"In a sense this would allow you to play God, because the method creates, on the computer, new types of particles whose interactions are tuned precisely so as to yield a desired structure," said Pablo Debenedetti, a professor of chemical engineering at Princeton.
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Posted by Edward at 2:40 PM
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
The Talent Show: "What people like the George W. Bush don't understand is that capitalism is not a one-way street. When the demand for workers is high and the supply of laborers is low, the rational solution would be for employers to raise wages, increase benefits, or both to ensure that supply catches up to demand. But that would mean actually spending more money, and we can't have that.
Instead, employers have found a way to get around their obligations by employing 'undocumented' workers (and thus creating a demand for illegal labor)."
The Talent Show: Oh! So This Is How The World Is Going To End....: "This is the way the world ends.
This is the way the world ends.
This is the way the world ends.
Not with a bang but a Bush.
Unpatched IE Flaw Is Worse Than Expected: "By Larry Loeb
November 28, 2005
Last week was shortened by the Thanksgiving holiday, and it seemed the malware guys took it off as well. There was not much going on of recent origin, and the biggest blip on the security radar was the realization by the security community that an Internet Explorer problem first identified six months ago was a lot worse than it appeared.
The realization caused Secunia to issue a rare 'Extremely Critical' advisory. Once thought just to be a DoS vulnerability, it turns out that it also allows execution of arbitrary code.
Monday, November 28, 2005
Sunday, November 27, 2005
lebuzz's Xanga Site: Very impressive.
"The improvements to the Zeta media kit are even better than I thought. The other day, I did a test in which I accessed the sound card's line input using three programs simultaneously. I was able to relay live audio through TuneTracker/SoundPlay while also recording straight to MP3 format in the TimeTracker program, and also record to SoundRecorder, all at the same time. And while all that was going on, we were also broadcasting over two different bitrate streams on BeOSRADIO. I'm tellin' you, Zeta is not only stable and solid, but it's also getting more media friendly by the day."
Posted by Edward at 7:06 PM
Regeneration: University of Utah News Release: November 24, 2005: "Elimination of smedwi-2 not only leads to an inability to mount a regenerative response after amputation, but also to the eventual demise of unamputated animals along a reproducible series of events, that is, regression of the head tip, curling of the body and tissue disintegration. These defects are very similar to what is observed after the planarian stem cells are destroyed by lethal doses of irradiation. The key difference, however, is that the irradiation-like defects observed in animals devoid of smedwi-2 occur even though the stem cells are still present in the organism."
Posted by Edward at 4:28 PM
Saturday, November 26, 2005
LXer: Linux News: Does Microsoft's Monopoly Power Extend to Government and Media?: "OK. This has finally gotten out of hand. We're way past the tolerance level. I don't care how many of you detest counter-media figures like Bill O'Reilly and Wolf Blitzer, but it's time to email them. They will respond to your email. They see massive email and they respond.
This stuff has to get into the major media and we have to do it. I won't tell you what to write, but I will suggest that you ask them to investigate the link between Microsoft and the recent decisions in Massachusetts regarding the Open Document Format. Tell the story as best you can. Below are ways to write these guys.
Additionally, please post names and email addresses of other media people who can't afford to miss a story like this. It will take a lot of emails, so please make sure you chose National Media figures with significant followings."
Posted by Edward at 9:24 PM
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
AIAA - Aerospace America Online - REFOCUSING DEEP SPACE 1 - Many new technologies were tested during DS1’s initial tour, and problem-solving is at the
Posted by Edward at 1:12 PM
Monday, November 21, 2005
Main Page - Glass Elevator Summaries: "This site is home to a small effort to summarise all the great ideas generated over the last few years by the Haiku OS (http://haiku-os.org/) team's future directions mailing list, Glass Elevator (http://www.bug-br.org.br/mailman/listinfo/glasselevator-talk). Note that this project is not designed to create content but to organise the material discussed previously so as to make it easier to digest (rather than reading the entire mailing list end to end). All ideas from the large to the small will eventually be summarised, the practical to the imaginative."
Posted by Edward at 8:20 PM
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Sun opens ZFS source code: "ZFS has many compelling features that make it one of the best filesystems ever designed. Engineered from the ground up for superior performance, reliability, and ease of administration, ZFS boldly goes where no filesystem has gone before. A unique pooled storage model effectively eliminates the need for partitioning, support for copy-on-write transactions eliminates the need for fsck-ing while automatically ensuring optimal data integrity, and the built-in compression algorithms can reduce space usage by up to three times while actually improving I/O performance. To put it simply, ZFS kicks some serious ass. The pooled storage model is particularly impressive, and of significant value to system administrators:"
Posted by Edward at 7:10 PM
BushGreenwatch - tracking environmental misdeeds: "November 01, 2005 | Back Issues
EPA Proposes Reducing Information on Toxics Release
The Environmental Protection Agency has announced plans to significantly roll back reporting of toxic pollution under the agency's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). The TRI program, which tracks the amount of toxic chemicals manufacturing facilities release into the environment, has been a widely used measurement for protecting public health and the environment.
According to EPA's own data, the simple act of reporting and disclosing these releases has prompted corporations to cut toxic pollution nearly in half. Despite this success, EPA is proposing to significantly roll back the program's reporting requirements in order to reduce the paperwork burden on corporations.
The reporting changes have met with strong opposition from community groups, public interest watchdogs and members of Congress."
Posted by Edward at 7:01 PM
Volkswagen Selects Corning DuraTrap Filters for Clean-Diesel Passenger Cars: "Corning Incorporated has announced that Volkswagen AG is equipping selected European-market diesel passenger cars with a new, advanced diesel particulate filter from Corning Incorporated. This represents the first application of the new Corning DuraTrap? AT filter announced earlier this year.
The Corning DuraTrap? AT filter will be used in an advanced aftertreatment system available as an option on Golf, Golf Plus and Touran vehicles with a 2.0 TDI (103kW/140PS) engine. Production of vehicles with this advanced particulate filter system commenced in the fourth quarter of 2005. Corning is producing the filter at its manufacturing facilities in Erwin, N.Y."
Posted by Edward at 6:26 PM
? Top national advocate for the disabled sets terms for endorsement of OpenDocument Format | Between the Lines | ZDNet.com
? Top national advocate for the disabled sets terms for endorsement of OpenDocument Format | Between the Lines | ZDNet.com: "Microsoft Office is currently the productivity suite of choice for most of the state's employees. But Microsoft's choice not to support ODF means that both it and its proprietary file formats will be off limits once the state's ODF policy goes into effect. MA ITD's plan calls for implementation of the ODF standard to start on January 1, 2007. But, ODF as a file format is barely six months old. Even worse, of the applications that support it — of which there are hardly any — none are in the same league as Microsoft Office-based solutions when it comes to accessibility for PWDs (thanks in large part to expensive third party accessibility add-ons like JAWS that are designed specifically to work with Office)."
