Justice will only be achieved when those who are
not injured by crime, feel as indignant as those who are.
King Solomon (635-577 BC) --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Solomon
Lest We Forget (In Flanders fields) --- http://jbreck.com/gardenofstone.html
Quotes from Gone With the Wind --- http://jbreck.com/ScarlettRhett.html
who will be 70 on December 1, says age hasn't brought wisdom. "I've gained no
wisdom, no insight, no mellowing. I would make all the same mistakes again,
today," he tells ...
CNN, November 1, 2005 --- http://www.cnn.com/2005/SHOWBIZ/Movies/11/01/people.woodyallen.ap/index.html
New Airline Security Rules: Knives, Scissors, and Razor Blades
to be Allowed Back on Board
The federal government is preparing new rules that would allow travelers to bring items such as sharp knives and scissors onto airplanes, rolling back post-9/11 prohibitions that slow security lines and that many aviation experts say are no longer needed to protect aircraft. The changes are likely to be announced soon, though probably not before the busy Thanksgiving travel week, say people close to the discussions. The rules may be in place before the start of the Christmas travel season, but no final decision has been made on timing. Changing the rules will require retraining some 45,000 airport screeners across the country, a process that has not yet begun, one person noted.
Laura Meckler, "Government to Relax Airport-Security Rules: Ban to Be Lifted on Penknives, Scissors in Effort To Speed Screening and Refocus on Explosives," The Wall Street Journal, November 3, 2005; Page D1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113098163878586973.html?mod=todays_us_personal_journal
Harvard University may eliminate its general education core requirements: Students take what they want
"Choosing the Core," David Epstein, Inside Higher Ed, November 4, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/11/04/harvard
Stephen A. Mitchell, chair of the folklore and mythology program, welcomes the plan. He said it would “break your heart” to see students taking a core course that didn’t really interest them, simply because there is small selection of courses that fit most students’ schedules. Mitchell quoted a colleague who said students would “get their inoculation against foreign cultures.” Now, he said, with departmental courses on the table, “there are dozens of courses on foreign cultures they could take.”
Carol Schneider, president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, said she read the recommendations “with great sadness,” because “this doesn’t really require anything,” she said. “It’s all in the hands of the student and the adviser. Sometimes the result will be wonderful, sometimes it will be depressing.”
Schneider said that one of the major problems of general education requirements are that they have no clear goals, and give students too much choice. She said that many institutions that are reforming general education requirements are requiring upper level courses within a major that integrate global perspectives, or ethical reasoning, so that students cannot skirt those topics. “The trend is toward vertical integration,” Schneider said, “rather than broadly defined intro courses. [The report] doesn’t offer anything new. They didn’t want to grapple with a well designed, coherent program.” She added that Harvard has the ability to be a leader in something like moral reasoning, but instead removed it as a clear objective.
Perhaps Harvard students can listen to other courses
November 2, 2005 message from Steven Bachrach [Steven.Bachrach@trinity.edu]
Just to beat out Bob Jensen in making the Trinity community aware of new technologies for education, here is the podcasting initiative at Purdue University:
Students and faculty will be able to listen to podcasts of some large lectures on campus beginning immediately, says Michael Gay, manager of Broadcast Networks & Services for Information Technology at Purdue (ITaP). Any faculty member can request that their course be available via the podcasting service, which is called "BoilerCast."
Department of Chemistry
1 Trinity Place San Antonio, TX 78212
How brave can men be who make little children do the dying?
A child thought to be just ten years old, wearing an explosives belt, has died in a roadside explosion at the al-Quds intersection, near the oil rich city of Kirkuk. The 'suicide' attack occurred as a car carrying a senior Iraqi police official, Colonel Khatab, passed by. The official and his driver were wounded and are being treated in hospital. The report of such a young child being used for terror attacks comes as the US military issued a report showing how difficult it can be for its soldiers to prevent roadside bombs.
"IRAQ: 'CHILD' BOMBER DIES AS US MILITARY RAISES ALARM OVER ROADSIDE ATTACKS," Adnqronos International, November 1, 2005 --- http://www.adnki.com/index_2Level.php?cat=Terrorism&loid=8.0.224633070&par=0
One language translated into another language almost instantly!
"Live speech-translation technology unveiled," by Will Knight, New Scientist, October 31, 2005 --- http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn8241
Technology that provides live translation of speech from one language to another has been revealed by scientists from the US and Europe.
This and other translation technologies were demonstrated publicly for the first time at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, US, last Thursday. They were developed by researchers from the International Center for Advanced Communication Technologies (InterACT), a collaboration between Carnegie Mellon and the University of Karlsruhe in Germany.
Alex Waibel, a professor at both universities, demonstrated the system that almost instantly translates speech from one language to another by giving a talk in English that was converted simultaneously into German and Spanish. "We want everyone working together but to maintain our individuality," Waibel told reporters.
