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Nice Vetting

It turns our that Timothy Geithner, the man chosen to be the new Secretary of the Treasury, has had tax problems.

We are supposed to ignore this because it was “an honest mistake”, not paying his unemployment taxes for three years while he worked for the International Monetary Fund. How was anyone to know that they had to pay their self-employment taxes after being told repeatedly by the IMF that they were responsible for them?

What the hell, just because he will be over the Internal Revenue Service, and can’t file an accurate 1040, Obama wants him to lead the recovery. I guess the fact that he makes “honest mistakes” on his tax returns is what endears him to Wall Street, and we all know how important it is to cater to Wall Street after all it has done for the nation.

The immigration status of his housekeeper is really a minor issue. She was legal when hired, and her re-certification was delayed.

January 13, 2009   16 Comments

Rivet Ball

This is the 40th anniversary of the death of an aircraft, Rivet Ball, the Air Force’s only RC-135S.

For a more complete version than I usually post on this day I have a separate page on flying off a “rock”.

January 13, 2009   4 Comments

The Mind Boggles

The BBC has a report on the Dangerous coding errors revealed. This is a list of the top mistakes made in creating programs that result in their being hacked.

The top two on the list just are just mind blowing for a relic like me:

CWE-20: Improper Input Validation
CWE-116: Improper Encoding or Escaping of Output

“Garbage In – Garbage Out” is a mantra that was once drilled into people at school. Input validation and output verification were a constant drum beat.

Maybe the rapid expansion of memory resources has caused the downfall of these standards, but people don’t realize that the Y2K problem was a reflection of the need to save the space that would be taken up by a 4 digit versus a 2 digit year. In the old days 2 bytes per record was a big deal.

Maybe the fact that the financial and business sector no longer have the overwhelming control of computing resources as they have become more general, has led to the lack of concern.

Whatever the cause, the fact that people design systems that don’t limit input and validate output, is stunning.

January 13, 2009   18 Comments