Categories
family fun

Remember When Facebook and Twitter Went Wonky?

You know, yesterday. My husband sent me a link to this article on Slashdot that tells the alleged story of what happened and why Twitter was down on and off most of the day and Facebook was acting like a buggy, crazed website from heck:

“An anonymous reader writes A Georgian blogger with accounts on Twitter, Facebook, LiveJournal, and Google’s Blogger and YouTube was targeted in a denial of service attack that led to yesterday’s site-wide outage at Twitter and problems at the other sites on, according to a Facebook executive. The blogger, who uses the account name ‘Cyxymu’ (the name of a town in the Republic of Georgia), had accounts on all of the different sites that were attacked at the same time, Max Kelly, chief security officer at Facebook, told CNet News.” Here are user Cyxymu’s LiveJournal Google cache and LiveJournal account (unreachable at this writing). Larry Magid writes on CNet that this individual blogs about independence of a breakaway region of Georgia. Macworld has some speculation in other directions on the motivations behind the DDoS attack.”

So now you know – and knowing is half the battle. 🙂 I just thought I’d post this for anyone who experienced the craziness yesterday who waas maybe curious as to why it happened.

Categories
op ed

Sometimes the news is more interesting than… the news

You know what I mean. The headlines – the media frenzy – the rumors and the backlash. Sometimes I’ll be scrolling through my RSS feed and read a headline and be like, “Oh this is gonna be good,” but then I read the article and it might as well be telling what the journalist had for lunch, it’s so boring. Or take these examples…

Octuplet’s Mom’s Son Rushed To The Hospital!! – Or – Infamous Octuplets mother Nadya Suleman made the parental decision to call the paramedics Friday night because her two year, Caleb, old drank some liquid from one of the older boy’s volcano kits and consequently threw up. I read this much to my husband who said, “Don’t those kids usually just involve salt water and baking soda?” But as parents we could understand why it’s better to play it safe than sorry. Suleman comments in the people.com article, “I knew it would all get blown out of proportion if I called, but I didn’t want to take any chances,” Suleman tells PEOPLE. “I think I did the right thing. He’s okay.”

Seriously – what won’t kids put in their mouths? And yes she did the right thing – I’m not one to say nice things about this woman, but to be honest, I’m not one to mention her at all if I can help it – the media does that enough for me – but from one mom to another, I think we can all agree it’s better to be safe than sorry, right? Of course the mixture turned out to contain mostly salt water and the boy is absolutely fine now. And the media got their mini frenzy.

How about this one?

Why Amazon Went Big Brother on some Kindle e-Books – My husband emailed me this article from Ars Technica. We’d just been talking about Kindle the other day and how the book industry may or may not be dying and how e-books may or may not have anything to do with it. And I mentioned at one point that the books on the Kindle, being on Amazon’s server and not your own, bothered me. So when Dan read this article about how Amazon recently deleted many, many copy’s of George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm without much explanation at all – well he figured I’d be interested. So I read the article, which was written by someone who clearly likes to “write pretty” for himself, but whatever – what I learned was that the two books in question were added by a 3rd party who did not have rights to the book – the publisher in question typically deals with public domain books and at this point in time 1984 and Animal Farm are not public domain. So I’m thinking – so what? Amazon in my mind was legally bound to do what they did. And sure there was some legal jargon that blah blah blah, seriously? It was illegal, they took care of it. They probably could have better explained themselves to the public but it’s really not the salacious story that the media and many online bloggers are now trying to make it out to be. The End.

What are your thoughts? Read any good headlines lately (ones that were maybe better than the stories themselves)? Any thoughts on the two bits of news I shared? Feel free to disagree with me, that’s what opinions are for – being different. 🙂

Categories
family fun op ed

So Here’s What’s Up

Spring has sprung and life continues to change. For us it’s changing a lot. My husband’s company literally ran out of money, forcing them to “lay him off” – i.e. they had nothing to pay him with so he has no job. This happened last week. We’re doing okay. We’re job hunting, we filed for unemployment, we’re doing all the normal things you do. Nobody is freaking out, for the most part. Money is tight. But we’re doing okay.

We’ve told our parents and a few other people but there are still a lot of people who don’t know – talk about a weird subject to bring up – mostly I just don’t know where to start – or don’t want to talk about it – you know we’re dealing with it but I’m really doing fine and just don’t want to talk about it mostly. All we can do is look for new work. Where that new work will be, I have no idea. We are looking in this area but there isn’t much that wouldn’t involve a ridiculous commute. We’re looking further away and have this one state that we are kind of half in love with but it’s over 1,000 miles away – i.e. over 13 hours drive away – i.e. kissing our support network goodbye. All our friends and family, for the most part, live very close by and that would cease to exist. It should bother us more than it does I’m thinking.

