Saturday, May 31, 2008

Employee Monitoring: It's Not Paranoia—You Really Are Being Watched! - PC Magazine

Employee Monitoring: It's Not Paranoia—You Really Are Being Watched!

Courtesy of News and Analysis by PC Magazine.

My good friend Charles Cooper used to write endlessly about the stiffs and goings on in the High Tech business. Coop's Corner was a must read at PC Week and on CIS, the debates were great. Then Al Gore invented the Internet...

I mention Coop because for a while they took away his pen, and made him a "Big Kahuna," at ZD ($,$$$,$$$), then CNet bought ZD (x00,000,000). He is back now, in a bloggish way, but I don't think he wrote this article, but his influence on digging, his knowledge, stature plus respect of everyone makes these types of articles "normal" for ZD'rs even if Halsey Minor owns a piece of them via CNet.

For government employee's everywhere, this article is well telling. You should know that all of your email is backed up every day, sends and receives, and well, they hire folks to read em, and kind of weep! Ditto for the Fortune 5000 (no typo), and other companies, little and big (small big).

[Ed. note: most of the employees who should be paranoid delusional at this point, are drinking tonight or whatever, and also do that whenever ...].

I have of course known when and who invented keystroke loggers, and then the consequent spread of them via "Black Hat" trojans or worms, then purposefully by the "White Hats."

The legal fight against it was lost in the U.S.

In Canada, I would not be sure if the "Freedom of Expression" clause of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, if the employer in question is allowing reasonable personal use, would afford the government or any organization to "spy" on their employees, with respect to certain personal email. Of course "business" related e-mail is fair game. But personal, in Canada? The employer might lose in Court in my humble opinion (IMHO) but if its not the employer's "problem" disclosed, yet by procedure is "protected" initially as personal by the employer (a "Chinese Wall"), the shield of the Charter might not survive some "personal" email being read and turned in.

For Northworthy readers, consider yourself informed here, at least a bit.

Wear "Red on Fridays" to Support Canadian Troops

Wear Red on Fridays, Support Canadian Troops

To me, "" might have gotten a bum rap in the media last week.. but bum or not, they did have hyperlinks to Legion (I visited a while ago), and the Legion has not shut 'em down ... to my knowledge.

So question: if they didn't do this, who would?

So to the doubters, I suspect that today, there was one heck of rally drive down the "Highway of Heroes."

I personally do not know what happened today (supposed to be a huge rally of vehicles) as I have been very busy. But hopefully tonights' news likely on ... will be quite interesting to watch.

Stay tuned.

Premiers of Quebec and Ontario to sign deal on cap-and-trade system - Yahoo! Canada News

Premiers of Quebec and Ontario to sign deal on cap-and-trade system

Hat tip to Yahoo! Canada News

Finally, it looks Central Canada at least, the "Federation" in the old days, are going to use the Canadian technology that has been used before effectively, to solve the problems "we" face as Canadians.

For more on this "Canadian Technology," see the Northworthy tribute to the late Emeritus Professor of the University of Toronto, John Dales, my teacher and my friend at the University of Toronto.

McCain on Israel, Iran and the Holocaust

McCain on Israel, Iran and the Holocaust

From "The Atlantic", interview by Jeffrey Goldberg (May 30, 2008)

Friday, May 30, 2008

Norton software conflicts with Windows XP SP3

Norton software conflicts with Windows XP SP3

The Windows Secrets Newsletter published the above and if you use Norton anything on XP SP3 ... you should read the advisory as it could compromise the security of your computer/laptop ...

Windows Secrets itself is a great subscribe for free publication brought out by Brian Livingston and a fine team of experts on Windows since ... well ... it was just DOS and a graphical shell ... Brian has written "tombs" on Windows, and more, writes easily, and well, especially for "non-geeks."

The team fields questions and readers also provide tips that improve your experience with any MS product (mainly Microsoft stuff as it is after all preloaded and therefore "free" with your purchase).

Highly recommended.

Note, they sometimes have licensing tips, and drill down hard on issues, but both pay attention, so you don't have to: if it gets by them, they are toast as are you!!!!

