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Permanent link: Wednesday, August 17, 2005 Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Keeping America Safe from puppeteers

Okay, this one I understand. Bunch of  puppet freaks.
I feel safer: Homeland Security vs. San Francisco Bay Area Puppeteers Guild. Mark Frauenfelder: Brian Stokes says: "I kid you not. My beloved San Francisco Bay Area Puppeteers Guild is under investigation by Homeland Security. According to their latest newsletter, its assets have been frozen ever since my friend and Treasurer Pam Brown resigned after 20 years and passed the miniscule nestegg to a new bank account a few months ago. The bank apologizes but legally can't do anything until Homeland Security determines this group of puppet fans and professionals is not planning to attack our country.

"This is the Guild where Jim Henson met a young Frank Oz and Jerry Juhl back in the 1960s. Not long ago, I was President, and before that, Secretary.

"But now our government thinks it's harboring terrorists." Link [Boing Boing]

8:10:44 AM  Permanent link   Categories: Keeping America Safe LiveJournal

Keeping America Safe from 1-year-old children

Baby: the other white terrorist!

Babies on the no-fly list. Cory Doctorow: The government's no-fly list of suspected terrorists contains many common names held by non-terrorists from all walks of life, including many babies. Babies who have names similar to known terrorist aliases are being held up boarding airplanes until their parents can prove that the infants aren't terrorists.

Sarah Zapolsky and her husband had a similar experience last month while departing from Dulles International Airport outside Washington. An airline ticket agent told them their 11-month-old son was on the government list....

Well-known people like Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., and David Nelson, who starred in the sitcom "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet," also have been stopped at airports because their names match those on the lists...

The TSA has a "passenger ombudsman" who will investigate individual claims from passengers who say they are mistakenly on the lists. TSA spokeswoman Yolanda Clark said 89 children have submitted their names to the ombudsman. Of those, 14 are under the age of 2.


(Thanks, Owlswan!) [Boing Boing]

Note that children under 2 do not need a ticket to fly if they sit on an adult's lap. An unticketted child would never be flagged by the "don't fly list". In addition, once the question was raised the TSA claimed that their instructions are that no child under 12 should ever be checked. Somehow their own employees don't know this.

8:09:23 AM  Permanent link   Categories: Keeping America Safe LiveJournal

Permanent link: Saturday, June 18, 2005 Saturday, June 18, 2005

Kids these days!

Zork parody on a wiki. Cory Doctorow: A Uncyclopedia (parody of Wikipedia) user has created a Zork parody on the wiki, and many users are adding their own often hilarious turns and twists to the adventure.

Examine Grue

Man, you've really never played this game before, have you? The Grue devours you before you have a chance to scream.

Start over


(Thanks, Stuart!) [Boing Boing]

I bet none of them even remember Addventure.

6:32:48 PM  Permanent link   Categories: LiveJournal

Permanent link: Saturday, October 02, 2004 Saturday, October 02, 2004

Keeping America Safe from John Kerry quotes

Rather than force people to read actual quotes fron John Kerry, reporter Carl Cameron makes some better ones up and they just happen to wind up on the Fox News site.

They invent, you decide.

Fox News publishes made-up Kerry quotes, then pulls story without comment. Mark Frauenfelder: According to Talking Points Memo, Fox News ran a story with made-up quotes from Kerry, then yanked them without explanation.

Some of the quotes:

"Didn't my nails and cuticles look great? What a good debate!" Kerry said Friday.

Women should like me! I do manicures"

About himself and the president: "I'm metrosexual — he's a cowboy."

Talking Points Memo has contacted Fox News for a comment. He's waiting to hear back from them. Link

UPDATE: Michael McDaniel sez: "Looks like FOX News has retracted their story, now that they've done as much damage as possible with it."

[Boing Boing]

3:45:21 PM  Permanent link   Categories: Keeping America Safe LiveJournal

Permanent link: Saturday, September 25, 2004 Saturday, September 25, 2004


Cutting Atom Feeds Down to Size. Through Sam Ruby, a pointer to mod_speedyfeed, an Apache 2 module that allows feedreading clients to only download the entries that have changed since the last access instead of the entire RSS file. This could cut the transfer amount significantly for many syndication sources. For now, it just works for Atom, but I don't see anything about it that couldn't work for RSS as well. The module is triggered by a header that the he client adds to the request like so: [Windley's Enterprise Computing Weblog]

Now that's I've had time to actually read what it's about, it occurs to me that you don't actually need any client side change to send the "A-IM" header. With just the If_modified_since header, which the client should be sending anyway, the client juts gets a feed with a set of items in it and doesn't need to know how it got there. What am I missing?

8:22:48 PM  Permanent link   Categories:

Permanent link: Sunday, September 12, 2004 Sunday, September 12, 2004

Popularity doesn't scale

I could have quoted from any of a numbers of posters about the RSS non-scaling non-controversy, but Dare offers a round-up of the bleating masses
The RSS Sky is Falling...Again.This is becoming a broken record. Every couple of months some web site that hasn't properly prepared for the amount of bandwidth consumed by having a popular RSS feed loudly complains and the usual suspects complain that RSS is broken. [Dare Obasanjo aka Carnage4Life]
Sure, RSS doesn't scale. It doesn't not scale either. All of the problems with scaling have thus far been shown to depend on nothing particular to RSS.

