Friday, November 26, 2004

posted by chriszanf , 10:03 PM Þ 

to you Mess

posted by Alison , 4:25 PM Þ 

this is the worst record cover artwork i have ever seen. if anyone can provide any competition for this, i would love to see it.

posted by Mess Noone , 11:28 AM Þ 

EDS Awarded $34 Million Subcontract from Sytel to Support Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

New Systems, Services Touch Most of Agency's Core Operations

PLANO, Texas – EDS today announced it has been awarded a multi-year subcontract from Sytel Corp. to provide, develop and support new information technology infrastructure for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that touches nearly every facet of the agency's operational mission, including investigations, bookings, detention and removal of aliens, enforcement of immigration laws, and legal work.

ICE is the investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The Enforcement Systems Program contract includes a one-year, $6.5 million base period and as many as five additional option years that could place the total value of the contract to as much as $34 million if all options are exercised.

EDS will provide planning, development, maintenance, help desk, database and operations support for the following mission critical systems:

  • Enforcement Integrated Database (EID), a central repository for enforcement data;
  • Enforcement Case Tracking System (ENFORCE);
  • Apprehension Booking Module (EABM) that captures high quality data on illegal alien activity and supports the DHS law enforcement mission to identify, apprehend, detain, and remove aliens illegally in the U.S.;
  • Worksite Enforcement Activity Reporting System (LYNX), which provides a mechanism for the storage and retrieval of detailed enforcement activity as it relates to employers engaged in criminal and administrative violations of the Immigration and Nationality Act and the U.S. Criminal Code;
  • Criminal Alien Investigation System (CAIS) which automates investigation functions needed to support the Institutional Hearing/Removal Program;
  • Deportable Alien Control System (DACS) that automates many of the functions associated with tracking the status of illegal aliens under removal proceedings;
  • General Counsel Electronic Management System (GEMS), a customized system that allows the Office of the General Counsel to track case information and documentation related to their case, and;
  • Detention & Removal Operations Program Support (DROPS), which supports investigation of cases identified by the Joint Terrorist Task Force as high profile or of interest and supports automated functions and information to DRO detention and deportation officers, investigators, and other personnel in detaining and deporting aliens in DHS custody with possible ties to terrorist activity.

Well, at least they've got plenty of good acronyms!
I particularly like the use of EID as the acronymal starting point for a system everyone knows is disproportionately targeting muslims.

Will that help when it all goes tits up though?

Pensions computers crash

CIVIL SERVANTS had to revert to pen and paper after the biggest software crash in government history knocked out computers used to process benefit and pension payments.

Thousands of staff at the Department for Work and Pensions found that they were unable to use the machines after a software upgrade went wrong, bringing the ministry’s network to a standstill.

The department said last night that most of the computers affected were back online, but predicted delays to some new and amended claims with disruption expected for 48 hours.

Technicians from Microsoft were flown in from the Continent to join engineers from the Texas-based contractor EDS, which runs the department’s technology network as part of a £2 billion deal.

Now then, about that National ID Database....
posted by Alun , 9:10 AM Þ 

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Cardiff's new Millennium Centre, with the following inscription in Welsh;
Creating Truth
Like Glass
From Inspiration's Furnace
posted by Alun , 8:59 AM Þ 

Dido's album was the biggest-selling in the UK in the past year


UK music sees record album sales
UK record companies are celebrating their best ever year for album sales, with a record 237 million sold in the 12 months to September.

The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) trade body said albums by the likes of Keane and The Streets had helped drive a 3% rise compared with last year.

It also said sales of single tracks were up thanks to the availability of legal download services.

posted by Alun , 8:56 AM Þ 
Thursday, November 25, 2004

joyful discovery: this record is SO good!

posted by Mess Noone , 10:07 AM Þ 
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
posted by Claus Eggers , 8:09 PM Þ 

US-UK Mutual Defence Agreement

Introduction by Nicola Butler

Negotiations between the US and the UK on an amendment to extend the 1958 US-UK Mutual Defence Agreement are now complete. The amendment would renew this Cold War nuclear cooperation pact, and is being pushed through in haste, despite increasing controversy concerning the legality of this Agreement.

