Saturday, October 30, 2004
posted by Barrie , 10:03 PM Þ 
Friday, October 29, 2004

The problem
The solution

Pantomime horse.
posted by meau meau , 4:40 PM Þ 

Bush/Cheney admit to doctoring ad, make fake troops

This is the perfect way to view the Bush platform, more fake war, more fake consent.
posted by telle goode , 4:21 PM Þ 

"The song starts cold. Two guitar chords ring on the downbeats, locked in step with the drums, marching forward with no dynamic variation. A second guitar introduces difference, coming toward us like an ambulance Dopplering into range. The bass guitar, sounding like someone’s voice, heralds everybody over the hill and into the song. If you can listen to it without getting a chilly burst of immortality, there is a layer between you and the world." Sasha Frere-Jones on the legacy of The Clash.
posted by Ken , 4:17 PM Þ 
posted by Josh Carr , 3:26 PM Þ 

posted by Irdial , 2:11 PM Þ 







100% (IF NOT MORE)
posted by meau meau , 1:33 PM Þ 

About 100,000 Iraqi civilians - half of them women and children - have died in Iraq since the invasion, mostly as a result of airstrikes by coalition forces, according to the first reliable study of the death toll from Iraqi and US public health experts.

The study, which was carried out in 33 randomly-chosen neighbourhoods of Iraq representative of the entire population, shows that violence is now the leading cause of death in Iraq. Before the invasion, most people died of heart attacks, stroke and chronic illness. The risk of a violent death is now 58 times higher than it was before the invasion.

You can read the article and comment in the Lancet free, but need to register first.
posted by Alun , 8:16 AM Þ 
posted by Irdial , 2:18 AM Þ 
Thursday, October 28, 2004
posted by chriszanf , 10:16 PM Þ 

The judge of the Audiencia Nacional, Juan del Olmo, the judge in the criminal cases of the March 11 bombing , today ordered the Judicial Police to take whatever action necessary to halt the activities of the web site, whose servers are located in the US, which is displaying images of the victims of March 11, and is notable for its crudeness.

While these images had been incorporated for some time the indictments against the criminals, the judge has nonetheless started an investigation to determine who has permitted them to be seen by any person on the internet.

The magistrate knew of the existence of this web page as a result of a communication received by the Audiencia Nacional from an anonymous citizen, who denounced the sites activities. The same source requested that Del Olmo, who appreciated the assistance of the citizen, respond in any fashion necessary to safeguard the pain of the victims of the massacre.

<>In a judicial decree, Del Olmo, based his decision on Article 579 of the Law of Criminal Judging, which indicated the judge could take action pertaining to telephone communications (the Internet arrives via telephone lines), in relation to Article 18 of the Spanish Constitution, which guarantees the right of honor, privacy, and appropriate use of peoples' images.

On, one can see 34 high-quality exclusive images, as advertised by those responsible for the site, which included images of mutilated bodies and people destroyed by the bombs of the past March 11. Additionally, the web site includes a video with images of the victims of the criminals.

The objective of the measure taken by Del Olmo is that they cease the activities that are hurting the honor of the victims, according to sources close the court. [...]

That's all very "interesting", but did you know that Ogrish is hosting a video of Kenneth Bigley being beheaded? No, I didnt know that either, and its fascinating, because you would have imagined some moral outrage on demand spilling out into the newspapers at this video being available. Either the newspapers know about it and are collectively not saying anything, OR they dont know about it and so hence no reaction, OR I missed it in the newspapers.

Which one is it? YOU Decide!

posted by Irdial , 9:11 PM Þ 

If anyone is interested, I recently redesigned/restarted my blog, Interrupt Media Group. Have a look if you'd like, and send me offlist feedback at jkmeier at uchicago dot edu. Thank you.
posted by Ken , 8:27 PM Þ 

Dear Expert

The DigiCULT project is currently preparing a roadmap on the challenges
and possible achievements in research and technological development
(RTD) over the next 10 to 15 years that are likely to lead to advanced
applications for the cultural heritage sector.

