Sunday, September 30, 2007

EFF sues the DOJ for withholding records of telecom surveillance immunity lobbying

By Ryan Paul
Published: September 28, 2007 - 09:43AM CT

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has filed a lawsuit against the US Department of Justice (DOJ) in an effort to obtain records that could shed light on telecommunication industry lobbying activities. The EFF suspects that major telecommunications companies like AT&T have attempted to use political leverage to compel lawmakers to support legislation that would grant the companies legal immunity for their involvement in the federal government's extralegal electronic surveillance program.

The EFF requested records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) last month from the Department of Justice and Office of Legislative Affairs. The records sought by the EFF include documentation of interaction pertaining to FISA amendments and surveillance immunity between Department of Justice officials, representatives of the telecommunications companies, and members of the Senate or House of representatives. The government has failed to process the FOIA request within the 20-day maximum waiting period stipulated by law, so the EFF has followed up its request with a lawsuit (PDF) demanding swift compliance.

Recent reports have revealed evidence that the telecommunications companies have been heavily lobbying for immunity in order to avoid potentially costly and embarrassing litigation.

Related Stories

Bush administration proposes retroactive immunity for phone companies

Friday, September 28, 2007

Satellites capture evidence of Burma crackdown

High-resolution satellites images may provide valuable evidence of the
violent methods used by Burma's ruling junta to crack down on
pro-democracy demonstration in recent days.
...Evidence has been requested from satellite imaging companies, including GeoEye and Digital Globe, which provide pictures with a resolutions down to about 1 pixel per metre.
...The US Campaign for Burma
plans to take all the evidence to the UN to support their plea for
invention by the Security Council. "Even China and Russia can no longer
argue that nothing is happening in Burma," says Aung Din, policy
director for the US Campaign for Burma.
...The work is part of the AAAS Geospatial Technologies Program,
set up by the MacArthur Foundation to help human rights organisations
gain access to new technology. "Claims made by human rights
organisations can be difficult to verify and quantify," Bromley says.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Vista Error

Display driver has stopped working and has recovered. Interesting the music never stopped playing, while the screen went blank.

Genomic Research

DNA Extracted From Woolly Mammoth Hair

Science Daily

Stephan C. Schuster and Webb Miller of Penn State, working with Thomas
Gilbert from Copenhagen and a large international consortium,
discovered that hair shafts provide an ideal source of ancient DNA -- a
better source than bones and muscle for studying the genome sequences
of extinct animals. Their research achievement, described in a paper to
be published in the journal Science on Sept. 28, includes the
sequencing of entire mitochondrial genomes from 10 individual woolly

Drawing of a woolly mammoth. (Credit: Penn State University)

Vista Crash

Windows Explorer crash.

Time Warner Reduces Number of Showtime Channels by Seven.

This message is what shows up when you tune to the channel.

The west coast channels of Showtime have been discontinued. YHoju will continue to receive the primary channels of Showtime. Showtime on Demand (ch 1113) gives you access to yo0ur favorite Showtime programming at your convenience.
I wonder is the rate is to be reduced?

Japanese photographer killed

27 September 2007

Japanese photographer killed, another foreign journalist injured Reporters Without Borders is appalled by the death of a Japanese news photographer on the streets of Rangoon this morning. Kenji Nagai, fifty years old, worked for the photoagency APF.
He has been in Burma for two days. Another foreign journalist was reportedly injured. The press casualties came after the security forces opened fire on demonstrators near the Tarder Hotel in the centre of Rangoon.

Art or Bioterrorism:

By RU Sirius
September 26th, 2007

Strange Culture filmA federal grand jury rejected the charges, but instead handed down
indictments with two counts each for "mail fraud" and "wire fraud." According to the CAE, the charges "concern technicalities" about how Kurtz obtained "$256 worth of harmless bacteria for one of CAE's art projects." (Robert Ferrell, former head of the Department of Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh's School of Public Health, and a collaborator on several of CAE’s projects, now facing charges along with Kurtz) In this interview, Kurtz characterizes the charges even more bluntly. "The Department of Justice can drop a major felony on someone for filling out a warranty card incorrectly and mailing it."

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Well yet another crash in Vista. Windows Explorer again.


Luis A. Vega
The cost of producing electricity with OTEC plants is compared to the cost of electricity produced with fossil-fueled plants.
In the case of OTEC, when appropriate, the cost of electricity is estimated with credit for the desalinated water produced. The production cost of OTEC products are levelized over the life of the plant (nominal value: 30 years). Two generalized
markets are considered: industrialized nations and smaller, less developed island nations with modest needs. Scenarios under which OTEC could be competitive are established.
The scenarios are defined by two parameters: fuel cost, and the cost of fresh water production. In the absence of natural sources of fresh water, it is postulated that the cost of producing desalinated water from seawater via reverse osmosis (RO) be considered as the conventional technique. This approach yields a direct relationship between desalinated water production and fuel cost; and therefore, a scenario
defined with one aprameter.
It is postulated that OTEC should only be considered as a system to produce electricity and desalinated water, because OTEC-based, mariculture operations and air conditioning systems can only make use of a small amount of the seawater available, and therefore, could only impact small plants. The use of energy carriers (e.g.:Hydrogen) to transport OTEC energy generated in floating plants, drifting in tropical waters away from land, is determined to be technically feasible but requires increases in the cost of fossil fuels of at least an order of magnitude to be cost effective.
It is determined that plants of at least 50 MWe capacity would be required for the industrialized nations; and, that if desalinated water is required to reach wider scenarios, it is proposed that a hybrid plant be used, based on the closed cycle for the electricity production and a second-stage, for
desalinated water production, consisting of a flash (vacuum) evaporator and surface condenser. Closed cycle plants, without second-stage desalinated water production,
are found to be cost effective if housed in floating vessels, moored or dynamically positioned a few kilometers from land, transmitting the electricity to shore via submarine
power cables. The moored vessel could also house a hybrid OTEC plant and transport the desalinated water produced via flexible pipes. It is recommended that a floating 5 MWe and
7,500 cu m/day demonstration plant be designed, installed and operated prior to the commercialization of plants of at least 50 MWe capacity.


[Editor's Note: Craig Murray, former United Kingdom Ambassador to Uzbekistan, author of the book, Murder in Samarkand: A British Ambassador's Controversial Defiance of Tyranny in the War on Terror, and contributor to Atlantic Free Press
has recently had his personal blogging site - as well as a number of sites not owned by him and on the same server, taken down by his U.K. hosting company due to pressure from Schillings, a high-powered London Law firm, on behalf of Uzbeki Alisher Usmanov
- the latest Russian billionaire to move to the United Kingdom.
Usmanov's lawyers have gone after the host of Murray's site rather than Craig Murray himself. It seems they would prefer not to have Murray on the stand in a courtroom. Usmanov is allegedly livid - as it has been leaked that he was not a political prisoner at all, but rather a hard-nosed criminal.

