Canoeist stabs bear to death in Ontario

“A man stabbed a black bear to death with a 15-cm hunting knife, saying he knew he would otherwise become “lunch” after it attacked him and his dog on a canoeing portage in northern Ontario.

“Tom Tilley, a 55-year-old from Waterloo, Ont., said his American Staffordshire dog growled a warning, then rushed to his defence as the bear came at them on a trail north of Wawa on Friday.

“As the dog battled with the nearly 90-kilogram bear, Tilley jumped on its back and stabbed it with his knife.” Photo: Waterloo Region Record/Canadian Press

read more | digg story

Microsoft’s “Argo” / Xbox wireless portable media player revealed!

“We’ve had to sit on this one for a while, but it’s about time we showed you guys at least one possible form Microsoft’s Argo / Xbox-branded wireless portable media player could take.

Sent to us from an insider working on the project, we’re told the device pictured above is indeed a part of ‘Project Argo,’ and from what we can tell it definitely jibes from the blurry pics we caught a while back; though if the piece from earlier today is to be believed, this could just be one of numerous Microsoft portables.

It’s hard to tell just how much larger the screen on this thing actually is, but it does indeed appear to be a 4:3 aspect ratio display, and could be 3, even 3.5-inches wide. Keep your eyes peeled, you know we do our best to have this stuff as early as possible.”

read more | digg story

The 25 greatest Calvin & Hobbes comic strips

“Calvin & Hobbes ran from 1985 to 1995. Bill Watterson drew thousands of strips, and while I wish like hell that he would come back and draw more, it’s probably best to reflect and be thankful for what he’s done. Below we have showcased, in no particular order, some of our favorite Calvin & Hobbes strips of all time. If you love them as much as we do, let us know if you think there are any that we should have included. And if you missed out, well, hopefully we can give you some idea of why Mr. Watterson is our hero.”

read more | digg story

Microsoft’s iPod killer to provide free versions of all your iTunes tracks (false!)

This rumour turned out to be false. Too bad. “Microsoft’s new portable audio and video player will have a screen that’s ‘bigger than that of the iPod video’ (which isn’t really saying much) and built-in WiFi so you can not only download content directly to the player (sort of like with the MusicGremlin), but actually participate in an Xbox Live-like social network that will help you connect with other people with similar taste and interests…

“But it gets better. To attract current iPod users Microsoft is going to let you download for free any songs you’ve already bought from the iTunes Music Store. They’ll actually scan iTunes for purchased tracks and then automatically add those to your account. Microsoft will still have to pay the rights-holders for the songs, but they believe it’ll be worth it to acquire converts to their new player.”

read more | digg story

IT Workforce Crisis

“Like global warming, the reality of the looming talent shortage is pretty well established, but that hasn’t induced many IT managers to prepare for it. Now there are no more excuses. Workforce Crisis: How to Beat the Coming Shortage of Skills and Talent (Harvard Business School Press, 2006) lays out a comprehensive plan to ensure that your IT organization — or any organization — continues to recruit and retain workers with the skills and commitment to move forward. Robert Morison, who wrote the book with Ken Dychtwald and Tamara J. Erickson, spoke with Kathleen Melymuka about the challenges for the coming decade.

“The talent shortage is hard to get too worried about when you’re not feeling the pain. When will this problem really become apparent? Any business that is already in an industry that relies on occupations in short supply knows about this. That’s not computer science yet, but engineering disciplines, oil and gas, health care — especially nursing — public utilities, and government — especially the federal government. I bet their IT workforce has an old profile. And to any organization that dares to take a close look at its workforce demographics and plan ahead, this will resonate.

“When will it start to hit? The oldest boomers are 60, and the average retirement age is 63, so I’d say you’ll be feeling pressure by 2010 and very much pressure by 2015. We may be a couple million workers shy in 2010 and 10 million shy around 2015. But you’re right: In most organizations, this is still seen as an indefinitely postponable issue.”

read more | digg story

U.S. Supreme Court decision could expose Bush to war crimes prosecution

“THE SUPREME Court on Thursday dealt the Bush administration a stinging rebuke, declaring in Hamdan vs. Rumsfeld that military commissions for trying terrorist suspects violate both U.S. military law and the Geneva Convention.

“But the real blockbuster in the Hamdan decision is the court’s holding that Common Article 3 of the Geneva Convention applies to the conflict with Al Qaeda — a holding that makes high-ranking Bush administration officials potentially subject to prosecution under the federal War Crimes Act.

“The provisions of the Geneva Convention were intended to protect noncombatants — including prisoners — in times of armed conflict. But as the administration has repeatedly noted, most of these protections apply only to conflicts between states. Because Al Qaeda is not a state, the administration argued that the Geneva Convention didn’t apply to the war on terror. These assertions gave the administration’s arguments about the legal framework for fighting terrorism a through-the-looking-glass quality. On the one hand, the administration argued that the struggle against terrorism was a war, subject only to the law of war, not U.S. criminal or constitutional law. On the other hand, the administration said the Geneva Convention didn’t apply to the war with Al Qaeda, which put the war on terror in an anything-goes legal limbo.”

read more | digg story