Sunday August 31
Good thing we have the FBI and Bill Gates on the case for tracking those elusive hackers. Yesterday they captured a teenage script-addict who tweaked the "Master Blaster" worm. [SFGate.com]. As Alan Saracevic noted in the San Francisco Chronicle, the "best part is they put this 6-foot-4-inch, 320-pound fellow under home detention."
Doesn't sound like young Jeffrey Lee Parson got out much in the first place. Losers are losers, whatever the age. Way to go, FBI!! And we're relying on these bozos to protect the US from terrrorists?
Tuesday August 26
Watch Out Priests
I've been away for a couple of weeks in August, but life goes on. Sometimes even the bad guys get theirs, though, as the following vignette shows.
Earlier this week, defrocked pedophile priest John Geoghan of Boston was killed in his cell while serving a nine-to 10-year sentence for assault and battery on a 10-year-old boy. The former Catholic priest was accused of molesting nearly 150 boys over three decades and became a catalyst for the clergy sex abuse scandal that shook the foundations of the Roman Catholic Church. [CBSNews.com]. Geoghan was defrocked in 1998 and charged in December 1999 with raping and molesting three boys. The Boston archdiocese eventually settled civil lawsuits filed by 86 of Geoghan's victims for $10 million.
A fitting end, I say. Ah, and to think that robbery, murder and even rape are tolerated, perhaps celebrated, in prison, but pedophelia is a no-no. Those convicts may have no morals, but their sense of justice is inspiring.
Friday August 15
Great Blackout of '03
The oughts have it. Terrorism, SARS, West Nile virus, and now blackouts. As Boston.com observed, lasty night's outages affected a 9,300-square-mile area populated by 50 million people. That's twice as many people and landmass as the great 1965 blackout, which was also caused by one of these "rolling grid" failures. Haven't the engineers learned anything?
Wednesday August 13
Hotties in the EU
Yes, it's hot in Europe, more than 30C (that's 86F here in the US), with forest fires blazing. Europe Swelters And Suffers [cbsnews.com]. But that is nothing compared with what we in the "New World" routinely suffer through in the summer, and we've got the best (or worst, depending on perspective) wildfires on the planet. One difference is that those EU'ers apparently don't believe in air conditioning -- and they don't have shopping malls for teenagers to hang out in -- so inside is even hotter than outside.
Vive la difference!
Friday August 8
The Pentagon's Admiral John Poindexter -- of "Total Information Awareness" fame -- was fired last week for his latest fiasco. That was the "futures" market in terrorism, known as FutureMAP, he wanted to set up under DARPA, in which speculators could capitalize on predicting terror attacks. Congress responded with outrage, but some conservative financial pundits, like Lou Dobbs, are now suggesting it was a good idea. Lou Dobbs Laments the Pentagon's Decision to Deep-Six the Policy Analysis Market [USNews.com].
What a load of crap. This Poindexter guy has had more than one screw loose for decades. The idea of offering profits from predicting bombings or assassinations is politically unpalatable and completely against American values. Send him out to pasture. Better yet, shoot him to put the poor befuddled old man out of his misery.
Of course, Washington being what it is, no one will actually admit Poindexter was axed. Defense Secretary Rumsefeld said Poindexter resigned voluntarily but agreed that he "had become too much of a political lightning rod and that it was time for him to go."
Wednesday August 6
Overs and Unders
I just spent a delightful weekend in London, but I've got to admit that Cricket -- which was featured all weekend on SkyTV sports -- has me stumped. The game itself seems easy enough to follow, but scoring is an absolute disaster. What in God's name is an "over" and how does one know when a match ends? The BBC explains that "When all the batsmen are out, the team is all out, apart from one batsman who is not out." Huh? Here's an example from today's UK Guardian, discussing the retirement of the legendary English "cricketer" Darren Gough after a failed return from injury:
Now that's a mouthful. The Brits complained about US Football having lots of arcane rules, but in contrast Cricket seems to have none.