Wednesday, October 29, 2003
HobbySpace - The Rocket Company: "The Rocket Company gives a fictional account of the development of a reusable launch vehicle, including a description of a business model that achieves the goal of greatly reducing the cost of space transportation into low Earth orbit. Although a work of fiction, the book follows in the vein of non-fictional accounts of the development of successful technological products and businesses, such as The Soul of a New Machine, and American Steel. The book tells the story of the difficulties faced by a group of seven fictional investors committed to solving the problem of creating an economic engine that will cause the cost of space transportation to spiral rapidly downward as the market for launch services expands. In this context, the marketing, regulatory, and technical problems facing any serious attempt to reduce the cost of space transportation are explored."
Wired 11.11: Hitting the Sweet Spot: "It's got full flavor at one-third the calories. It's safe for teeth and diabetics. And it's all-natural. The long, strange search for the ultimate sugar substitute."
jaynote: I've been waiting for this since Dr. Levin mentioned he was working on this after a meeting of the NY chaptor of SFF/SSI/NSS around 1990
CAIB: "Columbia Accident Investigation Board Releases Vols. II-VI of Final Report
ARLINGTON, VA - The Columbia Accident Investigation Board today released Vols. II-VI of the CAIB's Final Report. These volumes contain appendices that provide the supporting documentation for the main text of the Final Report contained in Vol. 1, which was released on Aug. 26, 2003.
These appendix materials were working documents. They contain a number of conclusions and proposed recommendations, several of which were adopted by the CAIB in Vol. I. The other conclusions and proposed recommendations drawn in Vols. II-VI do not necessarily reflect the views of the CAIB but are included for the record. When there is conflict, Vol. I takes precedence. It alone is the CAIB's official statement.
Hard copies of Vols. I-VI are available through the Government Printing Office for a fee. Those copies can be ordered from the GPO's website, www.gpo.gov.
There will be no press briefing about the release of Vols. II-VI."
Adventures in Troubleshooting: TenCon Session: Deploying and Maintaining Mac OS X in the Enterprise: "TenCon Session: Deploying and Maintaining Mac OS X in the Enterprise
Bethany and Gabriel from Pixar are talking about Deploying and Maintaining OS X in the Enterprise this morning. I'm putting all the session notes below the cut for the time being.
The Stevens Creek room at the Westin is now quite full, maybe 120 people have gathered here to listen.
Gabe and Bethany are both part of the IT culture at Pixar, and together make up most of the design team for their OS X squad.
Preparing for the Deployment, 9 to X migration, Maintenance, and Future stuff.
Preparing for the Deployment:
Infrastructure is predominantly Iniox, 375 Mac Desktops, 100 laptops, and 500 Linux Workstations.
Mac OS X provides a lower cost of ownership, allows Users to maintain OS 9 type control."
The Most Unconventional Weapon: "Fetishism can't explain why, according to testimony given to U.N. investigators, M.L.C. troops forced one woman to eat from her husband's corpse. It can't explain why some victims were ordered to swallow their own ears or toes, why Kakule had to eat the less desirable parts of his assistant's body alongside his captors or why, after the butchering of a Protestant priest, others were forced to pay money or eat his flesh -- or be butchered themselves. The inflicting of vengeance and spreading of terror -- aspects of war that are as modern as they are ancient -- have played a part in Congo's cannibalism. A Human Rights Watch report released in July suggests that ''perpetrators have found that fear of cannibalism terrorizes victims more effectively into compliance with their orders than does the simple fear of death, so frequently faced in daily life.''
But to travel on the visa sold in Beni, to travel around the northeast, is to be taught that by eating another man's heart (especially the heart of a Pygmy, whose people are considered the original tribe of the country, possessors of a primal strength), a man can make himself bulletproof. It is to be taught that only such cannibalism, along with the gris-gris of traditional priests, allowed the M.L.C. to come so close to seizing the town. It is to feel, in the Congolese ways of seeing the world, the pervasive hold of the atavistic, the magical."
FOXNews.com - Top Stories - Schools Riled by Teacher Ranking Site: "WASHINGTON WASHINGTON — A Web site that encourages students to rate their teachers has been banned from hundreds of schools across the nation and administrators are saying it's a distraction and an abomination.
One official in Maryland called RateMyTeachers.com "personally and professionally repugnant" and suggested that teachers might have legal recourse against the Internet forum's operators.
"It's akin to medieval public flogging," said Brian Porter, spokesman for the Montgomery County Public Schools (search), which said the Web site is filtered out automatically by a central Internet firewall, which blocks student access to anything deemed non-instructional or harmful to children.
"It's a gross violation of teachers' privacy," he added. "There is nothing funny about subjecting a teacher to random and caustic remarks by students." "
The Register: "Most of my students are office workers, or writers, or homemakers. Almost all of them run Windows at home and at work, usually ME or XP. They all know how to 'use' their computers, which means that they can write papers, read email, use the Web, and even install software (as long as it's not packaged as a ZIP file: most of them have no idea what a ZIP file is or how to use it). In other words, your typical American computer user.
I'm here to tell the security pros reading this that we are in deeeeeep trouble when it comes to securing the computers of these people.
Security is just not a concept that 'normal' folks focus on. It's not even on the radar screen. It's just not thought about at all."
House Science Committee Subcommittee on Environment, Technology and Standards Hearing Charter: What is Space Weather and Who Should Forecast It? | SpaceRef - Your Space Reference: "The first recorded evidence of space weather effects on technology was in 1859, when a major failure of telegraph systems in New England and Europe coincided with a large solar flare. More recently, on March 13, 1989, geomagnetically induced currents in Canadian transmission lines set off a cascade of broken circuits, causing loss of power for the entire Hydro-Quebec power grid. The blackout affected six million customers and cost Hydro-Quebec more than $10 million.
In 1998, a similar geomagnetic storm was headed for Earth. This time, thanks to data from new sensors and improved forecast models, NOAA's SEC forecasters were able to alert electric power customers 40 minutes before the storm hit the Earth. In response, electric power utilities diverted power and increased safety margins on certain parts of the grid to avoid stress on the power system."
Hollywood wants in on the act - OCT 27, 2003: "JERUSALEM - Where presidents and prime ministers have failed, Hollywood hunk Brad Pitt and wife Jennifer Anniston hope their star power will work wonders in new roles as Middle East peace envoys.
Tinseltown to give a try, led by Brad Bitt (left) and his wife Jennifer Anniston.
They will team up with other actors such as Edward Norton, Jason Alexander and Danny DeVito on a private mission to help resolve the Israeli-Arab conflict.
'The past few years of conflict mean that yet another generation of Israelis and Palestinians will grow up in hatred,' said a statement from Pitt and Aniston. 'We cannot allow that to happen.'
London's Sunday Telegraph said it was not clear how the stars intended to stop the escalating violence but their strategy was to appeal to the man in the street."
Games * Design * Art * Culture: "Since the digital games revolution began, starry-eyed twits have been going on and on about how games will change education and lead us all down a future glorious path in which everyone learns everything because it's fun to do so. This is, of course, nonsense, and always will be, since creating something interactive =and fun= is bloody hard enough, and insisting that the result should also cram some facts into people's heads is enough to turn 'bloody hard' into 'well nigh impossible.' (And.... Have you noticed that every school computer lab in the country has Oregon Trail and SimCity installed--and few if any other games--and that this has been true for twenty years?)
If I Ran the Z/o/o Con doesn't have to be a one-off, either. The same technique is usable for other subjects. If there's a body of knowledge that can be encapsulated in anecdotes, and a process that moves through time, you could do a game along the same lines to teach that body of knowledge. I could see it being used, say, to teach new hires at a brokerage about the sales and clearance process.
Creating didactic games is hard. Creating fun didactic games is harder. Creating a fun didactic game out of a game style that is itself bankrupt is--pretty amazing, when you think about it."
allnurses.com - What freaks you out? - allnurses.com - Nursing Discussion Board for Nurses: "Okay, people. It's time for a nice, fun, light-hearted discussion to blow off some steam.
WHAT FREAKS YOU OUT? What bodily fluid can't you STAND? What wound gives you the absolute WILLIES? It doesn't matter if you're an ADN, BSN, LPN, CNA, PQRST, ABCDEFG...every body gets the heebie jeebies over SOMETHING...even you stomach-of-steel ER nurses!
Mine is eyeball injuries/surgery...aaaaaaaaaackkkkkkk!! Gross! Makes my skin absolutely CRAWL. Or when someone gets a little cut on their finger/toe/whatever and then squeezes it to make it bleed!! Bleah!! Then there's the ever-popular RESPIRATORY SECRETIONS. I can handle poop, pee, amniotic fluid, lanced boils, pus, whatever...but give me a nasty snot-filled trach, and I'm OUTTA THERE.
Share, share, share people!"
Naked Protesters & Nude Activists: "Hello everyone, and welcome to Naked Protesters! All over the world, people are getting naked to get attention and to promote their causes. The purpose of this blog is to give them a little bit more of the attention they so obviously crave. We here at Naked Protesters don't propose to judge the causes being promoted; rather, we see it as our job to celebrate the flesh that gets exposed in the process. Nudity is beautiful, folks, and these activists are freely baring and sharing it with us all. Here's to them!"
