I find it quite sad that the historic “Routemaster” red double-deckers are being put out to pasture, instead of updated and maintained as part of London’s heritage and gift to the world of transportation.
Something about the trust model of an open back entry space always intrigued me, as well as the fact that the driver was in a completely different role than the ticket-taker (similar to a train). I have known several people who spent their early years serving in either or both roles (rural routes often only employed a driver) and they shared many funny anecdotes about the security system used to keep passengers honest. In some sense the group of passengers themselves provided a baseline of behavior and could intervene if someone was out of line. I suspect it is the opposite today, with a driver relying on a surveillance system and virtual law enforcement techniques to protect the passengers from themselves.
There are some legitimate issue with the 50-year old design, which probably could have been improved. Similar to historic buildings that are updated and retrofitted to modern standards, at least some of these buses deserve to continue their services rather than be deprecated and wholly replaced by a series of economically driven short-term visions of the future. Fortunately, it appears a group is working on just that kind of mission, which they call the Heritage route.
Incidentally, London is scheduled to host an international transport security conference in central London, November 13-15, 2005. I wonder if anyone will cover the issue of domestic and secure fuel sources? With all the greasy fish-and-chip shops, one would think England’s public fuel supply-chain could be dramatically improved.
I’ve been pondering this case for a while. Does it seem odd to anyone else that a poison gas ingredients merchant would claim to not be aware of the intent of the Iraqi regime?
The court found him guilty of aiding war crimes, as “his deliveries facilitated the attacks”.
“He cannot counter with the argument that this would have happened even without his contribution,” the presiding judge said.
However, the judges ruled that van Anraat was not aware of the genocidal intentions of the Iraqi regime when he sold the ingredients for poison gas.
I could see him saying he would not expect it to be used on a particular enemy…but is that not the exact problem with arms sales? Consider this recent statement in the VOA by the US State Department, for example:
“Indonesia has made significant progress in advancing its democratic institutions and practices in a relatively short time.” As a result, the department has decided to waive conditions placed on the sale of lethal military equipment to Indonesia and on U.S. financing of Indonesian military purchases.
Needless to say, some folks were critical of the announcement and wondered how the US can influence, or even know, the intentions of the buyers. Also from the VOA:
A leading U.S. human rights group concerned with Indonesian issues criticized the wavier late Tuesday. Karen Orenstein is the national coordinator of the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network. “The East Timor and Indonesia Action condemns in the strongest term possible the issuance of this national security wavier. This is just a clear abuse of executive power. You can’t press for military reform and human rights and accountability when you have no leverage to do so. We’ve just given away the store,” he said.
So does the US have preventive or detective measures in place to prevent abuse in Indonesia? Are they working towards preventing this kind of abuse elsewhere? Hindsight is 20-20, as they say, but what about preventing the Anraat of today? I mean what kind of message does the US give the world when they are the only country in the world to vote no on the UN measure against illegal arms sales?
I like the conclusions in this study:
“Darwin and Einstein correspondence patterns: These scientists prioritized their replies to letters in the same way that people rate their e-mails today.”
Not only does it vindicate my habit of attending to some communication instantly, while letting other things wait for eons, but it also raises interesting implications for confidentiality and data retention.
I have issues with Disney for a whole number of reasons. Perhaps someday I will create a page to explain. I think it all started with a book I read as a kid about the CIA’s use of Scrooge McDuck and Huey, Louie, etc. in Latin America propaganda. Not that I disagreed with the use of comic-books, but if you read the actual comics they distributed you would know what I mean.
Bruce Schneier writes about the DMCA review by the US Congress today.
Posts on his blog seem more and more factual and less opinionated, perhaps due to time or just the general issue of dealing with the firestorm that can follow from giving any perspective. On the other hand, his links to “good information” all point to groups who oppose some aspect of the DMCA. Anyway, I read through the links that Bruce provided and this section stood out to me:
(3) As used in this subsection-
(A) to “circumvent a technological measure”? means to descramble a scrambled work, to decrypt an encrypted work, or otherwise to avoid, bypass, remove, deactivate, or impair a technological measure, without the authority of the copyright owner; and
(B) a technological measure “effectively controls access to a work”? if the measure, in the ordinary course of its operation, requires the application of information, or a process or a treatment, with the authority of the copyright owner, to gain access to the work.
17 U.S.C. 1201(a)(3).
I’ll try the trackback system again instead of posting directly.