Blog Smith

Blog Smith is inspired by the myth of Hephaestus in the creation of blacksmith-like, forged materials: ideas. This blog analyzes topics that interest me: IT, politics, technology, history, education, music, and the history of religions.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Vista Shrinks

How do you shrink a bloated 15GB Vista operating system? Dino Nuhagic, a fifth-year student from Split, Croatia answered with his own product, vLite.

The free program builds a selective installation of Vista components that strips the bloated OS which can be burned to a DVD.

Some vLite users stripped Vista into a package as an image file that was as small as 515MB and takes up just 1.4GB on the hard drive.

One report stated that condensing Windows Vista Home Basic into a 526MB .iso file and installing it in a virtual machine that used 1.3GB of drive space.

TSA Announces Blog

Under the banner: "Terrorists Evolve. Threats Evolve. Security Must Stay Ahead. You Play A Part," the (Transportation Security Administration (TSA) launched a new blog to get questions and feedback on airport security issues.

I have a question, what are the limitations, if any, on the attire of TSA inspectors. For example, can the TSA inspector wear a hijab?

The checkpoint personnel may seem pushy, we are all wondering how to adjust since as travelers we need to, as the Islamofascists seem to travel at will. I just wondered.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Hoover's Scoops Up Social Networking

Hoover's launches a professional networking tool so that goes to show you how business is learning from teenagers. Hoover's Connect can leverage Outlook contact lists to expand professional networks which is not significantly different than what the kids have been doing. An algorithm in the Connect tool evaluates the strength of the networking and rates them accordingly. In addition, users themselves can evaluate the potential for a particular networking opportunity based on their own Outlook contacts.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Not All Find Al-Qaida's Presence Comforting

The Iraqi tribal Chief Saban al-Bazoun asked al-Qaeda to go home and blow themselves up and to stop targeting Iraqis.

Video source: Memritv.

Philadelphia's Wi-Fi Network to Close?

Like most municipal plans nationwide, Philadelphia's Wi-Fi network may not happen but the City announced plans in that eventuality occurs. Philadelphia's CIO stated that there is a 75% chance that EarthLink Inc. will sell or abandon its network operation within a year.

Terry Phillis, Philadelphia's CIO, anticipated that the city will know more within 60 days about what EarthLink, the present network builder, will do regarding the Philadelphia plans. Either the City will take over the project, which is not really a good option, or, a sale of the Wi-Fi network may hand it over to another private network builder and operator.

The network is designed to close the digital divide and assist lower-income residents gain Internet access. Whether this happens or not is still up in the air. Those programs which seem to help those most in need don't always happen. `The best laid plans of mice and men . . . '

Monday, January 28, 2008

Welcome to the New Boss: Globalization

Graphic source:

Globalization is something I experienced first-hand ten years ago although at that time I don't think I had realized what the term implied or even if I'd heard it at that time.

I needed work done for online projects and my staff, inclined as they were to spending time with their families, wanting to sleep, and having sundry and important things to do actually wanted to go home circa 5 p.m. Slackers!

Work needed to get done so I starting looking online for free-lancers who could do the work. I was pleasantly surprised to find eager, competent, and educated personnel who could do the work responsibly and easily meet 8 a.m. Eastern Standard Time deadlines. Didn't they have to sleep? Didn't they have families and lives too?

Of course they did but as the sun sets on the United States, hopefully not permanently, the sun is rising, and I hope only metaphorically, to the West. Geographically this area is generally known as the Pacific Rim, or the East: China, India, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, and Korea.

I should have been more aware of this development because during 1994-1998 I first employed electronic bulletin boards and sought qualified experts to comment about online academic courses I developed in a University Liberal Arts program.

The answers were articulate, accurate, and academically credible.

All of this though has hardly prepared me for the hand-wringing which began in earnest a couple of weeks ago when Citibank, Merrill Lynch, and other financial services giants announced that they were turning to countries like China, Singapore and Kuwait for the billions in funds they desperately seek to cover their losses from the sub-prime mortgage meltdown.

Is American #1? The question haunts my classroom on a daily basis as I consider the notion of the wealthiest, most powerful nation on Earth depending so uncomfortably on foreign investment.

We need to get accustomed to it.

IBM, the paradigmatic "American" IT company, relies on foreign interests for nearly two-thirds of its business and has advertised its position as a stalwart globalized IT enterprise. IBM is closely allied with Asia, in particular, India.

The plain truth is that globalization is inherent in economic life today. If you are fighting the inevitable, you need to adjust.

This is not your father's analysis and globalization if anything will simply increase. The task here is to adjust, decry risk-averse strategies, and try to prosper through challenging times.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Note on Karl Christ, The Romans: An Introduction to their History and Civilization

The Roman struggle over social equity during the Struggle of the Orders during the Republic is one of the classic eras to examine as grist for the mill as adherents of all political persuasions seek to capture it for their polemics. Karl Christ deftly handles the period and does not pander to an extreme liberal view, as in Marx, nor does he defend the conservative status quo. He rightly situates the Struggle as a two century battle, not easily captured by any more contemporary politics.

In an outstanding book in so many ways, a genuine highpoint is his summary of the civilization as one of the most important bases of the modern world. Christ notes that the Romans form the basis of so much of Western Civilization and later Revolutions. He handles the major scholars of Roman history, Mommsen, Herder, von Ranke, Burckhardt, Rostovtzeff, and Syme, all of whom appear with a flourish in the concluding chapter. He summarized the "virtues" and excesses of Rome and describes why they are so important to our own questions and why Roman civilization remains a treasured darling of historians. This is the best one volume introduction around.

Fort Dix Six Recruit for al Qaeda in Prison

In newly released government documents, the Fort Dix Six are continuing jihad by recruiting, circulating an al Qaeda DVD, and proselytizing amongst fellow inmates. Their hand-written notes have been released. Cf.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

AQ Slithering Towards Mosul

Graphic source: The Long War Journal

AQ in Iraq is slithering northwards towards Mosul since the Coalition is pressuring, and eliminating, AQ in the south in and near Baghdad.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Rotten Apple Takes the Cake

Thanks to the good folks over at Internet Evolution an unscientific survey noted that Apple rankles more people as the most hated technology company.

Over a 1,000 pollsters ranked Apple first, then, Microsoft with 27% and 22% respectively. Google was voted on the best liked company at 33%.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

U.S. Web Site Supports al-Qaida

A Computerworld
today announced that a U.S. website offers a strengthened encryption device intended to hide al-Qaeda supporters.

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) is an organization that has monitored how radical Muslims have housed jihadist sites in the U.S. for some time.

In this case, the current server is hosted in Tampa, and previously the site appears to have been run off a system in Minnesota. MEMRI identified the Web hosting firm that owns the server on which the site, al-Ekhlaas that offers the encryption device, is the Florida-based Noc4hosts Incorporated.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Welcome to the Club!

A Professor, an Assistant of course, is claiming to be the first professor to employ a blog to get a peer review of an academic book. He may get more than he bargained for since there are non-peers out there but this is a worthwhile effort.

Academe is a closed circuit process. You have to qualify for the club, and club members decide who is in the club. The club is not always open to alternative voices but if you are an academic you should remain open to creative impulses. Those creative impulsive are often first noticed and expressed by outsiders because they are outside the club. They notice things that the club members miss.