The researchers also revealed a directional speaker system that delivers a translated audio feed to just one person in a room, removing the need for them to wear headphones. And another concept device projected translated subtitles along the bottom of one lens of a modified pair of glasses.
Continued in article
"Yahoo Redesigns Its Online Mapping Service," The Washington Post, November 3, 2005 --- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/03/AR2005110300041.html?referrer=email
Yahoo Inc. has redesigned its online maps to make it easier to get driving directions to multiple destinations and find local merchants _ the latest move in the company's duel with Internet powerhouse, Google Inc.
The Sunnyvale-based company planned to unveil its latest mapping improvements Wednesday, less than a month after Google upgraded its maps service. Yahoo's service will be available on a test basis at http://maps.yahoo.com/beta .
Google Print will let you search books (at least some of the books) --- http://www.print.google.com/advanced_print_search?ie=UTF-8
On November 3, 2005 Debbie Bowling forwarded the link to the following information at iWon News --- http://apnews1.iwon.com/article/20051103/D8DKR2LG0.html
Google Inc. (GOOG)'s Internet-leading search engine on Thursday will begin serving up the entire contents of books and government documents that aren't entangled in a copyright battle over how much material can be scanned and indexed from five major libraries.
The list of Google's so-called "public domain" works - volumes no longer protected by copyright - include Henry James novels, Civil War histories, Congressional acts and biographies of wealthy New Yorkers.
Google said the material, available at , represents the first large batch of public domain books and documents to be indexed in its search engine since the Mountain View-based company announced an ambitious library-scanning project late last year. http://www.print.google.com
The program is designed to make more library material available through a few clicks of a computer mouse and attract more people to click on the highly profitable ads that Google displays on its Web site.
Continued in article
Also see The Washington Post article at
Jensen Comment on the link at
I read in "Bob Jensen" and the first hit I got was "Pornography: The Production and Consumption of Inequality"
I think we need XML tags to distinguish me from the rest of the Bob Jensen's in the world.
When I signed up (free for Google Services) at http://www.print.google.com/advanced_print_search?ie=UTF-8 , my verification return mailing contained the following listing of services from our Big Brother:
- Gmail - A Google approach to email
- orkut - Connect with a community of trusted friends
- Google Alerts - Receive news and search results via email
- Froogle Shopping List - Shop smarter with wishlists of your favorite products
- Google Groups - Create mailing lists and discussion groups
- Personalized Search - Get the search results most relevant to you
- Google in Your Language - Volunteer to translate Google's services into various languages
- Google AdWords - Find buyers searching for what you sell
- Google AdSense - Earn money by displaying ads on your site
- Google Answers - Ask a question, set a price, get an answer
- Google Web APIs - A tool for software developers to query Google automatically
U.S. Supreme Court stays soft on white collar crime
A federal appeals court has ordered a judge in Houston to revise the sentence for Mr. Olis, 39, a tax accountant who helped devise a secret project in 2001 to disguise a $300 million loan as cash flow. Among those convicted for white-collar crimes in recent memory, Mr. Olis's eye-popping sentence has been surpassed only by the 25-year prison term given in July to Bernard J. Ebbers, the former chairman of WorldCom. Judges closely followed Mr. Olis's appeal and expected a lesser sentence for him after the Supreme Court ruled in January that the federal mandatory sentencing guidelines system violated a defendant's right to a fair trial as guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment. That ruling essentially returned sentencing discretion to judges, making the guidelines only advisory.
Simon Romero, "Revision of 24-Year Prison Term Ordered in Accounting Fraud," The New York Times, November 1, 2005
Dynegy Corporation had several criminal acts similar to those in Enron --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudEnron.htm
From Johns Hopkins professor and the author of two best selling books on "The End of History."
"A Year of Living Dangerously Remember Theo van Gogh, and shudder for the future," by Francis Fukuyama, The Wall Street Journal, November 2, 2005 --- http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110007491
One year ago today, the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh had his throat ritually slit by Mohamed Bouyeri, a Muslim born in Holland who spoke fluent Dutch. This event has totally transformed Dutch politics, leading to stepped-up police controls that have now virtually shut off new immigration there. Together with the July 7 bombings in London (also perpetrated by second generation Muslims who were British citizens), this event should also change dramatically our view of the nature of the threat from radical Islamism.
We have tended to see jihadist terrorism as something produced in dysfunctional parts of the world, such as Afghanistan, Pakistan or the Middle East, and exported to Western countries. Protecting ourselves is a matter either of walling ourselves off, or, for the Bush administration, going "over there" and trying to fix the problem at its source by promoting democracy.
