Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What Your Global Neighbors Are Buying

The New York Times has an interesting interactive cartogram titled, "What Your Global Neighbors Are Buying," that shows how citizens of the countries of the world spend their discretionary income. Greece? Thirteen times as much on clothing as electronics. Japan? More on recreation than clothing electronics and household goods combined. Americans? Well, we spend a lot on everything.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Raging Caging

The topic on everyone lips last night? Voter disenfranchisement through fraud and voter caging possible in the upcoming November elections. What is voter caging? The slate can clear it up for you in their 2007 article on "Raging Caging".

Other news stories I heard included one from Michigan, where the Chairman of the GOP in Macomb County has declared he will challenge people's right to vote if they have been evicted from their foreclosed on homes. Macomb County is 1 of the top 3 hardest hit by foreclosures and even if he can't turn voters away from the polls, Macomb County, populated mostly by African Americans, can expect some long lines on election day. The Michigan messenger picks up that story in, "Lose your house, Lose your vote".

Lastly, you can listen to the September 11, 2008 broadcast of the Thom Hartmann Nationwide show, where sub-in Lee Rayburn describes how registered Democrats in "purple states" across the nation are receiving misleading absentee ballots with incorrect addresses or return addresses to GOP headquarters. The bit posted here is 10 minutes and well worth listening to or you can download the complete third hour of the show at the itunes store under Thom Hartmann Nationwide - 9/11/08 - Hour 3.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Large Hadron Collider Drinking Game

I am personally excited about the Large Hadron Collider and it's not just the flood of messages from our apocalyptic future, inspired new music, the rush scientists get from playing God, or the possible annihilation of the earth as we know it, (but hey, those things are sexy too) but mostly because I like large physics-y things being smashed together causing world wide panic and a return of middle ages type hysteria that hasn't been seen since the clock rolled over to 12:00, 2000. Woo. That was a mouthful. I feel a little dizzy.

Work off the LHC Blues by checking out The Large Hadron Collider Drinking Game at io9. What's io9? That's another post.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Websense has dropped public access to their website lookup tool.

Yes, I correct Wikipedia articles. I also submit corrections to internet censorship companies like Websense and the now defunct SurfControl (who recently bought by Websense in 2007). Some of my favorites corrections have been the censorship of official Adobe Product Help Forums and various sites which provided educational materials (like blank sheet music) or reference materials (say information about coin collecting and starting your own coin collection).

Last week I received this dandy notification from Websense in my In-box (shortened version follows):

During a recent upgrade to MyWebsense, we have implemented steps which increase the accuracy of our customer information. This allows us to better meet our customers' support needs.

Unfortunately, your MyWebsense account is missing some key information and is no longer active.

To re-initiate your account, please visit .
By providing this information, we will be able to provide you with more focused support offerings, improved ability to create support cases via our online portal, and online forums, to be released in the near future, which will enable you to interact with other customers to resolve issues.

We apologize for any inconvenience.
(Blow yourself),
Websense Technical Support

Okay, I added the "Blow yourself" at the end. But the long and short is the new required information is the Activation Key for their product, which will only be available to the Information Technology (IT) professionals which installed the software and not to the millions of users effected by the technology in public school systems and libraries, on high traffic machines in hospitals and private universities or government workers across the globe. Not to mention independent website providers and bloggers who can no longer look-up how their own websites are categorized by Websense and request changes to (their often inaccurate) categorizations.