“With an intellect, comes a great burden”

April 20th, 2011 by Jim

Image via Wikipedia


I was reading an article today about how some car audio system that is connected to an onboard computer system was hacked via a malicious MP3 file, and was saddened. Not by the news that there is a weakness with a computer system, they will always be with us; but more shocking were some of the comments left on the article by people that don’t understand the purpose of such news.  The comment was specifically;

Alexrobertson1991 2 weeks ago
its **** like you that spread it all over the internet so people know about it. interesting though lol (*edited by the moderator)

I’m concerned by this apathetic view of the article.  Sadly, it’s seems to be the state of Computer Security all around.  Let’s look at some data.

Year Impacting Notes
Computers introduced into the workforce:1 ~1951 Businesses
First Computer Virus1:
~1971 ARPANET Creeper & Reaper
First System Damaging Infection2: 1975 UNIVAC 1108 Pervading Animal
First Virus in the Wild1: 1981 Apple II Floppy disks Elk Cloner
First Mac Virus1: 1988 Macintosh/Apple ProDOS MacMag, Scores, Festering Hate
First Internet Crisis1: 1988 Internet Internet Worm

And the list goes on…

The point is, that if there is a computer system, or other electronic mechanism, simply because it is too complicated for the layperson to understand, doesn’t mean that it cannot be used for evil.  Computers, electronics, and systems are, for the most part, designed to make our lives easier, however, they can be used for purposes other than which they were designed.  Have you ever used a screwdriver as a pry bar? A shoe as a hammer? A coffee mug for a planter?  It doesn’t matter what the “tool” is, we have all used them for purposes other than which they were originally designed.

Since the dawn of time, man has found new and interesting ways to use the tools available to us.  However, when we have tools that can harm us, or have not been thoroughly tested, who should be the ones to spread the news that there are issues with the tools? Should the public be kept in the dark? Should the researchers who find these vulnerabilities be chastised or applauded?  Should the news outlets simply go mute with safety concerns?

I simply find it amazing that people today take the technology that exists for granted, and expects everything simply to “work” without any flaws.  Then, when there is a problem, they decry the very makers of the technology, and blame everyone but themselves for their utter lack of knowledge.  I’ve been saying all of my life, “With an intellect, comes a great burden”.  And how true this is…

That’s my 2¢, YMMV.


1 best estimates from the internet history archives, search engines, and general knowledge

2 From http://www.cknow.com/cms/vtutor/virus-history-summary.html

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Pollen Pollen everywhere…

April 7th, 2010 by Jim

Table of contents for Moving to San Diego

  1. Pollen Pollen everywhere…
Pollen on car
Image by dolescum via Flickr

Here we are outside Atlanta, with a pollen count of 5,783 parts per million. Just heard that freaknik is going to return to Atlanta, just two of a myriad of reasons to leave. We’ve been here since 1994, and we’re happy to be moving to San Diego. The people are nicer, the weather is better, and the problems aren’t as over-hyped as Atlanta. The overwhelming sense of entitlement by the Atlanta community has finally taken it’s toll.  The only freaknik that I want to see is the Adult Swim version.

Yes, we know the taxes are higher, but so are the school systems. We’re not moving to the 49th ranked school system in the country, we’re not moving to the 7 months of pollen, and we’re not moving to high crime with gangs, meth, and home invasions. Oh, and while earthquakes might be a common occurrence, they aren’t tornadoes…

While it may be costly, painful and tiresome to move, We’re happy to be moving to a place where we can be safe and prosper as a family.

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Jacob wins the Pack 529 Tiger Pinewood Derby

March 9th, 2010 by Jim

Jacob has won his first Pinewood Derby!

His car, “Write On!” took 1st place on Saturday March 6th 2010.  You can see the pictures of his car and races here.

The Upside Of Bad Online Customer Reviews by Mirela Iverac, Forbes.com

August 5th, 2009 by Jim

My experiences with Ebags has again made the news, and I would like to say that Peter Cobb and the entire Ebags team has a loyal customer. Their attentiveness and resolve to provide the customer with the best bags for their needs is unparalleled.

I will continue to show off my wheeled router, which I’ve now had for 5 years, to people who like the look, feel and capabilities of the bag.  The links to how I became a loyal follower of ebags and how ebags took this constructive criticism in stride, made changes and totally shocked me with their attention to the customer (me…) are below:

The latest article on Forbes

Previous articles:

Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies – by Charlene Li & Josh Bernoff, Publisher: Harvard Business School Press; 1 edition (April 21, 2008)

Groundswell Profile: eBags (Video from Harvard Business)

My San Diego adventures

May 17th, 2009 by Jim

On April 27th, I started a new contract position working out at an organization in San Diego.  It’s currently a six month position, where I’m working on a new data center deployment.  I’m working with Crossbeam & CheckPoint solutions in a high security data center, with requirements for 800,000 concurrent connections of traffic.  The network is using new technology from CheckPoint, Crossbeam, Cisco, Juniper, F5 and many others.  It is a wonderful experience and I’m working with the best and brightest in the field.  The weeks are long, and busy, but I’m enjoying the challenges and new technologies I’m surrounded with.  I’m also dusting off my OSPF knowledge, as it’s being used inside the data center to manage all routing.

