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Dan Goodman's journal

March 14th, 2007

March 14th, 2007
12:55 pm


From bna.com's newsletter:

The U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology cite fear of compatibility problems as one of the reasons not to allow their tens of thousands of employees to upgrade to Microsoft's latest operating system. In a statement, Microsoft said it is working with many government agencies to help them adopt its latest products.

China will tighten controls on Internet blogs and webcasts in a response to new technologies that have allowed cyber citizens to avoid government censorship efforts, state press reported Tuesday. Following a call from President Hu Jintao in January to "purify" the Internet, the ruling Communist Party will introduce new regulations targeting blogs and webcasts, one of the nation's chief censors was cited as saying.
<http://tinyurl.com/2n9sm4> [AFP]

Indonesia plans to tackle Internet crime by tightening the supervision of web surfers, an official said Tuesday. "The aim is to minimise the misuse of the Internet, including for criminal activities," Gatot Dewa Broto, a spokesman for the country's telecommunications regulator. <http://tinyurl.com/2jazng> [AFP]

Yahoo did not violate Hong Kong's privacy laws when it provided prosecutors with information about a Chinese reporter accused of leaking state secrets, authorities said Wednesday. Shi Tao, a former journalist for the Dangdai Shangbao or Contemporary Business Newspaper in the central province of Hunan, was sentenced last year to 10 years on charges of leaking state secrets.
<http://tinyurl.com/3ckve8> [Washington Post]

The U.S. Justice Department is investigating a complaint alleging that Microsoft has violated the antitrust settlement it reached with the federal government in 2002. U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly asked for more details about the complaint during a regularly scheduled review of Microsoft's compliance with the settlement. The complaint is related to “middleware”, or software that connects different computer programs.

Ebay has handed over the personal and financial details of hundreds of its top sellers to the Australian Taxation Office. The ATO has asked for the details of eBay sellers with an annual turnover of more than $50,000. The request is understood to be part of an ATO audit to determine if sellers are avoiding GST, and could affect up to 1000 customers.
<http://tinyurl.com/37lr7n> [Australian IT]

Malaysia has started to employ dogs as its latest weapon in tackling illegal distribution of music and movies. Two black Labradors on loan from the MPAA started work at the country's biggest international airport yesterday, sniffing out shipments for fake optical discs.

A Korean lawmaker said yesterday that the trade of human organs over the Internet is still rampant despite police clampdowns. According to the current law in Korea, those arranging or helping organ trades are subject to at least two years in prison, and those selling or buying organs may face up to 10 years in prison or a maximum 50 million won in fines.

Microsoft is pursuing five alleged UK-based cybersquatters in its battle against firms and individuals who have registered variations or misspellings of its key brands, such as Xbox. It is already pursuing hundreds of lawsuits in the US and is now keen to extend its reach in Europe.

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04:26 pm


Tuesday March 13, 2007. Haven't slept this badly in years.

One consolation: a dream in which I invented a religion.
From the gutenbergupdate LiveJournal feed:

Ce la koro de la tero by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Language: Esperanto
Seen on LiveJournal: "marry-go-round." This error for merry-go-round, like the intentional term "Merryland," is a clue to which part of the US the user is from. In some American dialects, the words Mary, marry, and merry are all pronounced differently. In others, they're all pronounced the same. In yet others, two are pronounced the same.


Self help information:

Decluttering: Dishes done. Trash out.


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05:13 pm


3/14/07 political junkie
So You Want to be a Political Junkie?

The routine of one obsessed political junkie:

DAILY TASKS: Wake up. Check Drudge. Read the NYT and WaPo. Check Political Wire, the hotline blog, politico.com, the AP wire, the Reuters political wire, and MSNBC.com. Read ABC's The Note when it arrives in my inbox, around 10am. Throughout the day, check Drudge at least once an hour, check Political Wire a few times, check the hotline blog every hour or two. Once or twice a day, read Wonkette, Political Insider, potomacflacks.com, cqpolitics.com, HuffingtonPost, and TVNewser. Watch Hardball at 5pm or 7pm. During commercials, check in on Sit Room.

