Sunday, June 29, 2008

Wikipedia count on Hulk vs. Freud

The Hulk has a wikipedia page at this count of over 100,000 characters.

Freud has 170,000 characters.  So thank goodness Freud is still leading.

But Hulk is not a first line super hero.

Spider-Man has over 100,000 charchers.

Eric Fromm, more on the level of Hulk has about 60,000 charcters.

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Holes in Second Life

Google response to Holes in Second Life returns 3.1 million.

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Heros in Second Life

Google search on Heros in Second Life

This returns 2 million hits in .24 second.  The sheer size of this concept is amazing.

Hero has become something of a cheap concept in Web 2.0

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Yahoo! Collapse

The departures follow a number of others and come swiftly on the heels of the collapse of the Microsoft deal to buy Yahoo!, which coupled with these senior departures has rocked Wall Street's confidence in the firm under the leadership of CEO Jerry Yang.

Ross Sandler, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets, told the New York Times: "Wall Street has lost all confidence at this point. The senior managers have clearly lost confidence in the strategy and have lost confidence in Sue and Jerry, and that's not a good thing."

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Stewart Butterfield's nutty resignation letter from Yahoo!

Stewart Butterfield's resignation letter

The reality is there were a lot of nuts in the .COM boom, and the Web 2.0 boom will have its nut cases, and nut cases can create web sites if not companies, or maybe even companies.

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Gates: A Man of Our Time

Added: Sunday, 29 June, 2008, 10:40 GMT 11:40 UK

Windows is an OS built by an idiot,
Full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

rens wez

Thus speaks someone who has probably never struggled to get an off-the-shelf programme to run properly on another system. Say what you like, for the best part Windows works - period. And I applaud Mr Gates for his massive contribution in the development of the Personal Computer - without whose efforts I may not have been able to add this small comment with such ease!

[brandnewhippy], Wirral, United Kingdom

Added: Sunday, 29 June, 2008, 10:34 GMT 11:34 UK

I don't know if he will be effective as far as medicine is concerned. He's talking about funding research for medicine when he couldn't produce a way to keep his operating system safe from bugs. Note to new guy calling shots- fix it!

John Law, Chandler

Added: Sunday, 29 June, 2008, 10:02 GMT 11:02 UK

Bill Gates has made our lives easier, build fast computers invented new softwares. What else can we expect from him, he has already made his mark in the history of mankind and the computer world. Good work pal!

Ryan Lam, Melbourne

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008


ToTheSharePoint Newsletter
June 24, 2008

Dan Holme
Office & SharePoint Pro
Community Manager

Great Stuff

This week I'd like to turn the spotlight on several great things that have come out of Microsoft and out of the Community recently!

Scalability and Performance Whitepaper

Microsoft has had some interesting new adoptions of SharePoint over recent months, including some very high profile and active Web deployments and continuing adoption by enterprises of all sizes. For larger enterprises, scalability and performance, and how to design a SharePoint implementation to optimize performance, is a critical issue. To provide guidance, Microsoft released the SharePoint Server 2007 Scalability and Performance whitepaper, which tested out an implementation of 50 million content items. Paul Learning, a senior consultant with Microsoft Consulting Services, blogged about the setup of the testing on his blog. The whitepaper is more than 90 pages and will certainly be required reading for enterprises.

However, like some other product implementation guidance produced by the product's own vendor, you must read carefully and take a grain of salt (or perhaps an entire margarita) to interpret it. Luckily, MVP Eli Robillard read through the tome with a fine-toothed comb and cuts to the chase with his Review of the SharePoint Scalability White Paper. Definitely read his "nutshell" for some perspective before sitting down with that margarita (or a tall cup of coffee) and the white paper.

STSADM Extensions

In April, I met SharePoint MVP Gary Lapointe, who has created one of the more useful tools around for SharePoint admins. His free STSADM extensions are incredible additions to the administrative toolset! More than once, a client has asked me "How can I...?" and the answer has been, "Gary's STSADM extensions." He has had a MOSS version out for some time and recently released a WSS-specific version of STSADM Extensions. He's very good about keeping the code updated and relevant. If you haven't checked out his tools, do it now!

Telligent Community Server Integration

If you've read this newsletter over the last year, you know I'm a fan of Community Server by Telligent, which provides really rich forum and blog capabilities. The tool now integrates well with SharePoint, allowing us to replace the somewhat lacking feature set of WSS/MOSS blogs and forums. Learn more about how to integrate Community Server with SharePoint.

