Profile cover photo
Profile photo
Nadine Miller
Geek of many trades
Geek of many trades

Nadine's posts

Post has shared content
Ten Reasons the U.S. is no longer the land of the free.

The Washington Post this morning has a sobering and courageous story: Ten Reasons the U.S. is no longer the land of the free.

"While each new national security power Washington has embraced was controversial when enacted, they are often discussed in isolation. But they don’t operate in isolation. They form a mosaic of powers under which our country could be considered, at least in part, authoritarian. Americans often proclaim our nation as a symbol of freedom to the world while dismissing nations such as Cuba and China as categorically unfree. Yet, objectively, we may be only half right. Those countries do lack basic individual rights such as due process, placing them outside any reasonable definition of “free,” but the United States now has much more in common with such regimes than anyone may like to admit.

"These countries also have constitutions that purport to guarantee freedoms and rights. But their governments have broad discretion in denying those rights and few real avenues for challenges by citizens — precisely the problem with the new laws in this country.

"The list of powers acquired by the U.S. government since 9/11 puts us in rather troubling company."

Here's a list of the issues discussed in the article:

Assassination of U.S. citizens
Indefinite detention
No right to a civilian trial
Warrantless searches
Secret Evidence
US officials have immunity from War Crimes prosecution
Secret courts with secret evidence
Immunity from Judicial review
Continuous monitoring of citizens
Extraordinary rendition

It was easy to blame Bush for introducing these new powers in the anti-terrorist mania after 9/11. What's inexcusable is the way that President Obama's administration has extended these powers. Change indeed. The first politician who really stands for restoring freedom would make me abandon Obama in a heartbeat. Give me a politician of any party who will make a serious commitment to restoring our nation's commitment to freedom, and he or she will have my vote.

The story ends with an appeal to our nation's storied history:

"The framers lived under autocratic rule and understood this danger better than we do. James Madison famously warned that we needed a system that did not depend on the good intentions or motivations of our rulers: 'If men were angels, no government would be necessary.'"

"Benjamin Franklin was more direct. In 1787, a Mrs. Powel confronted Franklin after the signing of the Constitution and asked, 'Well, Doctor, what have we got — a republic or a monarchy?' His response was a bit chilling: 'A republic, Madam, if you can keep it.'”

"Since 9/11, we have created the very government the framers feared: a government with sweeping and largely unchecked powers resting on the hope that they will be used wisely."

Post has shared content
Tolkien geeks abound.
A fan of +The Sword and Laser tipped me off to this! Cute, Google!

Post has shared content
I have to re-share this for my less techie, but equally geeky comic book loving friends.

Trying to decide if my netbook battery life will increase significantly with an SSD instead of a HD. I'm currently getting about ~5-6 hours viewing video stored on the HD with a 6 cell battery and probably around 8 hours for general computing. Please relate your battery life experiences going from HD to SSD in a netbook or other laptop, I expect the % will be similar.

Post has attachment

Post has shared content
Interesting that this popped up in my stream, when I'd just finished reading this post by Skud:
Among its many findings, the report, released in February 2010, concluded, "Women-led high-tech start-ups generate higher revenues per dollar of invested capital and have lower failure rates than those led by men. Data clearly shows that high-tech venture-backed companies founded by women do as well as those led by men despite often being capital-constrained. Portfolios that lack this diversity are likely to suffer over time."

CC: +Grace Rodriguez

Post has shared content
I don't know that I agree with his assertion that OWS is pro-capitalist or that I'd the taxpayers being forced to bailout Socialism (since in most socialist states, the people/government have the good sense to retain control ), but the rest I think is pretty much spot on.

My friend refers to this phenomenon where people and companies get benefits (competitive, taxes, straight up bail-outs) for lining the pockets of the politicians and policy makers kleptocracy. We don't have real capitalism anymore.
Why 'Occupy Wall Street' Is Intensely Pro-Capitalist and Pro-American

Over the last several days, there has been a lot of talk about OWS being socialist, un-American and about 're-distribution of wealth'. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In a capitalist system, if you make a product or service the world finds of value, you are rewarded. Sometimes, you are even rewarded with an obscene amount of money. As you should be: this is what God intended when he invented capitalism and opened the stock market on the 8th day. If you are Steve Jobs and you make insanely great products, everyone runs out and buys every newer, smaller, more awesome version.


If you suck, or you operate your business like a fool, or you're just plain unlucky timing-wise, you are rewarded with going out of business. Every single Internet entrepreneur knows this. In fact, we personally all know people who've lost companies or sold them for crappy valuations: I lost a company myself back in the crash of 2000.

Again, God looked down, and lo! He saw even this was good. All Internet entrepreneurs would also (eventually) say this is a good thing: you get your head snapped back, you learn about business and yourself. You come back twice as smart. The market benefits eventually with renewed strength: everyone actually prospers in the end.

