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Obama moves forward with Internet ID plan

Posted on April 18th, 2011 at 13:46 by Paul Jay in category: News


The Obama administration said today that it’s moving ahead with a plan for broad adoption of Internet IDs despite concerns about identity centralization, and hopes to fund pilot projects next year.

A 55-page document (PDF) released by the White House today adds a few more details to the proposal, which still remains mostly hazy and inchoate.

It offers examples of what the White House views as an “identity ecosystem,” including obtaining a digital ID from an Internet service provider that could be used to view your personal health information, or obtaining an ID linked to your cell phone that would let you log into IRS.gov to view payments and file taxes. The idea is to have multiple identity providers that are part of the same system.

Administration officials plan to convene a series of workshops between June and September of this year that would bring together companies and advocacy groups and move closer to an actual specification for what’s being called the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace, or NSTIC

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  1. And WHAT could possibly go wrong with this? :rolleyes: Oh yeah, one-stop-shopping for hackers and ID thieves…

  2. Oh dear, I’m gonna have to trust the government? Perhaps I’ll have to move to the third world.

  3. I’m pondering whether there’s some irony here–on this blog people tend to favor a bit more govt regulation (and, say, gun control) until it comes to something we know more about and have higher stakes in, and then we want the govt to butt out? 🙂

  4. @Desiato: People here usually want more government regulation which usually means more restriction on access.
    To information, to guns, to illegal financial activities.
    So, saying that we want to limit access to guns, and want to limit needless access to personal information is not that contradicting, is it? 🙂

    Government access to private information and government regulating things are quite different things.

Trump: ‘When you have a war and you win, that nation is yours’

Posted on April 18th, 2011 at 10:08 by Paul Jay in category: News


“Why aren’t they paying us?” Trump asked CNN’s Candy Crowley. “When they said that you should have said, we’ll go in. We want $5 billion. We have already spent $1.5 billion on fighting Gaddafi. We want $5 billion right now and we’ll go in. You know what? That’s peanuts to them. They’d give you a check in two seconds.”

The billionaire also said he was nostalgic for a time when the U.S. could claim the resources of defeated nations.

“In the old days when you have a war and you win, that nation is yours,” he said. “Either I go in and take the oil or I don’t go in at all.”

“Just take their oil?” Crowley asked.

“Absolutely,” Trump replied. “I’d take the oil, give them plenty so they can live very happily. I’d take the oil.”

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  1. Some how I think George C. Marshall would disagree with Trump; so would the Germans, Japanese, Kuwaitts, and the people of Grenada.

  2. B,

    The Germans and the Japanese would have kept everything they took had they not been forcibly removed … or did you forget that part?

  3. Oh, and Trump is a dweeb.

  4. The Trump global casino. Winner takes all. Is that why we waste all that money on the military?

  5. Rob,

    ahhh so then the country that is the “great exception” isn’t and should act like every other country. (why is america more special than any other country again?)

    Also, how would you like to have all those Iraqis voting for the next president. Or would you propose putting them into little camps like was done with the native americans. Or would all Iraqis become third-class citizens. or do we just shoot them all.

  6. B,

    I’m not advocating what Trump says. Just saying the Japanese and Germans might not disagree with him because they actually did try to keep what they took.

    You’ve never seen me or heard me say America is more special than any other country. I think it is because I was born here and I live here so saying so wouldn’t mean that much to a non-American. I comment here now and again just to counter the relentless anti-American sentiment. We’re not as great as we may think we are from time to time but we’re not nearly, not nearly as bad as you guys think we are.

    Trump is a clown. Despite his money, he has no chance if he runs for President.

BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet Lacks All the Right Moves

Posted on April 18th, 2011 at 9:38 by Paul Jay in category: News


Any tablet debuting more than a year after the Apple’s market-dominating iPad needs an edge. For the PlayBook, that edge is support for Adobe Flash, a feature that the iPad is famously lacking. RIM says it took over two years of working with Adobe to bring Flash to its tablet.

Two years may not have been enough. During a round of Plants vs. Zombies, gameplay bogged down whenever the animation got intense. Every time I tried to access a Flash game on Facebook, the browser crashed. Yes, every single time. Say goodbye to your well-tended crops, Farmvillians.

Flash is so great.

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  1. How hard can it be? Every release and sub-release of Flash breaks things (usually through misguided attempts to speed up the horrendous code that results from using their dreadful tools). Their attempts to keep compatibility with code that ran a decade ago has resulted in dragging around a legacy of almost-but-not-quite-unsupportable applications. The worst 3 years of my life were spent on a large serious Flash code base. More gotchas than I had hot dinners during that time.

    Mr. Jobs knows shit when he sees it.

Technology can’t give us powers of God, Pope reminds faithful on Palm Sunday

Posted on April 18th, 2011 at 9:28 by John Sinteur in category: Pastafarian News


Pope Benedict led Roman Catholics into Holy Week celebrations, telling a Palm Sunday crowd that man will pay the price for his pride if he believes technology can give him the powers of God.

