Monday Morning Quickies

The Dublin Flash Mob. All went off very well, from the sounds of it. However, this picture contains some wierdness — who the hell is that guy, second from the left, who’s stolen my haircut circa 2 years ago?! Those are my sideburns, give ’em back!

(ObSoCalJoke: they tried to organise a flash mob in southern CA, but couldn’t find anywhere with a big enough parking lot for all those single-occupant SUVs. Ba-dum-tish!)

Telecoms: The Communications Workers of America union have released some figures on Verizon’s profit margins etc. Interesting to note some figures — like they charge 4 dollars for call waiting, a service which costs them 0.82 of a cent to provide — that works out at a 48,680% profit margin, which must be nice. In addition, Verizon use ‘splitters’, which result in a copper pair being unusable for DSL — just like Eircom do in rural Ireland. Interesting to note that, even after deregulation, LLU and general introduction of competition, the same problems still arise.

Science: BBC: Scientific research put under spotlight. Terrible article from the Beeb, who should know better.

Basically the article pins some of the blame for recent absurd claims of scientific breakthroughs, like the Raelian’s claims they cloned a human, on the peer review process.

What they’re missing is that, in most cases of these absurd claims, the research had not been peer reviewed — instead a press release was put out in advance. Peer review remains the most effective way to demolish bad science. However, the news media shows no sign of being willing to sit around and wait for other scientists to analyse the latest claims, before publishing them.

Spam: Salon: Meet The Spam Nazi. More on the bizarre story of the Jewish leader of a Nazi party, who now peddles ‘make penis fast’ pills.

Politics: Ian ‘Freenet’ Clarke says he’s leaving the US.

Linux: I’ve given up on blogging the SCO-v-everyone thing, it’s getting too absurd. GrokLaw is covering it much better than I could anyway. Plus: You say po-TAY-to, I say po-TAH-to.

Movies: I concur with Waider Pirates of the Caribbean is great. Best summer blockbuster in years; Hollywood can still pull off a good big movie now and again (by using young directors it seems). Buckle those swashes! Aarrr!

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