Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Laugh out loud funny stuff

The United States (US) President George W. Bush was on Wednesday accused by Hizbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah of creating chaos in Lebanon.

The Hizbollah leader rejected President Bush’s charge that the militant group and its allies were causing the violence[...]

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Pelosi backs the surge?

MP Hassan Sinead stressed that US Congress Speaker Nancy Pelosi showed her liking of Prime Minister Noori Maliki and his programs for security and democracy in Iraq

While he said that Maliki would surprise outlaws by swoop down them at accurate, exact and complete plan.Maliki offered to Pelosi who visited Baghdad details about Government tasks especially security plan and she stressed support Democratic Party to PM and focused on that some disputes with Republican Party wouldn’t affect US support to Iraq.These signs stressed shifting the plan to wide activate stage especially with political escalation from White House against sides affect negative on security situation in Iraq, and what have been said that US Defense Minister Robert Gates began speedup timetable of entering added troops

Also of interest: Qazanyia dam goes online. Major benefits to Iraqi agriculture expected to occur in the region as a result.

Citizens suggest one week amnesty for insurgents to turn over weapons before major operations begin.

This would be in keeping with the Koran's requirement to offer repentance/redemption to miscreants before dropping the hammer on them hard. The implication of course, is that the citizenry are willing to have the hammer dropped HARD if they're extending this sort of offer. This is not a good time to be a bad guy in Iraq.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Remembering the pioneers of space

It was 40 years ago that Virgil Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee died in the Apollo launchpad fire (and many test pilots before and after them).

Many have stood on all their shoulders since - this is the way of engineering progress. Mistakes are made, unaccounted for situations occur, systems fail and people die as a result. We add new data points, make our notes and pray we learn something from the errors. One of the worst things for an engineer is the mystery failure - the one you can't explain.

As a young whelp engineer at Rockwell working on the Space Shuttle I had the honor of working with one of cockpit flight computer systems (the DEU's that control the screens and keypads) that exhibited just such a "mystery failure" with disturbing regularity. For a number of years before I got there, the machines were just locking up randomly. No particular pattern of events or sequence led to it. Nobody could figure out why. It was being written off as cosmic rays, gremlins, etc. No matter what was causing it, we were losing one about once a month to this issue. With only about 20 units in existence in the whole Shuttle program (in labs and orbiters combined), the chances of losing one on a flight was significantly greater than zero.

I resolved to find that bug and explain it, even if it couldn't be fixed (there was only 20 words of patch space left in the box, so a repair might not be possible). However, an explained failure is far preferable to NASA and flight crews than mystery failures. Known devils are OK. Unknown devils are scary.

After several days of sliding a mental window over the assembler code(I suspected it was a vulnerability window interrupt related issue), I did find the cause - there was indeed a ~43 microsecond window in which the thing would go nuts if an interrupt occurred during that small window of vulnerability. The DEU is a really slow machine, so a 43 microsecond window on it was only a few instructions.

Essentially, the issue was a classic mutual exclusion problem one would solve with a semaphore or similar mechanism. Problem was, the CPU was very primitive and didn't have any low level hardware capability for implementing a semaphore the way modern CPU's do. i.e. it had no notion of an exchange instruction. There's always Bankers algorithn, but that wasn't going to fit in 20 words of patch space, so we lived with it for STS-1/2/3, and I don't know what happend after that. But at least it was explained now. Knowledge had been increased. The unknown, had become known.

Gifts for morons: Electric Forks

For decades now I've used an "electric fork" as a jest for a device that is completely worthless. Now I learn that someone has in fact patented the electric fork. In fact the electric fork is targeted directly at the moron market, which of course makes it interesting. This is a fork designed to tell people too stupid to know they're still hungry when to eat the next mouth full of food with an audible beep. OK, lemurs and even rats had this difficult decision process figured out millions of years ago, but hey - they don't use forks and don't file patents so they're screwed. It took a human to invent and patent the electric fork!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Kerry: US is "international pariah"

Will someone please tell all the illegal aliens that we're a pariah so they'll stop coming.

Pelosi: 110,000+ African AIDS deaths "fiscally responsible"

I guess this is part of the Democrat's "new direction". With the non-stroke of a pen, the Democrats will kill more people in one year via neglect than Bush ever could in two wars during the same year.

Smart. Tough. Homicidally "compassionate". Time to start the Pelosi Death Clock™, so we can keep track of the "grim milestones".

San Francisco Chronicle
[...]As a result, 350,000 HIV-positive people slated to start AIDS drug treatment, most of them in Africa, won't get their medicine. Dybul estimated that 110,000 to 175,000 of them will die[...]

[...]President Bush's PEPFAR program had targeted 2007 for a major scale-up of the drug treatment program, and he had requested that spending for the year grow to $4 billion from $3.2 billion in 2006[...]

[...]Democrat leaders decided that, rather than renew the contentious budget debates that went nowhere in the fall, they would pass one more continuing resolution to keep nearly all federal spending levels flat until October[...]

[...]Drew Hammill, a spokesman for Pelosi, said she is fully aware of the problem. "She staunchly supports these programs, but we are also trying to achieve fiscal responsibility," he said[...]

Saturday, January 27, 2007

The law of unintended consequences: "green" == hungry

Squeeze the world corn market with high demands for Ethanol, and there will obviously be less corn making its way into the food pipeline and corn based food product prices will spike. Econ 101.

Al Gore don't like poor Mexicans ;->

[...]Tortilla prices have tripled or quadrupled in some parts of Mexico since last summer[...]

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Chickens coming home to roost - Pali's bomb Saudi media office

I'm constantly reminded of the parable of the scorpion and the frog. You simply can't make deals with scorpions. Eventually, they'll run true to their nature. Its just a matter of time.

A bomb exploded in the Gaza Strip offices of a leading Arabic-language news channel late Monday evening, Palestinian eyewitnesses said, causing severe property damage but no injuries.

It is widely believed that the Saudi-owned TV channel al-Arabiya was targeted over a report aired last week in which it was claimed that Palestinian Prime Minister and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh cursed God[...]

So you want a pocket knife eh?

Only $1,200. Cheap at twice the price.


H/T Engineering Johnson

Terror mastermind's greatest concern? Lack of good help

Everyone knows it hard to find good help these days. This apparently is a problem for terrorists too. Terrorist masterminds must be pulling their out over the low quality and sub-par intelligence of recruits these days.

[...]"He kept saying he wanted a HAZMAT license, and he wanted it quickly and that he did not want to learn to back the truck up, only to be able to drive it forward,"[...]
H/T Ace

If you read the comments section at the Blotter, you'll see one of Ace's long time trolls "Ryan" leaping to this idiot's defense too.

Where spam comes from

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Good designs, bad designs

I've written some previously about the OBJ hacking programming project I've got going on. Mostly I've written about issues encountered with various tools, compilers etc, but not much about architecture and design.

