One way to insure the upcoming election is honest is to serve as an elections official. These are the people who check you in as you come in to vote and show you a voting machine or hand you a ballot, depending upon the jurisdiction. It is a long day, in Virginia it begins at 5 AM and lasts until the votes are counted, which can be past midnight in a Presidential year. As an elections official you cannot change unjust voter ID laws; but you can make sure that they are administered fairly.
Follow the Money: Who Profits from Piracy? is a great video which explains online piracy from the content creator's point of view. What struck me is the similarity between online piracy and spam. The same actors are profiting from both, payment processors and online ad servers.
Fellow Slashdotters, is there a good software package to run and manage e-mail marketing and list management? If so, what is it?
Smith and Leahy are also the chief sponsors of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), respectively. Both bills, which purport to combat online piracy of copyrighted material, face opposition from big-name technology companies that fear they will stifle online innovation. Legal scholars have denounced the bills as unconstitutional and said that they are tantamount to Internet censorship. Perhaps most significantly, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Rep. Darrel Issa (R-CA) both oppose SOPA in its current form.
Just about everyone hates these bills
... but the entertainment industry loves them. And among the sponsors of the Politico awards gala is the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the video game industry's chief lobbying group. According to disclosure records, the ESA has spent thousands of dollars this year lobbying in support of PIPA, designated S.968. (For the individual filings, click here, here, here, and here.) ESA has also donated $1,000 to Smith each election cycle going back to 2008. They donated $2,400 to Leahy in 2010.
Payola journalism, Washington, DC style.
Forbes is reporting that the FAA has launched an investigation into News Corps' use of drones to collect news. The New York Observer is reporting that News Corps is experimenting with the Parrot AR.Drone âoequadricopterâ, which can be controlled with an iPad. And yes! drones can be used for phone hacking. The latest in secret police journalism.
Writing for PC World, Katherine Noyes reports that companies are monitoring their employees online profiles at LinkedIn and Facebook. If I understood the report correctly, the monitoring software has the power to block user changes to their profiles. As a self-employed person I am not immediately affected, but am certainly not ethusiastic. I don't think that this will work very well for employers once the job market picks up.
Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus claims to have failed to have failed to save votes when importing them from spreadsheets. But as Pruning Shears points out, Access automatically saves. Nickolaus has been in trouble before. Citizen Action of Wisconsin is calling for a federal inquiry. More from Crooks and Liars.
Here in DC we are having a crime wave of stolen cell phones (article in Washington Post Express, not onlline). How does the market for stolen cell phones work? As I understand it, if mine were stolen I would notify my provider, who would disable it, thus destroying its resell value. Except clearly it does not work that way, hence the market for stolen phones.
Also, since our cell phone providers are clearly tracking our phones, surely they could work with police to recover stolen phones. So why don't they?
Writing for Exainer.com, Sean Kerrigan reports that the federal government has put out a solicitation ( PDF) for the development of "Persona Management Software" which would help the user create and manage a variety of distinct fake profiles online. The job listing was discussed in recently leaked emails from the private security firm HBGary after an attack by internet activist last week.
There is such a thing as being too clever, putting aside other considerations.
Writing for Corrente Wire, danps points out that the ecosystem of app stores combined with usage caps on mobile devices has the effect of restoring the old walled gardens of the early internet. As more of us become dependent upon mobile computing, this poses a de facto threat to the neutral net.
I have not had access to my PayPal account for over a year now. For reasons best known to PayPal, but never communicated to me, I cannot access my account, even less send out invoices and receive payment. This is extremely annoying as many clients prefer to pay by PayPal. Bad vendor! bad! bad!
Throughout this whole controversy I have been stunned by the complacency of the application service providers, SaaS, Web 2.0, and venture capitalists whose entire business model is built on the assumption of a neutral net.
From the NNSquad discussion list: Twitter to log every click on every link in every tweet
"Soon, Twitter will be collecting data on which Twitter users click any
links in any Twitter streams. They will also be able to collect IP
address info for any user (even non-Twitter users) who click on any
link in any Twitter message via the Twitter Web interface."
I can't say that I am enthusiastic.
The Identity Project alerts us to
Putting aside the not insignificant civil liberties issues, this would be a devastating blow to homeless people who often lose their documents in the events that lead to their homelessness.
Christopher Blizzard writes about Apple's HTML5 marketing effort. It seems Apple has a blurb about how they support open standards followed by a demo that can only be viewed in Safari. Bit of a disconnect between the message and the practice eh? Besides that, Apple drastically cuts back on the number of people who will bother to look at the demo. The drop off rate will be prodigious under the best of circumstances; but will anyone download a browser just so that they can look at a demo?