04/06

On-page link, opens in this window 04/06/20 Current events, links
On-page link, opens in this window 04/06/12 Current events, links, novel progress #33

04/06/20

Senior politicians across Europe have voiced dismay at EU parliamentary election results, after low turnouts and big gains for opposition parties.
Off-site link, opens in new window BBC: leaders rue Euro poll 'disaster'

You'd think these senior politicians would have a clue about politics and that pesky little thing called democracy.

A Dane, Jens-Peter Bonde, leads the main Eurosceptic group in the parliament, called "Europe of Democracies and Diversities". He expects his group to roughly double in size from just 18 to around 40. That would include the Poles, Swedes, the de Villiers' group from France and UKIP. They have more potential allies for their cause among other right-of-centre groups, including the British Conservatives and 9 Czech Civic Democrats, who are likely to sit, officially, with the integrationist Christian Democrats from Germany in the main centre-right grouping. Loud anti-EU talk also comes from the political extremes, both the far-left communists and the far-right National Front of France, which has won eight seats.
Off-site link, opens in new window BBC: eurosceptics storm the citadel

More Dutch politics and current events:
On-site link, opens in this window Dutch politics in 2004

Links

Global climate patterns stretching back 740,000 years have been confirmed by a three-kilometre-long ice core drilled from the Antarctic, Nature reports. Analysis of the ice proves our planet has had eight ice ages during that period, punctuated by rather brief warm spells - one of which we enjoy today. If past patterns are followed in the future, we can expect our "mild snap" to last another 15,000 years.
Off-site link, opens in new window BBC: ice cores unlock climate secrets
Off-site link, opens in new window (Via Worldchanging)

Shameless promition of insect appreciation. If this great site isn't going to make you appreciate insects, nothing is.
Off-site link, opens in new window Insects.org

Something that might have become a trash, and maybe rightly so ("oooh, you think you're so bright, don't you") but that turned into a pretty good discussion.
Off-site link, opens in new window Slashdot: uniquely bright - experiences and tips?

Asperger's. The new ADHD?
Off-site link, opens in new window MeFi: social outcasts aren't who you think

ODYSSEUS: If there's one thing we Greek heroes hope, it's that you remember us.
AUDIENCE: EEEE!! IT'S BOROMIR! SQUEEEE! HI, BOROMIR!
ODYSSEUS: ...That's not exactly what I meant.

Off-site link, opens in new window Livejournal / cleolinda: Troy in fifteen minutes

Other stuff

First journal entry in a long time.
On-site link, opens in this window 04/06/15 Seascape

04/06/12

And another month has gone by without updates. There's not much I can say for myself, really.

On Thursday we've had European Parliament elections, see the results below. For comparison, I've also included the results of the European Parliament elections in 1999 (EP99) and the general elections in 2003 (GE03).

CDA (Christian democrats): 7 seats (24.5%, EP99 27%, GE03 28.6%)

PvdA (social democrats): 7 seats (23.6%, EP99 20.1%, GE03 27.3%)

VVD (liberal conservatives): 4 seats (13.2%, EP99 19.6%, GE03 17.9%)

Groen Links (green left): 2 seats (7.4%, EP99 11.9%, GE03 5.1%)

Europa transparant: 2 seats (7.3%)

SP (socialists): 2 seats (7.1%, EP99 5.1%, GE99 6.3%)

CU-SGP (fundamentalist Christians): 2 seats (5.9%, EP99 8.8%, GE03 3.7%)

D66 (political reform): 1 seat (4.2%, EP99 5.8%, GE03 4.1%)

Europa transparant was founded by Paul van Buitene, a former high official within the European Union whose revelations about fraud and corruption in the EU caused the entire European Commission to step down in 1999. His party stands for transparent and accountable governance of Europe.

At the left-wing end of the political spectrum, the Green-Left are strongly pro-Europe while the socialists (SP) and social-democrats (PvdA), though pro-Europe, are cautious about giving up national autonomy in favour of the EC or the European Parliament. I wonder whether this has anything to do with the Green-Left losing seats and the social-democrats and the socialists gaining them. I know that, had I voted (which practicalities kept me from doing - I know, shame on me) I would have gone for the social-democrats rather than the Green-Left, exactly for this reason.

