Thursday, March 31, 2005

can I quote you on that?

I was reading an interesting opinion piece on whether bloggers should be considered journalists for the purpose of not only 1st amendment, but shield laws. I have to admit I don't know much about the shield laws, and haven't formed a strong opinion on this matter yet. Obviously I feel bloggers should be able to speak their mind and give their opinion under the 1st amendment rights. But at what point can or should a line be drawn to separate them from professional journalists? On one hand, any citizen could report on noteworthy information. On the other hand, what stops an intellectual property thief from just stealing private information, publishing, and then claiming journalistic protections? There is a degree of responsibility when a journalistic business can go out of business due to reporting bad info. There is no accountability or authentication taking place on the part of bloggers. Its a tough call!

In other news, the Supreme Court has been busy this week grilling MGM and others in the Grokster case. I feel the ruling should swiftly follow the betamax precedent but you never know what can happen.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

A greener Frogtown?

I doubt it...

Megan and I have recycled heavily ever since we've been together. We always saved our recyclables and took them to the local Kroger or Metropark each week on our run for new groceries. Actually, I've recycled ever since I can remember. As kids, my brothers and I used to pick up bottles and cans along country roads and grandpa Lindhorst would truck them to the scrap yards in exchange for some cash. Napoleon instituted a mandatory recycling program before I moved away 'to the big city'. They took all plastics up to 7.

Thats why it struck me that in Toledo we could never recycle above number 2. People probably don't even check this or realize it. I wonder if it hurts anything when they mistakenly toss in other plastic numbers? Actually more and more products we use fall into the higher numbers.

I have heard no mention of this problem during the recent recycling push from Mayor Ford. We currently cut about 1/5th of our household garbage by recycling cans and plastics 1 & 2. Also we still save our cardboard and drop it off since that is not collected at curb side. However, what will it take to get the city recycling more materials so that we can get it up to about 1/2 of our weekly garbage? Here is a response to my recent question to the Solid Waste department to confirm that they only take numbers 1 & 2.


The City of Toledo Curbside Recycling Program accepts #1 and #2 plastics, to include milk jugs, soda pop bottles, laundry detergent bottles, and shampoo-type (narrow necked) bottles. Any plastics which contain higher numbers are currently not accepted at curbside or at the drop-off locations.
Also, styrofoam is not accepted for recycling at curbside or the drop-offs.
If you wish to recycle styrofoam, you may contact Archbold Container Corp.
at 419-445-8865. The Wrap 'N Ship located at 3137 W. Central also accepts packing peanuts and bubble wrap.

If you have additional questions, you may call the Division of Solid Waste at 419-936-2510.

Thank you for your interest in recycling!

There you have it. If you think this is a problem like I do, give them a call or drop them a letter. Also, composting at home is often overlooked as an excellent way to reduce curbside waste.

Monday, March 28, 2005

NWNUG meeting

Cem gave a real nice MSSQL Reporting Services walk through at the NWNUG meeting tonight. I'm really surprised that MS is 'giving it away' with SQL Server. It is probably a great strategy to win more of the DB marketshare since the olap/dw reporting systems often rival the cost of the db engine itself.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

identity issues: more thoughts

So my annoyance at the student ID issue is not unfounded, but still students are well as anyone else in modern society.

Hackers getting hold of student's sensitive information

UT is now changing its policy

Identity theft and fraud will be a huge issue in the next couple of decades. Consumer advocates and legislators will have to take on the consumer credit reporting agencies and in turn the financial industries the serve, to balance civil 'credit rights' with that of the very necessary credit scoring. Peter Drucker wrote about the credit industry basically creating a new form of currency (Age of Discontinuity I think)...and I believe its true. By using cash you are putting your faith in the US Government directly to guarantee the value of the money. By using credit you are putting your faith in the huge international banking industry, who uses individual credit scores based on your SSN to value you. In one case money has value, in the other, it is the consumer who has value.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

weekend log

Just chilled around the house this weekend with the kids. Its funny watching them come up with their own dances to progressive trance/house music. I made about a dozen sorties against the mountain of laundry. It was a decisive campaign...this time.

