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Slashback: Hawash, Monomania, Rocketships 565

Tonight's Slashback arrives with updates on disappeared Intel contractor Mike Hawash, free Baen books, a new link for comparing space ship sizes, and more. Read on below for the details.

Yes, charges are nice after six weeks of unexplained incarceration. purdue_thor writes "The various news agencies (CNN, FoxNews) are reporting that after being held for six weeks, software engineer Mike Hawash has finally been charged. His detainment as a material witness and subsequent incarceration without formal charges was discussed previously on /. Friends of Mike Hawash have created a website to publicize his case and have released a statement regarding the charges."

Randolpho adds "The Free Mike Hawash website has released the following affidavit (PDF file) received from the Federal Terrorism Task Force. The affidavit states that Hawash traveled to China in 2001 with several co-conspirators 'in an attempt to enter Afghanistan to fight against United States forces.'"

This just in from the cork-topped bottle. danny writes "One of the disadvantages of living in Australia is that my review copies arrive late. But my review of Google Hacks may be of interest, even after honestpuck's earlier review."

Free as in books. Author John F.X. Sundman writes: "PDFs of the complete Acts of the Apostles and Cheap Complex Devices are available for free download from under the Creative Commons license."

And Robotech_Master writes "Remember the Honor Harrington CD-ROM, which Baen packaged with its most recent Honor Harrington book? The one that included over three dozen e-books and came with explicit permission to copy and share but not sell?

Well, Baen's done it again. The new CD comes with the fourth book in John Ringo's Aldenata trilogy, Hell's Faire . It includes still more free e-books, mp3s, and even a D20 Aldenata roleplaying game in electronic form. The book hits the stands this month, and the ISO is already available on-line. (Scarywater guy, please take note. :) Download it, burn it, give it to your friends...or buy the book and support one of the most Internet-clueful publishers out there today."

Free as in "you pay money." An anonymous reader submits "The original Douglas Adams Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, was first a book, then a radio series. Adams edited both. All 7 hrs and 30 minutes of the Radio series have been released by the BBC in MP3 CD format. If you only caught the TV series this is a must."

I wish more audio books would arrive like this (compressed, so as to occupy fewer disks), though I'd choose a better method of audio compression ;) If you want to hear the HHGttG, though, a few minutes on Google will probably turn up some fan sites with recordings from the BBC broadcasts. (innocent whistling)

Yeah, but there's no Epcot Center. Sacarino writes "Las Vegas is *almost* on par with Disney now. The regularly-updated Monorail Society website has tons of pictures of the progress. Vegas' monorails are the same type as Disney's (Bombardier Mark VI), only with inwardly opening doors... slick! Also mentions the old MGM-Bally's monorail that's getting absorbed into the new automated network."

Is this what Microsoft thinks of viral licensing? Vagary writes "One of my friends just got a Microsoft router and asked me to check the security features for it. The ping denial doesn't work, which is good because a port scan found some pretty interesting things, including this string in the TCP/IP fingerprint: 'i586-pc-linux-gnu'. Does that mean Microsoft must provide Linux source to purchasers of this product?"

Can anyone confirm, deny or explain this interesting claim?

Click here to discuss the size of a fictional spacecraft ... photozz writes "The infamously slashdotted site comparing the relative sizes of several hundred starships from various Sci-Fi series has been mirrored to a somewhat more robust server. So cool. It's in draggable format, so you can put King Kong on top of Deep Space 9 and re-create a dream I had last night......."

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Slashback: Hawash, Monomania, Rocketships

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  • by Bingo Foo ( 179380 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @08:03PM (#5839093)
    You are doing a disservice to those who live with real memories of what being "disappeared" really meant. This guy is being held, and charged, on really indisputable evidence, and it is a matter of public record. The fact that he worked in your beloved computer industry does not change these facts. Take your whining elsewhere.
    • by cranos ( 592602 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @08:14PM (#5839166) Homepage Journal
      He was held for weeks if not months without charge. That is a breach of due process and a breach of his rights. As for indisputable evidence that is for a court, a civilian court to decide.

      The fact that he worked/works in the IT sector has got nothing to do with the fact that the government is increasingly moving towards a totalitarian ideal and is not worried about following those rules which mean the west can boast an independant judicial system, free from harrasement and influence from the executive.

      If you cannot see this then I suggest you remove your rose-coloured glasses and take a real good look at what is happening.
      • by DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @09:10PM (#5839515) Homepage
        He was held as a material witness. Nice and legal. And let's not mince words, people here are interested in him because he works in "our" industry. It's inconcievable that an IT worker, (and an American citizen, no less!) would want to answer the call to jihad. Nope, he makes money in computers, so he must be innocent. Note the deafening silence regarding his conspirators.
        • by cranos ( 592602 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @09:31PM (#5839642) Homepage Journal
          Umm not being an American I may be wrong about this, but doesn't the constitution garauntee against exactly this sort of thing? I thought government wasn't allowed to detain citizens without pretty good evidence that they had actually committed a crime. Also doesn't it allow something called freedom of association?

