Create an Account
username: password:
  MemeStreams Logo

Spontaneous Sociability and The Enthymeme


Picture of Rattle
Rattle's Pics
My Blog
My Profile
My Audience
My Sources
Send Me a Message

sponsored links

Rattle's topics
   Sci-Fi/Fantasy Literature
  Tech Industry
  Telecom Industry
Health and Wellness
   Using MemeStreams
Current Events
  War on Terrorism
Local Information
  SF Bay Area
   SF Bay Area News
  Nano Tech
  International Relations
  (Politics and Law)
   Civil Liberties
    Internet Civil Liberties
   Intellectual Property
   Computer Security
   PC Hardware
   Computer Networking
   Software Development
    Open Source Development
    Perl Programming
    PHP Programming
   Web Design
  Military Technology
  High Tech Developments

support us

Get MemeStreams Stuff!

Current Topic: Politics and Law

Feds snub open source for 'smart' radios | CNET
Topic: Politics and Law 12:31 am EDT, Jul  9, 2007

Mobile-gadget makers are starting to take advantage of software-defined radio, a new technology allowing a single device to receive signals from multiple sources, including television stations and cell phone networks.

But a new federal rule set to take effect Friday could mean that radios built on "open-source elements" may encounter a more sluggish path to market--or, in the worst case scenario, be shut out altogether. U.S. regulators, it seems, believe the inherently public nature of open-source code makes it more vulnerable to hackers, leaving "a high burden to demonstrate that it is sufficiently secure."

If the decision stands, it may take longer for consumers to get their hands on these all-in-one devices. The nascent industry is reluctant to rush to market with products whose security hasn't been thoroughly vetted, and it fears the Federal Communications Commission's preference for keeping code secret could allow flaws to go unexposed, potentially killing confidence in their products.

By effectively siding with what is known in cryptography circles as "security through obscurity," the controversial idea that keeping security methods secret makes them more impenetrable, the FCC has drawn an outcry from the software radio set and raised eyebrows among some security experts.

I love disruptive technology.

Feds snub open source for 'smart' radios | CNET

It's the Emotions, Stupid!
Topic: Politics and Law 3:41 pm EDT, Jul  7, 2007

More on Drew Weston.

When we think, we think through networks in which concepts or ideas come with associated emotional resonances and colorings. In short, thinking is feeling -- and vice versa.

So why do Democrats have a hard time grasping this fact? Part of it has to do with the progressive tradition and its commitment to dispassionate social analysis.

The predilection toward objective, fact-based thinking is not in itself a flaw, but it can lead progressives to forget that people are driven by factors that often elude social scientific analysis and that all problems cannot by solved by social programs.

Two conclusions?

1. There are times when you just have to knock some heads.
2. Facts are often overrated.

It's the Emotions, Stupid!

The Political Brain
Topic: Politics and Law 5:13 pm EDT, Jun 28, 2007

You may remember the Drew Westen thread from earlier this year.

The Political Brain is a groundbreaking investigation into the role of emotion in determining the political life of the nation. For two decades Drew Westen, professor of psychology and psychiatry at Emory University, has explored a theory of the mind that differs substantially from the more "dispassionate" notions held by most cognitive psychologists, political scientists, and economists—and Democratic campaign strategists. The idea of the mind as a cool calculator that makes decisions by weighing the evidence bears no relation to how the brain actually works. When political candidates assume voters dispassionately make decisions based on "the issues," they lose. That's why only one Democrat has been re-elected to the presidency since Franklin Roosevelt—and only one Republican has failed in that quest.

In politics, when reason and emotion collide, emotion invariably wins. Elections are decided in the marketplace of emotions, a marketplace filled with values, images, analogies, moral sentiments, and moving oratory, in which logic plays only a supporting role. Westen shows, through a whistle-stop journey through the evolution of the passionate brain and a bravura tour through fifty years of American presidential and national elections, why campaigns succeed and fail. The evidence is overwhelming that three things determine how people vote, in this order: their feelings toward the parties and their principles, their feelings toward the candidates, and, if they haven't decided by then, their feelings toward the candidates' policy positions.

