Burglar Googled Your Expensive Crib

OK, this is a bit of a rant. I couldn’t let this one go. As many of you know, I live in Chicago. We typically have really good local news, however tonight, they failed at the good part. My favorite local news is NBC 5, and tonight they reported on the Google Map Burglar. This guy would use Google Maps to find local houses that were near a highway as well as expensive. According to the police that interviewed the burglar, the burglar told them that he would Google “expensive homes that run along highway” and then use Google Maps to view these homes.


When I got to get an early listen to Jono Bacon’s first Severed Fifth album, I told him something like, “this music makes me want to break into people’s house and rob them.” Well, I put on some Severed Fifth, fired up some Google, and got my search on. I typed the following into Google search:

  • expensive homes that run along highway
  • “expensive homes that run along highway” – had to try it with quotes as well

expensive homes that run along highway
Here is what showed up with that search string:

Google Web search results with un-quoted string

Google Maps search results with un-quoted string

"expensive homes that run along highway"
Here is what showed up with that search string:

Google Web search results with quoted string

Google Maps search results with quoted string

Why did I call bullshit initially? Easy:

  • As you can see, those search terms don’t come up with a single thing that would make my career as a burglar a good one.
  • Said he used Google Maps in satellite view and then used the 360° view to get a better look, however you can’t do this with Google Maps. They then go on to say he used Google Earth, so I am downloading and installing now to see if I can get a better view.
  • OK, Google Earth might help locating exterior windows and doors when panning around, but still isn’t all that clear.
  • Oh, remember he Googled expensive homes, well where the crimes happened, the homes there are far from expensive.
  • If you are going to case houses from Internet maps, use Bing, it is better when panning populated areas and gives a much clearer image.

Sure, they used Google Maps to find houses near a highway, but they didn’t Google expensive homes and got the results for the houses they robbed. I don’t know what is worse, the idiots actually using those search terms, or the cops who actually believe that is how they found the houses they hit.

OK, another bullshit thing, and you don’t get to read it in that article, is they way they made Google Maps so scary on the news and made it sound as if there were no Google Maps, robberies like this wouldn’t happen.

OK, rant is over, sorry to have disturbed you.

Posted in Personal | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Windows 8 Does Not Pose A Threat To Linux

I just finished reading an interesting article on Linux Insider that asked the question, "Does Windows 8 Pose a Threat to Linux?" The TLTR version is Windows 8 does not pose a threat to Linux because Linux on the desktop would have to matter first.

Before you start going bat shit insane on me, let me first state that I love Linux, and use Linux 99.9% of the time in my daily life. That other .1% of the time that I have to use something like Windows is only to sync up a Garmin device I use on my bicycle, and even then it is a bad excuse to use Windows (I know I can’t sync but I can manually upload my .FIT files via Linux). As a developer of sorts, I prefer to use Linux and its amazing tools to get my job done and to keep my life going. Sure, it started out as a hobby for me back in the early 90’s, but has since turned into a way of life for me.

I have done development on a Windows machine, and 75% of the time I complained about the workflow and how the tools available for Windows did nothing more than get in the way. The other 25% of the time I went out to dinner while something was compiling or I was updating the machine. Sure, that last part had a bit of sarcasm, but damn it is fairly dead on. I am one of those who prefer to use Vim (back in the day it was Emacs) to do most of my development work. Sure, I could use those in Windows, but they aren’t great at doing Windows development. My workflow with Linux is so much simpler than it is in Windows, and especially Windows 8.

Why doesn’t it pose a threat you ask? Simple, Windows already has billions of people using it and Linux only has millions. There is no threat to Linux, I repeat, there is no threat to Linux. Have you used Windows 8? If so, you know there is probably no threat to Windows XP. Sure, it is cool on the surface, and it is only a developer’s preview, but still, there is enough going on that you can figure out the direction. I installed Windows 8 on my desktop to play around with it. Note the phrase, “play around with it“, as it is nothing more than a toy at this moment. My dad, a devout christian Windows user, even a power user I guess you would say, played around with Windows 8 as well. His verdict was that there was no way in hell he would use it. Sure there is a lot of buzz out there about Windows 8, but my guess it is from people who haven’t used a Wii, saw a Windows Phone, played with Google TV, or used anything like Unity, Gnome Shell, or the KDE Plasma Netbook.

The one thing Windows 8 does brilliantly that has actually posed, not a threat, but more of a challenge to Linux, is the amount of time it takes to start. I put it on an older machine (3+ years old), and in 10 seconds it was up and running. Haven’t seen Linux do that yet. I know Canonical has been busy working on boot speed with Ubuntu, but it can’t even compare with Windows 8 at this time. Even if I put my Linux machine to sleep or hibernate, it can’t even boot up as fast as Windows 8.

So, not threat for Linux, and I doubt at threat for Windows XP, Windows 7, or Mac OS X users. One thing people need to remember is that Mac OS X users and Linux users are proud people, and use either of those for a reason, and a majority of that time the reason is because Windows sucks. OK, sucks is a harsh word, but you chose to use Linux or Mac OS X for some reason.

I am interested in hearing if you think it poses a threat to Linux, so go ahead, leave a comment below.

Posted in Linux | Tagged , | 22 Responses

Tour de Cure – Sending Diabetes OTB

Tour de Cure - 20 Years Riding Strong

Cycling 100 miles for a cause and sending diabetes Off The Back!

On Sunday, June 12, 2011, I will ride for over 100 miles to help raise awareness and collect donations for the American Diabetes Association. As it currently stands I have $825 out of $1,000 in donations. A special thanks goes out to my fellow KDE hackers, Athletes By Design cycling team members, family, and friends. All I need to complete my donation campaign is raise another $175, and I am hoping any of you can help. The minimal donation allowed through the Tour de Cure is $5, however if you would like to donate just a $1 or less than $5, you can use the donate button to the right and I will move that money over. To donate directly to my Tour de Cure collection, please go to Any and all donations are greatly appreciated!

A few years ago my mother was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, and I have other family and friends who are also battling either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. I see the pain they go through day in and day out living with this disease. Now before some of you say it is their fault, often with my family and friends it isn’t. Among friends is a professional cyclist riding for Team Type 1 who has had it since he was a kid. I am just trying to do my part in helping an organization that is all about teaching and finding a cure. I am riding for my mother as well as my family and friends.

I know that with your help I can reach my goal. Also check your local areas for the Tour de Cure ride and sign up, then let me know so I can donate to your goal. It is a very well-organized and fun ride. I will be riding with about 10 of my other cycling teammates as well as friends and colleagues. Thanks everyone!

Posted in Cycling, Personal | Tagged | 2 Responses
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