The Globe and Mail: Finding bias in rights reporting

The Globe and Mail: Finding bias in rights reporting (Paid content - try bugmenot or drop me a line) Why you read some of the things you do. Derived from this paper (pdf)

Amazon reviews that are worth reading

Finally - someone who tells us what we really want to know about all manner of things


Jerusalem Post | Breaking News from Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World

From the IP mailing list

Begin forwarded message:

From: Harry Saal
Date: May 30, 2005 11:52:11 AM EDT
To: Dave Farber
Subject: Trojan horse used for business espionage

Writers of viruses aren't merely doing it "for the thrill". Here is a story about what appears to be a trojan horse (delivered surreptiously via CD demo disks) that copied valuable business secrets which were sold to the competition. Apparently several "business intelligence" were involved in trafficking in the stolen information. Senior executives of the firms which purchased the ill- gotten information are under arrest. The article predicts that more shoes will drop in Europe and perhaps elsewhere. Should one presume that this practice is already "popular" in the US?
"Trojan horse also hit major int'l firms"

In an undercover operation codenamed "Horse Race" the Tel Aviv Police arrested last week leading executives from the country's top-tier companies who allegedly planted a computer virus known as a Trojan horse inside their competitors' computers and stole classified commercial information, it was released for publication on Sunday.

[From http://www.jpost.com article link]

Archives at: http://www.interesting-people.org/archives/interesting-people/

The Fields of Athenry

I think that Irish Potato famine is a perfect example of why we need some form of governemnt welfare. In that situation you had people who absolutely could not do anything other than live a hand-to-mouth existance who were hopeless in the face of a natural disaster that they could niether have predicted nor avoided. I would say that society has a moral responsibility to ensure the survival of it's most at risk members and that is is therefore the duty of the others to sacrifice.

This arguments answers the objectivist claim that self-reliance is the pinnacle of human achievement and that efforts to have others support you are inherently immoral.

It cannot answer the argument that society as a whole has no need nor duty to its weaker members but I deny that that is a true society.


It is probably too long since you went there


A Gamers' Manifesto

An interesting diatribe by a gamer who has heard the same sound snippet just one too many times. It's actually quite broad in it's coverage and gives some of the game maker's side of things where possible.

I like to think that some day the businesses of the world will wake up and realize they're part of a greater whole, that the energy devoted to cannabalistic infighting means ultimate doom for all. The leaders of the great religions of the world will realize that all of us, Muslim, Christian, Jew, all want the same for humanity. Women will realize it's the pale, studious type they want instead of the quarterback of the football team, and everywhere we walk, bunnies will dance a path for us. Dance, little guys! Dance!


Cell phones on planes worry US law enforcement

US law enforcement is obviously completely of its tree.

HDBlog.net » Blog Archive » PS3 OS: Linux

Tim Sweeney of EPIC games (makers of Unreal) seems to imply that the PS3 is going to run on Linux.



Scientific American.com: RNA to the Rescue

Novel inheritance patterns violate Mendel's laws

The central dogma of modern biology holds that genetic information is inherited in the form of DNA, copied into RNA and expressed as protein; pride of place goes to DNA. But the spectacular discovery that a species of plant can summon up genes its parents have lost highlights biologists' increasing recognition of RNA as a more versatile and important molecule in its own right.

Animal Diversity Web

So it turns out that the scientific name for a wolverine is Gulo gulo. Sounds like a cricketing term to me.


IPcentral Weblog: Patent Reform: Perhaps the Road Goes Through the Supreme Court

IPcentral Weblog: Patent Reform: Perhaps the Road Goes Through the Supreme Court

A delicious quote from Justice Bradley, in 1882

The design of the patent laws is to reward those who make some substantial discovery or invention, which adds to our knowledge and makes a step in advance in the useful arts. Such inventors are worthy of all favor. It was never the object of those laws to grant a monopoly for every trifling device, every shadow of a shade of an idea, which would naturally and spontaneously occur to any skilled mechanic or operator in the ordinary progress of manufactures. Such an indiscriminate creation of exclusive privileges tends rather to obstruct than to stimulate invention. It creates a class of speculative schemers who make it their business to watch the advancing wave of improvement, and gather its foam in the form of patented monopolies, which enable them to lay a heavy tax upon the industry of the country, without contributing anything to the real advancement of the arts. It embarrasses the honest pursuit of business with fears and apprehensions of concealed liens and unknown liabilities to lawsuits and vexatious accountings for profits made in good faith.

