May 2003


A child prays for prompt end to SARS. Tzu Chis Chiayi Service Center in Taiwan organized the community prayer to encourage everyone to bring forth compassion and goodness through being vegetarian. As a vegetarian diet helps to purify our own thoughts, non-killing brings peace to society. 05/17/2003

writes in the May 15, 2003, CRYPTO-GRAM:

1) Encryption of phone communications is very uncommon. Sixteen cases of encryption out of 1,358 wiretaps is a little more than one percent. Almost no suspected criminals use voice encryption.

2) Encryption of phone conversations isn’t very effective. Every time law enforcement encountered encryption, they were able to bypass it. I assume that local law enforcement agencies don’t have the means to brute-force DES keys (for example). My guess is that the voice encryption was relatively easy to bypass.



From Today’s Northwest Herald (McHenry County, Illinois)


From Issue 89 of Lumpen.


Person of the Month for March 2003, are Rafael Rozendaal and John White C.

The most important social quest of the past century was Freedom and no other symbol has capture better the urgency of that question than the Anarchy Symbol.

The major social issue of our days, is the question of the Intellectual Property and Copyright: In a world that property and content is becoming increasingly easy to copy, shall we obey to the the old laws that will stop this illuminate re-distribution or shall we be free to copy? After all, if information has any value, its because it is either a snapshot of our feelings, (songs and music), or a demo of what can become visible, (visual arts, movies etc) or a speculation on what is possible, (science) or the development of a language, (computer code), or a combination of ideas that can occur to anybody at any time ( books).

In order to bring this discussion to the multitude, Rafael Rozendaal, designed after my request, and after a suggestion by John White C. a very simple and direct logo against copyright and IP. Let’s write it on all walls!

Miltos Manetas, May 2003

(via BoingBoing)


(via BoingBoing)

[s] Have you completely forgotten your true mission?
[s] You are under a spell that has made you forget everything.

Cry me a killer, a boy and a girl
Rise from the ashes and escape from the world
Trails of fire lace the dreams in their heads
The soft touch of desperation on The Velvet Edge
Draw down the moon on this city scum born
Where the painful sensations are mindless and torn
The absence of windows is making them stir
Tragedy chance is the Will of the Pure.

[s] “Darling!”
[s] “My treasure, come!”
[s] “At last, I’ve been so lonely without you.”

([s] = sampled spoken words)


Suzanne Vega (center) and I (on her right) in the performer’s lounge at the House of Blues in Chicago, last weekend.

Andrew O’Hehir (Salon) writes:

Early on in the film, Morpheus whips the inhabitants of Zion, the underground city where the last band of human rebels have their stronghold, into a frenzy. The agents of the Matrix have finally located Zion, and a dreadful army of 250,000 Sentinels — those scary, dreadlocked killing machines from the first film — is burrowing down through the earth, on its way to destroy the city and annihilate the free survivors of the human race. But Morpheus does not rouse the citizens of Zion for battle, although a final battle is close at hand. He wants them to party. The machines have been trying to kill them for years, decades, he reminds them, longer than anyone living can remember: “But we are still alive!”

What follows is a thunderously exciting all-night multicultural rave, an ecstatic dance party the likes of which I’ve never seen on film before — intercut with a hot ‘n’ sweaty interlude between Neo and Trinity, who’ve been struggling to find some Q.T. together amid the impending apocalypse and hordes of strangers who want Neo to bless their babies. One of the marks of genuine genius in the Matrix films, I think, is the way the Wachowskis manage to have it both ways so much of the time: They can make a box-office-busting action spectacular that is also an explicit critique of media-age capitalism and a lefty-Christian parable. They can turn a sex scene between two movie stars with fabulous bodies into a celebration of the sheer sensuous delight we all share (or should share, anyway) just at being alive, experiencing the world with our own bodies and our own minds.

