March, 2006

Friday, March 31, 2006

Chris Pirillo likes 1-800-411-SAVE.

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Col. Lawrence Wilkerson's talk with the New America Foundation: "Well, Saddam Hussein really cared about deterring the Persians - the Iranians - and his own people. He didn't give a hang about us except on occasion. And so he had to convince those audiences that he still was a powerful man. So who better to do that through than the INC, Ahmad Chalabi and his boys, and by spoofing our eyes in the sky and our little HUMINT, and the Brits and the French and the Germans, too."

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VXers add rootkit tech to MyDoom and Bagle: "The development has raised particular concerns because of strong links between Bagle and the operations of numerous botnets, networks of compromised Windows PCs that are often used to either distribute spam or attack other systems."

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Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Man Who Sold the War: "'It was not just bad intelligence -- it was an orchestrated effort,' says Sam Gardner, a retired Air Force colonel who has taught strategy and military operations at the National War College. 'It began before the war, was a major effort during the war and continues as post-conflict distortions.'"

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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Vista saga: an opinion: "Nothing drives faith in the easy answer more than frustration"

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Monday, March 27, 2006

How I Won the War: "I'm no longer on high alert. My condition is not orange, not yellow, not even the blue that America itself hasn't enjoyed in the five years since the fear rainbow was invented. My personal condition is green. Here's hoping all of yours are as well."

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Friday, March 24, 2006

CIRA - News Release - Open letter to ICANN: "While the ICANN Board considers these concerns, and until they are remedied, CIRA will as of this date:

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Will Your Job Survive?: "A study last year by economists J. Bradford Jensen of the Institute for International Economics and Lori Kletzer of the University of California at Santa Cruz demonstrates that it's the more highly skilled service-sector workers who are likely to have tradable jobs."

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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Russell Beattie talks about PayPal Mobile. Am I the only person who remembers that PayPal started as a mobile device service? The first version was a Palm app, early funding from Nokia Ventures, etc. Update: SteveJ remembers.

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Oh Lord... SNAKES ON A PLANE to get crazier and more hard-core because of... us?: "Apparently, New Line has greenlighted a 5 day reshoot for the film... Not because it needed fixing, but to make it MORE hardcore, to take it from PG-13 to an R. In short, to make it as fun as the fans hope it can be, what they wish it could be... They want to fulfill the dream of what SNAKES ON A PLANE starring Sam 'The Man' Jackson can be." -- they've apparently learned the lesson of Kangaroo Jack: if your movie is obviously lame, and the only thing going for it is an animal, you'd better have a lot of that animal.

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Misbehaving players to be crucified in MMORPG: when in Rome...

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Peaked, but not pooped: "They ooze disgust for the mainstream American lifestyle. They hate the package -- the suburbs, the permagreen lawns, the corporate job, the coffee break at starbucks -- all in a visceral fashion. If you're obviously full of contempt for mainstream Americans, they're not going to listen to you, let alone change their behavior. It's as simple as that."

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

I have seen the future - and it's goth: "'Most youth subcultures encourage people to drop out of school and do illegal things,' she says. 'Most goths are well educated, however. They hardly ever drop out and are often the best pupils. The subculture encourages interest in classical education, especially the arts. I'd say goths are more likely to make careers in web design, computer programming ... even journalism.'"

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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Jon seems crazy to be talking to his cat like that.: "if you remove Garfield's thought balloons, it goes from an unfunny comic to a rather sad, poignant story about a lonely man who has wasted his life talking to his cat"

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Get Your Filthy Hands Off My Kernel: "Occasionally, I read a hand-wringing article on gamasutra or elsewhere, lamenting that PC gaming is dying, and wondering why. Allow me to explain why: I am reasonably confident that any random crack written by a Ukrainian hacker, downloaded from gamecopyworld.com is less likely to sabotage my computer than simply installing a game off a storebought CD or DVD."

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Friday, March 10, 2006

Friday cat blogging.

faisal$ cat blogging  
cat: blogging: No such file or directory
faisal$
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Fortress of Cards: The IT Infrastructure of U.S. Homeland Security Might Never Come to Be: "We're busted. But we pretend we're not. We pretend like we have all the money in the world, though not for much longer."

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Three cosmic enigmas, one audacious answer: "This energy is related to the star's size, and for a star as big as our universe the calculated vacuum energy inside its shell matches the value of dark energy seen in the universe today. 'It's like we are living inside a giant dark energy star,' Chapline says. There is, of course, no explanation yet for how a universe-sized star could come into being."

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Thursday, March 09, 2006

Researchers aim to regenerate lost limbs : "The new consortium's five-year goal is to create a fully functioning finger."

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In theory the site feed is now handled via Feedburner. In theory this change is transparent. In theory it all works. If, in practice, the theory is wrong, please let me know.

