Behind Enemy Lines
26 April 2005
French Court Develops Way To Keep French Culture "Pure"
In a surprise move today, a French court has finally found a way to keep the French film and music culture pure and free of evil foreign influence by effectively banning the importation of films and music into France. A court decided that copyright protection violated the law.

"This ruling means that 80 percent of DVDs now on the French market are
equipped with illegal mechanisms," said Julien Dourgnon, spokesman for consumer
advocacy group UFC-Que Choisir, which brought the case.
"Stores will probably not have to send back products already in stock," Dourgnon said Tuesday. "But in the future, no DVD or CD that has the device can be sold."

Well done France! Now you don't have to worry about importing any of those evil foreign films or music into your country.

The ruling could be a major setback for the DVD industry, which places lock software on disks as part of its battle against piracy. The industry blames illegal copying for millions of dollars in lost revenues each year.

They certainly realize that nobody who currently copy protects their films or media is going to change that just for France don't they? Even though France appears to be a large market[Link is in French] I somehow doubt that film producers are going to release completely copiable (new word?) digital quality films in France.
21 April 2005
More Chronicle Bias
Another example of the biases that exist at

Notice the question: " Do you agree with Schwarzenegger's comments on illegal immigration" [emphasis added]

Notice the possible answer: "No, ironic that an immigrant wants to shut the door"
Hmmm, let's see. Governor Schwarzenegger emigrated legally to this country. He is now saying that we should secure the borders against illegal immigration. What's ironic about that?

Notice the very un-pc answer: "Try saying the same thing twice in a row, Arnold"

If Governor Schwarzenegger were of Latino or Asian descent and had an accent, would it still be "cool" to make fun of it?
19 April 2005
That's a lot of dentists
Ferid has posted some photos of a graduation party in Iraq. I must say, that's a lot of future dentists. Congraulations to them all.
Interesting how the media can get the story wrong...
...or is it that they do it on purpose?

Chrenkoff has posted results from a survey in Iraq about the presence of foreign troops (which, let's be honest here, means U.S. troops.) and the results are eye opening. Well, eye openening to those that haven't been paying attention.

The information, supplied by Haider, also comes with some more details about the "anti-American protests" on April 9th in Baghdad.
16 April 2005
Riffing on the word "Tim"
With Tim Dunlop posting on Tim Blair's site and the confusion this will bring, I started mentally riffing on the name / word "Tim." Yes, I really do have this much time to waste today:

Tim Tam
Mt. Tam
Mt. Tim

Like I said, bored and with some time on my hands. Please pardon the silliness
Thieves steal packages bound for U.S. Military personnel
13 at SFO arrested in case of cargo thefts
Three simple words. Three massive ideas. One good cause. Life, Liberty, Freedom. Those three words are imprinted on "FREEDOMBANDS™", a silicone rubber wristband much like the Lance Armstrong "LIVESTRONG™" bands.. The cause for "FREEDOMBANDS™" is members of the United States Military and their families. The group ("Share our Gifts Foundation") donates 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the bands to charities such as:

A Million Thanks

A Million Thanks is a year-round campaign to show our U.S. Military Men and Women, past and present, our appreciation for their sacrifices, dedication, and service to our country through our letters, emails, cards, prayers, and thoughts.

Armed Forces Childrens Education Fund

The ARMED FORCES CHILDREN’S EDUCATION FUND, Inc. (AFCEF) was established on May 1, 2003, the first day of National Military Appreciation Month (NMAM).
The purpose of the non-profit corporation is to be able to financially assist the educational needs of the surviving children of the U.S. Military men and women who lost their lives on or after October 7, 2001, the commencement of Afghanistan operations, as part of the global war on terrorism defined as "Operation Enduring Freedom".

Armed Forces Relief Trust

The mission of the Armed Forces Relief Trust is to assist the military aid societies by providing a single vehicle to accept donations that will benefit the men and women of our Armed Forces and their families. Examples of such assistance may include payment for a soldier's airfare to fly home for his father's funeral, a special reading program for a sailor's daughter, special medical attention for a pilot's expectant spouse, or college tuition for a soldier's child.

Fisher House Foundation

Supporting America's military in their time of need, we provide"a home away from home" that enables family members to be close to a loved one at the most stressful time -- during hospitalization for an illness, disease or injury.

Red Cross

USA Cares

USA Cares exists to help servicemembers and their families deployed across America and around the globe. USA Cares provides support with relevant and direct assistance that improves challenging situations and betters the life and well-being of Americans who ask so little, yet give so very much.

So, go buy a "FREEDOMBAND™" today. Tell your friends.

10 April 2005
Good news from Afghanistan
Well, I'm not quite Chrenkoff but I do like to pass along good news when I come across it.

Waheed, one of if not the first Afghani bloggers, passes on information that the 33rd Batallion of the ANA has graduated

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has posted a new video on rebuilding Afghanistan and the successes that have occurred since the Taliban was overthrown.

The term "Wall of Death" is not as ominous as it sounds.
08 April 2005
No offense to Google But....
...the new satellite imagery / mapping service isn't that great.

Despite all the hype (and even Mark Morford's love / hate column today in which Morford continues to define "out of the loop" and gives a perfect example of how he shouldn't really talk about technology) the imagery really isn't that good. Sure sure, the little popup address box is mildly amusing but the images suck.

Let's look at a better service shall we? Microsoft's TerraServer. It's been around for going on three years now and uses USGS images for the bulk of it's product. The service is free and they even have a web service interface.

To use one of Morford's examples let's look up Alamo Sqaure in San Francisco.

The "rave" imagery of Google

The same address at Terra Server

Hope that doesn't creep you out too much Mark. Frankly you're way out of the loop in the capabilities of satellites and aerial imagery. Yes, yes, I know that wasn't the point of the column (which at least for once wasn't bordering on obscene), but maybe this will make you even more paranoid ;)
02 April 2005

What's the message that SFGate is trying to send with their poll this week?
Posted by Hello
Requiescat In Pace
A Republican in San Francisco (Yes, he's under deep cover) relays his tales of interest... ...ok, "interest" is a strong and subjective word but you get the point.
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I shall know but one country. The ends I aim at shall be my country's, my God's and Truth's. I was born an American; I live an American; and I shall die an American. -Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

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