Updated: 5/16/2006; 11:27:30 AM.

Ken Novak's Weblog
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daily link  Friday, January 09, 2004


Wishful Thinking on Korea: More selective intelligence at work in the administration:  "In the summer of 2002, insiders say, the U.S. had a defector report that Mr. Kim might soon be ousted. Experts on Korea were deeply skeptical about that unconfirmed report, but it matched what hard-liners wanted to believe, so they passed it all the way up to President Bush himself. That defector's report, later discredited, helped harden the administration's give-no-inch approach --leading Mr. Kim to begin reprocessing plutonium last year."  8:56:13 PM  permalink  

Clark or Dean? How about both? A progressive who thinks like I do -- the best ticket would be a Clark/Dean one, for all good reasons.   He misses one -- the necessity to integrate the new Dean organization and energy in the party.  8:03:11 PM  permalink  

The Australian: WMDs 'smuggled into Syria': " Paris-based Syrian dissident Nijar Nijjof told Britain's independent Channel Five News that a senior Syrian military intelligence source had told him about the weapons. The unnamed source revealed that the weapons were smuggled across the Iraqi border in ambulances before the war that led to Saddam's ouster, Nijjof said. "I knew this man during the last two years, he sent me much information," Nijjof said of his contact.

"There hasn't been any hard evidence that such a thing happened," [Condoleezza Rice] told reporters, but "I can't dismiss anything that we haven't had an opportunity to fully assess".

  5:33:10 PM  permalink  

Cringely's WhyFi: How to get to 1m hotspots -- the same architecture as the "grid networking" idea I was promoting in 2002: "First we need to encourage what are essentially noncommercial hotspots and we do that not by revenue sharing but by providing free equipment. Anyone who wants to start a hotspot gets a free WiFi access point and a free WiFi client card for a notebook or other computer [with] slightly different firmware. This firmware establishes for the hotspot owner a DMZ in which the public traffic is contained [to what is not used by the hotspot owner], as well as a RADIUS function required for network authorization. The WhyFi card also contains different firmware that establishes similar DMZ and RADIUS functions though in this case they operate in an ad hoc network around your notebook or dektop.

Your incentive to operate a WhyFi hotspot is free service for you when you leave home. The hardware and software are free. There is no performance hit. And your WhyFi card gives you free unlimited access to the entire network through MAC address filtering. So while you don't make any money from the WhyFi network it also doesn't cost you anything to belong. " Money is made from subscribers who don't have a hotspot.   Will ISP's resist sharing of their connections?  Some will, but some already don't, and they will be the ones that will ultimately thrive.

  2:41:47 PM  permalink  

Software for micropayments online: "Ronald L. Rivest, the R in the public key encryption system RSA, which he helped invent, and Silvio Micali, whose honors include the 1993 Gödel Prize in theoretical computer science, founded Peppercoin and introduced it commercially in December. Peppercoin hopes to reduce online merchants' transaction costs substantially, particularly the number of credit card charges they pay. These are typically about 25 cents per sale, said Robert W. Carney, vice president for marketing at Peppercoin. The company's software uses advanced encryption and mathematical models to avoid charging a seller a fee each time an item is sold. Instead, the system statistically selects a representative sample of the transactions for billing...

BitPass, another new micropayment company, stresses the simplicity of its system. Kurt Huang, chief executive of the company, based in Palo Alto, Calif., said that all the gatekeeping and financial processing services were bundled in a single file that can easily be uploaded to a Web server for use by a hosted Web site. "This way the little guy can engage in digital commerce," Mr. Huang said...

PayPal recently offered a special micropayment rate, restricted for now to large digital music providers. These sellers will be charged 11.5 cents for a 99-cent song - 2.5 percent plus 9 cents per transaction - rather than the standard 25 to 30 cents.

  12:21:49 AM  permalink  

GBN's Peter Schwartz: "Most organizations and most people assume that the world in front of us is basically continuous -- that tomorrow is basically going to be pretty much like today," he said. In fact, the opposite is true: We live in a time of perpetual discontinuity, a time in which bombshells and shockers are part of everyday life."  His 1999 "inevitable surprises" include:

  • Most baby-boomers won't retire
  • Tech-led productivity booms won't stop
  • Nano tech and quantum computing will revolutionize science
  • Cuts in pollution: "With the pace of technological change, high growth equals clean, low growth equals dirty."
  • 3 kinds of countries:
    • "Disorderly" countries where chaos and rebellion are rampant and information and financial flows are broken; this includes most of Africa, parts of Latin America, and big parts of Central Asia.
    • "Orderly" countries that follow a system of rules designed for them not to fight with each other; this group comprises traditional industrialized regions like Europe, Japan, big parts of Latin America, most of China, and most of India.
    • The United States, aka the rogue superpower. "We're the guys who make the rules but don't play by the rules," Peter explained. "We find ourselves in this unique position with a super-dominant economy and a super-dominant military, and no one can even come close to catching us. And nothing on the horizon suggests that's going to change."
  • Abrupt climate change, possibly slowing of the the Gulf Stream or other major change, even without global warming
  • European in-migration causing large cultural change there

Possibly interesting audio is on the site.

  12:04:23 AM  permalink  

 

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Last update: 5/16/2006; 11:27:30 AM.