Archive for Our Rights

Apple to Apple

The new Shuffle now incorporates a proprietary chip to prevent unauthorized headphone usage. Looks like Apple keeps knocking itself down on my list. This is in addition to dock port items for the iPhone and iPod touch which also have a proprietary chip that require genuine Apple items to get functionality such as a line out, or TV output. I hope there’s a lot of consumer outrage over this. It’s similar to inkjet printer manufacturers in the early part of the decade putting chips in their refills and invoking the DMCA when it came to third party competitors. Sick sick sick. Just makes me sick.

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More Privacy Erosion

This time in Georgia, GPS tracking without court order is allowed by courts. “Private peoples” are not allowed, except for tracking your own kids or business property, i.e. company cars. The argument is that a public road grants no privacy, while in reality there is defacto privacy because it’s impractical to have your car followed 24/7. I hope the courts see the errors of there ways.

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Decline of Red-light Ticket Cameras?

Ars is reporting that the yellow/amber phase of ticket camera lights may be significantly below state laws in order to generate more revenue for local city governments. There has been one city in Tennessee that has had to refund all it’s fines for a particular intersection that was nearly a second shorter than the 3.9 second minimum set by the state government. There are also reports that the traffic engineers in Dallas have done the same. Shame on them.

I recently got a ticket in the mail for a supposed run. It was interesting that they also had a video of it. I was actually making a right turn on red and the camera thought I ran the light. The wording on the “citation” said that other than a $75 fine, it wouldn’t go on my record or be reported to the insurance company. It’s a 100% revenue generator for the city.

According to the article however, recently the cities have had to pay 50% of the revenues to the states, and now with the accusations that they’re shortchanging the lights, hopefully we’ll see less and less of these stupid camera systems.

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Recount in New Hampshire Primary

I hate to be such an Ars tail wagger, bet they just give me news that others are unwilling to dig up. It seems the e-voting thing is rearing it’s ugly head again, with lack of transparency and audit mechanisms being a very serious and unacceptable design flaw. According to ars, the burden of providing and proving a fair election should rest on the state/government officials and should not need public outrage to bring about evidence for an audit. And that’s probably the extent of my knowledge on this matter for now, but it’s something I feel is very important to our democratic process.

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I still don’t like RealID nor the TSA

RealID is being shoved down our throats by the DHS who still feel that they can determine who a “terrorist” is by whether or not the yet to be produced “tamper-proof” ID is valid or if they’re in a nationally query’able database. Has history shown most of the attackers of 9/11 to have any criminal history? Isn’t this why the de-facto way of screening is now by skin color? Or am I totally off base here? Why is our government so paranoid? Is the DHS even necessary? Have people forgotten about that P.A.T.R.I.O.T. act?

In other news, the TSA (which I still feel has no positive effect on making me safer when flying) still sucks at keeping our personal information safe. Persons who were seeking redress and trying to have their names taken off “terrorist lists” had their data exposed for over four months before any action was taken.

And what is up with all these damn no-bid government contracts? More mercenary groups like Blackwater? Maybe this was before my days of listening to NPR, but I just found out their right to operate in Iraq was revoked by the national government there.

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Rights and W[r]ongs

Looks like this local Dallas girl got her picture taken and released by the photographer (her youth pastor, Mr. Wong). Virgin Mobile in Australia picked it up and used it since Mr. Wong allowed commercial use with attribution, thanks to the Creative Commons license he chose. Fast forward to her seeing her photo on Flickr and now suing Virgin Mobile for defamation since they never got a model/parental release. Someone didn’t do their job correctly at VM :roll: . Funny ad though.

What a very small world we live in. John, I think your sis might knows her.

Sourced from TOP

Update (2008-01-10): Washington Post has an article on this.

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The streak is alive!

Our consecutive 3-pointer streak continues with Maurice Ager hitting two in the last 90 seconds of regulation. We were able to do it last year with Diop’s three in the closing minutes against the Clippers.

I was disappointed to hear that the appeal for internet radio stations to bypass royalties on copyrights was denied today. I love my DI and Sky. I’ve supported them in the past but this sucks. Anyone remember soma.fm? They went “off-air” the first time the ruling passed and was able to make it back on the internet airwaves, but this might be the final blow. I hate how much weight big companies can throw around through their advocacy and lobby groups. Internet radio is good stuff. Forget clearchannel.

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