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Thursday,  03/25/04  09:14 PM

LGF makes a placeholder post: moderate Muslims call for restraint and compromise.  Maybe this is it: Prominent Palestinians urge nonviolence.  But Steven Den Beste is skeptical, and suggests Israel's assassination of Yassin is part of a clever plan.

Noam Chomsky has a blog.  Chomsky is fascinating to me; a brilliant man who nonetheless inevitably fails to draw the same conclusions I do (e.g. "the language organ"). 

George Bush has a blog.  So I agree with Bush on many things (not all), and I disagree with Chomsky on most things (not all), but I find Chomsky's blog infinitely more interesting.  Why?  It is the personal voice of a real person, while Bush's blog is a propaganda mill.

Dick Morris on the Hill: Kerry's Ides of March.  "March 2004 gives every sign of going down in history as the crucial month of the presidential campaign.  It will, very possibly, be recorded as the month in which Sen. John Kerry lost the election."  And this was pre-Clarke.

Great new group blog on evolution and debunking pseudo-science: The Panda's Thumb.  In particular, the bloggers seem determined to refute Intelligent Design.  Really great stuff, I've subscribed, stand by for lots of links...

Collision detection reports on The Honesty Virus.  People behave more honestly online than they do offline.  But this doesn't have much to do with morals, apparently it is much easier to be caught in a lie online.  Also an NYT essay (registration required).  [ via Ottmar Liebert ]

The Supreme Court is hearing the "Pledge of Allegiance" case.  I know 9 out of 10 people think "under God" belongs in the Pledge, but I do not.  And it isn't because I'm an atheist (I'm not).  Separation of church and state is crucial to the U.S. Constitution, freedom of religion is the first freedom mentioned in the Bill of Rights.  How can anyone argue that adding "under God" to the Pledge doesn't imply the government is taking a religious position?  (BTW, I feel the same way about "in God we trust" on U.S. Currency.)

So the EU has fined Microsoft $613M.  Big deal.  I totally agree with David Coursey, who notes: Europe, I laugh at you.  "If you want to reign in Microsoft you have to be forward-looking, doing something about what Microsoft is or will be doing, not trying to right supposed wrongs that the marketplace has already accepted as a done deal."  All those years I hardly ever agreed with David while he was at ZDNet, now he's at eWeek and I agree with him right off.

Lawrence Lessig's new book, Free Culture, is out; "Lessig looks at the disturbing legal and commercial trends that threaten to curb the incredible creative potential of the Internet."  I'm looking forward to it.

Eric Sink hits another one out of the park: Closing the Gap, Part I, about sales in small software companies.  This is so true: "A good sales guy is someone who is motivated only by money.  One of the most dangerous personnel mistakes is to hire a sales guy who cares about anything else."

Microsoft has published a competitive guide comparing Microsoft Office to Open Office.  My reaction was "hmm... maybe it is time to check out Open Office".  After all, I remember John Patrick raving about it.  And then I read Eric Sink's reaction.  "When Microsoft publishes a comparison like this, they validate their competitor.  OpenOffice.org has never really interested me very much, until now."

A hovercraft vacuum cleaner?  "The Airider, which has taken eight years to develop, uses patented aerodynamic technology to create a unique floating action. It is virtually weightless when turned on, and has no wheels, making it suitable for use on hard wood floors."  I'm pretty skeptical about the reality of this device; that's a computer model in the picture, not even a prototype.

Tim Oren toasts FOAF.  "If you want to spend your own time and money hacking FOAF, I'm all for it.  Train wrecks can be highly instructive.  Just try making some fresh new mistakes, rather than repeating the old ones."  I don't get it either.  Why are try so hard to model human relationships, which are about the most un-model-able thing there is?

Oh, and so does Mark Pilgrim, who also toasts Typekey, Dave Winer [of course], and the blogosphere in general.  I think Mark wakes up mad.  He is smart, though, and entertaining...

Jason Olson: Whidbey + Command Line = Good.  So a key feature of the next version of Microsoft's development environment is an integrated command line.  What?  [ via PDC Bloggers ]

Finally, we now have "two-fisted computing".  "Designed to work together with the traditional mouse, 3DConnexion controllers deliver a unique and powerful two-handed work style...  Users can pan, zoom and rotate with a controller in one hand while they simultaneously create, edit or annotate with a traditional mouse."  So be it.