1. Bush Caught on Film

    jake on 2003.02.27
    at 06:21 pm

    Gotta love politics. Here we have a simplistic web site put up by the House Appropriations Committee that has quotes from Dubyah, and factual things that he's done. Stuff like...

    "Having been here and seeing the care that these troops get is comforting for me and Laura. We are -- should and must provide the best care for anybody who is willing to put their life in harm's way." - Jan, 17 2003

    And the Washington Post points out the fact that...

    Bush's visit came on the same day that the Administration announced it is immediately cutting off access to its health care system approximately 164,000 veterans.

    Caught on Film

    Posted in: Politics

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  2. Electronic voting. Easier to cheat than cemeteries?

    jake on 2003.02.27
    at 02:11 pm

    Wow, so two stories popped up today, and though very much related, they don't mention each other (though they both reference the same law suit.)

    Kuro5hin Speaks on a more broad topic of voting machines. There are a lot of dealings going on with voting machines and elected officials. All this money going back and forth can be looked at as a problem. Simply because the machines keep internal information. If there is an error, there is no proof.

    This could easily be used to cheat the system, there is no way of knowing what everyone voted. I agree with the suggestion that a piece of paper should be printed out as a receipt which could be used if there was a problem with the machine.

    Wired also reported a more in depth look at something that was referenced at Kuro5hin.

    Dan Spillane was fired from his position working with VoteHere. He claims that he pointed out many "defects" with the machines they were building, but upper management squelched his statements. And he was fired after he tried to contact a group of organizations and senators with the problem.

    I love technology and having it simplify large tasks like vote counting or paying my bills. But abuse should not be taken lightly. There has been a movement to put electronic voting machines out there. If they screw it up and we still have problems like the last presidential election the trust will be destroyed. Let's hope that doesn't happen.

    Kuro5hin - Voting machines
    Wired - Dan's story

    Posted in: Service Announcement

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  3. A man in Santa Fe is detained for chat room convo.

    jake on 2003.02.27
    at 01:43 pm

    So what happens if I knock Bush in this blog?

    I noticed at MetaFilter this morning a man was quiestioned by police after using a university library computer. He supposedly threatened Bush in a chat room while at the library.

    O'Connor recalled saying that Bush is "out of control," but that "I'm allowed to say all that. There is this thing called freedom of speech."

    I have to agree, unless he made an actual threat against the President, he should not be harassed. Brian and I don't agree with many things the President does. That shouldn't mean we can be targeted. This is not a dictatorship. Bush should be more careful, Saddam does stuff like that.

    Personally I think we need to start learning from past mistakes, and not try and act like we own the world.

    American Libraries

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  4. Mr. Rogers has died.

    jake on 2003.02.27
    at 01:36 pm

    Mr. RogersWell before I post some random stuff, I thought it more fitting to start with a sort of tribute. Fred Rogers passed away early this morning. I was a bit confused by the radio this morning. On a local station, they re-ran an interview they had with him a while back. And I came in during the middle of it. so I had no idea it was commemorating his death.

    It's a terrible thing, I imagine my future kids will watch reruns of him when they're young.

    He died of stomach cancer at age 74.


    Posted in: Television

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  5. Creating Community Connections Project

    brian on 2003.02.24
    at 05:15 pm

    Non-geek-centric Community Wireless It looks like Wi-Fi is attempting to bridge the Digital Divide (a theory that those with less income have less connectivity, etc). A housing project in Boston appears to be the first to roll-out a wireless connectivity plan to connect its residents to high-speed Internet service. Excellent.

    Posted in: Cool Info

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  6. Moore's Law

    jake on 2003.02.21
    at 01:06 pm

    c'mon media, it's not that complicated...

    So over the years I've noticed something with the media. They dumb down everything. This includes especially technology. Well at Blue's News this morning I was pointed to an article at Ars Technica that explains and elaborates on the missconception that Moore's Law involves processor power, ie. MHz/GHz.

