Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Justice Dept. Starts Inquiry on Leak of C.I.A. Officer's Identity

Justice Dept. Starts Inquiry on Leak of C.I.A. Officer's Identity: "'There are too many leaks of classified information in Washington,' Mr. Bush said in Chicago, where he was attending a fund-raiser. 'And if there's a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. And if the person has violated law, the person will be taken care of.'"

All right, let's get this party started. Time to root out some rats, err, fall guys, err .... hopefully ... Cheney, Rove, and Ashcroft.

We'll send Rummy to the Front.

There's chaos on the buses: Model reveals why shuttles come all at once or not at all.

There's chaos on the buses: Model reveals why shuttles come all at once or not at all.: "You wait half an hour for an airport shuttle bus, then two show up at once. It's not bad planning, it's chaos, says Japanese researcher Takashi Nagatani of Shizuoka University.

The unpredictability of shuttle-bus services may be inherent in the shuttling process, calculates Nagatani. He demonstrates that the average number of passengers aboard a bus and the distance between vehicles can fluctuate unpredictably, resulting in a less efficient system. Chaos emerges even in a very simple set up of two buses picking up regularly arriving passengers and taking them at constant speed to one destination."

It's not evil, it's chaos.

Sunscreen may not prevent cancer

Sunscreen may not prevent cancer: "LONDON, Sept. 29 � Sunscreen creams cannot fully protect people against an increasingly common form of skin cancer even when correct amounts are applied, according to research published on Monday."

Figures. Dang marketing.

Hoom! Maps and Walking Directions (to Mordor)

Hoom! Maps and Walking Directions (to Mordor)

I just finished watching my new DVD the other day. The battle scenes from the Two Towers are simply incredible. The map is just funny.

E! Online News - J.Lo's Flashdancing Fiasco

E! Online News - J.Lo's Flashdancing Fiasco: "Jennifer Lopez and her label have been put on legal notice for swiping some moves from Flashdance for her new video, 'I'm Glad.'

Lopez, who has cited Flashdance as one of her fave flicks, decided to pay homage to director Adrian Lyne's 1983 smash film starring Jennifer Beals, right down to the dance steps.
The trouble is, according to Paramount Pictures, the studio that owns the film, the 'I'm Glad' clip was more a rip-off than tribute."

Imitation is flattery. No, wait, it's evil, evil theft. No, wait, it's art.

FOXNews.com - Foxlife - Madonna Sued for Allegedly Copying Images for Video

FOXNews.com - Foxlife - Madonna Sued for Allegedly Copying Images for Video: "NEW YORK — A fashion photographer's son has sued Madonna (search), saying the singer copied his late father's images in a set of videos for her song 'Hollywood.'"

This goes with the Irony tag, along with KaZaA's case against the RIAA.

Eschaton: Seems it was Rove.

Eschaton

Looks like those 'senior administration officials' are slowly coming into focus.

Washington Insiders' New Firm Consults on Contracts in Iraq

Washington Insiders' New Firm Consults on Contracts in Iraq: "WASHINGTON, Sept. 29 � A group of businessmen linked by their close ties to President Bush, his family and his administration have set up a consulting firm to advise companies that want to do business in Iraq, including those seeking pieces of taxpayer-financed reconstruction projects.

At a time when the administration seeks Congressional approval for $20.3 billion to rebuild Iraq, part of an $87 billion package for military and other spending in Iraq and Afghanistan, the company's Web site, www.newbridgestrategies.com, says, "The opportunities evolving in Iraq today are of such an unprecedented nature and scope that no other existing firm has the necessary skills and experience to be effective both in Washington, D.C., and on the ground in Iraq."


I remember Perle also getting some heat for this kind of stuff a little while back.

update: Perle != Wolfowitz. Well, maybe kinda.

Alice Kelley's Fractals

Alice Kelley's Fractals

Pretty pics. nod to Steel for the link.

Newgrounds.com Presents: Megaman vs Metroid

Newgrounds.com Presents: Megaman vs Metroid

Wow. Killer what happens when people are allowed to be creative.

Monday, September 29, 2003

Salon.com News | Dean and Clark's civil union

Salon.com News | Dean and Clark's civil union

Pick 'em, it's fine for me. Since I'm not a Democrat, all the stuff up to and including the primaries is just a reality show for me.

The Agonist: Diebold Machines

The Agonist: Diebold Machines

Good run down on a (possible) end-run around Democracy.

Media Review Conduct After Leak (washingtonpost.com)

Media Review Conduct After Leak (washingtonpost.com): "When syndicated columnist Robert Novak reported on July 14 that 'two senior administration officials' had told him that the wife of a prominent White House critic did undercover work for the CIA, it barely caused a ripple."

This wasn't really true in the blog world. Many noted that it was extremely suspicious that someone who came out to call B.S. on Bush was then outed, almost as an aside, in an unrelated article.

The Bush Administration also prides itself on holding grudges and making peole pay, so maybe they've done something wrong that can actually be proved in a court of law. Someone over there is a felon, and it's not just for downloading music.

Atlanta,Georgia,11Alive,ATLANTA,News,Weather,Doppler,sports,events

Atlanta,Georgia,11Alive,ATLANTA,News,Weather,Doppler,sports,events: "ATLANTA (AP) -- Former President Jimmy Carter warned Americans against curtailing human rights in the name of homeland security, saying it undermines the country's credibility in nations struggling with oppressive governments."

I still like the guy. I don't care what anyone says. And he's right.

