Friday, December 11, 2009

NOAA / NWS Space Weather Prediction Center

NOAA / NWS Space Weather Prediction Center

Latest SOHO EIT 195 Image
Latest SOHO EIT 195 image, link to large image

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You Have Zero Privacy Anyway -- Get Over It

This is an excerpt from the article... (My comments follow.)

You Have Zero Privacy Anyway -- Get Over It

posted by David Adams on Fri 11th Dec 2009 01:25 UTC
[Google CEO Eric ] Schmidt said: "I think judgment matters. If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place. If you really need that kind of privacy, the reality is that search engines -- including Google -- do retain this information for some time and it's important, for example, that we are all subject in the United States to the Patriot Act and it is possible that all that information could be made available to the authorities."

I think the portion of that statement that's sparked the most outrage is the "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place" part. That's a colossally boneheaded thing to say, and I'll bet Schmidt lives to regret being so glib, if he didn't regret it within minutes of it leaving his mouth. As many people have pointed out, there are a lot of things you could be doing or thinking about that you don't want other people to be watching or to know about, and that are not the least bit inappropriate for you to be doing, such as using the toilet, trying to figure out how to cure your hemorrhoids, or singing Miley Cyrus songs in the shower.

Schmidt's quote deserves a variation on the Fortune Cookie treatment - adding "on line" to the end of the "colossally boneheaded thing to say".  Schmidt is absolutely right to suggest that "...maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place" + "on line".  Conversely David Adams' argument that "there are lots of things you could be doing" might well be treated in a similar fashion...

  • "...using the toilet" + "on line" ???  (I say that if this is your personal practice then your judgement is questionable to begin with.)
  • " to cure your hemorrohoids" + "on line" ???  (Shouldn't you be discussing this with your doctor - a conversation that is protected by Doctor-Patient confidentiality?)
  • "..singing Miley Cyrus songs in the shower" + "on line" ???  (See my first point.)
Obviously, if you do something on line someone, somewhere will be able to sniff it out.  So, "You have zero privacy anyway" -- Get over it!

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Oh come on, say it ain't so...

Blackwater tied to clandestine CIA raids

from Wash Post Politics by R. Jeffrey Smith and Joby Warrick

Highly trained personnel employed with the private security firm formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide sometimes operated side by side with CIA field officers in Iraq and Afghanistan as the agency undertook missions to kill or capture members of insurgent groups in those countries, according to ...

Who would you expect?  The Salvation Army and the Village People?  Now let me see, how do you spell "naive"?

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Average person consumes 34GB of data daily

Average person consumes 34GB of data daily
The average person is exposed to some 34GB of electronic data every day,
according to a recent study. Researchers at the University of California
San Diego said that a recent survey of Americans showed that the
consumers in the US on average look at some 3.4 zettabytes (3,400
trillion gigabytes) of digital information each year.

The study added digital information consumed through television,
computer, radio and recorded audio that each person observes. The
intake, however, may not be as evenly spread out as the 34GB per person
figure would suggest. While researchers note that users are spending
more time absorbing electronic information, much of the massive data
load was attributed to richer, more dense digital data sources.

The overwhelming majority of the data load came from intake of data from
computer games, movies and television. Gaming in particular accounted
for 54% of all data intake, with high-end PC gaming alone accounting for
38.56% of the total.

Researchers suggested that the recent leaps in graphics and processing
power in high performance gaming is causing a smaller percentage of the
population to consume a massive amount of digital information in the
form of richer, more detailed 3D imagery.

December 11, 2009

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Human Rights Day 2009

Human rights Day 2009embrace diversity, end discrimination




Human Rights Day 2009 on 10 December will focus on ending discrimination, which will also be a thematic focus of the UN human rights office throughout 2010.

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Life On-line

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Wednesday, December 09, 2009


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Not selling it, just like it....

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The Difference Between...

