Wednesday, November 30, 2005

online activities

According to Harris Interactive for iCrossing, 75 percent of survey respondents reported getting directions or finding maps online via search engines - the second most common activity online. The following are online activities for which U.S. adult internet users utilize search engines, as a percentage of respondents.

  1. Researching specific topics 88%
  2. Getting directions/maps 75%
  3. Looking for news or information about current events 64%
  4. Conducting general surfing/trawling 62%
  5. Using the Internet instead of the phone 54%
  6. Shopping 51%
  7. Looking for entertainment-related Web sites/activities 47%

developing IT systems that fix themselves

IBM wants computers that fix themselves. Several companies are making the creation of intelligent systems. This story tells the progress being made and what to expect in the future.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

activists kidnapped in Iraq

Al-Jazeera broadcast an insurgent video Tuesday showing four peace activists taken hostage in Iraq, with The Swords of Righteousness Brigade claiming responsibility for the kidnappings. The aid group Christian Peacemaker Teams has confirmed that four of its members were taken hostage Saturday. The corner of the video showed two, crossed black swords and the name of the insurgent group written in red Arabic script.

Monday, November 28, 2005

China says bird flu virus in humans mutating

The H5N1 strain of bird flu seen in human cases in China has mutated as compared with strains found in human cases in Vietnam.

Chinese labs have found that the genetic order of the H5N1 virus seen in humans infected in China is different from that found in humans in Vietnam.

the 100 notable books of 2005

The New York Times is out with their list of the 100 most notable books of 2005.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Expert says: pull out of New Orleans

An expert says New Orleans will be under sea level in 90 years. Tim Kusky speaks to 60 minutes about the situation. Katrina has sped up the process of land loss on the Mississippi Delta.

Top 25 Inventions of 2005

Time Magazine has brought to use the greatest inventions of this year. From the cloned dog, to an airless tire. Cool read.

read more | digg story

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Citibank hits the streets

As reported on Seth's Blog, a door-to-door salesman walked in and was selling business checking accounts. The salesman was fron Citibank. Seth considers door-to-door selling to be struggling. So do I.

U.N. predicts that machines will overtake the Internet

The Internet is ripe for the picking as machines will take up where humans leave off. In a world of sensors, tags and "smarts" a technological revolution will take place. This is from a report by the International Telecommunication Union. The report laid out economic opportunities, a huge expansion of the IT industry and innovation in a wide range of fields from health to entertainment, and also warned of a number of challenges, including privacy issues.


consumer data danger

According to an Experian Personal Credit Index Survey fielded by Gallup, 16 percent of consumers have had their financial information stolen, 13 percent have experienced financial loss because of the theft of their financial data and 12 percent have had their Social Security numbers stolen.
77 percent of consumers polled think of credit card fraud as identity theft. 4 in 10 said that they don't believe they'll become a victim of identity theft. One-third said they can't do anything to prevent someone from stealing personal information. 74 percent said that they would take preventative measures to protect themselves if they knew what to do.


Tuesday, November 15, 2005

flu scare!

More than 50 birds died in a U.K quarantine facility, hit by an outbreak of avian flu. Tiawanese mesia birds are the likely source. They tested positive for the H5N1 flu strain. The virus detected is most likely associated with Chinese ducks.

What happened on any day in history

Find out what happened on your birthday (or any other day) right back to 100AD. On my birthday Robert Redford was born, the first English child (Virginia Dare) was born in the new world in 1587, and James Meredith became the first black graduate from the University of Mississippi in 1963.

read more | digg story

Monday, November 14, 2005

Actor James Cromwell looks like Copernicus

Actor James Cromwell looks like the forensic skull that was produced in a lab at Warsaw, Poland. The remains are believed to be those of Nicolas Copernicus, the great mathematician and philosopher. Copernicus developed the heliocentric theory which took account of the orbit of planets around the sun. The normal belief at the time was that the earth was the center of the entire universe. Copernicus was a canon in the Roman Catholic Church and went against Church doctrine and teachings by developing the theory. His greatest work was published shortly after his death.
The remains were found in a cathedral in Frombork, Poland and were taken to a forensics lab for testing. Copernicus , born in 1473, was a canon in Frombork at the time of his death in 1543. The skull was used to reconstruct the head, shown above.
If a motion picture or television show is to be made about Copernicus, look no further than James Cromwell to play the part. Cromwell is known for his work in movies (Babe and L.A. Confidential) and television.

