Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Chief Seattle's Letter

This we know: the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.
One thing we know: our God is also your God. The earth is precious to him and to harm the earth is to heap contempt on its creator.
Your destiny is a mystery to us. What will happen when the buffalo are all slaughtered? The wild horses tamed? What will happen when the secret corners of the forest are heavy with the scent of many men and the view of the ripe hills is blotted with talking wires? Where will the thicket be? Gone! Where will the eagle be? Gone! And what is to say goodbye to the swift pony and then hunt? The end of living and the beginning of survival.

What a Wonderful World Lyrics and Chords

I hear babies cry, I watch them grow
They'll learn much more than I'll ever know,
And I think to myself what a wonderful world
Yes I think to myself, what a wonderful world.

Alice's Restaurant Lyrics

Now it all started two Thanksgivings ago, was on - two years ago onThanksgiving, when my friend and I went up to visit Alice at therestaurant, but Alice doesn't live in the restaurant, she lives in thechurch nearby the restaurant, in the bell-tower, with her husband Ray andFasha the dog. And livin' in the bell tower like that, they got a lot ofroom downstairs where the pews used to be in. Havin' all that room,seein' as how they took out all the pews, they decided that they didn'thave to take out their garbage for a long time...

Applying Evidence to Intellectual Property Claims

The basic economic model here is “If you give me a larger right, I will have a larger incentive to innovate. Thus the bigger the rights, the more innovation we will get. Right?” Well, not exactly. Even without data, the models are obviously flawed - copyrighting the alphabet will not produce more books, patenting E=MC2 will not yield more scientific innovation. Intellectual property creates barriers to, as well as incentives towards, innovation. Clearly the “more is better” argument has limits. Extensions of rights can help or hurt, but without economic evidence beforehand and review afterwards, we will never know. In the absence of evidence on either side, the presumption should obviously still be against creating a new legalised monopoly, but still the empirical emptiness of the debates is frustrating.

Krugman: Economic Crisis a Question of When, Not If

Krugman, who may be best known for his opinion column in The New York Times, said he was concerned that Bush's electoral victory over Sen. John Kerry earlier this month would only reinforce the administration's unwillingness to listen to dissenting opinions.
That, in turn, could spell serious trouble for the U.S. economy, which under Bush's first term was plagued by soaring deficits, waning investor confidence and anemic job creation.
"This is a group of people who don't believe that any of the rules really apply," said Krugman. "They are utterly irresponsible."

Fighting Words For A Secular America

Quotes from the Founding Fathers on the separation of Church and State.

Ever wanted to know where all your tax dollars really go? Mosey on over to and search the nice little database they've got there for all those federal business opportunities you just can't wait to bid on....How about making a wearable computer for the Navy? Want to perform for the USO? How about getting paid to surf the intarwebs to defeat the terrorists? The Special Operations Command has the job for you! Looking to unload 30 million tons of beef? You've got a buyer! Gather wild horses for the Dept of Ag! Haul carcasses in the search for mad cow disease! Oh, and by the way, the Iraqi Army needs some clarinets... [from]

Afternoon Outing 'Helps Baby Sleep at Night'

Babies exposed to daylight in the afternoons are much more likely to sleep better at night than those who are not, a study revealed today.
Taking a baby to the park or simply outside was found to dramatically improve both the child and consequently the parents’ levels of nocturnal sleep.
And a baby who slept well at six weeks was likely to be a good sleeper at nine and 12 weeks.
The research, published in December’s issue of the Journal of Sleep Research, was carried out by Yvonne Harrison at the School of Psychology at Liverpool John Moores University.

Catching Spammers in the Act of Harvesting Emails

Project Honeypot is a clever development from Unspam, which sets up honeypot accounts (fictional e-mail accounts to draw in spam e-mail) on anyone's website in a tricky way; they are generated as to both look like reasonable addresses and to tie them to the IP address of a visitor. That is, the address was only given out Nov. 1 at 4:10 PM to IP Brilliant! The result is quite slick as you can see in the sample page. The e-mail is only visible to humans in the page source. Sending any commercial mail to harvested addresses, including these honeypots, is illegal under CAN-SPAM.

Internet Archive’s Web Page Snapshots Held Admissible as Evidence

The Internet Archive (IA) is a non-profit effort to preserve Internet sites and other digital media and make them available online. IA’s spiders regularly crawl the World Wide Web, making copies of web pages and storing them permanently in an enormous digital archive. Using the “Wayback Machine”, one of the Archive’s popular services, users can input the address of a web page and call up a series of dated copies, allowing them to see what the page contained at the times it was accessed by the IA spider.

