I was a bit shocked to read that the United States is giving $43 million to the Taliban in order to help them fight the drug war on their own soil. The current residents of the White House are the same morons who told us that money is fungible, so no overseas aid can be provided to organizations that have anything at all to do with abortion. Now they’re kicking out the cash to the freaking Taliban, who can fight the drug war with our money and divert their own funds to oppressing women, blowing up ancient works of art, or perhaps manufacturing labels for non-Muslims to wear on their clothing. The fact that we’re doling out this cash to Afghanistan should be front page news in every paper, it’s the rankest example of United States hypocrisy that I’ve read in years. And yet I had to see a link over at Medley to an article in The Nation to read about it. That’s pathetic.
Today in Anthony York’s column, we learn that Fox CEO and chairman Roger Ailes responds to hate mail (last item), just like I do. It’s good to know that he’s in touch with viewers. (In case you’re wondering, yes, I am tempted to send him something vitriolic just to see whether I get a response.)
Today’s experiment has been writing my first taglibs for use with JSP. My initial reaction has been to wonder where they’ve been all my life. The process of creating them is somewhat byzantine, but they’re incredibly useful. I was motivated to write them by the article on Jakarta Taglibs at onjava.com, but I had to seek help in other documents because the articles at onjava.com haven’t been very good.
Since Microsoft announced Hailstorm, I’ve been wondering what the Hell it is. Not wondering to the extent that I actually read the white papers, but, you know, checking out the stories about it that were published at the time. Anyway, Clay Shirky has provided his interpretation of what Hailstorm is all about, and what Microsoft hopes to gain through it. It’s quite good.
Paul Krugman takes a peek at the Dubya tax cut on the New York Times op-ed page today. The bill is chock full of absurdities that lower the budget impact of the tax cut, but at the same time make the legislation a total train wreck. You have to love Congress.
USA Today has an article on sites programmatically disabling the back button and otherwise trying to hijack their users’ browsers so that they control how their users navigate their site. One possibility that they don’t mention is that some sites use complex, expensive, totally crappy application servers that can get confused when users click on the back button. It wouldn’t surprise me if this were the case with Home Depot’s site, which is mentioned in the article. (Quick note: I checked out Home Depot’s site and I couldn’t find any page where the back button is disabled, so I’m not sure why there were mentioned in the article.)
Even as the major record labels do everything they can to destroy all new forms of music distribution on the Internet, they continue their old, illegal practice of using payola to turn songs into hits by paying off radio stations. It’s really impossible to underestimate how greedy and evil the recording industry is. When the law is on their side (thanks to big contributions to Congressmen), they stand on the law — when it’s against them, they ignore it. What scum.
IBM is providing public access to S/390 mainframes through the Linux Community Development System. If you don’t have a mainframe in your garage and you’re curious about whether your version of Klondike will run on big iron, IBM is there for you.
Blow up the RIAA! Their latest attack was on on Launch.com, my favorite Internet music service, and one that has turned me on to tons of music I never would have listened to otherwise. I was trying to get to my LaunchCast station and was unable to do so, and a bit of research revealed that the RIAA has sued launch, arguing that their license does not allow them to provide their customized service. I really wish I didn’t like music, because I can’t stand the music industry. If I didn’t know it hurt artists, I would steal all the music I could on general principle.
All the bugs are fixed, all my changes are checked in, and what will hopefully be the golden build is going to be created at lunchtime today. Perhaps life will return to normal now.