          Oh I get it, it's alright to hang out with Fundamentalist Christian Militias but not with Fundamentalist Islamic Militias (if in fact that is what he did, nothing has been proved yet).

        • Besides the point (Score:5, Insightful)

          by error0x100 ( 516413 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @10:49PM (#5840034)

          Even if he is guilty, which would be very unfortunate especially in this case, that is entirely beside the point. The important point here is the loss of rights under which US citizens can now be detained in this manner. This is what people are protesting, and the point stands that this is a serious problem whether or not he is actually guilty in this case.

          Sadly, if it turns out that he is guilty, then many people will forget the important point here - because they will inevitably confuse the concept of defending his basic rights (that all US citizens are supposed to share), with the concept of defending him.

      • While everything you said is true-enough, I'm not sure how it is a reply to the grandparent's argument. The grandparent didn't say this wasn't "a breach of due process" or "a breach of his rights" or even that our government isn't "increasingly moving towards a totalitarian ideal ", they just said this wasn't a case of being "disappeared". If someone says "disappeared" to me, I think kidnapped by the government without a trace. This is a case of being kidnapped by the government in front of everyone with
      • by Jimithing DMB ( 29796 ) <dfe@tgw b d .org> on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @09:59PM (#5839806) Homepage

        Actually, he was held without charge but with the public's knowledge. The parent post is right, this isn't even close to being disappeared, and it's inappropriate to distill the meaning lest we forget what being disappeared really means.

        Reminds me of PETA a few months back likening pictures of animals being slaughtered to jews in concentration camps during Nazi germany (they showed the photos side-by-side with some comments about how it was just as bad). The worst part of it is that the local news (I'm around Norfolk) interviewed the president of PETA and she really didn't understand the problem, giving some off-the-cuff (i.e. poorly thought out) answer about how she thought it was a good comparison.

        The fact that he worked in a computer related field does in fact have a lot to do with this. A lot of computer professionals are very left-leaning. Worse yet, many are young and naive. While most liberals are not young and naive, it seems the majority of young and naive people are liberals.

        The really sad part is that both the liberal and conservative camps have their fair share of good ideas, but hard-liners are too opposed to different thinking and instead are just looking for a fight.

        You see it on Slashdot every day. Irrational discussion does not bode well for the represntative democracy that we have. It takes compromise. Furthermore, it takes a well-informed (not well-brainwashed) public.

        Making statements about how our country is rapidly heading towards totalitarianism does not bode well with the general public. Statements likening holding someone with public knowledge to holding someone without public knowledge do not fare well either. Nobody wants to hear this crap. It makes people feel helpless. It makes people feel like there's nothing they can do. It is that feeling that is really driving this country towards totalitarianism.

        Reminds me of a great Beatles song: "You say you want a revolution, well you know we'd all love to see the plan." ... "But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, you ain't gonna make it with anyone anyhow!"

        • by Frodrick ( 666941 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @10:43PM (#5840007)

          "Actually, he was held without charge but with the public's knowledge. The parent post is right, this isn't even close to being disappeared,"

          Actually, the government wouldn't even admit that they had him for several weeks. And he certainly wasn't given access to legal representation. Then the government declared a fair bit of the information surrounding his case was "secret" and therefore did not have to be revealed in court.

          Except for the "never seen again" part, that sounds pretty damn close to "disappeared" to me.

          And now that the time initially set by the judge was about to expire, and the court would likely set him free, the feds have charged Hawash with every crime the can think of (If he were a little older, no doubt he would also be charged with the Lindburgh kidnapping) figuring that they can hold him for another year before it is even likely to come to trial.

          Then, in 6 months or so, they might offer him a plea bargain "he can't refuse", all the while making noises about executions, life imprisonment, taking away his family's citizenship, etc. Then, once they extort a guilty plea from him, he won't even be able to appeal!

          I don't know what we have here, but it sure ain't justice.

    • Such as...? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MarkusQ ( 450076 )
      on really indisputable evidence, and it is a matter of public record

      Great. Glad to hear that you know so much about the case. Could you perhaps share with the rest of us this "indisputable" evidence?

      -- MarkusQ

    • You are doing a disservice to those who live with real memories of what being "disappeared" really meant.

      This kind of complaint really sickens me.

      "How dare you complain he was murdered... at least he wasn't tortured first!"

      "How dare you complain you were raped... at least you weren't murdered."

      "How dare you complain you were financially cheated... at least you weren't physically hurt."

