One Aging Geek

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Democracy Now! | Headlines for December 16, 2004 -- Police Investigate Anti-American Statements of 11-Year-Old

Democracy Now! | Headlines for December 16, 2004

Police Investigate Anti-American Statements of 11-Year-Old
And in news from Virginia, the Washington Post reports two police officers recently visited the home of an 11-year-old and questioned his parents for three hours about anti-American comments their son made in school The student had refused to participate in a Veterans Day exercise and criticized the Marines. The school claimed he had said, "I wish all Americans were dead and that American soldiers should die." The Police questioned his parents about their views on Sept. 11, the military and if they knew any foreigners who criticized US policy. They also inquired whether the parents might be teaching "anti-American values" at home. The mother, Pamela Allbaugh, told the Washington Post "It was intimidating. I told them it's like a George Orwell novel, that it felt like they were the thought police." She went on to say "If someone would have asked me five years ago if this was something my government would do, I would have said never."


"While I may not agree with what you say, I will defend to the death your right to say it". I guess that's becoming quaint these days.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

The Blog T-Shirt

Blog ShirtThe small print on the t-shirt begins: "She wanted to stop reading it -- but she had nothing better to do! Produced by average people who seem to think their lives are interesting."

Mugs and mouse pads available, too.

I'll pass..

[Dan Gillmor on Grassroots Journalism]

Friday, January 14, 2005

Former CIA director Tenet: "Access to networks like the World Wide Web might need to be limited"

Former CIA director Tenet: "Access to networks like the World Wide Web might need to be limited"

Former CIA Director George Tenet sounded off on the internet. Read the article, especially this excerpt:
The way the Internet was built might be part of the problem, he said. Its open architecture allows Web surfing, but that openness makes the system vulnerable, Mr. Tenet said.
Access to networks like the World Wide Web might need to be limited to those who can show they take security seriously, he said.
Mr. Tenet called for industry to lead the way by 'establishing and enforcing' security standards. Products need to be delivered to government and private-sector customers 'with a new level of security and risk management already built in.'

Well, the last paragraph is a nobrainer, sure, everything should be 'secure by default'. Although, I have the feeling by 'risk-management' he means, 'Big Brother'-ish Digital Rights Management hardware. Those first two statements - I couldn't disagree more. First, openness and transparency is the last thing this country has going for it. Second, the Internet has just started, and the WWW is nothing compared to what we'll be doing in 20 years. Stifling innovation with government intervention at this point in the development of technology would be a huge mistake.

Somehow I missed this. I only caught it because it was mentioned on an early December program from Democracy Now.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Just read: Singularity Sky

One of my birthday gifts was a gift certificate to a Big Book Store. I used part of it to buy Singularity Sky by Charles Stross (see also this Wikepedia article).

This was a top notch read, highly recommended. It's a post Singularity story. The background includes an "ascended" AI called the Eschaton. The Eschaton doesn't much give a rip about humanity even though one of its first acts was to remove 90% of the population of Earth and distribute them across the galaxy.

There are a couple of cute little jokes in the book (like a passing reference to the only remaining government on Earth, the UN, having been taken control of by the IETF).

The book is also chock full of hard science.

After reading this I really need to go find the Robert L. Forward novel that includes an appendix on "light cones".

Update: just putting the paragraph breaks back in... not sure where they got dropped. Possibly between the brain and keyboard.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Curry cures Alzheimer's?

Mark Frauenfelder: The pigment that makes curry yellow, curcumin, does a better job at treating Alzheimer's than the majority of drugs being tested. (Interestingly, India has one of the lowest Alzheimer rates in the world.)
The new UCLA-Veterans Affairs study involving genetically altered mice suggests that curcumin, the yellow pigment in curry spice, inhibits the accumulation of destructive beta amyloids in the brains of Alzheimer's patients and also breaks up existing plaques.
Link [Boing Boing]

This is of great interest to aging geeks and non-geeks.

Sidenote: back to using w.bloggar since it's now clear it had nothing to do with the duplicate posts that were reported.