Tuesday, December 26, 2006

iraq death toll at 2974


The death toll in Iraq are one more than the number of dead from the 9/11 attacks on the WTC. Two deaths were announced on Monday, December 26, 2006 as a result of a car bomb explosion southwest of Baghdad.

Soldiers of the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment stand guard. The writing on the wall in anti-American slogans.



tecnorati search: 9/11

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

u.s.trade deficit hit high

The U.S. trade deficit hit a new high of $68 billion in July. The main reason was that the cost of oil imports rose. The figure represents a 5% rise from June's figure. 2006 as a whole is expected to go over 2005's 717 billion. Crude oil imports rose $28.5 billion.

Read the story from the BBC



Tuesday, August 29, 2006

create an IT defense checklist

Take a proactive approach on data security as part of an overall IT strategy.

Inventory data - What do you have that's most at risk?

Consider encryption - Many people are encrypting more, both data in transit and at rest.

Encrypting isn't enough - Verify the source and its destination.

Avoid the "Bagel Defense" - Use firewalls, but also protect key data inside and monitor it for access.

Watch your firewalls - Use automated tools for monitoring firewall traffic.

Think beyong the network - Know all ways data can leave the network. Consider what to do if a laptop is lost or stolen.

Educate everyone - The more is known about security, the safer the data is.

Invest wisely - Don't be content with one security project. Consider going further.



Sunday, August 27, 2006

version 2 of geodata.gov

Geospatial mapping tools have gained a broader use and visibility for government agencies and private enterprise. The site (geodata.gov) offers access to an array of national and local mapping data. Version 2 has a marketplace capability so one can mark off an area on a U.S. map, define geospatial information that's being searched and identify other users who may be working with similar data on the system.

The marketplace tool is designed to grow communities (business and economic) of interest around specific geospatial data. Underlying metadata is harvested in a more automated way. One such area is the census information.



Saturday, July 22, 2006

bloggers: a study

Pew Internet conducted a survey of bloggers and asked why they blog, etc. Many do it for themselves, and that's about it.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

new tropical storm could form around florida

The National Hurricane Center said showers and thunderstorms were currently located over the Bahamas, central and eastern Cuba and southeastern Florida. Over the next couple of days, the system could drift slowly westward over the Florida Peninsula and into the Gulf of Mexico.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

da vinci doings

On the TODAY SHOW, actor Ian McKellan said that the Holy Bible should come with a disclaimer stating that what's inside is "fiction." Those remarks were made at Cannes, as the Today Show is on the road.

On Tuesday (05.16.06) the film debuted at the Cannes Film Festival to mixed reviews. The audience was said to have laughed, moaned, and hissed after the movie was finished. Critics got their first look at the film, before the official festival debut. Critics at the screening were said to have grown restless during the film's two-and-a-half hour length.





Wednesday, April 12, 2006

dolphins stadium gets new display

Dolphins Stadium in Miami has a new HD display. The 720p is 50 feet high and 137 feet wide. Now I just hope it makes then win more at home!

Monday, April 10, 2006

suggestion: to avoid bird flu, keep cats indoors

In areas where bird flu is found in wild birds and/or poultry, people are urged to keep their cats indoors. Some scientists think that there is a feline potential to spreading the disease. Cats have been known to become infected with the H5N1 virus. Cats that may have been exposed to the virus should be quarantined.

blog syndicate to launch

Blogging and mainstream media will soon have one more reason to slowly erase the line that separates them. BlogBurst, from the blog tech company Pluck, will launch soon. This new service will be used by 600 bloggers to syndicate headlines and stories to newspapers. Pluck has signed up with Ganett and the Washington Post, to name just a couple of the publications.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

fingerprints hide lifestyle clues

Fingerprints could soon help police narrow down their list of suspects by giving clues about the lifestyle of whoever left the prints at the scene of a crime. The work started by examining the chemical components of fingerprints. These chemical components help in determining if the subject is a smoker, how old, if they use drugs or are on any medication, and personal grooming habits. The work hopes to give investigators clues on prints that have perhaps went unnoticed for days and weeks.

