March, 2002

Saturday, March 30, 2002

Tests show no screening improvements post-Sept. 11 - "Indeed, security might even have gotten worse after the terrorist attacks."

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Why No Inflation? Gophers! - "An Economist Drowned While Crossing A River That Was An Average of 3 1/2 Feet Deep"

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Insurance and Nakedness - "Attempting to write insurance for something cyclical is not insurance. It's guaranteed losses at some point, the only question is when."

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N.J. judge orders counties to release detainees' names - "The government claims keeping the names secret is a matter of national security because terrorist groups don't know whether any of their members are in custody in the United States." - People smart enough to evade the national security apparatus of the United States for a year and engineer the 9/11 attacks are too dumb to realize that the sudden lack of communication might mean something is amiss? Maybe the authors wrote "terrorist groups" when they meant to say "we".

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Friday, March 29, 2002

Journalistic Pivot Points - "I was blogging a session on wireless technology..."

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Arabs Back Overture to Israel and Declare Support for Iraq - "Even so, the Arabic version of the initiative contained at least one key religious note. It used a Koranic reference in asking the Israelis to gamble on peace, employing a rare formal Arabic word suggesting that they 'incline' themselves toward peace. The same verb appears in a verse in the Koran that mandates that Arabs make peace if they see that tendency in an enemy. Roughly translated, the verse in the chapter titled 'The Spoils of War' reads, 'If the enemy incline toward peace, do thou also incline toward peace, and trust in Allah.'"

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1024-bit RSA keys in danger of compromise - "Even under the most optimistic estimates forpresent-day PKI adoption, the inescapable conclusion is that the NSA, its major foreign intelligence counterparts, and any foreign commercialcompetitors provided with commercial intelligence by their nationalintelligence services have the ability to break on demand any and all1024-bit public keys."

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Wednesday, March 27, 2002

The Space Elevator Comes Closer to Reality - "Given the far stronger-than-steel ribbon of carbon nanotubes, a space elevator could be up within a decade."

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Financial adviser fired over Enron advice

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Saudi prince offers Israel land-for-peace deal - "The thing is, that life in the Middle East has taught us to be extremely skeptical and extremely wary of these kind of declarations until they are actually delivered in the Arabic language."

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Sunday, March 24, 2002

Fuel Cells That Fit in a Laptop - "There is no way hydrogen is ever going to be allowed aboard an airplane"

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Steve Zellers - "Unix people will defend this behavior saying that its correct and that the Mac way is an aberration - that they meant for a new file to be created. Perhaps, but I would submit its because they never had a system that cared about the integrety of their data before."

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Saturday, March 23, 2002

A revealing innovation - "But frequent flyers -- especially those who've yet to have children -- might want to do a little research. As for the fans of the latest indignity to be visited upon air travelers ... well ... let's see them volunteer their teenage daughters as guinea pigs."

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Thursday, March 21, 2002

Iran - a Land of Paradoxes - "Because elections to the Majlis (Parliament) and the Presidency are contested, they are meaningful. It is, for example, clear that President Khattami was elected with the support of women and younger people, and the 'establishment' candidate was not elected. There is nothing like this in any Arab country: In Egypt or Syria (just as in Belarus) there is virtually only one candidate, and he receives between 97-98% of the vote."

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Feds to Question 3,000 Foreigners on Terrorism - "Zogby said law enforcement personnel, from local police to FBI (news - web sites) agents, have told the institute they are reluctant to undertake this program, as it diverts them from pursuing actual leads in the Sept. 11 attacks and erodes trust in communities that police have worked hard to build."

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Wednesday, March 20, 2002

Company Town Keeps Indians at Home - "The government of Andhra Pradesh, the state in which Hyderabad is the capital, has taken a portion of Catalytic's stock in lieu of the land it has given to the New Oroville project."

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He's Got Mail - "One recent academic study of this trend, called Internet -- Flagship of Global English?, concludes that the Internet will cement the role of English as universal lingua franca. The study was carried out at the University of Lecce, in Italy, and the results were posted in English."

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Tuesday, March 19, 2002

The Cheney Tour: A Confrontation of Fears - "Sept. 11 was a terrible day for the United States, but it did not threaten the very fabric of American society. Fifty September 11ths would not do that. But were al Qaeda to acquire nuclear, biological or chemical weapons and the ability to use them effectively, then that social fabric could indeed be threatened."

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Monday, March 18, 2002

Anthrax attacks - "This is the first time genomic analysis has been used for microbial forensics..."

