Monday, February 28, 2005

The New York Times > International > Asia Pacific > Chinese Censors and Web Users Match Wits

~~ You will notice I pick on the Chinese Censors alot .
Remember China , I 'm monitoring   you !!
Now go export something disposable to the USA....
you Commie-Capitalist you.
~~ TechnPolitical~ ~

March 4, 2005

Chinese Censors and Web Users Match Wits

HANGHAI, March 3 - For many China watchers, the holding of a National People's Congress beginning this weekend is an ideal occasion for gleaning the inner workings of this country's closed political system. For specialists in China's Internet controls, though, the gathering of legislators and top political leaders offers a chance to measure the state of the art of Web censorship.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

National Government ID cards

~~~National Government ID cards have the potential for serious abuse. Recent hacking incidents into the data bases of both Gov't , and Commmercial , shows that while national security is important , a certain wall of privacy for American Cittzens needs be maitained to keep America a truly free place. Write to you legislators to oppose the bill .{On the Net:, Information on the bill, H.R. 418} ~ ~ TP

Groups Share Concerns About House-Passed Bill That Rewrites

By SUZANNE GAMBOA Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON Feb 27, 2005 --
"But in Montana, members of the state House are refusing to cede

their driver's license authority to Washington. Last week, they

approved a bill that prohibits the adoption of federal driver's

license standards for noncommercial licenses.
On Capitol Hill, Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Calif., was one of eight

Republicans who voted against the bill."In our efforts to protect

our homeland and increase our border security we must move

forward with solid measures. At the same time, our individual civil

rights are nonnegotiable," Pombo said in a statement. "The

establishment of a national ID card, I believe, has the possibility of

violating those rights."

On the Net: Information on the bill, H.R. 418:Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


Thursday, February 24, 2005

"On the Net, Unseen Eyes" NY Times :By PATRICK DI JUSTO

If you own a webcam be careful. ~~ tp

"On the Net, Unseen Eyes"
Published: February 24, 2005

With the proliferation of surveillance cameras in everyday life and Webcams at home computers, the ease with which unsecured cameras can be detected on the Internet has become an increasner's permission.

The Yankee Group, a market research firm, estimates that as many as 13 percent of American households have a Webcam attached to one of their computers, often sitting on top of a monitor in a living room or a bedroom.

It is illegal to gain access to a secured computer without the proper authorization, even if the computer's password is publicly known. But is it legal to look at unsecured Webcams discovered as a result of a Google search, through the back door, so to speak? "It's probably not illegal, but you never know," said Annalee Newitz, policy analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights advocacy group. "That would be the court case - would a reasonable person consider these cameras to be public?"

Jennifer Stisa Granick, executive director of the Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society, agrees that it is a gray area. "The law states you have to know that you're not authorized to look at this information," she said. "But if it's available through Google, most people would reasonably think that it was all right. But what if a person didn't realize that their Webcam image was going out over the Internet? Do they have an expectation of privacy?"


Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Reporter's shield bill introduced in House , © 2005 The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

~ ~ ~ The Court ruling that reporters
can be compelled to reveal their
sources is bad news. Luckily,
Congress can fix the situation
A Republican and a Democrat
co-sponsoring a much need
piece of legislation. ~~ TP

Reporter's shield bill introduced in House
© 2005 The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

Journalists would be shielded from
being forced to reveal confidential
sources under the
"Free Flow of Information Act."
Reporters must testify in CIA leak probe


February 16, 2005

WASHINGTON -- A U.S. appeals court ruled Tuesday that two reporters must testify before a federal grand jury about their confidential sources in a probe trying to determine who in the Bush administration leaked the identity of a covert CIA officer.

In an expected ruling, a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld a lower court ruling that held in contempt Matthew Cooper of Time magazine and Judith Miller of The New York Times for refusing to testify.

Time and the Times Tuesday said
---- { what an intereresting pharse, almost poetic ~~tp ] ---- they would appeal the decision to the full circuit and possibly the Supreme Court, and would seek a stay to keep the reporters out of jail.

The publications had tried to quash the subpoenas based on the First Amendment and reporters' privilege to protect confidential sources under federal common law, which is based on practice than on statutes.

In October, District Judge Thomas Hogan ruled against them.The decision prompted calls from Floyd Abrams, attorney for both reporters, and groups such as Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, for Congress to enact a federal shield law to permit reporters to protect confidential sources.

Copyright © 2005,
Newsday, Inc.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

A Federal Court Rules that the First Amendment to the US constitution, means that no authority can restrict the flow of ANY information to any citizen

~~ A Federal Court Rules that the First Amendment to the US constitution, means that no authority can restrict the flow of ANY information to any citizen, even if that citizen be in jail. I think that is very good. ~~ tp

Guess Who WANTS Junk Mail?
Wed Feb 2, 2005 10:08 AM ET

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Some Americans might think of junk mail as cruel and unusual punishment, but a U.S. appeals court ruled on Tuesday that prison officials may not stop bulk mail and catalogs from reaching prisoners.

The case stems from a lawsuit against Washington state's Department of Corrections, which had barred its inmates from receiving such mailed materials.

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling and rejected arguments that banning bulk mail makes it easier to run a prison and reduces the risk of fire.

"Publishers have a First Amendment right to communicate with prisoners by mail, and inmates have a First Amendment right to receive this mail," Arthur Alarcon wrote for the three-judge panel.

The "ban on non-subscription bulk mail and catalogs is not rationally related to a legitimate penological interest and is therefore unconstitutional," he added.


Saturday, February 5, 2005

NIH to Ban Deals With Drug Firms

~~~: It is about time ! The drug company –U.S. government axis is proving to be a great danger, with too many pharmaceuticals going to market and into American bodies, before being fully and objectively tested ~~TP

NIH to Ban Deals With Drug Firms
By David Willman, L.A.Times Staff Writer .

WASHINGTON Feb. 1 2005 — Under a far-reaching reform to be announced today, all staff scientists at the National Institutes of Health will be banned from accepting any consulting fees or other income from drug companies, and the employees must also divest industry stock holdings, officials said.

Thursday, February 3, 2005

Associated Press : Microsoft Corp. offered Wednesday to begin alerting the world's governments early to CyberThreats....."l

Microsoft Corp is big , very big. ~~tp

Microsoft Offering Gov'ts Early Warnings
02.02.2005, 04:25 PM

Associated Press : Microsoft Corp. offered Wednesday to begin alerting the world's governments early to cyberthreats and security flaws in its attack-prone software.

So far three countries, Canada, Chile and Norway, as well as the U.S. state of Delaware, have been engaged in the new project, Vanzini said.
"Prevention of cyberdisruptions and improving our capacity to respond to incidents are critical to securing both our economy and public safety," Anne McLellan, Canada's Minister of Public Security and Emergency Preparedness, said in a statement.

Microsoft said it is currently in discussions with a number of countries about their possible participation in the program.
Governments currently under a trade embargo with the United States are not eligible to sign up to the program, which is provided free of charge.


Wednesday, February 2, 2005

"The Bush administration suffered a legal setback over its conduct of the war on terror yesterday..." : Guardian ;;;

~~~ Below another example of how the Bush Team really does not understand to foundations of American Democracy. Dictatorships do detention without trial. In the USA , everyone --- no matter their legal or citizenship standing --is entitled to their day in PUBLIC courts when accused of a crime. ~` ~~~ ~` TP

Guantánamo tribunals ruled Illegal
Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington
Tuesday February 1, 2005
Guardian /

The Bush administration suffered a legal setback over its conduct of the war on terror yesterday when a US federal judge ruled that the special military tribunals at Guantánamo Bay were unlawful.
The judgment was seen as a victory for the 540 detainees in Guantánamo, and for civil rights organisations which have campaigned for three years for inmates to have the right to challenge their detentions in court.
"This means that these folks are actually going to get a hearing," said Barbara Olshansky, of the Centre for Constitutional Rights. "[The judge] is saying that the rule of law in this country cannot be disregarded by executive fiat - despite what this administration might want."
The judgment was highly critical of the Pentagon's military tribunals, set up in June last year to decide whether to continue holding the inmates at Guantánamo.

"HP claims molecular computing breakthrough",,James Niccolai, IDG News Service, Paris Bureau

~ ~ Electronics are gonna get smaller and smaller in size , while growing bigger and bigger in power.

Personally, I want a PDA that cleans my house. and an MP3 player , plus a cellpone in my bi-focals .

“The researchers said their technology could lead to computers that are thousands of times more powerful than those that exist today.”
IDG News Service 2/1/05
James Niccolai, IDG News Service, Paris Bureau
"HP claims molecular computing breakthrough"

Researchers at Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) have created a molecular-scale device that they say could one day replace the transistors used in today's computer chips.

In a paper to be published Tuesday in the Journal of Applied Physics, the three researchers from HP's Quantum Science Research Group describe how they created a tiny device that can perform one of the essential logic functions in computing devices that measure just nanometers across.

The technology could eventually be used to complement and even replace current transistors, which are expected to hit certain physical limits in the coming years that will prevent them from being made any smaller. The researchers said their technology could lead to computers that are thousands of times more powerful than those that exist today.


You would think “Freedom of information” would mean “Free Information”, right ? ~ TP

~~~: You would think “Freedom of information” would mean “Free Information”, right ? ~ TP

Feds ask group to pay almost $373,000 for records
By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department says a group that wants to see secret documents about the detention of people jailed after the Sept. 11 attacks first must pay nearly $373,000 to cover the cost of searching for the information.

And the advance payment won’t guarantee anything that’s found will be released.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, government agencies must provide the public with access to government documents, unless the information falls under certain exemptions. The first two hours of a search are free. Agencies then charge for searches, the rate dependent on the level of the employees who do the work.

People for the American Way Foundation, which sued for the records last year, accused the Justice Department of making the cost exceedingly high to deter its request.

“Unfortunately it’s part of a pattern of the Justice Department trying to foreclose access to this kind of information,” Elliot Mincberg, the group’s legal director, said yesterday.

More info at :


“Employees to be billed for personal Net use?” ,By Munir Kotadia ,,

~~ Below-- “Employees to be billed for personal Net use?” -- another example of how the Techno-Age is invading our private lives.

Employees have always drank from the water cooler, make personal copies, and used the phone to call their doctor, & etc.

Work is a job, and not prison, therefore companies have to allow employees to do needed life tasks.

Why should CEO’s and senior executives get all the perks

? And how often do you hear employees complain about being asked to do personal tasks for their bosses.

Hopefully most companies will see that charging for bandwidth will simply cause employees extra life-stress and as well cost them loyalty & morale among their employees.~
~ tp

By Munir Kotadia
Story last modified Tue Feb 01 09:13:00 PST 2005
Employees to be billed for personal Net use?

Employees who surf the Net at work could receive a bill each month for the cost of borrowed bandwidth and wasted time if Australia-based Exinda Networks' URL- and bandwidth-monitoring system takes off.

Exinda Networks says it's developed a system that allows a company to monitor exactly which Web sites are visited by each employee and how much bandwidth has been used--in terms of a cash loss to the employer. Con Nikolouzakis, director of Exinda Networks, said the URL- and bandwidth-monitoring system was designed to ensure that employees are held responsible for the cost of misused bandwidth and time……….Additionally, the employee could be presented with a bill.

"Theoretically, individual employees could be charged a fee for non-business-related Internet usage on a monthly basis, if an employer wanted to get tough on staff abusing their Web access but didn't want to block them altogether," Nikolouzakis said.

However, not everyone agrees that charging employees for personal bandwidth is a good idea.

James Turner, industry analyst for security and services at Frost & Sullivan, said that charging employees for personal bandwidth usage would stir up a hornet's nest because bandwidth is relatively cheap and employees get a "morale boost" from having some freedom to surf at work.


"Shrinking, Detroit Faces Fiscal Nightmare" By JODI WILGOREN

~ ~ Below is an article on Detroit’s ongoing & dramatic population loss – a flight of the wealthier & better educated. It serves to remind us that societies , cites , and even nations – can over the long term, be very transient entities. ~~TP

"The 139-square-mile Motor City now has a population of 911,000, less than half its 1950's peak”
DETROIT, Jan. 29 - In the decade after he finished law school, Dan Varner watched with mounting exasperation as his black, middle-class peers defected from Detroit, beloved city of his birth.

He was the relentless city booster telling college-bound teenagers to come home after graduation, the one urging far-flung friends to move here, the man always talking about rebuilding the city while others abandoned it.

Then, one day, Mr. Varner said he realized "there was really no one to have dinner with." He said he "could count on one hand in the four blocks around me the number of men my age who had families." Enough became enough one spring day when he drove his children home past a band of teenage boys chanting profanity.

"As a dad and a husband, you have an obligation to try to provide the best life possible," said Mr. Varner, 35, who in August moved his family to Ypsilanti Township, 45 minutes away. "That was just something we couldn't find in Detroit."

The Varners are emblematic of the exodus that is plunging Detroit's government and school system into a fiscal nightmare, resulting in not just the slashing of staff and services, but also, for the first time, a fundamental right-sizing for a new, shrunken reality. The 139-square-mile Motor City now has a population of 911,000, less than half its 1950's peak.

