August 28th, 2003


The Pros and Cons of Barbed Wire.

No, I'm not talking about that particularly awful Pamela Anderson movie of 5 years ago. I'm talking about fences...

When putting up a fence, it's good to remember that eventually the fence will come down. More than likely, someone will be taking it down. Well, I've spent the last two days tearing down a fence - a 20 year old, rusty barbed wire fence. And the fence, for its part, has spent the last two days tearing me up. :P

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If anyone reading this ever puts up a fence, do me a favor - use smooth wire. Ranch-hands the world over will thank you.
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    Barb Wire: Original Motion Picture Soundcrap

Al-Qaida Claims Responsibility for Destruction of Fudgesicle

Remember this?

You knew it was only a matter of time before...

The Onion

Al-Qaida Claims Responsibility for Destruction of Fudgesicle

Above: Timmy Wilson and his Mother

Modesto, CA—Today an anonymous spokesman for terrorist organization Al-Qaida announced, via telephone from an undisclosed location, that the organization had scored a major victory when it successfully performed a covert terrorist operation to destroy 7 year old Modesto, CA resident Timmy Wilson's fudgesicle.

"We have smashed, utterly, the spirit of the infidels with this masterful attack! Praise Allah, in all his might!", the spokesman was quoted as saying.

The attack took place at approximately 3:30pm on Wednesday. Timmy and a friend were eating fudgesicles in the front yard when a passing car backfired, startling them both. Timmy subsequently dropped his fudgesicle on the ground, ruining it utterly.

"Our agents are everywhere!" proclaimed the Al-Qaida spokesman, "None are safe! When your children trip and fall scraping their shins on the playground, you will know our power, may Allah have mercy on your souls!"

Timmy was "shocked" and "devastated", said his mother Lucinda. "He may have to say home from school tomorrow, and maybe even the day after."

Fudgesicles like the one destroyed in the attack

"Soon you will be brought to your infidel knees by our might, and we will rule over you all, may Allah look kindly upon us!" concluded the Al-Qaida spokesman, before laughing maniacally for thirty seconds and then unexpectedly hanging up the phone.

CIA spokesman Richard Davis was quoted as saying, "This attack took us by surprise, and almost totally unprepared. We had not considered that Al-Qaida operatives might target small children's refreshments as part of their nefarious schemes." Added Davis, "Those damn dirty rat-bastards."

President Bush was rumored to be in an emergency meeting with his advisors to develop a Fudgesicle Awareness/Readiness Terrorism Handler of Emergent Attacks and Destruction (FARTHEAD) program to prevent further frozen fudge bar tragedies.

Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf, the Information Minister for the country of Iraq, was unavailable for comment as of press time.



From Fark:

While using a drill above his head on Aug. 15, the six-foot ladder he was standing on started to wobble, Hunt's nephew Ben Hunt said. "The ladder started to 'walk' on him," Ben said. "He lost his balance and threw the drill down - which is normal for us (construction workers)."

Then, he fell off the ladder face-first and onto the drill, which went through his right eye and out his skull, just above his right ear. According to Ben, doctors told him the drill pushed his brain aside, rather than impaling it, which could have caused further - and most likely vastly more extensive - damage.

RFID arms race, round 1, FIGHT!

The labs at RSA Security on Wednesday outlined plans for a technology they call blocker tags, which are similar in size and cost to radio frequency identification (RFID) tags but disrupt the transmission of information to scanning devices and thwart the collection of data.

The technique, one of few RFID-blocking technologies being worked on by researchers, is still a concept in the labs. But the next step is to develop prototype chips and see if manufacturers are interested in making the processors, according to Ari Juels, a principal research scientist with RSA Laboratories. Blocker and RFID tags are about the size of a grain of sand and cost around 10 cents.

First of all, let me say, this is a great idea. Excellent thinking.

However, let's be realistic here - there are going to be companies that will try and get around this. They'll use a different frequency, or do some special encoding of the data so it doesn't trip the blocker tag, etc.

So we have an arms race. Which is okay, actually. Arms races generally tend to cause both sides to be wary, which is probably the best outcome we can hope for when it comes to RFID. There's no stopping the technology - but as long as everyone is fully aware of it, things will probably be alright in the long run.