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Posted on July 6th, 2006 at 21:46 by John Sinteur in category: Joke

An Irishwoman of advanced age visited her physician to ask his help in reviving her Husband’s libido. “What about trying Viagra?” asks the doctor. “Not a chance”, she said. “He won’t even take an aspirin”.

“Not a problem”, replied the doctor. “Give him an Irish Viagra. Drop it into his coffee. He won’t even taste it. Give it a try and call me in a week to let me know how things went”.

It wasn’t a week later that she called the doctor, who directly inquired as to progress. The poor dear exclaimed, “Oh, faith, bejaysus and begorrah! T’was horrid. Just terrible, doctor!” “Really? What happened” asked the doctor?

“Well, I did as you advised and slipped it in his coffee and the effect was almost immediate! He jumped hisself straight up, with a twinkle in his eye, and with his pants a-bulging fiercely! With one swoop of his arm, he sent the cups and tablecloth flying, ripped me clothes to tatters and took me then and there, making wild, mad, passionate love to me on the tabletop! It was a nightmare, I tell you, an absolute nightmare!”

“Why so terrible?” asked the doctor, “Do you mean the sex your husband provided wasn’t good”? “Oh, no, no, no, doctor, the sex was fine indeed! ‘Twas the best sex I’ve had in 25 years! But sure as I’m sittin’ here, I’ll never be able to show me face in Starbucks again.”

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Judge Rules DeLay Stays on Ballot

Posted on July 6th, 2006 at 21:33 by John Sinteur in category: News


The Texas Republican Party must keep Tom DeLay’s name on the November ballot, even though the former congressman has dropped his re-election bid, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

DeLay, the former House majority leader who resigned June 9 and is under indictment, won the Republican primary for his district in March but decided against re-election a month later.

He is awaiting trial on money laundering and conspiracy charges connected to the financing of Texas legislative campaigns in 2002 with alleged illegal corporate money.

Which probably means the real republican candidate will have to run as independent in that district… but it’s sure fun to watch DeLay go down…

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Whale shot in front of tourists

Posted on July 6th, 2006 at 21:30 by John Sinteur in category: News



Eager Norwegian whalers didn’t do much to boost the image of their country’s tourism industry this week, when they gunned down a whale before the eyes of tourists out on a whale-watching expedition.

Norway’s whaling industry has sparked international protest over the years. This week, the protests came from the whalers’ own hunting grounds.

Around 80 tourists had paid to go out on a whale-watching boat from Andenes, in northern Norway. Called “whale safaris” locally, the whale-watching has become an increasingly popular tourist attraction in recent years.

While the tourists were admiring one of the great mammals of the sea, however, a Norwegian whaling boat approached and shot the whale in front of their eyes.

Leontien Dieleman from the Netherlands was among those who was shocked by the slaughter they suddenly and unexpectedly witnessed.

“This really wasn’t what we came to see,” Dieleman told local newspaper Andøyposten.

As if the shooting wasn’t enough, the tourists were also treated to the sight of another whaling boat hauling one of their own dead whales up on deck.

I have no sympathy at all. If you go out whale-spotting in Norway, I expect you to be fully aware of the role Norway has in whale hunting as well.

Myself, I would decloak my Klingon Bird of Prey directly over the whaling ship, then beam the whales up into a specially prepared tank so I could bring them back to the 23rd Century to communicate with an alien probe and repopulate the species.

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Tor! Goal! Rete!

Posted on July 6th, 2006 at 21:14 by John Sinteur in category: News


Two goals worth a million words. In Arabic, English, Chinese, Portuguese and yes, German.
Italy’s 2 goals against Germany, from 8 different commentators, one of them being Diego Maradona.

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Free, Legal and Ignored

Posted on July 6th, 2006 at 21:03 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property


College students don’t turn down much that’s free. But when it comes to online music, even free hasn’t been enough to persuade many students to use such digital download services as Napster, Rhapsody, Ruckus and Cdigix. As a result, some schools have dropped their services, and others are considering doing so or have switched to other providers.

To stop students from pirating music, more than 120 colleges and universities have tried providing free or subsidized access to the legal subscription services over campus networks in the past few years. About 7% of all four-year schools and 31% of private research universities provided one of the legal downloading services, according to a 2005 survey of 500 schools by the Campus Computing Project, a nonprofit that studies how colleges use information technology. Universities typically pay for the services, some with private grants and others through student fees. While a typical monthly subscription to Napster is $9.95, the schools have been able to cut special deals, funded in part by record companies.

