Monday, December 31, 2007

Bhutto's son and husband take the helm of her party

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN -- Acting in accordance with her last wishes, Benazir Bhutto's party Sunday named her 19-year-old son as its ceremonial leader and her widowed husband as the executor of its day-to-day affairs as violence that had flared in Pakistan after her assassination subsided.

The decision to bypass experienced senior politicians in the party hierarchy showed the slain opposition leader's steely determination to posthumously ensure the continuation of one of the country's most enduring political dynasties, even though her son is too young to run for office and her husband is shadowed by corruption allegations.

Bhutto was only 25 when her politician father, facing execution at the hands of a military dictator, told her he wanted her to carry on his life's work.

The party's move, three days after his mother's assassination, thrust into the spotlight Bilawal Zardari, a young man whom Bhutto had kept out of the public eye as much as possible during an upbringing that took place almost exclusively outside Pakistan.

Dark-haired, slender and composed, the Oxford history student bears a striking resemblance, both in looks and demeanor, to his mother. That has drawn comparisons by some to the public emergence of Britain's Prince William upon the death of a mother he too greatly resembled, Princess Diana.

Underscoring the weight of legacy, Bhutto's son, who has two younger sisters, was introduced at a news conference in his ancestral village of Naudero as Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the first public use of his maternal surname.

"The party's long struggle for democracy will continue with renewed vigor," he said, speaking in even-toned, lightly British-accented English. "My mother always said democracy is the best revenge."

Although there is generally warm sentiment toward Bilawal Zardari, his father is a far more polarizing figure. In the eyes of many of Bhutto's admirers, Asif Ali Zardari, whom she wed in an arranged marriage, has tarnished her legacy.

A Cabinet minister in Bhutto's two administrations as prime minister, Zardari subsequently spent eight years in prison on corruption charges. Although he has denied all allegations, so widespread was his reputation for taking kickbacks that he was known as "Mr. 10%."

In passing the political torch to Bhutto's son and husband, her Pakistan People's Party pointedly refrained from seeking any delay in the parliamentary elections scheduled to take place Jan. 8. The country's Election Commission, controlled by supporters of President Pervez Musharraf, is to announce a decision today about the timing of the vote.

Analysts said moving ahead swiftly with the polling would allow Bhutto's party to capitalize on what could be a large sympathy vote in addition to the party's already formidable voter base. That, they said, could more than make up for whatever organizational disadvantages the party would suffer due to disarray in the wake of its leader's death.

Because Bilawal cannot run for office until he is 25 and his father has said he will not seek a seat in parliament, the party's candidate for prime minister, in the event of victory, would probably be Bhutto's deputy, Makhdoom Amin Fahim, who stood in for her during her years in exile.

With Bhutto's party saying it would run in the elections, the party of opposition leader Nawaz Sharif said it would almost certainly field candidates as well. Sharif, another former prime minister, had said after Bhutto was killed Thursday that his party would boycott the poll, but he also had previously reversed threats to sit out the contest when Bhutto's party refused to join in a boycott call.

Zardari said the party was determined to participate in the elections "despite this dangerous situation" because that was his late wife's wish. Emotional supporters invoked her name again and again, chanting, "Benazir, princess of heaven!"

Senior aides to Musharraf have indicated that the Election Commission would probably accede to the wishes of Bhutto's party in regard to the election date. It would be politically difficult for the government to force a delay if the other parties are prepared to go ahead, and if a lull in violence holds.

Sunday was the last of three days of government-decreed mourning for Bhutto; schools and offices are due to reopen today. The country was rocked by riots and looting almost from the moment her death was announced, with most of the violence concentrated in her hometown, Karachi, Pakistan's largest city.

The violence eased Sunday, but the death toll stood at nearly 50 and Karachi's streets were pockmarked with burned-out buildings and littered with the charred hunks of torched vehicles. Property damage ran into the many millions of dollars.

The Bush administration refrained from taking any position on the timing of the vote or the accession of Bhutto's son and husband, saying only that it hoped the polling would be free and fair.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Scott Stanzel, in Texas with President Bush, said, "It is up to the political parties of Pakistan to choose their leaders.

"We believe it is important for Pakistan to confront extremists and continue on the path to democracy by holding free and fair elections," he said. "The timing of those elections will be up to the Pakistanis."

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Seeing Inside: Sight Versus Vision

Sight is the ability to see the physical world while vision is the gift of seeing beyond it. Sight enables us to take the physical world in so we can participate in it with knowledge. It brings us pleasure through our eyes, which perceive the colors and shapes of all the myriad expressions of nature and human beings. It helps us feel in control, allowing us to see what is coming toward us, which way we are going, and exactly where we are standing at a given moment. We are able to read signs and books, navigate the interiors of buildings with ease, sense and perceive how a person is feeling by the expressions that cross her face.

As anyone who has lost their eyesight can tell you, though, there are things that are clearer when you cannot see the world through your eyes. One of the reasons many meditation instructors advise sitting with the eyes closed is because we automatically become more in touch with our inner world when we are not distracted by the outer world. It is in this state that vision becomes our mode of seeing. Vision comes from within and shows us how to navigate the realms of thought, feeling, and emotion. It enables us to see things that aren’t yet manifested in the world of form, and it also connects us to that part of ourselves that exists separately from the world of form.

As we age, even those of us with perfect eyesight will generally lose some of our acuity, but this loss is usually replaced with inner vision. This is the time of life when we are meant to turn inside and take what are sometimes the very first steps of a journey that cannot be traced on a map. We call upon intuition and feel our way along a path that ultimately carries us beyond the realm we can see with our eyes and into the land of spirit

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Muhammad Ali

"He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life."

Muhammad Ali

Friday, October 19, 2007

Hillary Clinton receives the largest number of military donations…from the Defense industry.


The ever famed ‘Military-Industrial Complex’ has picked their candidate of choice: Hillary Rodham Clinton. When Hillary takes office, do not be prepared to see an anti-war populist of any sort. She is as establishment as Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson, ready to declare war on Iran at a moment’s notice. The defense industry sees this and, I think, has made a good investment. Well, good if you’re a defense contractor. The Huffington Post reported:

The defense industry this year abandoned its decade-long commitment to the Republican Party, funneling the lion share of its contributions to Democratic presidential candidates, especially to Hillary Clinton who far out-paced all her competitors.

An examination of contributions of $500 or more, using the Huffington Post’s Fundrace website, shows that employees of the top five arms makers - Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop-Grumman, Raytheon and General Dynamics — gave Democratic presidential candidates $103,900, with only $86,800 going to Republicans.