EE Times - World's strongest magnetic field is demonstrated

EE Times - World's strongest magnetic field is demonstrated

1 Tesla = The magnitude of the magnetic field vector necessary to produce a force of one newton on a charge of one coulomb moving perpendicular to the direction of the magnetic field vector with a velocity of one meter per second.

Friday, September 26, 2003

Anybody But Bush

Anybody But Bush

My sentiments exactly. I'm a big believer that the two party system is broken. But now's not the time to try and fix that (as I have with my last three Presidential votes). There's another goal for this next election.

Levi, an American Icon, to Shut Last Plants in U.S.

Levi, an American Icon, to Shut Last Plants in U.S.: "Levi Strauss & Co., maker of a jeans brand so all-American that it became ingrained in the nation's identity, said Thursday that it would close the last of its North American manufacturing plants, laying off almost 2,000 workers.

San Francisco-based Levi, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, said it would shutter two plants in San Antonio by the end of the year, displacing 800 workers there and marking the end of its U.S. manufacturing operations. The clothing firm will discontinue its Canadian operations in March, erasing 1,190 jobs at three plants in Alberta and Ontario."

Globalization and another reason we just grabbed an assload more oil.

FOXNews.com - Politics - Tucker Carlson: 202-898-7900

FOXNews.com - Politics - Tucker Carlson: 202-898-7900: "Tucker Carlson: 202-898-7900"

It doesn't work anymore. And the woman who answers the phone seems pretty tired. Just ask for Tucker.

WorldNetDaily: Fox publicizes CNN commentator's home number

WorldNetDaily: Fox publicizes CNN commentator's home number: "The two leading cable news networks, Fox News and CNN, have engaged in a tit-for-tat public battle over phone numbers.
According to Fox, Tucker Carlson, co-host of CNN's 'Crossfire,' made a 'journalistic blunder' by giving out the phone number of Fox's Washington bureau on the air when he was prodded to reveal his own home number.
After Fox began receiving 'numerous phone calls,' according to the report, Fox posted a story on its website that included Tucker's actual home phone number. "

Bah, I published my home phone number on the net month's ago.

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Actor Willis' $1m Saddam bounty

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Actor Willis' $1m Saddam bounty: "Actor Bruce Willis has performed before US soldiers in Telafar, northern Iraq, and offered $1m (�603,000) to the man who captures Saddam Hussein."

Good for him. Pretty typical actor-style quotes though.

""But being over here just a couple of days, seeing how well our troops and the allied troops are being received here, (I) think the Iraqi people are happy we're here," the Hollywood star said.

"Children are being taken care of, starting being inoculated, starting being looked after. Wherever these guys go they get thumbs up. They no longer have to contend with the terrorist leader," Willis said. "

and then it continues.

"But the star later admitted he had not met many Iraqis because he had been travelling the country by helicopter."

I'm not saying that many great things aren't happening, I know they are. But how many soccer fields being build make up for your cousin being blown away? I don't think there's a number that high.

Maybe the 6-month exit/new government strategy/goal is good thing. Err, if it works.

Revenge of the ex-generals

Revenge of the ex-generals: "NEW YORK, Sept. 25 � �Windbags of war,� quipped a television critic back in April as cable news airwaves normally filled with slick broadcasters were invaded by graying former generals. With American troops thrusting into Iraq, television networks put these retired officers on retainer to ride shotgun with their anchors. When several of them dared warn that the American war plan spread U.S. forces dangerously thin, the Pentagon quickly launched a broadside that all but accused them of undermining the war effort. Five months later, however, American troops are dying in a guerrilla war, more National Guard and reservists are being mobilized and the Bush team has few allies abroad willing to send their own sons into harm�s way. The �winds of war� appear to have shifted."

More of the useless 'I told you so' articles. Good to see Wesley Clark in the race though. Even if he doesn't get the nomination, it gives credence to those that stand near to him on the podium.

News & Features | The Empire strikes back

News & Features | The Empire strikes back: "'What we�re seeing right now is really exciting in terms of inventiveness,' says Newbury Comics� Dreese. 'Just think of how far we�ve come since the advent of recording in how we listen to music. Now it�s a matter of the law and certain legal rights catching up with technology. We�re living in an accelerated world, so what we�re experiencing now with the lawsuits, some universities considering a student fee for downloading music, and other possible solutions might have taken much more time. After all, it took something like 40 years of litigation to get the music on radio licensed. Now, within the span of about five years, we�re going to have a completely new technology and possibly new laws in place for an industry. That�s remarkable.'"

The last paragraph is the best. He hits the problem's nail on the it's proverial head.

Music Changes In "WKRP In Cincinnati"

Music Changes In "WKRP In Cincinnati": "If you've watched 'WKRP In Cincinnati' on the Comedy Network in Canada, or on TNN in the United States, or on the commercial videotapes released in 1998, then you may have noticed that some of the music has been changed. You may have also noticed some dialogue changes, as in one episode that now has a nonsense line ('Hold my order, terrible dresser') replacing a quote from Elton John's 'Tiny Dancer.' This page will try to explain what's happened to the music on 'WKRP,' and why."

Strange but true stories about the maze of music licensing.

U.S. Is Only the Tip of Pirated Music Iceberg

U.S. Is Only the Tip of Pirated Music Iceberg: "RUSSELS, Sept. 25 — Hang around any schoolyard in Germany or college campus in Indonesia and it becomes clear that the recording industry's problems with the illegal online distribution of music in the United States pale beside the rampant piracy that goes on overseas.
From factories in Taiwan and Eastern Europe that churn out counterfeit CD's to teenagers in Scandinavia and Singapore who download songs from the Internet and 'burn' them on to blank discs, the line between legitimate and pirated music has all but vanished in many countries."