Posted by Edward at 12:05 AM
Saturday, November 19, 2005
plazes.beta: "Plazes is a grassroot approach to location-aware interaction, using the local network you are connected to as location reference. Plazes allows you to share your location with the people you know and to discover people and plazes around you. It's the navigation system for your social life and it's absolutely free."
Posted by Edward at 10:51 PM
New Sony CD risk identified | Tech News on ZDNet: "In each case, Princeton University computer science professor Edward Felten and researcher Alex Halderman found that the uninstall programs responded to commands from their creators' Web sites, but would also respond to malicious instructions from other Web sites."
Posted by Edward at 9:44 PM
Did Sony 'rootkit' pluck from open source? | Tech News on ZDNet: "The XCP program will installs itself on Windows-operated personal computers when consumers play one of 49 CDs from Sony BMG. The program forces consumers to use a music player that comes with the program.
This music player contains components from an open-source project, an MP3 player called LAME, it has emerged.
'Multiple software components on the CD have references to the LAME open-source MP3 code,' "
Posted by Edward at 9:42 PM
The Panda's Thumb: Behe Disproves Irreducible Complexity: "A number of herpetologists have remarked on the observation that rattlesnakes today seem far less likely to rattle when encountered than they did previously (an impression that I also got from my years of snake-watching in Pennsylvania and in Florida).
The reason would seem to be obvious ——- the snakes that rattle when approached, usually get whacked with a shovel or chopped with a hoe. The snakes that don’t rattle, aren’t seen, and therefore live to pass on those genes.
Natural selection at its finest."
Posted by Edward at 8:30 PM
Friday, November 18, 2005
Does it get any uglier than what we are witnessing in Massachusetts? Serial killers are worse, I grant you. But watching the politicos in Massachusetts try to kill off OpenDocument Format is surely Top Ten ugly.
Guess what they are now trying? I'll refer you to Andy Updegrove's blog, where he gives us the latest icky chapter. It seems opponents of ODF have come up with a new amendment to a new bill, since they couldn't get S 2256 passed this session, and ODF has become a political football in an old-fashioned power play. Think Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Let's follow the bouncing ball.
That brings us up to today, when a new amendment was introduced by Senator Michael W. Morrissey in lieu of the amendment he had earlier submitted. I am told by what I believe to be a reliable source that the swap was at the suggestion of Secretary Galvin, because the first version was "slanted too heavily in favor of the Governor." And the new amendment? It shifts power dramatically, and I bet you can guess in whose direction it shifts.
Here's a summary of what the new amendment would do in contrast to the original:
1) Reduces the number of appointees given to the Governor from 4 to 2
2) Designates the CIO of ITD as a permanent appointee to the Task Force
3) Eliminates the appointees by the State Treasurer and State Auditor
4) Mandates that the Supervisor of Public Records (who reports to the Secretary of State) serve as Chair of the Task Force; previous version had the Chair elected by the appointees
5) Mandates that the State Archivist (also reports to the Secretary of State) serve as Secretary of the Task Force
6) Emphasizes that no agency, department or municipality shall adopt technology policy, practices or standards without a majority vote of the Task Force; previous version listed only executive branch agencies or departments as subject to the decisions of the Task Force
[You can find the full text of the new amendment at the end of this post]
As you can see, with the exception of making the state CIO a permanent member of a 7-person task force, all other changes solidly increase the power of the Secretary of the Commonwealth, and even expand the power of the task force beyond that originally contemplated by the ITD's proposal.
In fact, the new amendment enables exactly the type of situation that the anti-ODF FUDists had claimed Quinn was out to require, but in fact was not: requiring that citizens of the Commonwealth could only interrelate with their own government if they owned software that supported a standard mandated by public officials.
Can you guess what these movers and shakers expect that standard should be? After reading the transcript of the hearing, I believe I can. Can they get away with it and kill off ODF? I can't see how. Maybe in a movie about the Mob. But this is the Internet age. Back-room deals end up headlines, and that tends to undermine effectiveness. About all I can see that Microsoft can get out of these machinations is a black eye. The overarching message is that if you don't want to use their software, you'll be sat on by goons or the political equivalent. Frankly, that doesn't make me want to use their software. This is America, is it not?
Meanwhile, on the disabilities front, do read David Berlind's blog on his interaction with Curtis Chong, president of the National Federation of the Blind in Computer Science, who ends up saying he'd be happy to support ODF if his needs are met. That is the headline. Chong thinks the 2007 deadline is unrealistic, but if there is one thing I feel I can say with confidence from all I know and am hearing, it's that the deadline will be met. But even if it wasn't, when Massachusetts announced their choice of ODF, they stated that if the disabled needed to stay with Microsoft products because of third-party solutions designed for accessibility, they could until a better solution was available. So what is the issue? Just politics, really.
Not that Microsoft is lifting a finger to help the disabled, by the way. Let's be real. They could solve the issue for the disabled by just announcing that Microsoft will support ODF. ODF is a standard, so proprietary software can and does support it. It's not just Open Source that can support it.
Because Microsoft isn't willing to support ODF, or haven't to date, it's clear to me they don't care a bit about the disabled, and are happy to use them for their own business advantage.
They don't, as Berlind points out in his letter to Chong, write disability software like JAWS, and in fact they hinder its functionality. Berlind pointedly asks Chong why no representative for the disabled at the hearing mentioned the problems the disabled have with Microsoft's software:
A few of your points would have been very relevant and I'm certain that those who spoke at the hearing were aware of them. For example, the point you [are] making about the precarious balance that exists between the specialized accessibility software and Microsoft Office was never mentioned. Nor was the fact that every time Microsoft upgrades it's software, the accessibility software must be completely re-engineered to keep up. I'm sure that each time the cat catches its tail, only to have the tail eventually slip away, that it's the work of a few heroic people that catch the tail again. But isn't there a point at which the tail catchers realize that this is a futile effort that stands in the way of true innovation in accessibility? I've been a technology journalist for 15 years now. In that time, it didn't matter who the vendor was: if a vendor came out with a product that wasn't backwards compatible with the ones before it, they were hammered out of the market. The fact that Microsoft keeps breaking backward compatibility and forcing heroic developers to creatively exploit both documented and undocumented interfaces suggests to me that the company hasn't looked at continuity in accessibility as a problem that it's responsible for solving.
What I don't think the disabled have clued in on yet is that with ODF, they can just hire someone to code what they need. No. Really. That's the beauty of it. You don't need to beg Microsoft or third-party companies to please write what you need. You can hire a programmer and do it yourself. In this case, they don't even need to. Some of the most powerful sofware companies in the world have dedicated resources to the task. But the power of open standards and Open Source (note they are not the same thing, but they are both desirable) is that you are never stuck or dependent on any vendor. Think about it.
Another development: Linda Hamel, General Counsel for ITD, has sent the Senate a brief [PDF], answering the legal questions Senator Marc Pacheco asked at the hearing on October 31. Here's the summary from the brief.
