November 09, 2001

Uh oh. Looks like defeating the Taliban might be a little tougher than we thought. But you wouldn't know it from what's been in the American press lately. The India Times' Taliban fought off US commando raid: Report provides a scary account indeed.

"NEW YORK: Twelve Delta Force commandos were wounded -- three seriously -- when they encountered stiffer-than-expected Taliban resistance during the October 20 raid on Mullah Mohammad Omar's compound outside Kandahar, the New Yorker magazine reported. The fiasco has triggered a review of special forces operations in Afghanistan.
But a top US general has denied the report.
Top US military officials are re-assessing future special forces operations in Afghanistan after the nearly disastrous October 20 raid, according to the Monday edition of the magazine.
The elite Delta Force, "which prides itself on stealth, had been counterattacked by the Taliban, and some Americans had to fight their way to safety," according to the article.
The ferocity of the Taliban response "scared the crap out of everyone," a senior military officer told Seymour Hersh, the article's author.

November 08, 2001

Looks like the incredible potential of peer-to-peer networks is finally starting to see the light of day.

Here's a Washington Post article by Leslie Walker: Uncle Sam Wants Napster! (washingtonpost.com).

Some analysts think the peer-to-peer concept could lead to a more powerful Internet if large corporations, fearing the loss of control over intellectual property, don't squash them first. Last month, 28 record and movie companies sued new file-sharing networks with names like MusicCity, Grokster and Kazaa. And last week the big three television networks filed suit against SonicBlue, which is preparing to launch avideo recorder that allows people to swap their recorded TV programs online.
Other entrepreneurs are fashioning similar tools for legitimate use in the workplace. Their makers report a spike in interest from corporate customers in the past month, as well as a revival of interest from venture capitalists, who largely withdrew funding for peer-to-peer systems in the wake of February's court decision shutting down Napster.
Now the military is sending a message that it, too, is shopping for cutting-edge software with some of the $40 billion in emergency spending Congress authorized to beef up national defense.
The U.S. Joint Forces Command last week began testing new commercial software called Groove, developed by the creator of Lotus Notes. About 20 large corporations also are using the program, which allows people to create ad hoc computing groups, send instant messages, mark up files and do other collaborative work online without help from system administrators.

November 05, 2001

The U.S. Government is getting serious about XML! There's an XML.gov website that details its strategy and a separate website for the US House of Representatives XML and Legislative Documents.