Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.

10/3/2005

Wipe Your Harddrive

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Geek Work,Life, the Universe, and Everything,The Dark Side,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:51 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a New Moon

At least, before you resell it.
It’s always amazed me how many people don’t think about this. Honestly, do you want people you only know through eBay to have your old financial records? Or erotic e-mail you wrote your ex-husband? Or old pictures of you before you started your diet? Or any of a thousand other dangerous or embarassing things that you might leave behind on a drive. After all, all it takes is formatting the drive twice and it should be pretty safe. If you want to get close to government standards, format it nine times. That should pretty well make it impossible to read the old data. For most folks, this really shouldn’t be a big problem, since most folks don’t resell their hard drives, but, apparently, it’s become enough of an issue that the BBC News wrote an article about it.
If you’ve ever bought, or sold, a hard drive on eBay, or anywhere else, read this article. It should frighten you half to death. And, the problem doesn’t stop with hard drives. Any kind of data storage is at risk. Even those memory sticks in that digital camera you sold. Like the idea of your family pictures just floating around out there? Yeah, me neither. So, do yourself a favor and wipe your old data storage devices before you get rid of them. No matter how you dispose of them.


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"Get busy livin', or get busy dyin'.
   --from "The Shawshank Redemption

6/25/2005

India-based Identity Theft

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,News and Current Events,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Dragon which is in the early morning or 8:26 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

I have complained about off-shoring recently.
So, I guess it’s about time to start that again. There are three articles about an identiy theft originating at a call center in India this week; one at the BBC, one at the Register, and one at AustralianIT. It’s all the same story though. Allegedly, an employee of a call center in India was selling credit card information. Now, that’s bad. But, what’s worse is the lack of accountability to the victims. How many of these were non-Indian credit card numbers? Most, I’d imagine. But, where is the alleged crook going to be tried and, if found guilty, punished? India. What recourse do the companies and victims have? Little.
Now, is it still worth it to let American workers go without jobs because it’s “cheaper” to farm this out to call centers overseas? Look closely at all the costs involved here, folks. Frankly, I’d rther take a chance with the rural poor here in the States somewhere, anywhere, rather than risk my credit card information with ANY foreginer. I’m not biased in this. I don’t care if it’s France, India, Russia, or where ever. If my financial data is being sent overseas without my consent, there’s a problem. I know what the laws are that govern that here in the USA and I trust those laws. More or less. I don’t even understand the legal system in India, much less the actual laws.

It’s time to think about bringing business back to the hungry workers here in the USA, Corporate America. Sure, we have our problems, but we still take better care of our own people than we can trust anyone else to do.
Thank you. I feel better now.

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9/10/2004

Muppet Scientist

Filed under: Fun,News and Current Events — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:00 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

Top television scientists are muppets!

You know, I always love Beaker and Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, but I never thought of them as “scientists”, per se. Never the less, according to this article on CNN.com, they’ve been voted the favorite TV scientists by viewers of the BBC. They beat out such luminaries as Mr. Spock from Star Trek and Dana Scully from The X-Files, not to mention Dr. Frankenstein, Frank N. Furter, of the Rocky Horror Show Picture Show, and Dr. Strangelove. Quite a feat indeed!

Anyway, it’s a fun article, and a Friday, so go check it out.

10/25/2003

The Return of Doctor Who!

Filed under: Art,Fun,News and Current Events,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Snake which is mid-morning or 10:14 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a New Moon

They’re bringing him back for his 40th anniversary!

No, really, a new Dr. Who series is going to be done for the BBC. For those of you who are big geeks like me, you already know who Dr. Who is. For those of you who don’t… Well, it’s about time you were educated.
Though it’s hard for me to believe that the Good Doctor has been around for fourty years, he apparently has. And, he’s still popular enough that BBC1 will be airing a new series based on the classic series. The series was about an immortal, time-travelling, space travelling alien who was out to protect the universe from any and all baddies. At his disposal to aid in this duty were the TARDIS and his sonic screwdriver, among other toys. And, of course, his ever-faithful humanoid companions. (Not all of them were actually humans from Earth.) Oh, the memories this brings back!
You can read more about this at the Official BBC Dr. Who Website.

(And, yes, I wrote about this yesterday at my other blog.)

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1/9/2003

Bloggers Through History

Filed under: Art — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:28 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

Back when the only medium was paper!

So many of us are now used to the idea of on-line journals that I think we often forget where it all started. Here’s one place: The Diary of Samuel Pepys. Pepys was a prolific journaler who not only recorded his own interesting life, but also discussed events of the day. This website, http://www.pepysdiary.com/, presents his nine-volume journal in a contemporary format; a blog. This is great inspiration for my own experimental fiction idea of creating a journal of a fiction character via a blog. Way, way, cool.
The creator of the blog, Phil Gyford, was interviewed by the BBC in an article titled “Why I turned the Pepys Diary into a Web Log“. It’s a fairly interesting read and a great introduction to who Pepys was and why he matters. Way, cool, again.
It’s nice to know that great minds think alike, but it does kind of stink to realize that my idea isn’t quite as original as I had thought.
It is sort of cool to see what a person can do with free tools and a little imagination, though. I wonder how long it takes for him to try and make money off it?


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