Perfect 10 Magazine Sues Google

A pornography publisher, Perfect 10 -- I'm sure you could find it if even I don't link to it! -- filed suit in federal district court in California against Google and 100 does yesterday on Friday, November 19, 2004, according to the complaint (I have redacted the complaint to remove pages 36 - 54, which include graphic images). Perfect 10's 12 claims listed in the complaint include alleged infringements of copyright, trademark, and right of publicity as well as unfair competition.

A Kinder, Gentler Copyright Bill?

Digital rights groups said while there is still cause for concern in the bill, it is a vast improvement over the previous version.
"We're just glad a lot of the really egregious stuff was taken out," said Art Brodsky, a spokesman for Public Knowledge, a group of activists and technologists working to keep copyright and intellectual property laws open. "Compared to what it could have been, it turned out better than before."
"This legislation will help target critical areas of abuse," said Mitch Bainwol, CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America, in a statement. "And, it will strengthen the hand of law enforcement to prosecute those who steal and illegally distribute music on the internet."
The other powerful trade group that supported the bill, the Motion Picture Association of America, did not immediately return calls for comment.

Grilled Cheese With "Virgin Mary" Burnished Into Bread Fetches $28,000 on eBay

An internet casino confirmed it had purchased the sandwich, saying it had become a "part of pop culture". says it will take the sandwich on world tour before selling it and donating the money to charity. [thanks to Sharon]
[Looks more like Mary Pickford to me. -ed.]

Lego Church

Our request for a design for a cat-proof fence was met with laughter. The current specification is for a fence of foam-filled display board as tall as the sky, which is approximately five feet over the new Dining Table Ave. [thanks to Curt]

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Chief Economist at Morgan Stanley Predicts Economic ``Armageddon''

To finance its current account deficit with the rest of the world, he said, America has to import $2.6 billion in cash. Every working day.
That is an amazing 80 percent of the entire world's net savings.
Sustainable? Hardly.
Meanwhile, he notes that household debt is at record levels.
Twenty years ago the total debt of U.S. households was equal to half the size of the economy.
Today the figure is 85 percent.
Nearly half of new mortgage borrowing is at flexible interest rates, leaving borrowers much more vulnerable to rate hikes.
Americans are already spending a record share of disposable income paying their interest bills. And interest rates haven't even risen much yet.

Pew Debunks the "Values" Effect on 2004 Election

ANDREW KOHUT: We said to them: What issues were on your mind when you were casting a ballot a few days ago? And we got quite different answers. Only 9 percent volunteered moral values. Another 5 percent mentioned social issues such as homosexuality or abortion. And I think even the 9 percent was an overstatement, because this buzz word phrase moral values was used so frequently in the days following the election, when our polling was done. When we asked people who made the choice moral values in a followup question, what did you mean -- they were talking about the candidates' religious beliefs or stem cell research or homosexuality -- moral values is code. You shouldn't put code in questions. [from On The Media]

FCC Fines Fox $1.2M Based on Three Complains

JEFF JARVIS: I filed a freedom of information act request with the FCC, asking to see all 159 complaints. And I just got it back, and they admitted to me in the letter, "Well, it wasn't actually 159. It was 90, cause there were a lot of CC's. And those were written by just 23 people." And then I examined the actual complaints that the FCC sent me, and all but 2 were virtually identical. Which is to say that only 3 people in America took the time to sit down and write a letter to the FCC. What the heck are 5 people on the FCC or 3 bozos out there in the country doing dictating to the rest of us what we can and cannot see and hear on our media?

Bush denied nuclear bunker-buster funds

The United States Congress has denied the Bush administration funds to study a new generation of nuclear weapons, omitting the money from a huge mop-up spending bill it passed over the weekend, lawmakers have said.
The final $US388 billion spending bill did not include the $US36.6 million President George W Bush sought to study so-called bunker-busting nuclear weapons that would be used to destroy underground facilities as well as smaller nuclear arms with half the power of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

Charter Schools Fall Short in Public Schools Matchup

In Texas, for instance, the study found that 98 percent of public schools met state performance requirements two years ago, but that only 66 percent of the charter schools did. Even when adjusted for race and poverty, the study said, the charter schools fell short more frequently by a statistically significant amount.
The study added new data to a highly politicized debate between charter school supporters, including senior Bush administration officials, and skeptics who question the performance of the publicly financed but privately managed schools.

