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Pilots and standard cutlery

Posted on July 11th, 2008 at 18:58 by John Sinteur in category: Security


“You ain’t takin’ this through,” she says. “No knives. You can’t bring a knife through here.”

It takes a moment for me to realize that she’s serious. “I’m … but … it’s …”

“Sorry.” She throws it into a bin and starts to walk away.

“Wait a minute,” I say. “That’s airline silverware.”

“Don’t matter what it is. You can’t bring knives through here.”

“Ma’am, that’s an airline knife. It’s the knife they give you on the plane.

At least the pilot won’t cut any corners in his work in the cockpit…

Feel safer yet?

Speaking in a USA Today article, TSA spokeswoman Ellen Howe said, “Some of our officers aren’t respected.” It’s not often that I laugh out loud while reading the newspaper, but that one had me going. You don’t say.

In the same article, a screener at Boston’s Logan International said of the new badges and shirts, “It’ll go a long way to enhance the respect of this workforce.”

No, sorry, that’s not it. You don’t bully and fool people into respecting you.

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“Friendster,” “Klum,” “Nazr,” “Obama,” and “Racicot”

Posted on July 11th, 2008 at 17:30 by John Sinteur in category: Microsoft, News

Microsoft has a patch out:

That’s an awful lot of megs, to be sure – just how many words are we talking about here? Microsoft explains:

The words “Friendster,” “Klum,” “Nazr,” “Obama,” and “Racicot” are not recognized when you check the spelling in Windows Vista and in Windows Server 2008.

Woa. That’s over 11 Mb per word. That’s what I call “bloat”!

(Oh, and you need to reboot after applying this patch – cool!)

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Has ISO already rejected anti-OOXML appeals?

Posted on July 11th, 2008 at 17:23 by John Sinteur in category: Free Software


The International Standardisation Organisation (ISO) is refusing to discuss a leaked paper that suggests it has already rejected appeals against the ratification of Microsoft’s Office Open XML (OOXML) document format as an international standard.

Anyone still taking ISO seriously needs to have their head examined… pity.

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iPhone 3G Activation Process: Give them a chance to enjoy the feel of the phone

Posted on July 11th, 2008 at 14:58 by John Sinteur in category: Apple, ¿ʞɔnɟ ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ


Retail employees have received instructions on how to activate iPhones, and are given special instructions to let the customer bond immediately with their iPhone.

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Josef Fritzl going stir crazy in cell

Posted on July 11th, 2008 at 13:29 by John Sinteur in category: News


Josef Fritzl, who locked his daughter in a cellar dungeon for 24 years, has asked permission to leave his prison cell after admitting he can no longer stand being cooped up.

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Mum’s police check for school run

Posted on July 11th, 2008 at 13:21 by John Sinteur in category: Security


Jayne Jones, of Aberfan near Merthyr Tydfil, used to travel with her son Alex, 14, in the council-provided taxi when she feared he may have a fit.

But Merthyr Tydfil council has told her this must stop until she has undergone a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check.

The council said this was a standard requirement for escorting children.

The article makes it perfectly clear why this rule exists. Emphasis mine:

A spokesperson for Merthyr council said: “We cannot comment on particular cases but can confirm that CRB checking is a requirement of our transport provisions in relation to adults travelling on home-to-school transport in the capacity of an escort.

“This is a standard requirement and has been for several years.

“Any adult acting as an escort will, in the public gaze, be viewed as acting with the full acquiescence of the council and hence with its implied authority.

For the protection of the council and all vulnerable persons in its care it’s essential all those endowed with an authority, implicit or explicit, should meet the security requirements within the transport contract provisions.”

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American Life Worth Less Today

Posted on July 11th, 2008 at 12:30 by John Sinteur in category: News


It’s not just the American dollar that’s losing value. A government agency has decided that an American life isn’t worth what it used to be.

The “value of a statistical life” is $6.9 million in today’s dollars, the Environmental Protection Agency reckoned in May _ a drop of nearly $1 million from just five years ago.

The Associated Press discovered the change after a review of cost-benefit analyses over more than a dozen years.

Though it may seem like a harmless bureaucratic recalculation, the devaluation has real consequences.

