10 March 2003
There was lots of kerfuffle, apparently, among those who ardently disbelieved UK paper The Observer's story a week ago that the US and UK had plans to plant bugs and do other evil surveillancy things to the other members of the UN Security Council, a situation that was now being investigated by the UN. Now UK police have made an arrest of a woman at the top-secret British Government Communications HQ over same, with more to follow.
11:52:27 PM  #   your two cents []
Aargh. Today I phoned the Apple people to see when my computer stuff was likely to be delivered. They said a delivery had been attempted Friday but no one was there. Ack. That's because last Wed. the Apple guy on the phone said it would be Monday before I got my loot. Then I got an email later Wednesday saying there'd be a 2-day delay. Now it turns out it was already here. It's so annoying to miss the delivery of your important new geek toys! I've had to arrange to have it sent to the Irish Times as I'm afraid I wouldn't be around to get the delivery otherwise. The delivery was f-a-s-t, which is good. Too bad I didn't know it was coming!
9:35:11 PM  #   your two cents []
Study: IT budgets 'anemic'. Market research firm Aberdeen Group is predicting information technology budgets will increase a mere 2.7 percent over the next six to 12 months. [CNET News.com]
9:28:00 PM  #   your two cents []

As you do:

A bar owner in the US has been charged after shooting his laptop computer. George Doughty is said to have fired four bullets into the Dell computer in the middle of his bar and restaurant in Lafayette, Colorado.

Police say he then hung the destroyed machine on the wall like a hunting trophy. [more from Ananova]


9:26:43 PM  #   your two cents []
I'm always fascinated by the statistics that are thrown up by Site Meter, the little program I use to track visits to my weblog. Today, most visits are from either Ireland or the UK -- that's traffic coming from the BBC Technology article that mentions Adnan Osmani. If you look at the OS statistics for visitors, most people (50%) are using Win2000, with XP only getting 13% of the OS share. Macs are at 6% so far, with Linux at 3%. A more typical representation, when traffic is more evenly spread across Europe and the US, would have XP at around 35%. Macs go up and down; they were at 3% when I had lots of traffic on Saturday, but can go up over 10% at times, too. I guess Irish/UK users either aren't buying many new PCs at the moment (and thus getting XP as the OS), or aren't upgrading, to the degree people are elsewhere. Curious...
1:50:57 PM  #   your two cents []
Why we need a high-tech shakeout. How many high-tech companies have folded their tents since the bubble burst? Not enough, say experts at McKinsey. [CNET News.com]
1:23:13 PM  #   your two cents []
Tech's love-hate relationship with the DMCAA real divide exists between software and hardware manufacturers when it comes to the subject of what to do about legislation to combat Internet piracy. [CNET News.com]
1:20:30 PM  #   your two cents []
Third of academics want to quit. Nearly one in three of Britain's university academic and teaching staff is seriously considering quitting the profession, according to a new survey. [Guardian Unlimited]
10:56:56 AM  #   your two cents []
Marston Bates. "Research is the process of going up alleys to see if they are blind." [Quotes of the Day]
10:53:41 AM  #   your two cents []
Iona orchestrates wireless computing. Iona takes a different approach to delivering documents to laptop-toting mobile workers over Wi-Fi networks. [CNET News.com]
10:45:16 AM  #   your two cents []

More big trouble for Blair: Short spearheads rebellion:

Tony Blair was last night facing the opening of floodgates to a catastrophic rebellion in his own ranks, as Clare Short, the international development secretary, warned that she would quit the cabinet if there was no second UN resolution supporting war in Iraq.

In comments which were frank even by her standards, she said she feared the prime minister was being "extraordinarily reckless" with the future of the government.

Her dramatically timed intervention raises the stakes for Mr Blair as he battles to persuade wavering states on the UN security council to support a resolution. It followed yesterday's resignation of a cabinet member's parliamentary private secretary and the threat by other parliamentary aides to follow suit.

Speaking at what she described as "ten minutes to midnight", Ms Short told the BBC Westminster Hour: "If there is not UN authority for military action, or if there is not UN authority for the reconstruction of the country, I will not uphold a breach of international law or this undermining of the UN, and I will resign from the government."

[Guardian Unlimited]


10:44:09 AM  #   your two cents []

I LOOOOOVE generators....: The Page of Generators: "Steven Savage has the turn of mind that plays with permutations, and has come up with an entire page of generators. One is the Academic SF Generator (inexplicably filed under character-related generators), which generates fields of study...Even better is the Action Film Trailer Generator. Itís meant to generate parodic action-movie trailer voiceovers." [Making Light via The Shifted Librarian]


10:40:13 AM  #   your two cents []

Today's obscene news:

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Bush administration has asked at least five U.S. engineering firms, including a unit of Halliburton Co., to bid for a post-war Iraq rebuilding contract which may be worth as much as $900 million, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

The newspaper said all five bidders have submitted their bids or are preparing to do so after the U.S. Agency for International Development ``quietly'' sent out a detailed request soliciting proposals from the likely bidders.

Halliburton is the company of which US VP Dick Cheney was CEO from 1995 until the 2000 election. No big surprise that they want in on this lucrative contract -- they made lots of dosh off deals they made with Saddam Hussein after the Gulf War.


9:40:49 AM  #   your two cents []