The Amendment was approved, authorised for execution, and transmitted to Congress by President Bush on June 14, 2004. The text of the Amendment itself is not publicly available at time of writing, but in his 'Message to Congress', President Bush states that it, "extends for 10 years (until December 31, 2014) provisions that permit the transfer of nonnuclear parts, source, byproduct, special nuclear materials, and other material and technology for nuclear weapons and military reactors, and revises text, principally in the Security Annex, to be consistent with current policies and practices relating to personnel and physical security." [...]
posted by meau meau , 3:40 PM Þ 
posted by meau meau , 3:09 PM Þ 

ID card business plan will not be made public

The government has ruled out publishing the business case for its £3.1bn ID card programme on the grounds of commercial confidentiality, despite questions over the scheme's value for money [...]

Computer Weekly

Seems like freedom of information will be about as free as the general public given the curent attitudes.
A cynic might think that witholding the business plan might deter many IT companies to the advantage of those with a 'close relationship' with the Government and we know who they are.
You may also be forgiven for realising that the economic case for this scheme is as flimsy as the 'functionality' arguments.
posted by meau meau , 1:23 PM Þ 

"It's a little girl. She's running defensively eastward."

Operations room: "Are we talking about a girl under the age of 10?"

Watchtower: "A girl of about 10, she's behind the embankment, scared to death."

A few minutes later, Iman is shot in the leg from one of the army posts.

The watchtower: "I think that one of the positions took her out."
The company commander then moves in as Iman lies wounded and helpless.

Captain R: "I and another soldier ... are going in a little nearer, forward, to confirm the kill ... Receive a situation report. We fired and killed her ... I also confirmed the kill. Over."

Witnesses described how the captain shot Iman twice in the head, walked away, turned back and fired a stream of bullets into her body. Doctors at Rafah's hospital said she had been shot at least 17 times.
posted by Alun , 10:32 AM Þ 

adult contemporary house/techno architecture design music = sterile anonymous/vitality-less music numb death!!!

posted by telle goode , 2:04 AM Þ 
Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Government Uses Color Laser Printer Technology to Track Documents

According to experts, several printer companies quietly encode the serial number and the manufacturing code of their color laser printers and color copiers on every document those machines produce. Governments, including the United States, already use the hidden markings to track counterfeiters.

Unlike ink jet printers, laser printers, fax machines, and copiers fire a laser through a mirror and series of lenses to embed the document or image on a page. Such devices range from a little over $100 to more than $1000, and are designed for both home and office.

The United States is not the only country teaming with private industry to fight counterfeiters. A recent article points to the Dutch government as using similar anticounterfeiting methods, and cites Canon as a company with encoding technology. Canon USA declined to comment

posted by telle goode , 10:02 PM Þ 

Excerpts from this story...

Economic `Armageddon' predicted
By Brett Arends/ On State Street
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
Stephen Roach, the chief economist at investment banking giant Morgan Stanley, has a public reputation for being bearish.
But you should hear what he's saying in private.
Roach met select groups of fund managers downtown last week, including a group at Fidelity.
His prediction: America has no better than a 10 percent chance of avoiding economic ``armageddon.''

In a nutshell, Roach's argument is that America's record trade deficit means the dollar will keep falling. To keep foreigners buying T-bills and prevent a resulting rise in inflation, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan will be forced to raise interest rates further and faster than he wants.
The result: U.S. consumers, who are in debt up to their eyeballs, will get pounded.
Less a case of ``Armageddon,'' maybe, than of a ``Perfect Storm.''

To finance its current account deficit with the rest of the world, he said, America has to import $2.6 billion in cash. Every working day.

Twenty years ago the total debt of U.S. households was equal to half the size of the economy.
Today the figure is 85 percent.

posted by Alun , 7:56 PM Þ 

posted by Ken , 7:34 PM Þ 

Sweeping new powers to allow police to take DNA samples and fingerprints from minor offenders [litter louts? - mm] arrested on the street will be tucked away in a battery of law and order bills to be unveiled in today's Queen's speech.

What is billed by senior Labour officials as a "cynical and opportunist" programme for what is all but certain to end in a spring election is dominated by law and order-related legislation.

