, and again some years later, I worked for The Big Bomber Store (TBBS - see Terms Used by Cop Car). At both times, I was surrounded by 100s of my closest work pals - without partitian of any sort. Telephone sets were at a premium. One set was shared among two to four workers - and - one or two phone numbers were assigned to the whole group in which I worked, meaning that if the phone rang, there was a 1 in 50 or 1 in 20 chance that it was for any one person. Usually, the lowest ranking person in the group (invariably a woman and, in the former instance, me!) had the privilege of answering the ringing phone and pressing a buzzer to alert the workers at the appropriate telephone set that one of them should pick up the handset.
Furnishings: Each worker had one desk, one chair, and a 24-to-30-inch high bookcase that contained two shelves. In addition, each person might have a 2-page/day flip-over calender - if they let it be known in December that they wished to have one for the coming year. We were provided pencils and erasers and, if our jobs required it, a mechanical or electro-mechanical calculator and/or a stack of "in" baskets; but, we were expected to bring our own slide rules, drawing gear, and such.
As I noted above, we were each a part of a sea of desks. Now, a posting on Slashdot.org says that was a bad thing.
Personally, for the type of work that we were doing, I thought the "sea of desks/drawing tables" worked well. People worked quietly, for the most part; but, if there was anything going on, each of us had the opportunity to pick up information from conversations going on around us. Perhaps it doesn't work well for younger generations who have been bred to have split-second attention spans.
Something else that Bev* Hodges, Chief Engineer, had right was that when we went home at night, nothing was to be left atop our desks and/or bookcases (drafters were allowed to cover their drawing tables with roll-across oilcloth covering, leaving their in-progress drawings taped to the table.) "In" baskets and calendars were left in the seats of our chairs, at night. Most phones were on a 360-degree-swing support, mounted to the side of one desk in a group of 2 to 4 desks. Telephones not so mounted might also be put in the seat of one's chair.
P.S. I should let you know that TBBS did not house the largest sea of desks in which I ever worked. All of the aerospace engineering spaces in which I worked (or that I visited) had the same type of layout. Only when working for the Little Engineering Company did most of the engineers work one-to-four-to-the office. (Fortunately, with that company, I always ranked highly enough to rate a private office. At the Little Airplane Company, I did rate a private office once I made it into management. I fought it at the time I was first promoted into management feeling that I would lose too much valuable information by being segregated; but, my boss was adamant. By the time I had made it to the Executive Payroll, I had become accustomed to not knowing what the Hell was going on! ; )
* Bev Hodges = Beverly Hodges, a guy!
I don't know about your email provider, but my providers (2) do a great job of protecting me from scam and spam emails. Why can't my phone service providers (2) do a great job of protecting me from scam and spam phone calls?
A few years ago, I got into the habit of reporting scam emails to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). I don't know that it did a lot of good, but it could not have hurt. Eventually, incoming email filters were improved to the point that I don't recall the last time I received an actual scamming email.
Please tell me: Why have I not been reporting scamming phone calls? *shoulder shrug*
The following is from the FTC website - The FTC Complaint Assistant. Note that this site is not just for reporting phone calls, but for any type of problem that affects interstate commerce. (As consumers of internet and phone services, we are a part of the commerce equation.)
Complaints from consumers help us detect patterns of fraud and abuse. The FTC would like to know more about your complaint and the Complaint Assistant will help guide you. To use the Complaint Assistant:
This is a listing of the menu items - not linked, here, but found at the linked website.
- Counterfeit Checks
- Impostor Scams
- Sweepstakes and Prize Promotions
- Satellite and Cable TV Provider
- Health and Fitness
- Foreign Lottery
- Grants or Education Scholarships
- Charitable Solicitations
- Romance Scams
- Immigration or Tax Services
- Travel, Vacations or Timeshares
- No match found? Click Here
FTC has an interesting article posted, FTC shuts down multi-million dollar phone scam.
If you don't already avail yourself of the opportunity, join me in a movement to start reporting the scamming phone calls. It won't stop the annoyance of the spamming phone calls; but, one step at a time! Bitchin' ain't enough. I need to start telling the people who can do something about scamming phone calls!
P.S. Did I tell you that a few days after my previous posting (Pet Peeve#7), Hunky Husband picked up a similar call to the same phone line?
As a follow-on to a previous posting, Good, horrid, and great treatment of girls and women & addendum, I post another Slashdot.org article - instigated by the same person (or, at least, by someone using the same screen name) as the Slashdot.org articles in my previous posting. I use Gamer "Culture" because Gamer Culture seems an oxymoron, from the reports I've heard/read.
...RTFM. (Translation: Read the *%$*ing manual!) I hate manuals – but I refuse to take the rap on this. I had actually looked for a manual and found only a warranty booklet. When did they start making electronic gadgets and not even bothering to write instructions, I wondered?
What is it with manuals?
Why do people hate manuals, anyway? Simple. Most are as incomprehensible as the devices they’re supposed to explain. Why is this? The answer is also simple. They’re not written by me, or by someone like me who knows what people like me – or like you – need to know. They’re written by the product designers, who are so removed from the buying public that they have no idea how to explain their products. Because they’re under 30, the designers can also read the tiny print their manuals come in.
Some people read manuals selectively, usually based on age. My carpenter/handyman who is pushing 60 has no problem reading a manual when he’s assembling a desk or installing a gas stove, but he relies on his kids to explain his cell phone. My friend Denise Terry, who is around my age, says, “I feel like my brain is completely unable to take in what the manuals offer. I do read directions for assembling toys and furniture – but nothing about electronics.”
