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Whew, NOT My State

March 11, 2014

File this one under, DUH!

San Francisco spends $165 million a year on services for homeless people, but all that money hasn’t made a dent in the homeless population in at least nine years.

And in fact, the city’s homeless tally may have long been underestimated. In addition to the 6,436 homeless adults counted during one night last year, a separate daytime count specifically of homeless youth found 914 children and young adults living in San Francisco without parents or guardians and without a roof over their heads.

The statement is that the youths were undercounted in the past.  Do you think it might be that, just maybe, since you’re spending so much money making it easier to be homeless that you might maybe, just maybe, be attracting homeless people?

I’m sure that sounds heartless or right-leaning, or something.  That’s not my intent.

I’m mostly just wondering why spending money on stopping people from doing something might not have the opposite effect.

Ah, My Home State…

March 11, 2014

I have few words

Sgt. Pete Simpson, a Portland Police Bureau spokesman, said officers responded to a 911 call that evening from a couple who had locked themselves in their bedroom with the baby and their dog after the cat attacked the child.

Simpson said the 911 operator could hear the cat screeching in the background as the couple awaited help.

Said cat allegedly, “has a history of violence.”

I… um… well…

Oh what the heck. Make it an even 600

March 2, 2014

Guys, guys, Big Bang Theory is amusing because Sheldon knows better than to TRY to be a rock star.

Please, for the love of pete, stop! It’s embarrassing

http://www.news.com.au/finance/money/tech-billionaires-behaving-badly/story-e6frfmd9-1226723450393

And stuff like this article just needs to not be said. Think of the human tendency to visualize and operate as if you ARE this successful before you GET that successful. Then read this

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/230965

101 in the Valley is just going to get more and more fun to drive….

Clash of the repressed

March 2, 2014

In a facebook discussion I commented on once about the different views of what “tolerance” means, I received a tirade of First world PC blather in response to a comment I made about nations like Singapore and other Sharia law states not really caring about what the West thinks when it comes to the rights of alternative lifestyle proponents.
The response I received was “hey dumb-a–, that’s FOREIGN policy. This is DOMESTIC policy”

This article came out over the weekend. Read it in full
Gay Activists have met their match in Muslim Barbers

Now, when you put THAT in light of this link:
Obama Administration Welcomes Escaping Muslims

It’s going to be interesting to pop the popcorn and just watch it play out. My point to the FB commenter was simply “when you combine amnesty, open door immigration and multi-culturalism, how do you know your particular western world view wins in DOMESTIC policy?”

Personally, people fleeing oppression should have a safe place to refuge – whoever they are. But the Canada example shows that there are some very key areas where the culture conflict gets really pronounced. Given so many in the media/Hollywood are terrified to insult Islam relative to Christianity… I’m really not clear how this plays out in the end in this country.

In the Heat of Business

February 27, 2014

I don’t have a dog in the hunt on the Arizona bill deal.  Sure, it’s pretty much over now that Gov. Brewer vetoed the bill anyway.  That said, there was something I caught last night that I thought was funny.  Late in the game yesterday, sources started to whisper that the NFL was starting to look at options for moving the Super Bowl if the bill passed.

Host Committee CEO Jay Parry had said the organization went straight to Brewer’s office to express its concern and disagreement over Senate Bill 1062, which would have allowed Arizonans the ability to cite religious beliefs as a reason to deny services to anybody…

…”We are looking for the governor to veto,” Parry told ESPN.com earlier in the day. “We have confidence in the governor representing our state. We’ve shared our concerns with the governor’s office directly. So, we just wait and see.”

The bill, in part, was put in place to prevent just this thing from happening.  We can all question the motives of the supporters, and of the non-supporters.  But the real heart of the bill was around people or organizations not being able to pressure other people or organizations who had different viewpoints.  The NFL, and its Host Committee extension, did precisely that in coercing the governor to veto the bill.

Now, I’m expecting that most of this was self-protection.  A very visible organization like the NFL would have been toast when caught between protest groups and the state, and would have been forced to avoid the PR nightmare that would go around this.  But the effort was pretty ham-handed.

I’m obviously not one to ask, since I’m pretty black and white about my opinions.  But were I in power in Arizona right now, I’d be sorely tempted to tell the NFL that the Super Bowl in Arizona is off for now, and they can go figure out some other opportunity.  I get the lost business opportunity, but I also get coercion, and the next time is going to be even more blatant.

For now, Arizona is stuck in a weird limbo while the various players decide next moves.  I don’t think this is done by a long shot.

Branding, Customer, or Both?

February 19, 2014

I was wondering when some company would do this:

HTC is offering users free fixes for cracked screens on the company’s new handset models.

The company said that all HTC One, One Max and One Mini customers in the US who purchase their device on or after February 18 will be eligible to receive one free repair from the company on cracked screens in the first six months of ownership.

I was incredibly late to the smart phone world, in part because I’d see friends with screens that were unviewable, or people who had to put the thing in an armored case because, “the last one broke.”  And stories about voiding warranties when you had to replace a screen are rampant.

HTC has a nice niche here.  They can make sure that customers who are a bit accident prone are predisposed to try them out.  And it’s also a nice branding story as well, since a lot less cracked screens will be out there to make people negatively view the brand.  I call this a good idea, and way past its time.

And time will tell if others jump on this.  Let me predict that Apple will go last into the breech.

Inherent Insecurtiy

February 13, 2014

There’s a somewhat famous saying in tech support: “Your problem is in between the computer and the chair.”

There’s a similar problem in security, and it’s one that can confound even the most secure of systems deployments.  You can spend millions on your systems deployment, and then be defeated by one guy not following policy.

The unclassified memo, which was sent to both  the congressional intelligence and judiciary committees on February 10, states  that Snowden once asked the person to log into their account on Snowden’s  computer.

‘Unbeknownst to the civilian, Mr Snowden was  able to capture the password, allowing him even greater access to classified  information,’ the memo states according to NBC.

This new report comes in contrast to what  Snowden and some of his other former colleagues have described.

Snowden, whose days are numbered under his  temporary asylum status in Russia, previously claimed that he never deceived  colleagues or used their passwords without them knowing.

Most people couldn’t tell you the ins and outs of their company’s security policy.  I’m sure the NSA’s is a bit more rigid than others.  But really, these types of policies exist precisely to stop internal espionage.  I can understand why the person above had his security clearance revoked (and subsequently resigned).

Mr. Snowden has severely damaged our US cyber security and cyber warfare capability.  It seems to me the equivalent of grounding half of the US Air Force and expecting the force to continue its mission unabated.  It mostly appears that the damage was self-inflicted, though… like convincing the Air Force to switch to unleaded.

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