March 31, 2003

SARS hits San Francisco

Suspected SARS case detected in San Francisco: ``To date, the state Department of Health Services has reported a total of 16 possible SARS cases in California, including four in Santa Clara County, one in Alameda County, one in Marin County, and one in Sonoma County.``

Posted by rusty at 06:50 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Northernly Advice

MARGARET ATWOOD writes A Letter to America: ``I won't go into the reasons why I think your recent Iraqi adventures have been -- taking the long view -- an ill-advised tactical error. By the time you read this, Baghdad may or may not look like the craters of the Moon, and many more sheep entrails will have been examined. Let's talk, then, not about what you're doing to other people, but about what you're doing to yourselves.``
``You're gutting the Constitution. Already your home can be entered without your knowledge or permission, you can be snatched away and incarcerated without cause, your mail can be spied on, your private records searched. Why isn't this a recipe for widespread business theft, political intimidation, and fraud? I know you've been told all this is for your own safety and protection, but think about it for a minute. Anyway, when did you get so scared? You didn't used to be easily frightened.``

Posted by rusty at 04:36 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Tiny & Pixel fonts

Sometimes, all you want are Tiny, Pixel fonts. Atomic Media has a huge collection of them, including my favorite for disclaimers and legal notices, Microscopic.

Posted by rusty at 04:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Emerging powers

The Second Superpower ``There is an emerging second superpower, but it is not a nation. Instead, it is a new form of international player, constituted by the “will of the people” in a global social movement. The beautiful but deeply agitated face of this second superpower is the worldwide peace campaign, but the body of the movement is made up of millions of people concerned with a broad agenda that includes social development, environmentalism, health, and human rights. This movement has a surprisingly agile and muscular body of citizen activists who identify their interests with world society as a whole—and who recognize that at a fundamental level we are all one. These are people who are attempting to take into account the needs and dreams of all 6.3 billion people in the world—and not just the members of one or another nation. Consider the members of Amnesty International who write letters on behalf of prisoners of conscience, and the millions of Americans who are participating in email actions against the war in Iraq. Or the physicians who contribute their time to Doctors Without Borders/ Medecins Sans Frontieres.``

Posted by rusty at 03:16 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Witness Protection Camps

What's up with US citizens of middle-eastern descent being held in solitary confinement as "material witnesses" on behalf of the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force?

Posted by rusty at 03:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Great Sat photos of Baghdad

DigitalGlobe has some incredible high-resolution satellite images of Baghdad.
They give you a real feel for the large city that it is.

Posted by rusty at 02:43 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Dow ends quarter with triple-digit loss

Dow ends quarter with sharp drop: Welcome to the Wartime Economy. There are months of this ahead.

Posted by rusty at 02:07 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Creating a Firestorm

National Geographic Fires Peter Arnett for expressing his own opinions. Apparently, if you work for a news reporting agency in time of war, you have to agree with the party line.
"I want to apologize to NBC, MSNBC, National Geographic EXPLORER and the American people for clearly making a misjudgment by giving the interview to Iraqi Television," Arnett said. "Clearly by giving that interview I created a firestorm in the United States, and for that I'm truly sorry."

Posted by rusty at 02:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 27, 2003

Rumsfeld Hopes...

Rumsfeld suggests laying siege to the capital and hope anti-Saddam Hussein citizens rise up against the government before American troops have to invade the city of 5 million.

Posted by rusty at 04:14 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 25, 2003

75 billion fucking dollars

CNN.com - Bush urges Congress to approve spending bill for war - Mar. 25, 2003
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Calling on Congress to "act quickly and responsibly," President Bush on Tuesday outlined a $74.7 billion emergency spending request that he called "directly related to winning this war."

Posted by rusty at 04:33 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Mood changes as America finds war is not a video game

The Independent (UK): ``...guerrilla-style ambushes, downed helicopters and disturbing images of US soldiers dying or being taken prisoner over the past two days, the mood has changed abruptly``
"I have a sick feeling about where this is all heading. They made us believe this would be a cakewalk, and now look what is happening"

Posted by rusty at 03:53 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Important Change to the 1974 U.S. Privacy Act

Restrictions Lifted from FBI Criminal Database Checks
The Justice Department lifted a requirement Monday that the FBI ensure the accuracy and timeliness of information about criminals and crime victims before adding it to the country's most comprehensive law enforcement database.
The system, run by the FBI's National Crime Information Center, includes data about terrorists, fugitives, warrants, people missing, gang members and stolen vehicles, guns or boats.