technorati tag: terrorism

technorati tag: science

Friday, March 31, 2006

simply irreversible

The U.N. Security Council gave Iran 30 days to suspend uranium enrichment or face isolation. Iran has suggested its nuclear program is peaceful and has rejected the council's demand. Iranian Foreign Minister Mottaki has siad the Iranian pursuit of nuclear power is irreversible.

working to justify COPA

The U.S. Justice Department sought information from a variety of Internet service providers as part of its probe related to the Child Online Protection Act (COPA). The law restricts the posting of sexually explicit material deemed harmful to minors.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

a new H5N1 mutation reported

The WHO reported 12 new H5N1 cases between March 1 and March 24. The new virulently fatal Asian mutation of the H5N1 strain creates a second genetic track for H5N1 to spread more easily from human-to-human.



technorati search: H5N1

Sunday, March 26, 2006

new warfare: fingerprint matching

The U.S. Army is equipping soldiers with new instruments of warfare in Iraq. These are field kits used to collect digital fingerprints and other physical evidence from battle sites. The Pentagon has changed the way they look at Iraq - from combat theater to crime scene. Following an encounter with insurgents, soldiers sweep the area looking for physical evidence that will confirm if the same group of insurgents were responsible for mutiple attacks. Fingerprints is one area in which concentration is focused. Soldiers use an Automated Biometric Indentification System database to store evidence. Once in the database, the information is available for a number of applications. One such program is the identification card system for non-U.S.-born contractors in Iraq. The effort was launched as a result of the December 2004 attack in Mosul. The conclusion was that attack was conducted by a suicide bomber who gained access to the base. Now foreign contractors must submit to a security check. If cleared, they wear a biometrically encoded smart card that has fingerprint images on it. These images are stored in the database and when an explosive device is used in an attack investigators can check for fingerprint matches found at the attack scene. The work is risky at the forward areas and transmitting the data is a challenge. This effort has been used to catch and identify insurgents, terrorists, and other enemy combatants.


Saturday, March 25, 2006

lean XHMTL and precise CSS

The use of CSS indentation makes for work to get done easier and faster. The use of image replacement gives meaning to usually useless images. This gives logos semantic meaning.

read more | digg story

Thursday, March 23, 2006

false happiness can be bad for you?

A German study suggests that forced happiness can be bad for your health. Being and staying unhappy is good for you. Does this means that the media in the U.S. will be around for a longer time? The study was conducted at an experimental call center where subjects were exposed to abuse from clients.





Wednesday, March 22, 2006

oil shortage visionary

According to Kenneth Deffeyes December 16, 2005 was the day the world started using the second half of oil. Deffeyes has now said he is no longer a prophet, but an historian.



Tuesday, March 21, 2006

republicans still search for a message

GOP leaders are stumbling for a message that will carry them through the 2006 elections. President Bush and the House Republicans have not come through with a new Social Security plan, an energy plan that helps with less dependence on foreign oil, nor a health plan. These were Republican themes that have not come to fruition.

Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) said that the GOP has went against its principles. The party has not stayed with a small-government approach. GOP leaders met in Memphis recently and the consensus was that the fiscal discipline is lacking. This has probably created a wedge between the more moderate and conservative congressional leaders. Getting policy matters in place for an agenda has proven more difficult.

President Bush has been talking about national security when it comes to the war in Iraq and the nuclear weapon problem in Iran. Are these issues enough for good GOP congressional showings in the 2006 general elections? We'll see.





the spy story not told - until now

Naji Sabri, the Iraqi foreign minister under Saddam Hussein's regime, was in contact with the CIA before the U.S. led Iraqi invasion. Sabri had a good cover when he went to New York in September 2002 when he addressed the U.N. He read a statement from Saddam which basically said the United States was acting on behalf of "Zionism" and then annouced that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. Sabri however had a third party meet with CIA officers in New York to give them Sadam's weapons of mass destruction report. The CIA wanted a relationship with Sabri, but it included that Sabri defect to the U.S. and Sabri did not want to defect.

Monday, March 20, 2006

cia to agency bloggers - you need approval first

The CIA Publications Review Board has sent reminders to agency veterans. You need required approval first from the agency before writings are published-even blogs. A CIA spokesman said that this is standard operating procedure.



