Bernard Schwartz's Loral has appeared in the news lately regarding the
passing of U.S. satellite technology with potential military
applications to the mainland Chinese government. Perhaps you would like
to express your thoughts on this subject to Loral personally. Its
contact page helpfully provides
the email address of one Piper J. Martin (),
for this very purpose -- along with the invitation, "We are interested
in your feedback." WorldNetDaily readers will hardly like to disappoint
Mr. Martin and his friends.
I also checked out Hughes Electronics, the lesser-known corporate
party to the deals at issue. Its spectacularly uninformative contact
page (http://www.hughes.com/contact.html) is far cagier than Loral's,
leading me to suspect that the company's involvement may be more
elaborate and damaging than hitherto reported.
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The somewhat ill-monickered site Oyez Oyez Oyez ()
has begun offering digital audio playback of oral arguments in notable
Supreme Court cases, including Clinton v. Jones. Transcriptions of oral
arguments are also provided, as well as links to all the Court's written
opinions since 1891. (RealAudio required; you can download the software
HEART OF DARKNESS
Gray Areas magazine's odd, subversive Web site
() deals with controversial and/or
murky regions of the law. It contains an assortment of articles on
topics such as entrapment, gun ownership, the validity of the addiction
paradigm in discussing drug use, and hacking. Gray Areas solicits and
receives contributions from both lawbreakers and law enforcement
workers; selections are often amateurishly written, but nevertheless
(sometimes) thought-provoking. Notable is an enormous treatise entitled
"Everything a Hacker Needs to Know in Getting Busted by the Feds" --
including substantive sections on federal criminal law and federal
prison -- written by one Agent Steal, from federal prison, in 1997.
Tornado season is in full whirl -- and you don't have to live in the
Southern or Midwestern states most commonly associated with tornadoes in
order to be affected, as (much to my own white-knuckled horror) events
not long ago in Albany, New York and New Jersey made clear.
Good tornado resources available on the Web include the basic
information and safety tips available at the National Weather Service.
Severe weather warnings from
the National Weather Service are updated automatically once per minut; or try the Texas
A&M Watches and Warnings page.
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The Tornado Project Online, meanwhile, offers what you might
call an enthusiast's or hobbyist's approach to tornadoes -- as well as
solid safety advice, it offers records of past tornadoes, survivor
stories, consumer items (books, videos, posters) and "other neat stuff
about tornadoes." (Yeah. Neat. Whatever.)
Jackpot, designed by Maciej
Wisniewski, is a novel take on the Web collider (a page that pulls
together random information from different spots on the Web to create
some sort of collage). Jackpot's Internet-based "slot machine" downloads
three randomly selected URLs and displays them in the browser window
along with their top-level domain names (.com, .org, .edu, etc). You can
win the game by matching top-level domains. Winners are ushered to a
live Web site and allowed to submit a URL of their choice - which means
you see some pretty interesting URLs while you're playing Jackpot,
although you also get the occasional defunct link. The fascinating
juxtapositions that often arise make this site less a time waster than a
piece of new-media art.
U-DO-IT SCANDAL GENERATOR
Produce your very own White House exposé at the Create-A-Clinton-Story
site, which provides a handy
all-purpose lurid-scandal template. Retarded, but fun.
AIRFARE BARGAINS UPDATE
Following up on last week's column (in which I explained why the media
hype surrounding Priceline's airfare bidding service,
should be taken with a big fat grain of salt):
don't forget to have a look at the airlines themselves! Many offer
regular fare specials and sales online, at sites like Virgin Atlantic's; several also issue
weekly (usually Wednesday) email newsletters filled with last-minute
price slashes, including US Airways' E-Savers
Airlines' NetSAAvers. Frequent
discount-fare hunters may want to check out Bomis' Wednesday Airfares!
page, which lists a few
similar sites. If your favorite airline isn't listed at Bomis, try
seeing what one of the search engines can turn up: even international
airlines -- Lufthansa, for example -- often run bargain e-newsletters
or featured specials on the Web.