Dear LiveLeak, The Problem With Beliefs

UPDATE: LiveLeak has had a change of heart, Fitna is now available on their service and they have issued another statement. I commend LiveLeak for changing their position but have to question the intellectual honesty of the statemen, which says, to paraphrase, that they are unbiased yet personally offended by the film. 

Having them isn’t hard, standing up for them is. First it was Network Solutions and now LiveLeak, who really must be naive if they think Islamic extremists give a shit about “freedom of speech on the net” or “accepting one another’s culture”. It’s too bad Mr. Wilders’ government basically threw him under the bus rather than stand up for what is a universal human right, free speech. Despite LiveLeak’s pretty language about many opinions, the fact remains that when it counted they chose to censor one opinion out of fear of another, and this won’t foster a “discussion that could benefit and educate us all”, rather it will only serve to embolden one group of extremists.

Following threats to our staff of a very serious nature, and some ill informed reports from certain corners of the British media that could directly lead to the harm of some of our staff, Liveleak.com has been left with no other choice but to remove Fitna from our servers.

This is a sad day for freedom of speech on the net but we have to place the safety and well being of our staff above all else.

We would like to thank the thousands of people, from all backgrounds and religions, who gave us their support. They realised LiveLeak.com is a vehicle for many opinions and not just for the support of one.

Perhaps there is still hope that this situation may produce a discussion that could benefit and educate all of us as to how we can accept one anothers culture.

We stood for what we believe in, the ability to be heard, but in the end the price was too high.

[From LiveLeak.com - Redefining the Media]

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Google News Delivers

Sometimes you have to wonder if someone from Google News is deliberately placing headlines for maximum irony. Check out the “10 reasons to fly through Heathrow’s new terminal” article sandwiched between the Heathrow in chaos stories. In all fairness the Forbes piece does acknowledge the chaos but then goes on to list the Tiffany boutique, spa services, and fancy first class lounge as reasons to fly through the new terminal… maybe they should write a piece on how keeping your core business in order is more strategic than accessorizing failure.

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Man Machine Failures Plague Heathrow Terminal Opening

Heathrow’s Terminal 5 opened yesterday with a resounding thud that left travelers and employees stranded and BAA and British Airways officials red faced and shamed. This is as much a failure of man as it is the systems that have been designed and implemented.

There is simply no excuse for employees not being able to log on, baggage systems not synchronized with baggage handler actions, insufficient parking for employees, and a traveler information system that failed and then ground to a halt with literally thousands of travelers in the terminal.

Rumor also has it that the much talked about biometric system that fingerprints travelers wasn’t blocked by regulators but because the system failed to work in the days approaching the launch. Seriously, BAA (the airport operator) can’t really expect anyone to believe that government regulators who knew about the system while it was being considered, designed, and then implemented, waited until the days leading up to the terminal opening to say “no dice”.

All I can say is that my strategy to avoid Heathrow for connection and destination flights will remain in force. If I’m connecting I’ll fly into Frankfurt and if I need to be in London I’ll get a direct flight to Gatwick instead. It also makes me wonder if London is really able to pull together the massive logistics challenge that is the modern day Olympics.

Computer glitches and other problems plunged London’s Heathrow airport into chaos for a second straight day on Friday, causing British Airways to cancel numerous flights.

[From British Airways Cancels Heathrow Flights Amid Computer Chaos -- Heathrow Airport -- InformationWeek]

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The Origami Space Shuttle

This is actually really cool, but considering there is no opportunity to instrument a paper airplane I am unclear on how you would study it’s flight effectively.

Japanese scientists and origami masters hope to launch a paper airplane from space and learn from its trip back to Earth. It’s no joke. A prototype passed a durability test in a wind tunnel this month, Japan’s space agency adopted it Wednesday for feasibility studies, and a well-known astronaut is interested in participating.

[From Japanese hope to launch paper plane from space - San Jose Mercury News]

More on this topic (What's this?) Read more on Space Shuttle, Investing in Japan at Wikinvest