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Sign the petition for the Net Neutrality Amendment to the COPE Act
Topic: Technology 9:18 am EDT, Apr 27, 2006

Join Leader Pelosi and become a Citizen Co-Sponsor of the Markey Net Neutrality Amendment

We, the undersigned, oppose the lack of Network Neutrality protections in the the COPE Act, sponsored by Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX). We strongly urge passage of the Network Neutrality amendment sponsored by Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), along with Representatives Rick Boucher (D-VA), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), and Jay Inslee (D-WA).

Sign it today, this is getting pushed through ASAP.

More info at

Sign the petition for the Net Neutrality Amendment to the COPE Act

Dance Dance DNA Revolution on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Topic: Science 10:27 am EST, Jan 31, 2006

This is the awesomest thing ever.

At the scripps aquarium near San Diego, they devote half the space to teaching kids about science. In a wing devoted to explaining gene expression they had some stuff about DNA and the coolest thing was this video game that taught you about building blocks of life, then proceeded to a real DDR game where you have to step to the DNA parts being shown on screen.

The best part was when one of the 20 amino acids were built, it would say the name. So you'd see A T T G C and so on... and then it would shout "Cysteine!"

That pretty much sums it up for me, too.

Dance Dance DNA Revolution on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

RE: Antiwar Sermon Brings IRS Warning - Los Angeles Times
Topic: Society 2:45 pm EST, Nov  8, 2005

Decius wrote:

On June 9, the church received a letter from the IRS stating that "a reasonable belief exists that you may not be tax-exempt as a church … " The federal tax code prohibits tax-exempt organizations, including churches, from intervening in political campaigns and elections.

I had no idea that this kind of thing was grounds for loosing tax exempt status. Lots of meaty philosophical questions in here. No, I don't buy the idea that this is politically motivated in absense of data that demostrates a pattern across a spectrum of cases.

This is one of the reasons that Nashville 2600 is a non-profit corporation, but not a 501(c)3 Charitable Non-Profit. Under those rules, you have to stay away from political topics, but there's no real good definition of what a "political" topic is in the IRS context. I'd only be glad to see this rule being enforced if it goes both ways - say in taking away the tax exempt status of the church that hosted Justice Sunday or that openly endorses one candidate over another (as an official stance, not as a collective poll of its congregation).

RE: Antiwar Sermon Brings IRS Warning - Los Angeles Times

RE: Slashdot | Democrats Defeat Online FOS Act
Topic: Miscellaneous 3:24 pm EST, Nov  4, 2005

ibenez wrote:

Democrats Defeat Online FOS Act

Oh great. Now let's shut down all talk radio shows too because they are against your agenda.

Hell, then let's not let Republicans or Libertarians vote too.

If you read into the article, you'll see that the opposition feared the wording of the bill would create yet another loophole in campaign finance reform. It's not about shutting down free speech, it's about trying not to create more holes while you plug the existing ones in finance reform.

RE: Slashdot | Democrats Defeat Online FOS Act

NPR : A Former President Warns of 'Endangered Values'
Topic: Current Events 9:19 am EST, Nov  4, 2005

Blurring the line between church and state threatens civil liberties and privacy, says former President Jimmy Carter. That's the case he makes in his new book, Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis, which draws on Carter's experiences as a president and a Christian.

Carter was the 39th president of the United States. In addition to his work to help ensure the fairness of elections around the world, he founded the Carter Center, a conflict resolution organization. In 2002, Carter was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end violence and spread human rights.

Jimmy Carter is giving plenty of interviews this week as a means of promoting his new book. I've already seen the meme on here about the USA Today article, but I thought I'd post this as well. In my often-not-so-humble opinion, I think that Terry Gross is one of the best interviewers in the business. This could easily be because she has one of the best forums for such - an adequate amount of airtime. There are two audio clips from this site - both Terry Gross' interview and Steve Inskeep's (from Morning Edition). Both are NPR shows.

NPR : A Former President Warns of 'Endangered Values'

Songs Written for Nanochick?
Topic: Music 9:16 am EDT, Oct 17, 2005

Our Bodies, Ourselves, Our Cybernetic Arms

This EP was written as a soundtrack to the September 2005 issue of Popular Science on The Future of the Body. They are available as a free download from the PopSci website.

I imagine this must be some secret admirer of nanochick, writing all these songs focused on biology 'n stuff. I actually found him through a link on boingboing about his folk song remix of Baby Got Back. Yeah, you gotta listen to that one, too.

Songs Written for Nanochick?

Acidus, like a woman, changes his mind
Topic: Current Events 10:54 am EDT, Oct 13, 2005

Acidus - Layer 7 Fun : Extending Web Apps in Interesting Ways Modern Web applications offer an amazing array of services. Complex systems like Gmail, Google Maps, Flickr, and Outlook Web Access are accessible by anyone with just a browser. While these services offer a range of capabilities, people are extending these applications by writing web apps that run on top of other web apps. GMail File System, Housing maps, and are excellent examples of increasing the utility of a web app without having access to its code or the consent of the original creator.
We will discuss some technologies used in complex web apps (AJAX, RSS, backend databases) and discuss how to directly interface with them. We will discuss the legality of extending existing web apps. I will be referencing an application I wrote that runs on top of TinyURL as a case study and release the code.

Yes, yes, I just put that title up there to bring more attention to the meme. Yes, I'm a shameless whore when it comes to garnering more publicity for the convention.

