No Food for you! Says the US to the UN! (WTF)

December 21st, 2008
by Christopher Kusek (PKGuild)

Hey there, latest UN resolutions proposed, lets see how the votes came out!

By a vote of 180 in favour to 1 against (United States) and no abstentions, the Committee also approved a resolution on the right to food, by which the Assembly would “consider it intolerable” that more than 6 million children still died every year from hunger-related illness before their fifth birthday, and that the number of undernourished people had grown to about 923 million worldwide, at the same time that the planet could produce enough food to feed 12 billion people, or twice the world’s present population. (See Annex III.)

By the terms of the text, the Assembly would express concern that, in many countries, girls were twice as likely as boys to die from malnutrition and childhood diseases and that twice as many women as men were estimated to suffer from malnutrition.  Accordingly, it would have the Assembly encourage all States to take action to address gender inequality and discrimination against women, including through measures to ensure that women had equal access to resources, including income, land and water, so as to enable them to feed themselves and their families.  By further terms of the draft, the Assembly would urge Member States to promote and protect the rights of indigenous people, who have expressed in different forums their deep concerns over the obstacles and challenges faced in the full enjoyment of the right to food.

After the vote, the representative of the United States said he was unable to support the text because he believed the attainment of the right to adequate food was a goal that should be realized progressively.  In his view, the draft contained inaccurate textual descriptions of underlying rights.

The Committee also approved a draft resolution on the rights of the child by a vote of 180 in favour to one against ( United States), with no abstentions.  Among other things, that omnibus text would call upon States to create an environment conducive to the well-being of all children, including by strengthening international cooperation in regard to the eradication of poverty, the right to education, the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health, and the right to food.

So, taken at face value with this information it looks like the United States is being cruel, vicious and uncaring; as though choosing self before choosing the rights of children and people to eat, be educated and have enjoyment and health.    The did speak out in more detail stating:

Speaking in explanation of vote, the representative of the United States said that, while agreeing with the sentiment expressed in the resolution, his delegation could not support the text as drafted.  The United States felt that the attainment of the “right to adequate food” or the “right to be free from hunger” was a goal that should be realized progressively.  The current resolution contained numerous objectionable provisions, including inaccurate textual descriptions of underlying rights.  The United States was the largest food donor in the world of international humanitarian food aid and it would continue to work towards providing food security to all.  In the future, he expressed hope that the co-sponsors would work to address his delegation’s concerns, so the United States could join other countries in adopting the draft.

Wow, it looks like they really do want to help, but there are some vital ‘legal’ and perhaps questionable character flaws of the way the text was presented.  Certainly the text can be misconstrued and result in people having less luck in achieving the results this resolution looked to resolve.

Which leaves me to question why is it that all resolutions are stored under lock and key and no one ever gets to see them until it becomes time to pass them, so that stipulations and textual misinterpretation cannot be mishandled.  Oh wait, I forgot, that doesn’t happen.

So you’re telling me, if you disagree with a portion of the bill you outright deny it, instead of working towards getting it corrected in the first place?  I’m sure having a terrible PR effort show up on your record is far better than standing up for what you believe in when it matters, instead of ‘at the time of vote and make us look like fools’.

By the looks of the document others also disagreed with portions of it, but they didn’t say “I won’t tell you what I disagree with, I’ll simply deny the resolution on the whole!” because by the looks of it, 180-1 makes you look like the fool.

While speaking on the rights of Children they said:

Speaking in explanation of vote, the representative of the United States welcomed the commitment of the United Nations and the Third Committee on issues relating to the rights of the child.  The United States was equally committed to the issue and had worked to ensure that the protection of the rights of children was fully integrated into its foreign policy.  However, she also expressed disappointment over the failure to make a number of minor changes that would have allowed the United States to support the draft.  In particular, she referred to preambular paragraph 2, which stated that the Convention on the Rights of the Child “must constitute” the standard, and in operative paragraph 2, which might have been improved by urging States to “consider” becoming States parties to the Convention, as each State had a sovereign right to make such decisions on their own.  Finally, operative paragraph 31, which recognized the contribution of the International Criminal Court in ending impunity for the most serious crimes against children, was not necessarily supported by fact, as it had not yet tried a single case in that regard.

