yon Leveron blog

John's musings on the Interknot cowpath

Israeli Security Opens Fire on a MacBook. Thrice.

Posted by John on 16th December 2009

Back up your data. Seriously ;)

Also, any system that travels might well be advised to consider full disk encryption . . .

Israeli Security Opens Fire on a MacBook. Thrice.

4:01 PM – December 15, 2009 by Marcus Yam

The Israeli border security didn’t take too kindly to Apple’s latest notebook, firing three rounds into the unibody MacBook.


Most of us here love our computers and also love to blow things up. Just ask Chris Angelini with his exploits around CPUs and firearms. Things, however, weren’t so funny for Lily Sussman, who blogged on her WordPress account about a run in she had on her way through the Israeli border.

While it’s standard practice these days for border patrol to scan through a traveler’s luggage, discharging a firearm three times into a bag containing a laptop isn’t an action that seems good for security control.

An announcement played over the sound system, interrupting my break in the sunshine. First in Hebrew, then Arabic, then in English. It was something along the lines of, ” do not to be alarmed by gunshots because the Israeli security needs to blow up suspicious passanger luggage.”

I went inside to check on my bag. I had left it unattended, where they instructed. It was still there so I went back outside.

Moments later a man came outside and introduced himself as the manager on duty. And then, “I’m sorry but we had to blow up your laptop. “

What….all my client case notes and testimony, writing, pictures, music and applications. Years of work. NO!!!! What?? Are you insane?? What were you thinking? THAT’S ALL MY WORK!?

After much yelling, crying and frantic phone dialing (don’t be alarmed if I called you repeatedly this morning), he took me outside to see the wreckage. It turned out it hadn’t been quite blown up, but rather shot through with three bullets. We were able to extract the hard drive, seemingly unscaved. Thank goodness…

Here are some other pictures of the damage to the Unibody MacBook.


Follow us on Twitter for more tech news and exclusive updates here.

(via http://www.tomshardware.com/news/macbook-gun-shot-israel-security,9269.html )

Now playing: Rush – The Fountain Of Lamneth
via FoxyTunes

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Twitter-Microsoft Bing Deal Confirmed, but so Is Facebook-Bing

Posted by John on 22nd October 2009

Twitter-Microsoft Bing Deal Confirmed, but so Is Facebook-Bing (Guess Who Else Is Coming to Dinner?)

(via http://kara.allthingsd.com/20091021/exclusive-guess-who-else-is-coming-to-dinner-twitter-microsoft-bing-deal-confirmed-but-so-is-facebook-bing/ )

by Kara Swisher – Posted on October 21, 2009 at 8:41 AM PT

In a stunning one-two punch, Microsoft will announce separate nonexclusive deals today with both Facebook and Twitter to integrate their real-time feeds of status updates into the Bing search service.

According to sources, Microsoft (MSFT) digital head Qi Lu will announce the deal onstage in a few hours at the Web 2.0 Summit.


BoomTown reported earlier today that the Microsoft data-mining deal with Twitter was poised to be announced.

But the addition of Facebook raises the stakes considerably because it has the largest pool of status updates, despite all the hype around Twitter. Facebook has previously stated that it has 40 million updates a day, on average, from its 300 million-plus audience.

Twitter has been talking to Google (GOOG) about a similar arrangement, and, according to sources, so has Facebook.


But the deal is a definite blow to the dominant search engine, since–for the first time–data will be available on Bing that are not available on Google.

Neither of the services is expected to be up and running for weeks, if not months. But there is the possibility of a demo today by Qi Lu of what it will look like.

What’s interesting about the deals, which have been in the works for several weeks, is that they will be very different.

Much of what is posted on Twitter is public by design, while Facebook users prefer the closed nature of the service to disperse a wide variety of personal information only to their friends, and they want to control it.

Thus, sources said, not all Facebook updates will be included in the real-time feed to be searched by Bing, but only those its users choose to make available to the wider public. Facebook will apparently provide users with a number of new tools to do so.


BoomTown first reported several weeks ago that Twitter was in advanced talks with both the search rivals about such a real-time search arrangement.

