Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Analysis: President's appeal for harmony rings false

Washington -- President Bush's call for Republicans and Democrats to work together, for America to engage the world and for the nation to quit its addiction to oil will sound to many skeptics like Barry Bonds calling for an end to steroid use in baseball.

Talk, talk, talk! Actions (or the lack thereof) still speak much louder than words.
- Frank


AT&T sued over NSA spy program | Tech News on ZDNet

AT&T's alleged cooperation violates free speech and privacy rights found in the U.S. Constitution and also contravenes federal wiretapping law, which prohibits electronic surveillance 'except as authorized by statute.'


Primary care about to collapse, physicians warn - Yahoo! News

Primary care -- the basic medical care that people get when they visit their doctors for routine physicals and minor problems -- could fall apart in the United States without immediate reforms, the American College of Physicians said on Monday.


Bush: Idiot, Lunatic, or Both?


The Most Extreme Lens Available For The Canon XL1

The 'Big Guy' is Canon's largest EOS prime lens, a ridiculously huge 1200mm monstrosity. There are only about ten of these things in existence. Sports Illustrated owns two of them.

Camera buffs: For your shopping list
- Frank


USATODAY.com - E-mail worm bent only on destruction

It is designed to destroy all Microsoft Word, Excel, Access and PowerPoint documents and Adobe Acrobat and Photoshop files on all hard drives connected to an infected PC.

Monday, January 30, 2006


Leno caught in conservative crosshairs / After another Capitol defeat for GOP on sex offender bill, S.F. assemblyman's alternative draws fiery attacks

Behind the rhetoric are two competing efforts to strengthen laws regarding sexual assaults on kids. The debate involves election-year maneuvering and a hot political topic around the country, despite federal reports showing that the number of sexual offenses against children has declined dramatically.


How to Support the Troops

That it needs the deep pockets of private contributors like Denzel Washington to make up for the Bush administration’s shameful neglect of its wounded veterans says a lot for these generous people, but a lot more about the administration's shabby treatment of its wounded veterans, whose sacrifices Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and the others in this administration who never served in war have had such a hard time acknowledging.


Medicaid proposal could hurt seniors - The Boston Globe

Hundreds of thousands of seniors will find it tougher to get government help with nursing home costs under rules Congress is expected to approve as soon as Wednesday.


delawareonlinel - The right friend turns Realtor into lobbyist

But Grimes and Young has emerged as a niche lobbying firm with access to one powerful member of Congress -- Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., vice chairman of both the House Armed Services Committee and the House Homeland Security Committee.


Climate expert says NASA tried to silence him | CNET News.com

The top climate scientist at NASA says the Bush administration has tried to stop him from speaking out since he gave a lecture last month calling for prompt reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases linked to global warming.

Saturday, January 28, 2006


Dvorak Uncensored - US monetary system near collapse? Coin Your Own Money

Liberties, as the coins are called, are viewed by some people as an alternative to the U.S. government’s monetary system. The organization that makes Liberties claims that more than $15 million worth are in circulation throughout the nation.


USATODAY.com - Bolivian president slashes salary for public schools

President Evo Morales cut his salary by more than half and declared no Cabinet minister can collect a higher wage than his own, with the savings to be used to hire more public school teachers.

Friday, January 27, 2006


USATODAY.com - State of the Union? Not so good, most say

By more than 2-to-1, those surveyed say things have gotten worse in the United States over the past five years.

Duh? Rather frightening that the ratio isn't closer to 1000-to-1.
What type of person can watch what is going on and not think it has gotten worse?

Thursday, January 26, 2006


MercuryNews.com - AOL wins $5 million judgment against 'poster boy' spammer

A man who sent billions of junk e-mails hawking online college degrees, sexually explicit Web sites and ``generic Viagra'' must pay more than $5 million in penalties to America Online Inc., a federal judge ruled.


CNN.com - Grandpa dies on hearing - 7 children killed in fiery wreck - Jan 26, 2006

News of a crash in which seven children perished so upset their grandfather that he had a massive heart attack and died, the children's mother said.


Photos: A brief history of hard drives | CNET News.com

The IBM System 305, the world's first hard drive, debuted in 1956 and relied on the random access method of accounting and control (RAMAC) to store data.


Bono Band Mates Worry About 'Uncool' Pols

Bono did not name names in that context — but he was happy to cite new artists he admires, such as hip-hop sensation Kanye West.


Political opposites aligned against Bush wiretaps

Despite coming from opposite ends of the political spectrum, they agree on one other major issue: that the Bush administration's program of domestic eavesdropping by the National Security Agency without obtaining court warrants has less to do with the war on terror than with threats to the nation's civil liberties.

Bush - The Great Uniter!
- Frank

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


George W. Bush - American Coward


Single workout can lift mood in depressed patients - Yahoo! News

A single 30-minute walk on a treadmill can give a temporary emotional lift to patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder, the results of a small study suggest.


Science Spots New Cause of Chronic Pain - Yahoo! News

In a finding that could alter pain treatment, British scientists have found that undamaged nerve fibers, not injured ones, cause ongoing spontaneous pain.


WOAI: San Antonio News - Men in Mexican Army Uniforms Confront Texas Lawmen

Local lawmen in remote west Texas came face to face with ten armed men wearing what appeared to be Mexican army camouflage uniforms who came to the aid of one of three suspected drug dealers' vehicles when it became stuck in the riverbank of the Rio Grande, law enforcement officials said today.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Making It with Mail-Order - Yahoo! News

Online sales are becoming increasingly popular, but despite some of the predictions of demise we heard a decade or so ago, paper catalogs are still around. Why?


Disney buys Pixar for $7.4 billion in stock

Disney also gains the high-tech expertise of Pixar chief executive Steve Jobs, who is also the head of Apple Computer Inc., who will join Disney's board of directors and becomes Disney's largest individual shareholder.


How safe is your grocery store? - Dateline NBC - MSNBC.com

Americans spend nearly half a trillion dollars a year in the supermarket. In fact, most of us make a trip to the grocery store twice a week. While we wouldn’t shop in a store we didn’t think was safe (and there are tens of thousands of stores across the country that handle food safely), if there is one thing we’ve learned in Dateline’s year-long “Supermarket Sweep,” it’s that you can’t assume your grocery is as clean as it should be.


Evolution Sunday

On 12 February 2006 hundreds of Christian churches from all portions of the country and a host of denominations will come together to discuss the compatibility of religion and science. For far too long, strident voices, in the name of Christianity, have been claiming that people must choose between religion and modern science. More than 10,000 Christian clergy have already signed The Clergy Letter demonstrating that this is a false dichotomy. Now, on the 197th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, many of these leaders will bring this message to their congregations through sermons and/or discussion groups. Together, participating religious leaders will be making the statement that religion and science are not adversaries. And, together, they will be elevating the quality of the national debate on this topic.


Google co-founders cash in | CNET News.com

Since the search giant went public in August 2004, Brin has sold about 6.5 million shares at a market value of $1.68 billion. Page has sold about 5.8 million shares at a market value of $1.4 billion, according to calculations from Thomson Financial. Chief Executive Eric Schmidt, who was brought in to run the company before it went public, has sold more than 2.1 million shares, worth more than $502 million.


Dvorak Uncensored - Human-Chimp Connection Closer Than Ever

"Just another of the dazzling bits of knowledge growing from computational analysis. Still, it provokes the wry sense tnat is part of my name and history to ask if we need an additional differentiation between politicians and their closest relatives? Like maybe baboons?"

Monday, January 23, 2006


''What the President Ordered in This Case Was a Crime"

"No matter what one thought of the Clinton impeachment process, it should now be beyond debate that if the misdeeds of the former president required both examination and action by the Judiciary Committee -- as Sensenbrenner so obvioualy believed-- then the misdeeds of the current president must surely merit a similar response."


Review Casts Doubt on Soy Health Benefits - Yahoo! News

An American Heart Association committee reviewed a decade of studies on soy's benefits and came up with results that are now casting doubt on the health claim that soy-based foods and supplements significantly lower cholesterol.


USATODAY.com - High court rejects BlackBerry patent appeal

The justices had been asked to decide on whether U.S. patent law is technologically out of date in the age of the Internet and the global marketplace.

Saturday, January 21, 2006


SIZE MATTERS - Showhouse at Builders' Show addresses needs of today's messy, sprawling families

The reality is that we're messy, said the research, and we've got stuff everywhere: The firm, partnering with Timberlake cabinetry, built in storage galore, so much that the residents might need a database to track where they've put all their stuff. Often the cabinets, most of them in glazed maple, create reading nooks or window seats.


