Benevolent Older Sibling helps us remember who we are

Here’s a story about government efforts already underway to develop national ID cards (that contain biometric info, natch).

Somehow this tidbit got past Winston Smith at Minitrue, in case yzall are innarested:

On Jan. 19, the agency will hold a public meeting at the Potomac Center Plaza in downtown Washington to discuss policy, privacy and security concerns associated with the development of the new ID card standard. Anyone who wants to attend must preregister by Jan. 11 by e-mailing Sara Caswell, a NIST official, at, according to a notice in yesterday’s Federal Register. Questions regarding registration can be directed to Caswell at (301) 975-4634.

consumers union telecom lobbying website

‘Consumers Union launched a web site ( [love the title! -H]) that is

designed to provide consumers with information on telecom and media

industry developments, help them shop for products and services, and

make it easier to lobby lawmakers and policy-makers on issues. “This

web site addresses the explosion of activist groups and energized

consumers who are frustrated by the government’s hands-off approach

when it comes to dealing with their concerns over higher bills, poorer

service, and the fact a handful of companies control their

communications,” said Gene Kimmelman, senior director-public policy

for Consumers Union.’

SOURCE: TR Daily, AUTHOR: Paul Kirby

Tales of the Sausage Factory: Ohio the New PA? I don't think so.

It appears to be my day to pick on poor Esme at the truly amazing and wonderful Muniwireless website. Recently, she published this article on Ohio House Bill 591. Esme and others think it is the next in a series of bills like the recent HB 30 signed into law by Governor Rendell. Me, I’m not so sure. My analysis of Ohio’s 591 (and why, even if stupid, it is not evil) below.

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I saw an article about the Pixies in the freebie paper “Metro”.

The Pixies, of course, are the art-noise-punk-pop band out of Boston. They reunited after 13 years. (If you don’t know this band, by golly, stop reading Wetmachine right now and go find them.)

I couldn’t find the story online (but I did find a bunch of nifty stories by googling for “pixies metro”). So let me retype the interesting part relative to Wetmachine themes of the media ecology:

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It's about time…

From The Chronicle of Higher Education:

Worried about persistent security flaws in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, officials at the Pennsylvania State University system have taken the unusual step of recommending that students, professors, and staff members stop using the popular Web browser.

“The threats are real, and alternatives exist,” the university said in an announcement posted on its Web site this week.

Penn State appears to be the first American college to recommend against the use of Internet Explorer. However, the CERT Coordination Center, a federal computer-security center operated by Carnegie Mellon University, made a similar recommendation to the public earlier this year.

Internet Explorer, which is distributed free by the Microsoft Corporation, has more than 90 percent of the worldwide browser market. …

Security officials realize that putting explosives in people's baggage is maybe a bad idea…

So, you’re managing security at an airport. How do you train your bomb sniffing dogs? Well, you might just set up some dummy luggage at a remote site and let the dogs check them out. Or, you could actually put explosives in people’s bags, just to give the dogs something to find…

Which works nicely, in theory… train like you work is a good idea. But what happens when they don’t find the explosives? Right, they get loaded on aircraft, and present a rather nasty surprise for the unsuspecting airline passenger.