Tuesday, 26 December 2006

AP perpetuates Iraq-9/11 link myth

If, as my good friends on the left argue (quite plausibly, I might add), Iraq was not linked in any way to the 9/11 attacks, what are we to make of the AP consciously linking the conflict in Iraq to the 9/11 attacks in its latest ‘body count’ dispatches? Here are your choices:

  1. The AP has bought into the Bush administration’s false consciousness of a 9/11-Iraq link.
  2. The AP has a right-wing bias in its reporting.
  3. The AP had to “balance” reporting of the Saddam Hussein appellate decision in order to create the appearance of fairness.
  4. All of the above.

If you chose the last option, you too can write for Salon.com.

Mini-review: Inside the Machine

I recently finished reading my copy of Ars Technica editor Jon “Hannibal” Stokes’ new book on computer architecture, Inside the Machine; overall, I’d say it’s a pretty good semi-technical introduction to the field, but there are points at which Stokes seems to gloss over important details. Two examples: in one chapter he discusses “SPRs” without ever seeming to define the term, and there is no reference to the term in the index; he also seems to underplay the register-starved nature of the x86 ISA (which lagged behind its CISC contemporaries, the Motorola 680×0 series, much less the PowerPC RISC processors that competed with the Pentium and beyond) and the degree to which the Pentium and its successors had to work around that limitation. There are also the requisite number of typos and goofs for a first printing of a book. But overall, I enjoyed the book, which after all is aimed at the typical Ars Technica or AnandTech reader more than the budding computer engineering student.