This is the best toy I have seen since Lego. I recently purchased a set for my 3 year old son, and we both have been having a blast with it ever since. The basic idea is simple: marbles and a track. The interesting thing is that the track is built out of individual wooden blocks with curves and channels cut into them, allowing you to create
a track of whatever shape your imagination can conceive. The marbles are moved along strictly by gravity, falling from one level to another and cutting back and forth through hidden tunnels.
“I am highly skeptical of the ‘Web 2.0′ hype. There are two reasons for this. One goes back to the issue of history (…). ‘Web 2.0′ is all about a generation-change in the history of the Web, but from a perspective that is looking at what is happening right now, as opposed to what was happening during the previous generational change (the ’1980s’). It’s not clear that we can really describe a generation change of this magnitude and complexity while we are in the midst of the change itself, except to say that ‘something’ is happening that a future generation may decide is qualitatively different. After all, when people speak of Web 2.0, they are actually referring to a swarm of many kinds of new technologies and developments that are not all necessarily proceeding in the same direction (for example, toward decentralization, open content creation and editing, Web-as-service, AJAX, etc.).”
(I think Alan Liu has got a point here. A wagon-train of pioneers on the electronic frontier are not the same thing as a town.)
Alan Liu goes on about the serious semantic problems of simply not knowing what we’re talking about, and even tripping up on obvious philosophical contradictions:
“It’s not at all certain, for example, that open content platforms in the style of blogs, wikis, and content management systems align with a philosophy of decentralized or distributed control, since many such database- or XML-driven technologies require a priesthood of backend and middleware coders to create the underlying systems and templates for the new ‘open’ communications. Just how many people in the world, for example, can make one of the current generation of open-source content-management systems (which often start out as blog engines) do anything that isn’t on the model of ‘post’-and-’category’ or chronological posting? Even the more trivial exercise of re-skinning such systems (with a fresh template) requires a level of CSS knowledge that is not natural to the user base.”
So what is Alan Liu trying to say here, not particularly clearly? Basically he’s saying that in the guise of empowering users through all this participatory fooforaw, Web 2.0 is actually a ploy to return the Internet’s technical power to the specialized geek clique that originally built Web 1.0. They stole our revolution, now we’re stealing it back. And selling it to Yahoo.
Alan Liu has even more to complain about:
“My second reason for being skeptical about ‘Web. 2.0′– at least the hype about it – is more important. I think that people who make a big deal out of Web 2.0 are trying to take a shortcut to get out of needing to understand the real generation changes that are happening in the background and that underlie any change in the Web. Those changes occur in social, economic, political, and cultural institutions.
“Web 2.0 is just a high-tech set of waldo gloves or remote-manipulators that tries to tap into the underlying social and cultural changes, but really requires the complement of disciplined sociological, communicational, cognitive, visual, textual, and other kinds of study that can get us closer to the actual phenomena. (…) I don’t think there are many developers of Web 2.0 technologies who have done the hard social and cultural studies to help them think about what they are developing. They make a neat system or interface that only taps into some aspects of the social scene. Then, if there are a lot of hits or users, their system is said to be a paradigm. But it’s hit or miss. There is no assurance that such technologies are the real, best, coolest, or even most useful ‘face,’ ‘book,’ or ‘space’ of people – only that they are the face, book, or space allowed to surface through a particular lash-up of technologies.”
Go read the entire thing…
How does wiretapping work? Well:
Loop extenders connect target line to a designated “friendly” line. The part at the telco is the loop extender, and the part attached to the friendly line back at the LEA is called a dialed number recorder (DNR) or collection device. The loop extender must perform some kind of electrical isolation to prevent detection. Interestingly, all of the audio is always sent over the friendly line; the only difference between a pen register and a full-audio collection is the configuration of the collection device equipment at the LEA’s premises. The phone company can’t directly control what LEAs see.
It’s inconvenient to get this equipment in order to study it because normally only authorized agencies are allowed to possess it. 18 USC 2512 may make it a felony to own the equipment. Vendors also won’t necessarily sell it to just anyone.
“So, we had to shop on eBay.”
Founded in 2003 by a loosely knit crew of file-sharing advocates called Piratbyrån, or Pirate Bureau, The Pirate Bay began life as a Swedish-language site occupying a second tier among popular torrent trackers. Then the MPAA’s groundbreaking 2004 crackdown on torrent hubs changed everything. As famous sites like SuprNova and LokiTorrent went under, their users crowded onto the surviving hubs like pelicans on a reef. When the storm passed, The Pirate Bay remained.
Viborg credits The Pirate Bay’s seeming immunity to the basic structure of the BitTorrent protocol. The site’s Stockholm-based servers provide only torrent files, which by themselves contain no copyright data — merely pointers to sources of the content. That makes The Pirate Bay’s activities perfectly legal under Swedish statutory and case law, Viborg claims. “Until the law is changed so that it is clear that the trackers are illegal, or until the Swedish Supreme Court rules that current Swedish copyright law actually outlaws trackers, we’ll continue our activities. Relentlessly,” wrote Viborg in an e-mail.
