The Strange Case of Dr. B.:

Within months of his death in 1990, the reputation of Bruno Bettelheim — the revered survivor of the camps, head of the famous Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School for troubled children at the University of Chicago, formidable educator, and author of the acclaimed The Informed Heart, The Empty Fortress, Love Is Not Enough, The Children of the Dream, and The Uses of Enchantmentappeared to be in shreds. Certain former students from the school and several of his former associates were accusing him of everything from plagiarism and lying about his past to brutality and child abuse. He was even bitterly condemned for having taken his own life. So radical and abrupt a shift in perception about a famous and admired man suggests an overpowering personality whom others had feared and resented and only now felt safe to attack.

Indeed, Bettelheim was such a personality—inspiring, seductive, aggressive, irascible, dismissive of fools or perceived enemies, and capable of both great kindness and great unkindness. Like other remarkable men who have been leaders, even gurus, within small, intense, contained institutions —Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio, William Shawn at The New Yorker— he attracted passionate loyalty and affection but also built up suppressed (or open) resentment in certain of his disciples. New York Review of Books

Computer Stupidities

“The following is a large collection of stories and anecdotes about clueless computer users. It’s a baffling phenomenon that in today’s society an individual, who might in other circumstances be considered smart and wise, can sit down in front of a computer screen and instantly lose every last shred of common sense he ever possessed. Complicate this phenomenon with a case of “computerphobia,” and you end up with tech support personnel having phone conversations that are funny in retrospect but seem like perfectly valid motives for wild machine gun shooting sprees at the time. You will read stories in this file that will convince you that among the human race are human-shaped artichokes futilely attempting to break the highly regarded social convention that vegetables should not operate electronic equipment. And yet, amidst the vast, surging quantities of stupidity are perfectly excusable technological mishaps — but that are amusing nonetheless. After all, even the best of us engages in a little brainless folly every once in a while.

Most of these stories are true. Some happened to me personally. Some happened to friends of mine. Some are considered urban legends, but even most of these are more likely to have happened in some form or another than not. Skeptics look at such stories and doubt their truth. But reason, common sense, and experience tell me that if you sit someone who isn’t computer literate (even a smart someone) down in front of a computer, you’re bound to accrue anecdotes no less outrageous than these. You’d be surprised.”

TurboTax Test Results Part II:

Adding to earlier concerns about TurboTax using digital rights management is the icing on the cake: the program gains unauthorized access to sectors of your hard disk outside the operating system to write special licensing data.

Clearly, the data in Sector 33 is a special “signature” that SafeCast uses to decide whether a program installation is legitimate. If you copy TurboTax to another hard drive , or restore to a new drive from a backup, this signature will not be included. And without that signature, SafeCast may deny you access to the software even if you’ve legally purchased and registered it.

Reserved Sectors Can Be Unsafe: Unfortunately, these “reserved” sectors of the hard drive aren’t necessarily a safe place for data. And they’re an especially dicey place to keep licensing information. According to Frank Van Gilluwe — whose company, V Communications, publishes System Commander and Partition Commander — viruses have been known to hide in this portion of the disk.

Data compression utilities, “multiboot” utilities, password protection and encryption software, and sector translation software (which allows older computer systems to accept today’s huge hard drives) may also reside in this area. Sometimes these applications can interfere with each other, in effect fighting for use of the space.

False Alarm?

Alert Partly Based on Lies:

‘A key piece of the information leading to recent terror alerts was

fabricated, according to two senior law enforcement officials in Washington

and New York.

The officials said that a claim made by a captured al Qaeda member that

Washington, New York or Florida would be hit by a “dirty bomb” sometime this

week had proven to be a product of his imagination.’ ABC News