Saturday, January 21, 2006

Worthy of widespread distribution

(Via Jerry Pournelle)

Until We Meet Again

My thanks, as well.

Ah, caught you looking!

For the Carnival of Cordite #44, right? Much gunny goodness, as usual. Particularly interesting to me was the notation of ATF's continued record keeping snafus.

Do you suppose we could hope for the NFA registry being reopened so that the ATF "could seek the assistance of NFA owners to get their paperwork complete" without firearms owners running the risk of fines, jail time and the loss of their guns?

Yeah, I didn't think so either.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Yahoo and Microsoft and AOL, on my!

There's a lot more news today on the Google subpoena that I blogged yesterday.

First, I have to report that my idea of sending messages via your search strings won't work. Declan McCullagh, in his News.com FAQ piece on the subpoena, that the dates they're looking to see are in June and July, 2005. Of course, with my tendency toward conspiracy theory, you have to wonder what else might have went on in that period, in addition to pervs looking for kiddie porn.

Second, McCullagh reports that in addition to Yahoo, Microsoft and AOL were also served with subpoenas. I am surprised but please to report that AOL may have at least negotiated, and wound up turning over around a day's worth of search terms. Interestingly enough, the Feds have also narrowed their request for Google's results to a single day. Wouldn't you really like to know what day, and if it was the same for both?

Third, like Yahoo, Microsoft, perhaps still bruised from their recent antitrust battle, rolled over and showed their tummy.

I think this whole thing doesn't pass a sniff test. Get out the tinfoil if you wish, but I'd make a bet that something else is going on besides trying to defend an anti-porn statute.


On the "news you can use" front, Wired has a handy article on "How to Foil Search Engine Snoops". The methodology isn't perfect, but it's better than nothing.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Googling for Big Brother

Everyone knows Google--the most popular search engine on the Internet. The Federal government most definitely knows them--they're subpoenaing Google for an unspecified week's worth of search queries, plus 1,000,000 randomly selected web addresses.

Now it's perfectly OK for us to get angry--in fact, I encourage it. However, in the hackish tradition, I suggest that you put that anger to good use. Since we don't know what week the Feds are asking for, we can assume it could be any week--a year ago, a month a go or next week. My suggestion is that, when you have a few minutes, you should Google some useful phrases, and hope they make their way to the appropriate Federal officials.

You can also write your Congresscreatures, but I think Googling is a much better stress reliever.

Oh, and if you think you can avoid this by using other search engines, the same FOXNews article notes that #2 Yahoo has already
with a similar subpoena. Of course, given Yahoo's track record with cooperating with governments, especially totalitarian ones, you shouldn't be surprised.

Everything must go!

U.S. Holds Going-Out-Of-Business Sale

"The U.S. government, America's place for law and order since 1776, has lost its lease, and everything must go, go, go," [President] Bush said. "But our loss is your gain, and make no mistake: You, the people, would be crazy to miss out on these amazing closeout bargains."

As with so much satire, the thing that makes it funny is the truth hidden within.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

No more Winchesters? Say it ain't so!

(Via the Yahoo LongRangeRifle group)

Word is that US Repeating Arms (which is owned by a Belgian firm, Herstal Group), will be closing the Winchester factory in New Haven, CT on March 31. Around 200 people will lose their jobs.

First Ithaca, now Winchester? There are continual rumors that Remington is on the edge. This is not good--not good at all.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Know your history

(Via Jerry Pournelle)

One of Dr. Pournelle's multitudinous readers has found an excellent resource, The Founders' Constitution. I haven't had time to go over all of it (Heck, I may never have that much time.), but it looks promising from the standpoint of accuracy and completeness. Worth a look.