What is McCain Thinking?

Frankly, I just don’t get this. What is McCain thinking? I understand the reformer angle, I get the play for the gender vote, I get the youthful Mom demographic thing. But, seriously, this is a politician not ready for federal office. You can’t harp on Obama’s inexperience and then turn around and choose a first term governor from a small (population-wise) state (47th least populated) and expect no incredulity from voters. I mean, come on; her previous job was mayor of a town of 5,469 people (as of the 2000 census). For my Michigan friends, that’s about the same as having the mayor of Zeeland (2000 census population of 5,805) get picked as the VP candidate.

As Rogers Cadenhead points out, this also someone who has demonstrated extremely bad judgement with regard to not only her own life, but the life of her unborn child. All you parents, would you trust someone with the well-being of the entire country who risked her own child’s life for the geographic location of its birth?

Hopefully, though, she knows what a Veep does now. (She didn’t two months ago.) I really hope there’s something more to this choice, because right now, it feels like an impulse buy.

We all put our country first

This is how a leader sounds. This is what leadership looks like. Not racist slandering, not fear-mongering, not school-yard insults but straight talking, honest patriotism.

The times are too serious, the stakes are too high for this same partisan playbook. So let us agree that patriotism has no party. I love this country, and so do you, and so does John McCain. The men and women who serve in our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and Independents, but they have fought together and bled together and some died together under the same proud flag. They have not served a Red America or a Blue America – they have served the United States of America.

So I’ve got news for you, John McCain. We all put our country first.

The coming Republican convention is the last chance the GOP has to win back (note, not “keep”) the thousands of us who are taking our votes elsewhere after the abysmal failure of this current administration and the hijacking of the Republican party by bigots and charlatans.

I’m sick of being labeled an elite because I have an education. I’m tired of the implication that because I see failure and corruption in the Iraq war, I’m not patriotic. And I will no longer support a party that uses religion and fear to bully people into the extremes on issues. We don’t live in the extremes; we live in the gray middles and its time for a leader who not only acknowledges the reality of the American experience, but is able to improve it.

I’m not voting for a saint or a preacher or a hero; I’m voting for the person who can best lead this country to a better tomorrow.

I’m voting for Barack Obama.

Text of Obama’s acceptance speech

Comcast to implement monthly usage cap

Word on the street is that Comcast will be implementing a 250 GB/month usage cap on their internet service. This is, apparently, in response to the FCC smackdown they recently received for selectively blocking traffic on their network.

Comcast’s argument during that dispute was that blocking traffic (BitTorrent, to be specific) was necessary to maintain the integrity of their network. Their arguments touched on capacity and Comcast’s ability to maintain service levels. Essentially, they were saying that, if they couldn’t block BitTorrent traffic (and, by extension, any traffic they deemed necessary to block), their network wouldn’t be able to reliably support traffic.

And now, all the posturing has brought us back to the stupid days of the Internet; metered traffic. The industry that was supposed to deliver 45mbps to the home, upgrade their infrastructure, and develop better protocls (and failed) has fallen back to their old chestnut for management. Comcast has long had a mystery threshold for what constitutes “excessive usage”, but it appears they’re ready to codify it for all users.

On the one hand, this is a barbaric step in Internet service. Broadband in the US has long been advertised as unlimited, although the advertising rarely coincided with reality. On the other, it’s a hard number that Comcast hasn’t been willing to disclose before.

It also sets the precedent and an opportunity for Comcast’s competitors. If there’s a huge backlash against this move, other ISPs won’t be as eager to make the same move. The opportunity comes in not imposing their own caps, keeping the “unlimited” dream alive.

Personally, I have no idea how much bandwidth I use a month. But I do know this; if I get a overrage charge, I will leave Comcast as fast as I can.

Freak-out of the Week: THIS is How Easy It Is to Lose Your Identity

Herbert H. Thompson, a security strategistin New York, writes on just how easy it is to get access to your bank account, email, and identity, recounting his hack of a friend named “Kim”.

In Kim’s case some of that information came from a blog, but it could just as easily have come from a MySpace page, a sibling’s blog (speaking of their birthday, mom’s name, etcetera) or from any number of places online.

Queue a check of all my information. I also found the information mining via inference rather clever. Maybe an attacker can’t see your browsing history, but looking at your cache (specifically CSS files) gives just as good of information.

How I Stole Someone’s Identity: Scientific American.