Wasted 2 hours of my life Saturday with Thanks Scott, Marc, and Richard for tempting again me with this tripe! To pass the favor to you here are some that I found noteworthy:

These guys are truly amazing!
Disturbing, how many people can stand around in a place of business while a guy gets pummeled? 7 or 8 I guess...
Very disturbing, God works in mysterious ways?
Domestic Dispute?....I thought the pause was typical station identification stuff but alas it was the friendly neighborhood police patrol.

Though there are some nicer things to look at on that page, I thought I was through with watching stuff like this a few years ago. Ok, this time for real I'm done.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

identity non-issue?

Evidently it is quite easy to get a new student ID number from UT. Just walk your booty to the registrar's office (RH1100) and explain yourself. They give you some suspicious glances and then ask for your drivers license (which does not have my SSN so I don't know how that helps them). Next you fill out an IRS form (W9) and they disapear from sight for a while. When they return, they grant you a new student number on a very professional looking post-it note. After 24 hours you can get a new student ID card containing your new number.

Rich turned me on to a new privacy loop-hole today. When you are in an emergency/accident/pending arrest/etc, the officials broadcast your name, physical characteristics, address, and often times SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER over unsecured radio channels. That's right, they often use something called a trunk signal that switches frequencies every so often. It is easy (and perfectly legal) however to buy your own receiver that switches frequencies and listens in on the info. Nice... I personally don't care when people know my name, but when they have your number too bad things can happen without too much trouble at all. *sigh*

Sunday, March 13, 2005

weekend log

Jeff J's 30th bday surprise party was a blast. I met some real nice people and introduced to some new music (thanks Chaz). Megan was feeling Ann Arbor deprived on Sunday which caused some friction. Made minimal progress against the pile of laundry that has gradually accumulated this semester. With both of us in school and the typical family stuff to boot, some of the domestic harmonies have been sorely off key.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Spring Break '05 - Niagra Falls

We took a drive over to the falls today.

It wasn't as cold as it looks...

Wow, this place has changed considerably!

Niagra Falls is now chock full of bling.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Spring Break '05 - splash lagoon

Weeeee...that was fun! You can barely see me trying to help KC at the top of slide (next to the wacko monkey on the surf board).

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Spring Break '05 - kids gone wild

...ears ringing from a boisterous live performance of Dora's Pirate Adventure, complements of Megan's folks.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

the weekend log

Took care of my sick little girl, purchased new threads, and upgraded my PC. The modern architecture of new Westfield addition is blowing me away...not because I've never seen something like it, but I've never seen anything like it in TOLEDO.

I installed 1GB OCZ DDR RAM and a 300GB Maxline II drive. In case you were wondering that's an Athlon 64 underneath the Zalman, an EVGA 6800, and an Abit KV8MAX mobo.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

identity issues

Today I read a great article about privacy activist John Gilmore. It constantly annoys me how your driver's license and SSN are being 'required' for more and more. Gilmore presents the argument that if we are truly a nation based in internal passports (you cannot travel within the country without a passport), it should be legislated for what it is, not via vague 'back door' requirements. The paradoxical point in his case is that the actual law that bars you from flying without showing ID is not viewable by the public. Maybe I'm misunderstanding this because it doesn't sound right.

UT still uses SSN for student ID's which has always annoyed me. Next week I'll investigate what it will take to actually change my student ID to a number other than SSN.

On a related note as luck would have it, Doug loaned me a copy of Catch Me if You Can. It is based off a true story of a con artist blowing through one high tech career after another (pilot, doctor, lawyer, international pilot). It is all possible due to technology hacks (fake ID's, counterfeit checks, etc). I won't spoil the end; the movie is well worth watching (DiCaprio, Hanks, Walken, M Sheen).