October, 2002

Thursday, October 31, 2002

Attention, Cows: Please Speak Into the Microphone - "These ultra-hi-fi recordings have helped reveal that the meaning of animal language is often generated not by the sounds themselves but rather by the way those sounds are modulated. A second of whale song, for example, contains thousands of Morse-code-like beats that whales use to communicate. And many birds seem to have a vocabulary of basically one call, which takes on different meanings based on its frequency or volume."

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Dan Gillmor Shares His 'Insider's View' of Silicon Valley - "But every bubble -- every boom -- brings out the financial sharks. It comes with the territory. This one also brought out the ideologues in politics, funded by the sharks. The result was massive deregulation, which was in general a good idea, accompanied by a deliberate campaign to stop watching for bad behavior."

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They All Want a Piece of Bill Gross - "The investors hired an aggressive Los Angeles public-relations firm to step up the pressure on Gross, and the allegations, along with his cursory denials, were widely reported, particularly in the local press."

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Dead But Awake: Is It Possible? - "Evidence includes patients recognizing hospital staff they had never met but who helped during their resuscitation. Others have recalled conversations between doctors."

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Wednesday, October 30, 2002

Photo project aims for entire coast - "'dozens' of violations of the California Coastal Act"

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Israel's Coalition Government on Brink of Breaking Apart - "But the poll also pointed to public resentment of perceived budgetary favoritism toward settlers, with 63 percent describing as unjust the amount of money spent on settlements rather than poor towns. A separate poll published by Yedioth on Monday found that 78 percent of Israelis think the overwhelming majority of settlements should be dismantled as part of a broad agreement with the Palestinians."

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Tuesday, October 29, 2002

A New View of Our Universe: Only One of Many - "I don't believe, but I think it's part of science to find out."

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Introducing Harmony 2

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Cereal freebies proliferating with snap, crackle, pop - "According to a press release, Covey invites us 'to make a habit of personal self-renewal by not only eating a healthy breakfast, but regularly feeding the mind, heart and spirit with powerful audiobooks.' People who eat Basic 4 don't need to hear this book. Those burdened with the 77 habits of highly ineffective people are reading newspaper comics while munching out on Count Chocula."

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Want Bills by Snail Mail? It Might Cost You Money - "The charges for bills are rarely made across the board, with companies tending to aim at certain groups, like people who are technology savvy or their least profitable customers."

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Monday, October 28, 2002

Q & A / Kevin Mitnick - "I had a Motorola cell phone and wanted to pull it apart and see if there were any vulnerabilities. I decided to get the source code. Companies consider that code very valuable. You can't just buy it. It's proprietary. As I walked home, I called the Motorola 1-800 number, and by the time I finished my 20 minute walk home, I had the source code by simply using the telephone and gift of gab. You have to think about how much money and high tech security that Motorola had used to protect that code."

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How Internet Time's Fifteen Minutes Of Fame Ran Out - "'Internet Time,' said Mr. Paquin, was something that Netscape marketers began offering as a window into the company and its new world. People ate it up. It may have been one of the first instances of a tech company marketing a form of Internet Exceptionalism. That's the notion that the Internet is a wholly new place where none of the old rules apply. That idea, of course, became the central tenet of the subsequent Internet bubble, and eventually ended up costing a lot of people a lot of money."

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U.S. diplomat gunned down in Jordan

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Gene tweaking safely doubles lifespan - "When one looks for evidence of trade-offs, fertility is one of the things involved, but it's not the only one."

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Astronomer sees black hole eat star

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Israel bans new West Bank wells - "Many villages, some 30% of which have never been connected to the water network, usually have to take drinking water from ground resources"

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Sunday, October 27, 2002

Hasta La Vista, Titanium - "LiquidMetal behaves like plastic at certain temperatures"

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Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Iraq - "In a society governed by fear" - Iraq! The Movie Preview!

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Say Hello to Sanjeep, Er, Sam - "The American client who took the issue to the top brass, told us that a word like 'intimate' was unacceptable as it meant something on the lines of intimacy. Since Indians speak English the way Britishers do, we use a few expressions that common Americans normally don't."

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Penny Arcade reviews "The Ring".

