February, 2001

Wednesday, February 28, 2001

Silence Of The Lambs: The Election Story Never Told - "The bigger question is not about the putative brilliance of the British press. I'd rather ask how a hundred thousand U.S. journos failed to get the vote theft story and print it (and preferably before the election)."

[bookmark]

USA TODAY: News

[bookmark]

Random House sues e-book company over copyrights - "The lawsuit was filed the same day that New York-based RosettaBooks officially opened its site. The company said the disputed books do not belong to publishers, but rather to the authors, from whom it had secured electronic rights."

[bookmark]

Tuesday, February 27, 2001

Farmers face six months of fear - "burning livestock set the horizon on fire at Heddon-on-the-Wall in Northumberland , near where the foot-and-mouth outbreak is believed to have started"

[bookmark]

Natural Life Cycle of Mailing Lists

[bookmark]

Young entrepreneurs grapple with VC drought - "We always hear the big apples to big oranges comparisons: 'We'll build our product to work 10 times faster than the competitors,' ... Then we say, 'But when can you come out with this product?' They say in two years. Well, what do you think the competitors will have by then?"

[bookmark]

Intel says: Death to the killer app! - "At the GSM conference in Cannes last week, the Vice-President and General Manager of Intel, Hans Geyer flatly stated that the telecoms industry is facing bankruptcy even before the first 3G call is made."

[bookmark]

Gene therapy 'prevents cancer' - "And, significantly, it works as an oral preparation - raising the possibility that it might one day be made available to humans in pill form."

[bookmark]

Monday, February 26, 2001

Why 90 percent of XML standards will fail

[bookmark]

Bush's opening night - "a nation's confidence in its leader -- especially a leader elected under such a cloud -- needs to be built on a stronger foundation than charm."

[bookmark]

Sunday, February 25, 2001

Jonathan Lebed: Stock Manipulator, S.E.C. Nemesis -- and 15 - "I finally came clean with a thought: the S.E.C. let Jonathan Lebed walk away with 500 grand in his pocket because it feared that if it didn't, it would wind up in court and it would lose. And if the law ever declared formally that Jonathan Lebed didn't break it, the S.E.C. would be faced with an impossible situation: millions of small investors plugging their portfolios with abandon, becoming in essence professional financial analysts, generating embarrassing little explosions of unreality in every corner of the capital markets. No central authority could sustain the illusion that stock prices were somehow 'real' or that the market wasn't, for most people, a site of not terribly productive leisure activity. The red dog would be off his leash. I might as well have strolled into the office of the drug czar and lit up a joint."

[bookmark]

Name of the Game - "Is it alarming to anyone else that 'Destiny' is the #24-most popular name for girls?"

[bookmark]

Saturday, February 24, 2001

A Century of Controversy over the Foundations of Mathematics - "The point is this. Normally you think that pure mathematics is static, unchanging, perfect, absolutely correct, absolute truth... Right? Physics may be tentative, but math, things are certain there! Well, it turns out that's not exactly the case."

[bookmark]

Friday, February 23, 2001

Legal Expert Sees Napster Competitors Thriving - "But one legal observer says the federal court's decision is far from a mortal blow to other music file-sharing systems. Indeed, he believes there is a key aspect of the ruling that could give added legal protection to more decentralized file-swapping Internet-based systems, such as Gnutella and its many clones."

[bookmark]

SatireWire: MIT Spam Study Finds Instant Wealth Click Away! - "In all, researchers catalogued 35 million separate pieces of spam for the study, although in the end, only half that number were included in the report. 'We had to go back and exclude about 17 million emails because when we scrolled to the bottom, they specifically noted that they weren't spam,' said Mirren."

[bookmark]

WIPO disgraces itself over CelineDion.com - "This is insane. Any resemblance to objectivity goes out the window as soon as those words appeared."

[bookmark]

Thursday, February 22, 2001

Clarification Page - "This article, by Mr. Kirkpatrick, will be made an example of, for many reasons. First, there are some standard factual fabrications. Next, there is the strangely icky, almost angry tone throughout. Not strange that a journalist might take such a tone, but strange considering the way the piece was proposed."

