More Junkmail from Bob!

Monday, April 3, 2006
Important Stuff.


Need a part time job? Get a botnet. Just don't get caught.

It's apparently pretty easy to send out a few million trojans in a mass email, and end up with a few thousand unsuspecting PCs under your control. At least you can control them whenever you need to. If you control them all the time, the PCs will begin to suspect.

You can use these PC's to run adware, mount DoS attacks, or just mess around with people. You can also rent a good botnet to others in the subworld of the internet.

Even though the crime doesn't seem as bad as violent crimes, the penalties are often worse. That's because the people who wrote the laws are afraid of what they don't understand. Too bad they won't catch spammers.

Speaking of DoS attacks, there's a new variety. They attack a site's DNS servers and overload them with requests through other DNS servers.

For example, when you look up the web site, your computer checks with your local DNS server for the IP address. If it doesn't have it in memory, it goes to one of two DNS servers responsible for and asks for the IP address.

In a DNS denial of service attack, the requests come to the two (or few) "authoritative" DNS servers for the web site. They come from legitimate DNS servers around the country, whose requests come from the zombie machines on someone's botnet.

This makes it difficult or impossible to block the offending zombie computers, because an attacked DNS server never knows where the original requests come from. If it blocks the other DNS servers, it also blocks users from accessing the web site.


terror: 'ter-&r, noun,  2d: an appalling person or thing; especially: BRAT

I understand now! It's the war on brats!

Government by the People

In 2003, a guy named Mitchell got a $40,000 consulting contract from the Pentagon through his company MZM. Mitchell's contract magically grew 100 times larger within a year, to $4,000,000. Mitchell managed to get the contract changed to "time and materials" and added people and things that were not asked for. In the next three years, Mitchell managed to collect $170,000,000 from the government. To put it in perspective, MZM had no federal contracts in 2002.

How did he do this? He bent a few rules. For example, MZM won a $225 million five-year contract for Pentagon technology work. MZM was the sole bidder. Government regulations required at least three bidders. MZM got the contract anyway.

How can they do that? They pay off congressmen. One California congressman called "Duke" (no relation to the guy in Doonesbury) admitted taking $2.4 million from Mitchell. I think Duke is going to jail.

MZM had 400 employees. 100 of them were vice presidents. MZM hired, in addition to Congressmen, Wade David Holmes, a former CIA lawyer; John Quattrocki, a high-ranking FBI officer; and Kay Coles James, the former head of the Bush administration's Office of Personnel Management. They hired the son of a Defense Department official that MZM was working for, in exchange for "inside information and favorable performance reviews ensuring further work."

So what did MZM actually do? Classified Intelligence work. They looked for counters to roadside bombs in Iraq. They worked for the Special Operations Command in Tampa.

And thanks to an earmark from Representative Virgil from Virginia, they ran the "Foreign Supplier Assessment Center" in Virginia to check out foreign-based contractors. I think it's pretty funny that a company like MZM had the job of checking out other contractors.

       Washington Post article
      (subscription required)

MZM boss Mitchell pled guilty to bribery and stuff, cooperated with prosecutors, and is likely to get off easy.

What about MZM? The company sold to Veritas Capital. The new company is called Athena Innovative Solutions, is still collecting government money, and is run by retired Army Lt. Gen. James King. James held several high positions at Pentagon intelligence agencies. He also worked at MZM.

       Washington Post article

It makes me wonder how many other companies there are like this out there protecting me.

In fact, the U.S. government hired a Chinese company to detect nuclear material passing through the Bahamas to the United States and elsewhere.  Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. from Hong Kong was hired in a no-bid contract.

       San Diego article

Google Video Archives

Google Video is digitizing the video in the National Archives and putting it online. For free!

Here's a 1938 film on White Sands, New Mexico:

Here's a picture of Mike, camping at White Sands:


Here's Cathy at White Sands:


Mike and were walking around White Sands one day came across this installation. Maybe we went out of bounds. We walked around there for a while, but nobody seemed to mind.


