Patrick's Rants


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9/30/2014

What’s your best email address?

Filed under: Geek News and Stuff,It's funny — site admin @ 7:27 pm

I just went to download a pdf report and like so many others it asks for my name and email address. Unlike so many others in the email address box are the words, “Please enter your best email address”. So I entered yourbestemailaddress@ this site… that’s what they asked for, right?

7/1/2014

This is What I Meant

Filed under: Politics — site admin @ 7:05 pm

On election night, 2004 I said that a woman’s right to choose, that the balance of the Supreme Court hung on the results of the election. This rabidly conservative Supreme court has voted to give corporations the first amendment right of free speech and opening the door to unlimited “dark” campaign money in the Citizen’s United ruling. Now the court has ruled that small, “closely held” corporations have the right to freedom of religion, again under the first amendment. Except the ruling ignores that fact that – despite what Mitt says – corporations are not people. They are an artifice created to shelter the owners from direct liability. It also ignores the carefully crafted “closely held corporation” has been estimated to apply to 90% of all businesses in the US and affects some 51% of all US citizens – well, 25.5% if you discount the (old white) men. And it ignores the fact that Koch industries, run by two extremely wealthy old white guys might be considered a “small, closely held corporation”. Do we really believe that billion dollar businesses are “small”?

Will we next be hearing that women can be discriminated in these same businesses if women are to be considered chattel according to the religions of these same corporations? After all freedom of religion is the first amendment, well before that pesky one that gives women the right to vote, and the one that requires all peoples to be treated equally.

I wrote in 2004,

The makeup of the Supreme Court hangs in the balance tonight.

The pendulum has swung. We are reaping what Bush has sown. While there are some tides that will likely never again turn, the legalization of same sex marriage and medicinal and even recreational use of marijuana, the relentless onslaught of old white men on reproductive rights marches on.

For a more eloquent take, please read Why The Hobby Lobby Decision Actually Hurts People Of Faith

6/24/2014

Supreme Court Takes a Step to Partially Invalidate Patents on “Ideas”

Filed under: Geek News and Stuff — site admin @ 8:10 am

In an interesting, if long, posting over on VOX reviews the recent Supreme Court ruling regarding software patents. Take a trip over to read The supreme court doesn’t understand software and that’s a problem. Should there be a patent on 1+1=2? That’s the most basic form of this question.

6/21/2014

Filed under: Geek News and Stuff — site admin @ 7:25 am

Note to self: If you want the name of the fail2ban filter to show up in the email reports you have to spell the word “name” correctly.

6/12/2014

Closed GTE

Filed under: Money,Stocks — site admin @ 3:07 pm

Today GTE hit 7.60 and my order that was in to sell was hit. So purchased just over a month ago and sold today. The simple return on this transaction is 5.89% annualized it’s just over 75%. I love it when a plan comes together :)
Time to take a look to see if I should be in for another roll.
edit
After looking over the chart and checking my screener I placed another order to buy at $6.89. GTE hit this three times in May and I believe that it could roll down again. I still like the frequency that it has hit 7.60 vs the possibly higher exit price of 7.75 so the sell price will be in at 7.60 if I get filled.


This is my account, I’m posting for entertainment and educational purposes only. There are no stock tips or recommendations here. Do your own thing.

6/10/2014

The Failure of a Mailing List

Filed under: Geek News and Stuff — site admin @ 8:27 am

Recently, I was asked if I could host a mailing list for a non-profit organization. Of course I told them yes. There has been a lot of back and forth discussion over six months or so to get things configured “just so”. Well. Things were not configured “just so”.

The thing is, all of the people whose email addresses we used were on a list provided by a governmental agency. Two things had to happen for someone’s email address to make it to this list: they had to actually provide it to the agency in the first place, they had to leave a box empty next to words similar to “do not share my email address publicly.” In other words, if you didn’t want your name and information to make it to this list you had to specifically ask that the information not be shared. I have filled out this application – and marked do not share. So my own information is on the full list but not on the publicly released list. And companies use this list for marketing and other purposes every single day.