The blog in this particular effort is one that is apropos for the book itself. Outsiders, gamers, and Internet savvy persons are some of the best and creative minds who have applied themselves to the topic. They should be involved.

I wish the author well.

The professor is working on a book about digital fiction and video games and many of these people are outside academia but they have intriguing insights into the subject matter.

It is in this vein then that Noah Wardrip-Fruin, an assistant professor of communication at the University of California San Diego, announced plans to post portions of his forthcoming book, Expressive Processing, on the Grand Text Auto blog to seek peer review and before the book is published by MIT Press.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Computerworld Recommended Books for 2008

Today's Computerworld has an interesting article entitled: Books That Can Change Your Life: Must-reads for 2008 which is well-worth taking a look at.

Financials Get Ready for the Next Challenge

One of my biggest concerns in the Internet age is the “rude awakening” Americans received on 9/11, and realizing how prone our computers systems are to nefarious deeds. Of those directly effected, they learned they didn’t have the communications diversity and redundancy that should have been in place. Many IT organizations though responded quickly and did an unbelievable job of rectifying the identified problems. As people have grown complacent though, they are most likely forgetting several important steps that a recent Computerworld article addressed:

Financial companies have taken these steps to protect themselves against another Internet outage:

* Set up dedicated networks independent of telephone companies in certain parts of the country.

* Negotiated more aggressively with communications companies to guarantee diverse routing.

* Separated data centers and communications centers more widely geographically.

Cf. Computerworld 21 January 2008.

Monday, January 21, 2008

A Contemporary Application of "Teach The Children"

"Teach the Children" is an anti-war song made famous during the Vietnam conflict by Crosby, Stills, and Nash. This is the same group who memorialized the four students killed at Kent State by National Guardsmen in the song "Ohio."

IBM Puts the International to Work in its Name

Due to off sourcing nations "U.S." companies are kept in the black. The question to consider though is how American are companies once their operations are no longer American.

IBM, supposedly a U.S. company, is dependent on its third-quarter earning statement which is justification for globalization. Not only are countries taking U.S. technology jobs, but a recent IBM statement noted that the opportunities in emerging markets is equivalent to the California gold rush.

IBM has 65% of its business overseas, with emerging markets growing by double digits. In the 2006 calendar year, IBM's non-U.S. operations accounted for 60% of its revenue. IBM signed $1.4 billion in services deals last quarter in India alone.

In a broad range of countries such as Malaysia, Poland, South Africa, and Ecuador, a growing middle class favors a buildup of public and private infrastructures to support explosive economic growth.

In India last week, Sebastian Teunissen, adjunct professor and executive director of the Clausen Center for International Business and Policy at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, stated: "I've been doing this for a number of years, and I'm still blown away."

The moribund growth of PCs in the U.S. is outstripped in India. He stated: "There are an awful lot of people there who are really, really hungry for technology."

Cf. Computerworld

Who Should Hack Power: Criminals or the Government? What's the Difference?

Criminals have been able to hack into computer systems via the Internet and cut power to several cities, according to a CIA analyst, and unless IT professionals begin to close the antiquated systems down or truly security test them, the government will next move to regulate the process.

At a SANS Institute conference of security professionals, CIA analyst Tom Donahue disclosed the recently declassified attacks.

The talk was long on threats while painfully scarce on specifics as to what actually went wrong.

Criminals have launched online attacks that disrupted power equipment in several regions outside of the U.S., he said, without identifying the countries affected. The goal of the attacks was extortion, he said.

Of course the government will have to supervise this process unless IT professionals step up their efforts. The alternative is to have the government spying on every power grid in the country.

Wouldn't we all rather have a choice and some options to government spying and intrusion?

Good Morning: Bad News, The Internet Is Gone

Indeed, although most of us worry only about local, and network threats, the threat of the Net being down is “urgent and real,” according to The Business Roundtable, an association of CEOs of large U.S. companies. The advocacy group says there is a 10% to 20% chance of a “breakdown of the critical information infrastructure” in the next 10 years. The biggest culprits according to the Washington-based public policy group, may be brought on by “malicious code, coding error, natural disasters, [or] attacks by terrorists and other adversaries.”

Stay tuned for upcoming developments.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

French Make Move to Build Naval Base in Abu Dhabi

Graphic source: BBC

I don't know if the French are strong enough but they are about to make a serious move into the Gulf.

I've maintained here that both Russia, India, and probably China should step up to the plate but little France I haven't really considered.

Nonetheless, President Nicolas Sarkozy has not only done France's traditional policy of selling arms to Gulf states but he has done one better by signing a deal with Abu Dhabi for a permanent French naval base.

Will France become more of a target if it is interjected into the complex politics of the Gulf? Probably.

President Sarkozy appears willing to accept that this exposes France to the risks involved in such a sensitive area. There was the recent confrontation between Iranian speedboats and US naval ships recently. In addition, there is a dispute between Abu Dhabi and Iran over three small islands in the Strait of Hormuz.

Even the timing is interesting, coming as it does with a major visit to the region by President Bush, during which he has criticized Iran.

France is already playing an active role in trying to increase sanctions on Iran over its refusal to accept Security Council demands for a halt to uranium enrichment.

I think its a good move and is another indication that the U.S. can stand down as much as possible. I say let the French and others take up some slack and catch some of the flack that the U.S. ordinarily takes.

France is also constructing two nuclear power reactors for Abu Dhabi.

All this interest in nuclear power could indicate a capacity for nuclear weapons at some stage.

France has already sold Mirage jet fighters and AMX-30 tanks to the Emirate and has had a defence agreement with it (mainly dealing with the support of arms contracts) since 1995.

The British never fared well in the Lower Gulf and this allowed the French to make their move which they took full advantage of.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

How German Engineering Thwarts Suicide Bombing

It is a sign of the times when a car advertisement incorporates suicide bombing as its motif.

Islamic Terrorists Infilitrating Europe

This is a post about a French journalist who as a refugee from his native Algeria is opposing Islamic terrorists who are infiltrating Europe.

Two Good Quotes

"History does not entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid."

President Dwight D. Eisenhower

"We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm."

George Orwell

Insurgents Fight Now for the Coalition

Reports from Al Anbar Province indicate how former insurgents are fighting al-Qaeda and joining Coalition efforts to stabilize Iraq.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Philadelphia Freedom (Its in the water)

With the swearing in of a new Mayor, Philadelphia's belated water project reaches its final phase with new off-the-shelf billing software from Prophecy International. The software finished a month ahead of schedule and at 25% less than budgeted. The project that I mentioned before was actually completed as it was supposed to be, under the previous Mayor, John Street.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Operation Phantom Phoenix Deadly for al Qaeda

Graphic source: The Long War Journal

Around a year ago the surge was announced and Operation Phantom Phoenix is the current nationwide operation targeting al Qaeda's remaining safe havens,. Since 8 January at the beginning of the campaign, Iraqi and US forces have captured or killed 121 al Qaeda fighters, wounded 14, and detained an additional 1023 suspects. Al Qaeda's leadership has been hit hard during the operation, with 92 high values targets either killed or captured.

The material benefits include Iraqi and US forces who have also discovered 351 weapons caches and four tunnel complexes. Iraqi and US forces have also discovered three car bomb and improvised explosive device [IED] factories and 410 IEDs, including 18 car bombs and 25 homes rigged with explosives. Also found were numerous torture chambers, an underground medical clinic, several closed schools and a large foreign fighter camp with intricate tunnel complexes.