Part of me wants to go – the cost of living here is terrible, as I’ve mentioned before and frankly it sounds like an adventure to me. But I’d miss people – and it’s scary, the idea of breaking off – especially being all 22 weeks pregnant and whatnot – that would likely mean finding a new doctor, new health insurance, a new hospital – and who knows who’d be able to come see the new baby, much less watch MM while I’m in the hospital. It’d be tough. But obviously people do it.

So you know it sucks but in some ways it’s almost awesome – a big chance for change – but it’s no secret this economy sucks and mostly I’m just hoping we can find work before our money dries up. And that’s pretty much all I feel like saying about that. For now. If you’ve noticed me being less chatty than usual / abandoning Twitter, etc. that’s why. The small talk is kind of wearing on me to be honest – plus with Dan home, I’m trying to spend time with him instead of just playing on my computer. I’m also helping him job hunt and applying for any government aid I think we can get. Every little bit helps right? Lord knows how long this job hunt will last. I’m still reading your blogs and mostly commenting but I’m also still laying low. Don’t take it personally – I’m sure I’ll get back in the swing of things before you know it.

Categories
family fun

A Message From Our President

In the first of his new weekly addresses to the country, President Barack Obama discusses how the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan will jump-start the economy.

I found this at whitehouse.gov through their RSS feed which you can subscribe to here.

Something else of interest is a list of all of President Obama’s executive orders to date which you can read here.

Categories
family fun

Notable Quotes from President Obama’s Inaugural Address

First off, a video for anyone who missed his speech (it also shows him being sworn into office) or just wants to watch it again:

This is just a collection of some of my favorite quotes from President Obama’s Inaugural Address today:

“Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents. So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.”

“Homes have been lost, jobs shed, businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly, our schools fail too many, and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable, but no less profound, is a sapping of confidence across our land; a nagging fear that America’s decline is inevitable, that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real, they are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this America: They will be met.”

“We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less.”

“We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions — that time has surely passed.

Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.”

“The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works, whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified.

Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end.

And those of us who manage the public’s knowledge will be held to account, to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day, because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.”

“And so, to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with the sturdy alliances and enduring convictions.

They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use. Our security emanates from the justness of our cause; the force of our example; the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.”

“We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and nonbelievers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth.

And because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.”

“It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break; the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours.

It is the firefighter’s courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent’s willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new, the instruments with which we meet them may be new, but those values upon which our success depends, honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism — these things are old.

These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history.”

“This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed, why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall. And why a man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.”

I found this transcript of President Obama’s speech at The New York Times‘ website which has a whole slew of great articles and tid bits from today’s inauguration.

Oh – and one last thing (I swear) if anyone is interested in reading The Presidential Blog the URL is: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/.

If you read blogs in a reader the feed address is: http://www.whitehouse.gov/feed/blog/

Categories
family fun

What Gives Me Hope: Thoughts On Today And Tomorrow

This morning I am filled with hope. I’m also feeling cautious. It’s hard not to in my household. I voted for President Obama, heart full of pride and admiration, knowing he was what I wanted for our country. My husband did not. My husband is not hopeful, but wary. I respect his opinions on this and know  that at the end of the day, he may be right – but that I may be right, too. I think we both would rather I be right at this point. But until then, we agree to disagree.

So when I take a moment to revel in my hope, I typically have to take a moment to acknowledge his fears and concerns, too. They are real. America is at a place right now where change is going to happen – will it be the good change we all hope for and deserve? Or will mistakes be made? I think it’s safe to assume not everything will go as planned. There is a chance Mr. Obama will not be the man we are hoping for – there is always that chance. We might become embittered once again.

But when I read this letter printed in Parade Magazine that Barack Obama wrote to his daughters (which has since been blogged about by many, including but likely not limited to McMommy and my bestie Ange), it renews my hope. When I hear him speak about his hopes for our country, it renews my hope. When I see the excitement rippling throughout the internet about the hope others are feeling, it renews my hope. So I am cautious, but hopeful, as always. If you haven’t read this letter yet, you should:

Dear Malia and Sasha,

I know that you’ve both had a lot of fun these last two years on the campaign trail, going to picnics and parades and state fairs, eating all sorts of junk food your mother and I probably shouldn’t have let you have.
But I also know that it hasn’t always been easy for you and Mom, and that as excited as you both are about that new puppy, it doesn’t make up for all the time we’ve been apart. I know how much I’ve missed these past two years, and today I want to tell you a little more about why I decided to take our family on this journey.

When I was a young man, I thought life was all about me-about how I’d make my way in the world, become successful, and get the things I want.

But then the two of you came into my world with all your curiosity and mischief and those smiles that never fail to fill my heart and light up my day. And suddenly, all my big plans for myself didn’t seem so important anymore.

