Sunday, November 30, 2008

Protect our civil liberties petition

Bill Richardson has been nominated to the Obama cabinet as secretary of commerce.

However, there is a new online petition to remove his nomination from the cabinet:
As the Secretary of Energy under former President Bill Clinton, Mr. Richardson intentionally leaked Dr. Wen Ho Lee's name to the press as the suspect of giving China nuclear secrets and falsely accused Dr. Lee of espionage, stripping Dr. Lee's right to due process and marking the beginning of a 9 month solitary confinement. Judge James Parker made an unusual apology to Dr. Lee when he released him and accused the Department of Energy, among others, of misleading him and bring dishonor to the U.S. All this is documented in Wikipedia, see

President Bill Clinton and the New York Times have both apologized publicly to Dr. Lee. Yet, Mr. Richardson said he stood by everything he said and did regarding Dr. Lee in an interview with Democracy Now in September 2005. He also criticized Judge Parker for making his apology and said the Judge erred when he said he was misled. See

For more on Gov. Richardson and Dr. Lee, watch

The Dr. Wen Ho Lee case was not the only mistake Mr. Richardson made. Several hard disc drives were missing at the Los Alamos National Lab under his watch. Mr. Richardson's motive when he offered Monica Lewinsky a job on his UN staff is questionable. Additionally, he repeatedly claimed he was drafted by the Kansas City A's until it was proven that he was not.
For details, see the online petition:

Gov Bill Richardson should not be nominated Petition

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sign Language Over Cell Phones -- by video

Research to provide sign language support for the hearing impaired using video cell phone has gathered some publicity recently. ScienceDaily has published an article detailing one of such work:

Here is a video about the video cell phone:

FDA found melamine in domestic U.S. milk formula providers

According to an AP article: previously undisclosed tests, obtained by the Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act, show that the FDA has detected melamine in a sample of one popular formula and the presence of cyanuric acid, a chemical relative of melamine, in the formula of 3 U.S. domestic baby milk formula providers. The three firms — Abbott Laboratories, Nestle and Mead Johnson — manufacture more than 90 percent of all infant formula produced in the United States.

For details, check this AP article on Yahoo:

If you have a baby at home, you should probably beware of this problem.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Next Bubble

The economic boom in the 90's was largely driven by the hi-tech bubble. After the bubble burst in 2000, America found a new frontier, the real estate and financial derivatives. Most of the economic development in the past few years seem to be related to the real estate bubble and the stock or financial tricks.

What is going to be the next bubble?

One likely candidate is the alternative (or renewable) energy, green technology, initiative.

If there is a real substitute for the gasoline (and petroleum to a larger extent), and if this substitute is low cost, low/no pollution, and unrelated to coal or petroleum, the potential market for this technology would be huge. However, if it turns out to be a disappointment, the downside could also be a lot of wasted resources, research, funding, etc.