The guts of the project - its core architecture and original code base - date back to around 1984. The amazing thing as its been expanded to include 32 bit records and a many new OBJ record types is that the core has remained stable. New capabilities, features, and workaround for certain bugs in vendor generated OBJ's haven't required any significant design changes at all. Where all the new stuff would plug in was readily apparent and straight forward. The code base today has probably grown by about 3X since the 1984 vintage original, yet new pieces are still dropping right in without any special hoopla. Much of the new code falls into the category of a "code museum" where all the dirty laundry various compiler vendors ever hid gets exposed and dealt with. Its sort of a "living history" of compiler back ends, and their code generation quirks, over the past 22 years. Yet the code is still (relatively) easy to understand and maintain, even though it deals with some of the most horrible hacks ever perpetrated over the last quarter century.

Why? Good design and architecture. Reasonable data structures, and distinct phases of processing were chosen back in 1984. The thing converts OBJ's into a linked list of internal records. Those internal records turned out to be flexible enough to represent both 16 and 32 bit flavors of various things. I can shuffle them like a deck of cards, move'em around, insert new ones, delete others and change anything I like with ease and the OBJ generator phase just takes the list and spits out a new OBJ module. The linked list was the right way to represent this particular class of data.

I C++ programmer would look at this architecture and code and declare it to be essentially "object oriented" even though its plain ANSI C. All the syntactic trinkets of C++ are missing, but the ideas are there. Heck, in this regard I've been writing OOP assembler code for 25 years too. Object oriented isn't about tools, its about how you approach a task.

The tools, as in the case of C++, are actually quite horrific in their design, promote arcane problems, and foster confusion. There are some conveniences of course, but the whole gestalt of C++ itself was forged in the darkest of Torquemada's torture chambers. I will be avoiding it for this OBJ hacking project.

How does one tell a good design from a bad? Its not always apparent. If you can add new features a year later without whining about how crappy the code is, you probably have design that isn't horrible. If the code base can survive for 5 years or so, and still be readily maintainable, it was probably a good design to begin with. If the code can transition to different platforms without major rewrites all over the place, its probably not too bad.

I know I could wrap a fairly functional Windows or Motif front end around this OBJ hacking tool in a matter of days because of the way its designed. The code bases for many command line apps had a real hard time making that kind of platform transition. Lotus and Ashton Tate struggled with their code bases years ago. Lotus struggled for years getting the "new" Lotus v3.0 product out the door, and ultimately wound up producing another rev of the Lotus 2.x product when the 3.0 stuff faltered in the market place because of performance issues.

I suppose good designs are as Rehnquist said, kinda like porn - hard to quantify, but you know them when you see them. The real test is in their durability over the years. If the maintenance programmers are always whining about crap and wanting to rewrite stuff, you probably don't have a good design. In fact you may not even have an actual design, rather just a collection of code blobs stitched together with bubble gum and bailing wire.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Armored Humvee's causing fatalities in Iraq

One of the top killers of Soldiers in Iraq isn't necessarily combat-related.
Since operations began in March of 2003, many Soldiers have been killed when they can't escape a Humvee - often because it has rolled into one of Iraq"s numerous irrigation canals.

When an armored truck is upside-down or on its side, it can take three Soldiers to push a door open enough to get out, and if the doors are sunken into the mud, it can be nearly impossible[...]
There are pics at the I-MEF link of a field expedient device that has been devised to assist with this issue. That is probably about as good as they'll get in dealing with units in the field.

Now I put on my engineer hat and take a look at this problem from a mechanical design POV. There's a couple of design issues here.

1) The jamming doors
2) The balky "combat locks"

We can see from the pics of the humvee that #1 is probably being exacerbated by the Humvee door frame/door design. There are sharp edges at the front of the door. When you want to avoid jamming of mechanical parts during distortions, you want to avoid sharp edges like that. Rounded corners should be the rule. Rounded corners distribute stress, square corners concentrate it. A good layman's explanation of why rounded is better than square can be found in Carroll Smith's outstanding Engineer to Win book on race car design. Specifically in the chapter on "why things break". Smith writes well, and that book is about a whole lot more than just "race cars". Most of what he talks about is an outstanding guide for the general design of mechanical things you don't want to fail. The principles apply as well to Microwave ovens, bicycles and Humvees as well as they do high performance race cars.

The door hinge design itself is obviously part of the problem. Traditional hinges bind when distorted. We need to accept that and find a way around it. The problem as I see it, is that the door/hinge mechanism is basically bolted together (or may as well be when a door is closed/jammed. This is not a solution that anticipates getting wrecked - its a solution that presumes not getting wrecked. That's fine for the front door on your house or your fridge door, but its not so fine for a combat vehicle. What we need is a sturdy hinge that can be cutaway on a moments notice.

This ties in with the balky combat locks. You got difficult hinges on one side, and a difficult lock on the other - a fixed 2-point retaining system. If either the hinges or lock (preferably both) could be quickly released, the door could be kicked out when a bind-free door/frame design is present.

How to solve the hinge problem? I believe we need to look to the most successful parachute release design on the market today - Bill Booth's 3-ring system. The 3-ring provides massive mechanical leverage advantage in a very compact "bind free" design. Booth's 3-ring release has saved my life 3 times during parachute malfunctions. I will personally attest to its simplicity and tendency to "just work".

I believe a door hinge attachment pivot based on a simple locating cone scheme attached with a variation of the 3-ring will solve both hinge binding and quick release issues. As you can see from the 3-ring pull force chart at the link above, there can be 2,000lb of pressure on a standard 3-ring and it will still release with only 9lb of pressure. With a locating cone scheme on the hinge pivots, the hinge side of the door will WANT to pop out when there's distortion - that's a good thing.

The balky combat lock issue could be solved with the same locating cone and 3-ring scheme so the whole lock mechanism itself could be released from the vehicle frame by a passenger inside. If you can release the hinges, and the combat lock, and the door frame has tapered steps and rounded edges to avoid binding it'll pop right off when you yank the 3-ring releases.

With some added Cypres Cutter type hardware, an external rescue option wouldn't be too hard to add. That would be an externally operated pyrotechnic type cutter head added to the 3-ring release locking loop. Fire the cutter(s) and the 3-ring would release.


I liked Waterworld and The Postman

Monday, January 22, 2007

Defending the rights of......garbage

Why SWA executives and lawyers already on payroll, or Palm Beach County's own reps to the state legislature simply can't represent the county's crucial garbage interests in Tallahassee themselves remains unanswered. Its not like Critical Garbage-Centric Legislation™ is being debated every day in those distinguished halls.

Pravda In Paradise
Four firms are vying for a lobbying contract that Palm Beach County commissioners will award next month to represent the county's Solid Waste Authority in Tallahassee. The firm that's received more than $200,000 for SWA lobbying during the last six years - Lewis, Longman & Walker - had better not count on Commission Chairwoman Addie Greene's vote...

Palm Beach County dems play loose with election cash

Pravda In Paradise
The people who received the cash in $50, $20 and $5 bills weren't listed when the party filed a report last week on its activities for November and December. Florida law requires a party or candidate to list the full name and address of each person to whom a campaign expenditure is made.

