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Current Topic: Society

Best Election Data visualization yet
Topic: Society 6:52 pm EST, Nov  5, 2004

County by county 3d breakdown with Y axis showing margins.

Does a good job showing how liberals tend to live in the cities

Best Election Data visualization yet

Changes in GWB over 10 Years
Topic: Society 12:58 pm EDT, Oct 21, 2004

This coincides very well with the rotten library article on GWB. I've always thought he was just faking the 'gool ol' boy' persona. Nothing in his background is the slightest hint of blue collar.

He does try to cover up his roots, (one of the reasons he lost his first run at public office), but pretending to be a dumbass? Hmm. I'm not sure. Good video though

Changes in GWB over 10 Years

US Forces shoot TV reporter during live Baghdad broadcast
Topic: Society 3:32 pm EDT, Sep 13, 2004

] A television journalist was shot dead as he made a live
] broadcast from Baghdad yesterday when United States
] helicopters fired on a crowd that had gathered round the
] burning wreckage of an American armoured vehicle.


US Forces shoot TV reporter during live Baghdad broadcast

Man accused of stalking with GPS
Topic: Society 2:25 am EDT, Sep  5, 2004

] Police said Gabrielyan attached a cellular phone to the
] woman's car on August 16 with a motion switch that turned
] on when the car moved, transmitting a signal each minute
] to a satellite. Information was then sent to a Web site
] that allowed Gabrielyan to monitor the woman's location.
] The woman learned how Gabrielyan was following her when
] she discovered him under her car attempting to change the
] cell phone's battery, police said.

Man accused of stalking with GPS

Freedom to Tinker: SHA-1 Break Rumored
Topic: Society 8:30 am EDT, Aug 17, 2004

] There's a rumor circulating at the Crypto conference,
] which is being held this week in Santa Barbara, that
] somebody is about to announce a partial break of the
] SHA-1 cryptographic hashfunction. If true, this will have
] a big impact, as I'll describe below. And if it's not
] true, it will have helped me trick you into learning a
] little bit about cryptography. So read on....

Freedom to Tinker: SHA-1 Break Rumored

Stargate Information Archive - Federal Charges Filed Against SG-1 Archive
Topic: Society 6:46 pm EDT, Jul 26, 2004

] However, instead of thanking Adam for his promotion of
] their product, officials at MGM and the MPAA have chosen
] to pressure the FBI into pursuing criminal charges. Adam
] was first tipped off about the investigation when the FBI
] raided his and his fiancee's apartment in May of 2002 and
] seized thousands of dollars worth of computer equipment.

] Adam later received a copy of the affidavit filed in
] support of the search warrant, and was shocked to
] discover that this document, prepared by the FBI,
] contained significant amounts of erroneous and misleading
] information. For example, two social security numbers
] were listed for Adam, one of which is not his. References
] were made to a cease and desist letter sent by the MPAA
] to an email address that did not exist.
His online
] friendship with other Stargate fans across the globe was
] portrayed as an international conspiracy against the
] MPAA. And perhaps most disturbing of all, it was later
] revealed that the FBI invoked a provision of the USA
] Patriot Act
to obtain financial records from his ISP. The
] FBI's abuse of its powers did not stop there. When they
] seized Adam's computer equipment, he was given written
] documentation stating that it would be returned within 60
] days. The equipment that they did return did not arrive
] until more than 8 months later, and only then after much
] prodding from his lawyer. Much of it was damaged beyond
] repair - one laptop had a shattered LCD screen, an empty
] tape backup drive was ripped apart for no apparent
] reason, his fiancee's iBook was badly damaged when it was
] pried apart with a screwdriver.

1. Welcome to the new world of criminal copyright prosecutions. This reminds me of operation Sun Devil. The FBI is usually far more professional then this. Apparently they've assigned a bunch of idiots to their copyright sqaud, which is reasonable at first glance in that its not very important, but ultimately a mistake because this issue is too controversial and too visible to be handled by thugs. These guys aren't going to stop behaving this way until a judge throws the book at them (as occured to the Chicago Secret Service agents who raided Steve Jackson Games). Therefore, I suggesting holding on to your seats. There will be a bunch more stories where this came from, and as the net is a hell of a lot louder then it was in 1991 you can expect the FBI to feel some very serious pressure over the issue as the horrors mount up.

