Here is my interview with Philip Chen

philc44:

The following is my latest interview by Fiona McVie. You can find Falling Star at http://amzn.to/Falling-Star

Originally posted on authorsinterviews:

PhilHeadShot(1)

Name: Philip Chen
Age: 69
Where are you from: I was born in China and came to the United States in 1949
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc: I have degrees of Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering with Distinction from the University of Virginia, Master of Science from Stanford University, and Juris Doctor from the University of Minnesota. I was an ocean research engineer, environmental engineer, trial attorney, investment banker, and international private equity manager in Africa, among other things. I am married and have a son, daughter, and three lovely intelligent granddaughters.


Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Phil: For the nearly 30,000 readers (thankfully, many actually paid for the book) who have downloaded my first very realistic science fiction thriller, Falling Star, I can tell you that I am about fifty percent through with the sequel. Some readers felt that the first novel, which…

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By philc44

Thomas Robert Malthus Had It Right: After All

MalthusianTheoryThomas Robert Malthus (1766-1834) was an English cleric who postulated some very interesting economic theories.  Chief amongst them was the theory that population growth would increase at a geometric rate, while food production could only increase at an arithmetic rate.  This, of course, is not sustainable.

In what became known as the Malthusian Theory of Population Growth, Malthus said that if left unchecked through governmental intervention, natural forces would create catastrophes such as war, famine, disease, and other events that would work to bring the natural state of affairs back into equilibrium.  I am sure that I have not stated this precisely and that others may be able to do so far more eloquently than I.

This theory, of course, did not sit well with the learned souls of his age and his theory gave forth a controversy that has been brewing ever since.

Malthus’ dismal view of population growth and its consequences remains controversial to this date.  Bring up this theory around a bunch of wise economists and philosophers and be prepared to be labeled a heretic or even worse an imbecilic heretic.

But do you know something?  Given all that is happening around our world today and with the human population approaching, if not surpassing, seven billion, Malthus may have been right after all.

 

 

Look Before You Leap; Still Waters Run Deep — Please Share

ScreenLock

This is actually a serious cautionary note. 

Many people are availing themselves of various Apps for their smartphones, Kindles, iPads, or iPhones that purport to lock your screen whether by locking it after a period of inactivity or on command. 

On the surface, these seem to be judicious things to do, since one can inadvertently leave your cell phone somewhere that a stranger might take advantage of it.  In fact, I have done just that although my phone fell into honest hands and was left in an obvious place in the rest stop where I dropped and eventually returned to look for it.

With that experience in mind, I am constantly looking for ways to secure my phone, particularly when it might be lost or stolen; not that I am a regular habitué of such places.

As a consequence, I am very interested in Apps that can “lock” my smartphone.  I happen to own an Android phone, and have tried several such locking software and am usually disappointed.

I finally found one, which I will not describe by name or kind, since I suspect the problem that I am about to describe may well be endemic to the industry.

Simply put, the problem is the ability of nefarious ne’er-do-wells who would leap at the chance to use your cellphone for their evile purposes.  You install such Apps, as I did, to give yourself peace of mind that the phone, once locked, is impenetrable; that your private documents, photos, songs, videos, and precious minutes are forever safe.  Just what kind of photos and videos do you keep on your phone?  But I digress.

After installing the App and carefully crafting a creative password, I opened the App and locked my smartphone.  I did not choose the easy App screen lock, I chose the medium level one. That was my first mistake.

So I tried to unlock my phone, carefully following all the procedures to use the analog-based screen feature — to no success.  The “medium” security level algorithm proved to be a wee bit too hard for this graduate engineer; just a tad too difficult.  It would not let me in; at all.

Luckily, I had set the secondary level security access by carefully crafting a creative password known only to me.

Not.

Known to no man, woman, child, or baby. 

Maybe my five year-old granddaughter or her three year-old sister would have been able to break in, since they are both incredibly smart and clever with electronics, not like their fast approaching seventy-year-old grandpa.  But they were in Dollywood for the week and I doubt that they would have been able to rush up here to help their impossibly inept and severely dumb grandpa.  Besides their parents probably would not have given them the keys to drive up here by themselves.

Having thought about writing down the password, but getting distracted and not doing it left me in a dilemma.

On the one hand, I had a perfectly locked smartphone.  On the other hand, there was no way that I would ever be able to access the phone or its features, documents, photos, videos, and the such.  No I don’t keep those kinds of photos on my phone, I’m a grandpa fer god’s sake.

After about two hours of trying every conceivable combination of algorithms and analog tricks I could think of, alternating with attempts to spark my feeble memory so that I could remember the creative password, I was distraught.  That dog don’t hunt, as they used to say down south where I went to college.  Deader than an outboard motor on a fishing boat in the middle of the Great Lakes as the thunder storm rolls in.

So what could I do?

I took out the phone’s battery, which of course, does a hard reset of the phone.  It was a last ditch effort; it was that or use the phone as a storm anchor.

Lo and behold, not only did the hard reset work, it unlocked the telephone.  Once there, I went to the settings mode and uninstalled the screen lock App.

There in lies the problem.  If I can do it, anyone can.  If these Apps can be so easily by-passed, what good are they?

Please check to see if a similar act can break the screen lock, before installing that App.  You may thank me for this bit of advice.  If you do, please buy some of my books and help out this poor soon-to-be septuagenarian.

