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Dole to McClellan:

Posted on May 31st, 2008 at 13:43 by John Sinteur in category: Quote


“There are miserable creatures like you in every administration who don’t have the guts to speak up or quit if there are disagreements with the boss or colleagues,” Dole wrote in the personal e-mail. “No, your type soaks up the benefits of power, revels in the limelight for years, then quits, and spurred on by greed, cashes in with a scathing critique.”


“When the money starts rolling in you should donate it to a worthy cause, something like, ‘Biting The Hand That Fed Me,'” he wrote. “Another thought is to weasel your way back into the White House if a Democrat is elected. That would provide a good set up for a second book deal in a few years.”

— Bob Dole, the former Senate Majority Leader and 1996 Republican presidential nominee, who also made clear he has no plans to read the book.

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I’m sure in private they have some cross words for Mr. McClellan.

Posted on May 31st, 2008 at 13:18 by John Sinteur in category: News


Scott McClellan charges that White House staffers colluded to get their stories straight on the Plame outing.

Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank compiles the reactions of the current White House staff to that obviously ridiculous claim:

Dan Bartlett is “puzzled” by Scott McClellan.

Dana Perino is “puzzled” by Scott McClellan.

President Bush, Perino says, is also “puzzled” by McClellan.

What puzzles you, dear reader?


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Post Politics Hour

Posted on May 31st, 2008 at 13:07 by John Sinteur in category: Indecision 2008


Washington: Looking at the most recent Rasmussen daily polls, I see that Hillary manages a tie today against McCain, but Barack is down by five points to McCain. What piqued my interest was that while Hillary had a “highly unfavorable” rating of 32 percent (i.e., as I see it, people who never will vote for her) Barack was at 35 percent. On Jan. 30, as we entered primary season’s main show, Barack’s “highly unfavorables” were 20 percent and Clinton’s were 35 percent. Is this something superdelegates may be watching?

Paul Kane:I’ve spent the past several months talking to as many super-delegates as any reporter in America, I’d guess, since I cover on a day-to-day basis about 280 of them here on Capitol Hill.

I hate saying this, because all the Clinton people are going to flip out and say, You’re biased, you’re biased, you’re biased. So go ahead and flip out if you want, but the simple basic truth is that the super-delegates stopped paying attention to the Clinton-Obama race about a couple days after the Indiana and North Carolina primaries.

They’ve stopped paying attention to the primary, and instead they’re focused on an Obama-McCain matchup in November. That’s the basic, simple, definitive reality that has happened in this race. The “undecided” super-delegates at this moment are not going to “decide” any time soon, because to them the race is over, they’re just waiting for Clinton to drop out.


Centreville, Va.: I was surprised and disappointed that The Post did not seem to address the Gallup poll yesterday which seemed to say Hillary Clinton had somewhat of an advantage over Barack Obama in the so-called swing states. The news of that poll was bandied about all day on the political blogs, and I have to say the Obama supporters seemed to be getting the worst of it. (Or is it “worse” with only two candidates in the poll?)

Paul Kane: Again, don’t yell at me because I’m only the messenger here. But the super-delegates have moved on, they’re no longer looking at how Hillary Clinton fares in battleground states against McCain. This is very hard for Clinton supporters to hear, I’m sorry, but the super-delegates are not paying attention to your candidate anymore. These head-to-head matchup polls (Clinton v. McCain, Obama v. McCain) are not having the impact on people’s thinking anymore.

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Pistol Pendant Causes Airport Holdup

Posted on May 31st, 2008 at 11:50 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture


On Monday, Marnina Norys, a 39-year-old PhD student of social political thought at York University, was forced to remove a piece of silver jewellery cast in the shape of an antique pistol by airport security in Kelowna, B.C., who feared the trinket posed a security risk to the passengers on her WestJet flight.

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No Way to Build an Operating System

Posted on May 31st, 2008 at 11:38 by John Sinteur in category: Microsoft


You’re gonna fend off Google and cloud computing with a touch screen?? Good luck. I do hope there’s a skunkworks Plan B in the labs. No wonder buying Yahoo “isn’t strategic.”

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  1. Cloud computing will be fend of by companies who won’t use it and by IT departments who will not allow it. At least for a long time.

  2. The touch screen thing is a complete non-sequitur. WTF are they talking about?

  3. I think it’s something like this: If Microsoft is so behind on the things that matter for the future of Windows, why are they trying to get so much publicity on touch screen technology?

