Archive for the ‘Current Affairs’ Category

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Mark’s new column is worth a read

The best studies we can find say we are a nation of over 20 million bloggers, with 1.7 million profiting from the work, and 452,000 of those using blogging as their primary source of income. That’s almost 2 million Americans getting paid by the word, the post, or the click — whether on their site or someone else’s. And that’s nearly half a million of whom it can be said, as Bob Dylan did of Hurricane Carter: "It’s my work he’d say, I do it for pay." 


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What A Tragic end to the Year!

When the elections started I wondered if Bhutto would make it through them. Today her enemies cruelness, stupidity and naivety found their mark.  I hope this inspires all that were on the fence to follow her cause.

Ms Bhutto, 54, died in hospital in Rawalpindi. Ary-One Television said she had been shot in the head. Police said a suicide bomber fired shots at Bhutto as she was leaving the rally venue in a park before blowing himself up. “The man first fired at Bhutto’s vehicle. She ducked and then he blew himself up,” said police officer Mohammad Shahid. Police said 16 people had been killed in the blast.

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Blog Censorship…

The Blog censorship raises its ugly head not once but twice today.

First, from GMSV, the US military is clamping down on bloggers requiring that superiors approve of Blog posts. There are a large portion of US employers that require this if the blog is on company time and about company matters. This clearly doesn’t work for the Military who have a far broader reach.

“This is the final nail in the coffin for combat blogging. No more military bloggers writing about their experiences in the combat zone. This is the best PR the military has — its most honest voice out of the war zone. And it’s being silenced.” — Retired paratrooper Matthew Burden, editor of The Blog of War anthology, on a new Army directive requiring soldiers to submit the contents of blog posts, message board comments and e-mail to their superior officer for a security review.

I read a few of these blogs and have been surprised that they have been able to post so freely. But then, isn’t free speech one of the things we are fighting for?

Second, Digg removes posts with code in order to avoid legal action – and then says they’ll stop doing that and bear the consequences. Some call this move to keep the site up an act of commercial imperative over community responsibility. I call it commonsense expediency. The notion that bloggers can post whatever they like, anytime they like, is nonsense.

In a post, founder Kevin Rose published the key himself and said: “We’ve always given site moderation (digging/burying) power to the community. Occasionally we step in to remove stories that violate our terms of use (eg. linking to pornography, illegal downloads, racial hate sites, etc.). So today was a difficult day for us. We had to decide whether to remove stories containing a single code based on a cease and desist declaration. We had to make a call, and in our desire to avoid a scenario where Digg would be interrupted or shut down, we decided to comply and remove the stories with the code. But now, after seeing hundreds of stories and reading thousands of comments, you’ve made it clear. You’d rather see Digg go down fighting than bow down to a bigger company. We hear you, and effective immediately we won’t delete stories or comments containing the code and will deal with whatever the consequences might be. If we lose, then what the hell, at least we died trying.”

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US Airports Take The Liquids Out, Bangkok Puts It Back In…

Gizmodo reports that the new Bangkok airport will be cooled by fluids flowing beneath the floors: “Cold water flows directly underneath the floors on all levels, keeping the air a steady 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit up to 8.2 feet above the ground.” Very cool (sorry, couldn’t resist that…).

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Virgin is banning the use of ‘certain’ Dell and Apple laptops. Certain? How will they possibly enforce this? Has it occurred to them that the same manufacturer for Dell and Apple also makes the batteries for Sony and others?

What bothers me so much about current security policies is their implementation – cumbersome, half-arsed, and complicated. Everything a good security and safety policy shouldn’t be. Dell rightly says this is an overreaction. I’d call it plain stupid.