After six hours of slogging through the mountain of links my Google search yielded, I finally came across the perfect therapist. I feel like I just got picked up hitch-hiking on the road to recovery.
Dr Amy Zimmerman is a Harvard-educated psychologist who has been practicing for sixteen years. She specializes in self-esteem and intimacy issues, and has helped thousands of people move out of dysfunctional relationships and into healthy, caring ones. After speaking to Dr. Amy on the phone for a mere three minutes, I was ready to give her all my money and confide in her in great detail about how I sometimes like to touch myself while I’m watching documentaries about penguins. She’s that good.
The only problem is, her office is in Pasadena, California.
I figure if I leave my apartment by 8 am every Tuesday and Thursday, I can make my 1 pm sessions and still have time for a nice hamburger before catching the 3:30 flight back to New York. I’ll start working weekends so I can get Tuesdays and Thursdays off at Big Screen, or I’ll just tell my boss I have an all-day dental appointment twice a week for the next 18-48 months. Sure, I’ll be spending twenty hours a week in the air, but after hearing the insight, experience and calm professionalism in Dr. Amy voice, I just knew she was the one who could help me. Plus, she takes Discover.
Grand Illusions: "Welcome to Grand Illusions, the site for the enquiring mind.
With optical illusions, scientific toys, visual effects, and even a little magic."
Math Trek : Tricky Dice Revisited, Science News Online, April 20, 2002: "The game involves a set of four cubic dice, each one numbered differently. You let your opponent pick any one of the four dice. You choose one of the remaining three. Each player tosses his or her die, and the higher number wins. Amazingly, in a game involving 10 or more turns, you will nearly always have more wins.
After the first session, you can invite your opponent to pick a different die, perhaps even the one that worked so well for you. You select one of the remaining dice. Again, in a game of at least 10 throws, you're very likely to come out the winner.
Indeed, it doesn't matter which die your opponent picks. You can always choose another die that will practically guarantee your triumph in a game of 10 or more turns."
General in '68 Vietnam execution dies: "On Feb. 1, 1968, Loan was director of South Vietnam's national police and the North Vietnamese had just begun the Tet Offensive, their huge military push southward. Firefights had broken out all over Saigon, and Loan's police were trying to rid the South Vietnamese capital of Viet Cong guerrillas. Loan led the prisoner, his hands bound, onto a street corner and in front of a group of journalists pulled his pistol and shot the prisoner point-blank in the head. The general told the newsmen that the prisoner was a known Viet Cong captain.
Eddie Adams' photo of the execution won a Pulitzer Prize for The Associated Press. NBC also showed film of the execution. Adams said yesterday that Gen. Loan's actions were misinterpreted because of the picture. 'The guy was a hero. America should be crying,' said Adams, now a free-lance photographer. 'I just hate to see him go this way, without people knowing anything about him.' Adams said the man Loan shot had been seen killing others and that Loan was justified in executing him........
Leslie Cullen, a military history professor at Texas Tech University who specializes in the Vietnam War, said the man Loan summarily executed was involved in killing a policeman and his family. 'Not that such a thing was justified, but people had the impression from press reports that this guy was killing him just to be killing him,' Cullen said. 'People had a question in their mind, `Do we support people who do this?''"
Videography - The Daily Video Resource: "For $3,995, users get the JY-HD10 digital HD video camera and nonlinear editing software that allows them to edit their HD video on a well-equipped Windows XP computer. And, get this, another company is offering software to edit HD on a laptop computer!
..... JVC's JY-HD10 is based on a new format that employs MPEG-2 technology to record and play back HD video on a standard MiniDV tape. This technology, developed by JVC, will soon be employed by JVC's competitors-Sony, Canon, and Sharp-but for now is offered exclusively by JVC."
Telegraph | News | Farmer in marmalade rebellion against EU: "Johann Thiery was fined and threatened with jail after trading standards inspectors found him selling apricot marmalade using his grandmother's recipe.
According to a European Union ruling, marmalade can contain only citrus fruits such as lemons, limes and oranges and not apricots or other soft fruits. Such mixtures have to be labelled as jam."
TCS: Tech Central Station - Nonlinear Thinking: "The term 'nonlinear' has been misused and abused by pundits, to the point where it has degenerated into a fuzzy, feel-good (or feel-cool) expression. I want to use it here in a more well-defined sense.
.....Points, Lines, and Curves.....
Try this brain teaser: suppose that we have a petri dish with some bacteria. The amount of bacteria doubles every minute. After exactly one hour, the petri dish is full of bacteria. When was the petri dish half full?"
FT.com Home Europe: "However, investment bankers warned that a pure online auction would risk setting an unrealistically high price for Google's shares, since there would not be enough stock available to meet the massive demand from private investors captivated by the prospect of a new dotcom gold-rush.
'They could get a $100bn' stock market value, said one person involved.
'However, all the shares would end up with Aunt Agatha in Des Moines and Uncle Milt in Pittsburgh and there would be no real public market at all.'"
jaynote: Huh??? isn't this exactly what a public market is?
Shelley Jackson's INERADICABLE STAIN : SKIN PROJECT: "Writer Shelley Jackson invites participants in a new work entitled 'Skin.' Each participant must agree to have one word of the story tattooed upon his or her body. The text will be published nowhere else, and the author will not permit it to be summarized, quoted, described, set to music, or adapted for film, theater, television or any other medium. The full text will be known only to participants, who may, but need not choose to establish communication with one another. In the event that insufficiant participants come forward to complete the first and only edition of the story, the incomplete version will be considered definitive."
Wired News: The Great Library of Amazonia: "An ingenious attempt to illuminate the dark region of books is under way at Amazon.com. Over the past spring and summer, the company created an unrivaled digital archive of more than 120,000 books. The goal is to quickly add most of Amazon's multimillion-title catalog. The entire collection, which went live Oct. 23, is searchable, and every page is viewable.
To build the archive, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has had to unravel a tangle of technological and copyright problems. His solution promises to remake the publishing business and give Amazon a powerful new weapon in its battle against online competitors such as Yahoo, Google, and eBay. But the most interesting thing about the archive is the way it resolves the paradox of the book, respecting its physical form while transcending its limits."
Cruel: Reasons why the English language is hard to learn:
Posted: 2003-10-23; 09:27:17
Msg #: 56667
The bandage was wound around the wound.
The farm was used to produce produce.
The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
We must polish the Polish furniture.
He could lead if he would get the lead out.
The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
I did not object to the object.
The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
They were too close to the door to close it.
The buck does funny things when the does are present.
A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
The wind was too strong to wind the sail After a number of injections my jaw got number.
Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?"
LILEKS (James) The Bleat: Remember if you will the tale of the Contour Shuttle Pro, that device I brought back to the Apple store after it ceased to work. The Apple techs called the tech support line; the company president answered the call, and told them to give me a new one and ship the old one back; he’d eat the cost.
Well, a few weeks ago I got the G5, and the Shuttle Pro stopped working. Hmm. I called tech support. Got the President again. He spent fifteen minutes on the phone with me; within an hour he had posted to the website some downloads that made my device work.
This is the sort of attention to customers that makes me want to buy another one just so I have a fresh unit when the old one finally dies.
It's not a popular product, but it is good.
Slashdot | Software Exorcism: ".......this book should be required reading by computer science majors, who often have a number of misconceptions concerning the industry that they are about to enter.
I doubt very highly that your instructors will tell you how to handle all the nasty little things that can occur when humans work in groups: backstabbing, stonewalling, sabotage, etc. The sad truth is that the people who do actually learn about these tactics (under the guise of 'organizational behavior') are MBAs, the people who end up being managers. Folks, the deck has been stacked: The MBAs have been given whips, and the CS majors have all been given saddles. It's called animal husbandry; ... now go look up the word 'cull.' "
Free hot spots pay dividends - Computerworld: "John Wooley, chairman, CEO and president of restaurant chain Schlotzsky's Inc. in Austin, isn't so shy in sharing details of what he calls the 'strong ROI' from the company's free Wi-Fi service. Schlotzsky's currently offers free Wi-Fi in 30 of its 600 company-owned or franchised Schlotzsky's Delis. Wooley says he figures that the free Wi-Fi results in an additional 15,000 visits per restaurant per year by customers who spend an average of $7 per visit.
That means Wi-Fi service brings in more than $100,000 per year per outlet in return for an investment of about $8,000 per restaurant for wireless infrastructure, Wooley says. The largest continuing cost is backhaul to the Internet over 1.54Mbit/sec. T1 circuits, Wooley says. Since the cost of a T1 circuit varies from $300 to $700, depending on what part of the country you're in, he says Schlotzsky's would average those costs to induce existing franchisees to offer the service. (New franchisees will be required to offer free Wi-Fi, Wooley notes.)"
IN AN EFFORT TO HELP OUTSIDERS UNDERSTAND THE MIDWEST UNITED STATES, THE FOLLOWING LIST WILL BE HANDED TO EACH DRIVER ENTERING THE AREA:
1. That farm boy standing next to the feed bin did more work
before breakfast than you do all week at the gym.
2. It's called a 'gravel road'. No matter how slow you drive,
you're going to get dust on your SUV. I have a four-wheel drive
because I need it. Drive it or get it out of the way.
