Thursday, March 02, 2006

Econonomical With the Truth, Lying About the Economy

AKA Lies, Damned Lies, and the Bush Economy

Remember the Reagan years? Reagan knew (Until he didn't know anymore, cuz he forgot. Then he died. Remember that?) all about monstrously unwieldy national and global economies and massive military spending. Heck, he very nearly bankrupted the US economy.

But at least Reagan did it in order to put the Soviets out of business and therefore did a teensy, weensy bit of good for the USA and the world in general. Maybe.

Bushwhacker? He appears to be a whole different ball game. Well, apart from the fact that this is no game (Even if it were, the gameplay and scorekeeping would be about as even handed and sporting as a Don King boxing match.) and the only balls involved are the constitutional, economic, humanitarian, environmental, judicial, democratic, and diplomatic gonads Bush(es) and his/their party-hounds have targetted so squarely with their goose-stepping penny-loafers that humanity may soon need the help of an ENT specialist just to utter a meekly-squeeked attempt at a rendition of the Il Castratti.

Granted, I like my terminology the way I like my cannons - loaded.

Where was I? Oh yeah - Reagan. Bear in mind that Reagan was kind of playing the ultimate chess match. The kind that can and did get people killed, often many people. Children and women people. I would tell you to ask ex-CIA chief William Casey about these things but he's, uh, dead. His predecessor, Dubya's Dad, probably won't take your calls. Maybe you can Turner to your Webster's. Then again...

Oh darn. Where was I again? Silly me: Reagan! Anyway, ole Ronald "Showdown at the OKski Corralski" Reagan appears to have had the right approach, and not just a few useful team-members, in his dealings with the US economy and the Soviets.

The old paranoia of the West about the "domino-effect" of Communism leading to a Spread of Red across the globe was very nicely turned around. The Reagan Presidency saw the mighty Soviet bloc began its own collapse and nearly all of the other dominos soon fell and the old American paranoia almost completely disappeared, to be replaced by a new-found enthusiasm and national energy as a horrible new blight hit the globe: the 1980s.

But I'm not here to remind you why you should still wake up in the middle of the night, shivering in a cold sweat and alternating between the heaving sobs of a child (of the '80's).

No, all of this was leading to the following points.

One of the architects of Reaganomics was Paul Craig Roberts. Who is Paul Craig Roberts? In his past, he has been the following.
  • Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy in the Reagan administration
  • Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page
  • Contributing Editor of National Review
  • Fellow at the Cato Institute
One does not have to like a man to respect him or his thinking. I don't know Mr Roberts and have no idea if I would like him or not but I suspect he might know a thing or two about economics and governance.

That's why you might like to read his article, Nuking the Economy, which he subtitles, "Forget Iran—Americans Should be Hysterical About This."

"In five years the US economy only created 70,000 jobs in architecture and engineering, many of which are clerical. Little wonder engineering enrollments are shrinking. There are no jobs for graduates. The talk about engineering shortages is absolute ignorance.

"Job growth over the last five years is the weakest on record. The US economy came up more than 7 million jobs short of keeping up with population growth.

"No sane economist can possibly maintain that a deplorable record of merely 1,054,000 net new private sector jobs over five years is an indication of a healthy economy.

I don't for a minute suggest that Reagan did nothing but good for this world but on reflection, in many ways, I would suggest that his administration negotiated some very difficult waters indeed.

Maybe Reagan was nothing more than an idiot savant? I dunno. One thing I know for sure - when seeking an idiot savant, you have to play for all or nothing.

yr ftful srvnt

Monday, February 27, 2006

Beautiful.

Trust me.

Friday, February 24, 2006

When I Warned of the Fires of Hades, What I Meant Was...

Hell on Earth is a step closer.

For everybody, I mean, not just for the wretched unwashed Nike-sewing, Starbucks-serving, five-star McDonald's-swabbing, penal-system-swelling hordes that underpin the grate capitalist democracies of today.

Yeah, I managed to say that with a straight face, too.

"Yeah, yeah, another bombing in Iraq, Big deal," so many people are saying, either consciously or without realising it. Your mentality might have washed for a few hundred years of "black on black" violence in the USA but those of you going about your daily hard work, head down, nose to the grindstone, might want to sit up a bit and open your eyes.

The bombing of the mosque in Samarra was no small step and it was not subtle. It was deeply, deeply significant, especially if you have been trying to see beyond the media hype, circus or, alas, snoring, that has accompanied or, again, failed to accompany so many major recent events.

I know some people wonder who on earth cuts my hair, considering the lunacy of my fringe but I've been banging on about this for a while now. Repeatedly.

Perhaps Jim Henson never died. Maybe puppet masters don't die, they just go to the great Muppet Workshop in the sky? Somebody is pulling the strings, that's for sure.

Ain't nobody gonna be applauding when the curtains finally open on this performance, that's for sure.

US Modular Makes Some Kool Kit

Need 8GB of storage for your mobile phone? Want a portable 2GB USB stick that costs about the same as a 512K flash-drive? Need a slick little external battery for your laptop or other gadgets

Check out US Modular.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Monday, February 20, 2006

While We're At It, Let's Help Sue Ann Coulter

Ted Rall needs financial support to take his cases for libel and slander against Ann Coulter to the courts.

Sorry, I don't have a link to Ann Coulter's site but here's a more advanced life form for you to enjoy.

What is Dick Cheney Covering Up?

Information Clearing House has an interesting article about Dick "Porn Star" Cheney's recent attempt to aerate his hunting partner. Apparently, upon hearing that his vice-president had shot a DC lawyer in the head, Bush said, "Well, it's a start..."

One wonders why a man who has twice been convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol is allowed to be the vice-president of the most powerful nation on earth.

Silly me! Of course! What's good enough for the president has to be good enough for the vice-president, but at least Curious George was never actually convicted. We commie-pinko bastards north of the border (I like to call it 'our' line in the permafrost there, eh?) could make it hard for Bush to visit Canada, though.

Alcoholism and criminality are not the only things you need to join this club, however, and shirking one's duty is way up the list of requirements. Dubya technically served some time in the armed forces. Maybe Cheney IS smarter than his boss?

It's a good thing mature, responsible, level-headed people we can trust are in control(???) of 10,000 nuclear warheads. Otherwise, how could we sleep at night?

Bend over and prepare to be "governed"!!!

Apparently, it's only a coincidence that radiation detectors across the UK detected a 400% increase in uraniuam levels in the atmosphere a week and a half after the USA's "shock and awe" bombing campaign in Iraq.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Do you suppose.....

that the publication of the Mohammed caricatures and the subsequent (what a ...... coincidence, eh?) release of the video showing British soldiers beating Iraqi teens are in any way linked?

Do you suppose?

Probably not. Nobody could be so evil.

Could they?

Do you suppose?

I mean, such a thing could easily be construed as an attempt to fan the flames of hatred and racism and increase the rift between West and East, and between the Muslim world(s) and the rest.

Do you suppose?

I mean, who on earth could possibly benefit from all of this?

Do you suppose?

The USA is our friend and protector, right?

The USA are the good guys. They know what is best for all of us. They know who the bad guys are and they are doing their utmost to protect us all from the bad guys. Hell, they're even trying to protect the bad guys from themselves.

God Bless America.

Well, nobody's perfect, right?

Over the millenia, humans have managed to find increasingly inhumane methods in increasing numbers and increasing variety with which to end disputes, defend territories, attack territories, teach people and nations lessons, balance power, etc.

So, what IS the history of humankind's attempts to protect itself from itself?

In 1874, the Brussels Convention on the Law and Customs of War "Prohibited the employment of poison or poisoned weapons, and the use of arms, projectiles or material to cause unnecessary suffering."

In 1899, at the 1st Peace Conference at the Hague, European Nations prohibited "the use of projectiles whose sole purpose is the release of asphyxiating or harmful gases."

In 1907, the 2nd Peace Conference at the Hague added the use of poisons or poisoned weapons.

In 1925, the Geneva Protocol prohibited the use of "asphyxiating gas, or any other kind of gas, liquids, substances or similar materials."

(reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geneva_Protocol)


Fat Chance

I think a few people are aware of the two atomic bombs the USA dropped on heavily populated civilian centres in World War II.


Agent Orange

I think a few people are even aware of the USA's deployment of Agent Orange in SE Asia during the Vietnam "conflict".


Here are some of the other ways the USA is protecting us all from our silly selves.

BLU-80/B Bigeye

"Bigeye was a tri-service, safe-to-handle binary chemical weapon. When employed, Bigeye was designed to delay and disrupt airfields, troops and logistical lifelines by forcing an enemy into a chemical protective posture. The Bigeye metal parts contract was awarded in June 1988 for the procurement of production-representative operational test units, trainers and Safe Separation Test Vehicles."

