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Current Topic: Current Events

Bush's approval rating graph 2001-2004
Topic: Current Events 10:24 pm EDT, May 24, 2005

Data points from 15 different polling agencies (Pew, Gallup, etc), with a best fit curve line. I wish it included 2005 info, but still very informative.

Bush's approval rating graph 2001-2004 - nation, world, technology and Washington area news and headlines
Topic: Current Events 12:22 pm EDT, Apr 19, 2005

] Joseph Ratzinger Is New Pope

And he's even more conservative than John Paul. His new name is Benedict XVI, guess he's better than Pius I, or Pius "the weak" IX.

But at least I learned something:

The pope is in rome because apperently they're from the line of St. Peter who setup shop in rome. Did you know the pope had a real army up until 1860? Did you know that the vatican only became indiependant after deals w/ Benito Mussolini? Yeah... 1929... which is two years AFTER this Benedict XVI guy was born.

The church is doing this in a such a way as to get ready and do this again.

--timball - nation, world, technology and Washington area news and headlines

Cousins' marriage highlights relationship controversy
Topic: Current Events 2:11 pm EDT, Apr  6, 2005

Is it Georgia? Is it Alabama? No! It's Pennsylvania's first cousins that are taking a stand against fundamentalists who respect marriage yet deplore its implications. Take this, gays! Take that, Micheal Shiavo! First cousins are the wave of the future!


Bennett led a 2002 study on risks of genetic problems in children born in such marriages. The study found that children born to couples who are first or second cousins have a lower risk for birth defects than commonly perceived.

On average, an unrelated couple has an approximately 3 percent to 4 percent risk of having a child with a birth defect, significant mental retardation or serious genetic disease.

Close cousins face an additional risk of 1.7 percent to 2.8 percent, according to the study, funded by the National Society of Genetic Counselors, and the U.S. Health and Human Services Department.

Christie Smith, 40, founded Cousins United to Defeat Discriminating Laws through Education, in 2002 to overturn laws banning such marriages. So far, the group hasn't found much success.

"People don't like what they don't understand," said Smith, who fell in love with her husband after seeing him at a family reunion.


See article at:

Cousins' marriage highlights relationship controversy

Wake-Up Wal-Mart: Always High Costs
Topic: Current Events 3:04 pm EDT, Apr  5, 2005

] You Can Change Wal-Mart
] Wal-Mart is the largest employer in the world with over
] $10 billion in profits. Yet, Wal-Mart lowers our wages,
] ships our jobs overseas, and shifts their health care
] costs onto American taxpayers. We believe it's time for
] Wal-Mart to Wake Up.
] The Wake-Up Wal-Mart campaign is a grassroots movement of
] Americans who believe by joining together in common
] purpose we can change Wal-Mart and build a better
] America. Sign up and take action NOW!

Wake-Up Wal-Mart: Always High Costs - Terri Schiavo has died - Mar 31, 2005
Topic: Current Events 11:09 am EST, Mar 31, 2005

] PINELLAS PARK, Florida (CNN) -- Terri Schiavo, the
] 41-year-old brain-damaged woman who became the
] centerpiece of a national debate over life and death,
] died Thursday morning, nearly two weeks after doctors
] removed the feeding tube that had sustained her for more
] than a decade.

Hopefully she's finally at peace. - Terri Schiavo has died - Mar 31, 2005

Hunter Thompson commits suicide
Topic: Current Events 11:48 pm EST, Feb 20, 2005

July 18, 1939 -- February 20, 2005. He will be weirdly missed.

Hunter Thompson commits suicide

Online Nude Photos Are Latest Chapter In Jeff Gannon Saga (
Topic: Current Events 5:48 pm EST, Feb 16, 2005

The Post's Howard Kurtz on (no pun) Jeff Gannon

Online Nude Photos Are Latest Chapter In Jeff Gannon Saga ( News | 'Jeff Gannon's' secret life
Topic: Current Events 4:40 pm EST, Feb 16, 2005