MUST READS: Everything by Howard Fineman (Newsweek). Almost everything by George Will. Everything by David Yepsen and Tom Beaumont (DM Register). Everything written by Mike Allen and Roger Simon (Politico).

TRICKS OF THE TRADE: Keep '08 staff list. Google alert names of spokespeople from campaigns to follow messaging. Check presidential websites weekly.

MONDAYS: Read Dana Milbank's Washington Sketch (WaPo).

TUESDAYS: Read E.J. Dionne's column in the WaPo.

WEDNESDAYS: Read Maureen Dowd and Tom Friedman's NYT columns.

THURSDAYS: Read Novak's column. Read John DiStaso's weekly Union Leader column. Read David Brooks' Thursday NYT column.

FRIDAYS: Read the Time articles that matter. Tivo HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher.

WEEKEND: Savvy political junkies know that Novak's must read "Inside Report" column is printed on townhall.com on Saturday, a full day before it's available in his syndicated column. Read Maureen Dowd's Sat column in the NYT. Read David Brooks' Sun NYT column. Tivo all three network Sunday talk shows and FNC's Fox News Sunday. Tivo the Chris Matthews Show. Tivo McLaughlin Group and McLaughlin One-on-One. (Sunday recording requires taping shows at the same time). Watch at my leisure on Sunday. Watch C-SPAN's Road to the White House on Sunday night. Fall asleep watching Prime Minister's questions on C-SPAN.


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06:59 pm


Three men who spent years in jail after being wrongly convicted of murder will have to pay for their prison board and lodgings, Law Lords have ruled.

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07:40 pm


New State of Matter? And other scientific press releases
From http://eurekalert.org:

Public Release: 14-Mar-2007
Topological Quantum Computing Conference in Los Angeles
Have researchers found a new state of matter?
A 25-year old experiment is turning everything we know about matter upside down, and may even have demonstrated an example of an entirely new state of matter. The US researchers have dubbed this new state, "string-net liquid," and even speculate that the entire universe could be made of it. Others may even have found a candidate for such a material: a dark green crystal called herbertsmithite found in the mountains of Chile in 1972.

Public Release: 14-Mar-2007
National experts and nonprofit organizations call to end FDA user fees and to improve drug safety
Opposition to current drug safety legislation is growing, as a group of 22 experts on drug safety and regulation and a coalition of 12 patient, consumer, science, and public health organizations issue two separate open letters to lawmakers. The letters asks Congress to not reauthorize the user fees legislation (PDUFA) that finances the FDA’s review of new drugs, and calls for substantial changes to drug safety legislation introduced by Senators Kennedy and Enzi.

Public Release: 14-Mar-2007
Current Biology
New species declared: Clouded leopard on Borneo and Sumatra
Scientists have discovered that the clouded leopard found on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra is an entirely new species of cat. The secretive rainforest animal was originally thought to be the same species as the one found in mainland Southeast Asia.

Public Release: 14-Mar-2007
Paleontologists discover new mammal from Mesozoic Era
An international team of American and Chinese paleontologists has discovered a new species of mammal that lived 125 million years ago during the Mesozoic Era, in what is now the Hebei Province in China.
"The new mammal, documented in the March 15 issue of the journal Nature, provides first-hand evidence of early evolution of the mammalian middle ear--one of the most important features for all modern mammals."

Public Release: 14-Mar-2007
Medscape General Medicine
Obesity high among Baltimore's homeless, Johns Hopkins researchers say
A small but telling study from the Johns Hopkins Children's Center reveals an ominous trend: more than expected, obesity shadows Baltimore's homeless children and their caregivers, putting them at high risk for heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes, among other conditions.
National Institutes of Health

Public Release: 14-Mar-2007
Research on Social Work Practice
Does God answer prayer? ASU research says 'yes'
Does God or some other type of transcendent entity answer prayer? The answer, according to a new Arizona State University study published in the March journal Research on Social Work Practice, is 'yes.'