3. We all started hunting and fishing when we were seven years
old. Yeah, we saw Bambi. We got over it.
4. Any references to "corn fed" when talking about our women
will get you whipped... by our women.
5. Go ahead and bring your $600 Orvis Fly Rod. Don't cry to us
if a flathead catfish breaks it off at the handle. We have a
name for those little trout you fish for...bait.
6. Pull your pants up. You look like an idiot.
7. If that cell phone rings while a bunch of mallards are
making approach, we will shoot it. You might hope you don't
have it up to your ear at the time.
8. That's right. Whiskey is only two bucks. We can buy a fifth
for what you paid in the airport for one drink.
9. No, there's no "Vegetarian Special" on the menu. Order a
steak. Order it rare. Or, you can order the Chef's Salad and
pick off the two pounds of ham and turkey.
10. You can bring Coke into my house but it better be brown,
wet, and served over ice.
11. So you have a sixty-thousand dollar car you drive on
weekends. We're real impressed. We have quarter of a million
dollar combines that we use two weeks a year.
12. Let's get this straight. We have one stoplight in town. We
stop when it's red. We may even stop when it's yellow.
13. Our women hunt, fish, and drive trucks - because they want
to. So, you're a feminist. Isn't that cute.
14. Yeah, we eat catfish. Carp, too - and turtle. You really
want sushi and caviar? It's available at the bait shop.
15. They are pigs. That's what they smell like. Get over it.
Don't like it? Interstate 70, 80 & 90 go two ways. Interstate
29, 35, & 75 go the other two. Pick one and use it accordingly.
16. The "Opener" refers to the first day of deer season. It's a
religious holiday. You can get breakfast at the church.
17. So every person in every pickup waves. It's called being
friendly. Understand the concept?
18. Yeah, we have golf courses. Don't hit the ball into the
water hazard. It spooks the fish.
19. That Highway Patrol Officer that just pulled you over for
driving like an idiot, his name is, "Sir"... no matter how old
Now, enjoy your visit and go home.
Atlantic Unbound | Interviews | 2003.10.22: "The Structure of an Accident
William Langewiesche, the author of 'Columbia's Last Flight,' talks about the fundamental problems within NASA that led to the space shuttle's demise"
USATODAY.com - Study: 100 patients a day in USA wake up during surgery: "Anesthesia failure that allows a patient to wake up during surgery, paralyzed and unable to cry for help, occurs 100 times a day in the USA, a study reports Monday............
These findings, and the results of two similar trials also to be released today, led the Food and Drug Administration late Friday to broaden its approval of a device it says has reduced the risk of patients waking up during surgery. The BIS monitor, which is used in one-third of U.S. hospitals, turns the brain's EEG waves into a number that can tell anesthesiologists at a glance how deeply a patient is sedated."
newsobserver.com - Internet upstarts savor court victory over security camera ads: "With innocent exuberance, big dreams and no sense of the legal turmoil that would follow, the three technology-savvy brothers launched their Internet advertising business five years ago.
Working out of their parents' Yorba Linda home, they created a distinctive business plan: Buy Internet advertising space, then be paid by clients to post ads using 'pop-under' technology, in which ads are displayed on an uncluttered screen after the browser is closed.
Today, the brothers Vanderhook look to be $4.3 million richer - and jaded beyond their years about the cutthroat nature of Internet business."
New Scientist: "Cynthia Kenyon thinks we can have it all: health, wealth, hordes of children - and a long life. A very long life. She disagrees with prevailing ideas that we can only live longer by paying a high price in terms of reduced fertility or a sluggish metabolism. What made this professor of biochemistry and biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco, so sure? A little worm. "
Zero-tolerance gun policy runs counter to gun-safety classes at school: "When Nick Ziegeweid signed up for a firearms safety course at Winona Middle School earlier this fall, he was told to bring his shotgun. Better to learn how to handle the equipment he'd use when hunting than to have an instructor show him how to handle a gun he'd never seen.
But when the 12-year-old boy attended his first class Oct. 11, school administrators and instructors met him and about 40 other students outside the school to remind them they couldn't bring their guns inside.
The reason: the district's year-old 'zero-tolerance' policy prohibits students from carrying guns on school grounds, even if they are unloaded and used only for instructional purposes."
Yahoo! News - Oscar Screener Ban Plan Scrapped: "The good news: the MPAA and Hollywood's major studios are about to revoke the Oscar screener ban. The bad news: Academy members will be the only ones to receive tapes, to the exclusion of the directors, writers and actors guilds, members of the press and your hipster friend Bob, who knew a guy that knew a guy who could get him copies."
Yahoo! News - L.A. Critics Call Off Awards: "The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (news - web sites) is the latest group to gripe over the Motion Picture Association of America's decision to ban screeners for Hollywood award voters: But the L.A. reviewers are going one step forward than writing a nasty letter--instead, they're flat-out scrapping their annual awards in protest."
Eurogamer.net - TrackMania: "Developed by newcomer Nadeo and due out in Europe this November 28th from publishing upstart Digital Jesters, TrackMania is a racing game construction kit where the next part won't cost you �4.99 and take two hours to rescue from the moulded plastic wrapping. It's split into two distinct modes, Challenge and Race, and the common goal is earn medals and unlock the next track by breaking the developer's lap record. The difference being that, in Challenge mode at least, you design your own route from A to B.
Using a simple top-down, rotatable 3D view and mouse controls, you can drag and drop your idea towards fruition, carefully plotting straights, sharp and slight turns, speed pads and jumps so that your car can make it from Start to Finish past any requisite checkpoints in the shortest possible time."
Small Times: News about MEMS, Nanotechnology and Microsystems: "SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 14, 2003 – So, what's a nice nanotech entrepreneur like James Clements doing in a place like this?
The founder of Nanosciences Inc., a man with impeccable business credentials, has apparently fallen in with a bad crowd, hanging out here with a bunch of "crackpot" scientists at last weekend's 11th Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology.
That's the sort of reaction Clements almost universally received from fellow nanotechnology business people when he told them he planned to attend this gathering. Foresight is a nonprofit collection of folks who have been dreaming for decades of a nanotechnology that has yet to exist. It's the one envisioned in 1986 by Eric Drexler in "Engines of Creation," of molecular assemblers that can rearrange atoms into any way permitted by the laws of physics, the nanotechnology that existed in theory before the "n" word morphed into sunscreen, pants and "nanobusiness.""
The Volokh Conspiracy: "[David Bernstein, 7:33 AM]
Funerals in Israel: I attended my girlfriend's beloved mother's funeral in Israel last week. It was appalling. Like most Israelis, her parents were not affiliated with a synagogue. However, rabbis are necessarily on call to do funerals, as the presence of a (state-sanctioned, Orthodox) rabbi is required for Jewish funerals in Israel..........
....It's been almost a week, and I'm still angry about the funeral, and how alienating it was for my girlfriend, who, despite being a native Hebrew speaker, had absolutely no idea what was going on. Arggh! It's little wonder most Israelis want nothing to do with the religious establishment, or with organized Judaism more generally. "
Jerry Pournelle: Current View: "Feeling Safer
(Continued from last week)
I would really like to think I am suffering from paranoid delusions brought on by my cold; but on the radio today I hear they are going to throw the book at the kid who hid the box cutters on the airplanes.
Terrible. Dangerous. Etc.
Really? Well, yes, he was dangerous, but to the TSA and the Homeland Security Department and the entire establishment of 'security' people, all of whom are in mortal danger of having to find work suited to their talents and intelligence, which is to say of starvation. OK. That's extreme. OK. There are a few adults in TSA and Homeland Security.
There aren't many.
Let's do a thought experiment. Suppose they issued box cutters to every passenger. Get on an airplane, pick up your cardboard lunch, and get a box cutter. Get a good pocket knife while you are at it, a Buck with a 4 inch blade that locks open; a fighting knife.
Everyone in the airport can have one of those before they get on the airplane; why are they more dangerous on the airplane than in the airport lounge?
Why, Pournelle, you idiot, it's obvious, they are on an AIRPLANE! Think of the Twin Towers, think of 911!
Yeah, I am thinking of them. So what?
What can you do on an airplane with a box cutter that you can't do in the airport?
And of course the answer is nothing whatever. On an airplane I can start cutting throats until I am subdued by enraged passengers wielding seat cushions, using cameras as flails, and heavy laptops as bludgeons. What I can't do is get into the cockpit and take over the plane.
Well you can crash the plane!
With box cutters? Don't be ridiculous. And in fact that brings us to this point: I would suppose that fully 90% of my readers here could devise ways to bring down an airplane provided they don't mind being killed in the process, and do it with essentially zero chance of being detected. What would stop you or me from bringing down an airplane with ourselves aboard is (1) we don't want to, (2) there might be failure of will anyway, and (3) in my case at least I was brought up in Catholic schools and while not everything they taught stuck, the prohibition on suicide certainly did. But there is nothing the TSA can do to stop me.
And we all know this, and that lad has exposed the emperor's nakedness, and he's going to Federal prison for a good long time and will probably come out with AIDS since prison rape is very common and we are doing essentially nothing about it.