UPDATE #1: The Windows Secrets Newsletter also has a "pay what you can upgrade" that I recommend for core geeks. Occasionally though if some thing in the extra "pay what you can" listed in the "free" version, is of interest, I would suggest either helping out Brian with some cash, or Googgling the item. There is lots of free help on the Internet and most "geek" alpha types, like showing anyone that they know all about computers .... Some though have been there from the beginning. Some have just learned about them say in the last decade or so. Yours truly started his personal computing experience in 1975.

UPDATE #2: Fred Langa, RETIRED May 1, 2008! (Northworthy has mixed feelings on this but is happy for him personally). He had his own newsletter, the "The Langa Letter" that was free, that he merged into Brian's Newsletter "Windows Secrets." Fred was a friend to many Windows users since "Windows Magazine" came and went, and before with other publications and after with more, including becoming a Computerworld contributing editor, in the IDG Group. He writes some final wisdom while telling the Computer Techie / Junkie world he has hung up his mouse May 1, 2008. I still cannot believe it but I gather after taking some motorbike tours of Canada and the US, he smelled the roses. He was always open to questions and wrote back, and was fun to debate as I did with him many a time. He blogs still but on like different things. We will have to see if the computer bug he got 30 years ago is cured!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Dickheads of the Year : Photos : Rolling Stone

Dickheads of the Year : Photos courtesy the Rolling Stone

"My picks for the biggest assholes of 2007 by Bill Maher"

Quite the list ... I could not even finish it before I knew I had to post it here for the people who read little and only like pictures ...

NY Judge Finds Dell Used False Advertising

NY Judge Finds Dell Used False Advertising

News and Analysis by PC Magazine

Judge Gomery chides Harper for Mulroney inquiry delay

Gomery chides Harper for Mulroney inquiry delay

Courtesy of

Fascism is Alive and well and Living in America. | Audette-O-Blog

Fascism is Alive and well and Living in America. | Audette-O-Blog

Interesting American survey highlighted and comments from people in the street ... This is not the America with the Statute of Liberty and the welcome mat out, I knew as a kid partly raised in the Bronx.

To me the final "corruption" of America began with the media concentration and what James Fallows termed "Broken News" where the reporter is the story, where if there is no video feed, there is not story on TV. Where the reporter, is no longer an independent journalist plying a craft, but riding along with what and where they are allowed to go.

Stevie Cameron in Canada, is to me, a heroine journalist who digs and digs, suffers opprobrium of her fellow journalists, through apparently police leaked hearsay (I watched her testify in the Schrieber-Mulroney affair and have her book "On the Take": she has a blog too, that I link to at left).

No one apparently heeded James Fallows a brilliant writer on many subject areas.

When Dan Rather tried to get at the truth, he was cut and chopped to pieces.

JD Roberts? Formerly a CHUM-AM disc jockey, "CHUM City" personality and now a US news anchor, he seems no exception to reading the news and looking good, with a high TV-Q (how "they" rate people as acceptable to the audience).

No one has remembered there the warning to the American people by famed WWII General and President Dwight D. Eisenhower:

Now if you think gas prices are high now, wait until some daft move occurs somewhere in the world, either by the US or against the US causing a reaction. Or more opprobrium builds around the Olympics (what Nixon's openning to China was for nothing? You want the Chinese as enemies or friends? Traditionally they love Canadians ... Norman Bethune? Ever hear of him?)

Its far too predictable to build more fear and get more money for the military-industrial complex, that appears as the title of the show goes, in final state, fascist, in the near final move

Take the nice or not so nice, somewhat humiliating security checks of fellow citizens who are totally harmless, at airports, that result in delays costing billions due to economics of congestion: Professor Michael Denny, University of Toronto, Economist. Why not spend say $100 million instead on armed officers sitting in the front row? HUH? Save some billions but of course that would eliminate the "fear" effect, that appears to be used effectively in election campaigns and also to control the mass of people.

In Canada, PM Stephen Harper appears unable to answer many questions posed by the Opposition (like where did he get the money to run and win the Conservative-Reform Leadership in the first place?) but the current Liberals, Liberal Party "firsters" they are, will not pull the plug on the "Conservatives" who seem to be more and more like old "Confederates" in my observations.

I sadly miss PM Jean Chretien for he would have none of what is going on. Canada likely would be out of Afganistan or in a peace keeping roll at this time.

Worse, our Charter of Rights and Freedoms seem to be just paper to some people, the Canadians who never bothered to read it, including the police as Northworthy recently experienced.

Justice for all or Justice for none? I dunno.

