Death Toll From India Monsoon Almost 700

My thoughts and prayers:

Yahoo! News: Death Toll From India Monsoon Almost 700:

Rescuers scouring flood-ravaged neighborhoods and outlying villages found dozens of new bodies on Friday, pushing the death toll from record monsoon rains in western India to almost 700, officials said.

Some 370 of the dead were from Bombay and the surrounding area in Maharashtra state, said N. Nayar, an official at the government’s emergency control room in Bombay.

India’s financial hub was pounded by two days of unusually heavy monsoon rains this week, including one day marked the heaviest single day of monsoons in India since record keeping began a century and a half ago.

Prinze Says Gellar Doing ‘Buffy’ Movie Is Unlikely – Entertainment: Prinze Says Gellar Doing ‘Buffy’ Movie Is Unlikely:

Freddie Prinze Jr. is plunging a spike into hopes by some fans that his wife, Sarah Michelle Gellar, might do a “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” movie — for either television or as a feature.

Ever since Sarah Michelle Gellar married him, the series went south, and she disassociated herself with it. Now he is apparently speaking for her.

“You should only see an RSS item once.”

Scripting News: 7/28/2005:

Russell Beattie gets aggregators. “You should only see an RSS item once.” Bingo. Every would-be aggregator designer should tatoo that on their forehead in reverse so they see it in the mirror when they’re brushing their teeth or shaving or whatever. Memorize it. If your user sees an RSS item more than once, your aggregator is broken. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Now, the problem is, that while Yahoo’s interface is pretty good, and lots better than most of the rest, it still shows you old items before new ones. Any of the competitors could leapfrog Yahoo. Want to give it a try? I can be hired as a consultant. Seriously. Let’s get going on this.

Agreed. That’s why I love Bloglines. Such a simple thing. One click, one scroll, and I’m done.

Other than that, there is a lot the My AOL aggregator gets right. Check it out.

Asteroid headed our way

Old news, but worth posting about:

CSMonitor: Asteroid headed our way:

>NASA researchers have begun considering whether the US needs to tag the asteroid, known as 99942 Apophis, with a radio beacon before 2013. Timing is everything, astronomers say. If officials attempt to divert the asteroid before 2029, they need to nudge the space rock’s position by roughly half a mile – something well within the range of existing technology. After 2029, they would need to shove the asteroid by a distance as least as large as Earth’s diameter. That feat would tax humanity’s current capabilities.

Help find Latoyia Figueroa

Latoyia Figueroa is 5’2″, pregnant, and has been missing from her Philadelphia home since 7/18/2005. If you know any details of her whereabouts, please call the Citizens Crime Commission at 215-546-8477, or you can contribute to the reward fund.

A few nights ago, Atrios raised awareness of her, Howard at Philly Future caught this and posted the following:

Philly Future – Philly Blogs – The News YOU Write | The Missing:

Latoyia Figueroa
Atrios asks what the odds are that we’ll be seeing reports of Latoyia Figueroa (pictured right) on CNN. She’s a local resident who’s been missing since Monday, but so far there’s been no Natalee Holloway treatment for this story.

Don’t misunderstand, I have nothing against Miss Holloway, and I
truly hope for the best possible outcome to her situation, but surely
we’ve all noticed by now that the established media can be quite
selective with their coverage of these sad situations.

Here’s hoping Latoyia Figueroa’s situation also has the best
possible outcome — and the same wish for all the other less publicized missing people out there tonight.

Richard at The All Spin Zone went far further – made phone calls and sent emails and has worked with the Philadelphia Citizens Crime Commission to help raise the reward mentioned above. Now her story is starting to make the rounds of TV broadcasters. CNN had it front page yesterday. 9 days after she went missing.

If you have any information, or can contribute any funds to the reward, contact the Citizens Crime Commission at 215-546-8477. If you would like to donate to the reward online, you can visit ASZ here. If you are a blogger, help spread the news. Get this out to as many people as possible. For more see Matt at Tatteredcoat. Other bloggers discussing the CNN story here.

The War Against Terror is over!

When all else fails, change the slogan! No seriously, the new slogan reflects thinking what right-wingers decried was unnecessary after 9-11, and what many on the left have always stressed – defeating terrorism requires social, economic, and political tracks along with military – and it requires a shared sacrifice by all – not just our soldiers and their families. So I say it’s about time the Administration has shifted its thinking. FOUR YEARS about time. I bet you will hear silence among the right-blogapunditry on this today. Not something they would like to admit.

New York Times: U.S. Officials Retool Slogan for Terror War:

The Bush administration is retooling its slogan for the fight against Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, pushing the idea that the long-term struggle is as much an ideological battle as a military mission, senior administration and military officials said Monday.

