Is “Unschooling” The Word For It?

April 27, 2009

I saw “An Unschooling Manifesto » Dave Pollard” discussed in Fred Wilson’s blog today. Very interesting stuff. Pollard talks about how he was allowed to escape the “system” and that his grades improved dramatically.

It reminded me of Eric Ries’ post on software folks. Ries says that software programmers learn on their own. Most software-types learn to program before coding is taught in school, and are therefore self-started. ( Average age that a “coding addict” starts programming is 13)

My personal experience leans towards self-learning. I played Junior hockey in high-school. That meant that I was rarely at school in grade 12. But my grades didn’t suffer. My grades only got worse when I stopped playing competitive hockey. Weird.


Seth Says » “We Don’t Care What You Say”

April 23, 2009

We care what you do in What you say, what you do and who you are

The follow on to this is that change takes longer than one thinks because “No cares what you say … they care what you do”.

If you’ve got a good track record of delivering on your word ( ie high correlation between “saying and doing”) then the liklihood of quick change is good. If not … 😦


OECD Reports on “Online ID Theft” » Offline may still be worse

April 20, 2009

The OECD recently published a book on Online Identify Theft. I was hoping for some unified OECD statistics like the Broadband Portal, but unfortunately one of their major findings is that very few countries count ID Theft.

ID theft (whether offline or online) has largely failed to attract the attention of statisticians. Most data are from the United States; statistics for Europe are sparse, except for the United Kingdom. When data are available, they often do not cover ID theft as an independent wrongdoing. The United States is one of the few countries with data that analyse ID theft as a separate offense. (Exec Summary – page 9)

Overall I found it a fascinating read. It’s not my specialty so I like the “survey” style depth. The section that posits that Offline ID theft may still be worse than online ID theft is not as I expected. Online ID Theft is good techno-nerd reading. Enjoy.

You can download a read-only pdf (browse_it edition) for free from the OECD here


BC-STV Means Double The Work for a Typical Voter » not good

April 19, 2009

Here are a few sticking points for me

  • A voter has a lot more work to do under STV. In the past I had 1 vote for 1 MLA from a list of 2-5 candidates. Which usually meant that I’d learn about two of them, and select one.

    In my STV district there would be 4 MLAs. That means that I’ve got to learn a minimum of 4 candidates. ( That translates into a minimum of double the work! ) Most likely triple the work with learning about 6 candidates to choose 4. This more work is a non-starter for me … I also think it will result in less people voting.

  • How do the 2-7 MLAs share duties in a district? It feels like they’ll be more accountable to their party and province than their region (ie me). If the region is homogenous this is ok, but if not …

Where Am I Now?

The more I think about it the more I lean towards “No”.

Having to become comfortable with significantly more candidates is a non-starter. Couple that with the insecurity of not knowing where the MLAs priorities lie doesn’t help.


What the !@#$ is BC-STV

April 16, 2009

I’ve spent some time today trying to figure how to vote on the BC-STV. It is not a “no-brainer” decision.

At it’s simplest, the current 81 MLAs in 81 ridings would change to 81 MLA’s distributed over 20 ridings. The ridings would have multiple MLAs. For example, the North Shore would have 4 MLAs.

Here are some sites that I’ve found helpful

Have fun.


2009 Masters Photo Essay for, and by, Golf Fanatics

April 16, 2009

The boys at the SandTrap have a great photo essay of the 2009 Masters from a fan’s perspective. The photo’s were taken on the tuesday practice day. Enjoy.

I particulary like the “skipping @ 16th” and the “grounding wires on the pines


Don’t Enable “FTP Access” on your Mac (or PC) Unless You Really Need It

April 13, 2009

If you’ve enabled “FTP Access” on your Mac (or PC) you may have an ftp.log full of messages telling you that “people” you don’t know are trying to log in. There will be lots of them, every couple seconds. Some even rotate username’s, and passwords. Open your console and look in ftp.log or secure.log.

Here are some that I found

Mar 20 18:45:36 MyComputer ftpd[4666]: FTP LOGIN FAILED FROM 210.18.123.42.sify.net
Mar 20 18:45:37 MyComputer ftpd[4666]: FTP LOGIN FAILED FROM 210.18.123.42.sify.net
Mar 20 18:45:39 MyComputer ftpd[4666]: FTP LOGIN FAILED FROM 210.18.123.42.sify.net
Mar 20 18:45:44 MyComputer ftpd[4666]: FTP LOGIN FAILED FROM 210.18.123.42.sify.net
Mar 20 18:45:48 MyComputer ftpd[4666]: FTP LOGIN FAILED FROM 210.18.123.42.sify.net
Mar 20 18:45:54 MyComputer ftpd[4666]: FTP LOGIN FAILED FROM 210.18.123.42.sify.net
Mar 20 18:45:54 MyComputer ftpd[4666]: repeated login failures from 210.18.123.42.sify.net

and

Apr 8 21:20:48 MyComputer ftpd[5710]: FTP LOGIN FAILED FROM 32.c8.85ae.static.theplanet.com
Apr 8 21:20:49 MyComputer ftpd[5710]: FTP LOGIN FAILED FROM 32.c8.85ae.static.theplanet.com
Apr 8 21:20:52 MyComputer ftpd[5710]: FTP LOGIN FAILED FROM 32.c8.85ae.static.theplanet.com
Apr 8 21:20:55 MyComputer ftpd[5710]: FTP LOGIN FAILED FROM 32.c8.85ae.static.theplanet.com
Apr 8 21:20:59 MyComputer ftpd[5710]: FTP LOGIN FAILED FROM 32.c8.85ae.static.theplanet.com
Apr 8 21:21:04 MyComputer ftpd[5710]: FTP LOGIN FAILED FROM 32.c8.85ae.static.theplanet.com
Apr 8 21:21:04 MyComputer ftpd[5710]: repeated login failures from 32.c8.85ae.static.theplanet.com

I’ve been enabling “FTP Access” on my Mac and using Filezilla on my PC as a way of moving files back and forth. It works just fine, but this means that “FTP Access” is available to all the Internet :scary: I turned it off. I couldn’t live with this in my ftp.log files.