Other Links:

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

AMD's Open Source Video Drivers

AMD will be establishing a viable open source
Linux driver for their X1K and HD2K series video cards, and will be continuing to provide their binary drivers simultaneously. AMD will not be providing any of their current driver code for use in the open source driver - this would break licensing agreements and reveal trade secrets - rather they want their open source driver built from the ground-up. Furthermore they will not be directly working on the driver themselves (we assume all of their on-staff programmers are
"contaminated" from a legal point of view) and instead will be having the open source community build the drivers, with Novell's SuSE Linux division leading the effort.

Microsofts Lobbyists against Google

Microsoft... is trying to stop Google from being able to acquire DoubleClick. In order to get support in blocking the deal, Microsoft apparently had a big PR firm try to put together one of these fake "coalitions" using the name "Initiative for Competitive Online Marketplaces"... which
appears to be designed solely to release reports critical of Google practices. The problem, though, is that the email the PR firm used to "recruit" members to join this group has leaked out and is getting press attention.
Again, there's nothing particularly new in all of this. There are countless such organizations, but it's rare to get the details on how one was brought together. In this case, the email being sent to potential participants urges them to complain about Google's practices to politicians, regulators and the media. Even though Microsoft put the group together, apparently the PR firm did not reveal that.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Seagate 750 gig External Drive

First thing to note, its way to bright, what is it with computer related manufacturers don't they know we like to sleep sometimes. Man I mean its bright. I did not care for the included software and I am in the process of removing it. Its been 10 min. now. The problem with the software is that it is inflexible, it expects you to work the way it wants you to. My system is not setup that way.
Good news, the drives light is only on when the drive is active.

I am going to try and make Japanese Pancakes. I need to find the mix.

US Government is Threatening to shut Down Arecibo Observatory

I just can't belive how bad our government is; From Pharyngula:

Where could we possibly find $4 million?

Category: PoliticsScience

Posted on: September 23, 2007 4:00 AM, by PZ Myers

Hmmm. Estimates of the cost of the war in Iraq range from $4.4 to 7.1 billion per month. If I assume about $5 billion, it looks like we're throwing away about $7 million per hour in that effort; so it looks like a little bit more than a half-hours worth of bloody war costs us $4 million. So let's just stop for about 40 minutes, OK?

What was the point of that calculation? The government is threatening to shut down the Arecibo Observatory unless they can cough up $4 million dollars for its operating budget for the next three years. Wow.

The National Science Foundation, which has long funded the dish, has told the Cornell University-operated facility that it will have to close if it cannot find outside sources for half of its already reduced $8 million budget in the next three years — an ultimatum that has sent ripples of despair through the scientific community.
Shall we trade three years of science for less than an hour's worth of war? That sounds like a no-brainer to me. The observatory doesn't even kill anybody in normal operation. Or is that considered a strike against it?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Atheist Experience #519: Logical Fallacies

Atheist Community of Austin
1 hr 25 min 7 sec - Sep 23, 2007

Friday, September 21, 2007

Professor Chemerinsky

According to Leiter’s report, about a week ago Chemerinsky signed a contract to be the dean of Irvine’s Donald Bren School of Law. But Yesterday, Irvine’s chancellor, Michael V. Drake, flew to Duke and fired Chemerinsky, “saying that he had not been aware of how Chemerinsky’s political views would make him a target for criticism from conservatives,” according to the report.
Chemerinsky said, “Obviously I’m sad because it’s something I was exciting about. I’m angry because I don’t believe anyone liberal or conservative should be denied a position like this because of political views.”

Other Links:
Brian Leiter’s Law School Reports, a blog on comings-and-goings in legal academia

Erwin Chemerinsky (pictured), a prominent constitutional law scholar
Times story on Chemerinsky
Irvine’s Donald Bren School of Law
Donald Bren, a billionaire real estate developer and big Republican donor, click here
Read more: Law School

More related content

What ever happened to the right to dissent?

Thu Sep 20, 2007 at 11:04:32 AM PDT

Are we at that stage where the cancer of extremism within our country,
the lack of an open, free and independent press has extinguished an
honest and open debate on the issues, where our President believes he
is king and not subject to the checks and balances of the co-equal
branch of government we call Congress? Is democracy being threatened
from within?

The fall of the Godmongers

I highly recommend reading this article.

Praise Jesus, it's the collapse of evangelical Christian rule in America. Rejoice!

By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist
Friday, September 21, 2007
...Because right now, there is perhaps no greater item we as a struggling human ant farm can be grateful for, no single social emetic we can look to for inspiration or hope or a happy tingly sensation in our collective groinal region indicating a possible move away from our long-standing Dick-Cheney-in-hell attitude of shrill bleakness, alarmism and religious righteousness than the simply wonderful implosion of the evangelical Christian right that's happening right now in America.
...They're the throngs of megachurch lemmings Karl Rove masterfully manipulated and rallied and whored to Bush's very narrow advantage in two elections.

They're the ones who've made all the headlines and influenced all sorts of laws and national policy changes lo, this past half-decade concerning everything from stem cell research to gay marriage to evolution, sanitized school textbooks to failed abstinence programs to RU-486 restrictions to silly anti-science rhetoric, the ones who gasped in horror at a woman's bare nipple and made a disgusting mockery of Terri Schiavo and actually applauded when John Ashcroft spent $8,000 of taxpayer money to throw some heavy drapery over the shamefully exposed breasts of the bronze (female) Spirit of Justice statue in the Hall of Justice. And so on.

They are, in short, responsible for a great many of the most notable social and intellectual embarrassments in America since the new millennium took hold, and rest assured, we and the rest of the civilized world shall recall their bleak accomplishments for much of our natural born lives, and shudder.
...Because this is the delightful thing about the fundamentalist worldview (and, for that matter just about any strict religious worldview you can name), the thing that absolutely and forever guarantees its frequent and eventual downfall: It can never be sated.

It's true. No matter how clamped down we as a culture become, no matter how much misinterpreted Biblical dogma we're forced to swallow, no matter how many insidious laws are passed limiting behaviors and restricting independent thought and repressing sexuality and banning dildos in Texas, it will never be enough.

And why? Because the fundamentalist mind-set is not so much a firm and rational set of beliefs based on thoughtful interpretation of strict Biblical screed as it is, well, a paranoid wallowing in fear. Fear of the Other, fear of change, of progress, of the new and different and young and the sexual and the truly spiritual.


Researchers report in the journal Cell that
the phenom is likely linked to two enzymes—SIRT3 and SIRT4—in
mitochondria (the cell's powerhouse that, among other tasks, converts nutrients to energy). They found that a cascade of reactions triggered by lower caloric intake raises the levels of these enzymes, leading to an increase in the strength and efficiency of the cellular batteries.
By invigorating the mitochondria, SIRT3 and SIRT4 extend the life of cells, by preventing flagging mitochondria from developing tiny holes (or pores) in their membranes that allow proteins that trigger apoptosis, or cell death, to seep out into the rest of the cell.
"We didn't expect that the most important part of this pathway was in the mitochondria," says David Sinclair, an assistant professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School and a study co-author. "We think that we've possibly found regulators of aging."

