November, 2002

Friday, November 29, 2002

Big Planets Form in Hundreds of Years, Not Millions

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Thursday, November 28, 2002

New York city - "Less welcome is a dangerous tendency to exaggerate the impact of the World Trade Centre attack, and to ignore long-term imbalances in the budget. Despite all the bad news, neither the national nor the local economy is doing particularly badly. The city's unemployment rate remains below 8%, less than it was five years ago. The current crunch is the product not of the economy, but of poor political decisions."

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Enron a year on - "The bursting of the stockmarket bubble showed that their pursuit of safe, double-digit real returns was illusory"

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Wednesday, November 27, 2002

No More Fanaticism as Usual - "As their ancient, deeply civilized culture of love, art and philosophical reflection is hijacked by paranoiacs, racists, liars, male supremacists, tyrants, fanatics and violence junkies, why are they not screaming?"

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Throttled at birth - "the particular benefit of throttling is that it alerts people to an attack. When a virus infects a computer with a throttle, a huge backlog of requests develops within a few seconds. This is easy to detect, and once detected, human intervention becomes possible."

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If TiVo Thinks You Are Gay, Here's How to Set It Straight - "He mentioned his TiVo tussle to a friend, who told an executive at CBS's 'The King of Queens,' who then wrote an episode with a My-TiVo-thinks-I'm-gay subplot." - paging Douglas Hofstadter!

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Surviving The Perfect IT Storm - "They're going to have to become extremely customer focused. Up till now, they've been insular -- inwardly focused. The era of customer-centric thinking and good communication skills will be a requirement for the new world order. Companies just won't need an army of people maintaining databases."

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Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Parents Abuse Kids' Good Credit - "Last year, the Federal Trade Commission says, 6 percent of the 86,168 people who reported identity theft to the agency said a family member was responsible. Joanna Crane, an attorney who manages the FTC's identity theft program, says those figures are 'only the tip of the iceberg,' since many cases go unreported or are reported directly to credit providers."

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Throwing Einstein for a Loop - "The universe contains its own observers on the inside, represented as nodes in the network."

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My Heart on the Line - "Why were I and the other parents at my son's private school so surprised by his choice? During World War II, the sons and daughters of the most powerful and educated families did their bit. If the immorality of the Vietnam War was the only reason those lucky enough to go to college dodged the draft, why did we not encourage our children to volunteer for military service once that war was done?"

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The e-mail scandal - "One legitimate e-mail service says 99 percent of its spam complaints now come from AOL [...] That's because end-users have redefined spam to include 'anything I signed up for that I no longer want.'"

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The Arab vote - "In recent elections, Israel's Arab citizens have increasingly voted for radical Arab candidates - Hadash, the ex-Communist party; the Islamic Movement; Azmi Bishara; and Ahmed Tibi, former advisor to Yasser Arafat. [...] If it was the wish of Israel's Arab citizens to use their electoral franchise in order to attain economic advancement and greater equality in Israel's society, there is no doubt that the MKs elected by them have not advanced their cause."

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Saturday, November 23, 2002

The air industry's worst nightmare - "The low priority placed on protecting commercial jets from shoulder-fired missile attack is eerily similar to the debate over the need to strengthen cockpit doors before 9/11."

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The Economist Worries About Deflation: Archive Entry From Brad DeLong's Webjournal - "Interest rates are set by the ECB on the basis of economic conditions in the whole euro area, and budget deficits are limited by the European Union's stability pact. The risk of deflation may therefore be greater in Germany than in America."

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A lesson in defeating a terrorist - "Yet both government intelligence sources and outside experts say the US stands to benefit from employing the most creative strategies possible. Such steps include military might - like the help of US Special Forces in the Yemen operation. But they also include a variety of other activities aimed at tearing the group apart from within and dissuading new recruits from joining."

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The Apple Falls Close to the Tree - "To take an extreme example, the correlation in incomes between fathers and sons was high in South Africa under apartheid because race is an inherited trait. The abolition of apartheid reduced the correlation. The organization of society matters."

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Technology revolution is no hoax - "In one survey of companies that bought customer relationship management software, two-thirds had not calculated how it had helped the company perform better." - or worse?

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Friday, November 22, 2002

No More Music Piracy, Por Favor - "The RIAA's statement did not include an analysis of the expense of unilaterally ending piracy compared to, say, moving offices or installing double-paned windows."

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I Beg to Differ - "The Islamic laws, so brutally dispensed in various parts of the Muslim world, are from a Semitic book of tribal law we know as the book of Leviticus. In the Christian Bible, this book follows Exodus, and is considered by Christian Fundamentalists, as well as a few other groups, as the actual and unerring words of God ( a.k.a. Allah, Jehovah, YHWH, etc.) The basic moral and ethical codes of each of these groups are quite similar. The difference (and it's a big one) is that western nations are not theocracies anymore"

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Space elevator plan is on the move - "We have also received requests to relocate to several states including Nevada and New Mexico who are putting forth enticing packages."

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Thursday, November 21, 2002

Junk DNA Revisited / Silicon Valley startup claims to have unlocked a key to its hidden language - "In other words, although people are made up of the same basic stuff as other organisms, the instructions for making a person should in theory be more complex, which could account for the large amount of intron DNA found in humans."

