I almost forgot the title!

Time to start paying for web access? The W3C is considering allowing integration of patented tech into the standards as long as the license fees are “reasonable and non-discriminatory”. MP3 files and GIF files are good examples of patented tech… Basically what it would mean is that you'd have to pay some minor fees to use the technology that makes the web happen… I'm not saying that's a bad thing for sure, but it's yet another thing to stay informed on, and it's yet another potential blow against open-source developers.

Crypto-Gram published an interesting article on 9/11 related security, as well as terrorist use of cryptography and things like that. They talk briefly about El Al (the Israeli airline) and how it has addressed security — it obviously had to address this a long time ago. The recent reaction by airlines here in the US and Canada has been to put very visible (and relatively inexpensive) means of security in place. So far it's become apparent that the new means don't really do anything at all, and if anything, simply punish people who are very clearly no threat at all… El Al does things like use a seriously bulletproof door between the pilots and the rest of the plane, and also depressurizes all luggage before even putting it on the plane to make sure there are no bombs set to trigger via altitude sensors. (And this is on top of particularly invasive background checks on all passengers).

My biggest complaint about how the FAA handled this was the downing of VFR pilots (like myself). Pilots flying under VFR (visual flight rules) are relatively restricted as to where and when they can fly, and more importantly, are flying tiny planes. The average VFR plane probably weighs less than the average car, and carries very minimal quantities of fuel, and the amount of damage that is created from one crashing into a target is extremely minimal. There's no way terrorists would bother with small planes — so why punish private pilots? (PS. Yes, I know this was a temporary ban).

Later tonight a number of the Canadian ministers of the COBM will be meeting to ratify our consititution and things like that. We have to do this as part of filing our charitable organization paperwork, so expect a report on that tomorrow morning.

PS. Experiences are 75% done now.

Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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