Friday, November 28, 2003

malevole - Programming Language Inventor or Serial Killer?

malevole - Programming Language Inventor or Serial Killer?

malevole - Programming Language Inventor or Serial Killer?

malevole - Programming Language Inventor or Serial Killer?

Iranian blogger for parliament | Metafilter

Iranian blogger for parliament | Metafilter: "Iranian blogger wants to run for parliament. Jeff Jarvis has more, as well as Blogbex."

Wish him luck.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

The Register

The Register: "Just weeks after an antitrust suit was filed against the RIAA by webcasters, the music labels' lobby group, is, along with Hollywood, seeking a permanent exemption from similar litigation. The proposal seeks to extend the exemption to anything covering mechanical copyright: a sweeping extension of the copyright cartel's immunity. "

Hatch on the Hollywood teat. You know, a few years back he was fighting against these guys. I guess the Repubs figured this would be a good issue to try and sway the support of Hollywood on over. Seems to be working rather swimmingly.

Republican Aide Improperly Got Democratic Memos

Republican Aide Improperly Got Democratic Memos: "According to the memos, Democrats on Hatch's panel conferred with liberal groups in opposing Bush's most conservative judicial nominees.

Hatch had suggested that the memos had been turned over to the news media by a ``conscience-stricken'' Democratic staffer.
But the senator said on Tuesday that after the Democratic concerns were voiced, he had ``two experienced federal prosecutors'' assigned to his panel interview about 50 people even as computer records were secured.

``It is with deep regret I must report today the interviews conducted to date have revealed that at least one current member of Judiciary Committee majority staff had improperly accessed at least some of the documents referenced in the media reports,'' Hatch said."

Hmm, maybe we'll get the 'leak trifecta' today.

The top 10 images from solar satellite

The top 10 images from solar satellite: "Nov. 25 — Space.com announces the top 10 images of the sun taken by the Solar and Helospheric Observatory, based on votes cast by the public."

Cool slideshow of the pics. Kinda puts our squabbles in perspective.

sunspot.net - nation/world

sunspot.net - nation/world: "A former British intelligence worker has been charged in Great Britain with violating state secrecy laws, in connection with the alleged leak of a National Security Agency memo calling for intensified spying on United Nations envoys in the run-up to the Iraq war.

Katharine Teresa Gun, 29, a translator at the British code-breaking agency who was arrested days after a London newspaper published the memo in March, was charged Thursday with one count of breaching her country's Official Secrets Act, said Alan Crockford, a spokesman for Scotland Yard. "

From the previous link. I remember this one happening in real time. Gave us a quick peek behind the curtain. And for only 2 years in prison.

FAS Project on Government Secrecy

FAS Project on Government Secrecy

Another site for the archive.

Democrats Decry 'Compromise' on FCC Rule (TechNews.com)

Democrats Decry 'Compromise' on FCC Rule (TechNews.com): "'The Republicans went into a closet, met with themselves, and announced a 'compromise,' ' Sen. Ernest F. Hollings (D-S.C.) said in a prepared statement. 'The Democrats and the conferees were ignored, and the press ought to be ashamed of calling it a 'compromise.' We weren't a part of it whatsoever.' "

Old rule 35%, new rule 45%. New ruled blocked by courts and Congress. 'Compromise' reached after Bush White House threatens first ever veto. I wonder how the pundits on Fox, et al. will react to this.

"Of the four networks, CBS and Fox already own groups of stations that exceed the 35 percent cap, with CBS at 39 percent and Fox at 38 percent. Stations owned by NBC reach about 35 percent of the country, while ABC's stations reach less than 25 percent.

CBS and NBC each declined to comment yesterday. Mel Karmazin, president of CBS parent Viacom Inc., has consistently argued against any cap, saying networks ought to be allowed to buy as many stations as they can afford.

Two of the four major television networks were mum yesterday on the deal. But Rupert Murdoch, chief executive of News Corp., which owns Fox, said after a shareholders' meeting yesterday that even though he hadn't reviewed details of the new cap, "on the face of it, it suits us just fine."

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

GigaOm: Essays: The Number Portability Tips for Consumers

GigaOm: Essays: The Number Portability Tips for Consumers: "With November 24, 2003, around the corner, it is time for all of to get to know more about the highly anticipated Wireless Local Number Portability (WLNP). WLNP will allow wireless subscribers to change service providers within a given location while retaining the same phone number. As such, WLNP will dramatically change the face of the wireless industry, having eliminated a major hurdle for consumers who desire to switch wireless providers. With our friends at Adventis and some other experts such as MyRatePlan.com, I have come up a short to-do list on number portability."

FREEEDOOMMM for cell phones.

CNN.com - Setback reported in global war against hunger - Nov. 25, 2003

CNN.com - Setback reported in global war against hunger - Nov. 25, 2003: "The number of hungry people in the developing world increased by 18 million in the second half of the 1990s after dropping by 37 million in the first half of the decade, according to 'The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2003.' "

Does hunger count as terror? Guess not.

The 10 Biggest Spam Myths

The 10 Biggest Spam Myths: "The more spam panels, conferences, and symposia I attend and the more spam articles and press releases I read, the more I hear certain facts, figures, and other received ideas cited and re-cited. They're then duly parroted in the media. Some enjoy a measure of validity. Most can be filed under 'say it often enough and they'll think it's true.'"

This should really be 9, since number 7 is pretty true. Trying to tell someone that sends you five emails a day for penisdrugs that you don't want them, probably isn't going to work. Heck, telling them you are a blind lesbian who doesn't read probably wouldn't help.

DMNews.com | News | Article

DMNews.com | News | Article: "
With California's anti-spam bill looming, e-mail marketers breathed a sigh of relief that federal spam legislation is expected to override it.
The congressional logjam broke Friday after negotiations between leaders of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The House shelved its competing spam bills in favor of a modified version of the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, which the Senate had unanimously passed Oct. 22. "

The Feds pretty much took the teeth out of the provision, making standard practices the law, and leaving very little for individuals to do against SPAM. AOL and MSN are sure to fight hard against spam, as they make no money at all selling lists of millions of emails for people with detailed demographic, psychographics, and behavioral information to direct marketers.

FOXNews.com - Views - ifeminists - Zero Patience for Zero Tolerance

FOXNews.com - Views - ifeminists - Zero Patience for Zero Tolerance: "News shows recently showed video of 14 police officers charging a crowded high-school corridor with guns drawn in a drug sweep. Students at Stratford Creek High School in Goose Creek, S.C., were forced onto their knees or against walls, while dogs sniffed their backpacks for drugs.

None were found. Although the incident was extreme, it was not an aberration but the logical consequences of 'zero tolerance' policies, defended by both the school and the police. Zero tolerance must be abandoned, especially in connection with children. "

These kids will live their whole lives and think 'the drill' is normal.

'On your knees. Spead 'em'.

'O.k. I know the drill."

The War on Terror Scorecard

The Scorecard: "More than two years after the World Trade Center towers came down and the President declared his 'war on terrorism,' it seems reasonable to offer a little scorecard on the 'war(s)' of choice for this administration."

This is a weak article because it doesn't miss the successes of the War. They are few and far between (unless you beleive that 'Mission Accoplished' is true), but they are there. So giving a final .000 isn't quite accurate.

Economy Grows at Whopping 8.2 Percent Pace in Third Quarter, Strongest Since 1984 - from Tampa Bay Online

Economy Grows at Whopping 8.2 Percent Pace in Third Quarter, Strongest Since 1984 - from Tampa Bay Online: "WASHINGTON (AP) -The economy roared ahead at an astounding 8.2 percent annual rate in the third quarter, the fastest pace in nearly two decades and a much stronger performance than previously thought. It raises hope that a long spell of lackluster business activity is finally over."

Yep, moving all those jobs over seas is finally seeing some fruit. Now maybe, it will make some jobs.

Monday, November 24, 2003

HoustonChronicle.com - University's software kicks off downloaders

HoustonChronicle.com - University's software kicks off downloaders: "ICARUS scans the network to ensure students are not pulling down music or video using peer-to-peer software. For a first violation, transgressors lose Internet access for 30 minutes and must watch a 10-minute interactive Web program on copyright law. A second violation bars students from the Internet for five days, while a third can result in a lengthy ban and could lead to a written reprimand. "

Ever wonder how we get from this society to the 1984/Brave New World/Running Man one?

Baby steps like this.

AlterNet: Call Me a Bush-Hater

AlterNet: Call Me a Bush-Hater: "After all this time and all those millions of dollars wasted, no one has ever proved that the Clintons did a single thing wrong. Bill Clinton lied about a pathetic, squalid affair that was none of anyone else's business anyway, and for that they impeached the man and dragged this country through more than a year of the most tawdry, ridiculous, unnecessary pain. The day President Clinton tried to take out Osama bin Laden with a missile strike, every right-winger in America said it was a case of 'wag the dog.' He was supposedly trying to divert our attention from the much more breathtakingly important and serious matter of Monica Lewinsky. And who did he think he was to make us focus on some piffle like bin Laden? "

I learned it from watching you, dad!