The family is staying in Georgia for now, and I will work remote, coming home every few weeks to spend the weekend with them.  Susan is holding up well, and I’m hopeful that the children will accept new responsibilities while I’m out here.  I’m planning on being home for Memorial Day, to watch the children in the Memorial Day parade, and to attend the BBQ that Susan has planned.  I’ll keep those of you who wish to be notified of my schedule, just email me for more infomation.

San Diego is a wonderful city, I’ve only begun to explore it, however, I’m staying in La Jolla, which is a wonderful location to learn the city.  The weather is unbelievable, we’ve had bright sunny days, wonderful temperatures, and amazing places to eat.

If you have a place that you think I should check out, please let me know.

Using failure as a tool for success

April 4th, 2009 by Jim

“Failure is a component of human life. We need to embrace it, learn from it, and move on.” jim noble – 2009

Main Entry: fail·ure

Pronunciation: \fāl-yər\

Function: noun

Etymology: alteration of earlier failer, from Anglo-French, from Old French faillir to fail

Date: 1643

1 a: omission of occurrence or performance ; specifically : a failing to perform a duty or expected action b (1): a state of inability to perform a normal function — compare heart failure (2): an abrupt cessation of normal functioning c: a fracturing or giving way under stress 2 a: lack of success b: a failing in business : bankruptcy3 a: a falling short : deficiency b: deterioration , decay4: one that has failed

*from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/failure

Ok, so what is all this talk about failure? It all started with becoming a father (actually long before that, but I started to understand it better). I started to identify that I didn’t really know the first thing about being a father. I thought about all of the things that I remember my father doing, and unfortunately, I don’t remember my first three years of life. So, I made mistakes. I failed. I failed repeatedly, defeated by my ignorance. I was dejected, my self-esteem thrashed, and felt utterly beaten by my current situation.

Once I accepted that I didn’t know anything, I began the process of learning. I asked for help, I read books, I tried things… and failed… sometimes. Most importantly, I learned. As I continue to grow as a father, husband, and professional, I try to learn something new every day. Those who know me, know that I tell everyone, “If a day goes by that you don’t learn something new, you’ve wasted a day.” Now I’m at a position in life where some people actually ask for my advice on things, and I find that very daunting. The majority of what I know is based on failing, and learning from it. I call this experience.

Experience means to me, that you’ve made millions, perhaps even billions of mistakes. More importantly, experience is making billions of mistakes, surviving said mistakes, and learning from them. I can attest that it isn’t as easy as it sounds in the previous sentence. Some of my mistakes I still make, as my father said to me often growing up, “Some lessons you need to learn repeatedly”.

Some of my mistakes caused financial loss, others physical damage, and yet others, deep emotional pain. Thankfully, none of my mistakes have thus far caused any death, arrest, or other critical injuries.

Let’s look at failure. Truly, failure is good. Let’s take a look at professional sports. In baseball, the Batting Average is the number of hits, divided by the number of at bats. Let’s break this down… Albert Pujols, arguably the best hitter in modern day baseball, has a lifetime professional batting average of .334 (according to his Wikipedia page). So, that means, that averaged out over his professional career, for every 3 times he got up to bat, he made a hit. (I’m averaging again, work with me here). That means that 2 out of 3 times, HE FAILED!

Think about that for a second. Two out of every Three times, the BEST player in baseball failed to get a hit. Is he broken up about this? No. Should he be? No… he’s a GREAT player! And a Great batter! And he’s a professional. Now, when you dig into his career some more, you’ll see that his batting average has gotten very good, in fact, incredible. His career statistics are amazing, 7 x All Star selection, A World Series champion, 4x Silver Slugger, Gold Glove, 2x National League MVP, 2008 National League Players Choice award for Outstanding Player, and many others.

Is Albert Pujols a failure? Not hardly, in fact, he’s taken his batting averages up almost every season he’s played. Does he hit every time at bat? No. He still fails to connect the bat with the ball when at bat. But wait, you say, there are other components to being up at bat, like the skill of the pitcher, the conditions of the game, the health of the player, and a million other variables. And to this, I say, “You’re absolutely correct”.

Now, take a look at your recent failures. I’m NOT asking you to blame them on something else, but look at it, inspect it, learn it, know it, understand it. Now look at the variables that could change, and try to interpret how they could affect that same failing result in the future, and determine if you have ANY control over the variables. If not, just file that knowledge away for future as an indicator of potential problems, and whistle yourself a happy tune.

Failure is inevitable, but it doesn’t have to be the END… In fact, it’s one of the best learning tools known to man. Embrace it, feel it, own it. And Learn.

I’ll leave you with some quotes from Thomas A. Edison, the inventor of the light bulb, and many other marvels of the modern age.