The conflict at home though has gone cold. Most of these details have escaped and as people speak up, we will understand more of the language.

Former Congressman Working for al-Qaida?

Graphic source: AP

This is one of those just-when-you-think-you-have-heard-it-all you hear about a former congressman and delegate to the United Nations who was indicted on charges of working for an alleged terrorist fundraising ring. The ring allegedly sent more than $130,000 to an al-Qaida supporter.

Mark Deli Siljander, a Michigan Republican as a member of the House was charged with money laundering, conspiracy and obstructing justice for allegedly lying about being hired to lobby senators on behalf of an Islamic charity. As in numerous so-called charities, the indictment charges that the group was secretly sending funds to terrorists.

The 42-count indictment accuses the Islamic American Relief Agency of paying Siljander $50,000 for the lobbying; what makes the indictment even more chilling, is that the money turned out to be stolen from the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Siljander served in the House from 1981-1987 and was appointed by President Reagan to serve as a U.S. delegate to the United Nations in 1987.

Siljander writes in a new book that he was closing the chasm between Christian and Muslim communities.

Since 2004 the Islamic group (IARA) has been classified by the Treasury Department as a suspected fundraiser for terrorists.

The government accuses IARA of sending approximately $130,000 to help Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, whom the United States has designated a global terrorist.

After working for the government, Siljander founded a consulting group Global Strategies Inc. and, according to the indictment, was hired by IARA to lobby the Senate Finance Committee to remove the charity from the panel's list of suspected terror fundraisers.

Siljander, IARA, and five of its officers were charged with various counts of theft, money laundering, aiding terrorists and conspiracy.

I find it hard to imagine that Americans would not find al-Qaeda as more of a threat if they can penetrate the United States Congress.

New Inexpensive Laptop

Graphic source: Linspire.

Since October a new sub-$200 fully equipped Linux desktop PC has been released. is selling a Mirus Innovations Inc. desktop machine that runs Linux from Linspire Inc. for $299, minus a $100 mail-in rebate.

The Linspire/Mirus PC features an Intel Celeron 420 1.6-GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, an 80GB hard drive, a 56Kbit/sec. modem, a CD-RW burner, a media card reader, a keyboard, speakers, a mouse and Linspire's Freespire 2.0 Linux operating system. There is no monitor included so shoppers will have to find their own to add.

Ghetto Scholarship

I can watch in alarm as scholarship is inhibited and parochial because even with the best of intentions academics inhabit ghetto worlds. Himmells edited a fine volume but although the ancient religions covered here are all over the earth, including the Middle East, there are no contributors from the Middle East. Wouldn't it stand to reason that an Arab or Middle Eastern expert could be found on Mesopotamian religion? Nonetheless, there is no such person in the work. But, the lack of Arab and Middle Eastern scholarship is typical, not extraordinary.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Panopto Giving Away CourseCast Technology

Rich Media software developer Panopto is releasing its CourseCast lecture-capture technology available free to qualified educational institutions. The software is distributed freely though its Socrates Project in exchange for participation in "ongoing beta and developer programs aimed at continually enhancing the technology."

Seems like a good deal to me.

India is the Place to Recruit H-1B Visa Holders

Indian nationals contribute 54% of the H-1B temporary visas available in 2006.

And of those who hold these visas, more than half again, are in computer-related occupations.

China was not even a close second, at 9%, among H-1B recipients. The next largest group of countries, all with 3% each, were Canada, South Korea and the Philippines.

A study by the National Science Board (NSB), which oversees the National Science Foundation, is the 588-page "Science and Engineering Indicators 2008" report that examines the state of science and engineering training as well as the ability of the U.S. to compete globally, and includes an analysis of H-1B visa trends.

Although the U.S. spent a record high in 2006 of about $340 billion in research and development, federal support for basic and applied research has declined for years. Additionally, the report warned that U.S. grade school students continue to lag behind those in other developed countries in science and math.

In a related point the Association for Computing Machinery concluded that Congress is abandoning its commitment to lead in science and technology.

In 2006, the top three employers of H-1B holders were India-based Infosys Technologies Ltd., at 4,908 visas; Wipro Ltd., at 4,002; and Tata Consultancy Services, at 3,046, according to data released by U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) last year.

The U.S. may not be competitive in a global economy. These reports, and ones like them, indicated that the economic output in China, India, and South Korea, is that the NSB report stated that what may be happening is "a slow shift of the epicenter of the world economic growth toward that region."

The education level of people receiving H-1B visas is generally high, almost have possessing a master's degree. The starting salary for both bachelor's and master's degree holders was approximately $56,000.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Vista: The Choice of Small Business

Although Vista adoption has been fairly slow in coming, in a latest report, tracking Vista adoption from Oct. 31 to Nov. 7, 2007, small businesses accounted for 53% of those companies either using or evaluating Vista. The small businesses may not be tied to XP as the larger organizations are and I wonder if SMBs might be more nimble and take advantage of their quicker adoption rate. In addition, the higher-education segment came in second place to the small business, with 49% reporting that their organizations are evaluating or using the operating system, finally, midsize to large businesses were third, with 48%.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Operation Iron Harvest

Graphic source: The Long War Journal

Operation Iron Harvest, based largely in the north, has resulted in 60 al Qaeda fighters killed and 193 suspects captured since the operation began last week. Seven al Qaeda fighters were killed in clashes south of Baqubah. Iraqi Special Forces captured an IED cell leader in Mosul. Coalition forces detained eight al Qaeda operative during raids in central and northern Iraq. Iraqi soldiers captured two terrorists in Baghdad. A senior Sadrist leader was killed in Baghdad.

Operation Phantom Phoenix Increases the Grip On Al Qaeda

Coalition and Iraqi security forces were active on Thursday and Friday in fighting as part of Operation Phantom Phoenix. Two senior al Qaeda in Iraq operatives were killed along with 32 foot soldiers during fighting in Arab Jabour, Miqdadiyah, and the Samarra region. Another 34 al Qaeda fighters were reported captured.
Cf. The Long War Journal. And in response, according to an insurgent video, the terrorists shot off a round or two.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Cheetah May Be a Bargain

The Cheetah, from Force Protection, costs twice as much as a Humvee but it will save lives.

India Transformed

India does not need to be considered a developing country but one that is transformed.

Don't Hold Your Breath

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas agreed to authorize peace talks but I would not expect too much.

Anything is better than nothing but not too much will come of this effort.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Waxman Releases TSA Report

Chairman Waxman releases a report on information security breach at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Traveler Redress website.

Pledge to Build a $75 Laptop

As if the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative was not enough a former OLPC CTO (Chief Technology Officer) aims to create a $75 laptop. If a new effort, Pixel Qi, by former CTO Mary Lou Jepsen can deliver the company a sunlight readable device.

A low-cost laptop has arisen from OLPC however the $100 XO laptop in 2005 has since become afflicted by production delays and rising costs. The laptop's estimated price rose $200. Now the effort is plagued by waning orders and competition from commercial vendors that threaten to sideline the nonprofit effort.

