Saturday, December 20, 2014

More Discussion about Cybersecurity.

It is possible and probable that snooping, phishing, spoofing, and other forms of hacking will just become more de rigueur since this major hacking, again, of the giant SONY's computing / data facilities and some other observations that have made their way into the public eye, even more so now than before :  That people do these things as there is no virtue in them really, save for instance for oversight and rule - making and enforcing purposes, when they have the ability and time available (for everyone in fact) to proceed in these activities, sometimes for the purposes of one's own amusement.  How could this be -- breaking and entering a house might now be the same as simply "hacking" another's computer.  Why?  The house in question, and it might be your house, is so full of computing appliances, controls and other devices that change your living environment and then that report to a data center, for example, that almost everybody's home is a danger point if one worries about controlling access to data on any level. 

Certainly security, and internet and computer security are important for everyone including especially property owners; and even including those who rent their homes, workplaces, vehicles and so on.  What is the to - do really if data and information products, and the information in them is properly designed and used in this information commons that we all have as part of the totality of the internet?  There should not be, save for the internet has become a haven for things that are not just simple and innocent M2M electronics and communication :  This internet of things is a place of the drudgery of proper computer operations, applications and systems; and data gathering and storage - typical technological scope here, though also, and in greater part, the "Internet of Things" is a place of electronic hazard, chaos and even mayhem that causes in many ways corporations and society to be shaken badly when things are not and do not go right.  The SONY hacking situation is one such
annoying and disconcerting example of this sort of thing and the thing that has people angered is the actual hackers will never be caught and they use rogue situations and computing power to allow for such things, very negative and destructive in the least.  The disconcerting and unsettling, angry thing about this is it's more and more frequent, and occasionally a large - scale business is affected by this sort of thing and the silent alarms connected to the internet of things call out and officials and the like just scratch their heads, waiting for IDS reports and the like, probably.  The process of countermanding such things is prohibitive as we are all still learning about this type of technology and its use and only "experts" really understand the accents and inflections of the science of computer intrusion and hacking and they pay themselves pretty well by the various events same create and cause havoc and annoyance with under the circumstances. 

There is currently some discussion among the leaders in the IS community about changing the structure and infrastructure of telecommunications and wired and wireless technology that makes it so easy for some individual or individuals to wreak havoc on everyone, essentially first as a scare tactic and then to really hold us all hostage, perhaps through some integration of hacking efforts to utilities and other activities, in the end in scandals and crimes that will corrupt even best efforts to use the web properly and in the way free people want it to work.  Something must be done with how computers and machines and the like communicate and talk to each other -- and without suggesting an overall change that might make everyone angry due primarily to the work involved and the expenses as well :  Hacking defenses can be built in to devices and so forth that are telltale of where the attacks are from and that these details are not made available to more people is additionally disconcerting and in some respects a public safety issue as much as when some party in the old days would use the neighbors' telephone to gab about you and your long vacation and so on.  Remember as well the ERM and smaller risk frameworks we are all in that have us calculating chances of adverse events upon leaving for work each day, or even stepping out of doors when it's misty or foggy, or in warmer weather even.  The effects of the recent hack on SONY are over - burdensome psychologically and without a doubt due to this have destroyed at least a few private executives, the individuals on their coattails, their overseers, and other stakeholders such as those charged with a watchful eye to such things and their oversight and the way they activate their defenses to protect first a business and then all of us from the annoyance of lost, corrupted, stolen, deleted and destroyed data and so on.  We now need among corporate America and its regulators and other stakeholders concerning these sorts of things, a kind of computing "Elvis", or "Spiderman", or similar iconic ideal and deterrent that will just tell the offenders to cram it systemically then next time anyone tries such a thing.  In you all our hopes rest, what with all the education and other activities that will lead to this, again, ideal out there and the feasibility of it.  By this column and its writing to - day, I do solemnly and solely at first, and without dismissing the kind of objectivism that might be necessary here, propose these fighting words against hackers and their ilk.  "Okay"? 

Chairman Camp's Tax Reform Plan and its Impact on the Economy

Chairman Camp's Tax Reform Plan and its Impact on the Economy

As might have been discussed more, publicly and privately, in the event David Camp (R - Michigan) stayed in Congress.  A good read in view of the apparent coming revisions by the U.S. conservative party.  Great!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Dismal Showing for Defense in the Day; and Really Disaster (Pouf!) for the Agressor in the End.

