Thursday, March 31, 2005

Passport Chip Criticism

It looks as if more people are raising concerns about the US government's intent to place RFID chips in Passports issued later this year. Wired's article talks once again on the dangers of such a system to the public, and the governments down playing of the problems.

Wired: Passport Chip Criticism Grows

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Two-thirds of world's resources 'used up'

Two-thirds of world's resources 'used up'. That is the headline in the Guardian and the BBC.

· Because of human demand for food, fresh water, timber, fibre and fuel, more land has been claimed for agriculture in the last 60 years than in the 18th and 19th centuries combined.

· An estimated 24% of the Earth's land surface is now cultivated.

· Water withdrawals from lakes and rivers has doubled in the last 40 years. Humans now use between 40% and 50% of all available freshwater running off the land.

· At least a quarter of all fish stocks are over harvested. In some areas, the catch is now less than a hundredth of that before industrial fishing.

· Since 1980, about 35% of mangroves have been lost, 20% of the world's coral reefs have been destroyed and another 20% badly degraded.

· Deforestation and other changes could increase the risks of malaria and cholera, and open the way for new and so far unknown disease to emerge.
None of these should be a real surprise a couple of years ago an other report showed that humans have changed 83% of all land.

Analysis of the human footprint map indicates that 83% of the land's surface is influenced by one or more of the following factors: human population density greater than 1 person per square kilometer, within 15 km of a road or major river, occupied by urban or agricultural land uses, within 2 km of a settlement or a railway, and/or producing enough light to be visible regularly to a satellite at night. 98% of the areas where it is possible to grow rice, wheat or maize (according to FAO estimates) are similarly influenced.

It's time that the people of the world face the fact that if we want to continue as a species we need to reallocate are resources and look to colonization of space. Because it looks like if we don't. Nature will hit the reset button and we won't be part of the new order.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

MGM vs Grokster lawyers on C-span

C-span's Washington Journal had the lawyers in this case give a preview of their oral arguments.
Washington Journal Entire Program
Fred Von Lohmann, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Senior Staff Attorney
Theodore Olson, Representing Recording Industry & Motion Pictures Assn.
Briefs: MGM v Grokster | Grokster Amici
Robert Veatch, Georgetown University, Medical Ethics Professor
3/29/2005: WASHINGTON, DC: : C-SPAN

Monday, March 28, 2005

MGM vs Grokster

The New York Times has a good piece on this case also.

A Supreme Court Showdown for File Sharing

Supreme Court: MGM vs Grokster

Things just got more interesting in this P2P case going to the Supreme Court. Mark Cuban dot com Billionaire and owner of the Mavericks is throwing his support behind the defendents in the MPAA and RIAA lawsuit(MGM vs Grokster). He gives an explanation of his feeling off of his blog that is well worth a look.

Also check out BetaNews:
Supreme Court to Decide P2P Legality

Fallout from Schiavo Vote

Time Magazine Poll


For those of you, who cannot stand Foxnews. This little gizmo will block it! The Foxblocker, will restore you sense of well being, by not allowing the channel on your TV. Buy now while supplies last. ;.)

Friday, March 25, 2005

Supreme Court Battle over P2P

On Tuesday March 29th a case, that I plan on following, starts in the Supreme Court dealing with the possible future of P2P networks. The real questions seems to be whether the court will reverse it's Betamax decision that created the home video market over the objection of the movie and record industries. At the time they argued pretty much the same thing as now, that these new technologies threaten them with illegal piracy. Like then and at every other point that these industries have faced new challenges, they have jumped to the wrong conclusions. Instead of adapting they are trying to kill it and dragged their feet in adoption, but even if they do win, they loses. By not adapting to what their customers want, and giving them poor substitutes. They are forcing their potential customers to illegal means. The industry has been living in a bubble, thinking that they can force people to their point of view. But this case could once again change what is constituted as "Fair Use".