When drawing up regulations, government agencies put a value on human life and then weigh the costs versus the lifesaving benefits of a proposed rule. The less a life is worth to the government, the less the need for a regulation, such as tighter restrictions on pollution.

Consider, for example, a hypothetical regulation that costs $18 billion to enforce but will prevent 2,500 deaths. At $7.8 million per person (the old figure), the lifesaving benefits outweigh the costs. But at $6.9 million per person, the rule costs more than the lives it saves, so it may not be adopted.

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McCain campaign co-chairman Phil Gramm says America in ‘mental recession’

Posted on July 11th, 2008 at 12:05 by John Sinteur in category: Indecision 2008


Texan Phil Gramm handed John McCain a huge headache Thursday by calling America a “nation of whiners” whose economic complaints are mostly “mental.”

“Phil Gramm does not speak for me. I strongly disagree,” Mr. McCain said, trying to tamp down the problem caused by his longtime friend, who holds a doctorate in economics and taught the subject at Texas A&M before moving to Congress.

Really? You made it sound like a talking point for quite a while now:

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  1. I am no McCain fan (far from it), he makes plenty of stupid remarks. There is no need for this spin. Clearly McCain sais “*part* of this is psychological”, Phil Gramm took it too far by leaving out the “part” part. Any recession is part psychological, look it up in any economy text book. Personally I think Obama is walking a thin line here. He should not tout the “It is going so bad” trumpet too much. If he gets elected (and like 80% of the Europeans, I hope he will be) there might be a psychological upswing (and like 90% of Europeans, I hope that will happen).

Sometimes the headlines write themselves

Posted on July 11th, 2008 at 11:55 by John Sinteur in category: Funny!, Indecision 2008

[On Thursday, McCain stumbles on Viagra:]

John McCain’s Straight Talk Express stalled yesterday when a reporter asked him about insurance companies that cover Viagra but not birth control. The Republican presidential candidate refused to give a straight answer. The exchange, which happened aboard McCain’s famously-named campaign bus, can be seen at MSNBC.com.

[On Friday, he visits….]

Unions plan to protest an appearance by Republican presidential candidate John McCain in Hudson, Wis., early Friday morning.
Union members will gather from 7 to 8 a.m. outside J & L Steel Erectors, where McCain will hold a town hall meeting for women later Friday morning. J & L is located at 2365 Willis Miller Drive in Hudson.

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Statements: Iran missile test

Posted on July 11th, 2008 at 11:46 by John Sinteur in category: Indecision 2008


“Iran’s most recent missile tests demonstrate again the dangers it poses to its neighbors and to the wider region, especially Israel. Ballistic missile testing coupled with Iran’s continued refusal to cease its nuclear activities should unite the international community in efforts to counter Iran’s dangerous ambitions. Iran’s missile tests also demonstrate the need for effective missile defense now and in the future, and this includes missile defense in Europe as is planned with the Czech Republic and Poland. Working with our European and regional allies is the best way to meet the threat posed by Iran, not unilateral concessions that undermine multilateral diplomacy.”

The farthest a Sahab 3 Missile can fly is 1,300 miles. Experts call it “a medium-range missile capable of hitting targets in Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Turkey.” And the distance between Tabriz, Iran and Krakow, Poland is 1,538.3 miles. The distance between Tabriz, Iran and Ostrava in the Czech Republic is even greater — 1602.2 miles. So, McCain is promising Americans a defense for Iranian missiles that can’t even reach the defense.

Another problem for McCain is that on July 4, 2008 — less than a week before the Iranian Missile Testing — Poland rejected the idea of allowing a missile shield defense system in its country. Bush has offered many bribes for his missile defense shield to the Polish, but they have said no. Consistently.

Well, at least he didn’t forget Poland…

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  1. John McCain is a great man who has served our country with great sacrifice. I have tremendous respect for him. I hope if he wins, he will realize that without engaging Iran, there can only be more conflict. As Colin Powell remarks in his insightful article “The Craft of Diplomacy,” we have to leave our enemy an honorable path of retreat.

    While diplomacy with Iran may have its challenges, it should be pursued at every length. Iran has a conscription army and nearly 10 million eligible males between the ages of 18 and 32 (Posen, 2003). Iran’s conventional military potential aside, US Intelligence assesses that Iran will likely have nuclear weapons capability within the decade (Select Committee on Intelligence, 2006).