Homemade mayonnaise

21 Feb 2006 by maki

If there is one food that has defeated me over the years, it's
mayonnaise. For the longest time I couldn't figure out how to make a good mayonnaise. I read the instructions in numerous cookbooks. I watched the Good Eats episode about it. I tried using a food processor, a stick blender, whipping by hand.

Every time, I'd end up with a mess -

Mini-Mag Orion

The original Orion project was headed by Ted Taylor from General Atomics, who together with the famous physicist Freeman Dyson suggested ejecting nuclear explosives behind a spacecraft in order to propel it forward. The Mini-Mag system uses a magnetic field in order to trigger an explosion of compressed material in the form of small pellets weighing several grams. This explosion, although being significantly weaker than a nuclear explosion, creates plasma that is directed through a magnetic nozzle to generate vehicle thrust. The proposed technology enables the production of thrust at high efficiency, hopefully allowing drastic reduction of interplanetary travel time. According to calculations performed by AS&T, this type of propulsion system can produce the same thrust as the Space Shuttle Main Engine, with 50 times more efficiency.
Due to the magnetic compression thrust technology, spacecrafts could be smaller and less heavy. The spacecraft itself will only have to carry a relatively small amount of fissionable material as fuel and will be able to reach speeds of approximately 10% of the speed of light. Dr. Dana Andrews, AS&T Chief Technology Officer and Mini-Mag Orion inventor, and Roger Lenard from the Sandia National Laboratories, have published a paper describing their research into the Mini-Mag Orion concept in the Acta Astronautica – Journal of the International Academy of Astronautics.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Okonomiyaki Recipies\Austin Japanese Restaurants

Google search for "okonomiyaki Austin"

  1. ...I don't know of any restaurants that serve Okonomiyaki in the Austin area. But it is very easy to make.

    Go to Asahi Imports (6105 Burnet Road) and ask for Okonomiyaki flour. The recipe is on the package. The store also has all of the other ingredients (except for meat, fish) and will cheerfully help you identify and locate them. Then go to Whole Foods downtown and ask for the pork and/or beef sliced "shabu shabu" sytle. Mix up the batter and cook it on whatever you use to make pancakes. thebodytx Jul 30, 2007 08:41AM

    ...As far as okonomiyaki is concerend, it's the SAUCE that makes or breaks it! I'd recommend Otafuku Sauce, but our family tradition is to mix tonkatsu sauce with ketchup and worcestershire sauce. And of course, you have to have kewpie mayonnaise! (American and Ajinomoto mayonnaise are too sweet for okonomiyaki). You also have to have all other little ingredients (and you have to have the right grill)--too much work if you're making it just for yourself and especially if you've never made one.
    kuidaore Jul 31, 2007 06:01PM

  2. ...For dinner we went to Okonomi-mura (Okonomiyaki village). Hiroshima is known for their okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake and literally, "grill/cook what you want"), and boy do they know how to do it right! Okonomimura is just a building with 4 floors of nothing but back to back okonomiyaki shops. It's kinda ridiculous to have so many of the same thing in one place, but that's what makes it fun!

    I'm pretty sure that I came to this shop...or one very close to it, when I was here last.

    This is what the okonomiyaki looks like when it's first getting started.

    And then it turns into this delicious goodness. And Hiroshima doesn't ruin it with mayo, woohoo!

    Note: Love there website glad I found it.

  3. Musashi no Sushidokoro
    3407 Greystone Drive
    Austin, Texas 78731
    North of intersection of Mopac and Farwest on the West access road
    (beneath "China Town")
    The best sushi in Austin, Texas.
  4. Okonomiyaki (Japanese Omelette)

    1/2 cup of
    rice or other flour
    1/3 cup of water
    1 large
    1 square of cotton (firm)
    tofu cubed
    or 1 boneless
    chicken breast
    a handful of various greens
    1/4 of a medium onion
    1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil

    shoyu soy sauce
    thinly sliced
    thinly torn shiso leaf or green

    What to do:
    Add seasonings to shoyu
    to taste. Start with just a pinch of each. Perhaps add some saké. Yay!
    In a bowl, mix flour, water, and egg. Chop all vegetables and meat. Sauté the tofu or the chicken pieces in 1 tablespoon of hot grapeseed oil. Then mix the vegetables and tofu into the mixing bowl batter. Reheat the pan and cook small amounts about the size of pancakes until golden brown on each side.

    Plate the okonomiyaki by divided into slices, drizzle sauce on top and serve.
  5. Easy, Basic Okonomiyaki Batter
    2 eggs
    2.5 Cups water
    2 Cups rice flour
    1 Cup shredded cabbage
    1/2 Tbsp dashi soup stock
    1/2 Cup yam flour

    {Dashi, Rice Flour and Yam Flour (preferably yamatoimo, if you can find it) are available at most Asian groceries.}

    In a bowl, beat the eggs lightly with a whisk or spoon.
    Whisk in the dashi, water, and yamatoimo. Gradually add the flour, whisking until smooth. Then add the cabbage.

    (you can remove the eggs and dashi to make it vegetarian-safe, but it doesn't taste as good, IMHO)

    Toppings (optional):
    Thinly sliced beef, pork, chicken, shrimp, scallops, etc.
    Ground beef works in a pinch too.

    Oil up a griddle, skillet or hot-plate. Pour on some batter in a roughly round shape. If you have toppings, add them now, then pour some more batter over it.
    Wait until it hardens, then flip it like a pancake.

    Easy, Basic Okonomiyaki Sauce:
    1 Cup mayonaisse
    1/4 Cup Mr. Yoshida's Original Sauce
    1 Tbsp Wasabi (paste, not powder!)

    Mix it all together until it's smooth.
    Alter amounts to taste, if you like.

    Some people add catsup and/or brown sugar.
    Use spicy Japanese mayo if you can find it.
    You can also use teriyaki sauce instead of Mr. Yoshida's.

    Spread the sauce on top of the okonomiyaki and serve it.
    I like to eat it with yakisoba, but that's preference.

    Keep in mind that this is not, by any stretch of the imagination, an authentic recipe, just an easy one.

  6. This is how to cook Hiroshima's okonomi-yaki using hot plate at home.

    1. Spread base(A mixture of flours, water, and etc.,) .
      Hot plate's temperature is medium position. When you spread base you make a circle quickly from core to out avoiding run through same place. Diameter is about 20cm.
    2. Put grained fish and tang on the base.
    3. Hot plate's temperature is high position(over 200$B!n(J).
      Put a full bowl of cabbage.
    4. Place fried flours on the cabbage.
      $B"((JIt is delicious to put teared fried dry squid.