County Democratic Chairman Wahid Mahmood [yes, he's a muslim] said he didn't know about the cash payments [yea right] until the Politics column started asking questions last week. Mahmood said the party would get the names of the cash recipients and file an amended report detailing who was paid[...]

[...]The $4,900 check from the party, Enright said, was given to her with Mahmood's blessing for the specific purpose of getting cash to pay Election Day workers. Enright said the typical worker got $75 in an envelope that contained a $50 bill, a $20 bill and a $5 bill. When the $4,900 turned out to be not quite enough, Enright said, Mahmood approved the $225 check three days later so she could pay additional workers.

Associated Press - definitively proven liars

Anyone who didn't have their head up their ass knew it, but now Malkin has posted actual video opposed to AP assertions.

AP is working for the enemy. It is about time Centcom recognizes this sad fact and booted the whole lot of them out of theater.


Normally I would bash the French...but

This Renault Logan car looks like something interesting. Emphasis on CHEAP, with a reasonable level of crash protection.

I would like to see it with a small turbo-Diesel engine though. One problem - they've gone wild with options and models. K.I.S.S. This served VW well for decades during the air cooled era.

Reliability is also an unknown. Renault's have a rep as hanger queens. If its a Lada, I'm not interested.

Of course they're going to need a LOT of these to replace all that are being destroyed by the nightly Paris Car-b-ques ;->

PETA meets Jack's mom

Bottom line - mom maces the PETA creep.

All You Need is Jack!: PETA gets my Mom.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Go to prison -- live longer

Pardon me while I step out and rob a bank...strictly for therapeutic reasons of course.

DOJ(PDF document)
[...]From 2001 to 2004, 99% of State prisoners were between
ages 15 and 64. When compared to mortality rates for U.S. residents in this age group, the overall mortality rate of State prisoners was 19% lower during this period[...]

Flying Submarines

Pretty large crane. Even it would collapse under Pelosi's ego though ;->

Think Cold Cash Jefferson's freezer was bad? Check his bed.


Sudan's Janjaweed attacking across Chad border

The UN expresses "extreme concern". How about a little "extreme firepower", AC-130 style, to express the world's "dissent" about the Janjaweed? I'm down with it.

AllAfrica(UN News Service)
[...]UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) spokesperson Jennifer Pagonis told a news briefing in Geneva. "UNHCR remains extremely concerned over the security situation."[...]More than 10,000 Chadians have been driven from their homes in cross-border attacks by alleged Janjaweed militia from Sudan in the Borota region. Another 10,000 have fled more than 20 villages and are now gathered in the town of Gassire, north of the refugee hub of Goz Beida.

"This insecurity is now posing a direct threat to refugee camps housing thousands of Sudanese from Darfur," Ms. Pagonis said[...]

Mystery disease kills dozens in Somalia

Of course, I blame Bush.

Mysterious endemic disease which broke out in central Somalia has killed number of people for the last 24 hours, reports say on Sunday. The diarrhea like disease has been seen in Jalalaqsi, a small town in central Hiran province where it killed seven persons and others more were ill.

Earlier the disease killed dozens of people mostly children under the age of five[...]

Trouble in Zimbabwe worker's paradise - doctors strike

Communist command economies - what's not to like? I hope you're paying attention to this Comrade Chavez. This is you is a few years.

[...]The doctors want a near-hundred fold increase of their salaries, from Z$56 000 (R1 602) to Z$5-million.

Nurses were reported to be pressing for a monthly salary of Z$3-million, to cushion them from spiralling prices in an economy with the highest rate of inflation in the world, more than 1,200 percent. [...]

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Recursion - the hidden boobytrap laying in wait

So I conjure up a little test case for this project Ive been working on. Nothing terribly complicated:
char c1=0;
char c2=1;
char c3=3;
<blah, blah, blah> about 3,000 of them

It turns out that the PUBDEF record loader in this app (written 20+ years ago and virtually unchanged since) used a recursive algorithm to load records where there was an unknown number of repeated subrecords within the main record. It was very elegant. It also fell over dead with stack overrun issues when "n" got large. The 3,000 public's test case can cause "n" to get "large". Modern bloatware apps can cause "n" to get large.

Theoretical elegance, meet harsh reality.
Mr. recursion is going to be hitting the unemployment line after all these years in this instance. You can always substitute iteration where recursion was used and I will be doing so here. I suspect the iterative equivalent will be quite a bit faster as well, since it will be more apt to keep L1 cache's from sloshing full of once-used recursive stack data.

Friday, January 19, 2007

I don't do much cat blogging, but this was hard to pass up...

Cats that look like Hitler
Does your cat look like Adolf Hitler? Do you wake up in a cold sweat every night wondering if he's going to up and invade Poland? Does he keep putting his right paw in the air while making a noise that sounds suspiciously like "Sieg Miaow"? If so, this is the website for you.

Colorado democrat moonbat sends dog shit - gets cauught

Ace got me looking further into this story. In a nutshell, the dem moonbat sends a republican politician a package of dog shit.

The dastardly plan falls apart when said moonbat failed to realize their own return address was on the envelope. Sure, they tried to mark out the text, but apparently overlooked the ZIP+4 part. ZIP+4 isolates an address right down to a particular building in most cases.
Musgrave spokesman Shaun Kenney said someone stuffed the envelope through the mail slot in the door on May 31 and then sped away in a car. Kenney said most of the preprinted return address was blacked out, but staffers used the nine-digit ZIP code to trace it to Kathleen Ensz, a Weld County Democratic volunteer.
Now, who exactly is this Kathleen Ensz person you may ask?

Well she's a Professor of French at the University of Northern Colorado.

She's written articles in trade journals such as The Modern Language Journal, on such critical issues as: French Attitudes toward Typical Speech Errors of American Speakers of French.
[...]In particular this research project sought to determine which category of errors typically made by French-speaking Americans, errors in pronunciation, vocabulary, or grammar, is the most objectionable to the French ear[...]
I'm sure Americans simply couldn't live without the results of such ground breaking "research" like that could we? No, of course not. I'm obsessed daily with how the French perceive my admittedly inept high school French (and horror of horrors, some of that bastard hell spawn tongue Creole I've learned from my Haitian neighbors).

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Broken optimizers in C/C++ compilers

I've got a sizable chunk of working C code now in my ongoing OBJ hacking project and I decided to see how it worked on various different compilers on different platforms.

To date, the project has been built as an ordinary "large model" DOS app using several different versions of Borland C compilers ranging from Turbo C 2.0 through Borland C/C++ 4.52 all of which have performed OK and produced seemingly correct code.

Next I took it (don't laugh) onto an OS/2 2.0 machine and built it as a 32 bit app with the Borland C/C++ v1.5 OS/2 compiler. A few nits shook out when I started running it against its own code, but nothing major, just oversights on my part in the support of some of the newer 32 bit OMF record types. Again, the 32 bit Borland OS/2 compiler seemed to be producing apparently correct code.

