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Showing posts from January, 2004

833786 - Steps that you can take to help identify and to help protect yourself from deceptive (spoofed) Web sites and malicious hyperlinks

833786 - Steps that you can take to help identify and to help protect yourself from deceptive (spoofed) Web sites and malicious hyperlinks : "Things that you can do to help protect yourself from malicious hyperlinks The most effective step that you can take to help protect yourself from malicious hyperlinks is not to click them. Rather, type the URL of your intended destination in the address bar yourself. By manually typing the URL in the address bar, you can verify the information that Internet Explorer uses to access the destination Web site. To do so, type the URL in the Address bar, and then press ENTER. "

Internet News Needs Standards!

Intervention Magazine : Just over a year ago, I had posted a comprehensive report, “Blacklist Grounds American Passengers” on Intervention Magazine. It described how airlines have been grounding American political activists considered “high risks” simply because their names appeared on a government blacklist. “Green Party ‘Terrorist’” was a new version of my original article, having been rewritten with critical information deleted and unauthorized copy added -- it was a rip-off of my original piece. Without my permission and knowledge, someone took my “Blacklist Grounds American Passengers,” rewrote, added, and deleted whatever they pleased, which is an obvious violation of my copyright. This new artilce represented a theft of my intellectual property. The “Green Party ‘Terrorist’” had been posted on numerous Web sites, but I traced this new, corrupted copy back to its source at one Web site, Here, the title of the pirated piece is “Green Party ‘Terrorists’ Not All

WiFi access at The New York Public Library

NYPL You are invited to explore The New York Public Library's fast Internet network using your own Wireless-enabled laptop computer. Free access is provided in all public areas in the WiFi-enabled libraries and at all times the libraries are open. Simply launch your Web browser. Your computer's home page will appear and you may begin surfing immediately. Hardware Requirements * You will need a WiFi-compliant 802.11b wireless Ethernet device installed in your laptop or a laptop with built-in WiFi capability. * Set your wireless network adapter's Network Identifier (also known as ESSID or Network Name) to NYPL."

WorldChanging: Another World Is Here: Whole Earth Closes Its Doors

WorldChanging: Another World Is Here: Whole Earth Closes Its Doors : Whole Earth magazine - spawn of the amazing Whole Earth Catalogs, source of the WELL, first to mention in print the Gaia Hypothesis, the Internet, Virtual Reality, the Singularity and Burning Man (or at least so the legend goes), the place where folks like Stewart Brand, Kevin Kelly and Howard Rheingold found their voices, and where a whole generation of young commune-kid geeks like myself learned to dream weird - is no more. Again. Maybe. It has died and risen from the ashes at least once before. But in any case, it's going into the deep freeze, with (as far as I can tell) no solid plans for how to awaken, and it looks pretty unlikely that the famous "lost Singularity issue," #111(PDF) will ever see print. The signs are bad: creditors (including writers) have long gone unpaid, the last of the staff have gone, and I got an email today quoting this message from board president Danica Remy: ..
London Consortium : "Shit and Civilization: our ambivalent relationship to ordure in the city, culture and the psyche Course Tutors: Parveen Adams, Mike Weinstock, Chris Turner Venue: 10 Gower Street, WC1 Time: Fridays 10:30 to 1PM Course Description Sample Essays 2003-2004 Course Calendar MRes/PhD 1 Course Description Our societies are, quite literally, founded on shit. Civilization means living in cities and cities are confronted, in a way more dispersed settlements are not, with heaps of garbage and ordure. Ancient cities are now identified by the mounds raised above the surrounding terrain, called tells. Tells are heaps of rubble, garbage and ordure into which cities have crumbled. Cities have always left the poor to scavenge and to live from re-cycling garbage. In many contemporary third world cities slums have been built on and around the town dump. Slums - favelas, barrios, shanties - have no sewers. Ordure is carried away in carts or by open drains. Yet we

One-eyed goat draws stares from amazed locals

IOL : "We kid you not! Astounded residents of Durban's Folweni township couldn't believe their eyes. And they couldn't believe the eye of a baby goat born in the village at the weekend - there was only one - in the middle of the goat's forehead, just like the Cyclops of Greek mythology. Even more astonishing was the fact that the single eye looked uncannily human. News of the bizarre birth spread swiftly throughout the township and hundreds of people poured into Folweni to see for themselves. Locals have dubbed the little animal Umlingo, isiZulu for miracle." : "LOS ANGELES (AP) -- FBI agents say they have traced the bootlegging and illegal Internet distribution of Hollywood films to an actor who is an Academy Award member, and have arrested one of his acquaintances. Carmine Caridi admitted in an affidavit released Thursday that he sent every so-called 'screener' videotape he's received for the past three years to an acquaintance in the Chicago area, Russell W. Sprague. Sprague, 51, was arrested at his home in Homewood, Ill., on Thursday after a search of his home turned up hundreds of films, many of which had been converted to DVD and had the Academy's encryption code erased, along with an array of duplicating equipment, authorities said."

