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The Truth-o-Meter says: Mostly False | Have wages failed to go up on Donald Trump's watch? On th ...
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Monday 11 January 2010
Some are reporting that Road Projects Don't Help Unemployment - But fail to mention that such spending may keep Americans from starving.
amiel, Monday 11 January 2010 - 09:42:41 // comment: 0

ABC NEWS REPORTS .... that some other News reporting concern did a `Study` that said that unemployment numbers have not been impacted by Stimulus Fund spending. This study; they state in the article, was 'reviewed by independent analysts', at Universities apparently; which gives the `Study` credence (read) and makes it worth taking note of...

I notice that at the website recovery.gov that the map indicates that States that have experienced the worst of the economic impact have received the larger portions of the funds. (read)

In the `Study's` criticism of the 'Impact' of the use of Stimulus Funds, the obvious question to ask would be if factors like `going without food altogether` would be considered as part of the proof of the effects of the use of stimulus funds? Thats like, unemployment didn't improve, but people didn't starve or do significantly worse; in the face of a situation where it is likely that Americans would have without the 'Impact' that the funds provided.

And how about the lack of marketable skills for the future. You know, the things that major portions of the Stimulus Legislation were directed at. You know like, Schools, Education. How are such metrics gathered and applied to the question of the `value of the Stimulus Legislation` and the use or non-use of Stimulus Funds?

I notice that much of the stated intended uses of the Stimulus Funds are not (ever) mentioned. (example 'A', example 'B', example 'A to Z')

Did you read where some Media concern did a survey to apparently prove the point that Americans think they are really creative? Have you read the `Offshoring Whitepaper`, published by Senator Joseph Lieberman's Office that basically describes in detail that we are not? In contrast to (apparently) how highly we think of ourselves; that we have lack of technologically skilled technical workers to fill the growing gap in our production capabilities for now and in the future. (read) Something that only a massed, concerted effort, can realistically remedy.

One other small thing to note here. States were placed in the position to create their own projects and programs to direct the dispensation of the Stimulus Funds to areas where it was needed in the original Stimulus legislation; where is the rest of the story here.

Where is the part where the States, the final authority in the dispensation of the funds, are beginning to identify where they are going wrong with this.

Don't tell me that money is not the solution - it's only not the solution when it is not being properly spent.



Thursday 03 December 2009
Senate Bill S773
amiel, Thursday 03 December 2009 - 04:57:06 // comment: 0

An 'Emergency' under the bill would be any situation that whatever responsible Network Administrator deemed to be a threat to the critical resources connected on that network...

Barak Obama would of course be sitting at the White House sipping hot cocoa (in his pajamas possibly), observing every bit and byte that streamed across the network (using his new `Dashboard`) looking for some justification under the bill to pull the big (red) Presidential switch and shut of everybody's U Tube.

Three things that keep us safe from this happening:

1. There is nothing in the bill that provides the President any additional authority; you know in addition to things like Presidential War powers and so on.

2. The White House is not really at war with Americans.

3. It's imposable to reach the Internet Switch from the Dashboard without spilling your Cocoa.



This is really strange.

There is nothing in the bill, S773 that is even remotely related to Government accessing (or not accessing) information on the internet.

Yet somehow the entirety of the conversation on the internet related to Cybersecurity (via. S773) revolves around terms like `reading e-mail`,` blocking access`, and `shutting off the internet`, and so on.

Nothing in it that can be be remotely construed to be aimed at, or have the potential for taking anything away from anyone. It simply addresses the need to create the means to deal with, in a uniform, reliable, and dependable way the potential for disruption of critical network services by those who would seek to do harm to these service and or systems.

It's bazaar how many people are engaged in the `conversation` over the `threats to their internet access` through some form of increased role of the government (you know, the President).

I suggest that you actually read the bill before you resolve to condemn anything. And especially before you endeavor to express hatred for the White House, the President or anyone else.


The real story here is the propagation of misinformation related to the bill that serves to cloud the real issues. Those issues are the billions of dollars that are legislated to fund institutions and business that are described in the implementation portions of the Legislation.