Posted by rusty at 03:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Careful when speaking your mind

South Carolina General Assembly adopts house resolution TO REQUEST THAT THE DIXIE CHICKS APOLOGIZE TO THE MILITARY FAMILIES IN THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA AND THE UNITED STATES FOR THE UNPATRIOTIC AND UNNECESSARY COMMENTS MADE BY THEIR LEAD SINGER BEFORE THEY BEGIN THEIR UNITED STATES TOUR ON MAY 1, 2003, IN GREENVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA, AND TO REQUEST THAT THEY PERFORM A FREE CONCERT FOR TROOPS AND MILITARY FAMILIES IN SOUTH CAROLINA AS AN EXPRESSION OF THEIR SINCERITY.
Whereas, the Dixie Chicks are a popular and influential country music group from Texas; and
Whereas, before a recent London concert, Natalie Maines, the lead singer of the Dixie Chicks, said that she was ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas; and
Whereas, members of the United States Armed Forces are outraged at the anti-American sentiment expressed by the Dixie Chicks; and
Whereas, there is a large military presence in the State of South Carolina, whom the Dixie Chicks have offended by their comments; and
Whereas, before the Dixie Chicks kick off their United States tour in Greenville on May 1, 2003, the House of Representatives and the people of South Carolina request that Natalie Maines apologize and that the group perform a free concert for the South Carolina servicemen and women and their families. Now, therefore,
Be it resolved by the House of Representatives:
That the members of the House of Representatives of the State of South Carolina, by this resolution, request that the Dixie Chicks apologize to the military families in the State of South Carolina and the United States for the unpatriotic and unnecessary comments made by their lead singer before they begin their United States tour on May 1, 2003, in Greenville, South Carolina, and request that they perform a free concert for troops and military families in South Carolina as an expression of their sincerity.
Be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be forwarded to the Dixie Chicks.

Posted by rusty at 02:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 24, 2003

War: good or bad for the economy.

Dow retreats 307 points in worst day of '03: ``Reality of war sets in on Wall Street``
Last week they were saying the opposite and all excited about the great gains the Dow had made.
I'm sure it will all reverse itself again in a few days.

Posted by rusty at 10:58 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Fire the ad agency

Guardian Unlimited: With less than a week gone, the invasion forces may be slowly winning the battle on land and in the air but Iraq is winning the battle of hearts and minds. To have reached such a position against an adversary who is demonstrably one of the world's most disgusting tyrants, to have transformed him into a hero figure, and to have transformed the American flag into a symbol of oppression, is not only unfortunate but reeks of political incompetence.

Posted by rusty at 10:54 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Cheering up the dying

Peret O'Toole at the Oscars: “I am an entertainer — that’s my job,” he said. “Men, women, children and soldiers are being killed right now. My job is to cheer them up if I can.”

Posted by rusty at 10:52 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 23, 2003

In Police State News...

the National Guard has more troops in action than at any time since the Korean War. How soon do you think it will be before the National Guard is called to put down protests? I give it a week.

Posted by rusty at 02:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The End of the UN

Editorial from The Guardian
Richard Perle: Thank God for the death of the UN
``Saddam Hussein's reign of terror is about to end. He will go quickly, but not alone: in a parting irony, he will take the UN down with him.``
There is an interesting response from Josh Marshall where he writes ``the major countries in Europe are discussing whether the EU should start functioning as a geopolitical counterweight to the US rather than a partner. ``
With 2 superpowers, there was often a tie. With one, there is an obvious target to topple for all would-bes, hence the terrorists targetting the US.

Posted by rusty at 01:18 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Infighting among the 1st Brigade

US soldier kills, injures comrades: in what may be the first incident of this kind. ''In recent days, other soldiers who are Muslim had complained of derogatory remarks by members of the unit, and a generally hostile atmosphere. ``
I wonder how long it will be before most Muslims are banned from fighting? (Hopefully I am overreacting).
This areticle was also on Reuters and the Washington Post, which sidestepped the fact that the attacker was part of the brigade that was attacked and didn't mention the Muslim-American vs Non-Muslim-American issue within the brigade.

Posted by rusty at 10:58 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 22, 2003

Posted without comment

BBC NEWS: Latrine deaths over Kenyan cell phone
"The fumes inside must be extremely poisonous considering the short time it was taking to disable the retrievers."

