I saw a movie on DVD a few days ago. It had the warning "piracy is not a victimless crime" (I might have gotten the exact wording slightly off). I actually agreed with that warning, though for an entirely different reason: Hollywood assumes that it isn't victimless and is therefore a crime, whereas from what I've seen, it is victimless and therefore shouldn't be a crime.
I was in the Boston area when the Marathon attacks happened over 2 years ago, and the police response then was to go door-to-door, without a warrant, demanding any and all possible information on the whereabouts of the suspects from ordinary people. (The city and surrounding areas were basically shut down on that Friday too.) If something like that were to happen again (specifically including the detail about going around without a warrant), can the police arrest someone in their own home for "not cooperating with an investigation"? I'm getting the sense that unfortunately the Boston police forces got a bit drunk with power after the Marathon attacks (though I do commend their bravery through the ensuing firefight against the suspects). Plus, on a more topical note, after last night's spate of shootings, I think Boston police should probably focus on doing their own jobs as best as they can instead of trying to pull citizens into the line of fire.
So Barbie is now a "smart" doll? And this coming from the doll that once notably said "match class is tough"? This seems incredibly two-faced of Mattel. Hey, there's an idea: a monster Barbie with two faces!
I can sort of see why the author of that piece is upset though. Isn't the point of encryption to make sure that email originating from political dissidents and activists cannot be distinguished from email going between ordinary people? I don't doubt that it has already proved its worth with people like Snowden, but I can't help but feel it would be far more useful if everyone was using it (and not just Snowden and others like him); in that context, the criticism seems even more understandable.
I find this particularly disturbing for a couple of related reasons. Last year in January, my blog was made private because a third-party extension I was using had become infected. It took several weeks to figure out what the bad extension was and to appeal to have my blog become public again. In the meantime, I lost a significant chunk of my readerbase. I blog about science and technology. I have absolutely nothing that anyone can consider to be adult content. Yet, now I'm scared that Google might mis-flag some of my content as being "explicit" and take down my blog, and that I will then have little to no recourse whatsoever. This goes doubly for other bloggers who write about somewhat more "controversial" (according to Google) topics.
I remember reading a relatively recent article mentioning how many popular works are in the public domain or have been used through fair use; that article mentioned such uses as "quirks" of copyright law. I found it sad to think that people don't realize that the default state is actually free public access, not intellectual monopoly.
I remember reading on Cracked (http://www.cracked.com/article_21756_5-reasons-working-comcast-worse-than-you-think.html) recently that there is no true customer service, only sales and more sales divisions. Maybe that's what the CEO meant when claiming this is a "normal part of being so huge"...?
I'll just post a Seinfeld quote, made by George Costanza, as it seems quite relevant regarding the federal government's stance on polygraph effectiveness. (Plus, it was George's own advice on beating the polygraph.) "Jerry, just remember, it's not a lie if you believe it."
For a moment I read the headline as saying that short people are no longer on the no-fly list (implying that they were before). That would have been bizarre, but knowing the DOJ, well, it wouldn't have been totally unexpected I guess.
I thought it was interesting how there was a disclaimer at the top of the article saying that his views were his alone and not meant to be representative of the LAPD's general stance. The sad part is that those views probably are representative. Regardless, I was quite disgusted upon reading this article. He paid some lip service to the ACLU and its "types", yet promptly undermined said lip service with the rest of his article.
Is it really the case though that people would have been *so* much more cooperative if the police acted cordially all along? I mean, I'm sure that if the police had acted cordially all along, things would certainly have been better than what they were when the SWAT teams were in place, but I'm wondering how much of the current positive interactions with the cordial police are more just relief at the SWAT team now being gone.