The roadmap is a navigation tool that will provide essential
understanding and direction in the strategic planning of research
agenda, guiding investment in and funding of innovative RTD.

We invite you to participate in this roadmapping exercise, helping
DigiCULT to define and qualify the challenges and approaches ahead. The
roadmap will be published in Thematic Issue 7 that will be available in
December 2004.

Starting from the current IST programme's vision of "anywhere, anytime,
natural and enjoyable access to IST services for all" the roadmap
concentrates on the following five themes:

* Theme 1: Intelligent & Contextual [MEANING]
* Theme 2: Natural & Enjoyable Interaction [EXPERIENCES]
* Theme 3: Create / Re-create [3D/AR/VR]
* Theme 4: Large Scale & Distributed [AUTOMATION]
* Theme 5: Persistent & Perpetual Access [PRESERVATION]

Click here to start

c) DigiCULT Forum 2002-2004
posted by telle goode , 5:03 PM Þ 

Before Trinity: The 100 Ton Test

May 7, 1945:

To help in preparing the instrumentation for the Trinity shot the "100 Ton Test" was fired on 7 May 1945. This test detonated 108 tons of TNT stacked on a wooden platform 800 yards from Trinity ground zero. The pile of high explosive was threaded with tubes containing 1000 curies of reactor fission products. This is the largest instrumented explosion conducted up to this date. The test allowed the calibration of instruments to measure the blast wave, and gave some indication of how fission products might be distributed by the explosion.

The TNT pile for 100 Ton Test
The pile of 108 tons of Composition B (a TNT/RDX mixture) prior to being blown up in the 100 Ton Test (46 K).

This image was provided by Peter Kuran, director of Trinity and Beyond: The Atomic Bomb Movie (available on video). Footage of the 100 ton shot can be seen in the movie.
The 100 Ton Test
100 Ton No. 1 100 Ton No. 1 100 Ton No. 1
posted by Irdial , 3:43 PM Þ 
posted by Ken , 3:11 PM Þ 

Screengrab of website, BBC
Access to the site is blocked
The official re-election site of President George W Bush is blocking visits from overseas users for "security reasons".

The blocking began early on Monday so those outside the US and trying to view the site got a message saying they are not authorised to view it.

But keen net users have shown that the policy is not being very effective.

Many have found that the site can still be viewed by overseas browsers via several alternative net addresses.


posted by Alun , 1:37 PM Þ 

posted by Alun , 1:24 PM Þ 

The Power of Nightmares Part 2:
The torrent.
posted by Irdial , 11:14 AM Þ 

Don't know about his horn in the morning but the lyrics of the other John Peel take on a poignancy in the light of recent events...

Do ye ken John Peel with his coat so gay?
Do ye ken John Peel at the break of day?
Do ye ken John Peel when he's far, far away
With his hounds and his horn in the morning

Twas the sound of his horn brought me from my bed
And the cry of his hounds has me oftimes led
For Peel's view holloa would wake the dead
Or a fox from his lair in the morning

Do ye ken that hound whose voice is death?
Do ye ken her sons of peerless faith
Do ye ken that a fox with his last breath
Cursed them all as he died in the morning?

Yes, I ken John Peel and auld Ruby, too
Ranter and Royal and Bellman so true
From the drag to the chase, from the chase to the view
From the view to the death in the morning

And I've followed John Peel both often and far
O'er the rasper fence and the gate and the bar
From Low Denton Holme to the Scratchmere Scar
When we vied for the brush in the morning

Then here's to John Peel with my heart and soul
Come fill, fill to him a brimming bowl
For we'll follow John Peel thro fair or thro foul
While we're waked by his horn in the morning
posted by Mess Noone , 10:38 AM Þ 

I could not log in to Blogger yesterday to express my dismay over the death of John Peel - the man was a titan. Right up to the end constantly playing and recording the newest artists. He never got stale, never got tired - truly loved music. I never heard his show but have heard many of the Sessions. Respect, in the most real sense of the word.

