Engadget ran a story today entitled "US Army to arm UAVs with xenon-based paralysis inducer". The article describes that technology as a "non-lethal crowd-control device".
Wikipedia's entry for Schwa describes it as the "underground conceptual artwork" of Bill Barker. A true original among the popular alien image fetish / conspiracy theory "parody" themes of the 1990s. One of Bill's original serigraphs for Schwa hangs on my wall. We had lots of fun working with Bill at FringeWare, especially for the cover of FWR #5. That issue was our first to sell through completely, though I've stashed away a box or two for posterity.
Bill's first pitch to me about Schwa was that it was a government conspiracy for alien UFOs to use Xenon-based technology for non-lethal crowd control. In other words mass media brainwashing. Holy shit! Apparently somebody at DARPA was actually listening to us back in the 1990s. Either that, or Bill knew more back then than he could ever say in words. I'd bank on the latter.
BTW, Wikipedia states that Bill has been "MIA" since 2001. I've talked with him since then. More like doing fine while avoiding the paparazzi.
If you read just one article today, do just one thing to understand the world a little better, I recommend that it be to read Spinning Iran on Rafe Colburn's blog.
Bush's rhetoric about "War with Iran" is more neocon (read: pro-Israeli lobby) nonsense. The Newsweek "photo gallery" is like a page out of 1984. US diplomats are negotiating with Iranian diplomats now, brokered via Russia and Qatar. The results of those negotiations will be normalized relations, which are slated to become Bush's legacy (what's left of it).
The age of the "Great Superpower" is over, the Kissinger Doctrine failed, and with it goes the predominance of a whole other mess: Saudis, Tel-Aviv, etc. Welcome to a world where Asia becomes much, much more quintessential.
A quick note that Ogoglio, which is exploring the "new business district" of Metaverse, has uploaded an open source release.
This is one to watch. In fact, watch the screencasts which Trevor is publishing about progress on Ogoglio on a fairly regular basis.
A term has emerged in the Ogoglio notes: "distributed self". That seems quite succinct. In recent discusssions among HeadCase and friends, we've been talking about avatars, persona, what can be performed through microformats such as FOAF or XFN, etc. But the phrase "distributed self" really wraps it all up into one noun phrase.