Article in the Economist

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Must have extension for Firefox

I installed the extension Spellbound a a few days ago and love it. For someone like me who is a terrible speller this is great. It will check for spelling errors in text fields in the Firefox browser. And I mush say that if you do alot of typing for blogs and other things live on the web this is a must have.

also see: Essential Firefox extensions at LifeHacker

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Tricky Dick is at it again

Cheney Defends Bush Appointments in the Washington Post.
Vice President Cheney said yesterday that the elevation of White House loyalists and supporters of the Iraq war to key diplomatic posts puts the United States in a stronger position to force changes at the United Nations and improve the U.S. image abroad.
Get real. Does he really believe this dribble?
"If we are going to be successful long-term in the war on terror and in the broader objective of promoting freedom and democracy in that part of the world, we have to get the public diplomacy piece of it right," Cheney said. "Up until now, that has been a very weak part of our arsenal."
And appointing John Bolton to the UN and Paul Wolfowitz to the World Bank is showing the world we're serious on the diplomatic front? It's more of a comparison to throwing a live grenade into a room and bolting the doors.

Washington Post article

Water Wars in Asia?

Is this the harbinger of future "Water Wars" in Asia? article

John Edwards has a Podcast?

John Edwards is doing a podcast off of his web site One America Committee with his wife. I got a chuckle out of it for the image of him and his wife siting with the blanket of their 4 year old as a table cloth for their mike. I almost expected them to bring out the child and kiss him for the public! I do give him credit for trying a new medium to reach the public. But please stay away from the folksy imagery.

First podcast

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Paul Wolfowitz vs. European Union for the World Bank

Could it be that the Bush Administration has finally gone to far with its nomination of Paul Wolfowitz to head the World Bank? Wolfowitz has no real experience with such world bodies and his reconstruction of Iraq smacked of cronyism as he handed out no bid contracts to Haliburton & Co. The Europeans are calling for an interview of Wolfowitz before any further proceedings. While it has been the case that an American has been the at the head of the world bank since its inception. That does not guarantee that it will always be the case. And sticking it to the Europeans and other world bodies, such as the UN and our new UN Ambassador, John Bolton, gives the impression of that the US constantly giving the the finger to them with these "Neo-Cons" being given such positions in the world community.

Article from the Economist

Monday, March 21, 2005

The Farce that is Compassion

Right to SpeakI had hoped that I would not feel compelled to comment on this, I had hoped that people would not be as obsessed about Terri Schiavo as they are. Congress should not have become involved in this case. They have made what is a very personal and family matter, a political one. And a political one of the worst type. Now people who do not know either side of this family feud(and that is what this has become) are using this tragic case to further their own ends. Case in point: Tom Delay could care less about Terri Schiavo, he is using this as a method to divert attention off of him and the possible indictments in Texas. Also I see this as a way that the Republican leadership can shore up the base as they move to get rid of the filibuster rules in the Congress. Further it appears that this, possibly unconstitutional law, is so broad anyone can bring such a case to the federal level. To think that after 10 years of litigation and 15 years of her being in this vegetative state, that there any new law that would apply here is beyond belief. This is the type of law that Rehnquest has been opposed to, to think that he would allow this to be brought before his Supreme Court is wishful thinking. Congress has way over stepped its bonds here, and they know it. This has become grandstanding by a radical part of the Congress and it appears that few have the back bone to stand up and say so in Congress.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Part of Arafat's Money found

It appears that the US goverment has found about half of the reported $8bn missing from the Palestinian Authority.DebkaFile is reporting that the US has run to ground part of Arafat’s secret business empire that sprawled far and wide, ranging from telecommunications companies in Brazil to Guinea Bissau’s national airline and a coffee plantation in Zimbabwe. And that Rice told Abu Mazen that he should take back control of Palestinian Investment Fund were large parts of these funds came from or else the PA would not get any more funds from the World the Bank.

Eighty percent of international donations accumulated over nearly a decade appear to have been invested for profit. A portion of the profits supported Arafat’s corrupt entourage of cronies, hangers-on and their life style. Not much was left over for creating jobs or building hospitals.