It was designed to carry a 180-lb warhead containing VX binary agents.

"Often regarded as the deadliest nerve agent created to date, as little as 10 mg is enough to kill an average person."

The same reference provides this gem:

"Post-treaty disposal included the US Army's CHASE (Cut Holes And Sink 'Em) program, in which old ships were filled with chemical weapons stockpiles and then scuttled. CHASE 8 was conducted on June 15, 1967, in which the S.S. Cpl. Eric G. Gibson was filled with 7,380 VX rockets and scuttled in 7,200 feet of water, off the coast of Atlantic City, New Jersey. The long-term environmental ramifications of exposing large quantities of VX to seawater and marine life could pose a grave danger, but are ultimately unknown. The US is also destroying chemical weapons stockpiles containing VX in nine other locations, one of which is in Russia."

Apparently, there was another binary chemical agent delivery system development programme. XM-768 was aimed at developing an 8-inch projectile which would deliver VX to the battlefield.


Like I said, God Bless America.

I'm still looking for it but I'm pretty sure the US military must somewhere have an acronym like SNOP (Sorry, Not Our Problem). Or maybe it's OPIATE (Our Problem Is Assigned To Everybody). Hmmm, I like that last one. Especially where the various arms of the US government are concerned, it has a whole range of applications, eh?

Bearing all of the above in mind, as well as all the reasons given by the USA, the UK and a few other good guys about why we had to invade Iraq, surely it is time somebody asked some hard questions about why the USA was developing exactly the kinds of chemical weapons it now claims are the reasons we have to attack the bad guys and why the USA was instrumental in, amongst other countries, Iraq possessing and being able to deliver exactly the kinds of weapons the USA claimed had to be found and eliminated but were, ultimately, never found.


Allegedly. On all counts, I mean.

I wouldn't for a moment want to suggest anybody do some further reading about the weapons caches that the allies (or maybe it was only the Americans) are reported to have found and destroyed. Yes, those might be the same weapons caches that were clearly identified as originating in the USA. I wouldn't want for a moment to suggest they were officially supplied to Iraq, that their more recent "discovery" was covered up or that they all were disposed of in a hurried (and, I'm sure, completely safe) manner.

It would be silly to ask oneself if, though it looked very much like an own goal at the time, you might now understand why it was worth senior members of the US administration, from the President down, "admitting" that they had not found any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.


Depleted Uranium.

I'm always banging on about this one. It bores me nearly as much as it terrifies me. Do a Google search.


Given all the fine work to date by the US government and its military, I have no doubt whatsoever that the following programme will be a smashing success!!


Agent Defeat Warhead (ADWAgent Defeat Warhead (ADW)


"Operation Desert Storm highlighted the need for pre-emptive strike capability to disable chemical and biological (CB) agent munition production facilities and stockpiles. Currently the United States must resort to conventional warheads as the only means of crippling the enemy CB agent capability. Use of explosives to destroy a CB agent production or storage bunker could result in the release of large quantities of lethal agents. Such agent releases can produce significant collateral casualities and destroy the local environment. In line with the latest national security directives (promoting non-lethal, disabling weapon technology development over current lethal nuclear and conventional weapon systems), new technologies must be investigated which can disable CB agent munition production facilities and stockpiles while minimizing collateral casualtites.



"The overall objective of the Agent Defeat Technology Program is to develop and demonstrate warhead technology capable of destroying, disabling or denying use of chemical and biological (CB) agent munition production facilities and stockpiles with minimal collateral damage (minimal agent dispersion.) The ADWD program objective is to develop and demonstrate a warhead with a payload specifically tailored for use against fixed ground targets associated with the development, production, and storage of chemical (C) agents, biological (B) agents, and CB weapons (CBW).


"The ADW shall, as a minimum, be effective against one of the following relevant target categories: hardened chemical targets, soft chemical targets, hardened biological targets, or soft biological targets. Effectiveness shall be understood to imply both the ability to achieve widespread physical damage within the target, and to limit collateral damage resulting from the unintended release of CB agents. Candidate kill mechanisms for achieving the desired results include, but are not limited to, thermal effects derived from high temperature incendiary (HTI) materials, low blast fragmenting warheads or submunitions, neutralizing chemicals, and other mechanisms which may be identified during the ADWD program. The ability of the ADW to deny the enemy access and/or use of the target and/or its contents is considered desirable, but only as a fallout capability occurring in conjunction with wide spread physical damage within the target structure. A hybrid warhead payload that employs a combination of the referenced kill mechanisms may be required to achieve program goals. Kill mechanisms that are not considered appropriate for the ADWD include those employing nuclear fizzle material or radioisotopes.

"The ADW shall, within acceptable tolerances, be designed to same external dimensions and closely approximate the mass properties as those for the 2000-lb class BLU-109 warhead. The ADW shall be designed for physical and functional compatibility with the following Air Force guidance kits: GBU-24, GBU-27, AGM-130, and GBU-31 (JDAM). The intent is to allow those weapon delivery systems, when equipped with the ADW, to hold a wide variety of CBW targets at risk, thereby minimizing the additional cost and operational burdens required to realize such a capability. Accordingly, the ADW shall also be compatible with existing Air Force ground handling, storage, and transportation equipment used to handle the 2000-lb class warhead common to those delivery systems.

"The Air Force Research Laboratory, Munitions Directorate, Ordnance Division (AFRL/MNMI) did not receive an acceptable proposal for development of an Agent Defeat Warhead (ADW) Demonstration (ADWD). The closing date for proposals was 29 April 1999. The acquisition strategy for this program is under reevaluation."

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

In an important exercise of Freedom of Speech this weekend...

the National Football League censored several bits of the Rolling Stones' live half-time performance. Oh silly me, we don't want to offend any radical Christians now, do we?

Then again, I can't really blame the NFL or ABC. After all, look at Afghanistan and Iraq.

I reckon most people in those countries probably think (or KNOW, rather) that dealing with an irate, mullah-whipped-up, crowd of misguided intolerance is likely to be a good deal more pleasant than trying to hide from AC-130s, running from Daisy Cutters, BLU-92s or BLU-80s, snuffing out that oh-so-pesky white phosphorous or relax in a private Gulfstream jet registered to a shell company......

Google blacklists BMW.de

The rotters!

The German websites of BMW and Ricoh have been trying to corrupt "our" internet. They'll never get away with it, do you hear me? Never!!!

Murhahahahaha.

Pointless error codes - what's the deal?

I don't get it! I mean, take the newest networked multi-purpose copier/scanner/printer in my office. Please!

It's great to be here. You're a great crowd!

So up comes a call on the hailing frequency - "Nick! Nick!" My attendance has been requested at the Fuji Xerox that costs as much as a truck and weighs damn near as much.

The LCD panel says, "A fault occurred. Error code 005-285. Check the user guide for more information.", or something along those lines.

So I have to dig up the phone-directory-sized User Guide, which says, "A problem with the document feeder. Power cycle the unit."

This photocopier can scan, photocopy and print up to A3 in colour. It can function as a print server. It is networked. It can save files to another computer via FTP and network file shares. It can even email scans wherever you want them sent, for Christ's sake.

Why on earth can't they just program it so it says, "There was a problem with the document feeder. Turn the machine off and on again?"

I had a nice giggle while searching for the error code in Google (it's often faster to Google something like this than look in the User Guide) but I'm wondering why the first result was a page that says, "Crumpler Nad Sack green?"

And what IS Crumpler Nad Sack green? An oddly named village in England? The hottest colour in posing pouches (I thought that was tiger-print angora)?

And why does it only come up in searches via Google Thailand?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Lab officials excited by new H-bomb project

Whew! and not a minute too early, either!

What else could we need more than a new atomic weapon?

Those old ICBMS, B1 ordinance and cruise missiles are just, so, old, you know? How else can we deal with IEDs, AK-47s, rock-throwing crowds and all manner of known unknowns, unknown knowns and, doh, unknown unknowns? Fifty megatons just don cut it no mo, namsayin?

You kids shutup about the hunger, already! Jesus Christ, can't you see we're busy preparing to turn you into dust? you won't be so hungry then, will you?

I'm missing something here. I wonder what would help me understand you "humans" a bit better? Crack cocaine? Opium? Glue?

Should I try holding my breath until I'm blue in the face? Would that help?

Oh I got it! More yoga! More and more and more and more until I can truly shove my own head up my own, erm, mobius?

I mean, the USA only has about 10,000 nuclear warheads.

"We are on the verge of an exciting time," the nation's top nuclear weapons executive, Linton Brooks, said last week at Lawrence Livermore weapons design laboratory.

And people think I'M NUTS? Excuse me while I hit the Yoga. Then, me and some friends are gonna get hooked up with some cheerleaders, a few bottles of Jack, plenty of oil and even more grunting. It should be a steamy night of Mobious Strip Poker.

