November 12, 2004

English Errors

Common Errors in English

Common Errors in English Usage - the web version of a book that corrects (and hopefully prevents) daily inaccuracies in the English language. Bravo!

Posted by answerguru at 12:05 PM | Comments (0)

March 13, 2004

Brief History of Marijuana

Why is Marijuana Illegal?

Nicely written history of marijuana and prohibition in the United States. Everyone should read this article to understand the reasons that marijuana became illegal and how those reasons are outright lies.

Posted by answerguru at 02:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 03, 2004

MPAA Will Rule Your TV

Losing Control of Your TV

Simson Garfinkel of MIT Technology Review discusses how the Motion Picture Association of America will control your TV as of July, 2005. By requiring that every new TV or PC TV tuner card sold after that date abide by their "broadcast flag".....shutting down all high quality digital outputs and sound from your system. You can watch it, but you can't record it unless it's on analog tape or low-res DVD format.

Posted by answerguru at 10:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 31, 2004

The MEATRIX

THE MEATRIX

Factory Farms. Animals confined in close quarters. Antibiotics. Community pollution. Corporate Profits. Ruined communities.

This is the Meatrix.

Check out this animation now and see the real world of meat production.

Posted by answerguru at 09:16 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 29, 2004

Comment Spammers Die!

Well, when I checked my email yesterday instead of the usual 40 or so email messages I was deluged with well over 200! My guy thought was, "Wow, this new virus (McDoom) is really doing it's thing".

Alas, no. Instead I found that I had almost 200 spam comments posted on this blog! All advertising some Black Jack casino website. Occasionally I would get a single one or three comments that were lame, but this was ridiculous and called for immediate action.

Step one: Upgrade to version 2.661 of my blog software, Moveable Type. This has some features to help prevent spam comments.

Step two: Install a blacklist program that really prevents spam commenting and posts via some clever PERL scripting. It also allowed me to automatically de-spam the whole site including those new comments.

Take that you script kiddies!

Posted by answerguru at 10:15 AM | Comments (0)

January 22, 2004

Trusted Computing: Scam 101

Against TCPA | TCPA would TAKE your FREEDOM | This is NO FAKE

Some article quotes, just to get you going:

TC provides a computing platform on which you can't tamper with the application software, and where these applications can communicate securely with their authors and with each other.

TC will also make it much harder for you to run unlicensed software. In the first version of TC, pirate software could be detected and deleted remotely.

TC can also implement fancier controls: for example, if you send an email that causes embarrassment to your boss, he can broadcast a cancellation message that will cause it to be deleted wherever it's got to.

The second, and most important, benefit for Microsoft is that TC will dramatically increase the costs of switching away from Microsoft products (such as Office) to rival products (such as OpenOffice).

First, some well-intentioned police force will get an order against a pornographic picture of a child, or a manual on how to sabotage railroad signals. All TC-compliant PCs will delete, or perhaps report, these bad documents. Then a litigant in a libel or copyright case will get a civil court order against an offending document; perhaps the Scientologists will seek to blacklist the famous Fishman Affidavit. A dictator's secret police could punish the author of a dissident leaflet by deleting everything she ever created using that system - her new book, her tax return, even her kids' birthday cards - wherever it had ended up. In the West, a court might use confiscation doctrine to `blackhole' a machine that had been used to make a pornographic picture of a child. Once lawyers, policemen and judges realise the potential, the trickle will become a flood.

Posted by answerguru at 08:09 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 05, 2004

Bush in 30 Seconds

Bush in 30 Seconds

Bravo! This contest sponsored by MoveOn.org is trying to stimulate some fresh viewpoints and creativity when it comes to political advertising. They received over 1000 entries and have culled that down to these 15 ads. I watched all of them and can honestly say they were all worthy of inclusion - thought provoking, angering, humorous.

Also, a few of the ones that didn't make the cut have generated a media stir as well.

Hitler / Bush Ad 1
Hutler / Bush Ad 2

The Simon Wiesenthal Center has condemned the ads.

Text of one of the Hitler / Bush Ads:

GRAPHIC: Pictures Of Hitler
HITLER: (Speaking In German)
CHYRON: We have taken new measures to protect our homeland,

GRAPHIC: Pictures Of Hitler
HITLER: (Speaking In German)
CHYRON: I believe I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator,

GRAPHIC: Pictures Of Hitler
HITLER: (Speaking In German)
CHYRON: God told me to strike at al-Qaida and I struck them,

GRAPHIC: Pictures of President Bush
HITLER: (Speaking In German)
CHYRON: and then He instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did.

