31 March 2007

The (Idiot's) View ...

Rosie O'Donnell 9/11 Conspiracy Comments: Popular Mechanics Responds

Too bad Bawbwa Wawa wasn't there to nod her head in approval. Of course,
there is the approving applause Rosie gets from the audience.

Why I made the "Vote Different" Ad

YouTube's news and politics editor Steve Grove asks [Phillip de Vellis] questions about the "Vote Different" ad and the future of online video.

The "Vote Different" video:

Obama Video not Funny, Says '1984' Owner
"We recognize the legal issues inherent under the First Amendment and the copyright law as to political expression of opinion, but we want the world at large to know that we take our copyright ownership of one of the world's great novels very seriously," added Rosenblum.
"When the Apple 'Big Brother' television commercial was aired during the 1984 Super Bowl telecast, we immediately objected to this unauthorized commercial use of the novel, and sent a 'cease-and-desist' letter both to Apple and to its ad agency. The commercial never aired on television again," said Rosenblum.
Jeff Jarvis roundup:
[Phillip de Vellis] declares that politics has changed. It is no longer in the hands of the powerful but is in the hands of ordinary citizens. Well, it’s getting there.

29 March 2007

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

I passed the "Element 4" written examination for the FCC Amateur Radio Service.

This means I'm now an Amateur Extra Class operator. Yeah, me!

OK, what it really means is I can use all of the radio frequency (RF) spectrum allocated by the FCC to the Amateur Radio Service for education, research and hobby/recreation according to FCC Part 97 rules.

Graphically, the FCC allocated RF spectrum looks like this (click to enlarge, pdf):

The bands I can use in the Amateur Radio Service graphically look like this (click to get larger view in pdf):

I've been active in Amateur Radio for about 10 years now. It's been a great way to give back to the community in schools, with Scouts, during emergencies and to just reach out to other Amateur Radio operators around the world.

I'd definitely recommend it! If you're interested, you can learn more at Amateur Radio Today and "Hello ...". Also, it's easy to find an Amateur Radio Club near you and check it out!

27 March 2007

Ham-Astronaut COL (Ret.) Bill McArthur

NASA Space shuttle veteran and International Space Station Expedition 12 commander Bill McArthur, KC5ACR, will be the League's guest at Dayton Hamvention 2007, Friday through Sunday, May 18-20, at Hara Arena near Dayton, Ohio....

A graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point, McArthur, 55, holds a master's degree in aerospace engineering from Georgia Tech.... During his six months aboard the ISS -- from October 2005 until April 2006 -- he became the most active ham-astronaut ever to serve in space, logging more than 1800 QSOs and picking up several honorary operating awards, including Worked All States (WAS) and Worked All Continents (WAC). He told his AMSAT audience last fall that the tremendous enthusiasm of the radio amateurs and students he talked with via ham radio helped him to focus on why he was aboard the ISS.

(more ...)

Note: W2KGY made contact with COL (Ret.) McArthur while he was on the International Space Station last year.

Homeland Security adds MARS Winlink network to EmComm arsenal

The Department of Homeland Security has adopted the Army Military Affiliate Radio System (MARS) Winlink emergency communications network for deployment at major airports.

(more ...)

Messages For the Troops

Best wishes
Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Best wishes to all the men and women in uniform. You should know that there are a lot of people here in the USA who believe in your mission. Not all of us are at the mall!!!

Terence Nelan

Soldiers Media Center on Flickr

The Army's Soldiers Media Center (SMC) is the epicenter for collecting, fusing and distributing the products that tell the Army's story.

25 March 2007

PTSD VR Exposure Therapy

Army Uses Virtual Tool in its Battle with PTSD

There are basically three clusters of symptoms that coincide with PTSD: re-experiencing, which could include nightmares or flashbacks; avoidance, when the patient avoids cues or reminders of the event; and hyperarousal or numbing, which could include hypervigilance or suspiciousness.
Inside the virtual-reality helmet, the patient is afforded a 360-degree view of two scenarios, a convoy through the desert or a foot patrol through a city. A video-game-style handset controls movement through the scene. Beneath the platform on which the patient sits or stands, speakers provide the rumbling sensation of the convoy and the attack. The scenario can be altered to fit the Soldier's experience. It can be a sunny day, dusk or night. It can even be turned to the green tones of night vision, if that is what the Soldier recalls.

Eventually, the technology may include a system that delivers scents like burning rubber or Iraqi spices that could trigger memories for the Soldier. It is also designed to be able to monitor physical reactions like heart rates, which will help the clinician track the Soldier's reaction to the therapy, Reger explained.