    "The number of transistors per chip that yields the minimum cost per transistor has increased at a rate of roughly a factor of two per year."

    The article explains how Moore's Law is multifaceted, and in basic terms discussed transistor quantity and chip cost. If you're interested in getting a firmer grasp on these concepts I suggest you head on over and read this article.

    Ars Technica

    Posted in: Technology · Service Announcement

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  7. Stupidity Amasses Stateside

    brian on 2003.02.21
    at 01:49 am

    The stupidity and fear of the current US administration seems to seep into new things daily.

    Example one. A Canadian-Indian woman was intercepted by the US INS at Chicago's O'Hare Airport. She was simply switching planes, to complete her trip from visiting family in Dubai to her home in Toronto. But since the INS didn't like her passport, she got shipped back to Dubai via Kuwait, with a voided passport. Wonderful. World: know that the American people don't hate you.

    Example Two. Homeland security. Panic makers. (BTW, Iraq is bad, too!) Unbelievable. If you didn't read the previous posts on this topic, do so. Well according to this, " doesn't shoot straight." Lord help us.

    Posted in: Service Announcement

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  8. Everyone posts about Iraq and Terror

    brian on 2003.02.17
    at 10:36 pm

    I guess I should too. Well, no, this wasn't really my motivation. Nevertheless, here are two links that I find useful when forming an opinion on the current situations the United States finds itself in.

    On Nuclear, Biological and Chemical use by terrorists, before you panic, perhaps you should learn just a little about these forms of warfare. This is an excellent, quick summary of facts I've read elsewhere over the years (although I'm no hawk, I have been well read in military matters for many of my literate years).

    On Preemptive attacks on Iraq, I've seen more compelling anti-war arguments, but this is a terribly interesting (entertainment, at least) list of "The 50 Most Ridiculous Things About the Upcoming War in Iraq."

    If you're against the preemptive strike, you might want to check out the resources of MoveOn is a PAC, which I normally don't like one bit, but they've been doing some good work of late.

    Posted in: Service Announcement

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  9. When Starfire is not Starfire

    brian on 2003.02.13
    at 02:54 am

    "This is the blurriest picture we've ever taken of anything, and this is the one that makes the front page of the newspapers," Johnson said.

    So how did the scientists working with the USAF's most advanced optics, which can reportedly spy on spy satellites and track ballistic missiles, come up with a fuzzy picture of a much closer object?

    Starfire Optical Range engineers... had rigged up a device using a commercially available 3 1/2-inch telescope and an 11-year-old Macintosh computer

    In an interview with the AP, the scientists wanted to set the record straight.

    "We were not asked by NASA to do this," said Robert Fugate, the optical range's technical director. "There was no official project or tasking to do this. The people who work here are geeks. This was an opportunity to look at a rapidly moving object and try to take a picture of it. That's really all it was."

    Posted in: Technology · Photography

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  10. Cuban Council

    brian on 2003.02.09
    at 10:05 pm

    The Cuban Council have launched their business website. For a long time these same guys have had a website known to many designers simply as "K10k."

    3 of 4 Cuban Councilors are Danish. Does that make them better designers? Well, don't ask me, I'm a bit biased ;-) Of course, they're much more Danish than I. I guess that's why they're making a living from design and I'm not (yet)!

    Posted in: Design

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  11. In depth Columbia analysis

    brian on 2003.02.08
    at 02:00 pm

    I won't go into details here, but if you're looking for an actual play-by-play told by telemetry and the USAF's high-definition tracking camera/telescope check out the article at Aviation Week and Space Technology. Since this is an industry magazine, you're going to get a much more in-depth write up than the fluff you'll find elesewhere.
    You can also get links and a quick summary about the USAF's optics at Kuro5hin.

    Posted in: Technology

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  12. Big Brother was a wimp

    brian on 2003.02.08
    at 12:42 am

    Or what Ashcroft would do if he was king

    Dangerous. That's what J Edgar Hoover was when he headed the FBI He investigated anyone he wanted willy nilly, ruining lives left and right, at his whim.

    Scary. That's what Richard Nixon was, when you consider how he wanted to treat the information his office used to make decisions with when he was President. For his eyes only, even if he shouldn't legal should have had the information.

    Absurd. The treatment that the current Executive Branch is giving the US public in regards to locking up whatever documents it doesn't want us to see. It's cool that our national energy plan was made by US energy executives meeting in secret with our Vice President?

    And then there's John Ashcroft. No adjectives can adequately describe a former Senator from Missouri who was defeated by a former Governor of Missouri, who was post-mortem for several weeks. Usually, when a state makes that kind of statement about their representatives, they are rid of them. Instead when this one was sent packing, his exile was to become King of American Justice.

    His first "victory" was the the US Patriot Act. A shady piece of legislation rolled through Congress in less the six weeks. Now, he's written a sequel. And like nearly all sequels, this one's much worse than the original. How bad? A draft has been leaked to the Center for Public Integrity, a non-partisan watchdog group. The draft was then revealed to the American public on NOW with Bill Moyers. They have the full-document on that episode's webpage

    Can you say "Secret Arrests?"

    Posted in: Service Announcement

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  13. Michael Jackson Interview Thoughts

    jake on 2003.02.07
    at 12:30 pm

    Well in my daily reading I came across something interesting over at A little editorial on the interview last night with Michael Jackson.

    It was definitely an odd interview. And I tend to agree with the article over on kuro5hin. While it is pretty odd, and scary to boot, as long as his intentions are pure, there is nothing blatantly wrong with him hanging out with kids. He's obviously psychologically still acting like a 13 year old kid.

    I don't think he's technically a good role model for kids, but there are a lot of problems with our society today and it stems from terrible parenting. Acting like teachers are babysitters and then not giving teachers any respect or authority. No one wants to believe their kids are screwed up. Even though many of them are in fact very screwed up.

    I can relate a story. When I was eighteen I quit my job at Walgreens. I had an opportunity to get a job at Wal-Mart in the electronics dept. I got there and they offered me a position as a cashier till a new position opened up (so much for my tip.)

    Well I decided I would get a job somewhere I could have fun. Always being a Disney fan, and having a brother who at the time was six. I figured why not the Disney store? Sure I would have had to where purple, but I could get discounts, and I'd have fun goofing off there.

    Upon review of my application I was told that if I was to get the position I'd have to stay in the front of the store. I would not be able to go near the toys in the back, unless I kept right on walking into the break room. While I understand the concern, I wasn't trying to get the job so I could hang out and greet people as they walked in.

    I naturally went to Wal-Mart.

    That's just a random story where I was looked down upon because of my gender. Apparently because I'm male, I'm automatically a pedophile because I have a sensitive side.

    Sorry Mike, you need a little more charisma, you may not be doing anything physically wrong, but you're also not defending yourself very well.

    Posted in: Rant · Music

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  14. Sony shows off mini file server.

    jake on 2003.02.07
    at 12:10 pm

    kinda like an iPod, only a server.

    What a busy morning it seems to be. I actually might have two successive posts. How weird is that.

    Sony is showing off a new product on their Japanese web site. Called the FSV-PGX1, it's a wireless file server. And it's very small. It runs Linux and can support around 250 useres at once. It enables basic file sharing, and anyone in the vicinity can load up music from it.

    This sounds like a pretty nifty idea. I'd love to have something do this in my apt. I just set up a wireless network recently, and although file sharing isn't 100%, this would make me work on it, hopefully keeping security up.

