HuffingtonPost has a good article on 'cyber' security today. The author raises a number of questions that I have thought about for sometime. I don't have any really good answers and I don't think any of the so-called experts do either. We have become so dependent on computers and the internet that the consequences of a failure are both unfathomable and terrifying. I remember the crimp simple power outages and temporary network failure put in the small retail business I worked at not too many years ago. The inventory was all on computer. The business was a franchise and all of the sales (on which franchise fees were based) were transmitted to the home office. The computer programing simply didn't work unless the internet connection was working so any sales had to be done completely by hand and then later entered in the computer if there was any interruption in the internet. And, of course, a significant number of sales were on credit or debit cards which we couldn't get authorization for without internet and/or phone connection. How much of your banking do you do on line? Right now all of our bills are paid on line except for one and we could pay that one on line but we like to talk to our landlords so we take it into their office. All of my latest book purchases have been on line since I got my nook. Mom's medications are all ordered from an online service. In how many ways is the internet now integrated into our lives and how disrupting would an outage be?
And then there is this reminder of just how vulnerable we are to our various technological systems. And how expensive it is to repair the systems when they fail. The Army Corps of Engineers estimates that repairing the Mississippi levees damaged by the flooding this year will cost between $700M and $1B. Their budget for this year--$210M. They are hoping for a supplemental appropriations but considering Rep. Cantor's response to the notion of disaster funding for Joplin--nothing unless it were off set by cuts elsewhere--their hopes may go unfulfilled. On the other hand, the best plan may be to start removing the levees and returning the land to wetland. But such a plan would raise a howl from people who now have nice productive farms in what used to be wet land.
Just finished cutting the ginger mint and got enough to fill my dehydrator. I won't go after the oregano until the mint is dry. Shouldn't take more than an hour and a half.
The copper thefts continue. The FBI is weighing in on the issue noting that the thefts endanger public safety because of the disruption in power and communications systems. And what is the theft of the copper fittings in fire hydrants doing? I would hate to have a house on fire near one of the stripped hydrants.
The ginger mint is dried and bagged. It took a little less than an hour. Oregano and cat nip are in now. I think I will leave the lemon verbena and rosemary for another day.