Some sources to feed the news/commentary jones:
Talking Points Memo
"If you understood everything I said, you'd be me" - Miles Davis
"There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge." - Bertrand Russell
"Take away the right to say fuck and you take away the right to say fuck the government." - Lenny Bruce
"Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!" - Homer Simpson
The Other Utility Fog
They link to me, I link to them, They link to me...
Safety Warning. Not for use as a stroller. May contain parts. Manufactured in a facility where one or more of the following may be present: Peanuts, almonds, unfiltered water, oxygen, ultaviolet and infrared radiation, sunlight. Use only as directed by your legal counsel. Do not use during earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, flooding or presidential election years. Use of handles may promote RSI, see your doctor or therapist before opening. May be flammable when exposed to open flame. Not for use as a stepping stool or adult seat. May cause injury if dropped from a height. Does not enable user to fly. Do not eat. If erection lasts for over 4 hours call friends and brag. Persons attempting to find a motive in this blog will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot. We don't need no stinkin' badges. Same-day service. Unplug after use. Slippery when wet. Ignore this notice. Use only as directed. Consume in moderation. Lather, rinse, repeat. Your mileage may vary. For external use only. Don't try this at home. No purchase is necessary. You must be present to win. Do not think of an elephant. Other restrictions may apply. Apply only to affected areas. Part of a daily balanced diet. No shirt, no shoes, no service. You need not be present to win. No user-serviceable parts inside. Do not exceed recommended dosage. Offer void where prohibited by law. Do not remove under penalty of law. You have the right to remain silent. If swallowed, do not induce vomiting. Valid only at participating locations. Freshest if used before date specified. Prices subject to change without notice. Do not fold, staple, spindle or mutilate. Contents may have settled during shipment. Caution! The edge is closer than you think. In emergency, break glass, pull down handle. Product is sold by weight and not by volume. Do not use if safety seal is torn or missing. If condition persists, consult your physician. Detach and include upper portion with payment. Nutritional need is not established in humans. Objects on screen are closer than they appear. Satisfaction guaranteed; return for full refund. Names have been changed to protect the innocent. Anything you say can and will be used against you. May be used as flotation device in case of emergency. Please note locations of emergency exits upon arrival. No animals were harmed in the production of this page. Caution: Dates on calendar are closer than they appear. Please leave as clean on leaving as you would like to find on entering. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Do not use if you have ever had an allergic reaction to this product or any of its ingredients.
Business is unpredictable and unsafe. The Internet is dangerous. Many blogs have been written about these dangers, and there's no way we can list them all here. Read the blogs.
The Internet is covered in slippery slopes with loose, slippery and unpredictable footing. The RIAA can make matters worse. Patent trolls are everywhere. You may fall, be spammed or suffer a DOS attack. There are hidden viruses and worms. You could break your computer. There is wild code, which may be vicious, poisonous or carriers of dread malware. These include viruses and worms. E-mail can be poisonous as well. We don't do anything to protect you from any of this. We do not inspect, supervise or maintain the Internet, blogsphere, ISP?s or other features, natural or otherwise.
Real dangers are present even on the Web. E-commerce is not the mall. It can be, and is, steep, slippery and dangerous. Web features made or enhanced by humans, such as firewalls and spam filters (if any) can break, collapse, or otherwise fail catastrophically at any time. We don't promise to inspect, supervise or maintain them in any way. They may be negligently constructed or repaired. The web is unsafe, period. Live with it or stay away.
Stay on trusted sites whenever possible. The terrain, in addition to being dangerous, is surprisingly complex. You may get lost. Carry food, water and an APU at all times.
Ads for things you don't want and other objectionable content can arrive from nowhere. This can happen naturally, or be caused by people around you that are being used as bots. Spam and disgusting images of all sizes, including huge images, can arrive, or pop-up with no warning. Use of spam filters is advised for anyone approaching the Internet. They can be purchased or rented from us. They won't save you if you get hit by something big or on a port you left open. A whole DOS attack might collapse on you and squash you like a bug. Don't think it can't happen.