Senator Clinton took in $52,600, more than half of the total going to all Democrats, and a figure equaling 60 percent of the sum going to the entire GOP field. Her closest competitor for defense industry money is former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R.), who raised $32,000.

Insofar as defense workers making political donations reflect the interests of their employers, the contributions clearly suggest that the arms industry has reach the conclusion that Democratic prospects for 2008 are very good indeed. Since their profits are so heavily dependent on government contracts, companies in this field want to be sure they do not have hostile relations with the White House.

The strong support for Clinton indicates that a majority of defense industry executives currently believe Clinton is a favorite to win the Democratic nomination and, in November, 2008, the general election.

In the 2004 presidential race, defense company workers, almost all of them upper-level employees, gave George W. Bush $819,358, more than twice the $366,870 received by John Kerry. Similarly, in House and Senate races over the past 10 years, the defense industry has favored Republicans over Democrats by a 3-2 margin.

Republicans holding public office almost always provide much stronger support for weapons programs and other Pentagon spending than do Democrats.

In an unexpected development, Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), the ranking Republican on the Armed Services Committee and a decorated Vietnam War veteran, raised just $19,200, barely more than the $18,500 collected by Texas Representative Ron Paul (R.).

No other Democrat came near Clinton’s totals. Running second to her in the competition for Pentagon contractors’ cash was Senator Chris Dodd (D-Conn), who raised $13,200, almost all from executives of General Dynamics which has a major submarine building facility in Groton, Conn.

Former Senator John Edwards (D-N. Car.) raised $12,200 and Illinois Senator Barack Obama (D) took in $10,000.

Clinton’s major industry benefactors - donors who gave the $4,600 maximum allowed by law — include Roger A. Crone, Boeing’s president of Network and Space Systems; Stanley Roth, Boeing’s Vice President for Asia, International Relations, $4,600; Anne Sullivan, a Raytheon attorney; William Lynn, Raytheon’s Senior Vice President for Government Relations; and Michele Kang, Northrop Grumman Vice President for health science solutions.

Battle brewing between Pirate Bay, recording industry over IFPI domain coup


The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry has taken up a new battle against pirates, but this one is different than previous legal pursuits. The UK-based organization acts as the worldwide arm for the music recording industry, but as widely reported, it apparently forgot to renew its .com top-level domain in time before it got snatched up by one of its top targets, The Pirate Bay. While the IFPI still retains control of, now points to a Pirate Bay page that reads: "International Federation of Pirates Interests." The two sides are now preparing for a fight over the domain, and we talked to the parties involved.

Screenshot of the current

The switch came about sometime last week, when Pirate Bay was given the domain by someone who had bought it after it expired some time ago, The Pirate Bay's Peter Sunde told Ars. A quick look through shows that the "real" IFPI has not been using the domain for some time—in March of this year, the domain was a parked page with a Google search box, and as recently as April, it was being used as a blog for the "free music community."

An account of the events from IFPI spokesperson Laura Childs appears to confirm this. "IFPI's website continues to operate as normal. The web site was acquired by a cyber-squatter who appears to have passed it on to an associate of The Pirate Bay," she told Ars. "IFPI has already taken legal action to get the domain returned. We have filed a complaint at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) under the dispute resolution procedure. This procedure is designed for classic cyber-squatting cases such as this which involve the use of a URL in bad faith."

Indeed, the WIPO introduced new dispute resolution procedures in 2002 to account for cybersquatting. The procedure involves a review by WIPO-appointed, independent panelists in order to enforce ICANN's Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy. If the panel decides that the domain was acquired or used in bad faith, then it can order the domain to be transferred to the party that registered the complaint. (For curious readers, a number of past cases and related decisions can be found on WIPO's website.)

Given WIPO and ICANN's definition of "bad faith"—which says that the domain cannot be used to cause confusion with the "Complainant's mark"—there's a decent chance of The Pirate Bay eventually losing control of the domain. But if Pirate Bay can fight back and prove somehow that it has no commercial interests or intent to confuse visitors with the "real" IFPI site, it might have a chance at succeeding.

"We have not done anything illegal or even immoral," Sunde told Ars. "I can't see why we shouldn't be able to keep the domain name. We're not going to bash IFPI on it, we're going to host our own IFPI on it," he said.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

iTunes 7.4.1 already released -- free ringtone workaround is NOT ok

Vía: Engadget

Just thought we'd let the droves of paranoid upgraders know in on a small bit of good bad news. Yes, Apple did already release a new version of iTunes tonight, 7.4.1, and we tested to see if said update "fixes" the ringtone-renaming hack (if you really want to call it a hack) that lets users supply their own ringtones sans Apple's $0.99 fee. Breathe not so easy: it may be legal (probably), but the hack did not continue to work just fine for us. More below.

Update: So yes, our previous ringtones carried over and we were able to add new renamed ringtones to iTunes -- but our readers are right in that 7.4.1 DOES block the renamed ringtone workaround moving forward. Our initial syncs went unblocked, but only until we tried to add new ringtone files. Once you actually attempt to sync new renamed ringtone files, well, then you're in for a heap o' pain (see above).

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

VirtualBox 1.5: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Vía: Venture Cake

Seamless virtualization in VirtualBox 1.5

The new VirtualBox brings seamless virtualization to Linux. This puts Linux on par with the Mac - users can run their native desktop but still launch the odd Windows-only program when they need to. The VirtualBox manual doesn’t give much detail on the new feature, so here’s the good, the bad, and the ugly of VirtualBox 1.5

Previously on VentureCake we’ve discussed using RDesktop’s seamless RDP to launch apps from a VM, but VirtualBox 1.5 makes the process a lot simpler:

  • Install the virtualbox package
  • Click ApplicationsSystem ToolsInnotek VirtualBox
  • Make a VM, pop in a Windows CD and install.
  • Windows, click DevicesInstall Guest Additions, click Allow lots, and let Windows reboot.

That’s all. So how does it work?

The good

  • Seamless virtualization just works (with one caveat - see below). Hit Ctrl L to launch seamless mode. The Windows desktop is replaced by the Windows taskbar sitting above the GNOME panel.
  • Virtualbox has two windows - one with the VM controls (start, stop, edit settings, etc), and one with the VM itself. The control window can be closed with the VM still running, so you just have the Windows taskbar without any config tools shown. It’s simple and works well.
  • Virtualbox provides packages for an insane amount of distros. You can update VirtualBox at the same time as all your other apps via their APT repositories. Something VMware (who still provide Workstation in RPM format only) could learn from.

