25 March 2003
Scanning the future of privacy. Engineers who design biometric technologies and Internet authentication mechanisms should take more aggressive steps to preserve privacy, a new government report says. And see also: PC Forum delves into future of tech. Open source software, security and privacy were among the fanciful and practical topics being discussed at the annual high-tech conference.[CNET News.com]
11:46:52 PM  #   your two cents []
States of attraction. Online: It's hard to avoid falling for American optimism, openness and possibilities for self-creation, says Steve Bowbrick. [Guardian Unlimited]
8:30:30 PM  #   your two cents []
dying star "If a gamma ray burst is the birth cry of a black hole, then the HETE satellite has just allowed us into the delivery room."
7:14:17 PM  #   your two cents []
Funny, and also rather sad: French's Mustard's press release to emphasise "the only thing French about French's mustard is the name!" Sheesh. I have three jars of real French mustard bought in the apparently now-dreaded France (Edmond Fallot Dijon in a lovely stoneware jar, Marcel Recorbet Dijon aux cinq poivres, and some grainy stuff that's crunchy and delicious). All pretty darn good! But if some people think they're being patriotic by opting for that neon yellow stuff, or by eating Velveeta rather than brie and chaumes --hey, be my guest!! Bon appetit!
6:37:27 PM  #   your two cents []

Computing pioneer Adam Osborne -- who created one of the first 'portable' computers, at 23 pounds (!), in 1981 -- died last week. (PS -- check out that weeny little screen -- yes, that grey square centered above the keyboard! I'm looking at my 21" monitor and thinking, 'no way'...).

5:49:20 PM  #   your two cents []

Nice to see that despite the war and falling stock markets, there's room for the really important business news:

Starbucks Coffee to Open Shops in Arkansas AP - A free-standing Starbucks coffee shop that should open in early May in central Arkansas will be only the first of several around the state, according to the Arkansas real estate broker for the company.

Arkansas last year was on a short list of states without a freestanding Starbucks. But, after a store opens in the Little Rock area in May, another in the same region is planned, and then the company has its eye on northwest Arkansas.

NB: In Ireland, we remain Starbuckless -- or is that Starbuck-naked?

3:19:34 PM  #   your two cents []

The US is right to complain about treatment of US POWs in Iraq. But on so many levels, in so many cases, the Bush administration doesn't seem to understand that (self)righteous indignation that is directly contradicted by your own actions will fail to win the world's support or sympathy when it is most needed (though the sympathy is certainly, amply there for the individual soldiers). To the list below one might add the many hundreds of people detained within the US, without habeus corpus rights. George Monbiot in the Guardian:

[Rumsfeld's] prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, in Cuba, where 641 men (nine of whom are British citizens) are held, breaches no fewer than 15 articles of the third [Geneva] convention. The US government broke the first of these (article 13) as soon as the prisoners arrived, by displaying them, just as the Iraqis have done, on television. In this case, however, they were not encouraged to address the cameras. They were kneeling on the ground, hands tied behind their backs, wearing blacked-out goggles and earphones. In breach of article 18, they had been stripped of their own clothes and deprived of their possessions. They were then interned in a penitentiary (against article 22), where they were denied proper mess facilities (26), canteens (28), religious premises (34), opportunities for physical exercise (38), access to the text of the convention (41), freedom to write to their families (70 and 71) and parcels of food and books (72).

1:16:48 PM  #   your two cents []

Irish Times: Rebel songs dropped by Aer Lingus: "A unionist politician is claiming a musical victory after Aer Lingus removed rousing rebel songs from its entertainment programme on US flights. Ulster Unionist Assembly member, Mr Roy Beggs jnr, was shocked to find ballads honouring Bobby Sands and the IRA listed in a transatlantic in-flight entertainment magazine earlier this month. He tuned in to hear songs from ex-Wolfe Tones member, Mr Derek Warfield, including Ten Dead Men, Remember Bobby Sands, Volunteers of Ireland, Patriots of Erin, Fenian Volunteers and Fighting Irish."

11:14:49 AM  #   your two cents []

More from The Shifted Librarian: Web page analyzer. "Enter a URL to calculate page size and download time. The script sizes each individual element and finds the total for each type of web page component. Based on these page characteristics the script then offers advice on how to improve your page download and display time." [via WebWord] An excellent resource from the folks behind the recent Web Site Optimization book. You can catch a full interview with them on this topic courtesy of Sean McManus.

10:12:53 AM  #   your two cents []
Data Expert Is Cautious About Misuse of Information. Gilman Louie, who runs a venture capital firm founded by the Central Intelligence Agency, warned of the danger of amassing a large, unified database that would be available to government investigators. [New York Times: Technology]
10:09:54 AM  #   your two cents []
From The Shifted Librarian: Tracking the War Online.

Al Jazeera now has an english version of its web site, and paying NewsIsFree users can even track it via RSS. Then there's the WorldNews Network, and CyberJournalist.net is maintaining a compilation of Great Iraq Conflict Coverage online. In addition, Dear Raed is back online, and CNN has a story about this Iraqi blogger in Baghdad (even though they've ironically shut down Kevin Sites independent blog).

Karlin's Update on Raed: Speaking of Kevin Sites... CNN seems also to have pulled the Raed story. The CNN link doesn't work, and though an internal search of the CNN site brings up the story and its description, the link is the same as above, and doesn't work. Hmmmm!

10:08:50 AM  #   your two cents []
George Monbiot: One rule for them. Comment: Five PoWs are mistreated in Iraq and the US cries foul. What about Guantanamo Bay, asks George Monbiot. [Guardian Unlimited]
10:06:17 AM  #   your two cents []
Oliver Burkeman talks to the man who invented 'shock and awe'. Oliver Burkeman talks to Harlan Ullman, the man who invented Shock and Awe. [Guardian Unlimited]
10:05:50 AM  #   your two cents []
Alfred Adler. "It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them." [Quotes of the Day]
10:04:57 AM  #   your two cents []
Report: UK planning own science satellite. Great Britain is planning to build a earth sciences satellite independent of the European Space Agency. [spacetoday.net]
10:03:31 AM  #   your two cents []