It’s not that I don’t want to read the manual – I always mean to get around to it – but somehow it never happens. I “play with” the device until I figure it out. Or not.
The "Aging with Attitude" hits me where I live, although I'm not sure how much my attitude has changed over the past 50 or 60 years. My attitude toward computers, since 1959, has been: If you want me to use your damned machine, don't make me become a computer geek.
At that point in my blog post writing, I got far out into the weeds with my history with computers. Let's hold that off for another day, shall we?
For now, I present a list of articles currently available on the website. Perhaps one of them will pique your interest - perhaps not.
Addition of 8/10/2014:
A hat tip to Hattie, of Hattie's Web, for pointing out that I failed to make clear the source of the above comic photo. The photo is from an article, the link for which is immediately above the photo: On the Road: Apps, Sites, Gadgets & Tips.
BTW: I'm impressed that Hattie took the opportunity to drop by, what with the weather that her state (Hawaii) has been enduring. In preparation, the Red Cross had sent a small team of disaster response specialists from the Continental Southwestern states to assist the local leadership team - in case the hurricanes did not downgrade in status before hitting the islands. They flew over before the weather could close the airports. I know this because, Hunky Husband's team (HH leads a team of five from the Continental North Central states) is on alert for the month of August and were notified that they would also be covering the Continental Southwest states while "their" team was in Hawaii. A lot of folks ended up in shelters, and there was a lot of damage; but, the damage was light compared to what was thought to be possible.
A couple of months ago I posted Privacy at home. In it I told of eschewing the most tech-enriched controller for our new furnace and air conditioning units: Hunky Husband and I chose not to be able to access the controller via internet. Now let's talk about modern cars.
Over the past 20-30 years, cars (and other vehicles) have become more tech-enriched. Since HH drives a 2013 Lincoln MKS and I drive a 2014 Lincoln MKZ, we are up to our ears in tech. (I was told by the car dealer's service manager that my new car contained/used about 20 computers.) One really must take lessons to operate new vehicles; so, I was not surprised to read in a special section of today's newspaper that Wichita State University was offering a non-credit course in "MAXIMIZING THE FEATURES OF YOUR CAR". (You are well ahead of me if you guessed that the offering was actually titled "PHOTOGRAPHY: MAXIMIZING THE FEATURES OF YOUR SLR".)
Our cars will not only parallel park without our controlling the steering wheel, but when using the cruise control, unless I use 11 button pushes to disable the feature, the car calculates the closing rate between me and the vehicle ahead of me. If it doesn't like the answer, it slams on the brakes! (Unfortunately, the car isn't smart enough to realize that a car that is making a turn in front of me will clear the lane in time for me to have sole occupancy, nor does it take into account that the lane to my left is open so that I can make a last-minute lane change if called for. You can understand why I go through the 11 button pushes before engaging the cruise control, for most of my driving.) Our cars also have a stick shaker (well...in a car it shakes the steering wheel) to alert him or me that we are encroaching on the line at either side of our lane.
Of course there is GPS and the entertainment systems that take computer implementation, and the blue tooth synchronization to a cell phone and its contacts listing. (BTW: I turned off the blue tooth in my cell phone to prevent synchronization. The car, crazily, tries and tries and tries to synchronize but can't find my phone.)
Back to my point: I not only do not wish to have our HVAC system available via internet, I don't really want anyone hacking my car.
Slashdot.org led me to an article on Information Week: Dark Reading: Connecting the Information Security Community titled The World's Most Hackable Cars. You've probably seen news items concerning the report. This, excerpted from the article, is unfathomable to me:
The researchers studied in-depth the automated and networked functionality in modern vehicle models, analyzing how an attacker could potentially access a car's Bluetooth, telematics, or on-board phone app, for example, and using that access to then control the car's physical features, such as automated parking, steering, and braking. Some attacks would require the attacker to be within a few meters of the targeted car, but telematics-borne attacks could occur from much farther away, the researchers say.
Not surprisingly, the vehicles with fewer computerized and networked functions were less likely to get attacked by a hacker. "The most hackable cars had the most [computerized] features and were all on the same network and could all talk to each other," says Miller, who is a security engineer at Twitter. "The least hackable ones had [fewer] features, and [the features] were segmented, so the radio couldn't talk to the brakes," for example.
The 2014 Infiniti Q50 would be the easiest of all to hack because its telematics, Bluetooth, and radio functions all run on the same network as the car's engine and braking systems, for instance, making it easier for an attacker to gain control of the car's computerized physical operations.
Our furnace/air conditioning system is scheduled for replacement this coming Monday which made me pay a bit of extra attention to the following item at Slashdot.org. The cooling coil of the current air conditioning (heat pump) system had been leaking since about year six of its 14.5 years of use, but only now enough that the location of the leak was easily detected, and the new system is touted to be much more efficient - by 15-20 percentage points. It was not for the reason mentioned in the posting that I asked Hunky Husband to check into having the "internet control" feature of the new thermostat disabled. I don't want any of my appliances to be connected to the Internet.
When the Apocalypse comes, I don't want "them" controlling my home. (It's bad enough that "they" will be controlling our on-purpose computing systems and our cars!) As it turns out there are two versions of the new thermostat - one of which is NOT connected to the Internet. That is the one that HH ordered.
We hate spammers. You hate spammers. And we here at Typepad spend a lot of time fighting the good fight against them. Our next step in this battle is giving you a new tool that should significantly cut down on the amount of comment spam you see.
If you'd prefer to turn this option off, you can select the No option, but we do highly discourage this.
We've made huge strides in dealing with spammers over the last year and we'll continue to keep improving and offering more tools to help. We might hate spammers, but we love you.