Bad time to be an egg

In Chicago they're rounding up goose eggs and now in Minneapolis...

With the Republican convention scheduled to hit town next year, officials are worried about pigeon poop. So, they are going to send officials up to rooftops to spring out through trap doors and steal the pigeons' eggs after they are laid and before they hatch.
And that's not even counting the Easter toll.

Link: Minneapolis to Steal Pigeon Eggs to Force Extinction - TalkLeft: The Politics Of Crime

He was shooting bunnies, that's why

BOSTON (AP) - Officials in the four states where Mitt Romney has lived say the Republican presidential contender, who calls himself a lifelong hunter, never took out a license....

[Romney] said he had hunted rabbits and other small animals for many years, mainly in Utah. Hunting certain small game there does not require a license.
Link: My Way News - Romney: Seldom Needed Hunting License

“Misspoke, McCain says


“I can understand why (the Army) would provide me with that security, but I can tell you that if it had been two months ago and I’d asked to do it, they would have said, ‘Under no circumstances whatsoever,’” he said.

“I view that as a sign of progress.”
So the good news from Iraq is the Army now has 100 or so troops just waiting to take John McCain shopping. If that's not worth a celebration I don't know what is.

Link: McCain: I ‘misspoke’ about conditions in Baghdad at Pandagon

We are shocked - shocked! - to hear this, Bunky

The Aristocrats: British crew: Iran blindfolded detainees:

“Our captors used bad words” laments a stricken British Navy lad

The merriment begins

Slashdot | Vista Protected Processes Bypassed:

“Security Researcher Alex Ionescu strikes again, this time with a proof of concept program that will arbitrarily enable and foremost disable the protection of so-called 'protected processes' in Windows Vista. Not only threatening Vista DRM and friends, it's also another step towards hardened and even more annoying malware...”

The world turns

Google Launches Free 411 Service:

Google threw a new product called Goog-411 into Google Labs today - a free telephone based information service that could replace toll 411 calls. About 2.6 billion 411 calls are made in the U.S. each year, and it is a $7 billion/year market.
Of course 411 used to be free back in the days when it was called, prosaically, information, and obtained by simply saying “information, please” to the operator.

(“Information Please” was also the name of a hugely popular radio quiz show in the 1940's.)

Just a test

Might not stay. But this is software evaluation season.

This is a second paragraph
And this is quoted text.
Getting bored yet? Well, maybe later. The thing is, I'm trying to resurrect my former blog editor, ecto, success with which would certainly improve my erudition, assuming I can figure out how to spell erudition - not that it needs any improving, you understand. I'm just saying here. There are just a few little things I need to straighten out.

(Well, I like the line spacing in the Blogger editor better but maybe I can figure out a tweak to correct that. Otherwise, this does seem to work again.)

[posted with ecto]


The Toast Report

Hundreds of IRS laptops containing sensitive information have been lost or stolen over a period of several years, The Associated Press reports.

Though hundreds of taxypayers' identities are at risk, there's "no idea" whose data has been compromised, says J. Russell George, the inspector general of the IRS, a bureau of the Treasury Department.

Link: Raw Story


On baseball

Back in the early 60's when I lived in New York the Mets were an expansion club and the legendary Casey Stengel was their manager. Stengel's Amazin' Mets placed last in a 10-team league four years in a row, a feat they accomplished with such style they became one of the most lovable bands of bumblers to ever take the field.

Always the best part of any Mets game was Stengel's post-game interview. Sam Smith uncovers an example of Casey's unique style in his 1958 appearance before the Senate Antimonopoly Committee (Stengel was manager of the Yankees at the time):
Senator Langer: I want to know whether you intend to keep on monopolizing the world's championship in New York City.

Mr. Stengel: Well, I will tell you, I got a little concerned yesterday in the first three innings when I say the three players I had gotten rid of and I said when I lost nine what am I going to do and when I had a couple of my players. I thought so great of that did not do so good up to the sixth inning I was more confused but I finally had to go and call on a young man in Baltimore that we don't own and the Yankees don't own him, and he is going pretty good, and I would actually have to tell you that I think we are more the Greta Garbo type now from success.

We are being hated I mean, from the ownership and all, we are being hated. Every sport that gets too great or one individual, but if we made 27¢ and it pays to have a winner at home why would you not have a good winner in your own park if you were an owner. That is the result of baseball. An owner gets most of the money at home and it is up to him and his staff to do better or they ought to be discharged. . .


Some days it just doesn't pay to get out of bed

Bad Day Duck, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

The Apple Newton! Microsoft Bob!

And my own personal favorite, the paperless office!
Just as futurists in the 1950s boldly but inaccurately predicted that computers would cut our work days in half, offices without paper have turned out to be a pipe dream. A book published by MIT Press in 2002 called The Myth of the Paperless Office found that e-mail caused a 40% increase in paper use in many organizations.

