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No Silence Here

Posted on February 7th, 2007 at 22:44 by John Sinteur in category: News



Wow. Check out the corporate jets leaving Miami after the Superbowl.

And friendly skies are going to get more crowded:

Third, the impact on the system of the much-anticipated introduction of great numbers of very light jets (VLJs) must be evaluated and dealt with. It is this last matter – the airspace implications of this new category of system user – that is the subject of our statement.

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From the “Markets are everything” country…

Posted on February 7th, 2007 at 20:53 by John Sinteur in category: News


Indonesia, which has had more human cases of avian flu than any other country, has stopped sending samples of the virus to the World Health Organization, apparently because it is negotiating a contract to sell the samples to an American vaccine company, a W.H.O. official said yesterday.

The strains of the H5N1 virus circulating in Indonesia are considered crucial to developing up-to-date vaccines and following mutations in the virus. The official, Dr. David L. Heymann, said the agency was “clearly concerned? about the development and was in talks with Indonesia.

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Iran challenges Europe to hand over Holocaust ‘proof’

Posted on February 7th, 2007 at 18:15 by John Sinteur in category: ¿ʞɔnɟ ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ


An Iranian government-sponsored body set up to probe the veracity of the Holocaust has challenged Europe to hand over documents about the mass slaughter of Jews in World War II.

Mohammad Ali Ramin, the head of the “World Holocaust Foundation” created after Iran’s controversial Holocaust conference last year, said Austria, Germany and Poland in particular should supply documents.

“They should hand over the proof for the dossier on the organized massacre of Jews in Europe during World War II to the independent international fact-finding committee affiliated to this foundation,” the IRNA state news agency quoted him as saying on Tuesday.

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Town stands by its norms

Posted on February 7th, 2007 at 18:09 by John Sinteur in category: ¿ʞɔnɟ ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ


So did you ever hear of Herouxville before this?” asked Carole Casabin, who’s tending bar at Pub 842, a convivial watering hole just down the main street from the town hall.

“No? I didn’t think so. But a lot of people have heard of us now.”

And so they have. Little Herouxville, a village of 1,300 in Quebec’s Mauricie region, has been in the news worldwide since its town council adopted a set of standards aimed at immigrants, spelling out what is acceptable comportment in the municipality and what is not.

What grabbed the most attention is that the list includes a specific prohibition against stoning women in public and burning them alive and an interdiction against face covering, except at Halloween – measures clearly aimed at Muslims, even though the town is almost entirely old-stock Quebec francophone and there isn’t a single Muslim resident.


The Muslim Council of Canada and the Muslim Forum of Canada have threatened to lodge a formal complaint with the provincial human rights commission that the Herouxville measures are in violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights.

I didn’t know the Canadian Charter of Rights had a paragraph allowing stoning women…

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OS X Stunting

Posted on February 7th, 2007 at 18:01 by John Sinteur in category: Apple

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Fake Holograms a 3-D Crime Wave

Posted on February 7th, 2007 at 16:50 by John Sinteur in category: News


If you have a credit card or just bought a copy of Windows Vista, you’re familiar with security holograms — those sparkly bits of film that vouch for the validity of everything from driver’s licenses to software and sports league items.

It turns out, they’re aren’t as secure as they are sparkly.

Experts say the number of counterfeit holograms affixed to equally counterfeit merchandise has tripled in the past three years, as the technology to make them has spread. Today, crafting a convincing duplicate of a security hologram has never been easier or more profitable.

“The hardest part is peeling the original off,” says Jeff Allen, one of the pioneers of holography. “You can duplicate a hologram, and the duplicate becomes a master you can use for production.”


The most effective way to counterfeit holograms, mechanical copying, costs about $2,500 in lab costs to turn out essentially perfect copies. The profit margins make that justifiable to crooks. Consider a hologram-secured Johnny Walker Scotch Whiskey label. A counterfeited bottle of whiskey costs about $2, and an inexpensive hologram makes it look like the $16 genuine article.

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Nepali becomes both man and woman

Posted on February 7th, 2007 at 16:08 by John Sinteur in category: News


The authorities in Nepal have granted a man who dresses and behaves as a woman both male and female citizenship.

The unprecedented legal status was given to 40-year-old Chanda Musalman.

Conservative and religious Nepal, like many Asian countries, has a sizeable community of people who are born male but behave as women.

It is unclear how this unique legal status will play out in practice – for instance, how it will affect Chanda’s marriage rights.

With elections approaching, government teams are currently touring the country issuing certificates of citizenship.

One team came to Chanda’s village in western Nepal.

Chanda, who has had no sex-change surgery, asked the officials to erase the words male and female, listed under gender.

They obliged, and ascribed Chanda’s gender as “both”.

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Scoop: Label Must Pay P2P Defendent’s Legal Fees

Posted on February 7th, 2007 at 16:05 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property


Debbie Foster, the RIAA file sharing defendent who notoriously took on the organization after it went after her for copyright infringement, has won some amount of the legal fees she seeks from the RIAA after having their case against her dismissed last summer.

