Saturday, August 14, 2004

NASA identifies flaw that killed Columbia astronauts

In this ABC News article, NASA reveals that the method used to apply insulating foam to the shuttle's external fuel tank was defective. This caused cracks to develop because of spots where there was no insulation, a failure that resulted in a suitcase-sized piece detaching from the external fuel tank of Columbia and striking it's left wing. This foam strike punched a hole in that wing, which lead to the failure of the heat shield.

Is Microsoft's Windows XP Firewall secure? The old Internet Connection Firewall is changed and updated by Service Pack 2 into the NEW on-by-default Windows Firewall. And according to the article, isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Lots of news...

The Google IPO is nigh, beginning at 9:00am Eastern. Bidder registration closed last night.

Governor of New Jersey, James McGreevey, shocked everyone when he announced he was gay, and resigning as governor. He made the announcement at a press conference on Thursday. He won't officially resign until November 15th to prevent the need for a special election.

The Supreme Court of California ruled on the case against the gay marriages performed in San Francisco, and said that Mayor Gavin Newsom had exceeded his authority in allowing the marriages. The over 4,000 same-sex weddings performed in San Francisco in February and March were ruled to have no standing under state law and the court declared the marriages "void and of no legal effect from their inception." That really stinks - I still don't get what the big deal is over gay marriage. If they want to get married - let 'em, I say.

First Bonnie (which was downgraded to a tropical storm, and wasn't as bad as it was expected to be) hits, and now Hurricane Charlie prepares to hit the Florida coast. Winds are expected to top 110 mph. Sucks to be in Florida right now - hope it doesn't get too bad for them.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Build a Better Bush

We were having a lot of fun with this link at my office yesterday - Build a Better Bush . Thanks to my wife for emailing it to me (love ya!)

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Athens Olympics - most secure Olympic Games ever, or most invasive?

Read this story from CNN about the enormous effort several companies have made to provide the security for the Summer Olympics in Athens (opening ceremonies are this Friday.) It's a huge - and expensive - undertaking, and involves lots of electronic surveillance from over 1,000 high-resolution and infrared cameras, 12 patrol boats, 4,000 vehicles, nine helicopters, a sensor-laden blimp and four mobile command centers. But there are questions of invasion of privacy to consider, since the system can pickup spoken words and analyze e-mail and phone traffic (cell and standard) and has the ability to understand Greek, English, Arabic, Farsi, and several other languages as well. Groups in Greece have protested against the system, and some have even gone as far as going around spray-painting security cameras. It's a tough line to straddle, the line between providing security for an international event and respecting privacy of thousands of individuals both native and visiting the country. Hopefully this huge system will do only it's intended job, and won't be used in a more invasive manner to pry into people's private lives.