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Christmas Cheer

Journal Journal: 2007 5

Finally! Am I the only one who has been thinking in 2007 for weeks if not months?

In any case, happy new year, all, and happy new beer to all who enjoy that sort of thing!

User Journal

Journal Journal: "Peace Not Apartheid" 2

The anti-Carter campaign is predictable but off the mark. Anyone who follows the Israeli-Palestinian debate knows that the the term "apartheid" is commonly used by opponents of the wall that divides Palestinian communities in the West Bank. (Or the "separation barrier" as the Israelis call it.)
The Media

Journal Journal: Zakaria on Iraq 4

The always insightful Fareed Zakaria on what we should do in Iraq: secure Kurdistan, fight Al Qaeda, and contain rather than pretend to prevent sectarian violence while the Sunnis and Shiites fight it out. Korea is cited as an example - I would also include Bosnia which is peaceful now after the Dayton accords.
Technology (Apple)

Submission + - Boing Boing: Apple Drops Trusted Computing

macs4all writes: "Amit Singh has a fascinating technical article on Apple's use, non-use, and ultimate abandonment of the Trusted Platform Module (TPM). This is the core of the Trusted Computing initiative, a chip that can, depending on implementation, be used to lock you out of reading your own data on "unauthorized" applications, to allow network service providers to discriminate against users of alternative software (e.g., "You're using Firefox — go get Explorer and come back") and enforce DRM — Singh reports that Apple has dropped the TPM from its motherboard designs, with the new MacPros. Singh had created a free software driver for the TPM under OS X that allowed users to exploit its privacy features."
Upgrades

Journal Journal: Soriano

The Nationals did the right thing in keeping Alfonso Soriano rather than trading him. He's been a real asset to the team and - importantly - is getting butts into seats in creaky old RFK. And I get to see him tomorrow when he comes to SF!

Microsoft To Release 'iPod Killer' at Christmas? 614

ShellFish writes "According to a report from Engadget, Microsoft is poised to finally take on the Apple iPod this holiday season. Tired of uninspiring offerings from its hardware partners, Microsoft is getting into the ring itself. The new media player from Microsoft will feature a bigger screen than the iPod Video, have built-in WiFi for downloading music without a PC, and Microsoft will work with music and TV content providers to build an iTunes Music Store competitor. In what may be the crucial competitive stroke, Microsoft will also allow you to download from its store any song that you've purchased from Apple, unlocking users from iPod's vendor lock-in."

Is Simplified Spelling Worth Reform? 1183

digitalhermit writes "I guess many folks are of very little brain, and big words bother them... There's a push for simpler spelling. Instead of 'weigh' it would be 'way.' 'Dictionary' would be 'dikshunery' and so forth. Dunno if it's a joke, but it seems in earnest. Mark Twain must be spinning around somewhere." Twain is often credited with the satirical call for spelling reform called "A Plan for the Improvement of English Spelling," though according to Wikipedia, Twain was "actually a supporter of reform," and the piece may have been written by M.J. Shields. Benjamin Franklin was another champion of spelling reform, and even came up with a phonetic alphabet to implement such reform.

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