Israeli President Under Fire

You know, Israel has enough problems these days without having a
controversy like this to add to them. As many will remember from the
Bill Clinton years, scandal is worse when it involves a national leader.
It not only stains that leader’s reputation and ability to be respected
or trusted, it reflects poorly on the entire nation.

In a situation like that, it is sometimes better for the nation that the
leader in question step down and deal with the scandal. Because while
he’s dealing with the scandal and it’s effects, whether he is innocent
or guilty, he’s not able to give full proper attention to the business
of his office.

President Under Fire

President Moshe Katsav May Be Indicted on Rape Charges

Farewell To the Floppy Disk

To people like myself who cut their digital teeth back in the glorious
days of eight bit computers like the Commodore 64, Apple ][e and the
Tandy Color Computer this story will mark the end of an era. It’s
becoming official, PC World has announced that when current supplies of
floppies run out, they will no longer carry them.

Given news like that, it can’t be too much longer before the
manufacturers begin to stop production entirely and they’re replaced
with CD-RW disks and USB flash drives.

While this may not actually be a bad thing overall. There are a lot of
people out there that still have working 8 bit machines. I have a
working Color Computer 3 on the desk next to the Sempron machine I’m
using to write this post. The old machine still works and I’ve got a
couple of boxes full of both 5.25 and 3.5 inch disks that are loaded
with some really old applications and games.

To the Floppy Disk

s31523 writes "Those of us who have been in the IT arena for a
while remember installing our favorite OS, network client, power
application, etc. by feeding the computer what seemed an endless
supply of 5.25" soft floppy disks. We rejoiced when the hard 3.5"
floppies came out, cutting our install media by 1/3. We practically
did backflips when the data CD-ROM arrived and we declared: we will
never need any other disk than this! It is with sadness that I report
the beginning of the end for the floppy: computer giant PC World has
announced it will no longer carry the floppy disk once current
supplies run out."

Here we go again?

Y’know, this little scenario sounds all too familiar…

Bars 38 U.N. IAEA Inspectors

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – Iran said Monday it has barred 38 members of a
U.N. nuclear inspection team from entering the country, in what
appeared to be retaliation for sanctions imposed last month.

Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said some inspectors were
admitted, but maintained that Iran could decide who should be turned

Didn’t Iraq pull exactly the same stunt some years ago? Didn’t Iraq have
a lot of the same attitudes a few years ago that Iran is displaying now?
Is Iran going to be the next Iraq?

I hope not, but honestly I don’t think it’s looking very good right now.

Microsoft Gets Help From NSA for Vista Security

Anyone remember the FUD that used to circulate on web forums and usenet
groups about how the NSA supposedly had a backdoor in Windows? Well,
When it comes to Vista, it’s actually possible (however likely it may or
may not be) that there could actually be something to those old claims.

Seems that the software giant is getting some "help" from the N.S.A.
in dealing with malware. I can’t help think that the fact that this bit
of genuine news and that it IS genuine and not simply FUD is
going to convince a LOT more people to move to Open Source operating
systems like Linux.

Gets Help From NSA for Vista Security

An anonymous reader writes "The Washington Post is reporting that
Microsoft received help from the National Security Agency in
protecting the Vista operating system from worms and viruses. The
Agency aimed to help as many people as they could, and chose to assist
Vista with good reason: the OS still has a 90 percent lock on the PC
market, with some 600 million Vista users expected by 2010. From the
article: ‘The Redmond, Wash., software maker declined to be specific
about the contributions the NSA made to secure the Windows operating
system … Microsoft said this is not the first time it has sought
help from the NSA. For about four years, Microsoft has tapped the spy
agency for security expertise in reviewing its operating systems,
including the Windows XP consumer version and the Windows Server 2003
for corporate customers.’"

An anonymouse poster on usenet expressed it very nicely…

The NSA has two roles in life. 1) protect their own stuff, and 2)
break stuff that belongs to everyone else.

Since Vista isn’t just NSA software does anyone else think the NSA
would be shirking its duties if it didn’t at least look for it’s own
set of exploitable holes? Or add a couple?

No way no how. Vista is poison to anyone who wants any privacy at
all. The NSA is well aware of things like Freenet, Tor, and remailers.
You’d be an idiot to believe they’re not looking for ways to crack
them. And a fool to believe they wouldn’t take advantage of any if
they had the opportunity. The mass wire taps on US soil already tell
us they care nothing about being found out.


FUD: Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt
(or deception)

Michael Richards still in the news

Well, it looks like there’s yet another rediculous chapter brewing in the world of the inane.  Remember the Michael Richards thing last week?  Well, apparently there’s a couple of guys who were there who remember it too. …

Men Seek Apology From Ex-‘Seinfeld’ Star
Nov 24, 5:58 PM (ET)

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Two men who say they were insulted by actor-comedian Michael Richards during his racist rant at a comedy club want a personal apology and maybe some money, their lawyer said Friday.

DING! DING! DING! We have a winner!  Talk about cutting right to the point in the first paragraph!

The men, Frank McBride and Kyle Doss, said they were part of a group of about 20 people who had gathered at West Hollywood’s Laugh Factory to celebrate a friend’s birthday. According to their attorney, Gloria Allred, they were ordering drinks when Richards berated them for interrupting his act.

When one of their group replied that he wasn’t funny, Richards launched into a string of obscenities and repeatedly used the n-word. A video cell phone captured the outburst.

Richards, who played Jerry Seinfeld’s wacky neighbor Kramer on the TV sitcom “Seinfeld,” made a nationally televised apology on David Letterman’s “Late Night” show earlier this week. He has since apologized to civil rights leaders the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rev. Al Sharpton.

But Allred complained Friday that he “has not apologized to his victims directly, face to face, man to man.”

Richards’ publicist said his client wants to apologize to both men, who are black, but hasn’t been able to locate them.

Of course he can’t find them.  They don’t just want an apology from a guy who did something stupid, they want something more than a measly apology, don’t they?

Allred, speaking by phone from Colorado, said Richards should meet McBride and Doss in front of a retired judge to “acknowledge his behavior and to apologize to them” and allow the judge to decide on monetary compensation.

“It’s not enough to say ‘I’m sorry,'” she said.

Who didn’t see this coming? These guys have no cause or reason to expect Richards to pay them off.  Was he wrong?  Yes, absolutely.  Is there any excuse for his rant?  No, absolutely not.  But you know something, there is one thing that I respect about his apology, he didn’t offer excuses.  Not one.  All he did was acknowledge that he was wrong and apologize.

Now I’m sure that he’s got a lot of fixing his spirit to do, but I don’t see any reason why he should have to pay anybody off over it.  That’s just plain rediculous.

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