July 2007

Symmetricom Telecom Solutions reports:

On September 7, 2007, we can all celebrate the 80th anniversary of the birth of television. As we consider the new technologies that are bringing us IPTV, and the impending end of analog TV broadcasting, consider that television is here today because of agriculture. That’s right, if it weren’t for tilling a field with a horse-drawn harrow, we may not be talking today about the wonders of packet-based video.

Kelly Fiveash, The Register, reports:

An Aussie bloke went on a phone mast destroying spree yesterday, on the grounds that his health had been damaged by mobile phone signals.

According to the Times, John Patterson - who previously worked at Australia’s biggest telecoms firm, Telstra - used a 15-tonne armoured personnel carrier (APC) to bring down seven phone towers.

A convoy of more than 20 police cars and onlookers, some of whom egged him on, followed Patterson across western suburbs of Sydney.

Dennis Buffington, Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Penn State University, writes:

Burning shelled corn as a fuel can be a feasible way of dealing with the high prices of more conventional fuels such as fuel oil, propane, natural gas, coal, and firewood. Utilizing corn as a fuel does not compete with the food supply needed for nourishment throughout the world. While it is recognized that malnutrition is a serious global problem, the world is not experiencing a food production problem. Instead the world faces political challenges associated with providing infrastructure systems for food distribution and storage.

Contemporary agricultural systems can produce sufficient quality and quantity of food for the world’s population, with additional resources available so that agricultural products can be used as fuel, pharmaceuticals, and chemical feedstocks. Shelled corn is a fuel that can be produced within 180 days, compared to the millennia needed to produce fossil fuels.

In Crypto-Gram, Bruce Schneier wrties:

Watch the video very carefully; it’s President Bush working the crowds
in Albania. 0.50 seconds into the clip, Bush has a watch. 1.04 seconds
into the clip, he had a watch.

The U.S. is denying that his watch was stolen:  ”Photographs showed
Bush, surrounded by five bodyguards, putting his hands behind his back
so one of the bodyguards could remove his watch.”

I simply don’t see that in the video. Bush’s arm is out in front of him
during the entire nine seconds between those stills.

Another denial: “An Albanian bodyguard who accompanied Bush in the town
told The Associated Press he had seen one of his U.S. colleagues close
to Bush bend down and pick up the watch.”

That’s certainly possible; it may have fallen off.

But possibly the pickpocket of the century. (Although would anyone
actually be stupid enough to try? There must be a zillion
easier-to-steal watches in that crowd, many of them nicer than Bush’s.)

Video clip: