Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

found on Slashdot
An article in Popular Science about what a national ID would look like and contain. On the issue of social security numbers on ID card, they mention that even though social security numbers on ID cards have been rejected by the federal government, "it's a good guess the Department of Homeland Security would manage it".

On smart card technology, they say:

For example, an ER doctor could view medical information and enter data about treatment (if the card's data storage device is read-write capable), but could not see security-related data (such as a traveler's flight history, or a non-citizen's visa status) that an airport or INS official might require. But how secure are smart cards? Detailed instructional hacking sites can be found on the Web, many focusing on European cards. And the more data on a card, the more valuable the card becomes to an identity thief.
Yup. This is definitely a risk. I wonder how many terrorists would actually use un-forged ID cards when traveling?
Popular Science | Your ID Please, Citizen

found on POLITECH. My comments in italics

NASA plans to read terrorist's minds at airports
By Frank J. Murray

Airport security screeners may soon try to read the minds of travelers to identify terrorists.

Officials of the National Aeronautics and space Administration have told Northwest Airlines security specialists that the agency is developing brain-monitoring devices in cooperation with a commercial firm, which it did not identify.

Space technology would be adapted to receive and analyze brain-wave and heartbeat patterns, then feed that data into computerized programs "to detect passengers who potentially might pose a threat," according to briefing documents obtained by The Washington Times.

Now this is scary... oops. That thought would probably set off a alarm... Aren't these polygraph sort of technologies notoriously inaccurate? Linked with all of the horrible things we are hearing about treatment in airports and the new database of fingerprints and photos they are making, are we going to end up with a database and a jail full of all of the people who would be nervous about having their brains scanned?

NASA wants to use "noninvasive neuro-electric sensors," (Sounds like an oxymoron.) imbedded in gates, to collect tiny electric signals that all brains and hearts transmit. Computers would apply statistical algorithms to correlate physiologic patterns with computerized data on travel routines, criminal background and credit information from "hundreds to thousands of data sources," NASA documents say.

The notion has raised privacy concerns. (duh...) Mihir Kshirsagar of the Electronic Privacy Information Center says such technology would only add to airport-security chaos. "A lot of people's fear of flying would send those meters off the chart. Are they going to pull all those people aside?"

NASA plans to read terrorist's minds at airports -- The Washington Times

mp-fro1-w240.jpgKenji Eno ( Justin wrote about him ) is guest blogging on my Japanese blog.

translated by me from Kenji Eno's entry

In 1987 JALECO (which PCCW Japan reverse merged into) made a game called "Moero!! Pro Baseball" for the Nintendo Famicon. It was an amazing game. At the time, Namco had a very popular game called Famista which sold very well. Morero!! Pro Baseball tried to make a very realistic game to compete against the very popular, but rather game-like Famista. The graphics were the only part that was realistic. You could bunt home runs, the strike zone was a complete mess... It was a horrible game. There was something twistedly special about the game that you really couldn't experience anywhere else. One could only love how bad it was. So I don't know if this guy is one of these types of fans, but this guy collects these 15 year old game cartridges of this game. There are many maniacs in the game community, many people buy 10 of their favorite games. That pales in comparison to this guy. So now you have to see his web site. "The agony!!MoePro Getters"

A Satirewire article for some comic relief...

U.S. Also Needs Invasion, Demolition, Military Housing Permits
Washington, D.C. (

Already frustrated by seemingly endless delays, U.S. officials today conceded a confusing knot of new Iraqi regulations that require "non-resident aggressors" to obtain hundreds of federal and provincial pre-invasion permits and licenses will further postpone any attack on Saddam Hussein.

"I keep saying we haven't set a date for an attack on Iraq, and now I think you can all see why," complained U.S. President George W. Bush, who was busily typing up an "Intent to Overthrow" notice that must be published in an Iraqi newspaper of record for two weeks.

"I'm starting to think all the hassle is just not worth it," added U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who has been shuttling back and forth between Washington and the Iraqi consulate in Paris trying to get the appropriate paperwork. "They say we have to get temporary military lodging permits, heavy equipment usage permits. We even have to submit an environmental impact study before we can destroy any buildings."

First spotted on David Farber's IP List

So it sounds like the 300 students who receive this grant have to take the MS C# class which replaces the C++ course. Pretty sleazy...

There is a student site about this. Following is a quote from CNET and a link to the CNET article.

Microsoft's grant has strings attached?

By Margaret Kane
Staff Writer, CNET
August 16, 2002, 9:59 AM PT

update A collegiate grant from Microsoft has created an uproar after one of the recipients agreed to require a class in a Microsoft programming language as part of the deal.
Microsoft's grant has strings attached? - Tech News -