|Ken Novak's Weblog
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Ken Novak's Weblog
Saturday, November 22, 2003
: " blo.gs lets you keep an eye on your favorite weblogs via the web, email, and instant messenger. you can even put the list on your site: a blogroll that knows what is new" 11:50:34 PM
While we have your attention, Mr President...
: Advice to George Bush from the Baghdad blogger: "Listen, habibi, it is not over yet. Let me explain this in simple terms. You have spilled a glass full of tomato juice on an already dirty carpet and now you have to clean up the whole room. Not all of the mess is your fault but you volunteered to clean it up. I bet if someone had explained it to you like that you would have been less hasty going on our Rambo-in-Baghdad trip.
To tell you the truth, I am glad that someone is doing the cleaning up, and thank you for getting rid of that scary guy with the hideous moustache that we had for president. But I have to say that the advertisements you were dropping from your B52s before the bombs fell promised a much more efficient and speedy service. We are a bit disappointed. So would you please, pretty please, with sugar on top, get your act together and stop telling people you have Iraq all figured out when you are giving us the trial-and-error approach?
Anyway, I hope this doesn't disturb you too much. Have a nice stay in London, wave hello to the demonstrators, and give my regards to your spin doctors. I bet they are having a hell of a job making you look good.
Regards, Salam Pax The Baghdad Blogger " 10:50:47 PM
F.B.I. Scrutinizes Antiwar Rallies: "The Federal Bureau of Investigation has collected extensive information on the tactics, training and organization of antiwar demonstrators and has advised local law enforcement officials to report any suspicious activity at protests to its counterterrorism squads, according to interviews and a confidential bureau memorandum. .. The memorandum analyzed lawful activities like recruiting demonstrators, as well as illegal activities like using fake documentation to get into a secured site. F.B.I. officials said in interviews that the intelligence-gathering effort was aimed at identifying anarchists and "extremist elements" plotting violence, not at monitoring the political speech of law-abiding protesters. " More like the Nixon years every day. 10:38:38 PM
: "Braun's team began their manufacturing process by coating a central part of a long DNA molecule with proteins from an E. coli
bacterium. Next, graphite nanotubes coated with antibodies were added, which bound onto the protein. After this, a solution of silver ions was added. The ions chemically attach to the phosphate backbone of the DNA, but only where no protein has attached. Aldehyde then reduces the ions to silver metal, forming the foundation of a conducting wire. To complete the device, gold was added. This nucleates on the silver and creates a fully conducting wire. The end result is a carbon nanotube device connected a both ends by a gold and silver wire." It functions as a transistor. The entire process is room temperature. 6:52:45 PM
VON Magazine review of SIP-based products
: "SIP turned out to be everything that H.323 was not: a lean, flexible, text-based protocol more in tune with the design philosophy of other Internet protocols .. Users are identified to a SIP system by location-independent, email-like names; e.g., firstname.lastname@example.org. And like a browser requesting a home page from a web server, a SIP client sends requests to a receiving server, which processes them and returns proper responses. The SIP messages themselves are very simple, such as "INVITE" (invites another SIP user to a session) and "OPTIONS" (asks a SIP server to reply with its feature set). SIP has kept up with the times. With the rise of Instant Messaging and Presence (IMP) services, another IETF working group developed an appropriate set of signaling extensions, called SIMPLE (SIP for Instant Messaging and Presence Leveraging Extensions). SIMPLE is practically a standard, but hasn't yet been finalized as one. Work is also underway to ensure that SIP will function with Mobile IP devices SIP's registration capability lends itself to provide mobility and location functions" 4:10:06 PM
Friday, November 21, 2003
Global Warming Gas Increasing Dramatically
: "Worldwide emissions of carbon dioxide are expected to increase by 3.5 billion tonnes, or 50 percent, annually by the year 2020, an executive for ExxonMobil Corp said on Wednesday. .. Experts say the United States, which has the world's largest economy and 4 percent of its population, is responsible for about 25 percent of so-called "greenhouse" gases now produced, but Broiles said most future growth in output will come from developing countries. "Eighty percent of that number, 80 percent of 3.5 billion tonnes, is going to be driven by those developing countries, those economies that are growing at the 4 to 5 percent range, so that's where it's coming from," he said.
