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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 The LS-2000 had a motorized negative film feeder which pulled in strips of up to six frames; this has been replaced by a plastic tray that holds two strips clamped in place.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” .
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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