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"The future masters of technology will have to be lighthearted and intelligent. The machine easily masters the grim and the dumb." -- Marshall McLuhan, 1969

Ted Rail: WAR CRY
Topic: Humor 2:45 pm EDT, Oct 24, 2002

"Nearly two years ago, the civilized world watched as this evil and corrupt dictator subverted the world's oldest representative democracy in an illegal coup d'état," said Khatami. "Since then the Bush regime has continued America's systematic repression of ethnic and religious minorities and threatened international peace and security throughout the world. Thousands of political opponents and ordinary citizens have been subjected to arbitrary arrest and imprisonment. Basic civil rights have been violated. This rogue state has flouted the international community on legal, economic and environmental issues. It has even ignored the Geneva Conventions on the treatment of prisoners of war by denying that its illegal invasion of Afghanistan--which has had a destabilizing influence throughout Central Asia--was a war at all."

Experts believe that the liberation of the United States will require a large ground force of European and other international troops, followed by a massive rebuilding program costing billions of euros. "Even before Bush, the American political system was a shambles," said Prof. Salvatore Deluna of the University of Madrid. "Their single-party plutocracy will have to be reshaped into true parliamentary-style democracy. Moreover, the economy will have to be retooled from its current military dictatorship model--in which a third of the federal budget goes to arms, and taxes are paid almost exclusively by the working class--to one in which basic human needs such as education and poverty are addressed. Their infrastructure is a mess; they don't even have a national passenger train system. Fixing a failed state of this size will require many years."

Ted Rail: WAR CRY

Telling the FCC to tell the Bells to take a long walk...
Topic: Telecom Industry 5:49 pm EDT, Oct 22, 2002

"We hold that the primary cause of current telecom troubles is that Internet-based end-to-end data networking has subsumed (and will subsume) the value that was formerly embodied in other communications networks. This, in turn, is causing the immediate obsolescence of the vertically integrated, circuit-based telephony industry of 127 years vintage. "

A lot of smart people tell the FCC to let the Bells die. I'm not sure what I think of this. Some of the comments are most certainly true, but there is a self-congradulatory tone here. "Circuits are bad; everything thats not IP oriented is bad policy" is every bit as protectionist as the opposite philosophy. The Internet has serious problems, and most of the industry is so blinded by its success that they cannot turn a critical eye to it. They sound like the winners of the French Revolution chanting "off with their heads."

Telling the FCC to tell the Bells to take a long walk...

BarlowFriendz 8.8: Pox Americana
Topic: Current Events 5:49 pm EDT, Oct 22, 2002

Abe Lincoln:

"Allow the President to invade a neighboring nation whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such purpose - - and you allow him to make war at pleasure. Study to see if you can fix any limit to his power in this respect, after you have given him so much as you propose. If, to-day, he should choose to say he thinks it necessary to invade Canada, to prevent the British from invading us, how could you stop him? You may say to him, 'I see no probability of the British invading us' but he will say to you 'be silent; I see it, if you don't.'

The provision of the Constitution giving the war-making power to Congress, was dictated, as I understand it, by the following reasons. Kings had always been involving and impoverishing their people in wars, pretending generally, if not always, that the good of the people was the object. This, our Convention understood to be the most oppressive of all Kingly oppressions; and they resolved to so frame the Constitution that no one man should hold the power of bringing this oppression upon us. But your view destroys the whole matter, and places our President where kings have always stood."

What I'm linking here is Barlow's thoughts on the matter. You are reading Tom Cross quoting John Barlow quoting Sen. Robert Byrd quoting Abe Lincoln. How is THAT for a memestream? The thing you want to do now is click on the word 'recommend.'

BarlowFriendz 8.8: Pox Americana

Ballmer baulks at Oz Xbox chippers charter
Topic: Society 3:52 pm EDT, Oct 22, 2002

Microsoft's efforts so far to obstruct Xbox mod chips have been relatively trivial, and simple for the modders to circumvent. The most recent redesign, for example, was dealt with inside a week. But on his recent Australian adventure Microsoft president Steve Ballmer dispensed one of the clearest policy statements on Xbox so far - Microsoft intends Xbox to be a closed system and to stay that way, and will use both technical and legal avenues to protect it.


...Ballmer said that Microsoft might have to reconsider selling Xbox in Australia, or seek changes in the law.


It's been suggested to us several times recently that there is a growing need for a Free Hardware Foundation - this is beginning to have a certain logic, we think.


Agreed. I am really tired of Steve Ballmer. Dude, you *LOST* the server market, get over it. You are going to lose your core OS business. Trying to stop unlicensed software didn't work for the NES and they *THRIVED* from it!!! Subsidized hardware sales was a technique mastered by Sony way before you had a clue...

Stick to applications, that's what you do best.

Ballmer baulks at Oz Xbox chippers charter

News media (practically) ignoring elections
Topic: Society 4:38 pm EDT, Oct 21, 2002

As the political season heated up, little more than a third of the over 2,400 local news broadcasts analyzed in a new study contained any election coverage.

The findings – released by the Lear Center Local News Archive, a collaboration between the USC Annenberg School’s Norman Lear Center and the Department of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison – result from an analysis of the highest-rated half-hours of early- and late-evening news on 122 stations from September 18 through October 4, 2002.

