January 26, 2002

Here's a great collection of Bush/Monkey Faces.

January 25, 2002

Looks like former Enron executive J. Clifford Baxter knew too much. See the CNN article:
Former Enron executive dies in apparent suicide .

J. Clifford Baxter was found dead at 2:23 a.m., said Pat Whitty of the Sugar Land Police. Sugar Land is about six miles southeast of Houston.

"Baxter had an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head," Whitty said. "He was discovered inside a vehicle ... A suicide note was found at the scene. There was no sign of foul play. Inside his wallet was an ID indicating he was an employee of Enron."

The contents of the suicide note were not disclosed.

During an afternoon news conference, Sgt. Truman Body of the Sugar Land Police said an autopsy has been ordered. Body also said that a revolver had been found inside the car.


Professor Teuvo Kohonen has a new self-organizing feature map (SOM) architecture, WEBSOM, that was developed for what he calls "exploratory textual data mining."

In the largest WEBSOM implemented so far, about seven million documents have been organized in a one-million neuron network.

Kohonen has also written a book about Self-Organizing Maps. (Thanks, John.)

January 24, 2002

Intel's Philanthropic Peer-to-Peer Program provides a way to contribute unused CPU cycles to worthy medical research causes.

A great Privacy-related conference is coming up on April 15-16 at the Cathedral Hill Hotel in San Francisco:
Workshop on Privacy Enhancing Technologies.

It's taking place right before the Computers, Freedom and Privacy Conference that's going on from April 16-19 in the same hotel. So if you're already planning on attending CFP, come a day or two early and check out some really amazing technology.

This may be old news to some people, but I've sure never heard about it until now: Phenylpropanolamine, a very common cold remedy ingredient, has been "linked to increased hemorrhagic stroke (bleeding in brain) among women ages 18-49 in the three days after starting use of medication."

There are some special concerns regarding children's medications that you'll want to pay special attention to (see below).

This letter was passed on to me by a friend. I followed the link to the FDA's Phenylpropanolamine (PPA) Information Page and the story checks out.

This is pretty serious. Spread the word.

All drugs containing Phenylpropanolamine are being recalled. You may want to try calling the 800 number listed on most drug boxes and inquire about a REFUND.

Please read this CAREFULLY, as I know that some of you may USE some of these drugs (Alka Seltzer Plus for one).

Also, please pass this on to everyone you know. STOP TAKING anything containing this ingredient. It has been linked to increased hemorrhagic stroke (bleeding in brain) among women ages 18-49 in the three days after starting use of medication. Problems were not found in men, but the FDA recommended that everyone (even children) seek alternative medicine.

The following medications contain Phenylpropanolamine:
Acutrim Diet Gum Appetite Suppressant Plus Dietary Supplements
Acutrim Maximum Strength Appetite Control
Alka-Seltzer Plus Children's Cold Medicine Effervescent
Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold medicine (cherry or orange)
Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold Medicine Original
Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold & Cough Medicine Effervescent
Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold & Flu Medicine Effervescent
Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold & Sinus Effervescent
Alka Seltzer Plus Night-Time Cold Medicine Effervescent
BC Allergy Sinus Cold Powder
BC Sinus Cold Powder
Comtrex Deep Chest Cold & Congestion Relief
Comtrex Flu Therapy & Fever Relief
Day & Night Contac 12-Hour Cold Capsules
Contac 12 Hour Caplets
Coricidin D Cold, Flu & Sinus
Dexatrim Caffeine Free
Dexatrim Extended Duration
Dexatrim Gelcaps
Dexatrim Vitamin C/Caffeine Free
Dimetapp Cold & Allergy Chewable Tablets
Dimetapp Cold & Cough Liqui-Gels
Dimetapp DM Cold & Cough Elixir
Dimetapp Elixir
Dimetapp 4 Hour Liquid Gels
Dimetapp 4 Hour Tablets
Dimetapp 12 Hour Extentabs Tablets
Naldecon DX Pediatric Drops
Permathene Mega-16
Robitussin CF
Tavist-D 12 Hour Relief of Sinus & Nasal Congestion
Triaminic DM Cough Relief
Triaminic Expectorant Chest & Head Congestion
Triaminic Syrup Cold & Allergy
Triaminic Triaminicol Cold & Cough

I just found out and called the 800# on the container for Triaminic and they informed me that they are voluntarily recalling the following medicines because of a certain ingredient that is causing strokes and seizures in children:

Orange 3D Cold & Allergy Cherry (Pink)
3D Cold & Cough Berry
3D Cough Relief
Yellow 3D Expectorant

If you know of anyone else with small children, PLEASE PASS THIS ON.

THIS IS SERIOUS STUFF. DO PASS ALONG TO ALL ON YOUR MAILING LIST so people are informed. They can then pass it along to their families.

KaZaa was bought by Australian interests and has resumed its controversial service.

See:
File Sharing Program Kazaa Bought.

An Australian multimedia company has bought and restarted KaZaa, the Internet file-sharing program that's being sued for being the new Napster (news - web sites).

The privately held Sharman Networks Ltd. bought certain assets of KaZaa BV, including the popular KaZaa Media Desktop file-sharing program, Nikki Hemming, Sharman's chief executive officer said Monday.

KaZaa stopped all downloads of the free Media Desktop program last week pending a Dutch judge's ruling in a copyright infringement case filed against the company in the Netherlands.

But Sharman Networks resumed downloads Monday and logged about two new users per second.

January 23, 2002

Lucas Gonze was nice enough to put together this little collection of self-organizing network links.

O'Reilly has a cool book on Slash coming out in February.

Here's a sample chapter:
Chapter 4 - Editing and Updating Stories.