Now I move it over to a Windows NT 4 platform and build the code with one of the early Borland Win32 compilers. All hell breaks loose and NOTHING WORKS.

OK, time to look at what's going on at the assembler code level with a debugger. This version of the Borland compiler, a couple of years newer than the OS/2 version, apparently got a new code generator and optimizer -- one which turned correct C code into INCORRECT machine code. The damned thing was optimizing away some rather important shifting and masking operations in my lowest level routines that read record fields out of OBJ records -- and I hadn't even throw any fancy optimization switches yet. I was just going with the standard defaults.

These routines involved weren't terribly complex either - none of them should generate more than about 10 machines even in completely unoptimized code. Simple stuff like:

int lowbyte, hibyte;

lowbyte = getbyte();
hibyte = getbyte();
return ((hibyte << 8) | lowbyte);

Simple constructs like this completely spazed that Borland compiler. OMG - how did Borland ever get this compiler to build itself with egregious code generation bugs like this? How did any customer with a sizable code base ever do anything useful with it?

The golden rule of optimizers in a compiler is "do no harm". Breaking correct code is a major sin.
Microsoft took a pretty hard PR hit over this with their C 5.0 compiler when it first came out. C 5.0 introduced a bunch of new optimizations, but the loop optimizations were busted, and people noticed it right away.

CSI: Boca Raton FL - forensic programming

A vicious bug I've just unearthed in IBM's OS/2 LINK386 linker preventing it from processing stuff produced by some of Borland's OS/2 language tools reminds me of an earlier incident...

Herein is a tale of foul treachery and sabotage by Microsoft, or at least that's my conjecture as one who "was there". I'll report, you decide.

This story starts back in 1988 during the OS/1 1.3 development time frame - a few years prior to OS/2 2.0 shipping in 1992.

When Microsoft was working on their version of OS/2 1.2, they sent IBM a particular "tarball" of fixes that contained a change in a header file for a constant used in the DosPTrace API -- this is the system call that is the foundation all debuggers use. The change in the particular constant was made a few days before Microsoft went "gold" with their OS/2 1.2 release. IBM picked up the tarball and integrated it into the OS/2 1.3 work that was going on (which MS wanted no part of). Right before their final build, Microsoft restored the value of the constant to what it had been ever since the OS/2 1.0 days.

The effect of IBM integrating this change is that CodeView would fail in mysterious ways on IBM's OS/2 1.3 and work correctly on Microsoft's OS/2 1.2 release (since they put the correct constant value back right before the final build).

Microsoft DID NOT notify IBM of the reversion of this header file constant to its original OS/2 1.0 value.

Some months ensued and the mysterious CodeView failures became evident in OS/2 1.3 testing. The hunt for their cause was on. DIFF's eventually pinpointed the cause, and IBM restored the original constant value and CodeView was working properly again.

Now IBM checked the Microsoft source for their "gold" version of 1.2 and found the restoration of the altered constant in that source. Yet, still no official notification by Microsoft that this reversion was made.

Frankly, "I question the timing", since this change that broke CodeView was only in MS's source tree for a few days, and I question the fact that the reversion to the original was never reported back.

THIS incident is the basis for establishing a prior track record on MS's part of likely sabotage and treachery. If anyone believes the timing and lack of notification represent anything other than a very likely case of sabotage, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell them ;->

Lets face it - if IBM had allowed this bug to reach the field and CodeView didn't work on IBM's OS/2 1.3, that would have been a major black eye and caused widespread industry skepticism of IBM's ability to actually handle OS/2 development efforts minus Microsoft. In this regard, it would have been a remarkably fortuitous bug from MS's point of view had it been allowed to slip through. The mass marketability of a bug such as this was very good. "IBM busts CodeView" makes for an easily grokked headline in PC Week. Even the non-technical can understand that one.

Treachery or the mundane? I don't believe in the easter bunny and coincidences like this one ;->

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Michael Fumento wades into the fever swamps

As well as doing some outstanding reporting on Iraq, Michael Fumento recently wandered into the fever swamps of the "Progressive Public Health Discussion" arena by stating he believed the Avian Flu pandemic scare was largely horse shit and offered 10:1 odds to any moonbat who believed there would be a pandemic within the next year.

This particular moonbat seems to belive there is a 50/50 chance of a pandemic.

50/50? THAT is a scary number, real scary. You got better odds playing Russian Roulette! WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE OF AVIAN FLU IN THE NEXT YEAR unless crash preparations are made INSTANTLY.

Intel - hiding the unpleasant truths

That's an article on a 486 bug, but the Intel's practice of hiding CPU bugs from developers still goes on today. When the Pentium first came out, I discovered one of its "secret" errata almost instantly with a little instruction set test case that dated back to the 80286 chip. It had to do with the exception behavior of the BOUND instruction in protected mode. Pentium behaved differently than its docs claimed and 286/386/486 silicon actually operated. I reported it and it was never listed in the Pentium errata. Trivially reproducible too, a few instructions could induce it, and it happened every time.

I never trusted the bastards after that. Over the years I grew that little CPU validation test suite and I suppose its up around 100KLOC of mixed C and assembler code these days, but I haven't updated it with all the new junk that appeared after the Pentium. CPU's are damned complicated things, but testing to make sure the documented behaviors of things, like exceptions, actually works - particularly when the behavior dated back to the 80286 shouldn't be too hard. Yet apparently it is...

I immediately reported this bug to Intel, along with a software work around. And even though I had regular access to the Intel486 errata documents, I never saw this bug listed in the errata. This omission was in spite of my submission of source code which faithfully reproduced this bug. I have no idea whether or not Intel ever fixed this bug, as it never was listed in the Intel486 errata, and I had a sufficient work-around. I found another bug in the Intel386 and Intel486 which had suffered the same fate -- it never showed up in the errata documents, even though it could be faithfully reproduced with source code I had provided. And now that the Pentium errata is public, I always look at it as though there are many bugs which are never listed, even though their founders have reported them, and spent many man-hours debugging them.

Software bug killed Mars Global Surveyor

PodCast audio there too. The podcast audio suggests some bogus addresses overwrites in an earlier software update caused the thing to orient its radiators towards the sun and the batteries overheated and croaked.

If true, this was a lousy hardware/software architecture. A physical heat sensor on the batteries could have been tied to a simple hardware reset circuit to force a cold restart from some sort of PROM (containing virgin un-updated code). IOW, force the thing back to ground zero if its any of the various internal sensors or watchdogs detect that its in some sort of wedged condition.

NASA Watch reports that NASA's Mars Global Surveyor stopped responding to commands a few months ago due to improperly coded software.

Phony butts for flat posteriors


Wallpaper quality F-14 pic

Click on the thumbnail.


Monday, January 15, 2007

AlGore/Kerry/Hillary/DiFi linked to Roswell UFO

Outstanding detective work. This is clearly much more than coincidence.

Many will recall that on July 8, 1947, witnesses claim an unidentified object with five aliens aboard crashed[...]