Podcasting Kit for SharePoint

I also have a sweet spot for the use of new media and (I hate the term) "Web 2.0" in the enterprise. Any human resources manager knows that new hires and existing employees are increasingly armed with skills and expectations regarding new media in the workplace, so why not make the most of them? Podcasts are, in the grand scheme of today's fast moving technology, not really even "new" any more, but they have a lot of untapped potential. Now you can implement podcasting from SharePoint with the new Podcasting Kit for SharePoint, available on Codeplex as a community project. Unlike some Codeplex projects, this one has a lot of heavy hitters behind it, so I expect it will continue to grow and evolve. Exciting stuff! Check it out! Also check out the release announcement.

FAST ESP Search Web Parts

Also available on Codeplex for free download are the new FAST Search Web parts and a site template. These are the result of the first, baby steps toward integrating FAST Search and Transfer with SharePoint since Microsoft completed the acquisition of FAST a few weeks ago. The Web parts and Site Templates are designed to provide drag-and-drop simplicity, and both compiled code and source code are available, allowing you to extend and customize the functionality.

And Speaking of Codeplex

Watch out, folks! The release of the FAST ESP Search Web Parts and Site Templates reflects a trend we'll start seeing a lot more of, I expect and hope. Microsoft's and FAST's own developers worked with external developers to provide this solution, and it's a good one. Microsoft is releasing this functionality "out of band" instead of waiting for the next release of SharePoint. By releasing it through Codeplex, Microsoft can insulate itself, to some extent, from its own increasingly rigorous internal requirements surrounding commercial release of a product or functionality and still be responsive to customer demand. In other words, just because it's on Codeplex or is considered a "community contribution" doesn't mean it should be discounted.

I've heard a few discussions recently that "if it's community, it must be bad." While I certainly understand (and support) the reasoning behind the sentiment, you must be very careful not to throw out the baby with the bathwater. There are certainly projects on Codeplex (and other community sites) that are stagnant or even should be avoided. But you might just find that you can get what you need, now, from the Community and that it is the same code you'll be paying for in a year or two. Please don't discount code on Codeplex or MSDN or other such resources just because they're free or labeled as community or open source projects. You'll miss out on a lot of great stuff between commercially released versions of Microsoft's own products. Just do your research, your testing, and your due diligence.

On to Beijing

This Saturday, I hop my plane to China. I can't believe the time has already come. I'll be traveling for three weeks to get a feeling for this fascinating culture and important nation. More than any of my previous travels, I'm going in with an incredibly open mind because I know there's so much I don't know. I cannot wait to discover, to enjoy, and to share. In mid-July, I wrap up my travels in Beijing, where I'll begin my stint supporting NBC Olympics for the broadcast of the summer Games. Next week I'll let you know where you can follow my journey and my adventures. Till then, happy summer!

Until next week, all the best!

Dan Holme
danh at intelliem dot (top level commercial domain)

Events and Resources

Delivering Reliable and Effective Web-Based Applications
Web-based services have become critical components of organizations' line-of-business applications, and they need to be highly available to prevent workflow disruption. To achieve that high availability, you need to understand the operation of applications and be able to monitor the components that make up your Web application infrastructure. Because failing to meet service levels can have a company-wide impact, implementing the tools and techniques that enable IT to live up to its promises is a key requirement for delivering reliable and effective Web-based services.

Best Practices for Managing ESI
Are you storing too much electronic information? It's absolutely essential to implement and automate effective email retention policies in balance with managing the costs and risks associated with electronically stored information (ESI). However, it's tough to know whether your retention policies and approach dovetail effectively with today's complex regulations, standards, and guidelines for retaining business records. Get expert legal advice and a better understanding of what you're required to do in this on-demand Web seminar.

Best Practices--Combat SQL Server Sprawl
SQL Server sprawl is the rampant, uncontrolled proliferation of SQL Server databases. The problem with SQL Server sprawl is that it's very costly on the server. Low hardware utilization rates, inefficient allocation of operational resources, and more planned and unplanned downtime all contribute to those costs. Learn an approach for successfully combating SQL Server sprawl in this free on-demand Web seminar.

Why SaaS Is the Right Solution for Log Management
In the past five years, both governmental and industry-specific regulations have included log management as a required control within an infrastructure. Read this white paper to learn how an on-demand log management solution is both cost effective and efficient.