Government To Stop Killing Trees

For the first time the White House will cut paper out of federal budget. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will release a paperless 'e-budget' for FY09. The new budget will save roughly 20 tons of paper, or about 480 trees, for the government's first-ever paperless budget on Feb. 4.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Secunia Patches

Nearly every one is a victim of Windows PC but far fewer suspect they have an unpatched application.

Secunia provides the numbers and they are bleak: nearly all Windows computers are likely running at least one unpatched application and about 40% contain 11 or more vulnerable-to-attack programs.

Secunia ASP research shows that more than 95% of the PCs that have downloaded and installed its Personal Software Inspector (PSI) utility in the last week sport one or more applications. The solution is usually pretty simple, download the security fixes, but most people are not patching their systems.

So many systems are insecure. Almost half scanned in the last week have 11 or more vulnerabilities, while more than two-thirds have 6 or more unpatched programs.

Keep in mind that the typical user is more than most concerned about patches so the numbers are no doubt higher amongst average users

PSI runs on Windows 2000, XP, Vista, and Server 2003, and can be downloaded from the Secunia site.

Ideas Too Big for YouTube

A new site that I just considered is Big Think. The site bills itself as YouTube for intellectuals and that is a fair assessment. There are videos and people can post their comments on the content. Its worth a look.

Big Think is funded by Peter Thiel, a co-founder of PayPal and an early investor in Facebook, and Larry Summers, former U.S. secretary of the Treasury and former president of Harvard University.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Sears Sued

As an update to the Sears issue which some people claimed was a privacy breach, a suit has been filed as a class-action case.

The case was filed on Friday by New Jersey resident Christine Desantis, who is represented by KamberEdelson LLC, a technology law firm.

Microsoft Says "Happy New Year"!

Microsoft greeted the New Year with only a moderate number, three, of patches.

Microsoft Corporation today released two security updates that patch three vulnerabilities in Windows. Only one of the three flaws is rated "critical," the highest ranking Microsoft uses, and the other two are only "important" and "moderate," the next two lower steps in the company's four ranks.

MS08-001 is the critical update that addresses two bugs in a trio of Windows' TCP/IP protocols.

Most of the issues are resolved unobtrusively for most users because these patches can be downloaded and installed via the Microsoft Update and Windows Update services, as well as through Windows Server Update Services. However, most ordinary users will receive the updates if they have their automatic updates enabled. The more problematic machines are for company or corporate computers in which the administrator would need to check that the updates were installed.

Monday, January 7, 2008

31 December 2007 Order of Battle of Coalition Troops in Iraq

Graphic source: The Long War Journal

For informative purposes, I posted the latest Order of Battle in Iraq.

The Hand That Rocks the Bombs

The hand that rocks the cradle.

Daily Report from Amiriya

7 January 2008
The alliance between the US army and Sunni former insurgents is being credited with forcing Al Qaeda out of Baghdad. Murders in the capital have decreased by 80% and calm is being restored.
"It all kicked off when we gathered the men of the area and decided to stand up to Al Qaeda", recalls Abu Tariq. "That was the start of the awakening". Tariq is the media agent and official cameraman for the Knights of Amiriyah, (also known as the Amiriyah Freedom Fighters), the jihadi insurgents who turned against Al Qaeda to help the Americans. While still ambivalent towards US forces, thousands of Amiriyah's erstwhile freedom fighters have signed up. They receive 0 every month from the Americans in exchange for cleaning out Al Qaeda. "The Amiriyah Freedom Fighters have done a great job", raves Capt Brian Wayman. "In the month that I've worked with them, they've caught and killed more Al Qaeda members than we've been able to do for quite some time". In recent months, the Knights have spread beyond the boundaries of Amiriyah into other neighbourhoods, where Al Qaeda are now on the run. As Abu Tariq states; "Things are 90% better now. You can see for yourself".

Muslim Clerics Speak

This is a clip of Muslim clerics preaching.

The Future: Middle Eastern Children's Performance

This clip features the performance of children at a rally. The children are our future.

Sears Gets it Half Right

I blogged before about the criticism that Sears ran into and they addressed the issue. Sears plugs the Web site's privacy hole.

The problem was that Sears Holdings appeared to violate privacy concerns, and as a result, they took part of its Web site offline.

A customer's purchase history on Manage My Home might have been able to be accessed by unauthorized persons.

The feature, although handy for customers, is a violation of Sears' own privacy policies.

On the other hand, Sears, the third-largest retailer in the U.S., has left intact its My SHC Community portal, which downloads invasive ComScore Web tracking software to some users.

The criticism is that the company does not fully disclose what the software actually does.

As the Sears 2005 merger with Kmart progresses, there are apparently some rough spots. At least partially, Sears is making the effort to right the ship.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Note On: "The Looming Tower"

The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright, an excellent book by the way, has a touching scene when Ali Soufan, the Lebanese American FBI agent who interrogated Abu Jandal, the Yemeni source for much of what we know about the 9/11 hijackers, where Ali finally breaks him.

Ali got Abu to identify the hijackers in a brilliant ploy.

But Wright builds up to the identification of the hijackers by beginning his story six decades ago with the first Middle Eastener to attack the West.

Sayyid Qutb was an Egyptian who was offended by the decadent Americans while attending college in Colorado. Qutb's jail time manifesto justified takfir which held that Islam was the only true religion and that true believers had the religious obligation to kill everyone—including women and children—who disagreed with the true faith (29).

Wright describes Bin Laden's youth and evolution as a thinker when in 1980 Osama adopted the doctrine of takfir as al-Qa’ida’s operating principle.

The Americans are slow to understand Bin Laden but when they do FBI terrorist experts Dan Coleman, John O’Neill, and to a lesser extent Michael Scheuer and Richard Clarke are quick to identify him as a significant threat. They first learned of al-Qa’ida from a Sudanese defector, Jamal al-Fadl, shortly after bin Laden declared war on the United States in 1996. While al-Qa’ida evolved and planned its terrorist operations—the first World Trade Center bombing, the attacks in Lebanon, Africa, and on the USS Cole—leading up to 9/11, the FBI and CIA came to realize that al-Qa’ida planned terrorist attacks against America itself.

Wright documents that on 11 September 2001, the Bureau had only one analyst working full time on the al-Qa’ida account.

Wright demonstrates that the failure of the FBI and the CIA to cooperate at key junctures and the failure of Clinton to aggressively identify and attack Bin Laden provided him a loophole to escape.

In the words of Scheuer in his own work Imperial Hubris, American policy makers failed to smoke Bin Laden in the dust of history. Americans were failed by the tepid investigation and muted response by American policy makers. The tragedy of 9/11 is the result.

Texas Teen Girls Slain for Honor?

Graphic source: The Dallas Morning News

The faces that peer out of the photograph may look like typical American teen age girls but they are not.

The two slain Lewisville High School students, near Dallas, Texas, sisters were mourned at services. Sarah, 17, and Amina Yaser Said, 18, both excelled in academics and athletics but their Egyptian-born father, Yaser Abdel Said, is still on the loose. They were both found shot to death in a taxi at an Irving motel.

There are rumors and media reports that the Muslim father's religion may have been the reason for the killings as "honor killings," a practice in which a man kills a female relative who he believes has somehow shamed the family.

Irving police are investigating but they have acknowledged that the family had some previous domestic problems.

Gail Gartrell, the sisters' great-aunt, charged that Mr. Said physically abused the two girls for years. The father was upset recently to discover that the girls had boyfriends.

