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Internet Radio in Danger

A ruling by an obscure regulatory agency threatens to silence Internet radio. After intense lobbying from the recording industry, the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) is about to mandate exponential increases — by as much as 1,200 percent — in royalties paid every time webcasters stream a song online.

If these unfair rules are allowed to go into effect on July 15, many public, independent and smaller Internet radio stations will have to shut down. At stake is the diversity of musical choice that the Internet has come to represent for more than 50 million listeners. read more

Google Shaping Wireless Airwaves Auction

. . . influence Google is having on a closely watched government auction of $10 billion in licenses to provide wireless service. The Web search giant has hired some big guns to help it shape the rules for how the auction will be carried out, reflecting the company’s growing interest in the wireless industry and the rising stakes in the battle for a crucial chunk of airwaves.

Google’s agenda is clear. As a provider of a host of Internet services, including search, e-mail, and online video through YouTube (NWS), Google wants to ensure its content can flow unimpeded and untaxed over the world’s broadband networks. One way to do that is by making sure there’s plenty of competition in the market for high-speed Internet access—in particular, from providers other than behemoths like AT&T (T) and Comcast (CMCSA). “Google’s key interest here is in seeing fourth and fifth [broadband access] pipes to the home to compete with cable and telecom companies,” says Whitt. read more

Is Facebook funded by the CIA?

I just learned that the CIA has a venture capital branch. And guess what? One of the guys who runs it helped start Facebook. I particularly loved learning this little tidbit of information: when you become a Facebook member you authorize Facebook to gather information about you from Facebook and “other sources” and to share this information with “responsible corporations” Facebook has a relationship with.

What do you think about this practice? I think it’s intrusive and immoral. Leave your comment, let me know. read more

Conservatism has been killing Americans

“Conservatism has been killing Americans. The recent food safety crisis is only one case study. . .

The Associated Press studied the records and found that between 2003 and 2006 the Food and Drug Administration conducted 47 percent fewer safety inspections. FDA field offices have 12 percent fewer employees. Safety tests for food produced in the United States have gone down by three quarters—have almost ground to a halt—in the previous year alone.”

read more

Pope awards knighthood to Jewish Rabbi

On March 22, 2007, Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley announced that His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, has named Rabbi Leon Klenicki to the Papal Order of St. Gregory.

The Cardinal said, “Rabbi Klenicki has been a pioneer in Jewish-Catholic relations for decades. His own personal experiences of anti-Semitism led the Rabbi to be a passionate advocate for education as means of dispelling religious prejudice and promoting interreligious collaboration.”

The Cardinal noted that, “On the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising, Pope John Paul II said, ‘As Christians and Jews, following the example of the faith of Abraham, we are called to be a blessing to the world. This is the common task awaiting us. It is therefore necessary for us, Christians and Jews, to first be a blessing to one another.’ Rabbi Leon Klenicki’s life has been the source of blessings for all of us. We are deeply grateful for his witness and his work.” read more

New Harry Potter book out July 15

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be released July 15. If you want to preorder visit Barnes and Noble.

GOP claims immigration and the devil are one and the same

Utah County GOP Chairwoman Marian Monnahan says District 65 Chairman Don Larsen has proposed legislature urging the closing of national borders to illegal immigrants to “prevent the destruction of the U.S. by stealth invasion.”

“In order for Satan to establish his ‘New World Order’ and destroy the freedom of all people as predicted in the Scriptures, he must first destroy the U.S.,” his resolution states. “The mostly quiet and unspectacular invasion of illegal immigrants does not focus the attention of the nations the way open warfare does, but is all the more insidious for its stealth and innocuousness.” Jump to full article read more

No-knead bread!

New York Times food critic & chef Mark Bittman [his book] on 08 Oct 2006

“I asked Harold McGee, who is an amateur breadmaker and best known as the author of "On Food and Cooking" (Scribner, 2004), what he thought of this method. His response:

It makes sense. The long, slow rise does over hours what intensive kneading does in minutes: it brings the gluten molecules into side-by-side alignment to maximize their opportunity to bind to each other and produce a strong, elastic network. The wetness of the dough is an important piece of this because the gluten molecules are more mobile in a high proportion of water, and so can move into alignment easier and faster than if the dough were stiff. read more

Nation-state Walmart store “police” use harsh interrogation tactics

Excerpt from article by Barbara Ehrenreich.

