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Quote of the Day
Jul 17th, 2010 by Ken Hagler

I died and turned into a Roman. It’s very dis­tract­ing.

Doc­tor Who

Probably not the best comparison
Jul 16th, 2010 by Ken Hagler

Wom­en priest law ‘a slap in face’. The Vatican’s deci­sion to make the ordi­na­tion of wom­en a “grave crime” — the same term it uses to describe sex­u­al abuse — is con­demned by women’s church groups. [BBC News]

But if the Vat­i­can regards wom­en priests the same way they do sex­u­al abuse, doesn’t that mean that wom­en are free to be priests when­ev­er they want and the Vat­i­can will either ignore them or cov­er it up (or both)?

The law is unknowable
Jul 15th, 2010 by Ken Hagler

New at Reason: John Stossel on Government Attacks on Freedom.

Something's happened to America, writes John
Stossel, and it isn't good. It's become easier to get into trouble.
We've become a nation of a million rules. Not the kind of bottom-up
rules that people generate through voluntary associations. Those
are fine. The problem is top-down rules formed in the brains of
meddling bureaucrats who think they know better than we how to
manage our lives.

View this article.

[Hit and Run]

Here's another quote from the end of the article:

Congress creates, on average, one new crime every week. Federal agencies create thousands more—so many, in fact that the Congressional Research Service itself said that merely counting them would be impossible.

This is a bad trend. As Lao Tsu said, "The more laws and order are made prominent, the more thieves and robbers there will be."

I remember when I was a kid there was a saying: "ignorance of the law is no excuse," but I haven't heard anyone say that in years (another one from the same time that's also now dead was "it's a free country"). Today ignorance of the law is still no excuse from a legal standpoint, but at the same time knowledge of the law is an impossibility.

Good news for unemployment: people are giving up
Jul 2nd, 2010 by Ken Hagler

Lies, Damned Lies, and Sta­tis­tics. Let’s keep this one short and sweet. Accord­ing to the offi­cial gov­ern­ment sta­tis­tics, the US econ­o­my shed anoth­er 125,000 jobs in June. Wouldn’t it then be rea­son­able for the unem­ploy­ment rate to climb? You would think so, right? You’d be wrong. See, in addi­tion to the ter­ri­ble news about job loss­es, there’s hor­ri­fic news that […] [Mike Makes Right]

Accord­ing to Shad­ow Gov­ern­ment Sta­tis­tics, the true unem­ploy­ment rate is around 22%. This num­ber includes those peo­ple who have given up on ever find­ing a job, who have been offi­cial­ly ignored by the gov­ern­ment since 1994 because it made the gov­ern­ment look bad.

TrueCrypt Endorsement
Jul 1st, 2010 by Ken Hagler

Cryp­tog­ra­phy Suc­cess Sto­ry. From Brazil: the moral, of course, is to choose a strong key and to encrypt the entire dri­ve, not just key files. [Schneier on Secu­ri­ty]

The files were encrypt­ed using True­crypt and an unnamed algo­rithm, report­ed­ly based on the 256-bit AES stan­dard. In the UK, Dan­tas would be com­pelled to reveal his passphrase under threat of impris­on­ment, but no such law exists in Brazil.

The Brazil­ian Nation­al Insti­tute of Crim­i­nol­o­gy (INC) tried for five months to obtain access to the encrypt­ed data with­out suc­cess before turn­ing over the job to code-breakers at the FBI in ear­ly 2009. US com­put­er spe­cial­ists also drew a blank even after 12 months of efforts to crack the code, Brazil’s Globo news­pa­per reports.

I use True­Crypt to pro­tect the Win­dows lap­top I use for work. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, the Mac ver­sion doesn’t sup­port whole disk encryp­tion.

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