Acidus wrote to me asking to change the content of his presentation to what you see here. Looks very interesting, so if you want to hear more, come to PhreakNIC!

Oh, and you might also notice that I "fixed" Dementia's code so that we can now reference specific pages.

Acidus, like a woman, changes his mind

Just like a woman
Topic: Society 9:35 am EDT, Oct 13, 2005

Aside from Sidore, Davecat has never officially dated anyone. He compares his interaction with women to a bodily reaction, something over which he has no control, much as he wishes that he could meet a woman who breathes. "People who are allergic to roses can enjoy artificial roses," he says. "In the same way, artificial women serve the same purpose for men who are, in whatever way, allergic to real women."

Unlike some other doll owners who have no interest in "organic" women, Davecat says he hasn't completely given up hope. In the meantime, though, he's considering getting another doll -- or two or three -- to keep Si-chan company. But if the right real woman were to enter his life, he says giving up Si-chan would be excruciatingly painful, like removing a limb.

This is an article that was at the top of earlier this week and I started to read it, made a quick judgement of the content, and moved on. It was still up there the next day, so I decided to read further, and I'm glad that I did. From a sociological standpoint, this is a very interesting and in-depth look at the basic archetypes of the thousands of people buying Real Dolls, called iDollators by many of their own. While not appropriate for children, this is not some made for cable soft porn article, either.

Just like a woman

'What didn't go right?'
Topic: Miscellaneous 10:58 am EDT, Sep  8, 2005

After Sept. 11, there was an external enemy, "evildoers" against whom to summon fear and fervor. Now, instead, the flood has brought to the surface the deepest national questions of race, class and inequality. On Aug. 30, the day after the hurricane hit, the Census Bureau released figures showing that the poor had increased by 1.1 million since 2003, to 12.7 percent of the population, the fourth annual increase, with blacks and Hispanics the poorest, and the South remaining the poorest region. Since Bush has been in office, poverty has grown by almost 9 percent. (Under President Clinton, poverty fell by 25 percent.) As these issues began to receive serious attention for the first time in years, Bush reiterated that it was inappropriate to "play the blame game."

Meanwhile, his aides sought to blame New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco. On Sept. 3, the Washington Post, citing an anonymous "senior administration official," reported that Blanco "still had not declared a state of emergency." Newsweek published a similar report. Within hours, however, the Post published a correction; the report was false. In fact, Blanco had declared an emergency on Aug. 26 and sent President Bush a letter on Aug. 27 requesting that the federal government declare an emergency and provide aid; and, in fact, Bush did make such a declaration, thereby accepting responsibility. Nonetheless, these facts have not stymied White House aides from their drumbeat that state and local officials -- but curiously, not the Republican governors of Mississippi and Alabama -- are ultimately to blame.

Salon has had some really good coverage of the flood porn aspect of other peoples' misfortunes. Earlier this week they pointed out how Geraldo Rivera made some poor elderly woman walk from the heliport to the Superdome twice just so he could get another take for the newscast. Now we have a look at all of the self congratulating in the current Administration, who thinks that they've done everything right once they started.

'What didn't go right?'

Mike Lynn's 'exploit', in plain (non-technical) English
Topic: Technology 9:00 am EDT, Aug  2, 2005

There has been an almost unbelievable amount of hubbub lately about the research that Mike Lynn gave a demonstration of at the BlackHat conference last week, and there's been a positively dizzying amount of "spin" applied to the media. Let me say one thing to everyone reading this, right up front. What Lynn uncovered is a serious issue, probably actually more serious than what the media is making it out to be. While coverage on the issue is good (and useful to both "sides") the lack of actual accurate reporting on the issue isn't helpful to anyone.

Part of the problem is that apparently, outside of the list of BlackHat attendees, there's not that many people running around who truly understand what Lynn's research uncovered. Lynn did not reveal an "exploit" in the usual sense. In fact, Lynn of his own volition has been playing his cards fairly close to his chest on this, and omitted most of the technical details of the problem from his presentation in order to assure that no one would be able to easily "follow in his footsteps". Lynn, it can safely be said, was scared by what he discovered--scared enough that he has risked his livelihood not once but twice in order to be sure that should the technical aspects of what he's found not be resolved before someone with less respect for the continuation of the Internet figures it out for themselves, the network and security administrators of the world will have had time to take some steps to reduce the amount of damage done. It can no longer be thought of as a sure thing that just because a particular vulnerability could "break the Internet" that no one's going to try it just to see if it's really true. We have a rather excellent example in recent history that pretty much everyone is aware of by now... the MS Blaster worm which raged around the Internet wreaking rather unprecedented havok. Pretty much everyone on the Internet was either personally affected by this, or knows someone who was. Blaster made use of a vulnerability that had become rather common knowledge by the time it was released, but had already been known to many security professionals for months. The real problem that made things so painful and propagation of Blaster so widespread, was that for those months, Microsoft had been actively denying that there was ever a problem until Blaster forced them to admit it. Had system administrators been made aware of the issue and the meager steps needed to impede the spread of Blaster (which everyone implemented in a white-hot hurry once their networks were figuratively ablaze) the damage could have been much less indeed.

Cisco is not helping the issue, or I should say, Cisco's lawyers are not helping the issue. Cisco makes some really awesome products, and their technical people can't really be faulted for this one technical flaw. The problem is that Cisco's lawyers are convinced that public knowledge of a serious issue ... [ Read More (1.3k in body) ]

Mike Lynn's 'exploit', in plain (non-technical) English

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