Is it the Lobbyist that don't want you to notice that part? ...that would be their job in these kinds of situations. After all there's tons of money up for grabs on this one.

Is this why the web is flooded with posts from people expressing their agony over the `White House controlling the Internet` (...or something or other) ?

Few, apparently have read the brief Fifty (50) page Bill. Many, I am sure lack the technical understanding of such things; to understand that such reactions to the text of the bill are pivoted entirely on rationalizations of the interpretation of one or two words like '...emergency' - and not on any of the substantive portions of the text of the Bill itself.

Well respected organizations; often billing themselves as competent in the technology area, are going to great lengths to stress the non-issue of Senate Bill 773. (Judging by the quantity of pages returned from a typical 'Google' search).

Explanations that are offered at these sites only serve to focus public awareness away from the real substance of S773, while the real issues contained in the Bill; example, the investment in the infrastructure that will carry the Country forward in terms of preparedness for a future of growth of technology utilization and dependence, are completely missed.

Read the bill here ...



Net Neutrality
amiel, Thursday 03 December 2009 - 04:13:56 // comment: 0

We are reaching Junctures in the Evolution of the Internet that seem to make the journey ever more perilous as time goes on; as the consolidation of service network providers driven by economic realities have left consumers with less competition and diversity in the Internet Connection Marketplace.

What is important here is not where things are right now, but where they are headed. Some obvious road-signs that appeared years ago was the move from generic `compatible` computers' to computers produced by manufacturers that would only work with Operating Systems of the manufacturers choosing.

In some cases these computers really wouldn't work at all with different operating systems; this choice was simply taken away.

Consumers were thus driven to buy specific Operating Systems by manufacturers that modified the formerly compatible (interchangeable, generic, flexible) designs of computer hardware. Don't need to be really smart to understand why this was done.

The same 'model' can be expected to be applied to other markets, the internet for example. And there are clear signs that work is already underway in this area to achieve such.

There are precious few computer users who understand that the wire that leads out of the back of their computer transmits no relevent stuff as regards the Operating System or any Software running on that machine that would be in any way relevant to the Service Provider and their connection.

Don't believe me speak with some suitably qualified Network Professional as regards software (OS's) on a computer that are `prohibitive` or have `unique requirements` as regards connecting to the network (The Internet) via. an ISP.

There are none.

Users (you) are typically given quite a different impression when communicating with their Service Providers (you know,...the big ones).

Even when visiting their `support` areas (as of the date of this posting). One of the first things that customers encounter is the requirement to have one Operating System or the other - thereby suggesting that this is a requirement and that customers must use one or another of these Operating Systems in order to connect to the Internet.

Operating Systems (sales) are only one example of potential profit centers that can be artificially created and exploited via. ISP's, and the customers interface with the internet.

What the term Net Neutrality refers to is the concept of requiring that the connection between computers NOT be subjected to levels of services or access based on categories of transmissions that can determined by observing what flows over the wire connected to your computer. Or any other type of exploitation of the specifics of what is transmitted by your device when connected to an IP network.

There is major profit potential in doing this, that is the motivation. If something is not done to prevent this, it will absolutely happen. ISP's and Service Providers will create (manufacture in fact) levels of access and service based on the 'type' of communications that you engage in.

So to review, ... The term that is used to describe the requirement that the IP (internet) connection between computers not be in any way tampered with or exploited by IP Service Providers (ISP's) is called,... (all together now) .... N.e.t. N.e.u.t.r.a.l.i.t.y..


Class dismissed.



Thursday 26 November 2009
A drug addict, a quitter, and loosers.
amiel, Thursday 26 November 2009 - 08:18:17 // comment: 0

PB + D > C


"Here, P is the probability that an individual's vote will affect the outcome of an election, and B is the perceived benefit of that person's favored political party or candidate being elected. D originally stood for democracy or civic duty, but today represents any social or personal gratification an individual gets from voting. C is the time, effort, and financial cost involved in voting. Since P is virtually zero in most elections, PB is also near zero, and D is thus the most important element in motivating people to vote. For a person to vote, these factors must outweigh C." [23]

On Tuesday November 2, 2004 62,040,610 votes were cast for the winner in the US Presidential Election. Republican boosters were quite vocal in pointing out that the numbers of votes cast on that day had made history.