Justin Kenward, who worked at a Target store in Chino CA for three years, wrote to tell me about his six hour interrogation, in 2003, by the store’s “Asset Protection” agents, who accused him of wrongly giving a fellow employee a discount on a video game a year earlier:

After about an hour of trying to tell them that I don’t remember any thing about that day let alone that transaction, I had to use the restroom. I asked if I could and was denied. This goes on for about another hour when I say “Look I have to pee, bad, can I go to the restroom?” Once more I was told no. So I stand up and start walking out the door, and was stopped. At this point I thought to my self “They’re looking to fire me!” So I start to think of ways that transaction might have came to be. I say something like read more

Snowboarding daredevil

The act is fabulous. The telling of it could use a little work. Video.

Princeton Professor emeritus & 25-year Marine on Terrorist Watch List

Mark Graber [Professor, U Maryland School of Law]
posts on Balkinization

Princeton University Professor Walter F. Murphy, “the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence (emeritus) but also a retired Marine colonel,” discovered last month at an airport that he’s been placed on a terrorist watch list. One security aide asked, “”Have you been in any peace marches? We ban a lot of people from flying because of that.” I explained that I had not so marched but had, in September, 2006, given a lecture at Princeton, televised and put on the Web, highly critical of George Bush for his many violations of the Constitution. “That’ll do it,” the man said.” Jump to article. read more

The study of garbage

Don Hazen interviews Heather Roger on her book On Gone Tomorrow: The Hidden Life of Garbage

I wrote the book because I wanted to know what happened to my garbage. I knew that it disappeared — and I knew that it didn’t. I also was interested in this system that, if it failed to work, whole cities could be brought to a grinding halt. I wanted to know more about what garbage collecting looked like and how it really worked — something so integral to the way a city functions.

Is [recycling and reusing] happening better in other parts of the world, in Europe or … ? read more

My National Security Letter Gag Order

Article published in the Washington Post 2007 03 23

It is the policy of The Washington Post not to publish anonymous pieces. In this case, an exception has been made . . . The Post confirmed the legitimacy of this submission by verifying it with the author’s attorney and by reviewing publicly available court documents.

The Justice Department’s inspector general revealed on March 9 that the FBI has been systematically abusing one of the most controversial provisions of the USA Patriot Act: the expanded power to issue “national security letters.” It no doubt surprised most Americans to learn that between 2003 and 2005 the FBI issued more than 140,000 specific demands under this provision — demands issued without a showing of probable cause or prior judicial approval — to obtain potentially sensitive information about U.S. citizens and residents. It did not, however, come as any surprise to me. read more

Presenting the car that runs on air . . .

Indians are going to have a treat that as a USan, I would love to have, and really need too: a car which drives at speeds up to 135 mph, has a body designed with aerospace technology, costs only $8000 and causes absolutely no pollution. $2.00 fills up the CityCAT’s tanks and lets you drive for 185 miles. Yowzer: the air car!

What fuel do you fill the car up with? Air! “Impossible, you might say, but no,” Guy Negre, who heads Moteur Development International of France [the MDI Group] is a fuel specialist and he has discovered the method for allowing compressed air to entirely run this baby at speeds under 30 mph. read more

Apple attacks researchers

How Apple orchestrated web attack on researchers

Apple is a mega corporation that nearly smashed the reputation of two individuals with bogus claims of fraud. It didn’t matter that they weren’t the ones pulling the trigger because they were pulling all the strings. . . .

So what was the end result of all this? Apple continued to claim that there were no vulnerabilities in Mac OS X, but came a month later and patched its wireless drivers (presumably for vulnerabilities that didn’t actually exist). Apple patched these “nonexistent vulnerabilities” but then refused to give any credit to David Maynor and Jon Ellch. Since Apple was going to take research, not give proper attribution, and smear security researchers, the security research community responded to Apple’s behavior with the MoAB (Month of Apple Bugs) and released a flood of zero-day exploits without giving Apple any notification. The result was that Apple was forced to patch 62 vulnerabilities in just the first three months of 2007, including last week’s megapatch of 45 vulnerabilities. read more