December 31st, 2011

How many ways can I kiss my ass goodbye?

For starters here’s an interesting news item. I can’t help but wonder who paid the tab for doing the engineering/research [sic]. What Yoshihiro Kawaoka did is not science, it’s technology. But of course most folks don’t know the difference. Here’s the story sent to me by a friend:

A University of Wisconsin-Madison scientist who is an expert on the avian flu virus is under scrutiny because of concerns his new research may fall into the wrong hands.

The scientist is Yoshihiro Kawaoka, an eminent professor of virology in the School of Veterinary Medicine who has done research on H5N1, also known as the avian bird flu. His work and similar research independently done by a Dutch scientist have raised concerns in science journals and on an NBC News report that aired Thursday night that touched on such controversial issues as bio-terrorism and scientific freedom.

Kawaoka has created a contagion virus in his lab, a UW official confirmed. But the official said he couldn’t discuss the nature of the virus because it would compromise the publication of Kawaoka’s research. [emphasis mine]

While the article posits that Kawaoka’s work could fall into the wrong hands, the reality is that what Kawaoka created has probably been “absorbed” by DOD and its corporate allies. How would you like to die?

December 15th, 2011

This site

Erm yeah, I f***** up. I might have deleted your comments account. We have/had some nasty injected redirection code you might have seen and erm well, seems like I have beenĀ  a bit too rigorous. Sorry.

December 15th, 2011

The cloud services

British BAE (a defense contractor), on the brink of contracting Microsoft for their Office365 services, bailed out. Although MS had promised their data would be stored in the UK (Dublin data center), they could not exempt BAE, or actually themselves from the US Patriot Act, which basically forces any US based company, or any foreign company with a US office, to hand over any data about any client also forbidding to inform the client this information has been requested and turned over. No thanks, up yours.

And yes, of course this also holds for me writing this on a US based hosting service, my gmail, etc etc. And yours.

Added December 16: Europe is working Data Protection Directive, which seems to be a head-to-head with the US government, actually forbidding companies to share data about EU citizens. One rules seems to be that a company cannot requested directly to hand over data about a EU citizen, but that such a request should always be funneled through national law enforcement. My opinion: utter window dressing BS. 1) US law enforcement will easily arm twist the Microsofts and Googles of this world, especially when it’s about non US citizens. 2) National governments will easily be arm twisted to comply. In politics, everything is merchandise,

December 14th, 2011
December 14th, 2011

The owl again

Brilliant shot by Henrik Nillson

December 7th, 2011

The conviction

I assume old news for you guys on the other side of the pond. Rod Blagojevic sentenced to 14 years! I wonder (honest question!), how much will he be behind bars?

December 5th, 2011

The bent objects

Too funny!

Here is the series.

December 1st, 2011

The sweet taste of justice

Let me make a little sidestep first. In my country a sort of state-authorized semi tax office operates called BUMA/STEMRA. They “tax” radio stations, websites, pub owners, employers and whatnot for playing music, on behalf of the producers and writers. It is of course a big scam covered under a blanked of fairness. They have been coming under more and more pressure as they are sitting on huge amounts of cashed money, but somehow are “unable” to redistribute that money to the legitimate owners.

Double sidestep: the same goes, but irrelevant for this story for another “foundation” that “taxes” media like CD-R’s, DVD-R’s and in the old days cassette tapes, as we, the public, are obviously using them to illegally copy music and movies. They even tried to get their hands on mp3 players, memory sticks and media boxes. That failed. So far.

Anyway…. Too funny! In some international score cards (too lazy to dig them up) my country is supposed to be at the very top when it comes to absence of corruption. A composer complained to BUMA/STEMRA about them having used his work on an anti-copy clip that is forced on us every time we play a DVD or go the cinema. His complaint was rejected. But when he called one of the board members, that guy he said, he could get the subject back on the agenda. Of course he wanted some compensation. One third to be precise. Of more than a million Euro’s (1.4 mln US dollars). Unfortunately, the conversation was taped. He even claimed the composer now had nothing and when he would have helped him out, at least he would have received 2/3rd. The gentleman has “temporarily stepped down to concentrate entirely on his defense”.

Don’t we LOVE the the media industry!!