The mother and girls had fled the father thinking he would kill them.

At the funeral, Dr. Yusuf Kavacki, head of the Richardson mosque, told mourners that all living things are destined to die. He did not address the Muslim issue of honor killings.

These are strange days in America when no one questions the death of children.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Juan Cole Addressed the AHA on the "Lessons Not Learned in Iraq"

Juan Cole spoke yesterday at the American Association of Historians.


John "Juan" Ricardo I. Cole (born October 1952 in Albuquerque, New Mexico) is an American professor of modern Middle Eastern and South Asian history at the University of Michigan. As a commentator on Middle Eastern affairs, he has appeared in print and on television, and testified before the United States Senate. He has published several peer-reviewed books on the modern Middle East and is a translator of both Arabic and Persian. Since 2002, he has written a weblog, Informed Comment (formerly Informed Consent).
Cf. Wikipedia.


Alexander H. Joffe in the Middle East Quarterly has written that "Cole suggests that many American Jewish officials hold dual loyalties, a frequent anti-Semitic theme." Cole argues that his critics have "perverted the word 'antisemitic,'" and also points out that "in the Middle East Studies establishment in the United States, I have stood with Israeli colleagues and against any attempt to marginalize them or boycott them."

According to Efraim Karsh, Cole has done "hardly any independent research on the twentieth-century Middle East", and Karsh characterized Cole's analysis of this era as "derivative." He has also responded to Cole's criticism of Israeli policies and the influence of the Israel lobby, comparing them to accusations that have been made in anti-semitic writings. Cole responded directly to Karsh in his blog, dismissing one of Karsh's charges, that Cole's criticisms echo themes in the antisemitic tract Protocols of the Elders of Zion, as a "propaganda technique," adding that "No serious person who knows me or my work would credit his outrageous insinuations for a moment." Cole also defended his knowledge of modern Middle Eastern history, comparing his experience "on the ground" in the modern Arab world favorably with that of Bernard Lewis, a historian he said is "lionized" by Karsh.

AAH Features a Non-Expert to Present on Contemporary American Foreign Policy

Bruce Cumings spoke yesterday at the annual meeting of the American Association of Historians.

He is a historian and a professor at the University of Chicago, specializing in modern Korean history and contemporary international relations in East Asia. In this instance, I'm not sure why he is considered an expert in American presidents or in Middle Eastern affairs. This is not his area of expertise.

During his talk, he stated that he is not sure why he is so "nervous" but he has been on a "liquid diet."


Cumings' scholarship on Korea has been challenged by some academic critics, and in general his work has stirred up more controversy than that of most other historians.

Paul Hollander has argued that Cumings' has a left-wing, pro-North Korea bias. He cites the example of Cumings' discussion of the North Korean gulag system, noting that "in a triumph of selective perception, he manages to interpret the most damning indictment of the North Korean gulag available--The Aquariums of Pyongyang, by Kang Chol-Hwan and Pierre Rigoulot--as providing support for his views of the system. As he sees it, the book is 'interesting and believable' because it is not the 'ghastly tale of totalitarian repression that its original publishers ... meant it to be.' But it is precisely and resoundingly that, as any reader without a soft spot for North Korean tyranny would readily discover. Cumings writes that "conditions were primitive and beatings were frequent [in the camp described in that book] but the inmates also were able to improvise much of their upkeep on their own ... small animals could surreptitiously be caught and cooked." He delicately refrains from mentioning that these small animals were mostly rats, and a regular part of the narrator's diet. That book makes abundantly clear that hunger and malnutrition were endemic; inmates stealing food or trying to escape were executed. Cumings also fails to mention these public executions the inmates were obliged to attend, stressing instead that families were commendably kept together and that "death from starvation was rare." In any event, he suggests, these deprivations are put into the proper perspective by our "longstanding, never-ending gulag full of black men in our prisons"--which should disqualify us from "pointing a finger."

Historian Allan Millett has argued that Cumings' "eagerness to cast American officials and policy in the worst possible light, however, often leads him to confuse chronological cause and effect and to leap to judgments that cannot be supported by the documentation he cites or ignores."

Writing in the Atlantic Monthly, Korea expert B.R. Myers lambasted Cumings and in particular his book North Korea: Another Country. Myers argued that, in the book, "Cumings likens North Korea to Thomas More's Utopia, and this time the wrongheadedness seems downright willful; it's as if he were so tired of being made to look silly by forces beyond his control that he decided to do the job himself."

Cf. Wikipedia article: Bruce Cumings.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Santa Knows How to Navigate and Shows Me How

Graphic source: Magellan.

Finally haven taken the GPS plunge, thank you Santa, I now plot my current location, so that my Magellan Maestro 4210 North America can acquire at least three different satellite signals. The more signals it grabs, the more accurate its positioning will be. The device allows you to see your current GPS signal reception, the number of signals, the direction from which they're being received, and your current longitude and latitude. You can touch a Point of View (POI) icon for nearby services on the interactive map and see the address and phone number (when available) and get an instant route. The SiRFstarIII™ GPS receiver and built-in high-sensitivity antenna provide quick position acquisition for reliable navigation. QuickSpell™ intelligently searches and checks spelling so you can enter your destination with just a few touches of the screen. SmartDetour™ prompts you to route around sudden slow freeway traffic. The SD/MMC card slot may be used to Backup or Restore your receiver’s address book and store Custom Point of Interests (POIs). Backup and Restore is available in the receiver’s User Options from the Main Menu.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Firefox 3 Beta 2, A Tweak or Two

Graphic source: Computerworld

I'm a big fan of Firefox so with a new release in the offing I took a look. One handy new feature is the downloading information. In order to keep better track of downloads the upcoming Firefox 3 Beta 2 includes a handy Mozilla tweak. Not only the file name is listed but also the URL it was downloaded from, and the download information includes an icon that leads to information about when and where you downloaded it. The Remove link has been removed from the Download manager although you can still delete by right-clicking. I would have let it as it is but I'm quibbling here. I look forward to more development to see what Mozilla comes up with. I do like the increased security features as well.

Internet Is a Mixed Blessing for Politics

In Iowa, as I think has been the case building up to the caucus, is that however interesting novel uses of the Internet may be, the number of Facebook "friends" or the number of YouTube video views that campaigners have elicited, has not resulted in solid results. The candidates seem to be stuck in the same quandrey as businesses. They don't know how to effectively exploit the unbelievable amount of free time that people expend online into purchasing, or electoral support. The Web 2.0 world has been a mixed blessing for politicians.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A note on: Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism, Robert Pape

Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism (2005; ISBN 1-4000-6317-5) by Robert Pape is a cogent analysis of suicide terrorism. Pape compiled a database at the University of Chicago where he directs the Chicago Project on Suicide Terrorism.

Pape claims to possess the world’s first “database of every suicide bombing and attack around the globe from 1980 through 2003 — 315 attacks in all” (3).

He states: “what nearly all suicide terrorist attacks have in common is a specific secular and strategic goal: to compel modern democracies to withdraw military forces from territory that the terrorists consider to be their homeland” (4).

It is imperative that Americans understand his point.

How can the U.S. respond? Pape has a few suggestions.

Victory should be defined as defeating the current crop of terrorists and preventing a new group arising.