Scoble attemps to show RSS not scaling a) generating a gedankenexperiment where hits on the RSS are a fixed factor greater than HTML hits, and b) by quoting figures that the bandwidth consumed by RSS requests (for what site I'm not sure) per month is growing at a much faster rate that bandwidth for HTML. The former shows exact parity in scaling between RSS and HTML, while the latter fails to factor in the relative popularity of RSS versus HTML readers. If new traffic for RSS is N times new traffic for HTML, but new requestors of RSS are 10 times new requestors for HTML , this is also parity in scaling between RSS and HTML.

There are attempts to blame the automated nature of  RSS requests, but HTML can be and is requested by machine as well. Either way, requests at regular intervals may affect the absolute value of the traffic but bear no relation to the scaling of the traffic growth.

Certainly Amdahl's law would tell you that if RSS is a significatly larger portion of  your traffic that it may be worth while applying some RSS specific fixes. However, the discussion is not really about a scaling problem in the sense that the proposed solutions do not affect scaling. If requests are still growing exponentially, reducing response size may delay the point at which you hit any particular traffic level but it cannot prevent it. This is independant of  what the response is, and also independant of the absolute size of the response.

10:42:15 AM  Permanent link   Categories: Pushing rectangles... Radio

Permanent link: Monday, August 30, 2004 Monday, August 30, 2004

Keeping America Safe from Bea Arthur

Do not taunt Happy Fun TSA!

Bea Arthur's fight against the Transport Security Agency. Cory Doctorow: Bea Arthur forgot to take her pocketknife out of her purse last week at Logan airport and when the TSA found it, she ran around screaming, "The terrorists! The terrorists put a knife in my purse! We're all doomed!" She was being funny -- it's what she does. She's the funniest of all the Golden Girls, that's for sure.

The TSA didn't take it well.

Kur5hin has an appreciation of Ms Arthur and her sense of humor today:

It should be obvious to us that an 81-year old woman committed a crime by making a snide remark when hassled for carrying a pocket knife? I'm just glad that she had the guts to call the security guards out for their ridiculous behavior, even if most Americans think she's crazy for making a joke.

As such, I present a simple proposition: Bea Arthur for President!


[Boing Boing]

7:51:22 PM  Permanent link   Categories: Keeping America Safe LiveJournal

Keeping America Safe from The Supreme Court

If the citizenry really knew what went on in the Supreme Counrt, they'd all be in trouble.

Justice Dept censors Supreme Court ruling. Cory Doctorow: Becky sez, "The Justice Dept. blacked out (censored) the part of a Supreme Court decision that calls into question the willy-nilly use of the vague notion of 'domestic security' to suppress dissent. Oy."

Ostensibly, they would use their powers of censorship only to remove material that truly could jeopardize US operations. But in reality, what did they do? They blacked out a quotation from a Supreme Court decision:
"The danger to political dissent is acute where the Government attempts to act under so vague a concept as the power to protect 'domestic security.' Given the difficulty of defining the domestic security interest, the danger of abuse in acting to protect that interest becomes apparent."
The mind reels at such a blatant abuse of power (and at the sheer chutzpah of using national security as an excuse to censor a quotation about using national security as an excuse to stifle dissent).

(Thanks, Becky!)

[Boing Boing]

7:50:16 PM  Permanent link   Categories: Keeping America Safe LiveJournal

Permanent link: Sunday, August 22, 2004 Sunday, August 22, 2004

Keeping America Safe from wireless internet

The Reverend AKMA gets hassled by the man:

So Weirdly Wrong: And I walked back to the studio, dumbfounded that someone just rousted me for picking an open wireless signal in public — indeed (as it turns out) for using a laptop within a wireless signal’s range of the library. Weird.

We should all be glad that the local contstabulary are able to invent federal laws at a moments notice to save us from the scourge of freely available internet access. However, those godless commie librarians seem to have gotten off scott free.

9:50:54 PM  Permanent link   Categories: Keeping America Safe LiveJournal

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radaR's LiveJournal 8:09AM PST
BulletFive. More. Days.. My entire department has been given the week after next off.

This is on top of 14 of 15 days of regular personal vacation days,
an extra week for exempt staff in my department, and 1 company floating
holiday that I already have and am too retarded to figure out what to
do with.

By radarski@livejournal.com.

BulletOfficially an ecovillain. I have now completely given up taking soda bottles back for the five
cent deposit. I toss them in with the rest of the recycling plastic in
the dumpster right here at the apartment complex, and lightning has not
yet struck me down.
By radarski@livejournal.com.

BulletStick a fork in me, I think I'm done. Am I really done with my project that has made me feel like i was being beat with a stick? In time for a four day weekend?

Is that actually the light at the tunnel, or an oncoming train?
By radarski@livejournal.com.

BulletKids these days!.
Zork parody on a wiki. Cory Doctorow:
A Uncyclopedia (parody of Wikipedia) user has created a Zork parody on
the wiki, and many users are adding their own often hilarious turns and
twists to the adventure.

Examine Grue

Man, you've really never played this game before, have you? The Grue devours you before you have a chance to scream.

Start over


(Thanks, Stuart!) [Boing Boing]

I bet none of them even remember Addventure.

By radarski@livejournal.com.

BulletI'm so tired. Working 60 hours per week for eight weeks, you can get as much done as working 40 hours per week for... eight weeks.

I wish they told me that 100 hours and twelve weeks ago.
By radarski@livejournal.com.