Purdue University officials say that lower-than-expected demand among its students stems in part from all the frustrating restrictions that accompany legal downloading. Students at the West Lafayette, Ind., school can play songs free on their laptops but have to pay to burn songs onto CDs or load them onto a digital music device.

There’s also the problem of compatibility: The services won’t run on Apple Computer Inc. computers, which are owned by 19% of college students, according to a 2006 survey of 1,200 students by the research group Student Monitor. In addition, the files won’t play on Apple iPods, which are owned by 42% of college students, according to the survey.

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  1. Forced back to illegal downloading by the very thing that was intended to keep them honest: the DRM. When will these fools realise that DRM only hurts their customers. It does nothing to stop the real pirates.

Western Union blocks Arab cash deliveries

Posted on July 6th, 2006 at 20:54 by John Sinteur in category: ¿ʞɔnɟ ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ


Money transfer agencies have delayed or blocked thousands of cash deliveries on suspicion of terrorist connections simply because senders or recipients have names like Mohammed or Ahmed, company officials said.

In one example, an Indian driver here said Western Union prevented him from sending $120 to a friend at home last month because the recipient’s name was Mohammed.

“Western Union told me that if I send money to Sahir Mohammed, the money will be blocked because of his name,” said 36-year-old Abdul Rahman Maruthayil, who later sent the money through UAE Exchange, a Dubai-based money transfer service.

In a similar case, Pakistani Qadir Khan said Western Union blocked his attempt this month to wire money to his brother Mohammed for a cataract operation.

“Every Mohammed is a terrorist now?” Khan asked.

They’ll be glad to send money for you to someone with a nice Anglo name, such as Timothy McVeigh.

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Annual Report from the Privacy Commissioner of Canada

Posted on July 6th, 2006 at 16:28 by John Sinteur in category: Privacy, Security


Annual Report from the Privacy Commissioner of Canada

Excellent reading.

It is my duty, in this Annual Report, to present a solemn and urgent warning to every Member of Parliament and Senator, and indeed to every Canadian:

The fundamental human right of privacy in Canada is under assault as never before. Unless the Government of Canada is quickly dissuaded from its present course by Parliamentary action and public insistence, we are on a path that may well lead to the permanent loss not only of privacy rights that we take for granted but also of important elements of freedom as we now know it.

We face this risk because of the implications, both individual and cumulative, of a series of initiatives that the Government has mounted or is actively moving toward. These initiatives are set against the backdrop of September 11, and anti-terrorism is their purported rationale. But the aspects that present the greatest threat to privacy either have nothing at all to do with anti-terrorism, or they present no credible promise of effectively enhancing security.

The Government is, quite simply, using September 11 as an excuse for new collections and uses of personal information about all of us Canadians that cannot be justified by the requirements of anti-terrorism and that, indeed, have no place in a free and democratic society.

Why doesn’t the United States have a Privacy Commissioner?

And this:

A popular response is: “If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.”

By that reasoning, of course, we shouldn’t mind if the police were free to come into our homes at any time just to look around, if all our telephone conversations were monitored, if all our mail were read, if all the protections developed over centuries were swept away. It’s only a difference of degree from the intrusions already being implemented or considered.

The truth is that we all do have something to hide, not because it’s criminal or even shameful, but simply because it’s private. We carefully calibrate what we reveal about ourselves to others. Most of us are only willing to have a few things known about us by a stranger, more by an acquaintance, and the most by a very close friend or a romantic partner. The right not to be known against our will – indeed, the right to be anonymous except when we choose to identify ourselves – is at the very core of human dignity, autonomy and freedom.

If we allow the state to sweep away the normal walls of privacy that protect the details of our lives, we will consign ourselves psychologically to living in a fishbowl. Even if we suffered no other specific harm as a result, that alone would profoundly change how we feel. Anyone who has lived in a totalitarian society can attest that what often felt most oppressive was precisely the lack of privacy.

Great stuff.

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Brennan Center Report on Security of Voting Systems

Posted on July 6th, 2006 at 16:26 by John Sinteur in category: Security


I have been participating in the Brennan Center’s Task Force on Voting Security. Last week we released a report on the security of voting systems.

