Bill Drew

TSA Doesn’t Like His Reading Material

Kelly writes “Amazing accounts from writer Naomi Wolf, who is finding out that, in her travels throughout the US, people are waking up to the encroaching darkness. Here’s her book-related observations, “Someone else says that his friend opened his luggage to find a letter from the TSA saying that they did not appreciate his reading material. Before I go into the security lines, I find myself editing my possessions. In New York’a La Guardia, I reluctantly found myself putting a hardcover copy of Tara McKelvey’s excellent Monstering, an expose of CIA interrogation practices, in a garbage can before I get in the security line; it is based on classified information. This morning at my hotel, before going to the airport, I threw away a very nice black T-shirt that said “We Will Not be Silenced” — with an Arabic translation — that someone had given me, along with a copy of poems written by detainees at Guantanamo.” More here: 2/

University of Connecticut Law Library Facade Flaws

Anonymous Patron writes “While the University of Connecticut’s Law Library was built just 11 years ago at a cost of $24 million, it will now cost $19 million to repair. Leaks and flaws in the granite facade of the five story building were discovered in 2002. Then the repairs were estimated to cost up to $7 million to correct the dangerous situation. The Hartford Courant has more on the story. artsep26,0,5248816.story?track=rss

Docuticker: Iraq – National Intelligence Esitimate

Bill Drew writes “Here is a link to the declassified summary of the classified National Intelligence Estimate for Iraq. I do not necessarily agree with its conclusions. This was just reported via Docuticker.

National Intelligence Estimate — Prospects for Iraq’s Stability: A Challenging Road Ahead (PDF; 200 KB)
Source: National Intelligence Board (via CNN)
Summary (of classified document)
“Iraqi society’s growing polarization, the persistent weakness of the security forces and the state in general, and all sides’ ready recourse to violence are collectively driving an increase in communal and insurgent violence and political extremism. Unless efforts to reverse these conditions show measurable progress during the term of this Estimate, the coming 12 to 18 months, we assess that the overall security situation will continue to deteriorate at rates comparable to the latter part of 2006. If strengthened Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), more loyal to the government and supported by Coalition forces, are able to reduce levels of violence and establish more effective security for Iraq’s population, Iraqi leaders could have an opportunity to begin the process of political compromise necessary for longer term stability, political progress, and economic recovery.—

Google CSE of Best Free ReferenceWeb sites

Bill Drew writes

Google Custom Search Engine of Best Free Reference Web sites from ALA

I created a custom search engine with assistance from David Rothman ( who extracted the URLs of the websites for me. David also suggested the idea of creating the CSE.

Here is the full URL to that search engine: 17069%3Alxoys7hon_y

Or use the tinyURL:

Oh OH …here it comes…

Bob Turner writes “Declan Mculagh sends this out to his Polytech mailing group…this video is a MUST see….
Watch it and weep…

Based on preliminary reports, this is what seems to have happened on Tuesday evening: Mostafa Tabatabainejad, a UCLA student, was quietly studying in the campus library around 11:30pm. Campus police asked him for his ID, a usual procedure. Mostafa didn’t have it with him and walked toward the exit.

While en route, one of the police officers laid a hand on Mostafa (which may well be simple battery) and he reacted by saying “Get off of me.” That’s when he was hit with a blast from a Taser, which can render someone unable to walk for 5 to 15 minutes.

But the cops, through malice or ignorance, kept demanding that Mostafa immediately stand up and walk to the door. He was screaming at this point and said he could not, at which point they Tased him again and again.

The cops also threatened to Taser bystanders as well if they persisted in asking for badge numbers. This, too, is on videotape and is in fact a crime. (Think that cop will go to jail? Right.)

The video is here:

Articles on this incident: a/la-me-cellcamera16nov16,1,2951795.story


From “VHS, 30, dies of loneliness. The home-entertainment format lived a fruitful life.”

“After a long illness, the groundbreaking home-entertainment format VHS has died of natural causes in the United States. The format was 30 years old.

No services are planned.”

Read the rest of the obit HERE.

NSA know who you talk to!

It looks like the big Baby Bells are now doing the work of the NSA!  What gives them the right to turn over our records of who we call?

NSA has records of billions of U.S. phone calls | Tech News on ZDNet

The National Security Agency has been secretly collecting phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, including calls made within the United States, according to reports.

USA Today said Thursday that the NSA, which is in charge of a domestic spying program, has been building up the database using records provided by three major phone companies–AT&T, Verizon Communications and BellSouth–but that the program “does not involve the NSA listening to or recording conversations.”

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Buyer Beware: 802.11n products now shipping!

I have seen several reports on 802.11n products shipping and available for purchase. Buyer Beware because the 802.11n proposed standard has not been finalized yet. Many people got burned when they purchased 802.11g equipment before that standard was finalized. I personally would wait at least a few months after the 802.11n standard has become an official IEEE standard before buying any equipment labeled as meeting the 802.11n standard.

Best WiFi Hotels 2006

This report just came out and should be of great interest to those of you that travel as much as I do. The worst WiFi Hotels will be out tomorrow. Kimpton Hotels tops the list. It has two separate WiFi networks, one for the lobby and a separate one for your hotel room.

Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 08:41:02 AM EST

A HotelChatter Exclusive

It’s been more than a year since our last investigation of hotels with the Best and Worst WiFi concoctions. What has changed since then is that most hotels have now jumped on the WiFi bandwagon, so most hotels have *some* sort of WiFi solution. The question is what is that solution, and is it any good?

Hotels have finally realized that WiFi is a must-have, something that tops the wish list of many potential guests. But the rush to quickly set-up hotel WiFi networks, coupled with the fact that wireless fidelity is still a fairly new technology, means that consistent wireless internet access, pricing, and service, is not a given across hotel brands, small hotel groups or even from the lobby to your room.