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Oscar-Winner James Coburn Dies at 74 - "The last time you saw me I was bald, beard with no mustache, and I had a different nose. So if you don't recognize me, I won't be offended "

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Vaccine sharply cuts cervical cancer risk

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Lying faces - "most research on child maltreatment simply listed all of the problems and deficits these kids have, without acknowledging what may be an adaptive aspect to their behavior."

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Fearing the U.S. -- but hating Saddam more - "But many Iraqis want the U.S. to prove them wrong, because the status quo is intolerable."

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Italian FA calls for six-month Serie A ban - "'The explosion arrived punctually,' he said. 'We have spent a summer making an alibi for ourselves based on the dishonesty of Byron Moreno,' he wrote, referring to the referee who presided over Italy's World Cup exit against South Korea."

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Astronomers Foresee Enormous Collision of Two Black Holes - "Astronomers said the merging of two similar-size galaxies into NGC 6240 was also a prelude to the future of Earth's galaxy, the Milky Way, composed of hundreds of millions of stars, including the Sun. Many scientists believe that most galaxies, including the Milky Way, have giant black holes with the mass of millions of stars at their centers. In about four billion years, astronomers believe, the Milky Way and the nearby Andromeda galaxy will collide and merge, fusing their black holes into one."

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Wednesday, November 20, 2002

B2B or Boom 2 Bust?

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Segway or the highway - "In most cases, bills were introduced that would allow 'Electronic Personal Assistive Mobility Devices' on sidewalks. To many, the NCSL's Savage said, the phrase suggested electric wheelchairs, and people didn't pay attention."

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Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Scientists track runaway black hole - "this is only the second black hole found to be moving at high speed."

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Milky Way's black hole on starvation diet - "The black hole was previously thought to swallow up as much as 10 Earth masses every year. But the new study shows that the hole can only consume less than 0.1 per cent of the Earth's mass per year."

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Quasars put lens on dark energy - "They found their view of about one in every 700 was distorted by a massive intervening object that acts as a gravitational lens."

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What drives gadgets' excessive features? - "Sinking prices on a range of consumer-electronics products, many of which perform all the basic tasks that most consumers demand, are prompting many consumers to 'buy down.'"

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Friday, November 15, 2002

Too Much Ventured Nothing Gained - "Of the $252 billion in venture capital under management, $90 billion sits unspent."

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Calpers told to show returns on venture investments - "The judge's tentative decision also found that the identity and valuation of start-up companies held by the venture capital firms working in partnership with Calpers were trade secrets provided the firms show they have not disclosed the information previously and had a confidentially agreement in place."

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NH inventor Kamen eyes Stirling Engine - "I cannot represent to you that this is done or that it?s doable at no risk . . . but most of the invention that?s required to go from the idea to reality, I believe, we?ve mastered, and we can do this"

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Thursday, November 14, 2002

William Safire (!): You Are a Suspect - "And he has been given a $200 million budget to create computer dossiers on 300 million Americans."

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Microsoft confident in security push - "The bug-collecting software has shown that one percent of application errors are responsible for nearly 50 percent of all crashes. And the top 20 percent of errors account for more than 80 percent of all problems."

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Tuesday, November 12, 2002

The Onion:

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Silicon Valley's Jobless Rate 7.9 Percent - "In contrast to Silicon Valley, other major California urban areas saw their local jobless rates improve last month, helping the state's overall 6.4 percent"

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Election Selection - "if almost any other voting system had been used, history books would refer to President Douglas, not President Lincoln"

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Changing Lines - Paying to skip the queues at theme parks - "A chump free to purchase armloads of food and souvenirs is infinitely preferable to a chump trapped in line. In a happy marriage of commerce and convenience, theme parks started trying to help people get through the lines faster."

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Monday, November 11, 2002

Sea lanes may open as polar cap melts - "there is a Northeast Passage along the upper rim of Siberia that is even more likely to open up than the Northwest Passage"

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Schlotzsky's Warchalks a Stealth Ad Campaign - "Wooley was enthused to find out that customers in Starbucks coffee shops in proximity to a Schlotzsky's have been able to take advantage of the free network instead of paying for the T-Mobile Broadband."

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Sunday, November 10, 2002

ECB needs to act fast before the problems get worse - "the dollar's weakness is, in truth, more a case of euro strength"

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Report delayed on cell phone-related crashes - because we didn't like the answers, so we should manipulate the data until it matches what we want?

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The Importance of Grandma - "The surprising result to us was that if the father was alive or dead didn't matter. If the grandmother dies, you notice it; if the father does, you don't."

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New Theory on Dinosaurs: Multiple Meteorites Did Them In - "Dr. Walter Alvarez, a geologist, said he had considered the possibility of multiple impacts until 1991 and the discovery of the huge Yucat?n crater, which seemed big enough to solve the mystery on its own."

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China's Congress of Crony Capitalists - "Capitalism has to blossom before it can be uprooted. It might be called trickle-down Marxism."

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Friday, November 08, 2002

Hey Mac, Can You Burn a DVD? - "Programmers who claimed to have cracked and copied DVD said that while they felt no guilt about duplicating Hollywood's products, they rarely bothered to spend the two or more hours necessary to do so. 'Dude, it's $12 to buy it ... The soundtrack album is $18. What does that tell you?'"

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Thursday, November 07, 2002

How the world sees Americans

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Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Bubonic plague suspected in NYC visitors - "More than half of the plague cases in the United States are in New Mexico"

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Army Shoots Down Artillery Shell with Laser - "This shootdown shifts the paradigm for defensive capabilities."

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