Tag: politics

YouTube and Terrorism

An Egyptian student studying Engineering at the University of South Florida was sentenced today for a video he put on YouTube.  It showed how to make a bomb detonator from a remote control car that he bought at WalMart.  He narrated the how-to video in Arabic and called the US a “vile nation.”  It had been viewed “hundreds” of times.

This case shows that YouTube and other innovations like Twitter, Facebook and other web 2.0 applications are susceptible to use by people who do not have the best intentions.  Just in the last week, I’ve seen articles about many popular sites and their ability to be used by terrorists.
From Wired, an article about Al Qaeda trying to “infiltrate” Facebook.
From ABC News, an article about terrorists and Twitter.
From Computer World, an article about Google’s refusal to take down, at Sen. Joe Lieberman’s request, videos of American soldiers being attacked by terrorists.
From Znet, an article about how the NSA is monitoring MySpace for terrorists.
All of these stories show the challenge of the Internet and web 2.0.  They allow the good, along with the bad, to communicate faster and share more information with a wider audience.  It is a challenge that we will continue to face as technology continues to evolve.

My Top 5 Ted Talks

TED, or Technology, Entertainment and Design, is a group started in 1984 to bring together the smartest and most interesting people from the year to talk about what they’ve been doing in an 18 minute speech.  In 2003, TED put all of the talks online, free for anyone to watch.

It’s one of my favorite sites and I try to watch a few per week.  Here are my top 5:




Most Brazen Act of 2008 Award

It has to go to Illinois Governor Rob Blagojevich who was arrested today on corruption allegations.  Not only did he try to have the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board fired for disagreeing with his policies, but he also tried to SELL A US SENATE SEAT.

Impressive, Mr. Blagojevich.   Didn’t you learn anything from Nixon?  Clearly not, since you were not worried about phone taps or recordings.  Among my favorite quotes:
  • The Senate seat “is a fucking valuable thing, you just don’t give it away for nothing.”
  • Unless “I get something real good,” he would appoint himself to the seat.
  • “I’m going to keep this Senate option for me a real possibility, you know, and therefore I can drive a hard bargain. You hear what I’m saying. And if I don’t get what I want and I’m not satisfied with it, then I’ll just take the Senate seat myself.”

Financial Crisis Explained

This article by Michael Lewis explains the roots of the financial crisis in great detail, but is understandable enough that people without finance backgrounds can understand it.

My favorite excerpt:

“I’d never taken an accounting course, never run a business, never even had savings of my own to manage. I stumbled into a job at Salomon Brothers in 1985 and stumbled out much richer three years later, and even though I wrote a book about the experience, the whole thing still strikes me as preposterous—which is one of the reasons the money was so easy to walk away from. I figured the situation was unsustainable. Sooner rather than later, someone was going to identify me, along with a lot of people more or less like me, as a fraud. Sooner rather than later, there would come a Great Reckoning when Wall Street would wake up and hundreds if not thousands of young people like me, who had no business making huge bets with other people’s money, would be expelled from finance.”