November 2008

I flew Virgin Atlantic for the first time recently, for a day trip to San Francisco. I enjoyed it. I can’t remember the last time I actually enjoyed getting on a plane. The first really standout bit was when the Seattle ground folks put on music and a name that song contest. They handed out…

Read More Virgin America

NARA (National Archives) published notice in the Federal Register on October 27, 2008, of TSA’s submission to them (see Schedule Pending #3) of a proposed Records Schedule for Secure Flight Program. The actual Proposed Schedule was not published in the Register, only notice that you can request it and file comments on whether NARA should…

Read More Travel Chaos

While having a wonderful time in Barcelona, I took the metro a fair amount. Over the course of 8 days, I saw 2 turnstile jumpers, (40€ fine) 3 smokers (30€ fine) and didn’t see as one friend got pick-pocketed (reported fine, one beating). So which crime annoyed me most? The apparently worthless invasion of privacy.…

Read More Crime in Barcelona

In “Tidying up Art” Ursus Wehrli tells the TED audience about not only how to tidy up art, but has a great example of how apparently simple instructions can very quickly lead chaos to emerge. And it’s pretty darn funny after the audience doesn’t know how to respond to his first couple of jokes.

Read More Tidying up Art

There’s a list, maintained by the UN security council, of people who can’t have their money. Once you’re on the list, there’s no way to get off. The global blacklisting system for financiers of al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups is at risk of collapse, undermined by legal challenges and waning political support in many countries,…

Read More Terrifying Financial Blacklists Falling Down

Yesterday, Nov 17, was the sesquicentenary of the zero-date of the American Ephemeris. I meant to write, but got distracted. Astronomical ephemeris counts forward from this date. That particular date was picked because it was (approximately) Julian Day 1,000,000, but given calendar shifts and all, one could argue for other zero dates as well. The…

Read More Ephemeral Anniversary

A Wide Diversity of Consumer Attitudes about Online Privacy shows this picture of Flickr users setting privacy preferences: green is public (default) and red is private. I hope Flickr shares some of the underlying data. I don’t know what anyone would do with it, and there’s two ways to find out. One is to talk,…

Read More Diverse Preferences for Privacy