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Website Offers to Ruin People's Lives for $20 a Month
Topic: Society 5:40 pm EDT, Aug 13, 2007

A service offering a complete "revenge package" in which people can destroy the financial status and relationships of their enemies at the click of a mouse is being offered over the Internet. For as little as $20 a month, customers of the Web site can make the credit ratings of people they dislike plummet, and even have them suspected of fraud. Victims' bank accounts can be shut down remotely and all their essential utilities cut off.

Website Offers to Ruin People's Lives for $20 a Month

The Politics of Chess
Topic: Society 1:07 pm EDT, Aug 13, 2007

The Rook.
Ahhh… the safety and security of bricks and mortar are the lesson to be learned here. How solid and dependable are the rooks? They occupy and guard the outer edges of the world, keeping the other players safe from invading paws, curious kittens, and insurgencies of spilt beverages. But how high is the price of such security?

I’ll tell you – it’s a terrible toll. Severely restricted movement, and a mindset programmed to think in unbending lines. Compare this to the United States, where the price of freedom is restrictions beyond their wildest nightmares – a government hellbent on tying down its own people to protect them from themselves, and others.

Thus, the Rooks are the US Government of the chess world. Bulky, cumbersome, and programmed to defend and destroy, or die trying.

The Politics of Chess

San Francisco Wi-Fi Issue Goes to Ballot
Topic: Technology 12:03 pm EDT, Aug  9, 2007

Hoping to break a political impasse, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has submitted a ballot measure asking voters whether they support blanketing the city with a wireless Wi-Fi system that would enable free Web surfing subsidized by ads from Google Inc.

The project, one of hundreds of municipal Wi-Fi systems being built or proposed across the country, has bogged down amid concerns about privacy protection, surfing speeds, and the terms of the proposed contract.

San Francisco Wi-Fi Issue Goes to Ballot

Topic: Miscellaneous 1:51 pm EDT, Aug  8, 2007

Adding this to my list of Google searches gone bad...


2007 World Chess Championship in Mexico
Topic: Games 10:44 am EDT, Aug  8, 2007

This will be a Category XXI tournament, with an average rating of 2750.8.

Vladimir Kramnik
Viswanathan Anand
Peter Svidler
Alexander Morozevich
Peter Leko
Boris Gelfand
Levon Aronian
Alexander Grischuk

The office pools have already started. I'm pulling for Leko (Go baby!), but I fully expect Kramnik to defend his title again. I think Anand has a legitimate shot, though.

2007 World Chess Championship in Mexico

AJAX security: Everything old is new again
Topic: Technology 10:55 am EDT, Aug  2, 2007

“There really isn’t anything new in security,” said Bill Hoffman, lead researcher at SPI Dynamics. “Anyone who says there is, is lying.”

As always, functionality has outstripped security, but the situation is not hopeless, Hoffman said. As Web applications mature, “we’re starting to see minimum standards for security as vendors start to realize the importance of Web security.”

Not sure whether this has already been posted...

AJAX security: Everything old is new again

NSA: We're from the government. Help us.
Topic: Technology 10:41 am EDT, Aug  2, 2007

The National Security Agency, whose initials once seemed to stand for No Such Agency, is moving from being a proprietary to an open-source organization. Sort of.

When he [Tony Sager] began working at NSA in 1977, "it was a dramatically different security problem," he said. IT security was a government monopoly. "The government owned the problem" and could control the technology. "Those days are over.".

"The government owned the problem." - I love that quote.

NSA: We're from the government. Help us.

Boy's Lemonade Stand Robbed...
Topic: Society 11:06 am EDT, Jul 27, 2007

...and yet, there are still some who claim the Mafia doesn't exist.

Boy's Lemonade Stand Robbed...

Is anti-spyware always on your side?
Topic: Technology 10:14 am EDT, Jul 25, 2007

Certainly you'd expect that the anti-spyware software you buy will shield your computer from snooping programs planted by the malicious and the opportunistic. But should the anti-spyware program providers also shield you from the implanted machinations of multinational corporations or even law enforcement agencies? Does the owner of the computer being scanned have sole authority over that machine? Or can the security software company protecting that machine make other alliances?

Is anti-spyware always on your side?

Man With Almost No Brain Has Led Normal Life
Topic: Science 10:06 am EDT, Jul 25, 2007

French doctors are amazed that a 44-year-old civil servant with an abnormally small brain has led a normal life with a slightly lower than normal IQ, according to a report on Doctors said the father of two went to the Hopital de la Timone in Marseille with mild weakness in his left leg. He was given a CT scan and an MRI, which showed that his cerebral cavities or ventricles had massively expanded, according a case history to be published in Saturday's Lancet.

"The brain itself, meaning the grey matter and white matter, was completely crushed against the sides of the skull," Dr. Lionel Feuillet told AFP. "The images were most unusual... the brain was virtually absent." The condition is called Dandy Walker complex and is a genetically sporadic disorder that occurs in one out of every 25,000 live births, mostly in females. Although many with Dandy Walker develop dramatic symptoms from the condition, such as an enlarged skull, jerky muscle movements and problems with the nerves that control the face, the condition also can develop unnoticed.

Doctors believe this man's condition could stem from surgery he had at the age of 6 months, when he suffered hydrocephalus or water on the brain and needed an operation to drain a buildup of spinal fluid. Subsequent tests have revealed that the man has an IQ of 75, with a verbal IQ of 84 and performance IQ of 70. The bulk of people in society have a minimum IQ of 85.

Man With Almost No Brain Has Led Normal Life

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