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.
Thomas A. Edison

Restlessness is discontent and discontent is the first necessity of progress. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure.
Thomas A. Edison

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.
Thomas A. Edison

There’s a way to do it better – find it.
Thomas A. Edison

I pledge…

February 3rd, 2009 by Jim

In response to the Marxist Harpo Production of the “I pledge allegiance to Obama” video, made by dozens of celebrities – television and movie actors, sports heroes, musicians and more – describe how they will pledge to “be the change” and “be a servant to our president.”

You can view it here…Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher’s I Pledge Video

This is how the marxists want us to be… and how they are undermining our country, and finally demeaning the Pledge of Allegiance of our United States.

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands: one Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.”

However, you’ll note, that I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands: one Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.

Here is how I was taught the Pledge of Allegiance:

I pledge <6 a: a binding promise or agreement to do or forbear>

allegience <1 a: the obligation of a feudal vassal to his liege lord b (1): the fidelity owed by a subject or citizen to a sovereign or government>

to the flag

of the United States of America ,

and to the Republic < (1): a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law>

for which it stands, One nation <c: a territorial division containing a body of people of one or more nationalities and usually characterized by relatively large size and independent status>

Under God <1capitalized : the supreme or ultimate reality: as a: the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe bChristian Science : the incorporeal divine Principle ruling over all as eternal Spirit : infinite Mind >

indivisible <not divisible>,

with Liberty <1: the quality or state of being free: a: the power to do as one pleases b: freedom from physical restraint c: freedom from arbitrary or despotic control d: the positive enjoyment of various social, political, or economic rights and privileges e: the power of choice >,

and Justice <1 a: the maintenance or administration of what is just especially by the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims or the assignment of merited rewards or punishments b: judge c: the administration of law ; especially : the establishment or determination of rights according to the rules of law or equity>

for all. <2: every member or individual component of>

I don’t see anywhere that I have to pledge to the president, or the cabinet, or the tzars, or anyone else… That’s the pledge of a free man, in a free country.  Unfortunately, we’re losing sight of that.  And quickly. It also doesn’t say that I have to bail out the losers who are destroying this country, or feed the homeless, give medical assistance to those who are here illegally, or agree that we should go $819 billion further in debt to spend $200 million to re-sod the National Mall, provide a Waiver of requirement to repay first-time homebuyer credit unless home is sold within 36 months of purchase ($258Mil), Tribal economic development bonds to create a national pool of tax-exempt bonds for use by Indian tribes for economic development ($2 billion allocation), and all of the other associated pork the leftist congress and President are trying to impose.

So, Here are my Statements of Conviction, (feel free to copy and display where ever you like)

I give my word that I will refuse to buy into the leftist Marxist obama worship.

I vow that I will not listen to the Hollywood liberals. (and will ban all things Oprah from my life)

I guarantee to be a servant to no man. (or woman)

I promise to continue to be an upstanding American, taking care of my family first, as I was taught by my parents, who were taught by their parents, who were taught by their parents…

I swear that I will never be a servant to the 44th president, no matter what tactics he and his tzars push through.

I warrant to never give up my God given constitutional rights, specifically the right to bear arms, free speech, and free assembly.

I (re-)affirm that I, James Stephen Noble, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; So help me God.

PETA is now synonomous with ridiculous.

January 25th, 2009 by Jim

I was reading our home town newspaper, The New London Day, and saw this article from columnist David Collins: “Dear PETA: Let us eat our fish in peace

It seems, that PETA wants to change the name of Fish to “Sea Kittens”, so we feel guilty about eating them.  It’s a good article, and worth reading.

Oh, and PETA?, please, go away… and leave us omnivores alone.  As it is said here best: “There is plenty of room for all of God’s creatures, right next to the mashed potatoes“.

Marriage, what a wonderful thing…

January 14th, 2009 by Jim

I’m happily married, and wanted to share something that happened the other morning while leaving the house… I said to my wife, “I’m not picking on you… ” to which she replied, “This isn’t over yet… and I don’t get mad, I get even.”

Just remember, when you are married, you will reap what you sow…

New Years Resolutions…

January 2nd, 2009 by Jim

Well, here we are again, a new year is upon us, and many people are starting to rue their decisions for resolutions. I’ve never been one to categorically make resolutions every year, although I have made a few, and only one or two have stood the test of time.

My 1996 New Years resolution to stop smoking – I have kept this one, and I’m happy that I have. For those of you who are trying to quit this year, best of luck, and keep at it. It’s worth every long day, redirecting every urge, and keeping strong.

What resolutions have you made this year? For 2008, I have a goal, not necessarily a “resolution”, to spend less money. Many people think I’m cheap already, and they’re going to be surprised at just exactly how little I want to spend. I don’t have any goals for technology purchases this year, I don’t want a new automobile, although I have a weapons purchase leftover from 2008 yet to make, I don’t plan on any more in 2009. I’m going to avoid purchasing coffee, food, and other “quick” items, to reduce the amount of “pocket cash” that I spend. I want to see how much of a difference this makes in my personal budget.

What do you think? What are your resolutions or goals for 2009?

Let us know…

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