Reason N why the RIAA's approach is destined for failure. A better approach is not only called for, but absolutely necessary.

There are some very start lines in what should and should not be allowed, and when the creator of a work needs to be compensated. The RIAA, and others, have taken a hard line that will only lead to thier own backs being broken. But there is a real issue here, and not everyone on my side of the fense will allow that.

90% piracy rates in countries with over a billion people might be a place to start.

Globally there is also the issue of questioning the necessity of strict copyright. If an artist is given the incentive to create solely based on local market rules (copyright), how does the international market-place, and controls there-on, affect a person's desire to produce and be compensated fairly for that production?

A Hummerdinger of a Tax Loophole? (washingtonpost.com)

A Hummerdinger of a Tax Loophole? (washingtonpost.com): "'Allow me to introduce you to a fabulous opportunity,' Chris Thorpe, a sales representative for Hummer of Alaska, writes in a promotion letter. 'A tax 'loophole' so big you could drive a Hummer H2 through it! Imagine being able to purchase the #1 large luxury SUV in America today . . . and receive a deduction for the entire purchase amount from your taxes this year!'
'How is this possible?' Thorpe asks. 'Thanks to the Bush administration's recent economic stimulus package, small businesses and the self-employed are eligible to deduct the entire purchase cost of new equipment up to $100,000 the year of the purchase.'"

I remember hearing that this was a part of that economic stimulus package. Yea, the one that makes energy conservation a national priority. Uh-huh, that one.

THE PENALTIES OF PIRATING

THE PENALTIES OF PIRATING

Nice short story from someone who signed up on QP the other day.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Lateline - 25/09/2003: New Iraq hit by first political assassination . Australian Broadcasting Corp

Lateline - 25/09/2003: New Iraq hit by first political assassination . Australian Broadcasting Corp: "With Iraq front and centre at the United Nations and in Washington, there has been no let up in the violence on the ground. A series of bombings have left four dead and at least 50 wounded. In addition, in the first political assassination of the new Iraq, one of only three women on the Governing Council has died She succumbed to gun shot wounds she suffered in an attack last week."

Good quotes, although TV looks kinda strange as text.

ABCNEWS.com : Nigeria Court Overturns Stoning Sentence

ABCNEWS.com : Nigeria Court Overturns Stoning Sentence: "KATSINA, Nigeria Sept. 25 — An Islamic appeals court Thursday threw out the case of a Nigerian woman sentenced to death by stoning for committing adultery, a case that sharpened the divide between Muslims and Christians in Africa's most populous country. "

Joy. This one was a nasty case that could have been quite horrible. Good to see some sanity.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Maker of File-Sharing Software Files Copyright Lawsuit Against Music, Movie Companies - from Tampa Bay Online

Maker of File-Sharing Software Files Copyright Lawsuit Against Music, Movie Companies - from Tampa Bay Online: "Sharman Networks, the company behind the Kazaa file-sharing software, filed a federal lawsuit Monday, accusing the movie studios and the Recording Industry of America of using 'Kazaa Lite,' a replica of its software without advertising, to get onto the network. Sharman claims its copyright was violated because Kazaa Lite is an unauthorized version of its free software"

Yup, I use Kazaa Lite also (on those rare times I connect to P2P). So, in all actuality, KaZaA shouldn't be held liable for my use of their adulterated software.

Or something like that.

Boston.com / Business / Recording industry withdraws suit

Boston.com / Business / Recording industry withdraws suit: "Privacy advocates said the suit against Sarah Seabury Ward, a sculptor who said she has never downloaded or digitally shared a song, revealed flaws in the Recording Industry Association of America's legal strategy. Ward was caught up in a flood of 261 lawsuits filed two weeks ago that targeted people who, through software programs like Kazaa, make copyrighted songs available for others to download over the Internet."

D'oh. What!? The RIAA going after the wrong people?! No way.

Bityard - Sorry, but that MP3 is not allowed!

Bityard - Sorry, but that MP3 is not allowed!

Older rant about MP3's. I watched K Street last night, and remembered why I'm not a Democrat.

Talking Points Memo: Joseph Wilson Interviews

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall

This is part of a two-part 20-page interview with Joseph Wilson, the guy that went to Niger to investigate the 'uranium purchase' attempt by Hussein's Iraq.

Blogs by Iranians

Blogs by Iranians

Title says it all. These are the ones in English.

Monday, September 22, 2003

Reuters | Latest Financial News / Full News Coverage

Reuters | Latest Financial News / Full News Coverage: "The legal actions come after iMesh said in late August it planned to sell copyrighted music from independent artists, films and games, alongside its file-swapping operations.

At the time, iMesh chief executive Elan Oren told Reuters the company had no intentions to abandon its file-sharing operations."

Yet another in a long line of anti-competitive clawsuits to keep media consolidated.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

In a Reversal, Ashcroft Lifts Secrecy of Data

In a Reversal, Ashcroft Lifts Secrecy of Data: "ASHINGTON, Sept. 17 — Under pressure from lawmakers and civil rights groups over the Justice Department's antiterrorism initiatives, Attorney General John Ashcroft reversed course today and agreed to declassify data showing how often federal agents had demanded records from libraries and other institutions."

Well about dang time. It is going to be tough data to calibrate since it's illegal for the librarians themselves to publicly mention such searches.

"Mark Corallo, a department spokesman, said it was uncertain what form the public release of the documents would take. But, he said, "the numbers that everyone is so concerned about will be released." He said Mr. Ashcroft had "made light of all the criticism, but he wanted to make sure the public understands what we're actually doing."