CHYRON: SOUND FAMILIAR?
BACKGROUND: Cheering German Crowd
---

Posted by answerguru at 07:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 23, 2003

Threat: Internet Maps

CNN.com - Net map services spark stalking fears - Dec. 23, 2003

This article comments on how some people are now "spooked" that others can find them online so easily. Single women stop giving out their phone numbers - worrying that potential suitors will appear on their doorsteps after a quick search and a MapQuest/Blast/Point direction query.

The problem is, we could all do this before - it's just easier now with the Internet. If you don't want someone to find you, then have an unlisted phone number (only to make it harder - of course you can still find someone this way).

The real annoyance of this article though, is that people are worried about others publishing their addresses....for malicious purposes. What - has no one ever used a regular map before? When I was an EMT we used them all the time and had no problem finding someone's house.....and this was before the Internet was pervasive.

There is no worry, it's all in your head.

Posted by answerguru at 05:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 16, 2003

One View of MP3 Trading

Art Watch - September 7, 2003 - MP3s Are Not the Devil - The Ornery American

This sums up most of my views nicely....I'm glad this guy is a great author! Can't wait to read part two next week....

Posted by answerguru at 09:14 PM | Comments (0)

August 29, 2003

Cheney and Halliburton: What a racket!

Halliburton's Deals Greater Than Thought (washingtonpost.com)

Read the article. Enough said.

Posted by answerguru at 07:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 24, 2003

Sugar industry threatens WHO (again)

Sarah Boseley, health editor
Monday April 21, 2003
The Guardian

The sugar industry in the US is threatening to bring the World Health Organisation to its knees by demanding that Congress end its funding unless the WHO scraps guidelines on healthy eating, due to be published on Wednesday. The threat is being described by WHO insiders as tantamount to blackmail and worse than any pressure exerted by the tobacco lobby.

In a letter to Gro Harlem Brundtland, the WHO's director general, the Sugar Association says it will "exercise every avenue available to expose the dubious nature" of the WHO's report on diet and nutrition, including challenging its $406m (260m) funding from the US.

(read on for more insanity)

The industry is furious at the guidelines, which say that sugar should account for no more than 10% of a healthy diet. It claims that the review by international experts which decided on the 10% limit is scientifically flawed, insisting that other evidence indicates that a quarter of our food and drink intake can safely consist of sugar.

"Taxpayers' dollars should not be used to support misguided, non-science-based reports which do not add to the health and well-being of Americans, much less the rest of the world," says the letter. "If necessary we will promote and encourage new laws which require future WHO funding to be provided only if the organisation accepts that all reports must be supported by the preponderance of science."

The association, together with six other big food industry groups, has also written to the US health secretary, Tommy Thompson, asking him to use his influence to get the WHO report withdrawn. The coalition includes the US Council for International Business, comprising more than 300 companies, including Coca-Cola and Pepsico.

The sugar lobby's strong-arm tactics are nothing new, according to Professor Phillip James, the British chairman of the International Obesity Taskforce who wrote the WHO's previous report on diet and nutrition in 1990. The day after his expert committee had decided on a 10% limit, the World Sugar Organisation "went into overdrive", he said. "Forty ambassadors wrote to the WHO insisting our report should be removed, on the grounds that it would do irreparable damage to countries in the developing world."

Prof James was called in by the American embassy in Geneva "to explain to them why they were suddenly getting an enormous amount of pressure from the state department to have our report retracted". The sugar industry, he discovered, had hired one of Washington's top lobbying companies.

The sugar lobby was unsuccessful that time, but now, he says, "we are getting a replay, but much more powerfully based, because the food industry seems to have a much greater influence on the Bush government".

Since his 1990 report, the International Life Sciences Institute, founded by Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola, General Foods, Kraft and Procter and Gamble, has also gained accreditation to the WHO and the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation.

At one point, says Prof James, "I was asked not to send any more emails about any of the dietary aspects of health that related to sugar. I was told that within 24 hours of my sending a note, the food industry would be telephoning and arranging dinners."