I don't think I've ever posted the Canadian Heritage Minutes to Blogdial. They are quite unique and suggest something about the strangeness of Canadian nationalism.

You are BUER, demon of the second order, a
president of hell. He had the form of a star or
of a wheel with five branches, and advanced by
rolling over himself. He teaches philosophy,
logic, and the virtues of herbal medicine. He
boasts of giving good servants and curing the
sick. He commands fifty legions.

Which Infernal Being Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
posted by Barrie , 4:37 AM Þ 
Wednesday, October 27, 2004

You are VOLAC, high-president of hell; he appears
in the form of a child with the wings of an
angel, mounted on a two-headed dragon. He knows
the position of the planets and the lurking
places of serpents. Thirty legions obey him.

Which Infernal Being Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
posted by mary13 , 11:27 PM Þ 

You are OROBAS, high prince of the somber empire.
One sees him in the form of a beautiful horse.
When he appears in the form of a man, he speaks
of the divine essence. Consulted, he gives
responses on the past, the present, and the
future. He discovers falsehoods, grants favors
and help, reconciles enemies, and has twenty
legions under his orders.

Which Infernal Being Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
posted by chriszanf , 10:51 PM Þ 

You are OROBAS, high prince of the somber empire.
One sees him in the form of a beautiful horse.
When he appears in the form of a man, he speaks
of the divine essence. Consulted, he gives
responses on the past, the present, and the
future. He discovers falsehoods, grants favors
and help, reconciles enemies, and has twenty
legions under his orders.

Which Infernal Being Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
posted by Ken , 10:26 PM Þ

if only there was one for windows...machine to machine copying without setup.
posted by Irdial , 9:47 PM Þ 

networked applications

IP Scanner and its companion app, IP Broadcaster, are the first installments of a suite of tools that leverages rendezvous to facilitate communication and transfer of data between computers and wireless devices on a dynamic LAN.

We are reaching a point where almost anything can “talk” to anything else. If you need something specific built to your specifications - let us know; our java and c++ gurus can help you create an elegant solution.

if only there was one for windows...machine to machine copying without setup.
posted by Irdial , 9:47 PM Þ 

You are FURFUR, count of hell. He can be seen in
the guise of a stag with a flaming tail; he
speaks only lies, unless he be enclosed in a
triangle. He often takes the form of an angel,
speaks with a raucous voice and sustains the
union between husbands and wives. He makes fall
the thunderbolt, the lightning flash and the
thunder groan in the places he has been ordered
to do so. He responds on abstract things.
Twenty-six legions are under his orders.

Which Infernal Being Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
posted by alex_tea , 9:04 PM Þ 
posted by Irdial , 8:18 PM Þ 

"False Christian"

John Kerry wants churchgoing Americans to think he's a legitimate Christian. But what's the REAL story? Watch the latest in our Godly campaign's ongoing series of wholly accurate, non-distorting political ads to find out: Watch It Now:

High Bandwidth
Low Bandwidth
Quicktime Download (2.5MB)
posted by Irdial , 4:38 PM Þ 

An interesting RFID article via /.


Laziness not premonition, alas.
posted by meau meau , 4:17 PM Þ 

Law society views...

Identity Fraud, Illegal Working and Illegal Immigration

The Law Society believes that the scheme may be successful in reducing the incidence of individuals with multiple identities, and biometrics will make forgery more difficult, however they believe the introduction of identity cards would not significantly reduce the incidence of identity fraud, those who work or employ illegally, nor illegal immigrants.

Crime and Terrorism
The Law Society does not believe the identity card scheme will significantly help combat crime and terrorism.

There is almost nothing positive in the consultation document. None of the major groups consulted understand why ID cards are required or how they will reduce terrorism and crime. Only the Police Federation appear strongly in favour. Quelle surprise!
posted by Alun , 2:29 PM Þ 

Essential, and interesting, reading. Free full text pdf.

