Good point. Still, I think that the risk to tourists passing through the border is pretty minimal. I've been on the US mexican embassy mailing list, and I readily admit that occasionally I receive an email saying something like: Nuevo Laredo is super fucked up at the moment and police stations are getting bombed. Do not go there. However, this is rare, so considering the short amount of time one would spend at the border, combined with the relative rarity of these places being dangerous to non-drug-traffickers, I think you have to be really unlucky or just acting stupid to get in trouble. Like almost anywhere else.
I've been traveling in Mexico for the last two months. I have never been more surprised by a country: the incredible ancient prehispanic and colonial architecture, beautiful landscapes, and modern, friendly cities. The border is horrible - one hundred miles south of the border (I visited Monterrey and Cd. Chihuahua) is beautiful and safe. Look up pictures of Zacatecas and Guanajuato - amazing. Corruption and drug use are a big issue, but tourists are safe (except from using your credit card at sketchy clubs to buy drinks... whoops). To me, Mexico feels like a country rapidly moving towards the first world, not the other way around. In the US, we really only hear the bad stuff, but doesn't begin to sum up feeling in this country - everyone I've met seems optimistic, if not somewhat bitter about government corruption. Also, here is a very important and recognized recent article from the Mexican magazine Proceso, with an interview with the second in command Mexican drug trafficking: http://www.proceso.com.mx/rv/modHome/detalleExclusiva/78067 Check it out.
In the example you give, absolutely what you say should not be regulated - however, you must admit campaigns with money to spend no doubt receive far more "I emphatically support you" videos than campaigns with nothing. And yes, I think that if you are being paid to speak for a lobbyist there should be some limitations - a special law for bloggers may be necessary because as a form of speech it is so different from anything else. however, i wish i knew the actual motivations for this debate in congress, which i'm sure has no basis in actual morality.
SlinkySausage writes "Five years, three months and five days after Windows XP made its debut, Microsoft will usher its next-generation OS onto the stage. Microsoft has set November 30 as the release date for Vista (and Office 2007) to business customers and January 30, 2007 as the date for the official launch to consumers and The World At Large."
mikesd81 writes "The Associated Press is reporting on the rapid aging of MySpace. More than half of MySpace's users are now 35 or older. From the article: 'Just a year ago, teens under 18 made up about 25 percent of MySpace, the popular online hangout run by News Corp. That's now down to 12 percent in the comScore analysis released Thursday. By contrast, the 35-54 group at MySpace grew to 41 percent in August, from 32 percent a year earlier ... The study was based on comScore's regular panels for measuring Internet audiences, rather than MySpace's registration information, where users often lie about their age.'"
02bunced writes "The BBC is reporting that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has started his own blog, the launch of which was announced on Iranian State TV. This is perhaps slightly ironic, given that the Iranian Government actively censors blogs on the Internet."
OpenFrag was founded in May 2003 and aims to create an open source first person shooter with commercial grade quality. All participants are volunteers and use some of their spare time to help in the development process. The project was recently featured last month at the Finnish game exhibition XPlay 2006. Some of the project's textures have also been featured in the news at BlenderNation, it looks as if there is a promising future for these developers.
Section_Ei8ht writes "Spanish Congress has made it a civil offense to download anything via p2p networks, and a criminal offense for ISP's to allow users to file-share, even if the use is fair. There is also to be a tax on all forms of blank media, including flash memory drives. I guess the move towards distributing films legally via BitTorrent is a no go in Spain." Here is our coverage of the tax portion of this law.
grammar fascist writes "CNN reports that Northrop Grumman is under contract to build a new supersonic, shape-shifting bomber by 2020. The main innovation is in its single, rotating wing. From the article: '[It] will cruise with its 200-foot-long wing perpendicular to its engines like a normal airplane. But just before the craft breaks the sound barrier, its single wing will swivel around 60 degrees (hence the name) so that one end points forward and the other back. This oblique configuration redistributes the shock waves that pile up in front of a plane at Mach speeds and cause drag. When the Switchblade returns to subsonic speeds, the wing will rotate back to perpendicular.'"
KantIsDead writes "MIT's Tech Review is running an interview with Boston University Bioengineer Tim Gardner about the possibility of using bacteria to produce electricity. If fuel cells running off sugar are nearly here, alcohol-powered robots cannot be far." From the article: "While typical fuel cells use hydrogen as fuel, separating out electrons to create electricity, bacteria can use a wide variety of nutrients as fuel. Some species, such as Shewanella oneidensis and Rhodoferax ferrireducens, turn these nutrients directly into electrons. Indeed, scientists have already created experimental microbial fuel cells that can run off glucose and sewage. Although these microscopic organisms are remarkably efficient at producing energy, they don't make enough of it for practical applications."
rtt writes "AMD has long reigned the desktop CPU market due to Intel's offerings struggling to keep up in terms of performance and power consumption. Yonah is the predecessor to the Core architecture and is predominantly a mobile chip, and is used at the heart of Intel's Viiv technology. Bit-tech has an article about Yonah beating the top of the range desktop AMD chip, the FX60, clock for clock. From the article" 'When Yonah is running at the same clock speed as AMD's Athlon 64 FX-60, we found that it beat it into a corner in just about every situation.'"
skayell writes "The RIAA is suing XM Satellite radio contending that the ability to store songs in memory makes it similar to an iPod, but with no income involved for the RIAA." From the article: "XM said it will vigorously defend this lawsuit on behalf of consumers and also called the lawsuit a bargaining tactic. [...] The labels are currently in talks with XM and its rival Sirius Satellite Radio, to renegotiate digital royalty contracts for broadcasts."
Snap E Tom writes "According to a Washington Post poll, a majority (63%) of Americans 'said they found the NSA program to be an acceptable way to investigate terrorism.' A slightly higher majority would not be bothered if the NSA collected personal calls that they made. Even though the program has received bi-partisan criticism from Congress, it appears that the public values security over privacy."
pnewhook writes "The New York Times is reporting that 'by reconstructing ancient genes from long-extinct animals, scientists have for the first time demonstrated the step-by-step progression of how evolution created a new piece of molecular machinery by reusing and modifying existing parts. The researchers say the findings, published today in the journal Science, offer a counterargument to doubters of evolution who question how a progression of small changes could produce the intricate mechanisms found in living cells.'"
Syberghost writes "There are two major theories about the composition of the Sun. One says that it has similar composition to the planets. The other, that it has enriched levels of oxygen-16. NASA has been doing research on the soil samples Neil Armstrong brought back from the moon, to determine which of those theories is correct. Today, we have the results; they're both wrong. It looks like we're going to have to look more closely at the composition of everything in the solar system to figure this one out."