While the author here has tried for two or so days to capture, in fact after having been to Hawai'i, the spirit of the destructive effects and remembrance thereof of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Oahu on December 7, 1941, I cannot, really.  As a person from the U.S. and having been to that place, on most days a wonderful place, sunny and with highlights for sightseers and tourists these days, the harbor itself does not appear to have changed much even from pre - War days, much less from when air traffic started over to Honolulu in earnest and then in other places in Hawai'i.  Links of very passable editorials appear below, of which from an edition of a U.S. national paper.  Every American should salute at the thought of it, and that it appears apart from some military personnel and their families in years like 2014 and a camaraderie from some tourists, the portrayal of the Arizona Memorial and others on December 7 might have been one of wanting to relegate the overall importance of what happened there versus stirring the heart and mind against the power of rapacious tyranny of the time.  Our military defenses have been fighting two wars for more than a decade, extremely expensive in both monetary and psychological / emotional currencies and other intangibles.  This needs make us remember the meaning of what aggression and destruction there was at Pearl Harbor so long ago and the sacrifices of the War in the Pacific that ended the threat of the Axis powers at the time.  This
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perhaps means more today than ever as the comparisons of the ranting of the despots and capital criminals of the day who ran countries and who went to defeat are no legend, nor are they fairy tales, nor anyone's fantasy about how to or the way to win at conflicts.  There are things today that have not been resolved and that will never be, even as the result of the very peaceable resolution to Japanese surrender aboard the Missouri; and as much is in every story and every even detailed mosaic one assembles about WWII and the Pacific and Axis belligerents.  One cannot deny the unbiased pride of those who fought for peace -- as much should be accorded them in looking at the subject of Pearl Harbor and its analogs.  It is regrettable that brother and friend were pitched against brother and friend, and families clashed over alliances and ideologies not to mention international borders and then on battlegrounds, land, sea and air.  As much a symbol of this is in that fateful (at one time) harbor for those interested and motivated enough to go and visit now, and even more through the years, and at present for the dissuasion of others against despotic tyranny, militarism, and bloody clashes wherever they are in the vein of military aggression and destruction at the whim of fascists who would have "empire". 

NY Times articles -- "Unsung Heroes", Pearl Harbor movie - 2014, news coverage, Pearl Harbor remembrance 2014.

Coverage of Arizona Memorial Ceremony - December 7, 2014.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Yes, While Finally Learning “Eckho Movskii” Is Just Radio -- "Hard Choices", A Memoir by Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Hard Choices, H. R. Clinton (2014, Simon and Schuster) in more than 600 pages including the index of the book, covers much of the foreign policy of the Obama administration, enough in its narrative and illustration to crowd out some of the past the former Secretary’s famed career at Yale and thereafter, and some other things she might speak of in another book someday.  This political book, by a well – known U.S. official is for everyone interested in finding out how an efficient and effective U.S. State Department is run based upon Obama policies and the efforts of very capable people starting at the top.  The text examines a number of evident themes in current events today, including the status and development of the Third World as some know it, the role of government in fighting corporatism without being anti – business, the continued important of the “smart power” of the U.S. State Department in a radical if not ever – changing political landscape, and its functioning in a major way in a world where America is not overly – liked nor overly – admired.  The narrative also examines the themes of being a major executive person and a lady at that, and 
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handling personal and professional matters many times with disagreeable (essentially) despots, family and personal life, overall career goals and the way modern politics has a capacity to change not the DNA of our system, but at least somewhat the role politics and policy play everywhere for the U.S., not just at home.  Choices themselves, be they on the executive level or deeply personal, above all do not make themselves and in many cases and despite the urgency and imperatives of modern life at the head of the masses, require a decisive and sharp administrative intellect for anyone and in all events given the importance of the issues presented in the book, extremely weighty and difficult in all their factors and facets, implications and meanings, motivations and ideological and more foundations.