    5. Put sliced stone leek.

    6. Put bean sprouts on the stone leek.

    7. Put sliced porks on the whole.
      Place three sliced porks avoiding overlapping each other.
    8. Pour base mixture on top.

    9. Lift carefully and turn okonomi-yaki bottoms up.

    10. Separate noodles. (Use salad oil for separating
      steamed noodles. Use water for separating boiled noodles.)
      Put contents such as vegetables into base.
    11. Fry noodles with yakisoba sauce beside okonomi-yaki.

    12. Make noodles roundly.
      During those process, vegetables are steamed.

    13. Put okonomi-yaki on spreaded noodles.

    14. Hot plate's temperature is medium position.
      Press okomoni-yaki lightly.
    15. Break an egg beside okonomi-yaki.
    16. Spread the egg same side of okonomi-yaki.
    17. Put okonomi-yaki on the egg.
    18. Turn it again, and face egg side up.
      It is easy to turn if you separate okonomi-yaki from the hot plate before you turn okonomi-yaki.
    19. Spread fully okonomi-yaki sauce on the egg surface.
    20. Put grained seaweed. It is done.

Dan Rather Makes Questionable Case Against Science Behind Boeing Dreamliner

By Aaron Rowe EmailSeptember 19, 2007 | 7:39:52 PM Categories: Materials Science, Pretty Dumb
Aeroflot By taking a cheap shot at Boeing, Dan Rather may be headed for a comeback less graceful than Britney Spears' performance at the MTV Music Awards.
On the most recent edition of his new show, he reported on Tuesday that the new 787 Dreamliner aircraft may be unsafe. Since then, dozens of news agencies have jumped on the bandwagon. Most of them are reporting that the carbon fiber frame may not be as safe as aluminum. Few have bothered to question Rather's claims that the composite materials are brittle, more likely to shatter on impact, and prone to emit poisonous chemicals when ignited

High School HARLANDALE Volleyball

I just came across this, this was my high school, I remember our volleyball team, they were exceptional.

High Schools: A look back at S.A.'s seven state volleyball champions
Web Posted: 08/11/2007 09:33 PM CDT
Terrence Thomas
San Antonio Express-News

Year: 1968
Record: 19-0
Coach: Hattie Mae Kerbel
Team roster: Shirley Amons, Olivia Cantu, Sylvia Castillo, Karen Davies, Marie Garcia, Gladys Heinsohn, Norma Patterson, Diane Rodriguez, Mary Louise Ruiz, Loretta Tuck, Estela Vela, Lucy Yelland.

Rundown: With just one player taller than 5-foot-7, the Indians establish themselves as the city's first powerhouse, going unbeaten and defeating Houston Spring Woods to capture the Class 4A state championship. The Indians would advance to the state tournament in five of the next six seasons.

Richard Dawkins Video

Kent Hovind Creation Science Evangelism Ministries Videos

Submitted by RationalRespons... on Mon, 2007-09-17 15:57. Kent Hovind has stated many times that "our material is not copyrighted." In September 2007, about the same time that "Creation Science Evangelism Ministries" sent DMCA take down notices, their website was changed to reflect a new copyright rule for their website. On their website in September of 2007 they in fact present their copyright on material effective as of January 2005. This new change to their website can be documented here. As you can see, they did not have the "clickable" copyright notice on any page of their site as of any other date!
Keywords: Operation Spread Eagle, Kent Hovind, Creation Science, Evangelism Ministries, Eric Hovind, Jo Hovind, Liar, Evolution, Copyright, Fraud, Youtube, Fair Use Law, EFF.

A Little Scoop on Bush, Chirac, God, Gog and Magog

By Jacques Sterchi

Rue89 in partnership with La Liberté, Fribourg

Monday 17 September 2007

In 2003, University of Lausanne theology professor Thomas Römer received
a telephone call from the Elysée. Jacques Chirac's advisers wanted to
know more about Gog and Magog ... two mysterious names pronounced by George
W. Bush while he was attempting to convince France to enter the war in Iraq
at his side. In its September edition, the University of Lausanne's review,
Allez savoir, reveals this story that could seem fantastic did it not, as Allez
savoir's Editor-in-Chief Jocelyn Rochat emphasizes, reveal the religious underpinnings
of Bush's policy.

Apocalyptic prophecy: Bush would have declared to Chirac that Gog and Magog
were at work in the Middle East and that the Biblical prophecies were in the
process of being fulfilled. That was several weeks before the intervention in
Iraq. The French president, to whom the names of Gog and Magog meant nothing,
was stupefied.

In Allez savoir, Thomas Römer details: Gog and Magog are two creatures
who appear in Genesis, and especially in the most arcane chapters of the Old
Testament Book of Ezekiel. An apocalyptic prophecy of a global army giving final
battle in Israel.


Translation: Truthout French language editor Leslie Thatcher.Go to Original

Worm Poop Threatens Corporate Profits

Well I have just bought the last thing I will ever get from Scotts Miracle-Gro. Its TerraCycle from now on.

Some of the nation's biggest corporations have found that baseless lawsuits are often a useful tool for squashing upstart competition. The latest example of this kind of noxious behavior comes from Scotts Miracle-Gro, a $2 billion company that claims 60 percent of the nation's garden-care market. Earlier this year, Scotts sued the tiny New Jersey start-up TerraCycle, which sells fertilizer made from all-natural worm poop, packaged in recycled soda bottles. Scotts alleges that TerraCycle has copied its packaging design and engaged in false advertising.
TerraCycle was started by college students and has never made a profit, but has made in-roads into some of the bigger retail outlets.
Apparently Scotts sees the worm poop as a threat. TerraCycle has fought back mainly with PR. They've put up a cheeky website that notes that the Scotts CEO gets a half-million dollars worth of "personal aircraft use" each year, while TerraCycle's CEO's biggest perk is unlimited free worm poop. The website also has some funny photos comparing the two companies' headquarters.

120 other lawn and garden products with yellow and green labels

81 lawn and garden products with yellow and green labels

39 additional lawn and garden products with yellow and green labels

Group Sues Pentagon Over First Amendment Religion Issue

Yesterday, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation
filed a lawsuit against the Pentagon, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and U.S. Army Major Paul Welborne. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, alleges that Army specialist Jeremy Hall, who is currently serving in Iraq, had his First Amendment rights violated last Thanksgiving when he was threatened and otherwise harrassed because he declined to participate in a Thanksgiving prayer ceremony.

According to Hall, who is an atheist, when he refused to join hands with other soldiers and pray, he was told by a staff sergeant (who first had to ask someone what an atheist was) that he could not eat Thanksgiving dinner with his peers. Hall, however, continued to eat his dinner at the table.