The bad

  • The VirtualBox manual doesn’t mention this, but seamless virtualization requires desktop effects (GNOME’s desktop effects, Compiz Fusion, etc) to be be disabled. Otherwise minimizing windows apps will leave bits of the Windows desktop around. Since more Linux distribution will be turning this on by default, this needs to be fixed. In Ubuntu 7.04, click System PreferencesDesktop Effects. Compositing is an increasingly important part of the Linux desktop in 2007, and something many distributions are turning on by default - this needs to be fixed.
  • Windows apps show up on the Windows taskbar only, not the Gnome taskbar. More integration would be nice.
  • We’ve had major probs with VirtualBox 1.5 networking. The manual mentions that in the default NAT mode ‘the virtual machine receives its network address and configuration on the private network from a DHCP server integrated into VirtualBox‘. But the VM doesn’t get a response via DHCP, there’s no dhcp process running on the host, and we can’t find any files relating to dhcp installed by the virtualbox package. The problems may be caused by upgrading from a previous Virtualbox release, but really, this shouldn’t be hard. Here it’s VirtualBox that could learn from VMware, who makes NAT networking a snap.
  • There are no packages for the VirtualBox Open Source edition, and, oddly, it’s hard to find info about licensing the regular version for more than personal use. Hey VirtualBox, we’re happy to pay for business use - tell us where to send our money!

The Ugly

VirtualBox looks a little 1995. It’s a bit Gangsta’s Paradise, a bit Batman Forever, a bit, well, naff looking. If they can’t use GTK themes like every other app, they should at least make it prettier.


VMware server is more polished and has easier networking, but once your VM is up and working, seamlessness is an essential feature that makes VirtualBox the better platform for running that odd Windows app.

Now where’s a simple, good looking Xen GUI?

Simple moderation policy:

  • Contribute something
  • Justify your opinion
  • Be courteous to others

An Open Letter to ISO


Is it time to standardize ISO?

In light of the recent events relating to the standardization process of EOOXML, it seems appropriate to look into possible standardization of the process itself.

The DIS 29500 (EOOXML) process has revealed several shortcomings, both on the national level and on the level of ISO.

The organisations representing each country have very different procedures for determining the nation’s vote in ISO. Some countries will vote only if their technical committee is unanimous on the issue. Others will reach consensus defined by a 3/4 majority vote or even 2/3 majority. In some countries there is no vote and the technical committee is only advisory to the national standards organisation. Others yet have a two-stage process where the nations vote is determined through two committees. In short there is no standard for accepting a standard.

It seems ISO is not prepared for a politicized process where a big and influential commercial enterprise will use any means possible to push its own standard through to certification.

Committees are flooded by the vendor in support of the standard. Votes are bought and results are hijacked. Several national bodies have flawed and skewed procedures open for corruption.

The list is much longer, but a few examples should suffice:

Norway - originally a process decided by unanimity but altered on the fly
Sweden - voting seats bought and the result thus hijacked
Switzerland - process rigged in favor of the vendor, the chairman excluded the option of voting “reject” or “reject, with comments”
Portugal - process skewed by blaming on lack of available chairs
Malaysia - two committees voted unanimously “rejection with comments” and mysteriously overturned by the government to “abstain”

Even if this is the tip of an ice berg, the examples should warrant a thorough examination of the national processes.

The fact that ISO enforces no standard for national bodies opens the standardization process for manipulation or corruption. I strongly urge ISO to adopt a strict policy for its members detailing the rules for how a national body shall determine its vote in ISO and that it enforces such policy vigorously.

On the level of ISO, criticism has been raised against the fast track process. An investigation should be called to see if EOOXML was unduly put on the ISO Fast Track.

During the Fast Track, many new countries have joined as P-Members (Participating members) in the technical committee, the JTC1. Several of the countries have no credible track on standardization work, have joined very late in the process only to vote an unconditional “Yes” to a standard that has obvious room for improvement. It may be purely coincidental that the countries that came late in the process score much lower on the Corruption Perception Index by Transparency International. It is possible to corrupt the process by pressuring countries to join a process and vote without sufficient knowledge. I urge ISO to adopt a policy that P-members may not be accepted later than 3 months before the committee is to vote.

It may be time also to reevaluate the one country one vote principle. In ISO, the Chinese vote carries the same weight as that of Cyprus. In the JTC1/SC34 the late-comers includes Trinidad and Tobago, Colombia, Côte-d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Lebanon and Malta.

As for approving standards within the field of IT, ISO would greatly benefit from adopting the IETF requirment of two independent reference implementations for passing a standard. This should increase the quality of ISO’s IT standards.

The strength, integrity and scalability of ISO have been tested. The organizations agility and adaptability will now be measured. May ISO move quickly to fix its own PR and more importantly its own standardization process.

The publicity that ISO has been given through the DIS 29500 process is phenomenal. ISO and standardization in general has reached a peak in public awareness. I hope the organization will use this publicity to show strong integrity and potential.

The intent of this letter is to safeguard future standardization and to ensure that the processes scale in the face of increased pressure from large commercial interests.

Monday, September 03, 2007

4 Things that could help reduce risk of Prostate Cancer

Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) came to the conclusion after a study of male mice that were fed a plant compound found in red wine called resveratrol. The findings were published Saturday in the online edition of Carcinogenesis. (Source: China)

The nutrients in red wine have shown anti-oxidant and anti-cancer properties. Other sources of resveratrol in the diet include grapes, raspberries, peanuts and blueberries.

In the study resveratrol-fed mice showed an 87 percent reduction in their risk of developing prostate tumors that contained the worst kind of cancer-staging diagnosis. The mice that proved to have the highest cancer-protection effect earned it after seven months of consuming resveratrol in a powdered formula mixed with their food.

Other mice in the study, those fed resveratrol but still developed a less-serious form of prostate cancer, were 48 percent more likely to have their tumor growth halted or slowed when compared to mice who did not consume the compound, according to the study.

This study adds to a growing body of evidence that resveratrol consumption through red wine has powerful chemoprevention properties, in addition to its apparent heart-health benefits, said lead study author Coral Lamartiniere, Ph.D., of UAB’s Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology.

Reduced Risk Prostate Cancer with Regular Ejaculation

An epidemiological study of 30,000 American men by Michael Leitzman, a cancer researcher at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, has found that men who enjoy an active sex life do not risk prostate cancer in later life.

There has been a suggested link with greater sexual activity and increased incidents of prostate cancer in previous scientific data because of the link with the male hormone testosterone and its effect on promoting cancer cell growth.

Leitzmann’s findings were that men who ejaculate between 13 and 20 times a month had a 14% lower risk of prostate cancer that men who ejaculated on average, between 4 and 7 times a month for most of their adult life.

