31 March 2003

I know some share traders are a bit weird, but...: Federal investigators have arrested a Wall Street trader who turned $800 into a $350 million portfolio in two weeks. The trader claims he was able to do so because he is a time traveller from the year 2256.

"We don't believe this guy's story -- he's either a lunatic or a pathological liar," says an SEC insider.

"But the fact is, with an initial investment of only $800, in two weeks' time he had a portfolio valued at over $350 million. Every trade he made capitalized on unexpected business developments, which simply can't be pure luck. The only way he could pull it off is with illegal inside information. He's going to sit in a jail cell on Rikers Island until he agrees to give up his sources."

As a reader points out, this does come from a National Inquirer-esque website, however! Still, a good basis for a screenplay, n'est-ce pas?

6:58:49 PM  #   your two cents []
AP: "NBC fired journalist Peter Arnett on Monday, saying it was wrong for him to give an interview with state-run Iraqi TV saying that the American-led coalition's first war plan had failed because of Iraq's resistance. Arnett himself called the interview a 'misjudgment.'" [Scripting News]
5:14:18 PM  #   your two cents []
US Marines Turn Fire on Civilians at the Bridge of Death [London Times]. A lot of people are asking if this story is for real as it is getting no US coverage. It is also on the London Times site, which is subscription only, so they can't access it. As I have a subscription and can email this story wherever I want, I have emailed it to myself and put it here where it can be freely accessed. BTW it seems to me that if you set up a yahoo.co.uk mailbox you should be able to subscribe to the Times, as it basically wants a .uk or .ie subscription address.
4:52:01 PM  #   your two cents []

The phrase "like a lead balloon" comes to mind:

Israelis want Iraqi oil pipeline [Irish Times breaking news, sub only]

A plan to pipe oil from Iraq to Israel, devised nearly 20 years ago with the help of current US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, has re-emerged.

Israeli Infrastructure Minister Mr Joseph Paritzky wants to reopen the pipeline leading from the northern Iraqi city of Mosul to the Israeli port of Haifa after the end of the US-led war in Iraq, Haaretz newspaper reports today.

The newspaper said Mr Paritzky hoped the large Haifa refineries could be directly supplied with Iraqi oil, saving Israel the cost of importing expensive crude from Russia. He said he was convinced the US administration would favour the idea. (AFP)

4:24:48 PM  #   your two cents []
I have the next two weeks off -- which means 'off' so I can work around the house and get some other projects done, but not 'off' as on holiday somewhere exotic, alas. Top of the list is getting my ever more confusing wireless network working. I've got the DSL modem up and running and the ethernet card in the Dell desktop working and the Airport linked up and the PowerBook connects to the Airport -- kind of. But it doesn't 'see' the base station in the admin tools feature, even though it is clearly picking up a nice signal from the base station, nor does it let me connect to the net. Plus I am stumped at how to get the Dell's ethernet connection -- which it recognises -- to actually give me net access -- which it doesn't. Argh. The tangle of cords under my little desk is getting horrendous as well! Time to ring the tech helpline people...
2:07:06 PM  #   your two cents []
Peter Preston: How many bodybags can we take?. Comment: In this media age, politicians set the acceptability threshold too low, argues Peter Preston. [Guardian Unlimited]
1:44:34 PM  #   your two cents []
Freedom, technology and the Internet. CNET News.com's Washington watcher Declan McCullagh explains why technological mechanisms protecting privacy, anonymity and free speech will always trump the whims of politicians, judges and bureaucrats. [CNET News.com]
1:41:12 PM  #   your two cents []
All features great and small. Online: The handheld computer is facing extinction from a new generation of smart phones, writes Neil McIntosh. [Guardian Unlimited]
1:40:43 PM  #   your two cents []
Seymour Hersh's controversial New Yorker article, accusing Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld of ineptly micromanaging the Iraq conflict and bungling strategy, is published today here.
10:55:43 AM  #   your two cents []
Because of a decline in the number of people who know how to reset old, large mechanical  clocks on churches and public buildings in Britain, 15 of them were "fitted with radio receivers and automatic regulators to move their delicate mechanisms forward an hour without any pushing and shoving from clumsy human hands". Calibrated to an atomic clock, they all went forward an hour for Daylight Savings Time, early on Sunday morning .
10:43:37 AM  #   your two cents []
Today's weird net video: Pants vandal caught on video. From a BBC News article: Police have released video of a man who marched down Cardiff's main streets in his underpants, smashing 43 shop windows with a spade. The video is in Real format, but there is also a photo gallery. [kuro5hin.org]
10:31:08 AM  #   your two cents []
Good grief, I'd almost forgotten about him! Interview: William Hague. Politics: Jackie Ashley interviews William Hague, former leader of the Conservative party. [Guardian Unlimited]
10:30:18 AM  #   your two cents []
Cook in clumsy retreat over call to withdraw troops. Robin Cook surprises new allies on anti-war left by backtracking from demand that British troops be brought home from Iraq. [Guardian Unlimited]
10:29:31 AM  #   your two cents []
Does Dell have an Achilles' heel?. So far, the company has defied naysayers by expanding far beyond its roots as a PC clone maker. But experts at Wharton analyze whether the company's latest forays will necessarily reproduce earlier successes. [CNET News.com]
10:28:35 AM  #   your two cents []
Allies' Vital Supply Line Now Stretches Into Orbit. Scores of satellites are providing coalition forces in Iraq with an invisible web of communications, guidance and reconnaissance.[New York Times: Technology]
10:28:11 AM  #   your two cents []
  Mark Twain. "A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining, but wants it back the minute it begins to rain." [Quotes of the Day]
10:27:30 AM  #   your two cents []
Gambling Sites Adjust to Scrutiny. As Congress seeks to put more restrictions on online gambling, site operators have already begun to look for ways around the rules. [New York Times: Technology]
10:27:00 AM  #   your two cents []
After hacker attacks etc, Al Jazeerah is available in English through a .us address.
10:26:21 AM  #   your two cents []
Given the number of those idiotically named 'friendly fire' incidents so far -- and given that they seem to keep involving the deaths of British soldiers at the hands of Americans but not vice versa -- I'd wondered how long this would simmer before discipline would dissolve in grief and anger. British soldiers condemn US pilot. Injured soldiers hit out at 'cowboy' pilot involved in friendly fire incident. [Guardian Unlimited]:

"He came back around. He was no more than 1,000 metres away when he started his attack run. He was about 500 metres away when he started firing." On the back of one of the engineers' vehicles there was a Union Jack. "It's about 18 inches wide by about 12 inches. For him to fire his weapons I believe he had to look through his magnified optics. How he could not see that Union Jack I don't know."

10:23:17 AM  #   your two cents []