But I would safely predict that gas prices are going to be over $2 per litre soon. Enjoy your lack of knowledge of this country's history and care for your own country fellow Canadians. The Marxist Lennist's at UofT used to call this type of people lumpenproletariat, sleeping sheep, for the slaughter.

At least the immigrants know what a wonderful country we have, where the rich (used to) line up with the poor for health care (Ed. Note: at least the traffic jams are equilizers and airport security unless you are extremely rich: I know some extremely rich people who are though nice and thank goodness they are true Canadians, thick and thin).

As any regular reader would note, I am a bit sour right now but truly pray for my country and many friends across this great land. From my discussions with many immigrants the world loves Canada but now there is dirt on us, as we get closer and closer to the Southern positions. Former PM Joe Clark, unprecedented, did not have the current PM attend his portrait reveal in the Central Block of Parliament.

Between the geopolitics and the domestic politics, they are now truly negative and I am a 100% cash is king guy baring owning your own home. The recent Harper's magazine said it all ... And China and The Economist Magazine. Never read them? Never read the Charter of Rights and Freedoms? Don't know what was is any of them? Tough for you. Its going to get rough out there, that is for sure (I read a recent Evangelical Brochure I hope I saved somewhere that I can fax to the Royal Bank of Canada, that originated from Calgary, Alberta), and I am just watching the wheels go round, knowing I live in a small caring, very safe community, where we take care of our own, treat each other with respect, and help our neighbours in however which way we can.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Bell Canada Has Your SIN number!

I just got off phone with a person who promised to give excellent service at Bell Canada.

I was wondering what this automated message was that asked me to call 1 866 716 8056 and called them as it was actually very polite "at my earliest convience."

She asked me my home phone number and I provided it.

She then asked me for my 9 digit account number, to which I said I did not have that.

Then she said for security purposes I will have to ask you a few questions, to which I said no problem.

She asked who is the person who has authority to manage the account in my place as a contact.

I said there might be two. So please ask another question.

She then asked "What are the last four digits of your social insurance number?"

I said to allacrity, "You are not supposed to have those numbers. That is a violation of the Social Insurance regulations in Canada"

I then provided my last four digits, and then she told me a I had a rather small balance to pay.

I told her I am reporting this to the Canada Revenue Agency. Bell Canada is not supposed to be using our Social Insurance Numbers.

That is a fact.

Remote access feature helps woman catch laptop thieves

Remote access feature helps woman catch laptop thieves

from | Detroit Free Press

This is not a Windows laptop ...

Sunday, May 25, 2008

TV's 'Laugh-in' comic Dick Martin dies in California at 86

TV's 'Laugh-in' comic Dick Martin dies in California at 86

This is a diversion from what I prefer writing about cause it touches me in many ways.

"Laugh In" was a great "new" TV show I think produced by George Schlatter and Alan Blye, former Cantor of Toronto's Temple Sinai.

It broke my fave star, Goldie Hawn who actually caressed Northworthy's right tricep when I accidentally met her in the Town of Rosseau, Ontario, when I lost my dog, on a Sunday and drove up Monday after getting a call that the dog had been spotted some 20 km from where a thunderclap spooked it.

Off we went to Rosseau to hunt the dog down and the lead was provided by the defunct Bakery there. We found the dog, recovered it somehow as it was very spooked (who says a piece of bacon in the pocket just in case, is a bad thing to have around).

Well the 2 people I was with wanted to go straight home but I insisted we go back to the bakery and thank them for calling us.

Well, walking into the bakery, I kind of exuberantly said "We got our dog. Thank you so much."

On my imediate right I glanced, down, (I am tall) and there low and behold next to me, under the bug eyed sun glasses, was Goldie Hawn.

Being the gentleman I am, of course I said to her "I know who you are but for your own safety I do not know who you are."

I got a gushing big smile from her and then the caressing pinch of my right tricep, that with muscle memory, has still not gone away to this day.

If fact, it will never go away. Sorry Kurt: your gal laid hands on me!!!

Of course Goldie I think afterwards came out and petted "Sandy" the recovered dog, and then wiggled down the street, to which I had to follow a bit for the man in me. Whoooo.

Being alert though, I looked across the street and there was Kurt Russell, doing a Tailgunner act, with a scowl sort of on his face. His legs thin, his jeans old, he looked like he ready to run across in a flash.