"He felt it was in the public interest and the national security interest to have these numbers declassified," Mr. Corallo said."

Yea, right, he did this out of the good of his heart. Which is exactly why he's been touring the country trying to convince everyone that the entire Patriot Act, as written, is the bees knees.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

RedNova News: Giant Star Seen Swallowing Planets

RedNova News: Giant Star Seen Swallowing Planets: "University of Sydney -- Astronomers from Sydney University have come forth with a solution to a mysterious new object recently discovered in our Milky Way.
In a letter soon to be published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Dr Alon Retter and Dr Ariel Marom from the Department of Physics suggest that this phenomenon is an expanding giant star swallowing nearby planets, an event which may one day befall our own planet."

Mmm, planets.

The Computational Beauty of Nature

The Computational Beauty of Nature

I love stumbling across stuff like this, especially when it happens after being exposed to great fiction.

House Approves Republican-Drawn Redistricting Map Despite Hours of Debate From Democrats - from Tampa Bay Online

House Approves Republican-Drawn Redistricting Map Despite Hours of Debate From Democrats - from Tampa Bay Online: "The GOP is battling for domination of the 32-member Texas delegation in Congress. Democrats hold a 17-15 advantage, but Republicans, urged on by U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, say existing congressional boundaries don't reflect the state's increasingly Republican voting patterns.
King's map would give Texas Republicans as many as 21 seats in Congress"

Ugh.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

MAD DAWG Always Finds The Funniest Shit

MAD DAWG Always Finds The Funniest Shit: "sexysusan: Thats ok. Ok I'm a japanese schoolgirl, what are you.
J-Dogg: A Rhinocerus. Well, hung like one, thats for sure.
sexysusan: Haha, ok lets go.
sexysusan: I put my hand through your hair, and kiss you on the neck.
J-Dogg: I stomp the ground, and snort, to alert you that you are in my breeding territory.
sexysusan: Haha, ok, you know that turns me on.
sexysusan: I start unbuttoning your shirt.
J-Dogg: Rhinoceruses don't were shirts."

Good, light reading on pranking. Today must be prank Tuesday.

U.S. Veto's Security Council Resolution on Arafat

U.S. Veto's Security Council Resolution on Arafat: "The United States vetoed an Arab-backed U.N. resolution Tuesday demanding that Israel halt threats to expel Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat from the West Bank, because it did not contain a condemnation of terrorist groups such as Hamas."

Why they hate us, reason #67.

New doctrine: admission by stealth - War on Iraq - smh.com.au

New doctrine: admission by stealth - War on Iraq - smh.com.au: "'I misspoke,' Mr Cheney said. ' We never had evidence that [Saddam] had acquired a nuclear weapon.' He also retreated from his allegation that the September 11 hijacker Mohammed Atta had ties with Iraqi intelligence.
'We have never been able to develop any more of that yet, either in terms of confirming it or denying it,' Mr Cheney said.

He also dropped his prewar certainty that unfettered inspections would uncover Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. 'We think that the jury is still out in terms of trying to get everything pulled together with respect to what we know,' Mr Cheney said."

Very sneaky. Make huge mistakes, back-track slowly and let Faux cover your tracks.

CNN.com - Report: U.S. No. 1 in school spending - Sep. 16, 2003

CNN.com - Report: U.S. No. 1 in school spending - Sep. 16, 2003: "The United States spends more public and private money on education than other major countries, but its performance doesn't measure up in areas ranging from high-school graduation rates to test scores in math, reading and science, a new report shows."

Interesting reading, but it doesn't say much. One of the more important things to keep in mind is buried at the end.

"Comparisons of spending among countries is difficult, he added, because the systems vary widely."

No kidding, especially when you factor in health care for both costs and attendance. The article does highlight the obvious, it is our inner city hell-holes that drag down the average.

The RIAA Prank: Do They Really Care About Kazaa, Grokster, and Napster?

The RIAA Prank: Do They Really Care About Kazaa, Grokster, and Napster?: "The Recording Industry Association of America has been making headlines with their recent threat to sue anyone engaged in digital piracy, including Jimmy Carter. Can you imagine? If Jimmy Carter downloads a Coldplay MP3, he could go to jail! That's just wrong."

Saw this in a few places, thought I'd share.

Court scrutinizes P2P subpoena process | CNET News.com

Court scrutinizes P2P subpoena process | CNET News.com: "Judge John Roberts questioned the RIAA's expansive interpretation of the controversial Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which allows copyright holders to glean the identity of alleged infringers without filing a lawsuit first. Roberts said that if he left the door to his library ajar and someone entered, 'that doesn't make me liable for copyright infringement.'

The case is key to the RIAA's legal strategy, which now involves suing individuals suspected of copyright infringement. If the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit overturns the lower court's decision, the RIAA could be forced to file thousands of 'John Doe' lawsuits instead--a more expensive strategy that could lead to additional negative publicity."

Go Declan, it's your birthday. Lucky guy, he can make more progress with one drop of a 'controversial' than I get for ranting, days on end about vague and questionable text in a law that defines copyright for the digital age.

Senate smack FCC, Bush Admin

Reuters | Latest Financial News / Full News Coverage: "The Republican-controlled U.S. Senate on Tuesday defied opposition from the Bush administration and voted 55-40 to rescind new regulations allowing large media companies to grow even bigger.
Fearing fewer viewpoints and decreasing local news coverage, 12 Republicans joined most of the Democrats to back a resolution that would undo rules narrowly adopted by the Republican-led Federal Communications Commission in June.
Those rules would allow television networks to own more local stations and permitting a company to own a newspaper, television stations and radio outlets in a single market.
The FCC rules do 'not protect the localism and the diversity, particularly in the newspaper-television market,' said Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, Republican from Texas."

