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Rosa Parks passed this way...
Written by Daniel   
Tuesday, 25 October 2005 11:54

 Where ever brave men stand, they now must bow.

"if there are any heavens my mother will (all by herself) have
one. It will not be a pansy heaven nor
a fragile heaven of lilies-of-the-valley but
it will be a heaven of blackred roses

My father will be (deep like a rose
tall like a rose

standing near my

(swaying over her

with eyes that are really petals and see

nothing with the face of a poet really which
is a flower and not a face with hands
which whisper
This is my beloved my
( suddenly in the sunlight
he will bow,

& the whole garden will bow)

E.E. Cummings

Add your rememberence in our Forums.

Daniel's Revolution.
Written by Daniel   
Wednesday, 19 October 2005 21:32
I have spent a good deal of time over a good many years on this. I have been searching for a single idea that everyone can understand and as they understand it bring about it's implementation in public life.

I felt that what was needed was a single idea that would change everything, yet everyone might support.

An idea that would work and could be implemented, in any local where people vote and can vote for change.

Are you on the Christian Right tried of electing officials that don't do what they promised you? This one's for you!

Sick to death of watching the environment being turned into a CEO's ash tray? Sign on now!

"Don't want to just trow more money at the problem(s)"

Cut YOUR Tax bill with this one! Save Trillions of Dollars over the next XXX years!

If we wish to make broad changes we must alter foundation. To alter foundation we must control government.
To control government we must have control of our elected officials. To control elected officials we merely need to control their source of wealth...for as long as they live.

Simply put, any who run for elected office and wishes to receive the vote of the undersigned must agree to introduce legislature which would have the following attributes as it's central focus:

In accepting public SERVICE one implicitly agrees to guard and protect the public trust.
Such protectors cannot be or be seen to be on the auction block for special interests which grow overwhelming in their power to steal governments from their people.

In order to protect our elected officials from the pressures now constantly exerted by private interests upon them to betray the public trust and good. We hence forth will require a new financial arrangement.

To assure that it is OUR interests rather than those of special interests that are served we require by law, that elected officials never have any source of income that does not originate directly from their remittance for their service. This closes all forms of investment and investment markets to them...for life.

Once elected they will have an income for life. Upon leaving office it is hoped that that they will use this freedom in further voluntary service to our communities. Or in any pursuit that THEY feel strengthens our people.

We will require extraordinary rights of inspection into their normally private financial affairs. Penalties will be in accordance with those for acts of treason for those who violate their oath.

There will be a federal bounty payment to any who can prove they or another successfully bribed an elected official. Given with thanks from a grateful people for revealing this defect.

There will be no penalty for bribing officials.

To gain strength one must constantly exercise. We want strong officials, honest officials who are an example to our people. We want to know when we don't have them.

Best way to find out if an official is taking money is to throw money at him. Besides if everyone is trying to bribe you "For profit" it makes for a nevouse transaction...":O}

But unable to publicly spend more than a rep makes, the incentive toward corruption is greatly lessened.

Having an Income that allows him to move effectively within the upper MIDDLE class will assure a base from which an official can make his influence felt in the community long after his federal service ends.

We must cultivate elder statesmen! Men whose integrity has been proven in service. To pay an official more than a successful proffessional in Medicine or a good Small business men makes is to create a new aligence within him, one to wealth, rather than to the needs of the many.

Naturally this will immediately change all Election finance laws. But if you can accomplish this proposal, and there is nothing to stop you, that will be but a punctuation mark at the end of a sentence that reads "Power to the people!"

Try it, you'll like it! ":O}
Vote and express your views in the forums.
Stanford Wins Darpa Challenge
Written by Gizmo   
Friday, 14 October 2005 07:41

Stanford University won the Darpa Challenge last weekend.  You can read more about that here.

What I find interesting about all of this is that:

  1. Last year, none of the entrants in the challenge completed the course.  In fact, none of them got more than 7.5 miles.
  2. This year, no less than 5 entrants completed the entire 150 mile course.
  3. Of the 5 that finished, 4 actually completed the course in less than the allotted 10 hours.
  4. The Stanford team completed the course in just under 7 hours.
Now remember, these are robots.  No human assistance allowed.  And this isn't your average Sunday drive on the highway.  These 'bots were traveling cross-country.  Now granted, crossing the Mojave isn't exactly like driving over the Rocky Mountains, but you still have to navigate around things; you can't exactly plow over a cactus, for example, and there are other obstacles on the course that have been deliberately placed.

