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.



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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

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.



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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



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