Posted by Edward at 11:44 AM
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Is Sony in violation of the LGPL? - Part II - Programming stuff: "It uses LAME code (and code from at least one other LGPL library)."
Posted by Edward at 6:10 PM
Slyck News - Damage Runs Deep With Sony-BMG Fiasco: "Trying to gauge the damage caused by Sony-BMG’s rootkit DRM will take years to comprehend. The gaping wound caused by Sony-BMG exists well beyond infected computers, security problems, and a tarnished reputation. The record label’s entire philosophy on P2P networking, Internet piracy and DRM has been effectively destroyed."
The copyright industry has attempted to persuade P2P users back into the record stores by exploiting a largely overblown claim that file-sharing networks expose risks to malicious software. On June 14, 2004, MPAA CEO Dan Glickman made the following statement.
"While these P2P services would have users believe they simply offer an easy way to download movies and music, they really do much more. It is well-documented that using these services can lead to user’s computers being infected with spy ware and viruses. Often, unwitting users have their most sensitive, private information exposed to unfriendly eyes around the world. Further, P2P systems have been used by pornographers as an easy avenue to reach children."
This argument by the copyright industry has been annihilated. Computer Associates labeled Sony-BMG’s rootkit as both spyware and a trojan horse. Minimum estimates suggest as many as 500,000 individuals have Sony-BMG’s rootkit DRM installed – far exceeding any infections caused by P2P networking.
Even without an official label by Computer Associates, the public perception of Sony-BMG’s rootkit is that of distrust. In an ironic twist of fate, computers infected with Sony-BMG’s DRM software run the serious risk of being exposed to malicious software. Considering the files Sony-BMG use are hidden from anti-virus and anti-spyware applications, any virus writer can write an identically named file and exploit an untold number of computers.
The copyright industry has also preached from a moral standpoint. Believing there is a parallel between downloading a file from the Internet and physically stealing a CD from a music store, both the music and movie industry have accused file-traders of moral corruption.
"This is not just about online versus offline," said Hilary Rosen, former president and CEO of the RIAA. "Most in the online business community recognize that what Napster is doing threatens legitimate e-commerce models - and is legally and morally wrong."
Much like the virus argument, the “moral” argument has also been vanquished. The reason why Sony-BMG found itself in so much trouble is because they hid information – otherwise known as deception – and thought they could get away with it. The specifics of Sony-BMG’s rootkit were never disclosed in the EULA, and they certainly did not disclose the consequences of its removal. Whatever moral standpoint the copyright industry had was effectively nullified when Sony-BMG and First4Internet inked their deal.
Although Sony-BMG succeeded in negating the music and movies industry anti-P2P argument in one swift stroke, that’s not the extent of the damage. The music and movie industry’s Digital Rights Management (DRM) campaign – once shrouded in secrecy – has also suffered irreparable harm.
DRM (Digital Rights Management) is a blanket term used to describe copy protection on any digital medium. The protection can be simple, such as blocking unlicensed search terms, or very complex, such as First4Interent’s XCP (extended copy protection.) The deployment of DRM can be considered secretive because very few individuals are actually aware of it.
During a recent anti-DRM protest in New York City, a wide majority of individuals were unaware that such copy protection even existed.
Sony-BMG managed to change all of that.
Posted by Edward at 6:08 PM
GROKLAW: "Just how deep does this betrayal of customers go? F-Secure, who was not part of the complicit agreement apparently and discovered the rootkit independently, according to Russinovich, explained on November 4 on their blog why rootkits are a security problem:
A member of our IT security team pointed out quite chilling thought about what might happen if record companies continue adding rootkit based copy protection into their CDs.
In order to hide from the system a rootkit must interface with the OS on very low level and in those areas theres no room for error.
It is hard enough to program something on that level, without having to worry about any other programs trying to do something with same parts of the OS.
Thus if there would be two DRM rootkits on the same system trying to hook same APIs, the results would be highly unpredictable. Or actually, a system crash is quite predictable result in such situation.
So imagine a situation where Joe Customer buys CD from label A and another CD from label B. Label A uses third party DRM from company X and Label B uses from company Y.
Then our user first plays one of the CDs in his PC, and everything works fine. But after he starts playing the second CD, his computer crashes and wont boot again. This is something I would not like to associate with buying legal CDs.
The Department of Homeland Security agrees. This IP protection is now threatening our security. How did everyone lose their sense of proportion? I earlier put a link to the audio of Stewart Baker, Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for Policy, in News Picks, but what he said is so important, I wish to repeat it here:
'It's very important to remember that it's your intellectual property -- it's not your computer. And in the pursuit of protection of intellectual property, it's important not to defeat or undermine the security measures that people need to adopt in these days.
'If we have an avian flu outbreak here and it is even half as bad as the 1918 flu, we will be enormously dependent on being able to get remote access for a large number of people, and keeping the infrastructure functioning is going to be a matter of life and death and we take it very seriously as well.' - DHS Ass't Sec'y on Policy Stewart Baker
Copyright infringement is important to companies like Sony, of course, but if, when enforcing their rights, they end up exceeding their actual rights and endanger our lives in their quest to protect mere money, something is seriously out of balance. I also most sincerely hope that the DHS realizes the security value of the GNU/Linux operating system, as well as MacOSX. If the Department is relying exclusively on Windows, I am frankly terrified."
Posted by Edward at 5:41 PM
Wired News: Real Story of the Rogue Rootkit: "On Oct. 31, Mark Russinovich broke the story in his blog: Sony BMG Music Entertainment distributed a copy-protection scheme with music CDs that secretly installed a rootkit on computers. This software tool is run without your knowledge or consent -- if it's loaded on your computer with a CD, a hacker can gain and maintain access to your system and you wouldn't know it."
The Sony code modifies Windows so you can't tell it's there, a process called "cloaking" in the hacker world. It acts as spyware, surreptitiously sending information about you to Sony. And it can't be removed; trying to get rid of it damages Windows.
This story was picked up by other blogs (including mine), followed by the computer press. Finally, the mainstream media took it up.
The outcry was so great that on Nov. 11, Sony announced it was temporarily halting production of that copy-protection scheme. That still wasn't enough -- on Nov. 14 the company announced it was pulling copy-protected CDs from store shelves and offered to replace customers' infected CDs for free.
But that's not the real story here.
It's a tale of extreme hubris. Sony rolled out this incredibly invasive copy-protection scheme without ever publicly discussing its details, confident that its profits were worth modifying its customers' computers. When its actions were first discovered, Sony offered a "fix" that didn't remove the rootkit, just the cloaking.
Sony claimed the rootkit didn't phone home when it did. On Nov. 4, Thomas Hesse, Sony BMG's president of global digital business, demonstrated the company's disdain for its customers when he said, "Most people don't even know what a rootkit is, so why should they care about it?" in an NPR interview. Even Sony's apology only admits that its rootkit "includes a feature that may make a user's computer susceptible to a virus written specifically to target the software."
