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

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!!!


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.


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.


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?