Friday, December 03, 2010

A follow up...

A follow up to my last post. I think this guy just hit the nail on the head. I've read some of his stuff in the past. He breaks down and explains security issues pretty darn good. I think he got this idea (Washington Monument) right too.

Stuff happens. There are crazy people out there. There is a fine line between being safe and being paranoid. Maybe not even that fine. We now know that if a hijacking takes place, you don't sit in your seat - you rush the people trying to do it and pummel them. The cockpit doors being reinforced is the greatest security measure ever - and more than enough. The rest of it all - just intrusive and sometimes just embarrassing.

You have to draw a line between reasonable security and "we'll reactively respond to every new tactic as it comes along".

My big fear - they start doing this (the 'security' thing) for monuments, buses, subways, trains, state parks, restaurants, movies, etc.

I've flown over 200,000 miles this year - that is about 10 working weeks in the air - that involves a lot of airports. I know how intrusive this stuff can be. I would hate to see the "security stuff" impose itself on my other 40 some weeks (and everyone else's time).

I don't know why, but I'm reminded of one of my favorite movies. Brazil.


Blogger Kelloggsville said....

The American Cemetary at Omaha Beach in Normandy, France had airport style security in 2009. Heavily policed, irritatingly inefficient and oppressive. In contrast the British and German Cemetaries had no security whatsoever. In fairness though the American one was quite incredible by comparison and it was the one to blow up if you were going to try. However, all that has been achieved so far is 'people queuing to get into the cemetary' Score : fear 1, the People 0

Sun Dec 05, 12:16:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

Ben Franklin

Mon Dec 06, 05:52:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....


If I want someone to handle my package, I'll arrange for UPS to stop by.

This needs to be undone and not spread.

Mon Dec 06, 11:01:00 AM EST  

Blogger jimmyb said....

200,000 travel miles last year? I'm assuming you will be flying for free this year, with all the frequent flyer miles you have accumulated. :-)

Mon Dec 06, 12:23:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Brazil - perfect analogy!

Mon Dec 06, 01:01:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Venkat said....

I am asking this question after searching asktom for close to an hour and not finding what I was looking for.
I am specifically looking for the script where I can look at a row's contents in SQL*Plus as a list of columns. I pass the query (select * from ra_customer_trx where id = 123456) as the parameter and Tom's package (or function) displays the contents as a row for each column.

Thanks and Regards,

Mon Dec 06, 05:51:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....


Tue Dec 07, 04:03:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Bernie said....


I thought about pointing you towards Bruce Schneier after reading your previous blog entry. The two of you have a common aspect (and are amongst my favorite reads on the Internet). You both base decisions on real results, not upon I've-thought-this-through-and-it-goes-like-this.

On Ask Tom, for example, over and over and over you deal with people who don't bother to time their queries and the alternative queries to see which is faster. (And you frequently deal with people who don't ever write valid queries but still make claims.)

On Schneier on Security, I've seen him point out that teaching children to avoid all strangers in all circumstances is actually a bad idea. Statistically, most strangers are good people. Statistically, most homicides are committed by someone who knows that child, not by a stranger. Bruce Schneier covers a lot of topics.

Tue Dec 07, 04:50:00 AM EST  

Blogger al0 said....

"Terrorism is the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion." (Wikipedia)
"Coercion is the practice of forcing another party to behave in an involuntary manner"(Wikipedia)

Each we start to behave in a involuntary manner (e.g. introduce these checks) terrorists score.

Tue Dec 07, 10:59:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Venkat said....


Yup - print_table. Now I remember. I found it now. Thanks.


Tue Dec 07, 11:02:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

I find it very odd that all during the IRA bombings in the UK, where I live, we simply ignored them and carried on with our lives.

Our beloved leaders bang on about having our liberty and freedoms removed due to the threat of terrorism, yet our governments are taking them away from us piece by piece under the guise of keeping us safe. Seems to me like the terrorists are achieving their goals without really having to try.

Sad times indeed.

Wed Dec 15, 11:19:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....


I think the whole security thing has become ridiculous and overkill. Bad guys will use other methods than airports to do harm. The TSA is just more big government playing the nanny state. All the while shredding the freedom of rights against tyranny that the US Constitution and Bill of Rights were supposed to give to Americans.

Oracle guru

Tue Jan 11, 06:11:00 PM EST  


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