Center for American Progress - Think Again: For 9/11 Investigation, Where Is Fox? - Page

Center for American Progress - Think Again: For 9/11 Investigation, Where Is Fox? - Page: "Following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Congress — over intense White House objections - created an independent, 10-person commission to investigate the bombings that took nearly 3,000 lives. In the tradition of the Warren Commission, and the inquiries into Pearl Harbor, the 9/11 commission would offer up the definitive take on the historic tragedy, and provide key assessments so America was never caught off guard again. And it would do that by combing through millions of documents, with unfettered access. Thomas Kean, former New Jersey Republican governor who’s chairing the commission, recently reported it’s engaged in 'the largest investigation of the United States government in United States history.'"

Hear about the 9/11 Commission? No, well that's not particularly surprising.

iPod's Dirty Secret - Neistat Brothers

iPod's Dirty Secret - Neistat Brothers

Hardward companies don't give out free hardware. 18 month in, your ipod might be a cute little white paperweight.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Bush's Remark About God Assailed (washingtonpost.com)

Bush's Remark About God Assailed (washingtonpost.com): "The Rev. Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, also issued a statement contradicting Bush.
'The Christian God encourages freedom, love, forgiveness, prosperity and health. The Muslim god appears to value the opposite. The personalities of each god are evident in the cultures, civilizations and dispositions of the peoples that serve them. Muhammad's central message was submission; Jesus' central message was love. They seem to be very different personalities,' Haggard said.

Sayyid M. Syeed, secretary general of the Islamic Society of North America, responded to Bush's statement with a single word: Alhamdullah, Thanks be to God.

"We read again and again in the Koran that our god is the god of Abraham, the god of Noah, the god of Jesus," he said. "It would not come to the mind of a Muslim that there is a different god that Abraham or Jesus or Moses was praying to."

Funny stuff. I wonder what Boykin thinks.

Oust Bush!

Oust Bush!

Funny stuff.

Team International Nerd

The folks responsible for the previous.

he, I'm one too.

The Open Video Project

The Open Video Project

This, the BBC thing, the other one, and P2P are a match made in heaver.

Saturday, November 22, 2003

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 2003

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 2003

Once again, and with a serious web site.

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | War critics astonished as US hawk admits invasion was illegal

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | War critics astonished as US hawk admits invasion was illegal: "International lawyers and anti-war campaigners reacted with astonishment yesterday after the influential Pentagon hawk Richard Perle conceded that the invasion of Iraq had been illegal. "

Super biased reporting, but worth taking a look at.

Mike Robertson on MP3.com / Latest news / Root folder - p2pnet.net

Mike Robertson on MP3.com / Latest news / Root folder - p2pnet.net: "Lost in all this corporate development was the actual library of more than 1 million songs. It simply didn't fit into any of Vivendi's corporate initiatives. "

Death of MP3.com. Yea, this is why we are cynical about this crap.

The Smoking Gun: Archive :: Jackson Accuser

The Smoking Gun: Archive: "In a recent court bid for spousal and child support, the woman reported that she was unemployed and that her income was limited to a $769 monthly check from the federal Aid to Families with Dependent Children program. The woman stated her family had monthly expenses totaling $1340, which included rent of $425. The woman's support request was approved this March by an L.A. judge who ordered that $1499 be automatically deducted from her estranged husband's paycheck."

It's tough to cut Mike slack, being such a super-freak and all, but there's always some questions when a possible shakedown situation is apparent.

Then again, many of the kids that visit the ranch are poor or 'under-priviledged', so maybe it's not surprising that this happens to be the case.

Pepsi dumps celebrities for simpler ads - billingsgazette.com

Pepsi dumps celebrities for simpler ads - billingsgazette.com: "'The challenge for Pepsi and Coke is getting their big flagship colas back to modest growth or at least flat performance, so their declines don't undercut growth in diet sodas and water,' said John Sicher, editor and publisher of Beverage Digest.

Katie Lacey, Pepsi's vice president for colas and media, said research shows that people are still drinking colas, just not as often. One factor is the proliferation of other options.

'We've been losing drinks, not drinkers,' she said. "

I can't stand these people. Our population is just on the verge of figuring out that drinking lots of carbonated high fructose corn syrup doesn't lead to the most amazing physiques, and now it's the 'challenge' for these guys to fight back that enlightenment.

Can you guess why I didn't go into a career in advertising?

Friday, November 21, 2003

WORLD November 29, 2003: And now, the backlash

WORLD November 29, 2003: And now, the backlash: "So where are we? Despite what the Times says, gays may not have gained a big victory in Massachusetts. The overreach will lead to a big defeat, if pro-marriage forces are courageous and determined. "

Funny, I though the Masachusetts SC decision was pro-marriage. It will certainly lead to more families with married parents.

Iraq War Officially Declared Surreal

United Press International: Rockets on donkeys hit major Baghdad sites: "'The enemy used homemade rocket launchers on carts attached to donkeys,' Mansoor told reporters. 'The rockets were set to a timer and hidden under produce. We have some leads in both cases in our efforts to find who was behind these attacks.'

About 250 meters away from the hotel, an agitated donkey tethered to a toppled cart could be seen in the custody of U.S. troops. According to the U.S. military and local witnesses, the donkey - acting without an accomplice - dragged the lettuce cart down the main street outside the hotel while a timer operated the rockets.

Apparently upon the beginning of the barrage, the donkey broke discipline and panicked, toppling the cart. At that point, the rockets disconnected from the timer, leaving them strewn around the street. Tethered to the now toppled cart, the donkey was unable to escape before the arrival of U.S. troops."

Box cutters and donkey carts against JDAMS and F-16s. We live on a strange planet.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

The Walnut's Perspective

Baghdad Burning: "They've been bombing houses in Tikrit and other areas! Unbelievable… I'm so angry it makes me want to break something!!!! What the hell is going on?! What do the Americans think Tikrit is?! Some sort of city of monsters or beasts? The people there are simple people. Most of them make a living off of their land and their livestock- the rest are teachers, professors and merchants- they have lives and families… Tikrit is nothing more than a bunch of low buildings and a palace that was as inaccessible to the Tikritis as it was to everyone else! "

Another powerful post from Riverbend. I posted something the other day about 'smashing a walnut with a sledgehammer', well this is what it makes the other walnuts think. The ones that aren't spoiled and poisonous.

Democrats Embrace Court Ruling on Gay Marriages -- GOPUSA

Democrats Embrace Court Ruling on Gay Marriages -- GOPUSA: "WASHINGTON (Talon News) -- Top Democrats, including those who are running for president of the United States, praised the Massachusetts Supreme Court's decision to allow same-sex marriages in the Bay State.

Congressman Richard Gephardt (D-MO), who has accused President Bush of being allied with 'homophobic bigotry,' cautiously supported the decision of the state court."

It's funny, because of the continuous '...because they are eeevil.' theme that followsw the title. No argument. It's just assumed that this is horrible.

BBC NEWS | Health | Q&A: Face transplants

BBC NEWS | Health | Q&A: Face transplants: "The Royal College of Surgeons of England has urged doctors not to carry out face transplants.
BBC News Online examines whether the procedure is likely to go ahead and what it would involve.

What is a face transplant?

A face transplant, according to the surgeons who say they could carry it out, would involve removing the face of a dead person and placing it on someone who is still alive."

O.k. I'm an organ donor. But that doesn't include my largest organ, does it?

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | War critics astonished as US hawk admits invasion was illegal

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | War critics astonished as US hawk admits invasion was illegal: "International lawyers and anti-war campaigners reacted with astonishment yesterday after the influential Pentagon hawk Richard Perle conceded that the invasion of Iraq had been illegal.

In a startling break with the official White House and Downing Street lines, Mr Perle told an audience in London: 'I think in this case international law stood in the way of doing the right thing.'"

This is the guy with the charming nickname, 'Prince of Evil'.

Do a GIS (google image search) and see what I mean.

kuro5hin.org || Captain Ledford, where are you now?

kuro5hin.org || Captain Ledford, where are you now?: "From Sun Feb 18th, 2001 to Sat Mar 23rd, 2002 Kuro5hin was host to an anonymous author who chose the nom de plume of Captain Ledford. This author serialized a set of stories in the K5 diary section that remain to this date as some of the best fiction K5 has ever seen."

Some decent fiction. It's a good story, but ignore the comments. It seems the best days of k5 are behind it.

AeANET : 11/19/2003 - U.S. High-Tech Industry Sheds More than One-Half Million Jobs in 2002, AeA Report Says

AeANET : 11/19/2003 - U.S. High-Tech Industry Sheds More than One-Half Million Jobs in 2002, AeA Report Says: "WASHINGTON, DC, November 19, 2003 – A study released today by AeA shows that in 2002 the U.S. high-tech industry lost 540,000 jobs, dropping from 6.5 million to 6.0 million. A preliminary look at data for 2003 shows that the decline in high-tech employment slowed considerably in 2003. The report, AeA’s annual Cyberstates 2003: A State-by-State Overview of the High-Technology Industry, details national and state trends in high-tech employment, wages, exports, and other economic indicators."

