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Visual Studio 2005 Debugging Issues June 29, 2006

Posted by nukemhill in General Programming.
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A good page for some debugging issues. More later.

[Later]

Okay.  Here’s the scoop:  I’ve been getting an error message when I try to run the APS web application inside of Visual Studio 2005.  The message goes something like:  “Unable to Start Debugging on the Web Server….”.  I spent several hours trying to get the configuration of VS and IIS right, to no avail.  I googled extensively, and found the above link.  Pretty much everything recommended there didn’t work, but I finally hit upon a tip that I’d actually done before (many weeks ago), but probably undid when I uninstalled and reinstalled VS 2005.  Here it is:

C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\aspnet_regiis.exe -i

This explicitly registers ASP.Net with IIS, in this case, version 2.0 of .Net.  After running this, everything worked like a champ.  Finally.

Sometimes Microsoft is such a pain in the ass….

FoxNews: Part 3 on the Saddam-Taliban/al Qaeda Connection June 27, 2006

Posted by nukemhill in WoT.
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Here’s part 3.

Analysis:

Because Arabic writing is right to left, the pages in this notebook go in reverse chronological order. The note on page 27 indicates that Hekmatyar met with the IIS on March 19, 1999. The translation of page 70 is dated March 20 and it refers to someone from the Islamic Party, which is Hekmatyar’s group. Therefore it makes sense that the meeting on page 70 is with Hekmatyar.

The note on page 27 also says the meeting was with the director if the IIS, so we believe MS4 is his code-name. It appears that Hekmatyar, a jihadist leader warring with the Taliban for control of Afghanistan at the time, asked Baghdad “to help open a center in Tajikistan or in Baghdad and they will bring them (translator’s note: not clear what them refers to) in through Iran or Northern Iraq.” There is a strong indication that this requested “center” is a jihadist training camp.

From a US Department of State report Patterns of Global Terrorism, 1996:

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar … maintained training and indoctrination facilities in Afghanistan, mainly for non-Afghans. They continue to provide logistic support and training facilities to Islamic extremists despite military losses in the past year. Individuals who trained in these camps were involved in insurgencies in … Tajikistan…

It looks very much like Hekmatyar, a long-time jihad leader and recently self-identified Al Qaeda associate, is asking the Saddam regime for a jihad training camp in Tajikistan and/or Baghdad.

FoxNews: Documents Support Saddam-Taliban Connection June 17, 2006

Posted by nukemhill in WoT.
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Round Two of Ray Robison’s analysis of new documents from Iraq. From his analysis:

Note the Iraqi official says, “We hope that they will win and control,” referring to the Taliban. According to this notebook, Iraq has clearly thrown its support to the Taliban, the epicenter of Islamic Jihad. This is a clear indication that Saddam had no problem working with Jihadists outside of Iraq.

According to the notebook, the Iraqi official also tells the Maulana: “The third point which is important for us is outside Afghanistan. It is the spiritual relation which ties us with the Association of Islamic Scholars and we know your role in supporting the Iraqi cause and the effect you have on the Pakistani street.” This statement may indicate that a previous relationship was in place before this meeting between the Saddam Regime and the Maulana.

This excerpt from the notebook indicates that both the Taliban and Saddam Regime agreed to a secret relationship involving intelligence services. We do not know the scope or extent of that operational relationship, but this notebook and other documents give us further clues. It might well be noted that if Saddam Hussein was merely looking for an Islamic voice to take up his cause, there are plenty of Arab and Muslim organizations that do not depend on violence and terrorism directed at the United States. This point is illustrated in the BBC article Anger and Dismay in South Asia:

“Saddam Hussein is a hero of Muslims,” a protester cried at a rally in the northwestern city of Peshawar, AFP reports.”We want the government to give us permission to go to Iraq to fight against the U.S. forces,” another protester told hundreds of supporters.Supporters of the Islamic Jamaat-i-Islami party assembled in the eastern city of Lahore, chanting “Bush is a dog,” and “Save Iraqi children,” AFP reports.”America has signed its own death warrant,” Islamist leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman said.

It can’t be emphasized enough: the claim that Saddam and al Qaeda were mortal enemies is sheer fantasy. The had a common enemy in the U.S., and a meeting of the minds between the two was not only likely, but inevitable. As more and more documents come out, this will become only too apparent. Will the naysayers recognize this? One wonders.

Al Qaeda Gas Attack In New York Called Off June 17, 2006

Posted by nukemhill in WoT.
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Uhm … wow. According to Time, in a forthcoming book by Ron Suskind, al Qaeda inexplicably called off a gas attack on New York City subways only 45 days before it was supposed to happen:

Al-Qaeda terrorists came within 45 days of attacking the New York subway system with a lethal gas similar to that used in Nazi death camps. They were stopped not by any intelligence breakthrough, but by an order from Osama bin Laden’s deputy, Ayman Zawahiri. And the U.S. learned of the plot from a CIA mole inside al-Qaeda. These are some of the more startling revelations by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Suskind, whose new book The One Percent Doctrine is excerpted in the forthcoming issue of TIME. It will appear on Time.com early Sunday morning.