I told here to say that, or something similar to it, as one of her constituents with access to email. Now I just need to convince them that Clear Channel-sized companies are also not good for radio. Hmm, maybe I could just give them a radio?

CNN.com - Making a video screen out of thin air - Sep. 15, 2003

CNN.com - Making a video screen out of thin air - Sep. 15, 2003: "In a museum in Tampere, Finland, Ismo Rakkolainen's fog machine conjures up the Mona Lisa on an invisible sheet of water particles.
Thousands of miles away in Hermosa Beach, California, a graduate student passes his hand through an image of a DNA strand produced -- apparently out of thin air -- by a modified video projector."

Next-gen image watching. Again, still about 10-15 years out, but certainly on the horizon.

Popular Science | The Worst Jobs in Science

Popular Science | The Worst Jobs in Science: "Ah, science! Ennobling. Fascinating. Deeply challenging. Also, dangerous, gross and mind-bogglingly boring. We at Popular Science are sometimes brought up short by the realization that there are aspects of science—entire jobs, even—that, when you strip away the imposing titles and advanced degrees, sound at best distasteful and at worst unbearable. Having chosen last month our second annual Brilliant 10—a group of dynamic researchers making remarkable discoveries—we turned to this pressing question: For the rest out there, just how bad can a science job get?"

Fun reading for those that love the process of trying to objectively identify repeatable truths.

FOXNews.com - Politics - Show Raises Eyebrows About Dean's 'Straight Talk'

FOXNews.com - Politics - Show Raises Eyebrows About Dean's 'Straight Talk': "In a case of art imitating life, Dean last Tuesday delivered one of the most memorable lines of the Democratic presidential debate when he was asked about his capacity to serve the needs of African-American people even though he comes from a state with very few African-Americans.
'If the percent of minorities that's in your state has anything to do with how you can connect with African-American voters, then Trent Lott would be Martin Luther King,' Dean responded, referring to the former Senate majority leader who was forced to resign last year for remarks he made suggesting that he supported the late Sen. Strom Thurmond's racial segregation presidential platform in 1948."

More unbiased reporting. Almost a good story, except for the 3 obvious barbs that aren't all that fair and balanced.

Kwestions about K Street

New York Post Online Edition: entertainment: "K Street' is named for a D.C. street whose low-rise office buildings are populated by lobbyists, political consultants, PR firms and the like - all feeding off the city's No. 1 industry: politics.
The show was conceived by George Clooney and director Steven Soderbergh ('Ocean's Eleven,' 'Traffic'), who have marched on Washington armed with minicams.
They've persuaded a number of real-life politicos to participate in their 10-week series, which is designed like a documentary, except that the story it tells is fictional. "

I saw this too, and thought the same thing.

Total Recall'll Be Back

Excite News: "A federal appeals court threw California's tumultuous recall campaign into complete turmoil Monday by postponing the Oct. 7 election, citing the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Bush v. Gore in ruling that punch-card ballots could lead to some votes not being counted."

I'm guess Arnie drops out now, his attention span wasted.

Monday, September 15, 2003

Politech: Richard Forno article on "high tech heroin"

Politech: Richard Forno article on "high tech heroin": "Dostoevsky once wrote that 'in the end they will lay their freedom at our
feet and say to us, 'Make us your slaves, but feed us.'' His prophecy is
relevant when examining the modern Information Age -- a dark,
corporate-controlled society predicted by such artistic legends as Bruce
Sterling, George Lucas, Ridley Scott, and William Gibson � and is the focus
of this article."

Read a couple of these lately, this one will probably go up on the site proper.

Politech: Richard Forno article on "high tech heroin"

Politech: Richard Forno article on "high tech heroin": "Dostoevsky once wrote that 'in the end they will lay their freedom at our
feet and say to us, 'Make us your slaves, but feed us.'' His prophecy is
relevant when examining the modern Information Age -- a dark,
corporate-controlled society predicted by such artistic legends as Bruce
Sterling, George Lucas, Ridley Scott, and William Gibson ­ and is the focus
of this article."

Read a couple of these lately, this one will probably go up on the site proper.

Medios Independientes Cancun: newswire/758

Medios Independientes Cancun: newswire/758: "Developing countries, who make up the majority of the membership of the WTO, formed an alliance and walked out of the fifth ministerial meeting Sunday afternoon. Kenyan delegate George Odour Ongwen, who spoke on behalf of the alliance, announced that there was no consensus and that the ministerial had come to an end.

Rafidah Aziz, Malaysia's trade minister, blamed the failure on the refusal of rich countries to heed the objections of the developing world.
'They kept demanding things that others couldn't deliver,' she said.

Green room meetings were called in the early afternoon, where rich countries sought to divide the unprecedented alliance of developing countries that have banded together under the banner of fair agricultural trade."

Heard a little about this, but this is one of those news stories you have to look up to get a decent picture of.

mediareform.network : dorgan and lott launch resolution of disapproval

mediareform.network : dorgan and lott launch resolution of disapproval: "Today, Senators Trent Lott (R-MS) and Byron Dorgan (D-ND) announced new bipartisan opposition to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules that allow further concentration of media ownership. The Senators' announcement comes as the Senate debates a Resolution of Disapproval, sponsored by the pair, which would repeal all of the new FCC rules. A vote is expected Monday."

