Not in the mood to write…

OK, so I’m still not in the mood to write anything. And with Thanksgiving coming up, I’ll be busy with other stuff any way. So… let’s do the news!!!

As you might have heard by now, the Saudi government has sentenced a rape victim to 200 lashes and six months in jail. Let me repeat: a 19 year-old Saudi girl was gang raped… and now she’s getting 200 lashes and six months in jail. Our “friends” the Saudis explain it thusly: the girl was initially sentenced to 90 lashes for “being in the car of an unrelated male at the time of the rape”, which is a crime in the wonderfully enlightened world of Sharia law. But her sentence was extended to 200 lashes and six months in jail after the victim “attempt[ed] to aggravate and influence the judiciary through the media”. Wow! With “friends” like these, who needs enemies?

I’m taking this story with a grain of salt, but, if true, it displays the true sickness of these Islamic nutcases: as you might have hard, former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto returned to her country last month. There have been several attempts on her life since she returned, but the worst was a bomb that killed 170 people. Now reports are coming in that that bomb was strapped to a 1 year-old infant! From The Australian:

Meanwhile, horrifying new details emerged last night of the attempt by suicide bombers to kill Ms Bhutto on her return home from exile last month.

Investigators from Ms Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party said yesterday they believed the bomb, which killed 170 people and left hundreds more wounded, was strapped to a one-year-old child carried by its jihadist father.

They said the suicide bomber tried repeatedly to carry the baby to Ms Bhutto’s vehicle as she drove in a late-night cavalcade through the streets of Karachi.

“At the point where the bombs exploded, Benazir Bhutto herself saw the man with the child and asked him to come closer so that she could hug or kiss the infant,” investigators were reported as saying. “But someone came in between and a guard felt that the man with the child was not behaving normally. So the child was not allowed to come aboard Benazir’s vehicle.”

Ms Bhutto is said to have told investigators she recalls the face of the man who was carrying the infant. She has asked to see recordings made by television news channels to try to identify the man.

Of course, the Pakistan People’s Party has their own axe to grind, so I’m a little bit suspicious of this story. But politicians have been kissing babies for ages, so it’s possible that this did happen. If it did… well, that’s just sick.

On a (somewhat) lighter note, a Wisconsin man has been charged with cruelty to animals (and various other charges) after shooting a goat… because his wife didn’t buy him beer. It seems that the man went hunting, and whilst he was gone, his daughter let the pet goats out. Goats being goats, they made a mess, and when the main returned he got all bent out of shape about it. When he went in to confront the daughter about it, he found her on the phone with her mother, who was at the store. The man told the daughter to tell the mom to buy him some beer, and when she came home empty-handed, the man went outside and shot one of the goats!

Be careful of any attachments you might receive from strange emails. Security companies Websense and MessageLabs are reporting that hackers are sending emails with .SCR files attached. SCR files are normally screen saver files. Sadly, Windows doesn’t do any kind of check as to whether they’re genuine screen savers or not. Since you can embed code or executable files into a SCR file, it’s unbelievably easy for a hacker to install software on your computer if you double-click (or choose “Preview”) the SCR file. Thankfully, this latest attack seems to be aimed at banks and credit unions, so you’re probably safe in the near term… but don’t ever open a SCR attachment just the same. By the way, companies using Microsoft’s Small Business Server software should be safe; by default, SBS blocks SCR attachments, so unless your knuclehead administrator disabled that feature, you’re OK.

Lastly, it seems that British music retailers are so fed up with DRM that they are asking the music industry to drop all DRM schemes in time for the holiday shopping season.  As the linked article notes, “consumers are increasingly dissatisfied with copy protection systems that erode fair use rights and impose limitations on where and how content can be used. To make matters worse, market fragmentation has led to the emergence of incompatible DRM formats which often confuse consumers and leave them wondering whether or not the content they buy will work on all of their electronics devices”. Kim Bayley, the director of the UK’s Electronics Retailers Association told the Financial Times that DRM schemes are “stifling growth and working against the consumer interest.” British music giant EMI recently ditched DRM, and has seen strong sales growth since then. Hmmmmm… makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

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