Ming the Mechanic:
Friday, October 11, 2002

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Friday, October 11, 20022002-10-12 01:58
4 comments
pictureby Flemming Funch

  • At the monthly L.A. Futurists meeting I was listening to Kevin Mitnick speak. Kevin is probably the world's most notorious computer hacker. The guy who inspired the movie Wargames. The Feds put him jail for years, in an isolation cell. In part for some things he did, like break into various companies computers, and also for some things that were a bit exaggerated, like breaking into NORAD. They tried to keep him away from any phone or computer equipment, and they seemed to believe that he would be able to whistle tones into a telephone handset and set off the third world war. Really he's a very nice guy. Needless to say, very bright too. He just published the book "The Art of Deception", which reveals a large number of clever human engineering tricks to watch out for. You know, ways of getting people to divulge information that they otherwise are trying to keep secret.

  • The crowd that comes to these meetings is always fascinating. Like, scientists working in bioinformatics, neural networks, artificial intelligence. People from companies that make wearable computers, special effects studios, cryogenics companies, etc.

  • The European Parliament has reached an agreement on the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive. It sets recycling and recovery targets for electronic and electrical equipment and bans the use of hazardous substances in the manufacture of electrical or electronic goods. That is one step in direction of implenting a "Take Back" principle. Good article here. In short, the idea is that the manufacturers of products need to take responsibility for having manufactured the products. I.e. they need to be willing to take them back and recycle them when they have gone through their life cycle. That is kind of simple and obvious, and it changes everything. If companies actually end up being stuck with the products they produced earlier, and they're not allowed to just dump them somewhere out of sight, they will rather quickly and naturally come up with ways of making products that ARE easily and economically recyclable.

  • Jimmy Carter got the Nobel Peace Price. BBC News. Well deserved, I think. He appears to be a very decent man who is working hard for peace and democracy in the world, often on the front lines.

    "It is better to believe than to disbelieve. In so doing you bring everything to the realm of possibility." --Albert Einstein


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