According to the complaint, in August, Hall received permission from a military chaplain to organize a group for atheist soldiers, but when the group met, Major Welborne broke it up, and also threatened to charge Hall with violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Hall says that Welborne further threatened him that he would block Hall's re-enlistment in the Army if the atheist group continued to meet. Hall alleges that Welborne disrupted the meeting and confronted those in attendance.

Hall's complaint is not unique. Just last month, the Pentagon's Inspector General responded to a complaint by an MRFF that Defense Department officials violated their own regulations by appearing in a video to promote a fundamentalist Christian organization.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Bush's Holy War on Nature

By Chip Ward

September 16, 2005
...This much is clear: The Bush administration does not respect a broad American consensus that the quality of our lives is directly linked to the integrity and health of the environment. Differences in philosophy about property rights, the role of government, and the best means to change self-destructive behaviors will translate into different approaches to environmental policy -- for example, whether to curb pollution by creating market incentives or by passing tough laws. But until now Republicans did not reject the need for environmental policy altogether. What happened?
The answer is a familiar one: Bush's righteous base, the rightwing fundamentalist Christians, are having their way -- the zealots who think Revelations is the only guide to foreign policy and that Nature is a mere stage for their personal salvation drama -- men like Majority Leader Tom DeLay who have publicly proclaimed that they do not believe in evolution, or other Republican congressional leaders who got 100% ratings from the powerful Christian Coalition, including House Speaker Dennis Hastert, presidential hopeful Bill Frist, Policy Chair Christopher Cox, National Leadership Chair Rob Portman, powerful senators like Mitch McConnell, Kay Hutchinson, Rick Santorum, George Allen, and many more who are, environmentally speaking, the American Taliban.

Our President himself recently declared "the jury is still out" on evolution. The administration's push to satisfy its base by devaluing and discrediting evolutionary theory has profound implications for environmental policy and law. If you don't believe in the evolutionary sciences, chances are you also don't heed or trust the ecological sciences that underlie environmental law and policy. When conservation biologists talk about keystone (or endangered) species, fundamentalists are far more likely than most Americans to listen skeptically. The value of biodiversity as a measure of ecosystem health is going to be of little concern to those who do not understand or accept the critical role that species interaction plays in keeping ecosystems resilient in the face of disturbance and stress.
In fact, fundamentalist Christians often have only contempt for ecological science, which they view as nothing more than the cover Pagans use to push a godless, nature-worshiping agenda. To many fundamentalists, enviros are the new commies. Utah's righteous patriarchal politicians cannot even utter the term "environmentalist" (usually pronounced environ-MENTAL-ist, as if it were a psychological disorder) without attaching the adjective "extreme" to the term.
If you believe that God made the world for you and instructed you to dominate it and be fruitful, then you are likely to see yourself as above and beyond the natural world. If you are God's chosen, then how can you fear that he will not provide for you no matter how large your numbers grow or what you do to your surroundings? God, after all, can change nature's laws, which are part of his "intelligent design" in the first place. So you are unlikely to fret about practicing environmental restraint or worry about environmental toxins -- righteousness being the best prophylactic against disease in a world where God's will is done.
If you believe that the world's end is imminent, then why not use it before you lose it? If you believe that when the world-ending moment arrives, you will be "raptured" away and Christ will return to rule at last, then, hey, bring it on! Those who are "left behind," as fundamentalist Tim Lehaye describes it in his bestselling novels, deserve to suffer because they failed to accept Christ as their personal savior. So the President's fundamentalist base favors the present over a future they disown.
Perhaps the greatest gap between the belief systems of fundamentalists and environmentalists is the difference between hubris and humility. Fundamentalists have a death grip on truth and do not entertain doubt; while one of the key insights of the ecological sciences is that nature may not only be more complex than we thought, but more complex than we can think. Conservation biologists respect the intricate and reciprocal nature of living systems and realize that even the most seemingly insignificant species may turn out to play an unexpected and important role in them. Such insights underlie
precautionary approaches.
According to Bush's political base, the future is theirs; nature was put here for us to use as we please; God will provide; and foolish unbelievers will be abandoned, like those desperate refugees at the New Orleans Super Dome, in a trashed and shredded world. We had our chance, but decided to listen to scientists, believe in dinosaurs, hug trees, and wring our hands over pupfish, spotted owls, and the odd centipede or two. While our jaws drop at their arrogant and reckless behaviors, they just shake their heads and chuckle condescendingly at all of our "liberal whining." It's a holy war, after all, and they are most righteous.
Bush's assault on the environment makes perfect sense once you see the bargains that drive it. The fundamentalists give Bush political power; his corporate cronies get free reign to plunder the land for their profit; and the fundamentalists get the heads of nature-worshipping enviros on an arsenic platter. The rest of us, of course, get left behind.

Chip Ward, assistant director of the Salt Lake City Public Library System, is a political activist and leader in the struggle to keep the Great Basin Desert from becoming a nuclear waste dumping ground. He is the author of Hope's Horizon: Three Visions for Healing the American Land (Island Press).

Copyright 2005 Chip Ward

Other Article Links:
This piece first appeared at

...connected so many things (including what was happening in Iraq and here ...

...New Orleans is now a vast toxic dump (and, as at Ground Zero in New York after 9/11, a toxic cover-up is sure to follow
the city's embattled wetlands are in dismal shape; a superfund toxic waste site remains underwater; the whole area may prove an "underwater Love Canal"; parts of the Gulf of Mexico are now covered with huge, if unacknowledged, oil slicks;...

...As relief expert David Langness wrote at Juan Cole's Informed Comment website on his return from New Orleans, the city is

"under a toxic brew of foul water,...

...Cases of silenced government scientists and experts, censored reports, disbanded scientific advisory panels, and withheld evidence abound. (The National Resources Defense Council has listed dozens of examples on its website.)...

Invisible editors of Wikipedia outed

The CIA, the Democratic Party, the Vatican, SeaWorld and voting machine supplier Diebold.
All have anonymously edited articles, according to the British Broadcasting Corp. and various technical publications.
The invisible editors were outed by Wikipedia Scanner,
an application recently invented by graduate student Virgil Griffiths, which has compared 5.3 million edits in the past five years against more than 2 million Internet addresses whose owners are public knowledge.
Last year, someone edited the Wikipedia entry for the SeaWorld theme parks to change all mentions of “orcas” to “killer whales,” insisting that this was a more accurate name for the species.
There was another, unexplained edit: A paragraph about criticism of SeaWorld’s “lack of respect toward its orcas” disappeared.
Both changes, it turns out, originated at a computer at Anheuser-Busch, SeaWorld’s owner.

Faith Based Dominist Groups

It furthermore doesn't help when one of the main people partnering with the President on "faith-based issues" is the former head of Straight, Inc. himself.
(Of note, Sembler and Bush set up an agency similar to Florida's FACCCA as an alternative licensing board for faith-based "behaviour mod" facilities; after five years of multiple incidents of abuse at these facilities exempted from licensing (including a facility where two attempted escapees were forced into a pit
in a manner more resembling something out of Gitmo than a rehab facility) Texas finally discontinued the program--but not before people were forced into "faith-based coercion". George W. Bush has since attempted to use the failed Texas model as a nationwide model for "faith-based services".

