Science / Technology

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Are the Browser Wars Back? - How Mozilla’s Firefox trumps Internet Explorer. By Paul†Boutin

If you are still using IE, please use something else before your computer gets highjacked.  Mine almost got highjacked at work!

By Paul Boutin
Posted Wednesday, June 30, 2004, at 11:03 AM PT

I usually don’t worry about PC viruses, but last week’s Scob attack snapped me awake. The clever multi-stage assault, carried out by alleged Russian spam crime lords, infiltrated corporate Web servers and then used them to infect home computers. The software that Scob (also known as Download.ject) attempted to install on its victims’ machines included a keystroke logger.
In less than a day, Internet administrators sterilized the infection by shutting down the Russian server that hosted the spyware. But not before a barrage of scary reports had circled the world. “Users are being told to avoid using Internet Explorer until Microsoft patches a serious security hole,” the BBC warned. (Disclosure: Microsoft owns Slate.) CNET reporter Robert Lemos zeroed in on why the attack was so scary. “This time,” he wrote, “the flaws affect every user of Internet Explorer.” That’s about 95 percent of all Net users. No matter how well they had protected themselves against viruses, spyware, and everything else in the past, they were still vulnerable to yet another flaw in Microsoft’s browser.

The rest is here

Posted by SPN on 07/14 at 12:47 PM
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Thursday, July 01, 2004

Tech Help Please

I need to move data between Windows and UNIX......

Is it as easy as creating a .zip file (with WinZip), FTP to UNIX, then unzip with UNIX command line?

Posted by SerQet on 07/01 at 11:52 PM
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The joys of MSG…

I received this today and thought I would post it. Remember----usually if the
label says “natural flavorings” it is the common euphemism for MSG. Since so
many people are concerned about weight I thought I would pass this on(though I
am aware of other causes of obesity,(like aspartame, and also the adeno virus):

Slow Poisoning

I wondered if there could be an actual chemical causing the massive obesity
epidemic, so did a friend of mine, John Erb. He was a research assistant at the
University of Waterloo, and spent years working for the government.

He made an amazing discovery while going through scientific journals for a book
he was writing called The Slow Poisoning of America. In hundreds of studies
around the world, scientists were creating obese mice and rats to use in diet
or diabetes test studies.

No strain of rat or mice is naturally obese, so the scientists have to create
them. They make these morbidly obese creatures by injecting them with MSG when
they are first born. The MSG triples the amount of insulin the pancreas
creates, causing rats (and humans?) to become obese They even have a title for
the race of fat rodents they create: “MSG-Treated Rats” MSG?

I was shocked too. I went to my kitchen, checking the cupboards and the fridge.
MSG was in everything! The Campbell’s soups, the Hostess Doritos, the Lays
flavored potato chips, Top Ramen, Betty Crocker Hamburger Helper, Heinz canned
gravy, Swanson frozen prepared meals, Kraft salad dressings, especially the
‘healthy low fat’ ones.

The items that didn’t have MSG had something called Hydrolyzed Vegetable
Protein, which is just another name for Monosodium Glutamate. It was shocking
to see just how many of the foods we feed our children everyday are filled with
this stuff. They hide MSG under many different names in order to fool those who
catch on.

But it didn’t stop there. When our family went out to eat,

we started asking at
the restaurants what menu items had MSG. Many employees, even the managers,
swore they didn’t use MSG. But when we ask for the ingredient list, which they
grudgingly provided, sure enough MSG and Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein were
everywhere. Burger King, McDonalds, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, every restaurant, even
the sit down ones like TGIF, Chilis’, Applebees and Denny’s use MSG in
abundance. Kentucky Fried Chicken seemed to be the WORST offender: MSG was in
every chicken dish, salad dressing and gravy. No wonder I loved to eat that
coating on the skin, their secret spice was MSG!

So why is MSG in so may of the foods we eat? Is it a preservative or a vitamin?
Not according to my friend John. In the book he wrote, an expose of the food
additive industry called The Slow Poisoning of America, [url=][/url] ,
he said that MSG is added to food for the addictive effect it has on the human
body. Even the propaganda website sponsored by the food manufacturers lobby
group supporting MSG at: file:// explains
that the reason they add it to food is to make people eat more.