The difference between the right word and almost the right word is really a large matter—
it’s the difference between the lightning and the lightning bug.
–Mark Twain

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The Ten Dollar Challenge

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a poor judge of anatomy

Whoever called it necking was a poor judge of anatomy

     -Groucho Marx

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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Point and match

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Chet Baker was RIPPED OFF!!!

By Michael Geist
Internet Law Columnist

Chet Baker was a leading jazz musician in the 1950s, playing trumpet and providing vocals. Baker died in 1988, yet he is about to add a new claim to fame as the lead plaintiff in possibly the largest copyright infringement case in Canadian history. His estate, which still owns the copyright in more than 50 of his works, is part of a massive class-action lawsuit that has been underway for the past year.

The infringer has effectively already admitted owing at least $50 million and the full claim could exceed $60 billion. If the dollars don't shock, the target of the lawsuit undoubtedly will: The defendants in the case are Warner Music Canada, Sony BMG Music Canada, EMI Music Canada, and Universal Music Canada, the four primary members of the Canadian Recording Industry Association.

The CRIA members were hit with the lawsuit in October 2008 after artists decided to turn to the courts following decades of frustration with the rampant infringement (I am adviser to the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic, which is co-counsel, but have had no involvement in the case).

The claims arise from a longstanding practice of the recording industry in Canada, described in the lawsuit as "exploit now, pay later if at all." It involves the use of works that are often included in compilation CDs (ie. the top dance tracks of 2009) or live recordings. The record labels create, press, distribute and sell the CDs, but do not obtain the necessary copyright licences.

Read more at Geist: Record industry faces liability over `infringement'

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The Five Spirits of Budo

Shoshin: (初心) Beginners Mind

Zanshin: (残心) Lingering Mind

Mushin: (無心) No Mind

Fudoshin: (不動心) Immovable Mind

Senshin: (先心) Purified spirit; enlightened attitude

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Monday, December 07, 2009

His mother will be so proud...

Google Reader (35)

British Singer Jay Sean Makes U.S. Music History

British singer Jay Sean is topping the U.S. charts with his dong "Down." He is the first Anglo-Asian singer to have a No. 1 single in the U.S. Sean is a Punjabi-Sikh who gave up studying medicine to become a singer. Sean is from Britain and his ancestors are from India. Sometimes you hear that Indian influence in his songs.

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“Maybe Journalism” or Why News Organizations Are Tanking

Newspapers, too, play the fly-on-the-wall game. Consider what the Times itself did today.

The “Maybe Journalism” piece runs at the bottom of the front page, while at the top is a long story about how President Obama, after long consultations with advisors, reached his decision to escalate the war in Afghanistan. The story is based, says the reporter, on “dozens of interviews with participants as well as a review of notes some of them took during Mr. Obama’s 10 meetings with his national security team. Most of those interviewed spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, but their accounts have been matched against those of other participants wherever possible.”

We readers are still being asked to trust the word of people who violated the confidentiality of the White House Situation Room and other internal deliberations. I tend to believe the overall thrust of the story — that Obama and his team struggled mightily with this decision — but I don’t have any faith in most of the particulars, including the anonymously sourced direct quotes of the president and others in the deliberations.

Why is this not, in the words of the story about the Hong Kong animators, “depicting events that no journalist actually witnessed — and that may not have even occurred”?


Tabloid Journalism’s Future? Or Just an Extension of the Present?

Posted by Dan Gillmor in Accuracy, Trust

I know the difference between accurate reporting and "Maybe Journalism".  I have written many an official report that I knew would potentially be called as evidence in a legal proceeding.  I know that such reports are incredibly dull - primarily because they only contain the facts as I know them.  They do not contain any presumptions.  (e.g. I observed that the Furrier's store window was broken.  I observed that the subject was holding a fur coat.  I observed that the bank display showed +86 degrees F.)  My accounting of this, albeit fictional, circumstance will not sell any "News" - it is dull.  It does however tell the truth of the situation.

Journalism has become more about selling the "News" than reporting it.

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Sunday, December 06, 2009

Sluuuuuuug bug

Slug bug with suicide doors...


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Visualizing empires decline

Visualizing empires decline

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