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Flying Wing

Flying dude

This one is straight out of a James Bond movie or Batman script.

German researchers this week showed off their Gryphon personal
strap-on jet wing that lets the pilot scream through the air at about
135MPH. The Gryphon features a six-foot wing and hand-held rotary
controls for the rudder. The system includes onboard oxygen and helmet
that features a heads-up display.

Researchers say the final version of the flying wing will contain an
electronic system that will take care of some of the steering for the
pilot which today can be a little tricky, researchers say.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Amplified Photon Thruster

Young Bae, founder of the Bae Institute in Tustin, Calif., first demonstrated his photonic laser thruster (PLT), which he built with off-the-shelf components, in December.

The demonstration produced a photon thrust of 35 µN and is scalable to achieve much greater thrust for future space missions, the institute said. Applications include highly precise satellite formation flying configurations for building large synthetic apertures in space for earth or space observation, precision contaminant-free spacecraft docking operations, and propelling spacecraft to unprecedented speeds -- faster than 100 km/sec.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Copyright Alliance Pretending That Gov't Backed Monopolies Are The Free Market Again

from the up-is-down,-black-is-white dept

A few months back, the big entertainment companies formed yet another
copyright lobbying group -- as if they didn't already have enough -- to
push for more restrictive copyright policies that would limit the
rights of consumers. This was the group that just last week was trying
to spread the myth that fair use was not a right
and copyright holders should be able to lie about what rights copyright
grants them. However, the head of the group, Patrick Ross, really seems
to get into trouble when he tries to trot out free market concepts to
support his positions. You may recall back in January his position that
getting rid of the DMCA would go against the free market because it would represent government intervention.
He seemed to totally ignore the fact that it was the DMCA that was
gov't intervention in the first place. Apparently, Ross hasn't given up
on this "up is down, day is night" type of debate style, as copyright
expert William Patry has taken Patrick Ross to task for claiming that
new laws supporting consumer rights when it comes to copyrighted
content were "government intervention" against the free market. As
Patry points out all copyright is government intervention
-- and supporting stronger copyrights is to be calling for greater
gov't intervention. To then claim that giving more power back to the
consumers on copyright is gov't intervention, is being intellectually
dishonest. You can support copyright by claiming that the market breaks
down and there's a market failure that necessitates such gov't
intervention (and, in fact, many people do). But to claim that stronger
copyrights means a stronger free market is an outright falsehood. Ross
seems to be under the false impression that the "natural" position of
the market is to have the strongest possible copyrights, and therefore,
any weakening of that is gov't intervention. That creates a complete
blindspot to the fact that all copyright is government intervention,
and giving rights back to consumers is less government intervention.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Solar craft flies through two nights

I wonder how large it can scale?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Vacation Networks. Inc.

I just got a letter from my vacation company. VNI They have been in business 8 years now, and we have been members for 4 years. The gist of the letter is that because of complaints VNI has received, they are giving us two options. A. We continue with they and they will double our remaining weeks. Which for us is an increase from 33 to 66 weeks. We have used none of our weeks. B. They will buy us out for 25% of our purchase price. That does not seem a good deal at all. I would want 100% + 6% per year in interest on everything spent, now thats reasonable.

I wonder whats behind this. Time for some research.

Lets see,

Vacation Reservation Systems Inc.’s Privacy Policy

Occasionally we make our customer list available to carefully screened companies whose products may be of interest to you. If you prefer not to receive such mailings, please send your request to:Network Privacy / 4210 / Columbia Rd. / Martinez, Georgia 30907 or Email
I have not found much on them, but some complaints; not many but then they seem to use to actively remove complaints and replace them with good links. Not encouraging.
We have not used any of our time but did try once, they were not able to come through for us. That is we tried for a week in Montreal and they found nothing there. When we did it on our own we found plenty of places to stay.
Just found their website, not much there, basic info:
Department Directory

Customer Service
Address: Vacation Reservation Systems Inc.
ATTN: Customer Service
P.O. Box 189
Evans, GA 30809
Phone: 888.889.9523
Fax: 888.890.1389
Mon-Fri 9am-5pm(EST)

Condominium, Suite, Villa Reservations
Address: Vacation Reservation Systems Inc.
ATTN: Reservations
P.O. Box 189
Evans, GA 30809
Phone: 888.889.9523
Fax: 888.890.1389
Mon-Fri 9am-5pm(EST)

Technical Support (Website)
Address: Vacation Reservation Systems Inc.
ATTN: Technical Support
P.O. Box 189
Evans, GA 30809
Phone: 888.889.9523
Fax: 888.890.1389
Mon-Fri 9am-5pm(EST)


Cassini-Huygens: Mission to Saturn and Titan
Cassini-Huygens: Mission to Saturn and Titan

Vista Error Msg.

Just got another error message in Vista, that windows explorer has stopped working.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Technology for Comparing Different Editions of the Same Print

biologist developed a method to determine the date of antique prints made from hand-cranked presses. In his so-called print-clock method, image analysis software counts the number of breaks in the lines appearing in each print. Successive prints made from the same wooden or copper block show more breaks, since breaks in the wood and thinning of the copper occur evenly over time.

To think that world domination could have begun in the cheeks

I do so love stories like this, it just makes sense.

"Extra gene copies are an easy way for evolution to ramp up expression of a protein," said Nathaniel Dominy, assistant professor of anthropology at University of California, Santa Cruz, and one of the paper's authors. "Why wait for chance mutations to improve gene function? Natural selection can favor duplicate copies of a gene that already works well, and enzyme production will increase."

Other primates eat mainly ripe fruits containing very little starch. A new ability to supplement the diet with calorie-rich starches could have fed our large brains and opened up new food supplies that fueled our unrivaled colonization of the planet, Dominy said.

The researchers sampled saliva from 50 European-American undergraduates and found as many as 15 copies of the amylase gene per person. By comparison, all 15 chimpanzees they sampled had exactly two copies each. Students with more copies of the gene also had higher concentrations of the enzyme in their spit.
For Dominy and his coauthors, the finding goes beyond the mouth. In pondering human origins, Dominy said, anthropologists have long been stumped by the sudden, nearly simultaneous increases in our brain size, body size, and geographic range, while other apes changed little. Early humans simply must have found some source of better nutrition to make it all possible, they reasoned.

"That's the big mystery of paleoanthropology," Dominy said. "What changed? Why did our earliest human ancestors deviate from the pattern we see in living apes to evolve this incredibly large brain, which is very energetically expensive to maintain, and to become a much more efficient bipedal organism?"