Public Release: 14-Mar-2007
Stanford Computer Forum
New program aims to overhaul the Internet
The Internet is enough of a marvel that most people would never ask, ''Is this really how we would build it if we could design it all today?'' But asking that very question is the job of a broad-based team of Stanford researchers. Taking a nothing-is-sacred approach to better meet human communications needs, this month they are launching a new program called the Clean Slate Design for the Internet.
Stanford, Cisco Systems, Deutsche Telekom Laboratories, NEC

Public Release: 14-Mar-2007
Toward a test for detecting in childhood the risk of developing bipolar disorder and schizophrenia
A team from Centre de recherche Université Laval Robert-Giffard (CRULRG) has made significant progress toward finding a way to determine whether a child is likely to one day suffer from bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. The findings of the research team supervised by Dr. Michel Maziade, director of CRULRG, professor in Université Laval’s Faculty of Medicine, and Canada Research Chair in the Genetics of Neuropsychiatric Disorders, will be presented at the International Congress on Schizophrenia Research on March 31 in Colorado Springs.

Public Release: 14-Mar-2007
Hearing Research
Anti-epileptic drugs may help prevent and treat noise-induced hearing loss
On the battlefield, a soldier's hearing can be permanently damaged in an instant by the boom of an explosion, and thousands of soldiers returning from Iraq have some permanent hearing loss. But what if soldiers could take a pill before going on duty that would prevent damage to hearing? Research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis suggests a medicinal form of hearing protection may someday be a possibility.
National Institutes of Health, National Organization for Hearing Research Foundation

Public Release: 14-Mar-2007
Homing pigeons get their bearings from their beaks
It has long been recognized that birds possess the ability to use the Earth’s magnetic field for their navigation, although just how this is done has not yet been clarified. However, the discovery of iron-containing structures in the beaks of homing pigeons in a study (1) by Gerta Fleissner and her colleagues at the University of Frankfurt offers a promising insight into this complex topic. The article will be published online mid-March in Springer’s journal Naturwissenschaften.
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

Public Release: 14-Mar-2007
Current Anthropology
Study challenges idea that schizophrenia is distinct in developing and developed regions
Research by the World Health Organization (WHO) has suggested that the course and symptomatic expression of schizophrenia is relatively more benign in developing societies. However, a new study from Current Anthropology challenges this assumption, comparing biological and cultural indicators of schizophrenia in urban, Western societies with study data from the island of Palau, which has one of the highest rates of schizophrenia diagnosis in the world today.

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08:15 pm


spam rats live on no evil star maps
From: Nyrath the nearly wise <nyrath@projectrho.com.invalid>
Subject: Three dimensional starmaps
Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2007 20:54:08 -0400
Newsgroups: rec.arts.sf.science
X-Complaints-To: abuse@io.com

I am making available some 3D starmaps of the local
stellar area, for plotting out one's interstellar
novel. Most are free, a couple have fees attached.


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10:52 pm


Wednesday March 14, 2007. The current-focus story is going to need a cross-species sex scene. (The nonhuman participant is of roughly human shape and intelligence.) What would you consider necessary for this kind of scene to satisfy you?
What time is it in America, boys and girls? It's political train wreck time. Any guesses who'll replace Gonzales as Attorney General? Or how soon John McCain will be out of the race for the Republican Presidential nomination?
From suricattus: http://www.freelancersunion.org/. The Freelancers Union is heavily NYC-centric, but might still be useful to writers and other freelancers elsewhere. And membership is free.

The online_books LiveJournal feed has several new entries from http://antislavery.eserver.org.
Writing: "The Hidden Class" -- More outline-notes converted to skeleton draft. Skeleton draft fleshed out a bit more.

Self help information:

Current Location: Minneapolis, Alta Iowa

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