Excellent news about the US Congress commission examining patent reform </sarcasm>

A Less-Public Path to Changes In Antitrust: "The head of the 12-member commission is Deborah A. Garza, a partner at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP in Washington. Garza's partner and close associate in the firm, Charles F. Rule, represents Microsoft in court proceedings that monitor the company's compliance with its consent decree with the Justice Department."


Free Online Graph Paper / Grid Paper PDFs

A useful gaming resource that also has tools to generate custom metric square and hex paper.

More on REAL ID

US Senator Durbin has a thing or two to say about the act and why it is bad. He also says that US Senate Republican leadership had promised him that it would not be attached to the appropriations bill. *shock* *horror* They lied.


Things that don't exist

A list of such things.

Isaac Asimov would love this one

50 odd years ago Isaac Asimov wrote a short story. It tells the tale of a galactic bureaucrat who is inscribing the location of the galaxies' newest sentient culture. He is chatting with the underling who brought him the news of the event that thresholds the arrival of a new entrant, the testing of an atomic bomb. "Soon their spaceships will be soaring out beyond their orbital stations and moons to explore their system and the great beyond and there we will meet them with open arms."

"I am sorry to report sir, that it may take some time, they have not yet launched any spacecraft." [this was true 50 years or so ago when the story was written]

"What?" cried the elder. "Where did they test the bomb?"

"On the surface of their own planet, sir."

"Oh." says the other one and, grimly shaking his head, firmly crossed out their name from the great book.

Physicists Prepare to create quantum black holes

The Horror Of British Telecom

The Horror Of British Telecom - reminiscent of the pizza delivery routine from Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency.

Does the Real ID act contain a Constitution-busting Trojan horse?

Does the Real ID act contain a Constitution-busting Trojan horse?

II. Waiver of Laws to Facilitate Barriers at Border

Section 102 of the IIRIRA generally provides for construction and strengthening of barriers along U.S. land borders and specifically provides for 14 miles of barriers and roads along the border near San Diego, beginning at the Pacific Ocean and extending eastward. IIRIRA § 102(c) provides for a waiver of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA)45 and the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA)46 to the extent the Attorney General determines is necessary to ensure expeditious construction of barriers and roads...

H.R. 418 [the Real ID Act of 2005] would provide additional waiver authority over laws that might impede the expeditious construction of barriers and roads along the border. H.R. 418 would require the Secretary of Homeland Security to waive any and all laws that he determines necessary, in his sole discretion, to ensure the expeditious construction of barriers and roads under IIRIRA § 102...

Section 102 of H.R. 418 would amend the current provision to require the Secretary of Homeland Security to waive any law upon determining that a waiver is necessary for the expeditious construction of the border barriers. Additionally, it would prohibit judicial review of a waiver decision or action by the Secretary and bar judicially ordered compensation or injunction or other remedy for damages alleged to result from any such decision or action.

Opponents of the concept of judicial review appeal to an obscure and cryptic article of the Constitution, the (in)famous Article 3, Section 2 (A3S2 for short), which states:

In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.

That last sentence is the kicker, because it looks for all the world like language that would enable Congress to wave a magic A3S2 wand over any piece of legislation no matter how outrageous and have it be completely exempt from review by the courts. The implications for the system of checks and balances if Congress actually invokes this provision are about as profound as it gets, which is why no Congress in American history has ever opted to open that particular can of worms... until now.



Seriously cool 20 questions AI. It guessed CPU in 24 guessed, but we disagreed about 6 answers so I'd call it a draw.

Grocery Store Wars | Join the Organic Rebellion

Grocery Store Wars
Cuke: The Farm?
Obi-wan Cannolli: "The Farm is a kind of ... field, that creates all edible things."
Funny. See now. Laugh. Buy organic produce. Think of the children!

Boing Boing: Chaining AMZN's Statistically Improbable Phrases

I haven't browsed around Statistically Improbable Phrases yet. Apparently the next game we'll be playing is 6 degrees of Francis Bacon.

Boing Boing: Thin Firefox optimized for USB keychains

Boing Boing: Thin Firefox optimized for USB keychains I'm quite excited by this - the next thing to be done is to make the launcher OS independant. And then it needs to be installed on my portable music player. It needs Zoe. It needs to have a web server. It needs to be completely encrypted. Soon, young padwan, soon.

Hilary Rosen Laments Apple's DRM Strategy

Yes, that's right, Hilary "You're going to jail, bitch!" Rosen is grumpy about Apple's DRM Strategy. I quote Cory Doctorow:

Ha ha ha ha ha.