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Falling exam passes blamed on Wikipedia 'littered with inaccuracies'

Published Date: 21 June 2008
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Friday, June 20, 2008

Blue balls and pink balls, back balls or white balls

This is my most popular Second Life blog.  See my blog click here.

Blue balls and pink balls, Bback balls or white balls

The first cast, fair skinned overall

Second Life is a place where our social binaries are deployed to create identities. In nature we are given a wide range of types. Reality represents an infinite space of shades of different flavor and comfort. I look at my skin and I can see reds, places of brown, tan, black hairs, all expressed in a wide range of lighting. My skin offers me an infinity of colors.

And as for which group I am in male or female, I am confronted with a wide range of males who are as far away from me as any female.

And yet in the Empire of words I am white and male. And in Culture I identify with that quarter. All the richness of being, is replaced by the classes of meaning. The world has been captured but in a way lost.

But from Culture we can impose a limited class upon race. Media Industry constructs for us a logic of race. This industry I argue is conditioning the common structure  our culture. I would argue that just as media is divided between male and female markets, that race has a dynamic role in governing outcome in popular culture of TV and other promotions, specifically in Reality TV.

Tyra Banks' popular show America's Top Model shows a logic of race governs this show about how females should be constructed. The close linking between this show of gender moral construction is also tied to race issues. In fact the number of gay males on the judging panel shows that in this media race, gender, and sexual identity all come into play.

The outcome of this discourse to pre-teens on the moral technology of producing models are interesting. The winners tell you much about a structuring of racial position among young women as inferred by the in this show's producers. The massive success of the show would lead one to believe they have made a pretty good estimate of a wide solution with appeal to the issue of how advantage should be distributed between races.

Adrianne Curry Photo in white
Winner 1 White 1

Winner 2 White 2

Winner 3 African 1

Winner 4 Mixed 1

Winner 5 White 3

Winner 6 African 2

Winner 7 White 4

Winner 8 Hispanic 1

Winner 9 African 3

Interesting that this show targeted at teen and pre-teen woman has 56% non-white winners.

Lets compare this to Start Trek, the domain of the mostly geeky boys.

Over the years of Star Trek only 28% have been non-white. A full half of ATM.

Seems the Next American model, a show for female viewers is more racially diverse in outcome than Star Trek. Patriarchy and race are often tied by Second and Third Wave Feminists many who embraced first Communist and then Post-Modernism as framework that united Culture in a matrix of power.

Start Trek is patriarchy in essence. The Enterprise series had principle 5 whites, an Asian and Black. And 5 males and 2 females. The same 2.5 ratio in both gender and race. It speaks of a potential formula of patriarchy.

In Second Life a geeky male culture, full of wanna be pimps and builders contacts a female community who really seem to run the Culture of Second Life and its economy.

Woman hold key to racial outcome in Second Life.
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Thursday, June 19, 2008

US General Accuses WH of War Crimes

By Dan Froomkin
Special to
Wednesday, June 18, 2008; 12:44 PM

The two-star general who led an Army investigation into the horrific detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib has accused the Bush administration of war crimes and is calling for accountability.

In his 2004 report on Abu Ghraib, then-Major General Anthony Taguba concluded that "numerous incidents of sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses were inflicted on several detainees." He called the abuse "systemic and illegal." And, as Seymour M. Hersh reported in the New Yorker, he was rewarded for his honesty by being forced into retirement.

Now, in a preface to a Physicians for Human Rights report based on medical examinations of former detainees, Taguba adds an epilogue to his own investigation.

The new report, he writes, "tells the largely untold human story of what happened to detainees in our custody when the Commander-in-Chief and those under him authorized a systematic regime of torture. This story is not only written in words: It is scrawled for the rest of these individual's lives on their bodies and minds. Our national honor is stained by the indignity and inhumane treatment these men received from their captors.

"The profiles of these eleven former detainees, none of whom were ever charged with a crime or told why they were detained, are tragic and brutal rebuttals to those who claim that torture is ever justified. Through the experiences of these men in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay, we can see the full-scope of the damage this illegal and unsound policy has inflicted --both on America's institutions and our nation's founding values, which the military, intelligence services, and our justice system are duty-bound to defend.