  4. ’cause that’s all the newness they have? It’s pretty hard to market successfully “Look, 2001 technology but now we put two more thingies and 3 more stuff on it”.
    On the other hand if you promise touch screen, that’s something marvelous. I mean, it brings a whole new dimension to playing one player strip poker and such.

    Aiming at a new market maybe.

  5. Anyway its obvious this is just going to be Vista 2.0 and they can’t really market it as such.

The World’s Highest Waterfall

Posted on May 31st, 2008 at 11:26 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture, News


Angel Falls, Venezuela (also called Salto Angel) is the Earth’s highest uninterrupted waterfall. It is 979 metres (3,230 feet) tall – think of it as 2.5 times as tall as the Empire State Building and full 15 times higher than Niagara Falls!

More pictures at the link

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Kindergarten Show Trial

Posted on May 31st, 2008 at 10:54 by John Sinteur in category: News

Remember the autistic kid who was “voted” out of class? Here are the official reports on the case.

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Speak Falipornia

Posted on May 31st, 2008 at 10:28 by John Sinteur in category: Funny!

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In-flight surveillance could foil terrorists in the sky

Posted on May 31st, 2008 at 10:15 by John Sinteur in category: Security


A prototype European system uses multiple cameras and “Big Brother” software to try and automatically detect terrorists or other dangers caused by passengers.

The European Union’s Security of Aircraft in the Future European Environment (SAFEE) project uses a camera in every passenger’s seat, with six wide-angle cameras to survey the aisles. Software then analyses the footage to detect developing terrorist activity or “air-rage” incidents, by tracking passengers’ facial expressions.

The system performed well in tests this January that simulated terrorist and unruly passenger behaviour scenarios in a fake Airbus A380 fuselage, say the researchers that built it.


Ferryman admits that his system will require thousands of tests on everyday passengers before it can be declared reliable at detecting threats.

Ehm, no – sorry, it will require thousands of tests on real terrorists as well before it can be declared reliable at detecting threats. You need to take both false positives and false negatives into account. Which means it will never work, but it will sure be a handy tool to give manufacturers of the system billions of euros income, and it will be loved by all security goons… “the camera says you’re a terrorist!”

And don’t you love how it assumes terrorists wouldn’t ever be calm or completely resigned to their fate?

I just wish the ‘nice security folks’ would go back to their old jobs. they were certainly skilled enough to inquire if I needed any fries with my order and I was happy with their overall service. Why did we need to change that?

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  1. And what happens when the terrorists use BOTOX to immobilize their facial muscles thus not having any expression?


Posted on May 31st, 2008 at 9:49 by John Sinteur in category: Cartoon

Special note this time: all the cartoons below are from non-US (mostly European) cartoonists.

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No t-shirt, no flight

Posted on May 31st, 2008 at 8:56 by John Sinteur in category: ¿ʞɔnɟ ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ, Security


Flying British Airways, leaving from terminal 5.

Go through security, get pulled to the side. I’m wearing a French Connection Transformers t-shirt. Bloke starts joking with me is that Megatron. Then he explains that since Megatron is holding a gun, I’m not allowed to fly. WTF? It’s a 40 foot tall cartoon robot with a gun as an arm. There is no way this shirt is offensive in any way, and what I’m going to use the shirt to pretend I have a gun?

With the liquids ban in place I guess it’s only time before t-shirts with bottles on them are banned as well.

I sure feel safer that way!

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  1. I don’t know, man… might have to go with the security guys on this one – I know Megatron scares the cr*p out of me – !

Order of the Empire

Posted on May 31st, 2008 at 0:12 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture


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Posted on May 31st, 2008 at 0:10 by John Sinteur in category: Privacy, Security


This is ingenious and a little scary. Normally, Javascript doesn’t have access to your browser’s history URLs. But Aza Raskin found a way:

How does SocialHistory.js know? By using a cute information leak introduced by CSS. The browser colors visited links differently than non-visited links. All you have to do is load up a whole bunch of URLs for the most popular social bookmarking sites in an iframe and see which of those links are purple and which are blue. It’s not perfect (which, from a privacy perspective, is at least a little comforting) but it does get you 80% of the way there. The best/worst part is that this information leak probably won’t be plugged because it’s a fundamental feature of the browser.


Now any website has a reliable way to detect whether you have recently visited any particular URL.

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  1. Time to install SafeHistory?

  2. Sure it can be plugged. Since the JavaScript interpreter under “our” control, just have it return a default color for links. This will only break scripts that use the info to determine a background color and stuff. (Never seen one.)