Identity Cards
A Summary of Findings from the Consultation on Legislation on Identity Cards

October 2004

posted by Alun , 1:56 PM Þ 

Compare and contrast...

Home Secretary Sets Out next Steps on ID Cards

Reference: 331/2004 - Date: 27 Oct 2004 10:50

The Government is making good progress with its plans for national, compulsory ID cards, the Home Secretary, David Blunkett, said today as he published the Home Office’s response to the Home Affairs Select Committee’s report on ID cards.

A national, compulsory ID card scheme will ensure that the UK can meet the challenges of the twenty-first century. It will: help protect the UK against terrorism, organised crime, identity theft, illegal immigration and illegal working; allow UK citizens to travel and carry out everyday transactions easily and securely; and ensure that public services are only used by those entitled to them.

The Government is announcing today, in response to the comments of the Home Affairs Select Committee, some refinements to the scheme, which are:

  • A single, universal ID card for all UK nationals, to be issued alongside passports. This will simplify the operation of the scheme, and reflects public support for a universal card.
  • A simpler, more effective structure to deliver and run the scheme. A new executive agency will be set up incorporating the UK Passport Service and working closely with the Home Office’s Immigration and Nationality Directorate.
  • The verification process will be simpler and more secure. There will be a standardised on-line verification service which will make the system more secure against fraud and provide a full audit trail.

The changes will help ensure that the national ID card scheme will be efficient and effective, delivering maximum benefits.

Mr Blunkett said:

"Our plans to bring in a national ID card scheme lie at the heart of our work to ensure that the UK can meet the challenges of a changing world. Biometric ID cards will provide a simple and secure means of verifying identity. Together with electronic border controls they will help us tackle illegal migration and working, organised crime, terrorist activity, identity theft, and fraudulent access to public services, as well as helping our citizens travel freely and complete everyday transactions securely and easily. I am pleased that the Home Affairs Committee accepted the clear and convincing case in favour of a national ID card scheme.

"As I have made clear from the start, this is a long-term project and we are determined to get it right. Pre-legislative scrutiny and consultation are a key part of that approach, allowing us to continue to refine and improve plans for the operation of the scheme to ensure it is as effective and efficient as possible.

"I welcome the constructive suggestions the Home Affairs Committee and others have made, and the improvements to the scheme I am announcing today will make our planned scheme simpler, clearer and more effective. I will now bring forward legislation to bring in a compulsory, national ID card scheme."

Plans to combine new compulsory identity cards with passports and driving licences have been dropped by Home Secretary David Blunkett.

The changes to the controversial scheme comes in response to MPs who said the plans were badly thought out.

posted by Alun , 1:48 PM Þ 

Interesting but not surprising to see the questions for public consultation tended to impute the efficacy of, and desire for ID cards:

"As you may already know, the Government will be introducing national identity cards. Identity cards are likely to be coming in a few years time, so what type of information do you think should appear on them?"

"In which of the following situations do you personally think it will be useful to have an identity card to prove who you are?"

The option of a negative response is not allowed in the multichoice components to the answers. Interestingly the Additional Questions given to 'minority groups' allowed them to voice explicit disapproval of the scheme it would have been just to give this option to non-minority groups.

NO2ID welcomed the statutory purposes of the Register as a protection against function creep.

This seems like an odd statement. (note; investigate where this came from.)

The Home office is persisting in the lie/ deliberate obfuscation of the role of a passport in the NIR/ ID proposals. All their proposals indicate a passport WOULD be an NIR document, ID cards issued would be NIR documents but not have passport status, so they can spread the deceit that passports would not be 'ID Cards' even though they would contain at least as much NIR information.
posted by meau meau , 1:27 PM Þ 

he was utterly unique and there was no-one else playing that stuff on MAINSTREAM NATIONAL radio

Thank you for saying that Andrew. Back then, the Radio One DJs were a cowardly and disgusting bunch of idiots, who basically played whatever was handed to them. John Peel however, played exactly what he liked, including strange promotional records like "Energy For Northampton" which was something given away to promote Electricity. This may seem terribly quaint and deliberately oddball, but what it illustrates is that he really did play anything that he liked that came his way.

