In This Episode: How two men 70 years apart inspired others to change the world in a massive display of Uncommon Sense.
Two stories in this week’s This is True illustrate a problem that’s growing, when it should be shrinking. Let’s start with the stories.
In This Episode: From California, where I came to see and reflect on the End of Mission for the Cassini spacecraft — its so-called Grand Finale. This isn’t about the mission per se, but rather the thinking behind it, how that fits into True’s mission, and how that ties into this week’s Honorary Unsubscribe! In other words, The Bigger Picture.
Sometimes I Smile, Sometimes I Roll My Eyes: About the news business, that is. As a news commentary column, news is, of course, the road this publication drives on. Here’s what I mean.
Note: I actually wrote this in January to explain the background on an item I had put up for auction. It was deleted once the auction was over, but a reader wanted to be able to point someone at the text because he thought it was interesting. So here it is. –RC
When it Comes to “Big” News Stories, I like to focus on some of the smaller points — the parts that illustrate the “thinking” aspects of the stories, or what should be the “lessons learned” from them. Hawaii’s “ballistic missile” incident is a perfect example. Let’s start with my take on it, from True’s 14 January 2018 issue:
We’re in Las Vegas this week, where Kit is speaking on ADD in entrepreneurs at Affiliate Summit. I came along since it’s always interesting to do some networking, and I was able to set up a few meetings while here. Including, by the way, with someone I’ve known for years that works on Mensa’s national conference — the “A.G.” or Annual Gathering in Mensa-speak, which will be in Indianapolis this summer. The topic: Kit thinks it’s time for me to end my self-exile from speaking, and wants us both to speak at the A.G.
While Working, I Have My police/fire/ambulance radios running in the office, which helps me anticipate being called out (Kit and I are volunteer medics, as you probably remember). Today while working on the Premium newsletter I heard the local cops head over to the school for a “lockdown drill” — tying in nicely to the shootout story this week. I commented to Kit, “We only had to worry about fire drills.” She quickly retorted: “And nuclear war ‘duck and cover’ drills.”
A Note from Darryl in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, suggests, “I know you have been around since the beginning of the internet as one of the longest (and also I would say one of the best) running e-newletters. I ran across this story in Time magazine and thought it would be an interesting article to add into your weekly post.”
The threat from criminals online continues to grow. It’s not just “hackers” but actual criminal activity, backed by organized crime, and perhaps even some governments. They want your passwords, especially for bank and other financial accounts, so they can drain them for you, and they use some pretty tricky and often sophisticated means to get them, either from you, or from sites they break into.
Now and then I mention ham radio. I’ve been an “amateur radio operator” (the more formal title) for [gasp] a third of a century now; I’m K0RCC. You’d think, with the Internet creating instant, “free,” worldwide communications, that ham radio would be dwindling away, with just a few old-timers (heck: even older than me!) grasping at the straws of “No! Don’t change!”
This week marks the first issue sent solely to the new distribution list. After months of notice, I have shut down the Lyris-based list, even though well over half the subscribers didn’t move to the new list, hosted by industry leader AWeber.
I’m really taken with a video released on YouTube last week. It’s an Auto-Tune, which is the name given to soundtracks that use the audio plug-in of the same name. Auto-Tune was designed to correct the pitch of vocals, but clever music creators realized they could use it to make spoken word recordings musical. This is a fantastic example of the genre.
I’ve been using computers for many, many years now, and finally had something happen to me that has never happened before: a disk crash. It happened yesterday.
Chris in Washington asks:
Randy: you’ve mentioned Twitter a couple of times, and I see you have a link on TRUE’s home page to your Twitter page. I’ve looked at Twitter a couple of times, and I just don’t get it. Do people really care that their friends (or favorite celebrities) are “Waking up to face the day.” or “Eating a bologna sandwich for lunch.”? Why?
Episode #14: The Clbuttic Mistake. From True’s 7 August 2008 issue.
“Seven Minutes of Terror” — that’s what NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where I worked for 10 years before leaving to work on True full time, went through yesterday.
There’s a group of friends I hang out with online, all of us online entrepreneurs. One sent a URL around urging us all to “take 8 minutes to watch the video,” adding “if you care about such things, please consider blogging about it and/or passing it on.” What things? Our kids. Or, more accurately, the education of our kids. The world is a very, very different place than it was when we were kids.
or, They Really Are Out To Get You
I’ve been warning about spam in True since 1996 — ten long years. My warnings have been summarized in my Spam Primer, which is now on its own site. As I predicted more than 10 years ago, it’s gotten worse — much worse. And the stakes are much higher than just clogging your inbox: your life savings are at risk.
I’ve recommended Dell computers for many years. But my confidence in them was shaken when I got a new laptop in Fall 2004, and I ended up in “Dell Hell”. This is the story: ridiculous, but even somewhat funny.