Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Monday, August 29, 2005
|Country||Local Currency per litre||UK pence per litre|
|Czech Rep (Koruna)||27.70||25.70||62.25||60.54|
|Norway (Norwegian Krone)||9.90||8.55||85.42||73.77|
|Sweden (Swedish Krona)||10.55||9.63||82.55||75.35|
|Switzerland (Swiss Francs)||1.50||1.59||69.37||73.54|
|USA (US Dollars)||0.53||0.58||30.07||32.91|
Saturday, August 27, 2005
Of course, with an ISLAND enabled passport, these Thai factories will become instantly redundant. Anyone can forge a paper and plastic passport, even a hologram protected image in a passport, but what they CANNOT forge is a PGP signature on a digital photo and its related personal information. When the ISLAND enabled passport is scanned at a port, the signature on the photo and personal info is checked. if the scan is complete, ie, the data is completely transfered to the computer checking the signature without damage, then the signature will come up as not having been made by the Passport Office or designated issuing authority. The document can instantly be determined to be fradulent. If the signature is good, then the document is good and has been properly issued. This can all be done without any smoke and mirrors or snake oil (biometrics) and can be done right now, with commodity components and zero cost Open Source software.Met seek 'fake' passports accused
British police will seek the extradition of an Algerian man arrested in Thailand on suspicion of forging European passports.
British police have one month to make a case for extradition
Atamnia Yacine, 33, was detained in the Thai capital Bangkok on Wednesday, after he was found with at least 180 French and Spanish passports.
Britain has a warrant for his extradition on charges of forging passports and money laundering.
Thailand is widely reputed to be a major source of fake travel documents.
Yacine was arrested during a raid on his house in Bangkok.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "We understand the individual has been detained in Bangkok."
"We will be working with the Crown Prosecution Service, the Foreign Office and the Thai authorities to seek his extradition."
British police will have one month to present their case to authorities in Bangkok.
Thai police said the seized passports had been sent to the French and Spanish embassies for examination.
Western governments view Thailand as a hub for fake passport production and proliferation, the BBC's Jonathan Head said from Bangkok.
Security analysts say that is a major concern, as they can be used to allow criminals and in some cases militants to move freely between countries. [...]
Friday, August 26, 2005
Thursday, August 25, 2005
July 29, 2005
Dog Poop Girl
Here's the basic story: A woman and her dog are riding the Seoul subways. The dog poops in the floor. The woman refuses to clean it up, despite being told to by other passangers. Someone takes a picture of her, posts it on the Internet, and she is publicly shamed -- and the story will live on the Internet forever. Then, the blogosphere debates the notion of the Internet as a social enforcement tool. [...]http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2005/07/dog_poop_girl.html I missed this one; what an astonishing story - and the Subwanker is going to get the same treatment, onle one thousand fold.
OH MY GOD. I live in the city as well and am SO SICK OF THIS SHIT. Earlier this week, some guy stuck two of his fingers IN MY ASS CRACK. I kicked him in the nuts and he ran away but i was insanely steamed. As a project i've been documenting the disgusting men that have tried to hit on me. Here is a link to my flickr set that i've started. I am in the process of developing a site for it. We should probably start a "PERVERTS" group! Disgusting Men. Posted 86 minutes ago. ( Permalink )
I dunno, Roidrage. The guy who grabbed you should, of *course*, be subject to ridicule, but it seems to me that there's a big difference between posting a pic of a creep masturbating on the subway and posting a pic AND THE PHONE NUMBER of a creep who called you "beautiful" on the street, as you did here. And I don't think that what may or may not be street harassment as any justification for homophobic "I like to suck dick" comments like you scrawled over this guy's face. What friendly_chic has done here seems like a way more proportionate and appropriate response to the offense than what you've done, IMHO. Posted 28 minutes ago. ( Permalink )
|Mr. Johnie Fox||August 18, 2005|
This might just be too easy. Johnie thinks i'm going to call him about being an extra in a commercial. The pay is a few hundred dollars!
I hate hate hate it when 2 or more of them see me coming down the block. They part to the sides so i'm FORCED to walk inbetween them. Then, as i'm walking by them they have to say stupid shit like "PSST. PSSST. ... Beautiful." Maybe typed out it looks harmless but LOOK AT THAT MAN. IMAGINE HIM SAYING THAT TO YOU. Isn't that pleasant feeling?
Posted by cassandra at August 18, 2005 11:18 PM
|Say Hello to Jermaine!||August 17, 2005|
I said yesterday that if one more disgusting man tried to talk to me I'd flip shit. Well, this is my way of flipping shit.