Parents should act, not freak out

The answer to this controversy is pretty simple. If you really are concerned about freak dancing and what kids are doing when the lights go down, step up and get involved. Foothill -- like most other schools -- is begging for adult chaperones.

Friday, January 20, 2006


A look at how thieves can clean your account

If you're among the millions of people whose retirement money is held by Fidelity Investments, it's the worst possible news you could receive.

Thursday, January 19, 2006


Feds take porn fight to Google | CNET News.com

The Bush administration's request, first reported by The San Jose Mercury News, is part of its attempts to defend the 1998 Child Online Protection Act, which is being challenged in court in Philadelphia by the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU says Web sites cannot realistically comply with COPA and that the law violates the right to freedom of speech mandated by the First Amendment.

The search engine companies are not parties to the suit.

Link to American Civil Liberties Union website

Cornell University's "First Amendment" overview and learning guide


Happy birthday, Brain.A | CNET News.com

Unless you're in the antivirus business, it's probably not worth celebrating. But 20 years ago this month, the first PC virus was discovered.


USATODAY.com - Maker of Frisbee, Hula Hoop sold to Hong Kong distributor

Wham-O, the maker of vintage toys like the Frisbee, Slip'N Slide and Hula Hoop, has been sold to a Hong Kong distributor that's trying to build a one-stop shop for outdoor fun.


Greater Georgelandia - Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Say hello to Greater Georgelandia.
It's power to the peephole.
by Mark Fiore

Download FLASH Player

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Dvorak Uncensored - Professors Targeted by Fascists

"“Radical” UCLA professors targeted by pseudo-alumni group — Shades of the Third Reich!

This is just to creepy to accept, no matter what kind of jerks these profs are."


Report: USDA Only Pretended to Do Probes

The Agriculture Department has pretended to investigate anticompetitive behavior among stockyards and meat companies since 1999, but in hundreds of cases hasn't actually filed complaints, says an audit released Wednesday.


Analysis: Troubled Medicare Troubles GOP - Yahoo! News

Since the Bush administration's prescription medicine program began on Jan. 1, tens of thousands of elderly people have been unable to get medicines promised by the government. Some 20 states have had to jump in to help them.

Incompetent, Corrupt, Unethical, etc. - It is quite difficult to choose just one word to describe the Republican Bush Administration.
- Frank

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Land developers devour mighty dairy industry

ONTARIO, CA — Once home to one of the nation's largest concentrationsof dairy farms, Southern California's so-called Inland Empire has a $500-million dairy industry that is evaporating rapidly as dozens of farmers sell out to real estate developers.

In the last two years, more than 160 dairies — nearly 80 percent of farms operating just a year ago — have either been sold or are in escrow, according to the Milk Producers Council, a trade association based in Chino.


ACLU Sues to Stop Domestic Spying Program - Yahoo! News

The New York suit, filed on behalf of the center and individuals, names President Bush, the head of the National Security Agency, and the heads of the other major security agencies, challenging the NSA's surveillance of persons within the United States without judicial approval or statutory authorization.

An excellent first step, hopefully to be quickly followed by arrest and/or impeachment of these sleazebags.
- Frank


Ohio Churches Face Probe Over Politics - Yahoo! News

The 31 leaders from nine denominations signed a letter Sunday asking the IRS to determine if the churches should lose tax-exempt status because of their support for Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, one of three Republicans seeking the nomination.

It's about time!
- Frank


Supreme Court Upholds Oregon Suicide Law - Yahoo! News

The administration improperly tried to use a drug law to prosecute Oregon doctors who prescribe overdoses, the court majority said.


RenewableEnergyAccess.com | In Wake of California Solar Plan, Industry Prepares for Expansion

Solar advocates and industry executives alike were in a state of complete exuberance at an industry reception Thursday at San Francisco City Hall following the narrow but successful vote by California state regulators to implement a long term rebate plan with unprecedented funding levels in the U.S.


Hillary: Bush is bad, White House a 'plantation' -- Newsday.com

'It has been run in a way so that nobody with a contrary view has had a chance to present legislation, to make an argument, to be heard,' she added to thunderous applause.


Hot sex treats common cold - PRAVDA.Ru

Shcedlovski's research results have already found support among his colleagues. Immunologist Peter Schleicher also shares the initial hypothesis of his colleague from Zurich. “Not only does sex heal our organism; it also sustains its immune system,” stated Peter Schleicher in his interview to Bild am Sonntag.

