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What’s a life worth?

Posted on October 21st, 2010 at 21:26 by John Sinteur in category: News

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  1. John, when you post something like this, can you comment or highlight what made you post it?

    The bit “that means that one American gold fish is worth the lives of 16 Afghan civilians” seems like a huge fallacy, and I don’t follow the logic that “that is why” no one cares about Afghans or Iraqis. Huhn?

    Of course it’s hugely unjust than civilians are dying due to conflict. Nothing to do with goldfish. (Or with punitive measures that exceed the monetary “value” of damages, for that matter.)

    So, uh, can you translate?

  2. You’re concentrating on phrases I didn’t expect you to focus on at all. Let’s try again:

    Key phrases: “there is no equality” and “It is injustice [..] to put one person’s life above another because of location or nationality”.

    Does that help?


Posted on October 21st, 2010 at 17:09 by John Sinteur in category: Cartoon

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Husband of outed CIA agent calls Dick Cheney ‘traitor’

Posted on October 21st, 2010 at 16:37 by Paul Jay in category: News


The husband of outed CIA agent Valerie Plame has a name for former Vice President Dick Cheney: “traitor.”

Plame, a former CIA officer, was outed by administration officials amidst her husband’s criticism of the evidence in the lead up to the US invasion of Iraq. Cheney’s then-chief of staff, “Scooter” Libby, was convicted and sentenced to 30 months in prison for lying and obstructing justice about his role in the leak. Also among the leakers was former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage. Bush commuted Libby’s sentence.

Plame’s husband, Joe Wilson, had harsh words for Cheney and Libby during an interview Wednesday with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer:

“They betrayed the national security of our country,” Wilson, an outspoken critic of the Iraq War and former U.S. Ambassador said. “By betraying the identity of a covert CIA operative, whose identity is kept secret because it’s in the national interests that the identity be kept secret, in order for her to be able to acquire foreign secrets on behalf of our country.”

Wilson also later went on to say that he didn’t know if former President Bush was a traitor as well.

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Racist Email Flap Blows Up Virginia Beach GOP

Posted on October 21st, 2010 at 13:36 by John Sinteur in category: Foyer of Ennui (just short of the Hall of Shame)


As the progressive Blue Virgina blog reported Monday — and I independently confirmed from one of the recipients Tuesday — Virginia Beach Republican Party chair Dave Bartholomew forwarded a racist email comparing African Americans to dogs. The email, subject line "my, dog," consists of a racist parable about African Americans and welfare. In the first 24 hours since the email came to light, Democrats condemned Bartholomew and he resigned his position with the Republican Party.


The e-mail was dated March 15 and sent from the address that Bartholomew uses as party chairman. Bartholomew forwarded it without reading the contents when “he was first getting familiar with the Internet,” Byler said.

Well, I guess you’re pretty familiar with the Internet now!

He says he’s not a racist. He not only has black friends, he calls them man’s best friend!

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Florida’s SB 1070: All Immigrants Must Carry Papers, Except Canadians and Europeans

Posted on October 21st, 2010 at 12:51 by John Sinteur in category: ¿ʞɔnɟ ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ


The Florida law in a nutshell: If you’re a white non-Hispanic, you’re presumed to be in the country legally and don’t need to show any proof. If you belong in the “all others” category, better carry your papers.

Of course, there’s an explanation for such blatant racism, as Snyder told a radio host: "What we’re doing there is trying to be sensitive to Canadians. We have an enormous amount of … Canadians wintering here in Florida … That language is comfort language."

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  1. Europeans and Canadians are not whites. There are a lot of Europeans and Canadians who are of black, hispanic, arabic, asian ancestry.
    How can they say if Christopher who looks african, is an African or a European? (He is actually norwegian, and his parents are norwegians too).
    So the article wants to see racism, and maybe there was racism too.

    But if it wanted to be a racist law, then the writers of the law are just as ignorant about Europe as the writer of the article.

Efforts to Prosecute Blackwater Are Collapsing

Posted on October 21st, 2010 at 12:08 by Paul Jay in category: News


WASHINGTON — Nearly four years after the federal government began a string of investigations and criminal prosecutions againstBlackwater Worldwide personnel accused of murder and other violent crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, the cases are beginning to fall apart, burdened by a legal obstacle of the government’s own making.

In the most recent and closely watched case, the Justice Department on Monday said that it would not seek murder charges against Andrew J. Moonen, a Blackwater armorer accused of killing a guard assigned to an Iraqi vice president on Dec. 24, 2006. Justice officials said that they were abandoning the case after an investigation that began in early 2007, and included trips to Baghdad by federal prosecutors and F.B.I. agents to interview Iraqi witnesses.

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Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2010

Posted on October 21st, 2010 at 11:41 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture


Bence Mate’s photo of leafcutter ants in Costa Rica has won the Wildlife Photographer of the Year main award. He said: "They were only active at night, which made my job very difficult." He used a flash behind the leaf for the silhouette.