Guardian / Guardian

All the measures that show how much the government feels it has a divine right to control the country rather than serve the people are there. And when are the people seen fit to decide on whether they want any such legislation, after it has been passed and without debate.
Presumably the government are trying to push this through before the general election so they won't have to put it in their worthless manifesto (that won't mention any of the tyrannical measures they have lined up - like last time) just swep it under the carpet, and now that they've used the parliament act to force through a ban on fog-knitting my guess is they'll liberally use it for such pressing issues as notional security.

Where can we find a future government with Accountability?
posted by meau meau , 10:28 AM Þ 
Monday, November 22, 2004
posted by mary13 , 7:35 PM Þ 

Finally being able to give it a name does not mean you can hold it at bay.
posted by Mess Noone , 4:35 PM Þ 

inventing new technologies

Three words, that are the sole block to this perfectly sensible idea.

These people couldn't invent themselves out of a paper bag. They couldn't organize a barbeque on the surface of the sun (hmmm more solar energy). They couldnt organize a piss up in a brewery.

Mohsen Moradi, 25, clergyman

Iran must continue its nuclear activities. We have nuclear weapons already, but don't want to start a war.

The US is just the arrow head in the attack on Iran. Behind it is Israel. America may well attack us, but we aren't afraid of this because God will protect us. We are not talking here about a war between countries, but a war between religions.

There are commands in Holy Koran that we must keep up to date with technology and weaponry. [...]

Oh really? How busy is your patent office I wonder?!

The fact is, everything Iran uses now, was invented outside of their country. All the nuclear technology they have is from manufacturing processes and concepts invented and developed outside of their country. They wouldnt have concrete if someone hadnt told them how to mix it.

If they had some imagination and ability to innovate, of the sort they used to display hundreds of years ago, they would be selling everyone else solar technology and not begging for stolen plans to death reactors. They wouldnt be importing cellular phones, cars, computers, anything made of plastic, metal alloys and anything that uses electricity.

These people take, take, take; thats all they do decade after decade. They take other peoples technology and use it to kill. Their "dissidents" leave Iran and try and persuade "our" governments to take the lives of our sons so that they can live in a sort of country that they cannot build themselvs. Enough is enough with these people.

If these people need cellular telephones, let them invent their own. If they want sattelite TV, let them learn how to build rockets. Let them invent TV. They need to muster whatever creative forces they have and build their own systems, or do without. As for nuclear reactors, if someone didnt go there and tell them, they would have thought that pitchblende was something you do on a Barbat, and not a source of Uranium. They want these goods, these technologies to prove that they are "civilized"

Sanaz Maserrat, 29, teacher

We have to continue with our nuclear programmes. If we don't pursue this technology we will fall behind other countries in the scientific field. We need nuclear energy because our oil is going to run out. Why are the powerful countries allowed nuclear energy and not us?

I think there is a good chance that the US will attack Iran, if the programmes are continued. Do we have to obey America? I'm not sure if we have nuclear weapons already. [...] my emphasis

and modern, but the fact is all of these things (anything that can use electricity) are just trappings; a thin layer of makeup, under which is a very silly and backwards mentality, with no real understanding of anything 20 century or why any of it matters. Or doesnt matter for that matter.

If that were not the case, they would not be trying to install the worst technology ever unleashed by man. They would thank their lucky stars that their country will never have the problem of how to clean up a Nuclear reactor. What is so astonishing is that every other country wants to be rid of these reactors, but the Iranian intelligencia are seemingly not aware of this, or even worse, they dont care about the risks. They just think its their right to bristle with warheads, and so they will bristle. It certainly may be the case that they have this right, but it certainly is not the right thing to do, no matter what weapons any other country has.

Iran cannot compete with the technological world. They need to find their own space and level, live and thrive within it and at it, and turn away from everything that they cannot repair and create themselvs. If they do not do this, then they will be forced to obey other countries forever, and they will deserve this life of servitude, because they failed to use their imaginations, ingenuity and common sense.
posted by Irdial , 4:29 PM Þ 

If I were a peace loving Iranian I would be lobbying my government to exploit solar power, I would explain to the clerics that it uses a natural resource that won't be exploited by the infidel pig-dogs, that whilst they are fighting over the last drops of satan's black blood we could be inventing new technologies that we could sell to the technically inferoir west. I would also say that a solar future would mean less interference in domestic issues from the moralising agressors. To the reformers I would say solar has the ability to decentralise (economic) power out of corrupt officials and into the hands of ordinary people and a very real revolution could occur.
I would tell them both that going for nuclear power is a dead end that falls into the hands of western suspicion and beligerence even as they wake up and are starting to give up on nuclear power.
I would say - look up and what do you see, giver of life, look down and find the wastes of death.
posted by meau meau , 2:32 PM Þ 

Just Say No
posted by meau meau , 1:25 PM Þ 

Martin Rowson's slightly more visceral style of drawing is easier to see where he's not being obviously 'comic book', but we'll go with what we've got for the story...