Public opinion can be dangerous, regardless of the forecast. Be prepared with extra damage control, including press releases. Ticking off the blogsphere can kill you. The Streisand effect can turn a simple nastygram into a deathtrap.
If you make hasty comments about those in high places (making unsupported comments that reduce the image of a person, often posted quickly and without thinking) without proper thought and, or allow your employees to do so, you are making a terrible mistake. Even if you know what you're doing, lots of things can go wrong and you may be sued for libel. It happens all the time.
We do not provide rangers or security personnel. The other people on the web, including other visitors, our employees, agents, and guests, and anyone else who might sneak in, may be stupid, reckless, or otherwise dangerous. They may be mentally ill, criminally insane, drunk, using illegal drugs and/or armed with deadly malware and ready to use them. We aren't necessarily going to do anything about it. We refuse to take responsibility.
If you surf at work, you may become pre-occupied with it. This is true whether you are experienced or not, trained or not, equipped or not, though training and equipment may help. It's a fact, surfing at work is extremely dangerous. If you don't like it, surf at home. You really shouldn't be doing it anyway. We do not provide supervision or instruction. We are not responsible for, and do not track how much time you surf at work (although we could if we wanted to.) As far as we know, your employer may find out and send you plunging to unemployment. There are countless tons of loose management staff ready to be dislodged and fall on you or someone else. There are any number of extremely and unusually dangerous conditions existing on and around the Web, and elsewhere on the Internet. We may or may not know about any specific hazard, but even if we do, don't expect us to try to warn you. You're on your own.
Rescue services are not provided by us, and may not be available quickly or at all. Local computer geeks may not be equipped for or trained in hard drive recovery. If you are lucky enough to have somebody try to get rid of a virus or find that deleted file, they may be incompetent or worse. This includes your local computer store. We assume no responsibility. Also, if you decide to participate in a rescue of some other unfortunate, that's your choice. Don't do it unless you are willing to assume all risks.
By entering our site, you are agreeing that we owe you no duty of care or any other duty. We promise you nothing. We do not and will not even try to keep the premises safe for any purpose. The premises are not safe for any purpose. This is no joke. We won't even try to warn you about any dangerous or hazardous condition, whether we know about it or not. If we do decide to warn you about something, that doesn't mean we will try to warn you about anything else. If we do make an effort to fix an unsafe condition, we may not try to correct any others, and we may make matters worse! We and our employees or agents may do things that are unwise and dangerous. Sorry, we're not responsible. We may give you bad advice. Don't listen to us. In short, ENTER AND USE THIS SITE AT YOUR OWN RISK. And have fun!
Warning: This Product Warps Space and Time in Its Vicinity.
Warning: This Product Attracts Every Other Piece of Matter in the Universe, Including the Products of Other Manufacturers, with a Force Proportional to the Product of the Masses and Inversely Proportional to the Distance Between Them.
Caution: The Mass of This Product Contains the Energy Equivalent of 85 Million Tons of TNT per Net Ounce of Weight.
Handle with Extreme Care: This Product Contains Minute Electrically Charged Particles Moving at Velocities in Excess of Five Hundred Million Miles per Hour.
Consumer Notice: Because of the 'Uncertainty Principle,' It Is Impossible for the Consumer to Find Out at the Same Time Both Precisely Where This Product Is and How Fast It Is Moving.
Advisory: There is an Extremely Small but Nonzero Chance That, Through a Process Known as 'Tunneling,' This Product May Spontaneously Disappear from Its Present Location and Reappear at Any Random Place in the Universe, Including Your neighbor's Domicile. The Manufacturer Will Not Be Responsible for Any Damages or Inconvenience That May Result.