[bookmark]

Starr Warns White House Against Settling Microsoft Case - "Be rigorous in favor of free markets."

[bookmark]

Study shows asteroids destroyed life on Earth at least twice - "But life did come back, giving rise to the rich collection of animals that thrived during the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. Dinosaurs evolved, as did mammals."

[bookmark]

"Darwin vindicated!" - "Our genes show that scientific creationism cannot be true. The response to all those who thump their bible and say there is no proof, no test and no evidence in support of evolution is, 'The proof is right here, in our genes.'"

[bookmark]

Tuesday, February 20, 2001

VCs turn off the tap on funding - "We wanted this to be a brutal, honest, tough discussion of the bloody carnage that has happened over the last year"

[bookmark]

AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) protocol information and password decoder - "An AIM password must be between 4 and 16 characters. I got this from the AIM "Change your Password" screen. When the AIM client signs on to the authorizer, the encoded password presented is the same length as the decoded form. After a little number crunching, I've found that the hash used to encode the password looks like this:"

[bookmark]

A science fair's teachable moment - "Academic freedom protects scholarly, scientific inquiry, regardless of where that inquiry leads, irrespective of whom it might offend. Grade-school teachers should acquaint themselves with this notion."

[bookmark]

The next big thing? Try 802.11b - "Don't be fooled. The history of technology has proven again and again that if a certain open architecture gains escape velocity there is no turning back."

[bookmark]

Resolving the consultant clash - "Never has incompetence been so richly rewarded"

[bookmark]

Sun flips magnetic field - "Earth's magnetic fields also change places but with much less predictability and frequency. The reversals take place between intervals lasting from 5,000 to 5 million years. The last one happened 740,000 years ago, scientists estimate. Some suggest the planet is overdue for another one. "

[bookmark]

Sunday, February 18, 2001

Petition Filed to Make 'Morning-After' Pill OTC - "A woman certainly doesn't need a doctor to diagnose the fact that she has had unprotected intercourse or to help her take her pills"

[bookmark]

Death stars - "If you contaminate the outer layers of these stars with 10 to 100 Earth masses of heavy material, that would be enough to be seen."

[bookmark]

Friday, February 16, 2001

Pop-Up Windows and Conversion Rates - "I was given the task to increase photo sales and went against everything I believe in and added the pop-up window. I figured I would just take it down when I proved it didn't work. (I walked to my car that night with my head held low in shame). Amazingly, it worked, and better than anyone could have imagined."

[bookmark]

Parkinson's Cure May Be Near

[bookmark]

Web Stock Guru Turns Bullish on Internet - "The difference this time is that Blodget is not alone. In fact, he's not even the first to forecast brighter days."

[bookmark]

Dressing for the downturn - "Back in the 1920s, George Taylor, an economist at the University of Pennsylvania, argued that hemlines on women?s skirts were a useful indicator of economic activity. They moved higher in good times, because women could afford to wear, and show off, expensive silk stockings. In hard times, they moved lower, as modesty required that less expensively clad legs be covered. Sure enough, skirts were short in the roaring twenties, and long in the Great Depression."

[bookmark]

The Secret's Out: Napster and Bertelsmann Finally Reveal Blueprint for New Version of File-Swapping Service - "That second member will have a unique software 'key' that unlocks the encryption and permits the song to be played. And, depending on the type of membership that the second Napster user has paid for, he or she will be able to do other things with the song -- burn it onto a CD, for example."

[bookmark]

Thursday, February 15, 2001

Internet Chokes on Own Growth - "this is no fiber glut. In fact the demand for data transport continues to increase exponentially. It is an economic crisis, where the financial model does not exist for the technology needed to support itself -- at least, not to the point that carriers can continue to deploy facilities at breakneck speed."

[bookmark]

Lighter fuel - "This means the carrier plane and orbiter would be able to take off from a commercial airport--and passengers could sit in comfortable, airliner-style chairs, rather than enduring the rigours of a vertical take-off."

