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Sunday, July 24, 2005

"The White House on Thursday threatened to veto a massive Senate bill for $442 billion in next year's defense programs if it moves to regulate the Pentagon's treatment of detainees or sets up a commission to investigate operations at Guantanamo Bay prison and elsewhere..."

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Saturday, July 23, 2005


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Friday, July 22, 2005

PATRIOT act being used to go after "common criminals" instead of against terrorists, as it was supposedly created to do. Story here

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"If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy." --James Madison

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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Ever had two sound files which were identical, except for the quality they were encoded at, and wanted to find out if one really sounded better than the other?

Of course, if there's a great difference in quality then just playing one after the other will be enough to tell. However, it's more difficult to tell if the files are close to each other in quality.

That's where my little s0ngfr0g program comes in. It will play short, random segments from each file and let you vote on the quality of each segment. The file that has the most votes overall is considered to be the better sounding file.

The hope is that listening to short, identical segments from each file, back-to-back, will give you a good idea of their relative quality. Also, the file that's being played will be hidden from you until all the voting is over, so that knowing which file the sample came from won't bias your decisions.

The name s0ngfr0g comes from the program jumping around to different parts of the songs it plays.

This program requires:

perl (tested on v5.8.5)
xmms (tested on 1.2.10)
xmmsctrl (tested on 1.8)


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Monday, July 18, 2005

NYT reports details of prisoners being tortured to death at Bagram air base in Afghanistan

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Saturday, July 16, 2005

"Private capital tends to become concentrated in few hands, partly because of competition among the capitalists, and partly because technological development and the increasing division of labor encourage the formation of larger units of production at the expense of the smaller ones. The result of these developments is an oligarchy of private capital the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society. This is true since the members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes, separate the electorate from the legislature.

The consequence is that the representatives of the people do not in fact sufficiently protect the interests of the underprivileged sections of the population. Moreover, under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights."

from Albert Einstein's Why Socialism?


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Thursday, July 14, 2005

"I didn't even start dropping out until my mid-20's... In fourth grade I wanted to blow up the school, but I didn't know how... In high school.. I wanted to go live off the land in the Idaho wilderness, but actually doing it seemed as remote and difficult as going to the moon... [now] I'm a specialist at eating garbage -- as I draft this I'm eating a meal I made with organic eggs from a dumpster, and later I'll make a pie of dumpstered apples. I live on under $2000 a year, I have no permanent residence, and moving to the Idaho wilderness now seems like a reachable goal -- but no longer the best idea..."

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