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

Kelly Ripa’s Mets radio ad. Loaded, but with what?

1010 WINS, the New York metro area news radio program, has a commercial with Kelly Riper woman doing ads for the Mets. She names Mets forum members by name and town and speaks to one concern or question raised by each person. Manages to mention 3 or 4 people in a 1-minute commercial. Then encourages all of them to go right out and “Get (their) Mets tickets now!”

Kinda makes me want to login and be a member of that forum. Oh wait . . . . . . Yeah? That’s right. Darn. Almost forgot, I’m a Yankees fan. read more

Get free phone conferencing! Free, as in no money.

Free phone conferencing is well, free. So obviously the telcos would like to take it away from you.

The reason you are still paying huge sums of money for phone conferencing is because you didn’t know you could have this service for free. Go to freephoneconference.com, and you will be free phone conferencing in the few minutes it takes to set up your account.

The free phone conferencing service is available any time you want. UNLESS, that is, you’re a customer of AT&T/Cingular, Sprint or Qwest. Why is that? read more

Does your email belong to you?

Did the government have the right to examine Steven Warshak's private emails without a search warrant? Email privacy is an issue much larger than the Warshak debate. The EFF [Electronic Frontier Foundation] informs us that companies which offer both internet search and email storage can collect a massive amount of personal information about users . . .

Cease and Desist Letters

If someone misuses your name and wrongfully uses it to promote their product or service, you probably ought to send a “cease and desist” letter naming every entity and person associated with this misleading bit of information. Include in it a threat to take every possible legal action in order to “protect my privacy and protect me from the misleading insinuation that I am in any wise associated with or endorsing your product, which it is specifically not my intention to do.” read more

Blog post causes change in policy

Linda Rogers was battling with her mother’s insurance company over their policy to cancel home insurance coverage for seniors who temporarily transfer domicile to a care facility. Here’s how Linda used the internet to nudge the insurance company into providing the level of care they advertise as providing:

“After blogging about my experience with CUIS, I forwarded a link to the entry to a communications person with a note about my disappointment.

Within an hour or two I received an email and then a phone call from a CUIS contact person reversing the decision to cancel my mother’s home insurance. Did my blog entry make a difference? Who knows. But, this blog’s stats show three log ins from the insurance provider in that time period.” read more

Guido Daniele Original Hand Paintings

















See more of this wonderful body art at creator Guido Daniele‘s website. Thanks, Moshe, for bringing this beauty to our attention!

Steal an election, courtesy Diebold

Princeton University researchers show how easy it is to steal votes using Diebold software in an electronic voting machine. In this fascinating video, we see how a substitute memory card can be installed in under a minute containing software which steals votes from one candidate and gives them to another – and then deletes itself so the vote-stealing cannot be detected.

Full story and research data at http://itpolicy.princeton.edu/voting/

The fastest and easiest way to insert the contaminated memory card in a Diebold machine is by opening the machine’s security door with a key. Installing a card with the vote-stealing software takes less than a minute. The very same security door key is used in every Diebold voting machine, so there are thousands of keys in circulation, and, “any locksmith will make a copy.” But just in case a malicious hacker didn’t have free access to a copy of his own, Diebold posted a picture of the key on its website. It’s easy to get 3D keys made from the picture. It’s been done. Diebold removed the picture of the key from its website but Digg reports you can still see a screenshot of it on the Brad Blog. read more

Fried Bananas

I've been trying to remember the taste and texture of a fried bananas dish I once had as a child. They had a hard exterior, I think, which because it was solid had the effect of continuing to cook the bananas, so by the time one bit into one, they were literally melting. Here's the recipe . . .

Not a food blog

Clams in White Wine with Cilantro, based on a recipe by Daisy Martinez' of Puerto Rican cooking fame.

1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil 6 cloves garlic, roughly minced 1/2 t hot red pepper flakes, plain or stored in oil 1/2 c white wine 3 doz small clams