Opium Made Easy

Opium Made Easy : "Last season was a strange one in my garden, notable not only for the unseasonably cool and wet weather--the talk of gardeners all for its climate of paranoia. One flower was the cause: a tall, breathtaking poppy, with silky scarlet petals and a black heart, the growing of which, I discovered rather too late, is a felony under state and federal law. Actually, it's not quite as simple as that. My poppies were, or became, felonious; another gardener's might or might not be. The legality of growing opium poppies (whose seeds are sold under many names, including the breadseed poppy, Papaver paeoniflorum, and, most significantly, Papaver somniferum) is a tangled issue, turning on questions of nomenclature and epistemology that it took me the better part of the summer to sort out. But before I try to explain, let me offer a friendly warning to any gardeners who might wish to continue growing this spectacular annual: the less you know about it, the better off yo

Matrimony Mod

[H]ard|Forum : "So... I decided last month it was time to make my relationship with my girlfriend of 5 years official. An earlier plot of mine to propose to her had been thwarted when she began to suspect something, so on the train one day in December the following idea hit me: change gears and somehow incorporate a mod into the proposal. I envisioned making an all white PC with 'bridal' accents for her, and using that as a visual aid for the proposal. I planned out all the stuff I was thinking on the train and got to work."
Reuters : Couples meet online. They choose gifts, plan weddings, scout romantic locales and book honeymoons online. And, if things don't work out, they can pull the plug and file for divorce online. Divorce Online ( is supported by the American Divorce Information Network, a group of professionals that include therapists, members of the legal system, and financial and educational planners. There is a Divorce Checklist and articles like "Choosing a Matrimonial Lawyer," which may be the most important decision you make. While divorce can be painful, complicated and financially devastating, it doesn't have to be, maintains LegalZoom, the online legal service center. A founder of LegalZoom is defense attorney Robert L. Shapiro, whose high-profile clients have included O.J. Simpson, Darryl Strawberry and Tina Sinatra. The Web site,, guarantees document acceptance by a court and offers peace of mind with custome
Showstoppers : "Since terrorism had been classified as crime, few Pentagon officials were willing to call it a clear and present danger to the United States--much less grounds for war. Any attempt to describe terrorism in those terms ran into a stone wall. For instance, on June 25, 1996, a truck bomb killed 19 Americans and wounded another 250 at the U.S. military's Khobar Towers housing facility near Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. In the aftermath, a tough-minded subordinate of Allen Holmes, then the assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict, asserted that the Defense Department needed a more aggressive counterterrorism policy to attack those responsible for these increasingly lethal terrorist attacks. Holmes told him, 'Write it down, and we'll push it.' The aide laid out a strategy that pulled no punches. Khobar Towers, the World Trade Center bombing, and other attacks were acts of war, he wrote, and should be treated as such. : "If you've downloaded a song in the past few years, it's in large part because of Justin Frankel. Seven years ago, when he was just eighteen, he invented Winamp, the first software program that made it easy to play digital music on your computer. A few years later, he created Gnutella: the vast, and vastly controversial, online network that lets you swap songs. The fact that Frankel secretly did the latter while working at America Online, the company behind his multimillion-dollar buyout, made him both the Internet's greatest punk -- and hero. Now he's about to punk the industry again."

Ex-pinup supplies 3 litres of milk a day

"Ten years ago, shapely blonde beauty Belinda Hall's special assets earned her the South African Penthouse Pet of the Year title. She got fame, adoration - six million men voted her into the number one slot - and the chance to travel and live overseas. She was also hailed as Miss October in the United States' Pet of the Year honours. Now, although that has all been replaced with marriage and motherhood (her husband is Pinetown lawyer Andre Liebenberg), she is still something of a star. 'I knew my boobs would come in useful one day' For not only does the new mom provide her four-month-old Down's Syndrome son, Anthony, with a litre of breast milk a day, she also supplies another two litres a day to a unique milk bank. While she has to feed Anthony her breast milk in a bottle - like other Down's Syndrome babies he cannot 'latch on' - the extra milk she expresses is pasteurised by the milk bank and fed to two little Aids orphans a

Prison time for unlucky phisher

SecurityFocus HOME News : "An Ohio woman who used forged e-mails from 'AOL security' to swindle America Online subscribers out of their credit card numbers was sentenced to 46 months in prison Tuesday, after a federal judge in Virginia rejected her plea for a reduced sentence. Helen Carr, 55, pleaded guilty last October to one count of conspiracy for her role in a scheme that sent mass e-mails to AOL subscribers purporting to be from the company's security department. According to court records, the messages claimed that AOL's last attempt to bill the recipient's credit card had failed, and included a link to an 'AOL Billing Center' web page, where an online form demanded the user's name, address, credit card number, expiration date, three-digit CCV number and credit card limit. The scheme began to unravel in February, 2001, when Carr unwittingly spammed an off-duty FBI agent with the Norfolk, Virginia field office. The agent, a computer crime

Screenwriting - Interview -- Scott Peters by Reg Seeton

UGO Screenwriter's Voice : "USA Network picked up and ordered six episodes of the upcoming sci-fi series The 4400, created by former Outer Limits producer, director and writer, Scott Peters. As we also reported, the series will... 'follow the lives of 4,400 alien abductees upon their return to Earth by unknown forces.' What can small-screen fans expect from this new venture into the unknown? If you're picturing what you've already come to know and expect from past alien oriented shows, you may want to wipe the imagination slate clean for this one. Working in conjunction with co-executive producer Francis Ford Coppola, Peters and The 4400 team are aiming for a higher standard; one that explores the deeper facets of our human condition and the resulting impact of one profound, distressing event. With our ears to the ground, keen to learn more about both the show and the writer, we recently caught up with Scott Peters, who shared his thoughts on everything from