In recent speeches and news conferences, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and the nation’s senior military officer have spoken of “a global struggle against violent extremism” rather than “the global war on terror,” which had been the catchphrase of choice. Administration officials say that phrase may have outlived its usefulness, because it focused attention solely, and incorrectly, on the military campaign.

…Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the National Press Club on Monday that he had “objected to the use of the term ‘war on terrorism’ before, because if you call it a war, then you think of people in uniform as being the solution.” He said the threat instead should be defined as violent extremists, with the recognition that “terror is the method they use.”

Although the military is heavily engaged in the mission now, he said, future efforts require “all instruments of our national power, all instruments of the international communities’ national power.” The solution is “more diplomatic, more economic, more political than it is military,” he concluded.

…Administration and Pentagon officials say the revamped campaign has grown out of meetings of President Bush’s senior national security advisers that began in January, and it reflects the evolution in Mr. Bush’s own thinking nearly four years after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Mr. Rumsfeld spoke in the new terms on Friday when he addressed an audience in Annapolis, Md., for the retirement ceremony of Adm. Vern Clark as chief of naval operations. Mr. Rumsfeld described America’s efforts as it “wages the global struggle against the enemies of freedom, the enemies of civilization.”

The shifting language is one of the most public changes in the administration’s strategy to battle Al Qaeda and its affiliates, and it tracks closely with Mr. Bush’s recent speeches emphasizing freedom, democracy and the worldwide clash of ideas.

“It is more than just a military war on terror,” Steven J. Hadley, the national security adviser, said in a telephone interview. “It’s broader than that. It’s a global struggle against extremism. We need to dispute both the gloomy vision and offer a positive alternative.”

…Douglas J. Feith, the under secretary of defense for policy, said in an interview that if the nation’s efforts were limited to “protecting the homeland and attacking and disrupting terrorist networks, you’re on a treadmill that is likely to get faster and faster with time.” The key to “ultimately winning the war,” he said, “is addressing the ideological part of the war that deals with how the terrorists recruit and indoctrinate new terrorists.”

Two at Ask Metafilter

Ask Metafitler: Desktop video capture:

What’s the best program to use for capturing video from the desktop? Say, if I wanted to provide a visual tutorial in Photoshop that I could save as a video.

Wink sounds cool.

Ask Metafilter: Independence or stability?:

What’s the best way to finance a small business? Or should I, at this junction?

I’m looking at the possibilities of financing a business. I have a pretty clear idea of the business concept, and a fair idea of the business potential. However, my debt-to-investments ratio is just about 1:1, and both numbers are not terribly high. The business wouldn’t, in and of itself, cost a whole lot to start up but I’d have to support myself and my family (wife, with an upcoming child) while it got going. The debts I have will be paid off within 1 year. The opportunity I see in the business could be taken over by someone else within that timeframe.

What questions should I be asking myself in order to gauge my financial ability to start this business? Or, with a child coming up, should I just stay at my current job (which is fairly stable, if not possessing any expansion capability whatsoever) until debts are paid off and kid is born?

AOL gets RSS religion with My AOL…and Feedster’s help

SiliconBeat: AOL gets RSS religion with My AOL…and Feedster’s help:

It’s slightly ironic that AOL is just now introducing an RSS feed aggregator service, since it was Netscape that led development of RSS waaaay back in the day, and AOL owns Netscape. But we digress. The news tonight is that AOL has finally hopped on the RSS bandwagon, now that it’s pushing it services out from behind its fabled walled garden.

The service is called My AOL, and it’s not unlike My Yahoo, in concept, we’re told. It’s a page that users can customize with content from RSS feeds.

…Interestingly, the service will not require a user to log in. Instead, it will use cookies to identify users. If someone wants to use the service on another computer, they’ll have a unique URL that they can use. Seems a bit clunky, but Parkins said it fits in with AOL’s move away from subscription-only services.

Parkins stressed that My AOL is a beta, and that many more features are planned.

There’s a Silicon Valley angle. The new service is a major coup for Feedster, the San Francisco RSS search engine. In its biggest deal to date, Feedster is providing the technology that lets My AOL users find feeds they want to subscribe to, CEO Scott Rafer tells us.

My AOL users will also be able to subscribe to searches, again using Feedster technology. So if you wanted to follow news about the Supreme Court justice confirmation, you could subscribe to a search with those terms and watch the headlines flow in automatically. AOL also tells us that Feedster is adding an “Add to My AOL” button next to search results to make it easy to subscribe to news sources and blogs — much like the the “Add to My Yahoo” button that we’re seeing so much of these days.