Further to the Cartoons Row

Though I began my last rant on this subject on a less than serious note, I certainly didn't take the Western party line, which appears to be "We're right, those stupid Arabs are wrong and to hell with them!"

The more I think about this story, the more it upsets me. This whole thing is riddled with hatred, racism, intolerance, ignorance, misunderstanding. I have yet to hear anybody point out the Mullahs who can be seen quite clearly on news video footage trying to stop the rampaging mobs from their destruction.

Though I do not for a moment support the way SOME Muslims have reacted to the publication and republication of these grotesque cartoons, I can understand why they are so angry.

One thing this really shows is how little the non-Muslim world understands the Muslim world.

We really cannot expect all humans to be alike and we certainly wouldn't want that.

Though I would never support censorship, having seen these cartoons, I remain convinced the newspapers were arrogant, pig-ignorant and stupid to have published them.

To claim the act is an important exercise in free speech is cynical in the extreme. Upsetting people by insulting their most sacred beliefs is not an important exercise in free speech.

Muslims hold the Prophet Mohammed incredibly close to their hearts. Just because most Westerners have lost any real passion or devotion to any belief system (apart from money, Playstation, iPod, BMW and Big Brother, perhaps) should we expect others to follow suit?

Maybe it's time that we started getting back to some of the basic principles we used to hold so dear. Things like respect other people, do unto others as you would have them do unto you (not the modern American version - do unto others before they get a chance to do it to you), don't lower yourself to the other person's level, etc.

Yes, it appears there are many idiots in the worlds of Islam and the Middle East but that doesn't mean we should show no respect for others and act with no manners. There are plenty of idiots in the Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist and Sikh worlds. They are all human, after all. Does that mean we can only exercise our right to free speech by publishing cartoons that are extremely insulting to those groups as well?

The definition of good manners is that one avoids anything that could cause others to feel uncomfortable. It has always been bad manners to upset people. Few things in today's world could be so perfectly expected (or crafted?) to upset people as these depictions of Mohammed.

So a bunch of idiots think it's appropriate to storm the EU office in Gaza? So some morons think the answer is to have a go at the likes of Sweden and Denmark, perhaps Arabs' last "friends" on this planet? So some fools think setting fire to embassies in Syria and Lebanon is a justified response? Does that mean we, too, have to be such debased and ignorant beings?

I deplore of much of the Arab and Muslim worlds and think they are, for the most part, incredibly ignorant, useless, narrow-minded, glory hounds who couldn't tie their own shoes but I let that be their own choice.

There are plenty of good people in those worlds, too. Unfortunately, they don't make such good TV.

These cartoons (what I have seen of them) appear to me to be no different from the awful racist depictions of Jews published in European newspapers last century. Was that also an important exercise in free speech?

The actions of these newspaper publishers and editors is despicable. They have displayed a callous disregard for the profession. Publishing these cartoons serves no useful purpose.

Most of Europe has legislation making it a crime to incite people to violence and/or to hate crimes. Though that body of law was undoubtedly intended for dealing with budding Hitlers and the like, surely the same laws could be used against the publishers of these cartoons. After all, couldn't publishing these cartoons reasonably be expected to incite voilence?

Why not take that tact? Let's apply the existing laws the way we're always castigating so many other peoples' for their (alleged by us) failure to do so. Lead by example.

Unless further upsetting the Arab world in the middle of difficult and critical negotiations with Iran and Hamas serves a purpose, of course....

Monday, February 06, 2006

AOL and Yahoo to start offering preferential email delivery for hire?

Well, well, well. So the two providers of the worst email services on the internet have decided to piss off everybody? Big deal. To use rather high-level technical language, AOL sucks. And that's not all. Yahoo! Sucks! Too!

In a nutshell, this is AOL and Yahoo realising they can't compete on quality so instead, they might as well shaft their users. Oops, sorry, I mean they might as well shaft their users some more.

There, that's better...

Yet more links....

Gonzales poised to defend NSA surveillance at Senate hearing
A congressional authorization from 2002 approving use of force against Iraq "doesn't say anything about electronic surveillance," Specter said. "The issue was never raised with the Congress. And there is a specific statute on the books ... which says flatly that you can't undertake that kind of surveillance without a court order." (Posted 12:23 p.m.)

Easy-Glider drags you along while keeping it green
Surely a dog would be cheaper and greener?

Refuge for Roma proved a deathtrap
"Roma rights groups say that as many as 31 Roma have been killed by diseases brought on by lead poisoning,"

U.S. firm blamed for polluting sea
"The trial, a rare case of a major American corporation facing criminal charges in a developing country, pits one of Indonesia's valued foreign investors against the nation's little-tested environmental laws."

Harsh words for Putin from the U.S. on rights
Yet more pot and kettle action from those modern paragons of logic.

Odors Trigger Memory In Squirrels
What's squirrel talk for, "Oh MAN, I could SO murder a bacon sandwich right now!"

Be Tacky and Gauche, 24/7

"Can you imagine 13 hours to Beijing next to someone on a cell phone?" asked Fern Lowenfels, a Manhattanite walking in the city's Upper West Side.

Wired

Today's Useful Links/Stories - Part Two

Turkish movie depicts Americans as savages

Iran and the jaws of a trap

Mapping hacks

Emergency Communication Disaster plan Check
An April, 2004 report by the Government Accounting Office: "The wireless communications used today by many public officers, firefighters, emergency medical personnel, and other public safety agencies do not provide [the ability] ... to effectively carry out their normal duties and respond to extraordinary events."

Secret Service investigates violent essay by seventh grader
"Someone in the 7th grade just doesn't gather this information by themselves," he said.

It's those God-damned Commies, I tell you!!! When are those YMCA Summer "De-Programming" camps finally going to open?

Introducing... the Open Source Geospatial Foundation!

Emergency Communication Disaster plan Check List what to do to get ready
An April, 2004 report by the Government Accounting Office: "The wireless communications used today by many public officers, firefighters, emergency medical personnel, and other public safety agencies do not provide [the ability] ... to effectively carry out their normal duties and respond to extraordinary events."

Combating West Nile Virus With Remote Sensing

Dynamic Internet Overlay Deployment and Management Using the X-Bone

Remember what my old friend (me) always says...
"With friends like the government, who needs an enema?"

GIS Map Mart
This map shows the Communications Towers and Suitable Structures within and near St. Johns County. A spreadsheet contains information on each tower and structure.

PhDisaster?

Citizens Fighting Eminent Domain Abuse

How to Taste Olive Oil

101cookbooks carries this interesting post.

Today's Useful Links/Stories - Part One

Face transplant patient to meet media

NASA Charts Storm Damage Pronto

ABC Goes to Tape Delay for Stones Show
'The lyrics for "Rough Justice" included a synonym for rooster that the network also deemed worth cutting out.' I can't get no specially-saucy fried chicken? I've always been a breast man, myself.

In N.H., a Beer in the Belly Can Get Youths Arrested

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Human Feces Sickens Plants

What drugs are these people on?

We need "experts" doing scientific experiments to tell us that human poop is not healthy?

Proof of aliens on earth? (with video!)

I loved the wag on one blog who said, "Jeez, can't a guy just be left alone to meditate without food or water for 6 months in peace anymore??? What is this world coming to?"

This being from another planet is getting lots of TV time here in Thailand. Still nobody has pointed out that he's not grey, hasn't large almond shaped eyes or little slits for a nose.....

Scientists to check Nepal Buddha boy

Pilgrims flock to see 'Buddha boy' said to have fasted six months

The Little Buddha of Bara

Buddha Boy of Nepal

Mineral levels in meat and milk plummet over 60 years

New McDonald's McTittyBurgers - everything you need to grow breasts and nothing you need to grow bones and muscles!!!

Soon to be joined by Burger King's BK Flipper Meal and Nabisco's "Look Ma, No Nads" breakfast cereal. Halliburton rumoured to be serving copious helpings of Cyclops Baby Milk.....

Isn't there a saying somewhere?

I seem to recall something about a pot and a kettle and...

Anyway, US lawmakers apparently fail to see any irony in their criticising US internet firms that bow to Chinese government pressure to censor content available to people inside China.

How's this for irony?

Friday, February 03, 2006

What's that noise?

Why I do believe it's the sound of Americans starting to wake up....

AT&T Sued Over NSA Eavesdropping

There, there... daddy will help you go back to sleep, don't worry.

Pentagon team set to analyze nuclear attacks: report

300GB Optical Disks Tomorrow, 1.6TB in 5 Years!!

240 hours of broadcast video on a single disk?

150 million pages of data on a single disk?

63 times the capacity of DVDs?

The 300GB disks will be here by September, according to Maxell.