Gridlock Sam's History of US Traffic : The history of traffic congestion is one of continuously winning the battles but losing a bigger war. It was not always this way. New York City, for most of its history, was in the vanguard of transportation innovation. In 1807 city planners laid out the great street plan for Manhattan with hundreds of 'paper streets' (mapped but not yet built) that remarkably has been followed closely for nearly 200 years."
FrontPage : "In any case, when the Soviet archives were opened after the fall of the Soviet tyranny in 1991, I hungrily devoured all the information inherent in the revelations in declassified documents, disclosures from former Soviet officials, etc. They all confirmed and substantiated what conservatives had been arguing for decades -- and what common sense had long ago instructed -- that the Soviets were totalitarian, power-hungry and expansionist brutes that started and prolonged the Cold War. When I approached my colleagues with this new evidence, ranging from everything from the issues of the Korean war, Berlin, Soviet espionage, American communists’ links with the Soviet regime, etc., I showed how I had been correct on every issue that we had argued about for years. And yet, instead of hearing a mea culpa, a stated regret or admission of some kind of lesson learned, all that I witnessed, in a manner that remains extremely eerie for me to remember, was a

Arrest Startles Saleswomen of Sex Toys

NYT : "Passion Parties, which is holding its annual convention here, represents a subset of the sex industry that uses Tupperware-style marketing and underscores how mainstream sex toys have become. What may have once been purchased from burly guys behind the counter in seedy pornography shops is now for sale in the living rooms of teachers, nurses, grandmothers and housewives who say their business is more educational than titillating. So it came as a shock to this sales cadre when one of their own was recently arrested by two undercover police officers in Burleson, Tex., and now faces a misdemeanor obscenity charge that could send her to jail for up to one year. No one is more surprised than the woman herself, Joanne Webb, 43, a Passion Parties representative whose business had even joined the local chamber of commerce before law enforcement officials got an anonymous call about her in October. 'It's ludicrous,' said Ms. Webb, who is married, has three chil

Eastern Europe's shoppers cash in on credit card use

Chicago Tribune : "The biggest obstacle credit card marketers had to overcome in Hungary was fear of fraud. But consumer concerns about the safety of their cards have led to an important security innovation made possible by the explosive growth of mobile phones in Hungary. Each time a card is used, the cardholder immediately gets a text message on his or her cell phone confirming the transaction and notifying the cardholder of the balance. Initially developed in Hungary, the messaging system is used widely in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It is now being introduced in Western Europe."

First-Generation American's Job Taken By His Father

The Onion | America's Finest News Source : READING, PA—Miguel Martinez, 48, who immigrated to the U.S. 30 years ago, last week lost his leather-cutting job at GST AutoLeather, Inc. to his 66-year-old father Roberto. "I came to this country in 1974 to make a better life for my family," Martinez said Monday. "But in December, they moved the factory where I've been working for 22 years down to Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. I love my father, but that goddamn beaner stole my job." Martinez's $18-an-hour duties will now be performed by his father for $7 a day.
Robot belly-dancer shakes her stuff She can shimmy, she can roll, she can backbend. She even sports a teasing, low-slung skirt around her waist. But the performer of these undulations is no fleshy temptress. Instead, she is a belly-dancing robot whose moves are driven by the wriggles of a fish. Her creator, Jimmy Or of Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan, said he gained inspiration watching Lucy Liu sashay her stomach in the film Charlie's Angels. The sight prompted him to sign up for dance lessons of his own. Watching his instructor bend and sway, Or was struck by her similarity to his other object of affection, the lamprey - a primitive eel-like creature that scythes through water like a snake. "I decided to combine the fields and work on my idea secretly," he says. Several years on, Or has created a squat, shimmying robot with a flexible spine called Waseda Belly Dancer No. 1. It has so far mastered a particularly difficult belly-dancing move, the Camel, wh

F*** THE NAZIS, SAYS CHURCHILL'S PARROT Jan 19 2004, By Bill Borrows SHE WAS at Winston Churchill's side during Britain's darkest hour. And now Charlie the parrot is 104 years old...and still cursing the Nazis. Her favourite sayings were 'F*** Hitler' and 'F*** the Nazis'. And even today, 39 years after the great man's death, she can still be coaxed into repeating them with that unmistakable Churchillian inflection. Many an admiral or peer of the realm was shocked by the tirade from the bird's cage during crisis meetings with the PM. But it always brought a smile to the war leader's face. Churchill bought Charlie - giving him a boy's name despite the fact she was female - in 1937. She took pride of place in a bizarre menagerie of pets including lambs, pigs, cattle, swans and, at one point, a leopard. He immediately began to teach her to swear - particularly in company - and she is keeping up the tradition today. The blue and gold macaw is believed