There is good reason for thinking, however, that a critical source of contemporary radical Islamism lies not in the Middle East, but in Western Europe. In addition to Bouyeri and the London bombers, the March 11 Madrid bombers and ringleaders of the September 11 attacks such as Mohamed Atta were radicalized in Europe. In the Netherlands, where upwards of 6% of the population is Muslim, there is plenty of radicalism despite the fact that Holland is both modern and democratic. And there exists no option for walling the Netherlands off from this problem.
Continued in article
"Paris Is Burning," The Wall Street Journal, November 3, 2005 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113096861635386624.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep
Every night for the past week, the suburbs of Paris have been a showcase of Europe's failure to integrate its immigrants. Most of the rioting youths from the projects in Seine-Saint-Denis were born in France to African and North African parents and speak French. Yet these second-generation immigrants feel little attachment to France, much less a bright future in it, and therein lies the problem.
Home to Europe's largest Muslim community -- nearly a tenth of its 60 million people -- France is the main testing ground of the Continent's ability to bring these recent newcomers into the fold. Germany, the Netherlands, Britain and Spain are in different ways struggling with the same challenge. All these countries have, not coincidentally, experienced or exported Islamic terrorism in the past four years.
. . .
Alas, the obvious, probably easiest, solution is a taboo. Europe's welfare state makes it difficult especially for low-skill, low-wage laborers to find work. In a system that protects the people already in jobs, and keeps unemployment stuck at 10% (nearly triple that for the young), little wonder that the banlieues are burning. The absence of economic opportunities is the real root of the problem for the underclass, be it in Europe or America. No better way exists to make someone feel part of a society than to give them a job in it.
But then again, more than unemployment may be to blame: Rioting
in French suburbs "well organized"
French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy said Thursday that the riots in several Paris suburbs over the previous night were "not spontaneous" but rather "well organized." "What we saw in the department of Seine-Saint-Denis overnight was not spontaneous, it was perfectly organized. We are looking into by whom and how," Sarkozy told French news channel i-tele. The interior minister also said the government would not allow "troublemakers, a bunch of hoodlums, think they can do whatever they want" in the country. A force of 1,000 police were assigned late Thursday to Seine-Saint-Denis, following the previous night of violence which affected about half of the 40 towns in the department, mostly communities of immigrants from Africa, officials said.
"Rioting in French suburbs 'well organized'," Drudge Report, November 3, 2005 --- http://www.drudgereport.com/flash8.htm
French Rioters Shoot at Police, Fire Crews
The violence also cast doubt on the success of France's model of seeking to integrate its large immigrant community _ its Muslim population, at an estimated 5 million, is Western Europe's largest _ by playing down differences between ethnic groups. Rather than feeling embraced as full and equal citizens, immigrants and their French-born children complain of police harassment and of being refused jobs, housing and opportunities. Opposition groups accused the government of letting the situation spiral out of control, either by failing to act quickly enough or letting in too many immigrants over the years. "We see that the situation in certain neighborhoods is not getting better at all but degenerating," Socialist Party President Jean-Marc Ayrault told LCI television, who said Chirac's conservatives "did not know how to take control." Right-wing French lawmaker Philippe de Villiers, who has said he wants to "stop the Islamization of France," told RTL radio that the problem stemmed from the "failure of a policy of massive and uncontrolled immigration."
Jamey Keaton, "French Rioters Shoot at Police, Fire Crews," Breitbart.com, November 3, 2005 --- http://www.breitbart.com/news/2005/11/03/D8DL3TG80.html
Many teens are reporting that they're able to
do some very bad online things
A new survey says that there are more modern ways of getting into trouble these days. Many teens are reporting that they're able to do some very bad online things--in the comfort of their own homes. This includes the ability to IM or E-mail with strangers, download illegal music, and check out other forms of, um, entertainment. This should serve as a wake-up call to parents everywhere that stricter rules--or at least more active oversight--might be useful here. (And sure, some of this might be akin to my watching The Bowery Boys on Sunday mornings when I should have been in church, but as far as I know I wasn't breaking any laws other than my mom's.)
Johanna Ambrosio, InformationWeek Newsletter, November 2, 2005
Invention and the Aging Brain
"Megascope: Live Long and Tinker," by Ed Tenner, "MIT's Technology Review, October 2005 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/05/10/issue/megascope.2.asp?trk=nl
Thus Humboldt--who had earned his fame in the tropics--turned to the bleak North. In his early 50s, Wilhelm Ostwald resigned his chair of physical chemistry at the University of Leipzig to pursue philosophy, color theory, and the promotion of scientific knowledge. He is honored not only for the chemical discoveries that led to his Nobel Prize in 1909 but for his work on an early version of the hypertext concept.