Monday, January 16, 2006


USATODAY.com - Public workers' pensions swelling

The portion of the private workforce enrolled in plans that pay monthly benefits for life has fallen from 39% in 1980 to 18% in 2004, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute. By comparison, more than 90% of government workers are covered by such plans, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says. Unlike private companies, most state and local governments cannot reduce pension benefits for existing workers or retirees.


227 Iraqi Ballot Boxes Tossed Amid Fraud - Yahoo! News

Election officials annulled some of the boxes because fake ballots were used, said Hussein Hendawi, an official with the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq. About 53 centers were annulled because too many votes were cast at that polling station, he said.

Unfortunately, it seems that Iraq is modeling their election process on that of the U.S. Republican Party.
- Frank


Cronkite: Time for U.S. to Leave Iraq

Former CBS anchor Walter Cronkite, whose 1968 conclusion that the Vietnam War was unwinnable keenly influenced public opinion then, said Sunday he'd say the same thing today about Iraq.

Saturday, January 14, 2006


Intel inside -- so what? / Few really care -- or understand -- what's inside anything

"Macworld Expo came to a close at San Francisco's Moscone Center on Friday, leaving an awestruck world to ponder the glory and the greatness of Apple Computer uniting with chipmaker Intel -- a corporate tie-up that publications worldwide hailed as 'historic.' To which I say: 'Get over it'." - David Lazarus

Some refreshing observations by David Lazarus. The Steve Jobs "Reality Distortion Field" does its best to gloss over the underlying facts: It took Apple and Jobs decades to "discover" UNIX and mainstream processor chips. One can only imagine where Apple might be now, if not for its undeservedly snobbish attitudes and myopic stubbornness.
- Frank

Friday, January 13, 2006


Hertz puts you in the hot seat

As of Jan. 1, Hertz's voluminous contract for its core customer base of millions of 'Gold Club' members has been changed in several eye-opening ways that place a far greater onus on customers to make good for any unforeseen mishaps.


Scientists: Donner Family Not Cannibals - Yahoo! News

There's no physical evidence that the family who gave the Donner Party its name had anything to do with the cannibalism the ill-fated pioneers have been associated with for a century and a half, two scientists said Thursday.

Thursday, January 12, 2006


California Energy Regulators OK Solar Program

Hoping to make California a world leader in solar power, state energy regulators Thursday approved some $3 billion in customer rebates over the next decade to encourage people to install solar panels on their roofs.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


Exotic Travel Brings Many Health Risks

Traveling to Africa or Southeast Asia? Malaria and dengue fever are the big worries. In the Caribbean and South America, it's infections from worms and other parasites. In south-central Asia, respiratory illness...

Outside poor countries, travelers also face health hazards. Hotels in warm Mediterranean countries are linked to Legionnaires' disease and cruise ships to outbreaks of viruses that cause diarrhea and vomiting, Dr. David R. Hill, director of Britain's National Travel Health Network and Center, wrote in an editorial.


How many people in the world live in extreme poverty?

- Each year over 8 million people die because they are simply too poor to stay alive.
- More than 800 million people go hungry every day.
- The gross domestic product of the poorest 48 nations is less than the wealth of the world's three richest people.
- Thirty-thousand children die every day due to hunger and treatable illnesses.
- 6 million children die every year before their fifth birthday, as a result of malnutrition.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


The Blame America First Crowd


Do Burned CDs Have a Short Life Span? - Yahoo! News

"Opinions vary on how to preserve data on digital storage media, such as optical CDs and DVDs. Kurt Gerecke, a physicist and storage expert at IBM Deutschland, has his own view: If you want to avoid having to burn new CDs every few years, use magnetic tapes to store all your pictures, videos and songs for a lifetime."

I would seriously question this conclusion. My own experience, using only properly stored Data Certified tapes, showed a failure rate of over 75% after only six (6) years. I have (since 1999) used redundant hard disk copies, with regular, verified transfers to newer disk drives on an annual basis. Paranoia seems to be the guiding factor with current archival technologies.
- Frank

Monday, January 09, 2006


Americans saving less than nothing / Spending could outstrip income in 2005, which hasn't happened since the Depression

When the Commerce Department recently tallied up consumer finances for November, it found that Americans shelled out more money than they took in. It was the seventh such month of red ink during 2005.


USATODAY.com - Ants build their own medicine cabinet

Pesticides may be a relatively recent innovation for human farmers, but a team led by University of Wisconsin bacteriologist Cameron Currie says the ants, who farm fungus, have likely been keeping their crops pest-free with these antibiotics for at least 50 million years.

Sunday, January 08, 2006


Belafonte Calls Bush 'Greatest Terrorist'

The American singer and activist Harry Belafonte called President Bush 'the greatest terrorist in the world' on Sunday and said millions of Americans support the socialist revolution of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.

Friday, January 06, 2006


SAN FRANCISCO / Jack London's lens on 1906 quake / Author's photos, never seen by public, get centennial show

London was at the height of his fame as an author in 1906, and he and his new wife, Charmian, roamed the ruins of San Francisco on assignment for Collier's magazine, making notes, interviewing people and taking photographs.


USATODAY.com - Tech industry works to move Web content off PCs

These companies agree that the World Wide Web ought not be confined. They're packing the huge CES floor with new products that promise to get the Internet off the desktop and into the real world


9 Things Your New iPod Can't Do / Yes, it does everything. But can it stop the crying? Measure Dick Cheney's vileness? Read minds?

"Because the iPod does everything you want it to do but it doesn't do nearly enough. It is perfect but deeply flawed. It is immaculately conceived but lacking in countless vital functions. You have many untapped needs. You have countless unfulfilled experiences. The iPod is so good, you cannot help but wish it would go much, much further."

Thursday, January 05, 2006


Church Sign Generator

Choose the design you want to use.


Robertson Links Sharon Stroke, God's Wrath

Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson suggested Thursday that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's stroke was divine punishment for "dividing God's land."


2006 Design Challenge : The GMC PAD - An LA Adventure

Why commute? Adapt. That’s the thinking behind the GMC PAD, which offers an innovative look at an urban loft with mobility. It’s a home ownership concept that enables cultural and geographic freedom for the modern city dweller. The GMC PAD features a diesel-electric hybrid system for propulsion while in DriveMode, and serves as a generator for the onboard power grid for LifeMode. The media rich environment is unlike any other, and comes with an endless variety of entertainment, information and security options. With the GMC PAD, home is where you want it. And commuting is what other people do.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Prove Christ exists, judge orders priest - World - Times Online

Signor Cascioli maintains that early Christian writers confused Jesus with John of Gamala, an anti-Roman Jewish insurgent in 1st-century Palestine. Church authorities were therefore guilty of “substitution of persons”.

The Roman historians Tacitus and Suetonius mention a “Christus” or “Chrestus”, but were writing “well after the life of the purported Jesus” and were relying on hearsay.


the adventures of a boy and his computer - Happy New Year, you huddled masses

"That is what scares me, the idea that people see what Bush is doing and they're glad. They want a king, not a president. They want feudalism. They want a king annointed by God, and noblemen, and knights to slay dragons. They're afraid of the dragons, but they don't realize that the same guys that are offering to slay the dragons are the ones that created the dragons. They think when they have a king, they're going to get freedom and safety and opportunity. The Great American mythology says they will, and the king and his noblemen are wrapping the coming feudalism in red, white, and blue, and showing it to you with stirring music and flashy graphics and inspiring slogans, and Americans see the graphics and hear the slogans and think that means freedom."
- Ryland Sanders

A great "food for thought" article to start off 2006 [some adult language].
- Frank


New York Daily News - Entertainment - Roth: New mouth, off & running

Roth, who turned 50 in October, doesn't talk dollars. But he does promise to work hard for the money, and that includes cheerfully playing into Infinity's hope that his reputation as the wild-man lead singer of Van Halen will give his radio show the warm glow of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll.

Good Luck to you, Diamond Dave!
- Frank

Monday, January 02, 2006


Pressure to export fresh water likely to grow as U.S. shortages increase - Yahoo! News

Officially, the U.S. government says it's not interested in Canadian water. But many believe the issue will soon break into the open.

Sunday, January 01, 2006


New York's Plaza hotel goes condo - Dec. 27, 2005

Prices start at $2 million for an 1,100-square-foot one-bedroom condominium -- and that's for one that doesn't have views of Central Park -- and max out at $32.5 million for the penthouse, the New York Daily News reported Tuesday.


MercuryNews.com | 12/29/2005 | Flying to India for a physical

The 28-step examination lasted from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., providing the medical team with enough time to assess his health in painstaking detail.

In between the phases of the physical, a friendly staffer served him breakfast, then coffee or tea, lunch, and then more coffee or tea. The bill: about $110.

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