Monthly Archive for August, 2005

We can’t afford four more years

Washington Post reports that the US poverty rates increased to 12.7% last year. The poverty rates have been going up every year for the past four years.

In New York City, the poverty rates are up to 20.3% from 19%. That’s one in every five New York City residents living under poverty levels. I guess that happens when you have millionaires running the city.

I find these statistics completely mindboggling. To me they demonstrate a complete failure of the federal and city governments. We’re spending unlimited funds to fight tyranny around the world, but then let our own citizens get poorer and poorer with seemingly no concern. When is the last time you heard George W. Bush talk about fighting poverty [1]?

It is not the job of non-profit organizations and charities to take care of the poor. It is the government’s job to make sure poverty doesn’t exist, as much as possible. The government is failing in its job. Switch it!


1. The social security system reform doesn’t qualify, as it would actually increase poverty

The net being regulated by Christian conservatives

Declan McCullagh, of Politech fame, reports about the .xxx TLD roadblocks and how the Christian conservatives have been getting more and more power in the US regulatory agencies.

He also lists concrete examples of how these Christian conservatives are flexing their newfound powers in ways that threaten the 1st Amendment rights and/or don’t make any sense whatsoever in the context of a global network like the Internet.


The war on drugs descends on the innocent

Looks like the Utah National Guard had a bit of free time in their hands last weekend, so they decided to stomp, literally, on a few ravers gathered on an outdoor concert in the middle of nowhere between the Utah mountains.

Also see the party organizer’s statement and the video clips the stormtroopers didn’t manage to destroy at Music versus Guns. Particulary interesting is the interview on the security staff for the party.

Even more amazing, it looks like the raid was, at least partially, triggered because the local Sheriff assumed there would be illegal activities committed at the rave sometime later. That truly is incredible.

More links to articles about the raid:
Daily Kos

Update: The party organizers and the land owner are suing Utah County and The Sheriff. They’ve put up a site reporting on the progress of their case.


Is some piracy actually good?

Chris Anderson posts an interesting article where he argues some piracy is actually good for business.


Google Desktop Crash

Google Desktop Search v2 (or GDS2) arrived yesterday with a big bang. Since Google can do no evil, I went ahead and installed the thing immediately like all good .netizens did.

I leave the thing indexing my personal life overnight and come back to work to find out all the apps have died with out of memory errors, the computer is crawling at a snail’s pace and the GoogleDesktopCrawler.exe process is consuming 170% of my physical memory.

Hurray for beta software!

Update: Looks like the issue might be related to a DiskView Plugin and not GDS itself.


War on terror descends on the innocent

Leaked information of Independent Police Complaints Commission investigation into the London subway shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, a Brazilian immigrant living in the same building with some of the subway bombers, reveals that the police made deadly mistakes prior to killing a completely innocent man, and then tried to cover their mistakes with reports that in no way accurately described what happened.

When de Menezes left his home, someone misidentified him as one of the bombers.

He was not wearing a heavy winter jacket, as reported, but a denim jacket, which would’ve been completely normal.

He also was not running from the police, but taking the escalators down at normal pace, then running inside a suwbay car, as people usually do, if they’re afraid to miss the train. He then takes a seat, gets bumrushed by the cops, they restrain him, and shoot him in the head while he’s in the ground with police on top of him.

It’ll be interesting to see how the London police is going to handle this.

More news on this:
The Independent
The Guardian
The Times
BBC News
The Financial Times


Up yours, spammer scum pt II

Scott Levine, the scum behind spam empire, was convicted on 120 counts of unauthorized access to data, two counts of access device fraud and one count of obstruction of justice. He and his employees stole 1.6 billion customer records from Acxiom, a company whose business is to violate people’s privacy, and used the data to spam and inflate the size of’s contact database to make more attractive to buyers.

Maximum sentence is 640 years in prison and about $30M in fines.

Let’s hope the people sentencing him were victims of his spams.

The only negative side to the story is that Axciom, once again, gets away with basically peeing on people’s online privacy.


Amazon successfully blackmailed out of $40M

Soverain Software of Chicago, IL successfully blackmailed Amazon out of $40M using patents originally owned by OpenMarket, one of the many companies ruined by divine (*spit*). Soverain Software bought the patents from divine in a bankruptcy sale.

Soverain Software is run by a former divine Sr VP Katharine Wolanyk. I’m sure she learned the “ethics” of eCommerce at divine and is continuing the “good” work at Soverain Software.

OpenMarket owned several eCommerce patents most of which fall into the “so obvious I could design and code it, bug-free, in 2 hours”-category.


Microsoft patents breathing

The USPTO has published a patent filing originally filed by Microsoft in 2004. The filing is an attempt to patent a way to visually emphasize numbers in an eletronic document by surrounding the number in a rectangle frame. Wow! The groundbreaking research at M$ really does come up with some really great ideas!

Here’s an example of what’s getting patented:

In case any M$ lawyers are reading, you can send your cease-and-desist letters to me.


Up yours, spammer scum

Scott Richter, general scumbag and one of the biggest spammers in the world, settled the lawsuit Microsoft filed against him for $7M USD.

While it’s a fair share less than the $40M or so sought by Microsoft in their suit, this is still a major victory over the parasites. Way to go Microsoft!

I’ve written about Scott Richter before