Please note: the viewport design is copied from Steve Den Beste's excellent blog, USS Clueless. Used with permission.

Saturday, November 26, 2005  

via The Defence of Duffer's Drift

The Defence of DUFFER'S DRIFT

By Captain E. D. Swinton, D.S.O., R.E.
Major General Sir Ernest Swinton,
K.B.E., C.B., D.S.O.

A classic in small unit tactics in the British and US Army. I recommend this small book, without qualification, to the modern Infantry soldier.

What would you do?

Lieutenant Backsight Forethought
(BF to his friends) has been left in command of a 50 man reinforced platoon to hold Duffer's Drift, the only ford on the Silliasvogel River available to wheeled traffic. Here is his chance for fame and glory. He has passed his officers courses and special qualifications.

'Now if they had given me a job,' says BF, 'like fighting the Battle of Waterloo, I knew all about that, as I had crammed it up...'

While BF's task appears simple enough, the Boer enemy causes a multitude of problems, but you, smart reader, with a quick mind and sharp intellect will, no doubt, solve the problem before the first shot is fired.

posted by Gary Williams at 10:57 PM | link |

via The Register

Chav gadget returns

Oakley Thump 2

Not put off by being voted as our ‘Chav Gadget of 2005’, Oakley has struck back with a sequel to its rather odd Thump MP3 sunglasses. There’s not a huge difference between the Thump 2 and its predecessor; it looks like they don’t come containing an angry bald guy this time and they sport a bit more of a squared design. More importantly the storage capacity has been dramatically improved to 1GB (about 240 songs) and apparently the audio engine has been tweaked to give better playback of digital music. You also have the benefit of Oakley lenses, which amongst other niceties, are strong enough to resist a 12 gauge shotgun blast from 15 yards; it’s a lot safer to just avoid being shot in the face though. So if you are an irate, follically challenged male of a large enough stature to dissuade those who would mock these ‘distinctive’ sunglasses, the Thump 2 is hitting the UK soon for the princely sum of £199-£299 depending on capacity.

posted by Gary Williams at 8:14 PM | link |

via The Register

Readers suffer transatlantic sense of humour collapse

I hate the idea of an ID card but i hate people twisting weak statistics even more - whatever side they are on.

This whole thing just highlights how impossible it is to have a democracy if you don't bother to educate your population. I can't remember a government that ever did anything good for education so it's not surprising that the swiss-cheese hive-mind of Britain says 'Errrrr.... not really sure one way or another, we need more TV programs to tell us what to think'


posted by Gary Williams at 7:10 PM | link |

via Yotophoto: free photo search engine

Free Photo Search Engine

Yotophoto is the first and only internet search engine for finding free-to-use stock photographs and images

posted by Gary Williams at 10:59 AM | link |

Comic of the Day

posted by Gary Williams at 9:12 AM | link |

via New York Times (registration required)

Small Leak at Indian Point Eludes Diver and Cameras

Published: November 26, 2005

BUCHANAN, N.Y. - A drop of radioactive water leaks every minute from the pool that stores the spent fuel rods at Indian Point 2 here. The water is captured in a plastic sheet and then channeled into a plastic bottle for disposal. It adds up to a quart or two a day.

Federal officials and the plant's owners say there is no danger from the leaking water, which contains tritium, a radioactive form of hydrogen. But plant operators have still not pinpointed the source. And because the plant was built when detection systems were not required, the leak went unnoticed until discovered almost by chance when workers excavating around the pool noticed dampness in the surrounding dirt.

The leak, which was found in September, has been the latest worry for local officials and nearby residents concerned about the Indian Point nuclear reactors. It comes on top of repeated failures in tests of the plant's sirens, which are meant to warn of an emergency. Federal security experts also began a reassessment of the plant's security in September, which they have declined to discuss.

'It added on to the other issues that we have with Indian Point, like the sirens,' Susan Tolchin, a spokeswoman for Westchester County, said of the leak. She also questioned whether the leak was the only one.

posted by Gary Williams at 8:36 AM | link |

Friday, November 25, 2005  

via Aftenposten Norway, Norwegian news in English

Charter tourists overdo revelry

Passengers at Stavanger's Sola Airport went overboard after an impromptu party developed during a departure delay.

The terminal building party was long and hard and ended with security guards summoning police to help gain control over the inebriated holidayers.

When the flight to Thailand was delayed on Tuesday evening due to fog, some of the 355 waiting passengers decided to break open their duty-free goods and start drinking to kill the time. Before long security guards called police for assistance.