Read This Before Opening Package: According to Certain Suggested Versions of a Grand Unified Theory, the Primary Particles Constituting This Product May Decay to Nothingness Within the Next Four Hundred Million Years.
This is a 100% Matter product: In the Unlikely Event That This Merchandise Should Contact Antimatter in Any Form, a Catastrophic Explosion Will Result.
Public Notice as Required by Law: Any Use of This Product, in Any Manner Whatsoever, Will Increase the Amount of Disorder in the Universe. Although No Liability Is Implied Herein, the Consumer Is Warned That This Process Will Ultimately Lead to the Heat Death of the Universe.
Note: The Most Fundamental Particles in This Product Are Held Together by a 'Gluing' Force About Which Little Is Currently Known and Whose Adhesive Power Can Therefore Not Be Permanently Guaranteed.
Attention: Despite Any Other Listing of Product Contents Found Hereon, the Consumer Is Advised That, in Actuality, This Product Consists Of 99.9999999999% Empty Space.
New Grand Unified Theory Disclaimer: The Manufacturer May Technically Be Entitled to Claim That This Product Is Ten-Dimensional. However, the Consumer Is Reminded That This Confers No Legal Rights Above and Beyond Those Applicable to Three-Dimensional Objects, Since the Seven New Dimensions Are 'Rolled Up' into Such a Small 'Area' That They Cannot Be Detected.
Please Note: Some Quantum Physics Theories Suggest That When the Consumer Is Not Directly Observing This Product, It May Cease to Exist or Will Exist Only in a Vague and Undetermined State.
Component equivalency notice: The Subatomic Particles (Electrons, Protons, etc.) Comprising This Product Are Exactly the Same in Every Measurable Respect as Those Used in the Products of Other Manufacturers, and No Claim to the Contrary May Legitimately Be Expressed or Implied.
Health Warning: Care Should Be Taken When Lifting This Product, Since Its Mass, and Thus Its Weight, Is Dependent on Its Velocity Relative to the User.
Important Notice to Purchasers: The Entire Physical Universe, Including This Product, May One Day Collapse Back into an Infinitesimally Small Space. Should Another Universe Subsequently Reemerge, the Existence of This Product in That Universe Cannot be Guaranteed.
Use inside a nuclear power facility voids warranty.
Sun-Mar 30 2003
Get Your Warblog On
They ain't real, part #2
Sat-Mar 29 2003
One of Life's Little Pleasures...
..is seeing your favorite character actors at work. One of mine is William Forsythe , who seems to evenly split his roles between criminals and lawmen. He can currently found as a mysterious semi-sidekick and bartender on the series John Doe. He shouldn't be confused with the director of the Frankfurt Ballet.
"Here is one example of the far-reaching harmful effects of these bills. Both bills would flatly ban the possession, sale, or use of technologies that "conceal from a communication service provider ... the existence or place of origin or destination of any communication". Your ISP is a communcation service provider, so anything that concealed the origin or destination of any communication from your ISP would be illegal -- with no exceptions.
If you encrypt your email, you're in violation, because the "To" line of the email is concealed from your ISP by encryption. If you use a secure connection to pick up your email, you're in violation, because the "From" lines of the incoming emails are concealed from your ISP by the encrypted connection.
Worse yet, Network Address Translation (NAT), a technology widely used for enterprise security, operates by translating the "from" and "to" fields of Internet packets, thereby concealing the source or destination of each packet, and hence violating these bills. Most security "firewalls" use NAT, so if you use a firewall, you're in violation.
If you have a home DSL router, or if you use the "Internet Connection Sharing" feature of your favorite operating system product, you're in violation because these connection sharing technologies use NAT. Most operating system products (including every version of Windows introduced in the last five years, and virtually all versions of Linux) would also apparently be banned, because they support connection sharing via NAT."