The new HVDs (not harmless venereal diseases, by the way) use two lasers together to store and access data in a three-dimensional holographic data layer and reference data in a more conventional CD-style data layer.

But who cares? The important thing is that they'll be on sale this year and they store masses of data. Cheap, too, apparently.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Capitol police admit mistake as protester mulls legal battle

You don't say? An American citizen:
  1. whose son was killed in combat while serving in the US military and was posthumously awarded both a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart,
  2. who has been under continuous attack simply for exercising her rights as an American, and who
  3. was an invited guest of Representative Lynn Woolsey, a California Democrat,
  4. was wearing a shirt that broke no laws,
  5. posed no threat to anybody, and
  6. broke no laws or rules whatsoever,
was ejected from the House of Representatives before Bush's State of the Union address and arrested, charged with unlawful conduct. Beauty of a catch-all, by the way.

Though Beverly Young, wife of long-time Republican Representative Bill Young of Florida, was also ejected from the House, she was not arrested.

Young's shirt read "Support the Troops."

Sheehan's shirt said, "2,245 Dead. How many more?"

The Capitol police are now admitting they made a mistake. No doody, Sherwoody.

If I didn't - cough - have every confidence that the government and police of the USA have nothing but the greatest regard for the laws of their land and the founding documents of the world's finest - cough - democracy from which those laws have been developed, I might have come to a rather disconcerting, but logical, conclusion:

Citizens who practice their rights enshrined in the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America are, in fact, acting in an unlawful manner.

It would be funny if it was not all so pitifully, avoidably (some might say it's not) tragic.

Then again, I'm not being fair to DC's finest. After all, being so close to POTUS Gump must surely have a detrimental effect on anybody's aptitude. Use the Force, Duke.

I'd offer to send Sheehan a shirt that says, "The terrorists have won, already!" but so much of the USA seems allergic to the truth, I'd only get the mother of Specialist Casey Sheehan, late of the First Cavalry, in even more trouble.

Better yet, let Bush wear one of these and they can all have a big "shirt-off". Or maybe not. I dunno. You humans are beginning to irritate me.

PS. Before anybody lays into me for that awful t-shirt, let it be known that, whilst I have the greatest disdain for Bush and his fellow mafiosi, I have nothing but the utmost respect for anybody who lays their life on the line and pray for the souls of all who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Don't shoot the messenger.

What's the Big Deal with these Caricatures of Mohammed?

I don't get it!

I mean, so they portrayed the prophet as a Danish?

They stuck two Danishes on Princess Leia's head and everybody loved her!

Seriously, however, this whole story looks like rampant stupidity and racism on the parts of several European newspapers.

It is never nice to make fun of things other people hold dear and few people hold anything as dear as Muslims hold the Prophet Mohammed to their hearts.

Yeah, maybe many Muslims are what we non-Muslims might consider a bit overly-sensitive to these things. I even think their response is over the top.

Yes, one of the things we cherish ( - decreasingly, if recent government behaviour and anti-terror legislation is any indication, mind you) is our freedom to say what we want.

However, be that as it may, the definition of manners is that you don't do things that make others feel uncomfortable and there is no way on earth the people who created and published these caricatures could not have known they would be upsetting many people.

Even more importantly, our world is tainted by an awful lack of love amongst and between people and peoples, and for the rest of our universe. Making racist jokes about anybody is wrong.

To do such a thing at this time is incredibly stupid.

Now, let's just wait a few years to find out the truth about who was behind the whole thing, shall we?

Surely Dick Cheney Wouldn't Break the Law?

Would he? My word.

Coincidences can be the darndest things, can't they?

"In an abundance of caution, we advise you that we have learned that not all e-mail of the Office of Vice President and the Executive Office of the President for certain time periods in 2003 was preserved through the normal archiving process on the White House computer system."

In plain English?

At about the same time as incriminating information about the Valerie Plame leak first came to light, Dick Cheney conveniently "lost" emails that may or may not be useful to investigators.

Moron Google.

Nyxem.E - What Did I Miss?

According to this post on ars technica, the worm tempts users ...with subject lines such as "Arab sex DSC-00465.jpg," "Miss Lebanon 2006,".

Um...uh...

Maybe when I get an attachment offering me, "hot, sweaty, cheesy-fold, 65-year-old, 400kg sex godesses" I MIGHT be tempted.

Then again, the pigs might fly, too.

In any case, Nyxem.E is scheduled to delete personal data from retards' computers tomorrow, February 3. Good. Morons shouldn't be allowed to clog MY bandwidth, anyways.

It may not be poetic but it's justice. Consider it rendered.

regards,

yr lbrl srvnt

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Support The Truth: DU News.

Tuesday, 31 January 2006, 2:16 pm

Support The Truth, DU News.

  1. Soldiers exposed to DU, "Dustin Brim - How DU Kills U.S. Soldiers" AFP, Christopher Bollyn
  2. People Working to expose DU, Doug Rokke, "I Implore you to act."
  3. Statistics, Russians say 1000 metric tons of uranium used in Iraq, UK Atomic Energy states a half million will die
  4. International Soldiarity
  5. Ask a question, and get it answered by an expert.

  1. Soldier Exposure: Dustin Brim by Christopher Bollyn, AFP ORMOND BEACH, Florida – An alarmingly high percentage of U.S. military personnel who have served in Iraq have been afflicted by a variety of health problems commonly known as Gulf War Syndrome. Exposure to uranium spread through the use of depleted uranium (DU) weapons is thought to be the primary cause of the high rate of chronic ailments and mortality among Gulf War vets.

    While initial casualties from the first U.S. invasion of Iraq were light, long-term casualties from the 1991 war ultimately exceeded 30 percent, according to Terrell E. Arnold, former Chairman of the Department of International Studies at the National War College. The long-term casualty rate from the current war in Iraq, Arnold says, is likely to be much higher.

    Full article at: http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/depleted_uranium_kills.html

  2. People Working on DU: Doug Rokke, US Army

    IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED ON DEPLETED URANIUM Dr. Doug Rokke, Ph.D.
    All citizens of the world must raise a unified voice to force the leaders of those nations that have used depleted uranium munitions to recognize the immoral consequences of their actions and assume responsibility for medical care of all individuals exposed to uranium contamination and the thorough environmental remediation of all uranium contamination left as a result of combat and peacetime actions. The efforts of senior U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Army, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, British, Canadian, Australian, and United Nations officials to prevent acknowledgment of these problems and accept responsibility must be stopped! The overt retaliation against any of us who are attempting to get these same officials to comply with their own directives must stop. We can not continue to ignore the consequences of wartime contamination that include adverse health and environmental effects. I IMPLORE YOU TO ACT!

    Full text found at: http://www.thepowerhour.com/news/rokke_letter.htm

  3. Statistics: Russians say 1000 metric tons used in Iraq: Neil Mackay, Investigations Editor, Sunday Herald

    The Pentagon has admitted that 320 metric tons of DU were left on the battlefield after the first Gulf war, although Russian military experts say 1000 metric tons is a more accurate figure.

    In 1991, the Allies fired 944,000 DU rounds or some 2700 tons of DU tipped bombs. A UK Atomic Energy Authority report said that some 500,000 people would die before the end of this century, due to radioactive debris left in the desert.

    The use of DU has also led to birth defects in the children of Allied veterans and is believed to be the cause of the 'worrying number of anophthalmos cases -- babies born without eyes' in Iraq. Only one in 50 million births should be anophthalmic, yet one Baghdad hospital had eight cases in just two years. Seven of the fathers had been exposed to American DU anti-tank rounds in 1991. There have also been cases of Iraqi babies born without the crowns of their skulls, a deformity also linked to DU shelling.

    Full article at: http://www.sundayherald.com/32522

  4. International Solidarity: http://www.idust.net -- This site is an archival reference resource for Depleted Uranium issues.

    Dr. Jawad Al-Ali is calling for financial help to fund the first epidemiological screening effort in Basrah, Iraq. DU has long been suspected as the cause for exploding cancer rates and birth defects in this region since it was used there in the First Gulf War.

Support DU News, purchase a copy of award winning Power Hour Productions/William Lewis' Beyond Treason. http://www.denniskyne.com/beyondtreason.htm

via Scoop

Interesting reading (WARNING: no war, Iraq, Bush, etc...)

Heck, these probably won't even get me in trouble with the Chinese. Again.

What Google Wants With dMarc Broadcasting

Online video from Google, Apple, others

SEO is Dead!

Reno Internet Marketing Firm Welcomes SEO Graduates

Major TV News Web Sites Now Searchable by the Spoken Word; TV Search Engine at www.tveyes.com Offers Free Search for all Content on Top Six TV News Sites

Folk Wisdom

Finally, we'll be able to buy blue roses.