Thursday, March 16, 2006

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

the who and the secret bird flu database

The World Health Organization operates a database that holds the genetic infromation of the bird flu. A lone Italian scientist has voluntarily withheld information from that database and is urging other scientists to do the same. The archive is password protected so scientists can not obtain their information or anyone else's once it is in the archive. Some WHO officials have called for the opening of the database.

Information on the bird flu from the University of Minnesota

technorati tag: bird flu

technorati tag: H5N1

technorati search: world health organization

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

u.s. takes on iran's leaders

Iran is front and center on the U.S. national security agenda. The Bush Administration plans a sustained campaign against the ayatollahs. The Hoover Institution has come away with the impression that President Bush will have a more robust policy against the Iranian government. In the past week the State Department has created an Iran desk. More staff will be stationed in Dubai, which is part of th UAE, to keep an eye on Tehran. This is difficult to do since the U.S. has no embassy in Tehran.

technorati tag: iran

technorati tag: national security

technorati search: national security

del.icio.us/mike81859

Monday, March 13, 2006

america's fifth column at the ports

The port deal with the UAE was a huge bell that was rung. The UAE company helped the situation a bit by pledging to turn over the American operations to an American company. The problemm seen by many is that the threat of terrorism would increase. But America has had a fifthe column at the posts for decades - the Mafia.

A civil suit filed in July accused the International Longshoreman's Association of being a vehicle for organized crime. The complaint accused members of the union of being involved with crime families. The ILA was very vocal about the port deal (against it). Could it be that any illegal operations they have going would be shut down?

technorati search: mafia

Saturday, March 11, 2006

avian bird flu assistance for businesses

The Global Flu Consortium has announced that it has started operations. The consortium is headed by Dr. Roscoe Moore, formerly Assistant Surgeon General.

technorati tag: h5n1

Friday, March 10, 2006

nfl agreement: a touchdown for capitalism

The teams with the highest revenue have agreed to pay out more to the poorer teams. This allows those particular teams to stay competitive.

technorati tag: sports

Monday, March 06, 2006

behind the scenes at the U.N.

Interesting information from Edith Lederer from behind-the-scenes at the United Nations. I learned that John Bolton is very organized and kept his meetings on time and full of purpose.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

india nuke deal raises eyebrows

Non-proliferation specialists say the nuclear arms deal made with India and annouced on Thursday, March 2 is a blow to the non-proliferation cause itself. India's behavior has been compared to Iran's. India has failed to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Back at home both selected Democrats and Republicans have had reservations about the deal which marks one-third of India's nuclear reactors as military.



technorati search: india

technorati search: non-proliferation treaty

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Cat found to have bird flu

The first non-human mammal recorded that has contracted this disease. Previously only birds were known to have had the virus.

read more | digg story



technorati search: h5n1

Thursday, February 23, 2006

podcast interview with bird flu book author John Farndon

A podcast of an interview with John Farndon who wrote Everything You Need to Kow: Bird Flu.

India seals off town

No-one will be allowed in or out of Navapur, in India's Maharashtra state, which has a population of nearly 30,000, or 19 nearby villages. Bird flu has been discovered.

The measures come after reports that blood samples from people in hospital have tested positive for bird flu. Health officials deny the reports.

Hundreds of thousands of birds are being culled after deadly H5N1 bird flu was found in Navapur last week.





Sunday, February 19, 2006

China's market for IT

The China Center of Information Industry Development(CCID) reported the market for information technology services in China is expected to grow 20.6 pct annually for the next five years. Last year, China's IT service market volume hit 82.27 bln yuan, up 20.1 pct year-on-year, the Times quoted a CCID report as saying.

The sector is booming partly due to rising computer sales and Internet usage. In 2005 about 19.9 mln personal computers were sold in the Chinese market, with sales volume totaling 121.09 bln yuan, up 18.8 pct and 8.7 pct year-on-year, according to CCID figures. The number of Internet users has also risen to more than 110 mln in the past year.

(1 usd = 8.05 yuan)

History of CIA interrogation exposed

Alfred McCoy, professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madisonis the author of “A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation, From the Cold War to the War on Terror” and also “The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade.”