Meanwhile, we have made no progress whatever on finding out who really attacked the United States with anthrax (probably the 911 gang, but that hasn't been proven: not enough resources. They had enough resourced to put 60 agents on Tom Butler's case but that's another story).
The fact is we haven't caught bin Laden, we haven't got Saddam Hussein (who wasn't a lot of threat to us until we made him one; now he's getting a trooper a day); we haven't a clue as to who sent the anthrax; the airplanes are safer because we changed the rules of engagement, not because of the Airport Avoidance Conditioning Corps known s as TSA --
We have made sullen enemies of a lot of intellectuals who used to think the threat to liberty came from outside, but after the Butler case aren't so sure.
We have done to ourselves more than bin Laden ever did. And we are poised to do more."
STUDIO FOGLIO- About Us: "Phil and Kaja Foglio create art primarily in the Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Gaming markets. Studio Foglio publishes their work, both in book form, as Girl Genius, Buck Godot- Zap Gun for Hire and What's New? with Phil and Dixie--and serves as a gallery for Original Art.
Studio Foglio also features merchandise that Phil and Kaja have done for other companies, in the form of Magic the Gathering Whitebacked artist's proof cards. Fine art prints of their Magic the Gathering artwork are also available.
Since Phil and Kaja work on so many different things, Studio Foglio offers many different kinds of products, direct from the website. You can also find many of these items in your local comics or gaming shop. Your favorite retailer can order them directly or through a distributor."
Hackers to Face Tougher Sentences - BizReport: "Convicted hackers and virus writers soon will face significantly harsher penalties under new guidelines that dictate how the government punishes computer crimes."
jaynote: as the next story points out, the goverment has a hard time knowing just what a computer crime is. The case of Steve Jackson Games is another sad example
Prosecutors admits error in hack case: "Federal prosecutors said they made a mistake in getting a computer administrator convicted for exposing flaws in his employer’s computer system and asked an appeals court to reverse his conviction. In a motion filed Tuesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald L. Cheng said his office made “an error” in its prosecution against Bret McDanel."
SignOnSanDiego.com > News > Technology -- Government asks court to reverse conviction of purported Del Mar spammer
jaynote: man tries to do the right thing, gets put in jail for 16 months. Scummy company lies about what was done, and gets away with perjury
Tuesday, October 28, 2003
A tough lesson on medical privacy / Pakistani transcriber threatens UCSF over back pay: "A woman in Pakistan doing cut-rate clerical work for UCSF Medical Center threatened to post patients' confidential files on the Internet unless she was paid more money.
On Oct. 7, UCSF officials received an e-mail from Baloch, who described herself as 'a medical doctor by profession.' She said Spires owed her money and had cut off all communication. Baloch demanded that UCSF find Spires and remedy the situation.
She wrote: 'Your patient records are out in the open to be exposed, so you better track that person and make him pay my dues or otherwise I will expose all the voice files and patient records of UCSF Parnassus and Mt. Zion campuses on the Internet.'
Actual files containing dictation from UCSF doctors were attached to the e- mail. The files reportedly involved two patients."
jaynote: I sent this to Jerry Pournell, and he included it in his weblog mail section
The Atlantic | July/August 2001 | The Counterterrorist Myth | Reuel Marc Gerecht:
A former CIA operative explains why the terrorist Usama bin Ladin has little to fear from American intelligence
jaynote: This was written and published months before the WTC attack
Monday, October 27, 2003
Scientific American: Light Sails to Orbit -- NASA watches from the sidelines as Cosmos 1, the first solar sail, goes up: "The first solar sail, called Cosmos 1, will go for its test flight in early 2004. The demonstration of a revolutionary way to travel to the planets and maybe even to the stars would seem to be a natural activity for NASA, which spends several million dollars every year researching advanced propulsion systems. Yet in this case, the space agency has chosen to be a bystander.
The successful flight of Cosmos 1 would mark the culmination of three years of effort by the Planetary Society, a space-interest group, and the entertainment media firm Cosmos Studios [see 'Sailing on Sunlight,' News Scan, Scientific American, July 2001]. Both organizations, which can trace their roots to the late Carl Sagan, used their connections with Russian space officials and engineers. They enlisted the Babakin Space Center in Moscow as the prime contractor for Cosmos 1, which cost $4 million"
ESA Portal - Pedro Duque's diary from space: "I am writing these notes in the Soyuz with a cheap ballpoint pen. Why is that important? As it happens, I've been working in space programmes for seventeen years, eleven of these as an astronaut, and I've always believed, because that is what I've always been told, that normal ballpoint pens don't work in space.
'The ink doesn't fall', they said. 'Just try for a moment writing face down with a ballpoint pen and you will see I'm right', they said.
During my first flight I took with me one of those very expensive ballpoint pens with a pressure ink cartridge, the same as the other Shuttle astronauts. But the other day I was with my Soyuz instructor and I saw he was preparing the books for the flight, and he was attaching a ballpoint pen with a string for us to write once we were in orbit. Seeing my astonishment, he told me the Russians have always used ballpoint pens in space.
So I also took one of our ballpoint pens, courtesy of the European Space Agency (just in case Russian ballpoint pens are special), and here I am, it doesn't stop working and it doesn't 'spit' or anything. Sometimes being too cautious keeps you from trying, and therefore things are built more complex than necessary."
Internal Report Paints Bleak Picture of Human Life Science Research at NASA (part 1) | SpaceRef - Your Space Reference:
Editor's note: the following document was generated in 2003 for internal use at NASA Johnson Space Center.
You can download the entire 100 page report (with appendices, charts, etc.) here (5.6 MB PDF).
The first portion of the document describes how the Space and Life Sciences Division at NASA JSC is supposed to conduct business. The second part of this report (excerpts below) opens by saying 'Despite the apparent order of the process described above, the reality of the current program tells a more chaotic story.'
The third section of this report 'Recommendations' ends with 'The issue is clear. Voodoo science is not worth the cost. The limb of the fault tree Life Sciences is perched upon is perilously close to breaking.'
The last portion of this report contains a detailed statistical analysis of JSC life science research.
None of the problems described in this document arose overnight. Indeed, they are the result of decades of bad decisions - both at JSC as well as at NASA HQ. These problems are also the result of a failure on the part of advisory committees - both those sponsored by NASA as well as those chartered external to the agency."
FOXNews.com: Get This... - Space Travel Is So Yesterday: By Dennis Miller
...... Hey, let’s keep NASA around to fight off asteroids on a collision course with Earth and that’s it. Give any and all funding to the guys who invented the video game Galaga and make sure they ray gun any death boulders heading our way into smithereens.....
We are a group of professionals, primarily scientists and other technical people, who are involved in and concerned about the current lack of action to protect the Earth from the impact of near Earth asteroids (NEAs). While the probability of a highly destructive impact in the immediate future is slight, the consequence of such an occurrence is extreme, and mitigation efforts should begin now.
One of the realities which prompted us to form the B612 Foundation and establish the B612 goal is that the current Spaceguard detection program, undertaken by NASA in 1998 at the urging of the US Congress, is slowly but systematically discovering the NEAs over 1 km. in diameter. The goal is to discover (and track) 90% of them by 2008. Over 670 of the anticipated 1000-1100 that exist have so far been detected, and happily, none of them is any threat to the planet within the next 100 years.
This cannot be said, of course, for the 35% still to be discovered, nor for the 100,000 or so smaller, but still dangerous NEAs larger than 100 meters. Only a very small percentage of these have been discovered to date, and those only incidental to the current survey for the large ones.
The reality of concern to us, among others, is that the discovery of a NEA headed toward an impact with Earth could be announced at any time by the Spaceguard program. If this were to happen the public would be extremely concerned and demand to know what is being done about it.
Unfortunately the answer is 'nothing'. This, it seems to us, is intolerable and could cause widespread alarm. For this reason the B612 Foundation, recognizing that national governments feel (to the extent that they have considered the matter) that they are not in a position to spend public money on mitigation, are taking the initiative now to begin this process with the use of private funds. We believe that there are adequate numbers of intelligent and concerned people to support the critical initial planning work that needs to be done to eventually reach an operational system to deflect incoming NEAs."
Wednesday, October 22, 2003
Gefilte Fuck was one of the first Yidcore bands from Los Angeles. Jews From The Valley, a punk outfit featuring Gefilte Fuck's Mark Hecht and local scenester Bob Moss (of Wednesday BBQ fame) preceded it by a few years, but Gefilte Fuck had a sound and style all their own.
Each member would wear a tallis, yamulke, or both. Singer Howard Hallis would come out holding a bottle of Manichevitz wine and scream out to the crowd "Yer all a bunch of G-ddamn bastards! Oy!" and proceed to throw chunks of gefilte fish on the dance floor. The hardcore punk guitar would start, and there would be a Hora dance moving in the center of the mosh pit. It was quite a sight, and each show was a lot of fun. The sets would consist of hardcore versions of popular Jewish songs such as "Hava Nagila", "Dreidel", a few originals such as "Kibbutz" (written by Bregman), and some parodies ("Smells Like Jew Spirit"). All the members of the band were Jewish except for Robin, the drummer. He didn't seem to mind, though. Eliza Schneider joined the band after the recordings featured on this page were made and played violin.