Good news. Glad to see a government respond, if a bit late, to a disgruntled populace.

Misleader.org: Daily Mislead

Misleader.org: Daily Mislead: "The Misleader
The scandals over President Bush's lies about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction in his State of the Union address to the nation have neglected the full scope of his duplicity that night."

Had to be done.

Capital Games

Capital Games: "Is there some deadline approaching, after which Bush administration officials have to engage in honest debate? It seems as if there has been a rash of misleading, deceptive, and disingenuous remarks coming from on high in recent days. The gang at 'Capital Games' has been working overtime to keep up with the truth-bending of the president, the vice president, the defense secretary, and the deputy defense secretary."

Nice run down of some of the 'misleading' statements from the past few days (if they covered any longer a time span, this would be unreadable).

Sunday, September 14, 2003

The Agonist: America's hidden battlefield toll

The Agonist: America's hidden battlefield toll

The true scale of American casualties in Iraq is revealed today by new figures obtained by The Observer, which show that more than 6,000 American servicemen have been evacuated for medical reasons since the beginning of the war, including more than 1,500 American soldiers who have been wounded, many seriously.

The figures will shock many Americans, who believe that casualties in the war in Iraq have been relatively light. Recent polls show that support for President George Bush and his administration's policy in Iraq has been slipping.

Critics of the policy say it hides the true extent of the casualties. The new figures reveal that 1,178 American soldiers have been wounded in combat operations since the war began on 20 March.

It is believed many of the American casualties evacuated from Iraq are seriously injured. Modern body armour, worn by almost all American troops, means wounds that would normally kill a man are avoided. However vulnerable arms and legs are affected badly. This has boosted the proportion of maimed among the injured. "

Ya know. I'll be this is like the schools in Houston, where 1,300 kids enter, 300 graduate, and none drop out. In Iraq, perhaps it's only wound if you lose a limb.

Interesting point on the body armor though, but I don't think that's a good thing.

Friday, September 12, 2003

Anyone up for another round of abortion debates?

Headline news from Sky News - Witness the event

"Pioneering scanning techniques have produced astonishing images from inside the womb which show babies apparently smiling and crying.

Experts believe the breakthrough could lead to advances in baby health for a whole range of conditions, including Down's Syndrome."

Oh, and there's, this little tidbit.

"His pictures reveal foetuses moving their limbs at just eight weeks.

The new techniques, known as 3D and 4D scanning, allow for far more detailed examination of the foetus."

So this kind of stuff should shine a bit of light on that abortion question our culture is still trying to find an answer to.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

A Nation Remembers II 9/10/03

A Nation Remembers II 9/10/03

Ouch.

Greenpeace obtains smoldering stick memo: White House/Exxon link

Detailed News: "In the email, Myron Ebell of the Exxon-funded Competitive Enterprise Institute writes to Phil Cooney, a senior official at the White House Council for Environmental Quality. He describes his plans to discredit an EPA study on climate change through a lawsuit. He states the need to 'drive a wedge between the President and those in the Administration who think that they are serving the president's interests by publishing this rubbish.'"

Yes, I changed the title. It's not a smoking gun. The forest already burned, a smoldering stick is all that's left.

Laser Mobs Aims and Blaine

this is hull - news, entertainment, jobs, homes and cars: "No-one could accuse David Blaine of not wanting attention, but he may get more than he bargained for tonight as he becomes the focus of one of the internet's latest phenomena - flash mobbing.

Afficianados of the new art attached to http://www.fark.com - one of the internet's most visited sites, attracting more than 200 million visits last year - will assemble totally independently at the Tower Bridge location of Blaine's 'Above the Below' 44-days-in-a-glass-box stunt at exactly 9pm."

Here's how you make news. What, it's not news, it's Fark.

FARK.com: Comments Thingee (646706) : Lasering Blaine

FARK.com: Comments Thingee (646706)

Nothing to see here except coherent light focused on a fruitcake. Should be some good video.

Gen. Clark Reportedly Is Asked to Join Dean (washingtonpost.com)

Gen. Clark Reportedly Is Asked to Join Dean (washingtonpost.com): "Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean has asked retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark to join his campaign, if the former NATO commander does not jump into the race himself next week, and the two men discussed the vice presidency at a weekend meeting in California, sources familiar with the discussions said."

Do it. Hell, put Clark on the ticket as the Vice-Presidential nominee with the main one to be mentioned later. It's going to be tough, nah, impossible to unseat Bush without someone who has unquestionable military street cred.

EMusic: Atlantic City/ Original Soundtrack

EMusic: Atlantic City/ Original Soundtrack

Good story behind this one.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

The Agonist: First Ex-Enron Executive Sentenced to Prison

The Agonist: First Ex-Enron Executive Sentenced to Prison: "HOUSTON (AP) - A former Enron Corp. treasurer pleaded guilty Wednesday to a federal conspiracy charge and became the first executive sentenced to prison in the scandal that toppled the energy company.
U.S. District Judge Kenneth Hoyt sentenced Ben Glisan to five years in prison on a conspiracy charge, the maximum term allowed."

No comment.

this is scunthorpe - news, entertainment, jobs, homes and cars

this is scunthorpe - news, entertainment, jobs, homes and cars: "A huge study has revealed that Norwegian women are becoming sexual predators.

The seven-year study of 2,700 young Norwegian men and women says the line between male and female sexual roles is fading.

