|Ken Novak's Weblog
Purpose of this blog: to retain annotated bookmarks for my future reference, and to offer others my filter technology and other news. Note that this blog is categorized. Use the category links to find items that match your interests.
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Sunday, August 07, 2005
Defeating the Jihadists: A Blueprint for Action: Richard A. Clarke and others released this report in November 2004. The Summary of the Recommendations is worth reading: "We argue that the threat is not terrorism, nor even all terrorist organizations, but rather jihadist terrorists, who seek to hijack Islam and use violence to replace existing governments with non-democratic theocracies. In most predominately Muslim nations, these affiliated jihadist groups seek to overthrow the existing government .. In Islamic countries, the jihadists seek to expel non-Muslims and non-Muslim influences. In nations where Muslims are in the minority, jihadists seek to create sub-cultures that are insulated from the nations and societies in which they exist. Often they also use their presence in these nations as a base for propaganda, recruitment, fundraising, and terrorism aimed at influencing the host governments. ..
There is disagreement as to whether jihadists are motivated chiefly by U.S. actions, such as the invasion of Iraq or U.S. support to Israel, or by their desire to create theocratic governments. Jihadists successfully employ criticism of U.S. policies to widen their support. Whether or not the U.S. were in Iraq or Israel in the West Bank, however, the core jihadists would still seek to overthrow existing regimes to create theocracies, and would target the U.S. because American support of existing Islamic governments makes that goal harder to achieve. ..
Since 9/11 Washington has provided only $516 million dollars towards the $5.6 billion the Coast Guard estimates U.S. ports need to make them minimally secure. In the FY2005 budget, the White House asked for just $50 million more. ..
The $155 million appropriated by Congress for [rail security] is about 1% of the funding appropriated for aviation security, though 16 times as many people travel by public transportation every day than by air. The next administration has the opportunity to play a critical role in this process by ensuring the passage of a block grant program dedicated to enhancing transit system security, focusing in particular on subways, commuter trains, and Amtrak railways...
Today, there are 123 chemical plants in this nation that, if attacked, could threaten up to one million people each. Yet there is no requirement to secure these plants. A Government Accounting Office (GAO) report released in March 2003 noted that even though U.S. chemical facilities were “attractive targets for terrorists,” the ability of any facility to respond to an attack was “unknown.” GAO found that the chemical industry was not required by law to assess vulnerabilities or take action to secure its facilities, and that “the federal government has not comprehensively assessed the chemical industry’s vulnerabilities to terrorist attacks.”.. " 4:42:35 PM
When Pigs Wi-Fi: Free WiFi works in rural Oregon: "this chunk of arid farm country appears to be the largest Wi-Fi hot spot in the world, with wireless high-speed Internet access available free for some 600 square miles. Most of that is in eastern Oregon, with some just across the border in southern Washington .. Morrow and Umatilla Counties in eastern Oregon are far ahead of them in providing high-speed Internet coverage to residents, schools and law enforcement officers - even though all of Morrow County doesn't even have a single traffic light. .. [WiFi] is free for consumers and has been up and running for more than a year and a half.
One reason it sprang up here is that a nearby Army depot contains chemical weapons, so there is special concern about what would happen if a cloud of nerve gas escaped from the depot. That fear helped provide a pot of federal money to underwrite safety systems. Usually, the police and fire agencies communicate just by radio, but Hermiston decided to go with a public-private partnership that established a Wi-Fi network. .. all police officers now carry [wireless computers that] download data and receive images from video monitors - and, if nerve gas ever escaped, display the cloud's direction and speed.
Fingerprint readers are now being added to these portable devices so a police officer can almost instantly run a person's fingerprint through a multistate database. And if there's a report of a burglary, the police rushing to the scene can download floor plans of the building, live images from video monitors and information about the alarm system. ..
Hermiston is already starting to introduce WiMax, the next generation of technology after Wi-Fi, offering much higher speeds and greater range." 10:56:41 AM
prefuse: an interactive visualization toolkit
: "prefuse is a user interface toolkit for building highly interactive visualizations of structured and unstructured data. This includes any form of data that can be represented as a set of entities (or nodes) possibly connected by any number of relations (or edges). Examples of data supported by prefuse include hierarchies (organization charts, taxonomies, file systems), networks (computer networks, social networks, web site linkage) and even non-connected collections of data (timelines, scatterplots). Using this toolkit, developers can create responsive, animated graphical interfaces for visualizing, exploring, and manipulating these various forms of data. prefuse is written in the Java programming language using the Java2D graphics library and is designed to integrate with any application written using the Java Swing user interface library. " Many good demos at the site. See also JUNG,
"the Java Universal Network/Graph Framework is a software library that provides a common and extendible language for the modeling, analysis, and visualization of data that can be represented as a graph or network. " 10:19:50 AM