Friday, April 29, 2005

---Marburg in Angola, Houston libraries crack down on hygiene, Desktop Fusion, NASA "cooks" return to flight data?, NY sues spyware distributor 

Marburg in Angola
253 dead of another horrific hemmoragic fever that can be transmitted in, among other things, sweat and tears.
Reminds me of the movie “Outbreak” with Dustin Hoffman and Rene Russo, except that real people are dying, many of them children. It is probably just a matter of time before one of these tropical viruses becomes resistant, or more efficient.

I’m sorry, Sir or Madam, but you can’t smell in here….
Fresh from subjecting the people of Houston, Texas to forced towing of highway breakdowns after six minutes, its mayor is cracking down on hygienic offenses in its libraries. Granted, this seems to be aimed at those who use the library restrooms to bathe and groom, and the benches for sleeping.

Desktop Fusion
This appears to be for real. Physicists at UCLA have managed to fuse deuterium in a kind of solid-state reactor. No break-even on energy production is to be expected from this technique, apparently. The result is scientifically groundbreaking, but practical applications would probably be limited to neutron generators.

Is NASA fudging statistics to make STS look safe?
A report by James Oberg for MSNBC. First, the new NASA chief said that the Columbia Review Board would be countermanded, if needed, by agency decision-making for the return to flight. Now Hale, who somehow manged not to be fired for his role in overlooking the damage to Columbia which resulted in the catastrophic destruction of the spacecraft, assures everyone that nothing is being done to cover up risk factors in the return to flight decision. Surely no one could possibly fear that his job is at risk if he speaks up about safety issues.
Nothing that could possibly break off the External Tank can be nearly as big a risk factor to the Shuttles as the management continues to be.

NY Attorney General sues Intermix for spyware distribution
“…the suit combats the redirecting of home computer users to unwanted Web sites and its own Web site that includes ads, the adding of unnecessary toolbar items and the delivery of unwanted ads that pop up on computer screens.”
“…the company installed a wide range of advertising software on countless personal computers nationwide. ”

The programs “…foul machines, undermine productivity and in many cases frustrate consumers' efforts to remove them from their computers. ”
I’ve been charging customers to remove this stuff from their almost unusable computers for about the last six months. These “advertising” spyware programs have become more damaging than most virus/trojan combinations, if only because of the numbers of people affected.

"In any case, I must keep going today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!"
-Jesus (Luke 13:33, NIV)

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