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Saturday, March 15, 2003

I got....BONEd!

A long time ago I managed to get a copy of BeOS Dano, the alpha version of BeOS 5.1. Needless to say, my attempt to install it over BeOS Personal Edition was unsucessful way back then (DO NOT attempt that, you will make PE unbootable).

Now that I have the Pentium 166 with a full install of BeOS Pro, I decided today to finally try and install Dano.... and it worked. The install should go like this:

  1. Insert the CD with Dano on it.

  2. Run BeOS's Installer program from the Be menu.

  3. Set the "Install From" popup to the Dano CD. Make sure you have at least, say, 400mb free, or twice the amount the installer will tell you it requires

  4. Run the installer, overwriting anything it wants (in my case, BeMail, etc. since I had the mail daemon replacement installed)

  5. You will probably get some install script errors. That's ok.

  6. After installing (you will probably get an error on the install script at cleans up after Installer), restart immediately

  7. Empty the trash. All of your old kernel, etc will be in there - that last installer script error was because it could not empty the trash. That should free up 100mb at least of disk space

That about covers it. Even on the lowly Pentium 166, the improvements to networking in BONE are noticable- getting mail using the BONE mail daemon replacement is an order of magnitude faster for me! Network settings are now in the "Boneyard" prefs app, use that and not the "Network" app. Set up your ethernet interface in the "Interfaces" tab of "Boneyard", apply the changes, and yes, even on DHCP you will have to manually add name server addresses. That should be about everything you need to get going with Dano :)

3/15/2003 05:12:13 PM ] [  ]


Reasonable Omnis!

[Hyperlinktech] is having some good deals on their new "Value Series" omnidirectional 2.4ghz antennas:
[8.5dbi $50]
[10.5 dbi $60]

Which is a pretty good price for those gain levels.

3/15/2003 03:52:45 PM ] [  ]


Here's an interesting document full of easily verifiable information that will give a lot of people something to think about...[Myths and Facts about Iraq].
Here are some of the more relevant items:

Myth: There is little food available in Iraq.

Fact: More than 13 million metric tons of foodstuffs have arrived in Iraq since the first deliveries of the oil-for-food program began in 1997. In fact, Baghdad has been caught exporting dates, corn, and grain outside of Iraq while claiming the Iraqi people are starving.

Myth: UNSCOM inspectors behaved badly and deserved to be thrown out of Iraq.

Fact: The inspectors were not thrown out of Iraq. Iraq's obstructionism and refusal to cooperate with the weapons inspectors, who were carrying out a UN Security Council mandate, prevented the inspectors from fulfilling their mission and they had no choice but to leave.

Myth: The Iraqi people do not have an adequate supply of medicine because of sanctions.

Fact: Sanctions have never prohibited or limited the import of medicine. In fact, the UN has urged the Iraqi regime to order more basic medicines, but Baghdad has refused. Saddam has been criticized by the UN for intentionally hoarding medicines in warehouses in government-controlled Iraq instead of distributing it to civilians.

And many more. The reports you hear of poor medical care in Iraq because of sanctions are untrue. Is there poor medical care? Yes. Is it a result of sanctions? No. It's because Saddam chooses who gets what in Iraq, and you may notice that all of the "inside iraq" reports on poor living conditions are conducted inside the Shiite south - home of Saddam's enemies.
If you think that he is going to give the Shia the same medical care Sunnis allied with the Ba'ath part in Baghdad get, you are sorely mistaken.

3/15/2003 03:44:39 PM ] [  ]


Friday, March 14, 2003

Months later: A short look at how the WildEepz and ScreensavRz are working

So after a few months of use, here's how I feel about the [WildEepz] and [ScreensavRz].

The WildEepz are pretty good, they've done a good job of making the closure of my 15" PowerBook G4 more secure and do seem to keep the keys from leaving marks as prominently as they once did. I'd easily recommend them to any other Titanium PowerBook owner.