Men who ejaculated upwards of 21 times a month had a 33% lower lifetime risk of prostate cancer than the baseline group. (Source: About)

Veggies could help reduce risk of prostate cancer

New evidence indicates that the risk of prostate cancer may be reduced by adding certain vegetables to one’s diet. (Source: Go)

Researchers at Yale School of Medicine found that men who ate broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, and turnips were 40 percent less likely to be diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer, compared to those whose ate those vegetables less than once a month.

Men who ate cauliflower more than once a week were 52 percent less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and men who ate broccoli more than once a week were 45 percent less likely to be diagnosed with the disease.

The study is reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Fatty fish consumption slashes risk of prostate cancer by 43 percent

Men who eat just one serving of salmon per week reduce their risk of developing prostate cancer by 43 percent, compared to men who do not consume fish, according to new research published in the online edition of the International Journal of Cancer.

Researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm examined the dietary habits of nearly 1,500 men with prostate cancer and more than 1,100 men without the disease. They found that men who ate fatty fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, at least once a week reduced their risk of prostate cancer by 43 percent, whereas men who did not eat fish of any kind experienced no risk reduction.

The researchers — led by Maria Hedelin — also believe that a certain gene may play an important role in the development of prostate cancer, as well as how fish oils benefit the body. A specific Cox-2 gene that is present in 60 percent of the population can influence the effectiveness of omega-3 fatty acid consumption, the researchers reported.

Men who carry the gene have a 72 percent reduced risk of prostate cancer compared to those who do not carry it, but eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acids can still benefit men who do not carry the gene, according to the researchers. (Source: NewsTarget)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Noam Chomsky: How Propaganda Works in the West

The American approach to social control

is so much more sophisticated and pervasive

that it deserves a new name

It not propaganda any more, it's “prop-agenda”

It's not so much the control of what we think,

but the control of what we think about

Remember, children. Propaganda works because

we don't know we're being propagandized

How could anyone suggest that in this

beacon of 'freedom and democracy',

the magnificent United States of Amnesia,

that we are programmed to to follow an ideology?

Propaganda for Dummies

In the West the calculated manipulation of public opinion to serve political and ideological interests is much more covert and therefore much more effective than a propaganda system imposed in a totalitarian regime.

Its greatest triumph is that we generally don't notice the influence of propaganda — or laugh at the notion it even exists.

We watch the democratic process taking place - heated debates in which we feel we could have a voice — and think that, because we have “free” media, it would be hard for the Government to get away with anything very devious without someone calling them on it.

The American approach to social control is so much more sophisticated and pervasive that it really deserves a new name.

It isn't just propaganda any more, it's “prop-agenda.” It's not so much the control of what we think, but the control of what we think about.

When our governments want to sell us a course of action, they do it by making sure it's the only thing on the agenda, the only thing everyone's talking about.

And they pre-load the ensuing discussion with highly selected images, devious and prejudicial language, dubious linkages, weak or false “intelligence” and selected “leaks”.

With the ground thus prepared, governments are happy if you then “use the democratic process” to agree or disagree — for, after all, their intention is to mobilise enough headlines and conversation to make the whole thing seem real and urgent.

The more emotional the debate, the better. Emotion creates reality, reality demands action.

Keeping the People Passive & Obedient

The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum - even encourage the more critical and dissident views.

That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.

Since the voice of the people is allowed to speak out in democratic societies, those in power better control what that voice says — in other words, control what people think.

One of the ways to do this is to create political debate that appears to embrace many opinions, but actually stays within very narrow margins.

You have to make sure that both sides in the debate accept certain assumptions — and that those assumptions are the basis of the propaganda system. As long as everyone accepts the propaganda system, the debate is permissible.

One reason that propaganda often works better on the educated than on the uneducated is that educated people read more, so they receive more propaganda.

Another is that they have jobs in management, media, and academia and therefore work in some capacity as agents of the propaganda system — and they believe what the system expects them to believe.

By and large, they're part of the privileged elite, and share the interests and perceptions of those in power.

It is much more difficult to see a propaganda system at work where the media are private and formal censorship is absent.

This is especially true where the media actively compete, periodically attack and expose corporate and government malfeasance, and aggressively portray themselves as spokesmen for free speech and the general community interest.

What is not evident (and remains undiscussed in the media) is the limited nature of such critiques, as well as the huge inequality of the command of resources, and its effect both on access to a private media system and on its behavior and performance.

Propaganda & the Ruling Ideology

When a leading journalist or TV news presenter is asked whether they are subject to pressure or censorship, they say they are completely free to express their own opinions.

So how does thought control work in a democratic society? We know how it works in dictatorships.

Journalists are an integral part of the ruling ideology. They are so well 'integrated' that they can't see outside the ideological box they inhabit.

Their journalism is balanced, fair and tolerant of other points of view. But that is part of the 'value system' they are promulgating. 'Truth' is their version of the world.

To return to the original question. If one suggests there is censorship in the Western media, journalists immediately reply: “No one has been exerting any pressure on me. I write what I want.” And it’s true.

But if they defended positions contrary to the dominant norm, someone else would soon be writing editorials in their place.

Obviously it is not a hard-and-fast rule: the US press sometimes publishes even my work, and the US is not a totalitarian country. But anyone who fails to fulfil certain minimum requirements does not stand a chance of becoming an established commentator.

It is one of the big differences between the propaganda system of a totalitarian state and the way democratic societies go about things. Exaggerating slightly, in totalitarian countries the state decides the official line and everyone must then comply.

Democratic societies operate differently. The line is never presented as such, merely implied. This involves brainwashing people who are still at liberty.

Even the passionate debates in the main media stay within the bounds of commonly accepted, implicit rules, which sideline a large number of contrary views.

The system of control in democratic societies is extremely effective. We do not notice the line any more than we notice the air we breathe.

We sometimes even imagine we are seeing a lively debate. The system of control is much more powerful than in totalitarian systems.

Look at Germany in the early 1930s. We tend to forget that it was the most advanced country in Europe, taking the lead in art, science, technology, literature and philosophy.

Then, in no time at all, it suffered a complete reversal of fortune and became the most barbaric, murderous state in human history. All that was achieved by using fear:

Fear of the Bolsheviks, the Jews, the Americans, the Gypsies – everyone who, according to the Nazis, was threatening the core values of European culture and the direct descendants of Greek civilisation (as the philosopher Martin Heidegger wrote in 1935).

However, most of the German media who inundated the population with these messages were using marketing techniques developed by US advertising agents.