For engineering and invention, the implications of an aging brain trust are quite apparent. There, too, young people are responsible for many basic innovations. But that doesn't mean they will stagnate as they age. Thomas Edison was in his late 60s when he developed the disc phonograph. Shumpei Yamazaki of Japan, the inventor of flash memory, has at 62 just displaced Edison in the Guinness book of records, after pointing out that his 3,245 patents exceeded Edison's 2,332. Othmar Ammann designed New York's Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in his late 70s; the Swiss engineer Christian Menn completed the revolutionary cable-stayed Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge in Boston at 75.
What is the secret of such men and women? Partly, it is that they do not expect the flashes of mathematical insight that may indeed be the prerogative of the plastic youthful brain, but instead forge new syntheses aided by experience.
For some, this drawing on experience can become an ever renewing source of inspiration. Germany's most prolific patenter, Artur Fischer, made a breakthrough as a young man in 1948 with Germany's, and perhaps the world's, first electrical system for triggering a photographic flashgun automatically when the shutter is released. He then applied his research on plastic parts in projection screens to the development of a bestselling nylon wall anchor for the building trades, millions of which are still made daily by the firm he founded. The principle of this plastic-sheathed bolt in turn became a key element in his line of model-building kits, Fischertechnik, which is used by industrial prototypers as well as schoolchildren. At 85 he has developed a system for making biodegradable toys from potato starch.
As Fischer has aged, the markets for his ideas have grown younger. To attract more kids to invention, it might help to show them that talent has no expiration date.
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The Strange Case of the Spoofer Captured by a Spoof
"The Shroud of the Thwacker," Mr. Elliott's debut novel, published in October by Miramax Books, tells the tale of Jack the Jolly Thwacker, a serial killer terrorizing New York in the late 1800's. A spoof of period mysteries like Caleb Carr's "Alienist," the book also nods to the thrillers of Patricia Cornwell and, perhaps inevitably, to "The Da Vinci Code."
Edward Wyatt, "The Strange Case of the Spoofer Captured by a Spoof," The New York Times, November 2, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/01/books/01elli.html
Tyco is in the news again, this time for reneging on a contract
More than five years have passed since Ms. Orlowitz, 51, bought Accurate Forming. During that time, she has spent thousands of hours and millions of dollars trying to bring the company into compliance with environmental rules. She has also tried to persuade Tyco to set things right either by buying back Accurate or by paying for the necessary remediation to ensure that its operations comply with emissions regulations. With the exception of a $270,000 payment that Tyco made last April to cover what it said was enough to put the plant into compliance with federal laws and a check for $27,500 to pay for fines levied by New Jersey, Tyco has declined her pleas. Ms. Orlowitz said she was bewildered by the hardball that Tyco has played with Accurate, especially because the purchase agreement stated specifically that the seller would be responsible for any losses arising out of environmental cleanups, fines or penalties.
Gretchen Morgenson, "Memo to Tyco: I Won't Back Down," The New York Times, October 31, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/30/business/yourmoney/30tyco.html
"Microsoft 'Live," by Antone Gonsalves, InformationWeek Newsletter, November 2, 2005
But to its competitors, 'dead' is the best word to describe Microsoft's cash cows, Office and Windows, which continue to bring in a large portion of the company's revenues. While bringing home the big bucks, these products also prevent the company from moving quickly to the Web. For Microsoft, the problem is in offering software as a service without cannibalizing its packaged products.
In the Web services market, Microsoft is a laggard. On the consumer side, Yahoo and Google are making billions offering services that aren't tied to the Windows platform. On the business applications front, companies like Salesforce.com and NetSuite have grabbed a lot of the attention.
Studies show that consumers and businesses are looking for an easier way to make technology work for them. The thrill of spending hours in front of a computer is long gone. People want to turn it on and get the job done without knowing anything about the underlying technology. The computer should be a tool not an engineering class.
That's a lesson Microsoft is still learning. While Microsoft has arguably made some progress in simplifying its products, much of it is still too complicated. The attraction of one day being able to go to the Internet to get the job done is in its simplicity. Work is tough enough without messing with technology.
Continued in article
Incentives and penalties for student athlete academic performance
"Cash for Athletes’ Classroom Success," by Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed, October 28, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/10/28/ncaa
The National Collegiate Athletic Association plans to provide up to $7 million a year to member colleges whose athletes perform well in the classroom and another $3 million annually to help institutions improve the academic success of their athletes, association officials said Thursday.