Sir Winston's Daughter Knocks Parrot Claims off Perch News : "Claims that a foul-mouthed parrot really was Sir Winston Churchill’s wartime companion were finally knocked off their perch today as his daughter entered the debate. Charlie, a 104-year-old Macaw now living in retirement in a Surrey garden centre, has been basking in media attention from as far afield as Russia and the United States in recent days, since owner Peter Oram claimed the bird belonged to the great war leader. Mr Oram believes that his father-in-law Percy Dabner, a famous 1930s bird fancier, sold Charlie to the politician at his Croydon pet shop in 1937, and later took the creature back after Sir Winston’s death in 1965. Reports have suggested Charlie may have picked up a string of swear words from Sir Winston. But his daughter, Lady Soames, believes Charlie may have been confused with Polly, an African Grey, which lived with the family at their Kent home, Chartwell. She said: “My father never owned a Macaw or anything remotely resemb

Walk Softly and Carry a Big Gun

Walk Softly and Carry a Big Gun : By Karl Francis, Karl Francis, a former professor and congressional lobbyist, lives in Fairbanks, Alaska. Please bear with me. I am an Alaskan, and Alaskans, for better or worse, are given to looking down on the rest of the nation. We mean no offense; it is just in our nature, and because of our place on this Earth, which leads us to be confused from time to time when we visit the Lower 48. I am puzzled now by the strange way people here are dealing with mountain lions — which is to say, letting them kill you. Nature killing people is no big deal for Alaskans. That's the way things are in Alaska. When you step out into it, you are at risk. If you are wise, you prepare for it. Alaska does not suffer fools. It eats them. It also eats people who are not fools, those who prepare well and try their best to stay alive. I have lost too many close friends to her, sensible folks who came up against something too tough to handle. Our stori
Keep the Sex R-Rated, N.Y.U. Tells Film Students : "In October, a film student at New York University pitched an idea for her video-making class: a four-minute portrayal of the contrast between unbridled human lust and banal everyday behavior. Her professor approved. The student, Paula Carmicino, found two actor friends willing to have sex on camera in front of the class. The other students expressed their support. But then the professor thought he should double-check with the administration, which immediately pulled the plug on the project. What's more, university officials said they would issue a written policy requiring student films and videos to follow the ratings guidelines of the Motion Picture Association of America, with nothing racier than R-rated fare allowed, according to Ms. Carmicino and her professor, Carlos de Jesus. The association says R-rated films may include 'nudity within sensual scenes.' The matter has raised a mini-tempest on campus. Ye

Local anchor feels our pain from afar : "On one of the coldest mornings of the year, veteran WBZ Radio anchor Gary LaPierre couldn't get over how frigid it was outside. 'Would you believe it's 5 below zero right now?' he told listeners yesterday at 6 a.m. 'The only thing worse than the actual temperature right now is having the wind chill factored in.' What he didn't mention was that he was actually in northern Florida, where it was a balmy 50 degrees. It turns out that LaPierre has been co-anchoring the WBZ Morning News remotely from his home in the Sunshine State on and off for the past two years. His home in St. Augustine is equipped with its own studio, where he can conduct interviews, touch a computer screen to broadcast commercials, and scan the Internet for Boston's news..... Ethics specialists argue that LaPierre is breaching an unspoken contract of honesty between journalist and listener. "You can't deliver news and create the illusion that you&
Pixelito is the latest member of the ever growing Pixel Radio Controlled Helicopter family. It's been a fantastic journey since the birth of the Pixel 1 in 1997. Six years of experimentation, 6 years of technology evolution made it possible to further reduce weight by a factor of almost 20 times. Weight is a mere 6.9 grams with the 45mAh LiPo battery."

I, for one, welcome our Janusian Aquatic Masters

Taipei Times - archives : "In a world first, scientists at the Academia Sinica inadvertently developed a genetically engineered two-headed fluorescent zebrafish with two hearts. Researchers conducting the research project said that the existence of such a creature had never been documented anywhere else on Earth. Huang Chang-jen (�;ͬ�), an associate research fellow at the Academia Sinica's Institute of Biological Chemistry, last week put a certain gene into 200 zebrafish embryos at one-cell stage through a microinjection procedure. One of them unexpectedly developed 24 hours later into the two-headed fish, which has two hearts. As of yesterday, the weird, green fluorescent fish has been alive for eight days. Its has grown to 3mm from its original 2mm. 'You can say they are actually a big zebrafish and a small one sharing a body,' Huang told the Taipei Times. After checking related academic papers, Huang said that he found no documentation that such a cre

Rabbi composes Internet porn prayer JERUSALEM - An Israeli rabbi has composed a prayer to help devout Jews overcome guilt after visiting porn web sites while browsing the Internet. 'Please God, help me cleanse the computer of viruses and evil photographs that disturb and ruin my work ..., so that I shall be able to cleanse myself (of sin),' reads the benediction by Shlomo Eliahu, chief rabbi in the northern town of Safed. Eliahu, quoted by Israel's largest daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, said he had responded to a deluge of queries from Orthodox Jews worried that the lure of Internet sex sites was putting family relationships at risk. The rabbi recommends that Jews recite the prayer when they log on to the Internet or even program it to flash up on their computer screens so they are spiritually covered whether they enter a porn site intentionally or by mistake."