True, the role of office paper has been changing recently. Most large organizations now depend on digital, not paper, storage of documents. And the Christian Science Monitor found that sales of plain white office paper are, indeed, leveling off. But even if office paper consumption is leveling, take a look around your office: Is it paperless yet? Will it be paperless anytime soon? We didn't think so.

Computerworld offers its list of The 21 Biggest Technology Flops.


Big Brother wins after all

The Big Brother nightmare of George Orwell's 1984 has become a reality - in the shadow of the author's former London home....

Use of spy cameras in modern-day Britain is now a chilling mirror image of Orwell's fictional world, created in the post-war Forties in a fourth-floor flat overlooking Canonbury Square in Islington, North London.

On the wall outside his former residence - flat number 27B - where Orwell lived until his death in 1950, an historical plaque commemorates the anti-authoritarian author. And within 200 yards of the flat, there are 32 CCTV cameras, scanning every move.

Link: thisislondon.co.uk

So whose idea was this?

So whose idea was this?, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Update, update. Or somebody else will do it for you.

Microsoft on Tuesday released a high-priority software patch intended to fix a dangerous vulnerability in its Vista and Windows operating systems.

The world's largest computer software company made the patch available as hacker groups, most of them based in China, intensified attacks crafted to exploit the weakness that Microsoft disclosed on Thursday...

The ANI exploit allows hackers a way to sneak in programs such as "malware," malicious software, which steals user names and passwords by tracking what users type on computer keyboards.

Link: Raw Story

Cold, damp, and ugly. And ugly.

Did I say ugly? That too.

Noon, and we're in the mid-30's here, it's dark and rainy with flurries of sleet. The forecasts call for more sleet and less flurry later, changing to glop overnight and accumulating to a few inches by A.M. And then staying mostly dark and rainy (and even, maybe, snowy!) for a week, punctuated by gloom and aggravated grumpiness.

Where'd spring go?


Coffee Break

Coffee Break, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

OK, so maybe there won't always be an Enland

RAF Top Guns were stunned last night after being asked to think of being Kamikaze pilots in the war on terror.
Elite fliers were shocked into silence when a senior RAF chief said they should consider suicide missions as a last resort against terrorist targets.

Air Vice Marshal David Walker put forward the attacks — like those flown by desperate Japanese pilots in World War Two — as a “worst case scenario” should they run out of ammo or their weapons failed.

Link: The Sun

Why wait?

It is the god-given right of citizens of our southern states to get blind-drunk on Fat Tuesday, and various legislatures have decided to accommodate them. Rather than risk drunken results from regretful citizens (you never want to wake up next to Joe Biden), some states have decided to allow voters to, basically, vote any old time they want.

You can move to Alabama and start voting next week, says Wonkette.

Run, Ralph, run

Psychologists call this the decoy effect: In a perfectly rational world, third candidates should only siphon votes away from one or both of the leading contenders. Under no circumstances should they cause the vote share of either front-runner to increase. In the actual world, however, third candidates regularly have the unintended effect of making one of the front-runners look better than before in the minds of undecided voters.

Link: Raw Story

Investing in your future

Bet on the one with the round heels, Robert Stein explains:
In politics, Big Money is about access and influence. What [Romney's] $23 million is saying is that, although Giuliani and McCain have a better chance of winning, Romney is a safer investment. Who knows how pliable mavericks like the front runners will be? By comparison, Romney is a sure thing.

And on the D side? No contest. It's Hillary.

Link: Connecting.the.Dots


Cleaning out the files

Photo Wall, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Never could find anything to do with this.

Could we look into this, FDA? Or is that too much to ask?

Del Monte Foods has confirmed that the melamine-tainted wheat gluten used in several of its recalled pet food products was supplied as a “food grade” additive, raising the likelihood that contaminated wheat gluten might have entered the human food supply....

Stephen F. Sundlof, director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine said the FDA is not aware of any contaminated gluten that went into human food but said he could not confirm this “with 100 percent certainty.” Wheat gluten is a common food additive used as a thickener, dough conditioner, and meat substitute. It is widely used as an additive in commercial bakery items and special purpose flours.

Link: horsesass.org

But what I want to know is, has he stopped beating his wife?

Huffington Post reports:
White House: Bush Not Skipping Ceremonial Pitch For Fear Of Getting "Booed"

So he has a lot of friends, maybe

Baghdad, April 1, 2007. It wasn't your typical Sunday stroll. A Republican congressional delegation led by Sen. John McCain popped by the Shorja market in Baghdad this afternoon, a stop on an unannounced Iraq trip. They spent over an hour browsing market stalls, chatting with locals and drinking chai. "I bought five carpets for five bucks," Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina gushed at a presser shortly after the visit. (A helluva bargain by any measure)....

In the interest of presenting the full picture then, I think it should be pointed out that McCain and his fellow senators were accompanied to the market by a small army, upwards of 50 soldiers according to a source who accompanied the group on the stroll. Just another day at the market.