Ok, this one's been in draft for ages cuz, well, I forgot about it.

But, let's face it, we could all do with blue roses, right?

Right?

It looks like a recent scientific discovery could mean blue roses for the first time ever in about a year. It's kind of cool but the real social question remains: what will it mean to give someone a bunch of blue roses?

Ireland's Role in the US Mayhem Machine

Shannon figures reveal govt's role in escalating Iraqi conflict

UN Commission on Human Rights launches new inquiry into Shannon

"May be a case" for torture express inspections at Shannon: Wille O'Dea

Concerns grow in Ireland over use of Shannon airport as US military stopover

Protest over US military flights

Ireland suffers identity crisis over neutrality

World Airways

American Trans Air

A New Kind of Care in a New Era of Casualties

I started reading this on blogrunner and just kept on going....

The Stars At Night Are Big and Bright,

Deep in the Heart of Texas.

Oh. Wait. That's not Texas. And those aren't stars.....

Former US marine claims uranium ammunition passes through Shannon

Of course, it does! How else are they gonna carry all that radioactive material ACROSS EUROPE?

So You Survived a Year of Our Finest Attempts to Get You Killed

Congratulations, here's your bonus 9,600 dollars.

I Wonder How Many Standing Ovations Bush Would Have Got...

if the sons and daughters of Representatives were in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Sheehan Removed From House Chamber Before Speech

Sheehan arrested in House gallery

Her crime? Apparently, she refused to cover up the t-shirt she was wearing, which bore an anti-war slogan.

Minutes later, Bush opened his speech by noting the death of rights-campaigner, Coretta Scott King....

Somebody should tell America's Conservatives that if you have a ticket, you're not a gatecrasher.

Top Quote from the State of the Union?

"....freedom is on the march..."

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Yet more stories worth reading....

US Plans to 'Fight the Net' Revealed "A newly declassified document gives a fascinating glimpse into the US military's plans for "information operations" - from psychological operations, to attacks on hostile computer networks."

Blair in secret plot with Bush to dupe U.N. "A White House leak revealing astonishing details of how Tony Blair and George Bush lied about the Iraq war is set to cause a worldwide political storm."

By jingo, our brave boys are off to tame the Afghan. And they'll fail "Britain cannot kick the Afghanistan habit. Those snow-capped passes, exotic valleys and turbulent tribes have always posed a challenge to London’s can-do crusaders."

Apocalypse Now: Israel's Hamasteria "Only the arrival of the Anti-Christ would have received more “shock and awe” publicity throughout the world media, but especially in the United States, than the free democratic election of Hamas, a legitimate Palestinian resistance movement to free their people from the bloody boot of Israel."

George W. Bush, Zionist Double Agent, American Traitor "It was in 1990 that I first met the remarkable and brilliant Boris Lunachev. Aged, bent over slightly by repeated attacks of osteoporosis, Lunachev had asked to see me privately. He had, I understood, once been a most distinguished professor of Marxist doctrine at the prestigious Lenin Institute. He was a rising star on the Soviet political and educational scene. But in the late 70s, Lunachev was abruptly and unceremoniously ousted from his post and exiled to the West."

I gotcher doomsday scenario right here, buddy!


"Perrraps monsieur would enjoy today's specialite, hell pie! C'est fantastique! Incroyable!"

n-sphere's Recipe for Hell Pie, Not Like Mama Used to Make!

Take one cup of microbots...


Exploring Caves with Hopping Microbots, Microbots Grow Own Muscles from Cells, 'Microbots' hunt down disease, Researchers concoct self-propelled nano motor

add a dash of IPv6....

Hackers are ready for IPv6—are you?

and a sprinkling of leveraged technologies....

Skype could provide botnet controls, Security Watch: The Sky(pe) is falling

add a wee dram of automated, IP networked (and, therefore, eminently hackable and sniffable) video surveillance:


Start-up soups up surveillance cameras

mix in essence of yet more hackable, corruptable video/networking technologies/systems:

Another fix for the mobile TV capacity problem


garnish with yet more possibilities:
(add Orwell to taste: "We use these dollar bills as radar devices for humans,")

Scientists use Net game to forecast epidemics, Senator demands info on search engine subpoena

Government study: VoIP, video can be taxed


fold into "modern" societies' reliance on highly-centralised, networked communications, power, transport and security systems and serve, extra hot, on a plate of zombies,

Cybercriminal and the army of zombies, Term of the Week: Zombies and Phishing

Prepare a spicy side-dish of corporate and official ineptitude, information overload and the simple fact that the "good guys" have to get it right every time while the "bad guys" only have to get it right once and,


"Bon appetit, monsieur!"

For a bit of variation, why not take control of satellites?

Bejing Alleges Falun Gong Hijacked Chinese TV Sat During World Cup, USAF Plays Necessary Role in Space, Critical US satellites could be hacked, 'Soft walls' will keep hijacked planes at bay (remember, anything that can be done, can be undone), Bracing for guerrilla warfare in cyberspace, The NDS story as alleged by CANAL +

hijack a wee bit of Global Hawk

"...first trans-Pacific flight by a UAV..."

"ISRAELI ­ PALESTINIAN CYBER -WARFARE BROADENS" and "Information warfare (IW)--specifically the ability to intercept, read and alter enemy communications, as well as penetrate computers--is another possible role for Global Hawk"

Yet more.

If George Orwell had the slightest idea of the potential for government, corporate, terrorist and other anti-freedom, criminal tyranny we now face, what would he have said?

We face several threads and layers of threats:

1. We are already in an age that leaves authorities and organisations no choice but to automate as many of their technology tools and tasks as possible. Anything that can be programmed, scheduled, controlled or automated by one person, can have the same done by another.

2. As more and more technologies exploit IP networking and remote control more and more of those technologies can be exploited by others. More and more of those networks, networked systems, networking protocals, network devices and networking devices can be hijacked.

3. As more and more video goes digital, especially over IP networks, that video can be hijacked, snooped, redirected, altered and redistributed. The old days where criminals intercepted an analogue signal or stuck a still photo in front of a camera lens are gone. Welcome to the days of digitally-altered CCTV security footage, amigos.

"Old school" has never been more attractive. I think it is not at all far-fetched or unrealistic for people now to look forward to, envisage, expect or fear a future in which life is not totally dissimilar to that portrayed in Mad Max, A Boy and His Dog, Water World, Terminator, RoboCop, Brazil, etc...

One day, we'll likely face two choices: live in the "civilized/developed" world, where the distinctions between government, corporate and organised criminal are even harder to judge than today and who are only made abundantly clear when contrasted with petty, violent crime, "terrorist" and "criminal street gang", or one in which petty, violent crime, "terrorist" and "criminal street gang" are allowed to rule the land.

Anybody who thinks we are not already perilously close to such a state of affairs is an ignorant, blind fool.

The smart money is thin (pun not intended) on the ground, "lives" mostly in places like much of Africa, Central America and South Asia and knows that, as far as their lives are concerned, we have already reached this point.

Hasidic reggae singer Matisyahu

No, I am not making this up. Somewhere along the way, I stumbled onto this guy and have enjoyed listening to his music for a few weeks. I knew nothing about him. I finally looked him up on the web, only to find he's a Hasidic reggae singer!

"Combining the sounds of Bob Marley and Shlomo Carlebach, yet remaining wholly original," I can't imagine how he combines the sounds of Bob Marley and Shlomo Carlebach and somehow manages to remain wholly original.

Whatever next?

I can just imagine how proud his mother must be. Imagine the typical conversation...

"So, Mrs Miller, what does YOUR son do?"

"My Matthew has finally found his calling as a reggae singer...."

Monday, January 30, 2006

Another Bunch of Stories....

IRAN, BOURSE AND THE U.S. DOLLAR

In New York, a Grisly Traffic in Body Parts

General agrees: Forces are 'stretched'

Army Stretched to Breaking Point

Iran’s Nuclear Issue Becomes a Hornet’s Nest

George W. Bush, Zionist Double Agent, American Traitor

Iran's Really Big Weapon

Military assault on Iran could cost U.S. dearly

The End of 'Unalienable Rights'

Monday Morning Blooze

Here's a bunch of stories from the last few days for you to enjoy over your wholebran muffins and soy milke lattes.

U.N. to recruit army of killers for world war on the bird flu

Polls Show Many Americans are Simply Dumber Than Bush

US Army forces 50,000 soldiers into extended duty

Pentagon Can Now Fund Foreign Militaries

CIA Expands Use of Drones in Terror War

Why I Now Genuflect to Charles Krauthammer

Jamil Toubbeh: A Modern Pyrrhus

Damaged bridge threatens telecoms backbones

More Friday Goodies!

This was supposed to go up on Friday. It didn't but these are still Friday's goodies!

