Looks like I am not the only one to be hit by Huminity

This happened to me a while back when I was looking for Social Networking software (like Inflow 3). It taught me that one really has to read the terms and conditions of this kind of software. Randy Nieland of Lockerknome fame has this in today’s newsletter. It is from Chris Pirelli:

“I’ve been sick this past week, but that hasn’t stopped me from testing applications for Lockergnome. In between trips to the loo, I stumbled upon Huminity. I’d point you directly to its site, but I don’t want you to install the software. In fact, I want you to tell everybody on the planet NOT to install it. Why? Because it just raped my address book. I guess I didn’t take their privacy policy literally: ‘Contacts are notified by a one-time e-mail notification about their inclusion in the Huminity network.’ WTF?! Assume that when you install the program, the people in your contact list will be notified with no further warning. Sick! Well, if you got a message from me telling you to join this network, let me use this space to WARN YOU to avoid this piece of junk at all cost. If you received a message from “me” earlier today, prompting you to install the client, I hope you ignored it.”

I was quite lucky. This crowd sent everyone in my Outlook Express contacts a list (luckily it is not my main mail client) the e-mail referred to above. It could have been a spammer who could have mercilessly forged my friends name and addresses forever more – on every account I have – because the Huminity software ask you to list all your own mail addresses to filter yourself out of the network trees. I was so relieved when it turned out to be relatively harmless albeit slightly dodgy activity. What pleases me most is that I was 3 weeks ahead of the game against old Chris Pirillo!

Dancing with the dragon

In Bruce Sterling’s superb Sci-Fi novel “Distraction“, a future United States has been ruined and bankrupted by the Chinese who destroyed intellectual property by supporting piracy, publishing American software source codes and violating patents.

It was with this in mind that I read this interesting article from the enquirer: US technology companies helping to fuel their own destruction.

With China continuing its rapid drive towards modernization and the amount of trade between it and the West increasing, Chinese markets could be incredibly lucrative for almost any Western firm, but in particular for IT firms, as both IT people and equipment are in high demand…The problem, at least for Eastern-looking corporations, is that China apparently has other plans. Rather than rolling over and meekly submitting to the Wintel alliance, China has pushed ahead with its own CPU research, launching its own Dragon CPU last November…China has important plans for its semiconductor industry, as its military has already rejected the use of foreign CPU’s in military hardware. Similarly, the Chinese military will not be deploying a Windows OS environment, and has already begun working on an “official” version of Linux. There are rumors that they’ve cloned the Alpha as well, and may be building a CPU designed to be pin-compatible with the Pentium 4.

China does, however, have a problem: At the moment it lacks the infrastructure to accomplish its ambitious goals, and it lacks the requisite number of technologically-trained people. Establishing (seemingly) strong relations with US IT firms could easily gain them both. By granting just enough trade concessions to appear conciliatory and opening markets just enough to entice foreign investment, China could enrich both its knowledge of cutting-edge semiconductor technology and the overall training level of its IT staff in one stroke.

Companies, in return, seem eager to give ground to Chinese demands (requests)ówe’ve already seen Microsoft agree to open its Windows source code to China after telling US senators that doing so would constitute a threat to national security.

There’s nothing wrong with trading with China, and all trade negotiations are give and take, but IT firms who choose to dance with the dragon should be aware that their chosen partner is an ambitious, proud, and determined country which viewed itself as a center of civilization surrounded by barbarians for thousands of years. This attitude still persists in some ways and could make China a very strong adversary/competitor.” MORE

"We go to liberate not

“We go to liberate not to conquer. We will not fly our flags in their country,” he said.
“We are entering Iraq to free a people and the only flag which will be flown in that ancient land is their own. Show respect for them.
“There are some who are alive at this moment who will not be alive shortly. Those who do not wish to go on that journey, we will not send.
“As for the others I expect you to rock their world. Wipe them out if that is what they choose. But if you are ferocious in battle remember to be magnanimous in victory.
“Iraq is steeped in history. It is the site of the Garden of Eden, of the Great Flood and the birthplace of Abraham. Tread lightly there.
“You will see things that no man could pay to see and you will have to go a long way to find a more decent, generous and upright people than the Iraqis.
“You will be embarrassed by their hospitality even though they have nothing.
“Don’t treat them as refugees for they are in their own country. Their children will be poor, in years to come they will know that the light of liberation in their lives was brought by you.
“If there are casualties of war then remember that when they woke up and got dressed in the morning they did not plan to die this day.
“Allow them dignity in death. Bury them properly and mark their graves.

“It is my foremost intention to bring every single one of you out alive but there may be people among us who will not see the end of this campaign.
“We will put them in their sleeping bags and send them back. There will be no time for sorrow.
“The enemy should be in no doubt that we are his nemesis and that we are bringing about his rightful destruction.
“There are many regional commanders who have stains on their souls and they are stoking the fires of hell for Saddam.
“He and his forces will be destroyed by this coalition for what they have done. As they die they will know their deeds have brought them to this place. Show them no pity.”
“It is a big step to take another human life. It is not to be done lightly.
“I know of men who have taken life needlessly in other conflicts, I can assure you they live with the mark of Cain upon them.
“If someone surrenders to you then remember they have that right in international law and ensure that one day they go home to their family.
“The ones who wish to fight, well, we aim to please.”

“If you harm the regiment or its history by over enthusiasm in killing or in cowardice, know it is your family who will suffer.