For the contestants to have made such significant improvements in just about a year is, well, amazing.

Now, granted, this is DARPA.  This stuff is being designed with a military application in mind.  However, it isoften the case that stuff developed for the military eventually finds its way into civilian applications.  This is, I think, an application that can have definite civilian appeal, provided the cost can be reduced.  After all, 7 Pentium-M chips, a radar system, a GPS tracker, 4 laser range finders, and 2 camera systems (one stereoscopic) aren't cheap.

Leaving aside the subject of cars driving themselves, though, what this all suggests to me is some major leaps in Artificial Intelligence.  This has been one of the Holy Grails of computing for the better part of the last 40 years.  We have science fiction stories of machines that are self-aware (anybody remember 'HAL' from 'Space Odyssey'?).  We might finally be getting close to science fiction becoming fact.

What do you think?  Tell us in the forums!

Hurricane Katrina
Written by Gizmo   
Friday, 02 September 2005 09:42

Unless you've been living in a cave, you know that Hurricane Katrina slammed into the U.S. gulf coast pretty hard.  New Orleans is a total wreck, and most of Louisanna, Mississippi, and Alabama have been badly damaged.  As we prepare to celebrate Labor Day in the rest of the country, please remember the people who have lost everything to this disaster.  They need our help.  As always, the United Way, the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, local churches, and other organizations are doing their best to assist, and appreciate anything you can spare, food, clothes, bedding, shelter, anything.

Open Source to fight Software Patents?
Written by Gizmo   
Thursday, 11 August 2005 08:36

CNET News reports that Red Hat announced Tuesday at the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo that it will finance the efforts of outside developers to obtain patents that can freely be used by open-source developers.  This came a the same time the that Open Source Developer Labs launched a patent commons project with the goal of providing a central list of all patents that have been donated to the open-source community.


What makes this interesting is that it seems to suggest that the open-source community, which has long been against the idea of software patents, is changing it's tack on this issue.  It looks more and more like they are begining to think along the lines of "Let's fight fire with fire".  This may be exactly what is required to get governments to take a serious look at not just the notion of software patents, but the notion of patents generally, and how they are being applied today.

Those of you who have read my posts in the past know that, as a software developer, I support the idea that a person should have some societal protection for their hard work and effort.  However, the patent system as it sits today (at least in the U.S.) is being severely abused and needs to be seriously rethought.  We shouldn't get rid of patents, but IMHO we should get back to the original concept, that a patent should be granted for novel applications and developments of technology that would NOT BE OBVIOUS to any competent practitioner of the discipline.

What do you think?  Tell us in the forums!

From the Union of Concerned Scientists
Written by Daniel   
Tuesday, 09 August 2005 15:01

Yesterday, President Bush signed an energy bill that pays lip service to renewable energy development and energy efficiency while including big subsidies to the fossil fuel and nuclear industries. Despite the lack of federal leadership, the Union of Concerned Scientists is committed to building the demand for real solutions to our country's energy needs--and we need your help to continue, and ramp up, our ongoing work.

Please consider making a gift to UCS today to support our work to ensure a safe, secure, and sustainable energy future.

The energy bill ignores our oil dependence, fails to promote renewable energy, disregards global warming, and even raises the risk of nuclear terrorism. One of the most promising measures brought to the Congressional conference committee was a renewable electricity standard, which would have required major electric companies to gradually increase sales of electricity from wind, solar, and other renewable sources from two percent today to about 10 percent by 2020. This provision was stripped from the bill before its passage. The bill will increase our gasoline consumption while ignoring conventional technology that could increase fuel economy, generate hundreds of thousands of new jobs, and save consumers billions at the pump.

The federal government appears to think we can drill our way to security and oil independence, but UCS sees it differently. We are working on real alternatives--encouraging renewable energy development in the states, pushing automakers to develop cleaner cars, and implementing market-driven strategies to speed our way to a sustainable future. Please click here to support our efforts today.

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