- What’s lost as cursive handwriting goes away? Intelligence … memory … turns out handwriting isn’t just some bugaboo in stuffy, old-fashioned teachers’ minds.
- In Thailand, protestors salute with the touching gesture borrowed from The Hunger Games. The junta doesn’t like it.
- Hm. I dunno. I guess if you’re too busy, have the bux, and don’t mind your dog pigging out on treats, this could assuage your guilt. Frankly, though, if I had the money and no time, I’d go with an automated fetch machine, instead. Keep ‘em lean and well-exercised. (H/T ML)
- Whotta place to be caught: between secrecy and censorship
- Haha! Those noxious patent trolls are getting what they deserve.
- Six subtle things that highly productive people do every day.
Archive for the ‘Privacy and self ownership’ Category
… courtesy of the U.S. military and the war in Afghanistan.
The stated goal of the Afghan effort is no less than the collection of biometric data for every living person in Afghanistan. At a conference with Afghan officials in 2010, the commander of the U.S. Army’s Task Force Biometrics Col. Craig Osborne told the attendees that the collection of biometric data is not simply about “identifying terrorists and criminals,” but that “it can be used to enable progress in society and has countless applications for the provision of services to the citizens of Afghanistan.” According to Osborne, biometrics provide the Afghan government with “identity dominance” enabling them to know who their citizens are and link actions with actors.
Yep. It’s always tried out first on prisoners, “enemies,” the mentally defective, children, and others who aren’t in a position to resist effectively. Then it comes to our neighborhoods.
But no problem! Hey, it’s to help “provision of services”! I’m sure they’ll drop the creepy “identity dominance” discription when it comes time to apply all this to us. It’ll go away. Just like “Total Information Awareness” did.
(Article is from April. I just found it this morning — and I don’t think much will have changed (at least not changed for the better) since it was published.)
Last week during the install-a-door-and-discover-that-your-whole-house-is-rotten project, the kid doing gofer work took advantage of his boss’s momentary absence to wander into the kitchen, where I was on the computer, and talk to me.
Now I’ve exchanged maybe five sentences with this kid in the past, all completely casual. But with virtually no preamble, he informs me that he’s had a bad month because on his birthday he came home to discover his girlfriend and his roommate doing guess what on the living room sofa. He commences to go into detail.
I make a few politely sympathetic noises while trying to indicate that I’m doing something really, really — I mean really, vitally! — important on my computer. I eventually have to say outright that I’m deadlining.
I’m embarrassed that any young man would think that a stranger either would want to hear the intimate details of his relationships or should hear them.
Where are the boundaries? Are there boundaries any more?
Nobody seems sure what’s going on, not even the spectacularly well-informed Bruce Schneier. But TrueCrypt, the whole-disc encryption program many have relied on for a decade, has either been mysteriously compromised or somebody’s pulled off a hoax. Brian Krebs thinks it’s the real deal and that the secretive TrueCrypt team is sending us all a warning.
As some have pointed out, the cryptic “official” announcement that “TrueCrypt is not secure as it may contain unfixed security issues …” could be read as “Not Secure As …”
Let’s hope for a hoax. TrueCrypt being subverted would be a major heartbreaker. And always … be careful out there.
(Tip o’ hat to S.)
Is is ominous that these two stories came out within days of each other?
The fedgov is creating a “biosurveillance” system to gain near real-time access to our medical records. In the name of “national security,” of course.
And is it even more ominous that these plans are moving ahead just as the fedgov consolidates its control over the U.S. entire U.S. medical system?
- For the first time, the heroic Ladar Levison tells the details of why he had to shut down Lavabit rather than betray his customers.
- The “saddest tourist destination” in America just got worse because of the evil it’s trying to perpetrate against an innocent man. Shades of Kelo.
- And speaking of governments perpetrating evils against the innocent … (H/T and thanks to JTLaB)
- Kurt Hofmann gives it good and hard to the tyranno-cop who claimed police militarization was needed because of those non-existent rising rates of violent crime. And to fight American military veterans.
- Those Texas open-carry activists whose tactics of carrying long guns into businesses have proven so … counterproductive, to say the least … are learning from their mistakes.
- Another brilliant one one from Wendy McElroy: “If you meet John Galt on the Road, Kill Him.”
- Aw, da poo widdle coppie. Him aw hurt because him being shunned after him was a bad coppie and … somebody decided to howl loud, long, and amazingly effectively for justice.
- Um, yeah. I don’t think I’ll be buying any new cars, thank you. (H/T J)
- Harry Reid’s Rule #1: Billionaires buying government are only bad when you disagree with them. (Jon Stewart whacks Reid with a cluebat.)
