Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Plane loses engine, returns to airport

Winner of today's calmest headline and lead paragraph award

Amplify’d from www.upi.com

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 31 (UPI) -- A Qantas flight was forced to return to San Francisco International Airport early Tuesday when the jetliner's engine exploded in mid-air, officials said.

Read more at www.upi.com

Monday, August 30, 2010

Glenn Beck’s Rally

Here is an interesting angle on how the Glenn Beck rally is being covered.

Amplify’d from vikf.org

This post is more about the media, than about Glenn Beck’s rally itself.  It is increasingly the case that 1 news lead becomes the one that gets taken by newspapers (news sources) worldwide.  Lazy journalism in a cash-strapped time of transition.

Glenn Beck at Rally

In this case the dominant report on what should be a extremely closely watched event (but instead everyone starts blabbing away based on second hand knowledge) is an AP article with the title Beck: Help us restore traditional American values.

But if you read the article you traverse 3 full paragraphs before you see anything remotely related to values.

But things get even worse, and this is why I write this here.  The first mention of anything related to values, shows in fact how pathetic the news media is on this issue (and that in my book is a real danger).  What they call values is an uneducated media figure asking people to turn to God and to pray. These may or may not be good things to do.  I don’t care.  But this is simply religion, preaching, and exhortation.  It is not a discussion of values.

Read more at vikf.org

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Computer auction

Going once, ... Going twice.

Sold for 50,000 dollars

Iraq the 5th most corrupt nation on earth

Amplify’d from www.reuters.com

Corruption has been a major problem for Iraq since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. Transparency International's 2009 corruption perceptions index ranked Iraq as one of the world's most corrupt nations -- 176 out of 180 countries.

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Computer equipment worth $1.9 million which the U.S. military says was a gift for Iraqi schoolchildren but was auctioned off for less than $50,000 was sold legally, Iraq's customs authority said Sunday.

Read more at www.reuters.com

Windows DLL load hijacking exploits go wild

In case you're work needs to be secure

A worthy read

Amplify’d from www.reuters.com

Less than 24 hours after Microsoft said it couldn't patch Windows to fix a systemic problem, attack code appeared Tuesday to exploit the company's software.

Also on Tuesday, a security firm that's been researching the issue for the last nine months said 41 of Microsoft's own programs can be remotely exploited using DLL load hijacking, and named two of them.

On Monday, Microsoft confirmed reports of unpatched -- or zero-day -- vulnerabilities in a large number of Windows programs, then published a tool it said would block known attacks. At the same time, the company said it would not patch Windows because doing so would cripple existing applications.

If attackers can dupe users into visiting malicious Web sites or remote shares, or get them to plug in a USB drive -- and in some cases con them into opening a file -- they can hijack the PC and plant malware on the machine.

By Tuesday, at least four exploits of what some call "binary planting" attacks, others dub "DLL load hijacking" attacks, had been published to a well-known hacker site. Two of the exploits targeted Microsoft-made software, including PowerPoint 2010, the presentation maker in Office 2010, and Windows Live Mail, a free e-mail client bundled with Vista but available as a free download for Windows 7 customers.

Read more at www.reuters.com

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Mosque at Ground Zero

This is an article I wrote today

Amplify’d from www.examiner.com

One can only be concerned over the politicization of the controversy surrounding plans to build an Islamic center and mosque near the site of the World Trade Center. Elected officials have gone on record opposing the development of a mosque two blocks from Ground Zero.

So. "Is building a mosque 2 blocks from ground zero a good idea?" is not the right question (at least not the right question if one is trying to decide whether or not it should be permitted). The right questions are these: "Is it legal to be Muslim in America?" and "Has the 1st amendment of the US Bill of Rights been repealed?" Frankly I am a little afraid when elected officials are willing to ignore or violate the US Constitution. What if tomorrow someone doesn't like my religion? And the day after that the governor doesn't like your religion?Read more at www.examiner.com

The Mosque at Ground Zero - New York Church & State | Examiner.com

The Mosque at Ground Zero - New York Church & State | Examiner.com

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Concrete barrier removed in Jerusalem

"The situation greatly improved."

News about LESS conflict in Jerusalem.

Did you see or hear about it in any news source?

Amplify’d from www.upi.com

Concrete barrier removed in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM, Aug. 15 (UPI) -- The dismantling began Sunday of a concrete barrier erected in the second intifada to protect Jerusalem residents from Palestinian sniper fire.

At the outbreak of the second intifada in October 2000, Palestinian snipers positioned themselves in Beit Jalla -- separated by a deep gorge from the Jerusalem neighborhood -- and shot at Israelis.

A decision was made two years later to erect high concrete barriers along the side of the neighborhood that overlooks the Palestinian areas, to enhance residents' security.

Home Front command officer Lt. Gen. Hezi Revivo Sunday said a decision was made to dismantle the barrier because of the greatly improved situation.

"The security situation in the area has greatly improved in recent years and there is no need to leave the barrier standing. However, if in the future the situation deteriorates and residents once again are threatened, we will erect it again," he told Israel Radio.

Read more at www.upi.com

Values in Knowledge Foundation

Values in Knowledge Foundation

On August 10, 2010 the State of New York granted incorporation to the Values in Knowledge Foundation.

We are very excited for the official launch of this project.

Please visit the site as we begin the important work of the foundation.

Thank you

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The end is near

Here's a comical piece of autobiographical bias

Naff is fine with scientific doomsday, but still finds room in his self-delight to disparage Christian believers

Amplify’d from www.huffingtonpost.com

You might think that scientists and Evangelicals have nothing in common. But you'd be wrong. Large numbers of both agree on one thing: the end is near.

A few years back, Sir Martin Rees, Britain's Royal Astronomer, published a book titled Our Final Century, in which he put the odds of human survival through this century at no better than 50-50. Now, biologist Frank Fenner, who played a key role in ending the scourge of smallpox, says the end is certain.

Fundies entertain no such doubts. Preacher Tim LaHaye and his potboiler copilot Jerry Jenkins have made a vast fortune describing the gory biblical end they gleefully anticipateRead more at www.huffingtonpost.com

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Getting in (and Out of) Line

The article might be a touch better written but it's observation is inventive and important.

It examines "queuing" as a sign of cultural and social evolution, and raises an important warning of reversion to a more subtle form of the old rudeness.

Amplify’d from www.nytimes.com

The reality may be more complicated, though, for in India and elsewhere, the reigning idea of modernity involves not just an evolution into queuing but also an evolution out. As scrums succumb to queues, queues are succumbing to the free market.

But the market also changes a culture. A line conceives of people as citizens, presumed equal, each with an identical 24 hours a day to spread among the lines around them. A market conceives of people as consumers, presumed unequal, with those who can pay in front of the others. It allocates efficiently, but it eliminates a feature of line culture: the idea that, in line at least, we are no better than anybody else.

In a way, the market’s spread is a return to another kind of scrum, one in which financial, and not physical, might means right. Perhaps one day lines will be remembered as antique, a quaint system in which things were granted simply for having shown up early, an interlude of relative equality between the scrums that reigned before and after.

Read more at www.nytimes.com