Posted by rusty at 04:17 PM | Comments (20) | TrackBack

On the front lines

SF Chronicle: S.F. cops grouse about what it's like on the front lines: "They call you pig, robot, Nazi," he said. "They call you everything. You stand there, and you take it. You don't talk. You don't answer. If you stay detached, then they don't own you.

"Once you get pissed off, then they own you."


Posted by rusty at 09:58 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 21, 2003

Raph was arrested for peaceful protest. He writes:

``None of the protestors were in the least bit violent, and we weren't even keeping people from their business in Sproul Hall (we were in the front foyer; people could still access all offices through the north and south entrances). Several speakers talked of treating the police officers with respect (one young woman has many police officers in her family), and were roundly applauded. The nonviolent legacy of Martin Luther King was invoked repeatedly.

Even so, for whatever reason the University saw fit to arrest 117 of us anyway. ``

By now, the media has reported over 1600 arrests in San Francisco.

Posted by rusty at 05:42 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 20, 2003

500+ Arrested in San Francisco

Local newswire BCN reporting Busloads arrested from protests in San Francisco. KPIX is reporting over 500 arrests.

There are also some other protest pictures from last night and this morning of the area near Fremont and Market.

SF Indy Media center's site is really overloaded but has lots of interesting info on it.

I've been listening to their net radio broadcast (unofficial link here) but it just went off the air... hopefully a temporary issue. UPDATE: it's back, apparently their site is just massively overloaded right now.

Posted by rusty at 01:55 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 19, 2003

Standby Database with MySQL

It's now easy Using MySQL's Built-In Replication to provide a standard databases and high availability. You know what I'll be working on this weekend...

Posted by rusty at 02:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Freedom of Speech

Scalia Bans Media: ``Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia banned broadcast media from an appearance Wednesday where he will receive an award for supporting free speech.``

This is the same Justice who said The government has room to scale back individual rights during wartime without violating the Constitution

Posted by rusty at 11:37 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 18, 2003

It's Bush's fault!

Washington Post: Fleischer Blasts Daschle for War Remarks: "It's hard to assess what Senator Daschle means when his remarks are so inconsistent," Fleischer said. "He's essentially blaming President Bush for the fact that we may be on the verge of war."

Fleischer is so funny!

Posted by rusty at 10:09 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 17, 2003

British Leader's Parting Shot

Robin Cook, British senior government minister resigns over Iraq, taking some good parting shots at Blair. But you can't just read about this one, you really must watch Cook's resignation speech (RealVideo required). It's 11 minutes long but worth watching every minute.

Posted by rusty at 07:01 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Worldwide Threat from Killer Pneumonia

GENEVA (Reuters): The World Health Organization warned on Saturday of a "worldwide health threat" as a mystery killer pneumonia spread from east Asia to other parts of the globe.

Let's hope this isn't like the World War I Flu Epidemic that killed 675,000 people.


Posted by rusty at 06:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

You're all Commies

The latest propaganda from radical turned conservative David Horowitz that Communists are controlling Peace Activists: ``On the day after the U.S. military action in Iraq begins, the Fifth Column is preparing to begin its own war at home. The plan is to cause major disruptions – illegal in nature – in cities across the country to disrupt the flow of normal civic life. These actions will tie up Homeland Security forces and create a golden opportunity for domestic terrorists. The Fifth Column left is also planning to invade military bases.``

Peer pressure doesn't just affect teenagers, it affects aging hippies too.

Posted by rusty at 12:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tiananmen Square, Israeli Style

CNN: An Israeli bulldozer killed an American woman
Sunday who had been protesting its use to destroy Palestinian houses in Rafah.

My first question is: why is the Israeli military bulldozing houses in Rafah?

My second question is: Who are the bad guys again? I think I'm getting confused.

This reminds me of Tiananmen Square!

Posted by rusty at 12:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Reality TV

``In a warehouse in the bleak Qatari desert, the U.S. military has erected plasma TV screens, high-speed phone lines and a fancy stage to serve as platform to tell the world its side of the story in a possible war against Iraq. The media center at Camp As Sayliyah, the Persian Gulf headquarters of the Tampa, Fla.-based U.S. Central Command, is more Who Wants to be a Millionaire than gritty wartime command post. But it's not the only surreal scene for correspondents waiting for action in the Gulf: It competes with ice skating at the mall, poolside lounging and locally sponsored belly-dancing shows.``

This war is going to be as much about entertainment than it is going to be about anything else.