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Metreon's shattered dreams: "It was a mall. Sony never understood this. Nor did it grasp Bryant's notion of a seamless entertainment-retail experience. Instead, it attempted to package Metreon as a mini-Disneyland, with a handful of attractions and a bunch of ways to spend money."

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In January I got sick of keeping multiple UNIX environments in sync (aren't Macs supposed to reduce my need to ever touch UNIX?) so I hacked up a method for keeping them in sync via Subversion. I've been running it since, and am now making it publicly available to people who love playing with fire. If you're interested:

Sheepdog is a system for managing shell .files across multiple UNIX machines so you can keep a fairly consistent environment (paths, aliases, etc) across all your machines while still keeping machine-specific customizations.

If you try it please drop me a line and let me know how it goes.

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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Jupiter's New Red Spot: "At first, Oval BA remained white - the same color as the storms that combined to create it. But in recent months, things began to change"

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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

My friend Jeanne has created a site with information and resources for women recovering from caesarian sections: www.csectionrecovery.com. If you or someone you know is pregnant, or still recovering from a C-section, check it out.

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Huge Net Capex: One-Time or Permanent?: "Second, is this simply an up-front investment necessary to build out global capabilities, in which case CAPEX will moderate in future years, or has running a global Internet operation become much more expensive?"

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Many human genes evolved recently: "For example, gene variants that improve the digestion of lactose have become more common, presumably since the domestication of cattle provided a ready source of milk. And in some Europeans, genes giving a lighter skin have increased in frequency, as populations have moved north to regions where there is less sunlight to generate vitamin D."

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Monday, March 06, 2006

Tall tales and fast cars add to mystery of LA Ferrari wipeout: "Most mysterious of all are the two men who turned up minutes after the crash, claimed to be from 'homeland security', talked their way past police lines by flashing badges, interviewed Mr Eriksson and left again. Nobody has a clue who they were. They are now being sought by police."

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Sunday, March 05, 2006

Los Angeles Turns to GPS Devices to End Deadly Police Chases: "The system is approved by the National Security Agency." -- who have what jurisdiction over domestic law enforcement agencies, again?

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Home Economics: "As Gyourko points out, in the year 2000 the median house price in Philadelphia was $59,700; in Detroit, it was $63,600. Those prices are well below the actual construction costs of the homes. 'To build them new, it would cost at least $80,000,' Gyourko says, 'so there's no builder who would build those today. And as long as those houses remain, the people remain.'"

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Is fast fashion fueling the rebirth of "Made in America?": "Retailers are also eager to shift more production to countries like Honduras, Guatemala, Costa Rica and El Salvador, or nations that belong to Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), for two reasons. The geographic proximity to the United States means a shorter lead time in receiving orders versus importing from China, about 75 days. Second, the trade agreement also ensures minimum regulatory hurdles in the flow of goods between the United States and the CAFTA member nations, according to retail analyst Burt Flickinger."

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Saturday, March 04, 2006

Ultraviolet: two hours of your life that you'll never get back.

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Friday, March 03, 2006

Yes, Americans Get Mobile: "Mobile is so strong in the U.S. that T-Mobile USA is actually the number one reason that Deutsche Telecom is making a profit - and T-Mo is the smallest of the big four operators here."

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Bill Simmons talks sports with Malcolm Gladwell: "The Manning face is the look of someone who has just faced up to a sobering fact: I am in complete control of this offense. I prepare for games like no other quarterback in the NFL. I am in the best shape of my life. I have done everything I can to succeed -- and I'm losing. Ohmigod. I'm not that good. (Under the same circumstances, Ben Roethlisberger is thinking: maybe next time I stop after five beers)."

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Thursday, March 02, 2006

A friend at CERT points me to: Symantec Security Response - W32.Faisal@mm: "W32.Faisal@mm is a mass-mailing worm that sends itself to all the email addresses that it finds in your Microsoft Outlook Address Book." - to the best of my knowledge neither the worm nor its name have anything to do with me.

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The big DRM mistake: "In an effort to prevent the release of those screeners to non-BAFTA members, the DVDs are encrypted to only play on special DVD players that were also sent free to BAFTA members. As you can imagine, this is a royal pain in the posterior for many BAFTA members, who have to hook up special hardware just to watch a few films. In a bit of supreme cosmic irony, the screeners for Steven Spielberg's Munich were encoded for Region One (the US and Canada) instead of Region Two (Europe), so BAFTA members couldn't view the movie to vote on it. Oops."

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chocolate may halve risk of dying : "Cocoa is rarely tolerable in large amounts in its raw state and therefore to consume the suggested therapeutic amount you would have to have 100g of dark chocolate per day. This would mean an average intake of 500 calories per 100g with an average of 30% fat content"

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Shop and Awe: "Currently the Iraqi and Afghani economies are clawing their way back into life. When they re-enter the global economic stage, will they run aground on Western trade policy?"

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