The same method is always used to impose an ideology. Violence is not enough to dominate people: some other justification is required.

When one person wields power over another – whether they are a dictator, a colonist, a bureaucrat, a spouse or a boss – they need an ideology justifying their action.

And it is always the same: their domination is exerted for the good of the underdog. Those in power always present themselves as being altruistic, disinterested and generous.

In the 1930s the rules for Nazi propaganda involved using simple words and repeating them in association with emotions and phobia.

When Hitler invaded the Sudetenland in 1938 he cited the noblest, most charitable motives: the need for a humanitarian intervention to prevent the ethnic cleansing of German speakers.

Henceforward everyone would be living under Germany’s protective wing, with the support of the world’s most artistically and culturally advanced country.

When it comes to propaganda (though in a sense nothing has changed since the days of Athens) there have been some minor improvements.

The instruments available now are much more refined, in particular – surprising as it may seem – in the countries with the greatest civil liberties, Britain and the US.

The contemporary public relations industry was born there in the 1920s, an activity we may also refer to as opinion forming or propaganda.

Both countries had made such progress in democratic rights (women’s suffrage, freedom of speech) that state violence was no longer sufficient to contain the desire for liberty. So those in power sought other ways of manufacturing consent.

The PR industry produces, in the true sense of the term, concept, acceptance and submission.

It controls people’s minds and ideas. It is a major advance on totalitarian rule, as it is much more agreeable to be subjected to advertising than to torture.

Monday, August 06, 2007


BRITAIN is facing a mass exodus of people looking to escape the crime and grime of modern living.

The country’s biggest foreign visa consultancy firm has revealed that applications have soared in the last seven months by 80 per cent to almost 4,000 a week. Ten years ago the figure was just 300 a week.

Most people are relocating within the Commonwealth – in Australia, Canada and South Africa. They are almost all young professionals and skilled workers aged 20-40.

And many cite their reason for wanting to quit as immigration to these shores – and the burden it is placing on their communities and local authorities. The dearth of good schools, spiralling house prices, rising crime and tax increases are also driving people away.

Obtaining a visa to live abroad can cost as little as £1,500 for the right candidates. Plumbers, electricians, construction workers and doctors are famously in demand. The only obstruction to emigration from the UK is a criminal record, poor health, advancing age and being a “third country national”.

Liam Clifford, a former immigration control officer, set up as a one-man band 12 years ago. He now employs 60 people and is in the process of opening new offices in both South Africa and Australia. Mr Clifford said: “It’s absolutely phenomenal. People are trying to get away to wherever they can, and most are successful.

“Ironically, one of the main reasons for leaving is the overstretch of services due to increasing immigration into the UK. People are looking for the better standard of living offered by other countries, as even the most idyllic villages in Britain are under pressure from rising populations

Skilled labour is obviously an advantage, but so is speaking the English language. Most countries are harder to get into if you don’t speak English. UK plc simply isn’t fighting hard enough to keep its people. Some are telling us they are fed up with living in this country. Even business people are saying they’ve had enough.

“They’re saying ‘I can’t put my children into the right school, but if I move abroad I can’. Most people are very patriotic and don’t want to leave. They’re almost terrified about it. But they say they just have to.

“It’s a shame people at the top don’t recognise they’re not doing enough to retain highly skilled workers in this country. A lot of them are quite young, and they’re not idle. They just can’t see a future for themselves in this country. They want to get married and settle down and buy homes, but they can’t see it happening here.

“And time and time again they are saying to us they don’t want to be seen as racist because they are quitting because of immigration. We tell them of course they’re not.”

According to the most recent Office of National Statistics figures, in 2005 the official number of people leaving UK shores was 352,000 – up from 249,000 in 1995. The majority – around 150,000 – migrated from London and the south east.

Among those who headed out were Simon Blood, 26, and Rachel Roberts, 23, who moved to Australia four months ago. The couple, from Stoke-on-Trent, are loving their new life in far north Queensland so much that they’ve decided it’s permanent.

Apart from family, football and a few television programmes, there’s nothing they miss about home. Embracing the warmest winter they’ve ever known – averaging 24C daily – both relish the commute to work which takes just five minutes, leaving plenty of time for walks on the beach.

Simon, a marketing executive, and Rachel, a nurse, followed their dream after seeing a newspaper advertisement for nursing recruits Down Under.

“It all went very smoothly,” said Simon. “It’s beautiful here and we’ve no plans to go back for good.”

Sunday, July 29, 2007

94 of the Best Free Software Applications that are Better than Purchased Software

Best Web Browser:

Firefox is a favourite browser, being safer than IE and highly customizable. Automatic updates, faster browsing, better pop-up blocking, tabbed browsing, an integrated search bar, and live bookmarks are just some features of this browser and countless add-ons you can install. Another popular browser is Opera which includes many of the same features as Firefox.



Best Torrent Client:

Azureus is a java bittorrent client offering multiple torrent downloads, queuing/priority systems (on torrents and files), start/stop seeding options and instant access to numerous pieces of information about your torrents. Azureus now features an embedded tracker easily set up and ready to use. uTorrent is a lightweight (Very) and efficient BitTorrent client that includes bandwidth prioritization, scheduling, RSS auto-downloading and Mainline DHT.



Best Multi Platform File Transfer Utility:

Shareaza is a great program that connect to 4 P2P networks, EDonkey2000, Gnutella, BitTorrent and Gnutella2 (G2).


Best IP Blacklist/Blocker:

A must for anyone using P2P. PeerGaurdian integrates support for multiple lists, list editing, automatic updates, and blocking all of IPv4, TCP, UDP, ICMP, etc, making it the safest and easiest way to protect your privacy on P2P. Lite version is made to consume as little CPU and RAM as possible. It has no UI or options and consists of a single tray icon.


PeerGuardian Lite

Best FTP Client:

Two amazing FTP clients that each include a great deal of features are FileZilla and SmartFTP.



Best Chat Program:

Two that stand out are Gaim/Pidgin and Trillian, both are multi-platform. Gaim is compatible with AIM, ICQ, MSN Messenger, Yahoo!, IRC, Jabber, Gadu-Gadu, SILC, GroupWise Messenger, and Zephyr networks. While Trillain is a skinnable chat client that supports AIM, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo Messenger, and IRC. Trillain also includes many features not included in those chat programs.



Best AIM Virus Remover:

AIM Fix was created to remove all known AIM viruses in one consolidated removal tool.


Best Phone Voice Software:

These programs allow you to call people for free and talk with them, all you need are headphones and a microphone. Skype adds encryption and has excellent sound quality. An alternative to Skype is the Gizmo Project.