'It didn't look good when our people turned up at Sola around 5 a.m. on Wednesday morning. There were drunken people everywhere,' operation leader Einar Br?stad of the Stavanger police told newspaper Stavanger Aftenblad.

Shift leader Ingrid Sundt at airline Wider?es Flyveselskap at Sola said it was regrettable that some passengers behaved in a way that disturbed their fellow tourists.

'It was not pleasant seeing drunken mothers beside their children,' Sundt said.

Police and security guards managed to restore calm and no arrests were made.

posted by Gary Williams at 7:53 AM | link |

Thursday, November 24, 2005  

via Fourth Annual Emerald City ComiCom

This year's ECCC artwork was drawn by the talented Mr. Scott Kurtz of PVP.

posted by Gary Williams at 11:49 AM | link |

via Defense Tech

New Cyberthreats

I just sat in on a conference call put together by the SANS Institute. They do all sorts of tracking of computer vulnerabilities, and they also do worldwide training sessions in stopping hackers, etc.

SANS today released a new Top 20 threat list, detailing what kinds of systems and programs are being targeted by hackers these days. Roger Cumming, Director of Britain's NISCC, which is the UK equivalent of the US' own Critical Infrastructure Protection Board,detailed two major trends to look out for as far as protecting critical infrastructure.

First, Cumming noted, as more and more networks converge onto single platforms (think of communications becoming more and more based on Voice over Internet Protocol, for example) the threats are increased. In other words, a cyber-attack won't just knock out your email, it will knock out the voice communications you rely on as well. More and more apps on a single platform will also offer hackers more avenues into your critical systems.

Cumming also mentioned that cyber-watchers are seeing a real shift now in the motives for attacks. He called the current situation a 'malicious marketplace,' where hackers are getting paid to do their dirty work. It's no longer just teenagers with too much time on their hands. There's no reason why terrorists, for example, couldn't try to hire these professional hackers to launch attacks on critical US infrastructure.

Now, for the record, if you follow Defense Tech, you know the whole 'cyberthreat' issue's been raised before. And that it's fair to say that we've been, shall we say, uber-skeptical about this kind of cyber-terrorism. Here, and here, for example.

Also of note: attackers have realized that Microsoft and others now offer automatic patches to plug holes in operating systems, and that, by and large, computer users are taking those patches. So, the hackers are now finding ways to exploit vulnerabilities, not in operating systems, but in applications like media players, and even anti-virus software itself. Beware when streaming that new Britney Spears vid!

posted by Gary Williams at 9:53 AM | link |

Wednesday, November 23, 2005  

via Blogging in Paris

Thomas Moore (1779-1852)

Tis the last rose of summer,
Left blooming alone ;
All her lovely companions
Are faded and gone ;
No flower of her kindred,
No rose-bud is nigh,
To reflect back her blushes,
Or give sigh for sigh. (...)

posted by Gary Williams at 9:29 PM | link |

via New Scientist What lives in the ocean and goes 'boing'? - News

What lives in the ocean and goes 'boing'?

WHAT lives in the ocean and goes 'boing'? It's a mystery that has puzzled submarine sonar operators for more than 50 years, but now the culprit has been found: male minke whales.

The boing was heard in winter around the Hawaiian islands, but its source remained hidden in the area's choppy waters, says Jay Barlow of the US National Marine Fisheries Service. His colleague Shannon Rankin finally pinned down the whale as the source of the noise with a detector that uses three underwater microphones to triangulate animal locations (The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, vol 118, p 3346).

The whales probably use the sound as a way of marking territory and attracting mates.
From issue 2526 of New Scientist magazine, 19 November 2005, page 20

posted by Gary Williams at 8:46 PM | link |

via : Black T-Shirts

Rockin' good news: Black T-Shirts are ready to sell!

That's right, Black T-Shirts are ready to rock your sales now! Shout it from the rooftops or just share the exciting news with your customers through your newsletter or email. So finish prepping your images and add our #1 most requested item is to your shop. Black T-Shirts are here at last! Yeah!

(Sorry, but I haven't done any black t-shirts-put a request in comments, if you want one!)

posted by Gary Williams at 10:17 AM | link |


Holiday Toy Report Lists Perilous Playthings

By Kathleen Doheny
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Nov. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Yo-yos that can snap back and strangle, dolls impregnated with toxins and pacifiers that choke: All toys for sale this holiday season that should not find their way to Santa's sleigh, according the annual Toy Safety Survey from the nonprofit U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG).