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How two women gave birth to twin brothers fathered by the same man

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Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Google sued over site ranking

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Universe is 'doomed to collapse'

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Earth's little brother found - "In 550AD, and again in 2600AD and 3880AD, for a while it will become a true satellite of our planet, in effect Earth's second moon, although technically it will remain under the gravitational control of the Sun."

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Accounting in the Age of Moore's Law - "Instead, this style -- which is the approach that drives the Internet -- assumes the intelligence on the ends of the network, in my phone and yours. One result is that users can finance new entrants into this kind of telecommunications market, by buying intelligent phone-like devices, in much the way they've financed the progress in the computer industry over the past two decades by buying personal computers. New phone companies don't need to raise risk capital and invest billions of dollars in central office switches to compete with AT&T."

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A deliberate strategy - "There is also the problem of Israeli humanitarian gestures toward the Palestinian population. Here, too, there is a vicious cycle. The Palestinians complain about their economic plight and pressure is brought to bear on Israel, which then allows more Palestinians to work here. This is better for the civilian population.The terrorists also know that there is a cycle here; they are awaiting the next phase - and the chance to strike again."

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Monday, October 21, 2002

[Taco Bell] offers free food to America if cove target hit - "If Bonds, or any other player from the Giants or the Anaheim Angels, hits the floating target with a home run ball, everyone in America is entitled to a free taco" - Make a Home Run for the Border!

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For Richer - "Median family income has risen only about 0.5 percent per year -- and as far as we can tell from somewhat unreliable data, just about all of that increase was due to wives working longer hours, with little or no gain in real wages."

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Friday, October 18, 2002

Campus Hypocrisy - "by around the year 2010 there will be more Palestinians than Jews living in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza combined. When that happens, the demand of the college anti-Israel movements will change."

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Thursday, October 17, 2002

Dan Savage: Say "YES" to War on Iraq, Liberals Against Liberation - "These developments -- a Republican administration recognizing that support for dictators in Third World countries is a losing proposition; a commitment to post-WWII-style nation-building in Iraq -- are terrific news for people who care about human rights, freedom, and democracy. They also represent an enormous moral victory for the American left, which has long argued that our support for 'friendly' dictators around the world was immoral."

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Milky Way's giant black hole pinned down - "S2 orbits Sagittarius A* every 15.6 years at a distance of between 17 light hours and five light days. The orbit and estimated mass of the star allow researchers to calculate that the Milky Way's black hole has a mass 3.7 million times that of our Sun. The black hole's Schwarzschild radius, equivalent to the 'size' of its event horizon, was found to be 11 times the radius of the Sun at 7.7 million kilometres."

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AAA pulls its support for traffic cameras - "There have been studies that show that red-light cameras can cause an increase of rear-end accidents, but there aren't any hard numbers yet."

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Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Star in galactic heart confirms central black hole - SGR A*, which we already knew about. But this does give a better picture of the size.

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The deflation danger - "Optimists argue that deflation is much less likely today than in the 1930s because services now account for a bigger slice of the economy."

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Woolf warns government over human rights - "It does not require this country to tie its hands behind its back in the face of aggression, terrorism or violent crime. It does, however, reduce the risk of our committing an 'own goal'. In defending democracy, we must not forget the need to observe the values which make democracy worth defending."

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Tuesday, October 15, 2002

New planet's trail could signal life in space - or not, but the planet is 25 light years away.

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Monday, October 14, 2002

States Consider Laws Against Paternity Fraud - "In Michigan, as in most other states, the children born during a marriage are the legal responsibility of the husband."

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A Telecom Boomtown Looks Like Ghost Town - "Others disagree. The problem in the Dulles Corridor, they say, is not so much big floor plates and other design features that are turning off would-be tenants, but that there are exceptionally few would-be tenants out there."

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Led Zeppelin to tour again

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Friday, October 11, 2002

Thanks to Mike Masnick for helping me verify this site works with the T-Mobile Sidekick. If you're interested in business trends and issues in the tech sector I highly recommend his [company's] site, tech dirt.

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Debt and deflation - "As house prices have risen, many countries, including America and Britain, have seen record levels of mortgage-equity withdrawal"

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Thursday, October 10, 2002

Unraveling the Venture Capitalist Veneer - "Sacks blames idealistic economic theorists for the misleading anybody-can-do-it rhetoric surrounding venture capital. The venture capitalists he interviewed were open about how they did their work and acknowledged the shortcomings of the system."