      In other words, "How dare you complain about your lot... it could be worse." To me that sounds like either an excu

      • by Bingo Foo ( 179380 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @09:03PM (#5839482)
        "The disappeared" has a specific meaning it acquired in Argentina and has since referred to those captured and subsequently permanently removed with no record or comment, ever.

        It is a much different thing than someone being held as a material witness as a matter of public record, and later charged. We will know of the happenings with Mr. Hawash. Call it being held without charges, call it a suspension of habeas corpus (though again you'd be wrong for other reasons), but don't him one of the disappeared. I wasn't saying simply that it could be worse, I was saying that the terminology was being applied incorrectly for emotional effect.

        As Orwell would probably say, the dilution of language that comes from overstatement and misuse is a bigger danger, and I'm not suggesting "tolerating" the little injustices, just keeping them in a proper sense of scale.

        • As Orwell would probably say, the dilution of language that comes from overstatement and misuse is a bigger danger, and I'm not suggesting "tolerating" the little injustices, just keeping them in a proper sense of scale.

          The irony inherent in your statement nearly bowled me over with laughter. After all, completely ignoring the man's Constitutional rights for six weeks can't amount to much more than a 'little injustice', can it? Hey, can I have some freedom fries with that?

          Let's see what you think when
          • completely ignoring the man's Constitutional rights for six weeks


            kidnapped by death squads and tortured for no reason other than infliction of pain then executed in secret, body dumped in secret mass grave, no information ever given to family.

            that's scale. Even you could pick the 'little injustice' involved here as distinct from the grossly illegal activity of state sponsored terrorists.

            And how could he change his tune if he already is "not suggesting "tolerating" the little injustices. In case you do

            • by Randolpho ( 628485 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @10:34PM (#5839970) Homepage Journal
              completely ignoring the man's Constitutional rights for six weeks


              kidnapped by death squads and tortured for no reason other than infliction of pain then executed in secret, body dumped in secret mass grave, no information ever given to family.
              You know... that's quite unfair. It *starts* at your first part, with minor inconveniences, and ends with the second, with major injustice and pain. In the words of Martin Niemoller:

              First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.

              I, for one, would like to head the Nazis off at the pass.
    • I don't know who moded the parent as flamebait, but he raises a legitmate issue.
    • How can anyone read the parent post and think that it says 'At least he wasn't murdered'.

      It's quite obviously a complaint against the inappropriate use of 'disappeared' in relation to someone who has been in plain sight over the whole time he was in custody. "Disappeared" refers to someone who just disappears, is never seen or heard from again and who invariably turns out to have been murdered by extra-judicial death squads.

      If anyone from South America is reading the initial post they might have different

    • by mabhatter654 ( 561290 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @10:12PM (#5839875)
      The only reason they knew where he was was because his wife got the lawyers hunting for him right away! They "intended" to "disappear" him is just like he "intended" to help the taliban. The fact that the lawyers didn't allow it is of no significance.

      Besides, who's to say that he wouldn't have been put with a violent murderer and attacked or killed? The net effect is the same.

      If they now have charges, why weren't they presented 6 weeks ago? The latest of the info is better than a year old! They classified him wrongly as a "material witness". That could [and should] be considered purgery because now that they are called for it, they are presenting charges! Also you have different rights as a MW in that you can't incriminate yourself because you aren't charged with a crime. That's why they needed a seperate law to lock you up! They clearly have broken that rule also.

      Like many other posters have said, this is the beginning of a bad thing! As you can see from "patriot", the "justice" department will rewrite the rules when everybody is doing it. So, yes, it's a big deal! Most of the executive branch [prez, fbi, cia, local cops] have no intention of following the Constitution as it applies to our rights. I have heard Law enforcement at all levels say that the Constitution "gets in the way" of enforcement. It needs to be stopped now!
  • "The Free Mike Hawash website has released the following affidavit (PDF file) received from the Federal Terrorism Task Force. The affidavit states that Hawash traveled to China in 2001 with several co-cospirators 'in an attempt to enter Afghanistan to fight against United States forces.'"

    Oh, so he is An Offical Enemy of the State, I say send him to Guantanamo and lock him up for life - due process? Pfth, who needs it.
    • Oh, so he is An Offical Enemy of the State, I say send him to Guantanamo and lock him up for life - due process? Pfth, who needs it.

      Considering he went to Hong Kong and associated with 5 people who were trying to fight with the Taliban, it doesn't look to good for him.

      Moral of the story, don't help terrorists!
      • Associated? Good Lord, what a heinous crime! We must execute him at once! Everyone knows that associating with criminals turns you into one!

        There's some very good reasons the phrase 'guilt by association' has such negative connotations. Help terrorists? According to you, it's a crime just to be in the same coffee shop with them.