Posted by rusty at 10:26 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Live from Sulamaniyah

Reporter Kevin Sites Blog is blogging from Iraq. It's like he has hist own mini-CNN.

Posted by rusty at 10:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A new era of American imperial power

Robert Dreyfuss writes in Just the Beginning: Is Iraq the opening salvo in a war to remake the world?

``For months Americans have been told that the United States is going to war against Iraq in order to disarm Saddam Hussein, remove him from power, eliminate Iraq's alleged stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, and prevent Baghdad from blackmailing its neighbors or aiding terrorist groups. But the Bush administration's hawks, especially the neoconservatives who provide the driving force for war, see the conflict with Iraq as much more than that. It is a signal event, designed to create cataclysmic shock waves throughout the region and around the world, ushering in a new era of American imperial power. It is also likely to bring the United States into conflict with several states in the Middle East. Those who think that U.S. armed forces can complete a tidy war in Iraq, without the battle spreading beyond Iraq's borders, are likely to be mistaken.``

Posted by rusty at 09:45 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 14, 2003

To simple to be called HACKING

So check this out: University has a computer system that is used for administrative data reporting. It works like this: you go to a web address, enter your SSN number and only your SSN number, and the system then displays your e-mail address, title, department name, department address, department phone number, and names/dates of employee training programs attended. Apparently there was some good reason for doing this, but we don't know for sure.

So a silly 20 year old UT student realizes that this silly web site has no PIN or passwords, and realizes that he can just start at 449-00-0000 and increment a a counter and he can log all SSNs that work. So with something like a 20 line perl script left running for a few days, he gets info from 55,000 SSNs!

Now this 'deliberate attack from the Internet' on the University's non-secured computer systems wasn't really much of an attack at all, rather a horribly designed application. That's not stopping the Department of Justice from announcing ``that a criminal Complaint has been filed this morning against CHRISTOPHER ANDREW PHILLIPS, a 20-year old student at the University of Texas at Austin, charging him with unauthorized access to a protected computer and using a means of identification of another person with intent to commit a federal offense. ''

Poor kid. He was just probably curious at how poorly they implemented their security. How is it so different from dialing phone numbers at random (or sequentially) to see what's out there?

Posted by rusty at 11:16 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

War is scary

Netslaves: The Closer We Get To War, The More We Find Out

``It doesn't matter if we win the battle for Baghdad if the country is left in anarchy, where the PKK, KDP and PUK join hands to kill Turks, the Marsh Arabs seek to reclaim their lands and the Sunnis hold on for dear life. ''

Posted by rusty at 08:58 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Questioning the Competence

NY Times: ``Mr. Bush is the wrong man to do the job. And more people than you would think — including a fair number of people in the Treasury Department, the State Department and, yes, the Pentagon — don't just question the competence of Mr. Bush and his inner circle; they believe that America's leadership has lost touch with reality.''

And: ``But more and more people now realize that even if all goes well at first, it will have been the wrong war, fought for the wrong reasons — and there will be a heavy price to pay.''

Posted by rusty at 12:03 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 13, 2003

Bush: Clap or else!

GEORGE Bush pulled out of a speech to the European Parliament when MEPs wouldn't guarantee a standing ovation. Accord to the UK's Mirror, "President Bush agreed to a speech but insisted he get a standing ovation like at the State of the Union address."

"His people also insisted there were no protests, or heckling."

They also note that Mr Bush's every appearance in the US is stage-managed, with audiences full of supporters.

Just another limitation on assembly of people with opposing points of view.

Posted by rusty at 05:37 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

How World Wars Start

Isn't this just like how World War I started? When Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife were visiting Sarajevo and were shot and killed by a member of a Serbian secret society.

Please let's not have history repeat itself. It almost seems like it is going to.

Posted by rusty at 09:47 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 12, 2003

Spambots must die!

Spambots are rude little web crawlers that exist to gather as many email addresses as possible. Neil Gunton has a great page on
Stopping Spambots, Mark has a piece on using Apache to block spambots and unwanted robots which has some well researched and easy to implement ideas.

Just like in the real world, cyberspace has its own axis of evil and corresponding arms race to keep the world (or your mailbox) safe from atack.

