18 March 2003
Jamaican reggae singer in Siberia on a reindeer sleigh ride. The video is hilarious (I'm sure the snowcones laced with vodka helped).
11:14:28 PM  #   your two cents []

Some of the New York Times editorial today: War in the ruins of diplomacy.

When this administration took office just over two years ago, expectations were different. President Bush was a novice in international affairs, while his father had been a master practitioner. But the new president looked to have assembled an experienced national security team. It included Colin Powell and Dick Cheney, who had helped build the multinational coalition that fought the first Persian Gulf war. Condoleezza Rice had helped manage a peaceful end for Europe's cold war divisions. Donald Rumsfeld brought government and international experience stretching back to the Ford administration. This seasoned team was led by a man who had spoken forcefully as a presidential candidate about the need for the United States to wear its power with humility, to reach out to its allies and not be perceived as a bully.

But this did not turn out to be a team of steady veterans. The hubris and mistakes that contributed to America's current isolation began long before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. From the administration's first days, it turned away from internationalism and the concerns of its European allies by abandoning the Kyoto Protocol on global warming and withdrawing America's signature from the treaty establishing the International Criminal Court. Russia was bluntly told to accept America's withdrawal from the Antiballistic Missile Treaty and the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization into the territory of the former Soviet Union. In the Middle East, Washington shortsightedly stepped backed from the worsening spiral of violence between Israel and the Palestinians, ignoring the pleas of Arab, Muslim and European countries. If other nations resist American leadership today, part of the reason lies in this unhappy history.

And see: Things to Come. "Victory in Iraq won't end the world's distrust of the United States, because the Bush administration has made it clear that it doesn't play by the rules."

10:35:46 PM  #   your two cents []
Sean McCann posts a great haiku about inflated political...er...personalities..? Hee hee!!
9:35:24 PM  #   your two cents []
Apple pulls plug on original iMac. Five years after debuting the original iMac, Apple Computer stops selling the gumdrop-shaped machine to the public. RiP. [CNET News.com] ...The company also is beginning to offer servers designed for clustering.
9:09:02 PM  #   your two cents []
St Patrick to be named patron saint of software developers: I missed posting this amusing piece yesterday, by Propylon CTO Sean McGrath (whose blog is here)..
9:07:04 PM  #   your two cents []
  And more from the Guardian: Windows timeline. Creamhackered has posted a guide to the various versions at Neowin, and the screen shots have some nostalgia value.
7:25:49 PM  #   your two cents []
From the Guardian's onlineblog.com (note for US readers -- Time UK is a discount computer maker, not the US media conglomerate!): Time Computers unveils Tablet PC. "Time Education, a TIME Group Ltd company, is displaying the Time Tablet PC at the Education Show in Birmingham, England starting today [March 13]. The Time Tablet PC weighs just three pounds and offers a unique alternative to the standard notebook computer," according to a press release on the Transmeta Web site. Unlike Research Machines, Time has not taken the Intel Centrino route: its Tablet PC uses a Transmeta processor. Both companies target UK schools.
7:23:36 PM  #   your two cents []
Forbes has a list today of what they consider to be the best tech and media blogs here: http://www.forbes.com/technology/2003/03/14/cx_ah_0314blog.html
5:18:30 PM  #   your two cents []
Bernie (http://www.topgold.com/blog/2003/03/18.html#a2036) has this, from IDG:

IDG net -- Former Congressman Dick Armey accused George W. Bush and other Congressional Republicans of disregarding citizens' right to privacy in their efforts to increase national security. He said, "[P]eople in the government, very much so in the Justice Department, have been playing out a lust for our information that is not consistent with who we have been as a nation and what our constitutional freedoms are."

Armey criticized the government's proposed data-mining programs and other efforts to identify potential criminals and prevent crimes by collecting and sharing information from various sources. He said the notion that the collection of such data should not bother the innocent is ridiculous. "There is nothing more creative than a govenrment person wanting more power."

Link: http://www.idg.net/ic_1220478_9677_1-5041.html

Do you believe the Irish government when it says it only wants to store data traffic information (on all your calls, emails, faxes and internet use for three years) in case it needs access in the future -- but won't eventually want to use that information as a database for data mining purposes? I sure don't. The temptation for law enforcement would be enormous -- all in the name of preventing crime (remember, data retention was *supposed* to just be for preventing terrorist attacks. Now, it's general crime. What next?).
12:34:19 PM  #   your two cents []

Unknown. "Barnum was wrong - it's more like every 30 seconds." [Quotes of the Day]
9:48:18 AM  #   your two cents []
Gateway to Close Stores and Lay Off 1,900. Gateway, the personal computer maker whose shares have dropped 97 percent from their 1999 peak, will lay off 1,900 workers and close 80 retail stores. [New York Times: Technology]
9:47:38 AM  #   your two cents []
Megnut says: French week underway. Maciej is into Day 4 of French Week over at Idle Words and I don't know which post to recommend: the crêpes? The cheese? The reasons to love France? Or 20th century French history? Actually, every one really great, so just go read them all. [megnut]
9:47:05 AM  #   your two cents []

Interesting development. I know they track these guys with GPS these days too: Truck stops unwire: In the latest update on truck stop wireless hot spots, Columbia Advanced Wireless will deploy 1,000 truck stops with wireless networks for truckers to stay on top of their loads and schedules. So far, they have two locations listed; watch for the 998 to come. (Truck stops are a reasonable place for non-truckers to stop, too, given that these wireless networks will most likely be in areas with otherwise limited broadband capability.) [80211b News]

9:45:39 AM  #   your two cents []
Linux firms look to plug Samba hole. A major flaw in the software for sharing Windows files from a Linux server has open-source firms warning companies to apply a patch. [CNET News.com]
9:43:50 AM  #   your two cents []

It's now two minutes past St Patrick's Day in Ireland, so we return you to the normal black typeface until next year.

I have a heavy work week this week coming; then I am giving myself two weeks off (well, really one week, as I'll do week's work in advance). I'm looking forward to having the time to think through a couple of projects. One I can mention, and one I can't. The one I can't mention quite yet is really exciting and involves -- surprise -- weblogs! More anon, perhaps in a couple of weeks.

 The other is a plan I've been mulling over for a while -- to take my doctoral dissertation, which I never published, and putting it online under a Creative Commons licence. It's on old (circa 1995) Mac disks in a version of Word so small it would fit on a floppy along with a couple of dissertation chapters (remember those days, anyone?). Since my new Mac doesn't have a floppy drive a Mac whiz friend is going to help me to extricate it. I sure hope it's still all there, as otherwise it only now exists in four printed volumes -- two held by Trinity College Dublin, one with my parents, and one with me. No, it's not on computing or engineering (I'm just a wannabe in that department!) but on gender and metaphor in Seamus Heaney's poetry (at least, his poetry through 1995). I feel the research and work therein still very much stands on its own legs and would like to offer it as a contribution to scholarship. Not because I think everyone should agree with my approach or conclusions, but because it gives other scholars something to work with or against, and makes it more widely available than to those few scholars able and willing to arrange to get the Trinity library copy on loan. I don't even know if it's on microfiche; probably not. I know when I was a student I would have loved to get digital access to works held at distant libraries -- what a boon that would have been.

I don't think I'll put it here but on my other website, which is in need of a total overhaul anyway. A good project for some time off.

12:24:18 AM  #   your two cents []