'UK To Become Police State' says Blunkett. 'It's for your own good. Shut Up. Sit Down. Keep Quiet.'

"We'd be able to use civil orders, like anti-social behaviour orders, to say, 'If you step outside what we've precluded you from doing, if you actually, for instance, use this particular banking network, if you, for instance, use the internet and we can identify you've done it, then we can move you from the civil into the criminal law', and then we can use the normal criminal justice process," he said.

Bloodstream declared violable compartment.
Drugs debate raised to deflect attention from Civil Liberties issues.

The drugs clampdown will allow addicts to be prosecuted even if they are not in possession of supplies. A new law will mean they can be taken to court if traces of a banned substance are found in their bloodstream.

Thought-crime to be in Queen's Speech.

The Law Society warned that the Government was planning legislation to give police powers to arrest people suspected of any crime. Home Office sources insisted that any change would be accompanies by safeguards.

Idiots of a feather flock together.

Mr Blunkett’s plan for new anti-terror laws follows suggestions that Labour will try to incorporate George Bush’s successful US election tactics into its own programme.

Oh! It's all OK after all!

"What we’re trying to do is to square an impossible circle, which is to protect ourselves against new forms of threat and adapt our legal system to face it, without eroding the basic human rights people expect in a free and civilised society."*

*Not including Trial By Jury, Freedom of Travel, Freedom of Information, Freedom of Expression.... $your_freedom_here

posted by Alun , 1:24 PM Þ 

More Anonymous Lies From BBC NEWS

Iran 'rushing nuclear enrichment'
Preliminary installation of a turbo generator at Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant
Iran denies claims that it wants to build nuclear weapons
Iran is producing a gas that can be used to make nuclear arms, days before its promise to freeze such activities takes effect, Western diplomats say.

Tehran has agreed to suspend uranium enrichment from Monday in a deal reached with the European Union.

But the diplomats say it recently started producing uranium hexafluoride, which can be enriched into weapons-grade uranium.

A senior Iranian envoy has denounced the accusation as a "sheer lie".

Iran agreed last Sunday that it would freeze its enrichment programme after talks with the EU.

The agreement is designed to ease concerns that Iran's nuclear programme aims to produce atomic weapons - a charge Tehran denies.

But the diplomats said Iran was exploiting the window until Monday to produce the uranium hexafluoride, at a processing facility in Isfahan.

"I strongly reject it," Iranian spokesman Hossein Mousavian told Reuters. He said Iran was preparing to suspend production.

US accusations

These latest reports are likely to disappoint the Europeans and raise doubts about Tehran's goodwill, says the BBC's Bethany Bell in Vienna, where the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Authority, is based.

The US has frequently accused Tehran of using its nuclear energy policy as a front for developing atomic weapons.

Washington has been at the forefront of moves to refer the country to the UN Security Council - which has the power to impose sanctions - when the IAEA meets on 25 November.

The US said on Friday it was "seriously concerned" by the claims.

"These allegations only heighten our concerns that Iran continues to pursue nuclear activities and does not honour its commitments," State Department spokesman Adam Ereli told reporters.

Iran has huge reserves of raw uranium and has announced plans to extract more than 40 tons a year.

Iranian officials say the Isfahan plant can convert more than 300 tons of uranium ore a year. [...]

We all remember Tariq Aziz saying that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruciton, and that what the americans were saying about them was nothing but lies. It turned out that Colin Powell was and is a liar, and that the entire american administration (now re-elected) was lying.

Now the BBC is spreading more warmongering lies about Iran, with thier uncredited, unconfirmed LIES relayed direct from NeoCon HQ without any proof whatsoever.

This is totally against the BBC charter. The BBC is meant to work in the interest of the British public, not NeoCon central. Warmongering and lie spreading is against the British public's interest.

