Most of the time God,Pratt & Whitney or General Electric, will give you another turn in the Barrel.

These are my opinions and my opinions only they do not reflect the opinions of any of my family members or their employer. Note we NOW have NO employers.

Back from a 5.5 Year PCS from the confines of the far Southwest corner of Bundesrepublik Deutschland. The Federal Republic of Germany and Retired.

Friday, February 28, 2014

The Expectation of Privacy?

At this time there is a lawsuit in the United States Federal Court System, Northern District of California San Jose Division Case Number 13-MD-02430-LHK “IN RE: GOOGLE INC. GMAIL ITIGATION”
This lawsuit was originally brought by nine individuals, some of whom were holders of Gmail accounts and some of whom were not, but who had received and or had sent email from or to Gmail account holders. In the suit they put forth the claim that Google had in fact violated several laws, most notable being Federal anti-wiretapping statute. (Maybe they were just piggy backing on top of the NSA). The lawsuit claims that Google was in fact doing this systematically. (Shock, computer were designed to be systematic.) The suit claims that Google was doing this to profit. (What a freaking surprise.)
Just in case your parents never told you or for that matter your lawyer there are very few places that you can go, very few modes of communications, or very few actions that you do in which you should realistically have an expectation of privacy. E-mail is one of those modes of communications where if you are smart you will not have an expectation of privacy. Your e-mail provider knows the who, what, and when of your e-mail. The recipients of your email, their provider knows the who, what, and when of their e-mail. It is not only a wire tap, it is two wire taps, quite possibly three if you include the NSA since in all reality it is quite possible that they have a backdoor into the various large client mail servers. (They might be the few who can actually see end to end on your e-mail if they are so inclined.) Privacy, as far as e-mail is concern it fairy dust.
You will never get away from the who or the when, that is built into the system. But the what, that is a different matter. You have the ability to encode/encrypt you message. If you are not encrypting your message then shame on you. There are several encrypting packages that can be used, pick one, but know that it is not entirely secure. (As the title of the program says Pretty Good Privacy.) For the very paranoid among us we can use some type of off line one time cypher pad to encrypt our message, then encrypt the message again using a less secure method, send the message to your special friend, with the understanding that your ISP, and their ISP, and in all probability the NSA, at the very least have the who, and when, and possible the what of your message traffic. Realize at some point the NSA will or might realize that you have friends and that you also have special friend.
At the very least you need to have several e-mail accounts with various ISP. I have a several. They all have their particular uses. Mail, Junk Mail, Really Junk Mail, and finally Crap Mail, you get the picture. For God Sakes blow the cookie away, flush those buffers, randomly just quite and restart your browser. Hell for that matter randomly shut down your computer.  Defrag and Compact your hard drives, zero out the free space on the drive.
Take to heart the words of the theme song for Monk, by Randy Newman, "It's a Jungle Out There" , in particular the passage  "You better pay attention Or this world we love so much might just kill you"

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Eric Cantor's strange view of the world

“Eric Cantor’s Foreign-Policy Ideas Would Consign Us to Perpetual War”, at least that is the headline of the post by Conor Friedersdorf.
If this is true and as of yet I have nothing to indicate that it is false, it is a pretty damming position to take, but not really that unusual from someone who them self or for that matter their children have never been volunteered (Drafted) or just out right volunteered to go in Harms Way. It is easier to send someone else off to the unknown, then for you or your love ones to sent off on that journey, especially given that there is a chance that you might be returning home in a flag draped container via Dover AFB. (AKA be the first on your block have your son brought home in a box)
For me it is a little more than a bit upsetting. But it is pretty much what would I expect from an individual who so far has spent their entire adult life either in school, or working in the office (his fathers company) or in the office of an elected official, or in an elected office.
As I said it is pretty much what I would expect, but it is not what I am willing to accept.
I am sure that he is smart (went to some of the right schools), that he loves his wife and his children and that they love him after all he is husband and father, but that can be said about many men now and in the past. Eric might even like the dog and the cat, and the dog likes him back and the cat just plain tolerates him (its a cat thing). I suspect that his is considered to be a pillar of the community. Enough of the voters in Virginia 7th Congressional district have repeatedly consider him an honorable man (they voted for him, of course with only 58 percent of popular vote it appears some of the shine to disappear) For that matter he has convinced enough of his fellow party representatives make him not only Republican House Minority Whip, but the Republican House Majority Leader. All of this before he turned 50 years old, I sure his parents are proud.
Just like the many citizens of Rome who at one time considered Marcus Brutus to be an honorable man, until that fateful day, I suspect that Eric Cantor is not that far behind Marcus Brutus in that his lack of honor is showing more and more each day. (Beware the idles of January John Boehner maybe one should just quit while you are on top).
So Citizen, the question before us is that at the end of the day do we want or need an individual who would consign the Fathers and Mothers, Sons and Daughters, Brother and Sisters of this country via his Foreign Policy Ideas to Perpetual War?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Question of the Day 18 Feb 2014

Are Bitcoin, Zerocoin, and Dogecoin the Tulips of our day?

Especially given a the recent quote by Zerocoin developer Matthew Green

“if people will put money into Dogecoin, they'll put it into anything”.1

Historically they have. Kinda sounds like tulips to me or maybe stock in company known officially as “The Governor and Company of the merchants of Great Britain, trading to the South Seas and other parts of America, and for the encouragement of Fishing”. But more commonly referred to as “The South Sea Company”.

1. Greenberg, Andy (13 January 2014). "Bitcoin Anonymity Upgrade Zerocoin To Become An Independent Cryptocurrency". Forbes (Forbes Inc.). ISSN 0015-6914. Retrieved 2014-01-30.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Current Employment Statistics (BLS)

I received a post from an investment advisor Mr. Steve Reitmeister, making very discouraging remarks about the differences between BLS statistics as compared to the ADP statistics. These remarks to me indicate a rather limited knowledge about the various systems and how they relate to a business.

I own and operate a business and we just happened to be one have the 144,000 business and government agencies that the BLS samples, additionally we do use ADP for our payroll.

First and most important, accuracy and timeliness of our data to ADP is critical and essential, without it my employees do not get paid in a timely and accurate manner. Second and not so important, my data to the CLS CES survey is not critical or essential to the operations of my business, it is done as a civic duty.

That all said, let me reflect a little about my business. First I still employ the same number of individuals as I did last year, but and it is an important but, I have slashed my G&A, how I did this was by either moved individual from my back office to production positions, or a let back office individual go and hiring individuals to fill offsetting positions in production.

The workload on the back staff nearly doubled, which resulted in a reassessment of priorities for those who were left, and a side note compensation for the “survivors” or “the walking dead” as they call themselves was increased reflect the addition duties thrust upon them. Priorities were adjusted, what we have to have changed, what would be nice to have changed, and what we could live without changed. Additionally we have started to use temporary contractors on a very limited basis to perform certain task are one-shot events (yearly inventory audits).

As a consequence we really only make an attempt to make sure that our response to the BLS survey is accurate about once a quarter, the rest of the time we just change the date and send in the previous months report. On the other hand we make every effort to provide timely and accurate input for our payroll, again as before our business depends on it.

So for Mr. Steve Reitmeister to get all balled up on the numbers the BLS supplies is rather immature and to some extent indicates his fundamental lack of understanding on how the data associated with this report is generated and gathered. Given that there are no immediate or even long-term repercussion associated with lack of accuracy of the data or for that matter timeliness that my business provides voluntarily to the BLS the report should really be taken with several grains of salt.

Additionally your tax dollars were not used in the generation of the data provided to the BLS for this report. It is a classic case of GIGO.