<< April 2003 | June 2003 >>
xenophobia threatens scientific progress - EurekAlert
drug studies 4 times as likely to favour sponsor's product - New Scientist
Salam Pax reveals more about himself in an interview - Guardian
and he's going to have a regular column in the Guardian
transcripts show Straw and Powell mistrusted Iraqi WMD evidence - Guardian
but they sold it on behalf of Blair and Bush anyway
police raid University of Technology, Sydney, in "music piracy" case - ZDnet
McDonalds sues food critic for calling fries "obscene and tasting of paper" - Mirror [via ProRev]
sunrise analemma at Delphi - AstroPic of the Day [via MLite]
"the figure-8 loop you get when you mark the position of the Sun at the same time each day through the year"
Lindows CEO Michael Robertson gamely taking on Bill Gates - Register
includes an interview about Lindows 4.0 features
Rwandan referendum approves draft constitution: elections to come - IRIN
SCO is suing IBM over IP they don't even own! - Register
"Novell challenged SCO's assertion that it owns the copyrights and patents to UNIX System V... the asset purchase agreement entered into in 1995 did not transfer these rights"
city of Munich to switch 14,000 computers from Windows to Linux - Forbes
"chief executive Steve Ballmer had personally campaigned for Microsoft's counter-offer to the city"
an overview of the state of the book publishing industry - PubWeekly [via CR]
WMD found in cleanup of bio-defence centre -- in Maryland - Guardian
"including 100 vials of anthrax and other dangerous bacteria"
the Black-Scholes option pricing equation: a history - Edinburgh [750k PDF, via D2]
"An Equation and its Worlds: Bricolage, Exemplars, Disunity and Performativity in Financial Economics"
European Bank meeting a PR nightmare for dictator Karimov - EurasiaNet
and lots of people are asking why the US isn't liberating Uzbekistan
papers written by Google staff - Google [via WMW]
mostly pretty technical - but they do some fascinating research
grand and terrible truth in a Kuro5hin discussion skeleton? - MLite
an anti-telemarketing counterscript - EGBG
Argentineans cheer Fidel Castro - Guardian
who killed Lingua Franca
? - Moby Lives [via Baja Missouri]
and who is the Dennis Dutton behind Arts and Literature Daily?
volunteer traffic cops help manage Baghdad congestion - Guardian
"Sami stands in the middle of a sweltering street, telling some cars to go here and others to go there, determined to make the traffic of Baghdad - and his life, too - just a little bit better."
an interview with South African novelist Nadime Gordimer - Guardian [via Moor]
writing at 80, eggs for breakfast, and mixed-race couples in the park
is Microsoft losing its market grip? - ScotOnSun [via Link]
Free as in Education: a survey of free software in developing countries - LJ [via Link]
obituary for Aus. Communist violin-maker who gave away instruments - SMH
and helped defeat the 1951 referendum to ban the Communist Party
Eric Hobsbawm debates Christopher Hitchens - Independent [via CR]
Afghanistan is being left to fend for itself - Observer [via Rotten]
aid per person: Bosnia $326, Kosovo $288, East Timor $195, Afghanistan $42
vivid vignettes of life in Iraq - Raed
a privileged media enclave, erratic prices, the power out in Nasiriyah, Pepsi and shampoo as "aid", ... and the CIA is employing ex-Mukhabarat agents
amusing SMH text index for May 26th - SMH
stories about rainwater tanks and marsupial fossils come before the resignation of the governor-general
(also a good illustration of why print headlines don't work on the web)
Australia mindlessly echoes the US threats against Iran - SMH
400,000 Iraqi troops dismissed by US - Guardian
and given one month's salary as "a form of pension"
Red Cross denied access to Iraqi prisoners held by the US - Guardian
"requests to inspect conditions under which prisoners are being held have been met with silence or turned down"
I have converted my reviews to CSS (style sheets) - read a random review
I would most appreciate help checking them in different browsers
(or improvements to my CSS if anyone has recommendations)
Irish government uses voting software without having source code - P45 [via /.]
it's bad enough not making the code public, but not having it themselves?!
a fearful rant - Blogorrhea [via RtoS]
"So we hate ourselves, buy lots of stuff, and place our trust in governments that we wouldn't trust to lie straight in bed if it wasn't for the fact we need 'em to keep the wogs out."
20 000 children displaced, 300 schools destroyed in Aceh - UNICEF [via OneWorld]
War, Lies and WMD - LewRockwell [via AntiWar]
"Is there an ethical distinction between lying to get your country out of a war and lying to get your country into one?"