The U.S. made a pledge against torture when Congress ratified the UN Convention Against Torture in 1994 - but it was ratified with reservations that exempted the CIA’s psychological torture method. So what were the results? Although seemingly less brutal, "no touch" torture leaves deep psychological scars on both victims and interrogators. The victims often need long treatment to recover from trauma far more crippling than physical pain. The perpetrators can suffer a dangerous expansion of ego, leading to escalating cruelty and lasting emotional problems.

In the CIA's first stage, interrogators employ simple, non-violent techniques to disorient the subject. To induce temporal confusion, interrogators use hooding or sleep deprivation. To intensify disorientation, interrogators often escalate to attacks on personal identity by sexual humiliation.

Once the subject is disoriented, interrogators move on to a second stage with simple, self-inflicted discomfort such as standing for hours with arms extended. In this phase, the idea is to make victims feel responsible for their own pain and thus induce them to alleviate it by capitulating to the interrogator's power.

To be sure, torture is a violation of human rights. Have terrorists given up that right to be human? According to many critics and watchers of the Bush Administration and the war on terror the answer is yes. That answer was given by those who use torture as a method of interrogation. But that is how torure works...treat your victims as "less human" and the torturer will have power over the prisoner. A circle has thus been created. I have power because I torture, I torture because I have power. The United Nations Convention Against Torture has received new interest because of the tales coming from Abu Ghraib in Iraq. Will the U.N. adopt new anti-torture resolutions? If so, will those resolutions be effective? Probably not because someone will be exempt.

Egypt detected first cases of deadly bird flu strain


The government of Egypt has detected the flu strain in chickens at Cairo, Giza, and Minya. Four chickens were infected at Cairo and 2 each in Giza and Minya. No human cases were detected. The first cases found in Africa were in the country of Nigeria. The disease has spread west from the original detection location of Southeast Asia. The disease can spread from birds to humans. So far there has been no human-to-human contact.

WeatherBug does video

WeatherBug has introduced a video service for weather forecasts.

read more | digg story

Thursday, February 16, 2006

news source choice

A growing number of people read the news online, but the format of choice uis still the newspaper, according to Nielsen/Net Ratings. Here are the results from a recent survey:

Primarily print newspaper 71%
Primarily online newspaper 22%
Split between the two 7%

outsourcing on the rise

By 2007, total global offshore spending on IT services will reach $50 billion according to Gartner. India maintained its top position among the global sourcing destinations despite growing competition. Although more options for external service provision are becoming available worldwide, India reamins the market leader with a majority of essential resources and a sufficiently robust technology infrastructure.



Wednesday, February 15, 2006

investment analysis using internet data mining

Majestic Research is using web crawling techniques to track business performance. Majestic uses data mining systems to collect real-time sales data and other information on companies that have a web presence.



bird flu in germany, austria and iran

Germany, Austria and Iran said on 02/15/2006 that they detected the deadly bird flu in wild swans. So far the virus has killed 91 people worldwide. Germany said its results came from initial tests. Both countries said samples of the dead birds had been sent to the EU's reference laboratory in Britain for confirmation. The other EU countries to have reported the flu are Italy and Greece.

The highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of the virus has killed at least 91 people in Asia and the Middle East, according to the World Health Organization.



Anything you need to do with Web 2.0

This useful site is full of links that help you do what you want to do in Web 2.0. Enjoy, you can get lost in there!

read more | digg story

Monday, February 13, 2006

u.s. planning strikes against iran

The U.S. is drawing plans for airstrikes against Iranian targets as a "last resort" to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. The most likely strategy would involve aerial bombardment by long-distance B2 bombers, each armed with up to 40,000lb of precision weapons, including the latest bunker-busting devices.

They would fly from bases in Missouri with mid-air refuelling.

Iran nuclear facilities that could become targets

Saghand - mining: Uranium ore discovered 1985. Mining began later that year with 120,000 tonnes of ore yielding some 50-60 tonnes of uranium annually.

Ardkan - milling: Ore is purified to uranium ore concentrate, also known as yellowcake.

Gehine: Mine and milling facility which will produce 24 tonnes of yellowcake annually.