The ScreensavRz, though, still seem to let marks get on the screen. This isn't permanent damage or scratching mind you, it's merely marks left of the screen my the fingertip oils left on the keys (you'll see the outline of the keys on the screen). Somehow some of this oil is getting through the ScreensavRz and onto the screen when I pack up the PB to take to work. When my new camera comes I'll try to take a photo of it.
Having ScreensavRz, though, is way better than not, and it's still good for at least wiping those marks off before using the PB.

3/14/2003 10:28:09 PM ] [  ]


When Diplomacy Fails

People who are, for whatever reason, against war with Iraq (war being the use of military force, not a declared war - most of the people I have talked to who are "antiwar" don't seem to realize the legal distinction between the two), push for a diplomatic solution to the situation with Iraq. The people I have discussed this with don't really argue for a diplomatic solution - they don't support their case or offer diplomatic solutions - with rare exceptions. The actual arguments I have seen so far encompass:

  1. Instead of using military force, put Saddam on trial for war crimes (I would assume this would also include the upper tiers of the Ba'ath party as well).

  2. Allow UNMOVIC inspections to continue indefinitely in an effort to disarm Iraq, while leaving the current regime in place

That's really about it. Let's take a closer look at both of these, and some of the problems with each solution.

Why We Can't Try Iraq for War Crimes.... yet

Most people know that Slobdan Milosevic, the former Serbian president who authorized "ethnic cleansing" campaigns during his rule in the 1990s is being tried for war crimes/crimes against humanity in the Hague right now. Why can't we do the same for Saddam and his right hand henchmen like Tariq Aziz and sons Qusay and Uday?

First of all, it's kind of hard to put on trial someone you do not have in custody. A prerequisite for legal proceedings against Saddam and the Tier One Ba'ath Party personalities would be their surrender or capture. This kind of makes military action a requirement for a war crimes trial. The United States cannot send in law enforement such as the FBI HRT to apprehend Ba'ath Party leadership without a separate indictment in a US Federal court, and then they could not be turned over to an international court without a US trial first. If the United States had intelligence information accurate enough, one of the US military's special operations units could attempt to capture a Ba'ath party member, but that is incredibly unlikely. In short, an extensive military operation is required to take into custody the very people who would be put on trial. The chances of surrender are zero- several times Saddam has been offered exile or a chance to leave the country peacefully, even with the promise of amensty, and rejected it.
Second, Milosevic is being tried by the [International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia], a special court set up by the United Nations specifically to try Milosevic and his cohorts. UN special criminal tribunals are larely a thing of the past now (the ICTY was established in 1993 by [U.N. Security Council Resolution 827 (1993)]) since the [International Criminal Court] was established within the last year. The ICC has been the subject of a lot of controversy as the United States has chosen not to support it. That aside, one of the foundations of the court is that it cannot try crimes that occured before the Rome statue went into force on July 1st, 2002. So most of the Ba'ath party offenses that could be brought to trial (ie those there is ample evidence for in the public domain) cannot be brought before the ICC. These include:

  1. Massive deportations of Feyil Kurds in violation of articles [49] and [147] of the Geneva ConventionIV.
  2. Systematic and deliberate organized policies to destroy all or part of the Kurdish populationof northern Iraq during the Anfal operations in violation of the [Convention on Genocide (1948)].
  3. Use of chemical weapons in several regions, notably in [Halabja].
  4. Crimes against the Environment in [Kuwait], in the Kurdish region with destruction of watersprings, of thousands of trees, in southern Iraq with the [drying out of the marshes] and the[destruction of the whole ecosystem] of that region.
  5. Attempted destruction of the Arabs of the marshes in southern Iraq in violation of the Conventionon Genocide (1948).
  6. Inhuman and degrading treatment, summary and arbitrary executions, displacements ofpopulation in order to attempt to destroy the Shi’a populations in southern Iraq in violationof [article 3] of the Geneva Convention.
  7. Systematic use of rape, torture and of summary and arbitrary executions as instruments ofrepression in violation of articles [27] and [31] of the Geneva convention IV.
  8. Forced arabization and continuous [ethnic cleaning] of Kurds, Turkmen and Assyro - Chaldeansin Iraqi Kurdistan.
  9. Invasion of Iran in 1980 in violation of article [24] of the Charter of the United Nations.
  10. Violation of the Geneva Protocol (1925) regarding the ban on using poison gas, nerve gasor any other asphyxiate gas during the Iran-Iraq war.
  11. Invasion of Kuwait in 1990 in violation of article [24] of the Charter of the United Nations.
  12. [Rape], torture, arbitrary executions and illegal deportations in violation of article [147} of theGeneva Convention IV during the occupation of Kuwait.

