Wednesday, July 20, 2005

---James Doohan Dead, Iraqi Constitution Co-writer Assassinated, CardSystems Gets Fired, Elf Zoning in Iceland? and Other Stories 

James Doohan Dies [Fox News]
Best known as the Scottish engineer of the original “Star Trek” series, one of the most colorful and memorable characters in science fiction history. I’m probably one of the few people who didn’t know he lost a finger during the D-Day landings in WWII. He died of pneumonia and Alzheimer's disease.

Deep Impact Imager May Lose Science After All [New Scientist ]
Looks like the images of the crater formed by the impactor on comet Tempel 1 may be lost. The correction of manufacturing errors in the focus of the critical imager by matematical means apparently needed more contrast than is available in the images. The unexpected amount of dust thrown up by the collision appears to have masked the surface beyond the ability of the algorithms to correct.

Iraqi Constitutional Committee Member Assassinated [FOXNews]
A Sunni member of the committee drafting Iraq’s new constitution has been assassinated. This is presumably an attempt to derail the constitutional process for some incomprehensible reason.

CardSystems followup: Visa and Others Fire Credit Processor [FOXNews]
Visa and AmEx have shut off their affliliations with CardSystems over security breaches that potentially compromised millions of credit card holders. CardSystems, as mentiioned earlier, was keeping transactions records onsite in violation of its agreements with the credit card companies.

Uganda Offers Free University Education for Chastity [CNN]
As part of continuing efforts to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS in Uganda---which has been highly successful, by the way---a member of the parliament has promised to cover University fees for girls among his constituency who remain virgins through graduation.

US Soldier Helps Sniper Who Shot Him [Army Times, found on BlogsNow]
U.S. Army Medic Pfc. Stephen Tschiderer survived the sniper attack while on patrol in Baghdad, then helped treat the wounded insurgent sniper’s wounds.

Computer Users Trashing Infested Machines [NYT, found on SpyWareInfo.com]
Faced with rampant hordes of malicious and destructive software programs, with little to no useful information and no end in sight, computer users in increasing numbers are simply throwing the unusable machines away. This is a terribly sad state of affairs, indicating just how serious the Internet security crisis has become. Of course, throwing the CPU out and getting another one solves nothing---in the absence of effective security measures, the new machine will become as infested by spyware and viruses as the old one very quickly. What’s needed is effective security at the ISP level, and information for the consumers who buy computers and Internet service. Of course, the real answer would be for the Internet vandals to realize the extent of the harm being done and quit.

Icelandic Elf Zoning? [FOXNews]
In Iceland, they seriously consider the needs of elves when building highways and stuff. Polls indicate that a majority of Icelanders believe that elves are real.

Proverbs 14
31 He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker,
but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.

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