ELIZA JANE!Eliza Jane Schneider, actress, songstress, oral historian, and playwright, is a woman of many voices. Currently, she can be heard worldwide on Comedy Central’s hit animated series, "South Park," as Wendy Testaberger, Shelly Marsh, Principal Victoria, The Mayor, Mrs. Cartman, Mrs. Crabtree, Stan’s Mom, and Kenny’s Mom, among others. She also voices most of the female characters on MTV’s animated show, "3-South".
Schneider has traversed the globe, collecting over 1000 recordings of dialects, several of which are used in her CDs and award-winning multiple character solo shows. Recurring on UPN’ "Girlfriends", Schneider portrays multiple characters on NBC’s, "Spy TV," PIXAR’s upcoming feature, "Finding Nemo", and Paramount’s Mel Gibson film, "What Women Want". Dubbed by the press as the "Queen of Saturday Morning", she has also starred in two CBS Saturday Morning live action television series, the Emmy-Award winning "Beakman’s World" and Howie Mandel’s "Amazing Live Sea Monkeys", for which she also wrote music.........
Schneider’s current solo show, "Freedom of Speech" is a 34 character documentary of her 317,000 mile journey throughout America in a converted ambulance, on a mission to define American culture. An alumni of UCLA’s World Arts and Cultures Dept. and the Eastman School of Music, Schneider sings and plays violin in several bands, including the critically acclaimed country trio, "Honeypig," (www.honeypig.com) LA’s foremost Jewish punk band, Gefilte Fuck (www.gefiltefuck.com) and the electronic/rock bands "Electric Skychurch" and "Blue Girl," a self-written rock-opera/ performance-art piece which won her inclusion in the LA New Times "Best of LA 2000" issue.
Kevin Sites Blog
“Don’t get me wrong,” says Sgt. Thomas Archer, “the bang is great, but the shockwave is where it’s at. You feel that shockwave and you know you’ve done your job. There’s not going to be anything left.”
In postwar Iraq these guys are the Hail Mary squad—ready to do what their asked, from treating drinking water, to building bridges, to destroying weapons caches which could be used against coalition forces. Their portfolio is as broad and diverse Leonardo Davinici’s—and like the renaissance genius, they use both sides of their brain—creative and logical to accomplish their mission.
Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2003: "Welcome to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition 2003 website. The competition aims to be the world's most respected forum for wildlife photographic art, showcasing the very best images of nature and inspiring new generations of photographers to produce visionary and expressive interpretations of nature."
Anchorage Daily News | Village invited to test cheap, clean nuclear power: "A Japanese corporation wants to thrust the Interior community of Galena into international limelight by donating a new, unconventional electricity-generating plant that would light and heat the Yukon River village pollution-free for 30 years.
There's a catch, of course. It's a nuclear reactor.
Not a huge, Three Mile Island-type power plant but a new generation of small nuclear reactor about the size of a big spruce tree. Designers say the technology is safe, simple and cheap enough to replace diesel-fired generators as the primary energy source for villages across rural Alaska."
KVAL 13 - Eugene: "Officers with the Oregon Liquor Control Commission have a new weapon and it's hitting the streets this week.
The passive alcohol sensor is the newest in technology when it comes to detecting for alcohol. And it's so effective because people don't even know that it's there. The tiny detector hides in a flashlight and can pick up any alcohol in the air and on someone's breath from five to seven inches away.
To test how it works, we set a can of open beer inside our KVAL new scar. Sure enough, when officer Mark Jaehnig leaned in with his flashlight, we got busted."
The University of Warwick: News, Media and Events:
"Public name-calling by women aimed to demoralise an adversary, trigger damaging gossip throughout the neighbourhood, and turn public opinion against the alleged offender.
Allegations usually attacked a female adversary's sexual reputation. Prostitution was viewed as far worse than fornication, and the charge undermined social as well as moral standing. Court papers reveal the term 'whore' as the most common insult over several centuries.
“Massive overuse inevitably weakened the impact of 'whore' as a term of abuse, but speakers were able to draw on a rich lexicon of synonyms, such as jade, quean, baggage, harlot, drab, filth, flirt, gill, trull, dirtyheels, draggletail, flap, naughty-pack, slut, squirt, and strumpet, generally heightened by adjectives such as arrant, base, brazenfaced, or scurvy.”
Google Search: author:firstname.lastname@example.org: "The AST/AVR turf war is over. Patti Grace Smith and Nick Sabitini have jointly published a Notice in the Federal Register, 68 FR 59977,
PC Weasel 2000 : Intro: "Unlike a 'real' server, a PC with a conventional BIOS can't be fully administered from a serial (RS-232) console port. Sure, once the OS is up and running it'll support a serial console, but if you want to take the system down to the BIOS (to select a different boot device, for example), you have to drag out the video monitor and keyboard. In remote applications, that just isn't an option.
The PC Weasel provides the answer by emulating a video board and keyboard and presenting a serial port to the outside world. Plugged into an available ISA or PCI slot, it takes the characters written by your CPU into its 'video' memory and pumps them out its onboard RS-232 port. Characters input by you into the RS-232 port are converted into keyboard scan codes and presented to the motherboard's keyboard connector."
Tech-Recipes - Your computer how-to cookbook:
"Just as a great chef keeps a reference of quality recipes, computer administrators and users often need access to the various techniques of practicing their art.
This site allows you to search or browse a great deal of computing knowledge. The site will only grow if you too submit your favorite methods, modes, and manipulations. If you can't find your answer here, try posting in our forums."
FORWARD : FastForward:
"Trembling and defeated, the comic book villain waits in the arms of a superhero for the police. 'Are you really Jewish?' the villain asks.
'There a problem with that?'
'No! No, it's just... you don't look Jewish.'
The villain is Powderkeg, a muscular, green-and-orange costumed character whose skin exudes nitroglycerine. The superhero is the Thing, the 6-foot-tall, 500-pound crime-fighter known for his craggy, orange skin made out of stone.
Yes, Marvel Comics has made it official with a recent issue of the 'Fantastic Four': It's a Jewish Thing.
Created by Stan Lee (father of Spider-man) and Jack Kirby, the Thing made his comic-book debut in 1961. But it was not until the recent June issue of 'Fantastic Four' (number 56, 'Remembrance of Things Past') that the rockman's Jewish bonafides were firmly established for the first time.
The recent issue explores the Thing's rough-and-tumble childhood on New York's Lower East Side. Born Benjamin Jacob Grimm, he navigated the tough corners of Yancy Street. The Thing's father was an alcoholic, and his brother and idol Daniel was a member of the local Yancy Street Gang. After his brother and his parents died when Grimm was still a teenager, he escaped the Lower East Side to the comforts of his Uncle Jake's house. He wound up heading off to college, and eventually became a pilot. On a mission to outer space, Grimm and his three fellow crewmen were drenched with cosmic radiation that mutated them, giving them each superpowers. The four became Mr. Fantastic, the Human Torch, Invisible Woman and the Thing "
SecurityFocus HOME News: Guilty Plea in Kinko's Keystroke Caper:
"If you used a computer at a Kinko's in New York City last year, or the year before, there's a good chance that JuJu Jiang was watching.
The 25-year-old Queens resident pleaded guilty in federal court in New York last week to two counts of computer fraud and one charge of unauthorized possession of access codes for a scheme in which he planted a copy of the commercial keyboard sniffing program Invisible KeyLogger Stealth on computers at thirteen Kinko's stores sprinkled around Manhattan.
For nearly two years ending last December, Jiang's makeshift surveillance net raked in over 450 online banking passwords and user names from hapless Kinko's customers, according to the plea. He would use victims' financial information to open new accounts under their names, and then siphon money from their legitimate accounts into the new, fraudulent ones. "
New Scientist: "Another debate rages over animal studies into the short-term effects of marijuana on brain chemistry. Heroin, cocaine, alcohol and nicotine all trigger a surge in the chemical dopamine in a small midbrain structure called the nucleus accumbens. Many researchers regard this as a hallmark of an addictive substance.
Last year, experiments showed that cannabis presses the same dopamine button in rats, leading to claims that the drug must be more addictive than previously thought. To critics, it is just another example of those old exaggerated fears.
What nobody tells you, says John Morgan, a pharmacologist at City University of New York Medical School, is that rats don't like cannabis. It's easy for them to get hooked on heroin or cocaine -- but not marijuana. Nor, Morgan claims, are researchers exactly open about awkward observations, such as the fact that there are plenty of nonaddictive drugs that stimulate dopamine in the brain."
PervScan.com is a compendium of the latest headlines in sordid behavior. It is not a porn website but an index to the strange obsessions, sexual outrages, and deviant doings that can be found in the news."
"Eight grandchildren of Ernest Hemingway have settled a bitter feud with the widow of the writer's transsexual son Gregory over his $7-million estate, which included a portion of Hemingway's literary rights... In life, the youngest son of the 'Old Man and the Sea' author battled alcoholism, drug abuse, manic depression and a cross-dressing fetish that ultimately led to a sex-change operation and a new name, Gloria. Gregory Hemingway was arrested on Sept. 26, 2001, in the exclusive Miami island town of Key Biscayne, naked after stripping off his dress, thong and high heels. He died in his cell four days later and an autopsy found he had surgically-created women's genitalia." — Reuters (US)
Researchers Hope to Improve Web Searches - BizReport:
"Carnegie Mellon University researchers are using an Internet game to help improve artificial intelligence, in hopes of making Web searches more powerful.
