Something to ponder...
World War Three seen through Soviet eyes
By David Rennie in Warsaw Last Updated: 12:58am GMT 26/11/2005
The nightmare of nuclear war in Europe - a spectre that haunted the world for half a century - stood revealed yesterday in terrible detail.
In a historic break with the past, Poland's newly elected government threw open its top secret Warsaw Pact military archives - including a 1979 map revealing the Soviet bloc's vision of a seven-day atomic holocaust between Nato and Warsaw Pact forces.
... The decision to unveil the Warsaw Pact documents is one of the first moves of Poland's new conservative government. Mr Sikorsky described it as an attempt to draw a line under the country's Communist past, and "educate" the Polish public about the old regime.
He did not deny that the opening of the archives will be seen as a provocation in Moscow. Russian-Polish relations have sharply deteriorated recently, amid rows over a planned oil pipeline, and Polish support for democratic revolutions in Russia's backyard, first in Ukraine, and now Belarus.
... The files being released would include documents about "Operation Danube", the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia. They also included files on an army massacre of Polish workers in Szczecin in the 1970s, and from the martial law era of the 1980s.
If you don't pay an annual license fee your windows won't roll down? (Don't be silly! That's a feature, not a problem!) The comments are priceless!
Near-Future Fords to Feature Windows Automotive
Posted by CowboyNeal on Saturday December 30, @11:15AM from the clippy-is-my-copilot dept. Windows Technology
dpbsmith writes "The Detroit Free Press reports that a Windows Automotive software suite named Sync will be featured in some cars available Spring 2007, all 2008 Ford models, and Lincoln and Mercury models later. The software does not, apparently, run the engine or do anything directly connected with transportation. It will, rather, allow the user to 'use their vehicle as a computer in key ways, such as hands-free cell phone calls or downloading music or receiving e-mail.' Bill Ford and Bill Gates were reported as saying that having high-definition screens in vehicles, speech recognition, cameras, digital calendars and navigation equipment with directions and road conditions will set car companies apart from their competitors in the future. 'There are going to be those who have it and those who don't. And even those who get it later are going to be a generation behind,' Ford said."
Evidence that they are doing everything backwards?
December 29, 2006
FCC Media Bureau Posts Staff Reports and Studies
Press release: "he Media Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today made public Media Bureau staff reports and studies on media ownership and related issues in response to a request from Chairman Martin. Media Bureau staff provided copies of all studies and reports, draft or final, regarding media ownership, minority ownership, and localism and related issues that were worked on over the past several years. These studies and reports are now being made available to the public on the FCC's main website [here]."
Could be interesting. Why aren't these created as class projects – on almost any topic?
December 30, 2006
Pennsylvania Constitution Website at Duquesne University School of Law Announces Major Updates
Via Joel Fishman, Ph.D., Asst. Director for Lawyer Services: "The Pennsylvania Constitution Web Site at Duquesne University School of Law has been updated with more than 20,000 pages and a newly-designed web site,
The colonial constitutional documents are now available (Charter to William Penn, Great Law of 1682, three frames of government and the
charter of privileges of 1701) from the Pennsylvania Legislative Reference Bureau, along with each of the state's constitutions in full text along with all amendments (1776, 1790, 1838, 1874, and 1968).
The constitutional debates of each convention are now available except for two volumes from the 1837 convention still needed to be scanned) as well as the 1920 and 1959 constitutional reports. These materials as well as those listed below are all in PDF format.
There are three treatises on the constitutions: Charles Buckalew and Thomas White on the Constitution of 1874, and Robert Woodside on the Constitution of 1968.
Under Digests and Citators, we have added the Pepper & Lewis's Digest of Decisions and Ecylcopedia of Laws published early in the twentieth century (one of the predecessors to the West digest system) and George Henry's Digest of Decisions that cumulates the decisions from the single volumes of James Monaghan, a court reporter of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in late nineteenth century. A citator to early constitutions is in preparation.
A collection of Pennsylvania attorneys-general opinions from 1954 to 2006 have been added (Westlaw and Lexis only go back to 1977).
I think I'll submit a few of my own, like: “Free is good!” “Half the world is below average!” “My driveway is full of global warming!” etc.
Meanings and origins of popular phrases/sayings
An awesome web site dedicated to the meanings and origins of popular phrases and sayings. Whether you want to resolve a friendly argument over how a saying or phrase originated or whether you just enjoy words, you'll probably find something here to interest you. Very cool!
