Thoughts Gallery August 2001
August 1
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If only it was always this easy to cool off!!
August 2
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Just think of all those hungry jaguars going without dinner tonight

Dozens of alligator carcasses lie on a dry lake bed after being clubbed to death and skinned by Paraguayan peasants during a daily hunt in General Diaz, 550 kilometers northeast of Asuncion. Tens of thousands of alligators known locally as yacares, were left stranded as their lakes began to dry up more than ten years ago after Paraguay and Argentina diverted the Pilcomayo River for crop irrigation, without taking into account the environmental impact. The Paraguayan government has authorized the slaughter for meat and hides of thousands of yacares that are expected to die   anyway due to the lack of water in what is considered Paraguay's greatest ecological disaster. 

August 3
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Where has this guy been hiding, you almost couldn't recognize him off the milk carton images from last november.
August 4
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I find it mind-boggling that the president can just take a 30-day vacation at his own whim.  I think he needs to prioritize better.  Building a house for a day, just think of all the people that would pay millions to get face time with the president of the US for a day.
August 5
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August  6
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Man Drowns in Cat's Water Bowl
WELLINGTON, New Zealand - A New Zealand man has died after slipping on ice and drowning in his cat's water bowl, local media said Thursday.  Peter John Robinson, who was 28, was found by his mother lying face down in the dish in the South Island town of Reefton last month, the New Zealand Herald reported.

 Gill Robinson said she believed her son had gone to feed his cat, Piper, and hit his head after slipping on ice. The inch-and-a-half of water in the bowl was enough to cover his mouth and was taken into his lungs.  A coroner found that Robinson, who had had balance problems since being born without one ear, had drowned following a significant head injury, the Herald said. 

August 7
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I wish I had my own super computer to play with, I'd get some excellent animation rendering out of it. 

LIVERMORE, Calif. - A U.S. government laboratory unveiled on Wednesday the most powerful computer in the world, programmed to simulate the explosion of a nuclear bomb.  ASCI White, a $110 million computer squeezed into enough refrigerator sized units to fill a couple of basketball courts, was officially unveiled by scientists aiming to simulate nuclear tests the government has promised not to carry out for real.

The beast, built by International Business Machines Corp. from off-the-shelf processors with a souped-up version of its commercial operating system,  AIX, weighs as much as 17 full-size elephants, takes as much cooling as 765 homes, and can do in a second what a calculator would take 10 million years, IBM says.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a government funded laboratory which is home to the machine, aims to find out a bit quicker than that how an atomic bomb blows up so that it does not have to test any more.

 The last U.S. underground test was about 10 years ago. Like gunfighters after the taming of the West, U.S. nuclear scientists who have designed and exploded nuclear weapons are a dying breed.  Computers are being brought in to fill the gap.  The 10-year Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative, ASCI, is about half-way done.  It aims to produce a computer that can simulate a nuclear explosion by 2005, with a machine that can do 100 trillion calculations per second, compared to ASCI White's 12.3 trillion.

Compaq Computer Corp. is working on an intermediate step and plans to deliver within a couple of years a 30-trillion per second calculator. 

August 8
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Unix System Administrator Steve Marchi opens the back door of one node of ASCI White, the world's most  powerful computer, Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2001, at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, Calif.   ASCI White contains 8,192 microprocessors, is capable of 12.3 trillion operations per second, and will be used by  the lab to simulate nuclear weapons tests.
August 9
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Imagine being in training for a war from the age that you could hold a fake wooden gun.  I'm glad I didn't have to do this when I turned 12.
August 10
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So when does this "conflict" finally start being called the war that it is.  I think they should try an assassination attempt on Arafat like they tried on Saddam Hussein.
August 11
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Nothing like being in the top 10,000 people to run in a race of over 30,000 people.  Just don't drop you wallet on the marathon run, because you won't be finding it in the lost and found box. 
August 12
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I don't understand why the government can spend a billion dollars to develop a vertical take of plane, yet I see little development towards a consumer vertical take-off vehicles for recreational use. We've been dreaming of hovercraft vehicles for ages, why don't we start developing one.
August 13
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Here's a diving pig.  What have you taught you pet to do lately?? I can't seem to make mine not start playing around my bed at the crack of dawn.
August 14
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August 15
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I finished nailing up all my pickets today for my fence today, now I just need to go back and add the third runners.
August 16
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Amy Kantor's Dad moved on to another world today.  It's interesting to see how someone's attachment to their spouse can help tie them to this world. How much could your accomplish in 5 years in the afterlife world.
August 17
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August 18
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Advertising in ice, now there's a short term adtertising medium.  That's almost as bad a paying to get a crop plane to draw something in the sky with smoke.
August 19
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Ouch!!!  These arer actual burns from a natural gas explosion
August 20
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August 21
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August 22
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August 23
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Scientists Warn of Possible Atlantic Monster Wave
LONDON - The eruption of a volcano in the Canary Islands could trigger a ``mega-tsunami'' that would devastate Atlantic coastlines with waves as high as 330 feet, scientists said on Wednesday.  They said an eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma, part of the Spanish island chain off West Africa, was likely to cause a massive chunk of  rock to break off, crashing into the sea and kicking up huge walls of  water higher than any other in recorded history.

