And this year:
“A capital W takes up 10 times the space of a period,” he said. “If a student writes 163 characters that include lots of Ws and m’s and g’s and capital letters, their 163 characters are going to take many more inches of space than someone who uses lots of I’s and commas and periods and spaces.”
Asked why the problem had not been fixed, Mr. Killion said, “Believe me, if there’s a way to do it, we’d do it. Maybe there’s a way out there we don’t know about.”
The truncated answers might be funny if the matter at hand were not so serious.
000 0 0 00 000 000 0 00 000
Elix sez, "Biology Letters, a journal of the Royal Society, has published a paper by a group of schoolchildren at Blackawton Primary School in Devon, England. The 25 kids, aged 8 to 10, in a village of 647 (2001 census), might be the youngest scientists ever to have their work published by peer review."
Two weeks ago, MasterCard felt the wrath of Anonymous Operation Payback-style DDoS attacks after refusing to process payments that were intended to fund WikiLeaks, the website which began leaking confidential US diplomatic cables last month. Now, the company is preparing to head down another controversial path by pledging to deny transactions which support websites that host pirated movies, music, games, or other copyrighted content.
MasterCard lobbyists have also been in talks with entertainment industry trade groups, including the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), and have made it clear that the company will support the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA), sources close to the talks have said.
“MasterCard in particular deserves credit for its proactive approach to addressing rogue Web sites that dupe consumers,” RIAA executive vice president of government and industry relations Mitch Glazer said in a statement to CNET when asked about the alliance. “They have reached out to us and others in the entertainment community to forge what we think will be a productive and effective partnership.”
The Wikileaks Cablegate scandal is the most exciting and interesting hacker scandal ever. I rather commonly write about such things, and I’m surrounded by online acquaintances who take a burning interest in every little jot and tittle of this ongoing saga. So it’s going to take me a while to explain why this highly newsworthy event fills me with such a chilly, deadening sense of Edgar Allen Poe melancholia.
But it sure does.
And after reading Bruce, read this…
The fragility of a system is a sign of bad design. If less than five people can bring down your empire, it’s time had come already.
United States diplomacy is built on lies for the benefit of a small group of rich people. If it had been built on honesty for the benefit of US citizens instead, none of these cables would mean anything to anyone. Biden said it himself: "He’s made it more difficult for us to conduct our business with our allies and our friends." He probably had no idea what he was saying, but it’s absolutely true: our diplomacy existed to grease the wheels of American business interests, not to establish peaceful trade with other nations.
Take one instance where we were fully aware that Nigeria’s government was infiltrated by oil industry players who reported all of the government’s moves to headquarters so the government could not effectively govern. That sentiment at it’s core is anti-democratic. The State Department should have immediately punished the oil company and made it public. Instead, it’s buried and ignored in the interest of profits for the American corporation.
So when Bruce states "When diplomats tell foreigners what they really think, war results," I don’t fucking buy it. War happens when all of the secret bullshit the State Department puts together falls apart after one of the secret conspirators stops doing their end of the dirty work, and all of the sudden we flip on the news to learn that the nation we were selling weapons to last week is suddenly our greatest enemy.
The headline in a few years should be this: "Yeah, well, actually we’re going to war in Pakistan because the secular military we’ve been propping up for decades, even to the point of allowing them to develop nuclear weapons, has suddenly been overrun by it’s population that overwhelmingly disagrees with our mercenary warfare over there. So we’re going to call the smaller, illegitimate power the legitimate power, and kill a bunch of people who disagree."
Instead the headline will be this: "Pakistan is the greatest threat to world peace and American Democracy since Iraq." Roll footage of peasants protesting the deaths of another wedding party — see how angry these Muslim terrorists are? they want to kill your family with nukes — write the check for fifty billion dollars (first mill buys body bags, we’ll ask for the rest later) and ramp up the defenders of freedom cutscenes at all the major media outlets. All of the stories about injustice by the Pakistani military will be pushed off of page A26 into the memory hole, and all of the stuff we had been covering up about child rape and religious persecution in friendly provinces that are now controlled by "terrorists" will finally hit the front page, ten years too late.
The problem ain’t the ref who decides to turn on the lights. It’s the fucking game.
Here’s a recipe for failure: Sony has just launched a music subscription service in the U.K. and Ireland, but users can’t get it on their mobile phones.
But it gets worse. Sony actually has two plans. The basic plan at 4 pounds or Euro per month doesn’t even let you pick songs. It’s like Internet radio–think Pandora or Slacker–with the nice feature of being able to skip songs you don’t like.
If you actually want to pick individual songs or albums on demand, that costs 10 pounds or Euro per month. That’s the same price as Spotify Premium, which works on nearly every major phone platform today.
An activist website devoted to opposing the TSA’s new screening procedures says it’s the victim of an online "troll" from inside the Department of Homeland Security.
WeWontFly.com, which is urging the public to stop flying "until the porno scanners are history," says it has identified abusive comments from someone using a DHS computer.
"F**k you, f**k all you c**ksuckers, you wont change anything," read a comment that has now been deleted from the WeWontFly blog. "Ride the bus, TSA is here to stay there [sic] doing a great job keeping americia [sic] safe."
WeWontFly blogger George Donnelly says he has traced the comment to a dhs.gov server — a computer inside the Department of Homeland Security.
"Some questions come to mind," Donnelly wrote. "Is this an official statement? If not, is it an accurate representation of the DHS position? Was this person on the public dime when he or she posted this? Who posted this and what is their position with DHS?"
I was in Washington last week and visited Bernie in his office, mainly to talk about the incredible results of the Federal Reserve audit, about which I’ll be writing more in the upcoming weeks and after the New Year. The audit of the Fed was undertaken because Bernie and a few other members of congress fought very hard during the Dodd-Frank regulatory reform debate to force open Ben Bernanke’s books, and as a result we now know the staggering details of the secret bailout era. We know that Citigroup received $1.6 trillion in loans, and Morgan Stanley $2 trillion, and Goldman Sachs – the same Goldman Sachs that bragged about how quickly it paid back its $10 billion TARP bailout – over $600 billion. We know that hedge fund billionaires who moved their corporate addresses to the Cayman Islands to avoid U.S. taxes were rewarded by their buddies in government with huge Fed loans; we know that the U.S. government likewise has been extending massive loans to a variety of Japanese car companies at a time when many American auto workers in Detroit have seen their wages cut in half, to $14 an hour. There’s that and there’s more on the outrage front, and we know it all because Sanders kicked and screamed and stamped his feet about Fed secrecy until just enough other members of the Senate decided to go along with him.