Bringing space costs back down to Earth

MSNBC :The history of wild guesses It's undeniable that spaceflight costs money — about $15 billion a year for NASA and $20 billion more for the Pentagon's satellites and rockets. New projects involving humans with more advanced spaceships will cost even more. For many people, that already costs too much, and for others, any additional spending — even Bush's recommendation for an additional billion dollars for NASA over the next five years — is intolerable. The origin of a super-high price tag for sending humans to Mars can be traced way back to the mid-1960s. At that time, a number of scientists, none with direct experience in space engineering, issued what space workers affectionately like to call SWAGs ("Scientific Wild-Ass Guesses") on the expenses. These were based on strained analogies to what they thought they knew about Apollo. In 1965, D. F. Hornig, science adviser to President Johnson, told a Senate committee: "If we compare the probable sc - NASA docks contractor $45.2 million for Columbia - NASA docks contractor $45.2 million for Columbia : NASA penalized the contractor that maintains and operates the space shuttle fleet $45.2 million for its role in the shuttle Columbia accident, according to a letter NASA released Thursday. The United Space Alliance, a partnership of Boeing and Lockheed Martin, had to forfeit the money even though NASA said the contractor did nothing specific to cause the accident. But a letter from a NASA official said the contractor was "an integral member" of the "team that reached flawed conclusions about the relative safety of Columbia and crew before and during the flight." The letter from NASA deputy associate administrator Michael Kostelnik was sent Jan. 7 to United Space Alliance president Michael McCulley, a former astronaut. The contract spells out performance bonuses based on safety, cost-effectiveness and other factors. For Oct. 1, 2002, through March 31, 2003, the alliance was eligible for $81.2
SpaceDev Lunar Lander Simulator SpaceDev is consistantly striving to help facilitate humankind's inevitable venture into space. In collaboration with Beltminer Inc., a lunar lander concept demo has been completed to simulate future lunar missions that will combine adventure and exploration with actual business and technology challenges. Download the simulator, take control of your very own lunar lander and then sit back and enjoy the ride! An orbiting vehicle based on SpaceDev’s (OTCBB: SPDV) real-life MoTV-powered space tug is used by would-be astronauts in the “Lunar Lander” simulator game, where post-modern space cadets maneuver the vehicle in “Lunar orbit” with a fixed amount of propellant. Seeking a laser beacon from the Moon's surface marking a site with water, the goal of the game is to guide, and safely land, the vehicle at the base of the laser marker. A safe landing at that location refills the vehicle's tanks, readying it for another mission. The gam

Return O Israel

Silent Running At the request of Joseph Katzman, here is a re-print of a sermon I gave on Shabbat Shuvah in 1999. It's the sabbath than comes between Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. This year it falls on October 4th. Shabbat Shuvah Return. That is what we are urged to do on Shabbat Shuvah. But return to what? As we look around ourselves in this year 5960, or 2199 of the Common Era, perhaps we see ourselves as being very far indeed from our ancient roots. Here in our sanctuary on the O’Neill Habitat, poised between the gravity wells of the Earth and the Moon, with our original planet turning slowly below us with its blues and browns and whites so beautiful and clear, we have clearly come a long way from wandering in the desert as its barrenness and stark demands on us to work together or perish burned the slavery out of us and taught us to be a free people. As we work in the null-g factories or the high-energy research facilit
TOP STORY: NASA Is Not Altering Mars Colors. : Mars Spirit Rover Picture analysis. In this thread I will attempt to summarise my posts to the larger thread. What are you talking about? Ok, the initial alarm was raised after it was noticed that the color-calibration sundial mounted on the rover, looked quite markedly different in the Mars-Panorama shots compared to its regular appearance. Immediately wide-ranging theories began to pop up. At this stage I knew very little of the particulars of the PanCam so I decided to go and see what the Horses mouth had to say. I sent out a swag of emails to the NASA marsrover team, the Athena Instrument team at Cornell University, and the long shot, an email to Assoc. Professor James Bell. Who is the Pancam Payload Element Lead for the mission. Now, getting no response from the Athena team, and an automated response from the NASA team. I was amazed and delighted to see that Dr. Bell had indeed taken the time out of his busy schedul

Columnist Lee Dye Remembers a NASA Rebel : Remembering a Rebel - Oliver Harwood Fought Hard for a Space Station of a Different Design July 30 — Ollie is dead, ending the long, tumultuous career of a space pioneer of extraordinary skill and courage, although you may never have heard his name. Oliver Harwood first came into my life in the mid-1980s, when I was a science writer for the Los Angeles Times, and he was a senior engineer for the aerospace giant, Rockwell International. He died recently of a heart attack, the only way anyone could have ended Ollie's desperate battle to change the way this country does business in space exploration. He was not the kind of guy you could tell to shut up. In the end, his efforts cost him his job, and left him idolized by some, and despised by others, because he dared rock a boat that for many had proved very profitable. For more than a decade Ollie argued to anyone who would listen, including the U.S. Congress, that the space station envisioned by NASA would pr

If NASA Finds Conclusive Evidence of an Ocean on Mars, America Eats Free Giant Shrimp