Chavez goes full tilt commie

OK world, get ready and brace yourself. We all know how this is going to turn out in a few decades. This moron is going to turn Venezuela into an economic disaster that will rival the DPRK.

On an abstract basis, I really don't care. The lemmings need a lesson it would seem, so let them bask in their own self destruction and we can crack open a fresh beer and watch the fun. It will be entertaining in the same perverse way that watching a train wreck is riveting - its hard to turn away.

On a real world basis though, it means we, i.e. the rest of the western world, will have to bail this fool out and reconstruct the country after he's done wrecking it and the shit gets ragged. That won't be fun. It'll be expensive, real expensive as the Germans have found out. My greatest fear is that Comrade Hugo will leave the joint in even worse shape than the East Germans did when they folded.

People power. Got that - people power™. I think someone needs to get this guy a new calendar. It ain't the 1960's anymore.

Times Online
IN a controversial attempt to turn Venezuela into a socialist utopia, President Hugo Chavez is planning to build a network of egalitarian communities without mayors or municipal governments. He declared last week that his new “socialist cities” would be run by “people power”.

Chavez told the Venezuelan national assembly that vast tracts of the country’s largely unpopulated interior would be used for the construction of new cities, each covering up to 100 square kilometres (38.6 square miles).

He gave few other details at swearing-in ceremonies after his recent re-election other than to advise his critics: “Those of you who want to know what type of socialism I have planned for Venezuela should read Marx and Lenin.”[...]

Iraqi airforce get's Saddam era planes back from Iran

Iraq and Iran agreed to mechanism to regain Iraqi planes from Tehran airport since 1991 to Iraqi airports as Transport Acting Minister Sherwan Wa'aeli discussed with Iranian transport minister

Sunday, January 14, 2007

OSHA in the combat zone

Its axiomatic that the young are careless and display little "common sense". This is because they have an amazing ability to listen to but completely ignore sound advise. "Knowing everything" when you're young is both a advantage and curse. If you survive the youth phase, then you may have gained a measure of what people recognize as wisdom. Wisdom isn't anything special, just a bunch of collected painful lessons that act as predictors of future outcomes. Really sharp people are able to absorb other's lessons as part of their own when those lessons were particularly dire or fatal. The less sharp, don't and get their own chance to learn first hand. Nothing hurts or teaches like pain(physical and/or metaphorical) - her embrace imparts lasting life lessons no classroom course work could ever hope match.

Acute Politics
[...]The modern military combines part big brother society with part warfighter[...]

[...]the most mundane and common-sense workplace safety practices often warrant a official warning. These warnings are usually accompanied by graphic photographs of the one idiot who managed to mutailate themselves in spectacular fashion.

Since I've come to Iraq, I've learned that you should not attempt to exit a moving vehicle or I may injure myself.
I've been told that in the event of a rollover, I should not try to open the uparmored door that is now above my head lest I be crushed under it. I've seen pictures of what may happen to me if I hit my hand with a hammer, or get too close to a dirt auger. I now know that I shouldn't play with knives, and that opening the feed tray of a weapon while it is firing may be bad for my health.[...]
More by the same author HERE - this guy is is a very good writer.

Damned Borland TDUMP...

The poor retard DOS extended version of the thing pitches a fit and blows up with a GP fault when trying to dump an OBJ that includes an "absolute" segment without a segment class name (which is a perfectly valid thing to have). A real mode un-extended version just spews crap on the screen.

My OBJ dumping code handles them just fine ;->

Saturday, January 13, 2007

How the left practices "free speech"

They're not even being coy about their fascist proclivities anymore.

"The Greg Gutfeld off Huffington Post! Petition to Huffington Post was created by All progressives and correct-thinking© peoples and written by Chris Kelly ("

Friday, January 12, 2007

Dumbing it down - the threaded fixup UnOptimizer

A while ago I wrote about my threaded fixup optimizer.

No sooner had it been out of the gates when another issue surfaced. It seems Borland's TLINK linker is somewhat profoundly retarded when it comes to threaded fixups. Big splats, blood/gore all over the place and disfunctional EXE's result when TLINK tried to link something with threaded fixups.

Apparently Borland never cared much about this because their own language products don't generate threaded fixups, and they generally disavowed support for anyone trying to mix-n-match modules from different vendors. Case closed. Tough luck. You lose. End of story.

Of course, this situation comes up ALL THE TIME when people try to recycle legacy code into new projects. As a practical matter, few organizations can afford to throw away millions of dollars worth of code and bought libraries of functions just because its "old". In the real world, maintenance programmers have to "deal with it" and make the old stuff work. The shiny new stuff someone is working on today will become "legacy code" next year ;->

This leaves people trying to integrate bits of code from other languages and products having to use the Microsoft LINK or some other 3rd party linker that does handle threaded fixups correctly. This was/is not always a satisfactory choice if your main blob of code was Borland and you want to use Turbo Debugger, which is/was a pretty damn good debugger. Other vendor's linkers aren't going to always support the TD debug format and you're likely be left trying to debug stuff at the assembler level because the foreign linker didn't create the TD symbolic debug infos. Very very unsatisfactory.

The solution to TLINK's ill mannered threaded fixup handling?

A threaded fixup UnOptimizer that eliminates threaded fixups and replaces them with their explicit equivalents. Sure, the OBJ porks up some, but now TLINK will be able to handle it and keep the symbolic debug info intact for Borland stuff.


It seems Microsoft compilers aren't very smart about choosing what to generate threaded fixups for when they do it. I've observed that UnOptimizing a Microsoft compiled OBJ and then ReOptimizing it with my stuff makes the OBJ smaller. It looks like Microsoft just picked a "standard" set of segment/group names to generate threaded fixups for and didn't bother actually performing an instance count to see which combination of things would provide the best payoff.


In fact its even worse with the Microsoft compilers. I've just proven they're wasting space on fixup thread definition records even when a particular OBJ doesn't even have any fixups in it that use'em.

My tool removes those superfluous definition records too ;->

WPB court house "powder" news coverup in progress

Original news stories were claiming the stuff was Tellurium - an element. Now tonight's news is claiming they don't know what it is, but its not dangerous.

Q: How do you get a very specific elemental identification on the preliminary story, then back off on later stories?

I took enough chemistry in college, and played with the mass spectrometer enough to know that a sample that ID's itself as as Tellurium is not likely to be "mistaken" for something else. The graph of a sample that consists of a single element will have one sharp spike (or spikes for multiple isotopes) and that's it. There's nothing else there. Even an inept chemist won't mistake spikes in the range of common household organics (sugar, Sweet N' Low, arsenic based poisons, etc) because the atomic weights of the stuff that comprises them is SOOOOO far away from that of Tellurium. Tellurium is relatively heavy stuff -- right next to Tin and Antimony.

Something stinks here.

There's no way the original diagnosis of Tellurium was made without the assistance of a mass spectrometer at one of the local universities. Nobody looks at random powdery shit and declares "Hey, I think this is Tellurium!".

a) Journalists are too stupid to know what Tellurium is and wouldn't have a clue as to what a mass spectrometer is.

b) Cops are too stupid to know what Tellurium is, but might know what the spectrometer is.

Some chemist, somewhere in Palm Beach county, made that original diagnosis the media ran with, and if it was bogus I want to hear from that guy exactly how he could have fucked up something as simple as Tellurium versus "other stuff" analysis.

anti-Iran pressure ratchets up on German banks

Financial Times
The US was criticised for pressing German companies to cut business ties with Iran yesterday after Commerzbank decided to end dollar transactions with Tehran.

Germany's second-largest bank confirmed it would cease to conduct dollar-denominated business with Iran at the end of this month. The bank, which co-managed Iranian bond issues and has had a long presence there, said "there has been US pressure" as part of Washington's efforts to force Tehran to abandon its nuclear programme.[...]

Senator Nelson(FL) jumps the aisle on pork bill

A vote on the: "Motion to Table (Motion to Table DeMint Amdt. No. 11 )"

Nelson (D-FL), Nay
Nelson's "Nay" vote put him against Harry Reid and siding with the Republicans. I was kind of shocked that Nelson would do that.

The DeMint amendment SA11 TEXT HERE introduces some modest restrictions on earmarks which I'm told mirrors the house bill (although it should be noted it DOES NOT in any meaningful way make an attempt to eliminate them as an institution). One thing that jumped out at me about SA11 is this particular section:

Any earmark that was not committed to conference by either the House of Representatives or the Senate in their disagreeing votes on a measure shall be considered out of scope under rule XXVIII of the Standing Rules of the Senate and section 102 of this Act if contained in a conference report on that measure.

The Reid/Durbin/Feinstein/etc SA3 amendment TEXT HERE of S302 essentially allows for "earmarks" to continue on as they always did with very few restrictions.
...It shall not be in order to consider any Senate bill or Senate amendment or conference report on any bill, including an appropriations bill, a revenue bill, and an authorizing bill, unless a list of--

``(1) all earmarks, targeted tax benefits, and targeted tariff benefits in such measure;

``(2) an identification of the Member or Members who proposed the earmark, targeted tax benefit, or targeted tariff benefit; and

``(3) an explanation of the essential governmental purpose for the earmark, targeted tax benefit, or targeted tariff benefit;

is available along with any joint statement of managers associated with the measure to all Members and made available on the Internet to the general public for at least 48 hours before its consideration.

``3. (a) A Member who proposes an earmark, targeted tax benefit, or targeted trade benefit included on a list prepared pursuant to paragraph 2, shall certify that neither the Member nor his or her spouse has a financial interest in such earmark, targeted tax benefit, or targeted tariff benefit.

``(b) In this paragraph, the term `financial interest' shall be interpreted in a manner consistent with Senate Rule XXXVII.''
Note the list of sponsors to this weaselly reptilian SA3 amendment:
Sen McConnell, Mitch [KY] - 1/9/2007
Sen Feinstein, Dianne [CA] - 1/9/2007
Sen Bennett, Robert F. [UT] - 1/9/2007
Sen Lieberman, Joseph I. [CT] - 1/9/2007
Sen Collins, Susan M. [ME] - 1/9/2007
Sen Obama, Barack [IL] - 1/9/2007
Sen Salazar, Ken [CO] - 1/9/2007
Sen Durbin, Richard [IL] - 1/9/2007

Thursday, January 11, 2007

David Petraeus - Scorpio

I don't normally put much stock in Astrological nonsense (I'm an INTJ engineer, so that astrological stuff is by definition bullshit), but I do note that for whatever reason, the standard descriptions of Scorpio fit me perfectly. I read them and they are indeed exactly who I am. Bullshit or not, I am a textbook Scorpio, born Nov 13, smack in the middle of the Scorpio birthday range.

So I'm watching the news the past week or so and I notice things happening. The AC-130 deal in Somalia, a distinct uptick in the tempo of what's going on in Iraq and for some odd reason, the question pops into my head -- "I wonder if Petraeus is a Scorpio?"

A: Yea, he is. So was Georgie Patton (November 11)

David Petraeus (born November 7, 1952) is a Lieutenant General in the United States Army. From 2004-2005, he was given the crucial task of building and training Iraq's security forces...

My Favorite Politicians -- the list!

CLICK HERE For a complete alphabetical listing.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

More muslims more rape?

A very long piece that reads like a detective story as the numbers are developed. The moonbats are piling on in his comments section of course, but the bottom line is the trend lines are there. You get more Muslims, you get more least in London.

[...]So are there any patterns here within that basic pattern of a rising proportion of Muslims equals a rising level of sex offences? Let’s look at all of the above on one graph and see what it throws up.[...]

[...]Well well well, isn’t that interesting … can you see them? Step-changes, two of them. Wonder if that’s just part of a larger pattern of step-changes as Muslim proportions get even bigger? But that’s speculation, and I’ll get back to it in a short while. You have absolutely no concept of how fascinated I was by this picture the first time I saw it[...]

A view of Lebanon and Hezb's influence

This a really outstanding piece of (actual) journalism by a guy who's actually visiting the area as opposed to visiting the hotel bar in Beirut. Please read it all, you won't be disappointed. Then compare it to the usual drivel from AP/Reuters/etc and...well there is no comparison.

Michael Totten
I drove to Hezbollah’s stronghold in South Lebanon to survey the devastation from the war in July, to check in on the United Nations peacekeeping force, and to talk to civilians who were used as human shields in the battle with Israel. My American journalist friend Noah Pollak from Azure Magazine in Jerusalem went with me[...]
H/T Jules

The extent of Sandy Burglar's treason

Committee report
Oversight and Government Reform Committee Ranking Member Tom Davis (R-VA) released the following statement today on a committee report that sheds important new light on Sandy Berger’s theft of classified documents from the National Archives. The report makes it clear that the full extent of Mr. Berger’s document removal can never be known, and consequently the Department of Justice could not assure the 9/11 Commission that it received all responsive documents to which Mr. Berger had access...

...“My staff’s investigation reveals that President Clinton’s former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger compromised national security much more than originally disclosed,” Davis said. “It is now also clear that Mr. Berger was willing to go to extraordinary lengths to compromise national security, apparently for his own convenience.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Monster 1,100lb+ hogs in Georgia

They're big. They're mean. They tear shit up. What's not to like?

I'm thinking a few of these parachuted into a terrorist hideout would cause quite a ruckus, tear up the bad guys, and cause some lasting psychological problems before they were brought down.

A wild hog weighing 1,100 pounds, bigger than the near-mythical "Hogzilla" caught in rural south Georgia a few years ago, has been been shot and killed in a suburban neighborhood...

Monday, January 08, 2007

Spooky fires up AQ in southern Somalia

CBS News
A U.S. Air Force gunship has conducted a strike against suspected members of al Qaeda in Somalia[...]

[...]Once they started moving, the al Qaeda operatives became easier to track, and the U.S. military started preparing for an air strike, using unmanned aerial drones to keep them under surveillance and moving the aircraft carrier Eisenhower out of the Persian Gulf toward Somalia. But when the order was given, the mission was assigned to the AC-130 gunship operated by the U.S. Special Operations command.

