Permalink
Sep 11, 2001

Plane Hits Building
Personal Commentary
'Lost amid the hoopla surrounding the celebrations of the end of World War II has been the 50th anniversary of the army plane crash into the Empire State Building. Many do not know of the tragic incident of July 28, 1945 -- the day a B-25 bomber, lost in fog, rammed into what was then the world's tallest building. Fewer, still, remember the miraculous survival of the woman who fell 75 stories when the cables to her elevator were severed.'

Before Google becomes 'polluted' with the news, I'm looking for stories that may be interesting or relevant to the current scenario. In a few hours, this will be virtually impossible.

 


Permalink
Sep 11, 2001

Wow
Personal Commentary
Today is an emotional day. My condolences to those lives lost today. I want to comment, but this is not the day for it.

May you find healing.

 


Permalink
Sep 10, 2001

Reading your mouse movements
Privacy from Companies
'A team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, US, say they have developed a way to record mouse movements on a page and learn how people behave when they are on the internet.'

If I was at MIT now, and a prof had asked me to work on this, I think I'd have actually refused. Certainly there's a lot of neutral technology, like facial recognition, that can be used in positive ways or negative ways (privacy invasion, computerized psuedo-justice), but there's just no neutrality about this. There's virtually no academic value to this research I can see. The only conceivable use is privacy invasion.

Oh, sure, the researchers talk about customizing store orders. Bah! That only works in the lab, it's too complicated to implement that in the real world to any significant degree, because the system will be wrong too often. (Not every mouse movement you make is meaningful, but the system is forced to interpret most of them as such.) Of course the first and primary use of this will be advertising tracking...

 


Permalink
Sep 10, 2001

Congress Plans DMCA Sequel: The SSSCA
DMCA
From Slashdot:

"If you thought the DMCA was a nightmare, wait 'til you find out what Congress is planning this fall. The sequel is called the "Security Systems Standards and Certification Act," and it requires PCs and consumer electronic devices to support "certified security technologies" to be approved by the Commerce Department. Backers of the SSSCA include Sen. Fritz Hollings (D-S.C.), who heads the powerful Senate Commerce committee, and, reportedly, Disney. Wired News has a report, and I've placed the SSSCA draft text (new! more criminal penalties!) online here.

Why not just take this to the logical conclusion, and A: Ban all media viewing and B: Just pre-emptively lock everybody up. That's obviously where the media moguls want to go.

I do have to wonder about the sanity of the people proposing this. The DMCA was flawed, yes, but as much as I dislike it, that's as far as I'll go: Flawed. The SSSCA is downright totalitarian. In fact, it could teach the old USSR a thing or two. Maybe that'd be a good soundbite to fight this thing.

 


Permalink
Sep 07, 2001

Arguments Against [Arguments Against] Privacy
Privacy from Companies

'For the past couple of years, I have been collecting arguments against privacy. Periodically I have gathered these arguments in a newsletter I edit, The Network Observer, together with rebuttals.'

This document is a gem among gems. Absolutely amazing. Read it. Memorize the URL. Spread it. Wow.

 


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