cowboy me, 2.0: jose nazario beauty and the street

Four short links: 5 July 2013

Inventor of the Computer Mouse, racial epithets, national speed limits, National Security Agency

A few words on Doug Engelbart -- Engelbart had an intent, a goal, a mission. By saying that Engelbart invented hypertext, you ascribe that meaning to Engelbart's work. But in the case of Engelbart, you miss the point in spectacular fashion. Our video conferencing is not the same as Engelbart's video conferencing, because it does not serve the same purpose. At one point, the face of a remote collaborator, Bill Paxton, appears on screen, and Engelbart and Paxton have a conversation.

Free Justin Carter Now | National Review Online -- In the state of Texas, a 19-year-old man named Justin Carter sits in prison, ruthlessly stripped of his freedom for making an offensive joke. After a Facebook friend with whom he played video games described him as crazy and messed up in the head, Carter replied sarcastically, one imagines Oh yeah, Im real messed up in the head, Im going to go shoot up a school full of kids and eat their still, beating hearts. He added lol and jk for good measure. I object to this line of thinking, not only because it presumes to judge virtue, awarding our betters a claim to exclusive truth, but also because, as John Stuart Mill argued, free men must not be stripped of their right to hear what others have to say however offensive. Sandy Hook being still fresh in the memory, one does not have to wonder for too long why Justin was singled out from the hundreds of thousands perhaps millions of Internet postings that threaten violence.

If PRISM Is Good Policy, Why Stop With Terrorism? - Atlantic Mobile -- My first day in college, the professor for Public Policy 101 asked a 200-person class, "If there were a policy that saved over 20,000 lives, reduced carbon emissions by 20 percent, reduced gasoline usage by 20 percent, decreased average insurance costs by 75 percent, and which would increase revenues to the federal government and not cost any additional money to implement -- who in this room would support this policy?" The government has presented PRISM, and other similar surveillance programs, as a solution to a danger and fear -- terrorism -- which is almost impossible to comprehend: Terrorism is everywhere and nowhere; But if we are going to use personal data obtained through PRISM for terrorism purposes in a way that violates our privacy and which I would argue violates the Fourth Amendment, why not do it for other legitimate purposes? Should the government be able to use technologies like PRISM and related exposed programs to find child pornography? What if instead of enforcing speed limits by stationing police officers to patrol our streets, a relatively ineffective and costly method of enforcement, the government instead monitored the speed of all cars in real time using cellphones. Should the government be able to use technologies like PRISM and related exposed programs to make our roads safer? Even if a court were to find that PRISM data violates the Fourth Amendment, courts have traditionally held that even information that was illegally obtained can be used in court to impeach testimony -- in other words, it could plausibly be admissible to catch a tax cheat.

On July 4th join the protest against NSA surveillance. -- Dear Members of Congress, We write to express our concern about recent reports published in the Guardian and the Washington Post, and acknowledged by the Obama Administration, which reveal secret spying by the National Security Agency (NSA) on phone records and Internet activity of people in the United States. The data collected by the NSA includes every call made, the time of the call, the duration of the call, and other "identifying information" for millions of Verizon customers, including entirely domestic calls, regardless of whether those customers have ever been suspected of a crime. We are calling on Congress to take immediate action to halt this surveillance and provide a full public accounting of the NSA's and the FBI's data collection programs. Dial: 1-STOP-323-NSA

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