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Fallen Soldier Gets a Bronze Star but No Pagan Star
Topic: Current Events 3:33 am EDT, Jul  5, 2006

At the Veterans Memorial Cemetery in the small town of Fernley, Nev., there is a wall of brass plaques for local heroes. But one space is blank. There is no memorial for Sgt. Patrick D. Stewart.

That's because Stewart was a Wiccan, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has refused to allow a symbol of the Wicca religion -- a five-pointed star within a circle, called a pentacle -- to be inscribed on U.S. military memorials or grave markers.

Wicca is recognized federally as a religion. As the article mentions, last year the requirement for a religion to have a centrally located authority has been lifted. So why can't the pentacle be inscribed on the grave of a soldier who gave his life for his country, and even had "Wiccan" on his dogtags. But gods forbid we offend the Christians with a symbol that they don't like in the graveyard.

Getting pretty sick of this.

Fallen Soldier Gets a Bronze Star but No Pagan Star

Senator Ted Steven explains the Internet
Topic: Technology 3:24 am EDT, Jul  5, 2006

This is Ted Stevens explaining how the Internet works and why accordingly we don't need net neutrality laws. It is such a gem, I don't know what block text to quote. Instead, here are a few choice quotes:

I just the other day got, an internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday and I just got it yesterday. Why?

We use this internet to communicate and we aren't using it for commercial purposes. We aren't earning anything by going on that internet.

Maybe there is a place for a commercial net but it's not using what consumers use every day.

[the Internet]'s not using the messaging service that is essential to small businesses, to our operation of families.

Now we have a separate Department of Defense internet now, did you know that?

No, I'm not finished. I want people to understand my position, I'm not going to take a lot of time.

Senator Ted Steven explains the Internet

Sign the petition for the Net Neutrality Amendment to the COPE Act
Topic: Technology 11:08 am EDT, Apr 26, 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

USAToday - Scientists recruit wasps for war on terror
Topic: Technology 12:11 pm EST, Dec 29, 2005

The wasps are trained with sugar water by using the classical conditioning techniques made famous by Pavlov's dogs. Rains says the wasps are sensitive to a host of chemical odors, including 2,4-DNT, a volatile compound used in dynamite.

To do their work, five wasps — each a half-inch long — are placed in a plastic cylinder that is 15 inches tall. This "Wasp Hound," which costs roughly $100 per unit, has a vent in one end and a camera that connects to a laptop computer.

When the wasps pick up an odor they've been trained to detect they gather by the vent — a response that can be measured by the computer or actually seen by observers.

Lewis says the wasps, when exposed to some chemicals, "can detect as low as four parts per billion, which is an incredibly small amount."

I love low-tech like this!

USAToday - Scientists recruit wasps for war on terror

Firm Allegedly Hiding Cisco Bugs
Topic: Technology 5:40 pm EST, Dec  6, 2005

"The computer security researcher who revealed a serious vulnerability in the operating system for Cisco Systems routers this year says he discovered 15 additional flaws in the software that have gone unreported until now, one of which is more serious than the bug he made public last summer.

Mike Lynn, a former security researcher with Internet Security Systems, or ISS, said three of the flaws can give an attacker remote control of Cisco's routing and gateway hardware, essentially allowing an intruder to run malicious code on the hardware. The most serious of the three would affect nearly every configuration of a Cisco router, he said."

C'mon, Cisco, get with the program.

Firm Allegedly Hiding Cisco Bugs

PC Pro: News: Sony rootkit DRM to spark copycat viruses
Topic: Miscellaneous 1:21 pm EST, Nov  3, 2005

Security company F-Secure says it is expecting to see viruses exploiting the rootkit technology used in Sony's DRM software anytime now.

F-Secure's Chief Research Officer Mikko Hypp�nen said that the company was already in discussions with Sony before the news broke on Monday, but because of the huge security risks that this information poses those talks were behind closed doors.

'We didn't go public with the info at the time as we were worried with the implications (especially with the info on how outsiders can hide files which have names starting with "$sys$"),' he said. 'We're waiting for the first virus which uses filenames like that.'

[ And we move one step further... now Sony feels they have the right to root my box in order to keep me from ripping audio tracks. This is all going to end badly for everyone. There's gonna have to be a compromise at some point, because the road paved with heavy duty DRM leads to the utter destruction of the industry, in my opinion. And that's not just the music industry, but the better part of the entire entertainment industry unless lessons are learned. Ridiculous. -k]

PC Pro: News: Sony rootkit DRM to spark copycat viruses

John's War with Melanoma is over
Topic: Health and Wellness 11:45 am EDT, Sep 20, 2005

Sad news, Overcode passed away on Saturday, September 17th.

More information and a guestbook is on his home page

Valhalla welcomes its latest hacker. John, may you Rest in Peace.

John's War with Melanoma is over

Barbara Bush on those lucky refugees
Topic: Current Events 12:27 pm EDT, Sep  7, 2005

"Somebody asked George H.W. Bush Monday about the criticism of his son's handling of Hurricane Katrina, and the former president said that the critics ought to tell it to his wife -- and that they ought to don a flak jacket before trying. But this morning, it's Barbara Bush herself who might want to think about some protective clothing, at least metaphorically speaking.

The former first lady toured the Astrodome Monday, and along the way she opined that many of the refugees from New Orleans were so poor to begin with that they ought to be pretty happy with their temporary digs in Houston. "What I’m hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas," Barbara Bush said in comments first aired on the public radio program "Marketplace" and reprinted by Editor & Publisher. "Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them."

In the midst of that last line, you can hear the former first lady chuckling."

There just aren't words, really, to say how tactless that was.

Barbara Bush on those lucky refugees

Dragon*Con Space and Science Track Schedule
Topic: Miscellaneous 3:22 pm EDT, Aug 23, 2005

The schedule for the D*C space and science track, headed up by our own jonnyx, is available for your perusal.

Dragon*Con Space and Science Track Schedule

CNN - Synthesizer innovator Moog dies at 71
Topic: Technology 3:20 pm EDT, Aug 23, 2005

Robert A. Moog, whose self-named synthesizers turned electric currents into sound and opened the musical wave that became electronica, has died. He was 71.

Moog died Sunday at his home in Asheville, according to his company's Web site. He had suffered from an inoperable brain tumor, detected in April.

A childhood interest in the theremin, one of the first electronic musical instruments, would lead Moog to a create a career and business that tied the name Moog as tightly to synthesizers as the name Les Paul is to electric guitars.

CNN - Synthesizer innovator Moog dies at 71

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