FMD

Up from $38 in March to $71 Thursday, it dropped five dollars Friday. My suggestion: hang on.

YOU DON’T LIKE US! YOU REALLY DON’T LIKE US!

From the New York Times:

A consortium of major universities, using Homeland Security Department money, is developing software that would let the government monitor negative opinions of the United States or its leaders in newspapers and other publications overseas.

Such a ”sentiment analysis” is intended to identify potential threats to the nation, security officials said.

Researchers at institutions including Cornell, the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Utah intend to test the system on hundreds of articles published in 2001 and 2002 on topics like President Bush’s use of the term ”axis of evil,” the handling of detainees at Guantánamo Bay, the debate over global warming and the coup attempt against President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela.

A $2.4 million grant will finance the research over three years.

American officials have long relied on newspapers and other news sources to track events and opinions here and abroad, a goal that has included the routine translation of articles from many foreign publications and news services.

The new software would allow much more rapid and comprehensive monitoring . . .

We’re going to automate the process of determining which countries don’t like us?  And might attack us?  I have an idea: how about sending ambassadors to every country on the planet and have them read the local newspaper?

James Musters: “Just think:  Once you develop the software for this, all you have to do is change the target, to something like blogs, and Uncle Sam becomes Big Brother.”

CANADIANS BATTLING MARIJUANA

This is just a short text item.  (“One soldier told him later: “Sir, three years ago before I joined the army, I never thought I’d say ‘That damn marijuana’.”)

IF YOU HAVE HALF A BRAIN

This new free “channel” could help you reactivate the other half.  (Full disclosure: I own a sliver.)


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