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

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.

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

SOURCE The Apache Software Foundation
Web Site:

Friday, January 13, 2006

Time for A Load of Links

I love to fark. Farkers love to fark. Fark has a farkload of good stories today....

Melissa Joan Hart used to be HOT! What went wrong?

You ever read those "lunatic, anti-Jewish, conspiracy theory racists blabbing on and on about The Judeo-Christian Conservative right-wing zionist conspiracy"? No? Well Pat Robertson suggested Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's stroke was God's punishment for withdrawing from the Gaza Strip. As a result, "Israel Suspends Contact With Pat Robertson". Please note the bit about the relationship between Right-Wing Christian Conservatives and Israel.

Read more about why such a conspiracy might not be so lunatic, after all.

Do I ever feel old: KISS star to have hip replacemement surgery.

Family claims in suit that man died after ducking flying shrimp

Five Danish military police officers found guilty of Iraq abuse. Of course, they don't deserve to be punished. That would risk sending the right message and we wouldn't want to do something right for once, would we? After all, the only really bad people in Iraq are the people who aren't "with us" in the global fight against terrorism, right?

Virginia city drops anti-crowding law. God Bless a Country where a law "which would have prevented relatives such as aunts, uncles and cousins from living together as a family" can be given even a shred of serious consideration.

Did city councillors drop the proposition becuase it was heinously stupid and dangerous? No, of course not. Councillors feared "...lawsuits from civil rights groups and a possible federal investigation..."

"Meet Virginia. She'll turn your world upside down," apparently.

(Australian man, let me just point out,) Man breaks leg while kicking spider.

A student in the UK asked a policeman, "Excuse me, do you realise your horse is gay?" Of course, he "was arrested under section 5 of the Public Order Act for making homophobic remarks.." The police said, "He made homophobic comments that were deemed offensive to people passing by." Yes, of course. Asking a question like this is clearly a homophobic act likely to result in a breach of public order.

Yes, the Crown Prostitution, whoops, I mean Prosecution Service, has dropped the case because of a lack of evidence that the arrested man had acted in a disorderly manner.

No news on whether the taxpayer has asked the officer concerned, "Excuse me, do you realise you are overpaid, humourless, unfit to work in policing, obstructing justice, jack-booted, a waste of taxpayers' money, AND gay?"

In yet another example of the incredible intelligence required to be racial supremacist, an African-American law-enforcement officer was once asked to lead a chapter of the Ku Klux Klan: Black sergeant was 'loyal Klansman'

Taiwan breeds transgenic, fluorescent, green pig.

Apparently, the Chinese are BIG on Korean hip hop. Luckily, the Chinese are also big on product piracy...

"This amendment is blowing smoke to fuel the hell-fire flames of bigotry."

The Austin Chronicle's "Top 10 Quotes of the Year":

  1. "This amendment is blowing smoke to fuel the hell-fire flames of bigotry. When people of my color used to marry someone of Mr. Chisum's color, you'd often find people of my color hanging from a tree. That's what white people back then did to protect marriage."

    – State Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, attacks an attempt to introduce a ban on gay marriage to the state constitution.

  2. "Our goal for this process was to create a policy of disablement, not deadly force, for African-Americans. It's not really a new policy, because in reality, white folks already have it."

    – Austin NAACP President Nelson Linder on police proposals under the African-American Quality of Life Implementation Plan.

  3. "I'm flattered at the possibility of being the Democratic pallbearer, I mean standard-bearer."

    – Independent gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman to the Austin American-Statesman on attempts to get him to run as a Democrat.

  4. "That's just how I roll."

    – UT student Laura Ashley Hall, quoted in a police affidavit, on why she allegedly helped accused murderer Colton Pitonyak flee to Mexico

  5. "Being called vindictive and partisan by Tom DeLay is like being called ugly by a frog."

    – Travis Co. District Attorney Ronnie Earle

  6. "It's not up to the American Cancer Society or Lance Motherfucking Armstrong to tell me how to run my business."

    – Bar owner Chip Tait, on proposed anti-smoking legislation.

  7. "She is a very good bowler. For someone her size, she actually gets a lot of action out of the pins."

    – Office of Management and Budget Director Joshua B. Bolten, on Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers.

  8. "We have brought torture, cluster bombs, depleted uranium, innumerable acts of random murder, misery, degradation, and death to the Iraqi people and call it 'bringing freedom and democracy to the Middle East.'"

    – British playwright Harold Pinter, accepting the 2005 Nobel Prize for Literature.