And Microsoft is known for watching out for its business interests at the expense of those of its customers.
Posted by Edward at 5:30 PM
Sony pulls infected CDs from shelves: "With multiple filed lawsuits, and more pending, this is a liability limiting run for cover. It makes an attempt at saying: 'We are not selling things after we knew they were harming people' for the sake of the legal system. Again, third grade logic makes you question why they sold these things for the past two weeks, I personally told them about the exploits late last week."
Posted by Edward at 3:22 PM
Saving the Net: How to Keep the Carriers from Flushing the Net Down the Tubes | Linux Journal: "Saving the Net: How to Keep the Carriers from Flushing the Net Down the Tubes
By Doc Searls on Wed, 2005-11-16 02:00. Industry News"
Posted by Edward at 1:28 AM
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Giant ape lived along-side humans: "Hamilton, ON - A gigantic ape, measuring about 10 feet tall and weighing up to 1,200 pounds, co-existed alongside humans, a geochronologist at McMaster University has discovered.
Using a high-precision absolute-dating method (techniques involving electron spin resonance and uranium series), Jack Rink, associate professor of geography and earth sciences at McMaster, has determined that Gigantopithecus blackii, the largest primate that ever lived, roamed southeast Asia for nearly a million years before the species died out 100,000 years ago. This was known as the Pleistocene period, by which time humans had already existed for a million years."
Posted by Edward at 8:29 AM
Slashdot | Sony Rootkit Allegedly Contains LGPL Software: "Posted by CmdrTaco on Tuesday November 15, @08:19AM
from the this-keeps-getting-funnier dept.
GNU is Not Unix Media
Deaths Hand writes 'According to this Dutch article the Sony DRM software (or rootkit, if you may prefer) contains code from the LAME MP3 encoder project, which is licensed under the LGPL. However, the source code has not also been distrbuted, hence breaching the license. Here is an english translation of the page.' So apparently Sony violates your privacy to create a backdoor onto your machine using code that violates an Open Source license. This story just keeps getting stranger.
Sony Rootkit Al"
Posted by Edward at 8:25 AM
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Sunday, November 13, 2005
Edison Opto targets 100 W white LED development (November 2005) - News - LEDs Magazine: "Edison Opto Corporation, a Taiwan-based high-power LED manufacturer, has recently been awarded government funding to develop a 100 W LED."
Posted by Edward at 2:10 AM
Saturday, November 12, 2005
IBM 3D TV: "International Business Machines, a worldwide leader in technology innovation, has announced a new and affordable 3D video system that works with normal DLP (Digital Light Processing) televisions. Before now, 3D video systems would set you back at least $1,800 while the price of IBM’s new system is expected to be only $1000 – if only a grand sounds cheap to you."
Posted by Edward at 4:56 PM
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Sony BMG sued over rootkit (again), Sony sued over Playstation, PSP: "A BLIZZARD of lawsuits appears to be facing Sony in its different guises after Mark Russinovich revealed copy protection software installed rootkits on people's machines.
The US Electronic Frontier Foundation is also collecting information on the case.
But Sony is also being sued by a firm which alleges it has breached multiple patents with its Playstation and PSP.
We reported a law case against Sony BMG had started in Italy. Two separate class actions have started in the USA. The EFF in the US confirmed our earlier story that a number of titles are infected by the rootkit, and gives a partial list on its site.
Despite repeated attempts to contact Sony BMG for comment over the last week, the INQ has received no reply to the questions it has asked."
Posted by Edward at 8:22 PM
No Sony CD's for me.
First Trojan using Sony DRM spotted | The Register: "By John Leyden
Published Thursday 10th November 2005 13:25 GMT
Get breaking Security news straight to your desktop - click here to find out how
Virus writers have begun taking advantage of Sony-BMG's use of rootkit technology in DRM software bundled with its music CDs.
Sony-BMG's rootkit DRM technology masks files whose filenames start with '$sys$'. A newly-discovered variant of of the Breplibot Trojan takes advantage of this to drop the file '$sys$drv.exe' in the Windows system directory.
'This means, that for systems infected by the Sony DRM rootkit technology, the dropped file is entirely invisible to the user. It will not be found in any process and file listing. Only rootkit scanners, such as the free utility RootkitRevealer, can unmask the culprit,' warns Ivan Macalintal, a senior threat analyst at security firm Trend Micro"
Posted by Edward at 8:18 PM
IPv6 Still Hotly Debated: "And herein lies the problem. DSL ISPs like Speakeasy have to contend with the fact that the telco monopolies own the last-mile distribution networks, and they have to lease them from the telcos at whatever rates the telcos wish to charge.
Normally, a vigilant FCC would keep tight rein on the telcos and force them to lease the lines at competitive rates. But the problem we have now is that our government is no longer interested in preserving competition, and thinks it would be better for consumers, and more efficient, to eliminate any such regulation on the telcos.
Posted by Edward at 8:02 PM
Computerworld | Experts at odds over relevance of IPv6: "A significant stumbling block to IPv6 adoption may be the IPv4 loyalists who are keen to keep the protocol in preference to the 'new improved' version.
Geoff Huston, senior Internet research scientist from Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (Apnic), belongs to the IPv4 camp.
'We happen to work in an industry that survives on complexity, address scarcity and insecurity,' Geoff Huston, senior Internet research scientist at Apnic, said. 'This is where the margins come from, and we are not innovators in this industry any more. We've learnt that optimism doesn't create a business case. All those people disappeared along with the dotcom boom,' he said.
Internet Protocol Version 6 is a backwards-compatible replacement for the current Internet protocol, and which boasts inbuilt mobility, quality, manageability and security. Its main selling point is that it will increase available address space from about 4 x 109 to 3 x 1038 unique IP addresses, allowing for nearly unlimited numbers of systems and networks."
Posted by Edward at 4:36 PM
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
I met Dee and some of her co-workers at Olive Garden today. It was in celebration of Tina and Sue's birthdays. The food was good. Warren was just back from Italy. He was not impressed, saying that he would not go back. He was in Rome the same day a terrerist was captured there. Also the drivers were on strike so the only way to get around was to walk.
Posted by Edward at 10:30 AM
Posted by Edward at 2:19 AM
Sunday, November 06, 2005
New Scientist News - Anonymous sperm donor traced on internet: "LATE last year, a 15-year-old boy rubbed a swab along the inside of his cheek, popped it into a vial and sent it off to an online genealogy DNA-testing service. But unlike most people who contact the service, he was not interested in sketching the far reaches of his family tree. His mother had conceived using donor sperm and he wanted to track down his genetic father.
That the boy succeeded using only the DNA test, genealogical records and some internet searches has huge implications for the hundreds of thousands of people who were conceived using donor sperm. "
Saturday, November 05, 2005
Knowmore.org: "That's $110 million a day, and more net income than any company has ever made in a quarter. It's also a stunning 69 percent increase over the same period a year ago and a 34 percent jump from the $7.6 billion Exxon made just last quarter.