SpaceRef : "If NASA announces the discovery of conclusive evidence of an ocean on Mars prior to February 29, 2004, America gets free Giant Shrimp at participating Long John Silver's restaurants on Monday, March 15, 2004, from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. Baker and his team are closely monitoring the progress of the Mars Exploration Rover 'Spirit,' which has already begun its quest to find evidence of ocean water on Earth's celestial next-door neighbor. The company will rely on top scientific experts leading NASA's Athena Science Payload Investigation team to ultimately provide an official declaration if conclusive evidence of an ocean has been found on Mars. Long John Silver's will look to the team's Principal Investigator Steven Squyres and Deputy Principal Investigator Ray Arvidson to provide official news on NASA's Mars exploration web site at In addition, consumers can find updates on NASA's progress and join - NASA's Mars Rover Landing in Toy Stores : " In 1999, Mattel Inc. produced a Hot Wheels 'Action Pack' featuring models of NASA's Mars Climate Orbiter, Polar Lander and twin Deep Space 2 microprobe spacecraft. Just weeks after Mattel's $5 set went on sale, all four spacecraft were lost. Mattel never aggressively marketed the toys, at least one of which later appeared on online auction site eBay advertised as a NASA 'Crash Pack,' said Alice Wessen, manager of JPL's technology outreach office. JPL contacted Mattel to gauge interest in making a martian rover toy for this mission. The company never replied, Wessen said. "

Artist turns animals into everyday objects

Ananova - A Chilean artist is making a name for herself with an exhibition in which stuffed animals are transformed into household objects. Artworks on display include a chick turned into a lamp, and 'sheep bag' - a lamb carcass fitted with handles. Artist Caterina Purdy says her exhibition at the Experimental Arts Centre in Santiago is intended to be humorous but also makes a serious point. She told Las Ultimas Noticias online: 'It is possible to see my work as something scary, but I find it beautiful. 'There is also irony and humour in my objects as well as a criticism of the way animals are treated by society.'"


HEY! : "Below you will find our response (the stuff that wasn't in the paper), links to other websites that have picked up the story, and of course the original article by Dave Lieber, reporter for the Star Telegram. " jaynote: 13 year old uses a STANDARD DOS command that sends a message to every computer in his school, something totally harmless, and gets suspended for it.
Scientist at Work: On Crime as Science (a Neighbor at a Time) : "Dr. Felton Earls was on the street, looking for something at ground level that would help explain his theories about the roots of crime. He found it across from a South Side housing project, in a community garden of frost-wilted kale and tomatoes. 'That couldn't be more perfect,' said Dr. Earls, a 61-year-old professor of human behavior and development at the Harvard School of Public Health. Gazing at a homemade sign for the garden at the corner of East Brookline Street and Harrison Avenue, he pointed out four little words: 'Please respect our efforts.' 'We've been besieged to better explain our findings,' he said. For over 10 years, Dr. Earls has run one of the largest, longest and most expensive studies in the history of criminology. 'We always say, It's all about taking action, making an effort.' Dr. Earls and his colleagues argue that the most important influen
An Online Dating Service Dedicated to Solving Dating : In the Near Future, Dating Will Be Solved. Finding Your Soulmate and Love Will Be a Lot Easier. We have found the solution to solve dating once and for all. Help solve dating. Support a campaign to launch our revolutionary dating service. We have launched the dating solution to solve dating on January 1, 2004. Click on the banner below to learn more. Tranforming Google Into a Free Dating Service Highlights from The Soulmate Manifesto Modern Soulmate Theory Explaining soulmates using probabilities. Soulmate Calculator Based on population statistics, how many American singles you have to met to find a soulmate? Love Economics A new love theory to promote intelligent dating by explaining love using simple math equations. Evidence of Soulmates Proof that soulmates and true love exist. Online Dating Services Learn why online dating services do not work. SolveDating's Dating Service A dating service that will solve

COMMUNICATION - Magazine - Darwin Magazine

What Are Words For? So that you can express yourself. And you really should learn to express yourself correctly. BY CRAWFORD KILIAN DICTION REFERS to the choice of words used to express an idea. Here are some words that may cause confusion if you choose them for the wrong purpose. Sometimes they sound like the term you want, or they've been misused so constantly that they sound right to you. ASSURE: to promise. We can assure you of a great stay in our B&B. ENSURE: to make certain. You can ensure success by careful planning. INSURE: to guarantee against loss. Here's how to insure all your valuables with one policy. COUNTRY: the territory of a nation. Canada is a very large country. NATION: the people of a country. Canadians are a largely peaceable nation. DISC: correct spelling for all non-computer references: a compact disc, a herniated disc. DISK: correct spelling for computer references: a ZIP disk, a floppy disk. and many more...
How to Deconstruct Almost Anything --My Postmodern Adventure Chip Morningstar, Electric Communities 'Academics get paid for being clever, not for being right.' -- Donald Norman This is the story of one computer professional's explorations in the world of postmodern literary criticism. I'm a working software engineer, not a student nor an academic nor a person with any real background in the humanities. Consequently, I've approached the whole subject with a somewhat different frame of mind than perhaps people in the field are accustomed to. Being a vulgar engineer I'm allowed to break a lot of the rules that people in the humanities usually have to play by, since nobody expects an engineer to be literate. Ha. Anyway, here is my tale.


Here is the most extensive collection of images and information on Victorian-era robots to be found in the whole World Wide Web. Read illustrated accounts of the world's first robot, the Steam Man, created in 1865! Subsequent automatons such as the Electric Man and the Automatic Man are also profiled. The most comprehensive section, with more than 20 pages, concerns the mechanical man known as Boilerplate--described as 'charming' by U.S. News and World Report and declared 'cool' by NASA!"

