King Kaufman wrote an interesting piece about why Americans don't care about the Tour. (Gotta sit through the ad for Salon premium)
He thinks it's the waiting for the other guy after he crashes thing:

I think that down in our bones, most of us can't fathom this business of gentlemanliness and sportsmanship. For better or worse, here's the American way to compete: Try to knock the other guy down, and if you succeed, put your boot on his neck and keep it there until he cries uncle.
And if you see his wallet while he's down there, take it.

Sportsmanship means helping him up after you've cleaned his clock. Before then, it can be summed up in these three words: Don't cheat blatantly.

I don't buy it, most Americans don't even know about that bit of etiquette and they still tune out. Actually, you even have to be somewhat of a fan to know about that tradition (until this Armstrong thing happened) But I think his other points about the team vs. individual glory concept works better.


Robert Cringely with a file-sharing idea that just might work.
As been discussed in this space a few times before, Blair is the man.


The Mullah's blogger blacklist. Shameful.
Good news on the privacy front. A minor victory against the Patriot Act.
When times are tough, people get scared. And they lash out in short-sighted ways. Efforts to ban foreign tech workers is no exception. People, you can't fight the tide of history, you can only ride it.
Often I get emails from readers asking about California's political scene. The recall, The Terminator, the energy mess, etc. It really can't be explained, only reported.
See what the folks at Plastic have to say about my piece on the 9/11 report. Good read.


Cool Hunters rejoice.


If Dean wins the White House the impact of the internet will be fully realized.
Wired profiles sex.com's founder Gary Kremen and the long, strange trip he's taken.
The FBI blew repeated chances to uncover the 9-11 plot because it failed to aggressively investigate evidence of Al Qaeda’s presence in the United States, especially in the San Diego area, where two of the hijackers were living with one of the bureau’s own informants, according to the congressional report set for release this week.

So begins a damning article from Michael Isikoff of Newsweek describing the results of a Capital Hill investigation sure to roil the already uneasy heads of U.S. intelligence agencies.

The key results of a congressional joint intelligence inquiry all point fingers at an agency that was mired in red tape, suffering from misdirected focus, and was extremely unlucky. While the CIA and Pentagon get some blame for ineffective or non-existent activity, in the months leading up to 9/11 the majority of the blame is directed towards the FBI.

The fact that Saudi nationals, who may also have been foreign agents operating in the U.S., supported, monitored, and associated with at least two of the hijackers while also working as informants for the FBI is a potentially embarrassing revelation for Saudi Arabia as well as the U.S. intelligence community.

A thorough understanding of the failures that lead to 9/11 is important to not only prevent similar future attacks but is also directly related to the changes that all Americans potentially face. What is less clear is how increased surveillance of all Americans will give the intelligence community a clearer picture of the threats that face the U.S. from within and without.
Good read on privacy. John Gilmore's battle to maintain some things about himself is profiled over at Reason.

Some privacy theorists have concluded -- in sorrow if not necessarily in anger -- that privacy, defined as the ability to keep information about ourselves to ourselves, is already dead and buried

My favourite part of the piece is the usage of reductio ad hitlerum. And this discussion of privacy vs. liberty is once again embarassingly exposed as the false dichtomy it is by the plain fact that it wasn't too many freedoms that created 9/11. As we've known since day one it was bad luck, bad police work, ineffective and unfocused agents at the FBI, and miles of red tape. And now we find out that two of hijackers were living with an FBI informant. From that we've decided to monitor 250 million Americans without cause.