Sunday, June 25, 2006

Forget who, WHERE is KennyG?

It's been a little busy, and I didn't think I had enough before. (ok ok, I'm not a REGULAR poster) [James, no jokes about metamucil, please. *grin*]

So let's see....
We had adopted a rescue Dobe from D.A.R.E. last week. And while she was one of the sweetest dogs I've ever met, she simply just didn't fit. The tripod dog spent all his time chasing after her to teach her manners (of the canine variety), so he was really exerting himself on a continual basis. And when Boris wasn't looking, the new dog (she was about 10-11 months old they think) would accost the little dog (I think trying to establish a position, ANY position, in the pack). Now don't get me wrong, the little dog is tough, she wrestles and plays rough with the big dog, and he's got her at a 5 to 1 size ratio. And despite the new dog only having a 4 to 1 ratio, she played MUCH rougher than Boris. To the point of making the little dog yelp when she (play) bit Roxie on the neck. Making my little princess squeak is a bad thing. *grin* All in all it seemed like the big dog was spending too much energy and overextending himself (can't overdo his wobbler's weakened neck), the little dog was being pushed around, and the new dog was pushing way too hard to fit in, and so wound up being "corrected" often. All 3 were not happy, and that's not the point of adopting pets, it's to make their lives better, not worse. So new dog was returned, and for the time being... adoptions are off.

In other news...
My friend Clara got MARRIED! Wooo Hooo! Congratulations Clara and Paul (or is it Paula and Paul *grin*). But it was an eventful day (Saturday).
The wedding was beautiful, and not long despite being a Catholic one *grin*. I hadn't seen St. Bernadette's Church in Springfield, VA before, but it was very nice. Then we ran home to get the dogs dinner and some outside time at which point we drove off to Tyson's Marriott for the blow out reception. We were delayed on our journey by a car fire on 66 (right at route 50 exit). The truck (Swan Foods I think) was on fire. When I say on fire I mean engulfed in flames! Fortunately it was west bound (we were headed east), and it was only the rubberneckers slowing us down. I did snap a shot (since our side essentially stopped regardless of the fact that nothing was actually happening on our side of the highway) with my phone, and I will see if I can add that later. We lucked out in parking and caught an end spot that I think people had overlooked. Had some quick cocktails while we sorted out the favors/name tags at the reception. A very unique item, and I thought it was a fantastic idea. The bridge and groom (I believe) had picked some musical selections and made mix CDs for all the attendees. Very nice! But I digress... on to the interesting points.
The (abbreviated) highlights include: My fantabulous dance with James(Missy, I'm still mad you cut in on my man!), the videographer being so amused with my contributions to the video that he swung by for a second trip (I think he wanted a third, but we had left before he came back I think), and of course being amused by James for most of the evening (way to snag the extra crab cake!). All in all I think a great time was had by all, and I certainly look forward to seeing some pictures and maybe even the video.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Why didn't I think of that?

A friend of mine has started a pet care business. In the Fairfax County area (and surrounding region). The primary care giver treats dogs ~almost~ as good as they are treated in my house. (And since we all know they are treated better than I am, that's tough to beat!) But she's very good with the dogs, and they basically get treated as she would her own. She is well liked by pet and owner both, and if you need someone to help you out, I'm sure she'd fit ya in. I thought the "dog jog" was a neat idea and I'm not sure if her prices are competitive, but they certainly look it (from the last time I shopped around). And if you aren't interested, but just want to see come cute K-9 pictures, she has a photos page too. (the min-pin is too cute.)

But I digress. This was originally intended as a "hey I thought of that first" post, and I have very many times thought of new or open areas to exploit. I'm just not really that kind of business man. Even now I have an entire product/concept that I believe is a relatively untapped/unknown market, but don't have the time or energy to chase it. I don't think it would be millions or anything, but it would certainly be something to pursue. In this case it's an artistic item, or image. I've looked for ANYTHING with this image (online and in every store I can think of) and it's just not there. The thing is, I know many people if the field it represents, and they want all kinds of stuff with it. We'll just say it involves a large profession and it's particular gender bias have made it so all the little knicknacks are only for ~1~ gender. I tell ya, it's an untapped resource. And no James, it doesn't have anything to do with dogs!