Graduate student Luis von Ahn and his mentor, professor Manuel Blum, believe search engines can one day adopt word labels generated by their ESP Game to help computers see images more as humans do.
Search engines use algorithms - mathematical recipes designed to solve problems - to sort, rank and filter pages, text and images on the Internet.
But they can't 'see' an image the way a human being can, and must rely on surrounding text to make an educated guess.
The ESP Game tries to improve upon that by asking two players who don't know each other to type in words that describe a series of images. Players win points when they match words - and those matches become labels von Ahn and Blum can affix to the image in question.
It would take too long for researchers to label the hundreds of millions of images that can be accessed by Google or other search engines. But von Ahn believes that task might be accomplished in a few months by getting a few thousand people to play the game each day."
The Carnivorous Plant FAQ: human digestion:
"Q:Can Venus Flytraps digest human flesh?
A: OK, I admit it. This is not a frequently asked question. But it is one that I am inspired to answer. But let me warn you, this is GROSS! You may wish to zip right on to the next FAQ entry to just avoid polluting your brain with the information below. By the way, my lovely wife is going to be absolutely mortified when I tell her I put this information on the web. She was completely horrified that I actually did these experiments...........
.........I thought about my Venus Flytraps. (You can start squirming now.) Could they digest diseased human flesh? If so, this would mean that if a person were trapped by an adequately large (giant, special-effects monster movie size) Venus Flytrap, he or she could be digested. I figured this would be unlikely because surely the skin would be able to resist the puny enzymes from the plant. But here was a chance to prove it."
Of Lab Mice and Men: "Research is the basis of our modern lives. The computer you are sitting at now is a product of market research, and its very components are a fruit of technical research going back to the first studies of electricity. For every life event from how you handle the birth of your first child, to how you cope with the death of your mother, there is a research project, generally funded by the government, attempting to explain it.
This week, I went on a quest for research, not in the name of advancement, but for 12 points of extra credit that could cement my A. I filled out questionnaires till my eyes bled on subjects ranging from my sexual and romantic relationships to reflections on my upbringing. As I stood in front of the experiment postings, I noticed a couple postings of interest to me as a gamer....... "
Reference Desl: "The Society for Amateur Scientists is building a program that will link scientists and engineers of all stripes with young people who share their passion for science, through a highly structured program called LABRats. The kids and mentors will come, largely, from the same communities. Our long-term goal is to build a nation-wide community of science enthusiasts that could one-day include a million young people and which could be sustained indefinitely, much like the Boy Scouts. Only instead of building this organization around the teaching of camping skills, LABRats will center itself around the teaching of an in-depth and engaging hands-on science program."
'Wheel' contestant suing over injury: "Contestant Will Wright had just won $48,400, and the Wheel of Fortune audience was cheering with abandon in a District of Columbia auditorium where the show was being taped. Suddenly, Wright says, host Pat Sajak leapt at his body and wrapped his arms and legs around him.
Sajak's midair bear hug that October 2000 night at Constitution Hall was edited out of the broadcast for television viewers at home, Wright says. But Wright remembers it well. This week, the 38-year-old puzzle-guessing champion from Lorton, Va., filed a $2 million lawsuit against the show's producers over the back injuries he says he suffered from Sajak's moment of unbridled enthusiasm."
The fur flies and crawls and bites:
He has killed 20 of them with a shotgun. Still, flesh-eating fugitives are skulking around Jeffrey Weaver’s place here in the deep green foothills of the Cascade Mountains.
THE ESCAPEES STINK to high heaven, but that is the least of Weaver’s complaints. They have slaughtered dozens of his ducks and chickens, feasted on fingerling salmon in his creek and had the temerity to bite his dog in the throat. One of them leaped out of the shadows and scratched his arm. “For the size of the animal, I have never seen such a killer,” said Weaver, 48, a laid-off Boeing worker who now works as a fishing guide. “They are brutal little guys.”
The fugitives are farmed-raised minks, running amok in the northern exurbs of Seattle, trying to figure out how to survive in an uncaged world. They are holdouts from a herd of 10,000 minks that on Aug. 25 was released from cages at the Roesler Brothers Fur Farm here in Sultan, a town of 4,100 people.
The Animal Liberation Front, which the FBI has said is responsible for more than 600 animal-related crimes in the past seven years, has claimed responsibility for the mink break.
DNA Lounge: DNA Sequencing: "And now, another tale from the trenches.
It was around 2AM, and as is the custom in these parts, our staff were going around and taking alcohol away from people. Susanne took a cup from a girl who then turned and puked right on the dance floor. 'Oh my god, you just puked on the dance floor!' exclaimed Susanne. 'No I didn't!' said the girl. Susanne summoned an escort to introduce the girl to the great outdoors.
Susanne then noticed that the cup she had just taken from the girl was full of vomit.
Oh, and there was no need to clean up the puke on the dance floor: the dancing feet made it vanish of its own accord before anyone could get a mop over there.
And may I again take this moment to point out that there are people in the world who think it's a good idea to TAKE OFF THEIR SHOES in nightclubs?"
The Evolution of a Cryptographer - CSO Magazine - September 2003:
Bruce Schneier, who literally wrote the book on cryptography, talks with Senior Editor Scott Berinato about his holistic view of security, both physical and technical.
For a while, it seemed as if Bruce Schneier himself was encrypted. No one could decipher his whereabouts for an interview with CSO. This was unusual because Schneier, founder and CTO of Counterpane Internet Security, is usually aggressively available to the press. Plus, he has a new book to promote—Beyond Fear: Thinking Sensibly About Security in an Uncertain World—a decidedly iconoclastic and non-IT view of security. But the book also challenges physical security practitioners to learn a thing or two from the infosecurity ranks: to think in terms of systems.
Beyond Fear represents Schneier's most ambitious departure yet from infosecurity, an arc he's been traversing for some time now. When Senior Editor Scott Berinato finally found him, at a folk festival in Winnipeg, Canada, he was eager to talk about his evolution from mathematician to security generalist, and about the cultural disconnect between physical and information security and what he means by "brittle security."
Silicon Valley - Dan Gillmor's eJournal - If Broadcast Flag Passes, You Lose:
"A rule being considered by the Federal Communications Commission is one of a series of proposals pushed by the entertainment industry to help thwart copying and online trading of movies and television shows that increasingly are being broadcast in digital form with high-quality picture and sound.
The purpose, much more than preventing online trading, is to force us all into a pay-per-view world, where the copyright cartel banishes fair use and turns everything digital into something that someone owns outright.
Get ready for the end of time-shifting. Get ready for the era when you are not permitted to fast-forward through commercials, or skip them entirely, without paying extra. Get ready to pay extra if you want to make a personal backup. Get ready to be told specifically what software you can use in the devices you've purchased for multiple purposes, because without (probably Microsoft's programs) you won't be able to watch or listen to or, maybe, even read copyrighted works. And get ready for the time when you have to pay to quote someone's copyrighted work, even a little bit of it."
Heretical Ideas -- We challenge the orthodoxy, so you don't have to.:
"PHILOSOPHIC OPEN THREAD
A long, long time ago, in the short story 'Runaround,' Isaac Asimov developed the famous 'Laws of Robotics.' They are:
A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
A robot must obey orders given it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
This concept of the Three Laws is enormously influential, and in a lot of robotics literature, it is almost assumed that some variant of these laws will be implemented when robots become complex enough to require them.
So here's the question: if artificial intelligence advances to the point where robots are roughly equal to humans in intelligence, would the imposition of the Three Laws in the manufacture of robots be moral or immoral?"
>bt: brain terminal:
"When Protesters Attack
<< Politics 16 October 2003 >>
I was now completely encircled. When I tried to escape, the protesters then started smacking the camera with their signs, while others were shoving me from different directions. I started retreating, pushing my way back from the loudspeaker, all the while leaving the camera running and asking the protesters why they weren't letting me film. Just when the scuffle between me and the protesters seemed like it was about to take a turn for the worse, I remembered that there were some cameras present from a few mainstream media outlets. I started yelling, 'Why are you trying to censor me?' The idea was to attract the other cameras, thinking that the protesters would back off if their actions were captured by the news media. The gambit worked: we were soon surrounded by cameras. "
Channel3000.com - News - Villagers Sorry Their Ancestors Ate British Missionary:
SUVA, Fiji -- Residents of a remote village in the Pacific island nation of Fiji are apologizing -- again -- for their cannibal ancestors' decision to eat a British missionary.
The villagers want to break a curse they say dates back to July 1867, when their cannibal forefathers dined on the Reverend Thomas Baker, a Methodist missionary from England. All that remained of Baker were his leather boots, which the cannibals also tried to eat, thinking they were part of the missionary.
Village residents have offered numerous apologies in the past, but they still have no electricity and no passable road leading out of the jungle.
The last time they apologized was in 1993, when villagers presented the Methodist Church of Fiji with Baker's overcooked and slightly chewed boots."