For years, the answer was thought to be the growing importance of meat in the diet, as early humans learned to hunt. But, Dominy pointed out, "Even when you look at modern human hunter-gatherers, meat is a relatively small fraction of their diet. They cooperate with language, use nets; they have poisoned arrows, even, and still it's not that easy to hunt meat. To think that, two to four million years ago, a small-brained, awkwardly bipedal animal could efficiently acquire meat, even by scavenging, just doesn't make a whole lot of sense."

Some anthropologists have begun to suspect the new source of food consisted of starches, stored by plants in the form of underground tubers and bulbs--wild versions of modern-day foods like carrots, potatoes, and onions. Once early humans learned to recognize tuber-forming plants, they opened up a food source unknown to other apes.

"It's kind of a goldmine," Dominy said. "All you have to do is dig it up."

Offhollywood RED Shoot - Behind The Scenes

Using the Red One camera, video is not HD.


dodecasub.jpgThe Dodecasub is a powerful subwoofer with a difference. Ten individual ten-inch subwoofers are packed into all but the top and bottom faces of a dodecahedral structure. Each one can pump out 600 watts, making Elemental Designs's $2500 creation capable of a whopping 6000 watts. The speakers are apparently designed, however, to constrain the "sweet-spot" to a small area, keeping the sound refined.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Daniel Cooper says Bible Study is more important than doing his Job.

The head of the U.S. federal government agency that doles out benefits to disabled veterans is under fire for saying Bible study is "more important than doing [my] job."

Two organisations, Veterans for Common Sense (VCS) and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), demanded an investigation Tuesday of Daniel Cooper, President George W. Bush's undersecretary for benefits at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Their complaint stems from an appearance Cooper made in a fundraising video for the evangelical group Christian Embassy, which carries out missionary work among the Washington elite as part of the Campus Crusade for Christ.

In the video, Cooper says of his Bible study, "it's not really about carving out time, it really is a matter of saying what is important. And since that's more important than doing the job -- the job's going to be there, whether I'm there or not."
Veterans for Common Sense and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation believe Cooper violated the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits government officials from advocating a particular religion while on the job.

They also believe Cooper violated ethics rules that prohibit government officials from using their name, picture, or title for proselytising or fundraising.

"We're very concerned about this because hundreds of thousands of veterans are waiting for their benefits while Cooper himself says that promoting his religion is more important than helping the veterans," Veterans for Common Sense's Paul Sullivan told IPS.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Mozy is Down Again

I am unable to connect, there web site seems down as well.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Whole-grain breakfast has 10-hour impact

Experiments also showed that the blood sugar increase following breakfast can be moderated in a similar way by eating the right grain products the night before, said study leader Anne Nilsson, a doctoral student at Lund University.

"It is known that a carbohydrate-rich breakfast with low glycemic index can moderate increases in blood sugar after lunch," Nilsson said in a statement.

"But my results show that low glycemic index in combination with the right amount of so-called indigestible carbohydrates, that is, dietary fiber and resistant starch, can keep the blood-sugar level low for up to 10 hours, which means until after dinner."

Barley had the best results of the four types of grain tested.

Glycemic index is a measure of how rapidly the level of blood sugar rises after ingestion of food containing carbohydrates. Foods with low glycemic index offer several health advantages because the blood sugar level rises slowly and the insulin increase is lower.

300 fps

CASIO's next-generation camera shoots VGA-equivalent movies at a speed of 300 frames per second. This means that you can easily shoot ultra slow-motion movies at speeds that have until now been available only on professional level cameras. Not only does this open up a whole new world of motion that is not apparent to the naked eye, it also provides a valuable tool for analysis of sports events and fast-moving action.

My feature requests

I would really like the camera to be able to output in the .png format, in at least truecolor RGB type 2 with 48 bits. The other formats would be good as well.

It would also be good to use both compact flash and SD cards. Flexible battery; being able to use Nimh AA cells and a lithium battery pack. An external battery pack able to use Nimh C cells, that uses the internal cells at the same time. A full featured and powerful handle bar flash, that allows use of the built in flash at the same time. Good sound recording.

Continuous wifi dump of images/files to portable hard drive, and/or other media, computer, network, internet. Being able to view/review images in real time on a larger portable external screen via wifi, (a 4x6 inch screen would be nice). If you decided to make the screen a full featured remote controller for the camera I would not mind.

Nuclear Bombs Mistakenly Flown Over US


A B-52 bomber was mistakenly armed with six nuclear warheads and flown for more than three hours across several states last week, prompting an Air Force investigation and the firing of one commander, Pentagon officials said Wednesday.

The plane was carrying Advanced Cruise Missiles from Minot Air Force Base, N.D, to Barksdale Air Force Base, La., on Aug. 30, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of a Defense Department policy not to confirm information on nuclear weapons.

Todays Tea

Todays tea is two quarts worth of decaff, one quart of black, and one cup of green, mixed to yield 3 quarts. Freshly brewed of course. Its not bad.

Just remembered I need to take my meds, (its why I brewed the tea in the first place). Blood Sugar is at 180 mg/dL. Bad.

Took my meds.


They report that this so-called Baptistina family must have come from the collision of a 37-mile-wide asteroid with one measuring 106 miles wide—the parent of 298 Baptistina—some 160 million years ago.

The explosion would have showered the space around Earth and the moon with asteroids, doubling the overall rate of Earth and lunar impacts for the next 100 million years or so. Among the shower would hurtle dozens of "dinosaur killer" asteroids six miles wider or larger, approximately one of which should have struck Earth, according to results published in Nature.

Feeling Kinda Strange

Checked my blood sugar and it really low, 54. Went downstairs and got myself a snack.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


To eliminate individual variations in tree ring growth, dendrochronologists take the smoothed average of the tree ring widths of multiple tree samples to build up a ring history. This process is termed replication. A tree ring history whose beginning and end dates are not known is called a floating chronology. It can be anchored by cross-matching either the beginning or the end section against the end sections of another chronology (tree ring history) whose dates are known. Fully anchored chronologies which extend back more than 10,000 years exist for river oak trees from South Germany (from the Main and Rhine rivers). A fully anchored chronology which extends back 8500 years exists for the bristlecone pine in the Southwest US (White Mountains of California).

Publications on Critique of Theism

Baiji back from the dead?

Tales of the baiji's demise may have been much exaggerated. Apparently, video has appeared of a rare Yangtze river dolphin--potentially
the last of its kind--though the video is bad enough for the
identification to be suspect. Scientists plan to search the spot of
sighting in September and interviews with local fishermen continue.

Just adding to my labels.

White House scrubs site in attempt to make office 'exempt'

Nick Juliano
Published: Tuesday September 4, 2007

The White House has scrubbed its Web site of evidence it has reversed its policies on allowing public access to information to which it is legally entitled. However, a source told Raw Story that the scrub would have no legal implications.

Sometime over the weekend, White House computer technicians removed from government Web sites any references to the Office of Administration or its previous compliance with Freedom of Information Act requests.