"In order for these individuals to suffer the wanton cruelty to which they were subjected, a government policy was promulgated to the field whereby the Geneva Conventions and the Uniform Code of Military Justice were disregarded. The UN Convention Against Torture was indiscriminately ignored. . . .

"After years of disclosures by government investigations, media accounts, and reports from human rights organizations, there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes. The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account."

Pamela Hess of the Associated Press has more on the report, which resulted from "the most extensive medical study of former U.S. detainees published so far" and "found evidence of torture and other abuse that resulted in serious injuries and mental disorders."

The War Council

So if war crimes were committed, who's responsible?

In today's installment of a major McClatchy Newspapers series on the U.S. detention system, Tom Lasseter writes: "The framework under which detainees were imprisoned for years without charges at Guantanamo and in many cases abused in Afghanistan wasn't the product of American military policy or the fault of a few rogue soldiers.

"It was largely the work of five White House, Pentagon and Justice Department lawyers who, following the orders of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, reinterpreted or tossed out the U.S. and international laws that govern the treatment of prisoners in wartime, according to former U.S. defense and Bush administration officials.

"The Supreme Court now has struck down many of their legal interpretations. It ruled last Thursday that preventing detainees from challenging their detention in federal courts was unconstitutional.

"The quintet of lawyers, who called themselves the 'War Council,' drafted legal opinions that circumvented the military's code of justice, the federal court system and America's international treaties in order to prevent anyone -- from soldiers on the ground to the president -- from being held accountable for activities that at other times have been considered war crimes. . . .

"The international conventions that the United States helped draft, and to which it's a party, were abandoned in secret meetings among the five men in one another's offices. No one in the War Council has publicly described the group's activities in any detail, and only some of their opinions and memorandums have been made public. . . .

"Only one of the five War Council lawyers remains in office: David Addington, the brilliant but abrasive longtime legal adviser and now chief of staff to Cheney. His primary motive, according to several former administration and defense officials, was to push for an expansion of presidential power that Congress or the courts couldn't check."

The other members were Alberto Gonzales, first the White House counsel and then the attorney general; William J. Haynes II, the former Pentagon general counsel; former Justice Department lawyer John Yoo; and Timothy E. Flanigan, a former deputy to Gonzales.

For more on Addington's central role, see my Sept. 5, 2007 column; for more on the relationship between the administration's legal memos and torture, see my April 2 column.

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One in three IT staff snoops on colleagues

Survey: Abuses include salary details, personal emails, meeting minutes

FRANKFURT - One in three information technology professionals abuses administrative passwords to access confidential data such as colleagues' salary details, personal emails or board-meeting minutes, according to a survey.

U.S. information security company Cyber-Ark surveyed 300 senior IT professionals, and found that one-third admitted to secretly snooping, while 47 percent said they had accessed information that was not relevant to their role.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

He always made the show about him, and now he can't anymore. The spokesman for sick media dies

Polls in late October showed Sen. Hillary Clinton comfortably leading the Democratic presidential field. For all his talk of "hope" and "change," Sen. Barack Obama was trailing Hillary by ten points in the most recent Iowa poll, and the "inevitability" argument was still on the side of the front-running former First Lady.

And then Tim Russert asked a simple question.

"Senator Clinton, Governor of New York Eliot Spitzer has proposed giving driver's licenses to illegal immigrants," the NBC host said in an Oct. 30 Democratic debate at Philadelphia's Drexel University. "You told the Nashua, New Hampshire editorial board it makes a lot of sense. Why does it make a lot of sense to give an illegal immigrant a driver's license?"
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Friday, June 13, 2008

Yahoo-Google agree online ad deal

Yahoo has agreed a deal with Google which will see Yahoo use the search engine giant's advertising technology.

Under the agreement, Google ads will appear alongside some Yahoo search results in the US and Canada.

The announcement came after Yahoo said it had failed to persuade Microsoft to renew its bid to buy all of the internet company.

Recent talks concluded after Yahoo rejected a Microsoft proposal to buy just its online search business.

Potentially lucrative

Yahoo said the agreement with Google could be worth up to $800m (£410m) in additional revenue every year.

Alarm bells were already ringing on Capitol Hill over Yahoo's 'limited' trial in April of Google's technology
Rory Cellan-Jones, BBC Technology Correspondent

"This commercial agreement provides Yahoo with the opportunity to deliver more relevant ads to users and provide advertisers and publishers with better advertising technology," said Eric Schmidt, Google chairman and chief executive.

"We believe that the convergence of search and display is the next major development" in online advertising industry, said Yahoo chief executive Jerry Yang.

The partnership will initially last for three years, but could last up to 10 if Yahoo decides to renew.

Google said the deal did not need regulatory approval but that it would delay its implementation by up to three and a half months to give the US Department of Justice a chance to review it.

However, the deal is likely to attract attention from competition regulators in Washington, according to the BBC's technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones.

"Alarm bells were already ringing on Capitol Hill over Yahoo's 'limited' trial in April of Google's technology," he said.

Alternative deal

The markets closed before the Google deal was announced. Shares in Yahoo had closed down 10% after it said its attempts to revive Microsoft's $47.5bn (£24bn) offer for the whole of Yahoo had been unsuccessful.

The shares fell as low as $22.50 earlier in the trading session, their lowest level since the software giant first offered $31 a share for Yahoo in January.

Yahoo rejected a new proposal from Microsoft to buy just its online search operations.

“In the weeks since Microsoft withdrew its offer to acquire Yahoo, the two companies have continued to discuss an alternative transaction that Microsoft believes would have delivered in excess of $33 per share to the Yahoo shareholders," Microsoft said in a statement.

"This partnership would ensure healthy competition in the marketplace, providing greater choice and innovation for advertisers, publishers and consumers," the company said.

Yahoo, however, did not want to sell off only one part of the business.

It said such a deal "would not be consistent with the company's view of the converging search and display marketplaces".

Microsoft sources told the BBC's Rory Cellan-Jones that the company was no longer interested in a full takeover because Yahoo had been "underperforming" and was losing some of its key staff.

Yahoo's shares closed 10% lower at $23.52, while Microsoft finished 4.1% higher at $28.24.

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Jeff Weiner's Departure From Yahoo Imminent, Speculation on Successor Begins

Michael Arrington
Wednesday, June 11, 2008; 7:09 PM

Yahoo's EVP Network Division Jeff Weiner, who's been the subject of rabid speculation since the weekend, has submitted his resignation, our sources within the company say. Yahoo and Weiner are still negotiating his separation agreement, and will make an announcement "imminently" about his departure. But the big question is - who will replace him?

Weiner first joined Yahoo when former CEO Terry Semel took charge in 2000. He is considered by many employees to be, after Jerry Yang, the spiritual leader of the company and the guy who's actually holding things together. His departure leaves a gaping hole in the senior management of the company.

Going forward, Weiner will likely become an entrepreneur-in-residence with both Accel Partners and Greylock Partners. Weiner is close to Accel via Andrew Braccia, who used to run Yahoo search and reported to Jeff. His relationship with Greylock stems from James Slavet, who previously ran Yahoo Autos and also reported directly to Weiner.

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Forming opinions over time.

As Americans have more experience with Bush their opinion of him drops.

Which is reflected also in rise in US popular view around the world now that Bush is leaving.

Experience of the voters + Diversity of the voter = More predictive expectation.

In 2003 the high view Americans had of Bush was from 1 a short period of his term and was opposed to the global view on Bush at that time.  Today Americans have 5 more years of experience of Bush and their low regard for him not only matches the global opinion of him but also more closely represents the general failure historians and political scientists see Bush to be.

Diversity + Experience makes the wisdom of crowds in to the wisdom of experts.
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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Lawmakers say Capitol computers hacked by Chinese

By PETE YOST and LARA JAKES JORDAN, Associated Press Writers Thu Jun 12, 1:03 AM ET

WASHINGTON - Multiple congressional computers have been hacked by people working from inside China, lawmakers said Wednesday, suggesting the Chinese were seeking lists of dissidents.

Two congressmen, both longtime critics of Beijing's record on human rights, said the compromised computers contained information about political dissidents from around the world. One of the lawmakers said he'd been discouraged from disclosing the computer attacks by other U.S. officials.

Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., said four of his computers were compromised beginning in 2006. New Jersey Rep. Chris Smith, a senior Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said two of the computers at his global human rights subcommittee were attacked in December 2006 and March 2007.

Wolf said that following one of the attacks, a car with license plates belonging to Chinese officials went to the home of a dissident in Fairfax County, Va., outside Washington and photographed it.

During the same time period, The House International Relations Committee — now known as the House Foreign Affairs Committee — was targeted at least once by someone working inside China, said committee spokeswoman Lynne Weil.

Wednesday's disclosures came as U.S. authorities continued to investigate whether Chinese officials secretly copied the contents of a government laptop computer during a visit to China by Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez and used the information to try to hack into Commerce Department computers.

The Pentagon last month acknowledged at a closed House Intelligence committee meeting that its vast computer network is scanned or attacked by outsiders more than 300 million times each day.

Wolf said the FBI had told him that computers of other House members and at least one House committee had been accessed by sources working from inside China. The Virginia Republican suggested that Senate computers could have been attacked as well.

He said the hacking of computers in his Capitol Hill office began in August 2006, that he had known about it for a long time and that he had been discouraged from disclosing it by people in the U.S. government he refused to identify.

"The problem has been that no one wants to talk about this issue," he said. "Every time I've started to do something I've been told 'You can't do this.' A lot of people have made it very, very difficult."

The FBI and the White House declined to comment.

The Bush administration has been increasingly reluctant publicly to discuss or acknowledge cyber attacks, especially ones traced to China.

In the Senate, the office of Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., who chairs the Senate's subcommittee on humanitarian issues, asked the sergeant at arms to investigate whether Senate computers have been compromised.

Wolf said the first computer hacked in his office belonged to the staffer who works on human rights cases and that others included the machines of Wolf's chief of staff and legislative director.

"They knew which ones to get," said Dan Scandling, who currently is on leave of absence from his job as Wolf's chief of staff. "It was a very sophisticated operation," he said. "The FBI verified that it had been done."

Smith said the attacks on his office computers were "very much an orchestrated effort."

He said that after the first intrusion in December 2006, "that was the last time" his office put the names of dissidents on its computers.

Smith said the intrusions were discovered when House technicians found a virus that seemed designed to take control of the computers. Technical experts who cleaned the computers reported that the attacks seemed to come from the People's Republic of China.

In Beijing, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs had no immediate comment on the allegations by Wolf and Smith.

Last week, China denied the accusations regarding Gutierrez's laptop and the alleged effort to hack Commerce Department computers.

Wolf said he was introducing a House resolution that would help ensure protection for all House computers and information systems.

It calls for the chief administrative officer and sergeant at arms of the House, in consultation with the FBI, to alert members and their staffs to the danger of electronic attacks. Wolf also wants lawmakers to be fully briefed on ways to safeguard official records from electronic security breaches.

"My own suspicion is I was targeted by China because of my long history of speaking out about China's abysmal human rights record," Wolf said in a draft of remarks he prepared to give on the House floor.

He said Congress should hold hearings, specifically the House Intelligence Committee, Armed Services Committee and Government Operations Committee.

Speaking generally in May 2006, Wolf called Chinese spying efforts "frightening" and said it was no secret that the United States is a principal target of Chinese intelligence services.

Wolf thinks that President Bush should stay away from the Olympics because of China's human rights record.

He also has been outspoken on the subject of violence in the Darfur region of Sudan, where China has major oil interests.

Smith has introduced the Global Online Freedom Act which would prohibit U.S. Internet companies from cooperating with countries such as China that restrict information about human rights and democracy on the Internet.

Wolf and Smith both traveled to Beijing 17 years ago seeking the release of 77 people imprisoned or under house arrest because of their religious activities.


Associated Press writers Ted Bridis and Laurie Kellman contributed to this report.

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Web 2.0 and why George Bush is a bad President

    The key to making Web 2.0 systems work is distilling quality judgments from a large group of people without having to model the AI of a situation in full detail.

For example we all pretty much now know that Bush is a pretty bad leader.  But how could we tell a computer this?

 I could try to model a set of objects that judge the quality of a leader but I doubt I would get far.

Or I could just use 2 rules of judging the quality of collective judgments.  These rules state that people get better at making judgments as they have more experience with a subject and larger diverse populations are better at forming judgments than narrow groups.

In the case of Bush we see 2 things: the level of approval drops as people live under him longer and longer and that internationally he is unpopular.  These two rules would allow a computer to be more confident of the quality judgment.

In the same way IMDB votes could be weighted by the age of the movie and the global nature of the voting.  I a movie is a few years old and has a large spread between US and Non-US vote the score granted by users can be questioned, but if it is 20 yeas old and the US and no-US vote are equal a computer can see that the movie is not only popular but probably very good.

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Second Life Narcissism

Second Life Narcissism

Is second life escape, exploration or just narcissism?

I notice a trend not even concern oneself with the issues at hand in Second Life and rather to play narcissistic delusions.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The nature of the Minorities in Female voting for Second in the City

The core problem with Democracy is the often minorities are right, majorities are wrong. In politics this will often be resolved by the results of the outcome, with leaders failing and lossing a majority. But in decisions that are final like Culture votes construct but don't impact directly. If the majority feels that culture should not include certain historical facts or pieces of art the results may be decades to feel and rather subtle.

It is impossible in a vote to establish those issues to which the majority has made justice, sustainable, rational evaluation and those where it is a mob. In both cases a minority opinion is expressed, but how can you tell if they are crack-pots or intelligensia?

Well lets take Sex and the City and the femaile IMDB vote. A movie of this limited quality is essentialy a random flip of the coin. People will like it or not, assuming they are rational in a fairly random level (okay its more rational to hate it but let us try to be objective about it.)

Now let us look at a minority of women in IMDS SatC vote. on a scale of 1 to 10 how many gave votes of 5 or below.

146 2.2%5
94 1.4%4
76 1.2%3
105 1.6%2
433 6.6%1


I would go on to say having seen the film, and being a big fan of many movies told from the female point of view, I would call this the sane minority.

Now among females voting for IMDB on Citizen Kane:

402 3.7%5
244 2.3%4
176 1.6%3
154 1.4%2
544 5.1%1


There is really no way to tell which is which from the movie itself.  Crack-pops and wise doubters seem to exist in the same numbers.

I would also point to Iraq war and supporting of Bush today.

Going in to war in Iraq was popular in the US, and it was a brave community who resolve against it. 

ABC News Poll. March 5-9, 2003. N=1,032 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3. Fieldwork by TNS Intersearch.


"Would you favor or oppose having U.S. forces take military action against Iraq to force Saddam Hussein from power?" Asked of half the sample

Favor Oppose No

% % %

3/03 65 30 5

2/19-23/03 63 31 6

2/6-9/03 66 31 2

2/5/03 67 27 6

1/30 - 2/1/03 66 31 3

1/28/03 63 32 5

1/27/03 61 36 3

1/16-20/03 57 41 3

12/02 62 35 3

11/02 64 29 7

9/23-26/02 61 34 5

9/12-14/02 68 29 3

8/29/02 56 34 10

8/7-11/02 69 22 9

3/02 72 24 4

1/02 71 24 4

12/01 72 24 5

11/01 78 17 6

We see a minority of around 30% opposed it.  At this time many dismissed this group as the typical anti-military liberals and that was probably true.  But now look at Bush approval ratings.

PRESIDENT BUSH – Overall Job Rating in national polls

  See also: Complete trend


Approve Disap-
Unsure Approve

Dates % % % Disapprove


  CNN/Opinion Research 6/4-5/08 32 65 2 -33


  CBS 5/30 - 6/3/08 25 67 8 -42


  USA Today/Gallup 5/30 - 6/1/08 28 68 4 -40


  Quinnipiac RV 5/8-12/08 28 67 5 -39


  ABC/Washington Post 5/8-11/08 31 66 2 -35


  NPR LV 5/7-8,10/08 33 65 3 -32


  CBS/New York Times 5/1-3/08 28 63 9 -35


  USA Today/Gallup 5/1-3/08 28 67 5 -39


  Diageo/Hotline RV 4/30 - 5/3/08 33 63 5 -30


  CNN/Opinion Research 4/28-30/08 28 71 1 -43


  FOX/Opinion Dynamics RV 4/28-29/08 32 60 8 -28


  CBS/New York Times 4/25-29/08 28 65 7 -37


  NBC/Wall Street Journal RV

4/25-28/08 27 66 7 -39


  Pew 4/23-27/08 27 65 8 -38

We see essentially the same sized minority.

So for someone indexing Web 2.0 products how to know what is more solid?

Some first try rules:

1. The longer the voters experience with an event the more likely a minority is wise than in denial.
2. The presence of opinions in other clusters.  For Bush in 2003 Americans stool almost alone in the world in support the war, in 2008 they are now one with the world population.

The quality of a culture of political vote comes from the experience of the voters with the issue and the diversity.

A global poll taken in Europe of the greatest books of all times will be better if texts of the last 20 years is taken out.  Much better still if all on it read actively.  It will be better still if they read a diversity of genres.  And better still if people from other parts of the world are included.
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