Jermaine thought it would be really kind of him to tell me how beautiful I looked today as I was walking to the subway. I explained to him that I worked for a talent agency and that we are always looking for a fresh face. He glady posed for a picture and gave me his name and phone number. Wasn't that sweet?
The name and phone number are real. Feel free to leave him messages. Maybe he doesn't like to suck cock but he seemed like a nice guy, so i'm sure he'll be open minded about it! I'm thinking about making photocopies and distrubuting them in gay bars across the city. Is that really wrong of me?
This is the beginning of my new project. I think i''ll start collecting them and turn it into a little book. Any suggestions on what else i can do with them? I bet i can collect quite a few within the next couple of weeks.
Posted by cassandra at August 17, 2005 12:21 PM
Yesterday the religious broadcaster apologised for his remarks.
"Is it right to call for assassination? No, and I apologise for that statement. I spoke in frustration that we should accommodate the man who thinks the US is out to kill him," he said.
In a TV broadcast on Monday, he said: "If he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it."
Yesterday Mr Robertson initially said his comments had been misinterpreted, but went on to add that kidnapping Mr Chávez might be a better idea.
"I said our special forces could take him out. Take him out could be a number of things, including kidnapping." [...] "He's a private citizen," Donald Rumsfeld, the defence secretary, said of Mr Robertson. "Private citizens say all kinds of things all the time." [...] Mr Chávez has set up arrangements with other countries for swapping services in exchange for oil. Cuban doctors are working in the poorer areas of Venezuela in exchange for cheap oil going to Cuba.
Jamaica yesterday became the first Caribbean country to reach an agreement with Venezuela for oil at below-market terms. The Petrocaribe initiative is a plan to offer oil at flexible rates to 13 Caribbean countries. Jamaica will pay $40 a barrel, against a market rate of more than $60.
[.../]So. Once you've stopped laughing, remember Donald Rumpelstilskin says you can call for the murder of democratically-elected Presidents and, well, it doesn't really matter because you're a private citizen. With your own TV show and million-people-a-day national following. And you're a "religious leader". What would Bliar and Clunk say about that?! KILL BUSH! The SAS should assasinate Bush to save the UK from escalating terrorist threats caused by US-led interventionist policies. Take out this mental dwarf on the grounds of national security!!! KILL BLAIR! MI5 should assasinate Blair for the good of the country, and for the EVIL he has brought down upon the UK in return for the evil he has supported and the evil lies he has spread, for the hatred, suspicion, paranoia and mistrust he has sprayed like the devil's semen across our virgin land!!! Maybe if I was religious, they'd lock me up. Being atheist, I'm obviously subnormal and morally corrupt and therefore my views are less contentious. Or is religion irrelevant? Perhaps if I was a major Republican/Christian right donor, or Labour donor, I'd get away with such things. Who can tell...? Am I getting carried away?
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Let's not forget what Livingstone calls the 'Mandela test' - would the laws when in place mean we could not have supported Nelson Mandela in the 1980s? Mandela, after all, was convicted of using violence for political ends and has never said sorry for it. I supported him then and I support it now - this probably makes me and many millions of others (including most of the Labour ministers) around the world 'terrorist supporters' and would therefore fail the new laws. Jack, Essexis the odd one out - most of them are foaming at the mouth and baying for blood...if its true that those comments represent "what most people think" then all is lost, The Dark Lord of The Sith has won, and liberty is dead.
The search for a buyer
Larry and Sergey continued working to perfect their technology through the first half of 1998. Following a path that would become a key tenet of the Google way, they bought a terabyte of disks at bargain prices and built their own computer housings in Larry's dorm room, which became Google's first data center. Meanwhile Sergey set up a business office, and the two began calling on potential partners who might want to license a search technology better than any then available. Despite the dotcom fever of the day, they had little interest in building a company of their own around the technology they had developed.
Among those they called on was friend and Yahoo! founder David Filo. Filo agreed that their technology was solid, but encouraged Larry and Sergey to grow the service themselves by starting a search engine company. "When it's fully developed and scalable," he told them, "let's talk again." Others were less interested in Google, as it was now known. One portal CEO told them, "As long as we're 80 percent as good as our competitors, that's good enough. Our users don't really care about search."
Unable to interest the major portal players of the day, Larry and Sergey decided to make a go of it on their own. All they needed was a little cash to move out of the dorm — and to pay off the credit cards they had maxed out buying a terabyte of memory. So they wrote up a business plan, put their Ph.D. plans on hold, and went looking for an angel investor. Their first visit was with a friend of a faculty member.