More Dutch politics and current events:
On-site link, opens in this window Dutch politics in 2004

Links

A fifty-three-page report, obtained by The New Yorker, written by Major General Antonio M. Taguba and not meant for public release, was completed in late February. Its conclusions about the institutional failures of the Army prison system were devastating. Specifically, Taguba found that between October and December of 2003 there were numerous instances of ďsadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abusesĒ at Abu Ghraib.
Off-site link, opens in new window The New Yorker: Torture at Abu Ghraib

Iím reading the Washington Post this morning, and Iím crying. Itís a little pathetic, probably. Iím a little easy with the crying, honestly, for a guy. But I donít think that Iíve done it since the war, and now Iím doing it again. Iím looking at pictures of men and women, wearing the same uniform that Iíve worn for the past four years and betraying everything that this country has ever stood for, in a most public and humiliating fashion, and it breaks my heart. Only a few short years ago, America still stood for Freedom, Democracy, and Justice, at least for a large percentage of the world. Now we stand for this.
Off-site link, opens in new window Livejournal/nbcthreat: an apology

This handbook (pdf) is for technical staff members charged with administering and securing information systems and networks.' Dealing primarily with Win2K and Redhat systems, it contains good information applicable to almost any public facing system.
Off-site link, opens in new window CERT: the advanced information assurance handbook (note: .pdf file, requires Acrobat or similar application to open)
Off-site link, opens in new window (Via Slashdot)

Adrenalin pumping through their veins as lines of code are crunched to perfection. Well, that's how it is in the movies anyway. Welcome to the real world of hackers.
Off-site link, opens in new window ZDNet: hackers - under the hood
Off-site link, opens in new window (Via Slashdot)

You don't have to be ignorant and uninformed to fall for a social engineering attack. You just have to let down your guard for half a second. People who say that social engineering only works against the ignorant/uninformed are either stupid, or they have little or no experience defending against social engineering.
Off-site link, opens in new window K5: give me your password - a social engineering intro

GMail is a big step in a concerning direction. If it's a success, millions of people will move a great deal of the record of their lives not just online, but online and stored with a 3rd party. This isn't the first time this will happen, but for millions it will be the biggest such jump. Particularly if one's searches and social network can be correlated with this information. My e-mail contains the story of my life, and what's not in there is often recorded in my searches. As we move these things online and outside, we build some of the apparatus for a surveillance society. As usual, we don't plan to do so, and the people building it would oppose it being used that way. But they build it nonetheless. We make it so that having that surveillance becomes a "logical" step -- changing a law or a policy, or in some cases just pushing a button, rather than a physical step -- going into somebody's house to grab their papers.
Off-site link, opens in new window Brad Templeton: privacy subtleties of GMail
Off-site link, opens in new window (Via Slashdot)

Prelinger Archives was founded in 1983 by Rick Prelinger in New York City. Over the next twenty years, it grew into a collection of over 48,000 "ephemeral" (advertising, educational, industrial, and amateur) films. In 2002, the film collection was acquired by the Library of Congress, Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division. Prelinger Archives remains in existence, holding approximately 4,000 titles on videotape and a smaller collection of film materials acquired subsequent to the Library of Congress transaction. Its goal remains to collect, preserve, and facilitate access to films of historic significance that haven't been collected elsewhere.
Off-site link, opens in new window Prelinger archives

Thaet Angelseaxisce Ealdriht or Anglo-Saxon Eldright (as it is called in modern English) is an organization dedicated to the study and practice of the pre-Christian religion of the Germanic tribes that migrated from continental Europe to Great Britain in the fourth through sixth centuries.
Off-site link, opens in new window Angelseaxisce Ealdriht Asatru and Heathen pages

Old news by now, but still cool. Archaeologists have found what they believe to be the site of the Library of Alexandria, often described as the world's first major seat of learning.
Off-site link, opens in new window BBC: library of Alexandria discovered

Though there are bound to be those who loudly declaim that the Tijuana Bibles demean women, I think it important to note that they demean everyone, regardless of gender, ethnic origin or even species. It's what cartoons do best, in fact.
Off-site link, opens in new window Salon: Tijuana bibles
Off-site link, opens in new window Tijuana bibles

Novel progress #33

One new episode in the past weeks, 742 new words, 53,888 words total. This means I'm at the half-way point of book 1 in the trilogy. It also means that I've succeeded in what I had originally set out to do: to write 50,000 words of fiction.
On-site link, opens in this window Introduction
On-site link, opens in this window Introduction and start of part 2
On-site link, opens in this window After the war (80)



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