Category

Archive for the 'News' Category

Student Punished for Doing the Right Thing

Over on the Huffington Post there’s an article about a young woman who is getting punished for doing the right thing. I really have to wonder what school officials think they are doing by punishing this young woman for doing what is pretty clearly the right thing to do. What does the school expect students [...]

For the Common Good

Nicholas Kristof writes about Scott Androes, a college friend of his that had taken a gamble and is paying the price. You can read the two columns about Scott here and here. The story of Scott Androes hits home for me. In many ways it would have been Gee’s story had she and I not [...]

Mega Millions History

( Events andMy Life andNews andThoughts )

Today’s Mega Millions jackpot is at a record-breaking $640,000,000 as I write this. I have to wonder how many of my readers bought a ticket for tonight’s drawing, and if they did, what would they do if they won? I bought a couple tickets, but not because I want the money for myself, but because [...]

The Million Hoodie March

( Events andNews )

It is a sad thing that the Million Hoodie March is necessary. The march is a protest to raise awareness of the shooting of Trayvon Martin, a 17-year old black latino youth. He was killed by an older white man, George Zimmerman, who was captain of the local neighborhood watch. The basic facts of the [...]

The Real Cause of E. Coli outbreaks

( News andThoughts )

Again, E. Coli is in the news. There was an article in the New York Times about the most recent E. Coli outbreak, which has been traced back to ground beef from Fairbank Farms. When I was growing up, there weren’t E. Coli outbreaks of the lethal nature found today. Certainly, the food-processing procedures and [...]

New Sailing Forum Online

( News andSailing )

There’s a brand new sailing forum online now called Anything Sailing. It was founded by three sailors that were tired of seeing threads about faulty products censored.  One of the sailors is a good friend of mine and sails a custom 42′ racing sailboat with a 10′ draft.  The other two I know from other [...]

The Next Generation Automobile

( Essays andNews andTech )

The average passenger car requires about 25 horsepower for 90% of its operation.  The only time more horsepower is really needed is when the vehicle is accelerating. Unfortunately, current automotive technology has to design the engine for the 10% requirement of relatively high-horsepower, rather than the 90%—leaving the engine running fairly inefficiently 90% of the [...]

Should We Bail Out Detroit

George W. Bush’s plan to tap the TARP fund to bail out the big Three is short-sighted and irresponsible. It doesn’t matter where the money goes, it is throwing good money after bad. Letting the auto industry sink or swim on its own is the only way to get the UAW and the management of the big three automakers to accept a changed reality of the auto industry. Honda, Toyota, et al, all have factories in the USA now. Building cars that are fuel efficient is something that should have been done decades ago….

Inconceivable

( News andStupidity )

Tonight, on the news, I saw this story. Having been a caretaker for someone with terminal cancer, it is inconceivable that anyone would deliberately withhold cancer chemotherapy drugs from someone diagnosed with an 85–90% chance of survival. However, Kristen Anne LaBrie, a 36-year-old Beverly mother did just that—deliberately withholding cancer chemotherapy drugs from her autistic [...]

Drunk Driving and Personal Breathalyzers

( News andSecurity andStupidity andTech )

Recently, some companies have come out with personal breathalyzers. People are supposed to buy these small, portable, battery-powered devices so they can find out whether they’ve had too much to drink or not. Will using a personal portable breathalyzer help reduce drunk driving? No, I actually think it may make things worse. Personally, I think [...]

Virginia Tech Shooting

( Events andNews )

“If I knew that today would be the last time I’d see you, I would hug you tight and pray the Lord be the keeper of your soul. If I knew that this would be the last time you pass through this door, I’d embrace you, kiss you, and call you back for one more. [...]

Florida to Shift Voting to Paper Trail

( News andPolitics andSecurity )

Apparently, Florida’s new governor, Charlie Crist, has seen the light. He has mandated that the state move away from the touch-screen electronic voting machines, to ones that have a paper audit trail. In this New York Times article, several counties, including Cuyahoga County, Ohio, and Sarasota County, Florida, were already in the process of moving away from the controversial machines.

Crist hopes to have the entire state of Florida moved over to the new machines in time for the 2008 elections. The sad part is that many of the changes that they are now just implemented I had discussed two years ago. The new machines are based on a paper ballot and optical scanning, with the paper ballot retained for use as an audit trail.

Originally, in February of 2005, I wrote about the problems with the touch-screen voting machines, as well as a possible solution to the problem.

Transportation in Massachusetts

Jason over at Pelican in Her Piety has pointed out two excellent editorials in the Boston Globe. The first is on the right to privacy and the right to public safety and the recent policy of swabbing and searching bags on the MBTA. The second is on the Mass Turnpike Authority’s recent decision to lift [...]

Again More E-voting Problems

( News andPolitics andSecurity andTech )

According to this Freedom to Tinker blog article, a month ago, Princeton University released a paper describing how the Diebold electronic voting machines could be infected by a computer virus that could alter the vote tallies via their memory card. According to Edward Felten, Professor of Computer Science and Public Affairs at Princeton University, “Diebold [...]

