March 31, 2006
My apologies for cutting-and-pasting someone else's work, but my internet was terminated (in violation of my arrangement), and I need to get this out before I go home.
"The Justice Department, in their continued effort to revive questionable legislation, has subpoenaed dozens of ISPs for files. Considering that ISPs generally host their users' mail, this seems like it could be a larger issue than their fight with Google over search queries. Some, like Verizon, even resisted the call for information." From the article: "Representatives for McAfee and Symantec confirmed that the companies had received and complied with the subpoenas. A spokeswoman at LookSmart did not immediately return a phone call. Many of the subpoenas asked for information related to products that can be used to filter out adult content for underage Internet users. Symantec's subpoena, dated June 29, asked for a wide range of information about the price and popularity of the Internet filtering products it sells and how the products are used by customers. " Information Week has a number of the documents involved, including the letter of objection from Verizon.
March 30, 2006
These were taken two days after the surgery. I wanted to document my well-defined (read: incredibly swollen) jaw, that really reminded me of the exaggerated jaws you see in comic book and cartoon superheroes.
Thus, I have declared about 100 times, “I’m Batman”.
Just wanted to add that later on I developed an abscess:
Click those pictures; they have their own story.
March 30, 2006
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have been flying over Iraq and Afghanistan for some time now. This is to be expected in a war zone. But now, the Bush administration wants to use them for domestic surveillance (of course). Israel does this; but Israel also has a draft, a state-sponsored religion, and no Bill Of Rights. We should not look to Israel as an example to follow.
A top Homeland Security official told Congress today, according to this CNET News.com article, that: "We need additional technology to supplement manned aircraft surveillance and current ground assets to ensure more effective monitoring of United States territory."
One North Carolina county is already using UAVs to monitor public gatherings. That reeks. I'm sure Hitler is jizzing in his grave. And this isn't the first time CyberBUG aerial drone has been used; The company claims it was used to watch for "unruly behavior" and "alert authorities about accidents" during the 12th Annual Southern Maryland "Blessing of the Bikes" in La Plata.
But anyway — What happens when lots of relatively dumb drones have to share airspace with aircraft carrying passengers? The AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association) is worried. "AOPA has been pushing for two years to get the FAA to issue guidance on UAV operations and their integration into the National Airspace System," said Rudinger. AOPA has consistently demanded that unmanned aerial vehicles be able to detect and avoid other aircraft. Currently, they don't do that. "We've also said that it would be unacceptable to cordon off large areas of civilian airspace in order to protect UAVs that can't avoid other aircraft," said Rudinger. A 15 nautical mile-wide TFR along the U.S. southern border, for example, would impact more than 100 airports, more than 1,300 based aircraft, and nearly 750,000 annual general aviation flight operations.
However, airflight practicality issues aside, this is a huge affort to our right to privacy. (And don't tell me it's not in the constitution, because to the best of my understanding, the Supreme Court has ruled that we have a right to privacy — based on their interpretation of the constitution.)
First it was the domestic wiretaps; the administration didn't deny doing it, but they managed to get the New York Times to sit on the story for a full year efore publishing it. Now they want to put unmanned drones in the air to watch God-knows-what. There's no longer even the slightest attempt to hide the impending surveillance society.
So again: We can't control our own borders — but we will use tech like this to monitor our own citizens.
"You must give up freedom to protect freedom. That is, unless you hate freedom."
And just because I think it's funny:
March 29, 2006
So I get a call from Dr. Pell's bitch-receptionist, who I've thought was a rude bitch since the first time I spoke to her.
They have my biopsy results, and they want to schedule me to come in to go over the results.
Again…… What..The..Fuck? Is everybody on the planet hellbent on making me spend as much of my money as possible? I smell a scam.
I asked for clarification: "Is he going to be examining me or performing something on me, or is this just to give me information?"
No — It's just to give me information.
I told her, "It's my information, and I have a right to see it under the HIPPA act, so just send it to me."
She said there might not be things I understand in it. Well, maybe before I miss work for an hour, losing 5 times the wages that my copay would be, I'd like to take a gander myself and see if I can interpret the results. I have a brain, and I have google. And under the HIPPA act it would probably be cheaper for me to pay 50 cents a page, take it on down to Kaiser-Permanente, and let them deal with it and tell me if I have cancer.
So I told her, "Under HIPPA act I have a right to my own results."
She very quickly and rudely said "fine and have a nice day" and hung up on me.
That's Dr. Pell, of Alexandria. His hands seemed to shake a lot during my surgery, but it was successful. Having to deal with his bitchy receptionist though? I'll go elsewhere if I ever have a chance.
I'm sick of being herded like a sheep from one money pit to the next. Maybe I don't do things the way everybody else does. Maybe I practice my freedom more. That doesn't make me bad, and that shouldn't make me a target of rudeness. In fact, it increases my wealth by keeping me from falling into the money pits that most "normal" people do.
UPDATE: The next day, Dr. Pell called me and informed me that it was just "the basic cyst that forms at the bottom of a tooth". Something to that effect. Anyway, I got the bit of information I care about: Cancer=0, not 1. I had to wait about 20 hours more to find this out, but I saved way more than $20! Score one for standing up for yourself.
March 29, 2006
I'm not going to go into lengthy discourse, but suffice to say: If you are using hotmail, and are unlucky, companies that send bulk mail to you, mail that you may want, may go to your spam folder if they don't pay up a $2,000 fee. That's just one example. Read the slashdot article for more info.
March 29, 2006
I knew it back in 1993 when my sister started at my high school, and they had cameras everywhere (which they didn't when I went there). (By the way, Woodbridge High School sucks and the administrators are incompetent assholes.)
Anyway, the real point of this blog is to point out some of the new bullshit they are doing. "Pop" quizzes on your mental health, where they find out that everyone has a problem and everyone needs drugs.
Read for yourself:
Some excerpts, in case you are too lazy to click the link:
When Chelsea arrived in her school homeroom that day… No explanations were issued… All she knew was that she was about to take … a TeenScreen mental health screening program for suicide and social disorders that is being implemented in schools across the country, often without parental knowledge or consent… All her friends were told that something was wrong with them… This all began in April 2002 when President Bush launched a new mental health commission.
Some related sites:
Phyllis Schlafly ( www.eagleforum.org )
Also, if you are a parent, learn your rights under the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment.
This is flagrant corporate abuse to try to peddle expensive pharmaceutical drugs to more and more people. We all need are Soma, right? I am reminded of A Brave New World, and also the movie Equilibrium ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0238380/ ).
Everyone should refuse and resist.
Also, marijuana can act much like prozac — for many people — and at a much cheaper cost. But nobody wants that, because no corporations make money off of marijuana. It's total hypocracy and corporate abuse tied together.
March 27, 2006
I dropped my wallet in the bathroom at work.
In 10 minutes, it was gone.
I haven’t even gotten all my fucking replacement cards from the last time it was stolen! (more…)
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