Dumb Movie Lines: The Last Woman On Earth (1960)

Movie Poster: The Last Woman On Earth (1960 film)I just watched The Last Woman On Earth, an old 1960 film by Roger Corman.  Some sort of plague or something wipes out just about everyone in the world, and there’s just a handful of people left.  It’s a good old classic sci-fi movie.

But good old movies are not immune to the occasional dumb line.  I just saw one scene where the only people remaining (that the viewer knows about) is one woman, and two men.  So naturally the two men get in a fight over the woman, and one man kills the other.  It’s a bit involved and the murder wasn’t necessarily intentional, but it was clear that the surviving man hated the dead man and had been fighting him.  So as he, the one remaining man on Earth, leans over the dead guy, along with the one remaining woman left alive on Earth, the surviving man begins to come to his senses, and states what the woman – and the viewer – already know: “I killed him.”

And then he looks at the woman: “when will we ever learn?”

WE?  He actually says “we”.

I was waiting for the woman to say “What’s this WE stuff, YOU killed him, mushbrains.”

But the woman takes it in stride.  I guess women are used to that sort of thinking.

It reminds me of an old joke: the Lone Ranger and his native American sidekick Tonto are watching a horde of Indian braves bear down on them in full battle fury. “Looks like we’re in trouble, Tonto,” says the Lone Ranger to his companion, to which Tonto replies: “What you mean ‘we,’ pale face?”



Jokes: Overheard at the Olympics

  • Paul Hamm, Gymnast: “I owe a lot to my parents, especially my mother and father.”
  • Boxing Analyst: “Sure there have been injuries, and even some deaths in boxing, but none of them really that serious.”
  • Softball announcer: “If history repeats itself, I should think we can expect the same thing again.”
  • Basketball analyst: “He dribbles a lot and the opposition doesn’t like it. In fact you can see it all over their faces.”


Lawsuits: Are software developers liable for security breakdowns?

TechRepublic is asking an interesting question:  should software developers be sued for security failures in their code?

They point out that if a restaurant serves you food that makes you sick, you can sue.  You might not win, but you can file a lawsuit.

the LawAnd you’re probably already imagining a host of other scenarios like this – if a car is defective and you’re in a crash as a result, or if you’re on an elevator and it shuts down unexpectedly and you’re thrown forward, etc.  For any of these, you can sue.

So what if a software system upon which you rely – fails in its promise, implied or explicit, to protect your information from unauthorized access?

A lot of software license agreements include declarations from vendors that they are not responsible for security breakdowns.  You know this, of course, because you carefully read the several dozen pages of license agreements that pop up every time you want to download an MP3 file containing your favorite pop song for 99 cents.

European bodies are beginning to take legal action to overturn these waivers, opening up software developers to legal liability.  TechRepublic reports:

… a House of Lords committee recommend[ed] such a measure be implemented in 2007 and European Commissioners argu[ed] for the requirement in 2009 – however agreements to this effect have not been passed

Do you think these agreements will be passed?  And if Europe passes these agreements, is the U.S. far behind?

And if so, what will that do to software vendors?

I have a theory:  if these laws come into being, I predict that software will stop offering password protection of any kind whatsoever. If they don’t write it into the software, they won’t be held liable for any implied protection.  After all, by omitting any protection whatsoever, what could someone sue them for?

Mediawiki is the software that drives the Wikipedia.org website.  Their software uses optional logins for identifying contributors, but not for protecting information – in fact, the point of a wiki is to publish everything, not protect anything.  If you wish to protect it, you move it into a password-protected folder at the web server (HTTP server) level.

I think that’s the direction in which all software will go, if these laws pass – all password protection will end, and information security will go modular, with just a few dedicated vendors taking on the challenge of providing some sort of plug-and-play or location-based security, and by “location” I mean on your hard drive, or in the cloud.

The dedicated vendor that figures out how to move into that space reliably will make a killing in the market place.

Provided they don’t get sued.

For the full article, see http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/european-technology/should-developers-be-sued-for-security-holes/1109


Otis Pottery – Bauchspies Concert 2012

This is a unique little video, it’s a series of still shots and a few minutes of audio from a small somewhat impromptu concert by Todd and Cindy Bauchspies for their friends, the owners of a place called the Otis Pottery Barn in Michigan.

Todd and Cindy are friends with the owner of the Otis Pottery Barn and this concert came out of that. And yes, these are the same musical artists who pack the huge Kerr Performing Arts Center many Decembers with their legendary Christmas concerts that are so huge they’ve had to expand to ever larger halls and spread them out across multiple nights, with literally thousands of people planning their holiday schedules around their performances.

Otis Pottery Barn is one lucky place!

Harvard’s Mechling on Technology

I love Professor Jerry Mechling.  He’s a legend at the Harvard Kennedy School, which I still think of as the John F. Kennedy School of Government.  I studied under Professor Mechling in Boston in few years ago, in the E-Government program, and it was a remarkable experience.  Professor Mechling has a razor-sharp insight into macro trends in technology and its use in government and its interaction with business.  He’s a one-man catalyst to technology innovation the world today, in my opinion.