Not terribly surprising, but it is nice to see the full numbers.

Contact us

Contact us

Looking at another idea...

Key Shiites soften tone toward US | csmonitor.com

Key Shiites soften tone toward US | csmonitor.com: "The US soldiers who recently arrested members of Mr. Sadr's paramilitary army are still 'occupiers,' he says. But Iraqi supporters of the young sheikh - who rose to the world stage in July, calling for an Iranian-style theocracy - have taken note of his softer tone. The cleric who once called the Americans 'infidels' says he is now ready to work with them, spelling hope for the US-led coalition as it looks to transition to Iraqi rule. Last Friday, Sadr praised the American about-face that now favors a faster turnover of authority to the Iraqi people."

Good news, good article. From the ever-suffering Agonist.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

August blackout was 'preventable' - Nov. 19, 2003

August blackout was 'preventable' - Nov. 19, 2003: "WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Aug. 14 blackout that cascaded across eight U.S. states and part of Canada was largely the fault of FirstEnergy Corp. and could have been prevented, Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham said on Wednesday.

'One major conclusion of the interim report is that this blackout was largely preventable,' Abraham said in a statement accompanying release of an investigative report prepared by a U.S.-Canadian task force.

'However, the report also tells us that once the problem grew to a certain magnitude, nothing could have been done to prevent it from cascading out of control,' Abraham added."

They didn't keep trees trimmed or disaster software current and their cost-cutting helped the bottom line....and set up a quarter of the country for power loss.

China Responds to U.S. Quotas on Textile Imports (washingtonpost.com)

China Responds to U.S. Quotas on Textile Imports (washingtonpost.com): "SHANGHAI, Nov. 19 -- China on Wednesday accused the United States of violating the principles of fair trade, a day after the Bush administration imposed emergency quotas to stem a surge of textile imports from the world's most populous country.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce expressed 'China's strong opposition' to the Bush administration's action, asserting that it violates 'World Trade Organization principles of free trade, transparency and nondiscrimination,' according to a dispatch carried by the official New China News Agency. 'China reserves the right to lodge lawsuits to safeguard the interests of Chinese industries.' "

International trading agreements are a tough cookie to get a bite of. So now commentary, just news.

AllHipHop.com : News

AllHipHop.com : News: "'The tape they played today was something I made out of anger, stupidity and frustration when I was a teenager. I'd just broken up with my girlfriend, who was African-American, and I reacted like the angry, stupid kid I was. I hope people will take it for the foolishness that it was, not for what somebody is trying to make it into today.'"

Eminem on the block for some shiznit he put together back in the day. I can gosh-darn guarantee that something I've written will come back on my ass some day. Aah well, worrying about it aint' gonna stop me.

AllHipHop.com : News

AllHipHop.com : News: "Sean 'P.Diddy' Combs is heading to City Hall in Manhattan today to give Mayor Bloomberg half of the $ 2 million dollars he raised for charity, by running the 2003 New York Marathon.

Combs will present the Mayor with a $1 million dollar check, which he plegded to donate to the New York City public school system."

Note: I'm pointing this out because of a slam post of P. Diddy a while back. Good for him, now find out who is making all those clothes with your name on them.

CRN : Daily Archives : CRN Interview: SCO's Darl McBride and Chris Sontag : 7:36 PM EST Tues., Nov. 18, 2003

CRN : Daily Archives : CRN Interview: SCO's Darl McBride and Chris Sontag : 7:36 PM EST Tues., Nov. 18, 2003: " The core business, we think that's bottomed out and there's upside now with new products coming. We haven't had a new product in our OpenServer base in years and years.

The second dial is the 2.5 million Linux servers out there today that are paired with our intellectual property in them. We have a licensed product $699, $1,399. Chris [Sontag] is driving that and that's another multi-billion-dollar revenue opportunity

The third bucket has to do with the IBM settlement. We filed that at $3 billion."

Same story, this is just sad. When a company has no product, or any real plans to develop one, but thinks they should be worth billions of dollars because of .... because basically they just think they can. If they really wanted to remove code, they would say what code it is. They won't. They don't care about that, it's a technicality. The matter is how much they can monetize that technicality.

Free Software might provide $229,000,000,000 in value to People for Free.

InfoWorld: SCO: GPL threatens $229B software market: November 19, 2003: By : Applications: "Citing WIPO data, McBride said that the value of the worldwide software market would approach $229 billion by 2007, and that it was being threatened by the ideas behind the Free Software Foundation's GPL, the software license that governs Linux. "

This guy is such a jack-ass.

US vows 'to use a sledgehammer to crack a walnut' - www.theage.com.au

US vows 'to use a sledgehammer to crack a walnut' - www.theage.com.au: "'This is war,' Major-General Charles Swannack, commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, based in western Iraq, said during a briefing in Baghdad. 'We're going to use a sledgehammer to crush a walnut. We're not going to prosecute this war holding one hand behind our back, we're going to use enough in our arsenal to win this fight.'

The military operations on Tuesday in the capital and central Iraq were portrayed by US military officials as an offensive designed to crush the remains of the anti-American insurgency. "

Two problems here. One, it's tough to crack a walnut with a sledgehammer and not smash the hand that is holding it. If you don't have a hand holding it, there's a good chance you'll miss. Two, didn't we try this overwhelming 'shock and awe' thing before. Didn't that lead us to where we are now?

Click10.com - News - Police Outnumber FTAA Protesters In Some Instances

Click10.com - News - Police Outnumber FTAA Protesters In Some Instances: "MIAMI -- Police outnumbered protesters who marched into downtown Miami on Tuesday to oppose the city's bid to host the world's largest free trade area.

People on the 34-mile, three-day walk from Fort Lauderdale to Miami complained that the show of force by 300 police officers, many in full riot gear, was unnecessary for the 250 marchers, who have been peaceful since their trek began."

Nah, it's not a police state, but I'm not sure if I could slide one of my hairs between one and what we have now.

Case Closed

Case Closed: "OSAMA BIN LADEN and Saddam Hussein had an operational relationship from the early 1990s to 2003 that involved training in explosives and weapons of mass destruction, logistical support for terrorist attacks, al Qaeda training camps and safe haven in Iraq, and Iraqi financial support for al Qaeda--perhaps even for Mohamed Atta--according to a top secret U.S. government memorandum obtained by THE WEEKLY STANDARD. "

This is very interesting reading. There is also an investigation into how this memo got leaked to NeoCon Publishing Weekly, but we know how well this administration investigates such leaks.

This is a big deal. Keep reading.

Well, at least the bias of the reporting is intact.

One of the most interesting things to note about the 16-page memo is that it covers only a fraction of the evidence that will eventually be available to document the relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda. For one thing, both Saddam and bin Laden were desperate to keep their cooperation secret. (Remember, Iraqi intelligence used liquid paper on an internal intelligence document to conceal bin Laden's name.) For another, few people in the U.S. government are expressly looking for such links. There is no Iraq-al Qaeda equivalent of the CIA's 1,400-person Iraq Survey Group currently searching Iraq for weapons of mass destruction.

O.k. let me get this right. A super-paranoid regime is going to use liquid paper to hide its most damning relationship?

Note also, that even in all of this, there isn't a connection to 9/11. We invaded Afghanistan for Al Queda. We invaded Iraq to get the weapons. And keep them from Al Queda. Two other things of note: first, is the notice that Iraq wanted to cut ties in '99, and seems to have done so. Second, is the October 2002 part. Anyone who was watching closely knew, at that point, we were going to war regardless of what happened next. It would be time for anyone looking for all the help they can get.

Rush Speaks! As I Was Saying About Five Weeks Ago...

Rush Speaks! As I Was Saying About Five Weeks Ago...: " I've been anticipating this moment since last Thursday - actually, since last Wednesday afternoon. Last Wednesday afternoon I was discharged from the treatment center which, by the way, was not in Tucson. We succeeded in fooling everybody on that. "

That's not the only thing you fooled everyone on. Well, fool be once, shame of you, fool be twice...not a chance, fool.

The Onion | Mom Finds Out About Blog

The Onion | Mom Finds Out About Blog: "'God, my links alone contain unlimited fodder for Mom's neuroses,' Widmar said. 'She'll have access to not only my life, but the lives of all my friends who have web sites. She'll have the names of all the places in Minneapolis where we hang out, which she can—and will—look up. With the raw materials in my blog, she could actually construct an accurate picture of who I am. This is fucking serious.'"

Nice one. My mom reads my site occasionally, although I've taken the general tactic of being obtuse enough to require comments for clarification, and posting a comment is probably just beyond her current abilities.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Drug Policy Alliance: 2 out 5 AmericansThink Pot is O.K. (like OH)

Drug Policy Alliance

It's good to see some more sense from my fellow Americans. This is nearly a month old...yet still potent.

My voluntary 'sin' tax will eventually make waves, just you wait.

boycott-riaa.com - Article: Mickey Mouse Turns 75 Today

boycott-riaa.com - Article: Mickey Mouse Turns 75 Today: "I went to get the newspaper today since no one else had and one article near the bottom of the page caught my eye. Mickey Mouse turns 75 on this day. The article mostly discusses Mickey’s origins and tribulations throughout his life, but there was one paragraph of particular interest.

