12 April 2003

The world's heritage looted and destroyed. From the Guardian and news agencies:

National museum ransacked

As well as ransacking government buildings, hospitals and schools, looters have also targeted the Iraqi national museum in Baghdad, taking or destroying many of the country's archaeological treasures.

A museum employee arrived this morning to find the administrative offices trashed by looters. The only thing she could salvage was a telephone book-sized volume.

An elderly museum guard said hundreds of looters attacked the building on Thursday and carried away artefacts on handcarts and wheelbarrows.

The two-storey museum's marble staircase was chipped, suggesting looters might have dragged heavier items down on handcarts or slabs of wood. Glass display cases were shattered and broken pieces of ancient pottery and statues were scattered everywhere.

The national museum held artefacts from thousands of years of history in the Tigris-Euphrates basin, widely held to be the site of the world's earliest civilisations.

Before the war, the museum closed its doors and secretly placed the most precious artefacts in storage, but the metal storeroom doors were smashed and everything was taken.

4:03:18 PM  #   your two cents []
Can open source win big business?. Getting Fortune 500 companies to adopt open source would be a lot easier if open-source advocates put their business hats on, say executives of Sun and MySQL. [CNET News.com]
2:52:53 PM  #   your two cents []
Michael McClary. "Irrigation of the land with seawater desalinated by fusion power is ancient. It's called 'rain'." [Quotes of the Day]
2:51:29 PM  #   your two cents []
Heh! Go get 'em, Julie...: Desperately seeking attention. Julie Burchill: Hold the front page! Dannii fancies Holly, Geri fancies Britney and Liz fancies Posh. Is there not one famous woman in Christendom who doesn't fancy another? [Guardian Unlimited]
2:50:22 PM  #   your two cents []
Free to do bad things. Daily briefing: War leaders are trying to damp down bad news coming out of Iraq, writes Brian Whitaker. [Guardian Unlimited]
2:49:10 PM  #   your two cents []
Sanitized for our protection. The rest of the world is shown far more graphic war images than the U.S. media allows. Is the American public being insulated from the true horrors of the battlefield? [Salon.com]
2:48:32 PM  #   your two cents []

Two on the Apple music deal:

Now, I hardly think Apple's or Jobs's goal here is "to help fix the beleaguered record industry." St Stephen, Patron Saint of the Music Download Martyrs? Please. Apple has spotted an incredible business opportunity if it can marry the music distribution and management abilities in its computers, software such as iTunes, and the iPod, to ownership of a massive music catalogue. Not to downplay the revolutionary nature of what it could do with all this -- Apple is better than any other computer manufacturer in making a success of the unexpected. But this isn't about corporate benevolence. The music industry's weakness, timidity, and lack of foresight in this area could be Apple's opportunity for a very nice money-spinner. And a real leadership position in an industry-about-to-happen.

2:44:54 PM  #   your two cents []
Dan is so right on this. An amazing piece in the New York Times. Do read it. CNN's Incredible Admission.

In an appalling op-ed piece in the New York Times, "The News We Kept to Ourselves," CNN's chief news executive says: "Over the last dozen years I made 13 trips to Baghdad to lobby the government to keep CNN's Baghdad bureau open and to arrange interviews with Iraqi leaders. Each time I visited, I became more distressed by what I saw and heard -- awful things that could not be reported because doing so would have jeopardized the lives of Iraqis, particularly those on our Baghdad staff."

CNN should have left the country. It was not worth keeping a bureau open if the only way to do so was to make so many ethical and moral compromises.

Lance Knobel wonders what compromises CNN is making elsewhere.

[Dan Gillmor's eJournal]
2:36:57 PM  #   your two cents []
This week's NTK takes The Register to task for taking Google to task about superpowers and press releases. [Hack the Planet]
2:32:10 PM  #   your two cents []