Westen turns conventional political analyses on their head, suggesting that the question for Democratic politics isn't so much about moving to the right or the left but about moving the electorate. He shows how it can be done through examples of what candidates have said—or could have said—in debates, speeches, and ads. Westen's discoveries could utterly transform electoral arithmetic, showing how a different view of the mind and brain leads to a different way of talking with voters about issues that have tied the tongues of Democrats for much of forty years—such as abortion, guns, taxes, and race. You can't change the structure of the brain. But you can change the way you appeal to it. And here's how…

This looks interesting...

The Political Brain

Don’t Privatize Our Spies
Topic: Politics and Law 8:20 am EDT, Jun 27, 2007

Shortly after 9/11, Senator Bob Graham, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, called for “a symbiotic relationship between the intelligence community and the private sector.” They say you should be careful what you wish for.

... As it happened, the dot-com bubble had burst shortly before 9/11, cutting loose a generation of technology entrepreneurs who, when the government came calling, were only too happy to start developing new data-mining algorithms and biometric identification programs.

There is nothing inherently wrong with all this.

The problem is that the “symbiotic relationship” has turned decidedly dysfunctional, if not downright exploitative.

Don’t Privatize Our Spies

Lessig blog: Required Reading: the next 10 years
Topic: Politics and Law 9:14 am EDT, Jun 20, 2007

And so as I said at the top (in my "bottom line"), I have decided to shift my academic work, and soon, my activism, away from the issues that have consumed me for the last 10 years, towards a new set of issues: Namely, these. "Corruption" as I've defined it elsewhere will be the focus of my work. For at least the next 10 years, it is the problem I will try to help solve.

This is really good news. I can only see good things resulting from this change of focus.

Lessig blog: Required Reading: the next 10 years

Mike Bloomberg: Registered Independent - The Fix
Topic: Politics and Law 8:07 pm EDT, Jun 19, 2007

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is changing his party affiliation from "Republican" to "unaffiliated", a move certain to fuel talk that he is preparing for an independent run for president in 2008.

Mike Bloomberg: Registered Independent - The Fix

The Drivers Ten Commandments
Topic: Politics and Law 5:32 pm EDT, Jun 19, 2007

The Vatican on Tuesday issued a "Ten Commandments" for motorists to keep them on the road to salvation, warning drivers against the sins of road rage, abuse of alcohol or even simple rudeness.

Cardinal Renato Martino, who heads the office, told a news conference the Vatican felt it necessary to address the pastoral needs of motorists because driving has become such a big part of contemporary life.

I'm not making this up.

And it suggested prayer might come in handy performing the sign of the cross before starting off and saying the rosary along the way. The rosary was particularly well-suited to recitation by all in the car, it said, since its "rhythm and gentle repetition does not distract the driver's attention."

What's wrong with a steady stream of ear melting rock n' roll? Rhythm is good, but I'm not always in the mood for gentle. Thanks Cardinal, but I'll continue to opt for shouting Rolling Stones lyrics over saying the Hail Mary.

I think this puts it well:

"Overtaking is a sin? Well, then I'm a murderer, I'll turn myself in immediately," quipped movie director Dino Risi, whose classic film "The Easy Life" "Il Sorpasso," or "The Overtaking" ends with a car crash.

"I think the Vatican has lost its marbles," he added, according to the ANSA news agency.

And with no further delay, here are the Drivers 10 Commandments:

The “Drivers’ Ten Commandments,” as listed in the document:
1. You shall not kill.
2. The road shall be for you a means of communion between people and not of mortal harm.
3. Courtesy, uprightness and prudence will help you deal with unforeseen events.
4. Be charitable and help your neighbor in need, especially victims of accidents.
5. Cars shall not be for you an expression of power and domination, and an occasion of sin.
6. Charitably convince the young and not so young not to drive when they are not in a fitting condition to do so.
7. Support the families of accident victims.
8. Bring guilty motorists and their victims together, at the appropriate time, so that they can undergo the liberating experience of forgiveness.
9. On the road, protect the more vulnerable party.
10. Feel responsible toward others.