He states: “the taproot is American military policy” (244).

Pape suggests a policy of “‘off-shore’ balancing”: establishing local alliances while maintaining the capacity for rapid deployment of military forces (247-50).

The local alliances, this is my point, Pape is not responsible for this, should be to increase the involvement of Middle Eastern states, the Russians, and Chindia.

Sears and Kmart Nabbed in Spyware Controversy

Graphic source: screen shot by Benjamin Googins

Sears and Kmart are old-time companies that do not grasp the implications of the technology that they are using. This is not to excuse what they did, as they have recently been embroiled in a spyware controversy but it is what it is.

This is unfortunate for Sears since I've been really been impressed recently with Sears' sensitivity and support for our military personnel but here they are in the midst of spyware.

How so? Apparently, customers who sign up for a new marketing program may be giving up more private information according to a leading anti-spyware researcher.

According to a story released by Computerworld, Harvard Business School Assistant Professor Ben Edelman, Sears Holdings' My SHC Community program falls short of U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) standards by failing to notify users precisely what occurs once they download the company's marketing software. Sears does not tell customers that the software "tracks every site you go to, every search you make, every product you buy, and every product you look at but don't buy. It's just spooky."

CA senior engineer Benjamin
wrote in a late December blog entry that criticized the software. The Sears software was written by VoiceFive, a subsidiary of Internet measurement firm ComScore.

In his blog, Googins states his conclusion: is pushing software with extensive user tracking capabilities and doing a very poor job of obtaining informed consent – if at all. After the proxy software is installed on the user’s system there is nothing on the user’s desktop to indicate their every move on the Internet is being collected and sent to a third party market research company, comScore.

Although the software was not written by Sears they are still clearly responsible for the content and application of the contracted software. Oops, it looks like the old-time companies who foster good customer relations need to work harder.

Graphic source: another screen shot by Benjamin Googins

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Acceptable Costs of War?

There are those that would say there are acceptable costs associated with war. The key is of course that the current sentiment in America does not allow for complex answers, unspeakable horrors, and relentless warfare. This new type of American would be unrecognized by historical figures such as Washington, Lincoln, Grant, Sherman, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, et. al.

Islamofascists Testify

A recent video introduces us to some Islamofascists.

Considering a Hard-Drive Erasing?

Looking for a disk-wiping program, preferably one that meets the U.S. Department of Defense's standards for disk sanitation? The DOD suggests that a hard drive should be wiped clean seven times so these programs will overwrite your entire hard disk with data multiple times, ensuring that the original data can't be retrieved. I hope you can be patient because it can take several hours to wipe the hard disk.

One to consider is Darik's Boot and Nuke which is free down loadable software that creates a boot disk which wipes everything cleanly on the hard drive. It can be used with floppy disks, USB flash drives, as well as CDs and DVDs. A similar program is Eraser which I have not seen or used so at some point I may be able to compare the two.

FBI Abuses Biometrics

Graphic source: Bob Shaw For The Washington Post

The FBI is preparing to abuse a vast database of biometric data in a $1 billion project which includes images of irises and faces. The FBI has consistently had a truly abysmal IT record so I would not imagine this can be a good development.

The basic procedural protocol and etiquette between our top two crime and espionage units, The Company, and the FBI, is so much more a cultural and organizational priority that I can see little good to come out of the new project. It also seems inherently flawed along Orwellian lines.

With the FBI possessing the world's largest computer database of peoples' physical characteristics, I can envision a government with an unprecedented ability to monitor individuals in the United States and abroad.

Apparently, digital images of faces, fingerprints, and palm patterns are already flowing into FBI systems in a climate-controlled, secure basement.

A 10-year contract will be announced soon that would significantly expand the amount and kinds of biometric information the FBI receives. World-wide policing will rely on iris patterns, face-shape data, scars and perhaps even individual characteristics and personal traits such as the unique way that people walk and talk will be included. At an employers request, the FBI will also retain the fingerprints of employees who have undergone criminal background checks so the employers can be notified if employees encounter the law.

The project has alarmed some, such as Barry Steinhardt, director of the Technology and Liberty Project of the American Civil Liberties Union because: "It's enabling the Always On Surveillance Society."

The system planned by the FBI is called Next Generation Identification and it looks like its here to stay.

The servers in the Appalachian underground facility which houses the project, the size of two football fields, receives a hit every second from somewhere in the United States or Canada, comparing a set of digital fingerprints against the FBI's database of 55 million sets of electronic fingerprints. A possible match is made--or ruled out--as many as 100,000 times a day.

If the system works well at all, the information would be collected from a wide variety of sources and would subsequently available to multiple agencies which increases the chances to catch criminals. This procedure was not done in 2001 which allowed the 9/11 hijackers to escape detection. The FBI will make both criminal and civilian data available to authorized users and there are now 900,000 federal, state and local law enforcement officers who can query the fingerprint database.

Orwell, anyone?

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Reading since summer 2006 (some of the classics are re-reads): including magazine subscriptions