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The Fast Track Trade Jihad - "There's a horrific weirdness in hearing both Zoellick and an unforgivable number of European Leftists (friends who should know better) calling the twin towers symbols of American capitalism.Excuse me, but until I began scribbling for The Observer, I worked on Floor 50 of the North Tower - which stood, among New Yorkers, as a symbol of American socialism. These government-owned skyscrapers housed the Port Authority, proprietor of subways, bridges and more, America's first line of defense against the privatization crusade sweeping the rest of the planet."

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Sunday, March 17, 2002

GATS GOT HIS TONGUE - "How convenient for embattled chief executives: what elected Congress and Parliaments dare not do, GATS would require."

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American International Group - "AIG's proxy gives its home as a Bermuda post-office box, yet according to the company's thin file in Bermuda's registry, the true home is another box, this time in Panama. In other words, the ownership structure of America's second-largest financial institution is, for all practical purposes, immune to many aspects of American law and taxation."

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Saudi police 'stopped' fire rescue - "Lives could have been saved had they not been stopped by members of the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice"

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Hate Club: Al-Qaeda's Web of Terror - "For the past decade, globalization has been understood as an economic process, rooted in the trade of goods and services. But the defining characteristic of our new world is not the movement of products or money but of people."

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Have iPod, Will Secretly Bootleg - "Ironically, Microsoft has pioneered an easy-to-use installation scheme on the Mac that makes its Mac software relatively easy to pilfer."

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Saturday, March 16, 2002

A Life Revealed - "It is the ongoing tragedy of Afghanistan. Invasion. Resistance. Invasion."

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Friday, March 15, 2002

Entertainment Execs, Fear Not the Net - "One can also understand why they might dislike copyright-protected CDs that won't play on computers. When was the last time a Recording Industry Assn. of America official actually set foot in a college dorm?"

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Monkey Moves Cursor by Thinking

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Tuesday, March 12, 2002

More Israeli Jews favor transfer of Palestinians, Israeli Arabs - poll finds - "Israeli-Arabs pose a threat to Israel's security, according to 61 percent of the Jewish population, while around 80 percent are opposed to Israeli-Arabs being involved in important decisions, such as delineating the country's borders, up from 75 percent last year and 67 percent in 2000."

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Monday, March 11, 2002

Extreme Programming vs. Interaction Design - "Cooper: It's my experience that neither users nor customers can articulate what it is they want, nor can they evaluate it when they see it." - for once I'd like to see Alan Cooper say something other than 'I'm smarter than you or your programmers or your customers and I know what you want better than you do, so hire me.'

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Sunday, March 10, 2002

A Foul Wind - "Some in Israel and in the American Jewish right argue that it is already a war of civilizations and that the only thing to do is kill Palestinians until they say 'uncle.' That is called 'realism.' Well, let me tell you something else that is real: If this uncompromising view becomes dominant in Israel and among American Jews, then cash in your Israel Bonds right now - the country is doomed. Because there are so many more Muslims than Jews to be killed, and weapons of mass destruction are becoming so much smaller and so much cheaper, it won't be long before the student in my Egyptian friend's story gets one of his eight bombs and wipes Israel off the map. Is that real enough for you?"

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Why grammar is the First Casualty of War. Terry Jones - "What's more, terrorists - unlike a country - won't keep still in one place so you can bomb them. They have this annoying habit of moving around, sometimes even going abroad. It's all very un-American (apart from the training, that is)."

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Federal Rx: Marijuana - "Recent polls indicate 70 to 80 percent of the public approves of medical marijuana. Yet when decriminalization advocates push for reform, the government counters that there isn't enough research to warrant the reclassification of a potentially dangerous drug. This call for evidence operates in a circular way; the drug laws have prevented the accumulation of much data. Legitimate scientists who seek to perform controlled studies on cannabis face a daunting bureaucratic gauntlet. Additionally, officials have repeatedly ignored the findings of their own commissioned research panels, which argue that marijuana is a relatively safe substance and has medical applications."

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The most feared woman on the Internet - "Whoever she is, one thing that we know for sure about Netochka is that she will not be denied." - disclosure: I may know something about this (and if I do I'm not telling)

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Ignorance is not bliss / Lack of reporting civilian casualties from the war in Afghanistan is keeping Americans in the dark -- and endangering their future - "Whether such misinformation stems from Pentagon pressure, fear of offending advertisers or shabby journalism is largely irrelevant. The effect is the same: Warfare is presented as light entertainment."

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Waiting for Wi-Fi - "The answer is less about technology than the shifting flows of capital in the 21st century. The wireless Internet won't be rolled out telecom-style, like DSL or cable modems. In the wake of embarrassing failures to create top-down networks, it will be built from the ground up, by a patchwork quilt of players. Imagine the gradual knitting together of cellular roaming service in the '90s, but with 10,000 antenna owners rather than 10 giant carriers."