] Gannon, whose real name is James Guckert, made headlines
] last week when he resigned from Talon after days of
] intensive scrutiny from bloggers. Online critics first
] raised questions about Guckert's questionable
] journalistic methods and his lack of experience (he often
] cut and pasted White House press releases into his "news"
] stories), as well as Talon's lack of independence from
] Eberle's purely partisan GOPUSA Web site. Then questions
] arose about why the Talon reporter was given access to
] the White House press room after being turned down for
] Capitol Hill press credentials. The final straw for
] Guckert came when bloggers revealed associations that
] Guckert and his Delaware-based company had with a handful
] of gay-themed male escort services.
] Click here
] Guckert insisted his only involvement with the sex sites
] was as a software consultant and, he added: "Those sites
] were never hosted. There's -- nothing ever went up on
] them," as he told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Feb. 10. In an
] interview posted Feb. 11 with Editor & Publisher
] magazine, Guckert made the same claim: "They were done
] through a private company [Bedrock Corp.] I was involved
] with doing Web site development about five years ago. The
] sites were never hosted, and nothing was ever posted to
] the sites." On Monday, John Aravosis posted on his
] liberal site detailed evidence indicating
] that not only was Guckert personally involved with the
] Web sites, but he was also offering his escort services
] for $200 an hour, or $1,200 a weekend.

So I guess the Bush administration does support some gay rights. News | 'Jeff Gannon's' secret life News | Fake news, fake reporter
Topic: Current Events 4:36 pm EST, Feb 16, 2005

] Feb. 10, 2005 | When President Bush bypassed dozens of
] eager reporters from nationally and internationally
] recognized news outlets and selected Jeff Gannon to pose
] a question at his Jan. 26 news conference, Bush's
] recognition bestowed instant credibility on the
] apparently novice reporter, as well as the little-known
] conservative organization he worked for at the time,
] called Talon News. That attention only intensified when
] Gannon used his nationally televised press conference
] time to ask Bush a loaded, partisan question -- featuring
] a manufactured quote that mocked Democrats for being
] "divorced from reality." News | Fake news, fake reporter

O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference 2005
Topic: Current Events 6:35 pm EST, Feb 15, 2005

] Just some of the themes you'll find reflected in this
] year's ETech program are: The grand vision of web
] services is morphing into the more useful--and
] profitable--goals of providing alternate interfaces to
] data and services. Social networking services are groping
] for more dimensions of value. Wireless meshes made of
] small devices continue to accelerate decentralization.
] Mobile devices of many forms and functions now inhabit
] desktops, pockets, and cars. Hackers have discovered the
] joys of cracking open devices to prod and mod, using
] cheap, off-the-shelf technology.

Conference Schedule for E-Tech 2005. I am really loooking forward to several talks, and reconnecting with people that I met at FOO Camp. I will be presenting during the Maker's Faire Wednesday Night.

However I am more and more confused about this conference the more I think about it. I've talked with Decius and we both agree: This conference seems to have an identity crisis. Who is their target audience? I'm not sure I know. With an extremely heavy price tag ($1250 for early-bird special), it is out of reach to all except people sent by their companies. My feel is the conference is aimed at getting corporate support/adoption of new waves in technology. Certainly putting together a showcase of possible "the next thing"s and presenting them is one way. But you alienate all your small/Hobbyist OSS programmers/researchers who *are* developing the next thing. If you are running a conference on "Emerging technology," who do you want as your audience? Hackers or Suits (or hackers with a picture of a suit printed on a black T-shirt)?

Take Blogging for example. It is largely a grassroots effort. IBM didn't embrace social networking and help drive it into the mainstream. While corporate support can certainly drive technological adoption of practices or standards, it is not required. In fact the road to hell is paved with corporate pushed bullshit "technologies." So I guess the question isn't who is the conference aimed at, but rather what do the organizers hope to accomplish?

If the point is to make money, this will certainly do it. However, having met and talked with several O'Reilly folks, my impression is profit doesn't drive all their actions (which is probably why I like them so much and want to do more with them in the future). They are recognized leaders in the publishing/media space, and I doubt this conference provides a massive amount of revenue for them (At least in my understanding, which is limited).

So what is the point? Major adoption of a technology by a corporation isn't necessary, and in fact can have the opposit effect. In my experience (and I have never really worked for a large company), large companies (certainly the ones that will drop $1200+ to send an employee somewhere) don't jump on the bandwagon of a technology, especially a OSS technology they didn't develope, over... [ Read More (0.2k in body) ]

O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference 2005

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