The effort focuses most of its attention on two sets of penalties, some that focus on short-term performance and some on historical outcomes, that punish teams and colleges if their athletes consistently fail to make progress toward a degree; the first set of “contemporaneous” penalties, which will be based on colleges’ performance on a new “academic progress rate” to measure how well individual teams and colleges are doing at keeping athletes on track to graduate, could be put in place as early as February
Continued in article
Bob Jensen's threads on scandals in academic standards for athletes are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm
Auditors are trying to keep things honest for United Way
"Measuring Non-Profit Performance -- Self-Review & Charity Monitors," AccountingWeb, October 21, 2005 --- http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=101402
Member charities of the United Way of the Coastal Empire (Georgia) are receiving visits from volunteer internal inspectors during their fall campaigns, savannahnow.com reports. Denise Oberlin, an inspector, accompanied Patti Lyons on a food delivery for Senior Citizen’s Inc. and was told that three out of four of the people served by the Agency were below the poverty level. Lyons also told Ms. Oberlin that there were additional needy seniors in the area that the Agency couldn’t serve because they didn’t have enough money.
PPC's Tax Deskbooks™, renowned for the unique Key Issues Approach to step-by-step return preparation, and PPC's Business Tax Planning Library™, which provides tax return roadmaps and practice aids to quickly identify potential tax planning opportunities from completed tax returns, are both now easily accessed on Checkpoint.
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Two recent surveys of perceptions of nonprofits,
conducted before Hurricane Katrina, suggest some skepticism among donors and
the public at large about large national charitable organizations. One
survey, The Charitable Impulse, conducted by Public Agenda, a nonpartisan
research organization, surveyed two distinct groups. of Americans They
conducted six focus groups of “civically engaged” donors who had given at
least $300 to charities and had volunteered at least once in the past year,
and separately interviewed 15 charity leaders around the country. Donors in
the focus groups were generally “enthusiastic and positive”, especially when
it came to smaller local charities, according to the Public Agenda report,
but had “a long memory for scandal and waste.” Focus group participants
expressed concern about marketing costs and big business approaches to
sales. Givers had a “long memory for scandal and waste” and took past
misdeeds “quite personally, and the breach is nearly impossible to repair,”
the report says.
"Public Sets High Standards for Nonprofits," AccountingWeb, October 27, 2005 ---
Interest in international charitable giving has
increased to the point that it has become a significant tax planning issue
for many financial advisors, estate planners and accountants. The challenges
of international giving is explored in great details by attorney Richard L.
Fox in his article Planning for Contributions to Foreign Charities by
Individuals and Foundations published in the July issue of Estate Planning.
"Making Contributions to Foreign Charities," AccountingWeb, October 28, 2005 ---
"Baggage Claim: The myth of 'suitcase nukes"," by Richard Miniter, Opinion Journal, October 31, 2005 --- http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110007478
Study of whether children with ADHD suffer from sleep problems
"Children with ADHD may need sleep, Israeli study finds," by David Brinn, Israel21C, October 23, 2005 --- http://snipurl.com/Israel21cOct23
ADHD is considered an issue of over alertness and nervousness, with affected children being fidgety and over stimulated. Yet, the use of stimulant medications (such as Ritalin) has been shown to be the most effective method for reducing ADHD symptoms in the majority of children.
This seeming paradox led masters student Natalie Golan under the supervision of Dr. Giora Pillar, head of the center's Pediatric Sleep Lab, to question whether some children diagnosed with ADHD may in fact be sleepy, and their excessive motor activity merely a tool to stay alert. This could explain why stimulants - which induce alertness by increasing activity in the central nervous system - are effective for treating children with ADHD.
"We wanted to examine whether children with ADHD suffer from sleep problems more than children without ADHD, and if those children with ADHD were sleepier during the day than their non-ADHD counterparts," Golan told ISRAEL21c. "From previous studies, it's been shown that children who are sleep-deprived tend to have less concentration, more irritable and nervous - symptoms which are similar to ADHD."
The Technion's sleep center - located at Rambam Hospital in Haifa - is a world renowned network of sleep laboratories, staffed by experts in the field of sleep medicine. Patients at the center are diagnosed and treated for a wide variety of sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea, insomnia, narcolepsy, and restless legs syndrome.
It was there that Golan and Pillar conducted the study of 66 children. The results of the study were published in the medical journal SLEEP. For the study, Golan chose 34 children who had already been diagnosed with ADHD, with the rest of the children serving as a control group. The average age of the children was 12.
All of the subjects spent the night at the center undergoing sleep observation a quiet, dark room in the sleep lab. Electrodes monitored brain waves and movement of the eyes and limbs, as they were also checked for oxygen and carbon dioxide levels.
Half of the test subjects with ADHD (vs. 22% of the control group) were found to suffer from some degree of sleep-disordered breathing (such as sleep apnea, which is characterized by interruptions in breathing during sleep that last 10 seconds or more, at least five times per hour). And 15% (vs. none in the control group) had Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD), a relatively uncommon disorder among children.
Golan pointed out that in the general population, only about 3% of children suffer from sleep disorders, and hardly any from PLMD.
In addition, Golan conducted a test on the children the morning after which determines their level of sleepiness - a Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT).
