26 March 2008

Front Pages from Around The World

I have been going to concerts at the National Gallery of Art recently and, on my way back to the Gallery Place China-town Metro, I've been stopping at the front of the Newseum to view the newspapers that they have on display from across the nation and world. But, you don't have to make the trek to see them, because you can see them online too. Hopefully they'll keep this up after they open on 11 April, but it looks like they may not.

25 March 2008

Apple Forcefeeds Software to Users

On the Windows version of iTunes, Apple is, by default, disguising an installation of Safari (their browser) as an "update" to iTunes. It takes advantage of users who are told to install security updates religiously and forces an update on them. Microsoft does not take advantage of security updates to install new software onto people's computers.
See this blog entry for more information.

23 March 2008

Blog by TSA on Airport Security

I don't fly that much, but I have had some experience with TSA, so I've found this blog interesting. One entry discusses the Macbook Air and an experience one traveler had when TSA was suspicious of his Macbook Air because it did not look like other laptops. Another entry discusses how, after implementing lanes for different types of travelers based on ski slopes (black diamond = expert, blue square = intermediate, green circle = inexperienced/family), they have seen a decrease in the amount of banned items that they see in the green circle lane at security checkpoints. I find this somewhat surprising, since I would have thought that by the time someone arrived at the checkpoint, they had already packed their bag with items they think are ok. I guess maybe someone who isn't feeling rushed by the people behind them may take the time to read the signs and realize "Oh, wait, I can't bring that shampoo on the plane with me!"

22 March 2008

Mount Everest and the Olympic Torch

I heard about China asking Nepal to close Nepal's face of Mt. Everest from 1 May to 10 May last week on the radio. Nepal has acquiesced. They want to run the Olympic torch to the top of Everest. This article has more information.
I think Nepal shouldn't have acquiesced, as it will deprive all of the people who have planned their years around climbing Everest from climbing it.
As for China, I don't know much about climbing Everest, but one thing that I do know about it is that it is not easy and is not something that should be rushed. Yet, China seems to want to rush someone to the top of Everest and do it sometime between 1 May and 10 May. I understand that China may want to show the world that it can climb Everest, but, in reality, they're depriving people who have planned for years to attempt Everest of that chance so they can put on a show for the world.

14 March 2008

Skittles Leads to a Suspension

In New Haven, although the school district eventually backed down, an eighth-grader was suspended from school for a day for buying Skittles from someone. He also was stripped of his eighth-grade vice president title, and was not permitted to attend an honors dinner.
I don't think the suspension was fair, and I also don't like the idea of the adults interfering in the political affairs of 8th graders, although I imagine sometimes it is necessary.
I've always wondered what purpose suspensions serve, particularly out-of-school suspensions. For the students who get them, it translates into a day off from school.
Apparently "dealing" Skittles also earns a suspension, although the story doesn't say whether that merits more days.
Here's the story.

03 March 2008

Virginia Nabs a Spammer

If you're going to spam people, don't use Virginia ham in your spam. A North Carolina man who spammed people using AOL's servers had his sentence upheld recently. AOL is based in Virginia, which is how Virginia got jurisdiction over him. For those who don't want to read the opinion, there is a short summary here (search for Jaynes on the page if you don't see it at the top). Here's a link to the court's decision.