Via Boing Boing
Thu-Mar 27 2003
Practice to Deceive
"Today, however, the great majority of the American people have no concept of what kind of conflict the president is leading them into. The White House has presented this as a war to depose Saddam Hussein in order to keep him from acquiring weapons of mass destruction--a goal that the majority of Americans support. But the White House really has in mind an enterprise of a scale, cost, and scope that would be almost impossible to sell to the American public. The White House knows that. So it hasn't even tried. Instead, it's focused on getting us into Iraq with the hope of setting off a sequence of events that will draw us inexorably towards the agenda they have in mind."
Milk shoots out my nose...
Glurt's "Sullen Froth" cartoons are splendid deadpan chuckles.
Click on the cat to get to the good stuff.
Say Goodbye to Entertainment if this Passes
Section 305 of the CLEAN-UP Act stipulates that:
"`Whoever, for a commercial purpose, knowingly promotes any rave, dance, music, or other entertainment event, that takes place under circumstances where the promoter knows or reasonably ought to know that a controlled substance will be used or distributed in violation of Federal law or the law of the place where the event is held, shall be fined under title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned for not more than 9 years, or both.'
Under the provision, any concert promoter, nightclub owner and arena or stadium owner could be fined and jailed, since a reasonable person would know some people use drugs at musical events."
Via Follow Me Here
Sun-Mar 23 2003
Montreal hockey spectators booed the American national anthem. Political sports fans: sign of the apocalypse #689
Just No Comparison
Letterman never fails to make me laugh out loud at least once while I can only stare at Leno in mounting horror.
Support the Troops?
"By a vote along party lines, the majority members of the House Budget Committee passed and reported for a vote by the House a budget resolution that would cut $844 million from veterans' medical care next year and $9.7 billion over the next 10 years. In addition, the budget resolution would cut $15 billion from the disability compensation and other benefit programs over the next 10 years. The House leadership are pushing these cuts to offset the cost of the President's $1.57 trillion tax reduction plan."
Fri-Mar 21 2003
They ain't real
If you get the "Bad American" email (supposedly by George Carlin) or the "Trying to Help" rant (attributed to Dennis Miller) be advised that however much you might (or might not) agree with the sentiments expressed, the two esteemed gentlemen are not the authors.
Source:My mad internet research skills
Call me Mr. Gadget (oh, right-already taken)
Let's say someone is tailgating you. All you need do is press a button and a laser range finder determines the distance between you and offender, a gps unit locates your position, and a digital camera takes a picture of following car with your speed, location, date, and distance all recorded in the picture. You could even automatically e-mail it to the state patrol.
Thu-Mar 20 2003
Wed-Mar 19 2003
Mon-Mar 17 2003
Here we are at the brink of war, and I'm posting about TV shows-oh well
The things I think about whilst driving
Previously I wrote about the "Resident Evil" movie and I've thought of another quibble with the plot's logic. In the movie our heroes are trapped in a hi-tech underground lab. They have disabled the AI that runs the lab with an EMP device and are beseiged by zombies. In order to escape the lab they restart the AI and threaten it with permanent destruction, forcing it to help them. But there is no reason to suppose an AI would possess a survival instinct. And even if it does regard continued existence as a priority, it may have higher ones. An artificial-intelligence's "motives" and "desires" may be totally different from those of an naturally evolved biological sentient. Hey! that's a neat acronym-Look, I'm a NEBS!
Sun-Mar 16 2003
Technology is good
13 Questions We Wish They'd Asked
At President Bush's Press Conference Thursday Night
8. Rather than make us wait for a supplemental budget request -- after the war has been launched -- to tell us what it, and its aftermath, will cost, don't you think the American people (who will pay the bill) deserve to know the latest long-term estimates before the fact?
9. Why did the U.S. edit the 12,000 page Iraqi weapons report (as recently revealed) to the U.N. Security Council, removing all names of U.S. companies that sold weapons materials to the Iraqis in the past?
