Tuesday, July 11, 2006


The agent who led the CIA unit that was pursuing bin Laden says that disbanding the unit was a terrible mistake. Of course, he's presuming that the goal of Bush's foreign policy is to be successful in the war on foreign terrorism.

Speaking of which, Bruce Schneier reported on this analysis which says that the NSA mass surveillance is doomed to be ineffective.
No matter how sophisticated and super-duper are NSA's methods for identifying terrorists, no matter how big and fast are NSA's computers, NSA's accuracy rate will never be 100% and their misidentification rate will never be 0%. That fact, plus the extremely low base-rate for terrorists, means it is logically impossible for mass surveillance to be an effective way to find terrorists.
Wired Magazine has an article in it's latest issue on media and it's focus on producing "hits" as in "hit records" or "hit television shows". The article notes that the buying public is tending to move away from "hits". The article includes an observation that I have made many times as well:
Technology also gave consumers a new way to buy music. Rather than having to purchase an entire album to get a couple of good tracks, they can buy songs à la carte for 99 cents each. The online music industry is primarily a singles business, which depresses album sales further.
The article is a good one and not just because of the bit above. It's well worth a full read through as is the one on the analysis of the NSA mass monitoring programs.

No comments: