New Job Begins

by Terry 4/26/2010 4:23:00 PM

No much to say except I am happy to have job. I am essentially working on the same products, doing the same thing for most of the same people. My paycheck now comes from Computer Sciences Corporation, but I am acting in the same role I did with Boeing. What has most immediately changed is my daily work computer and equipment. The technological transition is not so fun, but it is tolerable.

This post is largely to prove I can still post with all the other changes in plan.

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computing

Positively losing my job

by Terry 3/3/2010 3:53:00 PM

Today I updated my resume and posted it online. This was prompted by the layoff notice I received recently from Boeing, my current employer. Oddly, I am not unhappy about this. As a software developer working in an aerospace company, I do not have the opportunity to grow as I might in a company with a greater emphasis on Information Technology. I see the upcoming change as a positive and professionally healthy change.

I saw the change coming, sort of. The stress of job hunting is not one most people relish. I know I don’t. I was a little resistant to job-hunting before I was certain of my status.  When I received my notice I was not surprise, although I was a bit disappointed at first. Who wouldn’t be after 12 years with a company? Thankfully, the disappointment passed very quickly. So, for the last week, I have been in job-hunting mode. I am not unhappy or bitter, just determined and hopeful. I look forward to the chance to expand my skills and abilities.

I have already been diligently applying for jobs. I suppose I am lucky in some sense. While my likelihood of remaining with Boeing in another position is slim, I am still employed for the next several weeks. This relieves some of the pressure and allows me to be deliberate in my actions. I feel for people who are cut loose with no warning or severance.

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computing | Policy

...but there is no danger of people participating in a democracy

by Terry 1/6/2010 1:29:00 PM

Apparently how a person might have been incarcerated is more important than the fact that a person managed to act in ways to become incarcerated in the first place.

“Washington state felons should have voting rights, federal court rules”
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2010708869_felons06m.html

<snip>Ryan Haygood of the NAACP's Legal Defense Fund said such cases are "very hard to win." But he described voting by incarcerated felons as the "best tool to re-integrate them into society."

"There is this view that there is reason to be fearful, but there is no danger of people participating in a democracy," said Haygood, who worked as co-counsel with Weiser on the case. "You don't lose when people participate in a democracy. That's especially true of people who are incarcerated."</snip>

I am skeptical that voting has been scientifically validated as the best means of integrating a felon into society. I would venture there are more effective re-socialization methods than allowing people demonstrably socially-shunned a way to vote change in the society that shuns them. Not everyone deserves the privilege to vote themselves back on the island.

If the means of incarceration are suspect, address that directly. The State declared rights to protect its own social stability. Indirectly addressing a law enforcement process of possible wrong-doing does not protect the underlying principles being altered. It neither protects the social contract the State was given to enforce nor does it address the rights of prisoners who may be improperly incarcerated.

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Opinion | Personal | Policy

Head Down in Cloth Wraps

by Terry 11/13/2009 12:06:00 PM

I have been working head-down with Karen to get http://www.clothwraps.com/ up and running. Karen picked up the first production run of wraps last night and I shipped the first order this morning. Okay, technically I bought the first online order and shipped it to myself, but it is a real order in every sense. I had to do the process from start to finish at least once. Karen and I have never had an e-commerce business before, so testing the system is not a bad plan.

Visit the site at http://www.clothwraps.com/ and see the wraps. We also have other accessories in the works coming soon, so check back from time-to-time.

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Personal | Snoqualmie

Keeping it in the Cloud, a Cloudy issue

by Terry 10/15/2009 8:49:00 AM

With the recent T-Mobile and Microsoft Sidekick data loss incident, it is clear Cloud Computing is often mischaracterized as a safe means of data access, storage and application access. Take this quote from this report on the Sidekick issue.

“The Sidekick service, run by Microsoft unit Danger, is supposed to be more secure in storing data because it is kept in the "cloud," which involves storing information on the Internet and not one physically vulnerable location, making the temporary loss of data striking.”

What strikes me is the misconception in the statement. The data loss is striking because it is believed that cloud computing is secure and safe. Sadly, just because data is available on the internet does not make the data safe or secure. Just because an application is on the internet does not guarantee its availability, longevity or protability.

Take for example a service like Shutterfly, or Costco’s online print services. Karen, my wife, has made some fantastic albums using these services. The costs are reasonable, the quality is great. I have no complaint with the outcome (with one exception with Shutterfly sending invitations which had no printed text, but this ultimately had a good outcome).

Once I upload data, pictures and text, to a cloud application, there is no magical invincibility cloak surrounding my data. The service can be hacked, suffer from espionage, have a server fail, go out of business, and so on. Additionally, while the raw data may be mine, the formatted data that the service uses to provide its output is owned by the service itself. I may have my own personal copies of the picture and text, even the printed album in my hands, but the data to generate the album, calendar or greeting card I purchase is not transferable to another service. I cannot, in most cases, get the output of the first service in a generic, openly transferable bit of data to use in another service. In this sense, I do not own all the data that I may have purchased.

This is a common open source argument with proprietary data formats. If I do not have a copy of Wiget’s WordSmithe 1.0, I may not be able to read a document written with that tool. Cloud computing does not make this any less true and carries the additional risk of possessing the raw data to boot.

