Free PR advice. I see the Taliban hunted down and assassinated four journalists. Well, OK, it’s not proven that they did it, but it looks like that’s what happened. Now, I know journalists are pretty low on the slimeball scale. I have a journalism degree from the oldest school of journalism in the world, after all. But terrorists and third-world dictators are such a completely different league of low that even a journalist-turned-lawyer-turned-politican who put himself through college selling used cars wouldn’t begin to approach it.
Bad move, guys. There’s anti-war sentiment brewing in Europe, but killing four unarmed civilians will do very little to fuel that. Reminding the people that the enemy they face is irrational and unrelentless and unmerciful isn’t a good way to end wars. You lose points in the court of public opinion, and it doesn’t put you in a good negotiating position either.

But even beyond all that, you should never kill that which you can manipulate–unless you’ve lost so much belief in your cause that you’re no longer confident of being able to put the right spin on things to convince anyone else that you’re right.

So we have further evidence that our enemy is mind-numbingly stupid. We have indication that their belief in themselves, or at least in their ability to escape from this alive, is wavering–instead of feeding information to journalists they’ve resorted to suppressing information by killing them. And we have indication of growing desperation. See above.

This is no time for protesting. This is exactly the time to start squeezing harder. Much harder.

I want to believe this. I mean I really, really want to believe…

Incidentally, if Gator isn’t uninstalling for you, Ad-Aware seems to do a nice job of eradicating it.

New toys. My 10,000 RPM Quantum/Maxtor Atlas 10K3 arrived yesterday. It takes the drive a while to initialize (upwards of 30 seconds) but once it gets rolling, it’s incredible. A completely unacceptable 37 seconds passes between the time Windows 2000’s “Starting Windows” screen appears and the time the login prompt appears. The thing’s amazing. Just to be obnoxious, I defragmented the drive while other things were running. They didn’t interfere with each other much–that’s the magic of SCSI command reordering.

I installed MS Office 2000 just to see how that would run. Word launches from a dead stop in three seconds. Kill the Office Assistant and it loads in less than two.

I know SCSI drives don’t benchmark much faster than high-end IDE drives, but the difference I see between a high-end SCSI drive like this one and a fast IDE drive is significant. Everything that ever has to touch the disk runs faster. This includes Web browsers pulling data out of the local cache.

Users who don’t do much multitasking probably won’t see much difference, but for a multitasking freak like me–I’ve only got 8 windows open on this machine as I type this, and I’m wondering what’s wrong with me–it’s unbelievable. I haven’t been this overwhelmed since my days playing with an Amiga (which, come to think of it, had a SCSI drive in it).

Witness the birth of a SCSI bigot.