Andy Bechtolsheim, one of the founders of Sun Microsystems, was used to taking the long view. One look at their demo and he knew Google had potential — a lot of potential. But though his interest had been piqued, he was pressed for time. As Sergey tells it, "We met him very early one morning on the porch of a Stanford faculty member's home in Palo Alto. We gave him a quick demo. He had to run off somewhere, so he said, 'Instead of us discussing all the details, why don't I just write you a check?' It was made out to Google Inc. and was for $100,000." [...] http://www.google.com/intl/en/corporate/history.html
Thats the way you do a startup, put together the bare bones of your system or some kind of tangible demo, get someone that has money that they are willing to loose, and that is also a true venture capitalist ie, someone that is not 'risk averse' but who likes risk, is interested in new ideas and is willing to take a bet.Google was initially funded with $100,000 that was simply handed over to them as you would lay down money on a poker hand. That is the true spirit of risk taking. It is also not alot of money. Most software startups don't need more than that to get a stable beta system online, in fact, most startups can be done for the cost of food money and equipment to sustain the developers. If the service starts to grow, you can then scale it up to accomodate your legion of users. The eyes of VCs glaze over when you talk about, for example, "using clients to collect people's playlists in a central server so that anyone anywhere browse them all in different ways for free". Or how about, "a service where people can upload their digital pictures for free so that everyone everywhere can browse them for free with our cool interface". Now to us, these are examples of exiting tools on many levels, and for one hundred thousand dollars and a crack team with intravenous espresso, they could be built very quickly (the second one took one year to build, and it was done in an apartment aparently). To a VC however, this is "Gobbledygook"; they will say (if you manage to get to them before their eyes glaze over) that "iTunes has this market cornered, and that is who you are up against, so we will have to pass on this one", or for the latter, "Adobe is the market leader in this space; what protection do you have if they decide to do what you are doing? If they go up against you, you are finished, so we will pass". Both of those assessments are demonstrably and horribly wrong, but this is what people have to put up with when they go into discussions with VCs. This is not a problem of Google or Microsoft its a problem of cowardice and computer illiteracy. Thanks to the new tools that are being refined and released the barrier to entry for a startup is so low that you barely have to lift up your legs to get over it. It means hunkering down, lots of reading, lots of IRC and IM sessions and writing lines of code. You release your service. When even the most illiterate of VCs smells millions of users, then you have the stink of money....and that they do understand.
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Police rely on 6,000 cameras across Tube network to cut crime By Barrie Clement, Transport Editor Independent Published: 23 August 2005 London Underground has installed more than 6,000 CCTV cameras across the network, some of them at stations and some on trains. Plans are in place to double the number in use by 2010 as part of its campaign to minimise petty crime, but also to deal with the increasing threat of terrorism... London Underground has been experimenting with "smart" digital cameras which can automatically spot "abnormal" events. The equipment can be programmed to detect suicide attempts, overcrowding, suspect packages and trespassers. It is hoped that by automating the prediction or detection of such events, Underground security staff, who often have to monitor as many as 60 cameras, can take preventive action... http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/transport/article307679.eceThe thinking at the independent is not very independent, niether is it of high quality. When you run a 'report' like this (which is actually a press release that they are regurgitating verbatim), you must always run a 'slap slap...time to die' wake up section clarifying and decompiling the doubletalk. It goes like this. "The preceeding text is taken from a press release ftom TFL, submitted to this newspaper by a Public relations firm (name of firm here). CCTV cannot 'cut crime' niether can it 'deal with the increasing threat of terrorism'. CCTV can only help identify criminals after the fact, and then, as we have seen with the recent murder on the underground, if the criminals are the police, they will simply confiscate the tape so tha the crucial evidence is supressed and the criminals go free. As for suicides, CCTV might increase the number of suicides on the underground, since the suicidal will know in advance that they will live on as horror footage in some reality TV programme or the next 'Faces of Death'. " Now. If that is printed after the press release, the magic spell of double talk is broken, the reader can make a judgement about the piece, since its not a genuine news item at all but a PR insertion, and some true countering information is in there as a surficant. That is how an independent newspaper would deal with something like this. But you know this.