After an introduction, the author briefly explains the overall importance of her 2008 presidential campaign for everyone, not just for the status of achieving people everywhere or as precedent for things to come, or in examining various protocols or other details one might remember.  Maybe the most difficult job the author of this esteemed autobiography had at the time, even before her State Department appointment was the tearless and joyless concession to the man who became the 44th U.S. president.  Thereafter, another gut – wrenching challenge had to be met on whether or not the author would serve as the 67th U.S. Secretary of State (2009 – 2013) in an administration having many people contributing to the Clinton 2008 primary election defeats.  The text also speaks of Secretary Clinton’s reliance on the expertise of Richard Holbrooke (d. 2010), Robert Gates, Senator George Mitchell and others for expertise and good counsel, taking the edge off things some etimes and other times adding what luck was possible under the circumstances.  The text goes into detail and explains in cogent language the two major foreign policies of the Obama administration affecting the U.S. internationally at this point outside the Western hemisphere and apart from Europe – the “pivot” with respect to P.R.C. and the Asian continent in general and the “reset” in politics and policy with the Russian Federation that calls for an avoidance of clashes, starting with public language, of the defenses of both U.S. and Russia.  The text does not offer any significant narrative on why the Russian Federation’s leadership does not like the “reset”, though this might be because this would fill an entire volume given it calls upon the responsibilities of the Russians internationally, something that might be difficult to accept for the brusque and brazen image they portray to all.  Part V of the text is a heart rending and complicated narrative pursuit of recalling and examining policies toward Africa, the Middle East and the arab spring especially in Egypt and Libya.  The book also has a number of photos that are greatly captivating of which the very photogenic Clinton family; and associates and friends.  There are sections on the recent polices concerning Iran and Syria, though there does not appear to be in the text an overriding attention to the seemingly independent and divisive ground or grass roots politics and policy in these countries against Israel, and even against the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.  The book ends in Part VI and an epilogue that are less labor – intensive in their reading compared to Part V that at its worst illustrates the paradoxes and grand ironies of the areas of concern.  The final chapters of the narrative examine resolvable and consensus issues like world climate change and energy and how this is linked to jobs, productivity and full employment (all this without proposing an economics growth model.)  Other final topics include policy toward Haiti and its recent earthquake, human rights especially in Eastern Europe and P.R.C. and other places as well including Southeast Asia.  There is even a very readable chapter on diplomacy in the age of (information) technology.  Overall a very informative read on current events, extremely well – written and a page – turner at the same time.  How’d she do it? 

Friday, November 28, 2014

An Exercise in the Painful for PRC Authorities and Worse in Its Penalties Than "Graphite".

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The Height of Paranoia :  Chinese Leadership and More Hong Kong Arrests (not for doing this at home).

 From the Internet Today (November 28, 2014):  News about Hong Kong Protests November

Market Watch · 1 day ago

... baton as he confronts pro-democracy protesters at Mongkok shopping district in Hong Kong November 26,2014. HONG KONG—Police cleared the most volatile… -- Making Sense Of Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Protests – Analysis


A Word from blogger Professor Alvin Rabushka (click here) … .
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Friday, November 21, 2014

Something I do not get (current consensus on U.S. Immigration Policy).

After hearing the speech by the U.S. president yesterday, it is important for people like me, for example, to not be so concerned as to "blow a gasket" as a good friend and attorney mentions when things like this come up for people.  Now that the U.S. immigration issues along with its customs and homeland security bureau issues have really come of age, probably more for kids than for adults given the rights of newborn of foreign parents, for example, within the borders of the U.S. right now, or what the president wants to make them, there is a difficulty staring us all down, and that is a full - fledge immigration issues crisis.  This might be brought upon the country by, again, more and more so - called immigrants arriving in jet flights to places like Seattle and Los Angeles, or Atlanta, New York, or any major coastal area airport and then mainly just sitting - in at the air facilities either waiting for transport to a new assumed domicile or waiting for other things such as detention by U.S. immigration authorities -- distasteful and insufferable for some, but for others a no - brainer solution to their own issues as immigrants everywhere.  These sorts of shenanigans are unavoidable given the talk as broadcast yesterday as well as the oft - spoken phrase of responsible parties under the circumstances at times :  "It would happen anyway", and its variants.  What happened to the sage proverbs and courage, fortitude and morale fibre concerning the destruction of the world and related political self - destruction of some of its peoples and the U.S. "It didn't happen here" in the spoken words of our leaders who had, in days not so far in the past, guaranteed a safe homeland that discouraged hooligans and the acting out of various groups and individuals who from the get - go with feet in the airframe bound for the U.S. already demand entitlements in intractable ways included the cursing out of those of us who've lived here long enough to know not to curse and swear at others, not as a moral or ethical rule primarily, but that it smacks of the wholly irrational and unreasonable and is by far and away alienating for the literate and educated among the many honest and forthright,
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common - sense people who abound here to begin with.  Why, given the complications of the world at this point, be in the business of canning that and selling it to those who might scrape together half and loan the other half of the cost for it, if that; and of course there will always be some who can loan the entire cost of anything and same will have to loan moneys to complete the angry tasks of learning and internalizing American ways. 