Congressional Access to Citizens' Tax Returns Almost Written into Appropriations Bill

As Democrats called for an investigation, House Republicans scrambled Monday to explain how language got into a federal spending bill that would have let congressional appropriators examine Americans' income tax returns.The provision was discovered Saturday just before the Senate was to vote on a huge $388 billion domestic spending bill. It was inserted into the bill a few hours earlier by House aides and approved by the House.Democratic and Republican senators, angered by the language, eventually approved the appropriations bill minus the provision. But they will not send the bill back to the House and on to President Bush for his signature until Wednesday, after the House deletes the language.

UN revises Darfur displaced estimate to 2m

A top United Nations aid official has warned that the number of people chased from their homes in Sudan's strife-torn Darfur region would reach two million by next month.
World Food Program (WFP) executive director James Morris said that estimate on the region's torrents of displaced people was a staggering 300,000 people higher than a WFP estimate issued just one week ago.

Dolphins Protect New Zealand Swimmers from Shark

A pod of dolphins circled protectively round a group of New Zealand swimmers to fend off an attack by a great white shark, media reported on Tuesday.
..."They started to herd us up, they pushed all four of us together by doing tight circles around us," Howes told the New Zealand Press Association (NZPA).
Howes tried to drift away from the group, but two of the bigger dolphins herded him back just as he spotted a nine-foot great white shark swimming toward the group.

Rights Group Calls on Caterpillar to Halt Bulldozer Sales to Israel

The appeal by New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) coincides with the announcement Monday by a U.S. Jewish peace group that it has filed a shareholder resolution urging Caterpillar to review whether the sale of the D-9 bulldzoer violates its own corporate code of conduct.
Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) in San Francisco said it was the same resolution that it introduced along with the Catholic Sisters of Loretto and the Mercy Investment Group last year, the first time a resolution on Israeli human rights violations had ever been introduced. At last years shareholders meeting in April, the resolution received four percent of the shareholder vote.
With HRWs implicit endorsement, however, the resolution, which is also backed by the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA), could garner greater support at the next years shareholder meeting.

For driver's license, Louisiana boys must register for the draft

When Larry Chevalier took his son to get his first driver's license, he was floored to discover that to get it, the boy had to preregister for a nonexistent military draft.''I just can't believe it,'' said Chevalier, whose 16-year-old son, Nathan, did fill out the form to register with the Selective Service so he could get his license.
''They wouldn't let him get it otherwise,'' Chevalier said Saturday.Even a 15-year-old boy who wants a learner's permit in Louisiana must provide information to be forwarded, when he turns 18, to the Selective Service System, which would run a military draft if one is set up again.

Judge dismisses keylogger case

A federal judge in Los Angeles has dismissed charges against a California man who used a keystroke logger to spy on his employer, ruling that use of such a device does not violate federal wiretap law. Larry Ropp, a former claims adjuster for a U.S. insurance company, was caught last year using a "KEYKatcher" brand surveillance device on a secretary's computer while secretly helping consumer attorneys gather information against his employer, Bristol West Insurance Group. The KEYKatcher attaches inline with a keyboard connector, and stores every keystroke in an internal memory for later retrieval.

Canada: Outspoken Liberal MP booted from caucus

"I told her that, while I have defended her right to express her views frankly, I cannot, as leader of our party and the government caucus, tolerate behaviour that demeans and disrespects others," he said. "It is unacceptable. There are better, more civil and more effective ways to make your case than those she has chosen."
The move by Mr. Martin removes an embarrassing figure from his party, reducing the chance that George W. Bush will be heckled from the government benches if the U.S. President addresses Parliament when he comes to Ottawa at the end of the month.

Senior Member of Sunni Party Arrested

U.S. forces arrested a senior member of an influential Sunni political party Tuesday after a dawn raid on his Baghdad home, party officials said.
Naseer Ayaef, a high-ranking member of the Iraqi Islamic Party, was taken into custody in the northwestern Jamiah neighborhood in retaliation for the party's opposition to the U.S.-led offensive on the rebel city of Fallujah, party official Ayad al-Samarrai told The Associated Press.

Red Cross slams 'utter contempt' for humanity amid fierce fighting in Iraq

The International Committee of the Red Cross sharply criticized the "utter contempt" for humanity shown by all sides in Iraq (news - web sites) amid fierce fighting between US forces and insurgents for control of the city of Fallujah.
"We are deeply concerned by the devastating impact that the fighting in Iraq is having on the people of that country," said Pierre Kraehenbuehl, the ICRC's director of operations.
"As hostilities continue in Fallujah and elsewhere, every day seems to bring news of yet another act of utter contempt for the most basic tenet of humanity: the obligation to protect human life and dignity," he added.

Aljazeera: Mass Graves Outside Falluja

Residents of a village neighbouring Falluja have told Aljazeera that they helped bury the bodies of 73 women and children who were burnt to death by a US bombing attack.
"We buried them here, but we could not identify them because they were charred by the use of napalm bombs used by the Americans," said one resident of Saqlawiya in footage aired on Aljazeera on Sunday.
There have been no reports of the US military using napalm in Falluja and no independent verification of the claims.
The resident told Aljazeera all the bodies were buried in a single grave.

VA braces for increases in mental health case load

The Department of Veterans Affairs has already treated 8,700 Iraq and Afghan war veterans for mental illnesses brought on by combat and expects to see far more in the coming years.
"I think we're going to see a significant amount of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)/mental health problems," said Anthony Principi, secretary of Veterans Affairs. "I think mental health is going to be an issue in this type of warfare where you don't know if you're going to be a victim of a car bomb or roadside bomb or a (rocket-propelled grenade.)"

Document reveals Columbus, Ohio, voters waited hours as election officials held back machines

One telling piece of evidence was entered into the record at the Saturday, November 13, public hearing on election irregularities and voter suppression held by nonpartisan voter rights organizations. Cliff Arnebeck, a Common Cause attorney, introduced into the record the Franklin County Board of Elections spreadsheet detailing the allocation of e-voting computer machines for the 2004 election. The Board of Elections’ own document records that, while voters waited in lines ranging from 2-7 hours at polling places, 68 electronic voting machines remained in storage and were never used on Election Day.

*Zogby on Election: "Something is definitely wrong"

When asked what exactly had happened then, Zogby replied, "a problem, but I don't know where it is ... something's wrong here, though." On Nov. 5, Nader requested a hand recount of New Hampshire ballots, subsequently telling IPS he had "reports of irregularities there, and we have the cooperation of the state government ... the state attorney-general and secretary of state." Nader also said his headquarters had been flooded with requests for assistance from a number of states.

Widespread Election Fraud in Cleveland?

From: Richard Hayes Phillips, Ph.D. Date: November 19, 2004
Attached is my recently completed precinct by precinct analysis of the 2004 presidential vote in Cleveland. There are wholesale shifts of scores of votes from the Kerry column to other candidates, and astonishingly low turnouts in certain precincts and entire wards. The Ohio recount will prove these numbers to be fraudulent.
I may have identified only the tip of the iceberg. I note that there are 17,741 uncounted ballots in Cuyahoga County. Kerry's margin in Cleveland was reportedly 108,659 votes with a 49.89% turnout. The rest of Cuyahoga County had a 71.95% turnout. Such a turnout in Cleveland would have given Kerry a margin of 156,705 votes, left Bush with a statewide margin of 85,007 votes, and with 248,100 votes still uncounted, nobody would be conceding Ohio.
This is a situation that demands rigorous investigation.

Vote fraud investigators visit Volusia, FL

For those who thought the 2004 election was over: Surprise.
Representatives of a Seattle-based organization investigating possible election fraud visited the Volusia County elections department Tuesday after being provided reprints of voting machine records instead of originals.

'Stinking Evidence' of Possible Election Fraud Found in Florida

Bev [Harris] pointed out that the printouts given her were not the original poll tapes and had no signatures, and thus were not what she'd requested. Obligingly, they told her that the originals were held in another location, the Elections Office's Warehouse, and that since it was the end of the day they should meet Bev the following morning to show them to her.
Bev showed up bright and early the morning of Wednesday the 17th - well before the scheduled meeting - and discovered three of the elections officials in the Elections Warehouse standing over a table covered with what looked like poll tapes. When they saw Bev and her friends, Bev told me in a telephone interview less than an hour later, "They immediately shoved us out and slammed the door."
In a way, that was a blessing, because it led to the stinking evidence.
"On the porch was a garbage bag," Bev said, "and so I looked in it and, and lo and behold, there were public record tapes."
Thrown away. Discarded. Waiting to be hauled off.
"It was technically stinking, in fact," Bev added, "because what they had done was to have thrown some of their polling tapes, which are the official records of the election, into the garbage. These were the ones signed by the poll workers. These are something we had done an official public records request for."

Customers Waive First Amendment Rights?

Homeowners say a Brevard County homebuilding company is bullying, threatening and even suing homeowners for complaining about inferior construction.A NewsChannel 2 investigation -- part of our Building Homes: Building Problems series -- found Mercedes Homes actually filed a lawsuit against a woman for telling her neighbors about severe leaks in her home.
...In the company's plush corporate offices, executives hatched a plan to make buyers sign away their First Amendment rights. "It's there in black and white. The customer should read his or her contract thoroughly before they enter into it," said Patrick Roche, Mercedes Attorney.

Mad Cow Secrecy

The officials released few details and refused to say where the possibly diseased animal was found. They said it would be four to seven days before more could be confirmed, a delay that livestock industry representatives said would cause turmoil in the beef market.

Print Your Own Science Disclaimer Stickers

Wording for the first disclaimer is taken verbatim from the sticker designed by the Cobb County School District in Georgia (see original). To print the above disclaimers onto a sticker page, download the PDF version and shrink it to fit a normal page. To print a full page of a single sticker, crop the PDF version and duplicate the desired image within a word processing program. If you really want to get other parents' attention, print the page onto a t-shirt and wear it to school board meetings, especially if they are filmed -- school boards just hate national scrutiny. However, do not do something like this if your school board members tend to wear blaze orange regularly. If your school district is considering anti-evolution stickers or other such silliness, alert your local branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, which is always interested in cases regarding separation of church and state.

Moon and Mars in New Budget

Sending people to the moon and Mars is no longer just President Bush's vision. It's officially the United States' new mission in space.
Congress voted Saturday to give NASA all of the $16.2 billion it sought for 2005, money not only to return the space shuttles to flight but also to start designing a replacement spaceship and planning moon missions.
...Bush said nothing about NASA during the presidential campaign, although his top budget aides threatened to veto any spending bill that did not include full funding for his space plan.
Congress didn't seem interested, and the House even passed a budget that slashed almost a billion dollars from the NASA request. The Senate was more generous, but the budget did not pass before Congress went on break for the November elections. That left NASA's fate to behind-the-scenes negotiations.

Computers help cure AIDS in spare time

Last week IBM launched the World Community Grid in a global humanitarian effort to apply unused computer power to help researchers unlock genetic codes that underlie diseases like AIDS, Alzheimer's and cancer.
Each computer requires software that can be downloaded at and installed like any other program. It quietly runs in the background when you are using your PC but it can also chug away on computational tasks sent in via the Internet.

Government Uses Color Laser Printer Technology to Track Documents

Next time you make a printout from your color laser printer, shine an LED flashlight beam on it and examine it closely with a magnifying glass. You might be able to see the small, scattered yellow dots printer there that could be used to trace the document back to you.
According to experts, several printer companies quietly encode the serial number and the manufacturing code of their color laser printers and color copiers on every document those machines produce. Governments, including the United States, already use the hidden markings to track counterfeiters.

Anime Popeye

In a desperate anime situation, Popeye is called in to make sense of it all.

"Something was not right."

Kevin Sites, the cameraman at the centre of the recent controversial shooting in Faluja, has posted an open letter on his blog to the marines with whom he was embedded. [from]

Monday, November 22, 2004

Computer Able to Identify Forged Paintings

The technique, devised by computer scientist Hany Farid and colleagues at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, identifies the artist by analysing an individual's characteristic brush or pen strokes. It is able to distinguish eight drawings by Bruegel, deemed authentic by art experts, from five acknowledged imitations.
Farid's program suggests that a painting attributed to the Italian Renaissance artist Pietro Perugino was in fact produced by at least four different artists (presumably Perugino's apprentices in his workshop). This analysis is also supported by the judgement of art historians.

"Weed" Offers P2P Alternative to "Piracy"

Shared Media Licensing, based in Seattle, offers Weed, a software program that allows interested music fans to download a song and play it three times for free. They are prompted to pay for the "Weed file" the fourth time. Songs cost about a dollar and can be burned to an unlimited number of CDs, passed around on file-sharing networks and posted to web pages.
"We're trying to take the problem of unauthorized music sharing and turn it into an opportunity for everyone to participate in the music business," said John Beezer, president of Shared Media Licensing. In addition to launching its home website, the company recently joined eBay's digital music distribution program with its own store.
Each time the song is downloaded by a new listener, the Weed file resets itself so the same rules apply: three free plays, then pay. The music can also be transferred to Windows portable media devices.

Merck Steps Up PR Campaign After Recall

Rubenstein added that Merck's strategy of asserting it withdrew Vioxx immediately upon learning there was a link between the drug and a higher risk of heart attack and strokes could backfire if plaintiffs' lawyers prove the company understood the side effects much earlier and stifled the news.
That's because if lawyers prove Merck muzzled Vioxx's risks, the company may be forced to pay punitive as well as compensatory damages. The public relations campaign could be viewed as part of that cover up, said Benjamin Zipursky, a professor at Fordham University School of Law.

Iraq Neighbors' Conference Opens With Call for United Front

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit opened a conference in Egypt on Iraq's political process, calling for neighboring countries to present a united front to help stabilize Iraq before elections in January.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari is meeting today with counterparts from Egypt, and from Iraq's six neighbors - Iran, Jordan, Kuwait Saudi Arabia, Syria and Turkey. A wider conference will be held tomorrow including officials of the Group of Eight nations and United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan.

The Budget According to Numerous Newspapers

Results 1 - 10 of about 3,290 for appropriations bill.
Results 1 - 10 of about 148 for appropriations bill pork.
[as of 3:30 Monday 11/22]

Budget bill has $15.8B in extras

$25,000 for the study of mariachi music in Nevada's Clark County School District.
$225,000 for the National Wild Turkey Federation in South Carolina.
$1 million for the Missouri Pork Producers Federation to convert animal waste into energy. $75,000 for renovating the Merry Go Round Playhouse in Auburn, N.Y.
$100,000 for a weather museum in Punxsutawney, Pa.
$800,000 for "soybean rust research" in Ames, Iowa.
$75,000 for "hides and leather research" in Wyndmoor, Pa.
$1,593 for potato storage in Madison, Wis.
$1 million for a world birding center, Texas.
$150,000 to pay for beaver management and damage in Wisconsin.
$200,000 for the American Cotton Museum in Greenville, Texas.
$100,000 for a swimming pool in Ottawa, Kan.
$70,000 for a "Paper Industry International Hall of Fame" in Appleton, Wis.
$1.5 million for the Rep. Richard Gephardt Archive at the Missouri Historical Society.
$2 million for the government to buy back the presidential yacht USS Sequoia, sold in 1977 by President Jimmy Carter to demonstrate frugality.

Snopes: Cell Phone Privacy

[S]ome of the privacy that cell phones provide may be eroded. Six national wireless companies (AllTel, AT&T Wireless, Cingular, Nextel, Sprint PCS, and T-Mobile) have banded together and hired Qsent, Inc. to produce a Wireless 411 service. Their goal is to pool their listings to create a comprehensive directory of cell phone customer names and phone numbers that would be made available to directory assistance providers. (In most places, telephone users can call directory assistance at 411 [for local numbers] or by dialing an area code plus 555-1212 [for out-of-area numbers] and, by providing enough information to identify an individual phone customer [usually a full name and city of residence], obtain that customer's phone number.

Congress Cuts Student Aid

The government moved to change its formula for college aid last year, but was blocked by Congress. Now, however, no such language appears in the appropriations bill lawmakers are considering, clearing the way for the government to scale back college grants for hundreds of thousands of low-income students.
Nearly 100,000 more students may lose their federal grants entirely, as Congress considers legislation that could place more of the financial burden for college on students and their families.

Citizen Journalist in the Mainstream Media?

"Citizen journalism" is a hot buzzword in our industry right now, and it's likely not going away. Indeed, it could help journalists to rebuild some credibility and trust by letting the public in.

UN ditches cloning ban

Members of the United Nations last week abandoned the battle to outlaw human cloning and said they would settle for a non-binding declaration instead. The move marks the end of a protracted, three-year debate in the United Nations about whether to draw up a treaty that would prohibit countries from cloning human embryos.

Photos of the Massive Storm Drain System Under Tokyo

CIA Documents Reveal Prior Knowledge of 2002 Venezuelan Coup

Saturday Night Live Transcripts

From 1975 to today