In fact President Bush received the largest percentage of votes ever cast since Richard Milhous Nixon won the US. Presidency in 1968.

President Bush's Presidency and the enormous support he had early on was (and is) characterized by his 'Moral' philosophies and resultant moral positions that he indicated; which affected his Presidential image and apparently his Presidential decision making.

Incidentally President Richard Nixon ran against Senator Herbert Hoover, and Governor George Wallace in 1968. George Wallace was the first person in American History to run for the Presidency as an Independent (excepting George Washington). Wallace got 13% of the nations vote. Wallace made himself famous after `standing in the school house door`.

I had breakfast near the Campus of the University of Alabama two weeks ago (early November 2009). This is where George Wallace distinguished himself in June 1963 as Governor of Alabama he literally stood in the doorway at the University of Alabama to prevent 'Black' students from entering the University. He later ran for US President and got 13% of the vote nationwide.

On November 4, 2008 Barack Obama won the Presidency of the United States. He won more votes in that election than anyone. Ever.

Barack Obama won the highest percentage of votes cast for anyone since President Lyndon Bayes Johnson won the Presidency in 1964. (a time when issues as such that George Wallace sought to focus on overshadowed the soul of politics and American society).

So what's the point. Well, with the formula above, and the explanation that goes with it, 'D' is the most important element as regards votes and voters. It doesn't matter what 'D' is made of. It doesn't really matter what 'D' really is. It's just gotta be more important than 'C' and you you'll win. Simple as that. Because PB is zero. You don't really need much to get elected. Just plenty of 'D'. So what is 'D'.

I was listening to some (Stanford) Lectures on YouTube and came across some references to President Barack Obamas November 2008 acceptance speech. I listened to the speech (he looks younger there). I don't do video on this site but I am including a link to the speech here (contains a laundry list of promises) as an example of the 'D' that was at work in the last election.

The 20th century political opposition to the 'D' that is emphasized in these speeches and remarks; values, idealism, hope, national pride, honor, fairness, unity, and so on; concepts that tend to uplift the spirit and to liberate the thinking.

(listen to and watch these remarks here ...)


After listening to this it occurs to me and I have to say this; that the chief players in current brand of `D` as offered by the political opposition to these remarks is being offered to us and delivered to us by a drug addict, a quitter, and losers. This is the irrefutable truth in this situation. It's a fact. This is not a cute way to call people names. This is a real fact.

So, why do we end up still being forced to listen to them? Well, because certain decision makers controlling the media in America have simply decided that we will. Simple as that.


References
[23] William H. Riker and Peter C. Ordeshook. A theory of the calculus of
voting. American Political Science Review, 62(1): 42, 1968.





Tuesday 24 November 2009
Department of Homeland Security has gone on record as saying ...
amiel, Tuesday 24 November 2009 - 01:22:10 // comment: 0

I have had a real problem writing something meaningful in response to the reported remarks made by a former assistant secretary for cybersecurity at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He used the term "scattershot" approach to describe the involvement of Congress and Congresses participation in the effort to address security shortcomings in US Government Networks . Or `Cybersecurity` as it has been called.

I figure, If this guy has this kind of courage then he deserves some additional attention. Right? O.K.

I went to the US Government website where the S773 legislation gets commented on by the average 'man on the street'. I found that there is a great deal of misunderstanding about the current proposed Legislation, S773, called the, "Cybersecurity Act of 2009".

I believe it really comes down to the fact that conceptually, people don't understand what the whole 'security' apparatus thing really looks like. In fact I am sure that no one really knows what it looks like. Unfortunately, the legislation requires that it be implemented within a severely limited amount of time. Further the final product will be in the form of a 'Dashboard'.

I read this and I couldn't believe it.