    “Je vois plus que jamais qu’il ne faut juger de rien sur sa grandeur apparente.” – Voltaire

    We should be careful what we assume about Iran, or any country.

    The United States needs to be very aware of Iran’s growing political influence in the international community as well. In a sermon commencing the month of Ramadan 2007, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused the Bush administration of war crimes in Iraq, and of attempting to undermine Islam in the Middle East. Amidst chants from worshipers: “Death to America,” Khamenei stated that he has a firm belief that one day this current US president and the American officials will be tried in a fair international court for the atrocities committed in Iraq.

    American popularity worldwide has plummeted over the 2003 invasion of Iraq and Khameinei’s words are falling upon a rising number of sympathetic ears. Any inclination the Bush administration has toward regime change in Iran should be given very, very careful thought. Ultimately, the situation confronting the United States regarding Iran is identical in many respects to the threat of terrorism itself:

    A clash of cultures, a stubborn battle of wills, two very different ways of looking at the same reality, a global game of chicken in which neither side wants to back down. This of course is a gross oversimplification of a very complex problem, but there are some basic truths to the argument.

    The United States and Europe are largely divided on their views of Iran, as well as their views of how best to counter terrorism. One of the greatest challenges facing the United States in its efforts to counter terrorism, is learning to understand those who resort to its use, and developing a coherent construct within which to address terrorism.

    The same can be said of Iran. And few can argue that there is no small amount of testosterone in the air, and this stubbornness can be seen on both sides of the standoff. Henry Kissinger has aptly stated that so long as Iran views itself as a crusade rather than a nation, a common interest will not emerge from negotiations. But this observation is equally applicable to the Bush administration as well.

    Puor bien savoir les choses, il en faut savoir le detail, et comme il est presque infini, nos connaissances sont toujours superficielles et imparfaites.

    Unfortunately, what we do know is that the Bush administration cannot be trusted to do what it says. Iraq taught us that lesson. Many experts have long been predicting that Bush would invade Iran before he leaves office. But of course, the Bush administration would never admit to such a thing.

    On ne donne rien si liberalement que ses conseils.

    But it is the man who follows his own counsel, he’s the one that should lead.

  2. A very long comment, but without any substantial reference to the content of the post you are replying to. I’m left to wonder how many points you received.

iPhone 3G

Posted on July 11th, 2008 at 11:41 by John Sinteur in category: Apple


We performed this disassembly immediately following the iPhone launch at 12:01 July 11, 2008, New Zealand time. That’s 5:01 AM, July 10, Pacific time for those of us who aren’t islanders.

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  1. Sacrilege! 🙂

Cookie Monster On Colbert Report

Posted on July 11th, 2008 at 11:29 by John Sinteur in category: Funny!


There’s very few people that have the balls to take on Stephen Colbert on his own show when he calls them out, but apparently the Cookie Monster is one of those people. In this clip from the show, Cookie Monster explains to Colbert exactly why he’s traded in his cookies for healthier fare these days.

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Remembering Ashton’s Law

Posted on July 11th, 2008 at 11:11 by John Sinteur in category: Software


One of his comments in class seemed so axiomatic that I immediately thought of it as “Ashton’s Law” and have quoted it as such ever since:

Ashton’s Law: Whenever someone tries to do something for you, they usually end up doing it to you.  — Dr. Alan Ashton, 1974

I have long lost track of how many times over the past 34 years I’ve thought of Ashton’s Law or have spoken it out loud to others. Dr. Ashton made the comment in the context of operating systems, software tools, and applications; all we have to do is look at something like the User Account Protection in MS Vista to see that Ashton’s Law is all too much alive and well.

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Rove ignores subpoena, refuses to testify

Posted on July 11th, 2008 at 11:01 by John Sinteur in category: Indecision 2008


Former White House adviser Karl Rove defied a congressional subpoena and refused to testify Thursday about allegations of political pressure at the Justice Department, including whether he influenced the prosecution of a former Democratic governor of Alabama.