U.S. intelligence got its first inkling of the plot from the contents of a laptop computer belonging to a Bahraini jihadist captured in Saudi Arabia early in 2003. It contained plans for a gas-dispersal system dubbed “the mubtakkar” (Arabic for inventive). Fearing that al-Qaeda’s engineers had achieved the holy grail of terror R&D — a device to effectively distribute hydrogen-cyanide gas, which is deadly when inhaled — the CIA immediately set about building a prototype based on the captured design, which comprised two separate chambers for sodium cyanide and a stable source of hydrogen, such as hydrochloric acid. A seal between the two could be broken by a remote trigger, producing the gas for dispersal. The prototype confirmed their worst fears: “In the world of terrorist weaponry,” writes Suskind, “this was the equivalent of splitting the atom. Obtain a few widely available chemicals, and you could construct it with a trip to Home Depot – and then kill everyone in the store.”

Everyone’s second-worst nightmare. A gas attack on a major city would be devastating to this country. I can’t imagine what the repurcussions would be like. Interestingly enough, from what I can glean from the article, the plot was going on before we invaded Iraq. Wonder how that would have been spun by the America-haters.

Update[20060617]: Here’s the excerpt.

Be Result Oriented, Not Action Oriented June 17, 2006

Posted by nukemhill in General Interest, General Programming.
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An interesting post regarding the ongoing issues with Vista. This quote, I think, is a gem:

In general, Windows suffers from a proclivity for action control, not results control. Instead of clearly stating desired outcomes, there’s a penchant for telling people exactly what steps they must take. By doing so, we risk creating a generation of McDevs. (For more on action control vs. results control, read Kenneth Merchant’s seminal work on the subject — all $150 of it, apparently).

As I start to move more into management, I need to keep this in mind. No, the ends do not justify the means; the means are important. But you can’t manage from the means. You need to give your staff goals to work towards and the freedom to discover/create the actions to get there.

Scientists Respond to Al Gore June 16, 2006

Posted by nukemhill in Math/Science.
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Ouch. That's gonna leave a mark!

Sun Developer Network June 16, 2006

Posted by nukemhill in General Programming, Master's Thesis.
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Here' the link to the SDN.  Some interesting tools are available for free.  I need to check them out on the Powerbook.

The “Objectivity” of our Press June 16, 2006

Posted by nukemhill in Politics (Ghahh!), WoT.
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Here's an interesting blurb from OpFor.  He quotes a panel of retired Generals and Flag Officers who are discussing the Public Affairs battle that we are losing.  Here's a particularly relevant piece:

Third, the stories that are filed by reporters in the field very seldom reach the American public as written. An anecdote from Col. McMaster illustrates this dramatically. TIME magazine recently sent a reporter to spend six weeks with the 3rd ACR as they were in the battle of Tal Afar. When the battle was over, the reporter filed his story and also included close to 100 pictures that the accompanying photographer took. TIME published a cover story on the battle a week later, allegedly using the story sent in by their reporter. When the issue came out, the guts had been edited out of their reporter’s story and none of the pictures he submitted were used. Instead they showed a weeping child on the cover, taken from stock photos. When the reporter questioned why his story was eviscerated, his editors in New York responded that the story and pi ctures were “too heroic”. McMaster had read both and told me that the editors had completely changed the thrust and context of the material their reporter had submitted.

 I've been in arguments with many people over the 'objectivity' of the MSM.  One of the standard arguments is that "of course the press is Liberal.  The reporters are out in the streets, working with the people.  They're not working in an ivory tower."  This is a perfect example of why that is such an empty argument.  Here we have a reporter giving his story to his editors, and the editors are changing the fundamental nature of the article.  The editors and publishers, who are trucking to and from the office in their limos, going to social events and mingling with the Hollywood glitterati, are the ones determining editorial policy for their papers.  And they're not just determining which stories get more coverage.  They're actually changing the content of the stories that are submitted to reflect their biases!

It doesn't get any plainer than this.  What a load of crap. 

Neural Networks FAQ June 12, 2006

Posted by nukemhill in Artificial Intelligence, Master's Thesis.
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Here's a FAQ on Neural Networks.  It's apparently a classic.

The Saddam Archives June 12, 2006

Posted by nukemhill in WoT.
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Looks like Ray Robison has finally come out of the closet about his 'secret project.'  He's doing a series of articles for Fox News about the mounds of Iraqi documents that were recently released.  It looks like he's in charge of the translation efforts, and will supplement those efforts with his own thoughts, based on his past experiences in the military and the work he did for the ISG.  This could be very interesting. 

Of course, anyone already convinced that 'Bush Lied' will only look at this as a Right Wing Conspiracy, headed by those Wingnuts at Fox, and not believe anything written by Ray.  Oh, well.  I'm tired of arguing with them.  I'm going to try to be as open minded as possible about this.  We may never see answers to some of our questions, but it looks like we're going to get a shot at some of them.