“Mickey’s cartoons have been translated into dozens of languages. His image is recognized on every continent. And today, the mouse that spawned a $47 Billion global entertainment industry empire celebrates his 75th birthday.”"

Mickey should be free today, but he's not. Another 20 years of 'motivation' for Walt Disney the man, who is dead.

Red Cross to end emergency aid programs to 50,000 Palestinian families

Red Cross to end emergency aid programs to 50,000 Palestinian families: "The international Red Cross is ending two emergency aid programs that provided food assistance to 50,000 Palestinian families, a spokesman for the aid group said Tuesday.

The decision to stop the aid at the end of the month reflected growing impatience by international aid groups, charging that Israel is in control of much of the West Bank but is not providing assistance to the Palestinian population. The Israeli military adminstration had no immediate comment."

It's tough to have 'temporary' relief efforts, but it's even tougher when they get extended for 18 months and it still isn't long enough.

In Utah, public works project goes digital | CNET News.com

In Utah, public works project goes digital | CNET News.com: "SALT LAKE CITY--When it comes to the Internet, residents of Utah are taking matters into their own hands.

In a 21st-century twist on Roosevelt-era public works projects, Salt Lake City and 17 other Utah cities are planning to build the largest ultrahigh-speed digital network in the country. "

The only way this is possible is in states without large telecom providers. They kill such useful projects in the legislature with great abandon where I come from.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

treocentral.com >> Stories >> Hardware >> Treo 600 Revealed

treocentral.com >> Stories >> Hardware >> Treo 600 Revealed: "Handspring will not bundle recording software with the device, however they will soon make the API's available for developers to write that software. Developers can also access the phone stream to record the conversation, and with the 144 MHz processor perhaps encode it as an MP3 and store it on an SD card. "

My review coming soon. This is the only major feature that I've found lacking.

And that's everything from ipod to digicam to wireless modem. In less than the palm of my hand.

Desktop Linux Consortium

Desktop Linux Consortium: "The Desktop Linux ConsortiumTM is a non profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the use of Linux on the desktop.

The Consortium tries to balance the many facets of Linux desktop use, drawing members from corporations, individual enthusiasts, and from the organizations that have formed and powered the Linux community. "

Good to hear. This would be nice.

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Friday, November 14, 2003

Pictures from Sprint: View Picture

Pictures from Sprint: View Picture

Straight from my eyes to yours. Saw this dude hanging out while running errands around Houton, TX the other day.

D-Nasty - Pairs Hilton Video Review

D-Nasty: "'Let me get my phone.'

Paris Hilton's first line in this magnificent post modern statement is more conditioned response than free will. Like Pavlov's doggy, she is powerless to resist the cold intrusion of the technological sprawl that devours countrysides, bathrooms and budoirs with the same unyielding hunger. McLuhan promised us a Global Village, but nowhere did he say that it would be a tax haven, and on this evening the throbbing circuitry of a connected world demands the sacrifice of a media virgin. But she is not without an advisor. In this film Ms. Hilton acts opposite Rick Solomon, media mogul, giver of corporal knowledge. Yet he is more, and in a poignant moment of self-loathing which defines the entire encounter, Solomon blasphemes the very technology upon which he has built his empire:

'Fuck your phone.'"

BTW, you want the 29MB one, not the 22MB one. Aiight?

Israel govt memo admits flouting ''road map''-source

Israel govt memo admits flouting ''road map''-source: "Government sources on Wednesday quoted the memorandum as saying: ''We promised the United States that we would dismantle the outposts and have not done so. That is our Achilles' heel.''

''International criticism is growing because of our lack of creative ideas for getting out of the conflict,'' it said.

Israel lacked credibility when it claimed to be fulfilling its obligations under a U.S.-backed plan for ending three years of fighting with the Palestinians, the memorandum said. "

There was a HUGE glaring hole in President Bush's 'Democracy for All' speech I mentioned here last week. It had to do with Palestinians not taking responsibility for lowering tensions in that conflict.

Like I said, HUGE glaring hole in the NeoCon worldview. They are smart folks, so one can only hope they quit lying to themselves, although the Rumsfeld post from yesterday tells you how well that is going.

Alien vs. Predator

Alien vs. Predator

Video game to movie.

Be afraid. VERY afraid.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Kazaa says hello to digital Bollywood | CNET News.com

Kazaa says hello to digital Bollywood | CNET News.com: "File-swapping company Sharman Networks on Thursday said it will digitally distribute a feature film from Bollywood, using its peer-to-peer application, Kazaa.

The Hindi-language film, 'Supari,' will be offered to Kazaa users for $2.99, under the terms of the agreement the Australian company has signed with P2P products distributor Altnet and Indian filmmaker Aum Creates Unlimited. "

Good to see. Although Kazaa is backed by the strangest corporate structure in media history, they are working to realize some of the potential of the Internet. This is, of course, in complete contrast to the totalitarian control freaks that run U.S. media nowadays, who spend more on lawyers than developing talent, but hey, it's their money. And since it will probably be their last, let 'em spend it however they want.

RedNova News: Scientists are Close to Creating an Artificial Organism

RedNova News: Scientists are Close to Creating an Artificial Organism: "WASHINGTON (AP) -- Scientists announced significant progress Thursday toward creating an artificial organism that one day may have uses ranging from pollution control to clean energy production.

Scientists using commercially available DNA took only two weeks to build from scratch an artificial virus with the identical genetic code of a simple virus already known to infect and kill bacterial cells."

The big news here is that Venter's Law maybe be only a few months long, rather than Moore's Law at two years.

Ocala Star Banner

Ocala Star Banner: "WASHINGTON - In the lead-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said U.S. forces would be welcomed by the Iraqi citizenry and that Saddam Hussein had large stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons.

Now, after both statements have been shown to be either incorrect or vastly exaggerated, Rumsfeld - with the same trademark confidence that he exuded before the war - is denying that he ever made such assertions."

Oh my lord. Same as below, but with more direct quotes. This guy is more like Reagan than anyone guessed.

Lying Media Bastards: Skeletor vs. Truth

Lying Media Bastards: Skeletor vs. Truth

Rumsfeld caught in a direct lie.

NeoCons: More than meets the lie.

Conciousness: An Introduction :: Ephilosopher :: Philosophy News, Research and Philosophical Discussion

Conciousness: An Introduction :: Ephilosopher :: Philosophy News, Research and Philosophical Discussion

Post about consciousness studies. Looks like there's another one to add to the list, mainly because the approach described seems like the best way to go, nowadays.

Miami New Times | miaminewtimes.com | News : Feature Myths Over Miami,Captured on South Beach, Satan later escaped. His demons and the horrible Bloody Mary

Miami New Times | miaminewtimes.com | News : Feature Myths Over Miami,Captured on South Beach, Satan later escaped. His demons and the horrible Bloody Mary are now killing people. God has fled. Avenging angels hide out in the Everglades. And oth: "Captured on South Beach, Satan later escaped. His demons and the horrible Bloody Mary are now killing people. God has fled. Avenging angels hide out in the Everglades. And other tales from children in Dade's homeless shelters. "

Naaah, this has nothing to do with the previous post....

Harris Interactive | The Harris Poll - The Religious and Other Beliefs of Americans 2003

Harris Interactive | The Harris Poll - The Religious and Other Beliefs of Americans 2003: "That very large majorities of the American public, and almost all (but not all) Christians believe in God, the survival of the soul after death, miracles, heaven, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the Virgin birth will come as no great surprise. What may be more surprising is that half of all adults believe in ghosts, almost a third believe in astrology, and more than a quarter believe in reincarnation � that they were themselves reincarnated from other people. Majorities of about two-thirds of all adults believe in hell and the devil, but hardly anybody expects that they will go to hell themselves."

Curious statistics, although without any qualifiers, these questions are so ridiculously broad that the answers don't mean much to me.

Curious, however, nonetheless. It certainly helps to see where some stereotypes come from.

Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex

Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex: "He's faster than a speeding bullet. He's more powerful than a locomotive. He's able to leap tall buildings at a single bound. Why can't he get a girl? "

Too bad that Smallville has pretty much blown this out of the water. Superman's power grows as he does, and all the really cool stuff doesn't show up till puberty, or something like that. Not sure how that jives with the comic books, but, uh, whatever. This is a simple smile giver, nothing more.

The Neal Pollack Invasion

The Neal Pollack Invasion: "Ronald Reagan was not a former actor recruited by powerful Republicans to play the part of President so they could fool America into accepting a sketchy combination of charismatic Christianity and tax cuts for the wealthy as national policy. He never made flip jokes about starting a nuclear war. The country's industrial base did not collapse during his tenure. Agents of his Central Intelligence Agency did not introduce crack to African-American ghettos. By no means did he support right-wing guerilla organizations in Central America, starting terrible wars that killed thousands of people in the name of fighting Communism. His administration did not sell arms to the Iranians to fund these wars. His wife was not a control freak who regularly consulted astrologers. He did not suffer from advancing senility, allowing his administration to be taken over by an uncontrollable group of fringe nutcases. And he most certainly did not sit by exhibiting the most extreme forms of public bigotry while the most terrible virulent disease known to humankind ravaged this country's gay population."

aaah, man. No more of this? Not even a little bit?