A huge increase in the number of cars will cause part of the pollution growth. Broiles said there are now 15 cars for every 1,000 people in the world, but ExxonMobil expects that number to rise to 50 cars per 1,000 by 2020. He said ExxonMobil foresees a 40 percent increase in energy demand even though humans are boosting their energy efficiency by about 1 percent a year. Despite advances in technology most energy will still come from fossil fuels, and in particular oil and gas, of which there remain very large reserves, he said. " 9:03:16 PM
Power Tube, Inc.
: "The [Power Tube] unit is inserted in the Earth (i.e. downhole) and requires only 220 degrees Fahrenheit of heat to generate electricity. This is accomplished without depleting natural resources or causing pollution. With a virtually inexhaustible source of energy (i.e. the heat of the Earth) to power it, Power Tube has no energy costs customarily associated with traditional electrical power generation methods. The land needed for a Power Tube unit is not permanently scarred and pollution of underground aquifers does not occur. The 10 MW version is 185 feet long, and 42 inches in diameter. It will be inserted into a 46" shaft (which is only at the top 185 feet), which can be drilled with a standard drilling technology. .. The Power Tube is a self contained unit using an iso-pentane/iso-butane mixture to heat into a gas. In this sealed system, the gas is accelerated into a turbine, then cooled back down into a liquid, where the process continues." 8:49:34 PM
Spain to fund Mindanao solar power project
: "THE SPANISH government will invest 3.37 billion pesos in a solar electrification project that will light up 40 remote communities in Mindanao, Agrarian Reform Secretary Roberto Pagdanganan said. The Spanish government's Solar Power Technology Support (Spots) project is expected to benefit directly 20,000 farmers in 15 provinces in Mindanao, he said.
Pagdanganan said BP Solar España, which he described as the world's biggest solar plant manufacturer, had been contracted to provide technical services for the Spots project. " 8:34:30 PM
Text of President Bush's Speech - London
: More of the same. "It's been said that those who live near a police station find it hard to believe in the triumph of violence, in the same way free peoples might be tempted to take for granted the orderly societies we have come to know. Europe's peaceful unity is one of the great achievements of the last half-century. And because European countries now resolve differences through negotiation and consensus, there's sometimes an assumption that the entire world functions in the same way. But let us never forget how Europe's unity was achieved by allied armies of liberation and NATO armies of defense. And let us never forget, beyond Europe's borders, in a world where oppression and violence are very real, liberation is still a moral goal, and freedom and security still need defenders. .. As recent history has shown, we cannot turn a blind eye to oppression just because the oppression is not in our own backyard. No longer should we think tyranny is benign because it is temporarily convenient. Tyranny is never benign to its victims, and our great democracies should oppose tyranny wherever it is found." Video
. Seems Bush is just The Guy Reading Mike Gerson's Speeches. 7:49:12 PM
Sri Lanka: As Peace Falters, Activists Turn to ICT to Build Bridges: "In December 2002, the Sri Lankan government's Peace Secretariat invited the Colombo office of the AED [USAID contractor for Education and Development] -- one of the coordinators of the peace process -- to set up a data-sharing software to network their office staff. While an AED team including Hannes, who is a consultant to them, was working on the project, the hit upon the idea of creating a similar, though infinitely more sophisticated software, for the entire peace process.
In April this year, just as the team was discussing the concept with officials of the Peace Secretariat, local NGOs and media groups involved in the peace process, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels suspended talks. Recalls Hannes, "At that moment we realized we should not wait any longer. Although there were emissaries conveying messages from the government to the LTTE and vice versa even after the suspension, the impact of the communication breakdown between the two parties was apparent." In the aftermath, a clutch of parties - including peace promoters attached to the premier local NGO - Center for Policy Alternatives, Young Asia Television and the Peace Secretariat joined the AED team to conceive and execute the project. ..
The pilot project which was initiated on September 1 this year, is funded by Groove Networks which is co-owned by Information Technology giants Microsoft and Intel, the Appeal for Nobel Peace Laureate Foundation, AED, and USAID. " I believe the software is based on Groove. 4:23:59 PM
Such fragile threads: Stories from Iraq: "The longing of the Iraqi people for a society based on basic human rights sometimes appears strong enough to overcome fragmentation into ethnic groups and religious differences, but at other times seems fragile and tentative.. [from] an interview with Sheikh Abdul Mahdi, the administrator of the Hussein mosque, Sistani's deputy and one of his closest advisers: .. "We are 100 per cent the opposite of Al Qaida. We don't consider them Islamic at all. In Afghanistan and elsewhere, Al Qaida has been fighting against the Shi'ites. For us, the Islamic religion represents peace. Our religious authorities have issued strict orders forbidding us from taking up arms against America. Not that we agree with a permanent American presence in Iraq. ..
