News & Politics

NetNomad 26

Five offbeat, timely reviews of Web sites on the arts, politics and news -- with a dash of the absurd thrown in for good measure. This week: Stop Napster . . . The Most Eligible Sysadmins on the 'Net . . . Lighthouses Known to Offer Guest Accommodations . . . Star Agents: The Anonymous Stars in the CIA's Book of Honor . . . Grand Ole Opry Online.
Stop Napster (www.stopnapster.com)

Lookout Cleveland, a storm is coming through. Be advised that The Tabloids are mad as hell and they're not going to take it any more. No, not the grocery store tabloids. These Tabloids are a rock band ("Straight Up Rock, No Chaser" is apparently their motto) and they are the alleged organizers of Stop Napster, subtitled: Artists Protecting Artists. And just how does one artist protect another? Well, by using so-called Trojan Horse MP3s, seemingly original MP3 files that have anti-piracy speeches interspersed randomly throughout the track. Or how about a Napster Bomb, a MP3 masquerading as a mainstream tune but in fact is little more than "four minutes of dogs barking, sirens going off, etc." The site also names Metallica's Lars Ulrich as Artist of the Year and of course there is also a link to The Tabloids site.



The Most Eligible Sysadmins on the 'Net (www.fistfullofunix.com/index2.html)

Hey good looking. There's no telling what these bad boys have cooking. He's Bachelor Number 2. His age in milliseconds is 835726454340. His weight in hexidecimal is 000000a5 and his height in rack units is an impressive (maybe) 37. His name is Drew and "there's no stopping this little powerhouse. He has laid hands on an E-10000, and isn't above an all night con-call. Word on the street is he can do a mean fsck. Watch out ladies!"

Lighthouses Known to Offer Guest Accommodations (www.maine.com/lights/others.htm)

For those in search of interesting vacations options, it would be difficult to top a night or two in a lighthouse. This list of lighthouses that offer just that. Compiled by the US Lighthouse Society, the site offers information on 21 lighthouses that offer various levels of accommodation. The Bass River lighthouse (West Dennis, MA) for example, features features sixty-one rooms and cottages (with working fireplaces) spread across nine oceanfront acres. And the Selkirk Lighthouse (Pulaski, NY) includes a full kitchen, dining and living room and one bedroom on the first floor, and three larger bedrooms on the second floor.

Star Agents: The Anonymous Stars in the CIA's Book of Honor (gopher.fiu.edu/~fcf/ray.washingtonpost.cia91897.html)

At CIA headquarters there are 69 stars carved into the marble. Below is a book in a locked glass case. The book, called the Book of Honor, is a tribute to the CIA officers who died in the line of duty. Only 29 names are contained in the Book of Honor. The rest are "identified" by asterisks. Even in death, they remain anonymous to the outside world. Ted Gup recounts these details in his "The Book of Honor: Covert Lives and Classified Deaths at the CIA" and this site serves as a sort of precursor to the book. In an extensive article for The Washington Post, Gup writes that "these are no ordinary deaths: Loved ones left behind mourn secretly and live tethered to bogus cover stories. In their struggles lies a remarkable strand of the agency's history."

Grand Ole Opry Online (www.opry.com)

Anyone familiar with the "real" world of country music can pretty much guess what Roy Acuff would have made of this, but the Grand Ole Opry is now available for broadcast world-wide via the Internet. WSM's Opry, the longest running live radio show, has "not missed a broadcast since signing on the air in 1925." And now anyone anywhere can tune in every Saturday night. The rest of the site doesn't quite live up to that storied tradition, but it does contain an Opry history, including the much-loved Ryman years, video archives and information on vacation packages and ticket reservations.
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