Released Tuesday, the report finds too many toys marketed with too-small pieces (a choking hazard) or containing toxins that may cause lasting harm."

posted by Gary Williams at 8:31 AM | link |

Tuesday, November 22, 2005  


Seasonal Red Planet: NASA’s Spirit Rover Completes One Full Martian Year

By Tariq Malik
Staff Writer
posted: 22 November
7:00 a.m. ET
NASA’s Spirit rover currently exploring Mars completed one full swing around the Sun Monday, giving researchers a year-long look at the Martian seasons.

“We feel like, weather-wise, we’ve just about seen it all,” said Sharon Laubach, the rover’s integrating sequence team chief, in a telephone interview. “We’ve gone through all the seasons, we’ve survived Martian winter and gone through conjunction…yes, we’re having a party.”

While both Spirit and its robotic twin Opportunity hit the one Earth year mark of their mission in January, researchers said the Nov. 21 Martian anniversary holds far more significance for the long-lived rovers.

“It’s a big, important milestone,” said Steve Squyres, principal investigator of the rover’s science mission at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York in an earlier interview. “We’ll have acquired an entire year’s worth of observations.”

One Mars year is longer than Earth’s (about 687 Earth days), with Spirit hitting its anniversary on the 670th sol – or Martian day – of its mission. Spirit has rolled across 3.3 miles (5.4 kilometers) of Martian terrain at its landing site inside the planet’s Gusev crater.

posted by Gary Williams at 5:43 PM | link |

via EFF: Help EFF Help You!

Help EFF Help You!

Get a badge for your blog!

Now is the time for all good bloggers to come to the aid of their legal rights!

Here at EFF, we're fighting hard for bloggers' rights. We've created the Legal Guide for Bloggers, we're litigating the reporter's privilege for online journalists and we are working hard to defend bloggers' rights to free expression, political speech, and anonymity, just to name a few.

But we need your help to spread the word, grow our membership and keep fighting. So we're launching a special membership campaign specifically for bloggers. We've created a button for you to put in a permanent space on your blog that declares your support for bloggers' rights, and for the work EFF does to support them. The button links to our Bloggers' rights campaign,

Support Bloggers' Rights!
Support Bloggers' Rights!

posted by Gary Williams at 10:40 AM | link |

Leia's Bikini Site:

Click screenshot to visit

posted by Gary Williams at 9:37 AM | link |

Monday, November 21, 2005  

via WorkingForChange-Stupid or lying?

Stupid or lying?

As for the cuts supposed to spur investment: 'Business investment in structures, equipment and software (so-called 'non-residential investment') was only 3.6 percent higher in the second quarter of 2005 than it had been in the first quarter of 2001. That is less than half of the 8.2 percent growth found in the worst of the six prior cycles, and but one-eighth of the 27.5 percent growth rate in the strongest prior cycle.'

posted by Gary Williams at 11:05 PM | link |


America Is a Banana Republic, Not a Democratic Republic

A hallmark of a banana republic is that the junta controls the press and lies with impunity to the people. In any true democracy, the Bush junta would have been impeached--for high crimes and misdemeanors, but the Republican-owned media have destroyed the safeguard of an American free press. If you have any doubt that the media are now mere propaganda arms of the Bush junta, see the outstanding video: 'Outfoxed.'

posted by Gary Williams at 4:49 PM | link |

via Middle East Times

Sharon quits Likud to fight Israel election

Marius Schattner
November 21, 2005

JERUSALEM -- Prime Minister Ariel Sharon triggered a political earthquake in Israel on Monday by splitting from his Likud party and asking for the dissolution of parliament, forcing an election early next year.

Sharon, fed up with trying to work with the rightwing party that he founded three decades ago, has informed the leadership of Likud that he is to set up his own faction known as the National Responsibility party.

The 77-year-old will head up the party list when the country goes to the polls, most likely in March after the 120-seat parliament is dissolved.

posted by Gary Williams at 11:39 AM | link |

Sunday, November 20, 2005  

via Chicago Sun Times

Senate demolnstrates 'exit strategy'


A busy time in the U.S. Senate, the 'world's greatest deliberative body.' Judging from the 2006 conference report, the Senate subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education -- Chairman Arlen Specter (R), ranking member Tom Harkin (D) -- has been deliberating especially hard:

'Sec. 221. (a) The Headquarters and Emergency Operations Center Building (Building 21) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is hereby renamed as the Arlen Specter Headquarters and Emergency Operations Center.

(b) The Global Communications Center Building (Building 19) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is hereby renamed as the Thomas R. Harkin Global Communications Center.'

posted by Gary Williams at 11:23 PM | link |

Support Bloggers' Rights!
Support Bloggers' Rights!


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