I will keep my data on my own storage and backup systems. I will even continue to use services like Shutterfly. I will always do so with a bit of caution in mind, asking myself, “if this service is gone in a year, how will I reproduce my work”?

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computing | Opinion | Personal

It’s a Pirate Ship! Damn the Rules!

by Terry 10/8/2009 12:24:00 PM

State's 'Pirates' ship too dirty for Calif.

“Washington's official state ship, the venerable Lady Washington, is no longer welcome in California.

The 112-foot square-rigger, perhaps best-known as the ship hijacked by Jack Sparrow in the Disney film "Pirates of the Caribbean," normally spends its winters in California waters. Last winter, it hosted more than 70,000 visitors and took more than 7,000 California school kids sailing from California ports.

But not this year.”

The ship is banned because it uses an old engine.

Would not a better alternative be to use processed cooking oil? Consider, a local law is changing the use and public access to a ship with some educational and public value in service for years. The change is forcing a non-government sponsored program to incur $100,000 of refit expenses, putting the program at risk.

I call this a symptom of unintended consequences. I would prefer to have rules imposed which only apply to new ships instead of forcing costly retrofitting. What are the costs of this required retrofit? It goes beyond the cost of replacing an engine. It includes the energy to produce a new engine, dispose of the old engine, transportation, and so on.

I could see a simple possible ‘eco-friendly’ work-around. Why not require the vessel use a bio-diesel alternative? I suppose the argument is that the emissions are unsavory with the current engine. How about the cannons? Are these emissions regulated too?

Damn the rules! It is a Pirate Ship! Who’s to say nay to their coastal passage!

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Another Way to Profit from Global Warming!

by Terry 9/22/2009 11:33:00 AM

Melting Ice Caps Expose Hundreds Of Secret Arctic Lairs

“ZACKENBERG RESEARCH STATION, GREENLAND—Claiming it to be one of the most dramatic and visible signs of climate change to date, researchers said Monday that receding polar ice caps have revealed nearly 200 clandestine lairs once buried deep beneath hundreds of feet of Arctic ice.”

I will have to alter my plans and build my secret hideout in the desert. I think I should contact a real estate broker in the Gobi desert and buy some large tracks of dead, arid land with my shell company. If I act now, I will be strategically poised to resell to the evildoers relocating from the arctic.

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A silly article to make you feel guilty

by Terry 9/2/2009 3:02:00 PM

I must be feeling snippy. I cannot resist taking this silly article apart.

Apparently, as this article (from Fox news of all places) implies, if you don’t move with the Chosen One, whose advisor says is “not an asshole”, than you must be an asshole. I say ‘Chosen One’ because of the attitude in the article and the advisor mentioned in the article. To imply that the leader of the nation is infallible is silly. To claim that argument or dissent from his view is stonewalling is equally silly. Politics are about dissident and compromise. Specifically, government is a generalized embodiment of the will of the people, and politics are the tools people use to influence this embodiment. As much as I don’t like a political ass, does not mean the ass is wrong.

Personally, I think being an asshole is a required personal trait for any politician. By definition, a politican is going to offend someone, probably a significant minority of people, in even the best of times. I am trying to see what is even newsworthy in this article. It serves no value than to say you should feel bad about yourself if you disagree with the ideas of the most powerful non-asshole on Earth. That is B.S.

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The Absence of Tyler

by Terry 9/1/2009 3:43:00 PM

Last week, shortly after I returned from Hawaii, Karen, Kaitlin and I made the hard decision to give up Tyler. We returned him to the West Columbia Gorge Humane Society where we found him and were contractually obligated to bring him if we found he did not work for our family.

The choice to give Tyler up was difficult. Tyler is a great dog. Unfortunately he nips and bites at smaller kids. Despite efforts to train him otherwise, we could not break this aggressive trait. One of our friends, somewhat jokingly, offered to let us borrow his child to let us train Tyler, but we could not take the risk. As a family, with our involvement in martial arts in the community, we are constantly around little children. Managing Tyler around the regular flow of children in our lives was too stressful. We cannot afford the risk of one child being injured. Regrettably, we gave Tyler up.

In every other way, Tyler is a wonderful dog. We miss him. Giving him up was a painful difficult act. We hope his new home is a better match for him.

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An Emotional Week

by Terry 8/12/2009 11:18:00 AM

Dieter Losansky, April 27, 1936 – August 10, 2009, Rest in Peace

My father died this week from complications from Mantel Cell Lymphoma, a form of cancer. He passed away on Monday morning with me, my sister and my step-mother at his side. After the months of suffering and the last week of rapid deterioration, being with dad as he slipped away was lifting; sad but relieving, tragic but not traumatic.

 I arrived last week, with my family, in Hawaii to spend a week with my dad, believing I would return to see him again in another two to four months. By the third day of my visit, I realized I would be staying to say goodbye to my father. He and I never were much for words with each other, particularly over the last ten years. Nevertheless, we had our moments in his last week and were able to be at peace.

I will miss my dad. He was a grand adventurer.

Karen, Kaitlin and Tyler are all back at home. I am staying longer in Hawaii. I now have somewhat reasonable high-speed internet access. I will try to balance work and responsibility while I am here.

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About Terry Losansky

Terry Dee Losansky

I am a software architect, actively practice and teach martial arts and live in Snoqualmie, Washington. I have an amazing daughter who is the jewel of my life.

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