        This trend towards preemptive law enforcement has really got me worried. Bad enough that there's so many laws there's not a single person in the US who isn't guilty of at l

      • Don't confuse defending the man's rights with defending the man. Maybe he is guilty, but that doesn't make the lack of due process any less noxious. Remember, the rights to due process are your rights too, and that of every other US citizen. You want to excuse this incident because he is guilty? Fine, just don't complain next time its you held without due process for something you didn't do.

    • Hardly (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Wyatt Earp ( 1029 )
      "The New American Gulag Archipelago."

      That shows an ignorance of history and the crimes of the Soviet system.

      In the 19th century the Czarist Russian government deported around 1.2 million prisoners to Siberia.

      After the Revolution the labour camps in Siberia were closed down. These were later reopened by Joseph Stalin and opponents of the regime were sent to what became known as Glavnoye Upravleniye Lagere (Gulag).

      Large numbers of people living along the western frontier of the Soviet Union

      • I know it's fun to consider the United States as bad as the Soviet system.

        But it's not at all accurate.

        No one is seriously saying that the US is presently as bad as the soviet system became (the closest thing, I've seen is a few people pointing out similarities between our present foreign policy and that of early nazi germany).

        But consider: the soviets didn't just get up one morning, send all those people off and kill them in one fell swoop before lunch. They sent one person, and then another, and the

  • First a radio series (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @08:04PM (#5839104)
    HH was a radio series first, then a book.

    I recommend "Don't Panic" for the whole story...
    • by Kevinv ( 21462 )
      thank you. i didn't think that was going to get corrected. and it was actually 2 radio series before the books.

      And Don't Panic was written by kick ass comic book author Neil Gaiman.
      • by Hitch ( 1361 )
        he was probably a US guy - in America, we call a second year of the same show a new "season" of the same "series". Ergo, in the UK, it was two series and then the book, and then in the US it would have been called one series two seasons long and then the book(s).
  • by nucal ( 561664 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @08:09PM (#5839140)
    From the "relative size" mirror:

    King Kong - 12.5 m

    Godzilla - 100 m

    I thought they were about the same size [] ...

    • by Anonymous Coward
      If they were the same size, then King Kong couldn't have climbed to the top of the Empire State Building to swat planes, now could he?
  • ...out of stock already! Man, the Slashdot Effect is sure getting stronger and stronger...
  • by NanoGator ( 522640 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @08:11PM (#5839151) Homepage Journal
    "I wish more audio books would arrive like this (compressed, so as to occupy fewer disks), though I'd choose a better method of audio compression ;)"

    I appreciate that there are superior formats out there, but this zealousy over it is getting VERY obnoxious. MP3 is the standard. It's not the best. BFD, live with it.

    I'm all for making the push to spread out the standards a bit, but not at the cost of bringing it up ad-nauseum. Go tell the BBC you want an OGG version, don't feed the trolls at Slashdot over it.
    • Ogg Speex [] is a audio compression format designed for human speech. I wonder if it could somehow usefull if you want to compress an audio book...
    • MP3 is the standard.

      Hardly. A "standard" is something that is agreed-upon. Although the majority of stand-alone audio devices support MP3, most support other formats; many don't even default to MP3 (iPod, for example).

      MP3 is a patented format. Recent trends have indicated the industry is reticent to accept patented formats as standard; see the steady replacement of jpegs with png images.

      You don't like the advocation of a superior, non-incumbered audio format. BFD. Live with it.
      • There is also such a thing as a "Defacto" standard. They are just as valid and frequently (as in this case) MORE IMPORTANT.

        MP3 is the widest adopted music compression format avialble by orders of magnitudes above all others. It is in all OSes, and these days almost every car/portable/stereo CD/DVD player made today.

        Standards come in many forms and the agreed upon by committee type is just one of them.

        And no, anyone that refuses to use MP3 is the one that has to "deal with it".
    • by prator ( 71051 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @09:06PM (#5839500)
      I appreciate that there are superior formats out there, but this zealousy over it is getting VERY obnoxious.

      Oh, get over yourself. He put a winking smily on the end of that.

    • I'm all for making the push to spread out the standards a bit, but not at the cost of bringing it up ad-nauseum. Go tell the BBC you want an OGG version, don't feed the trolls at Slashdot over it.

      He never said anything about ogg and that is probably because ogg would be wasteful if used for speech. The same goes for mp3. These codecs are fine-tuned for music and it shows.

      A better solution would speex or a similar codec made specifically to focus on the homan vocal range. This isn't about ogg zealot
  • Fingerprint?? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gregfortune ( 313889 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @08:11PM (#5839152)
    Did that string come as a result of a fingerprint algorithm (ie nmap "guesses" that the machine is a linux machine) or was that actual string transmitted by the router over TCP/IP? I suspect the former and if that's true, we only know that the Microsoft router behaves as if it runs linux...