Norwegian women in their 20s have become more aggressive and are more likely to initiate sex than their older sisters, often even surpassing men in their own age group, said the report. "

Norwegians are the blonds with the big breastesses, right? *passes out*

The Daily News Online

The Daily News Online: "'The prices don't need to go up 50 cents a gallon in a two-week period,' he said. 'I've owned this station since February, and every time there's a major holiday, they raise the prices -- Easter, Memorial Day weekend, July 4th, Labor Day. They say that there's a shortage, and more people are traveling. But our volume doesn't change.'"

Nah, companies would never exploit common misconceptions for profit. It's unpossible.

Countdown to Election Day 2004

Countdown to Election Day 2004

patience...patience....patience....

CNN.com - How U.S. opposition to international court jeopardizes U.S. troops - Sep. 10, 2003

CNN.com - How U.S. opposition to international court jeopardizes U.S. troops - Sep. 10, 2003: "Even after the recent, tragic attack on the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad, the United States was not willing to unreservedly support a U.N. Security Council resolution to help protect U.N. and other humanitarian workers. Instead, the U.S. greenlighted the resolution only when its reference to the International Criminal Court (ICC) was deleted."

Straightforward assessment of the Bush Administration's rational (to them) opposition to the ICC.

Yahoo! News - New Film of Osama Bin Laden Is Shown

Yahoo! News - New Film of Osama Bin Laden Is Shown: "BEIRUT, Lebanon - The Arabic satellite channel Al-Jazeera aired a video of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden (news - web sites) and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahri on Wednesday, and an accompanying audiotape attributed to al-Zawahri called on Iraqi guerrillas to 'bury' American troops in Iraq (news - web sites). "

Guess who is really excited about flying back to NYC this week and every week for the next few months (at least)?

Ars Technica: Low-power 802.11b chips on the way, wi-fi cellular to follow?

Ars Technica: Low-power 802.11b chips on the way, wi-fi cellular to follow?: "Can 3G and 802.11b play nice together? In the wake of last week's announcements by Broadcom and Royal Philips Electronics of new, more power-efficient 802.11b chips, c|net reports on attempts to combine the two technologies into a single device."

Two great tastes that just might taste great together.

RIAA Sues 12 Year in Projects. And wins.

The Globe and Mail: "Twelve-year-old Brianna Lahara's love for TV theme songs, Christina Aguilera and the nursery song If You're Happy and You Know It made her a target of the multibillion-dollar U.S. recording industry. Yesterday, the seventh grader became the industry's first legal trophy in a massive crackdown when she promised never to share songs over the Internet again and her mother agreed to pay $2,000 (U.S.)."

Huge victory. Kinda like when I beat the crap out of a 5-year old on the street and took his candy. Teach that bastard to ever be happy and know it.

FT.com / Industries / Media & entertainment

FT.com / Industries / Media & entertainment: "The Federal Communications Commission has decided to approve the $3bn acquisition by Univision of Hispanic Broadcasting Corporation, according to an FCC official, in a decision that could be announced on Tuesday.

In allowing the merger of the two Hispanic broadcasters to proceed, the FCC decided against treating Spanish-language media as a separate media market. The merger allows Univision to expand further into the Spanish-language radio market."

Woohoo, now all spanish-speaking Americans get the same news from the same guy.

CNN.com - Report says schools are unfair to America - Sep. 9, 2003

CNN.com - Report says schools are unfair to America - Sep. 9, 2003: "The nation's schools are telling an unbalanced story of their own country, offering students plenty about America's failings but not enough about its values and freedoms, says a report drawing support across the ideological spectrum.
Without a change of approach, schools will continue to turn out large numbers of students who are disengaged in society and unappreciative of democracy, the report contends. "

I want to see more of this study and the offending texts before we go the 'Huh, we did what?!" route of Japan.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Techweb > News > Senator Questions RIAA Amnesty Plan > Senator Questions RIAA Amnesty Plan > September 9, 2003

Techweb > News > Senator Questions RIAA Amnesty Plan > Senator Questions RIAA Amnesty Plan > September 9, 2003: "�The newly proposed 'amnesty' is clearly a strategy by the industry to address some of the concerns I and others have had in this matter,� said Coleman in a statement. �But, it raises new issues that require careful analysis and review.�
In particular, Coleman took exception to the idea of millions of minors potentially submitting and signing legal documents that plead themselves guilty to the RIAA.
�That may not be the best approach to achieving a balance between protecting copyright laws and punishing those who violate those laws,� Coleman said."

And that says pretty all of it but the cursing.

Black Hole Sound Waves

Black Hole Sound Waves: "Sept. 9, 2003: Astronomers using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory have found, for the first time, sound waves from a supermassive black hole. The 'note' is the deepest ever detected from any object in our Universe. The tremendous amounts of energy carried by these sound waves may solve a longstanding problem in astrophysics."

The subtle drone of the Universe.

Jonathan Cohen and SCO

Jonathan Cohen and SCO: "For those who have been following the SCO stories and their stock, one of the bigger surprises may have been the fact that SCO's stock rose considerably just after the 'infringing' code SCO displayed at SCOForum was shown to be not infringing. Here, I attempt to show that many attribute that to news stories and a CNBC appearance by Jonathan Cohen, a person with a rather strong vested interest. But in my searching, I missed earlier reports here."

Exposing the SCO pump and dump scam.

DontSpyOnUs :: How CAPPS II Works

DontSpyOnUs :: How CAPPS II Works

Just so you know why you get inconvenienced and noticed an upswing in targeted marketing.