Posted by rusty at 05:08 PM | Comments (42) | TrackBack

March 11, 2003

One Million Bucks for War Media Center

The Pentagon is spending one million dollars on a ``high-tech hub for the international media'' in Qatar. And movie art director George Allison is getting $200,000 to design a set for daily military briefings.

I am in the wrong business.

Posted by rusty at 05:32 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Buy a Bong, Go to Prison

NY Times reports: Eminent Domain: Seizing Web Sites where online paraphernalia vendors were shut down, arrested and had their domain names redirected to a DEA site:

Mary Beth Buchanan, the United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, said that the sites were seized under criminal forfeiture proceedings, and that the government is "in a position to have collected a lot of information through these cases with regard to people who purchased items from these companies."

Posted by rusty at 03:19 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Gattaca Proposal

Ashcroft Unveils DNA Proposal... or should we call it the Gattaca Proposal?

``The Bush plan calls for $233 million in annual federal funding over five years for various DNA analysis programs, an increase of more than $100 million annually.''

I'm sure none of this will go towards releasing people falsly convicted of crimes, although if it did, that would be a good thing.

Posted by rusty at 12:50 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

War on flying

The Air Transport Association says that War will cost airline industry 70,000 more jobs. More proof that War is good for the economy (not).

Posted by rusty at 12:45 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

March 10, 2003

Tiny Cameras

I can't decide between the Sony DSC-U20or the Casio EX-S1. Drawbacls to the Sony is that you have to use a Memory Stick.

Once you have a camera this small, you take it with you everywhere. Now if it just had Bluetooth so I can email the pictures with my GSM phone...

Posted by rusty at 05:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Father to son

Former President speaks on Middle East politics: ``It would be better to act with as much support as possible,'' Bush Sr. said to the crowd at Tufts University.

There hasn't been a lot of US media attention to this. But the London Times says ``The first President Bush has told his son that hopes of peace in the Middle East would be ruined if a war with Iraq were not backed by international unity.''

The Times article is getting a lot of attention in email circles.

Business Week says ``Not following his father's successful strategies could be George W.'s biggest mistake.''

Other non-US papers ran the headline, ``Bush Senior warns against unilateral action'' and ``Bush falls out with father over going it alone''

I wonder if CNN will say anything.

I just found the actual text of the speech, you can be your own judge on what it says.

My favorite excerpt:

Incidentally, the Madrid conference would never have happened if the international coalition that fought together in Desert Storm had acceded the U.N. mandate and gone on on its own if the United States had gone on on its own, had gone into Baghdad after Saddam and his forces had surrendered and agreed to disarm. The coalition would have instantly shattered. And the political capital that we had gained as a result of our principle restraint to jumpstart the peace process would have been lost. We would have lost all support from our coalition, with the possible exception of England. And we would have lost all support from the smaller nations in the United Nations as well.

Posted by rusty at 03:47 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

AOL's TiVo Killer

The details are starting to emerge about AOL's lame version of TiVo (NY Times registration required). Some of those exciting features include: lack of a 30 second skip, automatic display of commercials when program viewing is paused, commercials "framing" fast forward /fast reverse operations (you see the content you're advancing through in a PIP-like window). Oh, and the ability on a channel and program basis to disallow time shifting.

Oh, and did I mention all the program data is stored at the cable company head-end? It's the old mainframe computer mentality again.

This is more a replacement for the Set Top Box than it is a "TiVo Killer".

Posted by rusty at 01:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 09, 2003

A Villa

I've always wanted to go to Europe for several weeks with a group of friends and live in a villa. Seacrhing through the classifieds in the Financial Times I found a few agencies that specialize in them:
Top Villas has some nice pictures but not a lot of details; Kestrel Travel specializes in the South of France and has an excellent online directory of their properties, as does Quality Villas. For Italian villas, Dolce Vita Villas has a very nice site that leans towards the upscale. But the villas I looked at are beautiful and have many amenities and depending on the size of your group might totally be worthwhile.

Why am I telling you this? Mostly for my own record so when I'm really ready to do this, I won't have to go looking up everything again.

Villas seem to rent from anywhere from $4000-20,000 a week for ones that sleep 10-12 people, 8 person villas can be found for $1000 a week, and smaller ones for much less. Although the ones in the $500 a week price range are usually out in the country and far from anything, which could be good or bad depending on what you're looking for.

Posted by rusty at 12:06 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 07, 2003

Luxury Goods

Paying a premium for the best products.

