Random Rants, by Thomas Andrew Olson

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Apple's Widget "exploit": The sky is not falling, so go back to sleep

Apple computer tends to pride itself - most of the time rightfully - on its lack of viruses, malware, and spyware, things that plague the majority PC community to the tune of nearly 98,000 items. So naturally, when Apple makes a programming goof that could potentially open the door to such things, the "plagued" can't help but howel derisively, in a "sky is falling" fashion.


Apparently, Tiger's new "Dashboard" feature is a bit flawed, in that, unlike any other application, widgets can be downloaded and installed on the fly, without having to enter an admin password, a feature that is one of the gatekeepers of OS X's security. In addition, Safari 2.0's default prefs could allow a user to "unwittingly download and install a Dashboard widget". This could allow someone to theoretically write a "bad widget" that could infiltrate the hapless user's hard drive, etc. To add insult to injury, once widgets are installed, they are apparently a bitch to remove.

Until now.


Within 48 hours of this story's breaking, the people at the link offered - for free - a little CP that handles all the widgets in a manner that Apple itself should have designed in to begin with.

If there is any embarassment here, it's not that OS X is now "vulnerable" to malware - that issue was solved within hours. The embarassing thing for Apple is that it's always touting it key security technologies as "built in, not bolted on". Here is clearly something that should have been built-in.

Even so, this hasn't stopped Macs from flying off the shelves.

So go back to sleep, everybody, and happy widgeting. Show's over, folks.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Fools who insist on marrying psycho-bitches deserve what they get

Unfortunately, these are not isolated events:



There are thousands more, each day, just not so over-the-top as to make the evening news.

Now, I don't know who first coined the term "psycho-bitch" - was it Sam Kinison? But no matter - there are a lot of them out there, trust me. I must have dated half of them myself, before finally stumbling upon my wonderful, sane bride of nearly six years, now. I got lucky - many guys do not.

This day and age seems to have spawned increasing numbers of women - of a wide range of ages and personal circumstances - for whom reality has taken a permanent holiday. It's gotten so bad that, during my latter dating years, I always made it a habit of subtly inquiring prospective gf's whether they were presently in therapy or taking any formal medication, like Paxil or Halcyon. If so, I made my excuses and went on my way. In the 90's, this happened a lot. If I was in the woman's apartment, I would actually sneak a peek in her medicine cabinet while using her bathroom. I was serious about this shit. I had been burned too many times by whackos.

At the same time, though, I also had to look at my own habits and needs. What had attracted me to those kinds of women to begin with, or, conversely, why did I seem to attract so many of them, like moths to a flame?

The links above illustrate my point. The CNN feed on the Georgia runaway bride shows a profile of an extremely troubled (and presumably very indulged) young woman, who has never been taught the eternal truth that Actions Have Consequences. Perhaps getting arrested will drive the point home for her.

Meanwhile, the NY Daily News story paints the picture of a gullible fool for love who is all too ready to forgive, and still have the fairytale wedding of his dreams. (I'm sure Russell Yates thought he was marrying the girl of his dreams too.)

Excuse me, big fella, but if this is the girl of your dreams, fasten your seatbelt, 'cause you're in for a wild ride. Within two years, you'll also begin to believe that left is right and two plus two is five.

"Obtuse" women like this are often considered very attractive to a lot of men - who often pay a heavy price for that attraction. They start out by being emotionally "needy", and the "protective" urge, hardwired into the human male, will respond accordingly. This, however, will increase in intensity until the poor sap is so infused into her lifecycles, that he is held completely emotionally hostage. His life, time, work, and wallet will be totally subsumed by her. So why would any man want to torture himself this way? No sex is THAT good! But her behavior is an old story that many women (and men) often indulge in: "Will you still love me even if I do this?" It's manipulative, and sometimes downright cruel, but couple do this to each other all the time. This story only made the front page because she took it to a much higher level.

Then again, the more cynical approach might be to follow the money. A Google search on her father didn't gain much, save that he is a judge, but the more jaundiced eye might yet conclude that "daddy" was loaded, and the prospective son-in-law was jockeying for a position in the family, closer to high-level influence in business and politics, far higher in the social foodchain than he would have earned legitimately on his own. We know this happens. The wedding alone had a price-tag of $100k, so the old man definitely had some bucks. And that would be the only reason that any otherwise sane man would put up with this girl's self-absorbed crap - cash and connections. But that rarely works out well. You can only keep up the brave front so long before totally losing it.

When she ran off to Vegas and New Mexico, chopped off her hair, and claimed to have been kidnapped, she inadvertently handed this bozo an incredible gift - a preview of their life together. A wiser man would have accepted it for what it was and walked away.

Now to be fair, it might be the case that she didn't really want to be his house-frau baby machine, a desire he apparently expressed on Sean Hannity last night, but I would argue there are still more sane, rational methods of backing out of a relationship that doesn't look to be all that fulfilling.

Is there a message here? Again, take a good long look at your own motivations and needs while swimming in the relationship waters. But if she's on Paxil (or should be), or insists on engaging you in solving all her personal problems after the second date, learn to walk away.