A decision on whether to pursue contempt charges now goes to the full Judiciary Committee and ultimately to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Not that it matters – the House already has voted to hold Josh Bolten and Harriet Miers in contempt for failing to cooperate with its inquiry into whether the administration fired nine federal prosecutors in 2006 for political reasons, and that’s tied up in federal court and may not be resolved before Bush’s term ends in January. So Rove can freely work on getting McCain elected…

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Anti-Gay Alabama A.G. Caught Being Gay

Posted on July 11th, 2008 at 10:55 by John Sinteur in category: News


This may come as a shock, but a prominent anti-homosexual Republican attorney general has apparently been caught having homosexual sex intercourse with his homosexual gay male assistant. Bonus: The dude’s wife caught him, in their bed. This is the rumor that the AG’s office has officially denied, so now of course everybody is spilling the sordid details.

AG in question is Troy King, who, of course, is only interested in outlawing homosexuality and sex toys.

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How Not To Use The Drive Through ATM

Posted on July 11th, 2008 at 10:46 by John Sinteur in category: ¿ʞɔnɟ ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ

http://view.break.com/534959 – Watch more free videos

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Open WiFi network viable defense against infringement charge—at least in Germany

Posted on July 11th, 2008 at 10:28 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property


An appeals court in Germany has ruled that the owners of a network are not responsible for the copyright infringement of their users. The decision overturns a previous judgment that held an open WiFi network owner liable for damages, even if the infringer is a stranger making use of the network.


The district court that heard the case ruled in favor of the plaintiff, saying that since the defendant couldn’t prove which third-parties (if any) were guilty of copyright infringement on his network, he was responsible. Unsurprisingly, the defendant appealed the case, and the Frankfurt court of appeals ruled in his favor. The court said that the “abstract risk of abuse” of the defendant’s connection is not enough to require him by law to lock it down. There was also no concrete evidence of copyright infringement on the defendant’s part, therefore he should not be held liable for damages, the judge said.

Time to remove the encryption from your WiFi access…

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Posted on July 11th, 2008 at 10:14 by John Sinteur in category: Quote

“Well, happy birthday to President Bush, he turned 62 on Sunday. 62 years old. … He is now twice his approval rating, that’s amazing.”

–Jay Leno

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Liberal Bloggers Accuse Obama of Trying to Win Election

Posted on July 11th, 2008 at 10:14 by John Sinteur in category: Indecision 2008


The liberal blogosphere was aflame today with new accusations that Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill) is trying to win the 2008 presidential election.

Suspicions about Sen. Obama’s true motives have been building over the past few weeks, but not until today have the bloggers called him out for betraying the Democratic Party’s losing tradition.

“Barack Obama seems to be making a very calculated attempt to win over 270 electoral votes,” wrote liberal blogger Carol Foyler at LibDemWatch.com, a blog read by a half-dozen other liberal bloggers. “He must be stopped.”

But those comments were not nearly as strident as those of Tracy Klugian, whose blog LoseOn.org has backed unsuccessful Democratic candidates since 2000.

“Increasingly, Barack Obama’s message is becoming more accessible, appealing, and yes, potentially successful,” he wrote. “Any Democrat who voted for Dukakis, Mondale or Kerry should regard this as a betrayal.”

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Posted on July 11th, 2008 at 10:04 by John Sinteur in category: Cartoon, News

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‘Van Vollenhoven na druk weg als bemiddelaar’

Posted on July 11th, 2008 at 9:23 by John Sinteur in category: Nederland is Gek!


Pieter van Vollenhoven heeft zich onder druk van met name CDA-politici zoals premier Jan Peter Balkenende teruggetrokken als bemiddelaar in de kwestie-Spijkers.

Dat meldt de NOS op basis van ‘goedingelichte bronnen’. De CDA’ers vrezen mogelijk voor gezichtsverlies.

Wat een prachtig Christelijk standpunt: voorkomen van gezichtsverlies is belangrijker dan eerherstel.

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Eerste Nederlandse iPhone verkocht

Posted on July 11th, 2008 at 9:22 by John Sinteur in category: Apple


Onder grote belangstelling is vrijdag om middernacht de eerste iPhone in Nederland verkocht. Meer dan achthonderd geïnteresseerden en een grote schare journalisten hadden zich rond die tijd verzameld voor de deuren van de winkel van T-Mobile aan de Lijnbaan in Rotterdam.