With the city facing a $389 million shortfall over three years and the threat of receivership, Mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick announced this month that Detroit would soon lay off 686 people and eliminate 237 vacant jobs, cut employees' pay 10 percent across the board, end overnight bus service and close the aquarium.
~~ But you got to pay the New York Times $2.95 to read the whole thing .
Unless you get Lexus-nexius for free at the school library or office ~` TP ]

Half of bankruptcy due to medical bills-US study; Source: Reuters , By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent

~~ Today in the USA , “half of bankruptcy [is] due to medical bills.” [see below article] . This country needs to insure equal access to equal health care for all it’s citizens & residents. It is a basic human right to be humanely cared for by your fellow human beings and their governments.

To have to look at your paycheck, and then to realize that you must choose between necessary medical needs & paying for food and rent, is a wrenching & terrifying experience. And there is no reason for it to be this way for millions of Americans.

The Insurance companies suck all the wealth out of the American health care system, but actually provide no real health services -- other than handling the $$$ !! Getting the Insurance companies -- and their need for gross profits --- out of health care system is a must-do for America’s health. ~~TP

02 Feb 2005
Source: Reuters
By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent

Half of bankruptcy due to medical bills-US study

WASHINGTON, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Half of all U.S. bankruptcies are caused by soaring medical bills and most people sent into debt by illness are middle-class workers with health insurance, researchers said on Wednesday.

The study, published in the journal Health Affairs, estimated that medical bankruptcies affect about 2 million Americans every year, if both debtors and their dependents, including about 700,000 children, are counted.

"Our study is frightening. Unless you're Bill Gates you're just one serious illness away from bankruptcy," said Dr. David Himmelstein, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School who led the study.

"Most of the medically bankrupt were average Americans who happened to get sick. Health insurance offered little protection."

She said many employers and politicians were pressing for what she called "stripped-down plans so riddled with co-payments, deductibles and exclusions that serious illness leads straight to bankruptcy."


Tuesday, February 1, 2005

Reuters: .."...but no WMD have been found in Iraq and U.S. weapons inspector Charles Duelfer i...."

~~ Saddam Hussein while in power easily qualified as one of the worlds most dangerous men. He killed tens – if not hundreds – of THOUSANDS of his own country men every year, and Saddam was the major obstacle to the political & democratic stabilization of the Mid-East. But did that justify going in after him with the full force of the U.S military? Well maybe it did.
But the Bush administration did not think Saddam slaughtering his own people, nor his perpetual torturing the Kurdish nation, was a strong enough argument to justify toppling Saddam. So the Bush Administration exaggerated --and it seems even fabricated --the Weapons of Mass Destruction [WMD] threat, which today the CIA admitted never were there. ~~ tp

CIA Rectifying Prewar Estimates on Iraq WMD
Tue Feb 1, 2005 06:47 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The CIA is publishing a series of classified reports revising its prewar intelligence assessments of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, an intelligence official said on Tuesday.

A Jan. 18 report, titled "Iraq: No Large-Scale Chemical Warfare Efforts Since Early 1990s," concludes that Saddam Hussein abandoned major chemical weapons programs after the first Gulf War in 1991.

Former CIA Director George Tenet, who resigned last July, told Bush that finding WMD in Iraq would be a "slam dunk" according to journalist Bob Woodward's book "Plan of Attack."

But no WMD have been found in Iraq and U.S. weapons inspector Charles Duelfer is expected this month to issue a final addendum to his September report concluding that prewar Iraq had no such stockpiles.

"The CIA has finally admitted that its WMD estimates were wrong," Rep. Jane Harman of California, ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee, said in a statement.


The Secret of Getting to Sleep? Music

The Secret of Getting to Sleep? Music
Wed Feb 2, 2005 10:47 AM ET

LONDON (Reuters) - Having trouble sleeping? Don't bother with a cup of cocoa or counting sheep -- listening to music at bedtime is the way to get a restful night, Taiwanese researchers have found.

In a paper published in the February issue of the Journal of Advanced Nursing, a team from Taiwan's Tzu Chi University said they studied the sleep patterns of 60 people aged between 60 and 83 who had difficulty sleeping.

Half were given relaxing music to listen to for 45 minutes at bedtime and half were given no help to sleep.

The team found that those who listened to a selection of soft, slow music experienced physical changes that aided restful sleep, such as lower heart and respiratory rates.

"The difference between the music group and the control group was clinically significant," said lead author Hui-Ling Lai, vice director of nursing at the Buddhist Tzu Chi General Hospital and assistant professor at Tzu Chi University.

"The music group reported a 26 per cent overall improvement in the first week and this figure continued to rise as they mastered the technique of relaxing to the sedative music."



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