Monday, February 26, 2007

Two months ago ATT released plans to send TV programing over its phone lines, and the project is getting off to a slow start. It had set a deadline for itself to be operating in 15 markets by the end of 2006, but was only able to provide the service to 11. This has been a disappointment for many who are looking forward to the service as a choice over the cable services that they are currently using. The technology is based on the internet protocol and will be sending data packages over the internet. ATT is overing the service, part of its new U-Verse package as a way to compete with cable companies that are starting to offer voice and internet services. To get the technology operating correctly will require a strong investment in ATT's network to carry the streams of data the new technology will be using. While they seem to be banking new growth on this, investing a large amount in upgrades on its network, anyone who has had the misfortune of dealing with customer service for ATT knows where they should really be making an investment.

In a story that shows the complexity of the battle raging on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, a small Afghan town is seeking NATO help in driving Taliban operatives out. The town was a part of an agreement between NATO forces and Taliban forces where both parties were supposed to leave the town. NATO forces left the town, but Taliban forces remained in the area and have been dealing out a reign of terror. Town leaders are so desperate to drive the terrorist forces out of their town, they suggested that NATO forces could use air strikes as a means of eliminating the threat. Taliban forces in the area have been threatening local leaders with death and arrest in an attempt to excerpt their control over the town. I clearly want to side with the villagers in this story, because no one should have to live in terror, but the bigger story is that the battle is not the black and white Taliban/Terrorist versus American/NATO force that many have come to understand it as. Many of the forces that are fighting NATO troops in the region are Arabs, which makes them invaders just as much as western powers.

In a ruling that has inspired anger in some and relief in others the International Criminal court has handed down a verdict in the trial of war crimes in Bosnia. The court found that while there were massive and serious crimes against humynity that had taken place, it did not rise to the level of genocide. The court in a strict definiton of the meaning of genocide and the understanding of state participation in it cleared Serbia. Bosnians who have survive the attacks from the war are calling this the second betrayal by the international community, the first being allowing the crimes to take place to begin with. While this is a time that healing could take place between the communities, the fear of many is that this will serve to make relations harder between them, in truth though no ruling would have made everyone happy and any ruling would have made relations harder.

The battle for Anna Nicole Smith's body entered a new stage as it her body was put on hold when a judge agreed to hear her mothers appeal for the custody and the burial of her body. While both of the men who claim to be fathers of her child have come forward in agreement that she should be buried in the Bahamas her mother is pressing to have her buried in Texas. Her mother is also a party in the fight to gain custody of Smith's daughter that has been going on in various courts for months. According to at least one source Anna Nicole herself did not know who the father of her baby was, and at least four men are potential fathers. Anna Nicole Smith's mother, Virgie Arthur, claims that judge had no right to grant custody of Smith's body to Smith's daughter and that as Smith's only legal next of kin, it should have been granted to Arthur. Howard K Stern is asking that Arthur respect her daughters wishes, saying that the testimony seemed to clearly indicate that Smith wanted to be buried in the Bahamas. Meanwhile TMZ is reporting that for the first time, Larry Birkhead has met the child that he believe is his daughter.

Cameras are watching us all the time, and new techonology is making them smarter, Cameras can be found at a number of places in our world, from the corner gas station, to the red-light cameras that many cities are putting in place. A number of cities of gone even farther and are placing cameras in rough neighborhoods as a way of detoring crime. Until recently the cameras could only watch, but new technology is going to give them the ability to think. They will be able to judge how tall you are, find abandoned packages in a train station (possible bombs), and detect other suspicious activity that in some cases could prevent a crime from happening. Some cities are already using technology that allows a camera to detect a gun shot, and then focus on the source of the shot, casinos are using cameras to scan faces for cheating gamblers that they have had problems with before. With all this watching a new technology, privacy will of course become a concern, how much safety is worth the loss of privacy in public places.

The Smoking Gun has published a paper from NASA detailing what should be done if an astronaut were to lose their minds in space. While I don't want to spoil all the details, it is interesting enough to note that the plan seems to be based on duckt tape and bungee cords.

Bobby Brown is behind bars on charges relating to unpaid child support, he owes almost $20,000 in back payments. Brown's attorney told TMZ that he is making an effort to get the money that is due, and attempting to work out a deal with the court. The money to due to the mother of his two children, Kim Ward.

X17 Online is reporting that a social worker visited Kevin Federlines house, he is taking care of the children full time while Britney Spears is in rehab in Malibu. On the same day, the full time father was given a new car, it would appear that he could not fit the baby seats into his pick-up truck.

A debate on news is developing between two big news names over the story of Anna Nicole Smith and her death. On one side is Fox News anchor John Gibson who says he is going to continue to cover the story and on the other is CNN journalist Anderson Cooper who has refused to cover the story to begin with. Gibson claims that the stand that Cooper is taking is preaching to the audience and telling them that you think you know what is better for them to watch. Cooper on the other hand is standing behind the idea that there is a war going on in Iraw that the nation should be paying attention to. I ask anyone who is reading this, what do you think should be news more importantly - what we want to see and hear or what we should be seeing and hearing. In the end I am going to take a very simple stand on this and say that I think that the media is richer for both of these mens work. On the one hand, the Smith's story is interesting, but on the other it is not the only story and it is good to know that Cooper is out there getting other stories.

If you are a member of one of those strange groups in college known as the greek system, then what do you do when you are having what you believe to be an image problem that is holding back participation in your group. If you are the Delta Zeta club of DePauw University you kick out all the fat girls and all the foriegn girls. The womyn concerned about the image of the group did an interview of all the members asking how commited they were to bringing in new members, after the interview 23 were asked to leave for not being commited enough. It just so happens that this group of 23 consisted of all the fat and foriegn girls of the group. After the decision another 12 were so upset by the choice that they too left the group. Seems like if they wanted more members in their group, they failed; if they wanted to improve their image, failed again.

From NY Times:

“Virtually everyone who didn’t fit a certain sorority member archetype was told to leave,” said Kate Holloway, a senior who withdrew from the chapter during its reorganization.
“I sensed the disrespect with which this was to be carried out and got fed up,” Ms. Holloway added. “I didn’t have room in my life for these women to come in and tell my sisters of three years that they weren’t needed.”

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