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Commodity Futures Trading Commission judge says colleague biased against complainants

Posted on October 21st, 2010 at 11:38 by John Sinteur in category: News


"On Judge Levine’s first week on the job, nearly twenty years ago, he came into my office and stated that he had promised Wendy Gramm, then Chairwoman of the Commission, that we would never rule in a complainant’s favor," Painter wrote. "A review of his rulings will confirm that he fulfilled his vow," Painter wrote.

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Well, THAT’S not a very secure password.

Posted on October 21st, 2010 at 11:33 by John Sinteur in category: Pastafarian News, Security

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  1. You should see some of the church signs I’ve got on my blog… (See my URL…)

Rumsfeld Invades Web, Twitter, Facebook

Posted on October 21st, 2010 at 11:27 by Paul Jay in category: News


#FollowFriday has come early: Donald Rumsfeld, the Bush administration’s lightning rod of a defense secretary, is on Twitter.

No one would ever confuse Rumsfeld with a technophobe. In office, he threw money at high-tech weaponry and gear, to the point where it jeopardized the Iraq war. But this latest move for the aggressive septuagenarian isn’t just recreational: Rumsfeld’s using online media to rehab his battered image.

Rumsfeld — or a member of his entourage — joined Twitter at 9:24 a.m. EDT as @RumsfeldOffice. After two hours and three tweets, he was up to 385 followers. The first 29 tweeps he’s opted to follow include Politico, Joint Chiefs chairman Adm. Michael Mullen, GOP consigliere Karl Rove, and the military services’ feeds.

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Federal scientists go public in face of restrictive media rules

Posted on October 21st, 2010 at 11:12 by Paul Jay in category: News


The union that represents federal government scientists has created a website – PublicScience.ca – to give a voice to the work of its members.

The move comes weeks after it was revealed that new restrictive rules have been placed on scientists at the Natural Resources department requiring them to clear a number of hoops, including approval from the minister’s director of communications, before they may speak with the press about their work.

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Iran needs stern lessons in freedom

Posted on October 21st, 2010 at 11:04 by John Sinteur in category: News


Here is the latest Outrage of Evil from the Persian Hitlers:

Iran’s intelligence minister confirmed on Wednesday that two U.S. citizens detained for more than a year will face trial, news reports said.

“The two Americans will be tried,” Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi was quoted as saying by ISNA news agency. “We will hand any evidence we have to the judiciary.”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters on Tuesday that she had heard Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal would be tried on November 6 but she still hoped they would be released.

It’s high time that we teach those Iranians about democracy and freedom.  All civilized people know that this is how a Free and Democratic Nation treats foreign detainees:

The Obama administration has decided to continue to imprison without trials nearly 50 detainees at the Guantánamo Bay military prison in Cuba because a high-level task force has concluded that they are too difficult to prosecute but too dangerous to release, an administration official said on Thursday.

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“I haven’t seen a half-monkey, half-person yet.”

Posted on October 21st, 2010 at 11:00 by John Sinteur in category: News

He obviously never looked in a mirror…

Perhaps he should look harder

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Posted on October 21st, 2010 at 10:54 by John Sinteur in category: Pastafarian News

“Truth does not demand belief. Scientists do not join hands every Sunday, singing, ‘yes, gravity is real! I will have faith! I will be strong! I believe in my heart that what goes up, up, up, must come down. Amen!’ If they did that, we would think they were pretty insecure about it.”

–Dan Barker

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Posted on October 21st, 2010 at 10:40 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture

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Oh physicists…

Posted on October 21st, 2010 at 10:10 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture

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Posted on October 21st, 2010 at 10:06 by John Sinteur in category: Apple

I don’t know who comes up with the headlines for news.com.au, but this one is funny!

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  1. LOL.

  2. pure seo bait

Docs on Pharma Payroll Have Blemished Records, Limited Credentials

Posted on October 21st, 2010 at 10:05 by Paul Jay in category: News


The Ohio medical board concluded that pain physician William D. Leak had performed “unnecessary” nerve tests on 20 patients and subjected some to “an excessive number of invasive procedures,” including injections of agents that destroy nerve tissue.

Yet the finding, posted on the board’s public website, didn’t prevent Eli Lilly and Co. from using him as a promotional speaker and adviser. The company has paid him $85,450 since 2009.

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How many Microsoft employees does it take to change a lightbulb?

Posted on October 21st, 2010 at 10:00 by John Sinteur in category: Software


# One dev to spend five minutes implementing ChangeLightBulbWindowHandleEx.

# One program manager to write the specification.

# One localization expert to review the specification for localizability issues.

# One usability expert to review the specification for accessibility and usability issues.

# At least one dev, tester and PM to brainstorm security vulnerabilities.

# One PM to add the security model to the specification.

# One tester to write the test plan.

# One test lead to update the test schedule.

# One tester to write the test cases and add them to the nightly automation.

# Three or four testers to participate in an ad hoc bug bash.

# One technical writer to write the documentation.

# One technical reviewer to proofread the documentation.

# One copy editor to proofread the documentation.

# One documentation manager to integrate the new documentation into the existing body of text, update tables of contents, indexes, etc.