Isfahan - conversion: Yellowcake is cleansed of impurities and converted to uranium hexafloride gas, cooled,and condensed to a solid known as hex.

Natanz - enrichment: Pictures published in the Sunday Telegraph reveal new buildings at site which can be used to produce weapons grade uranium.

Teheran: Enrichment facility at Kalaye dismantled. Research reactor and radioactive waste storage facilities still operating.

Bushehr: Russian light water reactor is due to start up this year. Can produce reactor-grade plutonium.

Arak: Heavy water research reactor - better suited for weapons-grade plutonium production.

Anarak: Waste storage site.

The review of the Pentagon's contingency plans follows the stream of recent discoveries of Iran's secret nuclear operations and the virulent rhetoric of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad since he was elected last year. Iran is still thought to be anywhere between three and 10 years away from physically producing a nuclear weapon.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

the price of brainpower

Classical economic theory has assumed that if one invests in factories, tools and improved transportation, economic growth is sure to follow. If you subscribe to that theory, labor productivity gains wil be realized from mechanization and new production processes. The assumption that a company was bound to prosper from a high rate of return from capital investments. That assumption did not however explain economic worth.

The 2004 net value of financial assets (book value) fro 7,241 listed U.S. corporations totaled $9.2 trillion while investors were willing to pay $22.7 trillion for these companies. That puts the value of knowledge at $13.5 trillion (the difference between market and book value).

To define knowledge capital as a financial metric is to measure knowledge that requires metrics that are repeatable and quantitatively definable. Analysis of assets is the key for essential capabilities in any organization that wishes to compete in the 21st century. The $13.5 trillion stated earlier is a simplification. The sum of knowledge values includes a number of firms that had negative results and high-value management tends to concentrated in a few firms.

Consider the following:

  • The top 100 firms by book value, out of the total corporate population of 7,241 firms (1.4%), had $6.5 trillion of knowledge value, or 71% of the total for the U.S. economy.
  • There were 662 firms whose knowledge was negative. They were worth less on the market than their financial valuations. They were worth $300 billion more than if they were sold off at book value.
Bigger firms still have the most knowledge in the "new economy" and is the U.S. economy approaching its full capacity for generating wealth?

Costs of Planning
Market Value (market capitalization, year-end)
A
Financial Value (shareholder equity) B
Knowledge Value (A-B)
C
Importance of Knowledge (C/B) D
Number of Employees E
Knowledge Value/Employee (C/E) F




Thursday, February 09, 2006

Chicago Mercantile Exchange and energy futures

The fast-growing electronic exchange platform of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange will challenge New York and London in the lucrative energy markets. The CME will likely offer energy contracts but no timetable was given nor any other specifics from Craig Donahue chief executive of the CME.

The Chicago exchange saw sharp growth in Globex volume last year. It accounted for 70 percent of total trading volume, up from 57 percent in the prior year, CME said yesterday. The low cost of its electronic platform would allow CME to create a new energy contract relatively quickly and at very low cost.



CME(R) Globex(R) Average Daily Volume Of 3.3 Million Contracts Up 30 Percent - Electronic CME Eurodollar Options Volume Quadrupled Compared With January 2005 - CME Agricultural Commodities Record Monthly Volume Up 50 Percent.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

customers prefer knowledge bases

47 percent of customers cited searchable knowledge bases as the most efficient form of self-service.

  1. Software updates 56.6%
  2. Knowledge bases 47.2%
  3. Documentation 13.4%
  4. Product and service info 13.1%
  5. Ability to give feedback 12.2%
  6. Submit incidents 6.3%
Results based on a survey featured in the ServiceXRG report Self Service Excellence

Call Center Industry Stats

CRMzine





an extra measure of security

You can load up on software and software to safeguard systems but don't forget the training. Top to bottom training for IT folks will enable an organization to know the risks. The delegation process to security specialists will likely slow down when the IT department takes security a higher level.

The United States has tried to provide a framework, but the British have been more systematic. The U.K. Department of Trade and Industry recently published a best-practices standard.