So I can't have sex in my car? I refuse to acknowledge that.

Well, ok then. I'm making my own Drivers 10 Commandments. And having such a high opinion of myself, I expect others to follow them...

1) Thou shalt get the fuck out of the way.
2) Thou shalt not stay in the left lane when there is open space in the right lane.
3) Thou shalt always leave enough space on ones' right to get by when making a left at an intersection.
4) Thou shalt not violate the sanctity of others lanes.
5) Thou shalt use turn signals.
6) Thou shalt not start driving like an idiot the second a rain drop or snow flake falls.
7) Thou shalt respect the velocity preferences of others.
8) Thou shalt obey the every-other rule when merging in slow traffic.
9) Thou shalt maintain a reasonable following distance at all times.
10) Thou shalt use high-beams with prudence.

The Drivers Ten Commandments

Gogle and the different types of privacy...
Topic: Politics and Law 2:10 am EDT, May 31, 2007

Decius wrote this:

This is at the crux of present privacy battles. Yes, if you walk out of a strip club and your girlfriend is driving by, its not like she was doing anything wrong. She didn't violate your privacy. But if everything you ever do outside is always recorded all of the time, then in a very real sense you've lost something, even though you can't put a finger on the quantum recordings as being inappropriate, or the access to the quantum recordings as being inappropriate. Its the same thing in numerous contexts. You've no 4th amendment right to privacy in regard to the phone numbers you've dialed, because the phone company presumptively knows them, and you have to presume that they might tell the police. However, generally you wouldn't. Generally you'd think the phone company wouldn't tell the police who you are calling unless they suspected you of something. Its possible that the phone companies have been providing every number that everyone ever dials to the NSA. There is a difference. We better get good at recognizing it.

Ahh.. The good old reasonable expectation of privacy...

Let me drill up one of my old points, just to have it in this discussion....

Eskimos have five different words for types of fallen snow. Snow is pretty important to Eskimos. If privacy is important to us, we need to do a better job at how we define different types of privacy, so we can safeguard them in different ways.

How do we start defining the different types of privacy, and getting people to accept those semantic distinctions? That would be a a good first step. Then we can get a dialog going about how to protect them...

Gogle and the different types of privacy...

The Daylight Saving change: no savings, no point
Topic: Politics and Law 2:12 pm EDT, Apr  4, 2007

The US government's plan to boost energy savings by moving Daylight Saving Time forward by three weeks was apparently a waste of time and effort, as the technological foibles Americans experienced failed to give way to any measurable energy savings.

Reuters spoke with Jason Cuevas, spokesman for Southern Co. power, who said it plainly: "We haven't seen any measurable impact." New Jersey's Public Service Enterprise Group said the same thing: "no impact" on their business.

Well, so much for that...

The Daylight Saving change: no savings, no point

Senator McCain web staff and FBI both lacking clue
Topic: Politics and Law 5:59 pm EDT, Apr  1, 2007

This afternoon I was happily geeking away when I heard a knock at the door. I went to answer and was presented with a local sheriff and two FBI agents holding a lovely search warrant (scans coming when I can get down to Kinko's in the morning).

The original prank was covered earlier.

It appears neither McCain's people nor the FBI have a grasp on what has happened here. In short, it was McCain's web staff that screwed up. The only crime committed here was civil in nature, and was on the part of McCain's web staff. They included images in their MySpace profile that were not hosted on MySpace or McCain's servers, and did not follow the license associated with those images. They did not attribute them, so the owner changed them.

If this escalates, it will be an interesting court case. McCain and the FBI will lose.

For some background reading that relates to this, I strongly suggest reading the account of how Jason Scott did something similar, only much more offensive. I suggest reading the entire account, as it is both extremely humorous and insightful.

Update: The original prank was featured on the Daily Show.

Update^2: It was an April Fools day joke. A pretty believable one too. Heh. I expect this kinda thing to happen these days.

Senator McCain web staff and FBI both lacking clue

(Last) Newer << 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 ++ 19 >> Older (First)
Powered By Industrial Memetics