More E-voting Problems

( News andPolitics andSecurity )

Recently, two articles have pointed out problems with the electronic voting machines in Florida and Texas. In both stories the problems reported machines recording GOP votes when people actually had voted for the Democratic candidate. It is interesting that neither story reports which company manufactured the electronic voting machines having the problems. It is also [...]

The War On Moisture Has Casualties

( News andSecurity andThoughts )

In an article from today’s New Zealand Herald, we see that the “War on Moisture” has claimed at least one casualty. A diabetic man fell into a coma because he wasn’t allowed to bring his insulin aboard the plane. Mr. Tui Peter Russell started feeling ill on the flight, and when he spoke to the [...]

American Fascists and Martial Law

( News andPolitics )

The towardfreedom.com website has an article on President Bush’s efforts to make imposing martial law within the borders of the United States easier for him and his goons. Apparently, the new law effectively repeals the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, which was designed to prevent the Federal government from using the military to enforce federal [...]

Why I Love Doonesbury

One of my favorite comic strips to read is Doonesbury. Garry Trudeau has been drawing this strip forever, and what I love about it is the strong political sensibilities he has. Today’s comic is a prime example of this. The political blustering and fear-mongering used by the Republicans should be overshadowed by their lack of [...]

The Wrong Approach to Security

( News andPolitics andSecurity andStupidity andTech )

Wired.com has an interesting article on the controversy created by Christopher Soghoian, a security researcher, who had created a website application that allowed one to generate authentic looking, but completely bogus, Northwest Airline Boarding Passes. He created the application in hopes of getting Congress to take a real look at the security vulnerabilities of the [...]

Vampires Debunked

( Misc. andNews )

Over at Live Science they have an article, probably due to the upcoming Halloween holiday, about a researcher who has come up with simple math that proves that vampires can not exist. It is actually a funny story to read, and you can see it here. Here is the basic idea behind Efthimiou’s reasoning that [...]

New MacBook Pros Announced

( Mac andNews andTech )

I had a conversation with a friend of mine about a month ago. She was asking about what laptop to buy. I told her to get a new MacBook Pro, but to hold off, as I felt that Apple would be announcing upgraded machines around the end of October, which would have the Core 2 [...]

More Money Than Sense

( News andStupidity )

I love the recent Slate.com story about casino mogul Steve Wynn, who put his elbow through a Picasso original at a cocktail party. You would think that he would be more careful around a $139 million painting…I certainly would be. The story goes on to say what methods would probably be used to repair the [...]

Studio Stoops To A New Low

( News andRants )

Apparently, Warner Brothers has been accused of making empty promises to some of the extras who starred in their recent movie, Blood Money. The studio had promised the orphaned amputees new prosthetic limbs as part of their compensation for acting in the movie, but has yet to deliver any prostheses to the children. You can [...]

Really, You Don’t Say

( News andStupidity andTech andThoughts )

Well, scientists are stating the obvious again. In a recent NYT article, they publish the results of a study, which concludes that listening to music at too loud a volume will lead to hearing damage. Umm…this is news?

More RFID Insecurity

( News andSecurity andStupidity andTech )

The New York Times has a good article on how easy it is to hack some of the new “touchless” RFID-based credit cards. My favorite quote from the article: And because the cards can be read even through a wallet or an item of clothing, the security of the information, the researchers say, is startlingly [...]

Stones Hurt

( My Life andNews )

Blogging has been light because I was in the hospital for eight days…stories and posts to come later…

Picasa 2.5 Released

( News andPhotography andTech )

Good news for the PC users out there. Google has released Picasa v. 2.5. This is great for Windows-based PC users who are into digital photography, since the PC platform doesn’t really have anything like iPhoto on the Mac. There are higher-end programs, like i-View Multimedia Pro, and Lightroom, but i-View is fairly expensive for [...]

September 11

Paris Parfait has an excellent entry for today. It truly expresses the difference between being an American and the American government—which has abused the tragedy of this day to hold on to political and economic power for itself. My thanks to Erin for the link. From Paris Parfait’s post: No words adequate to describe the [...]

What is Terrorism?

Define: Terrorism This is the definition according to Wikipedia. Terrorism is the systematic use or threatened use of violence to intimidate a population or government and thereby effect political, religious, or ideological change.[1][2] Terrorist attacks are designed to influence the broader society to which those killed, injured, or taken hostage belong. The dramatic focus of [...]

Journalism, Photoshop, Ethics and Discrimination

( Events andNews andPhotography andRants )

Reuters is one of the largest media companies in the world. Their well known for their news coverage in written, photographic and television media. They are also well known for their business and financial news coverage. However, recently, their credibility has come under fire—understandably so. A recent photo, that was supposedly taken by a Reuters [...]