In the law, and I mention this as a person who is not a jurist, there are some things that allow for various interpretations of statute including various semantic devices the U.S. president as a law professor and his colleagues and associates, themselves as jurists and well - educated legal people who have been honorably placed at their posts through elections and appointment confirmations, ... , are familiar with and are apparently using to avoid the immigration crucible that more than ever will impact American homes in the future, and everyone's.  The sort of crucible the U.S. presidential policies right now in a simple way are attempting to avoid will cheapen the U.S. / American commonweal and will give cause for those informed and provoking such a thing to question, even from the great heights of their proud towers, the value of life itself, and not just for the unborn, but for babies all the way up through the stages of growth and maturity to adults and the elderly.  The U.S. presidential policies have seen such a crisis looming since the idea of the war on terror began, even the idea of population control under Roe vs. Wade presented themselves in private and scientific journals our current leaders now read:  That was a long time ago, mind you.  Our democratic leadership attempts to address, and somewhat successfully to date, the macabre and sinister, creepy issues of immigration as they unfold in the modern world to hold the "door open" for at least a while until the commonweal is satisfied for a while with current status quo and ratings are up, and then in all appearances the door is slammed shut with those hairy consequences as well.  This simple politic has to stop as practiced by the current administration and that of most of the 1990's insofar as our people are motivated one way or the other to face a very complicated immigration problem set and to decide upon necessary restrictions, and not the uncalled for "mass" changes and psychology, very weighty might I add here, this features today.  How can this be done?  It can be done as simply and creatively as the writing of policies that keep people cramming into airframes in flights to La Guardia, etc., and other major air hubs:  Restrict air traffic and access to exit visas, and if one starts on this today, the airline industry will suffer to cancel eventually a few flights only, and overall profitability will ne'er really have been affected compared to the consequences of flying those initial one - way tickets and those of other immigration schemes.  The exit visa issues require cross - border agreements and U.S. monitoring, undoubtedly, and this might initially cause more gridlock in the capitol, but our representatives and the like, and the U.S. chief executive, stand to realize eventually the immigration problem we currently have is systemic and can be solved systemically.  What is applicable to air traffic and immigration might also and simply find application to ocean and land traffic, including foot traffic as well for illegals and those in immigration, too.  With this kind of "blanket" and systemic solving of what one knows to be the actual societal feature in the U.S. as a country to which one is able to immigrate easily, one can completely avoid, not postpone but completely avoid the massed gatherings and foreign movements, the terrorist movement as an undercurrent here, that are the curse of our current system of immigration in America; and that incidentally have many prospective immigrants in their football stadium gatherings calling for our deaths and for a supplanting of American society and its future with one envisioned, i.e., by the Marxists of old (as reformed by the end of the cold war, yet sadly still Marxist), some Islamo - political deity, or other power lacking a real constitution and the like -- all sad and sorrowful avenues, yet ones people outside our "village" wish for right now.  There are indeed others, and legitimate people, who make immigration attempts to enter U.S. territories, and honestly, besides terrorists and hooligans, criminals and destructive radicals; and the thing is to find them in the immigration crowd and allow their petitions, and to discourage the destructive, criminal types from trafficking our borders.  To wit, given the issues here around exit visas and the like, there is trafficking in counterfeit travel documents and seals, etc., everywhere:  The thing to do about that is to centralize exit visa activities not in some bureau in town, but to center them at air facilities, especially for those with one way or open ended tickets.  There are analog processes and rules for the same practices and other transport channels.  How about an executive order along these lines, and one that when well thought out and composed might trump the impending crisis, and one that is earmarked and predictable for "sooner or later".

Sunday, November 9, 2014

An Excellent Portrayal of "No Happy Reward" (If This Review Is Not Innovative and Original, I Apologize).

THE INNOVATORS, by Walter Isaacson (2014, Simon & Schuster)

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INFORMALLY: Though this text is an excellent one and one that makes the attempt, it is impossible to capture the spirit of what one might call the character and genius (read geniuses) of what has come to be known as Silicon Valley, CA. There is an entire set of circumstances and confluence of events and other factors that led, and has and had led to every single inch of technological discovery over the years, and in reading this valuable book one gathers the sense of this and the criticality and indeed the overall gravity and seriousness of modern consumer and other technological discovery and implementation. All this despite the apparent clowning and colorful carrying on (read again, irreverence) of different personalities at various places including at Apple, Pixar, ORACLE and others. Walter Isaacson, in this well – prepared and researched text does make an outstanding effort to capture in a comprehensible image, with all the implications of that, the history of the different figures that are memorable and worth commemorating about the place.