Continued in article
Apple Patches Five Holes
The new version, Mac OS X 10.4.3, fixes at least five problems, including one in Mac's Software Update feature, as well as its Keychain program, which stores passwords. None of the vulnerabilities appear to be serious, but if you are running Mac OS X 10.4.2, you should update. (Don't know which version you're running? Click on the Apple icon in the upper left corner of your screen, then on "About this Mac.")
Brian Krebs, "Apple Patches Five Holes," The Washington Post, November 1, 2005 --- http://blogs.washingtonpost.com/securityfix/2005/11/apple_patches_f.html?referrer=email
Mac users can download the fixes via Software Update ---
They can also do it mannually from Apple Downloads --- http://www.apple.com/support/downloads/
Who are these perpetrators of Nigerian frauds?
A good cyber-scammer can make up to $7,000 a month - 22 times the average Nigerian wage - from milking gullible Westerners. His controlling boss, with an army of trained scammers under his wing in both America and Europe, will be raking in many times more. Though the fraud is apparent to many, some people think they have stumbled on a once-in-a-lifetime deal, and scammers can string them along for months with mythical difficulties. Some victims eventually contribute huge sums of money to save the deal when it is suddenly "at risk". Samuel is 19, handsome, bright, well-dressed and ambitious. He has a special flair for computers and until he quit the game last year was one of Festac's best-known cyber-scam champions.
Robyn Dixon, "Run-down town where scammers target the West," Scottsman, October 30, 2005 --- http://news.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=2168172005
540 or more examples of Nigerian fraud email messages that plague us daily --- http://www.potifos.com/fraud/
Bob Jensen's threads on these and similar fruads are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm
From The Washington Post on November 1, 2005
What kind of personal identification will
require radio identification chips by October 2006 according to requirements
A. Birth Certificates
B. Drivers' Licenses
D. Social Security Cards
You can read more about RFID tags at
And I have to tell you that over the past three
years, that gorilla has wailed on me every now and then in the form of
letters to the editor protesting—often ridiculing—the vigorous coverage of
RFID and related technologies that InformationWeek has pursued. Some of you
have felt those articles about RFID deployments and initiatives and products
and research and mandates have all been a lot of nonsense because the chips
are too expensive or there won't be any common standards or the readers
won't work if they're placed behind lead walls or they're fragile or they'll
spit out too much data or the wrong types of data or no data or sensitive
data. RFID will never catch on because it violates the privacy of those who
work with it, those who think about it, and every person who ever walks into
a retail store. Some believe these RFID secrets will be fed into a massive
GPS network designed by Enron and powered by the Ministry of Information
that will bend, fold, spindle, and mutilate our privacy by broadcasting on
C-SPAN what type of light bulbs we buy and how much sweetener we put in our
coffee and whether we buy ultrastrength toilet paper.
Bob Evans, "Business-Technology: RFID Is Already Proving Its Value," InformationWeek Between the Lines, November 1, 2005
The idle poor on their new land
"Zimbabwe admits 'errors' on land," BBC News, November 1,
The authorities have previously blamed hunger on poor rains, while critics have pointed to the seizure of most of the country's white-owned land.
Up to three million people will need food aid this year, the UN says.
At the same time, the UN has criticised Zimbabwe for refusing aid for people made homeless by housing demolitions.
Deputy Agriculture Minister Sylvester Nguni was quoted in the state-owned Herald newspaper as saying that while a few of those given land were committed to agricultural production, many others were doing "nothing" on the farms.
Continued in article
Although Martha Stewart is personally wealthy, all is not well in her
Living Omnimedia Inc.
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc.'s net loss widened in the third quarter, despite strong advertising revenue gains, due to a charge tied to Ms. Stewart's prime-time reality television show. The sharply wider loss sent the company's shares tumbling 15%, or $3.23, to $17.97 in 4 p.m. New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The stock is down 52% from its 52-week high of $37.45 in February, hit shortly before the company's founder was released from prison. The stock had soared as investors anticipated her release would spark a revival in the company's business.
Brooks Barnes, "Loss Widens at Martha Stewart As Charge Weighs on Results," The Wall Street Journal, October 28, 2005; Page B5 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113042582191481322.html?mod=todays_us_marketplace
Gays more likely to buy hybrids
Apparently, a Prius. Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) drivers are more likely than heterosexuals to buy a hybrid vehicle, according to a survey conducted by Harris Interactive. Also, gay males are more likely than heterosexuals to have satellite radios in their cars. And the GLBT crowd prefers luxury cars to economy cars, meaning the Lexus RX Hybrid is a likely buy.
"What Would Liberace Drive?" Wired Blog, October 31, 2005 --- http://blog.wired.com/cars/
Do It Yourself: Drugstore Cancer Tests
One of the most promising of these new detectors is being built by Charles Lieber, a chemist at Harvard University. In an article this month in Nature Biotechnology, he announced a highly-sensitive detector that can simultaneously find multiple cancer markers. According to Lieber, the device, which uses nanowires to detect telltale cancer proteins, could lead to inexpensive and highly-accurate tests -- people could even buy them in a local drugstore and perform the testing themselves. "We can take a very small amount of blood and with a very simple filtration step get an answer within five minutes," Lieber says, adding that the device has "a sensitivity a thousand times better" than in a lab.
Kevin Bullis, "Drugstore Cancer Tests," MIT's Technology Review, October 31, 2005 --- http://technologyreview.com/articles/05/10/wo/wo_103105bullis.asp
Germans report rising optimism on the economy
Despite high energy prices, German consumers are feeling more confident about growth in the economy and their incomes, and they may be slightly more inclined to make large purchases, according to the GfK market-research institute. The GfK said its forward-looking consumer-confidence index is set to rise to 3.4 in November from 3.1 in October. But the index is still well down from earlier this year. The consumer survey follows a sharp rise in the Ifo economics institute's index of business confidence earlier this week, which reached a five-year high in October, and the Bundesbank's statement that the economy grew relatively strongly in the third quarter.
Marcus Walker, "Germans report rising optimism on the economy," The Wall Street Journal, October 28, 2005; Page A11 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113044886243181695.html?mod=todays_us_page_one
Some Muslims report rising pessimism, especially Nibras Kazimi
"Sounding the Alarm," by Nibras Kazimi, The New York Sun, November 1, 2005 --- http://www.nysun.com/article/22365
ALERT: The pent-up frustrations of Sunni Islam - slowly simmering for three centuries - are about to burst. Brace yourselves for a decade of mayhem, bloodshed and the near-defeat of all that is civil and civilized. You think Iraq is bad, well, that is just the appetizer for the main entree: the all-out bid to resurrect the Islamic Empire. This is going to be bad, really bad. It may even involve nuclear warfare. Europe and Israel are going to get it almost as bad as the Shias.
History will record that democracy could have been the antidote to this ideological poison, but the dosage administered by the Bush administration was too little, too late. The jihadists will initially carry plenty of Muslim nihilists to their side as they score blitzkrieg raids and form mercurial Sunni triangles, trapezoids, and hexagons that eventually morph into an expansive state with a caliph as its ruler. To defeat this menace, America and much of the world that relies on the region's energy resources will sacrifice a generation of fighting men and pacific civilians. Did I mention that this will be really, really bad?
From The Scout Report on October 28, 2005
Independent Lens: Interactive --- http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/interactive.html
Over the past few years, Independent Lens has produced a number of well- received documentaries that have aired on PBS and other places. They have also created some very nice websites in an attempt to enhance the viewing experience of their programs. The Independent Lens: Interactive site offers some additional web-original projects for the interested public. Some of these features include Beyond the Fire, which introduces visitors to the stories of fifteen teenagers living in the US, who have survived war in seven different regions. One very compelling highlight of the site is the Off the Map feature. Here visitors can learn about the visionary art produced by a selection of persons working in various media, such as bottle caps, matchsticks, and chewing gum. For those looking for something with a unique perspective on the world and its inhabitants, this website will definitely bring a smile to their eyes.
The Revealer http://www.therevealer.org/
For those interested in insightful and critical analysis of issues regarding religion and its portrayal in the media, it can be difficult to sift and winnow through the myriad of material offered on the web. Jointly sponsored by the New York University Department of Journalism and New York University’s Center for Religion and Media, The Revealer is a well-thought out review of just such matters, and one that will be of great interest to persons with a penchant for the subject. The review is divided into three playful headings: Today, Timely, and Timeless. As might be expected, the Today section culls media coverage from that particular day. The Timely section offers links to media coverage of particularly germane issues and events, while the Timeless area offers some exclusive commentaries on photography and the occult and the relationship between science and religion. Finally, visitors can zero in on the religion of their choice by looking through the material as organized by faith, such as Hinduism, Paganism, and Christianity.
Harper College pulls the plug on photographs of nude Muslim women
An art exhibit that included photographs of nude Muslim women wearing only a head covering was taken down Thursday afternoon just hours after opening for public viewing at Harper College in Palatine. Muslim students at the college protested to officials about the pieces on display in Building C. Several students say the pieces — some showing young Muslim men with machine guns — were downright offensive. “I think they should rip this down,” student Matt George said. Another student, Hussein Ali, says a number of Muslim students at Harper now are thinking about leaving. “The Muslim students are thinking about...
Michael Puente, "Harper pulls photo exhibit upon Muslim protest," Chicago's Daily Herald, October 28, 2005 --- http://www.dailyherald.com/search/searchstory.asp?id=111643
Sex.com thief arrested Stephen Cohen nabbed after five years on the
The con-man who stole the most valuable domain name in the world, Sex.com, has been arrested by Mexican police and handed over to US agents after nearly six years on the run. Stephen Michael Cohen was arrested on an immigration violation by Mexican authorities and turned over to the US border patrol yesterday, the LA Times has reported. Cohen is being held without bail at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in San Diego, according to deputy marshal Tania Tyler of the US immigration service.
Kieren McCarthy, "Sex.com thief arrested Stephen Cohen nabbed after five years on the run," The Register, October 28, 2005 --- http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/10/28/sexdotcom_cohen_arrested/
Korea may not do Windows
Korean lovers of Microsoft's operating systems may soon have to without the software, according to the code giant. Microsoft has confessed that Windows might be pulled from the Korean market due to ongoing actions by the Korean Fair Trade Commission (KFTC). In one of the many global looks at Microsoft's competitive practices, the KFTC has been investigating Microsoft's practice of building media and instant messaging software into its operating systems. The government body has conducted a number of hearings into the matter and could require Microsoft to offer a version of Windows without media or messaging software. Such a move would force Microsoft to take drastic action, the company said in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
Ashley Vance, "Microsoft warns that Korea may have to do without Windows," The Register, October 28, 2005 --- http://www.channelregister.co.uk/2005/10/28/ms_korea_pull/
From The Washington Post on October 31, 2005
EBay and Amazon were named the top two
e-commerce websites during the month of September, according to a survey by
Nielsen//NetRatings examining the number of unique customers. What site was
ranked third on the top-five list?
A. DirectGroup Bertelsmann
Why Travelers Benefit When an Airline Hub Closes
What happens when a city loses its airline hub? After US Airways pulled hundreds of daily flights out of Pittsburgh, five discounters came rushing in, fares plunged and local travel increased sharply.
Scott McCartney, "Why Travelers Benefit When an Airline Hub Closes: As Gates Free Up, Discounters Move In and Fares Drop; Lessons From Pittsburgh," The Wall Street Journal, November 1, 2005; Page D1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113079774088984559.html?mod=todays_us_personal_journal
Electronic Books and Journals
Project Gutenberg --- http://www.promo.net/pg/
The University of Virginia's E-Book Library --- http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/ebooks/subjects/subjects.html
Carnegie Mellon University's Universal Library --- http://www.ulib.org/html/
DH Lawrence --- http://etext.library.adelaide.edu.au/l/lawrence/dh/
This is a stickdown! Glued to toilet, man sues Home Depot
Home Depot was sued by a shopper from a Kentucky store who claims he got stuck to a restroom toilet seat because a prankster had smeared it with glue. Bob Dougherty, 57, accused employees of ignoring his cries for help for about 15 minutes because they thought he was kidding. "They left me there, going through all that stress," Dougherty told The Daily Camera, of Boulder. "They just let me rot."
"Glued to toilet, man sues Home Depot," CNN, October 3, 2005 --- http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/11/03/toilet.suit.ap/index.html
Forwarded by Dick Haar
A little guy is sitting at the bar just staring at his drink for half an hour when this big trouble-making truck driver steps next to him, grabs his drink and gulps it down in one swig. The poor little guy starts crying.
"Come on man, I was just giving you a hard time," says the truck driver. "I'll buy you another drink. I just can't stand to see a man crying."
“This is the worst day of my life," says the little guy between sobs. "I can't do anything right. I overslept and was late to an important meeting, so my boss fired me. When I went to the parking lot, I found my car was stolen and I have no insurance. I grabbed a cab home but, after the cab left, I discovered my wallet was still in the cab. At home I found my wife in bed with the gardener. So I came to this bar trying to work up the courage to put an end to my life. And then you show up and drink the poison".
ENJOY EVERY MINUTE OF IT (forwarded by Mark Shapiro)
-James D. “Jim” Young (at a meeting of emeriti faculty), October 1, 2005 --- http://www.fullerton.edu/emeriti/news.htm
Be glad you are old and contentious
Be glad you can rant and rave
It’s the last chance to be obnoxious
Before you go to your grave
While people are trying to please you
And tend to your every need
Enjoy whatever they will do
Including getting you peed.
You say you are old and unwanted?
Have nothing to give to the world?
Hey! Face up to life. Be undaunted.
Live it up! Let the future unfurl
You’re entitled to your share of pleasure
Spend all of the money you can
Make up for the lost hours of leisure
Become a great jitterbug fan.
Don’t make it an important issue
When things go wrong in your brain
When your legs start to buckle beneath you
And you have to lean on your cane
Getting old is just part of the living
To live a long time isn’t bad
Accept what anyone’s giving
While you’re here they’ll always be glad
If it were not for you, these people would not have jobs