Australian history has been hijacked by Gallipoli - SMH
"Lest we Forget? We have forgotten. That is our real tragedy."
the Australian anti-spam organisation deserves a plug - CAUBE
Two "reputable" Australian companies spammed me today: I rang one, only to be told I "supported chopping down trees", and the other came from someone at a computer company who sounded like they should have had a clue. Sigh. I'm now getting around 200 spams a day, with 10 of them getting past SpamAssassin.
senior Republican senator warns Bush on Iraq - Times [via AntiWar]
"The days when Americans could win battles and then come home quickly for a parade are over."
the IMF, WB, and WTO face a unilateral America - Guardian
"those on the free-market right who see the Bretton Woods institutions as expensive, statist bureaucracies are mirrored by those on the left who view them as agents of neo-liberal oppression"
putting the $10 trillion US deficit swing into perspective - Kos
the future of Red Hat's ordinary Linux distribution - Register
"If you make money out of selling software, then it's quite possibly difficult not to turn into Microsoft"
estimates are 5000 to 10000 civilians were killed in Iraq invasion - CSM [via Agonist]
and no one's even guessing how many Iraqi soldiers died
Robert Byrd speaks on Iraq in the US Senate - CD
"eventually the truth will emerge. And when it does, this house of cards, built of deceit, will fall"
Israel may apply to join European Union - Haaretz
the African slave trade is alive and well in the UK - Observer [via Rotten]
"Children are being trafficked into domestic service in Britain to clean houses and do chores without pay. The victims are mostly west African girls"
pre-Mayan civilisation found in Central America - BBC [via Link]
"relics include what appears to be a centre for mass production of ceremonial columns"
web filters would cripple Aus parliamentary librarians - SMH
"filters designed to block pornography could also also cut out 55% of references to condoms, 50% of safe sex sites, 60% of gay health sites and even 32% of pregnancy sites"
children in one SE Asian tribe can see twice as clearly underwater - Nature [via Catallaxy]
New South Wales to trial palliative marijuana use - SMH
"Legalised cannabis will be prescribed to people suffering from chronic pain or wasting illnesses"
some online music microeconomics - Kuboid [via Link]
the Vikings introduced ironing to Scotland - DailyRecord [via SueB]
one case of mad cow disease in Canada - AlertNet [via Agonist]
the US is "banning Canadian cattle and beef imports after Canada reported its first case in a decade"
not impressed by Justin Raimondo and antiwar.com - Cosma
"I'm all for a broad front, but not with this"
(But some of the "paleo" criticisms of Bush etc. are spot on - and no one else seems to be making them.)
US military interrogators use Metallica and Barney - Guardian
"it is reported that the combination of high-voltage rock and happy-smiley children's songs can break the will of the hardest terrorist or rogue element"
Eric Raymond on the SCO-IBM lawsuit - OSI [via /.]
"SCO would, for understandable reasons, prefer that the courts remain ignorant of the history, outcome, and implications of the BSD lawsuit."
Pakistan is thinking of re-negotiating Afghan border agreement - DailyTimes [via Agonist]
"the 1893 Durand Line agreement provided for free movement of border area peoples"
new study suggests chimps should be in the genus Homo - NewScientist
and should Pluto be stripped of "planet" status?
Indonesia launches a new offensive in Aceh - ABCnews
a good week: only 9 Iraqi children die trying to salvage munitions - Guardian
"they aren't doing this for fun. They are doing it to earn hard cash, funds their families need to buy food."
an interview with Andrew Tridgell about Samba - Register
"The other way that Samba could come to an end is for people to stop installing Microsoft Windows on their desktops. That would really be the best result, but I'm not holding my breath."