A study of elderly people showed that people eat more of the foods that it is
added to. The Glutamate Association lobby group says eating more benefits the
elderly, but what does it do to the rest of us?

‘Betcha can’t eat just one’, takes on a whole new meaning where MSG is
concerned! And we wonder why the nation is overweight? The MSG manufacturers
themselves admit that it addicts people to their products. It makes people
choose their product over others, and makes people eat more of it than they
would if MSG wasn’t added. Not only is MSG scientifically proven to cause
obesity, it is an addictive substance! Since its introduction into the American
food supply fifty years ago, MSG has been added in larger and larger doses to
the pre-packaged meals, soups, snacks and fast foods we are tempted to eat

The FDA has set no limits on how much of it can be added to food. They claim
it’s safe to eat in any amount. How can they claim it is safe when there are
hundreds of scientific studies with titles like these?

The monosodium glutamate (MSG) obese rat as a model for the study of exercise
in obesity. Gobatto CA, Mello MA, Souza CT, Ribeiro IA. Res Commun Mol Pathol
Pharmacol. 2002 Adrenalectomy abolishes the food-induced hypothalamic serotonin
release in both normal and monosodium glutamate-obese rats. Guimaraes RB,
Telles MM, Coelho VB, Mori RC, Nascimento CM, Ribeiro Brain Res Bull. 2002 Aug

Obesity induced by neonatal monosodium glutamate treatment in spontaneously
hypertensive rats: an animal model of multiple risk factors. Iwase M, Yamamoto
M, Iino K, Ichikawa K, Shinohara N, Yoshinari Fujishima Hypertens Res. 1998 Mar

Hypothalamic lesion induced by injection of monosodium glutamate in suckling
period and subsequent development of obesity. Tanaka K, Shimada M, Nakao K,
Kusunoki Exp Neurol. 1978 Oct

Yes, that last study was not a typo, it WAS written in 1978. Both the medical
research community and food “manufacturers” have known MSG’s side effects for
decades! Many more studies mentioned in John Erb’s book link MSG to Diabetes,
Migraines and headaches, Autism, ADHD and even Alzheimer’s. But what can we do
to stop the food manufactures from dumping fattening and addictive MSG into our
food supply and causing the obesity epidemic we now see?

Even as you read this, George W. Bush and his corporate supporters are pushing
a Bill through Congress. Called the “Personal Responsibility in Food
Consumption Act” also known as the “Cheeseburger Bill”, this sweeping law bans
anyone from suing food manufacturers, sellers and distributors. Even if it
comes out that they purposely added an addictive chemical to their foods. Read
about it for yourself at:

Last month the House of Representatives passed the “Personal Responsibility in
Food Consumption Act” to protect the food and beverage industry from civil
lawsuits. Under the measure, known as the “Cheeseburger Bill,” people who buy
food or drinks couldn’t sue the companies that made them, the stores that sold
them or the restaurants that served them if they got fat from the products, so
long as the products met existing laws.

The Senate is expected to take up a similar bill later this year.” The Bill has
already been rushed through the House of Representatives, and is due for the
same rubber stamp at Senate level. It is important that Bush and his corporate
supporters get it through before the media lets everyone know about MSG, the
intentional Nicotine for food.

Several months ago, John Erb took his book and his concerns to one of the
highest government health officials in Canada. While sitting in the Government
office, the official told him “Sure I know how bad MSG is, I wouldn’t touch the
stuff!” But this top level government official refused to tell the public what
he knew. The big media doesn’t want to tell the public either, fearing legal
issues with their advertisers. It seems that the fallout on the fast food
industry may hurt their profit margin.

So what do we do? The food producers and restaurants have been addicting us to
their products for years, and now we are paying the price for it. Our children
should not be cursed with obesity caused by an addictive food additive. But
what can I do about it? I’m just one voice, what can I do to stop the poisoning
of our children, while guys like Bush are insuring financial protection for the
industry that is poisoning us. I for one am doing something about it. I am
sending this email out to everyone I know in an attempt to show you the truth
that the corporate owned politicians and media won’t tell you.

