The Kensington Review

15 December 2004

Latest Commentary:

O'Keefe Leaves NASA Wondering "Which Way is Up?" -- NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe resigned after three rather rough years at the space agency. The loss of a shuttle not quite two years ago and the inability of the agency to get its flagship white elephant back into orbit have combined to make his time less-than-satisfactory. However, his was a mission without a hope of success. Not only does NASA have a "broken safety culture," but also a broken scientific culture as well. The new man, or woman, probably won't be able to fix it.

Chile Indicts Former President Pinochet -- Judge Juan Guzman of the Chilean judiciary issued an indictment of Augusto Pinochet, the former dictator of Chile. The charge concerns the kidnapping, or disappearance, of nine opposition activists and the murder of one of them during his 17-year reign. Chile has 3,000 dead from that time and 30,000 have testified that the military regime arrested or tortured them. A trial will be a joke, and while Judge Guzman is a credit to his nation, a bullet in the back of General Pinochet's head would be a better solution.

PeopleSoft Accepts $10.3 Billion Offer from Oracle -- There is an old joke in which an old man asks a young woman if she would sleep with him for $1 million, and she agrees. He then offers her $20, and she's insulted. He, then, notes that they have established what she is, and now they're just haggling over the price. Much the same can be said of the 18-month saga between Oracle and PeopleSoft, which ended Monday when the latter agreed to a 10% hike in the latest offer. PeopleSoft was always for sale; it was just a matter of getting the price right.

Google to Scan Contents of Major Libraries -- "Don't Be Evil" is the motto of Google, the search engine folks -- and in the interest of fair disclosure, the provider of most the advertisements readers see on this website. Their newest move is more than just avoiding the bad. It actually promotes the dissemination of knowledge far beyond anything attempted before now. Five major libraries are going to put all or part of their collection of published works on the internet under a project Google thinks will not only make it money, but will make the great works in the libraries available to anyone with web access.

Copyright 2004 by The Kensington Review , J. Myhre, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent.

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