    Here's a link to the Japanese website, pushed through Altavista's Babelfish translator. FSV-PGX1

    Posted in: Technology · Hardware

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  15. A Typical Situation

    brian on 2003.02.07
    at 02:48 am

    or a S-W-I-T-C-H-E-R-

    Perhaps you are wondering what types of things Jake and I, as former college roommates, send each other via email on a daily basis. Well, you probably aren't. But let's pretend you do. So here's a typical email "conversation."

    Brian: "So I got pointed to this guy's switcher tale. It's really long. It starts with some drawn out tale about getting old and fat. If you want to ingest the whole thing, turn to"
    Jake: "holy s***, that would be a switch ad longer than Braveheart woah!...."

    We're still waiting for Jake to write his own tale...

    Posted in: Technology · Cool Info

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  16. Insert pun about Ancient Chinese dynasties.

    brian on 2003.02.06
    at 03:48 am

    Everyone near a TV in the last few months has noted that the Chinese Invasion has occurred. This isn't a rant about Chinese restaurants and the INS. No, this means ball. Basketball, and abnormally tall Chinese men, with extraordinary human athleticism. The man's name is Yao Ming (and if my understanding of Chinese naming customs are correct, Yao is his family name, Ming his common name, although Chinese coming to the States have been known to switch their name's order to mash with our customs, and to confuse me.). Never the less, he went from scoring a goose-egg in his first NBA appearance with the Houston Rockets to quickly being the leading vote-getter for the upcoming All-Star Game and shoe-in for Rookie of the Year (note: rookie in this context only means first year in the NBA, as many international players have other pro experience before reaching the NBA). Anyhow, we all know this. Now, go check out this story at Kuro5hin (if this name isn't familiar to you, it's said "corrosion" like rust, which is because it was started by a guy named Rusty Foster). None the less, read the article to learn a little more about Mr. Yao and his trip to the states, how he picks his endorsements, and assorted other related tid-bits about the business of international sport. A good, if meandering read. No mention to whether or not Ming's PowerBook is only 12" or if he ever got his check accepted.

    [Side note: Nothing to do with Yao here, except when I was gathering pertinent links for this post, I had my only real prolonged experience with Site-review-in-a-sentence: it's a royal mess. And that's being kind. Notice I didn't link to the rookie of the year ballot. That's because I couldn't find it. There's no search feature and every team site is apparently laid out by the same Cro-Magnon who is responsible for the slop at Apparently, no one told them they don't get cheaper hosting rates for having everything on the front page. They didn't save by skipping the IA, either.]

    Posted in: Cool Info

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  17. Are Teachers Overpaid?

    jake on 2003.02.04
    at 07:28 pm

    I know a whole bunch of teachers. Initially it was mostly Aunt's. Now that I've graduated I have a chunk of my group of friends who are all either teaching now, or getting teaching degrees.

    This article poses a good question. The odd thing is that people would think that teachers are overpaid. Some teachers, especially from affluent communities, get paid well. But there are a great deal more teachers who are paid rather poorly.

    One of my aunt's deals with a lot of crap from kids constantly. Parents put it on the school system to teach kids right from wrong. When kids are attacking teachers that's a problem. They should show respect. Without teachers they'd be even larger idiots, and I'd hate to see our country be put in the hands of larger idiots. ;)

    Teachers in general are paid too little. They should be given more money until parents learn to grow up. Teachers are there to teach, not babysit.

    Well I could be even more random and mention other opinions about parents, but I think I'll leave that for another rant. don't wanna get too off topic. ;)

    Posted in: Rant

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  18. We'll miss you Columbia

    brian on 2003.02.02
    at 01:39 am

    My thoughts today were with the crew of Columbia STS-107. As American's I think we totally ignore the absolutely amazing work NASA has done quietly, daily, since JFK lit the American wick of space exploration. And we just take it for granted, yap about the new season of Survivor, and drink Tang. Totally oblivious. Makes me wonder what the rest of the world thinks.

    I remember once hearing a story of an American telling rural Africans that man had stepped upon the moon, and they just laughed and laughed in disbelief.

    Posted in: Cool Info

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