'Do you realize President Bush has just given a tax break to ExxonMobil?'' thundered Rep. Ed Markey (D-Malden). 'Of all the companies in the history of the world that needed a tax break, this month, ExxonMobil should be at the bottom of the list.''"
Posted by Edward at 9:31 PM
The top prosecutors (in alphabetical order) are:
Christopher Christie, U.S. Attorney, New Jersey
James Comey, Deputy Attorney General, Justice Department, Washington, D.C.
Patrick Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney, Chicago
David Kelley, U.S. Attorney, Manhattan
Alice Martin, U.S. Attorney, Birmingham, Alabama
Patrick Meehan, U.S. Attorney, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Robert Morgenthau, District Attorney, Manhattan
Eliot Spitzer, Attorney General, New York
Michael Sullivan, U.S. Attorney, Boston, Massachusetts
Debra Yang, U.S. Attorney, Los Angeles, California.
The prosecutors were chosen for their consistent emphasis on high profile corporate and white collar crime cases.
Posted by Edward at 9:24 PM
A 2002 case study in Austin, Texas showed that for every $100 in consumer spending at a national bookstore in Austin, Texas the local economic impact was only $13. The same amount spent at locally based bookstores yielded $45, or more than three times the local economic impact. (Civic Economics, Austin Unchained October 2003)
Posted by Edward at 9:17 PM
bsr110305: "After being forced out of BSR, Hammel continued to organize local BSR chapters around the country.
Back then, the local chapters still had a voice in the national.
“But in 2000, the national BSR sent us a letter. There was no discussion. They just said – we are eliminating all local chapters,” Hammel said. “They told us that BSR was going to spend all of its time on big corporations.”
Hammel has gone on help jump start a new organization – the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (www.livingeconomies.org).
The message – buy local, buy independent. “When I first formed BSR, I thought all businesses had the same interests in common,” Hammel said. “Then I realized that big corporations didn’t want to be with us. And we realized that our interests were different.”
“The first allegiance of big public companies is to their stockholders,” Hammel said. “Most of these big companies have to cater to the whims of the stockholders. That puts them in conflict with the consumer, community and the environment. Very few big companies can buck that stockholder dictatorship.”
“Second is – where do you live? Are you locally owned? If yes, then you are connected to the community,” Hammel said. “Companies like Starbucks (a BSR member) are creating a homogenized culture. They are homogenizing cultures all over the world. We want to see locally owned coffee shops.”
“We have done several studies showing that for every $100 spent at a local independent company – $45 goes to the community,” Hammel said. “If you spend the $100 at the corporate chain like Starbucks, only $13 goes to the community.”
The last BSR conference that Hammel attended was in 2001 in Seattle.
This was ten years after he founded BSR as his dream.
“I sat down at a table and noticed three guys with name tags that said Philip Morris and Company,” Hammel said.
“I asked these guys – you are not with the cigarette company, are you? And they said – ‘yes, we are with the holding company.’”
“I said to myself – these guys are members of BSR? They make products that kill people. What is this?”
That was the last conference he attended."
Posted by Edward at 9:15 PM
CBS Poll Finds Public Takes Plamegate Seriously:
Valerie Plame scandal has a higher ranking with the US public than the Monica Lewinsky, Whitewater or Iran/Contra scandals, and almost as high as Watergate.
"Some 51% said it is already of 'great importance,' with 35% choosing 'some importance' and 12% 'little or not importance.' Here are comparable numbers for other notable scandals in recent years, along with the month and year the poll was taken:
Great importance - 41%
Some importance - 21%
Little/no importance - 37%
Great importance - 20%
Some importance - 29%
Little/no importance - 45%
Great importance - 48%
Some importance - 33%
Little/no importance - 19%
--Watergate (5/73; Gallup Poll)
Great importance - 53%
Some importance - 25%
Little/no importance - 22% "
Posted by Edward at 9:06 PM
World of Warcraft hackers using Sony BMG rootkit: "Despite making a patch available on Wednesday to consumers to amend its copy protection software's behavior, Sony BMG and First 4 Internet, the maker of the content protection technology, have both disputed claims that their system could harm the security of a Windows system. Yet, other software makers that rely on the integrity of the operating system are finding that hidden code makes security impossible."
Posted by Edward at 3:48 PM
Hieraki - Trac: "Hieraki 1.1 - Developer Beta (0.0.9)
New Upcoming Release (Hieraki 1.1) - Beta is out for developers (/trunk). Please note that no migration is provided at this stage of development. Do NOT use this release unless you are a developer.
Two new big features:
* Everthing-is-a-page (TM) ...even attachments or internal links are pages ... The net effect is that everything is under version control (e.g. folders as well)
* Hieraki 1.1 uses B-Prime Trees. Check out the ActiveRecord::Acts::BPrimeTree module that I wrote. It allows moving entire branches as well (which is for example missing in ActiveRecord?::Acts::NestedSet?).
The 1.1 release is going to be shipped with Rails 1.0. An upgrade script from 1.0.2 to 1.1 will be provided."
Posted by Edward at 2:49 AM
Friday, November 04, 2005
Techworld.com - xMax sparks low power wireless revolution: "By Peter Judge, Techworld
A little-known start-up has demonstrated wireless broadband 1000 times more efficient than WiMax – and claims the technique could also make wireless LANs that will run for years on watch batteries."
Thursday, November 03, 2005
Posted by Edward at 4:01 PM
Bush's risky flu pandemic plan - The Boston Globe: "By George J. Annas | October 8, 2005
WHENEVER THE world is not to his liking, President Bush has a tendency to turn to the military to make it better. The most prominent example is the country's response to 9/11, complete with wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. After Hurricane Katrina, Bush belatedly called on the military to assist in securing New Orleans, and has since suggested that Congress should consider empowering the military to be the ''first responders' in any national disaster.
On Tuesday, the president suggested that the United States should confront the risk of a bird flu pandemic by giving him the power to use the US military to quarantine ''part[s] of the country' experiencing an ''outbreak.' So we have moved quickly in the past month, at least metaphorically, from the global war on terror to a proposed war on hurricanes, to a proposed war on the bird flu.
Of all these proposals, the use of the military to attempt to contain a flu pandemic on US soil is the most dangerous. Bush says he got the idea by reading John Barry's excellent account of the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, ''The Great Influenza.' Although quarantine was used successfully in that pandemic, on the island of American Samoa, Barry in his afterword suggests (sensibly) that we need a national plan to deal with a future influenza pandemic. He said last week that his other suggestions were the only ones he hoped public health officials and ethicists would consider, but they read like policy recommendations to me and apparently the president. Barry writes, for example, ''if there is any chance to limit the geographical spread of the disease, officials must have in place the legal power to take extreme quarantine measures.' This recommendation comes shortly after his praise for countries that ''moved rapidly and ruthlessly to quarantine and isolate anyone with or exposed to' SARS.