US Department of Defense mislays $1 trillion - SFGate [via Rotten]
and "56 airplanes, 32 tanks, and 36 Javelin missile command launch-units"
the Bible stories of Conquest and Monarchy were political spin - Haaretz
archaeologist Israel Finkelstein in fine form
Microsoft is licensing Unix patents and code from SCO?! - news.com
demonisation of Saudi Arabia; restoration of the Iranian monarchy - AntiWar
taking the wrong approach to counter-terrorism - Observer [via Kos]
"Al-Qaeda can only be understood as an ideology, an agenda and a way of seeing the world"
US POW rescue was staged for media - BBC [via PhilG]
"the strategy was to ensure the right television footage by using embedded reporters and images from their own cameras, editing the film themselves"
could Australia build nuclear weapons? - Kuro5hin
Arundhati Roy on "Instant-Mix Imperial Democracy" - CD [via RW]
Unis might pay so students can legally share music - Chronicle [via ShiftL]
a nice overview of the file-sharing in universities issue
censorship of fetishes in videos imported into Australia - Eros Foundation [via EFA]
by the Foundation president, previously deputy chief censor
some of the evidence against Labour MP Galloway is clearly forged - Mirror [via MaxSpeak]
"glaring misspellings of Iraqi officers' names and mistakes in the title of Saddam's son Qusay"
American soldiers vandalise the ancient city of Ur - Observer
polar bear attacks nuclear submarine - StrategyPage [via Stross]
Texas bill would make donating to Greenpeace a terrorist offence - About [via Agonist]
Benin and Ouidah: the pop idol and the voodoo forest - OpenDemocracy [via referers]
no light in the Afghan tunnel - Worldnet Daily [via AntiWar]
"Last month, the increasingly bold Taliban forces took and held two district towns along the Pakistan border for a week"
armed militia are dividing up Baghdad - New Republic [via RW]
and stockpiling heavy weapons for a civil war
industrialized fishing has reduced predatory fish by 90% - Nature [via K5]
Salam Pax update - DearRaed [via RW]
"The American civil administration in Iraq is having a shortage of Bright ideas. ... Trial and error on a whole country?"
Iraqi children play on tanks destroyed by Depleted Uranium bullets - CSM [via RW]
"US military guidelines developed after the first Gulf War required any soldier coming within 50 yards of a tank struck with DU to wear a gas mask and full protective suit"
US Army orders Mosul TV shut down for rebroadcasting Al-Jazeera - WSJ [via K5]
the major heading the Army public-affairs office refuses and is relieved of duties
violent deaths in Baghdad up 60% over the last 10 days - CSM [via Agonist]
morgue director: "there have been 124 over the past 10 days, almost all gunshot homicides"
another piece on Google - Forbes [via WMW]
giant jellyfish assigned to new subfamily - Astrobiology
"T. granrojo has no tentacles. Instead, it uses its four to seven fleshy arms to capture food."
can Bush manage his party's social conservatives? - Economist
the British government retreats in disarray from Iraq WMD claims - Guardian
a woman with two wombs gives birth to twins - BBC [via Rotten]
apparently one woman in a thousand has double wombs
UN inspectors warn US that Iraq nuclear materials pose threat - Guardian
the US is leaving Afghanistan in a complete mess - Day
"It does have one industry that appears to be flourishing: poppy production for the international heroin trade"
leaked documents reveal Microsoft "special fund" to stop Linux etc - IHT [via Link]
but its discounts to keep large customers may be illegal in the EU
religions in the 2001 Canadian census - StatsCan [via /.]
70% Protestant or Catholic, "no religion" up to 16% (from 1% in 1971), substantial increases in Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism
an Uzbekstan and Kyrgyzstan travelogue - Sven Gheeraert
Khiva, Samarkand, and Bukhara - and the Karakol
Zeitgeist for April 2003 - Google
an excerpt from Psychology
on Happiness - David Myers [via PhilG]
"million-dollar lottery winners and people who are paralyzed report roughly similar levels of happiness"
sticky plant sap may be causing cancer in Africa - New Scientist [via DiePH]
"White sap from the African milkbush is used by children as a gooey toy or as glue in their schoolbooks, while adults use it to make herbal remedies"
Sharon rejects removal of settlements - SMH
but Powell still pretends the "road map" is going somewhere
Iraq is being governed by and for the US - CommonDreams [via RW]
"the US has successfully liberated the people of Iraq from meaningful involvement in decisions about their own future"
Seymour Hersh interview on the war and intelligence - New Yorker [via AntiWar]
"The Pentagon group's idea was, essentially: Let's just assume that there is a connection between Al Qaeda and Iraq, and let's assume that they have made weapons of mass destruction"
Democrat lawmakers escape Texas, are hunted by police - Houston
"House rules allow for the arrest of members who thwart a quorum, although the act carries no other criminal or civil sanction."
Clare Short resigns as Blair goes along with the sidelining of the UN - FT
Thailand government launches notebook, desktop with Linux - ZDnet [via Link]
"The ministry will offer 100,000 computers at first but they plan to ramp up to a million in subsequent phases"
the importance of open standards in IT - Economist [via Link]
"This is not simply a question of protocols and interfaces. Entire pieces of software are becoming open standards of sorts."
an introduction to WorldCat - Tim Bray [via ShiftL]
"798 million books, 40,974,753 unique book titles, 2,475,845 serials, 692,264 maps"
people's personalities change with age - BBC [via PhilG]
more concientious and agreeable; women less extraverted and neurotic
Israel's military culture - Ha'aretz review [via AntiWar]
""peace has not always headed Israel's list of priorities and war has not always headed its neighbors'"
Google now has country-specific news pages - Australia [via WMW]
also UK, Canada, New Zealand, presumably others
12 Iraqi sailors and two warships have been in northern Italy for 17 years - Guardian
"The 680-tonne corvettes have not moved since they were built as part of an order from Iraq in the early 80s."
