Are MACs Losing Their Shine?

Profile of Steve Carlson

Last week some 600,000 MAC users lost their virginity. The Flashback Trojan has made it glaringly apparent that Apple’s operating systems are not nearly as immune to nasties as many of their aficionados thought. In our innocence and years of hype, we have assumed that there is little need for antivirus software. After all that’s a Windows problem.

Apple was painfully slow issuing a patch and, when it did, it was only for its latest operating systems. The rest of us were left to fend for ourselves. All of which once again brings up that old question in my mind, “Should the next system I buy be MAC or Microsoft?” Many assume that MACs are the cadillac of computers and well they should. Go Apple and you spare no expense. When this writer bought his first MAC tower five years ago, I paid $4500. A good Windows counterpart could be had then for under two grand. A year later for about $1,600 I also paid twice as much, relatively speaking, for an Apple laptop. Continue reading Are MACs Losing Their Shine?

Doomsday Clock Fizzles Along

Profile of Steve Carlson

Last week the Doomsday Clock moved one minute closer to midnight. Time now, 11:55 PM. Five minutes to doomsday. This symbolic timepiece was conceived to reflect nuclear danger in 1947. Originally set at 11:53 PM, since then it has limped along through 20 changes. In the last few years, the original concept has fizzled into uselessness.

The most blatant limping began on the evening of October 22, 1962 when President Kennedy came on TV and announced that the Soviet Union had installed missile sites capable of delivering nuclear warheads on the United States. Construction of sites was also underway for delivery as far north as Hudson Bay and as far south as Peru. The U.S. proposed that 1) ‘All ships of any kind bound for Cuba from whatever nation or port will, if found to contain cargoes of offensive weapons, be turned back’ and 2) ‘It shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the western hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union.’ Continue reading Doomsday Clock Fizzles Along

Dave’s Question

Profile of Steve Carlson

Some years ago, I lost my closest friend to lung cancer. I think of Dave often because of a legacy, almost a special gift, he left me. It’s not a material one, rather it’s an attitude and approach that he honed and fine tuned until it became integral to how he thought and conducted himself in business and personal relationships.

Dave spent the first half of his working life as a sales trainer and executive in a tough business, the life insurance industry. In those last years in head office, Dave took up a hobby. Every weekend he loaded up his van and headed out to one of the biggest flea markets in southern Ontario. Over the years, his spot became permanent and indoors. He called it simply Dave’s Place. Evenings during the week he was out scouring Toronto for stock. I once asked him why he did it when he had such a good regular job. He answered, “Because I love the action.” Eventually, Dave’s income from this hobby was paying more than his job at head office so Dave took the big step. He resigned as a training exec and opened up his own business and an antique shop. Continue reading Dave’s Question

Thank You, Mrs. Clinton

Profile of Steve Carlson

Hillary Clinton’s position on the Falklands this week provides Canada with an opportunity to right an old wrong imposed by the United States just over a century ago. The American Secretary of State encouraged Argentina and Britain to sit down and talk about their claims and the future of these tiny islands, much to the chagrin of the Brits whose position has been no-way unless the islands’ inhabitants agree to such negotiations. Since Clinton is so gung-ho on talking, Prime Minister Stephen Harper should insist that the Americans look to their own backyard and re-open the issue over the Alaskan panhandle. Canadians who know their history appreciate that blatant travesty of justice this old border dispute represents. Continue reading Thank You, Mrs. Clinton

Blood from Stone

Profile of Steve Carlson

David Murdoch will be out for blood as the Scots meet Canada’s champion Kevin Martin this Saturday. If you think Murdoch represents Great Britain, you’re sadly mistaken. Every Canadian curler knows Murdoch and his team of Byers, Smith and MacDonald as simply The Scottish Team. Those same Canadian curlers also know that the game of curling is an ancient plot against the New World, hatched by the devious Scots centuries ago.

The terrible feud that has grown between our countries dates back to the very beginning of curling near Paisley Abbey in Scotland. Curling would not have been born then except that times were difficult. Local stonemasons were particularly suffering. In fact, building new stone cottages was at such an all-time low that the stonemasons decided to heave their building rocks into the White Cart Water, a tributary of the River Clyde, as a gesture of protest. Not an easy task. Just carrying these granite stones to the water’s edge was a challenge because the banks of shore were so steep. Several enterprising masons solved the problem by attaching temporary wooden handles to each rock the night before the protest. Continue reading Blood from Stone