Gizmo Project

Best Download Manager:

The ones that work great are FlashGet, GetRight, and Free Download Manager. All split up files and increase the download by 100-600%, they can also resume broken downloads.



Free Download Manager

Best Gmail File transfer:

There is a good program that allows you to use your Gmail space to upload your files and make backups of them.

Gmail Drive

Best Email Client:

Another from Mozilla, Thunderbird, is a full-featured email client, that includes a spam filter, anti-phishing protection, enchanced security, and auto updates and tons of add-ons you can download to further enhance it.


Best Blogging Poster:

w.bloggar is a great blogging tool that includes a template and post editor that works with many blogging sites, including Blogger. Unlike other blogging tools, it doesn't require you to have your blog on an ftp site, but can log in and post.


Best IRC Client:

Other than the popular mIRC some outstanding IRC clients are IceChat and HydraIRC.



Best IRC Add-on:

NoNameScript is an amazing addon that's definitely worth installing over normal mIRC.


Best Anti-Spyware:

Some of the best are Spybot, Ad-Aware, Windows Defender, and Spyware Blaster. The first three are scanners each with their own special tools including realtime scanning, encrypted file deletion, and history eraser. Spyware Guard is more of a realtime scanner (Like Anti-Virus) of spyware while you're downloading. Spyware Blaster is not a scanner, but prevents spyware from installing on your computer, (Spybot includes a robust version of this). All four programs are recommended since each is not 100% efficient solution.


Ad-Aware SE Personal

Windows Defender


Spyware Blaster

Best Anti-Virus:

A favourite is AVG from Grisoft, which includes updates, real time scanner, and an email scanner. Another good one is AntiVir PersonalEdition Classic which includes many of the same features. Do keep in mind that free anti virus clients are not up to par with paid ones according to testings. ClamWin is also one of the best, it's a port of the great Open Source ClamAV.


AntiVir PersonalEdition Classic


Best Firewall:

The best is ZoneAlarm which is simple for begginers and provides lots of features for more advanced users.

ZoneAlarm Free

Best Anti-Rootkit:

AVG Anti-Rootkit really helps stop find and remove those evil root kits from your system.

AVG Ant-Rootkit

Best Diagnostic Tool:

Ultimate Boot CD is an amazing bootable CD to restore a crashed computer and can fix it. I've used it on many different PC's and Laptops!

Ultimate Boot CD

Best Disk Cleaner:

CCleaner, removed about 1.5 Gigs in unused application data and internet cache (which I thought was removed by the disk cleaner). This utility cleans out your PC's hard drive safely and even scans and removes obselete registry data, speeding up your system. You might want to turn off cookie deletion if you save your passwords for sites.


Best File Deleter:

Eraser is an advanced security tool (for Windows), which allows you to completely remove sensitive data from your hard drive by overwriting it several times with carefully selected patterns.


Best File Encrypter:

Three stand out, GNU Privacy Gaurd, TrueCrypt, and Blowfish Advanced CS. GNU is a full replacement of PGP that is command line based, and not for beginnners. However, Blowfish Advanced CS offers multiple algorithms, efficient data compression, and safe key handling for content protection. TrueCrypt can create virtual encrypted disks, can encrypt an entire hard disk partition or a device, such as USB flash drive, and provides two levels of plausible deniability, in case an adversary forces you to reveal the password.

Blowfish Advanced CS


GNU Privacy Gaurd

Guide to GNU Privacy Gaurd

Best Md5 Checksum Creator/Checker:

This open source utility is used to calculate the MD5 checksum of a file using L. Peter Deutsch's MD5 code. One of the most common uses is to make sure that a file that you have downloaded is not corrupt. Some websites post the MD5 checksum of a file on their download page. Once you have downloaded the file, use winMd5Sum to get the MD5 checksum of the file on your computer. Then make sure that the MD5 checksum from the web site is the same. If they are the same, then your file is exactly the same as the file on the website.


Best File Unlocker:

Unlocker is an Windows Explorer extension allowing you with a simple right-click on a file or folder to get rid of error message such as error deleting file or folder, cannot delete folder: it's being used by another person or program.


Best Image Editor:

The GIMP and Paint.NET are the best. GIMP is more like Photoshop and there is a seperate version that make the GIMP interface appear more like Photoshop (to make it easier to use). Piant.NET replaces the simple MS Paint program and adds tons of features and includes some of the things Photoshop has.




Best Vector Image Editor:

Inkscape is an Open Source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, Freehand, CorelDraw, or Xara X using the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format.


Best Image Viewer/Editor:

IrfanView supports many formats of images and includes some plugins that allow it to view many other formats such as videos, flash, and some audio formats. Picasa, on the other hand, differs in being able to edit photos and searches your computer for photos. Another good one is FastStone Image Viewer which is a fast, stable, user-friendly image browser, converter and editor.


IrfanView Plugin/Addons


FastStone Image Viewer

Best Digital Album Creator:

InAlbum Lite is an easy you can use program to turn your digital photos into a great photo album slideshow. InAlbum Lite helps you turn your digital photos into stunning photo albums.

InAlbum Lite

Best 3-D Modelling/Animation/Rendering:

Blender is the open source software for 3D modeling, animation, rendering, post-production, interactive creation and playback.


Best Color Capturer:

Color Schemer ColorPix is a useful little color picker that grabs the pixel under your mouse and transforms it into a number of different color formats. You can use the built-in magnifier to zoom in on your screen, click on a color value to copy it directly to the clipboard, and even keep ColorPix on top of all other apps and out of the way. Also, it doesn't require installation and is a tiny program.

Color Schemer ColorPix

Best Virtual Drive:

If you ever wanted to run that .iso or any other CD image without having the CD or DVD in the drive just use DAEMON Tools. Do not install the adware toolbar!


Best DVD Descrambler:

Well the name says it all, DVD Decrypter allows you to copy DVDs to your hard drive and re-encode them to MPEG1 (VCD) or DivX. DVD Decrypter can also write most types of CD / DVD images via its 'ISO Write' mode. Also there's DVDFab HD Decrypter which copies entire DVD movie to hard disk, and removes all the protections (CSS, RC, RCE, APS, UOPs and Sony ARccOS) while copying. It also comes with full HD-DVD and Blu-Ray support (Removes AACS).

DVD Decryptor

DVDFab HD Decrypter

Best DVD Compressor:

ratDVD takes a full featured DVD-9 movie and puts it into a highly compressed .ratDVD container format file of about 1.x GB in size - while preserving all the features of the original DVD.