If the attack got the operatives it was aimed at, reports Martin, it would deal a major blow to al Qaeda in East Africa[...]

UPDATE: (this didn't take long did it?)

At least one libtard was quick to respond in condemning this strike likening it to extra-judicial execution. However, conspicuously absent from said leftards rant was any indication of willingness to take said terrorists into their home as roommates.

Programmer ego boosters

OK, so I got this insane project in the works that does all sorts of magical transformations on the ludicrous crap compilers spit out.

Its generic in nature - throw any OBJ's at it, 16 bit, 32 bit, from any vendor. Assembler, C/C++, Pascal, Fortran, COBOL, BASIC, whatever, I don't care. I'll make sense of it and rewrite the retard compiler's output into something better.

Pretty heady intricate stuff, altering the output from compilers. The vast majority of programmers never even look at what their compilers are puking out let alone think about trying modify it, but that's the kind of project I like. Bit banging, low level and VERY NASTY where there's zero wiggle room, and hand waving don't cut it. What you do is either 100% right on or its flat out broken.

The past few days I've been working on a fixup optimizer. Its non-trivial since fixups and their plethora of variations and permutations are genuinely nasty and difficult. There's a ton of bits in record fields that have all sorts of different meanings depending on the settings of other bits, sometimes an index is present, sometimes not, sometimes there is a displacement, sometimes not, blah, blah, blah.

Working with fixups is like the "twisty little mazes" in the old Adventure game. Its easy to get in, not so easy to get out, and your head is on a swivel reading spec pages trying to find the exit.

So I whipped out about 1,000 lines of code to do some of these fixup optimizations and wonder of wonders it worked 100% on the first shot. Its not often that you crank out 1,000 lines of crazy intricate code in a few days that works on the first go and continued to work against the outputs from about a dozen different compilers I've thrown at it so far.

Its a good feeling.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

UN "peacekeepers" accused of rape in Darfur

The U.N. is truly a class act. Not.

(SomaliNet) The United Nations (UN) peacekeepers and civilian staff have been reported by the Daily Telegraph of London to be raping and abusing children as young as 12 in southern Sudan’s Darfur region.

The Daily Telegraph said on its Web site that it had gathered accounts from more than 20 young victims in the town of Juba of UN civilian and peacekeeping staff forcing them to have sex.

Meanwhile, the UN Peacekeeping Department in New York declined to comment.[...]

Top islamist ICU money man nabbed in Kenya

The US has been prepping Kenya for quite a while to play this role. Kenya is the anvil. The Ethiopian hammer is whistling down...

Abukar Omar Addane, one of the main financers of the defeated Islamic Courts Union and his son have been captured from the Kenyan border town of Liboa by the Kenyan police.

Reports say that the police was informed about the presence of these men in the town and they suddenly rushed to where the Islamists were hiding, local resident said[...]

[...]Both of them were suspected to be among the fleeing Islamists in the border areas between Somalia and Kenya where Somalia government troops backed by Ethiopian forces are engaging clashes with the remnants of Islamic fighters who are on the run.

Earlier, the Kenyan government barred Islamists to enter its country as it put high alert on the Kenyan forces at the border with Somalia.

MOI's Jamil denies he's AP's Jamil

Dueling Jamil's, gotta love it.

Flopping Aces
my CPATT sources informed me today that MOI officials have now questioned Captain Jamil Ghlaim at MOI headquarters. Ghlaim continues to deny speaking to AP or any other media outlet...

..."I am challenging any one can prove by recording or film that I did that"

Friday, January 05, 2007

Barney Frank - uncut, unhinged, and unmedicated

Hot Air has the video of the illustrious Barney Frank accusing Bush of "ethnic cleansing" in NOLA. Good stuff. Too bad we don't demand drug tests of congressman like we do of the employees at Home Depot because Frank clearly has been hitting the crack pipe too hard and needs to get into rehab ;->

H/T Jules Crittenden

X-Files: Alien abducted dog released 1,300 miles away

a) Was it checked for implants?
b) Was it anal probed with a stainless steel rod?

Obviously there is much much more to this story than AP is letting on.
AP (so take it with a grain of salt)
Seven months after disappearing from her yard in Colorado, a little rat terrier named Daisy walked into the arms of Tracie Crass in Knoxville, some 1,300 miles away...

BLM - wasting your tax dollars and violating Federal law

There is THIS STORY out of Nevada. The BLM is apparently going to spend $300,000-$400,000 relocating 1,200 wild horses and burros (approx $300 per animal).

Animal rights activists are fighting the move claiming it violates existing federal law. The relevant statute is 16 U.S.C.1331. Its only a paragraph long and written in actual English, not some D.C legislative gobbledygook. This time I'm going to side with the animal activists.
Congress finds and declares that wild free-roaming horses and burros are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West; that they contribute to the diversity of life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people; and that these horses and burros are fast disappearing from the American scene. It is the policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death; and to accomplish this they are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

How the PRC is methodically destabilizing Africa

This is an outstanding read. The observations are dead on.

[...]African manufacturers and their employees are not in competition with Chinese manufacturers and their employees. They are in a struggle against a despotic government. It's not a playing field, it's a slaughterhouse[...]

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Funding terrorists with your local tax dollars?

There has been a disturbing series of stories out of the Albany NY area recently that have not appeared on the major national news radar yet but deserve a higher profile.

It seems someone, or group of someone's has been counterfeiting Albany County government checks for some rather large amounts and trying to pass them overseas.

If these checks had originated in Nigeria I wouldn't have thought anything of it. That they originated in 4 areas of the world associated with various terrorist groups sets one's mind to wondering...

Its good that Albany county eventually wised up and put countermeasures in place, but that suggests a much more interesting question.

If its happening in Albany, its probably happening elsewhere. Are private citizen's checking accounts being targeted? Is an isolated fix of the type Albany implemented reasonable on a national level to prevent such chicanery? Probably not.

Might it be better to implement a two-tiered national system where the default setting is that people's checks can ONLY be paid out to a US based bank? If people need to pay overseas regularly, then let them explicitly give authorization to enable that sort of transaction against their accounts, or setup a separate account for only paying overseas bills.

If these guys had been a little less greedy and sent through a series of checks in the $500 range they probably would have flown right through the system without question.

Incident #1
A resident of India tried to cash a counterfeit Albany County government check for $153,000 at a bank in his homeland, but the scheme was intercepted this week by Bank of America, County Comptroller Michael Conners said Friday.

Before authorizing payment, Bank of America detected the fraud because the bogus check had the same number as a legitimate check issued by the county in September for $125, Conners said[...]

[...]On Dec. 18, a county check for $153,000.89, bearing Conners' signature, was deposited in an account at Canara Bank, an Indian bank, by M. Raja Paranthaman, who listed the state of Tamil Nadu as his address.
Tamil Nadu is a south eastern Indian state. The one closest to Sri Lanka, home of the Tamil Tiger terrorist group. Coincidence? Perhaps, perhaps not.