The tsunami would be capable of traveling huge distances at up to 500  miles an hour, the scientists said in a research paper to be published in September's Geophysical Research Letters.  Simon Day, of the Benfield Greig Hazard Research Centre at the University College of London, said that as the volcano was not erupting at present, the short-term and medium-term risks were ``negligible.''  But Cumbre Vieja should be monitored closely for any signs of activity so that emergency services could plan an effective response, he said. ``Eruptions of Cumbre Vieja occur at intervals of decades to a century or so and there may be a number of eruptions before its collapse,'' said Day, who collaborated on the research with Steven Ward of the University of California.  ``Although the year-to-year probability of a collapse is therefore low,  the resulting tsunami would be a major disaster with indirect effects around the world.''

The effects would spread north, west and south of the Canaries, with the west Sahara bearing the worst of the wave's energy.  The energy released by the collapse would be equal to the electricity consumption of the entire United States in half a year.  Immediately after the landslide, a dome of water 3,000 feet high and tens of miles wide would form, only to collapse and rebound. As the landslide rubble moved deeper under water, a tsunami would develop. Within 10 minutes, the tsunami would have moved a distance of almost 155 miles.  On the west Saharan shore, waves would probably reach heights of 330 feet. Florida and the Caribbean, the final north Atlantic destinations to be affected by the tsunami, would have to brace themselves for 165 foot waves some eight to nine hours after the landslide.  Wave heights toward Europe would be smaller, but substantial waves would hit the coasts of Britain, Spain, Portugal and France. The research paper estimated water would penetrate several miles inland and that the devastation would cause trillions of dollars in damage.

August 24
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Guess how big this bull is.  It's about the size of the tip of your hair folicle.  Genetic advertising is right around the corner.  Get favorite company branded onto you skin and get $5.99 a month!! 
August 25
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How many tomatoes does it take for a tomatoe war.  About 130 tons apparantly were used in the latest annual tomatoe festival in spain
August 26
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More brainwashing of kids, at what point does a kids get trained to strap a stick of dynomite to themself all in the name of greed.
August 27
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How bigger, badder Code Red worms are being built
As I write this, there are two new fast-spreading Internet worms for Windows users: Apost does the now-familiar "e-mail itself to everyone" thing we've come to expect from Windows worms and viruses, except this worm sends multiple copies of itself. And then there's an updated version of Magistr, redesigned to infect even more users with its destructive payload. Faster propagation has been the trend with Win32 viruses and worms, but what if rapid propagation methods were employed for network-savvy worms such as Code Red? Well, someone has already given thought to that.

Andy Warhol is famous for saying "In the future, everybody will have 15 minutes of fame." Nicolas Weaver at UC Berkeley has written a paper proposing that virus writers constructing some future Code Red-like worm add a list of 10,000 to 50,000 "well connected" Internet servers, then launch the virus. The advantage, he argues, is that even if only 10 to 20 percent of the servers are vulnerable to the worm's exploit, that would still be an enormous jump on Code Red and previous worms. Weavers adds that the initial 10 percent infection could be achieved in the first minute or so; he then proposes that his "uberworm" could infect most of the Internet within 15 minutes (hence the Warhol worm).

NOT TO BE OUTDONE, the team of Suart Staniford, Gary Grim, and Roelof Jonkman at Silicon Defense proposed an even greater propagation rate: they claim they can infect the Internet in 30 seconds. They argue that a worm writer could scan the Internet in advance and identify almost all of the vulnerable systems on the Internet before launching the worm. With a very fast Internet connection (they mention an OC12 link), they argue even a 48MB address list of vulnerable Internet address could be sent out in about 4 minutes.

Jose Nazario, a biochemist by trade who has previously offered valuable insights on digital worms, points out that neither of these papers take into account the basic elements of propagation on the Internet. Nazario points to an IBM paper called "How Topology Affects Population Dynamics," which looks at lessons learned from biological infections and how, with an understanding of this model, programmers might better design future digital organisms (they don't specifically say "worms"). Basically, the authors of both the Warhol and Flash worms assumed a very simple Internet model where every node to be infected is a neighbor of every other node. The reality is much more complicated. That's what Nazario says torpedoes the technical merits of both of these studies.

SO WHY even mention this research? Nicolas Weaver himself posts that he is leaving his paper up online so that people can understand, with documentation, what danger there is in a homogenous Internet. Someone will attempt to do what these authors have proposed, and someone might someday make a worm that "flashes" the entire Internet with a malicious payload. Rather than be caught unaware, isn't it better to realize this is out there and take steps to minimize its impact?

Weaver proposes that companies use context-sensitive firewalls where only "that which is not explicitly allowed is forbidden." He further suggests internal firewalls throughout the company and regular security audits. He adds, "regular backups are also essential." He further suggests that: "Homogenous populations, whether in potatoes or computers, are always more vulnerable to diseases." That's something to remember when implementing one or multiple types of servers on your network. Just as biodiversity has kept life going on Earth, mixing up one's operating systems can only strengthen the Internet. .

August 28
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Here's what a baby panda looks like.
August 29
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It seems that the US post office is refusing to ship live baby chicks theses days.  What is the world comming to when you can't even ship your produce animals to market.
August 30
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How much would you pay for a real puppy?  $50... $100... Now how much would you pay for a robot puppy?  How's $800 for the opportunity to listen to a robotic bark that needs batteries replaced every week.  You thought dog food was expensive, think about replaceing 4 AA batteries every week.
August 31
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A one Crown coin featuring fictional wizard Harry Potter, created by best-selling author J.K. Rowling, is seen in this photo released by the Pobjoy mint. The coin, legal tender in the Isle of Man but more valuable as a collectors item, features Harry on one side and an image of the British monarch, who gave her clearance for the coin on the reverse side. The coin is worth about $0.375.