If this has been helpful, please share.

 

 

 

 

 

Look Before You Leap; Still Waters Run Deep — Please Share

ScreenLock

This is actually a serious cautionary note. 

Many people are availing themselves of various Apps for their smartphones, Kindles, iPads, or iPhones that purport to lock your screen whether by locking it after a period of inactivity or on command. 

On the surface, these seem to be judicious things to do, since one can inadvertently leave your cell phone somewhere that a stranger might take advantage of it.  In fact, I have done just that although my phone fell into honest hands and was left in an obvious place in the rest stop where I dropped and eventually returned to look for it.

With that experience in mind, I am constantly looking for ways to secure my phone, particularly when it might be lost or stolen; not that I am a regular habitué of such places.

As a consequence, I am very interested in Apps that can “lock” my smartphone.  I happen to own an Android phone, and have tried several such locking software and am usually disappointed.

I finally found one, which I will not describe by name or kind, since I suspect the problem that I am about to describe may well be endemic to the industry.

Simply put, the problem is the ability of nefarious ne’er-do-wells who would leap at the chance to use your cellphone for their evile purposes.  You install such Apps, as I did, to give yourself peace of mind that the phone, once locked, is impenetrable; that your private documents, photos, songs, videos, and precious minutes are forever safe.  Just what kind of photos and videos do you keep on your phone?  But I digress.

After installing the App and carefully crafting a creative password, I opened the App and locked my smartphone.  I did not choose the easy App screen lock, I chose the medium level one. That was my first mistake.

So I tried to unlock my phone, carefully following all the procedures to use the analog-based screen feature — to no success.  The “medium” security level algorithm proved to be a wee bit too hard for this graduate engineer; just a tad too difficult.  It would not let me in; at all.

Luckily, I had set the secondary level security access by carefully crafting a creative password known only to me.

Not.

Known to no man, woman, child, or baby. 

Maybe my five year-old granddaughter or her three year-old sister would have been able to break in, since they are both incredibly smart and clever with electronics, not like their fast approaching seventy-year-old grandpa.  But they were in Dollywood for the week and I doubt that they would have been able to rush up here to help their impossibly inept and severely dumb grandpa.  Besides their parents probably would not have given them the keys to drive up here by themselves.

Having thought about writing down the password, but getting distracted and not doing it left me in a dilemma.

On the one hand, I had a perfectly locked smartphone.  On the other hand, there was no way that I would ever be able to access the phone or its features, documents, photos, videos, and the such.  No I don’t keep those kinds of photos on my phone, I’m a grandpa fer god’s sake.

After about two hours of trying every conceivable combination of algorithms and analog tricks I could think of, alternating with attempts to spark my feeble memory so that I could remember the creative password, I was distraught.  That dog don’t hunt, as they used to say down south where I went to college.  Deader than an outboard motor on a fishing boat in the middle of the Great Lakes as the thunder storm rolls in.

So what could I do?

I took out the phone’s battery, which of course, does a hard reset of the phone.  It was a last ditch effort; it was that or use the phone as a storm anchor.

Lo and behold, not only did the hard reset work, it unlocked the telephone.  Once there, I went to the settings mode and uninstalled the screen lock App.

There in lies the problem.  If I can do it, anyone can.  If these Apps can be so easily by-passed, what good are they?

Please check to see if a similar act can break the screen lock, before installing that App.  You may thank me for this bit of advice.  If you do, please buy some of my books and help out this poor soon-to-be septuagenarian.

If this has been helpful, please share.

 

 

 

 

 

A Modest Proposal

Homeland_Brigade

Instead of running around scaring unarmed women and children seeking a better life.  And if they survive, maybe one of them could be the next Ernst Hemingway.

A Modest Proposal

Homeland_Brigade

Instead of running around scaring unarmed women and children seeking a better life.  And if they survive, maybe one of them could be the next Ernst Hemingway.

Don’t Call Us “The Homeland” – Please Share if You Agree

Homeland

Small wonder that the entire world thinks that we are their own personal police force.  Calling this great country “The Homeland” just exacerbates the image that America is Amerika, a militaristic force in the world, ready to rain down death and destruction everywhere we go.  Every time that word is used, cadenced stomping boots of hundreds of thousands of marching troops accompanied by missile launchers and tanks can be heard throughout the world.  Is that how we want to be perceived?

Another regrettable artifact from the Jingoistic Bush Administration, it is time to let this phrase go quietly into the night.

The Department of Homeland Security needs to be renamed or disaggregated into its component parts.  We are not Nazi Germany during World War II, Soviet Russia during the Cold War, or North Korea today.  We do not have Panzer Divisions, or thousands of jackbooted, goose-stepping troops poised to invade every country in the World on a moment’s notice.  We do not seek to overrun our neighbors, or impose any final solutions.  We just want to live in peace, or at least I think we do.  Am I wrong? 

But continuing to call our great country, the Homeland certainly gives the impression that we are Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, or North Korea.  It is now time to stop.

Wait for All the Facts

It is terribly important to get all the facts out before taking an opinion on the Michael Brown shooting.

If the extemporaneous statements by a purported eyewitness heard on the following videotape are true, then Michael Brown had turned around and was in the process oi rushing the police officer when he was fatally shot.

[Language]

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=e94_1408294281