    A post of an actual TCP/IP session with the router would be really cool if it really is transmitting a string like that :)
    • tcp/ip is a binary protocol, it does not contain strings. this is what the guy's nmap (or similar tool) told him. the 'i586' is odd, though, wouldn't you say? i could be wrong, but i would not expect linux compiled for i586 to produce a different signature from the same kernel compiled for i386. until someone else disputes this assumption (with actual facts), i'm calling BOGUS on this submission.
    • It's a guess. (Score:5, Informative)

      by autopr0n ( 534291 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @08:23PM (#5839219) Homepage Journal
      There is no "fingerprint" field in TCP/IP, so this must be an nmap style guess. It may be that M$ is simply using a very similar stack
    • Re:Fingerprint?? (Score:3, Informative)

      I'm betting that Linux or nmap put that in there and the router just bounced it back. No matter what system I've ever scanned with nmap, it says it couldn't identify it, and the string "i686-pc-linux-gnu" shows up in the TCP dump.
    • Re:Fingerprint?? (Score:5, Informative)

      by eakerin ( 633954 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @09:24PM (#5839600) Homepage
      I Just ran nmap against my JetDirect Print Server (Which I can confirm does not run linux, and does not contain a i686 processor.)

      It correctly idetifies it as a Jetdirect

      I then cleared the contents of the nmap-os-fingerprints file, and repeated the scan.
      It then said "No OS matches for host". Then the First line after "TCP/IP fingerprint" is:
      SInfo(V=3.00%P=i686-pc-linux-gnu%D=4/29%Time=3EAF2 288%O=23%C=1)

      This is the information for my System, and my nmap.
      The Next 8 lines are the actual Fingerprint. (which I'll skip since It's not necessary)

      So that answers the question, and explains the situation, the nmap they were running didn't find a fingerprint for the device, and output the SInfo Line so that when they submit the unknown fingerprint to the nmap team, they know what version of nmap, the OS version, and other info.
      • by Vagary ( 21383 ) <jawarren@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @11:53AM (#5843612) Journal

        Yeah, you're totally right about where that string is coming from. Sorry for wasting everyone's time -- I guess it was a case of wishful thinking [].

        Incidentally, does nmap actually have documentation anywhere? I tried to figure out exactly what the 'SInfo' line stood for with no success (when I probably should have realised just by looking closely at the contents). So I submitted the story because it seemed too interesting to risk passing over.

        The router actually gives almost no information back, does anyone know more about it?

  • Show Baen some love. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Leareth ( 25555 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @08:16PM (#5839173)
    I've always agreed to the concept of voting with my wallet. If I don't the a company I don't buy their products.

    The reverse of that is of course, companies that have a clue(tm) get my hard earned cash.

    I picked up the new John Ringo book this Sunday and wrote John Baen a thank you e-mail on Monday.

    As a matter of minor irony, if they hadn't had the CD in the latest Honor Harrington, I wouldn't have read the first John Ringo book, and wouldn't had subsquently dropped $25 for the latest. But, so far the e-book thing is working well for me. Ten of the last fifteen books I've purchased have been electronic versions from Baen online bookstore.

    • John Baen? (Score:2, Informative)

      ITYM "Jim".
    • After the last time Baen was on slashdot I read every single book in their free online library, I've since then signed up for webscriptions and purchased a new ebook every 2-3 days. >:)

      I do what I can to support Baen because they publish David Weber and David Drake, my two favorite living Sci-Fi authors.


    • Buying one of their books because you read a prequel on their free CD isn't ironic, it's exactly what they're trying for! Their entire point is that giving away books in free electronic format doesn't really hurt, because reading books in electronic format is generally inconvenient anyway, and it helps out by acting as advertising and producing more sales.
      • Right on the money (Score:3, Insightful)

        by SysKoll ( 48967 )
        You're absolutely right. In my case, I started by reading the frist free chapters of the 1st John Ringo novel online. Then I ordered the HTML version. Then I ended up buying the book for finishing it without having to stand in front of a screen. All of that beause of the free chapters online.

        Would the RIAA people please look at the sales figure of Baen and get a freakin' clue?

  • by Fnkmaster ( 89084 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @08:17PM (#5839179)
    I think we all will agree that detaining people without presenting a case and ignoring the requirements of due process is generally a bad thing. The Patriot Act and similar pieces of legislation overextend the powers of the executive branch, and deny fundamental rights that we all expect and demand.