CNN is reporting that US federal agents have found the biggest ever cross-border tunnel used to smuggle drugs into the USA - 1200 feet long and 2 tonnes of smokables waiting to ship!

Google is weighing into the anti-spyware fray, which can only be a good thing.

Remember the Alamo!!! The LA Times is reporting, "Armed Mexican government personnel made unauthorized incursions into the United States five times in the last three months of 2005, including one incident last month in Southern California, according to confidential Department of Homeland Security records." Matches? We don need no stinkin matches!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Vietnam and Iraq: Six Stages of Deception

David Robson and Richard Krohn write in the Baltimore Chronicle,

"During the present conflict in Iraq many of us who lived through Vietnam have been hearing echoes of that earlier conflict. The echoes are getting louder and are not just coincidence."

Everybody's Lookin for Manny Pacquiao

But of course they are!

No idea who is Manny Pacquiao and why everybody's looking for him and his site, Mannypacquiao.ph AKA Pacland?

Man Pac stopped Erik "El Terrible" Morales in Saturday's hugely-hyped WBC International Super Featherweight title bout. Now, the diminuative rising star of boxing is a big hit online, too.

Bunch of stories....

Some good stuff in Slashdot today:

7 myths about the Challenger shuttle disaster
It didn't explode, the crew didn't die instantly and it wasn't inevitable

Thief nabs backup data on 365,000 patients
An employee for a health care firm in Portland, Ore., had tapes, disks in his car. (Remember my earlier assertions about ineptitude?)

YOU can listen to NASA Spacesuits turned into satellites as they pass overhead. No, I don't mean they are turned into satellites as they pass overhead. NASA is testing the use of old spacesuits as satellites and, as they pass overhead, you can hear them on a cheap radio scanner. No word on whether you can also hear little green men say, "PEEE-EWW!!!"

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Self-Configurable Intelligent Optical Network to Drive Global Collaboration

I have no idea what it is but wouldn't "Self-Configurable Intelligent Optical Network to Drive Global Collaboration" be the coolest tattoo?

"SURFnet6, a high-grade computer network specially reserved for higher education and research in the Netherlands, will revolutionize the way researchers access the vast amounts of bandwidth their research requires, configuring their connectivity based on their real-time requirements."

It's much like Angela Merkel's opening speech at the World Economic Forum last night. A lot of words but what on earth does it mean?

Cell Phones as Web Servers

Slashdot has a fun thread on the subject of running a webserver on your mobile phone!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Admiral: ‘Commonality of systems’ vital to military communications

When (and IF!) "we" one day look back upon the late 20th and early 21st century 'age', you know what will be the defining characteristic about which they write, point, gasp and shake their heads?

War?

Terrorism?

Technology?

SARS, Big Bird's flu or blogs?

Tsunamis?

Nope, assuming there is any form of cogent life able to view what has happened - at an accelerating pace - over the last few years here on "our" planet I reckon they will sigh/laugh/cry at the incredible INEPTITUDE.

I think INEPTITUDE is the defining characteristic of our age.

From heads of states down to voters/electorate/peasants/CongestionChargePayers, the human race is rapidly e-Volving(TM) into a moronic bunch of increasingly illiterate, red-herring-chasing, self-absorbed, uneducated, unaware, INEPT morons.

Don't believe me?

Admiral: ‘Commonality of systems’ vital to military communications

"Adm. Thomas F. Hall said senior military leaders—such as Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honore, who was in charge of the military's response to hurricane Katrina—sent runners to relay messages between bases and posts, reminiscent of relay tactics used during World War II.

"Somehow we have to get a commonality of systems," Hall said today."

Gee.... do you think?

In the Interim Report of the Committee on Armed Services, House of Representatives, dated March 30,1992, a report on various issues found to have arisen during the 1991 war in the Persian Gulf, what do we find?

"Communications that work. Soldiers just outside shouting range of each other were often unable to communicate by radio. Pilots aloft, not of different nations but merely of different U.S. services, were also often unable to speak to each other on safely encoded radio circuits. The challenge for the future is to ensure that U.S. forces are equipped with the means to communicate with one another."

and that's not all....

"Operation Desert Storm demonstrated that tactical communications are still plagued by incompatibilities and technical limitations. At CENTCOM corps and wing levels, a significant portion of the war was conducted over commercial telephone lines because of the volume and compatibility."

That's not all, there's plenty more in there.

In the private sector, where likely nothing more than corporate bonuses, share values, profits, etc., are at stake, heads would roll if such monumentally stupid and systemic problems were allowed to impede healthy operation for years, let alone decades. In the military, it's only the lives of your son and daughters, of course.

So that's ok, then!

But then, of course, such problems don't only result in a less efficient war effort.

How many years has the Duhpartment of Homeland Insecurity been running now? What DO they get up to?

A report entitled Alaska Land Mobile Radio system is a template for U.S. Homeland Security/Homeland Defense communications opens with, "Four years after 9-11, Hurricane Katrina underscored the fact that the same communications problems that plagued first responders at the World Trade Center and Pentagon are still plaguing first responders today."

Let me just leave you with this little tidbit. Back in 2003, the US Congress held a hearing on The Spectrum Needs of Our Nation's First Responders in which, amongst many other useful things, it was stated,

"This is not a new problem. Five years before 9/11, the Public Safety Wireless Advisory Committee (PSWAC) reported that ‘‘unless immediate measures are taken to alleviate spectrum shortfall and promote interoperability, public safety will not be able to adequately discharge their obligation to protect life and property in a safe, efficient, and cost-effective manner.’’ Since that report, we have paid the price for inaction with the loss of lives."

Monday, January 23, 2006

Scooterworks' Vespa Stereo System with iPod dock

I swear to God, if I see someone with an iPod dock on a Vespa, they're going down and going down HARD!

I'm taking their Apple Mac-owning, black turtle-neck and 60s-style helmet wearing, Vespa borne butts outta the equation.

This whole look at meeee, I'm a trendy designer/dotcom-leveraging/numeeja-evangilising/techie-guru/futurist/whatever self-absorbed moron thing has to stop.

Oh...wait..hold on. There's a fax about my blogs coming in on my Blackberry. Gotta go, darlings.

Thoughts on Killer Appvertising

My brain can be quite worrying at times. Perhaps even more stressfull for people around me is the fact that the same "brain" is also, perhaps rather generously speaking, of course, tasked with what I rather loosely refer to as "controlling" my body. Burp.

So I had this thought, royt? Quite Killer App-tastic.

Well, not so much a killer app but a feature missing from online streaming advertising. Some of the online streaming ads are great but there is no reliable way to share them with friends.

So, there you have it: for true "killer appvertising" (remember you herd THAT hear Faust, ok! Sometimes my brandability scares me. Oh my gosh, but I AM good, am I not?).

Create easy ways for people who enjoy your ad to let others enjoy it, too. Oh my god, am I not awesome?

What sparked this?

I just enjoyed a hilarious streaming video ad with John Cleese pushing some kind of backup solution. It was streamed using AccelaCast technology, via a DoubleClick ad server into this page.

If it doesn't come up first go, refresh the page. You should see it after one or two goes. It's the one about the Institute of Backup Trauma.

Great stuff!

Holy Moly, advertisers REALLY need to make it easy as urination for people to share ads they enjoy. Heck, there's the next killer appvertising wrinkle: a central ad server that people can easily go to to view ads and download them. I've seen some such services but you have to pay!!

Gosh, pay for advertising? Heck, that would be as outrageously stupid as expecting people to pay good money not despite, but rather BECAUSE of, the corporate branding splattered all over it!! Imagine such a thing. Do they think we are morongs?

So, not only do they need one-click bookmarking but they also need "Send a link to this ad" and "Download this ad" links.

Go. Make your millions. You have been arsisted.

Do it.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Chile Elects Woman President

Michelle Bachelet is to be Chile's first woman president.

Ms Bachelet joins a growing list. Quite a few countries have or have had female leaders. The list includes Pakistan - a Muslim nation - and India.

Of course, there have been perilously few women leaders elected through democratic process (Ms Bachelet is only the second woman elected to lead a South American nation) but it's a sorry indightment and a reality check that the USA, that loudmouth bastion of "equality for all, y'all", "human rights" and, erm, "freedoms", has yet to even put forth a candidate, let alone elect a woman president.

Since I first erroneously posted this to my Daily Danger Blog, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has been sworn in as Liberia's first elected female president.

Come on America. Wake up and smell the Folger's - PAKISTAN HAS HAD A FEMALE LEADER, already!

Bush Administration Subpoenas Google in Porn Probe

Look ma, no constitutional rights!

"Looks like we got us a searchah!"

"You're either with us, or you're using search terms that mean you must be WMD-laden-homosexural-porn-lovin-commie-pinko-pedophile-terrorist?"