Monday, August 22, 2005
Sunday, August 21, 2005
Saturday, August 20, 2005
If you are going to live in Italy get used to having to put your picture and a "marca da bollo" on any and every scrap of paper, and you will need lots of these, also get used to carrying ID all the time, it's compulsory and you can be taken to the police station if you can't produce ID and kept there for 48 hours or until someone comes to witness for you and present your documents.This to us, is the most horrifying and incomprehensible thing of all. It is alien to us, contrary to our nature, weird, far out...and if they suceed in bringing ID cards to the UK, will come to pass. I wonder if anyone in Italy ever asks why their picture "needs to be on every scrap of paper". To us, this makes so little sense, and is so offensive it makes you wonder....about alot of things. Firstly, it makes you wonder why the British, who live lives that are demonstrably more free than that of the Italians; why would they want to throw it all away? We wonder why the Italians put up with this stuff day in and day out; is there something that we have missed about all this, because frankly, it doesn't make any sense that people should willingly submit to this sort of insanity when for generations there have been countries where life is simpler, free and with the same level of legal guarantees for property and the person, creating an environment where you can simply get on with what you need to without interference from the state. Why is life (on the surface at least) so very pleasant in Italy, with all their entrenched and invasive beaurocracy making you jump through hoops like a horn honking seal? People are giving up the UK to move there despite all of this (surely not because of it)....what does the complete picture look like? Something isnt right, it doesnt add up. Reading this guide might not give you the real impression, but what is there is interesting enough, and compared to living in the UK, where you can come and go as you please, live where you like witout telling anyone, contract with people in private, never have to register with anyone for any reason, are not going to be visited by the police/council just because you have moved into a house...it looks on paper to be a nightmare. All the British should read this and the other guides to living in Europe that no doubt exist, and then reflect on how this country works, and what it is like to live here. It's something worth preserving.
Friday, August 19, 2005
To this end, he is an incorrigible tinkerer. .... Take his recent Shirley Bassey-sampling single, Diamonds From Sierra Leone. It started life as simply Diamonds, a chest-puffing anthem.... But then Q-Tip.... alerted West to the issues surrounding conflict diamonds. Having boned up on the subject, West promptly changed the title and themed the video accordingly but it was too late to alter the lyrics. The result is a curious compromise, a protest song in name only[...].
Diamonds has been a headache for its maker, too. Negative reactions from West's core fanbase stung him into dropping four of the album's more outre songs, including one that features John Mayer and a harpsichord, and replacing them with more conventional hip-hop tracks. Never one to understate his case, he proclaims on the crunching, martial Crack Music: "This is black music, nigga!"
"All this is saying is, OK I see now, the 'hood does not quite want Shirley Bassey yet, so let me still give them this. Crack Music was made after Diamonds. After black people were like, 'I don't know about this one.' It was like me reaching too high for the cookie jar." [...]
Oh, my aching sides! Artistic integrity at it's most hiphopcritical.
Similarly, see the genuine concern of Universal Records as a marketable asset goes a-wandering on the eve of an album release...A record label has hired a private detective to trace jazz singer Madeleine Peyroux, whose album has been steadily climbing the UK charts.
A Universal spokeswoman said: "She should be overjoyed with the album's chart position, but she has now returned to America and is proving impossible to track down.
"Anxious record company bosses and her management company have been trying to contact her for nearly a week to no avail. She has simply disappeared."
The company said it had gone "to great lengths to protect Madeleine from burn-out through too much promotional work".
"But it would seem that despite these efforts Ms Peyroux has had enough," said the spokeswoman.
"She is that rare thing, an artist more interested in her music than in the glitz and glamour of showbusiness.".... You can almost hear them finishing that last sentence in their heads ..."the stupid fucking ungrateful bitch. What about our targets? Fuck fuck fuck!" ....... Additional: Alex Petridis sucks Ye Wankest 5 stars, despite opening the review with... You could, if you were so inclined, debate his originality. His trademark production technique - speeding up old soul vocals to chipmunk squeakiness - was pinched from the Wu-Tang Clan, while the samples on his second album, Late Registration, suggest that West has spent not hours painstakingly sourcing rare breakbeats, but minutes raking through the kind of records drunk aunties ask wedding DJs to play [...] Debate his originality? Why, Alex, you've just provided enough evidence to negate the need for debate. And then Alex fails to read the interview with Miss West in his own paper... Still, you would have a hard time arguing that West is less than unique. He is currently the only mainstream rapper willing to tackle politics: the links between the jewellery trade and Sierra Leone's civil war on Diamonds ... [...] And the summary... West announced the album's arrival in typically retiring style: "It's killing everything out there ... I'm carrying the whole of hip-hop." On hearing Late Registration, that sounds less like rampant egomania than a bald statement of fact. Then Ye Wankest is dragging around the whiplashed, skinless, bloody, stinking, rotten carcass of Shergar.