Here's a 1937 video on Boulder Dam:

The rest of the Archives videos are here:


On February 27, the USS St. Cape George met the Panamanian ship Hayder in the Persian Gulf, after the Hayder was attacked by pirates. The Hayder was shot and boarded by pirates, but didn't lose the ship. Here is the boarding team leaving the Hayder:


A few days later, on March 18, the USS St. Cape George and the USS Gonzalez were tooling around the Persian Gulf. They ran across a suspicious looking boat towing a couple of skiffs. Here is one of the skiffs. It looks like it's under its own power here.


The navy decided to board the vessel, since it looked like one of the pirate boats in the area. The pirates were not overly bright, apparently, because at least one of them decided to shoot at the navy ships. Here are the navy ships:

      060301-N-4776G-209.jpg      060202-N-3904I-024.jpg

The navy shot back.


One of the pirates died, and 12 were taken into custody. The pirates said they were out fishing. Here's their fishing equipment:

      060318-N-8623S-001.jpg      060318-N-8623S-004.jpg

The pirates also said they didn't shoot at the navy ships. Here are some bullet marks on the Cape St. George's hull:

      060318-N-8623S-006.jpg      060318-N-8623S-005.jpg

I hope they clean up the piracy off Yemen and Somalia, because I might like to sail through there someday. There is still some work to do. Last Wednesday some pirates hijacked a tanker off North Mogadishu. It had just left port at El Ade. The tanker is still missing.

Here's a good article about pirates in the area:

      Washington Post article


In 1815, a Mount Tambora erupted on the island of Sumbawa, Indonesia, killing more than 10,000 people. Another 100,000+ died from related disease and starvation. It was probably the cause of the "year without summer" in 1816.

In 2004, Haraldur Sigurdsson and some others found a village on Sumbawa that had been buried by the volcano. Wood and bodies were "carbonized," but a lot of things are in good shape.

Campaign Privacy

Minnesota is voting on some kind of marriage amendment to the constitution. The Republican party announced they were sending out thousands of CDs with information on their side of the issue. The CD also asked the viewer's opinions. Then the CD sent the information back to Republican headquarters, along with the name of the viewer. Some privacy people got upset about this because nobody told the viewer that their name was going to be attached to their opinions.

The Minnesota Republicans, in true political fashion, said, "Yeah, we were planning to fix that all along." Then they changed the CD to inform the question answerer.

You just can't get by with anything on the computer any more!

I really don't think this was an evil plot by Republicans. I think it was more a matter of technical incompetency. The Democrats would probably have done the same thing if they could figure out how to put a questionnaire on a CD.

Arabsat 4A and etc.

The Arabsat 4A communications satellite launched into orbit on February 28 on a Russian Proton Rocket. Unfortunately, the Breeze M upper stage rocket failed before the satellite could reach geosynchronous orbit. The Breeze M has a good track record. The satellite was later destroyed by sending it into the atmosphere.

The Arabsat 4A was the first of two satellites built by EADS for the Arab Satellite Communications Organization in Saudi Arabia.

      Spacemart article

Conspiracy fans who think it was really a spy satellite destroyed by the CIA are mistaken. Geostationary orbit is way too high for any self-respecting spy satellite.

Last Thursday, a Russian satellite in geostationary orbit experienced a "sudden external impact" that left it mortally wounded. The satellite is being steered into a harmless out-of-the-way orbit while it can still be steered.

SpaceX is a U.S. company founded by Elon Musk, who also cofounded PayPal. SpaceX launched a satellite on March 24, but there was a fuel leak and a fire, and it was destroyed about a minute after launch.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) paid for the launch of an Air Force Academy satellite. The rocket was launched from Kwajalein Atoll, part of the Marshall Islands, around 700 miles north of the equator.

There have been three other cancelled launches of the rocket since November. Maybe this space stuff isn't so simple after all. Even the European Space Agency had three cancellations before the latest launch of their giant rocket.