Space Coalition Urges Swift Passage of Commercial Space Act of 2003Contact: Rich Pournelle
XCOR Aerospace Phone 661-824-4714
Jim Muncy PoliSpace (703) 370-4539
Space Coalition Urges Swift Passage
of Commercial Space Act of 2003 (HR 3245)
WASHINGTON, DC – October 14, 2003: A coalition of space policy organizations and aerospace companies today urged the Congress to pass the Commercial Space Act of 2003 (HR 3245) in an expeditious manner. This bill, introduced in the House by a bipartisan group, will clarify and streamline a muddled and uncertain regulatory regime faced by the emerging American suborbital space flight industry.
”The suborbital launch industry offers tremendous promise,” said Brian Chase, Executive Director of the National Space Society. “The tourism component alone could be worth billions of dollars per year, and has the real potential to jump-start our stagnant aerospace sector. The United States has the opportunity to be the leader in this exciting market, but without steps like this legislation we may see it move to other countries.”
The bill, introduced by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Rep. Ralph Hall (D-TX) and Rep. Bart Gordon (D-TN), directs the Secretary of Transportation to set up an enabling regulatory regime for commercial human space flight, separate from that under which the FAA governs commercial aviation.
Most important, the bill confirms the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST) as the sole authority to license suborbital launch vehicles, and provides clear guidance that its primary mission is to aid this new industry with reasonable regulation that will help develop suborbital vehicles and companies. This will end the confusion within FAA about which bureau has jurisdiction over these vehicles.
"The most effective way to make suborbital flight safe is to allow innovative ideas," said XCOR Aerospace CEO Jeff Greason. "By resolving regulatory uncertainty, this bill creates an environment that will attract investment to an industry that has the potential to produce quality, high-paying jobs."
“This legislation protects the safety of the general public while allowing entrepreneurs and adventure travelers to pursue their dream of participating in human spaceflight,” said James Muncy of PoliSpace, a space policy consultant working for several suborbital RLV-interested companies.
The coalition is made up of major space policy organizations, aerospace companies and consultants. They are joined by Mr. Dennis Tito, the first private citizen to pay his own way into space. Their joint aim is to assist the suborbital industry in its development and to assure American leadership in this important emerging industry
Ananova: "Experts say a reported UFO sighting in Norway was probably an electrocuted cat.
People in Lardal reported seeing a fire ball explode in the night sky and fall slowly down to earth.
But investigators think they've solved the mystery after the charred body of a cat was found at the foot of an electrical mast.
They believe the unlucky cat climbed up the mast and touched a live wire, reports Aftenposten.
Lars Helge Sogn says what people saw was the cat exploding and falling off the mast."
sunspot.net - business: "Baltimore-based Legg Mason Inc. has been ordered by a federal jury to pay almost $20 million to a financial newsletter publisher in a case that could make it easier to punish those who illegally distribute copyrighted works via e-mail or the Internet.
Lowry's Reports Inc., a small but well-known publisher of stock market analysis, alleged in a lawsuit that Legg Mason made unauthorized copies of its newsletter and distributed the information to its 1,300 brokers through an internal Web site and other means.
The North Palm Beach, Fla., company said that the unlawful copying, which dated back to at least 1988, continued even after Legg officials had been notified of the alleged copyright infringement."
CycleForums - Un Fookin Believeable. Notebook Found.: "
If you dont know whats going on, read this first:
NOW, here is where it starts to get REALLY INTERESTING...
I got this email about an hour ago...
SUBJECT: I FOUND YOUR NOTEBOOK ON THE FREEWAY
The other day I was driving up the 405 freeway in a miserable state of traffic. I was thinking about all the things I have yet to accomplish in life. How I might accomplish them, how I might arrive at them and to what parts of the world they might affford my attendance. My car was inching along at aproximatly 12 miles an hour when I saw something shoot out from under a passing car and slam up against the near by center divider. quickly my eye recognized it as a laptop computer. with no hesitation I pulled into the left side shoulder and turnned off my car. I opened my door and stepped into a hurricane of wind and sound comming from the opposit side of the freeway which was roaring along like a procession of screaming buffalo. I walked against my side of traffic some fifty feet to find a damaged but life like DELL INSPIERON 8200. The title was Barely ledgable through a million different scrapes gashes created by its journey down the 405 playing the roll of a hockey puck. When I first saw it skidding in front of me I conclude it was being shot out from under a tire like a peice of ice being squeezed too tightly between two fingers.
I reached down and picked the thing up. The cd drive was dangling from it like an accidental peice of spaggetti stuck to the bottom of an eligant dinner plate. Except this plate was splintered at every cornner, bent like a half moon, and covered with a film of black grime and and dust.
With the bent top half standing open Just an inch I could barely make out what I can only explain as a miracle. THE THING WAS STILL ON!! "
The Safety of Beer Drinking - PRAVDA.Ru:
"Why do you think Russian women prefer beer now?
Some women like the taste of beer - they often prefer a certain brand or a certain kind of beer. It is a lot more pleasant to drink beer than vodka, for example. A lot of beer usually results in a strong alcoholic intoxication too. In addition, beer is bottled in cans, glass and plastic bottles: it is comfortable to drink from such packaging. There is no need to deal with glasses and snacks, one may purchase beer in any kiosk or a food store and it is a cheap drink to buy. Practically any woman and girl can afford a bottle of beer. Advertising on television plays an important role as well. Commercial advertisements say that drinking beer is absolutely normal, it is attractive and it goes with the fashion. As a result, women do not think of consequences when they buy a bottle or a can of beer."
Thursday, October 16, 2003
Intuitor Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics
Technonerds go to movies strictly for entertainment, and of course, the most entertaining part comes after the movie when they can dissect, criticize, and argue the merits of every detail. However, when supposedly serious scenes totally disregard the laws of physics in blatantly obvious ways it's enough to make us retch. The motion picture industry has failed to police itself against the evils of bad physics. This page is provided as a public service in hopes of improving this deplorable matter. The minds of our children and their ability to master vectors are (shudder) at stake.
My (brief) career as an ISP | CNET News.com:
"The FBI is convinced that I'm an Internet service provider.
It's no joke. A letter the FBI sent on Sept. 19 ordered me to 'preserve all records and other evidence' relating to my interviews of Adrian Lamo, the so-called homeless hacker, who's facing two criminal charges related to an alleged intrusion into The New York Times' computers.
There are a number of problems with this remarkable demand, most of which I'll get to in a moment, but the biggest is the silliest. FBI Supervisory Special Agent Howard Leadbetter II used the two-page letter to inform me that under Section 2703(f) of the Electronic Communication Transactional Records Act, I must 'preserve these items for a period of 90 days' in anticipation of a subpoena. So far I haven't received such a subpoena, which would invoke a lesser-known section of the USA Patriot Act.
Leadbetter needs to be thwacked with a legal clue stick. The law he's talking about applies only to Internet service providers, not reporters."
TRIBnet 24-hour News Page: "Directors plead with Valenti for return of screeners
NEW YORK (October 10, 1:56 p.m. PDT) - Nearly 150 directors, including Robert Altman, Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola and Robert Redford, are urging the Motion Picture Association to repeal its decision to stop sending out special DVDs and videos to Oscar voters.
The directors sent a letter to Jack Valenti, urging the MPAA to immediately repeal the anti-piracy plan it implemented last week.
The ban on sending screeners means the 5,600 Academy Awards voters will have to catch most movies in theaters."
Digital Prayer Wheels: "Tibetan Buddhists believe that saying the mantra (prayer) Om Mani Padme Hum, invites the blessings of Chenrezig, the embodiment of compassion.
They also believe you can produce the same effect by spinning the written form of the mantra around in a prayer wheel (called 'Mani wheels' by the Tibetans). The effect is said to be multiplied when more copies of the mantra are included, and spinning the Mani wheels faster increases the benefit as well.
His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, has said that having the mantra on your computer works the same as a traditional Mani wheel. As the digital image spins around on your hard drive, it sends the peaceful prayer of compassion to all directions and purifies the area. "
Ebert; "Why inspecting a turkey sandwich won't stop movie piracy": "Occasionally the movie industry comes up with a truly boneheaded idea. Jack Valenti unveiled a doozy last week: He announced that signatories of the Motion Picture Association of America would be forbidden to send out the thousands of advance DVD ''screeners'' that jam the year-end mailboxes of Academy members and critics compiling Best 10 lists."
Wired News: Students Toil as Spyware Hunters:
"Carlino and Cross recently signed on as participants in a pending class action suit against Xupiter, joining thousands of other disgruntled users whose machines were vandalized by the spyware.
But the two teenagers weren't content to simply join the suit. Carlino, 17, and Cross, 16, have become the primary researchers for the case, tirelessly ferreting out information about the creators of Xupiter and the havoc their software wreaks on computers."
jaynote: I've been finding this on friends and family's computers. It definatly causes problems
State job agency hires India firm:
"The Department of Workforce Development is supposed to help out-of-work Hoosiers find jobs.
But when the agency needed $15.2 million worth of computer upgrades to speed handling of unemployment claims, it hired a company based in India.
State officials acknowledge that hiring an overseas firm that competes with U.S. companies has raised concerns, especially given their legal responsibility to put Indiana workers first."