  13. Violation of the Geneva Convention on the Treatment of Prisoners of war (regarding the status of [Kuwaiti POWs] and [USN Lt Cmdr Michael Scott Speicher]).

All of those charges against the Ba'ath Party leadership can be substantiated by hard evidence in a court right now. Since the ICC cannot prosecute charges that occured before July 1st, 2002, all of the charges listed above could not be brought before the ICC. At this time there is little or no evidence of Iraqi war crimes or crimes against humanity since July of 2002 (this isn't saying there aren't any, just that there is no hard evidence in the public domain. Iraq is a closed society, after all).

Since bringing thse charges before the ICC is not legal, another special tribunal is the only option to bring these crimes to justice within the international legal system. Establishing a special tribunal for the prosecution of Iraqi war crimes would be incredibly difficult for a number of reasons, not the least of which would be that it would require the support of France, Russia, China, and the other Security Council states, and for those charges to be brought to trial one of the criminals would have to be captured and taken into custody (again, this would require military action in Iraq). A war crimes trial would also be very embarassing for France and Russia. The sheer number of contract personnel in Iraq from those two countries (especially in support of the Ba'ath Party's Special Security Organization) could mean that French or Russian citizens witnessed or were a party to some of those crimes. The dams and drainage systems used to dry the marshes of Shiite southern Iraq were build largely with Chinese assistance. The chemical weapons used against the Kurds were developed with direct support from French and Russian companies. It is not in the interest of those three Security Council members to see an Iraqi war crimes trial happen, and it's likely they will go to great lengths to prevent that.

And, oddly enough, in many juristictions, heads of state can have blanket immunity.

[This article] has a good summary of how an Iraqi war crimes trial might happen.
[Scotland Yard's investigation into possible charges against Saddam]
[US State Dept. Focus on Human Rights in Iraq]

And carry a big stick

Inspections themselves don't do anything for the situation in Iraq. The core of the problem is that an unstable regime with a history of aggression has weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems, with which it's likely they will threaten the stablity of the region. The inspections themselves, at most, could discover that Iraq has indeed developed chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons that were outside Iraq's international commitments.
This is not news. Every round of inspections has brought new "revelations" concerning how Iraq has violated the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty of similar such agreements it has committed to being a part of. None of these revelations has yielded significant changes in Iraq's WMD programs. For example, [evidence that Iraq had far more biological growth media] for it's biological warfare programs didn't not prompt Iraq to produce the media for destruction.

Inspectors scoured Iraq, including Al Hakam, for growth media, but could account for only 22 of the 42 tons purchased. Iraq said the other 20 tons had been used in diagnostic tests.
"You could never in your lifetime use 20 tons in any hospital, in any diagnostic institute anywhere in the world," says one former inspector.
The missing media provided enough ammunition for UNSCOM to find Iraq in breach of its requirement to disclose fully its weapons programs. Desperate to get sanctions lifted, in July, Iraq admitted to producing 2,200 gallons of anthrax and 500 gallons of botulinum toxin with the missing material, enough to fill 75 missiles or 115 bombs.

