Archived entries for news

How to really fight terrorists: Anti-terror

Cory Doctorow:
Bruce Schneier has an excellent piece up today on how to really, effectively fight terrorism: anti-terror:

Another thought experiment: Imagine for a moment that the British government arrested the 23 suspects without fanfare. Imagine that the TSA and its European counterparts didn’t engage in pointless airline-security measures like banning liquids. And imagine that the press didn’t write about it endlessly, and that the politicians didn’t use the event to remind us all how scared we should be. If we’d reacted that way, then the terrorists would have truly failed.

It’s time we calm down and fight terror with antiterror. This does not mean that we simply roll over and accept terrorism. There are things our government can and should do to fight terrorism, most of them involving intelligence and investigation — and not focusing on specific plots.

But our job is to remain steadfast in the face of terror, to refuse to be terrorized. Our job is to not panic every time two Muslims stand together checking their watches. There are approximately 1 billion Muslims in the world, a large percentage of them not Arab, and about 320 million Arabs in the Middle East, the overwhelming majority of them not terrorists. Our job is to think critically and rationally, and to ignore the cacophony of other interests trying to use terrorism to advance political careers or increase a television show’s viewership.



RyanAir: Airport security is like a strip-search

Cory Doctorow:

RyanAir, the discount airline that’s threatened to sue the UK government over new security procedures has posted this provocative image to its website: a crowd of naked people running away from their piled-up clothes, with the caption “New Airport Security Procedures Put the Fun Back Into Flying.”

They’re onto something here. If the existence of a plot to use implausible liquid explosives against aircraft creates a global war on moisture at the airports, imagine what a similar plot to smuggle a bomb up a terrorist’s ass would engender. The war on moisture is bad, but it’s nothing compared to the inevitable war on body cavities.

The terrorists hate our freedom, so by eliminating the freedom, we can stop the terrorists from hating us.
(Thanks, Michael!)

Update: Eileen sez, ” Looks like the outtake from a Spencer Tunick photo shoot.”

but i’d hate it if i have to go naked in the rainy london weater…

European press review

Papers in Germany appear distinctly uneasy at the possibility of German troops being sent to keep the peace in the Middle East.

(read the whole article from the title link)

Leaders of 50 countries reach agreements on immigration

Leaders from Africa and Europe took tentative steps toward a unified approach to controlling sub-Saharan migration to the European Union, agreeing to cooperate on border controls and deportation procedures, and accelerating the development of African economies.

… really?

New Words Added to Dictionary

As they do every year, the editors of the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary add a few new words to their venerable collection, establishing a bridge between pop culture and high culture, and illustrating how English is a dynamic, evolving language. Among the words and phrases making the cut this year are google (as a verb), himbo (male bimbo), drama queen, empty suit, bling, unibrow, bird flu and biodiesel.

Source: USA Today

wow, you’d think ‘google’ as a verb would have made it before ‘podcast’ (last year)

A Gazan Rocket Reaches 6 Miles Into Israel

Defying Israel’s advances into Gaza, militants lobbed a rocket deep into Israel, hitting an empty high school.

6 Missiles Fired by North Korea; Tests Protested

The launchings came in defiance of warnings from President Bush and the governments of Japan, South Korea and China.

Wallace & Gromit Head to the Arctic


We like human-powered journeys, so this quirky and whimsical one sure appealed. Blind Brit, Stephen Beresford and his guide dog, Forest, will be doing a Wallace and Gromit impersonation as they ride 1,200 miles (1900 km) through Norway to the Arctic Circle and back. Forest, having assisted Stephen for the past 10 years, is due to put his paws up in retirement after the adventure. Thus Stephen, who only has 10% vision in one eye, hopes the trip can act as a fundraiser for the ‘Guide Dogs for the Blind’ charity, as a way of giving back. The custom built side car would make Wallace the made DIY inventor proud. A sighted friend will accompany the pair to keep them on the straight and narrow. All the best to the team. Via ::This Is Bradford.


Danish hackers launch Free Beer 3.0, with guarana

Cory Doctorow:
The Danish free culture activists who created a free beer with an open-source recipe have released a new version of their free beer: Free Beer 3.0 with guarana.

Free Beer 3.0 has a new recipe, a new label, and a new Flickr Pool

Master brewer Birthe Skands describes 3.0 as a “traditional, top fermented beer with a very high drinkability factor – defined as the desire to drink another glass or bottle. With heavier beer from Belgium, for example, you’ll drink only one glass which you’ll indulge in. With FREE BEER you’ll want to drink another one – so it’s actually thirst quenching. We also wanted a nice color, and ended up with a beautiful, light amber”

(Thanks, Henrik!)

still can’t beat our fabrica free wine/beer deal, but it’s close…

Italy mulls immigrant amnesty

The new minister in charge of immigration in Italy plans to overhaul tough policies and relax the criteria required for being a legal immigrant.

Paolo Ferrero says he intends to normalise the position of immigrants already in Italy, if they have jobs. Italy has a growing number of illegal immigrant workers arriving in the south of the country from Africa.

Mr Ferrero was appointed by Romano Prodi, whose centre-left coalition came to power after winning April elections.

Italy has had several amnesties for illegal immigrants and on each occasion, the number of residency permits available has been far exceeded by the number of people applying.

Two months ago, more than 500,000 people queued for just 180,000 permits. The numbers applying show there are far more illegal immigrants living in Italy than official statistics suggest.

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