So, why is it illegal to link to DeCSS, but it's legal to post instructions on how to make a Pink Hello Kitty Laptop? [via linkfilter]
Nick Bostrom asks, Are You Living In a Computer Simulation? [via leuschke]
Bush has announced his intention to give notice to Russia that the United States is withdrawing from the 1972 ABM Treaty:
The attacks on our nation made it even more clear that we need to build limited and effective defenses against a missile attack. Our enemies seek every chance and every means to do harm to our country, our forces, and our friends. And we will not permit it.
Suppose the Taliban and the terrorists had been able to strike America or important allies with a ballistic missile. Our coalition would have become fragile, the stakes in our war much, much higher. We must protect Americans and our friends against all forms of terror, including the terror that could arrive on a missile.
Last week we conducted another promising test of our missile defense
technology. For the good of peace, we're moving forward with an active
program to determine what works and what does not work. In order to do
so, we must move beyond the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, a
treaty that was written in a different era, for a different enemy.
- (Bush, December 11, Citadel)
The treaty allows either side to withdraw on six months notice under Article XV:
- This Treaty shall be of unlimited duration.
- Each Party shall, in exercising its national sovereignty, have the right to withdraw from this Treaty if it decides that extraordinary events related to the subject matter of this Treaty have jeopardized its supreme interests. It shall give notice of its decision to the other Party six months prior to withdrawal from the Treaty. Such notice shall include a statement of the extraordinary events the notifying Party regards as having jeopardized its supreme interests.
I truly have to wonder about the wisdom of spending billions of dollars to build an effective defense (if such a thing is possible) against what is, in my opinion, the miniscule chance that a leader will choose to have his country turned into glass by launching a ballistic missile, or allowing one to be launched from his country's soil, at the U.S.
Horn of Africa: Building Sustainable Security - an analysis of the political situation in the region, including Somalia. [via Ethel The Blog]
A French official is calling for an international court to try bioethics cases as a way of dealing with cloning issues at a global level. [via somewhereIforget]
With the help of the Lightning Imaging Sensor and the Optical Transient Detector, another group of NASA researchers have produced a lightning map of the world. [via jrobb]
NASA researchers point to a giant underwater methane explosion as the reason behind a 13°F rise in the Earth's temperature 55 million years ago and say it could happen again.
US turns sights on Somalia terror groups: the military has met with leaders of the opposition faction Rahanwein Resistance Army (RRA) and gained permission to use its bases.
Saddam Hussein is about to release his second novel, The Impregnable Fortress. The first, a romance novel called Zabibah and the King, which was reportedly studied by the CIA for insights into Saddam's thinking, is being turned in to a musical by the Iraqi National Theatre. Zabibah's cover features a fantasy painting whose artist says was used without his permission.