I admit it, when I want something nice, I don't want to settle for something not as nice. I'll just wait until I can afford the nice one I really want. Which is why I still have a Sony 25XBR TV from 1985. I'm holding out for a 50" Plasma 1080i monitor, which someday I will get.

Posted by rusty at 02:45 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Dave Hyatt on tabbed browsing in Safari.

I like tabs. I like multiple windows. Sometimes, I want both. I hope to see the tabbed browsing feature in Safari soon.

Posted by rusty at 02:25 PM | Comments (58) | TrackBack

Trillions...

Massive deficits projected for Bush budget- $1.82 trillion over the next 10 years, even without including the costs of war. But that's only like an a couple billion more, so that's not a big deal.

That's something to look forward to in my old age.

Up until now the largest shortfall ever was $290 billion in 1992.

Posted by rusty at 01:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

$200 Billion (raises pinky)

War is expensive, as this article in the Washington Post points out. Two Hundred Billion Dollars.
Is that the kind of stimulation the economy needs right now?

Posted by rusty at 01:52 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

the search for Bin Laden

It's nice to know that we haven't completely given up in the search for Bin Laden.

``The US has also thrown some of its best resources into hunting the al-Qaeda leader, using satellite tracking systems and sophisticated spying systems. '' But we still don't have him.

I am willing to bet $10 that when we do capture him, the stock market will do a big upward tick.

Everyone says the market hates uncertain, and this would really help the world seem a little more stable. (Seem is the operative word.)

Posted by rusty at 01:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Note Taker

I'm intrigued by a new product for OSX called Note Taker. It's a note taking, outlining, clipping organizer, etc tool. Looks like just the thing to replace my old favorite outliner, More.

I'll update you all more after I've been using it a while.

Posted by rusty at 01:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 06, 2003

The Color of Money

Does it make anyone nervous that we're slowly but seriously changing the look of our money? While I don't object to the change per se, I am worried that the Federal Reserve will decide to "call in" all the notes to be exchanged for the new bills, and the old bills will become valueless after a certain date.

The idea of doing away with large denomination paper currency is nothing new, but Considering all the cash that is held outside the US, this could have a devastating affect of the value of the dollar as a universal currency. According to a paper on the underground demand for paper notes, 40-50% of US currency is held outside the USA, and 60% of this is $100 bills.

Imagine the blow to terrorism we could strike by calling in all the cash for "trade in" under the watchful eyes of the IRS and DHS. Then imagine the damage to our economy as the world abandons the dollar as a safe, stable currency.

Posted by rusty at 11:25 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Marc Andreessen, back-to-burgers

Amusing interview with Andreessen in the SJ Merc. It's good to know his arrogance is still alive and kicking!

Some notable bits:

"I don't own any AOL stock. I sold all mine."

"There aren't a lot of good ideas."

And when asked, "Do you blog?" he replied, "No. I have a day job. I don't have the time or ego need."

(Those lucky enough to have reporters trailing them around indeed have no need to blog.)

Posted by rusty at 10:25 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Churches urge no war

Churhes urge Bush administration to refrain from war. Unclear on the "religions right's" stance on this.

I do not see how someone can call themselves a Christian and want to instigate a war. Unless this is Armageddon and W wants to make sure he's got a piece of the action.

Posted by rusty at 10:09 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

You deserve a new low today

McDonalds' stock falls to a ten-year low.

Remeber that old saying that no two countries with McDonalds have never gone to war? I suspect that won't hold true much longer.

Posted by rusty at 09:34 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

You deserve a new low today

McDonalds' stock falls to a ten-year low.

Remeber that old saying that no two countries with McDonalds have never gone to war? I suspect that won't hold true much longer.

Posted by rusty at 09:34 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 05, 2003

Shipping out

One of my best friends has been in the Navy Reserve for the last few years. Last night, he "shipped out". I knew it was coming, and I had sent him a bunch of Groove Salad music to load into his laptop because he was going to be cutoff from the net for a while. But I felt like I should somehow more for him. After all, here he is, going off to fight what may turn into World War III and serve his country.

It really hit me when I got a message from him last night, sitting in a bus on the tarmac waiting for stuff to be loaded into his big old C-whatever troop carrier plane. I got his message in time to call him back before he left, but we couldn't talk long because he wasn't going to be able to charge his phone for a while and needed to conserve batteries. He does have a GSM world phone, so I expect to hear from him when he gets to where he is going.