"There are known web searches and there are unknown web searches?"

The Associated Press writes, "the Bush administration depicts the information as vital in its effort to restore online child protection laws that have been struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court"

Hmm, the laws were struck down by the Supreme Court so the White House wants to restore them? I must be such an idiot thinking there's a slight flaw in the logic.

Lemme see, when MS or Yahoo fall over backwards to support suppression of human rights and freedom of speech by the Chinese government, that's BAD but when the White House does it, that's ok. No, wait. I think I got that wrong. In both cases its, um, the same thing? No, wait. Did I get that wrong or did I get that left?

I'm confused. Tell me again. Who are the bad guys?

I know, I know, I'm such a Chicken Little idiot. I have no idea what's really going on and I'm just getting all worked up over nothing. Our governments know what's really going on and what's really in our best interests.

I'll have a triple-jack, double BnE and two helpings of CRASH!

Sometimes, you just can't be sure if you're in Beirut, Mexico City, Medellin, Karbala, Honduras, Tikrit or ANYWHERE IN THE USA.....

What I want to know is this: I saw news video of this triple-carjacking, double break-in with two side-orders of nasty car crashes on a non-US news channel last night.
Typically, US news outlets are only too eager to show everybody exciting aerial footage of these things and even by American standards, this was quite the spectacle.

So why is there such thin coverage of this story? (link to video on the page)

Official US agency paints dire picture of 'out-of-control' Iraq

The Guardian reports that USAid, the official US foreign aid organisation has offially assessed the official situation in Iraq as officially, very, very bad.

Not only is the situation very, very bad but it is also far more complex than the White House's and Pentagon's official official tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

In a nutshell, lawlessness is rampant, chaos rules and terrorist and criminal gangs are increasing in size and growing stronger.

Sounds like the United Nations to me.

And just think - the real pain is still ahead of us.

Did the Army Lie? Depleted Uranium Found in Hawaii

What's the saying? "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me?" What does that make the US population? Then again, perhaps that's not fair.

How about this?

"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Lie to me repeatedly, fool on and on and on..?"

Hawaiians were repeatedly told by the US Army that depleted uranium and chemical weapons were never used in their state.

I suppose the DU fairy left those shells behind, then? Or maybe there's a WMD fairy?

"These recent revelations, then, indicate that the Army is either unaware of its DU (depleted uranium) and chemical weapons use or has intentionally misled the public. Both possibilities are deeply troubling,"

My new bumpersticker: "The US military - we put the F in SNAFU."

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The World Through a Looking Glass

"An 80-year-old newspaper found behind a broken mirror provides a surprisingly fresh perspective on our anxious modern condition."

A most excellent article at AlterNet

USA Threatened to Spy on New Zealand

Yet more winning friends and influencing people from the Americans as former NZ Prime Minister David Lange's private papers are "leaked" to the newspapers...

Monday, January 16, 2006

The carve-up of Iraq will spawn a redivision of the Middle East

Back in November, David Hirst wrote in the Guardian how "The adoption of a weak Iraqi federal constitution is likely to unleash an ethnic and sectarian crisis across the region."

At about the same time, Peter Beaumont and Faisal Islam reported in the Observer about the carving up of Iraq's oil riches.

This is worth reading, too.

Remember how we good Christian saviours absolutely HAD to non-invade Iraq to save the poor Iraqis from that nasty, nasty, nasty, WMD-owning, terror-monger, SAD-Am HooSane?

You may benefit from reading Rumsfeld’s Handshake Deal With Saddam.

Wooden staves used in migrant detention centres

It's old news now but, just in case you didn't catch this one back in October, the Guardian reported how wooden staves were being used in migrant detention centres.

Bear in mind that these are not convicted criminals, either.

Today's Notable Quotable

Editor: a person employed by a newspaper, whose business it is to separate the wheat from the chaff, and to see that the chaff is printed.
- Elbert Hubbard

Galaxies Dark Matter Rafting Down the Milky Way

This is very cool stuff indeed. If you can get your head around it.

Scientists appear to have discovered a whole mess o'li'l ole galaxies (satellites of the Milky Way). From my cursory read (I'm, like, busy, m'kay?) I think I understand that scientists found a bunch of satellite galaxies at Andromeda that appear to be "riding a stream of dark matter" and a similar such situation appears to be the case with our own Milky Way.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Did US Special Forces Encounter an Unkown Primate?

It all sounds a little too inspired by the X-Files, but you never know.....

A little background to this link. It was forwarded to me by one of my best friends. He is ex-US Special Forces. It's safe to say he's "been there" and "done that". As far as I'm aware, he didn't get a T-shirt.

We were once discussing the cinema classic (well, that's what I think of it), Predator. I ventured, "There's no reason something like this couldn't really happen."

My friend, who has spent an awful lot of time in the kinds of jungles depicted in Predator, replied, "Or hasn't already."

Covert Web Crawlers and Personal Anonymity

A couple of interesting stories from Wired News:

Covert Crawler Descends on Web. In a nutshell, it may soon be impossible to tell which visits to your website were by humans and which were by a web crawler.

Anonymity on a Disk is likely to give security professionals, governments and the like some sleepless nights.

Stopping Hearts and Splattering Minds

Yet more "winning friends and influencing people" from those mavens of international diplomacy, the good ole' You Ess of "Eh?"

Be it charity work, NGOs, trade negotions, trade relationships, the United (machi)Nations, corporate influence, trans-national corporations, unilateral "policing", the Global Waging of - I mean "War on" - Terror, "helping" nascent nations develop yet more ways to line American pockets - I mean "frameworks for democratic societies", military action, the environment or whatever else, AmeriKKKA continues to demonstrate its leadership as a subtle, sensitive, expert, careful, humanitarian, just, humane and responsible member of the human race.

Airstrike by U.S. Draws Protests From Pakistanis

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Illegal NSA Spying on US Citizens.

Roll on the day foreseen by those responsible for the second amendment to the US Constitution.

ABC News has an interview with NSA whistleblower, Russel Tice and Democracy Now! has a bunch of resources, including streaming media and a transcript.

Thanks to this thread on slashdot for this wonderful geek black humour:

"SIGINT officer? Do they also have SIGHUP officer?
Well, as long as they don't send you a SIGKILL officer ... :-)"

Apache News from 2005 - Ten Years of Apache Server

Apache Software Foundation Reflects On Advances and Accomplishments During 2005, Highlighting 10-Year Anniversary of World's Most Popular Web Server


Community-Developed Projects Play Key Role in Growing Influence and Meeting Demand for Innovative Open Source Technologies

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) - stewards, incubators, and developers of leading Open Source projects, including the Apache HTTP Server, the world's most popular Web server software for ten years running - reflects on its activities and milestones achieved during 2005.

"We are honored to be the trusted resource that the community looks to for
leadership in Open Source software development. Our growth in the past year
is testament to our long-standing commitment to collaboration among our
diverse contributor base and our extended community. We are pleased to
announce more than two dozen project updates over the course of 2005," said
ASF Chairman Greg Stein.

In addition to the Apache HTTP Server, recognized ASF projects include Ant, Axis Web Services, Derby, Forrest, Geronimo, James, Lenya, Lucene, Maven, mod_perl, MyFaces, Tomcat, SpamAssassin, Struts, Tapestry, and Xerces - from the core basics to in-demand solutions such as scalable Internet architectures, Cocoon, DB, Jakarta, and XML. All software developed within
the ASF is free to download, use, modify, and distribute under the Open Source Apache License.

"We will continue to champion the innovation, implementation, and integration of freely available enterprise-grade software that meets the most rigorous demands of our community," added Stein. "Our consistent achievements are testament to the strengths of our community-centric development model."

Highlighted accomplishments from the ASF's industry-defining projects
include:

Apache HTTP Server: Driving more than 70% of all sites on the Internet, the Apache HTTP Server is the backbone of more Websites than any other Web server software. A decade after releasing HTTP Server version 1.0, the Apache Software Foundation announced the availability of version 2.2 of the Apache HTTP Server - the most powerful, flexible, and scalable release yet. Tested extensively on major sites under heavy load, HTTP Server 2.2 offers many new improvements such as proxy enhancements, large-file support, graceful-stop, and mod_cache. HTTP Server 2.2 couples these improvements with the speed, reliability, and scalability necessary to power today's busiest Websites: from real-time news sources, to Fortune 100 enterprise portals, to mission-critical military intelligence applications, and beyond.

"Our site has been using pre-releases of the new version for over 6 months and has handled up to 27,000 concurrent downloads from a single web server, while delivering terabytes of content per day," said Colm MacCarthaigh of HEAnet. "Large-file support, graceful-stop and mod_cache have improved our level of service dramatically."