This is a significant development; the landmark case could have dramatic repercussions for the RIAA’s legal campaign against file sharers, since a precedent now exists for the RIAA to compensate wrongfully-sued defendants for their legal costs. (Capitol Records’ mistake was to claim Debbie Foster was liable for any infringement occuring on her internet account, regardless of who actually downloaded and subsequently shared the files.)

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Daring Fireball: Reading Between the Lines of Steve Jobs’s ‘Thoughts on Music’

Posted on February 7th, 2007 at 16:04 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property

Interesting points.

Most interesting, I think, is the conclusion that accepting that DRM doesn’t work means accepting the end of the subscription model of distribution.

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Bella, detesta matribus

Posted on February 7th, 2007 at 14:35 by John Sinteur in category: Mess O'Potamia


Footage of the ‘friendly fire’ incident
[Embedded wmv 15m20s] in which Lance Corporal of Horse Matty Hull was killed is obtained by The Sun. The inquest into L/Cpl Hull’s death, earlier suspended in part because of failure to release the video, will now go ahead.

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Haggard Pronounced ‘Completely Heterosexual’

Posted on February 7th, 2007 at 14:24 by John Sinteur in category: ¿ʞɔnɟ ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ, Pastafarian News


One of four ministers who oversaw three weeks of intensive counseling for the Rev. Ted Haggard said the disgraced minister emerged convinced that he is ”completely heterosexual.”

Haggard also said his sexual contact with men was limited to the former male prostitute who came forward with sexual allegations, the Rev. Tim Ralph of Larkspur told The Denver Post for a story in Tuesday’s edition.

”He is completely heterosexual,” Ralph said.




Wait, wasn’t there also some issue about cheating on his wife, buying drugs, and lying to everybody?

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Useless Account

Posted on February 7th, 2007 at 14:19 by John Sinteur in category: ¿ʞɔnɟ ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ, Funny!, What were they thinking?


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The American War Machine

Posted on February 7th, 2007 at 14:08 by John Sinteur in category: News


One of the things that sets us apart from all other nations, certainly in the twentieth century, is that we did not experience war in our own homeland. Unlike the Europeans, we were not savaged by war, and I think therefore it’s easy for us still to have a very romantic notion of what war involves. But there is this terrible moment in every war where one side or the other, and sometimes both, begin to be taken over by what can only be called a killing momentum, where all questions of honor and restraint and humanity go out the window and savage acts of violence take over. That’s the story of warfare. And even the United States of America, even in the good war, that happened to us. I track that to Roosevelt’s mistake of adopting a policy of unconditional surrender.

But what I’m talking about is what happened really in the last six months of the war, against Germany and Japan. The United States has never reckoned with the havoc we caused in the cities of Germany and Japan in those last six months when the war was all but won, when there was no question anymore of our ever being defeated by either Germany or Japan. We took off on bombing campaigns that were horrible beyond any American’s ability to reckon with, then or now. We killed something like a million civilians in the last seven months of the war. We haven’t reckoned with that kind of violence, that kind of brute inhumanity. The kinds of crimes that we would never ever ever commit on the ground, we committed routinely from the air. We didn’t even pretend to distinguish between military and civilian targets in Japan, so that by the time the decision to drop the bomb on Hiroshima and then Nagasaki was made, we were morally blind, paralyzed. We no longer had the capacity to understand exactly what it was that we were doing. So of course we dropped the atomic bomb. That was almost anti-climactic considering what we had done to fifty or sixty other Japanese cities.

World War II is not the good war. And the more Americans cling to that myth, the more dangerous we are as a people in the world. It’s only because we cling to such a myth that we could think that going to war in Afghanistan and Iraq was a reasonable and even humane thing to do. Look at what’s happened. Afghanistan is a shambles, the Taliban are coming back, the people are more impoverished than ever, and al-Qaeda is as much a threat to us as it ever was. And now Iraq—the disaster of Iraq, the threat of violence spilling over into Iran. I began by talking about realism. We Americans have to be realistic about what warfare is. And if we are, or if we could be, we’d be much less quick to leap in.

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Hiroshima, the pictures they didn’t want us to see

Posted on February 7th, 2007 at 14:03 by John Sinteur in category: News


The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed about 250.000 people and became the most dreadful slaughter of civilians in modern history. However, for many years there was a curious gap in the photographic records. Although the names of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were incised into our memories, there were few pictures to accompany them. Even today, the image in our minds is a mixture of devastated landscapes and shattered buildings. Shocking images of the ruins, but where were the victims?

The American occupation forces imposed strict censorship on Japan, prohibiting anything “that might, directly or by inference, disturb public tranquility” and used it to prohibit all pictures of the bombed cities. The pictures remained classified ‘top secret’ for many years. Some of the images have been published later by different means, but it’s not usual to see them all together. This is the horror they didn’t want us to see, and that we must NEVER forget:


(more pictures at the link

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Wat voor belasting?

Posted on February 7th, 2007 at 10:03 by John Sinteur in category: Nederland is Gek!



