Safety: Key or not Key at NASA?

It was reported today that all nine members of NASA’s safety panel resigned yesterday amid issues of a “lack of influence” and the frustration with the “complacency” that NASA seems to have.

The team is made up of experts from outside of NASA, and was founded in 1967. This comes amid the recent reports about the accident on February 1st of this year, when the space shuttle Columbia exploded on re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere.

Heroin overload for the U.K.?

The News’ Internet edition is reporting via their Pakistan edition that a huge crop of poppies came through this year in Eastern Afghanistan, which could cause for a huge amount of heroin to make it towards the United Kingdom. Sky News’ Keith Graves actually was trying to see some drug production, but apparently foreign journalists aren’t allowed to do so. Perhaps some local journalists have some footage we could dig up on the Internet. Or not. Either way, it’s curious to hear that such a large percentage of the economy is related to poppy production and its further uses. Either way, it’s a bad sign as no one seems to stop such happenings.

Pets, Pets, Pets.

Gizmodo.com posted earlier today about a new toy called the ISeePet, which allows you to check on your pet over the Internet, dispenses food or water at your command, no matter where you are – as long as you have a broadband connection. Click here for the full article about the item as reviewed by ABCNews’ TechTV folks. Oh, by the way, the ISeePet is only $500 and won’t come out until October of this year in the States. If you pamper your pet, this is something you need to do. Now I wonder if you can put up multiple ones in your house… Hmmm…

Terrorist Screening

Earlier this week, the White House announced that it had implemented a new Terrorist Screening Center (TSC), where all government watchlists were put together into one big watchlist, one might say simply. So, does this mean that the FBI, CIA, DHS, and local folks were all looking at different lists? I can understand the local folks all having their own watchlists, but otherwise I think it’s kind of kooky, to be honest – that this just happened. Shouldn’t the Feds be looking at the same data?

I mean, I watched ABC’s “Threat Matrix” earlier this week, and I thought it was actually pretty well done – if half the stuff is true on that show, it seems like those folks are light-years ahead of what our real Department of Homeland Security is up to. Or at least from what they publicize. Obviously they don’t want to tell you everything for obvious reasons, but if the average American can point out flaws on a regular basis, then either they think we’re all idiots, or we’re right (at least somewhat).

Either way, it ends up being a good announcement, for at least we know going forward that all the folks will be looking at the same page when screening for terrorists and such. Do you think they’ll have this for AvantGo?

P.I.M.P.ing out…

With the fairly recent issue of a pastor coming out against Nelly’s “Pimp Juice” drink, and the hot action that 50 Cent’s “P.I.M.P.” track has gotten, a lot of talk is around pimping as a whole, and I’m not talking about pimping out your phone or whatever. Thought you felt that the reverend was out of line, along with anyone else who came out about using the term “pimp”? Perhaps you’ll get another smack across the face when you read “How Pimp Are You: The Argument” by Tomika Anderson over at MTV.

She cranked out this article about a week ago, and let me tell you, it’s a pretty straight talk. So remember – “There is a huge difference between a “pimp” and a “player,” a man who is a slick womanizer. And that’s important to remember no matter how good Nelly’s Pimp Juice tastes or how many women Snoop drags with him on leashes to the MTV Video Music Awards.”

B-School Amusement

This month’s issue of Fast Company has a great little writeup by Christine Canabou, who got a lot of help from deans of your favorite business schools: Wharton, Tuck, Kellogg, Stanford & Harvard. You can read what happens when FC asked these deans some questions from their own MBA applications, and then let the users vote on the results – Only three choices available – Accept, Defer, Deny. What do you think?

Friday Roundup

One would imagine that when you looked through your site referrer report, and came across “accuweather.com” as one of the domains that a visitor was coming from, that it would be pretty neat. But when you see that the visitor found you while looking for “rss weather news“, then it’s even funnier. Don’t they have their own feeds? I suppose not. Either way, I thought it was nice to see they ended up here, as the lingosphere seems to be the third referred site for that search. The lingosphere is actually the first and second site for “rss weather feeds”, which I also found peculiar, since I just refer people to the RSS weather feed service I use. Oh well – the power of the Internet – traffic is traffic.

I got a second kick today about the gym across the street from the office having their sign outside say “ISABEL WHO”. Turned out not to be quite what they expected, at least in the NY Metro area.

Yes! Verisign’s been sued over “SiteFinder” service that they’ve rolled out this week [referenced earlier this week here] The folks at Netster.com have banged them with a $100MM antitrust lawsuit, so we’ll see if anything else follows, i.e. comments from other affected parties, etc. CNET has some commentary on this and other topics of the week here.

Ready for Number Portability in the USA? November 24th is coming, and the carriers are all over it in their advertising. This article at USA Today says that 9 million cellphone users plan to switch carriers immediately, and 39 million more plan to look around. In case you haven’t heard, this is the deadline when carriers will be forced to let you take your mobile telephone number with you when you switch providers – you’re already paying for the fees associated with this on your bills – probably for a while now. So this all-out blitz is so carriers can lock in their current customers to 1 or 2 year deals in order to keep them around a while and stop the “churn”, as they refer to it.

I’m sorry, I don’t care what Ashcroft says – even if they haven’t “looked into my library reading list” this year with the Patriot Act provisions, there’s a potential for abuse like nothing seen in years. I’m surprised to not see more written about this on the ‘net.

New spam rules in Britain allow for fines and such for spammers who don’t “ask permission”. The big deal here is also that it applies to messages being sent to people’s mobile telephones, which is also terrible.

Shiver Me Timbers

Since we’re all talking like pirates tomorrow (which is appropriate on the East coast of the USA with the weather expected), you can now take up your fight against those who “steal” words and change them, for political correctness and whatnot at Word Pirates – post a word you want to take back from the “evil” marketers and politicians (hey, I’m a marketer, dammit!)…. [delusional behavior provided by MetaFilter]

Changes to WTC Site Plan

The New York Times has an article about the recent announcement about changes to the World Trade Center site plan, which was previously put together by the Daniel Libeskind firm. Main changes include slimming down the buildings other than the 1,776 foot “Freedom Tower”, and making them taller. There’s a pretty neat “interactive” feature you can click on, over on the right-hand side, where you can hear what the changes are, and look at the original design, in slideshow format with voiceover. Pretty cool stuff. [yes, registration is required at the NYT]