Thursday, June 08, 2006


Ok first read this story.

Now this is one of the most clever pen tests I've ever read about. The best one, has one of the testers turning in reams of paper in a report about all the security defenses of the company, as well as 2 paychecks the company had sent him. NOT as a pen tester, but as an actual employee! He had faked his way into a position in the company. Impressive. Yes they may have eventually found him out. But how much data would he have mined by then??

All this shows is that regardless of the technology we employ to safeguard ourselves and our environments, there will always be one weakness that can not be eliminated - people. Hackers (ethical or the regular variety) call it social engineering. In almost any situation you can ask people for information that they normally wouldn't give out, and if done in the right way you can glean the information you seek, or at the very least a key to the next door. People will always be our weakest link in security. Always.

There is hope though. Although it may only be a small light at the end of a long, dark, musty tunnel of confusion. Education. Educating the users around us is crucial. I would put educating your users ahead of almost every single tool you have in the arsenal against being hacked. Consider this: If everyone had been educated about email viruii, would the email spreading viruii outbreaks have occured? If no one clicks the obvious (well... obvious to almost everyone now) forged emails, with the infected links, there would have been no web wide crash. An educated user won't give out a password in a forged email saying "we need to update your account before it's deactivated! Click this (forged) link to reset your password now!" Education ( and a tiny bit of common sense) can prevent all of that. [Why do they call it common sense, when it is anything but?]

Ok, I'll step away from the soapbox and return to my usual mediocre drivel, but I stand behind the veracity of my statements. I stand behind my hardware firewall, my router, my anti-virus software, my software firewall, and my NAT translators... I'm educated - but cautious. (maybe my puppy surfs when I'm not home. You just never know....)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

It's only a game.

I know it's a game. I keep telling myself this. Yet, I am not consoled. How can a software manufacturer release something with obvious problems. If you have no interest in PC games, just stop reading now. No really, there's nothing beyond a mini-rant coming. It's not pretty. You were warned.

So City of Heroes (and Villains) released a large content update, which added maps, powers, badges, all sorts of fun stuff right? Sure! However, somewhere along the line they managed to break how some people travel. (There are four main ways to travel Flight, Running, Jumping, and Teleporting.) They've made it so those who teleported can only pick a place to land about a third of the time. Needless to say this makes it annoying at best. Yes, only 25% (ok probably some other percentage of people actually use this, but we'll pretend for rant's sake) of the population is affected, but still. I mean they've had this patch on a test server for weeks, and it's a "known issue". Why wouldn't you fix it before you released it? I just don't understand. The only thing I can come up with is the marketing department said "You have to get the updates for the Villains out on 6/6/6!!! We don't care if it works, it MUST go live on that day! We're so clever." I guess my expectations are higher. I personally hope if I were in that situation that I'd either fix it, or not send it out.

*reminds self it is, after all, only a GAME*

Some comments from the boards:
"This is a bug from test that carried over into live. You can see most of the discussion relating to the bug in test at this thread."

"I played a character with TP on test, and noticed almost immediately that something was very, very wrong..."

This one was particularly funny:
"Are you telling me that Teleport is WORSE in I7??"

"A lot of my characters teleport. This would be nearly crippling for them."

"Sounds like it could be the problem, lets hope they fix it.

"Yeah, since the I7 testing came on, my main test toon simply cannot teleport properly any longer."

"Ugh. I suppose I picked a really craptastic time to try teleport for the first time on test?"

And last but not least:
"Oh man, even with a keybind, TP has to be - hands down - the worst travel power. And not because it's fundamentally flawed, but just the way it's implemented!"

There's another 8 pages of ranting, but I think you get the idea.
Ah well.
*reminds self AGAIN that it's only a GAME*

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Think you've got it rough?

Well I've been at the video clips again, and no James, it's not dogs on agility equipment (although I'm getting close to the amount of footage I want of that to splice together...). This is just under a minute and it's a collection of Boris getting out and about on his three legs. He would be going faster in most of them, but we hold him back with the harness. =)

I'm continually amazed at how he's figured out what to do for things like stairs, in and out of the car, and most of all wrestle time with Roxie. He manages to rear up on his hind legs and swat at her before landing. He'd be tough to beat in a rough game of jacks. (except for that no opposable thumb thing.)