A lot of such innovation starts at the grass roots, in bits and bytes and in ways that end-users don’t see coming.  We’ve all witnessed the results of such events over the last several decades  Who saw the coming of the Internet, of social networking, of mobile devices?  Not many. But a few did. You’ll find them among a select few science fiction writers, and of course the visionaries who made it happen.  These people are gems.

And you’ll find one of those gems in the person of Jerry Mechling.  He’s adept at bringing together movers and shakers, both as students and as supplemental presenters to his courses, as he fosters fascinating exchanges and debate, triggering everyone to think in new ways they probably wouldn’t have done otherwise.  By integrating a carefully selected cross-section of movers and shakers in his workshop format, he uniquely positions himself to generate creative thinking, and captures current thought from across the most amazing spectrum of fascinating people, which he funnels right back into the discussions he orchestrates.  He’s a force in technical innovation and implementation in the world today, in a way that we who have been fortunate enough to invest some time in his world have witnessed.  But I don’t think these truths are well known beyond those circles.

His methods are part of the overall Harvard tradition, and Professor Mechling is one of the reasons that Harvard continues to be at the forefront of innovative thought and groundbreaking trends.

Don’t forget:  Bill Gates invented the concept of Microsoft while a student at Harvard.  And the Cameron Winklevoss, Tyler Winklevoss, and Divya Narendra Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook while there as well.  The fact that these and other worldwide trends originated at Harvard is not a coincidence.  It’s a reflection of what goes on there.

So it was fun for me to see this recent video, featuring an interview of Professor Mechling with John O’Leary, executive editor of Better, Faster, Cheaper.  It’s about five minutes long.  It’s quick and insightful – with some key nuggets of wisdom from Professor Mechling.  See below.


I Beat Obama

In a battle between the President of the United States and me, I win.

At issue is the measurement of a given Twitter account’s percentage of “real” Twitter followers, as determined by StatusPeople, a British site that analyzes a Twitter account’s followers, and uses a simple formula for determining how many of those followers are “fake” or “inactive”.  The formula: followers with few to no followers of their own are flagged as “fake”, and followers with no recent tweets are deemed “inactive”.

According to StatusPeople, my list of authentic Twitter followers (@SteveOHearn), as of August 25, 2012, about 10 AM – is 97 percent, of which 88 percent are active, and nine percent are currently inactive.  Only 3 percent were identified by StatusPeople as fake.

I ran the same analysis at the same time on the account of the President of the United States.  He’s showing up as 70 percent “real”, of which StatusPeople says 39 percent are currently inactive, leaving 31 percent authentic and active.  StatusPeoples says POTUS has 30 percent “fake” followers.

I win.

Just sayin’.

Here’s the screenshot for my own metric, see below.

StatusPeople score for @SteveOHearn, August 25, 2012

And here’s the score for POTUS, aka President Barack Obama:

StatusPeople assessment of the Twitter account of Barack Obama, August 25, 2012

There you go.

One note:  there are a lot of news reports going around claiming that the President’s percentage of “fake” followers is much higher.  One national paper puts the “fake” number at 70 percent. Presumably they are lumping together the “fake” with the “inactive”, and calling them all “fake”.  But that’s obviously inaccurate.  “Inactive” might be fake, but also may have been bonafide users who got bored with Twitter.  Maybe this is more of a statement about Twitter’s product life cycle than the authenticity of the President’s Twitter followers.  We don’t really know, I don’t anyway, not yet.  But one thing is for sure, the graphic above is authentic – StatusPeople declared 30 percent of the president’s Twitter followers to be “fake”, not 70 percent.   The “inactive” 39 percent is subject to interpretation and further analysis.  I don’t care what your politics are, but whatever you do, don’t misrepresent data.  Although … we could probably launch an entire new media organization on the subject of statistics that are misused and abused, accidentally or otherwise.

Want to check your own percentage of fake Twitter followers? Click here to use the same Web app I used to create the reports shown above.


IS YOU OKAY? Everybody’s Going Cray Cray

This is my new favorite YouTuber – her name is GloZell:

Best lines in this video:

  • ” … with her Laverne and Shirley’s all jiggling out and everything … “
  • “Who else is going cray-cray … Crustina Alligator … “
  • “That reverse sci-ca-la-lee ain’t going to work on me”
  • “You all are trying to send me to my own triple-A meeting, it ain’t going to work”

And her comments about the Royal Wedding and John Stamos are HYSTERICAL.  You definitely have to watch, she cracks me up.  And in case this isn’t making any sense to you, here’s my two bits:

  • She’s got to be acting, and she’s doing a great job
  • “Crustina Alligator” is Christina Aguilera, in case you didn’t get that.
  • And it’s not triple-A, it’s AA, as in Alcoholics Anonymous.

Maybe we should start a website called “Interpreting Glo-Zell For The Masses”.

But in the meantime – I love her work, she’s excellent.

Earn Your Way to Premiere of Atlas Shrugged, Part 2

I received an email this week from the good folks working on the Atlas Shrugged, Part 2 film:

Every day this week, we’ll be announcing a new way in which you can earn your way to the October 2nd Washington D.C. Atlas Shrugged Part II Movie World Premiere. All contests will be announced on the movie’s official website, blog, facebook, and twitter pages.

This first way:  make a video!  For details: http://blog.atlasshruggedmovie.com/2012/08/promote-atlas-shrugged-part-ii-on.html