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Aug 10, 2001

The Code Red Hype Hall Of Shame
Misc.
'We've had no end of entertainment these past weeks with the Code Red and Code Red Junior IIS worms. Vast battalions of 'security experts' paraded themselves eagerly before the press, trotting out their finest doomsday quotes for a shot at fifteen minutes of fame. Meanwhile, legions of well-groomed, academically-inclined twinkies armed with tape recorders and Masters' Degrees in journalism greedily sucked them up, and obediently generated the most laughable headlines predicting that Code Red would break the Internet.'

Just in time for Code Red III, bigger and badder then both its daddy and its grand-daddy! (Actually, I don't know that Code Red III derives from Code Red II; both may come from I. But's its more fun to say this way.)

 


Permalink
Aug 10, 2001

Risking All to Expose the Taliban
Polical Speech
'The seemingly endless list of activities banned by Afghanistan's ruling Taliban includes taking pictures of people and animals, using the Internet, educating girls and badmouthing the government.'

'The Revolutionary Association of Women of Afghanistan does all of the above.'

'The organization of social activists risks incarceration and worse to expose atrocities committed by one of the world's most repressive regimes. RAWA was founded in 1977, but only garnered international fame in 1997 after it launched a website documenting the bizarre and tragic details of life under the Taliban.'

This story provides an interesting contrast to the previous story about the increasing limits of geography... people using the 'net the way it was "meant" to be used. Be aware that the website is not for the sqeamish. You'll probably want to read the Wired article first.

 


Permalink
Aug 10, 2001

Economist.com
Misc.
'It is certainly a pity that the Internet has not turned out to be quite the force for freedom that it once promised to be. But in many ways, the imposition of local rules may be better than the alternatives: no regulation at all, or a single set of rules for the whole world. A complete lack of regulation gives a free hand to cheats and criminals, and expecting countries with different cultural values to agree upon even a set of lowest-common-denominator rules is unrealistic. In some areas, maybe, such as extradition and consumer protection, some countries or groups of countries may be able to agree on common rules. But more controversial matters such as free speech, pornography and gambling are best regulated locally, even if that means some countries imposing laws that cyber-libertarians object to.'

 


Permalink
Aug 09, 2001

Perfect Fear Factor Stunt
Personal Commentary
My wife has gotten addicted to NBC's "Fear Factor", and in a one-bedroom apartment where I'm currently home nearly all the time, that means by extension, so have I. A lot of people think it's a clear contender for the trashiest show on television, but I think that's only true from the "voyeur" point of view. From another point of view, the show also offer psychological insights into the contestants, though the insights aren't as profound as I think the Weakest Link may offer.

Read the rest (531 words)


Permalink
Aug 09, 2001

Revisiting isolation and its link to the Internet
Technology & Sociology
'The Internet has grown from an alpha-geek subculture to a near-ubiquitous presence and as it has grown, so have the challenges in assessing its impact on society. Attempting to distill any broad conclusions about its ultimate impact is an exercise akin to asking ``What is the impact of automotive technology on our lives?'' That question might have been useful in 1920, but today the answer would be so diffuse as to be meaningless. It is tougher still to point to the Net as the cause of any particular behavior.'

'We know anecdotally that people who decide to make the migration to digital culture don't go back. Their behavior online may change over time, but they don't just walk away from the Net. Over time, people learn to use the Net to augment existing social structures rather than replace them.'

 


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