However, when inspectors analyzed Iraq's new data with a formula known as mass balance calculation, the numbers still did not add up. UNSCOM reckons that Iraq could have produced several times more toxin than it declared.

Iraq was in noncompliance yet refused to cooperate with the UN. AS a direct result, the United States conducted punitive air strikes as part of [Operation Desert Fox] in support of the United Nations. The air strikes had little effect, as they mostly targeted WMD facilities - punitive measures the regime did not respond to. Inspectors were barred from re-entering the country and only returned in 2002 when the threat of military force was returned by the United States.
It is important to note that the United States was not proposing more air strikes against WMD facilities, but was directly threatening the Ba'ath Party's ability to control the Iraqi people and thus their hold on power in Iraq. Impending regime change was stimulus that the Iraqis responded to by not only allowing UNMOVIC inspectors back into Iraq, but also actually destroying Al Sammoud missiles that were in violation of UN ceasefire agreements. Iraq, however, is still not fully cooperating with the UN. Flying two U-2s over Iraq at the same time, with declared flight plans could not possibly be perceived as a [hostile act ]unless Iraq was attempting to hide something from overhead reconnaissance.

Direct threats to the regime in Iraq work but will not work repeatedly. A credible threat of military force against the Ba'ath Party's hold on power in Iraq will only work once, if that. As a result, military action now may be the only option.

3/14/2003 08:48:19 PM ] [  ]


Thursday, March 13, 2003

Wireless Woes

So the EnGenius AP now is doing NAT and a client can connect to it, but for whatever reason it doesn't seem to be able to do a any-to-one mapping (ie NAT routing). I'm not sure why yet, but it could just be a problem with my Newton wireless driver, not NAT itself.
The slowness I was seeing with the AP up was a problem with a port on my Linksys switch, so with some shuffling of ports it's all good now.

The 200mW EnGenius card managed to get it's pigtail from Hyperlinktech stuck to it, no amount of jiggling and babying can get the pigtail out of the MMCX socket. I talked with Jamie at [netgate] about this, he's seen it with the cards too and he sent me a replacement card and pigtail before I could even say now. Yes, Jamie is way cool. Maybe this weekend I'll concentrate on getting the antenna located more ideally and set up the 200mW card.
Thanks Jamie! You rock!
Technolab is now offering [direct sales], if I can't get the antenna well set up to offer long range access I might decide to get an [amp] from them so I can push the range out a bit (getting long range is an important part of something I want to do with the AP). Their kit for Linksys APs looks to be damn cool.

3/13/2003 04:25:09 PM ] [  ]


Meanwhile, at the Whiner's Club...

[Spooky Story: Why the American media shrugged off a story about spying at the United Nations]:
"A Pentagon Papers case, essentially, is happening right now in Britain," he says, "around a memo whose revelation could dramatically affect the Security Council's vote. And by and large, Americans don't even know about it."

I wonder if the only reason that he knows the words "Pentagon Papers" is the made for TV movie that's on this week. Comparing the NSA memo to the Pentagon war studies of the sixties is an enormous exaggeration.

These journalists seem to be neglecting the fact that NSA is attempting to preserve diplomatic options. If indeed Iraq has bought the vetos of Security Council members or bribed delegates, any diplomatic work through the UN would be useless. Shouldn't we know if that's happening? Or does that equate to so called "dirty tricks"?

3/13/2003 04:17:55 PM ] [  ]


Wednesday, March 12, 2003

It's a valid collection target, sir

A couple of weeks ago NSA was in the news again, with such entertaining headlines as:

[Revealed: US dirty tricks to win vote on Iraq war]

[Stop dodging the awkward truth ]

And so on.