But in 2008, when the banks failed, this did not happen.

The banks -- who either ran their businesses like fools, or who intentionally created a bubble (and if this is true, I would go so far as to suggest this may be labelled Financial Treason, since they hurt America on an epic scale with full knowledge of what they were doing -- and didn't care) -- the banks should have gone down in bankruptcy. Their assets should have been sold in auction, and a thousand new creative business opportunities would have been created. Startup people from the Internet world would have descended on the carcass of Wall Street with insanely amazing ideas.

In a proper capitalist system, this is what would have happened. And we all would have benefitted! Even the idiots at Goldman Sachs, etc. who got us here: some self-reflection would have done them good.


The state stepped in. The state funded the banks with our money, yours and mine. A full 20% of the valuation of the United States of America was annihilated by these morons, and we simply funded them back up from the Treasury (actually worse: from the non-federal Federal Reserve -- which I won't even get into here).

You know what that's called?

Socialism. The fusion of the state and corporation is called Socialism. And this is what OWS objects to. That's what they are angry about.

(One of the best comments I read on this is 'Capitalism without the possible consequence of bankruptcy is like Christianity without Hell.')

Some argue that the banks were 'too big to fail'. I say that's bullshit, but let's let that stand for now. When an Internet company is on its last legs, and is almost dead, they do generally have at least some options. They can raise additional capital, but usually at egregious terms: the new investors want to wipe out the old investors percentage-wise, they want 2-5x liquidation preferences, they want control of the Board, etc.

And the almost-dead company has to accept these terms: they have their hat in their hand and have no choice.

This is where the banks were in 2008. Except: we never forced terms like this on them. We should have. That's what you do in Capitalism.

As American Citizens, and bailers-out-of-the-banks, you and I should have had pro rata stock shares in every bailed out bank. You and I should have pro rata dividends that come to us quarterly, it should not go into the pockets of the bankers as immense bonuses. And you and I should have pro rata voting rights on Board issues.

You want to be too big to fail? Fine: here's the term sheet from the American People, who are now forced to be venture capitalists and should at least reap the rewards of investment.

Yes, our terms are egregious. But We, The People are saving your stupid asses from bankruptcy.

That is called Capitalism. We didn't see that happen with the banks. Instead: we saw socialism happen, we saw redistribution of wealth alright: we saw the bankers get our money! (And for those of you who argue the banks paid it all back you're wrong; and even if they did, the Fed printing more money in massive quantities creates inflation which effectively robs us as well).

The State did not do its job. The State did not protect We, The People. Instead, it protected the corporations at the expense of the people.

And we know it happened, and we're pissed off. And we don't believe that anything has actually changed, and we seem to be powerless through our existing political system to do anything about it: both Democrats and Republicans are on their side, not ours, so even voting doesn't matter like it should in a real democracy. We can't vote on who runs the Federal Reserve (hint: he's ex Goldman Sachs, so who do you think he sides with?)

That is what OWS is really all about. It's about true democracy, true capitalism, and America.

I had to re-install Lion on my MBP (Migration Assistant from hackintosh resulted in instability). Prior to the reinstall, Time Machine was working fine against the Solaris box running Netatalk. Now it doesn't let me select the AFP share I have set up for the purpose. Frustrating. Tried the SL command line stuff--that didn't help either. I'm stumped, so I guess it's time to invoke the Netatalk mailing list.

Seeking opinions from the collective on a topic intersecting with the whole notion of females making themselves publicly known on the web.

The set up: I don't have a personal/professional web presence other than LinkedIn, G+, and the like. I'm teaching a class in a couple of months, so figure I should take this opportunity to pull together at least one real web site. One of the potential sites I'm considering would be some form of my name, e.g. firstnamelastname.tld or initial(s)lastname.tld.

I'm also concerned about the branding aspects of using one's name or company name versus an exact keyword match domain with respect to SEO (the class I'm teaching is only indirectly related to my profession). So I'm also doing keyword research to look at other potential tlds.

I'm interested to hear others' opinions and rationales on the topic.

Finally got the build of Netatalk 2.2.1 sorted out (LDFLAGS, LIB, and CPPFLAGS, oh my) on my Solaris 10 file server at home. Spiffy no-fiddling-necessary Time Machine backups from Lion from the new MBP to ZFS.

So far I'm liking 10.7. A couple of minor quirks, like screen locking buried in Keychain Access, but overall I've not run into any "show stoppers". NFS seems faster than it has in the past, but that's a seat of the pants estimation as I haven't really tested it since 10.5 when I first switched to Netatalk/AFP when I couldn't get TM working with NFS.
Wait while more posts are being loaded