Wednesday, September 15, 2004

My EE Times Contribution

Okay, so I didn't get an article published like Jody, but I asked a question at the Embedded Systems Security keynote address, and the answer to my question made it into the EE Times (the last graph would be it). Okay, lame, I know. But the topic is cool. The article really doesn't do Kevin Ashton's presentation justice. He did an excellent job of putting technological revolutions and public reaction to new technology in perspective. And security is a concern, but you've got cookies on your computer that tell Amazon what you've browsed for. At least RFID tags don't do that. Everytime you use your credit card, information about what you bought, where, and when goes into someone's computing system. Maybe even more than one computing system. This is not a tremendous leap. Now that Walmart is requiring suppliers to include RFID tags on there shipments (not all individual products are required to have them yet - the cost isn't low enough, but a crate of stuff can certainly contain one without too much per unit cost), RFID is up and coming.

Don't get me wrong. There are still issues with the technology and the security at many different levels. But it's more constructive to try to fix the problems than to fight the technology. Who knows? Maybe in the future they'll have "RFID-free" products like they have "all natural" products now.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Florida Swept Out to Sea as Record 10th Tropical System Hits State

This tropical activity in Florida is just getting excessive. There may already be an Onion article along these lines, but I had five free minutes in an otherwise busy day. And having other things to do is the greatest inpiration to write..

Florida Swept Out to Sea as Record 10th Tropical System Hits the State

The last remaining portions of Florida were washed away yesterday as Hurricane Walter passed over the eastern United States, the 10th tropical system (of which 7 were hurricanes) to do so this season.

Parts of Florida have washed ashore all along the east coast and Gulf coast. Additionally, debris from the state has landed in the neighboring states of Georgia and Alabama, even as far north as South Carolina, carried by the winds of various storms.

But even as home and business owners were declaring the state a total loss, Florida Governor J.E.B. Bush was optimistic.

“We will rebuild,” Governor Bush declared on Tuesday at a White House press conference. The Governor is staying at the White House with his brother, President George W. Bush, for the time being. “The hurricanes this season have taken an unprecedented toll on our state, but much of the population was evacuated prior to the simultaneous impacts of Otto and Paula, and Georgia says we can stay with them until Florida gets back on her feet. Montana, Colorado, and Wyoming have offered to donate parts of their mountains to help reform the peninsula. Americans are once again coming together and helping each other to get through dark and dangerous times.”

“We have been attacked,” President Bush added, speaking after his brother. “I am told that these tropical systems often originate in Africa. I am also told that several countries I thought were in the middle east are actually in Africa. So I am putting together a commission to determine if Al-Qaeda is somehow involved in all this. And just in case they are, I’m going to go ahead and invade Syria before the commission can complete its investigation.”

Reverend Jerry Falwell called this publication, eager to share his perspective on the situation. “God is obviously angry with us for even considering to recognize gay marriage. I expect California to experience a 10.0 earthquake that will cause it to break off from the rest of the country. Then, once Las Vegas is wiped out by tornadoes, perhaps we can begin to ask for forgiveness.” We then promptly hung up the phone and told ourselves to pay closer attention to the caller I.D.

Many displaced Floridians, doubtful that the Governor’s plans to rebuild will work, are arguing that southern Georgia should be given to them. Georgia objected, especially since land values in southern Georgia have skyrocketed. “This is our land. If they want to stay, buy some land, pay some taxes, that’s fine. But it’s not going to be New Florida. Let them have Puerto Rico or something.”

Puerto Rico protested Georgia’s proposal, saying they didn’t want to pay any federal income taxes.

When asked about the debate over the future geographic location of Florida, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan looked frightened and said "I- Did you read the press releases? It's not in there? It's- I'll have to look into that one."

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Er, um. Yeah. Anyway. Dais es e test.