    Nonetheless, I'm going to withhold judgement on the Mike Hawash case, because at this point, assuming the evidence is as presented in the articles I have read, there certainly sounds like enough, that with some dotted I's and crossed T's, adds up to at least probable cause. I just wish our government would abide by its own rules in the way it prosecutes cases like this, and just show the evidence that lead them to make a detention in the first place. If the guy is really a flight risk, or potential danger to others, and there isn't enough to hold him on, then they could have him followed and monitored until the evidence is available, the same as is done with other criminals and potential criminals. I worry about all the exceptions that are made for terrorism, when increasingly, membership in certain non-terrorist organizations, or computer crimes, or other "mysterious" or "destructive" behavior seems to get bunched in with terrorism.

    I'll be the first person to tell you that terrorism is never legitimate, and always criminal, and that we should arrest and prosecute and punish terrorists and attempted terrorists to the fullest extent of the law, and Americans who travel to fight in illegal combat with other terrorists get no sympathy from me. But how can we use different standards of evidence and prosecutorial conduct for cases that we don't _know_ are terrorism until they have gone through the courts? Due process doesn't mean due process when we feel like it - it applies to all citizens and residents, and even others within our borders.

    • ...and Americans who travel to fight in illegal combat with other terrorists get no sympathy from me.

      Oh, you mean members [] of the U.S. Army?
      • by Fnkmaster ( 89084 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @09:17PM (#5839555)
        I don't really think you understand that international law doesn't mean a whole lot, aside from treaties signed by nations that they pledge to abide by - which affect their reputation and perception by other nations. The UN doesn't really define a governing body of international law per se, more a consensus building and negotiating mechanism for foreign policy, and a way of allowing nations to interact on a slightly more equal footing than their wealth or geography alone would allow.

        I don't believe the US signed a treaty saying it won't go to war with anybody without UN approval. Thus it's not an illegal war. It may very well be an immoral war, and that's a meaningful discussion to have, which can take place on the level of the justifications presented by the US administration, as well as on the real justifications used for the war (which are of course very different).

        • Well, neither the US nor Al Qaeda signed a treaty that you can't fly planes into someone's buildings. So what makes the war of Al Qaeda against the US illegal?
          • I don't know that I said it was illegal in an international law sense. I said it was terrorism. And if it's supported by a nation that is a terrorist-supporting nation. Is that illegal? Well, it will likely get the scorn of the world, and they will get their asses kicked. There isn't really a legal authority governing these interactions, merely a general concept of moral acceptability and accepted rules and practices of warfare. Or you could argue that warfare conducted outside of the bounds of the Ge
  • Draggable? (Score:5, Funny)

    by zzzmarcus ( 183118 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @08:28PM (#5839249)
    You'll find you can't drag the buildings/ships/monsters in the browser who was forced to change their logo at the request of a certain GODZILLA who just happens to appear in the comparison.

    Coincidence? I THINK NOT!
  • It strikes me as odd how certain people are willing to leap to the defense of someone just because they're a coworker or share a profession. I can understand a mother defending a son, it must be hard to admit that your son didn't turn out so well, but a coworker? Please.

    I'm not defending the six weeks of "unexplained incarceration" (nice objective terminology there, there was an explanation, he was being held as a material witness which is not a new practice -- okay, maybe I am defending it a little bit

    • I'm sorry I must have missed the part where he has been convicted of a crime. I also must have missed the part where incarceration without charge was declared to be A Good Thing

      What happened to Innocent until Proven Guilty? This is a concept that has worked in the past but hey if you want to throw that away then be my guest, just ask China and Cuba how the other way works.

    • Note: in China or Cuba, you're lucky if you are only sent to jail for speaking out against your government. Some people just get shot.

      Okay, this is BAD LOGIC. There have always been nations and people with little to no regard for human rights. There will probably be nations and people with no regard for human rights far into the future. This is not an excuse to be abusive ourselves.

    • you're lucky if you are only sent to jail for speaking out against your government.

      As opposed to here in the U.S.A. []? Nope, nobody here gets arrested for speaking out. No way. just keep your head in the sand and you'll be safe.....

    • alleged crimes are alleged crimes.

      Too bad it took them 6 weeks to figure out what crime to allege, huh?

    • You make some interesting arguments regarding some events you seem to have imagined in your head, but they have very little to do with the actual case of Mike Hawash. Reading the links provided would easily show that.

      1. There was no explanation. Through unknown channels, stories appeared in the press about how he was held as a material witness, but Mikes friends and family got no answers to any inquiries about his status. Also, unless he is called to testify in some case, which nothing seems to indicate wi
  • Hawash. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by /dev/trash ( 182850 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @08:29PM (#5839257) Homepage Journal
    Victory! Isn't that what every one wanted, for Mike to be charged or released? So now he's charged. And he's in some deep shit too.
  • by angle_slam ( 623817 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @08:30PM (#5839262)
    Just a few comments about the link [] to the mirror of the spaceship site.
    • No Death Star? No Imperial Battle Cruiser? No Borg Cube? Those are kind of obvious ships and it is surprising that they were left out.
    • There are several places where it says "click here" (e.g., the smaller Star Trek ships and Star Wars ships) but those links are not up.
  • by Rain ( 5189 ) <slashdot.t@themuffin@net> on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @08:36PM (#5839301) Homepage

    > The ping denial doesn't work, which is good because a port scan found some pretty interesting things, including this string in the TCP/IP fingerprint: 'i586-pc-linux-gnu'. Does that mean Microsoft must provide Linux source to purchasers of this product?