Wat is dat? Zelfs Google kan niet helpen…

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Posted on February 7th, 2007 at 9:19 by John Sinteur in category: Cartoon



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Norway responds to Jobs’ open DRM letter

Posted on February 7th, 2007 at 9:18 by John Sinteur in category: Apple, Intellectual Property


Senior advisor Torgeir Waterhouse of the Norwegian Consumer Council has responded to Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ open letter concerning digital rights management and free music, which the executive published earlier today. “We’re happy to see Steve Jobs take on the responsibility that follows from Apple’s role as one of the leading companies in the digital sphere and comment on the complaint issued by the Norwegian Consumer Council,” Waterhouse told MacNN, referring to Jobs’ letter. “Our concern is of course that it’s Apple and [the] iTunes Music Store [that] should be addressing the issue of record companies and DRM themselves if it needs to be addressed – and as we’ve stated earlier it’s iTunes Music Store that’s providing a service to the consumers and therefore has the responsibility to offer up a consumer friendly product.”

Responding to Apple’s chief about the Cupertino-based company’s closed iPod/iTunes ecosystem, the senior advisor says Jobs’ claim that consumers aren’t locked into using Apple’s own products when they purchase music from the iTunes store is a contradiction, since the point and function of FairPlay — Apple’s digital rights management (DRM) — is to lock the music purchased from the iTunes store to work exclusively on iPods.

“[Steve Jobs] also goes on to turn the whole issue on its head by stating iPod owners are not locked into [the] iTunes Music Store – the issue our complaint [addresses] is of course the opposite, iTunes Music Store customers are locked to the iPod.”

Apple’s CEO argued that Apple, Microsoft, and Sony all compete with proprietary systems and that music purchased from each store will only play on that company’s hardware. Waterhouse effectively expressed that Apple is not free from fault simply because it is not alone in its proprietary ventures, and that the iTunes store as well as other closed music offerings are unfair to consumers.

“The fact remains that both iTunes Music Store and others are unfair to consumers no matter how many download services follow the proprietary approach.”

Addressing the delegation of blame to record companies, Waterhouse admits that music labels need to carry their own weight to ensure fairness for customers at the global level.

“It’s quite clear that the record companies carry their share of the responsibility for the situation that the consumer [is] stuck in,” exclaimed Waterhouse. “However no matter what agreements [the] iTunes Music Store [has] entered into, they’re still the company that’s selling music to the consumers and are responsible for offering the consumer a fair deal according to Norwegian law.”

Jobs concluded his open letter by stating that he fully embraces free music, and that Apple would sell unprotected tracks if it were possible to do so.

“If the big four music companies would license Apple their music without the requirement that it be protected with a DRM, we would switch to selling only DRM-free music on our iTunes store,” Jobs said in his letter published earlier today.

Waterhouse viewed Jobs’ conclusion as a potential good sign that Apple is indeed willing to “kick the lock” in technology from the iTunes/iPod combination.

“This is really good news – news that should be put into action as soon as possible to bring us all one important step closer to a well functioning digital society.”

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Never forget

Posted on February 7th, 2007 at 8:38 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture


A visitor walks past a rose laying at Berlin’s Holocaust Memorial on Sunday, Jan 28, one day after the 62nd anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

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Couple still hugging 5,000 years on

Posted on February 7th, 2007 at 8:33 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture



Call it the eternal embrace.

Archaeologists in Italy have discovered a couple buried 5,000 to 6,000 years ago, hugging each other.

“It’s an extraordinary case,” said Elena Menotti, who led the team on their dig near the northern city of Mantova.

“There has not been a double burial found in the Neolithic period, much less two people hugging — and they really are hugging.”

Menotti said she believed the two, almost certainly a man and a woman although that needs to be confirmed, died young because their teeth were mostly intact and not worn down.

“I must say that when we discovered it, we all became very excited. I’ve been doing this job for 25 years. I’ve done digs at Pompeii, all the famous sites,” she told Reuters.

“But I’ve never been so moved because this is the discovery of something special.”

A laboratory will now try to determine the couple’s age at the time of death and how long they had been buried.

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  1. Clearly, looking at the size of both the skeletons, the larger man is laying on the left side. If that is correct, look at his right hand, to me it looks like he choked her to death. Truly a man ahead of his time.

Why Windows is less secure than Linux

Posted on February 7th, 2007 at 8:29 by John Sinteur in category: Free Software, Microsoft, Security


Windows is inherently harder to secure than Linux. There I said it. The simple truth.

Many millions of words have been written and said on this topic. I have a couple of pictures. The basic argument goes like this. In its long evolution, Windows has grown so complicated that it is harder to secure. Well these images make the point very well. Both images are a complete map of the system calls that occur when a web server serves up a single page of html with a single picture. The same page and picture. A system call is an opportunity to address memory. A hacker investigates each memory access to see if it is vulnerable to a buffer overflow attack. The developer must do QA on each of these entry points. The more system calls, the greater potential for vulnerability, the more effort needed to create secure applications.

The first picture is of the system calls that occur on a Linux server running Apache.


See larger image here

This second image is of a Windows Server running IIS.


See larger image here. A picture is worth millions of words.

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Posted on February 7th, 2007 at 8:17 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property

Fuck Viacom

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