Planning makes sense. But planning for ''brutal' or ''extreme' quarantine of large numbers or areas of the United States would create many more problems than it could solve.
First, historically mass quarantines of healthy people who may have been exposed to a pathogen have never worked to control a pandemic, and have almost always done more harm than good because they usually involve vicious discrimination against classes of people (like immigrants or Asians) who are seen as ''diseased' and dangerous."
Posted by Edward at 2:42 PM
TomPaine.com - Maxed Out: "Today the new bankruptcy laws take effect, the product of an eight-year, multimillion dollar lobbying effort by the credit card industry. With the rhetoric peeled away, the new law, at its essence, will force any family with household income above their state median to commit all their disposable income to paying off credit card companies. Proponents of the law claimed their goal was to crack down on deadbeat debtors—irresponsible spendthrifts who run up thousands of dollars—then cut and run on paying the bill. This is not an uncommon perception about credit card debt, but it is a myth—one that’s given the status of fact—in our popular culture. Carrie Bradshaw wouldn’t own a single pair of Manolos if it wasn’t for plastic. Another example comes from a commercial that gets a lot of airtime. It features an upper middle-class, white, suburban father proudly showcasing his material accomplishments: membership to the golf club, a beautiful, big house and a nice car. How did he achieve this success? In the spot, he proclaims, “I’m in debt up to my eyeballs. Somebody please help me.” "
Posted by Edward at 2:39 PM
Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito has enviros worried | By Amanda Griscom Little | Grist Magazine | Muckraker | 01 Nov 2005
Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito has enviros worried | By Amanda Griscom Little | Grist Magazine | Muckraker | 01 Nov 2005: "Enviro advocates in D.C. have spent the last 24 hours digging through Samuel Alito's extensive paper trail for clues as to how he might vote on environmental cases were he confirmed as a U.S. Supreme Court justice.
A staunchly conservative judge who's served on the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for 15 years, Alito was nominated by President Bush yesterday to fill the slot being vacated by Sandra Day O'Connor. He's already a hit with Republican senators as well as Bush's right-wing base, which squelched the candidacy of Harriet Miers.
Environmentalists, meanwhile, are joining many progressives and Democrats in crying foul over the nomination.
Posted by Edward at 2:13 PM
TomPaine.com - Why Would Libby Lie?: "If Libby lied, why would he? The prosecutor unknowingly answered that question at his press conference. He said, if the reporters testified when they were issued subpoenas in August 2004, “we would have been here [holding a press conference] in October 2004 instead of October 2005.”
October 2004 was a mere month before the presidential election on Nov. 2, 2004. Amazingly, in all the timelines of the leak investigations, there is no mention of the presidential election in November 2004 or that the basis for the war in Iraq was a key issue in that election.
Whether the charges in the indictment are true and whether Libby or anyone else is ever convicted, such a press conference on the eve of the presidential election in October 2004 would have dramatically affected that election. The reason that press conference was not held in October of 2004 is because the prosecutor had to waste a year fighting all the way to the Supreme Court to get information from reporters. "
Posted by Edward at 2:07 PM
TomPaine.com - Bird Flu Blues: "Last week, we learned that deadly avian flu has spread from Asia to Europe, poised to become the next human influenza pandemic—perhaps even more deadly than the 1918 flu, which killed 20-50 million people worldwide. Leaks from a U.S. government report revealed that our country is utterly unprepared for such a calamity. And a new scientific study proved that the 1918 flu jumped directly to humans from birds—as might today’s encroaching avian flu strain, known as H5N1.
In other words, of all the natural and manmade disasters that have plagued humankind in the past year, something worse may be just around the corner: a global epidemic of lethal influenza long feared by public health experts and infectious diseases specialists. If that happens, the Bush team will be on the line as never before. If the administration handles this challenge correctly, it could lead the world in preventing unnecessary deaths and actually saving lives. If it fails, millions here and abroad could perish; the wrenching accounts from the 9/11 Commission could pale before the heartbreaking tales from the Pandemic Influenza Commission.
Today, according to the World Health Organization, a flu pandemic could kill 150 million worldwide—including, in a worst case scenario, 2 million Americans. Simply put, such an outbreak is today’s number one worry among public health officials, especially because the H5N1 bird flu strain is extraordinarily virulent, both in birds and mammals. Human flu pandemics, sown in nature by viruses found in migrating aquatic birds, cannot be prevented. Over the past century, they have occurred about every 30 years. The last one took place in 1968—which means we’re overdue for the next. No matter where on earth a pandemic takes root, high speed transportation would guarantee its transcontinental spread within weeks. High speed communications would guarantee global panic within hours. Whatever the course of today’s H5N1, flu pandemics are inevitable."
Posted by Edward at 2:01 PM
NPR : Health Officials Keep Close Watch on Bird Flu: "An especially virulent strain of the bird flu has spread from Asia to Europe. Known as H5N1, the virus can infect humans as well as birds. World leaders and health officials are taking the threat of a pandemic seriously, and pressure is on to develop effective containment measures and treatments."
Posted by Edward at 1:58 PM
House, Senate differ on flu plan: "House, Senate differ on flu plan
By Jeffrey Young
The initial response by House and Senate Republicans to President Bush’s new request for billions of dollars to pay for pandemic-flu preparedness demonstrates the divide between the two chambers on rising government spending.
While the Senate GOP leadership moved quickly in an attempt to accommodate at least part of the $7.1 billion request, the House leadership indicated that rank-and-file members would demand that the new spending be offset.
Underlying these differences may be the recognition that the administration’s unprecedented federal investment in public health since 2001 has stood as only a first installment.
The bulk of the president’s call for $7.1 billion would go toward developing, purchasing and stockpiling vaccines and drugs and to promoting the expansion of the domestic vaccine manufacturing system.
Nearly $1 billion, however, is targeted to the public-health system, including money for state and local governments, and would build on money distributed in the past four years for similar efforts to ready the country for a bioterrorist attack."
Posted by Edward at 1:53 PM
FT.com / International economy / Bird flu - Foreign policy hits US medical lab in Jakarta: "For more than 30 years the US Naval Medical Research Unit Number 2, or NAMRU-2, has researched emerging tropical diseases in Indonesia and, via satellite offices in Cambodia and Vietnam, elsewhere in south-east Asia.
For the past six, though, its future has been in doubt as Indonesia’s military has sought to have it shut in retaliation for Washington’s 1999 suspension of military-to-military relations following the debacle in East Timor. This year Indonesian officials sent a letter to the lab asking it to cease operating when the bilateral agreement governing it expires on December 31.
But as Mr Leavitt’s visit signalled, NAMRU-2’s fate has added significance these days. In recent years it has been intimately involved in the fight against the virulent H5N1 bird flu in south-east Asia, where it has killed more than 60 people. In countries such as Indonesia it is among the first to conduct tests on suspected human H5N1 cases, giving the US what could be a front row seat at the unfolding of a possible pandemic.
