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.”

StyleDash - Brigitte's 2007 Oscar fashion picks

Sing a song for me


Handcuffed To Hugh

A blogger in California is bringing into question the right for public officials to use the popular form of communication to express some of their own thoughts. Ed Jagels has a blog like so many other people across the country, and he uses it for the same purposes that many other people do, but Jagels just isn't anyone, he is a prosecutor for Kern County. He started the blog to take on what he felt was unfair journalism by a local paper, but the concerns are about the ideas he is expressing that effects it may have on the outcome of cases in trial. Jagels is not the only one, there is a growing number of public officials from across the country using blogs as an outlet to express their opinions. While their defenders argue that they have the right to free speech just like anyone else, it doesn't address the concerns voiced by those who question it about the ability of public officials to remain above the issues. At the end of the day I think there is a relatively simple answer to this question, treat them like reporters, if they publish information that would have been kept from press, or that the press has been ordered not to publish, they should be held to account for those crimes.

Researchers for the New York Daily News have uncovered a strange connection between the well know black activist Al Sharpton and the well known segregationist supporter, Strom Thurman. After more than two weeks of research, genealogists have uncovered what they are claiming to be evidence that Sharpton's ancestors were owned as slaves by Thurman's ancestors. This is an ironic link between one of the strongest current voices for civil rights and one of the most ardent defenders of the segregation. Sharpton, who discovered the news on Sunday wants to test his DNA against Thurman's to see if they might share any of the same bloodline, he added that he couldn't learn anything more shocking than he already has.
Bit Torrent a site that has become known as a source of pirated movies and other digital goods has changes it stripes and is moving to become a legitimate business. It has signed deals with a number of major and minor movie production firms for the rights to sell their products over the Internet. It is moving into a field that is growing more and more crowded, and while it has a well known brand on the Internet, it does not have the backing of Disney or any of the three big net works who are working with other companies.
A case that could change the way police chases are operated is going before the Supreme Court. It deals with a case involving a teen named Victor Harris. Harris had evaded police and lead them on a high speed chase after an officer attempted to stop him for a traffic violation. The speeds of the chase were up to 80 and 90 miles an hour, Harris in a Cadillac with police on his tail. When officers attempted a PIT maneuver, Harris lost control of his car, and crashed into a ditch. The resulting crash leaves him quadriplegic, and officers defending their actions. The case brings into question how far and how fast should the police chase a suspect, while police claim that to not pursue could lead to more chases as suspects know that the police will quit pursuit, these chases put lives at risk. Lawyers for Harris argue that the original offense did not provide officers enough justification for the use of what amounts to the use of deadly force.
Angelina Jolie has been invited to join the Council on Foreign relations, the council which has no educational requirements for joining seeks people who take part in world affairs. The exclusive policy group includes big names like Condoleeza Rice, Dick Cheney, Colin Powel, Alan Greenspan and other as its members. Her participation in the group has support from a number of people in the group, "Bring her on," said Dr. Gordon Adams, an international-affairs professor. "The idea of having Henry Kissinger and Angelina Jolie in the same organization is dazzling."


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