I had hunch he might have thought the dog might have threatened his babe, or me the big guy going into the bakery, but either way, messing with the guy from "Ft. Apache the Bronx" fame, is not my idea of a fair scrap or actually necessary at all: a class pair if there was ever any in Hollywood for sure they are!

But this personal story for me, likely would not have happened had "Dan Rowan and Dick Martin" not have been on the air. Goldie was cute but the real dumb thin blonde, with a giant giggle. I can't see how she could have broken into show big without that show demonstrated her abundant talent to be that giggly girl (unless she loves giggling ... she loves gushing!!)

All of that cast was dynamite in their own ways, Arte Johnson, Joanne Worley, Lilly Tomlin, Ruth Buzzie, and more (I am going by memory).

In terms of entertainment genre, in a way, this original splice up, quick hitting comedy, led to some other variations of the same thing.

It might be interesting to see what Canadian Lorne Michaels has to say on the influence of "Laugh In" on Saturday Night Life, if any.

Ditto to the improv comedy networks that broke stars too, for fast hits at humour.

Was Rowan and Martin the first fast hitting comedic genius type of TV show in North America?

And while I go nostalgic, poor Benny Hill. He was hillarious!!!!!!!! But way gone now.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

FYI Music News ... CANADIAN!!!!!!!! @

A new site I found, follows the Canadian music scene, in the Web 2.0 world and it looks real good from just a quick peak. This could be the RPM 2.0 with the backing of Gary Slaight, who I think was the first manager of CILQ, best known in Toronto as Q107!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Egging Balmer on ... Hungarian curse!

The Globe & Mail caught up with the egging of Steve Balmer, perhaps the worth about 30 billion but so far down the list of Billionairs, he drops off the radar ...

Well ... someone told him to give back the money he stole from Hungary and then egged him ... then of course a wise crack ensued (groan)

Message to Steve, laugh and crack it all off, but this guy looked darn serious ...

See it for yourself here.

If you are Hungarian, what was the curse? I once knew one but it was not that one. This was special.

Hmmm .. a weapon just against teenagers? Retailer and Parent delight?

I just caught this today:

Is this real? Seems so.

The Mosquito™ ultrasonic teenage deterrent is the solution to the eternal problem of unwanted gatherings of teenagers in shopping malls, around shops, in parks and schools afterhours and anywhere else they are causing problems. The presence of anti-social teenagers discourages genuine customers from coming into stores, affecting your turnover and profits. With loitering comes vandalism. Anti-social behaviour has become the biggest threat to private and public property over the last decade and there has been no effective deterrent until now. It is also proven to reduce vandalism by 90%.

With an effective range of between forty and sixty feet, customers all over the world have shown that teenagers are acutely aware of the Mosquito and usually move away from an "infested" area within a few minutes. The system does not cause hearing loss or other ill effects.
Canadian company too apparently ....

Hat tip: Q1o7 distinguished (computer) 'geek' list. May 22, 2008

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Saskatchewan makes its debut at Cannes with "Surveillance"

Saskatchewan makes its debut at Cannes with "Surveillance"

"When the jury selects you for an official screening - there are thousands of films here but there only a select few that are awarded the opportunity of 'red carpet' screening as they call it - so it means we've produced a product that is top of world class at least in this moment in time," said Onda.

Congratulations to Regina's Producer Stephen Onda (picture and resume from

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Flood shuts Canada's national archives

Flood shuts Canada's national archives

Folks this building needs money, like $100 million to make it right.

Yes, $100 million.

If I was rich, instead a new airplane, or donating to a hospital, or a museum, this is Canada's treasure of writings and political and governmental documentary history.

We need this "historical" record to know who knew what when why, and how did they deal with it, and for who.

Its important and should be a cause for those Canadians who want to be able research the real history of their country.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Dumb and Dumber, on

Suzuki slams NDP, Tories, backs Dion's carbon tax

Dr. David Suzuki, economist? No.

Naturalist, former American, and tree hugger? Yes.

For guidance on "carbon taxes" read my late friend, Professor John Dales, whom I provided a tribute to upon learning of his passing. Its here entitled:

Unsung Canadian Achievement: the Late Professor John Dales, Inventor of Emissions Trading

Professor Dales was my professor of Canadian Economic history at the University of Toronto. He was also a professor linked with New College, where he managed to get guest economists and notables to occasionally give guest lectures.