Which brings up an interesting thought: will American servicemen be able to phone home much more easily than they did in the past? How will this affect popular sentiment for the war?

Meanwhile, students are skipping classes in protest.

I don't support the war, but I am resigned to the fact that it is happening, and there is nothing that can be done to stop it. That doesn't mean that protest is ineffective- I do believe that protests will make the war end sooner than it would otherwise.

I do, however, support the men and women of our military who are following their orders. It is not their place to decide if the war should or should not be fought. That duty belongs to the citizens of the USA.

Posted by rusty at 04:01 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Drop Leaflets, not Bombs

Ever wonder what those leaflets dropped on Iraq say? (Warning, the site is really slow).

My favorite says "Military fiber optic cables are tools used by Saddam and his regime to suppress the Iraqi people".
Leaflet

Posted by rusty at 01:38 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Apple Music Service

Apple is supposedly getting ready to launch a subscription music service. I am really, really excited by this. I can't wait for a new iPod with wireless, so I can use it around the house to access my main music server and internet radio. Lots of rumors about new iPods and the new iPod update to support the new Apple music service (no doubt part of the .Mac offerings).

I imagine some day having iPods in every room of my house, either built into the wall or a tabletop version. I can listen to net radio and easily buy the tracks I really like.

One thing that Apple is good at is getting the whole package together.

I'm excited about this!

Posted by rusty at 01:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

More fallout from the privatization of public spaces

As more and more public space becomes private space, that is, as Malls and Shopping Centers replace shopping streets and town squares, we're seeing more interesting fallout from the privatization of public spaces. These new "public spaces" are not really public, they're patrolled by private security forces, they have their own rules, and users of these spaces give up rights that they would have in traditional public spaces.

Monday, a most interesting thing happened. A man was arrested for wearing a T-shirt that said "No War With Iraq".

Here's how it went down: Stephen Downs and his son went to a custom T-shirt shop in the mall, and got 2 pro-peace T-shits made. One said, "Let Inspections Work" and "No War With Iraq". The other shirt read "Give Peace A Chance" and "Peace On Earth". They then put the shirts on, and went to get something to eat in the food court. They were not interfering with other shoppers or verbally protesting. They were just wearing their shirts.

At this point, an alert Macy's employee spotted the troublemakers and alerted mall security, who approached Downs and Son and insisted that they remove their shirts or leave the mall immediately, or else they would be arrested. Of course, they refused and Downs was arrested.

For wearing a shirt that promoted peace.

The Crossgates Mall is taking a big PR hit thought. Protesters are already descending on the mall. Google News is showing over 200 stories about this so far, and it's spreading across the web quickly.


Posted by rusty at 01:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Overheard on the street

A bank teller and the bank security guard were going out for a smoke as I was walking into the bank. The teller stopped in the shade and started to light up.

The security guard says, "Not here, go where it's warm. I'm a mammal you know. I'm a snake."

Posted by rusty at 12:35 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 03, 2003

Rack Mount NTP-synced Clocks

I found some really cool rack mount LED clocks, but the best part is they offer a NTP ethernet option for $125. I need one for my server farm.

They have lots of other cool clocks too, including blue LED clocks!

Posted by rusty at 09:15 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Yet another sendmail hole

Make sure you upgrade Sendmail to version 8.12 before the script kiddies start coming after you.

Posted by rusty at 06:40 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Stolen Nail Clippers show up on Ebay

All those nail clippers, tweezers and other things that airport screeners stole from airline passengers in the name of security are being auctioned on Ebay. That sound pretty evil to me. Lots of people were forced to give up items that had a lot of sentimental and/or real value or else miss their planes.

I mean, we all knew that the screeners were taking the stuff they wanted, but how many pocket knives can you actually use?

The stuff they're snagging from travellers at the Palm Beach airport is really great: Steak knives. Screwdrivers. A bullet key chain. Arsenal Cologne in a hand grenade-shaped bottle, and a pink, 95-piece ladies household tool kit.

Years ago, some screener wouldn't let me on an airplane with a telecom tool kit until I showed them a business card (that simply said "Consultant").

On the other end of the spectrum an Air Canada employee was arrested in Ontario for offering a Pilots Manual for sale on Ebay. Good thing I don't run a technical book store!

Posted by rusty at 06:23 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack