Small code with powerful results, the occasional opinion … and beer.

28 Jan 2015
Diffusing the patent trolls

The ABA Journal recently published an article dated Feb 1, 2015 (ironic, since today is January 28, 2015) which discusses the effects of a recent Supreme Court decision regarding software patents. In an earlier post here, I described the problem of broad patents with no practical development of the idea itself.  There is a movement […]

10 Nov 2014
The Third Man to credit for the fall of The Berlin Wall

The Fall of the Berlin Wall is an event that is very personal to me, since I was stationed at Tempelhof airbase in Berlin with the US Air Force when it happened.  As the 25th anniversary of the opening of the Berlin Wall is being celebrated in Germany, there are two key people being credited […]

22 Jan 2014
Big Brother at its best? Well, maybe…

Recently, it was revealed that the NSA is able to break common encryption protocols used on the internet.  You can read the article here: http://www.theverge.com/2013/9/5/4698808/most-common-encryption-protocols-are-useless-against-nsa-surveillance But, to me, it’s not really that much of a revelation.  And taking the article’s claims at face value will cause the user to miss a practical side of security […]

05 Jan 2014
User beware: the hidden gotchas of the Verizon FIOS service

Verizon FIOS is a fiber-optic system capable of delivering very fast internet feeds to residential consumers, in addition to its TV service. With upload speeds in excess of 25Mb, and download speeds in excess of 50Mb (its currently capable of 150Mb), you would think that this service beats cable internet and DSL internet hands down. […]

20 Sep 2013
Of Patents and Trolls…

Isaac Asimov, the famous science-fiction writer, died not long ago.  In the obituary I read about him, there was one interesting statement he was quoted as saying during his life.  One day, while apparently resting in his yard, he came up with the concept of bouncing a radio signal of a man-made object in space […]

20 Mar 2013
The French Taxi Driver Test

This analogy, which I heard long ago while living in Europe, is a very revealing exercise. The story goes as follows: “A Taxi Driver is driving his taxi down a city road at 2:30AM. The traffic light at the intersection he is approaching is red.  As he approaches the intersection, he brings the taxi to a […]

23 Oct 2012
It’s an election year, and I really miss living in California … again.

I spent 9 years in the Los Angeles area during my high school and early adult years. California gets a lot of stereotyped criticism from other parts of the country for any number of reasons, but I have fond memories of the state. And that includes how California manages its elections, and especially… its official […]

29 Aug 2012
A giant leap towards the cashless society

Back in 1999, the Y2K panic was reaching its peak.  Sadly, it was even starting to consume a few noted national Christian leaders (James Dobson included), which was a little disheartening.  And every church I knew had appointed some person within the congregation as the church’s Y2K representative, whether that person had any real knowledge […]

08 Jul 2012
The upside-down logic of corporate “free speech” from Verizon

Verizon filed a predictable lawsuit against the FCC this week, challenging the legality of the “net neutrality” rules the commission passed by a 3-2 vote. Not so ironically, excluding the commissioner himself, the 2 commissioners voting for the rules were Democrats, and the 2 commissioners voting against the rules were Republicans. Of course, the logic […]

14 Jan 2012
A case of revealing double-speak..

The leader of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is currently on a South American tour and getting a lot of support from the socialist/communist Central American leaders there. Not really a surprise. His choice of destinations (Cuba, Venezuela) are well know adversaries of the United States, making him very welcome. There was one interesting comment during the […]