    Answer: No.
    I'm 99% certain that you've misinterpreted nmap's output. When nmap doesn't find a matching fingerprint, it displays the parameters in a parsable format used in nmap-os-fingerprints. More recently (i.e. not originally, but it's been this way for some time), nmap also prints out the OS it was compiled on (presumably to weed out any OSs that mangle the data and prevent bad fingerprints from being distributed with nmap.) This information is printed out in a line like:

    SInfo(V=3.20%P=i586-pc-linux-gnu%D=4/29%Time=3EAF1 974%O=-1%C=80)

    I'm guessing that this was seen and the submitter jumped to conclusions... At any rate, I believe they'd be required to give source (if they changed it) to anyone per the GPL.

  • Between the time I submitted the story and the time it was run, the website hosting the ISO went offline, undoubtedly due to bandwidth issues. However, Scarywater [] did pick it up, and has quite a few people torrenting it now. I hardly think I need to remind people to leave their BitTorrent [] clients open for a while after their own download finishes, do I? :)
  • First of all (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Apreche ( 239272 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @08:49PM (#5839395) Homepage Journal
    King Kong is not smaller than a B2 bomber. I remember clearly that in Godzilla vs. King Kong it was an even fight in height and weight.

    Also, there are too many Star Trek ships on that chart. Star Trek sux. There are some Star Wars ships, but where's the death star? Where's the star destroyers? Did I miss them?

    Also the SDF-1 Macross is still missing. I am of the opinion that in a 1 on 1 fight the Macross can beat any other single starship of any category. The Valkyries will dominate!
  • I've had one of the Baen Books CDs available on-line for a while. My GF received it in a copy of War of Honor, and according to the license I can redistribute it electronically as long as I don't charge... Being the geek that I am, the first thing that I did was put it on-line. :)


  • by scrod ( 136965 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @09:02PM (#5839475) Homepage
    An AMD engineer would never have done anything like that.
  • Couldn't Mr. Hawash write a letter to the Supreme Court asking for relief? Or at least to the Attorney general's office! I mean, there is no instructions available as to what a person should do if held under those circumstances. Are they even allowed to send letters to friends/family? Isn't it easy to overturn these kinds of draconian laws if your done wrong by them, sort of like the Gideon Vs Wainwright (1963) [] case? IT might take time, and Mr. Hawash may have to spend a great deal more time in prison witho
  • Monorail! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Eric Smith ( 4379 ) * on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @09:13PM (#5839531) Homepage Journal
    [Barney] What about us braindead slobs?
    [Lyle] You'll be given cushy jobs!
    [Crowd] Monorail! Monorail!

    --Simpsons episode 9F10

  • Scary stuff... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jade E. 2 ( 313290 ) <slashdot@perls[ ] ['tor' in gap]> on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @09:39PM (#5839683) Homepage

    The scariest part of that 43 page affidavit is where some of the evidence came from. On page 7:

    22. On October 19, 2001, a resident of the Grail Apartments in Portland, Oregon provided to the Portland Division of the FBI a plastic grocery bag containing miscellaneous paperwork, some in Arabic, that he/she discovered earlier that week in the recycling bin at the apartment complex.

    Since when does the FBI collect trash as evidence based on the recommendation of a random neighbor? Or is this a special exception since it contained, huge shock, Arabic writing?

    More on page 36:

    147: On October 5, 2002, the day after the arrests of Ford, Lewis, Battle and Muhammad Bilal, a neighbor of HAWASH, called the FBI Portland Division and stated that his wife and he resided at 2650 NE Aurora, Hillsboro, Oregon, until approximately June 2002. The neighbor stated that his previous neighbors (to the west of his residence in a light blue house, identified as Hawash's residence) who he identified as "Michael and Lisa" (HAWASH) were close friends of Ahmed Bilal and Habis Al Saoub. He observed Bilal, Bilal's wife Corrine, and Al Saoob frequently visiting Michael and Lisa's house. The neighbor further stated that Ahmed Bilal occasionally provided gardening services for him.

    148: During a subsequent interview conducted by a representative of the JTTF approximately four months after his initial telephone call, the neighbor confirmed the identity of Ahmed Bilal from a photo spread, but was unable to identify Al Saoub.

