Friday, December 31, 2004

Microsoft's Passport fails to travel far as Web strategy

The Seattle Times



"Microsoft is abandoning one of its most controversial attempts to dominate the Internet after rival companies banded together to oppose it and consumers failed to embrace it."



Hooray.

Zoz

Money would be good

DEC - Tsunami Earthquake (UK)
http://www.aah-usa.org/ (USA)
More links

If you have any spare spondooliks, bung them to the charities.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Israel stops Palestinians voting in East Jerusalem

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports



"Israel was accused yesterday of undermining the election of a Palestinian Authority president by allowing only a few thousand Palestinians to vote in East Jerusalem. More than 100,000 will have to [...] undertake long journeys around the separation wall in order to vote."



They came, they saw, they conquered, they disenfranchised.

Zoz

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Undercover investigators expose "Agriprocessors" torture

Peta



"AgriProcessor workers ignore the suffering of cows who are still sensible to pain after having their throats slit by the ritual slaughterer. The animals stagger and slip in blood while their tracheas dangle from their necks."



The video is very hard to bear. Depressing and infuriating. The listed statements are interesting. Good work by Peta. (Via Zudfunck)



Zoz

Friday, December 24, 2004

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Squeegees on Mars

LONDON (Reuters)

"An unexplained phenomenon akin to a space-borne car wash has boosted the performance of one of the two U.S. rovers probing the surface of Mars, New Scientist magazine says...It said something -- or someone -- had regularly cleaned layers of dust from the solar panels of the Mars Opportunity vehicle while it was closed down during the Martian night."

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Original fiction

Guardian Unlimited



There's a great lot of stories online here. Full marks to the Guardian for supporting the short story genre. I think I'll read the new Colm Tóibín one, A Song. There are other new ones by Helen Simpson, William Boyd, Hanif Kureshi, Jeannette Winterson and Yann Martel.

Ossian

Friday, December 17, 2004

Local boy made good

The redoubtable Ossian Lennon has now moved on to greater things. Under Red Woodward's tutelage he became the Willesden Herald's most prolific photographer. Before he left he showed the ropes to our latest star, Onion Mbeke.

War should be by assassination of leaders

There's far too much in the way of war and not enough in the way of assassination. If Hitler had been shot... If Saddam had been shot... If Joseph Kony could be shot... The world would be a better place. The United Nations should declare that any country formerly with a legal right to wage war, in future will only be allowed to assassinate its enemies' leaders. In effect war will be redefined as a battle to the death between leaders. Any leader who tried to launch an old-fashioned war would be eliminated. It's a safe bet there wouldn't be any wars if the leaders had to put themselves in the firing line. It's only our lives they don't value.

Law lords epitaph for Blunkett

Finacial Times

"Yesterday's ruling by an eight-to-one majority of law lords that detaining foreign terrorist suspects without trial breached human rights laws provides an appropriate epitaph for David Blunkett's record as home secretary. Indefinite imprisonment without charge or trial was anathema in any country that observed the rule of law, said one of the law lords."

What are the odds Blunkett had fore-knowledge of this ruling and chose a strategic retreat rather than a complete rout?

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Atomic tomatoes are not the only fruit

2004 Bad science awards

"But the winner [Least plausible cosmetics claim] was a hair-straightening treatment by Bioionic, called Ionic Hair Retexturizing: 'Water molecules are broken down to a fraction of their previous size ... diminutive enough to penetrate through the cuticle, and eventually into the core of each hair'. Shrinking molecules caused some concern among the physicists at the ceremony, since IHR was available just 200 yards away, and the only other groups who have managed to create superdense quark-gluon plasma used a relativistic heavy ion collider. The prospect of such equipment being used by hairdressers was deemed worthy of further investigation."

Everything in this article makes perfect sense from the Herald's point-of-view. They must mean "bad" in the jive-talk sense of "good."

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Oops, Caligula's horse refuses at the last

Blunkett resigns

He's not a minister nannymore.

Labour MP compares Blair to Caligula

The Independent Online

Prime Minister Tony Blair has "behaved like the Roman Emperor Caligula by pre-judging its findings [the Budd inquiry] and saying Mr Blunkett will be cleared... It is the Caligula principle really. Caligula made his horse a senator. He did it not because he thought his horse would be a good senator but because he wanted to demonstrate he could do what he wanted to do. Unfortunately that is becoming apparent with this Government." (Bob Marshall-Andrews)

All those against say Neigh.

Monday, December 13, 2004

This week's Blunkett / Gobdaw award

Sky News

"Warwick Strong was reportedly denied citizenship because he spent too much time abroad with the Army."

He spent more than 90 days out of the country - fighting for the army. Stupid Home Office jobsworth imbeciles strike again.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

More laughs

Guantánamo torture and humiliation still going on, says shackled Briton

"The Foreign Office had originally refused to give Mr Mubanga's family details of his claims of ill-treatment, blaming the data protection act."

The Data Protection (r)Ac(ke)t - cynically exploited by the police and establishment as both an excuse and a provocation. When they do this they are having a laugh, saying 'This is how we use your rights-protecting laws, suckers.'

Friday, December 10, 2004

Armed cavalry rampages in the countryside

Man cleared in Scottish hunting case

"The sheriff accepted Mr Adams's argument that the hounds had only been used to flush the foxes from cover and drive them towards people with guns, who would shoot them, as permitted under Scottish law."

Instead of just silly people on horses chasing foxes over fields, we now have an armed cavalry of riflemen charging around.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Ceremony of simultaneous disarmament to break N.I. deadlock

Film a joint disarmament ceremony, where representatives from paramilitaries on both sides place weapons into a central dump to be concreted there and then. Any remaining items to be decommissioned in front of witnesses agreed by both sides, but without pictures.



Zoz

Sunday, December 05, 2004

MSN bloggers try to foul up censorship tool

CNET News.com



"Unlike rival services such as Blogger, MSN Spaces forces new users to grant Microsoft permission to 'use, copy, distribute, transmit, publicly display, publicly perform, reproduce, edit, modify, translate and reformat' their blog postings."



I hope MSN falls flat on its face over this. MSN from day one has been misconceived and out-of-tune with the spirit of the Internet. It's past time for them to go away and leave it to people with something other than exploitation, monopolisation, appropriation, and coercion at heart.

Zoz

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Voters to challenge US election

Guardian Unlimited | US elections 2004



"Exit polls on election day suggested that the election could be heading towards a Kerry victory, deepening the despair in Democratic ranks at the Bush win. The anomaly was blamed on the exit polls, but Mr Arnebeck argued that it was evidence of malpractice."



As somebody pointed out, the Republicans probably think the exit polls were rigged. Maybe they were. Not.

Zoz