in lieu of radio ...

a somewhat random collection of pages and thoughts started sept 16 2001. now that i'm not on the radio 6 hours every day, blogger allows all of us to harangue...

Wednesday, May 29, 2002

The FBI apparently used Carivore in an attempt to collect information on Osama bin Laden't network. Unfortunately they screwed up and collected information on "non-covered targets" (*ahem*, isn't this the sort of thing we weren't supposed to worry about...). Then the FBI tech was "so upset" that he destroyed ALL of the collected email, not only the information that was not covered by the warrant. Link:Memo: FBI destroyed evidence in bin Laden case after glitch with e-mail surveillance system (SF Gate)... and the folks at EPIC have a press release here

Monday, May 27, 2002

What would hapen if you started writing back to the spammers? The Spam Letters. Better yet, what would happen if you responded to a Nigerian 419 letter? The Kizombe Letters

Yay! (and what was the false-positive rate?) Palm Beach Airport Won't Use Face-Scan Technology

Thursday, May 23, 2002

Yay! (beware of 419s) Nigerian email fraud gang nabbed (Register UK)

Wednesday, May 22, 2002

The author of My New Fighting Teqnique Is Unstoppable and Get your War On has a very funny and encouraging | weblog

Tom Teepen on the latest example of US foreign policy orneryness. Seems hes one of the few mainsteam media figures who paid attention to the recent UN Special Session on Children. Link: Bush wins, children lose at U.N. (Cox New Service) (thanks to E for the link)

Sunday, May 19, 2002

" Open-source software could find itself locked out of a whole industry if the entertainment giants get their way on copyright protection" Good, lucid explanation of some of the real ojections to Hollings' bill.A Bad, Sad Hollywood Ending? (Business Week)

Saturday, May 18, 2002

Fascinating demo of an NLP/AI program which processes news articles and extracts keywords and phrases. Read 3 stories on 1 page in less than a minute! Perhaps this is what those "speed reading" courses purported to teach. Implications for deeper understanding/connections? Attention span? Link: KBwebmaster Demonstration

America Online has agreed to pay $15.5 million to settle a class-action lawsuit over complaints that the company's software cut off access to other Internet service providers ... But, if you wanna get paid ya gotta admiot you use AOL! Hmmm ...
AOL to pay $15.5 million to settle class-action suit
(SF Gate)

Friday, May 17, 2002

Sure, bullies abound, but this is ridiculous: Company claims patent on 'millions' of e-commerce sites Interesting that thet they have learned from previous losses and are now going after small companies. Maybe they wanna get a few wins under their belts before they take on the big boys...

Surprise, surprise... Face Recognition Technology Fails Again, ACLU Claims (

Monday, May 13, 2002

WOW! Not only does it not play, it locks up the drive! Link: Celine Dion kills iMacs! (MacUser UK)

Saturday, May 11, 2002

The US presents itself as the peace-broker in the Middle East. The reality is different. Chomsky continues his lonely voyage to wwards the margins of the US political thinking. To think, we used to see him on "Nightline"... The solution is the problem ( Noam Chomsky
Saturday May 11, 2002) Guardian UK

Pfau adds that the new ball will not allow players to be less skilful, as the ball's "sweet spot" is small. He says the ball is like a Formula One car - difficult to drive, but powerful when used by highly talented performers. World Cup ball "most accurate ever" (New Scientist UK)

Wednesday, May 08, 2002

Librarians Rule! Thanks to L for finding this, mentioned below. - Hanan Ashwari: Where We Went Wrong (February 2002, The Progressive)

Tuesday, May 07, 2002

Hentoff in the april 26 voice:
In a remarkable declaration in the February issue of The Progressive magazine, Hanan Ashwari—long the most ubiquitous advocate of full-scale Palestinian independence and a fierce critic of Israeli actions—writes of the current intifada:

"Why and when did we [Palestinians] allow a few from our midst to interpret Israeli military attacks on innocent Palestinian lives as license to do the same to their civilians? . . . When and why did our elected [Palestinian] legislative council become a political instrument for the few, or a self-negating powerless body for the many?" The article is titled "Where We Went Wrong." But Ashwari hasn't repeated any of this since.

But i cant find the original article...

No shit, Sherlock... Access to Free Online Music Is Seen as a Boost to Sales (NYT, free reg. req. Pop-up warning)

Monday, May 06, 2002

Good round-up by EFF of
Unintended Consequences: Three Years Under The DCMA

Wednesday, May 01, 2002

A history professor from Canada writes:
Subject: History 281E Identification

Identify for, 4 marks, the following . . .

Operation Desert Storm: (synopsis of answer) "Idi Amin, President of Rwanda, driven from his capital Mogadishu by US led coalition."

Hard to believe eh? No two facts belong in the same answer. This is the same student who reproved me for, in my ignorance of the system prevailing at UWO, giving him a 'brutal' C+, thereby jeopardizing his honours status. Truly scary thing is that there was 100% choice on this question, so this was one of he ones he thought he knew best.

ALMOST as good as my favorite from years past:

Reverend Ian Paisley: "founder of the Italian Communist Party."

Finally a judge with enough backbone to stand up to Ashcroft and strike a blow for due process! She really spanked 'em good. Enough to survive appeal? Link:Judge Rules U.S. Erred in Sept. 11 'Witness' Arrest (Reuters / Yahoo)