Most of a $7.1bn (€5.9bn; ?4bn) Bush administration pandemic preparedness plan unveiled this week is focused on the domestic front and the stockpiling of antiviral drugs and vaccines. Also included, however, is $251m to help other countries improve their capacity to detect bird flu outbreaks.
'Early detection is our first line of defence,' President George W. Bush said in his speech on Tuesday.
Labs such as NAMRU-2 will play a key role in that early detection, experts say, and their presence in south-east Asia gives the US an unparalleled disease surveillance network.
During Mr Leavitt’s visit officials in Jakarta were told NAMRU-2 and a similar facility in Bangkok would receive an additional $10m in funding between them, a considerable sum when NAMRU-2’s current annual budget is just $8m.
But as Washington turns to those labs it is also facing what some see as post-Iraq limits of its influence.
Western health experts and local officials say the Indonesian military have long seen NAMRU-2’s researchers as spies. But at a time when many in the world’s largest Muslim nation express anger about US policy in Iraq and beyond, diplomats and health officials say there is, rightly or wrongly, an added element of suspicion of NAMRU-2’s military status among Indonesian officials.
Its own website, they point out, lists NAMRU-2’s primary mission as to “enhance the health, safety and readiness of [US] Navy and Marine Corps personnel” so they can conduct “missions in south-east Asia”.
That mission is often overtaken by work with very real civilian applications.
NAMRU-2 and the Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences (AFRIMS) in Bangkok each year send data back to the US identifying emerging influenza strains, and so help determine the composition of flu shots.
Colonel Bonnie Smoak, AFRIMS’ American commander, said the lab’s flu surveillance has always been done with a flu pandemic partly in mind. “Among scientists, the threat of the epidemic has always been there,” she says. “Even before avian influenza, there were little voices yelling in the woods, ‘It’s coming’.”
AFRIMS is expanding its H5N1-related work, Col Smoak says. It wants to extend its surveillance to US diplomats to monitor strains circulating in a highly-mobile expatriate population. It also wants to conduct house-to-house studies in Thailand modelled on those it has done for dengue fever.
Similar work is under way at NAMRU-2, albeit more quietly.
Researchers there test specimens from 500 Indonesian patients a month, people familiar with the situation say. Because of that - and because the World Health Organisation does not have its own dedicated lab in the country – NAMRU-2 amounts to what is now the only “active” surveillance system searching out H5N1 cases in Indonesia, health experts say."
Posted by Edward at 1:50 PM
OhGizmo! ? World’s Most Powerful Subwoofer!: "By rotating the fins and modulating the speed, frequency goes all the way down to 1Hz, the territory of jet engines, nuclear explosions and plate tectonics. By comparison, your typical sub hits 20Hz on its best day."
Posted by Edward at 1:12 PM
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
New Scientist Breaking News - Japan plans mind-boggling number-cruncher: "apan has revealed plans to build a supercomputer so staggeringly powerful that it will be five times swifter than the 500 fastest systems on the planet today – combined.
The supercomputer will boast a peak performance of 10 petaflops"
Posted by Edward at 11:08 PM
Slashdot | Slashback: DRM, MPAA, ADSL: "So to uninstall this mess, they want me to go to a web site, hosted by the company who wrote the spyware/rootkit, and run an activeX control. Hahahahaha.
This is exactly the sort of thing that makes me channel Nancy Regan, and 'Just Say NO!'."
Posted by Edward at 6:54 PM
Switchfoot Laments the Copy Protection on their CD | Acts of Volition: "Hello friends,
my heart is heavy with this whole copy-protection thing. Many PC users have posted problems that they have had importing the new songs (regular disc only, not the dual disc) into programs such as Itunes. Let me first say that as a musician AND as a music fan, I agree with the frustration that has been expressed. We were horrified when we first heard about the new copy-protection policy that is being implemented by most major labels, including Sony (ours), and immediately looked into all of our options for removing this from our new album. Unfortunately, this is the new policy for all new major releases from these record companies. It is heartbreaking to see our blood, sweat, and tears over the past 2 years blurred by the confusion and frustration surrounding this new technology. It is also unfortunate when bands such as ourselves, Foo Fighters, Coldplay, etc… (just a few of the new releases with copy protection) are the target of this criticism, when there is no possible way to avoid this new industry policy."
Posted by Edward at 4:43 PM
Mark's Sysinternals Blog: Sony, Rootkits and Digital Rights Management Gone Too Far:
"The entire experience was frustrating and irritating. Not only had Sony put software on my system that uses techniques commonly used by malware to mask its presence, the software is poorly written and provides no means for uninstall. Worse, most users that stumble across the cloaked files with a RKR scan will cripple their computer if they attempt the obvious step of deleting the cloaked files."
Posted by Edward at 2:25 PM
Sysinternals Freeware - RootkitRevealer: "What is a Rootkit?
The term rootkit is used to describe the mechanisms and techniques whereby malware, including viruses, spyware, and trojans, attempt to hide their presence from spyware blockers, antivirus, and system management utilities. There are several rootkit classifications depending on whether the malware survives reboot and whether it executes in user mode or kernel mode."
Posted by Edward at 2:07 PM
Sony Rootkits your computer: "SONY ROOTKITS SYSTEMS when you put a CD in to play it, a prospect that is both disturbing and scary at the same time.
If you thought the record companies were not evil enough, this should be yet another cold splash of water in your face.
According to Mark Russinovich of Sysinternals, he was testing out his new rootkit scanner when he found one on his machine. A detailed version of the hunt is here, and it is well worth the read.
The parts that worry me are that they are putting uninstallable software that could have serious adverse effects on your system without notice or consent. They are doing this in the name of protecting their content, but for some reason I seem to be the last person on earth who seems to think their tendrils should not extend to places where my rights lie.
This is a very serious thing, if it happens to hose your machine when you try to get rid of it, tough luck. It is undocumented, and can cause problems, as it did to Mark, when you try to free yourself of it, and there is no tech support available that I could find. Oh yeah, it doesn't go away when you take the CD out either, it is there for the duration.
To make matters worse, to play your songs, you simply drop your legally purchased CD in your legally purchased computer, and you are infected with DRM, no choice in the matter. Imagine if you happen to do something as criminal as taking your legally purchased CD to work, where it conflicts with a piece of software. Who is responsible for the cleanup costs?
With any luck, and I can't believe I am saying this, an ambulance chasing scumbag lawyer will take this up and sue Sony into the ground for stupidity on this level. There has to be some letter of the law that was violated as arrogantly as purchaser's rights are.
So, it has finally come down to this, you don't have a choice about DRM, your rights are removed and there is no recourse. All of this to protect the profit margins of Sony Corp, at your expense. If there was ever a good argument for piracy, to me, this is it. No, better yet people, just say no and don't buy this crap, it is the higher ground. ?"
Posted by Edward at 2:06 PM
Hollywood wants laws to stop analogue recording: "FLUSHED with its success in defeating P2P pirates, the movie industry is lobbying to get senators to back a plan to ban on making digital copies of analogue recordings.
