Let’s Kill all the Lawyers

or at least take away their cell phones.

Wired News has a story about
an Internet service provider (and all of its clients) being forced offline because one client made fun of Dow Chemical. Dow’s attorneys contacted the ISP’s upstream provider, Verio, claiming that the site violated the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA). Verio couldn’t immediately find someone who could pull the offending site (it was “after business hours”), so they shut down the ISP’s entire network, affecting hundreds of other clients.

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Google works in mysterious ways

As mentioned in an article I cited recently, the Google search engine
is one subject that we bloggers love to blog about. One reason is because of its sheer power.
Many of us remember life before search engines, when finding a site was largely a matter of luck.
I remember when Digital launched its AltaVista search system,
and we gazed upon it in wonder and decreed that it was good.
And then somewhere along the way, the upstart Google surpassed it, and now commands the lion’s share of the search traffic.
My own stats show that it’s responsible for the majority of hits on this site, excluding links from within the site.
Its influence on the rest of the internet is similar. Googling has even become a verb.
It’s no wonder that we’re amazed.

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Life in the fast lane

Well, today started out slow, until right after Arthur and I pulled out of the driveway on our way to hunt. I was running a little late, but I could probably make up for that on the road. One time-saving advantage was that I wouldn’t have to stop halfway to pick up my brother and his horse. He stopped by Friday afternoon while the farrier was replacing Arthur’s mangled shoe, and said he didn’t think he could juggle his schedule to hunt this weekend. He left telling me to enjoy hunting, and that he’d call if a miracle occurred.

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Unlucky Horseshoe

As expected, today’s hunt was cancelled because of the predicted winter slop. It actually turned out to be a very light snowfall overnight, turning to rain this morning which left us with more mud than snow. As it turns out, I wouldn’t have been able to go anyway. When I fed this morning, I noticed Arthur was a little gimpy on one front foot. A closer look revealed a mangled shoe still loosely clinging to the hoof. You know your farrier is doing a good job when a shoe takes this much abuse and still hangs on. Arthur did some damage to the hoof wall in the process of destroying the shoe, but it doesn’t look serious. I think the lameness was just due to the shoe causing some discomfort; after I pulled the shoe, he walked much more soundly. Assuming I can get my farrier to nail the shoe back on before Sunday, I should be ready to hunt then.

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Weird Weather

Yesterday’s forecast predicted a high temperature in the low 60s(F) today, around 20 degrees above normal and close to the record of 66. Fortunately, it didn’t get quite that warm. The mercury stopped somewhere in the 50s, still well above normal. That was a little warm for hunting, but not uncomfortable. There was still a lot of moisture in the ground, which made good scenting conditions for a while. Things started somewhat fast and furious, but then the wind picked up, making the hounds’ job more difficult, but keeping the horses cool (and lifting their spirits even more).

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Running Government like a Business

It’s a common cliche among government-bashers that the folks running the private sector are infinitely more wise than those in the public sector, and that we’d all be better off if government was run “like a business.”
Aside from the fact that government and business are not really in the same business, and therefore can not necessarily run under the same principles, a look at the recent business environment leads one to wonder how anybody can still seriously advance this argument.
I was therefore somewhat surprised to read this story about government using the HP/Compaq merger as a model for the homeland security reorganization. If this is true, I certainly hope they’re using the HP/Compaq fiasco as an example of what not to do. (Is that running government like a business, or ruining government like a business?

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When WiFi is outlawed, only Outlaws will have WiFi

According to this NY Times story, the Department of Defense wants to limit wireless internet technology because it could interfere with military radar systems.
If our defense systems really can be jammed that easily, I think they need to concentrate on hardening them instead of trying to make the technology illegal. “I’m sorry, Mr. bin Laden, you can’t take your wireless laptop with you on your visit to the USA. It might crash the US defense system.”

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