The best way you can help save yourself and your children from this
drug-induced epidemic, is to forward this email to everyone. With any luck, it
will circle the globe before Bush can pass the Bill protecting those who
poisoned us. The food industry learned a lot from the tobacco industry. Imagine
if big tobacco had a bill like this in place before someone blew the whistle on
Nicotine? Blow the whistle on MSG. If you are one of the few who can still
believe that MSG is good for us, and you don’t believe what John Erb has to
say, see for yourself. Go to the National Library of Medicine, at www. pubmed.
com . Type in the words “MSG Obese”, and read a few of the 115 medical studies
that appear.

We do not want to be rats in one giant experiment, and we do not approve of
food that makes us into a nation of obese, lethargic, addicted sheep, waiting
for the slaughter.

Posted by Nuttshell on 07/01 at 05:25 PM
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The science of suffering

This makes me want to torture that guy in my office that said that the abuse in Iraq was justified.

By Jennifer Quinn
BBC News Online Magazine

We know torture when we see it - the problem is those meting out the violence often don’t. That’s the revelatory conclusion of one expert who is attempting to understand the insidious way in which torture becomes “acceptable”.

It’s called degradation, mistreatment, tough interrogation. According to experts, it’s often called everything except what it is - torture.

“In investigations of US abuse of imprisoned Iraqis, there has been reluctance to use the T-word,” Martha Huggins, a sociology professor at New Orleans’ Tulane University, told a forum on torture this week.

And when governments, military organisations and police services refuse to label “tough interrogation” as torture, it creates an atmosphere where the mistreatment of prisoners is allowed to flourish.

After studying Brazilian police from 1964 to 1985, Ms Huggins laid out the classic conditions for mistreatment of prisoners. As part of the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s marking United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, she spoke to a Washington, DC, conference about them.

Posted by SPN on 07/01 at 04:46 PM
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Monday, June 21, 2004

Teleportation breakthrough made

When physicists talk about “teleportation”, they are describing the transfer of “quantum states” between separate atoms. Oh, I’m glad that they made that distinction… I was about to buy a trip ticket.

By Paul Rincon
BBC News Online science staff

In the past, teleportation has only been possible with particles of light Image: Rainer Blatt
Scientists have performed successful teleportation on atoms for the first time, the journal Nature reports.
The feat was achieved by two teams of researchers working independently on the problem in the US and Austria.
The ability to transfer key properties of one particle to another without using any physical link has until now only been achieved with laser light.
Experts say being able to do the same with massive particles like atoms could lead to new superfast computers.
This development is a long way from the transporters used by Jean-Luc Picard and Captain Kirk in the famous Star Trek TV series.
We are able to teleport in a deliberate way - that is, at the push of a button

Professor Rainer Blatt, University of Innsbruck
When physicists talk about “teleportation”, they are describing the transfer of “quantum states” between separate atoms.

Posted by SPN on 06/21 at 08:20 AM
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NASA: Astronauts†to†get putty†for small holes

Why don’t they just use duct tape like I do?

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (AP)—When space shuttle flights resume, the astronauts will have putty and other filler to repair cracks and small gashes in the wings, but they will not be able to patch a hole as big as the one that doomed Columbia, NASA said Friday.

Michael Kostelnik, deputy associate administrator, said it is taking longer than expected to come up with a technique for wrapping a crater as big as the one gouged in Columbia’s wing by a chunk of foam last year.

Engineers also are behind in designing a boom for inspecting the belly of orbiting shuttles and the undersides of the wings, Kostelnik said. NASA hopes to have the boom ready for the first post-Columbia flight, still on track for next March. Kostelnik said NASA has yet to decide what it will do if the boom is not ready by then.

Posted by SPN on 06/21 at 07:10 AM
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Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Inventor plans ‘invisible walls’

But if you were hanging out more with me, you would get to use my real cloaking device.  It’s called a “Cloak”.  Don’t tell anyone.

Last Updated: Monday, 14 June, 2004, 08:11 GMT 09:11 UK

The invisible material is made of thousands of tiny beads

The inventor of an “invisibility” cloak has said that his next project will be to develop the technology to allow people to see through walls.

Susumu Tachi, who showed off the cloak at an exhibition in San Francisco earlier this month, said he was hopeful of providing a way to provide a view of the outside in windowless rooms.

