The chocolate ration is being increased to 25 grammes per week.

Monthly Archives: February 2007

Woman Faces 40 Years for Porn-Infected PC (Crazy, but True)

Those following the popup porn conviction of a grade school teacher should get a kick out of this.

What I don’t really understand (and I don’t believe she is responsible or that she should spend any time in jail, much less 40 years): couldn’t she turn off the monitor? Failing that, even though she had been told not to turn off the computer, couldn’t she turn off the computer? Crikey, the non-technical folks I’ve told to “never turn off a computer, shut it down instead” always ignore that advice. Always. I would think in an emergency like this would warrant ignoring all previous advice about turning off the damn thing.

This appears to have been a perfect storm of stupidity from the get go, from teacher to jury to judge.


Pennywise pound foolish?

Maybe this is part of the healthcare problem? Because $80 of healthcare was not available, a boy is dead and various medical providers will eat $250,000 (or more) of costs.

In the debate about universal healthcare, I really don’t understand one thing: when I was on a PPO, the amount of time I spent hassling with my insurance company was amazing. I was constantly getting bills from people I’d never heard of (after some routine visit or procedure), and it always took me lots of my time to figure it out and pay the right amount. All this work is definitely not efficiently delivering healthcare. If there were universal healthcare, even if the agency that ran it was much less efficient than the current system, it would have to win hands down on efficiency. That is, a very simple system that is inefficient has to be cheaper than a grossly complex system that is inefficient. Why do critics of universal healthcare point to how badly the government would manage such a system when what we have now is a complete and utter joke, in terms of efficiency?

My Prisoner, My Brother

The story of what went on inside Abu Ghraib must never be forgotten. Aside from the innocent people that were detained and tortured, America lost part of their soul at that prison, and most people in this country don’t even realize it.

Skype, eBay and the NSA… oh my!

7 years ago I would have read this slashdot comment and thought the author needed a little prozac to go along with his tin foil hat. Today? It seems entirely more plausible than not. That is a sad indictment of how far we have fallen in the last 7 years.

The context of this comment was in a discussion as to why Skype reads the BIOS and motherboard serial number on Windows PCs.

Here’s the comment, by user sideswipe76:

I am gonna repeat my grand conspiracy theory: It is my belief that eBay’s purchase of Skype was somehow coaxed by the NSA/CIA and here is why: Ebay’s purchase of Skype never made sense. Ebay could have included skypeout:// links in their auctions without spending a penny. That would be like saying slashdot can’t use IM unless they buy AOL. Skype spent way above considered market value for Skype and their share holders have applied no real pressure to have it turn a profit. This makes the transaction suspicious. The reason of course if because prior to the eBay’s purchase Skype was owned in Luxembourg and definitely not an ideal partner for eavesdropping on “terra’rists” (given those crazy European privacy laws). Given that the calls are encrypted, and that Skype does maintain the keys to decrypt those session, getting Skype under US subpeona power is a powerful tool for eavesdropping. Infact, because it is VoIP for most if not all of the calls, it can easily route traffic into the US were it can be picked up, decoded and monitored. Or, since it is known that open IP’s become super nodes, Skype can naturally be coaxed into steering packets toward a super-node that can easily be monitored. I use to work for the company that wrote Carnivore. People got worked up over that? It was only the prototype.

Free Press?

Murdoch confessess to being propaganda machine for Bush. That sort of gives an interesting slant on the FoxNews slogan We Report, You Decide, doesn’t it?

Habeas Corpus, RIP

Adel Hamad has never been accused of a belligerent act against the United States. Despite not being captured on a battlefield (Mr. Hamad was arrested in the middle of the night from his bed) the U.S. nevertheless categorized him as an enemy combatant.

Read the 3 allegations and watch the video made by his assigned lawyers. Absolutely stomach turning, it is.