Coursework that has case studies is most helpful when deciding what classes to send people to. The cost is generally around $500 per person plus don't forget to add in the employee time. Always consider the potential for attacks that could result in downtime that then could result in the loss of revenue.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

New Weapon Could End Collateral Damage


The military plans to test the Advanced Tactical Laser, a laser weapon mounted on a C-130H air transport that could destroy any weapon system without collateral damage. The project has been headed by Boeing Missile Defense Systems in a project with the U.S. Air Force. Boeing has already taken delivery of the aircraft and plans to modify the platform for the ATL program. The high-energy laser would be completed in Albuquerque, N.M. Officials said the first ground tests of the laser would take place in the summer of 2006.


detector could yield evidences of string theory


Researchers at Northeastern University and the University of California, Irvine say that scientists might soon have evidence for extra dimensions and other exotic predictions of string theory. Early results from a neutrino detector at the South Pole, called AMANDA, show that ghostlike particles from space could serve as probes to a world beyond our familiar three dimensions, the research team says.

In recent decades, new theories have developed – such as string theory, extra dimensions and supersymmetry – to bridge the gap between the two most successful theories of the 20th century, general relativity and quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics describes three of the fundamental forces of nature: electromagnetism, strong forces (binding atomic nuclei) and weak forces (seen in radioactivity). It is, however, incompatible with Einstein's general relativity, the leading description of the fourth force, gravity. Scientists hope to find one unified theory to provide a quantum description of all four forces.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

derivatives management increase

The derivatives market is heating up and IT spending on derivatives management will experience a steady increase according to a report by Aite Group. Industry spending on derivatives management technology will exceed $7 billion by 2009, up from $6.3 billion in 2005.

Returns from equities and fixed-income markets aren't gaining momentum and an increasing number of firms are turning to the derivatives instruments to rev up portfolios. The increase in the hedge fund activity has increased the demand for alternative instruments such as the offerings of the derivatives market.

Processing derivative transactions remains mostly a manual process prone to human error, which can result in financial losses. BAck-office automation is needed most and should account for the bulk of the increased spending.



Friday, January 20, 2006

iran pulling money out of europe

The government of Iran is moving money from European Central Banks in a measure to avoid ramifications from possible U.N. sanctions over their nuclear program. Iran removed some U.N. seals from its main uranium enrichment facility in Natanz, central Iran, on January 10 and resumed research on nuclear fuel including small-scale enrichment after a 2 1/2-year freeze.

One source has stated that Iran is moving their money to Southeast Asia.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Bin Laden offers Americans truce

In an audio tape broadcast on Aljazeera, Osama bin Laden has warned that al-Qaida was preparing an attack very soon, but also offered Americans a "long-term truce". The tape, broadcast on Thursday but dated to December last year, comes after a year of silence from the al-Qaida leader. The voice on the tape said heightened security in the United States is not the reason there have been no attacks there since the Sept. 11, suicide hijackings.

Instead, the reason is "because there are operations that need preparations," he said. Read More

blog about nuclear war against iran

I found an interesting blog that details the plans for nuclear war against Iran. This states that the planning is in the final stages. This story goes on to say that there is no considerable objections from the European Union, like there was with the war in Iraq.

Another story talks about CONPLAN 8022, which is a limited nuclear strike or strikes against targets where infantry troops would not be needed. The strike plan is offensive and can be carried out by presidential order. The explanation given by administration experts calls these "small" bombs, which would have a moderate effect on the environment. The effect of the bomb would not be discernible above ground, the radioactive fallout would be negligible, and the "collateral damage" caused to civilians would be minimal.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

tokyo stock exchange knocks off early

Criminal investigation of an Internet start-up foced the Tokyo stock exchange to close early. It closed twenty minutes early due to the flow of orders to the exchange. The benchmark for the Tokyo Stock Exchange plunged 2.9 percent Wednesday. The Nikkei 225 index dropped 464.77 points to close at 15,341.18 points, its biggest one-day drop since May 10, 2004. Share prices extended losses from Tuesday, when the Nikkei fell 2.8 percent, following Japanese newspaper reports that the investigation into Livedoor that had started Monday was expanding. The index has fallen nearly 6 percent the last two days.

Investors and the Japanese public alike were stunned when prosecutors marched into the Tokyo headquarters of Livedoor Monday evening on suspicion of violation of securities laws by giving false information.