De gelukkige eerste bezitter is de 47-jarige Edwin Driesen uit Den Haag. De man had sinds donderdagochtend 9.30 uur staan wachten op het mobiele kleinood. Op de vraag wat hij thuis als eerste met zijn iPhone ging doen, luidde het nuchtere antwoord “opladen”.

Kennelijk geen vaste Apple-klant, anders had hij wel geweten dat Apple graag ziet dat dingen direct uit de doos te gebruiken zijn, en dat z’n iPhone dus met een (bijna) volle batterij uit de doos zal komen. Maar hij verdient bonus punten met de droogheid van het antwoord…

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Iranian Missile Drill

Posted on July 11th, 2008 at 6:53 by John Sinteur in category: Mess O'Potamia


Maybe all the worries about the new missile drill by the Islamic Republic are just overreaction. What would you think when you realize that neither Fars News, nor Mehr News or ISNA published any picture of the event. Add to that the fact that one of the pictures the state-run IRIB published actually looks too much like a picture taken at a drill which happened two years ago.

And it appears the reason for the photoshop was found by the New York Times. Iran didn’t want to show you that one of the missiles failed. Here’s the picture before it got to Photoshop:

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Levi’s suffers profit meltdown in midst of SAP embrace

Posted on July 11th, 2008 at 6:47 by John Sinteur in category: Software


Problems with a massive global enterprise resource planning (ERP) rollout have helped send Levi Strauss’ second-quarter results through the floor.

The jeans giant reported a 98 per cent drop in net income to $1m and squarely blamed “substantial costs” associated with its new ERP system among other factors for the shocker.

Levi’s is standardizing on a single global instance of SAP ERP, and told The Reg it was forced to take shipping systems at its three massive US distribution centers off line for a full week in April to fix problems receiving and fulfilling orders.

The company not only lost business during the shut down, but also saw customers who’d placed orders cancel them once the systems were back up.

A Levi’s company spokesman blamed the problem on integration of “legacy systems”. He told The Reg Levi’s is continuing the software rollout but notes it’s currently in a “stabilization phase”.

An SAP company spokeswoman said the company has a “great relationship” with Levi’s. “As part of this close partnership we work closely together to resolve any challenges that arise,” she said.

“stabilization phase” is of course marketing speak for “we are only now reviewing all the documentation, if there is any, on the requirements and the delivered solution to see who is to blame”.

I wonder which of the big consulting firms is involved in this one.

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  1. How about going to the implementors and get the money from them. The IT industry needs to start to pay for the royal mess ups it can do unpunished right now. That would raise quality more than any agile, UP, RUP, pick your buzzword of the week methodology.

Exodus 20:12, Deuteronomy 5:16

Posted on July 11th, 2008 at 6:42 by John Sinteur in category: Indecision 2008

“Americans have got to understand that. Americans have got to understand that we are paying present-day retirees with the taxes paid by young workers in America today. And that’s a disgrace. It’s an absolute disgrace and it’s got to be fixed.”

You read that right. He called it a disgrace that Social Security is based on that grand inter-generational bargain that has worked so wonderfully for decades. Apparently McCain thinks the idea of taking care of our elderly who can no longer take care of themselves is just disgraceful. I guess John McCain would prefer that we send our elderly out into the wilderness to die when they can no longer work. After all, the idea that we should help them to live out their lives with dignity is such a disgrace.

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  1. Exodus 20:12… honor your father and mother? (And same thing in the Deuteronomistic Decalogue.) Huh? I guess I can see how that’s relevant, in the general mitzvah of caring for the elderly, but I think McCain’s point is that I’m being forced to honor YOUR parents rather than mine through social security (also, using the Bible to justify things is a little silly). Which is kinda humorous, because while I don’t understand economics, I know by what he says that he understands it even less than I do. Luckily for him, he’s married to someone wealthy, and I hear he even owns a home or ten, so he doesn’t need social security even though he’s extremely old. At least he’s not an elitist like Barack Hussein Obama, who is a latte-sipping Muslim terrorist and who is also a radical Christian and who also understands the economy.