Aubrey Sheiham, professor of dental public health at University College, London, Medical School, said he also encountered the strength of the sugar lobby when he was one of the experts involved in putting together an EC guideline called Eurodiet.

"I wrote the sugar part of that," he said. "When we met in Crete [in June 2000], the sugar people said if the 10% [limit] was in, the whole report would be blocked. I remember we went into a huddle with various people and some of the diplomats, and we were meeting in people's bedrooms and saying, how can we work around this?"

In the end, he said, they worked out that a recommendation that nobody should eat sugar more than four times a day was equivalent to a 10% limit. But he considered the committee had been bullied.

The Sugar Association objects to the new report having been published in draft on the WHO's website for consultation purposes, without what it considers "a broad external peer-review process". It wants a full economic analysis of the impact of the recommendations on all 192 member countries. In the letter to Dr Brundtland, it demands that Wednesday's joint launch with the Food and Agriculture Organisation be cancelled.

The report, Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases, has already been heavily criticised by the soft drinks industry, whose members sell virtually everywhere in the world, including developing countries where malnutrition is beginning to coexist with the obesity common in affluent countries.

The industry does not accept the WHO report's conclusion that sweetened soft drinks contribute to the obesity pandemic. The Washington-based National Soft Drink Association said the report's "recommendation on added sugars is too restrictive". The association backs a 25% limit.

The WHO strongly rejects the sugar lobby's criticisms. An official said a team of 30 independent experts had considered the scientific evidence and its conclusions were in line with the findings of 23 national reports which have, on average, set targets of 10% for added sugars.

In the letter to Mr Thompson, the sugar lobby relies heavily on a recent report from the Institute of Medicine for its claim that a 25% sugar intake is acceptable. But last week, Harvey Fineberg, president of the institute, wrote to Mr Thompson to warn that the report was being misinterpreted. He says it does not make a recommendation on sugar intake.

Posted by answerguru at 10:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 08, 2003

Balanced article about Iraq WMDs

FindLaw's Writ - Dean: Missing Weapons Of Mass Destruction

Did the President misrepresent intelligence on Iraqi WMD? What did the President Bush say in the days before the war about these weapons?

Get background on the situation and see what may lie ahead....

Posted by answerguru at 02:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 28, 2003

Arianna Huffington: Contentious Debate

ARIANNA ONLINE - Columns

Not a personal rant, but a woman who takes her ranting seriously and publicly. She has written some excellent columns over the years....some of which you may have read in the LA Times, NY Post, or the Boston Herald.

Let your voice be heard!

Posted by answerguru at 07:17 PM | Comments (0)

March 31, 2003

DEA Imposes Hemp Food Ban

Legal Challenge to U.S. Hemp Ban

The DEA is exposing its own idiocy again by imposing the original ban on hemp foods after it had been stayed by the Ninth Circuit in March 2002. Again, the Hemp Industry Association will attempt a legal route to suppress this unneccesary overstepping of bounds by the government.

The DEA's decision to ban hemp foods is based on the concern that a flourishing hemp industry could provide cover for illegal cultivation of marijuana. But it seems to have little public support - some 115,000 public comments were submitted to the DEA against the ban.

Posted by answerguru at 12:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

5 Years in Prison for Encryption

CNN.com - Encryption backers brace for new threats - Mar. 31, 2003

The Justice Department is circulating draft documents that would add 5 years onto any crime committed with the use of digital encryption technology.

Pro-Quote:
"If you went the extra step to keep us from getting evidence, you should pay an extra price," said Jimmy Doyle, a former computer crimes investigator with the New York Police Department."

Anti-Quote:
"Why should the fact that you use encryption have anything to do with how guilty you are and what the punishment should be?" asks Stanton McCandlish of the CryptoRights Foundation, which teaches human rights workers to use encryption. "Should we have enhanced penalties because someone wore an overcoat?"

Thoughts?

Posted by answerguru at 12:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 27, 2003

Little Photo Gallery

New Roll of Film / New Photo Gallery

Greetings all....just follow the link to find a new set of pics I just posted with a super easy to use photo gallery script written in PHP. Not to bad, simple, but you have to make the thumbnails yourself.

Pics of:
- house I'm renting in Seattle
- Jenn and I hiking and hanging and stuff
- roommate Carly and I skiing / riding
- Peggy and I just after Christmas in Ohio

Cheers....

--
Oh and about those lines on the prints, just read on.

Damn RiteAid 1 hour photo! Even the picture envelope says Kodak Certified Photo Technicians. BS.

I get them back and sure enough, all the prints are screwed up. Even worse, I discover it's not the prints, it's the negatives that they hosed. How can I tell? There's one picture that you can see both the tracks running through the print and the full image behind. Impossible for that to happen inside of a camera --

1. not enough room for it to happen
2. it happened in the developer because otherwise there would be no image where the film "wasn't"

It took 15 minutes of arguing with the store manager to get all my money back...only wanted to give me the print money back. No way! You screwed up my negatives! She says it had to be my camera, because their machine had never done that before.

I'm sorry, but that's not a reason. That just means it never happened before.

Anyway. Off the soapbox. I got all the money back and a free roll of film. *grrr*

Posted by answerguru at 05:07 PM | Comments (0)

March 06, 2003

Accounting Sucks and So Does the IRS

noIRS.gif

Accounting Sucks and So Does the IRS. That just sums up my feelings for the day.

Besides the fact that I pay the government and all of its workers to do things that I disagree with. I guess that's the price you pay for freedom, but I still don't like it.

Posted by answerguru at 01:26 PM | Comments (1)

February 26, 2003

Evil TurboTax

Slashdot | TurboTax DRM Writes to Your Boot Sector?!

Uhoh, those guys at TurboTax aren't playing nice. The latest version of the SW uses a copy protection scheme that writes to the boot sector of your hard drive.

Shame for shame. That's just not right.

Posted by answerguru at 02:58 PM | Comments (0)

February 21, 2003

FBI Called in for Anti-Bush T-Shirt

WHIO-TV News

What is this? A prelude to George Orwell's "1984"? This is yet another astounding example of the craziness that the government is trying to infect the average citizen with....

Watch out, Big Brother IS Watching You!

Posted by answerguru at 06:54 PM | Comments (0)

February 20, 2003

History of Our Drug War

A Drug War Carol

This is an excellent history of our drug war, as told in the fashion Dicken's "A Christmas Carol". Some interesting facts that you never new are presented as well as a wake up call to our wonderful Drug Czar.

Posted by answerguru at 04:44 PM | Comments (1)

February 13, 2003

Marijuana Study Misreported by Media

Marijuana, Gateways and Circuses Marijuana.Com Marijuana, Weed, Pot & Cannabis Information and News regarding Legalization, Cultivation and Drug Testing

Did you read about the marijuana gateway drug study involving twins recently? If so, get the whole background on the study here.

In brief, the news agencies (government media propagandists) reported that the Australian study was clear evidence that marijuana was a gateway drug. They said the study showed how if one twin used marijuana before the age of 17 and the other didn't, then that twin was more likely to use harder drugs later on in life.

The unreported facts however shed some light on this completely wrong interpretation, as highlighed by the study's authors.

1. They never mentioned the fact that the twin's use of alcohol and tobacco ("legal" drugs") were also predictors of hard drug use.

2. Any twin that had used harder drugs before cannabis was dropped from the analysis.

Screwed, I mean Skewed, by the media again.

Posted by answerguru at 09:04 AM | Comments (0)

January 30, 2003

US Prison Population: Feel Good America!

United prison-state of America

America's war on drugs has turned it into the world's biggest jailer. With about 5% of the world's population, America holds a quarter of the globe's prisoners, and most of them are there for drug-related crimes.

Read the entire (but brief) article with some very interesting statistics. Way to go Mr. Walters!

Posted by answerguru at 11:36 AM | Comments (0)

January 22, 2003

McDonalds Fat Kids Case: Common Sense Prevails

Judge Dismisses McDonald's Obesity Suit (washingtonpost.com)

Thankfully there's one sane judge around here.....sock it to the obnoxious lawyer who actually thought they would win this case (for profit!).

Posted by answerguru at 09:44 AM | Comments (4)

January 17, 2003

Government and Marijuana: The Lies Continue...

This article spurred on some more discontent with our government policies...take a look at it here.

Now, if you'd like, take a quick look at this letter sent out by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, our President's direct link to the drug war.

Finally, here is a fullout rebuttal written up by NORML.

If you care, do something about it! Lying to the American public is not really the answer to the drug war -- it just undermines the authority of those in power. Most all Americans know that marijuana is NOT the terrible drug they make it out to be....do they really think we can be fooled so easily? Marijuana has been in use as a product, medicine, and sacrament for thousands of years and hasn't caused the downfall of mankind, so is the U.S. really so weak that they think it will now?