From the Executive Summary:

In 2005, the Brennan Center convened a Task Force of internationally renowned government, academic, and private-sector scientists, voting machine experts and security professionals to conduct the nation’s first systematic analysis of security vulnerabilities in the three most commonly purchased electronic voting systems. The Task Force spent more than a year conducting its analysis and drafting this report. During this time, the methodology, analysis, and text were extensively peer reviewed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (“NIST”).


The Task Force examined security threats to the technologies used in Direct Recording Electronic voting systems (“DREs”), DREs with a voter verified auditable paper trail (“DREs w/ VVPT”) and Precinct Count Optical Scan (“PCOS”) systems. The analysis assumes that appropriate physical security and accounting procedures are all in place.


Three fundamental points emerge from the threat analysis in the Security Report:

  • All three voting systems have significant security and reliability vulnerabilities, which pose a real danger to the integrity of national, state, and local elections.
  • The most troubling vulnerabilities of each system can be substantially remedied if proper countermeasures are implemented at the state and local level.
  • Few jurisdictions have implemented any of the key countermeasures that could make the least difficult attacks against voting systems much more difficult to execute successfully.


There are a number of steps that jurisdictions can take to address the vulnerabilities identified in the Security Report and make their voting systems significantly more secure. We recommend adoption of the following security measures:

  1. Conduct automatic routine audits comparing voter verified paper records to the electronic record following every election. A voter verified paper record accompanied by a solid automatic routine audit of those records can go a long way toward making the least difficult attacks much more difficult.
  2. Perform “parallel testing” (selection of voting machines at random and testing them as realistically as possible on Election Day.) For paperless DREs, in particular, parallel testing will help jurisdictions detect software-based attacks, as well as subtle software bugs that may not be discovered during inspection and other testing.
  3. Ban use of voting machines with wireless components. All three voting systems are more vulnerable to attack if they have wireless components.
  4. Use a transparent and random selection process for all auditing procedures. For any auditing to be effective (and to ensure that the public is confident in
    such procedures), jurisdictions must develop and implement transparent and random selection procedures.
  5. Ensure decentralized programming and voting system administration. Where a single entity, such as a vendor or state or national consultant, performs key tasks for multiple jurisdictions, attacks against statewide elections become easier.
  6. Institute clear and effective procedures for addressing evidence of fraud or error. Both automatic routine audits and parallel testing are of questionable security value without effective procedures for action where evidence of machine malfunction and/or fraud is discovered. Detection of fraud without an appropriate response will not prevent attacks from succeeding.

    The report is long, but I think it’s worth reading. If you’re short on time, though, at least read the Executive Summary.

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    Posted on July 6th, 2006 at 9:24 by John Sinteur in category: Cartoon





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    Independence day

    Posted on July 6th, 2006 at 8:38 by John Sinteur in category: Quote

    “Nothing important happened today.”

    –King George III of England, written in his personal diary on July 4th, 1776

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    Has This Country Gone Completely Insane?

    Posted on July 6th, 2006 at 8:29 by John Sinteur in category: ¿ʞɔnɟ ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ



    This afternoon, drinking a cup of coffee while sitting in the Jesse Brown V.A. Medical Center on Chicago’s south side, a Veterans Administration cop walked up to me and said, “OK, you’ve had your 15 minutes, it’s time to go.”

    “Huh?”, I asked intelligently, not quite sure what he was talking about.

    “You can’t be in here protesting,” officer Adkins said, pointing to my Veterans For Peace shirt.

    “Well, I’m not protesting, I’m having a cup of coffee,” I returned, thinking that logic would convince Adkins to go back to his earlier duties of guarding against serious terrorists.

    Flipping his badge open, he said, “No, not with that shirt. You’re protesting and you have to go.”

    Beginning to get his drift, I said firmly, “Not before I finish my coffee.”

    He insisted that I leave, but still not quite believing my ears, I tried one more approach to reason. “Hey, listen. I’m a veteran. This is a V.A. facility. I’m sitting here not talking to anybody, having a cup of coffee. I’m not protesting and you can’t kick me out.”

    “You’ll either go or we’ll arrest you,” Adkins threatened.

    “Well, you’ll just have to arrest me,” I said, wondering what strange land I was now living in.

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    Lady Liberty Trades In Some Trappings

    Posted on July 6th, 2006 at 8:01 by John Sinteur in category: ¿ʞɔnɟ ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ, Pastafarian News



    On Independence Day, Lady Liberty was born again.