  9. "Next time I tell you someone from Texas should not be president of the United States, please pay attention."

    – columnist Molly Ivins.

  10. "Adios, mofo."

    – Gov. Rick Perry, caught on camera.

Climbers look up to Mountainfest

Happiness is a cold, hard, mile-high rockface....

Actual English Subtitles Used in Hong Kong Films

  1. I am damn unsatisfied to be killed in this way.
  2. Fatty, you with your thick face have hurt my instep.
  3. Gun wounds again?
  4. Same old rules: no eyes, no groin.
  5. A normal person wouldn't steal pituitaries.
  6. Damn, I'll burn you into a BBQ chicken!
  7. Take my advice, or I'll spank you without pants.
  8. Who gave you the nerve to get killed here?
  9. Quiet or I'll blow your throat up.
  10. You always use violence. I should've ordered glutinous rice chicken.
  11. I'll fire aimlessly if you don't come out!
  12. You daring lousy guy.
  13. Beat him out of recognizable shape!
  14. I got knife scars more than the number of your leg's hair!
  15. Beware! Your bones are going to be disconnected.
  16. How can you use my intestines as a gift?
  17. This will be of fine service for you, you bag of the scum. I am sure you will not mind that I remove your manhoods and leave them out on the dessert flour for your aunts to eat.
  18. Yah-hah, evil spider woman! I have captured you by the short rabbits and can now deliver you violently to your gynecologist for a thorough extermination.
  19. Greetings, large black person. Let us not forget to form a team up together and go into the country to inflict the pain ofour karate feets on some ass of the giant lizard person.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Scientists find a galaxy joining ours

The party is on!

The International Herald Tribune has this story about stellar interlopers insinuating themselves in "our" Milky Way.

NASA vs Military Over Area 51 Snaps

Call it Paradise Ranch, Watertown Strip, Area 51, Dreamland, or Area S1, the no-longer so top-secret US military (aircraft?) research and development facility at Groom Lake, Nevada, has long been the subject of much popular conjecture, debate, Hollywood fancy and documentary, and tin-hat conspiracy talk of UFOs, aliens, hypersonic air travel, genetic experiment, time travel etc.

In the 1970s, NASA astronauts inadvertantly photographed the facility that doesn't exist from the SkyLab space station.

It had previously been agreed that the CIA-run National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC) would review all photographs of earth taken by astronauts (the agreement is still confidential today so no word on whether this includes astronauts' family and holiday snaps....) but Groom Lake was then (and probably still is) so secret that even those working at NPIC didn't have the clearance required to know anything about most of the things going on at the facility.

"There was a certain irony in NPIC photo-interpreters discovering photographs of Groom Lake, because even within NPIC’s Building 303 Groom Lake was classified. Images of Groom were removed from rolls of spy satellite film and stored in a restrictive vault."

As a result of Groom Lake's classification and the fact that NASA only had a relatively loose relationship with the military, quite an interesting story transpired and it is now told for the first time.

As the article points out, Groom Lake was not completely secret, especially to astronauts, who were all Air Force pilots and, flying out of Nellis AFB, knew all about both the existence of Groom Lake and that flying within its airspace was expressly verboten.

The article poses an interesting question: if the astronauts knew the facility existed, knew how secret it was, and KNEW they were not supposed to photograph it, why did they do so?

The logical conclusion could be that something made it interesting enough to risk doing...

Victims' Genes to Squeal to the Pigs?

Forensic pathologists may soon have a further option when they need to determine cause of death - even in the case of unnatural, traumatic death.

A study by a research team in Japan showed that the genes in subject mice offered evidence of the cause of death in these specific instances.

Unfortunately for the poor mice concerned, "Kazuya Ikematsu and his colleagues anaesthetized and then killed two small groups of mice, by either strangulation with a string, or by decapitation."

Ain't science grand?

Most excellently observed, my good man!

In the /. thread on "Mysterious MilkyWay Warp Finally Explained?", there is this most excellent little bit, including one my favourite phrases this year, "These two statements illustrate a profound lack of understanding of both special and general relativity."

I think it's time for "Jerry Springer Metaphysics - When Mind Over Matter Goes Bad!!"

White Trash Country Boffkin 1: Gonna stop right there for a second, the bold type was added by me for this reason... How can you -estimate- a constant, since that number is one of the multipliers in your equation, if even one number is off it completely changes everything about your answer.