I guess people who usually get paid to write quickly realize that just straight blogging really doesn't...umm...pay.

Is Texas America?

Is Texas America?: "Well, sheesh. I don't know whether to warn you that because George Dubya Bush is President the whole damn country is about to be turned into Texas (a singularly horrible fate: as the country song has it: 'Lubbock on Everythang') or if I should try to stand up for us and convince the rest of the country we're not all that insane. "

The problem, Molly, is that we are a bit insane. But you get to that. Curious reading about Tejas, which I agree with about 70%, but then again, I've only known the Republican Texas, so maybe that's why I was on my way out as soon as I realized where I was.

The New Republic Online: Theater of the Absurd

The New Republic Online: Theater of the Absurd: "It is important to double your efforts to get your boss to S-230 on time. Fox News channel is really excited about the marathon. Britt [sic] Hume at 6 would love to open the door to all our 51 Senators walking on to the floor. The producer wants to know, will we walk in exactly at 6:02 when the show starts so we can get it live to open Britt Hume's show? Or, if not, can we give them an exact time for the walk-in start? "

Aaah, the point of the anti-filibuster. Good luck to 'em.

MobileMag : Archos AV320 MP4 Player Announced - Handhelds - Mobilemag.com

MobileMag : Archos AV320 MP4 Player Announced - Handhelds - Mobilemag.com: "On the go enthusiasts are able to record their favorite video content direct from any video source, TV, or VCR. They can also quickly download and save large volumes of MPEG-4 video files acquired legally through the Internet. Once the video is saved to the Video AV300, users can play back the video either on the built-in color display or on any TV or PC in near-DVD-quality."

Ha, no they can't. The FCC is quickly making such ease of use in television illegal. This is what the 'broadcast flag' is supposed to make it impossible to do. Yes, it could be that simple, but only if we fight for our rights.

The End of the World

UNF-UNF

Various humorous and slightly animated scenarios about the end of the world.

LA Weekly: Features: Uncensored Gore

LA Weekly: Features: Uncensored Gore: "[Gore] Vidal undoubtedly had current pols like Bush and Ashcroft in mind when he wrote his latest book, his third in two years. Inventing a Nation: Washington, Adams, Jefferson takes us deep into the psyches of the patriotic trio. And even with all of their human foibles on display � vanity, ambition, hubris, envy and insecurity � their shared and profoundly rooted commitment to building the first democratic nation on Earth comes straight to the fore."

More reading, historical context, and vitriol.

Share 'True Crime,' do the time | CNET News.com

Share 'True Crime,' do the time | CNET News.com: "A forthcoming copyright bill backed by key U.S. senators would place file swappers in prison for up to three years if they have a copy of even one prerelease movie in their shared folders.

In addition to the prison term, the Artists' Rights and Theft Prevention Act would punish making such movies available on a public 'computer network' as a federal felony with a fine of up to $250,000. It would not require that any copyright infringement actually take place. "

I knew it wouldn't take that long before the specter of prison reared it's ugly head.

There are much better, simpler, economic solutions to this problem than jack-booted thugs. But hey, Hollywood loves to make a show of it.

Patent Office Reviews Disputed Web Patent - BizReport

Patent Office Reviews Disputed Web Patent - BizReport: "In an unusual move, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is considering whether to revoke a patent that Internet experts claim could hobble Web browsing and online commerce.

The office's top patent-examination official has ordered a review of a patent that covers the ability of Web browsers to display multimedia content, the office confirmed on Thursday."

Good to see this one too. Yes, it does benefit Microsoft, but that's fine if it sets a good precedent on striking down stupid internet patents.

Use the (PureDigital) Dakota Digital Camera with your PC

Use the (PureDigital) Dakota Digital Camera with your PC: "Software has been written for Windows, Mac, and Unix/Linux that can download pictures from these cameras. Due to an incredibly stupid American intellectual property law known as the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA), everyone (myself included) have been hesitant to release their software until now. While I (a non-lawyer) reading the text of the law find no reason that this software should violate it, this law has been 'creatively' applied against the makers of a variety of seemingly non-infringing hardware and software. For a more in-depth look at the DMCA and how it could possibly apply to a device (and pictures) you LEGALLY OWN, check out John Maushammer's DMCA page."

Interesting page on hacking $11 'disposable' digital cameras to allow direct downloads and manipulate the focus lens.

Yes, this is another paper-thin business model exposed by some dudes with knowledge and soldering irons. Typical legal fallout expected within the week.

UrbanDictionary.com/fo' shizzle my nizzle

UrbanDictionary.com/fo' shizzle my nizzle

Love it. Anonymoust pseudo-intellectual definitions of "fo' shizzle my nizzle".

TheStar.com - New U.S. push to speed Iraqi sovereignty

TheStar.com - New U.S. push to speed Iraqi sovereignty: "New U.S. push to speed Iraqi sovereignty
Iraq likely to be main issue in next U.S. election


WASHINGTON (CP) - With casualties mounting and a CIA report saying the trust of Iraqis is faltering, President George W. Bush held urgent meetings today to discuss ways to speed the transition of power in Iraq.
Iraq's civilian administrator Paul Bremer, abruptly called back to the United States, was vague about his discussions with the president but said: 'We are in a very intense period.'

'I have made proposals to transfer more authority to the Iraqi Governing Council and that is the backdrop for all of these discussions,' he said. "

Looks like they are finally taking my (and nearly every other sane person person on the planet's) advice.

So maybe we can get to the next chapter, and become a nation builder, rather than a ..... something bad.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Penn State University's deal with Napster: sweet or sour? - CD Freaks.com

Penn State University's deal with Napster: sweet or sour? - CD Freaks.com: "Last week Napster announced a deal with the Pennsylvania State University that, simply said, would give all students of the University free music downloads. Although the deal sounded pretty sweet it really wasn't as students were not allowed to take downloaded music home nor were they able to transfer the songs to CD's or portable music players.

This aside, thanks to Quakester2000 and GristyMcFisty for their tips, The Register reports about an interesting fact. It seems that a man called Barry K. Robinson, who sits on Penn State University's Board of Trustees, also serves as senior counsel for none other than the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). A very handy coincidence!"

More good links on the site. This stuff is so shifty. I refuse to buy music that is artificially hamstrung. Besides, if it ain't an MP3 (a real one) it's not playing on my phone anyway.

George's Tickets

George's Tickets

Nice walk through an ESL techie.

Ars Technica: Science Sunday, Special Tuesday Edition - Page 1 - (11/2003)

Ars Technica: Science Sunday, Special Tuesday Edition - Page 1 - (11/2003)

Nice science news rundown with yummy links.

CBS News | Brits Bump Up Security For Bush | November 12, 2003�16:04:11

CBS News | Brits Bump Up Security For Bush | November 12, 2003�16:04:11: "Security worries are more serious for President Bush's upcoming British trip than previous presidential visits, but some protesters may still be allowed to get close enough for Mr. Bush to see them, police said Wednesday.

Terrorist attacks around the world mean fears for the president's safety are greater than for his predecessors who visited London, said Andy Trotter, deputy assistant commissioner of the capital's Metropolitan Police. "

Kinda illustrates exactly how well this 'war on terrorism' is going, eh?

The Reefer [dot] com

The Reefer [dot] com

Watch yourself. This is from a friend of a friend.

Chilling Effects Clearinghouse

Chilling Effects Clearinghouse: "Chilling Effects Clearinghouse
A joint project of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, University of San Francisco, and University of Maine law school clinics.

Do you know your online rights? Have you received a letter asking you to remove information from a Web site or to stop engaging in an activity? Are you concerned about liability for information that someone else posted to your online forum? If so, this site is for you."

Bookmark this site if anything you do, or might wan to do some day, has anything do to with copyright.

Chances are, if you come up with a really innovative product, or point out how one sucks, you will get sued for your efforts.

That's the price we pay for broken laws, but there ya go.

Welcome to Belkin! Where we Spam You on the Network Level

Welcome to Belkin!: "Important message from Belkin:
In response to a recent Usenet group posting stating that Belkin spams its customers through its routers, Belkin Corporation apologizes for the concern this has caused and is taking action to address the issue. To allay customers’ worries, Belkin will offer a firmware upgrade that will be available via download from its website (www.belkin.com) on November 17, 2003. This upgrade will rid the redirect completely so that no additional browser windows will appear during the router’s installation process. Questions can be directed to our dedicated networking customer support line at 877-736-5771 or e-mailed to kannynmc@belkin.com. "

They would redirect HTTP requests to a website that tried to sell one of their network monitoring services.....

Looks like they've got that 'concealed observation' thing down pat.