[bookmark]

A smile is just a smile - "You can predict male behaviour from female behaviour but not the other way round"

[bookmark]

Dog road rage suspect in custody

[bookmark]

Amazon one-click patent claim thrown out of court

[bookmark]

Monday, February 12, 2001

I have started WaveLog, a new site dedicated to the wireless internet and associated topics (wireless lans, wireless ethernet, 802.11b, Apple AirPort, fixed wireless, etc.). If you are interested in these topics, please visit wavelog.manilasites.com.

[bookmark]

Spacecraft makes improbable landing on asteroid - "Mission astronomers didn't expect the $225 million orbiter to survive the impact. It was designed to study, not land, on Eros, an oddly shaped rock whose appearance has been likened to everything from a potato to a kidney bean. But somehow against all odds it survived the landing and sent a radio message back home."

[bookmark]

Usability of Email Subject Lines

[bookmark]

Sunday, February 11, 2001

Death Stalks A Continent - "AIDS in Africa bears little resemblance to the American epidemic, limited to specific high-risk groups and brought under control through intensive education, vigorous political action and expensive drug therapy. Here the disease has bred a Darwinian perversion. Society's fittest, not its frailest, are the ones who die--adults spirited away, leaving the old and the children behind. You cannot define risk groups: everyone who is sexually active is at risk. Babies too, unwittingly infected by mothers. Barely a single family remains untouched. Most do not know how or when they caught the virus, many never know they have it, many who do know don't tell anyone as they lie dying. Africa can provide no treatment for those with AIDS."

[bookmark]

The Case Against Non-Compete Clauses - "That seems unlikely, however, because the judge already has denied an earlier motion to dismiss the suit, saying the company's use of a non-compete clause for California workers constitutes an "unfair business practice" under state law."

[bookmark]

WAPsight - The Suicide of the Mobile Internet - "Actually, the very term 'Mobile Internet' is in itself not representative of the actual services offered. 'Mobile Internet' has even a misleading connotation. It surely is not about making the Internet mobile, even though some vendors claim that this is how the Mobile Internet (r)evolution started - enabling wireless access to the Internet."

[bookmark]

Scientists Pickle 40-Foot-Long Giant Squid - "the creature's only predators were sperm whales, which had to take a large breath and dive for up to an hour to catch them"

[bookmark]

APOD: 2001 February 5 - Planetary Nebula Mz3: The Ant Nebula - "Planetary nebula Mz3 is being cast off by a star similar to our Sun that is, surely, round. Why then would the gas that is streaming away create an ant-shaped nebula that is distinctly not round?"

[bookmark]

Drug-resistant HIV is spreading - "We are seeing patients in the clinic who have cycled through all 15 available drugs ... We are seeing drug-resistant strains transmitted to others."

[bookmark]

Pat Schroeder's New Chapter - "The publishing community does not believe that the public should have the same rights in the electronic world"

[bookmark]

Friday, February 09, 2001

'Milestone' Study Challenges Basic Laws of Physics, Universe - "We are now 99-percent sure that the present Standard Model calculations cannot describe our data"

[bookmark]

Alabama Wants Right to Post Ten Commandments - "Alabama is one of the most conservative states in the nation, especially on religion -- public schools are required by law to label science books with stickers questioning the validity of the theory of evolution."

[bookmark]

FBI Goes After Bonsaikitten.com - "They want to be the good guys. They massively run rampant over Americans' liberties but they want to be seen as nice fuzzy guys who want to protect kittens."

[bookmark]

SUN god McNealy dismisses human rights - "McNealy also demonstrated his profound ignorance of national economics by questioning the Federal Reserve's interest-rate hikes in a blunt, binary all-or-nothing fashion."

[bookmark]

Charlotte's Goat - "Nexia is tackling a materials-science conundrum that has stumped even DuPont for 20 years: how to synthesize spider silk. Milking the spiders themselves is out of the question - they're cannibals. 'Put a bunch of them together and soon you end up with one big, fat, happy spider. It's like trying to farm tigers,' says Turner."