    As the congregation of the World Overcomers Outreach Ministries Church looked on and its pastor, Apostle Alton R. Williams, presided, a brown shroud much like a burqa was pulled away to reveal a giant statue of the Lady, but with the Ten Commandments under one arm and “Jehovah” inscribed on her crown.

    And in place of a torch, she held aloft a large gold cross, as if to ward off the pawnshops, the car dealerships and the discount furniture outlets at the busy corner of Kirby Parkway and Winchester that is her home. A single tear graced her cheek.

    It was not clear if she was crying because of her new home, her new identity as a symbol of religion or, as the pastor said, America’s increasing godlessness. But although big cheers went up from the few hundred onlookers at the unveiling, and some people even wore foam Lady Liberty crowns bearing Christian slogans, she was not universally welcomed.

    Most of the customers at the Dixie Queen food counter near the church viewed the statue as a cheap attention grab, said Guardia Nelson, 27, who works there.

    It’s an attempt not just to get rid of the seperation of State and Church, but to redefine State as synonymous with Church. Check out the statement of purpose on its website:

    3. To reveal to the world that the God of the Bible has always been the God of America.
    4. To demonstrate that the God of the Bible and Him alone is to be worshipped.
    11. To redefine the Statue of Liberty to include spiritual liberty that precedes complete liberation.
    14. To promote godly values and restore America’s Biblical Judeo-Christian foundation.
    15. To reconnect patriotism to Christianity.

    17. To denounce the worship of idols and all other gods.

    How silly. Don’t they know Justice and Liberty are lesbian?

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    1. 13. To promote religious freedom in America.

      17. To denounce the worship of idols and all other gods.

      I would put this two here, together.
      Now, it seems a bit of a contradiction, doesn’t it?

    2. No, not really a contradiction – these nuts seriously think they are persecuted (remember the “war on christmas”?) and their quest for religious freedom really means that they want to be allowed to stop this persecution every time the “see” it.

    3. Well, I see, their religious freedom is the freedom to stomp out everything they don’t like.

    Press F1 to continue

    Posted on July 6th, 2006 at 7:13 by John Sinteur in category: Microsoft


    Bridgestone and Microsoft have been granted exclusive contracts to be the sole suppliers, of tires and ECUs respectively, of Formula 1 beginning in 2008.

    The announcement was made following this Wednesday’s meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council in Paris.

    The move to a single tire supplier and standardized ECUs (Electronic Control Units, responsible for a car’s engine management) is part of the FIA’s radical cost-saving package announced earlier this year for introduction in ’08. Both Bridgestone and Microsoft will supply F1 through 2010.

    To complete your application of the brakes, you will have to restart your engine. Would you like to restart now?

    The real point of this exercise is to get Microsoft software in production automobiles, but mostly in entertainment subsystems. Technology developed or refined in F1 and other racing leagues often makes its way down to consumer vehicles (antilock brakes, stability control systems, variable valve timing, hydraulic clutch, …). Microsoft wants new engine control technology developed on and tied into WinCE. When the time comes to transfer that to the production world, WinCE will come along with it. Someone at F1 shook hands with someone at MS on the golf course, a suitcase of money went to F1 (Bernie Ecclestone NEVER met a dollar he didn’t like) and as a result, F1 engine technology just took a massive step backwards.

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    1. How do we know it will be a step backward?

      Just curious.

    2. So so true, The ‘blue screen of death’ will show at every start!

    3. Hmm… Haven’t seen one in the last 3 years….
      My Windows must be bugged, it works perfectly :p

    Movie-mad politics

    Posted on July 6th, 2006 at 7:03 by John Sinteur in category: News


    Hollywood has the answer. Kim Jong-il is obsessed with films. He talks about himself as “a director”. He treats his countrymen like underpaid extras and uses WMD as stage props.

    Isn’t he the man who abducted a dozen Japanese film stars and directors because his home-grown movie industry was lacking talent?

    When Ms Albright visited the Dear Leader in 2000 he was keen to talk more movies than missiles.

    So here’s my idea. Invite him over for face-to-face talks about the stuff that matters and sweeten the diplomacy with a guided tour of Universal Studios, lunch with Stephen Spielberg and a life-long subscription to Netflix and Blockbuster.

    The missile crisis will be over and North Korea will become a fabulous location for Mission: Impossible 4.

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    1. But what if Kim Jong-mentally-ill runs into Michael Moore ? Fahrenheit 9-11: The Sequel ?