...so, this five-year- old has a good credit rating?
5-year-old vicitim of identity theft
12/29/2006 6:00 PM (Dave McKinley, WROC-TV)
Imagine having to deal with the frustration of having your identity stolen, and fighting bills piling up in your name...now imagine that instead of your identity that was stolen, it's your five-year-old son's.
... It seems her ex---the boys father--used his name and social security number, to get utilities through RG&E and to avoid a costly fee due of his own bad credit.
She called sheriff's deputies, who told her they needed the account information to file a report--
RG&E initially told her they couldn't release that unless she had a police report...and even then only to the actual victim.
... RG&E eventually gave her the information, which she took to police but she says rather than charge her ex ---they decided to give him a good talking to instead.
"I think he should be arrested for this," says Phillips.
And not because of a soured relationship, but because of a law which requires credit reporting agencies to provide victims of identity theft seven years of fraud alert at no charge.
"So I have to pay for credit reports because, technically, there's no crime committed because they elected to let him skate on it."
Holy iPod, Batman! (Can the godless politicians be far behind?)
The Miraculous Ascent of Godcasting
By Frances Grandy Taylor The Hartford Courant 12/31/06 4:00 AM PT
On the Internet, the smallest city storefront and the biggest suburban mega-church can compete equally for viewers and listeners. Churches that aren't technologically savvy can take advantage of fee-based services that convert sermon tapes and CDs to a format that can be downloaded.
There was a time when you had to attend a church to listen to the weekly sermon, or become a regular member to hear a choir whose music you really love.
These days, thanks to MP3 players, you don't actually have to be there.
A Web site called Godcast1000.com has been launched to help users "put God on your iPod." It bills itself as the largest free directory of Christian music, sermons, video and Bible study on the Internet. It lists more than 500 digital audio files that can be downloaded from the Web site to a computer or iPod.
On the Internet, the smallest city storefront and the biggest suburban mega-church can compete equally for viewers and listeners. In fact, the church doesn't even have to be in the United States.
"One of the most popular sites on the directory is Preachtheword.com, which [features] sermons by Pastor David Legge at his church in Northern Ireland," says Lee Raney, president of Christian.com, a Web portal that links to Godcast1000.com.
"Thirty years ago, a pastor like [Legge] would have to be as big as Pat Robertson to reach people through television and radio," Raney says. "Now any church can start a podcast and reach people anywhere in the world."
A sampling of the wide-ranging content on Godcast1000.com:
"Hardcore Christianity," which features a preacher who wears dark glasses and a backward baseball cap.
"Jesus Geek," the spiritual musings of a Christian home-schooling father.
"Pod Bible," a daily reading of the Bible by people of all ages.
Offerings from dozens of Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran and non-denominational Christian churches across the country.
The Rev. Shaun Olsen of the Family Worship Center in suburban Dallas, says he turned to "godcasting" for the first time last year to reach members of his congregation who travel.
The church's podcast includes the entire Sunday service.
"We also have hundreds of missionaries attached to this church who are serving around the world in India, Pakistan and South Africa, and that enables them to listen to the service back home. We've gotten a great response, especially from the business community."
Churches are also using podcasts to reach regular worshippers in new ways, says Raney, who adds that churches that aren't technologically savvy can get help through the Web site's Sermoncast program, where sermon tapes and CDs can be converted for a fee to a format that can be downloaded.
Good on them!
Dec 31, 7:15 AM EST
Colorado Woman Selling Snow on eBay
LOVELAND, Colo. (AP) -- As if Colorado residents don't have enough snow to dig out from, one resident is offering more for a price on eBay. Starting bids were holding steady Friday at 99 cents for snow from "Blizzard I and Blizzard II" being offered by Mary Walker. She and husband, Jim, got the idea for selling snow after shoveling mounds from two storms a week apart that together dumped more than 4 feet along the Front Range.
"I figured eBay has ghosts and all sorts of weird stuff, so why not snow?" said Walker, who teaches business workshops on employee communications.
How much snow 99 cents or whatever the winning bid gets depends. Walker's auction notice suggests avoiding shipping and handling charges by stopping by their home and picking it up - in a dump truck.
Only 10 offerings of snow are available and the proceeds are earmarked for a used snowblower for Jim or a pair of shovels.
She says she doesn't really expect to find a buyer for their blizzard overstock.
"We just wanted to just give some folks a laugh," she said.
--- On the Net: http://www.ebay.com (search for "genuine Colorado snow")