I don't have any of their equipment, and now it looks like I won't for some time.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

BW Online | November 7, 2003 | What Critics of the FCC's TV Rule Miss

BW Online | November 7, 2003 | What Critics of the FCC's TV Rule Miss: "The problem comes when a program taped on an old VCR can't be replayed on a next-generation VCR. So consumers may experience some compatibility problems between machines as they upgrade. "

O.k. this is supposed to be a defense of the FCC decision. But this part above here, about the government and industry forcing citizens to upgrade and lose all their old videos. That part, it sucks to high heaven.

Sorry but Hi-Def Big Brother ain't worth it.

Nokia's N-Gage mobile gaming device has been cracked - CD Freaks.com

Nokia's N-Gage mobile gaming device has been cracked - CD Freaks.com: "Mr. Belvedere, our Club CD Freaks Moderator, used our news submit to tell us that Nokia's N-Gage device has been cracked according to this information. The Nokia N-Gage device is primarily a handheld gaming device but it can also be used as an MP3 player, wireless browser and last but not least as a telephone.

The games that were designed for the N-Gage will of course only work with the Nokia device but not anymore. Now that the security on the N-Gage has been cracked the games can be played on other mobile phones as well such as the Siemens SX1:"

Nics BSA ad...

Liberal views force soldier out of military

The Item - South Carolina: "Liberal views force soldier out of military "

This is a follow-up to this story. Both of which came off k5.

The Memory Hole >Reasons Not to Invade Iraq, by George Bush Sr.

The Memory Hole >Reasons Not to Invade Iraq, by George Bush Sr.

Keep an eye on this one, it might disappear again soon.

Totally Sidetalkin' Nokia N-Gage Style!! SIDETALKING 2003

Totally Sidetalkin' Nokia N-Gage Style!! SIDETALKING 2003

Turn down the volume. Turn up the funny.

InfoWorld: Microsoft prepares security assault on Linux: November 11, 2003: By Kieren McCarthy, Techworld.com: Security

InfoWorld: Microsoft prepares security assault on Linux: November 11, 2003: By Kieren McCarthy, Techworld.com: Security: "In a sign that the inroads made by the Open Source community are starting to rattle the software giant, Microsoft has hired several analysts to review how fast holes are patched in the open source software and is expected to announce that Windows compares favorably.

The strategy, called 'Days of Risk,' measures the number of days it takes programmers to release a public patch after a vulnerability is revealed. While high-profile holes in Linux and associated software tend to be swiftly dealt with, less prominent problems -- which could be just as potentially damaging -- can take weeks or even months to appear."

Well, at least people will know about Linux. Then they can ask someone with a less biased opinion about the relative security vs. Microsoft.

Here's the question. Which is more secure?

System A: One entity controls and owns all code. Only that entity can see it. You give up other rights to use it. You can't fix it even if you know how.

System B: One entity controls all code. No one owns it (in the physical sense). Anyone can see the code. You give up rights to use it, and are only required to share fixes if you distrbute the code. Everyone can fix it, if they convince the 'entity' their fix works.

O.k. that's a pathetic attempt to simplify it. Read the Cathedral and the Bazaar instead.

Vote count marred by computer woes

Vote count marred by computer woes: "Lebanon -- Boone County officials are searching for an answer to the computer glitch that spewed out impossible numbers and interrupted an otherwise uneventful election process Tuesday.

'I about had a heart attack,' County Clerk Lisa Garofolo said of the breakdown that came as an eager crowd watched computer-generated vote totals being projected onto a wall of the County Courthouse rotunda.

'I'm assuming the glitch was in the software.'
A lengthy collaboration between the county's information technology director and advisers from the MicroVote software producer fixed the problem. But before that, computer readings of stored voting machine data showed far more votes than registered voters.

'It was like 144,000 votes cast,' said Garofolo, whose corrected accounting showed just 5,352 ballots from a pool of fewer than 19,000 registered voters.

'Believe me, there was nobody more shook up than I was.'"

Personally, I use computers way too often to do stuff that isn't even close to what they are saying they are doing to trust electronic voting. It sounds like a good idea, but I'm not seeeing any good implementations.

IOL : Space probe set for festive Mars rendezvous

IOL : Space probe set for festive Mars rendezvous: "London - Europe's first-ever solo expedition to Mars is on course for a Christmas Day rendezvous with the Red Planet after surviving the greatest solar storm on record and a post-launch power loss, mission officials declared on Tuesday.

The European Space Agency (ESA) spacecraft, Mars Express, is now 40 million kilometres from Mars and on December 19 will release - on schedule - a small robot lab to search for signs of life on the surface of Mars, they said."

Nice lil' transatlantic meeting on Mars for the Western New Year, good stuff.

Monday, November 10, 2003

Anti-Math

Anti-Math

hrmmm

Oldest living start-up tells all | CNET News.com

Oldest living start-up tells all | CNET News.com: "The nugget of innovation that semiconductor company RFco is trying to commercialize has its roots in the mid-1990's. The search for venture financing took more than two years, and the company's top five executives are all about 60 years old.

'This is probably the oldest start-up ever funded,' said Rich Forte, 60, the chief executive of RFco.

Jim Kubinec, the 63-year-old chief technology officer, recalls being recruited to Fairchild Semiconductor in 1964 by Robert Noyce, co-inventor of the integrated circuit and later a founder of Intel. A Stanford-educated electrical engineer, Kubinec at the time left a job at Lockheed to take a chance on the fledgling semiconductor business"

Hmm, programming RF chips. Sounds pretty sweet. With these and Crusue, we've got two of the more important parts of an AI.

Popular Science | Best of What's New 2003

Popular Science | Best of What's New 2003

All of it, just waiting for you.

ThisisLondon :: Bush Takeover of London Planned.

ThisisLondon: "White House security demands covering President George Bush's controversial state visit to Britain have provoked a serious row with Scotland Yard.

American officials want a virtual three-day shutdown of central London in a bid to foil disruption of the visit by anti-war protestors. They are demanding that police ban all marches and seal off the city centre.

But senior Yard officers say the powers requested by US security chiefs would be unprecedented on British soil. While the Met wants to prevent violence, it is sensitive to accusations of trying to curtail legitimate protest."

There were also 'unprecedented on Australian soil' security allowance made when he went there. Does anyone think this is a good sign?

McDonalds McPissed at new McWord, 'McJobs'

ABCNEWS.com : McDonald's CEO Upset Over 'McJob' Entry: "CHICAGO Nov. 8 — McDonald's says it deserves a break from the unflattering way the latest Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary depicts its job opportunities. Among some 10,000 new additions to an updated version released in June was the term 'McJob,' defined as 'low paying and dead-end work.'

In an open letter to Merriam-Webster, McDonald's CEO Jim Cantalupo said the term is 'an inaccurate description of restaurant employment' and 'a slap in the face to the 12 million men and women' who work in the restaurant industry."

We are therefore going to make it NOT low paying dead-end work, he didn't continue.

Because we can't, because that's the way the system works, he never said.

And if they try and form unions, they'll be McFired!, and the joke ended.

Saturday, November 08, 2003

Reuters | Latest Financial News / Full News Coverage

Reuters | Latest Financial News / Full News Coverage

"BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi and U.S. rights investigators said on Saturday they suspected Iraq had up to 260 mass graves containing the bodies of at least 300,000 people murdered by the former regime of Saddam Hussein.

They told a conference that the task of identifying bodies and preparing evidence for tribunals could take years and millions of dollars, but the long process would be worth it to heal the wounds of three decades of brutal Baath Party rule.

"We have reports of 260 mass graves and we have confirmed approximately 40 of them," said Sandra Hodgkinson, director of the Coalition Provisional Authority's (CPA) mass grave action plan'.

"We believe, based on what Iraqis have reported to us, that there are 300,000 dead and that's the lower end of the estimates. "

And therein lies the best ultitarian argument for invasion that could have been made.

Friday, November 07, 2003

The Register

The Register: "Wasn't the Internet, this weightless kingdom of bits and bytes, supposed to make distribution costs just vanish? Apparently not.

At an Apple financial analyst conference on Wednesday CEO Steve Jobs admitted that Apple makes no revenue from the online download service, the iTunes Music Store, that he launched in April."

It must be great fun to be a monopolist in this day and age. Heck, when is it not?

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Text: Bush on Democracy in the Middle East (washingtonpost.com)

Text: Bush on Democracy in the Middle East (washingtonpost.com): "Successful societies limit the power of the state and the power of the military so that governments respond to the will of the people and not the will of the elite.

Successful societies protect freedom, with a consistent impartial rule of law, instead of selectively applying the law to punish political opponents.

Successful societies allow room for healthy civic institutions, for political parties and labor unions and independent newspapers and broadcast media.

Successful societies guarantee religious liberty; the right to serve and honor God without fear of persecution.

Successful societies privatize their economies and secure the rights of property. They prohibit and punish official corruption and invest in the health and education of their people. They recognize the rights of women."

Don't forget, successful societies invade societies they deem unsuccessful for whatever reason happens to wander by.

Bake sale stirs debate on affirmative action

Bake sale stirs debate on affirmative action: "It sold just three cookies, but a unique bake sale Wednesday at Indiana University turned up the heat in an ongoing debate about affirmative action.