2. The seizure of thousands of dollars worth of equipment, the destruction of said equipment, and then the choice of legal venue meant to maximize the financial costs associated with trial... This has all the earmarks of an investigation that is intended to be punative in and of itself. Punative investigations are unconstitutional.

3. This is why copyright issues need to remain in civil courts and not criminal courts. We don't need our security forces out smashing computers for the MPAA. There is absolutely no reason why the MPAA couldn't have filed a civil motion in this case in the jurisdiction the actual website was in.

It seems clear that a properly delivered cease and desist letter would have solved the problem here. No fuss, no muss. Handling crimes like this in this manner is extremely expensive for taxpayers and tends to disrupt and destroy innocent people's lives when they accidentally become the target of it.

Moving copyright cases into the criminal justice system was bad, bad, bad law. It seems like we're going to get a stiff lesson in why.

Stargate Information Archive - Federal Charges Filed Against SG-1 Archive

'My Beef With Big Media' by Ted Turner
Topic: Society 2:53 am EDT, Jul 23, 2004

] Unless we have a climate that will allow more independent
] media companies to survive, a dangerously high percentage
] of what we see--and what we don't see--will be shaped by
] the profit motives and political interests of large,
] publicly traded conglomerates. The economy will suffer,
] and so will the quality of our public life. Let me be
] clear: As a business proposition, consolidation makes
] sense. The moguls behind the mergers are acting in their
] corporate interests and playing by the rules. We just
] shouldn't have those rules.
They make sense for a
] corporation. But for a society, it's like over-fishing
] the oceans. When the independent businesses are gone,
] where will the new ideas come from? We have to do more
] than keep media giants from growing larger; they're
] already too big. We need a new set of rules that will
] break these huge companies to pieces.

Read this. All of this. Every last word. Ted Turner is discussing how bloated companies are using lobbying the FCC and using unfair/crazy laws to enforce a business model that does not work, and would not work in a truly Free Market Economy.

Jason, the core of the arguement that Ted makes is the same argument that I was making to you at the Vortex that day regarding the MPAA/RIAA and the DMCA.

'My Beef With Big Media' by Ted Turner

RE: Al Jazeera: Out-Foxing Fox
Topic: Society 11:25 pm EDT, Jul  3, 2004

noteworthy wrote:
] The gulf between the American and Arab realities is the
] subject of "Control Room," a powerful documentary by Jehane
] Noujaim, an Egyptian-American. She looks at Al Jazeera's
] coverage of the war, offering a sobering reminder that there
] are multiple ways of perceiving the same events.

They interviewed this gal on Fresh Air a month or 2 back, and the clips from the documentary they played were excellent. Its weird how we view Al Jazeera as a mouth-piece for the Islamic governments of the Middle East, while most of those same government hate Al Jazeera for exposing their corruption and human rights violations.

It will be interesting to see how the growth of an independent voice in the Middle East, coupled with Iran's growing youth culture, will change the region.

RE: Al Jazeera: Out-Foxing Fox

RE: Cute Quip Cuts to Quick
Topic: Society 3:29 am EDT, Jun 27, 2004

noteworthy wrote:
] It's time for us parents to stop thinking that our jobs as
] parents are limited to providing a comfortable,
] well-decorated house with a pretty lawn
] We need to get more involved in our children's lives!

A deep grepping of my past memes or website shows I've been ranting about this for years.

Parents have steadily be shifting the responsibility of raising their own children to others. And when the shit hits the fan (ie Columbine), suddenly its everyone else's fault. It's Hollywood's fault for making violent movies. It's the movies threater's fault for not checking ids for a voluntary system anyway. It's Doom or Quake's fault. It's Ice-T talking about killing cops' fault.

Wake the fuck up! I'm so sick of all these parents bitching that all this "parenting" they suddenly have to do is taking away time from their careers.

RE: Cute Quip Cuts to Quick

'Dateline NBC': How is 'news' defined?
Topic: Society 10:37 am EDT, Jun  1, 2004

] "The line between news and entertainment is so blurred
] that I don't think people are concerned whether or not
] 'Dateline' does a serious, tough journalistic story and
] next week does a little fluffy thing that promotes their
] own network," said Angotti, a former NBC News executive.
] "I just don't think people care that much anymore."
] The criticism -- even some of his own -- now sounds
] archaic.
] "It's sad," he said. "It's sad that it's happening to me
] and it's sad that it's happening to the public. But it's
] a fact of life."

'Dateline NBC': How is 'news' defined?

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