I want to know:

1 who said "Iran is rushing nuclear enrichment"
2 the names and nationalities of the diplomats who said Iran is producing Uranium Hexaflouride.
3 the names of any diplomats who know what Flourine is.
4 who the fuck "Bethany Bell" REALLY works for.
5 why this warmongering shitstirring report is not credited to any author.

posted by Irdial , 8:55 AM Þ 

I've just joined audioscrobbler, with a measly 3 songs on my list. It will grow... slowly. As I'm generally only on the computer on weekends. Seems interesting though, it has forced me back to using iTunes (was using Whamb for a while), which is not the coolest thing but we'll see if it will drive me nuts or not ("why aren't there folders in the playlist?! ARRGH!!")
user hyperfnord, I have joined the irdial grouping
posted by Barrie , 4:52 AM Þ 

Firefox & Camino optimized buildsfor G4 (7400 & 7450).

Optimized Firefox for the Apple G5 processor.

WARNING: This is an unofficial Firefox build and comes with no guarantee that it will work properly. It is built from the same code as the Firefox 1.0 release, and seems to be working fine for the majority of people testing it. That said, this is still an unofficial build, so caveat emptor. I am not responsible if this doesn’t work, screws with your profile, causes blood to pour from your computer’s speakers, renders you impotent, or anything else. posting
posted by alex_tea , 1:11 AM Þ 
Sunday, November 21, 2004

a it is then! thanks.

There are French bookshops, not sure if they sell DVDs. Have a look around South Kensington as there's a concentration of them around the French Lycée. Or you could buy them online from or
posted by alex_tea , 9:29 PM Þ 

I have an urge to blog something, anything:
saveloys I think are slightly
sweet and spicy as
I remember, skin yes
cheaper ones taste metallic due
to poor quality ingredients,
poaching springs
to mind google
throws up batter


echo a:
create create create ...


Is there a shop in Nodnol that sells imported french dvds (ie french releases not just UK distros of french films)?


Hope you like York Alun
posted by meau meau , 8:46 PM Þ 

MOOX: Firefox M3 Optimized Builds: "Firefox M3 Optimized Builds

M3 builds are highly optimized builds that also contain code optimized for the SSE2 instruction set. Given the nature of M3 builds, they are designed only for the following processors:

* AMD Opteron
* AMD Athlon FX
* AMD Athlon 64
* AMD Sempron (3100 )
* Intel Xeon
* Intel Pentium M
* Intel Pentium 4
* Intel Celeron D
* Intel Celeron (1.7GHz - 2.8GHz)"
posted by chriszanf , 8:11 PM Þ 

What do saveloys taste like? Can you eat the red skin thingy? How are they cooked? Are they cold?

Hard drives all round! I spent Friday eve being a geek to the max, trying to get old hard drives to work with my latest P2 machine, unsuccessful as all drives were b0rked. Why can't I buy a nice, new, still in a bag 10 or 15 gig hard drive any more? Or am I just not looking in the right place?

Now - Top Gear!
posted by captain davros , 7:40 PM Þ 

posted by Irdial , 7:09 PM Þ 

i got paid, i can't afford it, but i'm feeling consumerist. what shall i buy?

a: a new external harddrive and some RAM for my mac so i can do some video editing and stuff.
b: the £150's worth of records i racked up on boomkat whilst bored on friday.

posted by alex_tea , 6:59 PM Þ 

Hospital records

One of the best fresh labels with WONDERFUL music to the dancefloor
posted by Alison , 9:50 AM Þ 

My drive is/was a LaCie d2 Firewire 400 200GB drive. I had it on nearly all day every day for over a year, so it serves me right. Desktop machines aren't supposed to be webservers.

The drives are work are all LaCie d2s as well, but varying sizes, mostly a bit newer than mine (250GB Firewire 800 models).

I would just back up any important data on there, and hope that if it does fuck it, it happens whilst you're under warranty.

As for the Firefox thing, I guess it's trying to read a unicode character from a non unicode font. Safari seems to work pretty well at falling back on fonts, probably tighter integration with Mac OS. May be worth checking out Bugzilla to see it's been filed... I tried but couldn't find anything.
posted by alex_tea , 1:11 AM Þ 

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