Index of /1/items/ThePowerOfNightmares

If anyone has yet to see The Power of Nightmares, you might find this link of interest.

Solar Death Ray

Who couldn't want a Solar Death Ray? And they're cheap!

Tracking people: TV signals go where GPS can't

Tracking people: TV signals go where GPS can't


kinda clever


Whiskey Bar: Rush to Judgment

Rush, sweet Limbaugh

Now they need my medical records, my private medical records to find out if I've committed a crime called doctor shopping? . . . But the question is this: Why would any of us want such records made public, even if they prove our innocence? It's not up to me to prove my innocence by giving up my right to privacy.
Rush Limbaugh
Radio Show
December 22, 2003

I warned you about this ever-broadening interpretation of the so-called right to privacy. It’s not a ‘right’ specifically enumerated in the Constitution or Bill of Rights.
Rush Limbaugh
Rush Limbaugh.com
August 22nd, 2003

Whatever: What My Jesus Would Do

Whatever: What My Jesus Would Do: "My Jesus forgives your Jesus"

Boing Boing: Finger finder wouldn't hand over the digit

Boing Boing: Finger finder wouldn't hand over the digit

Approximately 30 minutes later, the customer who purchased the pint, returned to the inside of the store and displayed the fingertip to the General Manager. The General Manager attempted to retrieve it and rush it to the hospital. Unfortunately, the customer refused to give it to her and declared that he would be calling the TV stations and an attorney as he exited the store.

Now it seems to me that the person who lost the finger has pretty decent grounds to sue the guy who wouldn't return his finger. Grand Theft Finger perhaps.

FAQ: How Real ID will affect you | CNET News.com

But the Real ID act won't affect me! I'm from Canukistan. That turns out not to be the case. See, Canadian provinces are linked into the US state DMV registries to allow such lovely things as reciprocal speeding tickets.

Public Knowledge - Public Interest Groups Praise Ruling Striking Down Broadcast Flag

Public Knowledge - Public Interest Groups Praise Ruling Striking Down Broadcast Flag

Background: The U.S. Appeals Court for the D.C. Circuit this morning struck down the Federal Communications Commission’s rule instituting the “broadcast flag.” The flag is a digital marker sent through over-the-air digital TV signals setting conditions on how the program may be used after it’s received.



TV Funhouse - school room rock

Huh... I wonder why this only aired once?

It's a Media-Opoly!
(right click to download)


The Time Traveler Convention - May 7, 2005

The Time Traveler Convention - May 7, 2005

The Time Traveler Convention
May 7, 2005, 10:00pm EDT (08 May 2005 02:00:00 UTC)
East Campus Courtyard, MIT
42:21:36.025°N, 71:05:16.332°W
(42.360007,-071.087870 in decimal degrees)

What is it?

Technically, you would only need one time traveler convention.
Time travelers from all eras could meet at a specific place
at a specific time, and they could make as many repeat visits
as they wanted. We are hosting the first and only Time
Traveler Convention at MIT in one week, and WE NEED YOUR HELP!

Why do you need my help?

We need you to help PUBLICIZE the event so that future time
travelers will know about the convention and attend. This web
page is insufficient; in less than a year it will be taken
down when I graduate, and futhermore, the World Wide Web is
unlikely to remain in its present form permanently. We need
volunteers to publish the details of the convention in
enduring forms, so that the time travelers of future
millennia will be aware of the convention. This convention
can never be forgotten! We need publicity in MAJOR outlets,
not just Internet news. Think New York Times, Washington
Post, books, that sort of thing. If you have any strings,
please pull them.

Great idea, I'd love to help! What should I do?

Write the details down on a piece of acid-free paper, and
slip them into obscure books in academic libraries! Carve
them into a clay tablet! If you write for a newspaper,
insert a few details about the convention! Tell your
friends, so that word of the convention will be preserved
in our oral history! A note: Time travel is a hard problem,
and it may not be invented until long after MIT has faded
into oblivion. Thus, we ask that you include the latitude/
longitude information when you publicize the convention.

You can also make an absolute commitment to publicize the
convention afterwards. In that case, bring a time capsule or
whatever it may be to the party, and then bury it afterwards.


The extracted text from a redacted PDF document discussing the death of an Italian secret service agent in a car approaching a US checkpoint in Baghdad. Classified text was in the redacted section and has been extracted.