Back to the systemic problems at Radio One; you need to try and imagine what sort of clamped down time that was.
You can get an idea of what it was like by taking note of how the BBC today, when it eulogises John Peel, deliberately fails to mention the actual names of the PIRATE STATIONS that gave him his first airtime in the UK, years BEFORE there was a Radio One the bastard child of Radio Caroline and Radio London.

<>There used to be a meeting every Monday at Radio One where a group of corrupt people would sit down and listen to the single releases from the major labels. They would then decide, by committee, which records would be played to the entire nation. Yes. Just like Stalinist airbrushing Russia, The BBC did this every week; it brutally controlled and corralled its captive audience, and if you did not get your single into that room, and if one of your cronies was not in there, your record could not be played on the radio, full stop. <>

John Peel short circuited all of that. He played records from labels that could not afford to bribe this committee, and thus, we got to hear about groups like , well, you name it. I say bribe deliberately, not as a provocation, but because this was literally true. Only major label releases were considered in this meeting room, and the same groups, literally and figuratively, The Status Quo, kept being given heavy rotation over and over again. This was at a time of the greatest flowering of new music ever in pop, and it was all being systematically ignored by the BBC.

John Peel's death is a tragedy, because, really, he was not that old, and I always imagined that he should be made the controller of BBC Radio One, and that, as a knight in shining armor, he would repurpose all the bad DJs there, and replace them with people that actually liked playing records and that actually liked music. It was not to be. Had it happened however, Radio One would actually have meant something again, and we would have had an ecosystem within which we could all live and thrive.

I remember John Peel playing all sorts of simply great records, and saying out loud, "I gave this record to 'Tony Bannekburn' because I think its that good...I just dont understand why they wont play this!". It was clear to everyone that listened to him that he was right, and not only right, but had a track record of being correct; why then, did not the other DJs play great music from groups like, well, you name them. Once these groups had been played on The John Peel show, they (and not inevitably) picked up some fans, and were enjoyed by someone somewhere; why not play these records to everyone? There was nothing wrong with the records or the songs, it was just that they didn’t have the payola pounds to get into that room, and that was a great injustice, not only to the bands and labels, but to the public, who we all felt would for sure, fall in love with, shall we say,....well, you name the group. There were so many. So very many.

And then, there was the stuff that no one would like, except the likes of me and the THESE boys and the other tens of thousands "like us". We got played to us, things that we simply didn’t think could exist, but which inspired us and enthralled us and, like THESE says, made us dream of the possibilities of 'what could be next'.

He also played old music. That show was an education, of the most gentle and brilliant kind. It made you want to explore older music, it made you aware of the continuity in popular music, and it blew your mind. All of my early exposure to the original blues men came via John Peel. That is a great debt to have to pay back. Also, much of the Dub Reggae that I heard came from John Peel's show. Impossible to repay. So many music’s, so faithfully and enthusiastically played, with an equal admiration for all the music under his stylus, all given equal weight, (unless he wasn’t sure about something - he often played things he wasn’t sure of, giving them a chance to grow on him and us) - and this way of selecting music didn’t have a name, it was just right and you could trust it and you knew that at 10:00 when that guitar started playing, that some magic was about to be unleashed upon you.

