Walking around Manhattan the other day, we found the Ministry of Love from "1984". It has no windows.

33 Thomas St.


Google Security Vulnerabilities

To access anything in a person's Google account, all one must know is email address and password. For someone who has either a well placed key recorder, or knows their victim personally, or happens to just access a person's machine after they have used it - a tremendous amount of information is thence available to an attacker. An author of this blog has been the victim of the third type of attack from a trusted loved one whose temptation to delve into personal information, like a sailor to the Sirens, was too great.

The third type of attack is perhaps unavoidable from a technical perspective and is the responsibility of the user to avoid, but the other types of attacks could be better avoided with an option for a paid security token and perhaps more regular security questions.

Although security for an average user is very important, it is perhaps even more valuable to businesses. Twitter, which the authors of this blog find an annoying fad, recently had some private corporate documents stolen and published as a result of a Google account being compromised. In the end, Google's online suite of tools are simply too useful not to use despite the vulnerabilities, and the potential for a government sub poena - nonetheless caveat emptor. Let this be a lesson to us all - and to Google especially.

William Blake Quote

"Truth can never be told so as to be understood and not be believed."


Robert McNamara

Robert McNamara died recently. A confessed unconvicted War Criminal, McNamara was a logitician for the firebombing campaigns on Japan, and a reluctant architect of the Cuban Missle Crisis and most significantly, the Vietnam War. In addition to being a profoundly intelligent and capable CEO, Cabinet Secretary and World Bank Chief, Mcnamara was striking for his deep reflection and appreciation for the moral complexity of his actions as revealed in the excellent documentary Fog of War (torrent).

Here is the synopsis of an interview at Berkeley in 2004 including a webcast.

Who better to deduce the lessons and folly of War than a man who was its Commander. Here are a list of his 11 lessons:

  1. Empathize with your enemy
  2. Rationality will not save us
  3. There's something beyond one's self
  4. Maximize efficiency
  5. Proportionality should be a guideline in war
  6. Get the data
  7. Belief and seeing are often both wrong
  8. Be prepared to reexamine your reasoning
  9. In order to do good, you may have to engage in evil
  10. Never say never
  11. You can't change human nature

Controversial, terrible, and flawed as he was, a great man has died.

All the Pb in Zhong Guo

This story from the financial press ignores what is really going on. Forget importation of toxic goods; why is Zhong Guo so backwards that they are even manufacturing toys, or other consumer products, that contain lead. If Zhong Guo is ever to be part of an advanced glorious civilistation, this will have to stop.


C-SPAN Funding

Given the lack of commercials or NPR style begathon fund-raising and the intended lack of political bias of C-SPAN, it is surprising to learn from their recent public service announcements that they do not receive public ie government money. They are in fact sponsored as a public service by the US Cable Television companies.

We all owe these companies a debt of gratitude for documenting and archiving governmental proceedings, bringing more openness to government, and making it widely and freely available without a hint of commercialism or political favouratism. This is a task which should have been the responsibility of the National Archives in a well run government, yet corporate charity has come through to do the job better and cheaper than a Government run programme ever could.

Manuel Zelaya - Drugs Policy of an Ousted Honduran Presidente

We do not pretend to know the motivations for the recent coup of Presidente Manuel Zelaya, overthrown by members of the Honduran Army last week. Was the CIA involved? These are open questions.

All else aside, we do want to commend and support el Presidente on one particular issue. He was strongly in favour of ending the oppressive and immoral 'War on Drugs.'

It is always suspicious when such a person is overthrown, particularly when the CIA is known for having a history of profiting from the drugs trade and political meddling in the region. As Alex Jones stated, 'The Drug Dealers want to make sure the Drugs stay illegal.'