ApacheCon: The official conference of The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) united the industry's leading Open Source developers and users this past July with ApacheCon's return to Europe, and most recently in San Diego in December 2005. The demand for real world insight and greater understanding of key Apache software projects is evidenced by the growing interest in ApacheCon: an all-time record in participation, attendance, and sponsorships surpassed those of past conferences. More than 100 sessions addressed core and next-generation Open Source issues, including technology trends, development and deployment, communities, and business model innovation. Conference presenters and faculty included some of the most widely recognized leaders in the Open Source community, such as Cory Doctorow, Jaron Lanier, Simon Phipps, and Tim Bray. Key sponsors and exhibitors include Black Hat, Covalent, Google, IBM, Intel, the Java Community Process (JCP), LogicBlaze, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, thawte, and Virtuas.

Apache Ant: With the Ant 1.6.5 release in May 2005, Java developers obtained a stable and well-supported build tool that lets Java developers build, test and deploy applications on any Java-enabled platform. One measure of the project's success is the increasing competition between mainstream Java IDEs to provide comprehensive Ant integration - ranging from Ant-aware editing
and debugging (IntelliJ IDEA) to an Ant-only build process (NetBeans). Apache Ant has effectively lowered the cost of switching between IDEs, allowing developers to work with their favorite products, and enabled continuous integration tools such as Apache Gump and Apache Maven's Continuum server to facilitate automated build processes.

Apache Axis2: As a natural progressor to the highly regarded Apache Axis project, Axis2 is blazing the trail to be the core of a clean and extensible open source Web Services platform. Building on the "handler chain" model of Apache Axis, Axis2 introduces a more flexible modular architecture. Axis2's extensibility allows it to be a foundation for implementing Web Services protocols including reliable messaging with Apache Sandesha, security through Apache WSS4J and transactions through Apache Kandula. The high performance lightweight XML object model AXIOM enables both maximum flexibility and performance. This object model allows Axis2 to support multiple levels of abstraction for consuming and offering Web services. Axis2 is currently in a 0.94 release and is nearing its 1.0 status.

Apache Beehive: The newly available Apache Beehive 1.0 makes J2EE programming easier by building a simple object model on J2EE and Apache Struts. Using JSR-175 annotations to simplify application development for developers and the creation of Java development tools by independent software vendors, Beehive 1.0 is built around the following projects -- all of which can be used together or separately depending on the requirements of a specific application: 1) NetUI, the annotation-driven Web application programming framework built atop Apache Struts to centralize navigation logic, state, metadata, and exception handling in one reusable controller class. Now able to provide features such as nesting (also known as sub-flows), UI dialogs,
state scoping, and JavaScript pop-up support, the framework provides a set of JSP tags for rendering (X)HTML and higher-level UI constructs such as data grids and trees, and integrates well with JavaServer Faces and Struts; 2) Controls, a resource abstraction framework that enables a consistent JavaBean API to access enterprise resources such as databases and message queues, and provides a readymade set of abstracted system controls for low-level J2EE resource APIs such as Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB), Java Messaging Service (JMS), and Java Database Connectivity (JDBC); and 3) Web Service Metadata (WSM), the Apache Axis-based implementation of JSR 181, which standardizes a simplified, annotation-driven model for building Java Web Services.

Apache Cocoon: The long-awaited release of Apache Cocoon 2.1.8 was made available. The latest version of the Web development framework is built around the concept of separation of concerns and component-oriented Web RAD, features several bug fixes, additions, and improvements. They include: AJAX support for partial updates to a form; new tree widget; experimental code for reusable form libraries (part of the Google Summer of Code project) and a sample showing how to create forms using relational databases with zero Java code; stack traces; enhancements to the portal block, including improved
caching mechanisms, support for the Web Services For Remote Portlets (WSRP)
standard, and provided components for database access using OJB; simplified
build process; reworked Cocoon documentation system (now using Daisy); new JCR
block allowing access to JCR repositories such as JackRabbit (Java Content
Repository specification was designed as a part of JSR170); new validation
block providing the ability to validate XML in a pipeline choosing from a
range of schema languages (DTD, XSD, RNG); and the ability to use Cocoon
pipelines to render JSF pages.

Apache FOP: A product of the Apache XML Graphics Project, Apache FOP (Formatting Objects Processor) is the world's first print formatter driven by the widely deployed XSL formatting objects (XSL-FO) standard, as well as the world's first output independent formatter. The Java application reads a formatting object (FO) tree and renders the resulting pages to a specified output, including PDF, PS, XML (area tree representation), Print, RTF, AWT,
MIF and TXT. After a three-year redesign effort, the FOP team has announced its first beta quality release that provides many long-awaited features.

Apache Geronimo: The Geronimo project team announced the much-anticipated Geronimo 1.0, following two years of extensive effort including testing on Linux, Windows, MacOS and zLinux as well as many hardware platforms. J2EE 1.4 certified, Geronimo 1.0 offers one of the most flexible architectures in the application server market, allowing an unmatched ease of integration via its kernel and GBean architecture. The release included support for Java Business Integration (JBI), Jetty or Tomcat Web container deployment options, a
complete Web-enabled management console based on Java Portlets, full integration with the Eclipse Web Tools Project, and integration of Apache Derby and the Apache Directory Server. In addition to the release of Geronimo 1.0, the following sister projects are being incubated as Geronimo subprojects: ActiveMQ, ServiceMix, and WADI. All of these projects in incubation already make use of the Apache License 2.0.

Apache Maven: The Apache Maven project announced Maven 2.0.1 and Continuum 1.0.2, that, together offer a platform that delivers declarative build, dependency management, documentation creation, site publication and distribution capabilities to enable project visibility and management. Based on a unified Project Object Model (POM) architecture, Maven 2.0 consists of metadata for describing clear, consistent phases for building projects, and offers a unique plug-in environment that provides an extensible development
framework to support multiple languages for total re-usability across projects. Maven 2.0 also features new software 'DNA' mapping to track and manage transitive build dependencies across repositories. The fastest growing build system for Java-based projects, Continuum 1.0 enables continuous integration by both automating the testing and packaging phases of the software build and providing reports on build status, including success, failure and unit test coverage.

Apache mod_perl: The Apache Perl project released the long-awaited mod_perl version 2.0, bringing mod_perl to the Apache HTTP Server 2.x series. With mod_perl, developers can write server modules entirely in Perl, providing a powerful combination of rapid development and high performance for Web applications. By providing access to the HTTP Server API from Perl, mod_perl
offers a level of access and flexibility not available in other high-level Web
development solutions. Prominent new or improved features in mod_perl 2.0 include an I/O Filtering API which allows chaining of different content generation tools (PHP, server-side includes) and post-processing of dynamic content, a new testing framework for automated testing of server modules and applications, easy access to Apache configuration information from Perl, configurable multi-threaded operation which vastly improves scalability in Microsoft Windows environments, and protocol modules which can replace the server's core HTTP implementation with alternatives like SMTP, FTP, or even entirely custom protocols.

Apache MyFaces: Apache MyFaces is the first free open-source implementation of the JavaServer Faces (JSF) standard for developing web applications in the Java programming language. In 2005, Apache MyFaces achieved full compatibility to the JSF specification and passed the JSFT Technology Compatibility Kit test. Apache MyFaces also released versions 1 and 1.1, where 1.1 was the first fully JSF specification compliant version.

Over this year, MyFaces steadily built out its component-set - from dynamic trees to popup-calendars, MyFaces features components for most web developer's needs.

Apache Portals: After more than two years in development, the Apache Portals project released the Jetspeed 2 Open Source Enterprise Portal, a full implementation of the Java Portlet API. Notable features include security components backed by LDAP and database implementations and some robust administration interfaces. Custom portals can be built and deployed using the
Jetspeed plugin for Apache Maven. The Jetspeed PSML language can be used to assemble portlets with the Apache Portals Bridges project to 'bridge' portals with existing technologies including Struts, JSF, PHP, and Perl. Offering GUI designers several built-in templates to decorate portals and portlets, Jetspeed 2 is fully compliant with the Portlet Specification 1.0 (JSR-168), has passed the TCK (Test Compatibility Kit) suite, and is fully certified to the Java Portlet Standard.

ABOUT THE APACHE SOFTWARE FOUNDATION
The Apache Software Foundation provides organizational, legal and financial support for a broad range of open source software projects. The Foundation provides an established framework for intellectual property and financial contributions that simultaneously limits contributors' potential legal exposure. Through a collaborative and meritocratic development process, Apache projects deliver enterprise-grade, freely available software products that attract large communities of users. The pragmatic Apache License makes it easy for all users, commercial and individual, to deploy Apache products.

For more information on the Foundation and its projects, please visit http://www.apache.org/


SOURCE The Apache Software Foundation
Web Site: http://www.apache.org