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  Friday, February 21, 2003

If the news about Iraq, North Korea, al Qaeda, global warming, cell phones, and SUVs doesn't give you enough to worry about, consider this: a Rand scientist suggests that if astronomers ever happen upon an asteroid that's going to pound us to smithereens, well, there's just no point in warning us about it, is there? So it could all just end any moment now, and all this saber-rattling lunacy and Fox reality TV just won't mean anything anymore, will it? Now, think about that before you run out the door without kissing your honey and hugging the kids, ok?

8:28:39 PM    Questions? Comments? Flames? []

Nom de Plume. When you need to use a person's name in your documentation, you can make one up and risk creating legal problems or offending someone, or you can use a random name generator. [Usable Help]

It's always stumped me how to come up with names that aren't easily associated with someone or something familiar. I wrote one book with screenshots using characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer--probably against policy, but that's what I did. Now I can just click the random name generator button.

Here's a potential issue: the random name generator is based on US census data, so the names may not be appropriate for globalized applications. But with immigrants from all over, there should be enough variety to provide names to fit most needs.

7:06:43 PM    Questions? Comments? Flames? []

Son of Patriot Act. Anita Ramasastry, a professor from the University of Washington School of Law, has a commentary on the Domestic Security Enhancement Act (aka Patriot II), Patriot II: The Sequel Why It's Even Scarier than the First Patriot Act. There are a lot of scary things highlighted in this article, too many to even know which to select as an excerpt. But do note two things: this document wasn't publically released, it was leaked, and apparently Congress has played little to no part in its drafting. [via Dan] [megnut]

The infamous USA Patriot Act whizzed through a Congress afraid of being accused of being soft on terrorism. We've learned a little since then--like we've lost a lot of our freedom, but we're no more safe and secure. And now Bush and friends propose to remove more of our rights and freedoms, while declaring to the world that they're invading Iraq to preserve just those rights and freedoms.

This one has to be stopped cold. Write your Congressperson and tell them you've had enough.

6:52:43 PM    Questions? Comments? Flames? []

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