    149: On October 20, 2001, FBI Portland Division received a telephone call from a second neighbor of HAWASH in Hillsboro, Oregon, concerning Maher Mofeid HAWASH. The caller described HAWASH as a "Palestinian Muslim who works at Intel and is married with three children." The caller wanted to advise the FBI that HAWASH was spending more time at home following September 11, 2001, and that HAWASH was not as friendly as usual. During a follow-up interview with the second neighbor, he told investigators that following a visit by HAWASH's mother in the Spring of 2001, HAWASH changed his attire from "western" clothing to "eastern" clothing, grew a beard, and distanced himself from his neighbors. The second neighbor observed more vehicles driven by other Middle Eastern males coming and going from the residence. The second neigbor further believed that HAWASH began attending Mosque on a regular basis.

    So, let's get this straight. The first neighbor called the FBI because he recognized that one of the people who had been arrested had been to Hawash's house. That, I can almost understand, especially if there was media attention from the first arrests (seems likely).

    The second neighbor, on the other hand, called the FBI because.. why? Let's see, first, Hawash spent more time at home after 9/11. Gee, yes, that's suspicious, only like 80% of the people I know decided to spend more time with their family after that. And second, he wasn't as friendly as usual. But gee, huge tradgedies usually make people so *cheerful*, what could be his problem?

    Then, when the FBI actually followed up on this inane call, they found that he started attending a Mosque, dressing in "eastern" clothes, grew a beard, and became withdrawn from his neighbors, in turn associating with other Muslims. Gee, that certainly sounds like he found religion, doesn't it? And while that's arguably not the brightest thing to do, last time I checked it wasn't illegal, even if it's an officially unpopular religion like Islam.

    This whole thing is sick. Yes, there's other evidence in there that links him to the other people, that's fine. I'm not saying he's innocent. But the fact that the points above, particularly the 'second neighbor', made it into the report is just wrong.

  • Gee, I wonder why (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Aexia ( 517457 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @09:46PM (#5839741)
    >>Hawash's neighbors became suspicious after the September 11 terrorist attacks and called the FBI, according to the affidavit. One of the neighbors said Hawash, who worked for Intel, was "spending more time at home following September 11, 2001" and "was not as friendly as usual."

    Given the rampant anti-Arab sentiment after 9/11, is this any surprise?
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @11:52PM (#5840297) Homepage
    Reading through the entire Hawash affidavit is helpful. It's clear that he had some friends who wanted to go to Afghanistan and help out the other side. It's reasonably clear that Hawash travelled with them to China, but less clear he did more than that.

    What seems to have drawn attention to the group was that the group, not including Hawash, were found practicing with guns in a gravel pit in Washington State on September 29, 2001. This discovery cranked up a major FBI effort. After a while, the FBI had two informants in the group. The members of the group, other than Hawash, were indicted last October.

    These guys aren't big-time terrorists. They come across more like a bunch of bozos. If they'd achieved their goal of going to Afghanistan to fight on the Taliban side, they would have been just a few extra guys with guns. They didn't even get that far. All they really did was go to China for three weeks. Some of them made it to Bangladesh. Then they turned around and came back to the US. Thus, they're not charged with treason, only "conspiracy to levy war against the United States".

    Ultimately, the courts will have to sort out who did what here.

    "When four sit down to talk revolution, three are fools and the fourth is a police spy."

  • by gnetwerker ( 526997 ) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @02:31AM (#5840903) Journal
    I won't even try to address all the comments here -- they represent a wide spectrum of opinion.

    I'm Steven McGeady, I know Mike, and I have this to say to /.ers:

    You have absolutely no reason to consider Mike Hawash innocent of the charges being levelled against him -- no reason except one: the implied social contract present in our society that if *you*, or someone you love, was accused of a terrible crime, that other citizens would withold their judgement until all the facts came out.

    All the liberties we enjoy are based on this social contract, in all its parts -- I don't condemn you because of the way you look, how you pray, or with whom you associate.

    Recall that the Complaint -- the affidavit that we posted willingly on the "Free Mike Hawash" website -- is the U.S. government's side of the story. Mike has not been given a chance to tell his yet. I don't know the answers, nor does anyone else.

    Mike doesn't deserve a free pass because he's a software engineer, because he's Palestinian, or because he's my friends. If he is proven guilty, then he will pay the price.

    But I hope that this audience, more so than many others, will not judge him because of facial hair, based on scant but one-sided evidence, or because of his faith.

    You are right to be skeptical. But you can contain both skepticism and a presumption of innocence, in the same way you can contain skepticism both toward those of us who believe the charges will ultimately prove groundless, and those who find sinister motives hidden among weak and circumstantial evidence.

    S. McGeady

    (dammit, now I've blown my (weak) pseudonym -- time to sign up for a new account ...)

Forty two.