# Twenty-five translators to translate the documentation and error messages into all the languages supported by Windows.The managers for the translators live in Ireland (European languages) and Japan (Asian languages), which are both severely time-shifted from Redmond, so dealing with them can be a fairly complex logistical problem.

# A team of senior managers to coordinate all these people, write the cheques, and justify the costs to their Vice President.

And halfway through the project there was a reorganization so the bulb was never changed.

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  1. Don’t they need a new programming language and a new VM for the lightbulb’s firmware?

  2. Who’s gonna pwoofwead each of the 25 translations? Or are we expecting each translator to be letter perfect on the first draft? And handle the DTP as well?

    And if the English documentation needs a doc manager to update the TOC and Index, why wouldn’t each translation need someone similar?

    The English documentation has three sets of literate eyes checking it. Who’s checking the Japanese?

    And is that solitary localization expert truly qualified to evaluate L10n issues in all 25 languages? (In other words, is the French L10n expert qualified to evaluate L10n issues for Mandarin? That’s one versatile expert!)

  3. Turnaround, you keep asking these questions and we will end up with the image of the MS Lightbulb Changing Process Framework (MLCPF) actually is not that resource heavy 🙂

Tea Party ‘founder’: Palin, Gingrich a ‘joke’

Posted on October 21st, 2010 at 9:54 by John Sinteur in category: News


A financial blogger and ex-CEO credited with being one of the original "founders" of the Tea Party has come out against the movement, saying it has been hijacked by the very people it was protesting and is now obsessed with "guns, gays and God."

In a "message" to the Tea Party Wednesday, Karl Denninger declared that he "ought to sue" anyone who uses the Tea Party name "for defamation."

"Yeah, that’s a joke," he writes. "But so are you. All of you. Especially Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Bob Barr, and douchebag groups such as the ‘Tea Party Patriots.’"

Denninger writes: "Tea Party my ass. This was nothing other than the Republican Party stealing the anger of a population that was fed up with the Republican Party’s own theft of their tax money at gunpoint to bail out the robbers of Wall Street and fraudulently redirecting it back toward electing the very people who stole all the ****ing money!"

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  1. It’s understandable that he’s angry because his anger’s been co-opted.

‘Hang them’: Uganda paper publishes photos of gays

Posted on October 21st, 2010 at 9:51 by John Sinteur in category: Pastafarian News


The front-page newspaper story featured a list of Uganda’s 100 "top" homosexuals, with a bright yellow banner across it that read: "Hang Them." Alongside their photos were the men’s names and addresses.

In the days since it was published, at least four gay Ugandans on the list have been attacked and many others are in hiding, according to rights activist Julian Onziema. One person named in the story had stones thrown at his house by neighbors.

A lawmaker in this conservative African country introduced a bill a year ago that would have imposed the death penalty for some homosexual acts and life in prison for others. An international uproar ensued, and the bill was quietly shelved.

But gays in Uganda say they have faced a year of harassment and attacks since the bill’s introduction.

The legislation was drawn up following a visit by leaders of U.S. conservative Christian ministries that promote therapy they say allows gays to become heterosexual.

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MacBook Air: all substance, no Flash

Posted on October 21st, 2010 at 8:10 by John Sinteur in category: Apple


Amusingly enough, you know what’s missing from the new MacBook Air models? Adobe Flash Player. While preloaded on Apple’s past hardware, out of the box here it just says missing plugin, with no click to install option. To be fair, Flash doesn’t come standard on a lot of machines, even for Windows, but we wonder if past models will continue to ship out with Adobe’s plugin, especially once OS X 10.7 becomes de facto.

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  1. Maybe Adobe was about to release a significant security fix that could not make it into the golden master for the Air and they wanted people to download it.

  2. Well, last time they shipped an out-of-date version they caught a lot of flack for it, so it’s a distinct possibility.

  3. Also, I hear they come with 2GB of Flash.

  4. The recovery “CD”, yes…

CIA Sues Ex-Spy Over Two-Year Old Book

Posted on October 21st, 2010 at 5:44 by John Sinteur in category: News


"The Human Factor," written by an ex-agent using the pseudonym Ishmael Jones, went largely unnoticed when it was first published in July 2008. But within hours of the lawsuit’s filing Tuesday, the book had vaulted up the Amazon rankings.In the book, "Jones" charges the CIA with waste, fraud and abuse as he details his career over two decades working under non-official cover, or NOC, mainly in Europe.The CIA said in a statement that Jones was being sued for breaking his secrecy agreement and for not allowing the agency’s publication review process to "run its course." The agency is seeking any money Jones received for the publication or sales of the book.The suit, which does not allege that Jones revealed any classified information, raises questions about why the agency would bring a case two years after publication and where both sides agree no sensitive secrets were revealed.

My guess is that there’s another author about to publish who’s not willing to follow the CIA rules, pointing to this book as a precedent.

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  1. Or, the book not selling, they are pulling a marketing stunt and the sharing 50-50.