Called the 'Analog Hole' bill, it will make anyone who makes a digital copy of a telly program or a film from an analogue signal into a pirate.
Hollywood tried something similar with the Broadcast Flag bill, which went no-where and covered only television recievers. This one will covers everything with an analogue input including computers, video recorders and tellies."
Posted by Edward at 2:04 PM
Hubbert peak theory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "The Hubbert peak theory, also known as peak oil, concerns the long-term rate of conventional oil (and other fossil fuel) extraction and depletion. It is named after American geophysicist M. King Hubbert, who created a model of known reserves, and proposed, in 1956, in a paper he presented  at a meeting of the American Petroleum Institute, that oil production in the continental United States would peak between 1965 and 1970; and that world production would peak in 2000.
U.S. oil production peaked in 1971 , and has been decreasing since then. Global production did not peak in 2000, but Hubbert's model did not account for the 1973 and 1979 OPEC oil shocks, which effectively reduced global demand for oil and delayed the peak."
Posted by Edward at 1:40 PM
CITIZEN-TIMES.com: Intransigence of fundamentalists of all stripes is putting our world at greater and greater risk
"Today the world watches as fundamentalist Christians in the United States, opposing modernist thinking, science, and rapid cultural change, try to fashion a theocracy of sorts. They support required Christian prayer in schools and other public arenas, government intervention in people’s private lives, even telling us whom to marry, and appointment of judges whose views of social issues match theirs. The most extreme, Christian Zionists, subscribe to an apocalyptic view of history, whereby supporting Israel’s occupation of all Palestine is seen as fulfillment of biblical prophecy, which will help Jesus to come again.
Fundamentalists stress the literal interpretation of Scripture. One Orthodox Jewish man commented, “The only world God cares about is the world of Torah study. ... The outside world doesn’t have a place in the way we raise our kids.” His Muslim and Christian counterparts might share these sentiments concerning their own holy writings and their kids.
In the class, Dr. Steve Wilkerson, scholar of mythology and comparative religion, said that fear of change is at the core of fundamentalism, which attempts “to return to a world view that has vanished forever, if it ever existed.”"
Posted by Edward at 12:39 PM
Dispatches from the Culture Wars: Behe Disproves Irreducible Complexity: "And remember, the core of Behe's entire argument for ID is that irreducibly complex systems cannot evolve. Yet what does he admit under oath that his own study actually says? It says that IF you assume a population of bacteria on the entire earth that is 7 orders of magnitude less than the number of bacteria in a single ton of soil...and IF you assume that it undergoes only point mutations...and IF you rule out recombination, transposition, insertion/deletion, frame shift mutations and all of the other documented sources of mutation and genetic variation...and IF you assume that none of the intermediate steps would serve any function that might help them be preserved...THEN it would take 20,000 years (or 1/195,000th of the time bacteria have been on the earth) for a new complex trait requiring multiple interacting mutations - the very definition of an irreducibly complex system according to Behe - to develop and be fixed in a population.
In other words, even under the most absurd and other-worldly assumptions to make it as hard as possible, even while ruling out the most powerful sources of genetic variation, an irreducibly complex new trait requiring multiple unselected mutations can evolve within 20,000 years. And if you use more realistic population figures, in considerably less time than that. It sounds to me like this is a heck of an argument against irreducible complexity, not for it."
Posted by Edward at 12:23 PM
NASA - NASA Satellite Detects Massive Star Partner: "Eta Carinae is an unstable star thought to be rapidly approaching the final stage of its life. It is clearly visible from the southern hemisphere and has been the subject of intense studies for decades. This mysterious star is located about 7,500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Carina. Scientists thought a companion star in orbit around Eta Carinae might explain some of its strange properties, but researchers lacked direct evidence a companion star existed.
'Until now, Eta Carinae's partner has evaded direct detection,' said Dr. Rosina Iping, a research scientist at Catholic University of America in Washington. 'This discovery significantly advances our understanding of the enigmatic star.'
Evidence that Eta Carinae might be a double star system was inferred from a repeating pattern of changes in visual, X-ray, radio and infrared light over approximately 5.5 years. Astronomers thought a second star in a 5.5 year orbit around Eta Carinae might cause the repeated changes in its light. The strongest indirect evidence supporting the double star theory is that once every 5.5 years, the X-rays coming from the system disappear for about three months. Eta Carinae is too cool to generate X-rays, but it continuously blasts a flow of gas into space as a stellar wind at about 300 miles per second. "
Posted by Edward at 11:43 AM
Temple University | Office of Communications: "With nearly twice the energy of normal, bent-shaped ozone (O3), cyclic ozone could hold the key component for a future manned-mission to Mars. No one has ever seen-let alone made-cyclic ozone. But that could all change at Temple University's Center for Advanced Photonics Research, which has been awarded a one-year, $1.25 million grant to develop cyclic ozone by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration (DARPA)."
Levis points out that the successful production of cyclic ozone could play an important role in putting a human on Mars because rockets could be able to carry one-third more payload.
"The bent form of ozone carries about one-and-a-half volts of energy, while cycle ozone carries about three volts," says Levis. "So there's no more mass, but you can get much more energy when the cyclic ozone combines with hydrogen and is burned.
Posted by Edward at 11:41 AM
A Shocking Surprise: High Voltage Rats = Ozone, Reopens Power-line Debate: "RICHLAND, Wash. -- Rats subjected to extreme electromagnetic fields produce dangerous levels of the toxic gas ozone, according to a new study out of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory that is sure to reenergize the decade-dormant debate about safety around power lines and household appliances."
It is the first experiment to conclusively link an electromagnetic field with a health-adverse chemical effect in the presence of an animal, said Steven Goheen, a scientist at the Department of Energy lab and lead author of a paper published in the current issue of the journal Bioelectromagnetic
Posted by Edward at 11:38 AM
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
JFC Manual - The Flash card File: "The flash card file is a simple text file generated by any Japanese word processor that can save a file in either EUC or UTF-8 format (JFC will automatically determine the format of the file). Generally the flash card file should be saved with an extension of .jfc. The preferred format is UTF-8 since it allows support of European charter sets. EUC format has been included because this is the format supported by other flash card programs."
Posted by Edward at 1:04 PM
SCO describes alleged IBM Unix misuse to court | News.blog | CNET News.com: "October 31, 2005 6:18 PM PST
It took more than two and a half years, but the SCO Group finally has disclosed a list of areas in which it believes IBM violated its Unix contract, allegedly by moving proprietary Unix technology into open-source Linux.
In a five-page document filed Friday, SCO attorneys say they have identified 217 areas in which the company believes IBM or Sequent, a Unix server company IBM acquired, violated contracts under which SCO and its predecessors licensed the Unix operating system. However, the curious won't be able to see for themselves the details of SCO's claims: The full list of alleged abuses were filed in a separate document under court seal."
Posted by Edward at 12:31 PM
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