Clearly we have a Windows user here. So, we're supposed to reduce all of the described complexity down to a thing called a 'Dashboard', ...within 90 days. Let me get this straight. We are implementing a 'system' that will include "dynamic, comprehensive, real time cybersecurity status and vulnerability information "; and according to the language of the Legislation, the President is responsible for implementing this in 90 Days; to be completed in One year. Mr. Obama, don't sign that...

In a previous post I stated that any solution that came from politicians, as an answer to 'Cybersecurity' would miss the mark. And this is because Politicians will typically not have sufficient command of the subject matter to play a constructive role in the solution. And they need to figure out a way to get out of the way and let people who do know work on a solution. I stated that whatever flawed solution that they may come up with; they will be unable to effectively implement because of their lack of sufficient understanding of the problem (domain).

Here we have from the politicians the product of that lack of understanding. An end-to-end solution no less.

The dashboard thing in addition to being overly ambitious at this time, is not necessary and is really kind of silly. How about instead we try and make all of this functionality available under one roof first, maybe even have it in the same room. Maybe we could target virtualizing this dash board thing. Hey ...

While we have Legislation that potentially sells us out to some specific software vendor for 'dashboards' or worse 'dashboard' API's (as required by law) other specifics of the (and any) implementation are specified in the 773 Legislation.

The actual goals of addressing the national needs in Cybersecurity, conceptually were competently stated by President Barack Obama himself, who said," ... we need to build the capacity to identify, isolate, and respond to any cyber-attack."

The Congress responded and created Legislation that actually created such a system, complete with a user interface.

80% of the language is good. Conceptually I believe that Congress is missing the point. Don't think so? Remember, that this Legislation will become law:

Law. s733 reads:

SEC. 3. CYBERSECURITY ADVISORY PANEL.
6 (a) IN GENERAL.—The President shall establish or
7 designate a Cybersecurity Advisory Panel.
8 (b) QUALIFICATIONS.—The President—

9 (1) shall appoint as members of the panel rep-
10 resentatives of industry, academic, non-profit organi-
11 zations, interest groups and advocacy organizations,
12 and State and local governments who are qualified
13 to provide advice and information on cybersecurity
14 research, development, demonstrations, education,
15 technology transfer, commercial application, or soci-
16 etal and civil liberty concerns; and

17 (2) may seek and give consideration to rec-
18 ommendations from the Congress, industry, the cy-
19 bersecurity community, the defense community,
20 State and local governments, and other appropriate
21 organizations.


The above occurs on page Eight (or so) of S773. This creates an imposable situation from the very start. Remember that we are talking about the need to "build the capacity to identify, isolate, and respond to any cyber-attack.". A capacity that we currently do not have.

The threats we are speaking of are largely limited to software logic, or humans that may access critical systems via a wire attached to that system. This is all that we are talking about here. That and the means and the myriad of ways that that can occur.

Conceptually, it becomes much more when you don't know what it is. And so naturally you'd want to enlist all of the help that you could get.

So now under Section 3 paragraph (b)(1) the President is required (underline required) to include a host of participants in the form of an "ADVISORY PANEL." that have nothing to do with the stated goal. Conceptually they have an interest and perhaps a stake, but so does everyone else on the plant. Why do the drafters of this Legislation assume that the presence of these people and their interests, in any way accentuate our ability to achieve the stated goal.

Who needs somebodys friggin advice? Senator(s), we don't need advice, you need advice. We, already know who to ask and what to ask. We'd like to move forward in a coherent, logical fashion on this complex task. Your management of this task is preventing progress and complicating things far beyond what is necessary, and we haven't even started yet.






Monday 09 November 2009
Brainbench - Is Brainbench worth it ?
amiel, Monday 09 November 2009 - 10:33:46 // comment: 0

According to information available at the Brainbench website only Forty Percent (40%) of test takers actually pass Brainbench exams. (read)

According to several schools that have published information on students performance in certification exam situations (since around 2003) ; the numbers of people passing the brainbench exams are representative of tests that are not easy to pass. This conflicts with the information generally presented at `professional IT` websites; typically displayed though Google search results.

