Tuesday, July 30, 2002

It's only illegal if you do it

Congress is getting ready to give the MPAA and RIAA permission to hack your computer if they suspect you might have copied music or movies.
They'd get immunity from all state and federal hacking laws, and if they went in and trashed your computer for any reason, whether you had copyrighted material or not, you'd have to get permission from a U.S. attorney general before you could initiate a (long, expensive) lawsuit, and you would have had to have suffered at least $250 in damages to even be eligible.

Up, up, and away

Thanks, Heath, for this one.
Though publicly dismissed as a crackpot, it appears that Boeing takes this guy's claims of an antigravity generator seriously enough to sink some cash into it and keep it top secret.
According to the article, Nasa agrees, but isn't having much luck with it.

Some say a comet will fall from the sky

Comet, asteroid, whatever.
This is the first Near Earth Object to ever be givin a positive threat rating on the Palermo scale.
Good ol' 2002 NT7 is scheduled for impact on February 1, 2019, though NASA says it's a bunch of hooey.

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

That's kinda the point

U.S. blocks U.N. anti-torture resolution. (NY Times, free registration required)
U.S. officials cite concerns that if it passed, the U.N. might try to ensure that we don't torture anybody.
An anonymous representative said that allowing outside observers into prisons would violate states rights. Not sure how that follows.
Teach them to kick us off the international committe for human rights!

That's just...well, it's not good

Bush has asked Congress to let him use the US military against US citizens on US soil.
But Ridge says that even if they had the power, they might not use it, so that's okay.
More coverage here.

Monday, July 22, 2002

Yahoo keeps on suckin'

Yahoo has agreed to block all content into China that could be deemed offensive to the Chinese government. Good to see U.S. businesses doing all they can to support freedom and democracy.

Smooth, mellow flavor of tobacco money

Turns out that tobacco settlement money is not being used to keep kids from taking up smoking, as was originally promised.
"We need to finish this job and move on with saving children's lives," Christine Gregoire, the Washington State Attorney General, said after the $200 billion tobacco settlement was announced three years ago. "This is not about the money … We are getting this industry off the backs of our kids."
Some examples:
* Niagra County, New York spent $700,000 of tobacco settlement money on a spinkler system for a public golf course, and another $24 million building a county jail.
* Wrangell, Alaska spent $3.5 million of the funds on renovating the city docks.
* The former LA mayor wanted to use $10 million of it to defend cops accused of planting drugs and guns on suspects (though his initiative was turned down.)
* Pinehurst, North Carolina got $200,000 of it for a horse track.
* And my favorite, the state of North Carolina spent $42 million of the settlement funds on tobacco manufacturing equipment and promoting tobacco sales

Saturday, July 20, 2002

I believe you have my stapler

Due to popular demand, Swingline has reintroduced the red stapler from Office Space.
Although, $29 for a stapler??

Friday, July 19, 2002


Sign the petition to get The Tick animated series released on DVD!

Pinky & The Brain

Scientists swapped a single gene that caused mice to develop brains as convoluted as those of humans.
All hail our new furry masters.

How do you figure?

You've probably seen the comments by Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson about who's responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attack. Fundamentalist religious zealots? No, silly, it's the liberals. Now you can hear them yourself. Keep a wastebasket handy.

Thursday, July 18, 2002

Keeping America Great

The Bush administration plans to recruit up to 4% of U.S. citizens as secret informants to report suspicious activies of the rest of us. It's called, and I am not making this up, "Operation TIPS". Here's an article on it. They plan to target utilities service people who have access to people's homes, and postal workers, who can tell where their mail is coming from.
Here is the government's description of the program.
Tom Tomorrow called this one 4 months ago, but he thought he was just being funny.

Cure for what ails ya

I knew caffeine was good for you. According to this article, 3 cups of coffee a day can reduce your chance of getting Alzheimer's by up to 60%!
I'm sure this is just the beginning. Next they'll discover it's the fountian of youth.

Tuesday, July 16, 2002

The mouse is mightier than the sword

US House of Representatives votes 385-3 to approve life sentences for hackers, and allow police to monitor phones and electronic communications without a warrant.
Says Lamar Smith (R-Texas) "A mouse can be just as dangerous as a bullet or a bomb."
MSNBC article here

Hi there

Hi, I'm setting this up so I can still have an outlet to vent, without spamming everybody about it. :)