Many soldiers, same letter / Front Page -The Olympian: "Letters from hometown soldiers describing their successes rebuilding Iraq have been appearing in newspapers across the country as U.S. public opinion on the mission sours.
And all the letters are the same.
A Gannett News Service search found identical letters from different soldiers with the 2nd Battalion of the 503rd Airborne Infantry Regiment, also known as 'The Rock,' in 11 newspapers, including Snohomish, Wash."
Forbes.com: Is Sex Necessary?: "In one of the most credible studies correlating overall health with sexual frequency, Queens University in Belfast tracked the mortality of about 1,000 middle-aged men over the course of a decade. The study was designed to compare persons of comparable circumstances, age and health. Its findings, published in 1997 in the British Medical Journal, were that men who reported the highest frequency of orgasm enjoyed a death rate half that of the laggards. Other studies (some rigorous, some less so) purport to show that having sex even a few times a week has an associative or causal relationship with the following:"
9X Media - Products - Multiple Monitors, Multi-Monitors, Multi-Displays, Graphic Workstations, Video wall, Rentals, dual head video card, quad head video cards, LCD DVI/LVDS receivers: "9X Media offers the most complete line of multiple monitor products in the world including: patent-pending X-Top expandable multi-monitor displays that support from 2 up to 30 flat panels, X-Wall Video Walls, Multi-Screen servers, workstation grade computers, multi-head video cards and Multi-screen management software."
Car Owners' Hero Dresses for the Job: "Any parent who gets a phone call from his son saying, `Oh, you might see me in the newspaper; I'm a superhero wheel clamp vigilante'— it might take them a little while to formulate their views," he said in an interview.
As a one-man vigilante force, Angle-Grinder Man, who takes his name from the boot-destroying circular saw he wields, has made only a modest impact: by his own estimates, he has freed about 20 cars so far (he does it only part time). But his campaign against the city's effort to immobilize cars for parking violations and other infractions has touched a nerve in a city of strict parking regulations, zealous traffic police officers, ubiquitous speed cameras and car owners increasingly aggrieved at what they believe is mean-spirited law enforcement. "
SciScoop || Cave Capitalists: "By Howard, Section Commentary
Posted on Sun Oct 12th, 2003 at 07:22:48 AM PST
Technology To: 2 grunts & 1 cluck
From: 3 clucks & 2 funny back-of-throat noises
Re: Your invention
We over here in the Land North of the Tar Pits Venture Capital Cave were both amused and inspired by your request of funds for your 'wheel' project.
Yes, we certainly believe that perpetuation of our species is linked to a wider range of migration patterns, thus the need for development of faster-than-foot technologies. But while your vision of a future in which humans routinely 'ride' upon round things have certainly made for some sensational wall paintings that please our herd very much, we simply cannot provide the capital investment your company requires."
SignOnSanDiego.com > News > Science/Health -- First watch on moon, or a giant leap?: "Among collectors, it's known as the missing moon watch, an Omega Speedmaster that astronaut Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin Jr. wore during his historic 1969 walk on the moon.
Sometime in the early 1970s, the watch disappeared on its way to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. An investigation went nowhere, and it looked like the watch would never be seen again.
Now the coveted timepiece may have resurfaced just as mysteriously as it vanished."
Technical Entrepreneur Profile - Craig Newmark: Geek chic? Screw it, I'm a nerd.: "Craig Newmark spent his high school years gazing into the CRT screen of an old IBM computer--tape on his glasses, pocket protector and all--and went on to earn an MS in Computer Science in 1977. After college he spent two years programming, then moved into less technical positions at IBM and then to Charles Schwab, where he was exposed to Mosaic and started evangelizing the Web. In 1995, he started Craigslist, an email list of cool events that grew to include notices of cars for sale, apartments for rent, and such. When his simple cc list grew beyond manageable proportions, Newmark created the Web site, charging only employers and landlords for listings. He didn't need seed money as he built 'a critical mass through persistence and commitment' funded by his technical consulting gigs. Now in 23 cities, Craigslist maintains both a for-profit and a non-profit entity, wins a staggering 480 million page views per month, and has even supplanted the Village Voice as the place for apartment listings in New York City.
My Name is Craig and I'm a Nerd
How does it feel to be on top of the geek chic heap with the Bay Area's largest collection of Bachelor of the Year nominations, invitations to the hippest San Francisco parties, and numerous awards?
'Geek chic? Screw it, I'm a nerd,' counters Newmark. 'A recovering nerd,' he amends, since 1972 when he took 'a very good small-group communication course in college. There, 'I had that little epiphany that it wasn't everyone else who had communications problems; it was me.'"
Outside Online - News: "If there is more than one way to skin a cat, John Wamsley will eagerly employ them all to protect the red-necked pandemelon. 'To save an endangered species,' declares Australia's most controversial conservationist, 'I'd sell my soul to the devil himself.' His opponents suspect he may already have; others consider him a guru for his ability to synergize the seemingly incongruous fields of wildlife conservation.
The ornery, slow-talking former professor of computer science—who's been known to wear a hat made from the pelt of an eight-pound cat and to press recipes for "pussy-tail stew" on unsuspecting strangers—is the originator and obsessive leader of a growing movement in Australia to rid the island continent of a plague of nonnative species"
ABC Rural Legends: John Wamsley: "'There's two ways you can do things,' John Wamsley says briskly. 'You can make them happen, or you can complain if it doesn't happen. I generally make it happen.'
He's justifying wearing a hat made of pelts from the cats he'd killed, to a black-tie dinner thrown by the South Australian tourism industry.
The 'thing' he was making happen was a stand against feral cats "
Cabela's -- Bridger Mountain Man Coyote Fur Hat: "Relive the era of the mountain man with this authentic full-body coyote Mountain Man Hat. The hat drapes down in the back for added warmth and protection on your neck and shoulders. From reenactments of famed mountain man triumphs along the frontier, to displays and decor befitting America's pioneers and settlers, the classic styling and authentic coyote hide make this hat a conversation starter at any gathering. The soft, white-tanned interior holds up to years of wear. The professionally cleaned fur is exceptionally soft and holds its sheen extremely well. "
ExtremePumpkins.com - Extreme Pumpkin Carving: "Pumpkin carving at its wildest!
At what point did the carving of pumpkins turn into a 'cute' event? When did boys stop carving pumpkins and moms start? Where did we lose touch with one of the years coolest events?
Today we will seize back this ritual. Today is the day we throw away those safe, cute carving tools. Today. We will buy a big, ugly, pumpkin so large one man cannot lift or move it. Today. We will carve that sumbitch into something ugly and plop it on the front porch. October 31st we will light it brightly enough to give visiting children suntans.
Pumpkin carving is reborn.
Welcome to ExtremePumpkins.com where strange pumpkins, pumpkin patterns, and alternative pumpkin carving techniques are developed and demonstrated for you.Pumpkin carving will never be the same."
Monkeys Control Robotic Arm With Brain Implants (washingtonpost.com): "Scientists in North Carolina have built a brain implant that lets monkeys control a robotic arm with their thoughts, marking the first time that mental intentions have been harnessed to move a mechanical object.
The technology could someday allow people with paralyzing spinal cord injuries to operate machines or tools with their thoughts as naturally as others today do with their hands. It might even allow some paralyzed people to move their own arms or legs again, by transmitting the brain's directions not to a machine but directly to the muscles in those latent limbs."
jaynote: I for one welcome our simian cyborg overlords.
ABCNEWS.com : Arctic Squirrel Surgery Could Yield Medical Solutions:
"Ryan Long, an undergraduate student at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, strode across the shrubby tundra to the trap at the top of the small slope and gently picked it up to inspect the squirrel.
'Oh, look at that! It's a new one,' he said, noticing the squirrel had no scar on its belly.
A few hours later the hefty little animal was lying flat and unconscious on a table under a scalpel.
Long was working with Brian Barnes, a biologist at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks who has been trapping and performing surgery on these bulkiest of all squirrels "
Welcome to the Atari History Museum: "This site is the culmination of years of research and hard work by enthusiasts with the support of numerous former and current Atari employees and is intended to provide images and information on all areas of Atari. Our mission is the preservation of all things Atari (Its history, products and knowledge.)
This site provides information, images and personal stories on all items produced by Atari as well as news and links to further assist any and all individuals interested in learning more about the company that helped to pioneer and shape many areas of Video Arcade Entertainment, Home Consumer Electronics, Personal Computer Systems and much, much more..."
New York Daily News - Home - It's jungle bungle by Post reporter:
"A New York Post stunt went horribly wrong when a reporter bought an 8-day-old lion - then dumped the deathly ill cub at an Ohio animal sanctuary yesterday, authorities said.
Post reporter Al Guart told animal refuge officials that he bought the 4-pound cub for $1,000 on the Internet as part of an exposé about animal trafficking - but panicked when he realized he couldn't care for the animal.
'This is a beautiful little lion and what they did is wrong,' said Ellen Whitehouse, director of Noah's Lost Ark, near Cleveland.
Mahoning County sheriff's deputies were called after Guart and photographer Michael Sofronski left the ailing cub at the animal sanctuary yesterday."