Antipiratbyrån’s efforts to halt file sharing have prompted Sweden’s outspoken pirates to run for office as the Pirate Party. Party spokesman Mika Sjöman said pirates are alarmed by both the IP tracking and Sweden’s newly expanded surveillance and wiretapping laws.
“People are getting scared,” said Sjöman. “The two issues are really connected because copyright organizations are telling the government you have to invade the right to privacy if you want to defend copyright. That’s really destructive for democracy because when you make lists of people that will be the end of privacy.”
It may sound like a joke, but Sjöman said the Pirate Party has 1,500 members, and has gathered enough signatures to participate in the Swedish general election in September. He said the government estimates that there are 1.2 million file sharers over the age of 18 in Sweden, and the Pirate Party needs only four percent, 225,000 votes, to get seats in the country’s parliament. According to Sjöman, the success of The Pirate Bay illustrates just how embedded file sharing has become in Swedish culture.
If elected, the Pirate Party promises to strengthen Swedish privacy protections, weaken copyright laws, abolish the EU Data Retention Directive and roll back government surveillance legislation, said Sjöman. The party plans to hold its first convention in April, aboard a pirate ship.
“We are the new movement for this century,” said Sjöman. “We have these views that copyright is hurting the economy and our right to be citizens and express yourself and get information.”
Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal
Dear Mrs. Fergusen,
I think you answered your own question about why black people aren’t flocking to the Republican Party. If, as you point out, slavery was a godsend to them, then surely, they’re still angry at Lincoln, the first Republican president, for freeing them. If it wasn’t for him, they’d still be enjoying all of the fruits slavery had to offer, things like: hand-me-downs from the big house; forced breeding; free scarification; the joy that comes from seeing your children selected for housework or sold to a master who doesn’t beat them during rape; and the comfort that comes from knowing one’s place in the world.
That goes for what you call the “top drawer blacks” as well as the poor, uneducated ones. Under slavery, all were roughly equal within a certain price range. Emancipation exiled both “top drawer” and uneducated blacks from this most egalitarian institution, forcing them to take the lesser gifts of segregation and Jim Crow.
So where do we go from here? How do we convince blacks to forgive Lincoln and join the GOP? Short of reinstating slavery, I’m not sure there’s an easy answer. I guess columns like yours will have to do for now. I suspect there are very few “top drawer blacks” who could resist such a persuasive argument.
I am not a homosexual,
Gen. JC Christian patriot
Fake porn euro notes being sold as a gimmick in Germany are being successfully passed off as real cash.
The notes, in 300, 600 and 1,000 euro denominations have a ring of 12 hearts instead of the usual EU stars and feature hunky men and big-breasted nude women.
Instead of the word ‘Euro’ being printed in the corner these notes have ‘Eros’ – the Greek god of love.
But despite these differences – and the fact that the only large euro notes currently in circulation are 100s, 200s and 500s – police say they are being passed off as the real thing.
Mr Griffin said he believed that the Americans soldiers viewed the Iraqis in the same way as the Nazis viewed Russians, Jews and eastern Europeans in the Second World War, when they labelled them “untermenschen”.
“As far as the Americans were concerned, the Iraqi people were sub-human, untermenschen. You could almost split the Americans into two groups: ones who were complete crusaders, intent on killing Iraqis, and the others who were in Iraq because the Army was going to pay their college fees. They had no understanding or interest in the Arab culture. The Americans would talk to the Iraqis as if they were stupid and these weren’t isolated cases, this was from the top down. There might be one or two enlightened officers who understood the situation a bit better but on the whole that was their general attitude. Their attitude fuelled the insurgency. I think the Iraqis detested them.”
Vanaf vandaag kan het Nederlandse publiek zich uitspreken over de rol van Nederland in Europa door mee te doen aan het onderzoek op www.nederlandineuropa.nl. Het onderzoek is vandaag officieel gelanceerd door staatssecretaris voor Europese Zaken Nicolaï.
Aan de hand van vragen en stellingen kunnen Nederlanders hun mening geven over verschillende actuele Europese onderwerpen. Het onderzoek loopt van 13 maart tot en met 17 april en is een initiatief van het ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken. De resultaten worden verwerkt door een onafhankelijk onderzoeksbureau. De resultaten zullen bijdragen aan de standpunten die de regering met de Tweede Kamer zal bespreken in de aanloop naar de Europese top in juni dit jaar.
En als je dat laatste werkelijk gelooft heb ik nog een brug voor je te koop.
An error in McAfee’s virus definition file released Friday morning caused the company’s consumer and enterprise antivirus products to flag Microsoft’s Excel, as well as other applications on users’ PCs, as a virus called W95/CTX, Joe Telafici, director of operations at McAfee’s Avert labs, told CNET News.com.
“At about 1 p.m. PST we started getting reports that people were seeing an unusual number of W95/CTX infections in their environment,” Telafici said. “Files that we did identify would probably be deleted or quarantined, depending on your settings.”
When a file gets quarantined, it’s renamed and moved to a different folder. McAfee’s antivirus software detected Excel.exe and Graph.exe, two Microsoft Office components, as well as other software, including AdobeUpdateManager.exe, an application installed alongside Adobe products that deals with software updates, Telafici said.
From the Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.