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Users don't want Passport or Liberty

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Generation Wrecked - "college may have been a bad investment"

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John Robb talks about modems, broadband, and their impact - "So, what does this mean? It means we are back to the days of online services that use desktop software to augment experiences for end-users."

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Wednesday, October 09, 2002

TiVo, We Hardly Knew Ye - Sorry fans, but it's destined for the ash heap of history - "first-mover disadvantage"

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When Playboy was hot - "Sure, the reason most of us started reading Playboy was for the girls. But when the history of American magazines is written, people who said 'I read it for the articles' will have the last laugh. As will Hugh Hefner, who told a reunion of Playmates in 1979, 'Without you, I'd be the publisher of a literary magazine.'"

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Tuesday, October 08, 2002

In praise of evolvable formats - "RSS 0.9x and 2.0 are the Whoopee Cushion and Joy Buzzer of syndication formats. For anyone who has tried to accomplish anything serious with metadata, it's pretty obvious that of the various implementations of a worldwide syndication format, we have the worst one possible. Except, of course, for all the others."

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Camera Zapper - "Laser pointers represent a case study of what happens when technological advancement and high volume production reduce costs so much that a product simply happens, regardless of need or utility."

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800-Mile-Wide "Object" Found in Solar System - "A reasonable estimate is that there are about 900 planets. All but eight of them are out there [in the Kuiper belt]"

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Monday, October 07, 2002

Interview / Vicious circles closing in - "What will have to be done, the day after Saddam is gone, to make the distinction between merely switching Iraqi regimes and starting something completely new and democratic?"

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Sunday, October 06, 2002

The Free-Trade Fix - "One prominent antiglobalization report keeps referring to farms like G -- mez's as 'small-scale, diversified, self-reliant, community-based agriculture systems.' You could call them that, I guess; you could also use words like 'malnourished,' 'undereducated' and 'miserable' to describe their inhabitants. Rosenzweig is right -- this is not a life to be romanticized. But to turn the farm families' malnutrition into starvation makes no sense. Mexico spends foreign exchange to buy corn. Instead, it could be spending money to bring farmers irrigation, technical help and credit."

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Saturday, October 05, 2002

Welcome to Feedback Universe - "In the classic, simpleminded explanation, sleep is merely the tired brain recharging its batteries. But brain scans show just the opposite: The sleeping brain is a whirlwind of activity."

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Friday, October 04, 2002

Behind the High-Speed Slowdown - "In large part, it's a contrived slowdown, in which the providers of fast Net access have tested the elasticity of demand by raising prices until consumers balk."

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Thursday, October 03, 2002

Going to the Top for Help - "It usually starts off with them having done no research"

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Wednesday, October 02, 2002

Apple stands firm against entertainment cartel - "Unlike Intel and AMD, the big chip makers for Windows-based computers, Apple hasn't announced plans to put technology into hardware that could end up restricting what customers do with the products they buy."

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RIAA Sues Radio Stations For Giving Away Free Music - (The Onion)

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Tuesday, October 01, 2002

First Blood is Spilled at Record Industry Hearings - "Senators on the panel made it clear that Big Brother peeking in their financial records was probably going to make everybody miserable. But the tone was clear: unless the majors labels come up with a system, whereby they agree to a penalty for under-reporting royalties, then the Senators are likely to introduce a bill making the collection of royalties, especially overseas royalties, a fiduciary duty."

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Coming soon: hiptop.com - "Hiplogs Online Journals - It's your chance to be a star! You and your trusty T-Mobile Sidekick, that is. Share your deepest thoughts or wildest whims online with a public journal you can update on the go!" - Danger gets it. The marketing copy may be silling, but having the capability to write to a weblog while on the go is very cool.

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Salman Rushdie interview: A New York state of mind - "If you think about Beirut in the 1950s it was a fantastically open, cultured city. So was Damascus. So was Kabul. So was Tehran. These were all places which had come a long way. And now they seem to have slid back from that moment to something much less likable. And I've tried to say that these are questions which Muslim societies really need to ask themselves."

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Reagan lobbies for stem cell research

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Contact lenses 'boost sexual success'

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