Best CD/DVD Burner:

CDBurnerXP Pro is a fully featured DVD/CD burner and can create .iso's from them. It is very fast and meet all your needs.

CDBurnerXP Pro

For you Ubuntu and Linux fans, without a doubt... K3b! (

Best MPEG to DVD Converter:

Got those mpegs from your digital video camera, off the web, etc. but always wanted to convert them into DVD's? Well DVDBuilder does exactly that, efficiently and painlessly for free.


Best Video Player/Codec Pack:

The K-Lite Mega Codec Pack will play every video file on this planet. Also GSpot is a video codec identification utility - identifies which video codec and audio compression method is used on .avi files, whether the matching codec is installed, so you can direct download only the ones you need.

K-Lite Mega Codec Pack

K-Lite Codec Pack Full (Less features)


Best Video Player/Streaming Server:

VLC is a portable cross-platform, multimedia player that also streams audio/video across your network. MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, mp3, ogg, etc. And DVDs, VCDs. It can stream unicast or multicast in IPv4 or IPv6 on a high-bandwidth network.

VLC media player

Best Audio Player:

Winamp and foobar2000 comes out on top as the best audio players. ml_ipod is a plugin that uses Winamp to support your iPod. Winamp DSP Enhancer increases the quality and depth of your bass and treble, but not just making them louder but by filtering out any distortions and other bad stuff. foobar 2000 s an advanced audio player for the Windows platform. Some of the basic features include full unicode support, ReplayGain support and native support for several popular audio formats. Not to mention it's tiny size.


ml_ipod (Version 5.2 of Winamp alreday has had iPod support built in.)

DSP Enchancer


For you Ubuntu/Linux fans my all time favourite is Amarok! (

Audacity is a free and gull featured audio editor and recorder. As for grabbing audio from CDs , Exact Audio Copy is the solution, although it's not for beginners.


Exact Audio Copy

Best Audio Converter:

Often called the Swiss army knife of audio, dBpowerAMP is able to convert between audio formats whilst preserving ID Tags.

dBpowerAMP Music Converter

Best XviD/DivX Converter:

AutoGK is an amazing program that converts Xvid and DivX formats of video to many others, at the same time compressing them and it includes many other features.


Best Movie Cover Searcher:

Have those "back up" DVDs but no covers? Well, no fear, iCover searches its 6 databases and the internet for over 13,000 movie covers that you can download for free.


iCover Site (French)

(Google translate:

Best iPod Utility:

Forget iTunes, YamiPod gives you full control of your iPod and offers many other features to you.


Best Hard Drive Analyser:

JDiskReport is an amazing program that provides many different graphs and information on what's stored on your computer.


Best Software Collection:

TheOpenCD includes many freeware programs and open source programs that are essential to anyone.


Best HTML Editor:

NVU, is a great HTML editor similar to Dreamweaver and Frontpage. Also, BlueFish editer is a very stable robust solution that focuses on editing dynamic and interactive web sites.



Best CSS Menu Designer:

CSS Menu Designer is a good tool to automatically create beautiful CSS menus that you can customize to your needs.

Best CSS Menu Designer

Compression Tool:

Although there's many, a few stand out, mainly 7-Zip and IZArc. 7-Zip supports: 7z, ZIP, CAB, RAR, ARJ, GZIP, BZIP2, Z, TAR, CPIO, RPM and DEB. IZArc supports many files including: 7-ZIP, A, ACE, ARC, ARJ, B64, BH, BIN, BZ2, BZA, C2D, CAB, CDI, CPIO, DEB, ENC, GCA, GZ, GZA, HA, IMG, ISO, JAR, LHA, LIB, LZH, MDF, MBF, MIM, NRG, PAK, PDI, PK3, RAR, RPM, TAR, TAZ, TBZ, TGZ, TZ, UUE, WAR, XXE, YZ1, Z, ZIP, ZOO. Both also include many other features.



Best Benchmarking Tool:

EVEREST Home Edition is a freeware hardware diagnostics and memory benchmarking solution for home PC users. It offers the world's most accurate hardware information and diagnostics capabilities, including online features, memory benchmarks, hardware monitoring, and low-level hardware information. Sadly, this free version has been discontinued, since they want to make some money on their corporate version (Which is understandable).

EVEREST Home Edition

Best Office Suite:

The best by far is It includes many of the same features as MS Office and then some!

Best Multi-Coding Tool:

For those computer programmers, PHP Designer 2005 and Notepad++ are great programs that include syntax highlighting and syntax folding. PHP Designer supports: PHP, HTML, XML, CSS, JavaScript, Java, Perl, JavaScript, VB, C#, Java & SQL. Notepad++ supports C, C++, Java, C#, XML, HTML, PHP, Javascript, RC resource file, makefile, ASCII art file (extension .nfo), doxygen, ini file, batch file, ASP, VB/VBS source files, SQL, Objective-C, CSS, Pascal, Perl, Python, Lua, TCL, Assembler, Ruby, Lisp, Scheme, Properties, Diff, Smalltalk, Postscript and VHDL. And that's the tip of the iceberg for both programs, they contain tons of features.


PHP Designer 2005


Best AutoIt Editor:

This custom made version of SciTE has syntax highlighting and syntax folding, autocompleting, and intellisense.


Best PDF Reader:

Foxit Reader is small (1.5MB), so it downloads quickly. It doesn't need any installation, so you can start to run it as soon as you've downloaded it.

Foxit Reader

Best Linux:

Ubuntu and Kubuntu are two of best and most well known linux distros out there and include a barrage of programs. Another good one is Damn Small Linux, which is 50mb and can run off your USB flash drive.



Damn Small Linux

Best Tutorial/Presentation Creation:

Wink is a Tutorial and Presentation creation software, primarily aimed at creating tutorials on how to use software (like a tutor for MS-Word/Excel etc). Using Wink you can capture screenshots, mouse movements, add explanations boxes, buttons, titles etc and generate a highly effective tutorial for your users.


Best Windows CD Creator:

AutoStreamer works as a totally automated slipstreamer. Basically, all it really needs is a source that being an original Windows CD or a local share and a Service Pack file. Using this you can create another Windows CD that includes the newest service pack and all the hotfixes.



Monday, July 23, 2007

Ducks: Symbols Of Versatility

If you are lucky enough to live in a part of the world that is also a home to ducks, you will no doubt be familiar with the image of their cute feathery bottoms sticking up in the air as their heads disappear under the surface of the water. Perhaps you’ve even taken a moment to wonder what they see in their underwater world, and if they will resurface with a fish or a water bug in their beaks. As we observe them, we see that ducks are denizens of three worlds—the world of air, the world of water, and the world of earth. As such, they have adapted themselves to be able to swim, fly, and walk, and they seek and find nourishment in more than one place. They are symbols of versatility and can inspire us to explore our own ability to adapt and find nourishment in a variety of places.