“You will be shunned unless your conduct is of the highest for your deeds will follow you down through history. We will bring shame on neither our uniform or our nation.”

“It is not a question of if, it’s a question of when. We know he has already devolved the decision to lower commanders, and that means he has already taken the decision himself. If we survive the first strike we will survive the attack.”

“As for ourselves, let’s bring everyone home and leave Iraq a better place for us having been there. Our business now is north.”

Its all about bunking

Few things symbolize the wretched vacuity of both the “anti-war” movement and modern education standards than the recent pox of tweeny peace activists protesting around the UK.

I witnessed my first glimpse of the surly simpering bunking beast this morning (see photo below). From one of the windows in my office we could see a noisy collection of mostly female schoolchildren with some peace banners and a few placards – no doubt supplied by their weirdy beardy Guardianista teachers – demonstrating against the liberation of Iraq.

It was the now the familiar sight of the young demonstrating their ignorance and naivety. Here we had a mixture of youthful idealism (unfettered by learning or experience) and the secondary agenda of bunking school combining to make a compelling “movement”. The high pitched wail MTV feel-good platitudes from these peace pampered brats was enough to nauseate adult observers.

To the empimpled, hormone enslaved simpletons yelping “It is all about oil” I have a simple retort to their “peace protests”: It is all about bunking.

Schoolgirl protestors (notice the burqas?)

Venice by Justine Cook

Why must I see as if the course were charted
the ways that we unravel? Once, you
were the faith I built on, the solid place
I traveled to, the city whose liquid streets I
endlessly investigatedóhappy architecture, pillars,
cornices, bridgesóthe gondola of my imagination poling
around bends, startled at the journey ever inward and
most comforting of all, where I could remain forever.
When did it happen, tell me, that this easy adventure
became a knotty maze, anxious alleys to be dead-ended in?
When did the trap of not emerging into a sunlit square
become the suffocation of a psycheóa silent badge
that I wear now, knowing that in a few short years I will step
away exhausted? My time grows nearer when I will try
for the open seaóalone I can blame no one
when the final storm overreaches and downs my craft.

Someone on UseNet claimed that Rachel Corrie will be an historic name…

She is the American girl killed by an Israeli Army Bulldozer last week. I disagree her name will be historically significant. Can you name the guys who stood in front of the tank in China (no, I mean without looking it up)? Did he stop the massacre? Did the Chinese government fall? Nope nope nope.

Israel palestine is being played with big boys rules. It is no place for idealists. The Israelis are world champions at not falling for the sentimental self-loathing of other, weaker societies that put in the same predicament as Israelis would have been put their arses in the air and taken the swollen member of Dhimmitude 40 years ago. If Saddam’s Human Shields and Rachel Corrie types perish in great numbers it will be a better world for having the sentimentality and delusion scoured away by reality.

As James Versluys wrote on Upstream:

“Let’s put it like this- the girl with the annoying idealistic urge to go out and put herself in danger for a conflict that had nothing to do with her got what she deserved. Like Ms. Jellyby in Dickens, she’s one of those annoying believer types the world is better off without. Rachal Corrie is dead. Huzzah!

…my sneer is for anyone who is willing to die for any cause at all. I’ll pretend I’m not stealing this line from Mencken, so just nod- “Far from being willing to die for a cause, I’m not even willing to miss a meal for it”. I don’t like people who care for others in the abstract. It stinks of sentimental vomit, and it almost always means the care they could have for their own family and friends is less because of it. Good causes are in bad taste.

…Yes, I do think we should be at war with them. Yes, I don’t care for them. Yes, I am callous toward the weak and degenerate and the crowds who cheered our destruction in the towers. If Arabia and Islam were to fall to the ground, eaten by horrible diseases, my only concern would be that the disease didn’t spread to actual humans. May Palestine rot in the depths of
that Jewish hell forever.

…’I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: “O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.” And God granted it’ -Voltaire [quoted from here, here and here]

Callous but true. Like reality, really.

Henry Miller on Southern Man

“I suppose there is no region in America like the old South for good conversation. Here men talk rather than argue and dispute. Here there are more eccentric, bizarre characters, I imagine, than in any other part of the United States. The South breeds character, not sterile intellectualism. With certain individuals the fact that they are shut off from the world tends to bring about a forced bloom; they radiate power and magnetism, their talk is scintillating and stimulating. They live a rich, quiet life of their own, in harmony with their environment and free of the petty ambitions and rivalries of the man of the world. Usually they did not settle down without a struggle, for most of them possess talents and energies unsuspected by the curious invader. The real Southerner, in my opinion, is more gifted by nature, more far-seeing, more dynamic, more inventive and without a doubt more filled with the zest for life than the man of the North or West. When he elects to retire from the world it is not because of defeatism but because, as with the French and the Chinese, his very love of life instills him with a wisdom which expresses itself in renunciation. The most difficult adjustment an expatriate has to make, on returning to his native land, is in this realm of conversation. The impression one has, at first, is that there is no conversation. We do not talk–we bludgeon one another with facts and theories gleaned from cursory readings of newspapers, magazines and digests. Talk is personal and if of any value must be creative. I had to come to the South before I heard such talk. I had to meet men whose names are unknown, men living in almost inaccessible spots, before I could enjoy what I call a real conversation.” Henry Miller, The Air-Conditioned Nightmare, written in 1945 upon his return to the United States.