10. Would you confirm or deny the reports this week, based on a leaked memo, that the U.S. bugged and otherwise spied on representatives of countries that are swing votes on the U.N. Security Council? Do you approve of such actions?
Source: Editor & Publisher Online
Perfect Xmas Gifts
From sister Kate comes the latest Japanese fad to leave us going "Huh?"-Nipple Scarves
Sat-Mar 15 2003
Some Reasons to Support Celebrities in Opposition to War
- Two weeks of basic training before filming "Saving Private Ryan" is more military experience than Condoleeza Rice, Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Cheney (5 deferments), Tom Delay and Dennis Hastert combined.
- Don Rumsfeld went to Iraq while Hussein used our chemical weapons on Iranian soldiers (and civilians along the border) and secured the additional shipments to the Iraqi dictator. Sean Penn visited Iraq, but has only used chemicals on himself.
- Martin Sheen has been arrested 70 times in his pursuit of peace and social justice. George W. Bush's three documented arrests: drunk driving, stealing a Christmas wreath and football hooliganism.
- Brit Hume, Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh are celebrities, not elected officials or diplomats (incidentally, all avoided service in Vietnam) who make their livelihood shilling for war. Garofalo, Damon et al risk their livelihoods by opposing it.
- There is no such thing as apolitical art.
- "Apocalypse Now!" took 5 years to complete and Martin Sheen saw it all the way through, disease, monsoons and all. George W. Bush skipped the last 17 months of his National Guard service in Texas.
- Are award shows asking pro-war celebrities to keep their remarks "neutral?"
- It's their First Amendment right.
Thu-Mar 13 2003
A modest proposal
I say we rename turkeys "freedom chickens".
Dumbest line from a movie trailer (this week):
"Don't let anything get in the way of your destiny". From my understanding of destiny, nothing can get in the way of destiny, that's why they call it destiny-it's destined.
I am greatly unimpressed by the new anti-satellite-dish TV commercial from Comcast: Satellite customer/schmuck constantly loses signal in strong winds, is advised to anchor dish in cement, cannot due to apartment/incompetence, tries attaching dish to light wooden bookshelf, dish blows off porch. Too bad our hero never thought to use a bucket of nice heavy sand. This commercial seems to say "Morons use Comcast".
While I'm on the subject of commercials: I'm baffled by the contradictions in the Dr. Pepper spots that have pop-stars made up to look like some other older star singing about being an original. "Hi, I'm copying someone else to sell you suger water, be original". It makes my head hurt.
Hulk Hate Bad Woman
Michelle Malkin has caused my gorge to rise ever since I first read her columns in the Seattle Times. I'm sad to see she is still practicing what I can only laughingly refer to as "Journalism". Read at your own risk.
Tue-Mar 11 2003
It feels good to scoop the New York Times
I wasn't going to post anything about this, figuring it would be all over the mass media and the blogosphere. Imagine my surprise:
""As part of its battle to win votes in favor of war against Iraq," the London-based Observer reported on March 2, the U.S. government developed an "aggressive surveillance operation, which involves interception of the home and office telephones and the e-mails of U.N. delegates." The smoking gun was "a memorandum written by a top official at the National Security Agency -- the U.S. body which intercepts communications around the world -- and circulated to both senior agents in his organization and to a friendly foreign intelligence agency."
The Observer added: "The leaked memorandum makes clear that the target of the heightened surveillance efforts are the delegations from Angola, Cameroon, Chile, Mexico, Guinea and Pakistan at the U.N. headquarters in New York -- the so-called 'Middle Six' delegations whose votes are being fought over by the pro-war party, led by the U.S. and Britain, and the party arguing for more time for U.N. inspections, led by France, China and Russia."
The NSA memo, dated Jan. 31, outlines the wide scope of the surveillance activities, seeking any information useful to push a war resolution through the Security Council -- "the whole gamut of information that could give U.S. policymakers an edge in obtaining results favorable to U.S. goals or to head off surprises."
