Conceived above a saloon, delivered into this world by a masked man identified by his heavily sedated mother as Captain Video, raised by a kindly West Virginian woman, a mild-mannered former reporter with modest delusions of grandeur and no tolerance of idiots and the intellectually dishonest.


network solutions made me a child pornographer!
The sordid details...


Anniversary


Requiem for a fictional Scotsman


Oh my God! They killed Library!! Those bastards!!!


Elegy to a Mostly Maine Coon


It's a Hap-Hap-Happy Day


A Pittsburgher in the Really Big City


Da Burg Annat


I Have Issues


Yeah, yeah, I'm inspired


At least the rivers freeze in Pittsburgh


He knows if yinz is a jagoff


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no. we're not that kgb.

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KGB, CIA linked


The Carbolic Smoke Ball
Superb satire, and based in Pittsburgh!


Americans United for Separation of Church and State

"No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."
Article VI, U.S. Constitution


Geek of the Week, 7/16/2000

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miscellany

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Friday, February 20, 2004

Mr. bin Laden, you're clear to fly...

And they wonder why all that airport security doesn't make use feel secure...

By Timothy W. Maier
© 2004 Insight/News World Communications Inc.

Imagine if the world's most notorious fugitive, Osama bin Laden, attempted to board an airliner in the United States. Suppose he were clean-shaven, sporting short hair, wearing a pinstriped business suit and looked like so many other travelers that no suspicions were raised. How far might he get? If he used aliases such as names of family members, he would be nabbed instantly and whisked away for questioning. That's because many of his relatives are on the FBI's secret "no-fly list," according to intelligence sources.

But suppose he boldly decided to use his own name. Would he be cleared to fly? Insight recently learned that scenario was tested at a U.S. airport in the South during January. The result was troubling: America's most-wanted fugitive is cleared to fly. According to airline-security documents obtained by this magazine, the name Osama bin Laden was punched into the computer by an airline official and, remarkably, that name was cleared at the security checkpoint all passengers must pass through before being issued a boarding pass.

The realization that Osama bin Laden made the cut sent shivers down the spines of airline-security officials who discovered the system gap.

"When the most-wanted man in modern history is not included on the list of possible terrorists there are some serious deficiencies in the system which need to be addressed," says an airport-security official familiar with the test. In fact, Insight has learned from law-enforcement sources that at least two other names of known terrorists cleared security checkpoints when officials punched them into the computer.

As shocking as these revelations may seem, airline-security experts and privacy-advocate groups say they are not surprised. Kathleen Sweet, author of " Aviation and Airport Security: Terrorism and Safety Concerns," tells Insight the incident confirms the vulnerability of the current system.

"It often fails to detect terrorists until they have boarded the plane," and by then it might be too late, Sweet warns. As she points out, "We have computers talking to each other but not necessarily in a timely manner."

When Transportation Security Administration spokesman Mark Hatfield was asked why bin Laden's name did not set off alarms, he grew silent. Obviously uncomfortable, he at last said the airlines that employ Computer-Assisted Passenger Screening, or CAPS, a software program designed to flag suspicious travelers, don't use it, well, consistently.

The complete story.

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Thursday, February 19, 2004

Remembering the 90s

http://www.geocities.com/ResearchTriangle/Node/8261/index.html

Expressions synonymous with the 90s

Blamestorming: Sitting around in a group, discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed, and who was responsible.

Body Nazis: Hard-core exercise and weightlifting fanatics who look down on anyone who doesn't work out obsessively.

Seagull Manager: A manager who flies in, makes a lot of noise, shits on everything and then leaves.

Chainsaw Consultant: An outside expert brought in to reduce the employee headcount, leaving the top brass with clean hands.

Cube Farm: An office filled with cubicles.

Idea Hamsters: People who always seem to have their idea generators running.

Mouse Potato: The online wired generation's answer to the couch potato.

Prairie Dogging: When someone yells or drops something loudly in a cube farm, and people's heads pop up over the walls to see what's going on.

SITCOMs: What yuppies turn into when they have children and one often stops working to stay home with the kids. Stands for "Single Income, Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage."

Squirt the Bird: To transmit a signal to a satellite.

Starter Marriage: A short-lived first marriage that ends in divorce with no kids, no property and no regrets.

Stress Puppy: A person who seems to thrive on being stressed out and whiny.

Swiped Out: An ATM or credit card that has been rendered useless because the magnetic strip is worn away from extensive use.

Tourists: People who take training classes just to get a vacation from their jobs. "We had three serious students in the class; the rest were just tourists."