Military Whether

The U.S. military and NOAA have "merged" their weather satellite systems. This means that the military can shut down weather data to whoever they think shouldn't have it.

The U.S. military now has a say in who gets data from European Space Agency weather satellites, too. I think this was a condition on letting the ESA use U.S. instruments in their satellites.

Pinwheel Galaxy

The Pinwheel galaxy is about 25 million light years away. That means the light we see from that galaxy was emitted by its stars 25 million years ago (unless you're a Kansas Archaeopteryx ). The Pinwheel Galaxy is about 146,742,840,000,000,000,000 miles northeast of Locust Grove, Oklahoma.

An international team of astronomers used 51 images of the Pinwheel Galaxy taken by the Hubble Space Telescope over the past ten years, as well as some ground-based images, to assemble a 16000x12000 images of the Pinwheel Galaxy. They didn't just make a mosaic; they used different images of the same space to sharpen the overall image, essentially giving a higher resolution.

One simple example of the image processing used would be to take two pictures of the sky at night with your digital camera. If you align the images, then take the intersection of the images (in other words, remove everything that doesn't appear in both images), you will remove a lot of the noise artificially introduced by the camera CCD, electronic noise, and Martians. You can do that with Photo Mud.

The result is an amazingly detailed image of the Pinwheel Galaxy. They've already discovered thousands of star clusters.,,3-2062115,00.html


If you want to see the full 455 meg tif, without any jpeg artifacts, you can get it at the European Space Agency site:

You can also get more reasonably sized images there. These may also be on NASA's site, but I didn't find them right away.

Microsoft Patents

Microsoft have received its 5000th patent, some technology to "provide a distinct spectator experience" in the Xbox 360.,39024677,39157020,00.htm

Microsoft's 5001th patent is expected to cover the use of gastric acid in the digestion of food in the human stomach.

As one of the leaders in stupid software patent acquisition, I think it's ironic that Microsoft has had to change Internet Explorer because of someone else's stupid software patent. One of these days when you update Windows, you'll get an Internet Explorer "update" that requires an extra click sometimes when you load macromedia flash or other media content. I think I prefer it that way. But I use Firefox and probably won't notice.

In other Microsoft news, head of Microsoft Europe, Neil, recently said of their new search engine "What we're saying is that in six months' time we'll be more relevant in the US market place than Google." Some others at Microsoft disagreed, including Ken,  Microsoft's General Manager Web Search.

Patenting Facts

I used to believe that you could not get a patent for algorithms. The USPTO has proved me wrong. More recently I thought that facts were facts, and anybody could learn and use facts that wanted to. I was wrong about that too. You can now get a patent on a fact. Here's an op-ed piece written by Michael Crichton:

I'm considering applying for a patent on 32*6=192.

Drug Resistant Germs

Here's an interesting article about drug-resistant bacteria (and one fungus). Maybe you should go ahead and take the complete prescription even if you feel better.

       Forbes Article

Psychiatric Finances

I have said in the past, "Who keeps sending these guys money?" referring to the email (and formerly fax) scams about transferring millions of dollars out of Nigeria and other countries. It's called a 419 scam. If it didn't pay off, these people wouldn't keep sending me email trying to scam me.

I finally found out who it was. 89-year-old Louis Gottschalk, renowned phychiatrist and neuroscientist, and founding chairman of the department of psychiatry at UC Irvine, lost over $3 million in one of these scams. His son got a court order preventing any further wire transfers to Nigeria.

In fairness, I think Dr. Gottschalk may be working without his full mental faculties.

Surfing Scam

A new scam, or at least new to me, is one where people are paid to surf the internet and click on ads. I think company made money by attracting investors from among the surfers.

Cat Piano

It must be tough to tune.

Detainee Treatment Act of 2005

What do you do when you don't like a law? If you're President or King, you say the law doesn't apply. The White House says the McCain anti-torture bill doesn't apply to places like Guantanamo Bay, Afghanistan, or Tannu Tuva.