When asked about the talks onstage at Web 2.0 yesterday, Twitter CEO Evan Williams turned coy, according to numerous reports, joking “Whose deals?”

(for the rest of the article, head to http://kara.allthingsd.com/20091021/exclusive-guess-who-else-is-coming-to-dinner-twitter-microsoft-bing-deal-confirmed-but-so-is-facebook-bing/ )

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why I won’t be getting a Kindle

Posted by John on 23rd September 2009

As folks who know me will readily tell you, I’m into technology.  The Kindle 6″ screen is definitely high technology.

  • Relatively new invention called an mp3 player, pre-iPod? One of the first kids on my block.
  • Build your own Apple I from a kit? Yep. (it really did come as a kit, BTW)
  • Work with a big scary mainframe system early in high school? Surely.


Then why wouldn’t I rave over a brilliant new device, this Kindle, or the somewhat larger 9.7″ screen  Kindle DX?  Both of these e-readers are already product improved versions in their second generation.  After reading a link from Yale, I found that even David Byrne had one.  Who am I to question him?

It actually isn’t just any one reason I’m not really into the Kindle.  I’ll admit, I like paper. I’m all for recycling and not wasting resources to start with, but I am just a little tradition bound since I started seriously reading paper and hard back novels at age six.  While it is a daily vice for me, there could be worse.

It does have some convenience factors vs. my other typical Amazon orders (old tech / paper and ink) but I just prefer to have a physical product to hold onto, and to pass down.

While the “1984 recall” was not-so-hot, it really isn’t the exact point. While to Amazon’s credit they did return the purchase price of the books they deleted, I’m essentially against any product / service that even has some mechanism to recall / remove / change data on my end of things. I simply don’t want to license my purchases, I want to own my particular copy.

Yes, I actually like to pay cash for things too, rather than purchase on someone else’s credit. And “librarians, unite” :)

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good social technology

Posted by John on 18th September 2009

http://jleveron.mp/ powered by http://chi.mp/ – free domain name for social networking; nifty idea to aggregate.

http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/01b7c8dbb4dbb60a05b31d74c4cea9e6?s=200 Gravatars, or globally recognized avatars. Change the number on the end, and it will resize my Gravatar to that “size”, in a square form.

http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2006/02/how_to_be_a_men.html How to be a Mensch – good general read, not just for IT folks – which dovetails nicely with Desiderata

http://www.daveramsey.com/ Financial advice from Dave Ramsey can assist any IT entrepreneur.

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Yale – Ruminations, Ramblings And Rants

Posted by John on 19th August 2009

Yale H, Esquire is fully online. He usually has some good insight over at his blogRUMINATIONS, RAMBLINGS AND RANTS.

He tweets, as well though naturally I reacquainted at the obligatory FaceBook page.  What is the world coming to; social networks are likely a good investment, eh?

Your useful bonus for staying with us after the video link : http://www.convertcase.net/

“Accidentally left the caps lock on and typed something, but can’t be bothered to start again and retype it all?”

Converts to and from Sentence case form, lower case, UPPER CASE, Capitalized First Letter Case

Paste arbitrary text, click convert.  Yessir, slick and free.

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Blog Tech bits

Posted by John on 14th August 2009

http://ismyblogworking.com/ is pretty cool. Checks out a few things.

Also handy for web makers : http://redbot.org/ for header information from any given web server.

Investigating bits at http://www.webdesignerwall.com/general/useful-wordpress-plugins/ of course, among the tons of WordPress plugins and themes.

Dagon Design http://www.dagondesign.com/ is pretty happening.

http://ocaoimh.ie/wp-super-cache/ is enabled, & stuff™. Blogs can chew up a lot of resources, so hoping this one isn’t slow for visitors. We’re all pretty spoiled in these here broadband days.  Why, when I was growing up, we had to WALK to and from the internet. Up hill.  Yes, both ways.

There’s a ton to do yet, to come even with a second grader in functionality and looks. That’s what happens when you’re years late to the party, hah!

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