Treeware: Hacker slang for documentation or other printed material, such as books.

Xerox Subsidy: Euphemism for swiping free photocopies from one's workplace.

Going Postal: Euphemism for being totally stressed out, for losing it. Makes reference to the unfortunate track record of postal employees who have snapped and gone on shooting rampages.

Alpha Geek: The most knowledgeable, technically proficient person in an office or work group. "Ask Larry, he's the alpha geek around here."

Assmosis: The process by which some people seem to absorb success and advancement by kissing up to the boss rather than working hard.

Chips and Salsa: Chips = hardware, salsa = software. "Well, first we gotta figure out if the problem's in your chips or your salsa."

Flight Risk: Used to describe employees who are suspected of planning to leave a company or department soon.

GOOD Job: A "Get Out Of Debt" job. A well paying job people take in order to pay off their debts, one that they will quit as soon as they are solvent again.

Irritainment: Entertainment and media spectacles that are annoying, but you find yourself unable to stop watching them. The O.J. trials were a prime example.

Percussive Maintenance: The fine art of whacking the crap out of an electronic device to get it to work again.

Uninstalled: Euphemism for being fired. Heard on the voicemail of a vice president at a downsizing computer firm: "You have reached the number of an uninstalled vice president. Please dial our main number and ask the operator for assistance." See also Decruitment.

Yuppie Food Stamps: The ubiquitous $20 bills spewed out of ATMs everywhere. Often used when trying to split the bill after a meal: "We all owe $8 each, but all anybody's got is yuppie food stamps."

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Wednesday, February 18, 2004

.--.-.

Morse code is entering the 21st century -- or at least the late 20th.

The 160-year-old communication system now has a new character to denote the "@" symbol used in e-mail addresses.

In December, the International Telecommunications Union, which oversees the entire frequency spectrum, from amateur radio to satellites, voted to add the new character.

The new sign, which will be known as a "commat," consists of the signals for "A" (dot-dash) and "C" (dash-dot-dash-dot), with no space between them.

The new sign is the first in at least several decades, and possibly much longer. Among ITU officials and Morse code aficionados, no one could remember any other addition.

http://www.detnews.com/2004/technology/0402/17/technology-66475.htm

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Tuesday, February 17, 2004

He must have been in the military...

Manual Dexterity
...'cause it sure looks like he knows how to handle a joystick. (Thanks to David Browning)

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Forget the debates...

This is what we need during presidential election campaigns.

Assuming, of course, the subjects actually have brains which can be measured.

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Copyright © 1987-2017 by Kevin G. Barkes
All rights reserved.
Violators will be prosecuted.
So there.  
The kgb@kgb.com e-mail address is now something other than kgb@kgb.com saga.
kgbreport.com used to be kgb.com until December, 2007 when the domain name broker Trout Zimmer made an offer I couldn't refuse. Giving up kgb.com and adopting kgbreport.com created a significant problem, however. I had acquired the kgb.com domain name in 1993, and had since that time used kgb@kgb.com as my sole e-mail address. How to let people know that kgb@kgb.com was no longer kgb@kgb.com but rather kgbarkes@gmail.com which is longer than kgb@kgb.com and more letters to type than kgb@kgb.com and somehow less aesthetically pleasing than kgb@kgb.com but actually just as functional as kgb@kgb.com? I sent e-mails from the kgb@kgb.com address to just about everybody I knew who had used kgb@kgb.com in the past decade and a half but noticed that some people just didn't seem to get the word about the kgb@kgb.com change. So it occurred to me that if I were generate some literate, valid text in which kgb@kgb.com was repeated numerous times and posted it on a bunch of different pages- say, a blog indexed by Google- that someone looking for kgb@kgb.com would notice this paragraph repeated in hundreds of locations, would read it, and figure out that kgb@kgb.com no longer is the kgb@kgb.com they thought it was. That's the theory, anyway. kgb@kgb.com. Ok, I'm done. Move along. Nothing to see here...

commentwear


Crystal Methodist


Laugh while you can, monkey-boy


I am a professional. Do not try this at home.


I canna change the laws of physics


As a matter of fact, I *am* the boss of you.
(as a matter of fact, i AM the boss of you.)


Truly great madness cannot be achieved without signficant intelligence


I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.


Left wing liberal nut job


Flies spread disease. Keep yours zipped.


Eff the ineffable, scrute the inscrutable.


If my answers frighten you then you should cease asking scary questions.


If evolution is just a theory, why am I surrounded by monkeys?


Nutrition makes me puke


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eat wisely


Dyslexics have more fnu!


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