Ducks are able to float, swim, and dive into the water, fishing for food. They can walk on the ground, eating vegetation and bugs, and they fly in the air to travel long distances relatively quickly. Equipped with feet that are equally good at paddling and walking, as well as wings to fly, ducks seem comfortable in just about any natural environment. Next time you see a duck bottom, you might be inspired to examine your own ability to both float on the surface and to dive beneath it. In many traditions, water symbolizes the emotions—to duck our heads into our emotions means we are able to surrender our minds to our hearts, to go into the watery realm of feeling and see what there is to see, often coming to the surface with nourishment and treasure.

At the same time, we share the duck's ability to get solid ground under our feet by connecting to the earth on which we live simply by walking on it. And finally, when we reside in our spirits, we fly above the mental, emotional, and material realms, free of all the ties that bind us to this earth, traveling faster and farther than we ever thought possible.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

55 Essential Articles Every Serious Blogger Should Read

After blogging for some time now, I’ve encountered countless articles that have truly helped to refine many aspects of my blog. This includes the visual structure, layout and types of advertising and affiliate programs utilized, plug-ins implemented for ease of use, search engine optimization and overall productivity, and much more.

Many of these articles would have been helpful before starting my own blog, but I also doubt that I would have been successful in putting most of these tips to use right away. Like me, I’m sure many of you are always looking for ways to improve your blogs. And since blogs are constantly growing and changing, it’s always a good time to do whatever you can to make your blog the very best.

With that said, here are 55 essential articles I’ve come across that have positively influenced my blog decision-making and will undoubtedly help you too. I’ve also included a select few of my own past articles that are of relevance in order to “pay it forward.”

Blogging Basics: Getting Started

  1. Can You Make a Living Blogging? (Graywolf SEO)
  2. Five Beginner’s Blogging Tips (John Chow)
  3. The First 7 Days of Blogging (Pronet Advertising)
  4. Put on Your Game Face (Pronet Advertising)
  5. How to “Announce” a Blog (Blog Traffic School)

Building Meaningful Content

  1. How to Use Social News Aggregators as a Source for Content Ideas (Dosh Dosh)
  2. 5 Ways to Building a Better Blog (Pronet Advertising)
  3. Bring Your A-game to Write for Blogs (Freelance Switch)
  4. What Are You Learning from Leading Edge SEO Bloggers? (Graywolf SEO)
  5. How Great Headlines Score Traffic (Copyblogger)
  6. 10 Sure-Fire Headline Formulas that Work (Copyblogger)
  7. Declaring War on Blogger Apathy (ProBlogger)

Increasing Traffic & Retaining Readers

  1. How to Market Your Blog in 2007 (ProBlogger)
  2. 21 Tactics to Increase Blog Traffic (SEOmoz)
  3. Five Steps to a Truly Unique Blog That Attracts Readers and Revenue (Copyblogger)
  4. 10 Simple Ways to Retain Blog Readership (Matt Huggins)
  5. How to Get Traffic for Your Blog (Seth Godin)
  6. 10 Effective Ways to Get More Blog Subscribers (Copyblogger)
  7. How to Develop “Stickyness” to Your Blog (Blogging Tips)
  8. A Very Simple Way to Increase Your RSS Subscribers & MyBlogLog Community Members (Dosh Dosh)

Linkbaiting, SEO, & Social Networks

  1. 12 Different Types of Links and How to Get Them (Stuntdubl)
  2. 101 Ways to Build Links in 2006 (SEOBook)
  3. 66 Ways to Build Links in 2007 (Brandon Hopkins)
  4. Getting Noticed by A-list Bloggers vs. Getting on Digg Front Pages (Digital Inspiration)
  5. Do You Digg This Headline? (Copyblogger)
  6. Why Too Many Little Icons Can Easily Distract Your Visitors (Pronet Advertising)
  7. How to Generate Targeted Site Traffic Without Search Engines (Scoreboard Media Group)
  8. Linkbait, Reports of My Death Are Greatly Exagerated (Graywolf SEO)
  9. SEP Advice: Linkbait and Linkbaiting (Matt Cutts)
  10. Blogging SEO Basics (Matt Huggins)
  11. Search Engine Optimization for Blogs (ProBlogger)
  12. 8 Simple SEO Tips for Blogs (JohnTP)
  13. How to Enhance Your Blog’s SEO and Attract Relevant Traffic in One Easy Step (Technosailor)
  14. Is it OK to Write for Digg? (Copyblogger)
  15. Get Your Blog Out of the Google Supplemental Index (Not So Boring Life)

Building a Community

  1. 5 Simple Ways to Encourage Blog Participation (Matt Huggins)
  2. 10 Techniques to Get More Comments on Your Blog (ProBlogger)
  3. 10 Quick Methods to Increase Blog Comments (Legal Andrew)
  4. Top 5 WordPress Plugins That Help Increase Comments (JohnTP)

Blog Monetization

  1. 8 Tips to Optimize AdSense Units (Daily Blog Tips)
  2. Google AdSense Tips, Tricks, and Secrets (Graywolf SEO)
  3. Why AdSense is Not Suitable for All Blog Topics (ProBlogger)
  4. Make Money from Your Blog (Matt Huggins)
  5. Six Powerful Blog Strategies that will Rapidly Increase Your Affiliate Referrals (Dosh Dosh)
  6. 10 Tips for Using Affiliate Programs on Your Blog (ProBlogger)
  7. 10 Ways to Make Your Blog More Attractive to Advertisers (ProBlogger)

Miscellaneous Blogging Advice

  1. 27 Lessons Learned on the Way to 3000 Visits a Day and 2200 RSS Subscribers (Pick the Brain)
  2. 10 Ways to Become a Better Blogger (TechRepublic)
  3. 101 Steps to Becoming a Better Blogger (
  4. The 5 Deadly Sins of Blogging (Pronet Advertising)
  5. 10 Blogging Mistakes to Avoid (John Chow)
  6. 10 Reasons Why Blogging is Like Dating (Romance Tracker)
  7. 6 Lessons Britney Spears Can Teach You About Blogging (Kumiko’s Cash Quest)
  8. Why Everything You Think You Know About Blog Architecture is Wrong (Pearsonified)
  9. Help! I’m Addicted to Checking My Blog’s Stats! (ProBlogger)
Vía: Mat Huggins