All posts tagged United States

Be careful about cheap phone/tablet chargers

Consumerist has a sad story about a woman who was electrocuted by a cheap USB charger. The danger seems greater in countries that use 230 volts around that house rather than 115 like the United States, but even 115 volts can be dangerous if it crosses a vital organ. A charger’s job is to take […]

How Ives-branded track clips ended up in Lionel sets

Ives-branded track clips for Lionel O27 track are relatively common, and although they are often mistaken for pre-1933 items, they were actually manufactured for several decades after the Ives brand name disappeared from the marketplace, and by Lionel, not its erstwhile rival Ives. The reason was for trademark protection.

What LOAD “*”,8,1 means

The smartest guy in the room cited the Commodore command LOAD “*”,8,1 as something he used for years but never understood why it worked. It will be a long time before I once again I know something technical that he doesn’t know, so I figured I’d better write it down. And just in case anyone […]

Don’t be too impressed with Snowden’s “ethical hacking training”

I saw this new headline regarding Edward Snowden, discussing his NSA hacking training. Don’t be impressed. For several years, I lived in that same world Snowden lived in. I’ve gone out of my way to avoid mentioning this, but from 2005-2012, I was a consultant. I worked for several different companies, due to contracts changing […]

What to do about PRISM is unclear as of yet

I haven’t written a lot yet about Mr. Edward Snowden and the NSA PRISM program. I will in time, but want to be careful not to be spreading misinformation, and not to merely be repeating what everyone else says. There’s been no shortage of advice on encrypting your own data, but there is one pitfall […]

A treasure trove of training material

Need to improve your security skills? Need a refresher course to brush up on some skills you haven’t used in a while? Or are you just looking for some CPEs or CEUs to keep your certification valid? The United States Department of Defense offers a great deal of security training, much of which is freely […]

The re-segregation of baseball

The Kansas City Star had a piece today about the sharp decline in the number of African-Americans playing baseball. Of course, when I grew up, the Royals relied heavily on African-Americans. George Brett was the star, but without Willie Wilson and Frank White hitting ahead of him and Hal McRae and Willie Aikens or John […]

Kansas City and Google Fiber

I get a few questions about Google Fiber, because I have Kansas City connections, and I work in computers. People who’ve known me long enough know that I upgraded to first-generation DSL about 30 minutes after it became available at the apartment complex I lived in at the time. The question then was the same […]

New media in Cuba

I read an ingenious article this week on Slashdot, talking about how Cubans evade Internet censorship (not to mention lack of access) by passing contraband material around on flash drives. It’s so old school, but brilliant. Sure, it’s less efficient and less elegant than using the Internet, but unlike the Internet, it’s nearly impossible to […]

Remember: Daylight Savings Time starts this weekend

Remember, in most parts of the United States this weekend marks spring-forward time, which means Monday will be the worst Monday of the year since you’ll still be adjusting to a new sleep schedule. Due to my oddball work schedule, I have Friday off, so I’m actually going to start trying to adjust a couple […]