Popular internet sites have for the past few years, carried references to brainbench exams, most of which are remarks that are fairly critical of the 'validness' and the relative worth of the exams.

Apparently while the informed amongst us have been dutiful enough to provide their views of the brainbench exams, schools have been using brainbench exams for their students to validate student skill levels. This has been going on since 2003 or so. (read) or (read) or (read) or (read) or (read) or ...(read)

The numbers (see document links above) for students that pass brainbench exams do not support the notion that the brainbench exams are easy to pass.

When compared to exams that are described as more 'accepted' or 'traditional' as mentioned on a variety of authoritative `IT` websites; exams that schools administered as part of skills testing indicate that the 'pass rate' for brainbench exams were occasionally below the 'pass rates' for testers taking the 'conventional' exams.

I believe that this shows what I already knew to be true, and that is that the 'adaptive' technology used in administering brainbench exams adequately compensates for the 'open book' approach that brainbench has a reputation for. Simply put, brainbench exams 'ain't easy.

Incidentally if you have ever taken a brainbench exam in a subject area that you didn't really know very well, you know that an open book, and Google, and a friend leaning over your shoulder while you take the test tend to not really help much. Unless of course the friend really knows the subject matter.

Today I boast the highest test scores in the entire State in an IT area that has been dear to me since I first used a computer.

Heres how the numbers break down:

Rank number one (1) in the entire City with a score of 4.15 (nowhere near the maximum score of 5.0)
Rank number one (1) in the entire State with that score.
Rank 1066 out of 46,824 people in the entire United States.
Rank 3939 out of 205,674 people in the entire World.

However there's more to this number thing. Remember that only Forty Percent (40%) of people taking brainbench exams actually pass...

So that means that I am in the 98 percentile range at number 3939 out of 329, 078 actual test takers in the entire World.
(the numbers)

I have always put my brainbench information on my resume. I still end up answering questions related to qualifications in this area which I believe has a lot to do with the prevailing myths as regards brainbench certifications. Thus the preceding related to schools utilizing brainbench in addition to other testing.

If you still have doubts about the exams and are so inclined I would suggest that you take one yourself. You can then identify for yourself how`valid` the tests may or may not be.


Sunday 08 November 2009
Show of moral fiber in final vote in U.S House Health Care Bill
amiel, Sunday 08 November 2009 - 05:36:33 // comment: 0

In a show of personal courage Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao of Louisiana, voted in favor of the House health-care bill while the balance of Republicans voted in a style typified over the past decade - as a single mindless unit.
(read the remarks that were made by the President prior to the House vote)

Take a look at Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao's Biography. In this history making U.S. House of Representatives vote; the facts are truly stranger than fiction.
(click here to read about Anh "Joseph" Quang Cao Republican Legislator working for Louisiana's 2nd District)



Tuesday 22 September 2009
Sen. Christopher J. Dodd - And the rest of America has ...
amiel, Tuesday 22 September 2009 - 02:48:23 // comment: 0

Sen. Christopher J. Dodd and practically everyone else in America have been thinking the same thing. Finally something is being done about it.

Banks are expected to earn in excess of Thirty Eight Billion Dollars this year collecting fees for 'overdrafts' that are charged to individual bank customer accounts. The fees are the penalties for asking for more money than we have in our accounts; that we all have accepted as 'normal' when doing business with the bank - but never, ever agreed with..

Banks typically will allow customers to overdraw accounts by a few dollars; and then charge that customer in the range of Thirty Dollars ($30.00) per transaction as an `overdraft fee`.

Neat little game. The rational that insulates the bank from blame for your loss, and makes this practice acceptable is that `you should be more responsible`.

Banks do that little dance with you and your money to the tune of Thirty Billion Dollars (plus) per year in America. That's a lot of money from people's pockets.

The impact to poor people cannot be measured when pitifully low finances are targeted by banks; and the flow of cash is disturbed when the 'overdraft fee' clause is implemented. You see it would only ever affect depositors with small amounts of cash. Wealthy people don't have these kinds of problems. It would only ever be the poorest, those with little in the bank, who would ever end up thus penalized. Not to mention damaging or destroying the credit of these who can least afford it.

