metrometro writes: Last week, crafting marketplace Etsy.com published the real name and purchasing history of their buyers to the Web. These purchases include sex toys, gay literature, drug pipes and other presumably private transactions. This purchase history appears well liked by Google's search algorithm.
metrometro writes: The Union of Concerned Scientists has a non-hysterical rundown of a developing doesn't-sound-good situation at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, as backup AC power remains offline and battery backup cooling systems are approaching depletion.
If the China Syndrome happens in Japan, do they call it the Canada Syndrome?
metrometro writes: boycottharpercollins.com has the story of Harper Collins attempt to end the right to loan a purchased ebook, via a license which kills the book after 26 reads. Librarians are not pleased: "We're not a business, we're a commons... this turns us into a rental outfit in the long-term." Video rental won this battle in the 1980s. Will librarians win today?
metrometro writes: "Earlier this summer, the visualization website Swivel.com disappeared from the internet (only the externally-hosted blog is still there). To find out what happened, I tracked down and interviewed Swivel's two founders, Brian Mulloy and Dmitry Dimov." The Swivel.com CEO's refreshingly humble comments point to some broader questions with open data: How much of this is actually useful? And how many people have the skills to use it?
metrometro writes: A TSA officer in Miami allegedly jumped a coworker with a police baton after a backscatter X-ray training that included a supervisor making jokes about his penis size while he was scanned. Local NBC reports, "Sources say [TSA officer Rolando] Negrin stepped into the machine during the training session and became embarrassed and angry when a supervisor started cracking jokes about his manhood, made visible by the new machine... According to the police report, Negrin confronted one of his co-workers in an employee parking lot, where he hit him with a police baton on the arm and back." I feel safer already.
metrometro writes: The Washington Post reports that "A former senior executive with the National Security Agency has been indicted on 10 felony charges related to the alleged leaking of classified information to a newspaper reporter in 2006 and 2007, the Justice Department announced Thursday morning. Thomas A. Drake, 52, headed an office in the NSA's signals intelligence and engineering directorates at Fort Meade between 2001 and 2005, U.S. officials said." Alleged leaks were to an award winning intel reporter, then at Baltimore Sun. Based on her stories, her source mostly trashed NSA leadership for lack of direction.
Of note: the government says the alleged NSA mole uses Hushmail, which is all the endorsement I need for a security system.
metrometro writes: In a bizzare departure from the open gov movement he helps lead Lawrence Lessig highlights "the perils of open government". Lessig argues that having too much information will make people (in turn) more confused, easily mislead, or sad. "Reformers rarely feel responsible for the bad that their fantastic new reform effects. Their focus is always on the good... Likewise with transparency. There is no questioning the good that transparency creates in a wide range of contexts, government especially. But we should also recognize that the collateral consequence of that good need not itself be good. And if that collateral bad is busy certifying to the American public what it thinks it already knows, we should think carefully about how to avoid it."