And to prove this, he’s removing the bullet-proof glass from his pope mobile.


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  1. And not to forget that Mr. Ratzinger needed a cardiac bypass operation and a pacemaker implanted in 2005.

  2. Erratum: I just saw that not the Pope got cardiac surgery in 2005, but his brother.

    But that doesn’t change anything. The pope visited his brother in hospital. Did he tell there the surgeon who saved his brothers’ life, that he “will pay the price for his pride if he believes technology can give him the powers of god”?

  3. Rat-boy is wrong, again. Technology has given me powers of all kinds and his god has given no-one any powers (except permission to do evil, apparently).

This Tech Bubble Is Different

Posted on April 18th, 2011 at 9:04 by John Sinteur in category: If you're in marketing, kill yourself


"The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads,"

Apart from those sitting around at investment banks coming up with mathematic models to game the financial system, of course.

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  1. What the author considers to be “the best minds,” I consider to be merely clever but enormously avaricious minds.

NZ MP votes for anti-piracy law hours after tweeting about her love of pirated music

Posted on April 18th, 2011 at 7:55 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property


A reader writes, "In a beautiful twist of irony, New Zealand parliament member Melissa Lee has been caught in a copyright quagmire. It turns out that just hours before she spoke out in support of the controversial new copyright law being rushed through parliament, she tweeted how pleased she was with a compilation of K-Pop songs a friend copied for her."

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  1. Perhaps legislative assemblies are too large and too partisan. Not that I know about this case, but a problem with parliamentary democracy and political parties is that most members of legislatures are treated as “lobby fodder” – they have no choice but to vote the party line and are treated like herd animals by professional non-elected management teams.

Japan’s Nuclear Crisis Keeps Going

Posted on April 18th, 2011 at 7:46 by John Sinteur in category: News


Reactor shutdowns nine months away: Tokyo Electric Power Co. announced Sunday that it will take six to nine months to complete a cold shutdown of the damaged reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant, while the United States proposed a daring plan to use a remote-controlled helicopter and cranes to pluck out their spent fuel rods… If all goes well, displaced residents from the evacuation zone should know within six to nine months whether they will be able to go home, trade minister Banri Kaieda said. [Previously] [Open MeFi pro vs. con nuclear policy thread]
The utility is pumping in water and venting off steam, a method called “feed and bleed.”

Spike in iodine levels may signal new leak

The Japanese government Friday (April 15) published a report on the discharge of more than 10,000 metric tons of low-level radioactive water from the quake-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex, in a bid to allay concerns among neighboring countries that it was spreading contamination into the ocean.

Melted fuel rod fragments have sunk to the bottoms of three reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant and could theoretically burn through the pressure vessels if emergency water-pumping operations are seriously disrupted, the Atomic Energy Society of Japan said Friday… The fuel rods are being cooled by tons of water that is being manually injected into the reactors and their spent-fuel pools by truck.

Nature Magazine: Fukushima set for epic clean-up

NRC report leaked to the NYT on April 4 mentions that due to an explosion way back at the beginning of the crisis, fuel rod fragments were ejected up to a kilometer from Daiichi, as well as between to reactor buildings on site.

The leaked NRC report can be found here (it’s been inverted, presumably to foil Google’s efforts to take it down).

Core of Stricken Reactor Probably Leaked, U.S. Says

“What would you do to help heal the Japanese landscape around the failing nuclear reactors?”

Packbot working inside the reactor building of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Unit 3. (pictured on April 17, 2011)

> The Fukushima I nuclear accidents (福島第一原子力発電所事故) are a series of ongoing equipment failures and releases of radioactive materials at the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, following the 9.0 magnitude Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami on 11 March 2011.
> Accident timeline
> Status of the Nuclear Reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant (NYT) Explosions damaged four of the buildings, and fuel in the reactors and spent fuel stored in the buildings is presumed to have melted, at least partially, releasing radioactive materials.

> IAEA Fukushima Nuclear Accident Daily Update Log

> RDTN.org: Radiation Detection Hardware Network in Japan
> Current monitoring spots around Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (pdf)
> Ibaraki & Tokyo Radioactivity [Detailed graph of rad levels Kanto and Kita-Kanto]

> Fukushima University creates radiation dispersion map
> Radiation factors hard to gauge; experts say rely on official data… “Just pointing a measuring device at your food before dinner is pretty much meaningless.”
> MIT NSE Nuclear Information Hub
> Radiation Update: Is Japanese Seafood Dangerous?

> Green Action Japan (Kyoto)

> Greenpeace
> Citizen’s Nuclear Information Center

> Images of the Daiichi reactor buildings taken by T-Hawk drone aircraft
> Driving Through The Fukushima Exclusion Zone
> Here’s a different reporter duo, this time who drive right up to the front gates of Daiichi.

> Fukushima local television (NHK, in Japanese)

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  1. Great links, thanks!