(via BoingBoing)

Dennis Sellers () writes:

WFMU, an independent freeform radio station, is using an iPod as an alternate music source when the station’s satellite feed fails during inclement weather, according to longtime listener Brian Redman.

David Weinberger writes:

Copy Protection Is a Crime
against humanity. Society is based on bending the rules.

Digital rights management sounds unobjectionable on paper: Consumers purchase certain rights to use creative works and are prevented from violating those rights. Who could balk at that except the pirates? Fair is fair, right? Well, no.

In reality, our legal system usually leaves us wiggle room. What’s fair in one case won’t be in another - and only human judgment can discern the difference. As we write the rules of use into software and hardware, we are also rewriting the rules we live by as a society, without anyone first bothering to ask if that’s OK.

Radio Free Asia reports:

WASHINGTON, May 7, 2003–Callers to Radio Free Asias Tibetan-language hotline report that Tibetans and Chinese in the Tibetan Autonomous Region are buying traditional Tibetan medicine and incense in bulk in a bid to keep the deadly SARS virus from spreading to the remote region.

Two hospital officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also affirmed the Chinese governments claim that no cases of SARS have been confirmed in Tibet. But several callers reported on Wednesday that dozens of people have been quarantined in Tibet with SARS-like symptoms.


The Private Storm Shelter Location database is an initiative of the Office of Emergency Management for the purpose of location trapped victims in the event of a disaster.

MICHAEL BRICK (New York Times) writes:

On this recording, Mr. Isay is making an oral history of his own family, but he is also using the interview as a trial run for a much broader project: to democratize the craft of oral history and simultaneously capture a chronicle of ordinary life in our times comparable to the body of work produced by the Works Progress Administration two generations ago.

This will turn on his ability to persuade ordinary people, starting with New Yorkers, to speak of raw workaday joy and anguish, outside their homes or neighborhood bars, in the presence of a microphone, a recording device, a friend and a stranger. It also turns on his ability to teach untrained interviewers the techniques that can elicit candid stories and unvarnished emotions.

“This is our beachhead against `The Bachelor’ ” Mr. Isay said, referring to the reality television show. “It’s about reminding America what kind of stories are interesting and meaningful and important.”

Starting in October, in Vanderbilt Hall inside Grand Central Terminal, Mr. Isay plans to build something of a quiet public confessional in the center of the motion and tumult and ordinariness of daily commuting.


From NASA, a stunning time-lapse movie showing the air-traffic over the Continental US in a 24h period. (via BoingBoing)

14 MB QuickTime Movie

The Chicago Anti-Bashing Network writes:

CHICAGO — On Friday, a ten-person jury found the City of Chicago guilty of systematically covering up criminal violence by its police officers, to the point where officers felt they could commit crimes without fear of arrest or discipline by the department.

Julian Borger (from The Guardian) writes from Washington on
Monday March 4, 2002

Since John Ashcroft became US attorney general last year, workers at the department of justice have become accustomed to his daily prayer meetings, but some are now drawing the line at having to sing patriotic songs penned by their idiosyncratic boss.

Mr Ashcroft, a devout Christian and a grittily determined singer, went public with one of his works last month, when he surprised an audience at a North Carolina seminary with a rendition of Let the Eagle Soar, a tribute to America’s virtues, which continues: “Like she’s never soared before, from rocky coast to golden shore, let the mighty eagle soar,” and so on for four minutes.

The performance (which can be seen and heard at was accompanied only by taped music, but Mr Ashcroft’s staff are complaining that printed versions of the song are being distributed at meetings so that they will be able to join in.

Brad Templeton writes:

While many only encountered spam (junk e-mail or junk newsgroup postings) in
the mid 1990s, my research has found it goes back much further than that.

In fact, the earliest documented junk e-mailing I’ve uncovered was sent May 3,
1978 — 25 years ago last Saturday. (It was written May 1 but sent on
May 3.) And in a surprising coincidence (*),
just a month ago marked the 10th anniversary of March 31, 1993, the first
time a USENET posting got named a spam.