Modeled after similar events on campuses across the country, the sale offered cookies at different prices based on customers' race and gender. White males were charged $1; white females, Asians and Pacific Islanders, 75 cents; American Indians and Hispanics, 50 cents; and blacks, 25 cents."

Meanwhile, whites were given $50,000 a year on average by their parents to pay for the cookies, Asians and Pac Islers $40,000, Amer Inds and Hisps get $30,000, and of course, blacks get the shaft and not even a capital letter for their Race.

Think I'm full of shit, and not adding anything to the 'debate'? Fine, use that agnst as fertilizer while you do some reading.

News Story - canada.com network

News Story - canada.com network: "'Don't count Alan Greenspan among the pessimists on the U.S. economy,' commented Sherry Cooper, global economic strategist at BMO Financial Group in Toronto.

'The only thing that could derail this economic revitalization would be an exogenous shock to reduce confidence, say another major domestic terrorist attack. Barring this kind of inherently unpredictable occurrence, all forces are now in place for a synchronized global economic rebound.' "

BTW, various groups have pledged to make such an attack during Ramadhan. There was another notice on some Al-Queda sites warning Muslims to leave NYC, D.C. and L.A.

I'm flying back to NYC tomorrow. Maybe alll those years spent perfecting my form tackling abilities will come in handy...

Baghdad Burning

Baghdad Burning: "Ramadhan is the 9th month in the Islamic year (which also has 12 months, but only has around 358 days). Ramadhan is considered one of the holiest months of the Islamic year- in my opinion, it is the most interesting. We spend the whole of Ramadhan fasting, every day, from the first rays of light at dawn, until the sun sets. In other words, we can neither eat, nor drink, nor smoke, nor chew gum until it is time to ‘break the fast’ during the evening."

Nice cultural anecdote from Riverbend.

Seized Intelligence Files Spur U.S. Investigations (washingtonpost.com)

Seized Intelligence Files Spur U.S. Investigations (washingtonpost.com): "The CIA has seized an extensive cache of files from the former Iraqi Intelligence Service that is spurring U.S. investigations of weapons procurement networks and agents of influence who took money from the government of Saddam Hussein, according to U.S. officials familiar with the records.

...

The Iraq Survey Group, the CIA-supervised body appointed by President Bush to lead the hunt for special weapons, hopes its searches for fugitive officers from the Iraqi security services may also produce breakthroughs in the hunt for weapons of mass destruction.

In the meantime, as they travel on site visits and conduct interviews, survey group teams increasingly are falling under hostile, professional surveillance and ambush attempts, according to officials involved in the weapons searches. "

I think it's safe to say that if the weapons were ever there, they are gone. But these papers might have some other useful info in them.

No room for dissent in country tent

No room for dissent in country tent

Dixie Chicks got the boot. Ya'know, this is really surprising since country music, since its inception, has always been about cross-cultural understanding, respecting political dissent, racial harmony, and clean livin'.

No, wait, I was thinking of something else. Now where's my whiskey, it's time to fire up some David Allan Coe and remember what real country music sounds like.

Update: Voyager 1 boldly goes to the farthest frontier

Update: Voyager 1 boldly goes to the farthest frontier: "Twenty-six years and more than 8 billion miles from Earth, the durable Voyager 1 has journeyed a greater distance than any other spacecraft, but scientists are not sure exactly what it has encountered at the far frontier of the solar system."

Woo-hoo, we're an interstallar species!

ACM Classic: Reflections on Trusting Trust

ACM Classic: Reflections on Trusting Trust: "The moral is obvious. You can't trust code that you did not totally create yourself. (Especially code from companies that employ people like me.) No amount of source-level verification or scrutiny will protect you from using untrusted code. In demonstrating the possibility of this kind of attack, I picked on the C compiler. I could have picked on any program-handling program such as an assembler, a loader, or even hardware microcode. As the level of program gets lower, these bugs will be harder and harder to detect. A well installed microcode bug will be almost impossible to detect."

Interesting point on compiled computer code that just begs to be extended into a philsophical metaphor about consciousness.

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Sun produces monster solar flare

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Sun produces monster solar flare: "The Sun has unleashed its largest recorded solar flare, capping 10 days of unprecedented activity for the star.

The blast sent billions of tonnes of superhot gas into space - some of it directed towards our planet.
Scientists say the Sun's current spate of activity has produced the most dramatic events seen on the solar surface since regular monitoring began."

Heck of a week to get a tan.

Newsday.com - Palestinians Forced to Apply for Permits

Newsday.com - Palestinians Forced to Apply for Permits: "The new order, issued Oct. 2, turned the areas between the barrier and Israel into closed zones. No Palestinian can enter or leave without a special pass and no one can live there without a residence permit. Israelis are exempted from the regulations.

Palestinian Cabinet Minister Saeb Erekat called the new orders 'a depopulation program.'

Others also were worried about farmers cut off from their fields and workers cut off from their jobs who might be forced to move away to support their families.

'It's a direct expulsion and an indirect expulsion,' said Jamal Juma, who is coordinating a campaign against the barrier for Pengon, a private Palestinian organization. 'This will destroy their lives, destroy their culture, destroy everything, destroy their future.'

The problems created by the barrier were visible throughout Jubara, near the northern West Bank town of Tulkarem.

Trash was piling up because garbage trucks were unable to enter.

Farmers were forced to hire people on the other side of the fence to pick their olives, sometimes paying them with half the harvest.

Children trying to get to school hoped soldiers would be there to open the fence.

On a recent day, dozens of children ages 6 to 15 waited after school in the hot midday sun behind the mustard yellow gate, some for more than an hour, until soldiers standing nearby let them cross back into the village. "

And that's why Iraq doesn't want to be 'occupied'.

Computers For Youth, a New York City Non-Profit

Computers For Youth, a New York City Non-Profit: "Computers for Youth’s mission is to improve the educational prospects of low-income students by providing them and their families with home computers and the skills to use them. By using technology as a catalyst, we help students become more engaged in their own learning and thereby succeed in school and as life-long learners."

Ha, I knew there was no way I was one of the first people to have this idea and implement it.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

InformationWeek > Microsoft > Microsoft's Antitrust Settlement Sharply Questioned > November 5, 2003

InformationWeek > Microsoft > Microsoft's Antitrust Settlement Sharply Questioned > November 5, 2003: "Led by the Attorney General of Massachusetts, Microsoft's antitrust adversaries had another day in court to protest the provisions of the settlement the company worked out with the Bush administration. The antitrust battle was joined Tuesday in oral arguments before the six-judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court for the District of Columbia.

Attorney General Tom Reilly of Massachusetts said the settlement was so wrong-headed that its approval by U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly represented an abuse of her discretion. Massachusetts is the lone holdout state continuing to protest the settlement.

'Microsoft has been repeatedly found guilty of antitrust violations but it has not yet been held accountable for its actions,' Reilly said in a statement made before his court appearance. 'It continues to crush innovation, competition, and consumer choice in the software industry.' "

Yes, this too, is something that bothers me about the Bush Administration. They gutted an already weak settlement against the worst monopolist of our time. They aren't business friendly, they're business horny.

In Yielding 2 Points, Belichick Is a Winner

In Yielding 2 Points, Belichick Is a Winner: "ENVER, Nov. 4 (AP) � With the New England Patriots trailing Denver by a point and facing fourth down from their 1 late in the fourth quarter, Coach Bill Belichick told Lonie Paxton to snap the ball out of the end zone.

An intentional safety? Yes, it was an unusual strategy. And it worked to perfection Monday night."

Well, it worked because of a bone-headed play by the guy who had given the Broncos the lead earlier, Deltha O'Neal. While the punt return for a touchdown was great, the 'letting the free kick after the safety fly over your head' play was not so hot. It was the mistake that gave the Pats the chance they needed.

Activists win a round in TV's culture war | csmonitor.com

Activists win a round in TV's culture war | csmonitor.com: "LOS ANGELES – It's a familiar drill in the culture wars: Break out the poster board, fire off letters to advertisers, and take to the airwaves, decrying a piece of art or entertainment that activists believe is inaccurate or beyond the pale of good taste. It's been tried with everything from 'Murphy Brown' to 'The Passion.' What's so unusual is that, this time, it appears to have worked.

Some say it's just a hard-nosed business decision in a cutthroat TV world. Others see a high-stakes war over issues of self-censorship, undue influence, and artistic license."

And the Conservative Media is born, err, becoming an adult.

RedNova News: Personal Web Surfing Can Benefit Workers

RedNova News: Personal Web Surfing Can Benefit Workers: "Associated Press -- A new book argues that, contrary to employers' beliefs, letting workers surf on the Web can yield some beneficial side effects.

'Personal Web usage in the workplace has a negative perception, especially among administrators who often see it as inefficient and creating a decrease in work productivity,' said Claire Simmers, an associate professor of management at St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia and co-author of a human resources guide to worker Web use.

According to research, doing personal Web surfing while on the job can lead to better time management, stress reduction, improvement of skill sets and helping to achieve a balance between work and personal life."