This is implemented utilizing computer software logic designed to allow the overdraft to occur, that also prevents any meaningful financial loss to the bank from ever occurring. Thus these `overdrafts` are most often in the range of a dollar or two.

When one thinks of it; that's Thirty Eight Billion Dollars that can pretty much be counted on to further stimulate the (local) economy. In this new era of setting things straight. It is good that this is being brought forward and being dealt with. Thank you Sen. Christopher J. Dodd.

Read the entire Washington Post article ...

I think we should have a politician of the Week section on this site. You know, for those politicians who actually do some work. The President would be ineligible for this as he has already agreed to, and is expected to, work hard every day anyway...



Saturday 19 September 2009
More about the times
amiel, Saturday 19 September 2009 - 09:41:42 // comment: 0

I do not allow the names of certain public figures to appear on this site. I do this in order that I not 'lead up the garden path' and end up promoting the names and ideas of individuals whom are not worthy of being promoted.

America has experienced a steady stream of negative media. Mostly rhetoric that has been aimed at the current President.

Apparently the authors of sites like this often do not understand that when they flood the Internet with emails and create web pages filled with the names of their opposition, they are in fact promoting their opposition and their oppositions views.

The forces of the opposition are winning the information war.... the good guys are helping them win.

Some idiot engages in totally outlandish behavior at an official state function and he or she appears - center stage - in the press for the next few weeks. After which they are elevated to the status of a folklore hero among their like-thinking countrymen. And then guess what. We'll be hearing from them again.

Never minding what was actually said by the individual in the past or what they have done in the past. It's sufficient to simply say something negative or to say something extreme and you have the full attention of Americas Media. Never mind that the remarks are completely without basis. In fact the more questionable the remark the more the guarantee of a large quantity of media attention.

And especially attention from the opposition who will in fact end up promoting whatever ridiculous remarks were made in their efforts to appeal to the intellects of people for whom intellect and decision making are not integral partners. I didn't loose you there did I?

It is a waste of time for thinking people to do combat on an intellectual, thought or idea level with people who have no interest in thinking. Thinking for some segments of our society is actually something to be avoided and is actually frowned upon. Did you know that?

In the Blue Collar world there is no better way to be accused of being a 'know it all' than to indicate that you know anything at all. It is more honorable to be thought of as plain stupid is some segments of our culture, than it is to be labeled 'smart'.

Thinking people do not take or draw their views from people who do not reflect certain qualities. Among these qualities typically, are honesty and frankness. This is because thinking people do not base their beliefs about a thing on what is said, they base their beliefs on what they think about what is said.

And this is also with them, distinct from how one 'feels' about what is said.

... very important concept in our times.

Now there is a difference in sounding frank during a conversation and telling the truth. That's like indicating sarcasm by using tones and varying the rhythms in your speech during a conversation.

Doing the above is just part of how we normally communicate. However in the same way that one can mislead with false facts. One can also mislead with the way that words are presented; with sincerity in the tone, with forcefulness of indignation in the tone and body language, and demeanor, and so on.

Thinking people are aware of this, experienced people are aware of this. It may be as simple as: You lied in the past. Therefore the tone of 'sincerity' in your voice is all the more questionable, and does not persuade me.

I am saying all of this to ask the question. How is it that today America has received a steady diet of Karl Row (there, I broke my own rules) in the media? i won't say 'news' here because thinking people have long ago determined that not all broadcasting companies who's operations are entitled using the word 'news', are really news channels at all.

That is to say, you can entitle the television program, "xyz news", but if the program is devoted in a large part to things other than describing what has happened, the facts, and so on; then the television program, "xyz news", is not really a news broadcast.

These kinds of conclusions are drown by people who apply a set of rules to their decision making in order to minimize the possibility of their being mislead or deceived. If you bought appliances or furniture through 'rent-a-center' more than once, you're probably not one of those people.

And if at this point you think this article is about rent-a-center, or honesty... Bad news. You're not one of those people.



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