- With Google, I often think lately that its high-minded motto, “Don’t be evil,” was never anything but a cover for the slimy things it intended to get away with
- Apple, too. I suspect this question goes deep, deep down a rabbit hole: Why would any tech company help cover up police thuggery? (Via Wendy — authentic Canadian intellectual. :-) )
- Woman’s cancer apparently cured by one mega-strong dose of engineered measles virus.
- “The Bonfire of the Humanities.” Bigotry and censorship in the name of “tolerance.”
- I know how you feel, Kevin. Go for a peaceful future.
- It’s funny how so many “bad guys” think they’re the “good guys.” Woman has neighbors’ home bulldozed because she doesn’t approve of them.
- National mortgage database: good for regulators, bad for the rest of us.
- Financial secrets of the Amish. (Never mind the wide-eyed yuppie tone; the info is good.)
- While I’m dubious about Bitcoin, the underlying problem is real.
- And speaking of people who helpfully fill in potholes, no good deed goes unpunished. (H/T MJR for 2)
- Why Christians may regret getting government endorsement for prayers at public meetings.
- Now there’s a question nobody should have to think about. Is the person pulling you over a cop? Or not? (H/T Dana)
- But then, when it comes to cops, things could be worse, of course. And are.
- New research on why we can’t remember our infancy.
- Happiness: a process.
When I first started reading about Operation Choke Point, I wasn’t even sure it was real. Or perhaps it was real but egregiously exaggerated.
The more I read, the more ominous the future looks.
The great Maggie McNeill has an excellent overview. (H/T S.)
My worries are broader yet. Covert ostracism of groups of people — any group of peaceable people — starts a dangerous (to the point of deadly) trend. Covert ostracism by private corporations at the direction of government is fascism (and I don’t use that term in any figurative or overblown way; that’s one normal function of the corporate-government partnership that’s the definition and essence of fascism).
Covert ostracism as a tool of government for getting its way when it can’t get its way through open law-spewing is … a big, big step on the path to destruction. Of trust. Of human decency. Of the concept of equal protection under law (never mind that equal protection has always been a myth; even a myth can have a civilizing purpose). Of civil society. Of so many valuable things.
Yeah, we’re already on that path. I know. But once you start shutting masses of peaceable people and businesses out of normal commerce, you create pariahs. You don’t drive them out of business; you merely drive them … elsewhere. You also drive them to be something other than what they are.
And like so many other attempts to force some governmental ideal of “morality” on people, you end up driving immorality.
Of course, you also create Freedom Outlaws. So the ostracism promised by Operation Choke Point (and its inevitable successors) wouldn’t be a total loss. But OCP is both a sign of and an “advance” upon the irreplaceable loss of all that makes civilization worthy of the name.
- JPFO has a brand-new Twitter feed managed by the amazing Nicki.
- Obama’s war on government watchdogs.
- Very nice tribute to Don Kates.
- Of course the growing cybermilitary will never be used against thee and me. Never. How could you even think such a thing? But now that you have thought such a thing, you can be sure that the NSA, the Pentagon, and a whole bunch of rich government contractors know what to do about it. (H/T H)
- But while we’re on the subject: “What a toilet hoax can tell us about the future of surveillance.” Eeeeeew.
- In other non-news: government has made the country inept and the individuals involved with government immoral. (From the interesting-sounding book, The Rule of Nobody: Saving America from Dead Laws and Broken Government.)
- To really screw things up it takes a computer — and a 50-year-old spyplane.
- And in your awwwwwww news for the day: teenager takes his great-grandma to the prom.
- Now if you need an antidote to all that sappiness, here’s a laugh.
- This is both fun and educational: How Secure is My Password? Just in case, I suggest you not enter any real passwords, but something entirely different that just has the same general mix of numbers, letters, and symbols as any password you might use. And of course, how long it takes a PC to crack your password and how long it takes some creepazoid with the full power of government behind him are two very different things.
- Why we should all watch Groundhog Day. (Contains spoilers; but then, is there anybody who hasn’t already seen or doesn’t already know how that great movie unfolds?)
- Don’t you just hate that trendy new put-down by our superiors on the left? Well, here’s somebody who snotty “check your privilege” types the smackdown they deserve.
- John Lott has some good observations about Bloomberg’s latest.
- Bob Hoskins has died. Damn. He was a terrific actor and sure was a lot of fun in Roger Rabbit.
In light of the latest in the endless series of revelations about Internet Explorer bugs and vulnerabilities, I bring you …
And now, being gunfolk and technoids (as so many of you are), you can all go off to the comment section and beat each other about the head and shoulders over which firearm should actually represent which browser.
But nobody will disagree on the one that best depicts IE, right?