Incident #2
Another week and another Albany County government counterfeit check has turned up in a foreign bank, again for $150,000 -- this time in Malaysia.

As it did last week, Bank of America, the county's bank, intercepted the bogus check, refused to make good on it and on Wednesday sent it to County Comptroller Mike Conners[...]

[...]Both checks were cut on the same day, Sept. 27, to the elections inspectors who worked Primary Day, and both checks were used in the counterfeit attempt on the same day, Nov. 30.

The new counterfeit check was made out to Matnoor Bin Sallah of Penang, Malaysia, for $150,000.50 and deposited at DBS Bank Ltd., Woodlands Branch, Singapore. It was processed through Wachovia, a bank holding company[...]
Several terrorist groups are operating out of Malaysia. The most high profile perhaps being Jemaah Islamiyah.

Incident #3
For the third time in a week, a bogus Albany County government check has surfaced, this time in Pakistan. The newest counterfeit check was for $35,000 -- considerably less than the first two. A photocopy of the check was turned over today to County Comptroller Michael Conners by Bank of America officials as were the other two[...]

Incident #4
Another bogus Albany County government check turned up Tuesday -- for $160,000 in a Saudi Arabian bank -- the fourth one in less than two weeks.

Also Tuesday, after repeated urging by the county comptroller, the county finally agreed to institute a new security system[...]

[...]The county Department of Finance, which cuts the checks that bear Conners' signature, agreed to ask the bank to put in place a procedure known as "positive pay," Conners said. "The mechanism protects county taxpayers from a check being honored in error. The transition can be electronically checked for check number, amount and date, and the service is free."

The latest fake check, made out to Ali Jassem Nasser Albrahimalhaji of Riyadh, carried the same number as a legitimate check, which has yet to be deposited, Conners said.

Deputy County Comptroller Billy Curran said the outstanding legitimate check was cut in August for $27.91 to a local company he declined to name, and because that check has yet to be presented to a bank "it may have been stolen."[...]

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Military desertion rates trended down under Bush

Fascinating. Trending upward during Clinton's last years, downward under Bush.


Associated Press suggests Jamil Hussein was murdered!

Damn curious this murder would happen at exactly the same time questions about his existence were being raised isn't it? Similarly curious is that AP does not run a story about this murder since they love to run stories about reporters/stringers getting whacked.


Surely Jamil "man about town" Hussein would have been recognized by someone at a morgue if he turned up with his head drilled. Police captains know people, they have a large circle of acquaintances and contacts within the community.

Here's my recommendation to the Associated Press: When you find yourself in a hole, STOP DIGGING.

Ethnic cleansing?

I rather suspect poor Jamil is a victim of ethics cleansing.

[...]When asked about critics' demands that AP produce Hussein to prove his existence, she said "that area [where he works] has pretty much been ethnically cleansed, it is a nasty place and continues to be."[...]
H/T Hot Air

More breaking news on AP fakery at Flopping Aces

The anti death penalty crowd's new poster boy?

[...]Richard Dicker, director of an international justice program of New York-based Human Rights Watch, said: "The execution of Saddam, a human-rights monster, turned his unspeakable record upside down."[...]

Frankly, I think they'd be better off pitching Ted Bundy. Its harder to get people jazzed over a guy who's victims you need a super computer to count rather than a guy who's victims can be counted on a couple of hands. Lets face it, mass graves creep most people out...unless they're hard core leftists of course, then mass graves are just all in a day's work.

Admittedly, Saddam has had more raw unbridled star power to mitigate against those heavy victim volume negatives. Bundy never had the international psychotic cachet needed to get airliners full of moronic human shields leaping to his defense either - advantage Saddam.

However, Bundy wasn't found hiding in a hole like a rat either. Advantage Bundy. Hiding in a hole like a rat was just tacky. Tacky, tacky, tacky.

Lets face it, Bundy was a better looking guy than Saddam too. Saddam was never going to make the cover of GQ even on a good day. Saddam needs needed a bigger makeover than Rosie O'Donnell to be presentable in public. The last time Saddam even came close to being hot was like 45 years ago! Bundy had real promise here. A little makeup, an Alec Baldwin hairdo and Bundy could indeed have made the cover of GQ. Point for Bundy. People like their mass murderers to be photogenic. Seriously, what good is a poster boy who looks like a turd on a poster?

Got to have the look.

Got. To. Be. Hot. -- or you'll never get people like Paris Hilton on board.

So, all factors considered, I have to say HRW is making a strategic blunder here going with the Saddam product over the Bundy product.

Being based in the USA, HRW should have considered the publicity negatives associated with choosing foreign products over domestic ones. Do we really need to outsource like this?

Have we no pride?

Is there not some domestic home grown, true American mass murderer or serial killer somewhere in this great land that has the chops to make it in the big city as HRW's poster boy? Sure there is. You all know him. You all love him. Ted Bundy is was that man.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Selling your Sony PS/3 with pooter

CLICK HERE for details and pics

Via Dustbury

Mark Steyn on Tokyo Rose's demise

He, he, he...

[...]IVA TOGURI D’AQUINO, traitor

She was better known as Tokyo Rose, the great propagandist for Imperial Japan, delivering morale-lowering broadcasts to American fighting men across the Pacific. These days, she’d be on CBS.[...]

In other news...France continues to burn

Some high school French, and Creole picked up from my Haitian neighbors, lets me read this well enough to know its NOT GOOD. 313 cars burned, 258 arrested. How do you burn 300+ cars with 25,000 cops on the beat? One day, 300+ cars burned. Think about how the citizens of a major city in the USA would react to this happening every day. A "slow night" in Paris is 100 cars burned. 7x24x365 that shit would get old real quick here in the states.

PARIS (AFP) - Quelque 313 véhicules ont été incendiés et 83 autres ont brûlé par propagation en France métropolitaine au cours de la nuit du nouvel an, tandis que 258 personnes ont été interpellées, a-t-on appris lundi auprès de la direction générale de la police nationale (DGPN).
Selon ce bilan, arrêté à 06H00, sur 25.000 policiers et gendarmes mobilisés, trois policiers ont été légèrement blessés, dont l'un à Paris, bousculé par une voiture sur les Champs-Elysées, où 400.000 personnes ont fêté l'entrée dans l'année 2007, et deux autres lors d'interpellations, selon la même source[...]

Rewriting US history - Arab blogger style

This moron's blog doesn't accept comments, I'm compelled to point out their ignorance in a higher profile manner. Within you will find the following quote:
[...]in Waco, Texas, site of the massacre of the Branch Davidian religious group, in April 1993, by the U.S. Army, FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Under President Bush snr's watch, they laid siege[...]
Can anyone guess what's wrong with this picture? Yea, you got it - Waco was a Clinton job, not Bush v1.0 The years Clinton was in office are hardly any great secret, so one is necessarily compelled to assume this lie/propaganda is very intentional and targeted at those overseas who don't pay much attention to US changes of administration.