June, 2005

Monday, June 27, 2005

Cracking the Flag-Burning Amendment: "Red, white and blue? Check. 13 stripes? Check. 50 stars? Check. Well, then it must be an Americ-- hey. Wait a minute. Isn't that the Hamburgler in the bottom right corner?" - optimistic (see this comment)

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Friday, June 24, 2005

Pentagon recruiting kids with mass data mining scheme: "The Pentagon's opt-out plan is absurd. It will require students or parents to submit detailed information to be held in a separate database, and checked regularly against the 'working' database, to ensure that there are no matches."

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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

I have a guest essay about the U.S. Grand Prix farce over at peterb's weblog. Mark Denovich also chimed in with some thoughts (warning, contains language).

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Sunday, June 19, 2005

Tom Watson has some good coverage of Mukhtaran Bibi. To review:

  1. Bibi's brother winds up in trouble.
  2. As punishment for her brother's transgressions, judges order Bibi gang raped.
  3. Then she's supposed to kill herself. Only, having far more than the shred of human dignity her assailants are obviously missing, she doesn't. Instead she speaks out.
  4. The government of Pakistan throws Bib in jail and cites the International "Look, a Bird!" Convention.
  5. The story grows.
  6. The government of Pakistan releases her, and says she's free to travel to the US to tell her tale. Only they won't return her passport.

Pakistan, Out Good Friend™ and Ally In The War On Terror™.

(Thanks to Fred Wilson and Angelica at Battlepanda for bringing this to my attention.)

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Saturday, June 18, 2005

Wrath Unleashed: "Remember that guy in your homeroom, in high school? He wore denim everything and listened to metal and seemed sort of stupid, except he could draw these really bitchin' little cartoons of metal dudes riding motorcycles while smoking a joint with a naked chick in the pillion seat who was waving a chainsaw and killing zombies? Well, that guy did the production design for Wrath Unleashed. The game is so thoroughly a paean to arrested development that it can only be on purpose."

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Thursday, June 16, 2005

FreeBSD Mail Archives: "Parkinson shows how you can go in to the board of directors and get approval for building a multi-million or even billion dollar atomic power plant, but if you want to build a bike shed you will be tangled up in endless discussions."

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Monday, June 13, 2005

Matt Blumberg points to an article about overreacting to spam. I found two things interesting about the article.

First, it completely misses the point. McCloskey complains, "In the name of keeping us free of viagra ads in our inbox, we have crippled the most efficient communications system ever developed," as if that were the issue. I receive on the order of 10-30 legitimate messages a day. I receive approximately 15 times as much junk mail as legitimate mail, and that's after deleting the more egregious violations before they hit my mail spool. The problem is not one of keeping viagra ads out of my mailbox, the problem is one of being able to find the mail in my mailbox to start with.

Second, in order to read this article I had to sign up for MediaPost, and MediaPost then sent me something like 10 "newsletter" messages over the course of the day. I suspect that the signup had some method for opting out of the newsletters, but it wasn't obvious from the UI. Each of the newsletters had an unsubscribe link, but it only worked for that specific newsletter. In the fine print was a link to unsubscribe from the page-and-a-half list of newsletters I was subscribed to by signing up. So in order to read a message about how the junk mail problem isn't that bad I had to unknowingly sign up to receive around 1-3 times as much garbage mail as the amount of legitimate mail I see per day.

The fox isn't guarding the henhouse -- it's writing editorials on the subject.

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Friday, June 10, 2005

The site feed went haywire for a few days there, but is now fixed. Big thanks to reader Sam Baxter for catching it.

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Sunday, June 05, 2005

motorists running their cars on cooking oil: "'The government seems to be making it deliberately difficult,' he says. 'The most important thing to remember is, it is not illegal to run your car on cooking oil.' As long as duty is paid, that is."

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Saturday, June 04, 2005

Sam pretty much says everything I want to regarding the Apple-on-Intel rumors: Apple on Intel is Cool

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Friday, June 03, 2005

Going Over to the Dark Side: "Historically, brunettes outnumbered blondes in Hollywood. In the days of Joan Crawford, Hedy Lamarr and Ava Gardner, few actresses colored their hair. The idea that gentlemen prefer blondes came only later, with the ascent of Marilyn Monroe, and with it, the glut of golden girls that inhabited Hollywood until recently."

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The FEC has proposed to apply campaign finance rules to online speech. The FEC comment period ends tonight.

The proposed rule regulates what you can say on personal web pages and blogs, what advertisements you can carry (whether or not you control the ads), what sites you can link to, and many other common activities.

The Center for Democracy and Technology has a page on the subject, a brief survey about online speech, and a statement of principles which you can sign.

If this matters to you, please consider signing CDT's statement of principles.

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Thursday, June 02, 2005

Piracy is Good? How Battlestar Galactica Killed Broadcast TV: "October 18th, 2004 is the day TV died." - also see Piracy is Good? Part Two: The New Laws of Television

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