Link: Newsweek

Yeah, well, somebody had to do it

Noted by YAME's Seattle Bureau:
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., April 1, 2007 - Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) today announced the launch of Google TiSP (BETA)™, a free in-home wireless broadband service that delivers online connectivity via users' plumbing systems. The Toilet Internet Service Provider (TiSP) project is a self-installed, ad-supported online service that will be offered entirely free to any consumer with a WiFi-capable PC and a toilet connected to a local municipal sewage system.

"We've got that whole organizing-the-world's-information thing more or less under control," said Google Co-founder and President Larry Page, a longtime supporter of so-called "dark porcelain" research and development. "What's interesting, though, is how many different modalities there are for actually getting that information to you - not to mention from you."

Learn more about this astounding new free service from Google.

(I don't know though, Jacob, something about that date....)

Oh so what, everybody else does

Tass, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Oh let's not get all worked up, New York Times

The Energy Department inspector general said Friday that the "office in charge of protecting American technical secrets about nuclear weapons from foreign spies is missing 20 desktop computers, at least 14 of which have been used for classified information," reports the New York Times.

They can always buy 'em back on eBay.

Link: Raw Story

And don't miss this...

...poster from Mad magazine

Wanna hear a dirty story?

A little girl fell in a mud puddle. (Thanks, Russ.)

Now that's also big medical news, according to a story this morning from Channel 4, Belfast. According to Channel 4, researchers have found a bacteria in soil that stimulates the human brain to produce seratonin, a mood enhancer used in anti-depressant drugs. Bristol University's Dr. Chris Lowry says the discovery the study's results have something to do with mental health, blah blah blah.
"They also leave us wondering if we shouldn't all spend more time playing in the dirt.

"This soil, which carries the bacteria, is pretty ubiquitous and is found almost anywhere."

Notes Channel 4:
The study appears to support the "hygiene hypothesis" which argues a rise in conditions like asthma and allergies could be linked to a lack of exposure to various micro-organisms.

The emphasis on cleaning and hygiene, particularly in urban Western environments, could be affecting people's immune systems, according to the theory.

So let's get dirty, baby. Woohoo!

Link: Channel4.com


What am I missing here?

While al-Mada reported that the number of Iraqis who fell victim to violence and terrorism rose by 15.6% in March, Az-Zaman lead with a story on the re-appearance of sectarian militias throughout Iraqi cities, coupled with a renewal of sectarian killings.

Az-Zaman (international) headlined with: “Militias resume the activities of sectarian death squads.” The newspaper report indicated that “the militias affiliated with political parties participating in the government,” (a long way of referring to the main Shi'a militias, especially the Badr organization and the Mahdi Army) “are reappearing in Baghdad."

I thought we were the ones who were "surging."

Maybe not.

Link: IraqSlogger

Red Door

Red Door, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Look, just because I sleep with my Mac doesn't mean...

A robot rights movement is taking shape and preparing the world's first ethical guidelines for human/robot relationships....

High on the Rome agenda will be the issue of sexual relations between humans and machines. Dr David Levy, author of a paper on robot prostitution being presented at the conference, claims that sexbots, like Jude Law's Gigolo Joe character in the Spielberg film A.I., will be commonplace in just 40 years.

...No! Just joking! Really. About the Mac, I mean. Although it is smooth and, well, nicely rounded. Hmmmm.

Come to think of it, it is April 1.

Link: Raw Story

Later than you think

Later than you think, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

A laugh a minute these guys are

WASHINGTON - Vice President Dick Cheney poked fun at his boss' relationship with the press corps as he spoke to a gathering of Washington journalists Saturday night.

"The president is really sorry he couldn't be here tonight, but he had another obligation," Cheney said. "His book club is meeting."

Maybe when they get out of the slammer they can be a comedy show on Fox News.

Oh, wait.

Link: Yahoo! News

"Retreat, hell!"

"Retreat, hell!" snapped Major General Oliver Prince Smith, commander of the 1st Marine Division, with which he had fought on Guadalcanal, New Britain, Peleliu, Okinawa (TIME, Sept. 25). "We're not retreating, we're just advancing in a different direction."

Good enough for me. But not, apparently, for the bobbleheaded Rs in Congress intent on making "retreat" and "surrender" their latest blabberwords.
The GOP is also smart enough to know that we're generally a tough, stubborn people but that a certain percentage of our population watches Fox News and, well, aren't the sharpest knives in the drawer... So throwing out words like "surrender" and "retreat" to describe the Democratic plan to end the Iraq quagmire seems to fit their game plan for sowing fear and doubt.
(OpEd News)

"Smart" would not be the word I'd choose. But that's a quibble.

Speaking of words, have you noticed all the clashing going on?
Expanded Health Program for Children Causes Clash

Or, well, "ensures a clash." (Which is it, Times?)

Whatever. "Clashing" seems to have become as popular as "girding" was a while back. Mostly, so far, it's Congress or the White House Bunker that's clashee.

If Don King were running Washington we could be calling this latest budget fudget a Clash for Cash.