  • Abbot, Edwin A., Flatland;
  • Accelerate: Technology Driving Business Performance;
  • ACM Queue: Architecting Tomorrow's Computing;
  • Adkins, Lesley and Roy A. Adkins, Handbook to Life in Ancient Rome;
  • Ali, Ayaan Hirsi, Nomad: From Islam to America: A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations;
  • Ali, Tariq, The Clash of Fundamentalisms: Crusades, Jihads, and Modernity;
  • Allawi, Ali A., The Crisis of Islamic Civilization;
  • Alperovitz, Gar, The Decision To Use the Atomic Bomb;
  • American School & University: Shaping Facilities & Business Decisions;
  • Angelich, Jane, What's a Mother (in-Law) to Do?: 5 Essential Steps to Building a Loving Relationship with Your Son's New Wife;
  • Arad, Yitzchak, In the Shadow of the Red Banner: Soviet Jews in the War Against Nazi Germany;
  • Aristotle, Athenian Constitution. Eudemian Ethics. Virtues and Vices. (Loeb Classical Library No. 285);
  • Aristotle, Metaphysics: Books X-XIV, Oeconomica, Magna Moralia (The Loeb classical library);
  • Armstrong, Karen, A History of God;
  • Arrian: Anabasis of Alexander, Books I-IV (Loeb Classical Library No. 236);
  • Atkinson, Rick, The Guns at Last Light: The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945 (Liberation Trilogy);
  • Auletta, Ken, Googled: The End of the World As We Know It;
  • Austen, Jane, Pride and Prejudice;
  • Bacevich, Andrew, The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism;
  • Baker, James A. III, and Lee H. Hamilton, The Iraq Study Group Report: The Way Forward - A New Approach;
  • Barber, Benjamin R., Jihad vs. McWorld: Terrorism's Challenge to Democracy;
  • Barnett, Thomas P.M., Blueprint for Action: A Future Worth Creating;
  • Barnett, Thomas P.M., The Pentagon's New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-First Century;
  • Barron, Robert, Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith;
  • Baseline: Where Leadership Meets Technology;
  • Baur, Michael, Bauer, Stephen, eds., The Beatles and Philosophy;
  • Beard, Charles Austin, An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States (Sony Reader);
  • Benjamin, Daniel & Steven Simon, The Age of Sacred Terror: Radical Islam's War Against America;
  • Bergen, Peter, The Osama bin Laden I Know: An Oral History of al Qaeda's Leader;
  • Berman, Paul, Terror and Liberalism;
  • Berman, Paul, The Flight of the Intellectuals: The Controversy Over Islamism and the Press;
  • Better Software: The Print Companion to;
  • Bleyer, Kevin, Me the People: One Man's Selfless Quest to Rewrite the Constitution of the United States of America;
  • Boardman, Griffin, and Murray, The Oxford Illustrated History of the Roman World;
  • Bracken, Paul, The Second Nuclear Age: Strategy, Danger, and the New Power Politics;
  • Bradley, James, with Ron Powers, Flags of Our Fathers;
  • Bronte, Charlotte, Jane Eyre;
  • Bronte, Emily, Wuthering Heights;
  • Brown, Ashley, War in Peace Volume 10 1974-1984: The Marshall Cavendish Encyclopedia of Postwar Conflict;
  • Brown, Ashley, War in Peace Volume 8 The Marshall Cavendish Illustrated Encyclopedia of Postwar Conflict;
  • Brown, Nathan J., When Victory Is Not an Option: Islamist Movements in Arab Politics;
  • Bryce, Robert, Gusher of Lies: The Dangerous Delusions of "Energy Independence";
  • Bush, George W., Decision Points;
  • Bzdek, Vincent, The Kennedy Legacy: Jack, Bobby and Ted and a Family Dream Fulfilled;
  • Cahill, Thomas, Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter;
  • Campus Facility Maintenance: Promoting a Healthy & Productive Learning Environment;
  • Campus Technology: Empowering the World of Higher Education;
  • Certification: Tools and Techniques for the IT Professional;
  • Channel Advisor: Business Insights for Solution Providers;
  • Chariton, Callirhoe (Loeb Classical Library);
  • Chief Learning Officer: Solutions for Enterprise Productivity;
  • Christ, Karl, The Romans: An Introduction to Their History and Civilization;
  • Cicero, De Senectute;
  • Cicero, The Republic, The Laws;
  • Cicero, The Verrine Orations I: Against Caecilius. Against Verres, Part I; Part II, Book 1 (Loeb Classical Library);
  • Cicero, The Verrine Orations I: Against Caecilius. Against Verres, Part I; Part II, Book 2 (Loeb Classical Library);
  • CIO Decisions: Aligning I.T. and Business in the MidMarket Enterprise;
  • CIO Insight: Best Practices for IT Business Leaders;
  • CIO: Business Technology Leadership;
  • Clay, Lucius Du Bignon, Decision in Germany;
  • Cohen, William S., Dragon Fire;
  • Colacello, Bob, Ronnie and Nancy: Their Path to the White House, 1911 to 1980;
  • Coll, Steve, The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century;
  • Collins, Francis S., The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief ;
  • Colorni, Angelo, Israel for Beginners: A Field Guide for Encountering the Israelis in Their Natural Habitat;
  • Compliance & Technology;
  • Computerworld: The Voice of IT Management;
  • Connolly, Peter & Hazel Dodge, The Ancient City: Life in Classical Athens & Rome;
  • Conti, Greg, Googling Security: How Much Does Google Know About You?;
  • Converge: Strategy and Leadership for Technology in Education;
  • Cowan, Ross, Roman Legionary 58 BC - AD 69;
  • Cowell, F. R., Life in Ancient Rome;
  • Creel, Richard, Religion and Doubt: Toward a Faith of Your Own;
  • Cross, Robin, General Editor, The Encyclopedia of Warfare: The Changing Nature of Warfare from Prehistory to Modern-day Armed Conflicts;
  • CSO: The Resource for Security Executives:
  • Cummins, Joseph, History's Greatest Wars: The Epic Conflicts that Shaped the Modern World;
  • D'Amato, Raffaele, Imperial Roman Naval Forces 31 BC-AD 500;
  • Dallek, Robert, An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy 1917-1963;
  • Daly, Dennis, Sophocles' Ajax;
  • Dando-Collins, Stephen, Caesar's Legion: The Epic Saga of Julius Caesar's Elite Tenth Legion and the Armies of Rome;
  • Darwish, Nonie, Now They Call Me Infidel: Why I Renounced Jihad for America, Israel, and the War on Terror;
  • Davis Hanson, Victor, Makers of Ancient Strategy: From the Persian Wars to the Fall of Rome;
  • Dawkins, Richard, The Blind Watchmaker;
  • Dawkins, Richard, The God Delusion;
  • Dawkins, Richard, The Selfish Gene;
  • de Blij, Harm, Why Geography Matters: Three Challenges Facing America, Climate Change, The Rise of China, and Global Terrorism;
  • Defense Systems: Information Technology and Net-Centric Warfare;
  • Defense Systems: Strategic Intelligence for Info Centric Operations;
  • Defense Tech Briefs: Engineering Solutions for Military and Aerospace;
  • Dennett, Daniel C., Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon;
  • Dennett, Daniel C., Consciousness Explained;
  • Dennett, Daniel C., Darwin's Dangerous Idea;
  • Devries, Kelly, et. al., Battles of the Ancient World 1285 BC - AD 451 : From Kadesh to Catalaunian Field;
  • Dickens, Charles, Great Expectations;
  • Digital Communities: Building Twenty-First Century Communities;
  • Doctorow, E.L., Homer & Langley;
  • Dodds, E. R., The Greeks and the Irrational;
  • Dostoevsky, Fyodor, The House of the Dead (Google Books, Sony e-Reader);
  • Dostoevsky, Fyodor, The Idiot;
  • Douglass, Elisha P., Rebels and Democrats: The Struggle for Equal Political Rights and Majority Role During the American Revolution;
  • Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan, The Hound of the Baskervilles & The Valley of Fear;
  • Dr. Dobb's Journal: The World of Software Development;
  • Drug Discovery News: Discovery/Development/Diagnostics/Delivery;
  • DT: Defense Technology International;
  • Dunbar, Richard, Alcatraz;
  • Education Channel Partner: News, Trends, and Analysis for K-20 Sales Professionals;
  • Edwards, Aton, Preparedness Now!;
  • EGM: Electronic Gaming Monthly, the No. 1 Videogame Magazine;
  • Ehrman, Bart D., Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scriptures and the Faiths We Never Knew;
  • Ehrman, Bart D., Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why;
  • Electronic Engineering Times: The Industry Newsweekly for the Creators of Technology;