This day was unlike any other day though. When the first email hit the wire (it was sent using Mailman mailing list software) I noticed a substantial slowdown of this server (well the server that this one replaced) immediately. The list had 21,000 email addresses on it. I was seeing loads of over 20, spiking at well over 30. When the load is at 5 things start to slow down. For a little perspective the load (as I write this) on the new machine is 0.00 0.03 0.00. There is one configuration check box on Mailman that would have made this an announce only list – which is what it really was being used as. That box was not checked.

Most normal people, me – and I hope you – would have treated this as an email to discard if you had no interest in the subject matter (it was for continuing education) and clicked on delete or even marked it as spam on their email program. Most normal people would have even recognized which list their email address was on due to the subject matter. In a group of 21,000 you will get folks from the whole spectrum. And maybe just a little less than normal. What actually happened was a few people hit reply (did I mention that the sender’s address was stripped and replaced by the mailing list alias?) Each reply of “take me off your list” went to 21k people. The cascade was at times humorous and at times sad. A simple, “hey would you stop sending me these emails?” was responded to by “I’m not sending you emails, I’m getting them too.” Times 21k.

One, very abnormal induhvidual, did the very clever thing of responding to each of the other eight or twelve responses with profanity and threats. The threats were mildly amusing in the amount of effort it took to track down names of people he felt were responsible and who might have influence. He called business offices of members of the board for the non-profit. He tracked my domain registration information and threatened to have my registrar “shut me down” on my voice mail. Well. I think he was smart enough to annoy people, but not smart enough to understand the law. The email, while annoying, did not reach the legal definition of “spam”. Yes, I have a lower tolerance for what I would consider spam, but we were well within the legal limits and only actually sent one email. It was the people clicking on reply who added to the storm. Yes, the list was misconfigured and should never have been set to allow posts by anyone other than the list administrator. I click delete on so many unwanted emails, I mark the ones that are clearly spam (made up addresses on my domain that come to the catchall address – I even have a few addresses sprinkled around this site to catch the bots) and shuffle them off so Spamassassin can learn from them. I don’t respond. If this were real spam, the act of responding is the real problem. Now someone knows the inbox gets read.

It took some fast typing on my part to get the machine wrestled into a more manageable state. I eventually set the list into emergency moderation mode (via command line – the web interface was non-responsive) and we started the cleanup process of not only the list, but of the server itself.

Filed under: Bumper Sticker,Seen on a — site admin @ 8:13 am

It was not really a bumper sticker – more of a warning on the back of a truck loaded with welding equipment and acetylene torches.

DANGER
Do not touch.
Not only will it kill you
it will hurt the whole time you are dying.

Short, sweet and emphatically to the point.

Filed under: Seen on a,T-Shirt — site admin @ 8:10 am

It was me.
I let the dogs out.

5/7/2014

New Position in GTE

Filed under: Money,Stocks — site admin @ 6:51 am

I had an order in to buy GTE at $7.04 and got impatient. Had I just left it alone, I would be in 200 shares of GTE. As it was I raised my purchase price to $7.08 which was executed yesterday. It’s down a little today (and I might have even gotten it lower). My target sell price is $7.60.
edit
The price dipped to $6.75 today. Looking at the outside boundaries of this range, if I had gotten in at $6.75 I would look to close the position at $7.75 for almost 15%. I still like my range of around 7% return, but wouldn’t turn down double the return. I’m in where I’m in.


This is what I’m doing, do your own thing. All posts are for educational and entertainment purposes only.

5/5/2014

Looking to get back into GTE

Filed under: Money,Stocks — site admin @ 9:02 pm

After freeing up some capital and running my screeners at TDAmeritrade, I’m looking to jump back into GTE. I’m looking for the price to move in the range of 7.04 – 7.60 where it’s been recently. I made a few quick turns in 2009 and 2013. Checking back on my spreadsheet, I realize I made an error in my original post. My first trade was 19.15%, not around 9% as I first wrote. That was about a three week turn. The second trade netted 11.4% in 12 days and the last trade returned 14.4% in about three weeks. The annualized returns are just ridiculous… I should have just kept trading GTE instead of venturing over to Africa with HMY.


This is what I do, posted for entertainment and educational purposes only. You need to consult your own experts and make up your own mind. You could end up holding onto a dog gold miner like I did. :)

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