       Washington Post article

What if you do like a law that doesn't pass? If you're President or King, you sign the law into effect anyway. In February, the President signed a bill into law, a budget-cutting measure that will affect millions of people. However, the House of Representatives never passed the bill. That's a new one on me!


A retired Texas schoolteacher named Walter sent a check to pay off his $6,522 credit card debt. MasterCard got the check, but didn't credit his account. That got him a little worried.

So Walter made some phone calls. He had to spend a considerable amount of time on the phone until he finally got the story. MasterCard notified Homeland Security about his "unusual transaction" and was waiting for the threat alert to be lifted. Eventually Walter got his account credited.

Whew! Walter could have taken over the country! I'm glad they're keeping me safe.

    shns article

The USA Patriot Bill amended the Banking Secrecy Act to require financial institutions to have an anti-terrorism program in place. That includes taking action when someone has unusual credit card transactions. Unfortunately, the wimps in Congress wouldn't spell out just what action to take. I guess the financial institutions do whatever they think they need to.

The regulation refers to amendments to the Banking Secrecy Act made in the USA PATRIOT Act (HR 3162), in section 352 of the bill.

Washington ADIZ

About four and a half years ago, a couple dozen suicidal idiots hijacked some planes and flew them into some buildings. Two of the buildings collapsed and killed a lot of people.

In my opinion, the government's overreaction, fueled by the press, was more damaging to the country than the hijackings themselves. It's odd, but there are people who disagree with me on this subject. According to some (such as the U.S. Attorney General), it makes me unpatriotic. But that's OK because I'm right and they're wrong.

But I digress even before progressing. So let me digress a bit further. Surrounding the United States is an imaginary line called an Air Defense Identification Zone, or ADIZ. When you fly outside the zone, you have to explain who you are and where you're going before you can cross back inside. Or if you are flying from another country into the U.S., you have to get authorization before you cross the ADIZ.

Soon after those planes crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Pennsylvania, the government decided it would be politically unpopular and inconvenient to cut back airline travel. So they cut back small plane travel. This was so it would look like they were doing something.

They banned all private aircraft from Washington National Airport. Ronald Reagan National Airport, too. I'm still banned from flying into that airport unless I take an airliner with thousands of gallons of jet fuel on board.

A year or two later, in 2003, the government decided to put an ADIZ around Washington DC. Actually, the ADIZ covers a lot more than Washington.


This prohibits private planes from flying around the area unless they are under positive identification and control of the Air Traffic Control system. There are quite a few other rules, too. About five pages worth.

The primary problem with the Washington ADIZ, as I've mentioned in the past, is that they installed it backwards. I can understand wanting to keep the politicians contained inside Washington, but whey would they want to keep the honest people out?

Now the FAA has proposed making the Washington ADIZ permanent. I think this would be pretty stupid for a variety of reasons I will spare you from reading. Apparently some others agree. The FAA has a "comment period" when they introduce a new rule. This comment period, there were 21,380 comments, almost universally against making the ADIZ permanent. That is an FAA record.

There was also a public meeting about the ADIZ rule change. This was televised, recorded, and widely reported. The FAA put a transcript of the meeting on their web site, including a lot of people speaking out against the ADIZ. Speakers often used logic in their arguments, however, a concept not familiar to most government officials.

A few days later, the transcript disappeared from the FAA's web site. Why? It was a national security risk. Now, this was a public meeting. It was televised. There were reporters there. But Norad, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, decided it was a breach of national security to post the transcript online.

Here are where the transcripts used to be for the morning and afternoon sessions:

Why would they do that? The official reason is that a Navy F-18 and light aircraft pilot spoke as a private citizen at the hearing. He said that a pilot could comply with all of the ADIZ procedures, get set up for an approach to Dulles International Airport, and at the last minute make a turn and be over downtown Washington within four minutes. Administrative procedures do not ensure security, he said. "Freedom and security are polar opposites, and I am not willing to give up my freedom for the sake of terrorists," said the combat-experienced pilot.

That doesn't seem like a security breach to me. Any idiot with a map and a calculator can see that information. Most people don't even need the calculator. Maybe it was the freedom part they didn't like.

It looks to me that the government is getting ready to make an unpopular decision and they don't want all those differing opinions on their web site.

It bothers me when the government hollers "Security!" when they really mean "Politics!"

Here are a few pictures I took when I flew our aircam ( to Washington in 2001. Now they won't let me go back.

      img_8753.jpg      img_8754.jpg      img_8755.jpg

      img_8757.jpg      img_8758.jpg

Notice the tail number on this jet at Washington National:


Notice the 737 to the left of the Washington Monument:


Politics or Security?

Irish Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams went to the White House and saw President Bush. After that he flew to New York for a St. Patrick's Day appearance. He had to cancel because was held at the Washington airport and searched for over an hour. They said he was on a terrorist watch list. I'd bet that the airport security people knew full well who he was and that he had just come from the White House.

I don't know much about Irish politics, and I don't even know whose side Gerry Adams is on. But it looks to me like someone in Washington wanted to give him a hard time. He also had to pay back $100,000 in ticket sales for a Gala breakfast held in Washington yesterday because of a fundraising ban imposed on his visa.

Mozilla Money

There is a rumor zipping around the internet that Mozilla made $72 million last year, primarily from Firefox users clicking on Google sponsored ads. I haven't seen anything official, so this number may be way off. But it is pretty neat that they're making money every time I click on a Google sponsored link using Firefox.

Mozilla and Firefox use Bugzilla, a system for bug reporting and tracking. One girl reported a bug which resulted in her breaking up with her fiancé of five years. Some programmers consider it a benefit rather than a bug.

Steps to Reproduce:

  1.  Create 2 unique user accounts (for steps sake, let's call the two accounts Joe and Mary) in Windows XP Home.
  2. Logout and sign-in under Joe.
  3. Open Firefox and go to an e-mail site or to or wherever.
  4. Attempt to log-in to the site so that Firefox will ask whether or not you want your password saved.
  5. Choose not to save the password.
  6. After successfully logging in and having selected the "never save password" option, logout.
  7. Log-in as Mary and open Firefox.
  8. Browse, browse, browse... but you don't really have to.  Just go to "View Saved Passwords," click on the tab that will show you sites to never save passwords for, and you'll see whatever painful site Joe denied to save a password for.
  9. Break-up with fiancé.

Google Mars

Now you can find your way around Mars! Do they have wireless internet there yet?

Deserter Caught

A deserter from the Marines named Allen was caught last month at the Canadian border. He was going to Idaho from Canada. He didn't desert from Iraq. He deserted from Vietnam 38 years ago.

The government offered amnesty to all deserters and draft dodgers who went to Canada, but Allen never bothered with the paperwork. Now he's in a San Diego jail without his shoes, his suspenders, his reading glasses, or his false teeth. On top of that, Allen had been going to visit his sick brother, who died shortly after Allen's arrest.

FBI Antiwar Spying

The FBI infiltrated and spied on at least one anti-war group. This one is Iraq, not Vietnam.

       Detroit Free Press article

Some privacy fans are upset because the government has not disbanded the Total Information Awareness system, as required by Congress. They've just renamed it. I believe I've mentioned that a time or two in the past. The TIA was a big database with information on U.S. citizens. I don't think it's that big a deal, personally. The data is available, networking is available, so what difference does it make whether it resides on the same system? It just makes it a little easier to get to.

In other privacy adventures, the New York Times is suing the NSA for eavesdropping on U.S. citizens illegally.

Global Warming

There's been a comprehensive study by NASA on ice melting in Greenland and Antarctica. I think I believe this one. They said the ice is melting, but is only contributing to 2% of the sea level rise of 3 millimeters per year. Maybe the sea level calculations are off?

Greenland has a net ice gain, because ice is building up in the big ice sheet. The buildup is partially offset by retreating glaciers. Antarctica is losing ice.

UN Human Rights Council

The UN voted on whether to establish a Human Rights Council last month. The vote was 170 to 4, in favor. The four against were Israel, Palau, the Marshall Islands, and the United States. It didn't pass. The U.S. has veto privilege.

Ya Gotta be Scared!

Don't forget! Put some powdered milk and tuna fish under your bed, next to the duct tape and plastic sheets you're using ward off terrorists and vampires. Stock up! It's gonna be as bad as Y2K.

Multnomah County Jail

Multnomah County, Oregon, has a new $58 million jail. Unfortunately, they can't afford to open it.

"Flying Cow Leaves Two Police Cars in Flames"

In Texas, where else?


Southpark is a poorly animated, crude TV show that makes fun of every possible religion, ethnic group, and belief. It's also pretty funny. They had a show about Scientology once. They planned to run a rerun recently. Tom Cruise is a Scientologist. He threatened to back out of some kind of entertainment stuff with the parent company. The rerun didn't rerun. Follow me so far?

The funny part of this story is the response of the makers of Southpark, Trey and Matt:

So, Scientology, you may have won THIS battle, but the million-year war for earth has just begun! Temporarily anozinizing our episode will NOT stop us from keeping Thetans forever trapped in your pitiful man-bodies. Curses and drat! You have obstructed us for now, but your feeble bid to save humanity will fail! Hail Xenu!!!

Trey Parker and Matt Stone
servants of the dark lord Xenu

Tomatoes are Evil?

There's a web site called Tomatoes are Evil. There's another site called Killer Tomatoes. There's yet another web site called Neil Gaiman.

So what? Lawyers from the Killer Tomatoes sent a threatening letter to Neil Gaiman ordering him to shut down the Tomatoes are Evil site. First, they have no reason to order this. The funny part is that Neil Gaiman is an author, and has nothing to do with Tomatoes are Evil. Those lawyers really messed up! They even used bad grammar in their threats.

      letter1-747586.jpg      letter2-728342.jpg

In response, Tomatoes are Evil put a note on their home page, "Neil Gaiman is the Wrong Man." The Killer Tomato folks seem to have a severe case of cluelessness.

Saparmurat Niyazov

Saparmurat Niyazov is an author like Neil Gaiman. Well, not JUST like Neil. Saparmurat is also the president of Turkmenistan. He told people that reading his book could help them get into heaven, and that he prayed to God that people who read his book three times aloud would be assured a place in heaven. George Bush is working on his book.


What's your name worth? Three formal Apple Computer honchos formed a company and went public last month. They raised $150 million. They have no operations and no definite plans for the company. Their prospectus says they plan to shop for technology businesses.

I suspect the three will be paid handsomely for their efforts.

Here is the new company's web site, as of 4/3/06:

USS Oriskany

The aircraft carrier Oriskany will be sunk off Pensacola, Florida as an artificial reef. It would be fun to scuba dive there!

FBI Trilogy

The FBI has an "information technology modernization program" called Trilogy. The FBI managed to misplace or otherwise squander $17 million in purchases. The GAO calls it "potential overcharging and lost or stolen equipment." I would probably call it something else.

Hope Trailers

Have you ever seen 10,777 trailers parked together? If not, you owe it to yourself to hop in your car, plane, boat, or skateboard and head on down to Hope, Arkansas, where FEMA has created a local attraction.

Senator John and Admiral Thad

When hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, from what I could tell the organization that did the most good and operated the most efficiently was the U.S. Coast Guard.

In fact, the President has nominated Admiral Thad Allen to head the Coast Guard. He was the one put in charge in New Orleans.

A U.S. Senator from Nevada named John is trying to block this appointment, because the Coast Guard didn't rescue pets. I hope Senator John doesn't get re-elected. He probably wants an ADIZ around Washington, too.,2933,188549,00.html

More recently in New Orleans, the city was planning to pay a Denver company, CH2M Hill, $23 million to have flooded cars hauled off. The company backed out. It turns out that car-crushing companies will pay the city about $100 per car AND haul them off, making the city $3 million instead of costing it $23 million. Those people in New Orleans aren't very good at math.

      Times-Picayune article

Dillingham, Alaska is a thriving metropolis of 2400 or 2800 people, depending on who you ask, on the southwest coast of Alaska, just northwest of the Aleutian Peninsula.

The Department of Homeland Security has given Dillingham $202,000 to purchase 80 security cameras. The first thing that comes to mind is why Dillingham needs 80 cameras. The second is why they would pay over $2500 per camera when even the good ones cost a fraction of that amount.

Dillingham has received $897,000 in homeland security money over the past three years.

Here's a funny letter to the editor from the Anchorage Daily News:

Here is an excellent story with the facts.

700 Tons

The Defense Department is planning to set off 700 tons of explosives on June 2, outside Las Vegas. Some people are riled up about this. I think they should do it on the Fourth of July.

eBay and MercExchange

In 1995 a guy named Tom filed three patents. They were approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark office in 1998 or so. Since then, Tom has been suing people, collecting money on his patents. The patents are for online auctions and "buy it now" or "direct buy" buttons.

Tom sued eBay. One of his patents was thrown out because of insufficient documentation. This lawsuit finally went to the Supreme Court to decide whether a court injunction should be used to shut down eBay until this is settled.

Supreme Court Justice John Roberts thought the patent in question was not very novel. He said, "It's displaying pictures of your wares on a computer monitor and picking the ones you want. I might be able to do that. It's not the internal combustion engine. It's very vague."

Apparently the USPTO decided it was a little vague, too. Last week after the Supreme Court hearing, the USPTO decided that the patent in question is obvious and should never have been issued. MercExchange lawyers will naturally contest this as long as they can collect hourly fees for it.

Terrorists are Everywhere!

A 13-year-old boy from Kentucky sent an email to the city of Florence, threatening the city and the President. The FBI came and took his computer. He was charged with terroristic threatening, a felony, and faces up to five years in prison.

The boy said, "'Well, I was just messing around, just kidding around. I wasn't really serious about it."

Somebody at the FBI needs a reality check.

Security officials averted disaster when a terrorist posing as an 83-year-old lady tried to board a commercial flight. Or something like that.

      Rocky Mountain News article

My brother Mike tried to board a flight with my drill bit. The Transportation Security Administration now has my drill bit because Mike is a well-known security risk. I wrote them a nice letter and expect my drill bit back soon.

Five teenage girls face terrorism-related criminal charges in Ohio. They left a few decorated, empty boxes with question marks on them around town. They were playing a real-life Super Mario Brothers game. A clear victory in the War on Terror! A stunning defeat in the War on Stupidity.

Insider Trading

Insider trading is illegal. It's illegal to buy or sell stocks if you have information on the company that's not available to the general public. Unless you are a member of Congress.

DMCA Changes?

They may finally correct some (but not all) of the stupidity in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Neutrinos have Mass!

Catholics are not alone.

Pictures of Today!

An old boat west of Key West.

      img_8326.jpg      img_8327.jpg

A train.


A customized overpass on I70 near Hays, Kansas:

      P1040046.jpg      P1040048.jpg

Snow sculpture by Katie and Janie. Igloo by Brian.

      P1040148.jpg      P1040149.jpg

Dredging at Key West

      P1040172.jpg      P1040173.jpg

      P1040176.jpg      P1040178.jpg

Belle Isle, between Newfoundland and Labrador. This was taken from the Space Station with a Kodak 760C digital camera and a 180mm lens.


You can see other good astronaut photography here:

(~) 2006, no rights preserved. Any unauthorized duplication or distribution of this novel and unique collection of bits is fine with me. Copy the heck out of it!

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