The European press (the US media has largely ignored the story) obtained an internal NSA memo via a GCHQ employee (see [GCHQ arrest over Observer spying report ]) and have made it into something it definitely is not. The text of the email in question is reproduced here:

To: [Recipients withheld]

From: FRANK KOZA, Def Chief of Staff (Regional Targets) CIV/NSA

Sent on Jan 31 2003 0:16

Subject: Reflections of Iraq Debate/Votes at UN-RT Actions + Potential for Related Contributions

Importance: HIGH Top Secret/COMINT/XL

As you've likely heard by now, the Agency is mounting a surge particularly directed at the UN Security Council (UNSC) members (minus US and GBR of course) for insights as to how to membership is reacting to the on-going debate RE: Iraq, plans to vote on any related resolutions, what related policies/ negotiating positions they may be considering, alliances/ dependencies, etc - the whole gamut of information that could give US policymakers an edge in obtaining results favorable to US goals or to head off surprises. In RT, that means a QRC surge effort to revive/ create efforts against UNSC members Angola, Cameroon, Chile, Bulgaria and Guinea, as well as extra focus on Pakistan UN matters.

We've also asked ALL RT topi's to emphasize and make sure they pay attention to existing non-UNSC member UN-related and domestic comms for anything useful related to the UNSC deliberations/ debates/ votes. We have a lot of special UN-related diplomatic coverage (various UN delegations) from countries not sitting on the UNSC right now that could contribute related perspectives/ insights/ whatever. We recognize that we can't afford to ignore this possible source.

We'd appreciate your support in getting the word to your analysts who might have similar, more in-direct access to valuable information from accesses in your product lines. I suspect that you'll be hearing more along these lines in formal channels - especially as this effort will probably peak (at least for this specific focus) in the middle of next week, following the SecState's presentation to the UNSC.

Thanks for your help

The European media is pushing the theory that this indicates that the United States is trying to collect intelligence to gain influence and win more votes for a UN resolution for the use of force against Iraq.

That's painting the wrong picture. For whatever reason, the journalists who wrote the story (and got their source compromised as well) have ignored some facts.

  1. The Security Council members who are going to exercise vetos on any new Iraq resolution are, not coincidentally, [Iraq's major trading partners].
    Major import trading partners: France 22.5%, Australia 22.0%, China 5.8%, Russia 5.8%

  2. Iraq has a long history of using bribes and coercion to buy influence in international organizations like the UN an IAEA

  3. Who did Iraq get it's nuclear reactors from? France and Russia. Where did Saddam's new fiber optic command and control system come from? [China].

It would be pretty naive to think that the billions of dollars Iraq is spending on military hardware from those three countries - in violation of sanctions those countries are supposed to abide by - have no influence on those vetos. NSA is collecting on those UN delegates in order to find evidence of illegal connections to Iraq such as bribes and blackmail - such evidence, if it was something that could be made public, would obviously be very empowering for the United States.

Dirty tricks, my ass.

3/12/2003 10:50:50 PM ] [  ]


Monday, March 10, 2003

Just in case

If you ever need to [pack a hippo] the Postal Service is there for you.

3/10/2003 04:08:43 PM ] [  ]


Sunday, March 09, 2003

Several flashes later...

After resetting and updating the firmware several times, I got the web UI back and with all of the new options included in the firmware update, as well as a short tour through the telnet and serial interfaces.
The good news:

  1. With the firmware update, the 200mW card now works

  2. The AP works as an AP now, and can give wireless clients like
    the Newton and Powerbook IPs from my cable modem provider.

The bad news:

  1. I can't seem to get NAT to work. The AP wants to set up NAT
    stuff based on IP addresses, not interfaces, which gee, doesn't
    work well when your WAN interface is DHCP.

  2. When the AP is on, I seem to have problems on the wired
    machines. Some things just don't work, and some things are slow. I
    don't know if the AP is trying to do routing for them, if it's an
    issue with my switch, my cable provider, etc.

Which overall isn't good. If I can't get NAT working I might have to set up one of the Sparcs as a router or get a Linksys cable router and put that ahead of the AP. Not much fun at all.

3/09/2003 04:48:32 PM ] [  ]