That's what I like to see.

CRN : Daily Archives : Microsoft Places $250K Bounties On Hackers : 2:38 PM EST Wed., Nov. 05, 2003

CRN : Daily Archives : Microsoft Places $250K Bounties On Hackers : 2:38 PM EST Wed., Nov. 05, 2003: "Microsoft placed a $250,000 bounty on the respective heads of the MSBlaster and So.Big virus writers as part of a $5 million program it launched here on Wednesday with the FBI, Secret Service and Interpol to fight cybercrime. "

This is cool with me...as long as the offer the same bounty for people who can fix their security holes.

Microsoft should have some degree of culpability for the software they sell. However, that big long contract you have to sign before you use their software indemnifies them of all responsibility. So, obviously, their security problems are the fault of someone else.

Aftenposten Nettutgaven, Local

Aftenposten Nettutgaven, Local: "Oslo University's (UiO) online forum for religious history students has featured public discussion at a level one expert called 'toilet wall debate'. Students have aired discriminatory remarks insulting Muslims, Jews, and women and university authorities have stepped in, newspaper Universitas reports.

A web site making up part of an interactive teaching project replacing seminars contained crass remarks and links to anti-Muslim content. The crudest comments, such as 'we're boycotting classes because there are too many Jewish books', were posted in a chat section restricted to about 120 students."

Welcome to the Internet. People's hate is so much purer when they don't have to let the person who hears it see their face.

CNN.com - NBC chief: Our shows 'sucked' - Nov. 5, 2003

CNN.com - NBC chief: Our shows 'sucked' - Nov. 5, 2003: "NEW YORK (AP) -- The top networks are suffering through a lackluster fall season partly because 'some of the programming just sucked,' NBC's entertainment chief said on Tuesday.

NBC's Jeff Zucker, who has already canned two high-profile new series, said while networks question some of Nielsen Media Research's numbers this year, TV executives need also look in the mirror."

I think it's funny how these super-hyped shows gets cancelled so quickly. Does no one believe in building anything anymore, or must everything show up perfect?

With the vast media landscape of today, it takes a longer time for people to find stuff that is decent. Now, these shows probably sucked (given the general ratio of decent/sucky programming) and deserved to die, but I know of a couple that I would have been fans of, but they got axed before I took the time to watch them.

The old-school nature of the television medium, and the utter loss of control that is associated with its use, is causing the medium as a whole to lose viewers. This will continue until they adjust. And broadcast flags, that ain't the right ticket.

RedNova News: First Image from Gigantic New Infrared Camera

RedNova News: First Image from Gigantic New Infrared Camera: "University of Hawaii -- Astronomers from the University of Hawaii (UH), Institute for Astronomy (IfA) today released the first image from a gigantic new 16 Megapixel infrared camera recently mounted on the UH 2.2-meter (88-inch) Telescope on Mauna Kea.

The new camera provides a sixteen-fold increase in sky coverage together with much higher sensitivity than the 1-Megapixel cameras in widespread use on telescopes for the last decade. Until larger telescopes have similar cameras, it makes the 30-year-old UH 2.2-meter telescope the most powerful in the world for infrared imaging."

More cool space pics, coming soon.

BBC NEWS | Americas | US raises spectre of conscription

BBC NEWS | Americas | US raises spectre of conscription: "The American defence department has begun a recruitment drive for local draft boards, raising questions about a possible revival of conscription.
A notice on a department website invites United States citizens over the age of 18 to volunteer for the boards."

Yup. They would definitely hold out past the election to push this through though.

F.C.C. Acts Against Pirating of TV Broadcasts

F.C.C. Acts Against Pirating of TV Broadcasts: "ASHINGTON, Nov. 4 - Federal regulators approved rules on Tuesday meant to prevent people from copying broadcasts of television shows and movies and widely distributing them on the Internet.

The decision, by the Federal Communications Commission, was widely hailed by Hollywood and the networks, which had lobbied hard for it. They have argued that at the dawn of digital television, they need regulatory and technological protection to avoid the experiences of the recording industry, which has been forced to cut prices and has filed hundreds of lawsuits to try to stop swapping of music on the Internet."

Heck, why not just cut out our ears and eyes, keep them in a big jar, and then you can pipe the stuff we are supposed to see and listen to straight to the ears and eyes. Just think of the money we could save consumers.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

The Cellar Image of the Day :: Awesome Auroras

The Cellar Image of the Day

Awesome Auroras

CNN.com - Chief Justice Moore: Supreme Court was wrong on Ten Commandments - Nov. 4, 2003

CNN.com - Chief Justice Moore: Supreme Court was wrong on Ten Commandments - Nov. 4, 2003: "MOORE: Of course, we were very disappointed because this is one of the most critical issues facing our country in the 21st century: whether a state can acknowledge God. And that's exactly what this case was about. And that's exactly what we put before the courts.

So I'm very disappointed but it's really more disappointing day for the people of Alabama because a federal district judge has said that we cannot acknowledge God when indeed our constitution says that the justice system of the state is established invoking the favor and guidance of almighty God."

Strange that Moore considers this a 10th amendment case, and the rest of us, consider it a pretty open and shut 1st amendment one.

Eidosinteractive.com

Eidosinteractive.com

Dues Ex: Invisible War :: Trailers.

Sun on Fire, Unleashes 3 More Major Flares

Sun on Fire, Unleashes 3 More Major Flares: "The Sun cut loose with three severe flares in less than 24 hours through Monday morning, bringing to nine the number of major eruptions in less than two weeks.

Scientists have never witnessed a string of activity like this.

Colorful aurora are expected to grace the skies at high latitudes and possibly into lower portions of the United States and Europe over the next two or three nights. Satellites and power grids could once again be put at risk.

Early Monday, Paal Brekke, deputy project manager of the SOHO spacecraft, was still digesting the significance of the three additional outbursts on top of two back-to-back monster flares Oct. 28 and 29."

Dang, shoulda planned that trip to Alaska I've always wanted to take.

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall: October 26, 2003 - November 01, 2003 Archives

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall: October 26, 2003 - November 01, 2003 Archives: "Would you like to see wall-to-wall coverage of the New Hampshire primary on TPM?

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to going to New Hampshire in January to cover the primary – probably for the last ten days or so before the actual vote on January 27th. That’s about the time things really heat up and all hell starts to break loose. That’s more or less what I did in 2000 when I was the Washington Editor of the American Prospect, of which nothing more need be said. "

Another move towards independently funded blogging.

New York Daily News - Daily Dish & Gossip - Rock duo in school of mock

New York Daily News - Daily Dish & Gossip - Rock duo in school of mock: "'Kyle is going to bring a guitar, and if we need extra nourishment, we will live off the power of each other's rock,' Black said.

The portly pop stars wore skintight, silver superhero costumes emblazoned with the letter D.

'I have evidence that David Blaine had liquid cheeseburgers pumped into his box,' Black said at a press conference before the event."

Love the D.

Monday, November 03, 2003

Yahoo! News - MIT Shuts Down Alternative File-Swapping

Yahoo! News - MIT Shuts Down Alternative File-Swapping: "MIT said Universal Music Group, a record label, raised objections with Loudeye over the arrangement. MIT then began discussing the matter directly with other record labels, and decided to put the system on hold.

UMG, a division of Vivendi Universal, issued a statement Friday saying: 'It is unfortunate that MIT launched a service in an attempt to avoid paying recording artists, union musicians, and record labels. Loudeye recognized that they had no right to deliver Universal's music to the MIT service, and MIT acted responsibly by removing the music. "

Boycott the jerks. It's the only way to be sure.

Sunday, November 02, 2003

CNN.com - Worries grow over new voting machines' reliability, security - Oct. 30, 2003

CNN.com - Worries grow over new voting machines' reliability, security - Oct. 30, 2003

Glad to see this hitting the mainstream.

Interesting stuff. Knowing that you can hack elections with Microsoft Accesss is not a safe thought.

Wired News: Time-Travel Spammer Strikes Back

Wired News: Time-Travel Spammer Strikes Back: "Three websites that spotlighted a Massachusetts spammer's bizarre quest for time-travel technology have been hit with an avalanche of what appear to be retaliatory messages.

In what spam fighters term a 'Joe-job' attack, late last month someone forged the sites' domains as the return addresses on a recent flurry of junk e-mails advertising antispam software. As a result, the innocent sites have been inundated with hundreds of thousands of error messages and complaints about the spam. "

This is what led to the last story. Off of /.

Wired News: Turn Back the Spam of Time

Wired News: Turn Back the Spam of Time: "But when White gratefully acknowledged receipt of the parts a few days later and earnestly asked for help obtaining others, Hill decided to end the stunt.

'I expected him to tell me at that point that it was all a joke, and he'd give me the punch line,' said Hill. Instead, Hill began to worry that White was 'a person challenged by reality and as such deserves our sympathy and support.'

Hill's hunch, it turns out, was correct. An investigation has revealed that the time-travel spammer is dead serious about his quest for technology that can rewind time. "

Posted about this a while back. Follow-up story that I missed.