No, of course not, but it's all about the money.


Posted by answerguru at 10:09 AM | Comments (0)

January 12, 2003

More Police State Notions...

New strategy yields 291 lbs. of pot

New attitude by Corpus Christi police.

1. They get a tip that you have drugs.
2. They don't get a warrent, but just come to your door and ask if you have drugs and can search the house.
3. If you say no, *then* they try to get a warrant, after first "freezing" your house.

Now, doesn't that fly in the face of the Constitution? Asking for consent to search, without ever apprising them of their right to refuse...which means you can't have an intelligent waiver to their constitutional rights.

And what does "freezing the house" mean anyway? Remember, before you get a search warrant the police are required to show a specific reason to get one....and that does not entail a simple snitch tip - otherwise I could ring in tips to all my enemies just for fun.

Posted by answerguru at 01:03 PM | Comments (0)

January 11, 2003

We ARE Headed for Police State!

A Crime to Drink

This one is hard to believe -- police in Virginia went into a BAR and took people outside who they thought were drunk and gave them a sobriety test. When they failed, they were fined for public intoxication. What the hell!??

Those cops should be arrested for crossing the damn line - again! This is completely outrageous!

Posted by answerguru at 05:13 PM | Comments (0)

January 10, 2003

Time to Retire the Drug War: A 2002 Recap

'The Drug War' at 65: Time to Retire

An interesting blow by blow recap of the year's War on the American People...errr...the War on Drugs.

Posted by answerguru at 10:40 AM | Comments (0)

Insider Views on the "War on Drugs"

Battlefield Conversions in the War on Drugs Marijuana.Com Marijuana, Weed, Pot & Cannabis Information and News regarding Legalization, Cultivation and Drug Testing

A very interesting read from lawyers, judges, and former DEA agents about why the war is failing (has failed?!)....taxpayer money just going down the drain.

Just the other day I read that based on ONDCP figures, the US government spends 53 MILLION DOLLARS A DAY to fight drugs!!!!

Posted by answerguru at 10:35 AM | Comments (0)

December 17, 2002

US Drug Czar Walters beats up on the Canadians

U.S. drug czar slams proposed pot rule changes Marijuana.Com Marijuana, Weed, Pot & Cannabis Information and News regarding Legalization, Cultivation and Drug Testing

There we go again.....let the US try to bully around its close friends and neighbors. At least our Northern friends have a *tad* bit more common sense about drug policies than we do....

"Smoking any amount of marijuana is unhealthy. But the consequences of conviction (of possession) of a small amount of marijuana for personal use are disproportionate to the potential harm," explained Tornsey.

Bingo --

Posted by answerguru at 10:29 AM | Comments (0)

December 15, 2002

Arianna Huffington: Another great article

Salon.com News | An ad George Bush should love

Posted by answerguru at 08:56 AM | Comments (0)

November 24, 2002

What is John Walters smoking?

VANCOUVER -- Riding high after U.S. states rejected measures to relax drug laws, drug czar John Walters came to Canada this week to talk tough about a new front in the drug war.

Marijuana poses a greater danger to the United States than heroin, cocaine or amphetamines, said Mr. Walters, the director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, in an interview yesterday in Vancouver.

--------------
Honestly, I can't believe what that man says sometimes. Is he really so brainwashed that he believes all of this hogwash??

Entire article

Posted by answerguru at 08:49 AM | Comments (1)

November 21, 2002

Lawyers, Always a step over the line...

ABCNEWS.com : Lawyers Claim Big Macs Make Kids Fat

Alright, that's it, I give up. Lawyers are the most annoying people alive. What they hell are they thinking anyway, other than $$ that is.

Ok, hold the presses because I have a solution:

Kids don't eat so many Big Macs. Parents, you should know better than to let your kids eat that crap so often. I mean, geez oh petes -- do you really think that crap is healthy? Once in a while, you're in a rush, sure....that's why they call it fast food

Lawyers, you should be ashamed of yourselves...you know it's really for the money. You claim health of the kids I'm sure, but come on. Do you really enjoy broadcasting the message that it's OK for parents to not take responsibility for their kids?

Annoying, as I said.

Posted by answerguru at 10:06 PM | Comments (0)