GITMO Tribunals

Detainee Admits to Helping Orchestrate Embassy, USS Cole Attacks

A detainee at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has admitted to helping orchestrate the bombings of the U.S. embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1998 and the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000.
Transcripts of the hearings are being posted at Combatant Status Review Tribunals/Administrative Review Boards.

Support the Troops @ CSM

Americans support the troops with food, soap, DVDs

Significant support has come from private groups. AnySoldier.com, for example, allows individuals with or without a connection to the military to send letters or packages to US forces deployed in dangerous places. Service members create a post on the site and list the items their unit needs or would appreciate. People wishing to support soldiers can search the postings, find one that appeals to them, and send the unit a care package.
For nonfood items, soldiers say they appreciate foot powder, high-quality toilet paper, baby wipes and old DVDs. More complete lists can be found on donation websites. Army Pvt. Tyler Moore, from the 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment in Baghdad, enjoys the support packages. "It builds morale for the soldier just to receive something from back home," he says. "The soldiers want to know that someone else other than their family supports them."
Few Americans share Iraq war's sacrifices
The burden of the war on terrorism has fallen exclusively on the nation's young – the current generation known as the Millennials, born beginning in the 1990s and known for their penchant for conformity, public service, and duty, says William Strauss, a prominent generational historian and author of 10 books.

He says it's difficult to convince other Americans to sacrifice because so many of them are baby boomers, who grew up during Vietnam and typically don't trust institutions like the military. Thus, they are less inclined to want to make a sacrifice in the same way their parents did during World War II or their sons and daughters are doing now, Mr. Strauss says.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
What does supporting the troops mean to you?


So, an old friend (ok, he's much younger and a former student) introduced me to Beryl on his Linux laptop.

DUDE, where's my command line?

Vorpal Bunny Script-Kiddies

IT Pro Briefing: How To Secure Desktop PCs With Personal Firewalls

The top performer of the latest round of tests is the Jetico personal firewall, one that seems to stop just about anything, at least according to Firewall Leak Tester's results.

Personal firewalls aren't a luxury anymore. As more users roam with their laptops in and out of corporate networks, it's easy for their devices to become infected. This has prompted companies to look for ways to shield them from the continual attacks raging across the Internet.

Yes, continual attacks. A recent study from the University of Maryland Clark School's Center for Risk and Reliability and Institute for Systems Research finds that attackers attempted to breach the average Internet-connected computer every 39 seconds. "Our data provide quantifiable evidence that attacks are happening all the time to computers with Internet connections," says Michel Cukier, the author of the study and an engineering professor at the school. The computers in Cukier's study were attacked, on average, 2,244 times a day.

UM Study: Hackers Attack Computers Every 39 Seconds
Cukier and two of his graduate students, Daniel Ramsbrock and Robin Berthier, set up weak security on four Linux computers with Internet access, then recorded what happened as the individual machines were attacked. They discovered the vast majority of attacks came from relatively unsophisticated hackers using "dictionary scripts," a type of software that runs through lists of common usernames and passwords attempting to break into a computer.
Jetico Firewall (stable, beta)
Firewall Leak Tester

Another Presidential Candidate!?!

via Milblogs

Spitting Image ...

Protest Focuses on Iraq Troop Increase (January 27, 2007)

There were a few tense moments, however, including an encounter involving Joshua Sparling, 25, who was on crutches and who said he was a corporal with the 82nd Airborne Division and lost his right leg below the knee in Ramadi, Iraq. Mr. Sparling spoke at a smaller rally held earlier in the day at the United States Navy Memorial, and voiced his support for the administration’s policies in Iraq.

Later, as antiwar protesters passed where he and his group were standing, words were exchanged and one of the antiwar protestors spit at the ground near Mr. Sparling; he spit back.
Delmar Pickett Jr. Stands by His Spit Story (March 7, 2007)
Pickett's personal history challenges the work of Jerry Lembcke, the author of the 1998 book Spitting Image: Myth, Memory, and the Legacy of Vietnam, who holds that the spat-upon-vet story is an "urban myth" that took root in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It also challenges the half-dozen columns I've written since 2000 in support of Lembcke's thesis.


Life imitating myth, or life imitating history? The Dec. 8, 2006, Post-Standard in Syracuse, N.Y., reports that a Lauren Maggi spat in the face of soldiers without provocation at the local airport.


March 18, 2007:

March 15, 2003:

Related: To Our Americans Serving in Iraq

Hello ...

Find out more!

Iraq Briefing

COL Stephen Twitty
23 March 2007