Sunday, May 07, 2006

Researchers Chart Leap in Mac Vulnerabilities
The volume of security vulnerabilities discovered in Apple's Macintosh platform has increased significantly over the last several years, according to a new report released by McAfee's Avert Labs.

The security software maker contends that the number of flaws found in the Mac operating system has increased by 228 percent since 2003. While the researchers said the number of serious vulnerabilities isolated in the latest version of Apple's operating system software, Mac OS X, is dwarfed by the quantity of problems unearthed in Microsoft's rival Windows during the same period, McAfee maintains that as Apple's products have become more popular, a larger number of glitches are being identified.
Gee, I hope there's no conflict of interest in this report.

Oh, wait, there's more:
For its part, McAfee released the findings alongside the announcement of its new package of anti-virus applications for Apple's Intel-based Macs. The vendor's VirusScan for Mactel 8.0 release runs under Apple's Rosetta emulator and promises protection from both Macintosh- and Windows-oriented viruses, as well as Trojans and other threats.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Just wondering, is there a basis for a lawsuit against the New York Times based on the newsrag's publication of classified data? Don't we, as citizens, have the right to see that our tax dollars are spent wisely? Isn't the money wasted trying to defend legal policies or trying to investigate leaks of classified information? If the NYT violated the Espionage Act by publishing classified data, didn't it waste our tax dollars?

What about the lies in the Washington Post about secret prisons in Europe? With no evidence that this was true, this newsrag published what it believed was classified information, costing the US taxpayers huge amounts of money.

And the damage to our countries reputation? Is this libel? Other countries will be more reluctant to deal with the US if their own secrets won't be protected.

What about our security? The individual security of each citizen. Let's say that a group of terrorists is plotting to blow up Oak Ridge. They avoid using cell phones because the NYT has illegally published classified data. They aren't caught and successfully blow up Oak Ridge. My wife is in Oak Ridge for a dog show and gets killed. Has the NYT committed second degree murder? Wasn't this willful disregard for the consequence of their actions? Do I have a civil suit for wrongful death?
In the WSJ, an article describing the success related to med-mal reform:
The Senate is once again taking up the issue of medical justice reform. If senators want to expand access to health care by increasing the number of physicians and lowering costs, they need to look at Texas.

In the summer of 2003 the Texas Legislature enacted important medical litigation reform. A voter-approved constitutional amendment, Proposition 12, followed later that year to solidify the changes. As a result, physicians are returning to the state, particularly in underserved specialties and counties. Insurance premiums to protect against frivolous lawsuits have declined dramatically, with the state's largest carrier reporting declines up to 22% and other carriers reducing premiums by an average of 13%. The number of lawsuits filed against doctors has been cut almost in half.

Prior to the successful reform effort, personal injury lawyers had put Texas doctors on the run. According to the Texas Department of Insurance, the frequency of claims was increasing at a rate of 4.6% annually--between 1996 and 2000 alone, one out of four doctors was sued.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

A Day Without Immigrants (DWI))

What a concept. So were we to imagine that every person with whom we interact on a daily basis, who wasn't born in the US, will simply be unavailable on May 1?

My father-in-law was born in Mexico. He immigrated, legally, to the US about 50 years ago. He married a woman who was born in the US, but both of whose parents were legal immigrants from Mexico. So, everybody who lives in my house, except for me, is Mexican.

F-in-Law hates the concept of amnesty for illegal immigrants. His attitude is that he did it right, waited, got in and succeeded. Why should someone be allowed to break the law, for whatever "admirable" motive, and then just say, "Oops! My Bad!" and just be forgiven?

On May 1, I was working in the ER. One of my patients was a young man who had a work-place injury to his foot. He commented, "You know, Doc, I shouldn't have been at work today, anyway." He referred to the DWI. He is a natural born citizen of the US; his parents were both immigrants from Mexico. I asked him what he thought about amnesty for illegals. He replied that it bothered him that so many people wanted to make criminals out of the immigrants. I thought I was in for the usual liberal arguments, but before I could reply that they made criminals out of themselves when they broke the law, he laughed and said, "Well, I guess they did that themselves, didn't they?"

He then replied that he was conflicted. You see, both of his immigrant parents were illegal, but were now citizens after the amnesty under President Reagan. He didn't want to criticize current illegals because that would mean criticizing his parents.

However, he moved from El Paso because he couldn't compete with the overwhelming number of illegals for jobs. The argument that illegals are simply doing the jobs that "Americans" don't want to do is bunk. He works for a construction company, legally, pays his taxes and expects a certain income. The problem is that, because he works in a labor job, he doesn't have much job security. Every day there is a line of illegals waiting for his foreman, trying to take his and other jobs. They don't just work for less per hour, but there is none of the beuracratic overhead associated with legal employees.

As with every other employee that works "off the books" the employer doesn't have to pay worker's comp, taxes, etc. Now, I know that some do, and even help the illegal get forged documents. OTOH, if this guy had been an illegal working for end of the day cash, he would have been on the hook for a several hundred dollar ER bill. The employer could have just told the guy, "Hey, if you're hurt and can't work, just get out of here!" and taken the next guy in line.

So, my patient works for less per hour, to protect his employment, than he would have to earn if he wasn't competing against illegals. He is concerned that he can't provide for his kids adequately because of this. He feels that the increased income he could have if he wasn't competing with illegals would allow his wife to be a stay at home mom.

Mixed feelings.

BTW, I am a first generation US citizen. My mother immigrated legally and became a US citizen in the 1960's.

Monday, May 01, 2006

I appreciate the people who have been checking back and wondering where I am. I have been working a great deal, actually more than 2 full time jobs. I will be sliding back into doing some blogging, but my free time has gone to my family.

BTW, check this out. I just got it for my birthday and it works great. I had a bluetooth headset for my older Ipod, but it wouldn't work with my video Ipod. This one works fine and even works flawlessly with my Treo.