White Trash Boffkin 2: You mean to tell me that unless I use the exact value of pi, I cannot perform any sophsticated calculations involving circles, spheres, toroids, etc without "completely changing the answer"?

White Trash Boffkin 1: It is imperative that you end your acoustic output!

White Trash Boffkin 2: Direct your orally expressed systematic and symbolic representation of thoughts at the hand!!!

Crowd: WOO! WOO! WOO!! WOO!!!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

This Whole Bird Flu Thing is So Retarded!

Over twenty years ago, when I was about eight years old, I used to keep racing pigeons.

Over twenty years ago, when I was about eight years old, I was aware of the health risks of working closely with birds and ingesting dust and other "stuff" from feathers and bird droppings.

Over twenty years ago, when I was about eight years old, I knew it was not safe to breath these things in, to work too closely with birds without any respiratory protection.

Over twenty years ago, when I was about eight years old, I knew that humans could contract some pretty nasty diseases from birds.

Over twenty years ago, when I was about eight years old, I knew all of this.

Over twenty years later, when I am thirty-eight years young, we have enjoyed a SARS outbreak that nearly caused panic around the world.

Over twenty years later, when I am thirty-eight years young, we have had several years of worrying signs of an existing threat from several strains of avian flu.

Over twenty years later, when I am thirty-eight years young, we have had several years of concern about potential mutation of H5N1.

Over twenty years later, when I am thirty-eight years young, we have suffered the illness and deaths of dozens of people who worked closely with poultry in Asia.

Over twenty years later, when I am thirty-eight years young, we have seen avian flu spreading Westwards from Asia into the fringes of Europe.

Over twenty years later, when I am thirty-eight years young, WE KNOW DAMN WELL that it is INCREDIBLY DANGEROUS TO WORK CLOSELY with poultry.

Over twenty years later, when I am thirty-eight years young, humans are displaying how incredibly retarded and ignorant they can be.

Over twenty years AFTER I KNEW IT WAS A RISK TO MY HEALTH TO WORK CLOSELY WITH BIRDS, when I am thirty-eight years young, we have several dead children and 14 human cases of avian flu infection in Turkey.

And this comes after months and months of illness, infection, health worries and culling of birds in Asia, as well as headline warnings about an impending pandemic?

Well I'm sorry. How many clear signs do humans need? This is the most retarded state of affairs I have seen in a long time.

And considering the state of the world and the behaviour or human beings in recent times, I think that's saying something, don't you?

Liz: Hurley to buy wedding dress at Debenhams

Why the hell does this story get top billing in the UK's Daily Mail? Much like bunjee jumping and Big Brother, I insist that this should be used to identify candidates for post-natal abortion.

If the think your newspaper should be leading with a story on Liz Hurley's planned wedding dress, you get a bullet. If you BUY the Daily Mail BECAUSE it carries this crap, you get two bullets in your knees first.

If you follow Big Brother, you get the bullet. Or a ball-peen hammer in the forehead. Whatever takes my fancy at the time.

World of Warcraft - The Internet is for porn

The kids are at it again. Human creativity and ingenuity really know no bounds. This is a movie made from grabbing video from the World of Warcraft computer game and editing it together with music to produce a broadway style musical.

Watch the streaming video here or download the file from FilePlanet

Monday, January 09, 2006

Using Gmail to search Bit Torrent files

Sniptools has a great little tip.

Pete Burns: Sir Lost the Plot Alot?

You spin my stomach ‘round, baby
Right ‘round like a record, baby
Right ‘round, ‘round, ‘round,

Has Pete Burns completely lost plot? Have I just a completely stupid question?

Pete's been under the knife quite a bit and I certainly wouldn't want to be the person of whom he asks, "How do I look? Seriously, how do I look?"

Apparently, this is completely normal. After all, as Pete says,

"If you own a car, you change that every few years, and that's just what I'm doing with my appearance."

Pete, listen to your mother, will you?

Meanwhile, the UK's Big Brother tv show appears to be trying its damndest to show how utterly retarded millions of people can be. Who gives a flying attempt at coitus with a rolling donut about Barrymore's snoring?

I really need to start a campaign in support of post natal abortion. Freedom of choice. My choice of who deserves to continue this life in this plane.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Utah Theater Cancels 'Brokeback Mountain'

Is it really possible for almost an entire country to be so fearful for its own sexuality? God Bless America. Land of the Free, Home of the Brave, indeed....

Me? I'm not gay but I LOVE gay men. Leaves more women for me!!!