"There are Shi'a in Iraq and in Iran. We are related religiously. They believe in our religious scholars and we believe in theirs. But that has nothing to do with politics, or policy. The religious authority in Najaf [where Grand Ayatollah Sistani lives] has an independent policy from Iran. .. As for democracy, yes, of course, Islam and democracy can coexist. We understand democracy in a special way. But even so, Islam does not 1:47:37 PM
clash with the Western idea of democracy, where both the majority and minorities have rights. Yes, it is possible to practice this form of government in Iraq."
Thursday, November 20, 2003
SBC offers lower-cost VoIP:
"SBC rolled out the new VoIP service to 18 U.S. metro areas, including Los Angeles, Dallas and Chicago, in its 13-state service region and plans to serve 30 metro markets, including New York and Philadelphia, by the end of the year, said Michael Coe, an SBC spokesman. The goal is to win long-distance customers across the U.S., by using VoIP to compete with traditional long-distance services offered by national carriers such as MCI and AT&T Corp.
The hosted service will allow enterprises to avoid hardware and maintenance costs associated with on-site VoIP servers, SBC said. " 4:17:45 PM
Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Iraq-Al Queda contacts:
"The memo, dated October 27, 2003, was sent from Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas J. Feith to Senators Pat Roberts and Jay Rockefeller, the chairman and vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. It was written in response to a request from the committee as part of its investigation into prewar intelligence claims made by the administration. Intelligence reporting included in the 16-page memo comes from a variety of domestic and foreign agencies.. According to the memo--which lays out the intelligence in 50 numbered points--Iraq-al Qaeda contacts began in 1990 and continued through mid-March 2003, days before the Iraq War began." Article has extensive excerpts from the Feith memo, much of which refers to more detailed documents that have not yet been released. Also quotes 1999 press reports and Clinton speeches that speculate about Iraq-Queda coperation. 9:14:22 AM
Tuesday, November 18, 2003
Solar in Tibet:"Since 1990, China has been promoting the "Sunshine Program" and the "Light of Science Program" in disadvantageous Ngari Prefecture to build solar power stations there. By now, about 60 solar power stations have been built and 80 percent of nomadic Tibetans are using solar energy for light and warmth at night. In a nomadic tent set up in Coqen county, 65-year-old Tibetan Dagyi said .. "My home can save approximately 100 ghee [yak butter for light] each year, which we can sell for about 1,200 yuan (about 145 US dollars)," said Dagyi. ..
According to sources with the Solar Energy Promotion Center in Ngari Prefecture, solar energy development has been introduced notonly for lighting but other areas like heating, agriculture, herding and use in water conservancy projects. By the end of the year, solar lights will be available for nearly 70,000 Tibetans in the prefecture." 8:31:03 PM
: New Los Gatos company with several experienced execs. "A new photovoltaic materials manufacturer, Solaicx, announces that it has a new manufacturing technology that will supply its customer, the photovoltaic cell and module manufacturers, the material to create solar cells with high conversion-efficiency at very low cost and on a grand-scale. ..With eight U.S. patents in-process, Solaicx is attacking the cost structure of the expensive wafer, the heart of 86 percent of solar cells made today. Wafers typically account for 50 percent of a photovoltaic module's cost. The Solaicx solution:
-- Reduces the amount of silicon used;
-- Provides higher quality material that enables 21 percent solar cell
-- Creates the equipment and processes necessary for handling high
volumes of material.
"Most photovoltaic manufacturing companies use semiconductor capital equipment
to make solar cells. The photovoltaic industry is growing so rapidly that it
has become a materials handling business -- requiring square kilometers of
material each year. Solaicx is designing and building the equipment and
process specifically to produce square kilometers of photovoltaic material.
This is the key to making solar electricity more affordable."
"Our target customers are excited that our material is crystalline
silicon, the material used in the vast majority of solar cells sold today. It
is the ideal material for long-lasting, high efficiency solar cells. What's
more, Solaicx will provide these photovoltaic cell and module manufacturers
with an immense cost advantage." 8:24:52 PM