Reservists see tours of duty extended

Reservists see tours of duty extended: "WASHINGTON, Sept. 9 : With U.S. forces stretched thin in Iraq and the Bush administration still searching for additional international peacekeepers, the Army has ordered thousands of National Guard and Army Reserve forces in Iraq to extend their tours in the country to a year, months longer than many of the troops had anticipated, Army officials said yesterday."

Maybe they could take Bush's example for military service. Then, maybe someday they'll be President and can take month-long vacations during wars.

An Offer You Can Refuse - The RIAA's amnesty deal may not keep you from being sued. By Paul Boutin

An Offer You Can Refuse - The RIAA's amnesty deal may not keep you from being sued. By Paul Boutin: "If you're one of the 4 million people connected to the KaZaA network at any given time, you were about as likely to be hit by lightning today as by one of the 261 lawsuits from the record industry. But even if you got off, you might have reason to worry: The Recording Industry Association of America has at least 1,600 subpoenas in the works to force ISPs to identify file-traders whose IP addresses have been spotted downloading or sharing the copyrighted recordings of RIAA member labels and artists."

More fuel for RIAA rant #4250, hopefully tonight.

Yahoo! News - Fliers to Be Rated for Risk Level

Yahoo! News - Fliers to Be Rated for Risk Level: "The new Transportation Security Administration system seeks to probe deeper into each passenger's identity than is currently possible, comparing personal information against criminal records and intelligence information. Passengers will be assigned a color code -- green, yellow or red -- based in part on their city of departure, destination, traveling companions and date of ticket purchase."

Major sign of a police state: checkpoints at all borders.

Joys of the Bully Pulpit

DMNews.com | News | Article: "
Syndicated columnist Dave Barry's Aug. 31 article on telemarketers may have been in jest, but it's been no laughing matter to the American Teleservices Association, which blames the article for jamming up its toll-free number.
Barry's article, titled 'Ask not what telemarketers can do to you' in the Miami Herald where it was originally published, included the ATA's toll-free telephone number and invited readers to call and 'tell them what you think.' Hundreds of newspapers also published the article, which was distributed by Tribune Media Services. "

The Register

The Register: "The RIAA has nailed one of the most prolific file-traders in the U.S., filing a lawsuit against 12-year-old Brianna LaHara.

When not at the playground with her friends, 'Biggie Brianna' is trading music files from her home in New York. The little girl received one of the 261 lawsuits filed by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) on Monday, according to the New York Post. She may look like a sweet and innocent child, but the RIAA says it's only going after major copyright violators at the moment. So you make the call."

One more customer down. Genius, I tell you, genius.

Monday, September 08, 2003

Bugpower, the energy of the future

Aljazeera.Net - Article: "A farewell bleep, then a blank screen ... your mobile phone, on which your work and social life depend, has become a useless lump of plastic and silicon: the battery is dead.
No problem.
Just reach for the nearest bowl of sugar, flip open the phone, top up the battery with a wee spoonful, give it a little time - and hey presto, you are connected to the world again."

Just another in the long line of electrical innovations by evolution adapted by use for gadgets. Good stuff but still about a decade (my guess) from ever being useful for everyday use.

PCWorld.com - Users Warned About Anti-Piracy Campaign

PCWorld.com - Users Warned About Anti-Piracy Campaign: "U.S. privacy group the Electronic Frontier Foundation is warning individuals not to admit to illegally trading copyright music online, even if the music industry offers a reprieve from its anti-piracy campaign, saying that users could still be subject to legal action.

"Stepping into the spotlight to admit your guilt is probably not a sensible course for most people sharing music files online, especially since the RIAA doesn't control many potential sources of lawsuits," EFF Staff Attorney Wendy Seltzer said in the statement."

This is like sticking your head over the sandbags in a pitched gun battle. So keep everything on the DL for a bit longer, although I've violated this principle many times over that's mainly because I can probably find some resources to fight with.

kuro5hin.org || Links to Tens of Thousands of Legal Music Downloads

kuro5hin.org || Links to Tens of Thousands of Legal Music Downloads: "If everyone started downloading legal music instead of violating copyright with the file sharing programs, we would make short work of the RIAA, because people would start buying CDs directly from the artists and seeing their shows instead of enriching the major labels by buying CDs from the bands the labels have chosen for us to listen to. The RIAA would also have no cause to complain - these music downloads do not infringe copyright because the artists give you permission to download them."

Tons of great links, for the music maven.

Saturday, September 06, 2003

The Cellar Image of the Day

The Cellar Image of the Day

Star Trek Scooter. And bookmark the Celllar Picture of the Day. Good for 5 minutes a day, at least.

Aiming at Pornography to Hit Music Piracy

Aiming at Pornography to Hit Music Piracy: "he recording industry, struggling to curb music piracy, is shining the spotlight on another demon lurking on the Internet: pornography.
The industry is trying to enlist broader public support with a campaign intended to show that its nemesis � the peer-to-peer networks for swapping files like KaZaA and Morpheus � are used not only to trade songs but also pornographic images, including child pornography."

This is actually a very good underhanded tactic. Guess I'll have to keep shouting otherwise while acknowledging that yes, Virginia, men like to see boobies. And some farked up ones like to see pre-boobies. This is so heinous as to defy reply. So that's the term I'll use for such accusations. Death throes can be so upsetting.

so that's what that was.

Ah, ha

My killer pc noticed this thing a while back. Now, since I've moved to Harlem, the configuration is causing me a small headache as I learn how XP deals with strange configurations. And I wonder how to remove them.

Here's another photo. To give some sense of where this is as the crow flies, look at this large picture for the blue dot. The blue dot on the overhead pic is the teeny blue church at 3rd and A in the side view.

Monday, September 01, 2003