Researchers analyzed a total of 2,454 half-hour local news broadcasts. Of those broadcasts, 1,311 carried no campaign coverage at all. On those broadcasts which included campaign coverage, the average campaign story length was 90 seconds on the top-rated early evening news, and 70 seconds on the top-rated late-evening news, for an overall average of 80.5 seconds.

Of the 1,037 campaign stories that were captured by the research study, less than 20% contained any sound bites from candidates. The average length of a sound bite was 9.5 seconds.

Although both parties are focused on gaining control of the Congress, it is proving difficult for Congressional candidates to get news coverage. To date, coverage has focused on state level contests for governors’ mansions. Overall, while gubernatorial campaigns made up 48% of campaign stories analyzed, 17% of campaign stories focused on U.S. Senate contests, and only 5% of campaign stories focused on campaigns for the U.S. House of Representatives. The remaining stories focused on other state and local election contests and ballot initiatives.

News media (practically) ignoring elections

Linux Enterprise Volume Management System (EVMS)
Topic: Computers 3:06 pm EDT, Oct 21, 2002

The Enterprise Volume Management System (EVMS) Project has the goal of providing unparalleled flexibility and extensibility in managing storage. It represents a new approach to logical volume management, as the architecture introduces a plug-in model that allows for easy expansion or customization of various levels of volume management.

This should make its way into the 2.6/3.0 kernel tree. Looks to be far more advanced then the current LVM (Sistina) shipping with RedHat and other distros.

The paper comparing EVMS and other Linux VMs sums up things nicely. And be sure to check out the management client's screenshots.

Linux Enterprise Volume Management System (EVMS)

Practical Covert Channel Attack Using MAPI
Topic: Computer Security 2:55 pm EDT, Oct 17, 2002

This article describes how your (Microsoft Exchange) mail system can be exploited so as to provide a covert communications channel between an aggressor and their proxy in your midst. A channel whereby commands can be sent to your computer, and information returned from your computer, but you, the user are unable to see the traffic, albeit that such exchanges are happening as you use the computer quite normally.

Practical Covert Channel Attack Using MAPI

Bjork's mother on hunger strike
Topic: Current Events 1:28 pm EDT, Oct 17, 2002

The mother of Icelandic pop singer Bjork is 11 days into a hunger strike in protest at plans to develop part of Iceland's wilderness.

Hildur Runa Hauksdottir is trying to stop the aluminium producer Alcoa building a smelter and power plant in the area above Vatnajokull in east Iceland.

Bjork, who has recently given birth to her second child, was one of the first critics of the huge scheme when it was proposed almost three years ago.

Bjork's mother on hunger strike

Bash Programmable Completion
Topic: Technology 9:55 am EDT, Oct 17, 2002

Since v2.04, bash has allowed you to intelligently program and extend its standard completion behavior to achieve complex command lines with just a few keystrokes. Imagine typing ssh [Tab] and being able to complete on hosts from your ~/.ssh/known_hosts files. Or typing man 3 str [Tab] and getting a list of all string handling functions in the UNIX manual. mount system: [Tab] would complete on all exported file-systems from the host called system, while make [Tab] would complete on all targets in Makefile. This project was conceived to produce programmable completion routines for the most common Linux/UNIX commands, reducing the amount of typing sysadmins and programmers need to do on a daily basis.

If you are not using this yet, its time to be bourne again with super powers.

Bash Programmable Completion

Of Politics and Vengeance, The legacy factor
Topic: Current Events 6:28 am EDT, Oct 17, 2002

The president's father, after building up Hussein as an international ogre, called the U.S. military off when the Iraqi despot's days seemed numbered. This outcome fed voters' sense of a Bush failure. Since then, the Republican presidential victory in 2000 has not only restored a Bush to the White House but has also brought back the GOP war-management teams of 1974-75 (the end of fighting in Vietnam) and 1990-91 (the Gulf War). Their hunger for revenge must be almost palpable.

This is dynastic-type policymaking never before seen in the United States. True, our sixth president, John Quincy Adams, became president like his father. But that was 24 years later, and his father, who belonged to a different party, left no unfinished war as a legacy.

The return of defense secretaries and White House chiefs of staff from previous wartime periods is just as unprecedented. It suggests a rare combination of unrequited frustrations and motivations. Consider: In spring 1975, when the war in Vietnam ended with the fall of South Vietnam to the communists and Cambodians seized the U.S. merchant ship Mayaguez, Donald H. Rumsfeld, now Defense secretary, was the White House chief of staff and Dick Cheney, now vice president, was his deputy.

Former President Bush recalled Southeast Asian embarrassments in 1991, when he pledged that the Gulf War "will not be another Vietnam." Cheney was around then, too, as secretary of Defense. When the U.S. appeared victorious, Bush exclaimed that, "We've kicked the Vietnam syndrome once and for all."

Unfortunately, he was mistaken. For the war leaders of 1975 and 1991, two decades of being embarrassed by pipsqueak countries have lengthened to three. Arguably, this, not the chemical or biological weapons never used by Hussein in 1991, is what truly goads the Bush-Rumsfeld-Cheney threesome.

Of Politics and Vengeance, The legacy factor

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