The Evolution of Computer Viruses

A virus timeline starting with the first time the term "computer virus" was coined back in 1983.

read more | digg story

Sunday, November 13, 2005

spies in the server closet

Since last June when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that file- sharing companies like Grokster could be sued, programmers are pursuing so-called darknets. Although they would be used to get around the entertainment industry's zeal for going after digital piracy, they could create channels for corporate espionage.

read more | digg story

Saturday, November 12, 2005

corporate snooping justified?

"Business purposes" is the answer we get when asking corporate executives about information gathering. How much information gathering is going on? Plenty and the increase of information gathering is staggering. Is anyone keeping track?
For example Google's Gmail scans customers' e-mail content and delivers targeted ads based on interests and buying patterns. If you write someone with a Gmail account your messgae will be scanned and stored. In 2004 a federal appeals court ruled that companies providing e-mail service may read clients' e-mail and use it as they wish. Phone calls can be recorded legally only by a court order, however e-mails are available to industry and the government.
In APril of 2004 the Department of Homeland Security awarded a contract to Northrup Grumman for up to $350 million dollars to build a "network of networks" to connect all levels of government. The government is tying government networks together in a supernetwork controlled by a super-agency. The technologies IT controls can be used for good or evil. The moral dimensions must be considered and the potential for abuse recognized.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Top 50 indie films

The top 50 independent films have been rated by and this is a very careful and thoughtful compilation.

read more | digg story

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Who's Killing New Orleans?

This story gives us a view that if New Orleans fails to rebuild, the reason wouldn't be poverty, but murder. In 2003 New Orleans had a murder rate 8 times the national average. The local economy had sputtered due to the high crime rate in general. Local authorities had not been able to secure the personal safety of citizens.

Monday, November 07, 2005

rootkits can get planted on networks

This article describes what rootkits are and that they are getting more popular. Rootkits are being embedded into worms so that access can be obtained on compromised systems. Rootkit scanning and detection products are gaining attention.

read more | digg story

Defend against Sony's rootkit

Sony DRM phones home

Sunday, November 06, 2005

introduction and description to

This is an e-mail to the syndic8 group about which seems to be gaining popularity by "meeting people together." Groups of people are formed by location, topic, both.

read more | digg story

Maunsell Towers

About WWII defense towers constructed within the Thames Estuary area in 1942. They are still standing today. Their purpose was to house anti-aircraft batteries. There ar very good pictures of these towers on the Website.

read more | digg story

Amazon and Google rush to sell parts of books online

In a race to become the iTunes of the publishing world, and Google are both developing systems to allow consumers to purchase online access to any page, section or chapter of a book.

read more | digg story

Saturday, November 05, 2005

The ASME's Top 40 Magazine Covers

The American Society of Magazine Editors chose their Top 40 magazine covers.
First is the January 22, 1981 issue of THE ROLLING STONE with John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

Top 40 Covers

Friday, November 04, 2005

Michael Brown's e-mails made public

The emails former FEMA head Michael Brown wrote during the Katrina crises have been made public.

"Can I quit now? Can I come home?" Brown wrote to Cindy Taylor, FEMA's deputy director of public affairs, the morning of the hurricane.

On August 26, just days before Katrina made landfall, Brown e-mailed his press secretary, Sharon Worthy, about his attire, asking: "Tie or not for tonight? Button-down blue shirt?"

A few days later, Worthy advised Brown: "Please roll up the sleeves of your shirt, all shirts. Even the president rolled his sleeves to just below the elbow. In this [crisis] and on TV you just need to look more hard-working."

Thursday, November 03, 2005

sharing business data with xml extensions

More types of security data are bring shared. The Global Justice Extensible Markup Language Data Model is used to tag criminal and public safety data so it can be shared effectively.

Another extension is the Electronic Business XML (EbXML) which is a modular suite of specifications.
The United Nations was the early champion of this concept to streamline international transactions.

The United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business promotes EbXML and you can find out more by visiting

OASIS devotes a special link for e-government business.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Vampirism presentation

....the evolutionary explanation for the existence of vampire, and the argument for genetic tweaking to create more vampires, backed up with real biology.

mystery object identified

A mysterious object found in a Davenport, Iowa home was not a bomb, at first thought.
It is a device that is suposed to scare off aliens living underground. Th device was examined by the local bomb squad and an evacuation of the area was done as police investigated.