I soon found that the greatest joy in my life was the joy I saw in yours.
And I realized that my own life wouldn’t count for much unless I was able to ensure that you had every opportunity for happiness and fulfillment in yours. In the end, girls, that’s why I ran for President: because of what I want for you and for every child in this nation.

I want all our children to go to schools worthy of their potential–schools that challenge them, inspire them, and instill in them a sense of wonder about the world around them.

I want them to have the chance to go to college–even if their parents aren’t rich.

And I want them to get good jobs: jobs that pay well and give them benefits like health care, jobs that let them spend time with their own kids and retire with dignity.

I want us to push the boundaries of discovery so that you’ll live to see new technologies and inventions that improve our lives and make our planet cleaner and safer. And I want us to push our own human boundaries to reach beyond the divides of race and region, gender and religion that keep us from seeing the best in each other.

Sometimes we have to send our young men and women into war and other dangerous situations to protect our country-but when we do, I want to make sure that it is only for a very good reason, that we try our best to settle our differences with others peacefully, and that we do everything possible to keep our servicemen and women safe. And I want every child to understand that the blessings these brave Americans fight for are not free-that with the great privilege of being a citizen of this nation comes great responsibility.

That was the lesson your grandmother tried to teach me when I was your age, reading me the opening lines of the Declaration of Independence and telling me about the men and women who marched for equality because they believed those words put to paper two centuries ago should mean something.

She helped me understand that America is great not because it is perfect but because it can always be made better–and that the unfinished work of perfecting our union falls to each of us. It’s a charge we pass on to our children, coming closer with each new generation to what we know America should be.

I hope both of you will take up that work, righting the wrongs that you see and working to give others the chances you’ve had. Not just because you have an obligation to give something back to this country that has given our family so much-although you do have that obligation.
But because you have an obligation to yourself.
Because it is only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you will realize your true potential.

These are the things I want for you–to grow up in a world with no limits on your dreams and no achievements beyond your reach, and to grow into compassionate, committed women who will help build that world. And I want every child to have the same chances to learn and dream and grow and thrive that you girls have. That’s why I’ve taken our family on this great adventure.

I am so proud of both of you. I love you more than you can ever know. And I am grateful every day for your patience, poise, grace, and humor as we prepare to start our new life together in the White House.

Love, Dad

Categories
family fun

PSA: New “In-Session” Phishing Attack: How To Protect Yourself Against It

With all the news about twitter phishing on the rise, I probably would have ignored this headline, thinking I had it all covered, but my husband brought this news to my attention and I wanted to make sure you all knew about it, too. There is a new phishing attack method on the rise, called “in-session” phishing that I think could be VERY easy to fall for but can also be very easy to protect yourself against if you are informed. I’ll cut down the gist for you:

Suppose you are logged into your bank’s website and you open a tab to go somewhere else – anywhere else – well if this new tab is infected with the malicious phishing code, what will happen is a pop up window will open saying that your banking session has timed out and will ask you to enter your credentials to log back in – because somehow this virus can tell that you are logged into your bank and will try and trick you – a trick I probably would have fallen for if not for this information.

Now my bank typically will time out in the original window, bringing you to a new page altogether, but I have no idea what methods other banks use, and I wouldn’t have been very suspicious if they’d simply changed methods, but the ways to protect yourself is pretty obvious:

  • Don’t log back in via the  pop-up window. Close that pop up and if necessary log back into your bank account manually from the original window.
  • Another good piece of advice is to immediately log out of any secure sites once you’ve finished your tasks.
  • And again avoid any un-prompted pop-up windows.

Okay, class is over. Read the article here from Ars Technica for more information and store this tid bit in the memory bank to ensure your identity is kept safe and sound.

Categories
memes & carnivals

Aloha Friday: Playing Catch Up

It’s time for another Aloha Friday, the day that you take it easy and look forward to the weekend, in Hawaii and blog land anyway. As you should know by now, over at An Island Life, Kailani decided that on Fridays she would take it easy on posting and ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response.

If you’d like to participate, just post your own question on your blog and leave your link at An Island Life’s blog. Don’t forget to visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends!

So I’m still feeling a bit out of sorts but I want to dive back in a bit with my blogging, because dudes I’ve missed you all! I’m not quite up to another full length post (I’ll try to post this week’s Bump Report soon) which really makes Aloha Friday perfect, doesn’t it? So my question this week is:

What have I missed?

I feel like I dropped off the planet and missed a week of your lives (not to mention the real world) and I’ll confess I pressed that awful Mark All As Read button. I know I’ll never truly catch up.

But if there is something important going on, some great post you wrote, or some news event or hot celebrity gossip that has happened since say Tuesday – fill me in.

What have I missed?

Categories
memes & carnivals photography

WW: What I'll Be Doing On My Summer Vacation

For more Wordless Wednesday  fun click here or here!