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From the manual for DEVONthink Pro: Note: If you think the user interface for the styles editor is crap, you’re right.
May 31st, 2006 by Ken Hagler

From the man­u­al for DEVON­think Pro:

bq. Note: If you think the user inter­face for the styles edi­tor is crap, you’re right. But don’t blame us, it’s built into Mac OS
X.

It’s refresh­ing to see hon­esty like that from a soft­ware com­pa­ny.

Go, Chicks! .
May 31st, 2006 by Ken Hagler

Go, Chicks!. The Dix­ie Chicks’ new album, Tak­ing the Long Way, has debut­ed at #1 on the charts.… By Lew Rock­well. [LewRockwell.com Blog]

I bought it, even though I nor­mal­ly don’t lis­ten to them.

Building the Police State .
May 31st, 2006 by Ken Hagler

Build­ing the Police State. Now that he is con­firmed as CIA com­mis­sar, Michael Hay­den can get on with his real job: vast­ly step­ping up the spy­ing on those the gov­ern­ment real­ly fears: the Amer­i­can peo­ple. (Thanks to LL for the link.)… By Lew Rock­well. [LewRockwell.com Blog]

bq. This nation is under attack. We, the peo­ple, are under attack. And the ene­my in this case is not an Islam­ic rad­i­cal hid­ing in a cave in Afghanistan but a cabal of tru­ly evil men and wom­en at 1600 Penn­syl­va­nia Avenue and on Capi­tol Hill aid­ed by carefully-picked, law-ignoring appointees at the Hoover Build­ing on Penn­syl­va­nia Avenue, a black glass-walled build­ing at Fort Meade, MD, and a com­plex in Lan­g­ley, Vir­ginia.

I finally replaced my Nikon LS-2000 film scanner with a new Nikon LS-9000.
May 27th, 2006 by Ken Hagler

I final­ly replaced my Nikon LS-2000 film scan­ner with a new Nikon LS-9000. I had planned on replac­ing the scan­ner some­time this year, as it’s sev­en years old and has been rather heav­i­ly used. Fol­low­ing an OS upgrade on the scan­ning machine it stopped work­ing, prob­a­bly because of an incom­pat­i­bil­i­ty with the real­ly old scan­ner or SCSI card.

The new scan­ner is much larg­er, because it han­dles medi­um for­mat film as well as 35mm. The LS-2000 had a motor­ized neg­a­tive film feed­er which pulled in strips of up to six frames; this has been replaced by a plas­tic tray that holds two strips clamped in place. So far this has been a real pain, as get­ting curled up strips of film to lie flat in the right spot is quite tricky.

Scan­ning a frame takes con­sid­er­ably longer, which is hard­ly sur­pris­ing given that its res­o­lu­tion is 4000 dpi, up from 2700 dpi. The scan qual­i­ty is as good as the old scan­ner, besides the high­er res­o­lu­tion.

El Al Doesn’t Trust the TSA .
May 23rd, 2006 by Ken Hagler

El Al Doesn’t Trust the TSA. They want to do secu­ri­ty them­selves at Newark Air­port, as they already do at four oth­er U.S. air­ports.

bq. No oth­er air­line has such an arrange­ment with U.S. offi­cials, author­i­ties acknowl­edged. At the four oth­er air­ports, El Al has installed its own secu­ri­ty soft­ware at bomb-detection machi­nes, which author­i­ties said is more sen­si­tive than that used by Amer­i­can car­ri­ers. [Schneier on Secu­ri­ty]

I don’t trust the Ter­ror­ist Safe­ty Admin­is­tra­tion either, in part because they don’t allow me to do secu­ri­ty myself.

FBI Searching Journalists’ Phone Records .
May 16th, 2006 by Ken Hagler

FBI Search­ing Jour­nal­ists’ Phone Records. ABC News reports that the FBI has admit­ted that it is increas­ing­ly seeks reporters’ phone records in leak inves­ti­ga­tions.
bq. “It used to be very hard and com­pli­cat­ed to do this, but it no longer is in the Bush admin­is­tra­tion,” said a senior fed­er­al offi­cial.
…Offi­cials say the FBI makes exten­sive use of a new pro­vi­sion of the Patri­ot Act which allows agents to seek infor­ma­tion with what are called Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Let­ters (NSL).
The NSLs are a ver­sion of an admin­is­tra­tive sub­poe­na and are not signed by a judge. Under the law, a phone com­pa­ny receiv­ing a NSL for phone records must provide them and may not divul­ge to the cus­tomer that the records have been given to the gov­ern­ment.
The Patri­ot Act isn’t just for “ter­ror­ists” any­more, but, then, it nev­er was real­ly. That was just the excuse given to the Amer­i­can sheeple, and they swal­lowed the lie hook, line, and sinker. —ABC News [Police State USA]

A reminder that when the Bushe­viks go on about how they’re “at war,” they mean it–at war with us.

