Snippets #44, Friday, 24.Oct.2003 (ISSN 1530-9622)
_______________S N I P P e T S
_________________________from James S. Huggins' Refrigerator Door
___________________________________#44, Friday, 24.Oct.2003
_____1. Fighting Bull
_____2. Privacy and Jet Blue
__________1. FIGHTING BULL
Yesterday, I was reading an article (see below) that featured some of the best business bull I've heard lately. Here are examples:
(Think I'm making this up? I'm not.)
But that got me to remembering a FRee tool that you might want to get.
It is called the Bull Fighter and is designed to help you "strip the bull out of business".
Created by Deloitte, and based on the great work of the late Dr. Rudopf Flesch.
Dr. Flesch wrote "How to Write, Speak and Think More effectively" (Signet, 1960) and created the Flesch Reading ease score. The Bull Fighter uses this to measure how much bull there is in the language.
Bull Fighter was designed for the business world. In the business world we say things like:
Bull Fighter lets you see just how silly these sentences are.
Best of all, it is free. They will send you a CD, complete with a velvet CD case (or you can download it). They even offer free screensavers.
If you work in Corporate America you can have a ton of fun with this. Use it to evaluate the memos your boss sends, or the press release you get. (You can even use it to evaluate your own work and improve your writing if you really want to.)
Seriously . . . if you do any kind of writing, you should get this tool.
The Article with HP Quotes
The Bull Fighter Site
__________2. PRIVACY AND JeT BLUe
If you ever visit my website, you might notice in the left hand column a little logo advocating a boycott of Delta Airlines. That boycott is organized by BoycottDelta.com and privacy activist Bill Scannell. Bill also operates the Don't Spy On.Us website.
Back in September, Wired News broke a story that JetBlue had "provided 5 million passenger itineraries to a defense contractor for proof-of-concept testing of a Pentagon project unrelated to airline security -- with help from the Transportation Security Administration."
"The contractor, Torch Concepts, then augmented that data with Social Security numbers and other sensitive personal information, including income level, to develop what looks to be a study of whether passenger-profiling systems such as CAPPS II are feasible."
Recent reports indicate that the supplementary data included Social Security numbers, income levels, number of children and vehicle ownership.
[CAPPS II, if implemented, would gather data about everyone flying, and gather it from any available source, to build a profile that the government could use. The stated objective is to fight terrorism. However, researchers at MIT have published a paper explaining why it won't work and how believing that it will actually makes flying more dangerous. Not only that, the government admits it will actually use the data for other purposes besides fighting terrorism.]
Now it seems that some Senators want to know more believing that federal laws were violated. Stand by. This story keeps on coming.
Don't Spy On Us
How CAPPS II Works
A Layman's explanation of the MIT Research
Wired News: JetBlue Shared Passenger Data
Wired News: Senators Want JetBlue Probe
Wired News: Jet Blue Kind of Apologizes