The sessions, groups that no one had heard of before, more often than not, classic and talented groups, rarely failed to surprise and inspire. And on the small occasions where a session didnt work out, I remember John Peel actually saying, "hmmm I thought they sounded better than this when I saw them live, which is why we booked them". But this didn’t mean that the more established groups didn’t get return sessions either. Often, and indeed very often, groups would be invited back again and again to record sessions, to “see what they were up to now", to see how they had progressed, and if you look back over the sessions of an oft invited group chronologically, you can see them develop, improve, innovate and exceed themselves...or fall apart. Many of these sessions contained versions of songs that were better than the ones that subsequently appeared on the "official" releases. There are many examples of this, where the definitive versions were the Peel Session versions. Bob "Serpent" Sergeant was one of my favorite producers. The versions of songs he produced were almost always better than the ones that got released.

Like THESE said, there was no internet then; you had to listen to the show and record it yourself on cassette, or someone had to "do you a tape" of it if you missed it, or you could, much later, get a compilation tape of many sessions from "Eddie Wolfram" or one of his contemporaries. You could not just get this music easily, it was hard to track down, and if you lived outside of
London, you had real problems getting things. Propagation was slow, but every night, John Peel's show connected you to a pure source of what was going on, including dates of who was playing where and when. Your only other source of this info was the NME, which of course is nothing like it used to be, and I dont mean that in a sour way, but I say it as an indication of how literally essential it was, if you were interested in music, since there were so very few ways that information could get out. But I digress.

John Peel showed me that you should follow your own ears, and that if you do that, it will all come right. Its a simple idea, but hard to pull off, because the people around you are all so stupid, just like the BBC programmers are stupid; every independent label owner and music lover had to put up with the ignorant, frightened and dumb people who would come up with phrases like "no one wants to hear that" or some other garbage, and yet, time and again, the greatest groups were always played first by John Peel. What a world it was. What a world it has become. John Peel was someone that you felt would in some way, always be there working away...what a shock that he is now suddenly gone. There will never be another John Peel, and even if the impossible happened and there was, everything is so fragmented now, that persons force would be nullified by all the different channels out there. Who knows. One thing is for sure though, that man existed inside an institution that should have flattened him out completely. He stayed there, played what he wanted, was a tower of integrity, and he made us. Literally. And this was done simply through the pure love of music, of many many different kinds. And playing it.

Sympathy to "The Pig" and his 4 children. A true man, gone forever.
posted by Irdial , 9:32 AM Þ 

i can only echo what akin has already said, peel has always been one of the most important figures on the independent scene, PERIOD. he was utterly unique and there was no-one else playing that stuff on MAINSTREAM NATIONAL radio, lest we forget - all in the days before the internet existed - he was a communicator of the bizarre and the unknown to the most impoverished and needy corners of the country - that's how it felt to me when i heard these weird and wonderful sounds coming out of a terrible little radio or some tinny, clapped out old car stereo in stockport. his show made you dream of the possiblities of 'what could be next', you never knew...ANYTHING could happen. thinking about all of this a lot now. a real one-off, very sad indeed.
posted by THESE , 3:00 AM Þ 
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
posted by Ken , 10:27 PM Þ 

posted by telle goode , 8:18 PM Þ 

I'll never forget seeing Regis and Surgeon on the Peel show live at the Medicine Bar in Birmingham. When John introduced Regis' set I thought I was hallucinating. I could never have imagined someone of his grace, stature, and tenure championing such thoroughly confrontational, underground music. Such a huge loss to the entire community -- even in a part of the world his show wasn't broadcast in. He will be sorely missed.
posted by Ken , 8:16 PM Þ 

Oh, teenage years
Going to bed with a walkman
laid in the darkness
with the sound:
real people
real music
presented by a
real man
as you fall asleep
no more.
posted by meau meau , 5:34 PM Þ 

Wow, so sad.

posted by captain davros , 5:02 PM Þ 

John Peel
Veteran BBC broadcaster John Peel dies from a heart attack at the age of 65 while on holiday in Peru.


Irdial would never have happened had it not been for the influence of John Peel.

The John Peel show exposed us to everything that was happening, it reflected and expanded the universe of bands that we loved and didnt know that we were to love. That programme was responsible for some of the best recordings by the most legendary groups. I can safely say that I would not still be here had it not been for John Peel and his nightly 2 hour show crammed with the music that filled my life with joy. This man, out of all radio DJs had taste, was not afraid to play new records, booked bands for sessions simply because he liked them, and 9 times out of 10 he was spot on. His influence on the music of this country was positive, huge and important.

He was an honest DJ.

Farewell to a very important, and fondly remembered man.
posted by Irdial , 2:40 PM Þ 

posted by chriszanf , 2:27 PM Þ 

ReAir Refillable Duster

This is a refillable, pressurized air duster, used for cleaning computers and other electronics. It can be refilled using a standard bike pump, by attaching the pump to the valve at the back of the can.

This is more efficient and less wasteful than the conventional disposable air dusters. According Adam Fields, who tested the product (see Cool Tools), ReAir doesn't last as long as a Dust-Off can or provide quite as much pressure, but it does work well.

Available from: Instaoffice ($12) or many other office supply stores

posted by Irdial , 11:50 AM Þ 

Cuba bans US dollar transactions
Cuba says it is to ban commercial transactions in dollars from 8 November in response to tighter US sanctions.

Dollars were made legal tender in 1993 following an economic crisis sparked by the collapse of the Soviet Union.

But dollars will no longer be accepted in shops and other businesses, and tourists and Cubans exchanging dollars will have to pay a 10% commission.

Cuban leader Fidel Castro appeared on TV to endorse the measure, despite suffering a bad fall last Wednesday.

"The empire is determined to create more difficulties for us," he said, referring to the US.

In May, the US announced it was tightening its embargo on Cuba, with measures including capping the remittances sent to the island by Cubans in the US.

In response, said the Cuban central bank in a statement, dollars would no longer be accepted in shops and businesses.

They will have to be exchanged for "convertible pesos" - a local currency that can be used in special shops on the island but has no value internationally - for a 10% charge.

Following the economic crash of the 1990s, and the legalisation of the dollar, many Cubans have become dependant on dollars for many goods, including some basic necessities.

The Cuban government closed down so-called dollar stores in immediate response to the US measures in May, but most reopened two weeks later.

Remittances hit

Mr Castro said the measure did not signal the outlawing of the dollar. Cubans will still be allowed to hold an unlimited amount of dollars, and they will be able to exchange them without charge until the new law comes into effect in two weeks.

But it will mean an additional burden on Cubans abroad who send remittances in dollars - pumping up to $1bn into the Cuban economy each year.

In his message, Mr Castro urged Cubans to tell relatives to send money in other currencies, such as euros, British pounds or Swiss francs. [...]

My emphasis.

posted by Irdial , 10:06 AM Þ 
Monday, October 25, 2004

A lone voice...

Tony Blair has biometric tests on Monday
Tony Blair tested the biometric technology on Monday
A "climate of fear" has been used to undermine civil liberties in the wake of the 11 September attacks, Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy has said.

In a speech in London on Monday, Mr Kennedy argued government plans for compulsory identity cards were a classic example of the problem.

He also claimed that stop and search powers introduced under terror laws were being misused by the police.

Labour has hit back at the speech, calling the Lib Dems "soft on crime".

Speaking at the National Liberal Club, Mr Kennedy said the government should stop trying to micromanage public services.

But the Lib Dems also had to guard against attempts by an "over-mighty state" to undermine people's freedoms, he argued.


"In this post-9/11 world, a climate of fear is being created which is being used to threaten our civil liberties," he said.

"Extraordinary threats - like those posed by international terrorism - may require us, in times of emergency and for limited periods, to find a different balance between our hard-won liberties and our security.

Hard-won rights, once lost, may never be regained
Charles Kennedy
Lib Dem leader

"But the correct response to such threats should not be, as the current home secretary appears to think, the abandonment of some of the liberties that generations of Britons have relied upon.

posted by Alun , 9:54 PM Þ 

Barry Saul Dickinson
Dickinson used the DVLA's computer records to find the addresses
A vehicle registration official who gave drivers' addresses to animal rights activists has been jailed for five months.