Drip, Drip, Drip .
May 11th, 2006 by Ken Hagler

Drip, Drip, Drip. Don't worry about NSA wiretapping, we were told, it only concerns international calls.

Well...bq. The National Security Agency has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth, people with direct knowledge of the arrangement told USA TODAY.

The NSA program reaches into homes and businesses across the nation by amassing information about the calls of ordinary Americans -- most of whom aren't suspected of any crime. This program does not involve the NSA listening to or recording conversations. But the spy agency is using the data to analyze calling patterns in an effort to detect terrorist activity, sources said in separate interviews.This is where I tend to part ways with many of my fellow libertarians. Private data banks of personal information scare me just as much as government data banks, because given how easy it is for government to get access to the private information, "private" and "public" are virtually indistinguishable.bq. AT&T recently merged with SBC and kept the AT&T name. Verizon, BellSouth and AT&T are the nation's three biggest telecommunications companies; they provide local and wireless phone service to more than 200 million customers.

The three carriers control vast networks with the latest communications technologies. They provide an array of services: local and long-distance calling, wireless and high-speed broadband, including video. Their direct access to millions of homes and businesses has them uniquely positioned to help the government keep tabs on the calling habits of Americans.

Among the big telecommunications companies, only Qwest has refused to help the NSA, the sources said. According to multiple sources, Qwest declined to participate because it was uneasy about the legal implications of handing over customer information to the government without warrants.

[...]

According to sources familiar with the events, Qwest's CEO at the time, Joe Nacchio, was deeply troubled by the NSA's assertion that Qwest didn't need a court order -- or approval under FISA -- to proceed. Adding to the tension, Qwest was unclear about who, exactly, would have access to its customers' information and how that information might be used.

Financial implications were also a concern, the sources said. Carriers that illegally divulge calling information can be subjected to heavy fines. The NSA was asking Qwest to turn over millions of records. The fines, in the aggregate, could have been substantial.

The NSA told Qwest that other government agencies, including the FBI, CIA and DEA, also might have access to the database, the sources said. As a matter of practice, the NSA regularly shares its information -- known as "product" in intelligence circles -- with other intelligence groups. Even so, Qwest's lawyers were troubled by the expansiveness of the NSA request, the sources said.

The NSA, which needed Qwest's participation to completely cover the country, pushed back hard.

Trying to put pressure on Qwest, NSA representatives pointedly told Qwest that it was the lone holdout among the big telecommunications companies. It also tried appealing to Qwest's patriotic side: In one meeting, an NSA representative suggested that Qwest's refusal to contribute to the database could compromise national security, one person recalled.

In addition, the agency suggested that Qwest's foot-dragging might affect its ability to get future classified work with the government. Like other big telecommunications companies, Qwest already had classified contracts and hoped to get more.

Unable to get comfortable with what NSA was proposing, Qwest's lawyers asked NSA to take its proposal to the FISA court. According to the sources, the agency refused. Sounds like a good reason to switch to Qwest, if you ask me.

TrackBack (0) | [The Agitator]

Indeed, it's great that someone was still willing to stand up to the Gestapo. I would have been surprised if this wasn't going on, but hopefully this story will prompt a few more people to wake up and realize that the United States of America is long dead, and nothing remains but a rotting corpse long past due for burial.

How intense is the guerrilla war in Iraq? .
May 11th, 2006 by Ken Hagler

How intense is the guer­ril­la war in Iraq?. One good way to gauge the lev­el of inten­si­ty in Iraq is to com­pare the casu­al­ty rate to pre­vi­ous wars. Of course, that is dif­fi­cult to do since there have been sub­stan­tial upgrades to med­ical care and body armor. It… [John Robb’s Weblog]

“Flying Robot Attack ‘Unstoppable’: Experts” ."> Flying Robot Attack ‘Unstoppable’: Experts” .
May 9th, 2006 by Ken Hagler

Fly­ing Robot Attack ‘Unstop­pable’: Experts”. The head­line was just too deli­cious to resist, in the first place. But this story–about the ter­ror­is­tic pos­si­bil­i­ties of remote-controlled… [Hit and Run]

Hope­ful­ly Sky Cap­tain will pro­tect us.

Cell-Phone Tracking: Laws Needed .
May 8th, 2006 by Ken Hagler

Cell-Phone Track­ing: Laws Need­ed. The wide­spread track­ing of police sus­pects through their cell phones must be clar­i­fied by Con­gress, observers say. Ryan Sin­gel reports from Wash­ing­ton. [Wired News: Top Sto­ries]

Laws are irrel­e­vant, because the cops will just ignore them. What’s impor­tant is that the wide­spread track­ing is fair­ly well known now, where just a few years ago any­one sug­gest­ing it could hap­pen was accused of para­noia.

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