In my tribute I recall, Harold O. Wilson and I believe Robert Gordon, both notables in their fields, with Harold O. Wilson particularly famous now, for inventing the study of socio-biology, which is basically the genes are everthing to the human race, that it is the gene that seeks to survival of the fittest, not the specie.

The latter theory was controversial at the time of his lecture but it was sufficient to cause me to seriously think on the matter and agree with Professor Wilson (Harvard), and then wander over to visit a young Professor Simnovich at the Best-Banting Institute to see if the synergy of the theories could cause the break through in Cancer research the world was seeking (I only sought to solve the hardest problems, rather than gain a particular professional designation as an "arts and science student").

Dr. Suzuki of course could comment fairly perhaps on Harold O. Wilson's work.

But to economic solutions to problems caused by economic exploitations of labour, capital and technology, including financial markets, etc ... I would say keep the "Nature of Things" in the forest and let others do the lifting with the complexity of the excess "emissions" of greenhouse gases and impact on the economy. Like Professor Dales, and his kind that followed him.

Its kind of a no brainer.

But the media being the way it is (see this post "Put a Finger Down Your Throat at the MEDIA!"), looking for cheap news, well, they get a prominent environmentalist, rather than say a prominent economist (don't know any? ... how about wondering around UofT 0r are they unphotogenic, or fed up with media types and the distortions in their quotes????).

So let me put on my economists hat and start through this story that caught my eye.

Here are some quotes from the original story:


"I'm really shocked with the NDP with this. I thought that they had a very progressive environmental outlook."

"To oppose (the carbon tax plan), its just nonsense. It's certainly the way we got to go," he said Sunday on CTV's Question Period.

I don't know. Is one supposed to support something the Liberals seem to have ill-defined at the moment as they state on the program???

""Instead of taxing things we want more of, like income ... we shift taxes to things we don't want, like greenhouse gases," Liberal environment critic David McGuinty explained on Question Period, while stressing the plan is not yet finalized."
To the actual New Democrats, MP Peggy Nash said the NDP's environment plan is not revenue neutral. She said her party wants a system where polluters pay and the money is put into "green solutions."

Hmmm ... this sounds like a carbon tax-emission trading system, but with a bonus added for the past transgressions, to stimulate an innovation economy, centric on the problems we face also in energy, not just the environment.

At least that is how that sounds to me.
Environment Minister John Baird told Question Period that Dion's plan was "made on Bay Street" and is actually supported by big business and polluters.

"Mr. Dion wants to give some kind of licence to pollute and simply allow big business to buy their way out of this problem," Baird said.

Yes. The latter is what Professor Dales would recommend exactly. The source though is weird, cause it is possible that Bay Street, referring to the rich elite of Canada are more likely to support the Conservatives with their successive tax cuts and budgets that mainly favour the rich, i.e. Bay Street.

Baird touted the Conservatives' environmental plan, saying that the Harper government would force big business into polluting less.

"Our plan we deliver an absolute 20 per cent reduction by 2020," he said.

Force? How? Details and how the plan was secretly made? Was there a Royal Commission for this plan? And really 2020? 20 percent?

That 20 percent will likely come from more progressive companies doing it themselves, utilizing the carbon markets in Europe, to make money on saving greenhouse gases. The Conservatives all they have done is puddly squat, reminiscent of this same John Baird as the Energy Minister of Ontario who did not know anything about his portfolio, unless I have the wrong John Baird in mind. Ontario at one point was up a creek without a paddle with his Minister in the dark. In fact, he might have cost Frank Miller his premiership, if the media had a memory.

However, the Tories plan uses 2006 as the baseline year, which Baird failed to mention. The world generally uses 1990, the Kyoto Protocol's baseline.
I wonder if Mr. Baird, who makes a cool $252,000 a year as a Minister, really thinks the smoke he blowing (not inhaling), works with the population?

It does not work at all for Northworthy. Zip, zero, nada.

The only people Baird's plan seem to favour is slow, fat cats, who need to pollute to make money.

Enough said.

My brain is half here and half elsewhere, but this just too unresistable not to blog on.

I think I just spoke to a ghost, Professor Dales, and he smiled. I bow my head back to him.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Howard Knoft v. Pea Shooters with Money i.e. Monopolists

And if you want to consider getting off your hiny, see this video below: