Bad data handling leads to false arrests

This is a scary article – it tells the story of people being arrested because there was bad data in a police database. I work with data every day, and it is so easy to make mistakes. Things that sound trivial are not! I am sure we will hear more like this in the future. In this case, at least paper records could be consulted to resolve issues – but that won’t be possible 10 years from now, when issues like this happen, because the database is migrated to a newer system. Scary thoughts…

Chomsky on Microsoft

Maha found this really interesting Interview with Noam Chomsky on the DOJ case against Microsoft. I think this is enjoyable reading, I hope you do, too.

Copy protection for CDs introducted!

This is really upsetting! BMG released two CDs that feature a copy protection. This means that you cannot read it from a CD ROM drive on your computer, and even a couple of older CD players choke on it.

The scary part is, that the only news source of this information is the German site heise.de (Here’s the article: Kopierschutz für Audio-CDs verärgert Kunden. Nothing in the US press. Big brother has no interest in making this information public.

Resistence is futile!

If you are running AOL Software on your computer, think twice before you update to Version 5. That piece of software is nasty, and will attempt to take over your computer – even at the cost of breaking your computer! In a nutshell, the software offers you the option to let AOL handle all Internet connections. If you answer yes to this relatively innocent question, you will not be able to connect to the Internet through any other mechanisms any more, you won’t be able to read email (except web based mail), etc. Read about it on CNN – it’s nasty!

Put your cat on your scanner!

This is a URL I wanted to share for a long time. Some guy played a joke on the word “cat scan”, and encourages people to put their favorite pet on their scanner. Of course, doing this is quite controvert, and people rate it from hysterically funny to animal abuse at it worst. There are even anti-cat-scan web sites. Anyway, you make up your own mind, I find it funny.
Disclaimer: I never scanned a cat.

Total Lunar Eclipse tonight (Thursday)

There will be a total lunar eclipse in North America and Western Europe on Jan. 20. The moon will turn a deep red color for little over an hour around 8 p.m. on the west coast and 11 p.m. on the east coast. It will even be visible from western Europe on the morning of January 21. So get up early, if you live in Germany, for a spectacular sight!

Chandra – competition for Hubble

While doing a similar task, the Chandra X-ray Observatory is much less known than the Hubble space telescope. Chandra can see high-energy X-ray, and now, after only five months, the first results are published. Have a look at the photo galery.

@home UDP has been lifted

@home was threatened with the Usenet Death Penalty. It seems that the thread was lifted, but of course, @home is now on probation for 30 days.

UDP is nothing more than an agreement between usenet adminsitrators, but it’s amazing how well it works. UDP has been threatened to ISP’s a couple of times, and it was amazingly successful.

Vision for blind people!

It doesn’t surprise me that this can be done. What really amazed me is the fact that this guy got the implant in 1978! I have no clue why there wasn’t any coverage for such a long time.