So again here, 180 to 1, and another piece of legalese since they mandated it “must constitute” instead of leaving it open to interpretation “must consider” meaning countries which already violate children and human rights would sit back and say “Hey, sweatshops? nah we considered it and said we don’t think so”.   Seriously US.   When everyone else is doing it (Sure don’t follow the tread, but don’t sit back and disagree over a mandate of good instead of an interpretation of evil which it seems like you wanted to be allowed.

I live here in the United States, and seriously? I mean, Seriously?!  Next thing you know, they’ll be voting against another good mandate over the definition of the word “is” or something.

I won’t even go into all of the other things the United States voted against because I don’t have that much SPACE out here! Read it if you wanted to be informed!

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Posted in Baltimization, Blog, Christopher Kusek, General, Informational, Politics, WTF | Comments (6)

“My small business is too big!” No defense contract for you!

December 20th, 2008
by Christopher Kusek (PKGuild)

For those of you who follow the GSA, there have been a number of happenings with them this year!

Back in April they opted to re-examine awards: GSA re-examines Alliant Small Business awards

And then a new hurdle is introduced: Small companies face another hurdle on Alliant contract

The companies have passed GSA’s bid evaluations process, but GSA and Small Business Administration officials now must check that the firms meet the criteria for being a small business, said Mary Powers-King, GSA’s director of governmentwide acquisition contracts (GWACs). Because of that, companies ultimately might not get an Alliant Small Business award.

What this means is companies who have been snatched up through acquisitions are now putting themselves in a difficult circumstance in order to produce revenue like they used to.

One company — Kadix Systems — was acquired by Dynamics Research Corp. in August, which could end its eligibility for the contract.

The old adage of bigger is better, apparently doesn’t play out when it comes to $15 Billion worth of federal contracts – So staying small and nimble may play to your advantage when you want to continue bringing home the billions.

The court found problems with the past-performance information GSA used to determine who received awards. The court ruled that the agency based its evaluations on “sketchy” information and used that information as a major factor in awarding the massive contract.

Although not required by the court, GSA decided to re-evaluate the Alliant Small Business contracts, too. Earlier this year, GSA asked the 62 small businesses to extend their offers.
“Given the history with this, we really want to make sure we’re on very firm and solid ground,” Powers-King said.

The court had chided GSA for diverting from its plan for selecting companies, particularly regarding past performance, when awarding the Alliant contracts in 2007. For the latest round of awards, “we very, very closely adhered to our plan” and included a review of how well officials stuck to the plan, Powers-King said, adding that GSA is confident of its choices for Alliant Small Business.

I can only commend the courts for questioning old practices of not rewarding and awarding on sketchy information, and apparently this forces a revisit of the grandfathering of a number of “not very small businesses” anymore as a result of these acquisitions.

It just goes to show, as you grow you best plan for your circumstances as the tide can change at any moment.   Your meal-ticket of yesterday won’t be the one of tomorrow, so innovate, improve and elevate.

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Posted in Baltimization, Blog, Christopher Kusek, Defense, Politics | Comments (56)

FreE-Books before the 25th! IPv6 and Secure Core for the Holidays

December 20th, 2008
by Christopher Kusek (PKGuild)

As always, thank you ever so much Joanne Lin (MS) !

For those of you who saw the last Free E-book deal from Microsoft Press, it is back again with another stringent timeline to get it!

You have until December 24th to download these beauties!

With a simple ‘click’ and ‘register’ you can have these two Beautiful E-Books downloaded and in your possession for reading and excitement!

Understanding IPv6, by Joseph Davies

Writing Secure Code for Vista, by Michael Howard and David LeBlanc

image image

If you’re even remotely interested in these technologies, free stuff, books, reading, future certification and anything else – this is the deal for you!

To keep up to date of deals like this, you can subscribe to the Microsoft Press Connection Newsletter.

Happy Holidays, and this gift is wrapped and ready for Christmas and Hanukkah!

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Posted in ASP, Baltimization, Certification, Christopher Kusek, Ebooks, Microsoft | Comments (60)

It’s IsAlive! Wait, where did my cluster go?