  • Ellis, Joseph J., American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson;
  • Ellis, Joseph J., His Excellency: George Washington;
  • Emergency Management: Strategy & Leadership in Critical Times;
  • Emerson, Steven, American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Among Us;
  • Erlewine, Robert, Monotheism and Tolerance: Recovering a Religion of Reason (Indiana Series in the Philosophy of Religion);
  • ESD: Embedded Systems Design;
  • Everitt, Anthony, Augustus: The Life of Rome's First Emperor;
  • Everitt, Anthony, Cicero: The Life and Times of Rome's Greatest Politician;
  • eWeek: The Enterprise Newsweekly;
  • Federal Computer Week: Powering the Business of Government;
  • Ferguson, Niall, Civilization: The West and the Rest;
  • Ferguson, Niall, Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power;
  • Ferguson, Niall, The Cash Nexus: Money and Power in the Modern World, 1700-2000;
  • Ferguson, Niall, The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Decline of the West;
  • Feuerbach, Ludwig, The Essence of Christianity (Sony eReader);
  • Fields, Nic, The Roman Army of the Principate 27 BC-AD 117;
  • Fields, Nic, The Roman Army of the Punic Wars 264-146 BC;
  • Fields, Nic, The Roman Army: the Civil Wars 88-31 BC;
  • Finkel, Caroline, Osman's Dream: The History of the Ottoman Empire;
  • Fisk, Robert, The Great War For Civilization: The Conquest of the Middle East;
  • Forstchen, William R., One Second After;
  • Fox, Robin Lane, The Classical World: An Epic History from Homer to Hadrian;
  • Frazer, James George, The Golden Bough (Volume 3): A Study in Magic and Religion (Sony eReader);
  • Freeh, Louis J., My FBI: Bringing Down the Mafia, Investigating Bill Clinton, and Fighting the War on Terror;
  • Freeman, Charles, The Greek Achievement: The Foundations of the Western World;
  • Friedman, Thomas L. The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century Further Updated and Expanded/Release 3.0;
  • Friedman, Thomas L., The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization;
  • Frontinus: Stratagems. Aqueducts of Rome. (Loeb Classical Library No. 174);
  • Fuller Focus: Fuller Theological Seminary;
  • Fuller, Graham E., A World Without Islam;
  • Gaubatz, P. David and Paul Sperry, Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That's Conspiring to Islamize America;
  • Ghattas, Kim, The Secretary: A Journey with Hillary Clinton from Beirut to the Heart of American Power;
  • Gibson, William, Neuromancer;
  • Gilmour, Michael J., Gods and Guitars: Seeking the Sacred in Post-1960s Popular Music;
  • Global Services: Strategies for Sourcing People, Processes, and Technologies;
  • Glucklich, Ariel, Dying for Heaven: Holy Pleasure and Suicide Bombers-Why the Best Qualities of Religion Are Also It's Most Dangerous;
  • Goldberg, Jonah, Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning;
  • Goldin, Shmuel, Unlocking the Torah Text Vayikra (Leviticus);
  • Goldsworthy, Adrian, Caesar: Life of a Colossus;
  • Goldsworthy, Adrian, How Rome Fell: Death of a Superpower;
  • Goodman, Lenn E., Creation and Evolution;
  • Goodwin, Doris Kearns, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln;
  • Gopp, Amy,, Split Ticket: Independent Faith in a Time of Partisan Politics (WTF: Where's the Faith?);
  • Gordon, Michael R., and Bernard E. Trainor, Cobra II: The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq;
  • Government Health IT: The Magazine of Public/private Health Care Convergence;
  • Government Technology's Emergency Management: Strategy & Leadership in Critical Times;
  • Government Technology: Solutions for State and Local Government in the Information Age;
  • Grant , Michael, The Climax of Rome: The Final Achievements of the Ancient World, AD 161 - 337;
  • Grant, Michael, The Classical Greeks;
  • Grumberg, Orna, and Helmut Veith, 25 Years of Model Checking: History, Achievements, Perspectives;
  • Halberstam, David, War in a Time of Peace: Bush, Clinton, and the Generals;
  • Hammer, Reuven, Entering Torah Prefaces to the Weekly Torah Portion;
  • Hanson, Victor Davis, An Autumn of War: What America Learned from September 11 and the War on Terrorism;
  • Hanson, Victor Davis, Between War and Peace: Lessons from Afghanistan to Iraq;
  • Hanson, Victor Davis, Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power;
  • Hanson, Victor Davis, How The Obama Administration Threatens Our National Security (Encounter Broadsides);
  • Hanson, Victor Davis, Makers of Ancient Strategy: From the Persian Wars to the Fall of Rome;
  • Hanson, Victor Davis, Ripples of Battle: How Wars of the Past Still Determine How We Fight, How We Live, and How We Think;
  • Hanson, Victor Davis, The End of Sparta: A Novel;
  • Hanson, Victor Davis, The Soul of Battle: From Ancient Times to the Present Day, How Three Great Liberators Vanquished Tyranny;
  • Hanson, Victor Davis, Wars of the Ancient Greeks;
  • Harnack, Adolf Von, History of Dogma, Volume 3 (Sony Reader);
  • Harris, Alex, Reputation At Risk: Reputation Report;
  • Harris, Sam, Letter to a Christian Nation;
  • Harris, Sam, The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason;
  • Hayek, F. A., The Road to Serfdom;
  • Heilbroner, Robert L., and Lester Thurow, Economics Explained: Everything You Need to Know About How the Economy Works and Where It's Going;
  • Hempel, Sandra, The Strange Case of The Broad Street Pump: John Snow and the Mystery of Cholera;
  • Hinnells, John R., A Handbook of Ancient Religions;
  • Hitchens, Christopher, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything;
  • Hogg, Ian V., The Encyclopedia of Weaponry: The Development of Weaponry from Prehistory to 21st Century Warfare;
  • Hugo, Victor, The Hunchback of Notre Dame;
  • Humphrey, Caroline & Vitebsky, Piers, Sacred Architecture;
  • Huntington, Samuel P., The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order;
  • Info World: Information Technology News, Computer Networking & Security;
  • Information Week: Business Innovation Powered by Technology:
  • Infostor: The Leading Source for Enterprise Storage Professionals;
  • Infrastructure Insite: Bringing IT Together;
  • Insurance Technology: Business Innovation Powered by Technology;
  • Integrated Solutions: For Enterprise Content Management;
  • Intel Premier IT: Sharing Best Practices with the Information Technology Community;
  • Irwin, Robert, Dangerous Knowledge: Orientalism and Its Discontents;
  • Jeffrey, Grant R., The Global-Warming Deception: How a Secret Elite Plans to Bankrupt America and Steal Your Freedom;
  • Jewkes, Yvonne, and Majid Yar, Handbook of Internet Crime;
  • Johnson, Chalmers, Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire;
  • Journal, The: Transforming Education Through Technology;
  • Judd, Denis, The Lion and the Tiger: The Rise and Fall of the British Raj, 1600-1947;
  • Kagan, Donald, The Peloponnesian War;
  • Kansas, Dave, The Wall Street Journal Guide to the End of Wall Street as We Know It: What You Need to Know About the Greatest Financial Crisis of Our Time--and How to Survive It;
  • Karsh, Efraim, Islamic Imperialism: A History;
  • Kasser, Rodolphe, The Gospel of Judas;
  • Katz, Solomon, The Decline of Rome and the Rise of Medieval Europe: (The Development of Western Civilization);
  • Keegan, John, Intelligence in War: The Value--and Limitations--of What the Military Can Learn About the Enemy;
  • Kenis, Leo, et. al., The Transformation of the Christian Churches in Western Europe 1945-2000 (Kadoc Studies on Religion, Culture and Society 6);
  • Kepel, Gilles, Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam;
  • Kiplinger's: Personal Finance;
  • Klein, Naomi, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism;
  • KM World: Content, Document, and Knowledge Management;
  • Koestler, Arthur, Darkness at Noon: A Novel;
  • Kostova, Elizabeth, The Historian;
  • Kuttner, Robert, The Squandering of America: How the Failure of Our Politics Undermines Our Prosperity;
  • Lake, Kirsopp, The Text of the New Testament, Sony Reader;
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