John Glenn doesn't think Bush's space plan will fly

Beacon Journal | 01/15/2004 : "Bush hopes to use the new crafts to begin establishing a colony on the moon within 11 years. ``I hope they have costed (that) out,'' Glenn said. ``When you think about it, every single thing that humans consume -- oxygen, food, water, whatever -- has to be taken up there for those people, and then resupplied. Every lunar mission is going to make a mission to the space station seem cheap. And (shuttle missions) are something like $400 million apiece.''" jaynote: I hope this was a misquote rather than Glenn being so very wrong about lunar resources

Is Spalding Gray Finally Swimming to Cambodia?

BarlowFriendz : I'm in New York, where it was zero degrees last night with a wind that seemed to be hauling some large chunk of the Hudson River with it as it clawed its way down Grand Street. Somewhere out there in that grim dark is whatever remains of my old pal Spalding Gray. Both seriously and humorously, more often both, he's been threatening for years to do himself in. Indeed, his jokes about suicide preserved him and certainly entertained me. But now that it's starting to look like he's actually gone and done it, suicide is not so amusing. I try to imagine him actually attempting a swim to Cambodia. I see him swan-diving from the rail of the Staten Island Ferry late Saturday night when he disappeared, rounding Sandy Hook by dawn, and turning south for Cape Horn. He'd be well past the mouth of the Delaware by now, strong swimmer that he is. What a great monologue this is going to make. Or not. Spalding inhabits a magical reality where such feats might
Vancouver Sun - Story - network : "For the many who sometimes walk into a room and feel that something is not quite right, the answer may lie in a sub-system of our visual experience, says Ronald Rensink, University of B.C. associate professor in psychology and computer science. 'Basically visual perception then is two parts. It's got the sort of pictures we all know and love, and then we've got this other thing, this feeling, this using the force, this sensing stream, and they work in parallel, I think. They both operate at the same time,' he said. While you may not see anything, Rensink says the 'sixth sense' or as he calls it, 'mindsight,' is basically another kind of vision where people can sense a change and have a visual experience of it. He explains that 'mindsight' differs from our usual concept of psychic phenomena because people have to keep their eyes open to employ this mode of visual perception. 'The

Space station leak caused by crew, experts say

MSNBC : "The break in the pressure hose that resulted in the troublesome space station air leak was unknowingly caused over time by crew members, Russian space experts said Thursday. NASA officials in Houston concur with that theory. Another seemingly minor error in a procedure has rendered the U.S.-built Destiny laboratory module’s main window — the best optical window ever installed in any human space vehicle — inoperative for the time being, at least until a replacement hose can be sent into space." | get your war on | page thirty

SKYACHT : "Skyacht Aircraft, Inc., is actively developing a 'pleasure craft for the sky' called the Personal Blimp. Our goal is to create a craft capable of silent, steerable, sustained, and affordable flight. No such craft exists today. The Personal Blimp will play a role akin to that of the small sailboats called 'day sailers': for pleasure jaunts of a few hours or less, made when weather conditions are relatively calm, and typically returning to the point of departure. The Personal Blimp will use hot air for lift and virtually silent electric motors for propulsion. To put it another way: the Personal Blimp will be a hot air balloon that can be maneuvered about in nearly perfect quiet. Passengers in a Personal Blimp will have a serene experience of flight unavailable in any other type of aircraft. When not in use, the Personal Blimp can be deflated and folded for storage (like a hot air balloon). It will not require a hangar for storage."
The origin of "dot" in Internet Names : If I really did it, probably the thing I did that became the most famous was being the first to suggest that internet addresses be in the form site 'dot' toplevel-domain. I recently read an article claiming that 'dot' as in 'dot-com' was the 'most useful word of the year' as chosen by the American Dialect Society -- the most widespread addition to the language. And it certainly has become a convention that literally the whole educated world has come to know. It sparked a memory that long, long ago I had been in arguments with people in various areas about how multi-level names should be written. Suggestions included user@site@domain, user%site@domain and the leader, based on a proposed standards document, People only thought in terms of adding a second level in those days, and the 'domain' was thought of as a 'forwarder' -- a top level site that would know the site

Peeling Apple Reportedly Stimulates Brain : "Feeling a little dull? A sharp knife and an apple might just help. While most everybody knows an apple-a-day keeps the doctor away, Japanese scientists have found that peeling one may be good for you too. A nationally circulated Japanese newspaper, Mainichi, reports that scientists at Japan's National Food Research Institute have shown that peeling an apple stimulates the most highly evolved section of the brain. According to the report, the team used near infrared spectroscopy analysis to measure changes of blood flow to the frontal brain lobes of 14 adults. They found blood flow increased 'conspicuously' when the subjects actually peeled but did not when they only rubbed the apple with the knife. That led to the conclusion that a complex task involving the use of a potentially dangerous tool was activating the frontal lobes. The results will be published in the January online edition of the American scientific journal NeuroImage. "
Google Groups: View Thread : "Since Mars is a popular topic these days, you might be interested in the methods NASA used to perform image compression. Here are reports about the panoramic imager: Quote: 'Pancam relies heavily on use of the JPL ICER and LOCO compression algorithms to maximize data return within stringent mission downlink limits. All calibration and flight data products will be generated,archived, and released with the NASA Planetary Data System in PDS image format.' This is a brief HTML description of the LOCO-based method they used for lossless compression:"