Though there are literally dozens upon dozens of people who contributed to what the author of this text proposes as a chain or cascading and crowding of brilliant people oriented toward technological innovation and invention, themselves, their families, their honorable associates, and their extended families and friends, all sometimes even inching their way through things, individually or in groups, or making leaps and bounds as has been done over the years with IC's and the like, each of the major people one might propose by this narrative has been and is simply larger than life and in all evidence and obviously of greater mind and spirit, sometimes than is imaginable by the line and rank and file. For some this book is like a who's who or even a dogged and informative summary only of what could have started out as a ten thousand – page text. For others, the story is simple enough and captures the tone and aura of the place or places that are Silicon Valley, indeed quite nicely, and as yet leaving much of the technical and complicated jargon, the acronyms, even the buzz words of the day out of the writing in order to adequately portray these uncommon and very capable business and technology leaders as they need to appear. Despite the dozens and dozens of people mentioned here, all noteworthy, and not just the prize – winners, the following really stand out for the time being, and you might beg to differ, of which comments and other words invited: Hopper, von Neumann, Terman, Shockley, the Intel founders, the ARPA and related projects, the Hayes modem, the Apple Company, Inc., founders; the Microsoft founders and their team(s,) and many, many others, and certainly including those over the years who have notably left the door open to all whereas in such places often the connotation of such things is the exit door remains always open as derivative of this in most cases.

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Isaacson gives very adequate and detailed explanations and narratives, again, of how the innovators here recall their work and the cut – and – try methods and processes used in addition to the breakthroughs of equal, or lesser import that included not only variations and improvements to technologies but to the cost structure of delivering these at a reasonable price to business and consumer end – users. In the end, and even for most people who know of and who have read this text, there might be one or two, maybe more, businesses that stand out as excellent in the technology hotbed itself, and for me this is companies like Varian, VersaTec, Cray, and then Pixar Studios, even ORACLE and Lockheed as well among the all in all. An excellent read even for the "just curious", and worth the price in time and place of reading to any level of detail. Great!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Blog mini - entry : Progress of Hong Kong Protests -- Mid - November 2014.

Select coverage (please read):

Yahoo! News - recent.

Article and another article from Guardian, U.K.

Recently from C.N.N. -- and more from C.N.N.

See here!  People of our mind subject to insidious ignominy of their authorities now day and night (pictures below).

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Armistice Day -- Again, Not Far Away (Far from Me).

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New York Times Article - previous.
Wall Street Journal Article.
World War I - imagery in stills.
FlandersHouse - New York.
Recent blog entry - ... .

Berlin, 2014.

Twenty - five years ago, almost to this day, the Berlin Wall as constructed in the early 1960's and fortified many times thereafter was rendered moot as symbol of soviet / Marxist dominion in Western Europe and dismantled, though not overnight:  As a finality that rings in the ears of every soviet person attentive in the day, sections of the wall were taken down and taken away by people with ordinary sledgehammers, jackhammers, and then with cranes and other machines to clear the way for the 40,000 or so refugees from the east that would come over to West Germany in the first month after the wall fell, and then more after that.  The initial responses of the East German authorities at the time first to the burgeoning demonstrations and then to the dismantling of that physical barrier between East and West are well documented and most people by now have seen at least some of them on the television and heard of the great big party at the dismantling of the Berlin Wall was at the time.  Today, and chiefly the area of the Potsdamer Platz, Checkpoint Charlie and associated bridge and other places so dramatically portrayed in the media in the past are simply memories that are kept in small museums at different points along the former path of the wall.  On this day, as one awaits the official anniversary of the dismantling of the wall, in Berlin, the former location of the wall and its path through that town is marked by approximately seven thousand lit balloons that will be released upward into the sky upon official commemoration.

The monetary costs of re - unification, unforeseeably, have been quite high and many parts of East
Germany, especially in Saxony and Thuringia, are permanently economically depressed and no rent can even be made from the land there, apparently.  The burden however, of the challenges that capitalism and freedom suggest and then propose to society, as promised originally in the regimes of Bush, Helmut Kohl, and Gorbachev, have allowed for a brighter future for Central Europe as it is now less of a political pawn to the soviets as then constantly uprooted and even poisoned, and allowed as well for Western Europe is a departure of the politics of buffer states and again a greater socio - economic promise for all.  This has not been nor will it be without its issues as the guarantees of free society to all, everywhere, and not just at this point as commemorated in Central Europe, at first incipient in places and then more prominent are not reified without the efforts of all contributing people on every rung of the social ladder.  It is seemingly greatly easier to change the actions of a person with rewarding incentives, and as is the case with Berlin, much more difficult and as has been done here, to change the mindset of centralizing and enriching the paternalistic state, for one, into an attitude of one and all as to the greater potentialities presented by definition in the economic activity of capital and the overall benefits of this to everyone; even to those on the coattails of those who originally allowed for and then have made possible the Berlin of today. 

New York Times Article - November 7, 2014.
One Berlin Refugee Center.
One Berlin Wall commemorative museum.