Link DebkaFile article

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Anniversary: Iraq war

Friday, March 18, 2005

Things to keep in mind now

Now that we have a congress that supports drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, We should Keep these in mind.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Blackhole made in Particle Accelerator

The New Scientist has and article on the possibility that:

"A FIREBALL created in a particle accelerator bears a striking similarity to a black hole" «±»
Blackhole image

BlackHole! This could be an incredible discovery if true and the most fool hardy to try to control. The potential power there is beyond comprehension and I could easily see an experiment getting out of hand and destroying huge section of the planet. The article down plays the dangers, but by it's very nature they don't truly understand what is happening. If anything if they want to continue in researching this, it should be in space so that if any thing goes wrong it isn't here. Having said that, it would postpone further research for a decade or more.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Ministry of Homeland Security

Picture that I came across that I liked

A Step closer to the world of "Running Man" made real

Do you remember Anrold Schwarzenegger's film "Running Man"? In it they have commercials for all these things that are dangerous in some form. Well Gizmodo is showing a new Laser Tag Gun, only instead of a noise or flashing light,this gives you an Electrical Shock.

I can see it now kids everwhere zapping themselves silly.

RFID No More

Engadget is reporting on 2 products that will detect and/or disable RFID's.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Better Bad News

I came across this off of Dave Winer's Blog Spriting News. He's been following a Video Blog called Better Bad News in which they take various blogs and make video vignettes on a given subject, very funny peices.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

I'm probably seeing things

It's probably my imagination. But, are we living the TEN Plagues?
1. Blood -- AIDS
2. Frogs -- Reptiles around the world are dieing off
3. Vermin -- Australia has been over run with recurring plagues of mice.
4. Beasts -- Cloned animals (this one is a real stretch I admit, in the bible it's turning a rod into a serpent)
5. Cattle Disease -- Mad Cow Disease
6. Boils -- Ebola??
7. Hail -- For the last few years there have been a rash of Green Fireballs in the Sky: Pacific NW, Iran, India, and Indonesia.
8. Locusts -- Last year some of the worst swarms of Locust in recent memory.
9. Darkness -- For the last couple of years we have had abnormal solar flares that could and have taken out some satellites. So I'm saying Electronic Darkness
10. Slaying of First Born -- Chinese parents killing of baby girls due to one child policy!!

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Israeli Army Frowns on D&D

Slashdot has a story posted that the Israeli Army Frowns on D&D. The point that really hit home for me, as stated in the /. thread is:
"People who role-play might be more inclined to game the system - definitely not a desirable personality trait to have in personnel deployed in sensitive positions."

In other words the oxymoron is somewhat true: Where is the Intelligence in the Intelligence Agencies. They don't really want original thinkers as they could be unpredictable and therefore a danger.

Here is the original Article that was mentioned in the /. post. It looks to me, what the article really mean is enactors; those who make their own armor and weapons so that they can act out their fantasies, as opposed to role players sitting at a table with dice and figurines. But I suppose to them they are just as dangerous, i.e. Free Thinkers.

Friday, March 04, 2005

California proposes ban on RFID

Following up on a posts I made in mid-February (See: Big Brother is Here, Follow-up on Big Brother, & Tin Foil Hat Society) Future Tense has a story on California legislator proposes ban on RFID in government-issued IDs, apparently in response to the up roar in that Northern California School district, legislators are trying to ban them.

For more information on what RFID's are. Check out:

RFID from Wikipedia


Thursday, March 03, 2005

Bush Mash-up

Came across this Mash-up of George W. Bush called:" Department of Corrections: Bush compilation 1 " off of the IMC (Independent Media Center) Radio Network. They look like an open source for Media content for independent radio with news and music for use in non-profit applications.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Evidence that Porter Goss was a Terrible Choice for the CIA

I cannot believe that a man who was hailed by the administration as the best choice, is now saying before congress:
"The jobs I'm being asked to do, the five hats that I wear, are too much for this mortal, I'm a little amazed at the workload."
This from a man who was a prominent member of the Senate Intelligent Oversight Committee, a man who should, as a former Intelligence Agent, have a clearer view of what is expected of his office then others coming from outside of the Intelligence Community. Not to mention that his staff caused some of the most experienced officers in the CIA to resign in protest over what they were doing to the agency a few months ago.

News Article