VoIP on the road in Guatemala

Boing Boing: A Directory of Wonderful Things : My sister and I run an online office furniture company. She's traveling in Central America for a while, but since there's still a business to run back home -- we've had to explore a number of ways to stay connected. Guatemala doesn't exactly have the world's most advanced telephone networks... rates to and from the country via POTS are prohibitively high, and our calls are often dropped because of poor connection quality. The solution? Ubiquitous 'Net cafes, which are more common than we'd expected in larger Guatemalan cities like Antigua and Guatemala City. Per-hour broadband access for IM and email is really cheap, and a surprisingly high percentage of those cafes offer voice-over-internet phone calls for very cheap per-minute rates (about ten or twenty US cents a minute for outgoing calls to the US, compared to the 'here's our best offer' business rate we got from Sprint -- $1.50 per-call ini
SUNDAY STAR TIMES - STORY : New Zealand's leading news and information website : "Niue's status as a nation is under question after the cyclone that hit the tiny Pacific nation, causing more than $50 million damage. In the aftermath of the storm, some island leaders are calling for a return to New Zealand governance, and expect the population to fall from about 1200 native Niueans to an unsustainable 500 people. Such a drop would likely render the nation unviable. Niue currently receives $8m in aid a year from New Zealand, the equivalent of a cash hand-out of around $16,000 per head should the population fall to the predicted 500. Fears for Niue's political survival come amid the declaration of a major health crisis over asbestos in the air, accusations of looting among destroyed villages and claims that early plans to alert the island's population to the cyclone were called off. Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff yesterday acknowledged that a populatio
Transoner Press Room : "In late 1992, Face International Corporation was created to explore the potential of the Smart Vibration Concept -- or SVC. Face engineers believed that SVC could drive the water and air from fresh concrete within seconds, to allow finishing immediately after strike-off...and they were right. The potential concept makes concrete hard enough to walk on almost instantly. SVC was first demonstrated in 1993... and a full-scale test was successful in late 1995."

Student working as costumed character assaulted : "Over the past year, Lincecum, a Huntsville High School senior, has been assaulted three times while outfitted in the fuzzy, 11-foot-tall bird costume he wears to hawk wares at a Katy Freeway furniture store. The latest attack was Saturday afternoon, when he was ambushed by five teenagers on skateboards. Lincecum attempted to give chase, but ... well, that's no easy task in an oversized bird suit. So he called for help from his cell phone. Deputies from the Harris County Sheriff's Department quickly picked up a group of juveniles, and assault charges are pending against two of them. More frustrating to Lincecum, he said, was that no motorists along the busy Interstate 10-West Fry Road intersection stopped to help or call police while he was being beaten. One customer at Mattresses for Less, 20025 Katy Freeway, even told him that when she saw the incident, she decided she would come in to buy a bed."

Op-Ed Contributor: The Citizen Astronaut

Op-Ed Contributor: The Citizen Astronaut : By GREG KLERKX Published: January 17, 2004 In his account of the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing, "Of a Fire on the Moon," Norman Mailer describes a telling moment that is pointedly relevant to NASA as it moves out of the glow of President Bush's announcement of a grand new space program and into the cold reality of trying to make it happen. At Mission Control, in the aftermath of Neil Armstrong's "one small step," delirious cheering has given way to smiling contentment as NASA personnel bask in the satisfaction of their achievement. But among the reporters present, Apollo's luster had already faded. "By an hour and a half of the moon walk they were bored," Mailer writes. "Some were actually slipping out." The journalists at Mission Control weren't the only ones quickly bored by Apollo. The Apollo 13 mission wasn't even televised nationally; only when it ran into life-threatening

Northeast colder than Mars

Cornell News : ITHACA, N.Y. -- During the most recent early afternoon on Mars, the temperature at the rover Spirit landing site in Gusev crater was an admittedly chilly minus 11 degrees Celsius (12 degrees Fahrenheit). But it was still warmer than most cities in the upper Northeast, gripped in a frigid winter chill. Temperature at 1 p.m., Jan. 14 Location Temp. (Fahrenheit) Gusev crater, Mars 12 Providence, R.I. 9 Scranton Wilkes-Barre, Pa. 8 Hartford, Conn. 7 Buffalo, N.Y. 7 Rochester, N.Y. 3 Ithaca, N.Y. 3 Albany, N.Y. -2 Binghamton, N.Y. -2 Concord, N.H. -3 Syracuse, N.Y. -4 Burlington, Vt. -10 Montpelier, Vt. -12 Caribou, Maine -13 Mount Washington, N.H. -36"

Emeril vs. Cthulhu

by Fenris : "But Emeril's worst crime against humanity tonight is the following unholy concoction. It's so bad, that if one were to compare fictional characters to foods, this would be Cthulhu's. It's the cooking equivalent in evilness to Lovecraft's Great Old Ones. I am appalled. The Loathsome Thing vs Narylhotep The world recoiled at the noisesome horror that was Narylhotep* as it strode the earth. Acrid clouds of smoke arose as its...'feet' touched the earth, poisoning the ground it touched forever. Narylhotep didn't notice as humans ran, evading it, they were less than ants beneath it's 'feet'. The squirming mass of tentacles that passed for a face suddenly turned in shock. It's head lifted, sniffing the air. Although this horror had existed since before the dawn of time, it smelled something new...and bad. "BAM!" shrieked Emeril "BAM! LET'S KICK ID UP ANNADA NOTCH TA NATCHES UNKNOWN!" The greas