Barry Saul Dickinson, 34, of Manor Forstal, New Ash Green, Kent, was convicted at Stafford Crown Court of misconduct in a public office.

He had enabled protesters to find people connected to a guinea pig farm in Staffordshire.

A police spokesman said information had been used to "terrorise" families.

Insp Dave Bird of Staffordshire Police, said: "This was a breach of trust of the highest order - Dickinson abused his position as a public servant.

"Dickinson accessed DVLA computer systems to look up people's registration numbers [...]

U.K. to Introduce Identity Card Measure Urgently, Blair Says

Oct. 25 (Bloomberg) -- The U.K. will introduce legislation to begin using identity cards urgently, Prime Minister Tony Blair said, with the aim of controlling access to public services and making life difficult for terrorists.

``We need to know people are who they say they are, not least to know public services are used by those who are eligible for them,'' Blair told reporters at his monthly press conference in London. ``We will legislate as soon as parliamentary time is available, and I believe that security must be our first priority.''

posted by Alun , 9:40 PM Þ 
posted by Irdial , 6:02 PM Þ 


Click for
posted by telle goode , 5:27 PM Þ 

if you don't know me by now

finally saw this over the weekend...took a year for the special to get shown over here. amazing!!
posted by Ken , 5:01 PM Þ 
posted by Irdial , 3:56 PM Þ 

Bravo Uniform Sierra Hotel
posted by meau meau , 3:13 PM Þ 

This week's favourite tune is shaping up to Richard H Kirk's 'Smoke Em Out' from his latest album, which I picked up on a whim. Lovely mucky synth melody, the right speed (I find a lot of his stuff a little bit slow) and not too long either (another...). The title track 'The Truck Bombers of Suburbia' is darn good too but and totally confounds expectations - a doomcore cut-n-shut led zeppelin dancehall showcase. More!! The other tracks seem to be his usual stuff split 50/50 dubsy/stringsy.


"The Patois of Tiny Feet"
posted by meau meau , 1:36 PM Þ 

Was rereading the InDesign vs QE comments.

Wondered who is also using GoLive instead of Dreamweaver? Or...?
Just switched to GoLive as part of CS from DW4 and, while there's still a lot of Adopey's trademark redundant tool windows and opaque functionality, there's also a lot to love. The site management window is good and simple and nice in-window previews, to name but two. Then there's the tie-ins with Illustrator, PS, Acrobat Pro and so on...

Haven't used DW MX though, which may be a more suitable comparison.
posted by Alun , 1:34 PM Þ 

1 Jesus

2 Martin Luther King

3 Malcolm X

4 Nelson Mandela

5 Muhammad Ali

6 Mary Seacole

7 Oprah Winfrey

8 Bob Marley

9 Marcus Garvey

10 The black inventors, including Garrett Morgan, George Washington Carver and Elijah Mccoy

11 Pele

12 Tupac

13 Michael Jackson

14 Louis Farrakhan

15 Bernie Grant

16 Mike Tyson

17 Steve Biko

18 Shaka Zulu

19 Tommie Smith and John Carlos

20 Jimmy Cliff

21 Haile Selassie

22 Kwame Nkrumah

23 Fela Kuti

[...] Another 77 listed here
posted by meau meau , 10:58 AM Þ 

The devil and the deep blue sea: Navy gives blessing to sailor Satanist

Technician allowed to practise beliefs on board ship in name of equal opportunities

Helen Carter
Monday October 25, 2004
The Guardian

A Royal Navy technician who is a Satanist has been given permission to practise his beliefs at sea, the Ministry of Defence confirmed yesterday.

Chris Cranmer, 24, from Edinburgh, has been a practising Satanist for nine years. He joined the navy four years ago and was promoted to leading hand - the equivalent of an army corporal - last year [...]

Like Akin Say - You Can't Make It Up.
posted by meau meau , 9:46 AM Þ 

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