Three days after the memo came to light, the Times of London printed an article noting that the Bush administration "finds itself isolated" in its zeal for war on Iraq. "In the most recent setback," the newspaper reported, "a memorandum by the U.S. National Security Agency, leaked to the Observer, revealed that American spies were ordered to eavesdrop on the conversations of the six undecided countries on the United Nations Security Council."
The London Times article called it an "embarrassing disclosure." And the embarrassment was nearly worldwide. From Russia to France to Chile to Japan to Australia, the story was big mainstream news. But not in the United States.
Several days after the "embarrassing disclosure," not a word about it had appeared in America's supposed paper of record. The New York Times -- the single most influential media outlet in the United States -- still had not printed anything about the story. How could that be?"
And all this time I thought we were just going to bribe people to vote our way.
Point by Point
I'm Shocked, Just Shocked
"British intelligence claims that Saddam Hussein has been trying to import uranium for a nuclear bomb are unfounded and based on deliberately fabricated evidence, according to an investigation by the UN nuclear inspectors in Iraq."
"The fabrication was transparently obvious and quickly established, the sources added, suggesting that British intelligence was either easily hoodwinked or a knowing party to the deceit."
Sat-Mar 08 2003
Just because you're paranoid....
"Evidence obtained by German hardware site tecChannel suggests a list of software installed on an XP machine is sent to Microsoft when users run Windows Update.
When patches are downloaded, a few kilobytes of data are sent in the opposite direction over a secure SSL channel.
Because the data is encrypted a simple packet sniffer can't be used to see what this data contains.
However tecChannel's tecDUMP utility takes advantage of an undocumented WinInet API, enabling an examination of the data before it becomes encrypted.
According to tecChannel, the information sent to Microsoft includes details of all the software installed in a machine, not only Microsoft applications."
Fri-Mar 07 2003
A relic from my impressionable youth
Starz!Family cable channel is showing Dr. Syn, Alias the Scarecrow ,a Disney TV special from 1963. Which means when it first aired I was only 5 (you do the math). I do remember the vivid impression it made on me-The evil that authority can do under the guise of law and order, rebellion wearing the face of compliance, conspiracy, betrayal, distrust of authority, secret societies and hidden tunnels-heady stuff for Disney to be showing a 6-year-old. Patrick McGoohan is one of the foundations for what passes as my character, as Dr. Syn and as The Prisoner.
I had no idea there were books about the good Doctor, imagine the effect they would have had on my tender psyche.
Wed-Mar 05 2003
I just don't what to think
I just saw the new Victoria's Secret ad that uses Bob Dylan's "Love Sick" as the soundtrack.
through streets that are dead
walking with you in my head
My feet are so tired
My brain is so wired
And the clouds are weeping
Can anyone in the class explain the appeal of cognitive dissonance?
Tue-Mar 04 2003
Thanks for nothing, #%^%$#*&*! Baseball
Since I drive for a living delivering books around Seattle I often depend on traffic radio. I have been listening to KOMO1000. Their pitch is "traffic on the fours, 24 hours a day, seven days a week". I like traffic reports every 10 minutes-it's very handy. Imagine my delight to discover their promise falls flat on it's ass whenever they broadcast Mariner baseball. I listen to as much "exciting" play-by-play as I can stomach and I still have yet to hear a traffic report. And with what-200 games a season, each one lasting 10 hours or more-there goes any hope of useful information when I need it. I'm just afraid the next traffic station I find will be full of crank right-wing talk-shows. I hate call-in talk-shows.
Is there a hidden city under Tokyo?
"Sitting on the Ginza subway from Suehirocho to Kanda, he says, you can see many mysterious tunnels leading off from the main track. "No such routes are shown on maps." Traveling from Kasumigaseki to Kokkai-gijidomae, there is a line off to the left that is not shown on any map. Nor is it indicated in subway construction records."
Via Boing Boing
Mon-Mar 03 2003