personality disorders disharge up 20% - u.s. army

one year ago the army changed the rules on discharges to retain folks that would have been dismissed. check this quote from slate.com on 2005-06-05:

Now comes a new Army directive that attempts to alleviate the personnel crunch by retaining soldiers who are earmarked for early discharge during their first term of enlistment because of alcohol or drug abuse, unsatisfactory performance, or being overweight, among other reasons. By retaining these soldiers, the Army lowers the quality of its force and places a heavy burden on commanders who have to take the poor performers into harm's way. This is a quick fix that may create more problems than it solves.

in fact, things at the army are getting worse. today, the associated press is reporting that disharges due to 'personality disorder' are up - 20% over 2001 levels:

The Army discharged 805 soldiers for personality disorders in 2001, 734 in 2002, 980 in 2003, 988 in 2004 and 1,038 in 2005.

of course, the most recent, and public, result of this kind of problem can be seen in the story of the alleged rape and killing of an iraqi woman and her family by a u.s. soldier:

An affidavit submitted by FBI Special Agent Gregor J. Ahlers in Kentucky said military personnel files showed that a "personality disorder" led to the discharge, which apparently was approved at least two months ago.

i suspect this is not the only case where unstable americans have been given a uniform and a gun and placed on the line.

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fbi wants to force net-tapping on providers

FBI plans new Net-tapping push | CNET News.com
The FBI has drafted sweeping legislation that would require Internet service providers to create wiretapping hubs for police surveillance and force makers of networking gear to build in backdoors for eavesdropping, CNET News.com has learned.

while the summer is on and most folks are trying to 'get away from it all,' the u.s. fbi is working to draft legislation that will make it mandatory that all internet service providers modify thier facilities to make it possible for investigators to monitor email, chats, even ip phone dicussions. this is also an attempt to nullify the current round of lawsuits over whether congress authorized (unwittingly) this kind of eavesdropping when they signed the 'patriot act' in 2001.

the proprosed changes to the CALEA law are to be introduced in congress by senator mike dewine of ohio.

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ask a ninja about pirates of the caribbean

Ask A Ninja: Special Delivery 7 "Pirates of the Caribbean"
The Ninja reviews Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.

this really cracked me up. especially the reference to "the neverending story."

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network world sez writley is "cool"

Network World - James Gaskin
Those of you interested in online word processors should start checking your circle of friends for anyone already registered with Writely, the company recently gobbled by Google. They're offering invitations, but just like with GMail, you need to know someone and the secret handshake.

deep into an op-ed piece on the need for quality research when building and releasing software, james gaskin of network world mentions writley.com as a rare example of a "new and cool" product.

i agree - writley.com is a smart, well-implemented app. since posting my offer to hand out writely invites (their clever viral method for growing their user base) to others, i fulfill a handful every day. as they must have thousands (tens of thousands?) of users already - most of them handing out invites, too - i bet they're growing by at least hundreds of users per day.

btw - if you still need a writely invite, post your (obfuscated) email in a comment to my original writley post and i'll show you the 'secret handshake' so you see what's new and cool about writely, too!

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senator stevens: 'the internet is a series of tubes'

Techdirt: If Senators Aren't Going To Understand Tech, Can They At Least Be Consistent?
And again, the internet is not something you just dump something on. It's not a truck. It's a series of tubes.

as a follow up to my previous post where i mentioned that, imho, many in the u.s. government don't understand the internet, i found this quote from u.s. senator ted stevens as he explains how the internet works. and this guys is in charge of the committee that regulates the internet, too.

it would be funny if it were not so depressing.

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a list of friendster's patents on social networking - they own you!

RED HERRING | Friendster Wins Patent
The U.S. patent, which was awarded June 27, is extremely general, and would seem to cover the activities of many other sites, especially those like LinkedIn that allow people to connect within a certain number of degrees of separation.

the floundering soc-net pioneer, friendster, has been awarded a patent. a patent!?! [sigh]

my reading of the actual patent (always entertaining) leads me to believe that it covers a *very wide range* of soc-net activities including:

  • database implementation of the x-degrees of separation model
  • search implementation of the x-degrees list
  • storing and sharing of profiles
  • storage of the friend links
  • sharing the friend links as html hyperlinks
  • storage of email addresses of friends
  • sending/resending invitations to friends
  • alerting users of accepted invitations
  • and more!

the above list reads like the details of any online community. so i guess we can all stop building communities now, eh? unless we want to pay friendster, of course.

sometimes i think the u.s. government is just plain *clueless* when it comes to 'tech' and 'the new economy.'

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zidane one of my favorite world cup players this year

2006 FIFA World Cup  Player Profile - ZIDANE Zinedine - France
Zinedine Zidane’s career began in the backstreets of Marseilles where, at the age of 14, this son of Algerian immigrants was spotted by a talent scout and offered a place at the academy of AS Cannes.

in the past, i've had only a mild interest in fifa world cup, but this year is different. for some reason, i've been keeping a close eye on the matches and players for this year's competiion. maybe one reason is that a have a slight connection. every day i stop at a local market close to the office to pick up a drink or snack. the cleark behind the counter is an algerian national and we've been talking up the world cup quite a bit this year. he's a fan of zinedine zidane and, after seeing his play this year, i've become one, too.

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columnist uses writely instead of word

Bypass the hard disk and head for the web
I am composing these words using Writely, a free word processor - recently bought by Google - that only exists online. There is no complicated program such as Word to be loaded into my computer, and whenever the document is saved (automatically every minute or two), it is done on remote servers around the world and not to my hard disk.

as google-like web-based apps continue to sprout up on the internet, more people are 'admitting' to using them instead of desktop-based apps such as microsoft word, excel, etc.

i've found writley.com a great web-based word processor. i also use google's spreadsheet and gliffy's diagramming tool.

the big advantage of these online tools ovethier desktop progenitors? - built-in collaboration.

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ann coulter and jason blair in the same boat

John Barrie, the creator of a leading plagiarism-recognition system, claimed he found at least three instances of what he calls "textbook plagiarism" in the leggy blond pundit's "Godless: the Church of Liberalism" after he ran the book's text through the company's digital iThenticate program.

i guess this might surprise some folks (the clueless). bloggers have been calling foul on this issue for quite some time. the raw story web site reported her plagarism more than one year ago (Coulter caught cribbing from conservative magazines).

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i sent close to 20 writely invites this evening

to all who requested writely invites over the last couple days, i have just sent them out.

as i posted here a few days ago, i went on holiday for a while to relax and rejunivate. that meant i was not responding to writely requests for that time. but now i'm back on the case!

since writely.com has lifted their original 50-invite limit, i'll continue to pass out writley invitations until my fingers are numb or the requests cease.

also: thanks to all for the kinds words regarding my invitations. as i mention in my invitation notes, i am happy to share and just ask that you do the same.

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my writely invites go on holiday with me

i'll be on holiday from jul-02 through jul-05. that means i won't be able to complete any writely invites during that time. if you need a writely invite quickly, you should try to pick one up from someone else for the next few days. i'll be back on jul-06 and will continue to pass out writely invites then. cheers! Technorati Tags: ,