July 2003

Doc Searls writes:

Who Owns What?

That’s the fundamental question, and it’s going to get more fundamental as
we roll toward the next presidential election here in the US. Much is
at stake, including Linux and its natural habitat: the Net. Both have
been extraordinarily good for business. Its perceived “threat” to
Microsoft and the dot-com crash are both red herrings. Take away Linux
and the Net, and both technology and the economy would be a whole lot worse.

Both the Net and Linux were created, grew and flourished almost entirely
outside the regulatory sphere. They are, in a literal sense, what
free markets have done with their freedoms.


The USA’s willingness to execute prisoners for crimes committed when they were children puts it in a world of its own, Amnesty International said today, as it published a new report on global adherence to the ban on the death penalty against child offenders - - those under 18 at the time of their crimes.

“Two thirds of the world’s known executions of child offenders in the past decade occurred in the USA, including the only four in the past 18 months,” Amnesty International said. “This is now the only country that openly continues to carry out such executions within the framework of its regular criminal justice system.”

Scott Roberts and Linda Searing, ScoutNews, report via DrKoop.com:

The more often young and middle-age men ejaculate, the less likely they are to develop prostate cancer, Australian researchers report in the journal New Scientist.

The Cancer Council Victoria in Melbourne asked 1,079 men with prostate cancer to answer a survey describing their sexual habits, comparing those answers with 1,259 healthy men of the same ages.

Although the preventive effect held true for men between the ages of 20 and 50, the effect seemed greatest among men in their twenties, the researchers conclude. Those in their twenties who ejaculated more than five times a week were one-third less likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer later in life, they say.


(via rense.com)

LuAnne Sorrell, KLAS-TV Reporter

(July 10) — It’s a new form of adult entertainment, and men are paying thousands of dollars to shoot naked women with paint ball guns. They’re coming to Las Vegas to do it. This bizarre new sport has captured the attention of people around the world, but Channel 8 Eyewitness News reporter LuAnne Sorrell is the only person who has interviewed the game’s founder.

The Daily Telegraph (AU) reports:

POP princess Britney Spears has admitted for the first time that she is not a virgin, but claims the only person she has slept with is her former boyfriend Justin Timberlake.

Her comments to the August issue of the style magazine W contradict her previous insistence that she would wait till marriage to lose her virginity. “I’ve only slept with one person my whole life,” said Britney, 21.

“It was two years into my relationship with Justin, and I thought he was the one. But I was wrong!”

The star described the split from the N’ Sync heart-throb as “the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced”, and said that her love life has yet to recover. Britney also discussed her rumoured fling with Irish actor Colin Farrell, whom she accompanied to the premiere of his movie “The Recruit” in February.

“Yes, I kissed him. Of course, I did!” she said. “He’s the cutest, hottest thing in the world. But it was nothing serious.

“Seriously, I haven’t had a boy in a long time, and I’m really craving a kiss.”

Clay Harden (), The Clarion-Ledger, reports:

MERIDIAN Questions remain today amid the spent shell casings and blood-stained reminders as to why a plant worker burst into an ethics class Tuesday morning, killing five co-workers, wounding nine others and killing himself.

The Evening Times (UK) reports:

A PATIENT woke up from a coma after 19 years and greeted his mother who was at his bedside.

Terry Wallis, 39, had been unconscious since a car crash in July 1984.
“He started out with ‘Mom’ and surprised her and then it was ‘Pepsi’ and then it was ‘milk’ and now it’s anything he wants to say,” said Alesha Badgley, social director of Stone County Nursing and Rehabilitation Centre, in Mountain View, Arkansas.

Mr Wallis was injured when the car he was in plunged into a creek. He was comatose and his friend, who was also in the vehicle, was dead when the pair were found underneath a bridge the following day.

Yesterday those of you who were around might recall seeing the [kuro5hin.org] site down or really slow for a good chunk of the day. There were some database problems, then a really bizarre thing with the Scoop servers which was solved by rebooting them, but after the reboot one came back up without sshd running so I can’t get in to configure it, and then some kind person decided to DoS us mildly. Oh, and I upgraded the database somewhere in there too.

So we’re on one Scoop server at the moment, and the database really needs to be archived more. I wrote a script to do archiving a lot faster, but it needs to run for a while, and it’s 4AM here and what with everything else I think I’m just calling today a maintenance day so I can go to bed.

It’s summer, and I’m sure many of you have things you’ve been meaning to get to. So now’s the time. Enjoy your K5 vacation day, and we’ll see you bright and early on Wednesday.


Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi , Minister of Public Service and Administration of South Africa, writes in The Sunday Times:

[ITWeb, 4 Jul 2003] The increasing role of information technology in government offers an integral tool for the strengthening of state institutions. Last year, at the eAfrica Conference, a conference about developing information technology in governance on our continent, delegates - both politicians and officials - told of the challenges of providing government services in countries ravaged by decades of war, famine and political instability, where infrastructure is minimal.

Along with IT development comes considerable cost. In a developing country like SA, billions are spent on software licences - billions of dollars in valuable foreign exchange, money going out the country that could be used to build houses, roads, hospitals and schools, are going to multi-national companies in order to use their software.

Is there an alternative? Yes, and it is called open source software (OSS).

(via Linux Today)

Keith Meyers/The New York Times
An old New York City subway car was pushed into the ocean Thursday off Cape May, N.J. A total of 50 cars were added to an artificial reef.

(via BoingBoing)