Livedoor is headed by 33-year-old Takafumi Horie, who has risen to celebrity status as a geeky entrepreneur - a rarity in Japan. He has made unsuccessful attempts to buy a media conglomerate and a baseball team and frequently appears on TV.

The national daily Yomiuri Shimbun reported that Livedoor is suspected of concealing a 1 billion yen ($8.7 million) deficit for the full-year results ending September 2004.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

U.N. must stop Iran's nuclear weapons program

The United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and France said today that the United Nations must act now to stop Iran's nuclear weapons program. Direct talks with Iran about its nuclear program are going nowhere, top officials of the four nations said. An emergency meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency to report on Iran's defiance to the U.N. Security Council was called for, a step that could lead to sanctions against Tehran, possibly including an embargo on Iran's oil exports. "Our talks with Iran have reached a dead end," German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in Berlin. "The council should call for the Iranian regime to step away from its nuclear weapons ambitions," U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said. Rice said the four powers would consult with other nations, including Russia and China, two permanent members of the Security Council that have been less hostile to Iran's program. Rice said that even Russia and China have soundly denounced Iran's move on Tuesday to resume uranium enrichment by unsealing IAEA seals on its equipment. Enriched uranium can be used either to generate electricity or for nuclear weapons. Iran has said it intends only peaceful uses, but has rejected offers by the Europeans to provide uranium for nuclear power.

iran not worried over UN referral

Iran is "not worried" about its possible referral to the UN Security Council over its nuclear program. Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, the deputy to Ali Larijani who is Iran's chief official for the nuclear file said, "We should not be worried." Separately, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran will press on with its nuclear program to avoid dependency on the leading nuclear energy powers.

100 SUNS: documented nuclear testing


Between July 1945 and November 1962 the United States is known to have conducted 216 atmospheric and underwater nuclear tests. 100 SUNS documents the era of visible nuclear testing, the atmospheric era, with 100 photographs drawn by Michael Light from the archives at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the U.S. National Archives in Maryland. It includes previously classified material from the clandestine Lookout Mountain Air Force Station based in Hollywood, whose film directors, cameramen, and still photographers were sworn to secrecy.




Tuesday, January 10, 2006

open XML

Microsoft Corporation plans a formal standard for its Office productivity applications and Ecma International accepted the Microsoft application. Ecma created Technical Committee 45 (TC45) to produce a formal standard of office productivity applications which is compatible with the Office Open XML Formats.

The Open XML standard will make Office compatibility easier for competing desktop application suites such as Sun Microsystems branded StarOffice and OpenOffice.org. Microsoft released Office 2003 schemas in late 2003. In June, 2005 the company said they planned to make the new XML file formats the default in Office "12" and available to anyone under a royalty-free license.



Friday, January 06, 2006

iran's nuke program got help

The Iranians have been working on a nuclear bomb since 2000. Did the Clinton Administration sign off on a CIA operation that gave the Iranians a false set of firing instructions? What this did however was to give Iran the know-how to move on with their nuclear bomb program. The CIA program was called Operation Merlin, in which the CIA was to give flawed blueprints to Iran. The operation had a Russian go-between, but that person tipped the Iranians off to the flaws.

This operation was to have no known ties to the CIA. But why go get an agent from Russia when the Iranians were already getting help from the Russians to develop a nuclear bomb? Botched.

The intelligence community has been hit hard with revelations from whistle-blowers who may have been spied on themselves. Can the intelligence community recover? Maybe not completely. Can the answer be that difficult? Is the problem with the people or is it the times? Are we so full of leakers and traitors, that the answer is for the intelligence community to turn on itself?

We need leadership.



bird flu at the doorstep of Turkey

A child from the same family of eastern Turkey died from the bird flu. The virus has killed 74 people so far. The dead children (3) lived in a remote rural district of eastern Turkey near the Armenian and Iranian borders, in close proximity with poultry -- just like the east Asian victims.

He said the authorities had prepared a leaflet for locals detailing the precautionary measures they should take against the spread of bird flu and this was being distributed. Samples from Turkish patients were being analyzed in Britain.