another US manager replaced after failures in Iraq - Guardian
"The former telephone exchange was on fire yesterday after being looted again, and there were big blazes elsewhere round the city"
an uninspired journalist interviews Bashar Assad - WP [via Agonist]
long interview with Azar Nafisi on life in Iran - Atlantic [via RW]
teaching Nabokov, James and Austen in Tehran
singer Inul a sign of changing times in Indonesia? - Asia Times
with comparisons to Elvis and the Beatles
uncertain election results in Iceland - Guardian
"The fishing industry accounts for more than 50 percent of Iceland's economy."
technological illiteracy and Iraqi WMD - Asia Times [via RtoS]
"As the embargo stretched out, the chance that an irreplaceable part had gone missing somewhere along the technological "food chain" became practically infinite."
how much longer will academics control Ireland's .ie domain? - Register
the US and British want complete freedom in Iraq - Guardian
"what this resolution boils down to is legitimisation of an illegal war and of an open-ended occupation. It gives them a free hand in Iraq. What it will give Iraqis is much less clear."
long piece on The New Germany - Wilson Quarterly [via ALD]
"Germany may think it's the sick man of Europe, in dire need of reforms it shrinks from making. But Germany feels like one nation again."
will Google separate blogs from other content? - Register [via WMW]
Tim Judah in Baghdad - NYROB [via RW]
"If you walk the streets of Baghdad at night it is best to move quickly and keep to the shadows."
Thomas Pynchon's introduction to a new edition of Orwell's 1984
authors offer brief put-downs on high-profile books they loathed - Independent [via CR]
Alpine "Iceman" had sophisticated weapons and clothing - Observer [via anthro-l]
two American soldiers shot dead in Baghdad on May 8 - NewsDay
"one a bold daylight shooting at close range and the other a sniper attack"
programming languages: strong typing or strong testing? - Bruce Eckel [via /. comment]
the US plans to pull out of Afghanistan - Time [via Rotten]
... even though the security situation is worse than it was a year ago
South Australia considers open source software law - ComputerWorld
Microsoft is trying to reinvent the PC platform - Register [via RW]
"Microsoft does however have the power to make fundamentally dumb ideas into industry standards"
8000 year old writing in China? - Nature [via AWW]
"Symbols carved into tortoise shells may be the oldest words yet discovered. The findings may also shed light on the ritualistic practices of Neolithic China."
Salam Pax is back, with a long blog backlog from Baghdad - Where is Raed? [via ShiftL]
"War sucks big time. Dont let yourself ever be talked into having one waged in the name of your freedom."
a breakdown of those "willing" to send peacekeepers to Iraq - Guardian
Spain wants somewhere cushy, with "no demonstrations"; Bulgaria, Honduras, and Nicaragua need someone else to pay; Poland wants a UN resolution; which leaves "maybe" the Netherlands and Denmark -- and stable bastions of democracy Albania and the Ukraine
an (old) history of the Harvill Press - Second Circle
one of my favourite publishers too
sparkling, systematic analysis of WMD propaganda - Cogent [via JHolbo]
"So no WMDs -- and no apologies! You've been had, John Q. Public, and it's for your own good! Same for you, Coalition of the Willing!"
problems with PPP, or how not to count the poor - Columbia [via Junius]
"The estimates of the extent, distribution and trend of global income poverty provided in the World Bank's Development Reports for 1990 and 2000/01 are neither meaningful nor reliable."
the Paris Club, "an informal group" and "non-institution" - Slate
financial "pooh-bahs" from the world's wealthiest nations consider appeals from desperate countries
A Wizard of Earthsea, Tombs of Atuan, The Farthest Shore
- The Earthsea Trilogy [review]
still the first work that comes to mind when I'm asked "The Lord of the Rings, yes, but what then?"
update on Iraq reconstruction - LA Times [via RW]
the company supposed to train the new police force can't enter Iraq because it's too dangerous?!
Iran's nuclear weapons program - BusinessWeek [via AntiWar]
"they have seen that nuclear weapons make you more respected and make people talk to you"
Hackers and Painters: programming is art, not science - Paul Graham [via K5]
"CS is a grab bag of tenuously related areas thrown together by an accident of history, like Yugoslavia"
an update on the Laos Remote IT Village Project - Wired [via /.]