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Friday, March 08, 2002

A 'disconnect' with the U.S. troubles Americans abroad - "I can't say it's anti-American sentiment. What I sense is an anti-military sentiment. These are people who don't agree with a military response in general."

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The Iraq Hawks - "We'll equip a thousand fighters and arm them with ninety-seven million dollars' worth of AK-47s and insert them into Iraq. And what will we have? A Bay of Goats, most likely."

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Thursday, March 07, 2002

How VCs are hurting, not helping

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After Four Mothers, the Seventh Day arrives - "Members of the movement have come out openly against the group of reserve officers who refuse to serve in the territories and against left-wing activists who see the only key in dialogue with the other side. Antebi says that neither the Lebanese nor the Palestinians, but only the Israelis themselves, can decide on the nature of Israeli society."

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Tuesday, March 05, 2002

Removing IE would kill Win2k, WinXP, MS, says Redmond - "Also, note what Shane has to say about web view and active desktop being unavailable after IE's fully removed: 'HELLO!!!!! You just removed IE!!! Thats the whole point!!!!!'"

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Monday, March 04, 2002

The French Have a Word for It: Hacking - "Isn't the movie industry unintentionally abetting a culture of digital lawlessness? By allowing, even forcing, customers to defeat the DVD zoning scheme through technical tricks, movie studios are sowing the seeds of more pervasive and damaging behavior in the future. "

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Threat to 'Net - "There would be a potential for an AOL usage [of multimedia instant messaging] to either swamp out the rest of the Internet or to require major engineering to stop what we call a congestion collapse, where you cannot send new traffic into the network"

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The Universe is turquoise, say astronomers - "Glazebrook believes star formation peaked one to two million years after the Big Bang."

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Virus Writers Here to 'Help' - "But there's a definite and growing attitude amongst some of my colleagues in other countries that in the U.S., the big corporations write the laws.... The arrest of that Russian programmer last summer certainly didn't help foster a feeling of confidence in our legal system in other countries."

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Doubts cloud US Taliban case - "There are plenty of bad journalists out there - and if it becomes a precedent that the FBI uses television reports to convict people, God help us all."

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The Wrong Stuff - "When those customs and values conflict with ones that our Constitution is based on, and that women and men in uniform died for in the past, that is where you draw the line."

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Space rock hurtles past Earth - "the only other known object that will come closer to the Earth is an asteroid called 1999 AN10, which will pass a shade closer on 7 August, 2027. "

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Sunday, March 03, 2002

Liberals, report to re-education - "Until now, I had operated under the delusion that we liberals had something to add to the great debate that helps guide this country. I had no idea that only the fear of execution was keeping me in line."

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The wisdom of Ann Coulter - "My libertarian friends are probably getting a little upset now but I think that's because they never appreciate the benefits of local fascism."

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A Boy Genius? Mother Admits Faking Tests - "Other experts in child development said the results of intelligence tests given when a child was emotionally upset had little meaning."

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What's That Rumble in Venture Capital Funds? - "Litigation is only the most public form of contention between general and limited partners. Many limited partners are prodding general partners to release them from some share of their pledged commitments, cajoling them to reduce management fees and, with increasing frequency and sometimes with desperation, unloading their venture stakes at discounts in a bustling secondary market."

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U.S. to Weigh Computer Chip Implant - "The chip has drawn attention from several religious groups."

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Saturday, March 02, 2002

Terry Jones: OK, George, make with the friendly bombs - "It is conceivable that the bombing of Dublin might have provoked some sort of protest, even if just from James Joyce fans, and there is at least some likelihood of increased anti-British sentiment in what remained of the city and thus a rise in the numbers of potential terrorists. But this, in itself, would have justified the tactic of bombing them in the first place. We would have nipped them in the bud, so to speak. I hope you follow the argument. "

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America and Anti-Americans - "However, even if that settlement were arrived at tomorrow, anti- Americanism would probably not abate. It has become too useful a smokescreen for Muslim nations' many defects - their corruption, their incompetence, their oppression of their citizens, their economic, scientific and cultural stagnation. America-hating has become a badge of identity, making possible a chest- beating, flag-burning rhetoric of word and deed that makes men feel good."

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EFF Media Release: Norway Teen Prosecuted for DVD Workaround - "the Norwegian government yesterday indicted teenager Jon Johansen for his role in creating software that permits DVD owners to view DVDs on players that are not approved by the entertainment industry"

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Too late to stop the hangman? - "In plain language, it means there may be eye witnesses to a murder discovered after a trial, who were never heard by a jury, who can attest to a person's innocence. But if for some reason the defense overlooked them or failed to call them at the trial, the person should die anyway."

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