How time flies - Chris Ullrich dot net

How time flies

It’s been two days since my last entry here. Time goes by fast. I actually had to do some work on Friday and was pretty tired when I got home so I went to bed. See, when you get older you can’t stay up as late as you used to (unless you have help). Something to look forward to.

What kind of work you may ask? When I am not working on various film and tv projects I have another company that does Technology consulting. I may have mentioned it before. Its’ called The MAC Authority. We help people get the most out of their computing experience and do consulting for companies who want to network or do anything that involves both the Macintosh and the Windows PC. It’s fun. And, its a great excuse to buy new gadgets all the time.

I pretty much know how to do two things well. I know how to make movies and keep them on budget and on schedule and I know how to work with computers and other technology. Which do I prefer? Right now, I am having a great time working with technology and am taking a break from the other business. I did it for some time and when you work that intensely on something there is a tendency to get burned out. At least there was for me. Hence, the break.

I still keep my hand in and most recently have been producing some commericals for a friend of mine. He is a very talented Director named Anthony Dalesandro. If you want to see some of the commercials, go check them out at his website. Other than that, we have some movie projects that we are working on and may or may not go somewhere. The trick that took me several years to learn is to make sure that you have another business to work in between gigs on film and tv shows.

That’s the life of a freelancer. You work quite a bit but then there are times when you don’t work at all. Sometimes those no work times last a long time. So, you need something to do and earn some money during the lean times. That’s the trick I mentioned above. Have another job. It’s that simple. Things are quite a bit happier when you have some money.

Even though I say bad things about money sometimes I’m not advocating that you get rid of it completely. You still need it to live. Unless you live in a monestary or something then you probably don’t need money. The rest of us do. Just don’t get too caught up in the pursuit of riches. It will usually end in disappointment. Not all of us can be Trump. The world needs ditch diggers too.

And last, but certainly not least, a very interesting article from Wired News:

A Pentagon effort to persuade Congress to allow military intelligence agents to work undercover in the United States met with resistance in the House Wednesday when the provision was left out of the highly secretive intelligence funding bill. However, the Senate’s version of the Intelligence Authorization Act of 2005 still includes the provision, which exempts Department of Defense intelligence agents from a portion of the Privacy Act, a 30-year-old law that outlaws secret databases on American citizens and green-card holders.

The bill would allow Pentagon intelligence agents to work undercover and question American citizens and legal residents without having to reveal that they are government agents. That exemption currently applies only to law enforcement officials working on criminal cases and to the CIA, which is prohibited from operating in the United States.

Pentagon officials say the exemption would not affect civil liberties and is needed so that its agents can obtain information from sources who may be afraid of government agents, such as a green-card-holding professor of nanotechnology who formerly lived under a repressive government. The military has increased its focus on antiterrorism programs within the United States, most notably by reorganizing its command structure in 2002 by creating the Northern Command in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The command is tasked with preventing and defeating threats and aggression aimed at the United States and helping civil authorities in the event of an emergency.

Such investigations should be conducted by the FBI, and the Department of Defense should not be engaged in widespread intelligence gathering in the United States, say civil liberties advocates, such as the American Civil Liberties Union’s legislative counsel Timothy Edgar. “This would allow military intelligence officers to undertake what amounts to undercover spying on Americans,” Edgar said. “This clearly should be in the purview of the FBI and state and local law enforcement.”

David Sobel, the Electronic Privacy Information Center’s general counsel, said that while the Defense Intelligence Agency does have responsibility for providing intelligence about attacks on domestic military bases, the agency should not be engaged in covert domestic spying. “Why can the DIA work undercover (in the United States) if the CIA can’t?” Sobel asked. “This is about the DIA playing an undercover intelligence role in the U.S.”

The DIA disputes it wants to collect information on Americans, saying the information exemption is intended simply to help its agents cultivate sources. Edgar, however, pointed to a recent controversy at the University of Texas as an example of how the current rules keep intelligence-gathering operations aboveboard.

In February, Army intelligence agents improperly sought information about attendees at a University of Texas law school conference about Muslim women. Conference organizers refused to provide a videotape of the event to the officers and publicized the request, leading to an apology by the Army. The Pentagon’s push for an exemption from the Privacy Act comes even as questions remain about the Army’s compliance with the Privacy Act in its homeland security efforts.

In September 2003, Wired News reported that Torch Concepts, an Army contractor ostensibly working on a base security project, was secretly given JetBlue’s entire passenger database in 2002 for a study of passenger profiling. There is no record that the Army published a Privacy Act notice about the data-mining effort, which sorted individuals’ social security numbers, family size and income to find potential terrorists.

The Department of Homeland Security’s chief privacy officer, Nuala O’Connor Kelly, admonished Transportation Security Administration employees in February for facilitating the transfers of personal information and breaking the spirit of the Privacy Act. The Army has yet to release the inspector general’s finished report, nine months after the revelation of the data transfer.

The Senate bill is now before the Armed Services Committee, which must finish its deliberations by early July before sending the bill to the full Senate floor for a vote. The bill is one of 13 remaining appropriations bills that must be passed by Congress by the end of the current session. If the provision remains in the Senate version and is not added to the House version before a vote, its fate will be decided in a closed-door House-Senate conference.

Interesting, right? This is something that probably isn’t a very good idea. Also, check out the good folks at the Electronic Frontier Foundation who fight the good fight. See what else you can do to get involved and stop crap like this from happening.

That is all.


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