THE VIEW FROM CHAOS MANOR
View 379 September 12 - 18, 2005
Highlights this week:
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September 12, 2005
PDC (Microsoft Professional Developers Conference, which is held semiannually and is an important deal for computer journalists) happens this week at the Los Angeles Convention Center, and I must get down there for it. I filed 13,000 words last night. The column is done but PDC remains, and I'll be doing daily show reports, so we are still on Short Shrift. More view and mail tonight, but there is one item of importance up now.
Apparently the Oklahoma Concentration Camp story was greatly exaggerated, as I had hoped. The Republic has been given a blow, but it survives. It can be restored. Understanding that Civil Defense is a means for the people to defend themselves is the first step. Abolish FEMA root and branch and start over with genuine Civil Defense. It can be done!
In a lighter vein (humor in a varicose vein?) here is the keyboard for International Talk Like A Pirate Day:
I have a dire need for CONFERENCING SOFTWARE, something that will allow about a dozen participants in real time. It need not have provision for a chairman to control who has the floor, although that might be useful. It should allow for private communications among participants as well as the public forum. I know such exists because we used it over ten years ago.
What this group uses now for board meetings is AOL AIM, which is horrible. It allows anyone in the world to interrupt you, you can only type about a sentence before you must start over, and if you press RETURN it sends the message instantly meaning you cannot talk in paragraphs. This is a formula for utter disaster and I cannot believe that any organization can be run using such primitive tools. A telephone conference would be preferable.
I need something that can run on both Windows and MAC, and preferably on Linux as well. It shouldn't be too expensive (free would be better, but we can afford to pay) and it ought to be professional conferencing software with a comparability of up to 20 people. If it also has provision for VOIP that would be even better but isn't required.
I need suggestions ASAP.
|This week:||Tuesday, September
Convention Center, 0700. LA Freeway traffic was light at this hour and the whole trip took about 20 minutes. Gates speaks in an hour or so. The Press Room has a full breakfast, omelets and bacon and good coffee. The press desk Ethernets just work. I expect wireless does too. It's all quite different from how it was in the Bad Old Days...
I am at the PDC. There is a report from Phil over in Mail.
September 15, 2005
I will be in and out all day. The PDC continues, and there is a launch party at the Beverly Hilton. This week is pretty well taken up with input. Unless I have some input I can't keep up the output...
September 16, 2005
I have been at PDC all Week, Reports on Line in Dobbs. More Tonight.
This has been a strenuous week. I am Now in the security seminar. Good Stuff. War Stories.
The wireless service works but it does Cut out frequently then comes back in. Handwriting recognition is not bad, but at usual confused on capital letters.
This has been a Long week, late Nights, apologies for Neglecting the site. the tireless cuts in and out. too many users I guess. ftp is very intermittent.
As was demonstrated when this View was blank for an hour or so. OK now I think.
Home finally. Now to write all this up.
Is the Internet unreasonably sluggish today? It seems to be; is it my node, my machines, or a general problem. Everything seems very slow.
There was definitely some lag in the Internet connections. FTP particularly was bad, but everything was slow. It's pretty good now.
September 17, 2005
Here are some more pictures of HSV2 Swift my son Phillip sent. For those who tuned in late, Phil is Lt. Commander Phillip Pournelle, Executive Officer of this ship, and USNV Swift did yeoman work in the New Orleans and Gulf Coast rescue efforts.
Your tax dollars at work. Good work.
We've been detached to proceed on duties assigned. With the road and rail infrastructure restored to New Orleans, it is no longer beneficial for us to run up and down the Mississippi River. We are headed for Little Creek for some ship work and then on to Europe and Africa for exercises.
We're heading out of Pensacola this evening and will return to Little Creek on Tuesday morning.
The crew has done a wonderful job and have been very flexible.
Today was to be a half day off but they have all returned quickly and are quickly offloading the refrigeration milvans we used to ship chill and frozen foods. We would not have been able to execute the myriad tasks we were assigned without the ingenuity, flexibility and hard work of this crew.
I'm certain they will show the same excellence in the tasks before us in Africa and Europe.
I for one, also look forward to seeing my family when we return to our Home Port.
The more I read about New Orleans, the more I become convinced that far from the breakdown of civilization to Hobbesian primitivism, there may have been less crime in New Orleans during the crisis than there would have been in the same weekend had the hurricane not happened. There were incidents, yes; but we are dealing with a city with a very high crime rate to begin with. Gang rapes in which the victim continues to hang out with the gang afterwards are not unknown in gang cultures. Any gang culture. There were murders, but there are always murders. There was some looting, but was there more or less burglary than in normal times? The very fact that I can ask those questions without having an immediate answer is significant.
Schadenfreude is the condition of taking pleasure from the misfortunes of others. There are some in this land who take delight in relating stories of the breakdown of civilization, and, I am sad to say, there are those who are particularly happy to report such things when the participants are black. (I need not add that there are organizations devoted to finding black victims of white criminals and publicizing the stories; and that the black crime rate in normal times is considerably higher than the white and Asian crime rates even though a significant part of the young male population of blacks is in jail, thus reducing the numbers of the most likely violent criminals.)
We had plenty of stories of the horrors in New Orleans after the hurricane. Many of those are unsubstantiated and now appear to be made up out of whole cloth, while others may be inflations, or the same story told several times as if it had happened several times; others are sheer misinterpretations of real events; and the question is, of the residual, is this higher or lower than the usual crime rate in a typical period in August in that area? I haven't time this week to dig up the answer, but there's a pretty good Master's or even PhD (Social Science) thesis in this...
MONDAY is International Talk Like A Pirate Day
September 18, 2005
People on both sides of the Global Warming debates generally have an agenda that governs what they publish, so read anything with a grain of salt. Having said that, http://www.sepp.org/weekwas/2005/Sept.%2017.htm is quite good this week. The item on the death of the Kyoto Accord is particularly interesting since I doubt you will see the news item elsewhere.
REMEMBER TOMORROW IS INTERNATIONAL TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY. Avast there!
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