December 18th, 2008
by Christopher Kusek (PKGuild)

It’s a dark night, you’re in a cold murky alley.   There’s a random file found in the root of your drive (or mount point).   Suddenly, your cluster goes offline.   WTF!

If you’re thinking, “Damnit, what did my storage vendor do now!” You’d be mistaken.

There’s this little doozy out there:

A physical disk resource may unexpectedly fail or go offline when the IsAlive function is executed on a Windows Server 2008 cluster node” to the tune of Q953652

Microsoft declares it to happen when you meet the following scenario:

  • You have a Windows Server 2008 cluster node.
  • The IsAlive function is executed on the cluster node while a file is being accessed in the root folder of the cluster disk.

In this scenario, a physical disk resource on the Windows Server 2008 cluster node may unexpectedly fail or go offline. This behavior occurs randomly.

Or otherwise read as: If you have a file in the root of Drive letter or Mount point, the drive may ‘disappear’ when you have this configured in a cluster (This does not apply to Server 2008 single servers)

Quite often this is blamed on the storage (regardless of vendor) so be sure to keep your clusters up to spec and make sure to apply this Hotfix from Microsoft, especially if you meet this criteria!

Good luck Clusters, and those cold dark alleys won’t be so bad.

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Posted in Baltimization, Christopher Kusek, Exchange, Hyper-V, Informational, Microsoft, SQL, Storage, Technology, Windows Server | Comments (102)

Windows Live Writer 2009: RC, Why use anything else?

December 18th, 2008
by Christopher Kusek (PKGuild)

I was talking with a friend of mine tonight asking him what he used to do his blog writing, and he said he used the WordPress editor.  I was shocked, awed, even amazed.

He is a perfect candidate for using LiveWriter, if not for the simple reason that you can put words NEXT to text without having to do all forms of magic to get it done.

There is however one amazing feature of LiveWriter which not enough people realize.

If you go into the Help, you’ll find the Writer Team Blog!


That simple little action lead me to find (because I wondered if there was an update) That indeed there is an update! The RC for LiveWriter 2009 is out! I didn’t even know it was coming!

What’s new in 2009?

Well, you can go to the Writer Blog and find out more like here or here.

But I’ll cover a few of the things which I find particularly amazing and I think you’ll agree!

image Oh my god! Word Count! What a simple yet elegant function! And here it is!

image (These number of words are ofcourse, up until this point!)

image That’s also Sweet! (found in options!)

Some of the new plug-ins seem pretty sweet!


Uploads an image to your Flickr account and inserts an inline picture into your post.

Automatically adds a DiggThis badge to your blog post after you publish it from Writer.

Automatically generates a TinyURL and sends a Tweet about your blog post after you publish it from Writer.

Speaking of images! (Like that one above) Your image manipulation options have gone through the roof!



Check out our ability to do text wrapping! Though a major pet peeve of mine is when I click “next” to an image after selecting Left, it keeps bringing me to the top! (hint hint) It’d really be nice for it to select the area next to the text so I can start typing there!

With the introduction of Center, it guarantees our place with the position of the text after an image.  It’d be nice to have some kind of universal everything I post should default to ‘x’ though I’ve yet to find these defaults/options to manage.



Check out those borders baby! Wow that is a lot of options to choose from and I’m not complaining!

Infact, I opt’d to give “reflection” a try here, looks pretty sweet!









But nothing can really compete with… a Watermark embedded into your image?!

You can manipulate the text, the font type and size, and especially the position.  Seriously, Wow, this is cool!

Let me say this again.  This is really cool!

Oh, did I mention how fricking cool TILT is?!


Some of the new Photo Album and other settings will be pretty sweet, but managing text, writing it, manipulating images and getting content into some usable fashion are my major deals with this as are a majority of folks I know who use LiveWriter.  Everything else is just CAKE!   I suggest you go out there and download this RC now! Get it out there, because is this pretty sweet, and will continue to be sweet!

imageWindows Live Writer 2009 (Release Candidate)
Version 14.0.8050.1202

Go, get your Live on!

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Posted in Baltimization, Blog, Christopher Kusek, Live, Microsoft, Technology | Comments (57)

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