April 2003

From the SkyREPORT:

Satellite has taken its reach to 16,000 feet, supporting climbers on this spring’s climb of the world’s highest peak.

The first-ever Internet cafe at the Mt. Everest base camp went live last week using space segment on Americom Asia-Pacific’s AAP-1 satellite. Americom Asia-Pacific, a 50/50 joint venture between Lockheed Martin and SES Americom, donated bandwidth on the satellite to help make the cafe possible.

The path consists of a Wi-Fi connection between the base camp and a satellite earth station installed within two miles of the camp at a height of 16,000 feet. The AAP-1 satellite then connects the earth station to a teleport in Taipei, which in turn, is connected to the Internet backbone via fiber.

A Proud American (via kuro5hin.org) writes:

“It used to be a librarian would be pictured with a book,” said Ms. Snider, the branch manager, slightly exasperated as she hunched over the wastebasket. “Now it is a librarian with a shredder.”

Librarians in America, specifically those in Santa Cruz, California, have resorted to shredding nearly all documents or records of any sort in order to counter the United States’ new Patriot Act (EFF critique), a law passed after 9/11 which significantly broadened the federal authorities’ ability to tap into public information in the name of anti-terrorism.

Many libraries have begun distributing leaflets to visitors which detail their objections to the increased F.B.I. power and explain that librarians are in the process of reviewing their files to ensure that any and all data they have about borrowing and computer usage histories is absolutely necessary to their operation.

(Mon Apr 7th, 2003 at 02:30:40 PM EST)


The INQUIRER staff writes, “PRINTER COMPANY Canon has unveiled a technique based on its inkjet technology that will allow for cheap mass production of DNA chips.

DNA chips are used to trace diseases and, according to a report on Nihon Keizai Shimbun, the technology, likely to be ready in two years’ time, will cut the price of production by 90 per cent.

The technology uses a solution of DNA rather than ink and sprays that onto glass in a precise way.

Canon has already demonstrated a prototype that produced some hundreds of DNA chips, which currently are being made using expensive semiconductor tech.

Prices of these current chips are around one million yen, the newspaper reports.

Friday 04 April 2003, 09:51

From the reverse cow girl’s blog, “Bombing for Peace is Like Fucking for Virginity.”

A movie review by Peter Hata

In Groundhog Day, Bill Murray plays a wisecracking and sarcastic TV weatherman who is sent on assignment to cover the annual Groundhog Day festivities in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvannia. He is accompanied by a sweet and cheery producer, played by actress Andie MacDowell, and a smart-aleck cameraman, played by Chris Elliott. The Bill Murray character covers the news story in his usual arrogant and condescending way, but then things start to go wrong. First, on his way out of town, he and his crew get stuck in Punxsutawney due to a giant snowstorm–which as a weatherman, he had failed to predict. Second, he awakens the next morning to discover its Groundhog Day all over again…and again…and again. Being stuck in a time warp might not be so bad, but for the Bill Murray character, who sees himself as a “bigshot” and looks down on the entire town and the small town mindset of its people, having to repeat day after day here is pure hell. At one point, he even tries to commit suicide, only to awake the next morning to find that yes, its still Groundhog Day!