[bookmark]

Thursday, February 08, 2001

Fixing The Heart, Hurting The Brain - "Doctors do not know for sure why this mental loss happens, or even whether the operation causes it. For example, it might be that people whose arteries need to be replaced already have damaged blood vessels in their brains as well. The loss might also have something to do with being put on a heart-lung machine, which circulates blood through the patient's body during surgery."

[bookmark]

ISP's safe harbor a little more risky - "It's going to have an absolutely chilling effect on ISPs. ... I don't think the AOLs and Microsofts are very happy with RemarQ today for forcing this issue."

[bookmark]

Lab Rat: Smart technology trounces traders

[bookmark]

Wednesday, February 07, 2001

Poking Holes in the Theory of 'Broken Windows'

[bookmark]

Online Chatters Among Heaviest Web Users

[bookmark]

"Talking" helps computer programs develop better hunting strategies - "Since the predators cannot see each other and do not know each other's location, the predators have to evolve a language that can represent such information. The researchers found that as the size of the language increased, the performance of the predators improved."

[bookmark]

We have lift-off - "All the evidence suggests that the B2C market leaders will end up being the main gainers from the dot.com shakeout."

[bookmark]

Fool.com: The Stupidity of Being a Bull - "Every single case can be convincingly argued, and every single theory can be decidedly debunked. No one will ever really know the true reasons for the economic growth. Stock markets do not behave this way. Bad corporate policy is almost always revealed in the long term. Not immediately, sometimes not for years -- but if a poor decision is not reversed, it eventually flows through to the bottom line of a company and its shareholders."

[bookmark]

Going bananas in pyjamas: Teleworkers do overtime - "Pundits have been talking about the rise of teleworking for over 20 years, but as of yet large scale mobile and teleworkforces have failed to develop."

[bookmark]

Tuesday, February 06, 2001

Ebola fever case feared - "Dr. Douglas MacPherson, a Health Canada infectious-disease specialist who is Hamilton monitoring the situation, said yesterday he didn't know yet how many people were on the plane from Congo to New York nor from New York to Pearson Airport in Toronto."

[bookmark]

Monday, February 05, 2001

The myth of the stupid users - "if you insist on believing the myth of the stupidity of users, then design sites that stupid people can use."

[bookmark]

Are Users Stupid? - "What percentage of the population can we exclude from the new economy?"

[bookmark]

Planet Earth on the move - "Our initial analysis shows that the general problem of long-term planetary engineering is almost alarmingly feasible."

[bookmark]

The Prosecution Unravels: The Case of Wen Ho Lee

[bookmark]

The Making of a Suspect: The Case of Wen Ho Lee

[bookmark]

Computer-mad generation has a memory crash - "A preliminary study of 150 people aged 20 to 35 has shown that more than one in 10 are suffering from severe problems with their memory."

[bookmark]

Friday, February 02, 2001

DEA's Latin drug operation's numbers show discrepancies - "while the DEA claimed $30.2 million in criminal assets were seized during the operation, $30 million of that was taken four weeks before the operation started"

[bookmark]

Sea change - "The vast majority of fresh water is locked in Antarctica and this is the first time we have seen an Antarctic glacier retreating. The concerns for sea level rise are real in that respect."

[bookmark]

Thursday, February 01, 2001

The Five Major Flaws of Link Popularity - "As a measure of quality, rankings improvement, and traffic, link popularity has five major flaws, which explains why search engines can't rely on it too heavily, if at all."

[bookmark]

Secret Cameras Scanned Crowd at Super Bowl for Criminals - "that's what J. Edgar Hoover said when he measured the head shape of criminals to determine the standard appearance of a criminal."

[bookmark]

Number Shows Economy Not Growing

[bookmark]

Assassination rhapsody - "How do we pretend that major news events involving Gates after December 2, 1999 (the date of the assassination) didn't happen? Do we rewrite all of history right up to the present moment? The only way I've been able to deal with the issue is by ignoring it. Next question, please."

[bookmark]

Pirate attacks reach 10-year high

[bookmark]