Where visitors once just found information about how to file public records requests or view annual reports on the Office of Administration's FOIA compliance, the White House has appended the following admonition:
"The Office of Administration, whose sole function is to advise and assist the President, and which has no substantial independent authority, is not subject to FOIA and related authorities. However, these pages have been maintained due to the Presidential Records Act."
Two other sites that previously listed the OA as subject to FOIA regulations have since been updated to reflect the opposite position, with similar stark denials of public accessibility at the top of each page.

...The office previously had a set of FOIA protocols and handled FOIA requests...

... the Bush administration is trying to subvert long-standing open-government policies...

The White House's attempt to erase the policies was discovered on the same day Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington submitted a new brief in its FOIA lawsuit seeking information on five million missing e-mails sent by the president's advisers on Republican Party-owned accounts.

CREW first documented the White House efforts Tuesday,...

This is the prior inforomation dated from October 6, 2005, which for some reason is the latest date available via the Wayback Machine.

The Office of Administration's Electronic Reading Room

The Electronic Reading Room contains documents specifically identified for inclusion by the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), as well as documents for which we have received multiple FOIA requests.

  • GILS Information
  • Purchase Cardholders
  • Annual FOIA Reports
  • Index and Descri
  • Meet IvanAnywhere

    Glenn Paulley, director of engineering query processing at Sybase iAnywhere, walks with IvanAnywhere as it motors down a corridor at the company's offices in Waterloo.

    Tuesday, September 04, 2007

    Cleaning Clean Rooms

    NASA clean rooms, where scientists and engineers assemble spacecraft, have joined hot springs, ice caves, and deep mines as unlikely places where scientists have discovered ultra-hardy organisms collectively known as ‘extremophiles’. Some species of bacteria uncovered in a recent NASA study have never been detected anywhere else.

    Monday, September 03, 2007

    More Microsoft being Microsoft

    But I find that my resolve is being sorely tested. Because Microsoft's behavior in the last few months with respect to OOXML has been egregious. They haven't stopped at pushing a "standard" that is divisive, technically bogus, and an obvious tool of monopoly lock-in; they have resorted to lying, ballot-stuffing, committee-packing, and outright bribery to ram it through the ISO standardization process in ways that violate ISO's own guidelines wholesale.

    If Microsoft succeeds (which is beginning to look likely) they will have not merely damaged the prospects of open-source software, they will have ruined the good name of ISO by corrupting its people and processes. Because if OOXML, with all its huge flaws, really does pass, no one who has been conscious while this was going on is going to believe the process it passed through wasn't a charade bought and paid for by Microsoft marketing.

    WebKit Open Source Project

    WebKit is an open source web browser engine. WebKit is also the name of the Mac OS X system framework version of the engine that's used by Safari, Dashboard, Mail, and many other OS X applications. WebKit's HTML and JavaScript code began as a branch of the KHTML and KJS libraries from KDE. This website is also the home of S60's S60 WebKit development.

    Sunday, September 02, 2007

    BWC EXCEL Wind Turbine

    The BWC EXCEL is a modern 6.7 meter (22 ft) diameter, 10,000W wind turbine designed for high reliability, low maintenance, and automatic operation in adverse weather conditions. It is available in two configurations: battery charging and grid-connected (the pumping version is not currently available). The BWC Excel is a ruggedly built turbine that comes with the longest warranty (5 years) in the industry.

    Battery charging BWC EXCEL's can be supplied with outputs of 48, 120 or 240 VDC. They are well suited for large rural homes, remote villages and facilities, eco-tourism resorts, and larger telecommunications sites.

    Connected to the grid, the BWC EXCEL can provide most of the electricity for an average total electric home at moderate wind sites. The all new GridTek 10 power processor (inverter) is the most advanced in the industry and it carries a full
    UL certification to the latest utility standards.

    Prices, which include a voltage regulator, pump controller, or a line-commutated inverter, range from $21,900 to $27,900.

    Wind Power in Hull, Mass.

    Andrew Stern, an advocate who helped launch wind power in Hull, talks to a group Tuesday about the project at the base of Hull Wind 1. Planning the construction of this turbine took about five years. It cost $770,000 and earned back the initial investment, paid by the municipal power company, in about three and a half years. Now that the upfront costs have been recovered, the turbine saves the town $1 million every three and a half years in power it would have to buy from the grid.
    Wind turbine

    Saturday, September 01, 2007

    Take me to the River

    Reading Up On the Drug War


    Maria Jimena Duzan is a journalist with El Espectador (The Spectator) of Bogota, a splendid newspaper aligned generally with the Liberal Party. Her Death Beat, translated from the Spanish in 1994 by Peter Eisner, is simply the best book of our times on crime reporting. With hair follicles tingling, the reader wonders how an attractive, well-educated woman got close enough to the murderous subjects she investigated--Colombia's infamous cartel lords--with her objectivity and her life intact. In 1989, Guy Gugliotta and Jeff Leon of the Miami Herald staff produced the still relevant Kings of Cocaine: Inside the Medellin Cartel, focusing upon druglord Carlos Lehder. Again, the odor of exploding dynamite, the grins of the payoff goons, and the screams of the syndicate's torture victims all come alive, with lots of facts that stand up to later discovery. Max Mermelstein was the evil brain behind the Medellin cartel during that era. He spilled his guts about the infamous Ochoa brothers, Juan David and Fabio, to adventure author Robin Moore, who published the tale in 1990 as The Man Who Made It Snow. Arturo Carrillo Strong was a narcotics agent in the southwestern United States during the 1970s, when hard drugs of Latin American origin were becoming a plague. His memoir, Corrido de Cocaina: Inside Stories of Hard Drugs, Big Money, and Short Lives, appeared in 1990 and gives the reader a chilling longitudinal awareness of the street drug culture in the United States.

    Communication in Latin America: Journalism, Mass Media, and Society

    Book Review.

    The looting of Kenya under President Moi

    The breathtaking extent of corruption perpetrated by the family of the former Kenyan leader Daniel Arap Moi is revealed in a secret report which lays bare a web of shell companies, secret trusts and frontmen used to steal over two billion dollars worth of state money.

    Quad Copters at CCC Camp: Video 1

    Neat, me want.

    Design of Propeller Chip

    So, all I’ve said so far amounts to just this: Through an exceptional effort, we made the Propeller as electrically robust and efficient as we could. This, still, is not the core quality issue, but a supporting one. The core quality of the Propeller really resides in its architecture. The architecture is what took the first six years of development to iron out, and the architecture is what engages people. All the effort that went into the silicon implementation was to ensure that this core quality was ideally housed.

    Starfish Self Modeling Robot

    Very impressive, this robot was created by Josh Bongard, Victor Zykov, and Hod Lipson.

    Edward A. Villarreal. Powered by Blogger.


    Total Pageviews