Linux is being accepted "in the enterprise" - IT Directory [via LWN]
"Oracle has begun actively recommending Linux to customers over all other operating environments, including the Unix flavours and Windows."
an anti-American protest in Kabul - Reuters [via RW]
students and civil servants, led by "a prominent Afghan philosopher known for outspoken criticisms of the communist regime of the 1980s, the Mujahideen governments that replaced it and also the Taliban"
Complete Review reaches 1000 review milestone - CR
I'm almost up to 700 myself
Umm Qasr isn't a happy town - Age [via AntiWar]
"Umm Qasr has been handed to the Spanish, whose soldiers rarely venture far beyond their heavily guarded headquarters"
publisher reckons fantasy should be separated from SF in bookshops - PN
science fiction is to be left in the ghetto, with fantasy moved to the front of the store
interview with Michael Robertson (Lindows) - Slashdot
bringing desktop Linux to the masses -- and the Xbox bounty
Pentagon cluelessness in imposing 'liberation' on Iraq - Guardian
"failure to hold broad-based consultations at central and local levels is provoking resistance, sometimes armed"
Iran asks the US to stop sponsoring terrorists - Guardian
"If the U.S. is sincere about fighting terrorism, it would fight all forms of terror"
Indonesian dangdut singer creates controversy by wiggling her hips - BBC [via RW]
Hezbollah is relatively pragmatic and moderate - CPR [via CalPundit]
"Its targets are almost exclusively military" ... its supporters "want self-determination and basic services"
Mosul will elect a government on 5th May - AlertNet
local government is the place to start, and the sooner the better
the new Harry Potter novel: 800 pages and nearly a kilogram - SMH
at this rate, the 6th will be longer than War and Peace and the 7th will outdo In Search of Lost Time
(I've read the first one
, but have no real urge to read any more.)
London Review of Books
opens its own bookshop - Independent [via CR]
sounds like just my kind of bookshop - and I plan to visit the UK later this year
are scientists more social than humanists? - Chronicle [via ALD]
a professor of English finds physicists "downright friendly", unlike her colleagues
not terribly original piece on "male" and "female" brains - Guardian [via ALD]
the pagan origins of May Day - ??? [via MaxSpeak]
Iraqi perspectives on the Fallujah shootings - Guardian
"For 15 years, the three al-Ani brothers have run a taxi business from their adjacent houses, opposite the local school"
which graduate mathematics text are you? - McGill [via MLite]
I'm Warner's Foundations of Differentiable Manifolds and Lie Groups - which sounds like a book I'd want to read
global financial integration: negatives and positives - Economist [8 pages]
"Banks have proved themselves to be the most hazardous economic institutions known to man ... Unfortunately [they] seem to be necessary"
who's harbouring terrorists now? - Alertnet [via Agonist]
US allows declared terrorists to keep tanks, rocket launchers, artillery -- aimed at Iran
independents, smaller parties gain in Scottish elections - BBC
- Charlie Stross
"the main right wing party in Scotland is Labour"
a new book on the writing of the King James Bible - Economist
Biggles flies undone: Tim Dunlop deconstructs Bush's photo-op - RtoS
UN back in Baghdad, US aid NGOs to refuse government support - Reuters
Care USA: "Although the US Government hates to hear this, Iraq is an occupied country"
ugly reception for American troops in Fallujah - Telegraph [via RW]
"Unlike the British in Basra, they have made no attempt to establish eye contact with the local people or talk to anyone except the mayor and his officials."
an attempt to estimate Iraqi military casualties - DenBeste
10 to 20 000 seems plausible to me
Syria battens down for the storm - CSM [via AntiWar]
at some point, doing "diplomacy" through force and bluster alone is going to backfire
IBM responds to SCO lawsuit - CNET [via LWN]
stays focused on "trades secrets misappropriation" claim
Australian Governor-General left known pedophile as priest - SMH
forget about "standing down", how about criminal charges for abetting crime?
bio-sketch of Japanese novelist Enchi Fumiko - Willamette
three part interview with Google's Eric Schmidt - AlwaysOn
lucid overview of possible futures for America in the Middle East - LRB
firsthand account of "mistaken" raid on restaurant - Alertnet [via Rotten]
"You are being held under the Patriot Act following suspicion under an internal Homeland Security investigation"
could a "new financial order" bring utopia? - Robert Shiller [via Cosma]
sounds just a little hyperbolic to me...
US opposes UN statement condemning violence against women - Newsday [via Atrios]
along with Iran, Pakistan, Sudan, and Libya
Saudis wonder if they're next - Guardian
that would be one motivation for pulling troops out -- unsporting for a guest to attack their host
[a reader reminds me about the invasion of Panama, however]
<< April 2003 | June 2003 >>