“This technology can be used in all kinds of ways, but I wanted to create a vision of invisibility,” he told BBC World Service’s Outlook programme.

“My short-term goal would be, for example, to make a room that has no outside windows appear to have a view to the outside, then the wall would appear to be invisible.”

Use and misuse

Professor Tachi’s cloak works by projecting an image onto itself of what is behind the wearer.

A computer generates the image that is projected, so the viewer effectively sees “through” the cloak.

Posted by SPN on 06/16 at 05:55 PM
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The Geek Test

I scored 21.49901%

Whereas, my cousin ShellNutt got a 10.4%.  Her husband, Ken got an 18% which is strange because I consider Ken more geeky than I am.  He has built an instrument!

Posted by SPN on 06/16 at 01:20 PM
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Monday, June 14, 2004


I don’t know what this thing is or does, but I had fun playing it with it today.

Posted by SPN on 06/14 at 02:35 PM
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Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Splenda - also known as sucralose - how bad is it really?

Here are some of the reported side effects.

abdominal pain
migraines (severe headaches)
heart palpitations (fluttering)
shortness of breath

I hope that makes your diet more splendid.  I hope that sweetens up your meal.

Posted by SPN on 06/08 at 07:36 PM
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Monday, June 07, 2004

splenda is not so splended

The atkins candy and cookies sweetened with splenda taste remarkably well and decadent.  However, much care should be taken to minimize consumption at one serving because of adverese reactions to sweeteners.  i for one was totally surprised when, after I had eaten 3 cookies my ass was basically a blow gun for several hours.  the kids thought it was hysterical and i could have taken the trophy home for best “wind chime player” or longest gas expeller, but it was a very “unsettling” experience to say the least. 

Posted by bbeard on 06/07 at 05:22 PM
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Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Popular Science | Conspicuous Construction

Let’s take a train to France.

What: Submerged OCEANIC tunnel and supersonic train
WHERE: New york - London
Cost: $88 billion - $175 billion
Crux: Neutrally buoyant vacuum tunnel submerged 150 to 300 feet beneath the Atlantic’s surface and anchored to the seafloor, through which zips a magnetically levitated train at up to 4,000 mph.

The idea is as wondrous as it is audacious: Get on a train at New York City’s Penn Station and hit Paris, London or Brussels just an hour later. “From an engineering point of view there are no serious stumbling blocks,” says Ernst Frankel, retired professor of ocean engineering at MIT.,12543,599827,00.html

Posted by SPN on 04/21 at 07:17 AM
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Monday, March 22, 2004

Want to lose weight?

A guy I work with has come upon a novel idea for weight loss.


We just need to come up with the ingredient list.

My thoughts were to add ingredients that induce coma.  That’ll surely cause weight loss.

Posted by SPN on 03/22 at 08:42 AM
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Tuesday, March 09, 2004

reports from the science fair

Science fair reports from 5th and 6th graders

The spinal column is a long bunch of bones. The head sits on the top,
and you sit on the bottom.

It is so hot in some places that people there have to live in other places.

Momentum is something you give a person when they go away.

Mushrooms always grow in damp places which is why they look like umbrellas.

The alimentary canal is located in the northern part of Indiana

Thunder is a rich source of loudness.

Some people can tell what time it is by looking at the sun, but I never have been able to make out the numbers.

When planets run around and around in circles, we say they are orbiting. When people do it, we say they are

One of the main causes of dust is DIRT.

monsoon is a French gentleman.

To keep milk from turning sour, keep it in the cow.

Genetics explains why you look like your father, and if you don’t,
Why you should.

Water vapor gets together in a big cloud. When it gets big
Enough to be called a drop, it does.

There is a tremendous weight pushing down on the center of the Earth because so many people are stomping around there these days.

The cause of perfume disappearing is evaporation.

Evaporation gets blamed for a lot of things people forget to put the top on.

You can listen to thunder and tell how close you came to getting hit. If you don’t hear it, you got hit, so never mind.

Posted by bbeard on 03/09 at 10:40 AM
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Sunday, February 01, 2004

Apple Store Japan

The next time you think that Apple computers aren’t popular, just click this link.

Why didn’t they just buy it online?

Posted by SPN on 02/01 at 08:30 AM
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