Congress sides with consumers on cellphone unlocking bill
Jul28

Congress sides with consumers on cellphone unlocking bill

Almost eight years ago, the U.S. Copyright Office gave cellphone owners the right to unlock their cellphones. It had been illegal since the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which banned the “circumvention” of any copy protection mechanisms (Section 1201). This did not, however, mean that carriers honored the ruling. AT&T, for example, has been a notable laggard with regards to the iPhone. From April 2012 :...

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Digital Photography
Jul27

Digital Photography

As you may have noticed I have grown tired of politics and current events and have been doing posts of a more personal and philosophical nature.  I may be 68 but I tend to embrace new technology but one exception may be digital photography and the death of film.  I have been a photographer for nearly 50 years.  One of my early mentors was the late great Ansel Adams.  In addition to his great composition skills he was also a great...

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VIDEO: Snowden and Elsberg at the HOPE X Summit (Hope X, New York)
Jul25

VIDEO: Snowden and Elsberg at the HOPE X Summit (Hope X, New York)

This is an extraordinary video of an exchange between Edward Snowden and the man who leaked the Pentagon Papers, Daniel Elsberg. The encounter took place on Monday at the HOPE X Hacker’s summit in New York City. Snowden recieves a hero’s welcome with long ovations and unmitigated praise from Elsberg, who says Snowden’s emergence gave him ‘hope’ for the first time in many years. To Snowden’s critics,...

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In 2012, Earth narrowly escaped solar blast so powerful it could ‘knock civilization back to 18th century’
Jul25
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The Cost Of Global Warming
Jul25

The Cost Of Global Warming

Here in Oregon and Washington a week ago last Sunday we had several high base thunderstorms move through.  For those of you who might not be familiar with the term “high base” thunderstorm they produce plenty of lightning but little or no rain.   The result was a number of wild fires in both states burning thousands of acres and many structures.  The cost of wild fires has been steadily increasing. The cost of America’s...

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Near Miss
Jul24

Near Miss

In July of 2012 the earth had a near miss, a huge coronal mass injection barely missed the earth.  Such an event did hit the earth in 1859. Before July 2012, when researchers talked about extreme solar storms their touchstone was the iconic Carrington Event of Sept. 1859, named after English astronomer Richard Carrington who actually saw the instigating flare with his own eyes. In the days that followed his observation, a series of...

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Securing MH17 Victims: Dutch Have Elite Troops for a Reason! (Elsevier, The Netherlands)
Jul22

Securing MH17 Victims: Dutch Have Elite Troops for a Reason! (Elsevier, The Netherlands)

Just 24 hours ago, as this column from Elsevier of the Netherlands shows, there was significant talk among the Dutch of the need to threaten the use of elite forces to secure the MH17 crash site and the corpses of the dead – most of whom are Dutch. Whether the events of the last 24 hours have diminished that impulse is unclear. For Elsevier, columnist Eric Vrijsen begins his preroration by highlighting the growing pressure on...

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My First ‘Cell Phone’
Jul20

My First ‘Cell Phone’

I have been writing so much about ongoing tragedies, wars and conflicts that I need to give it a rest. So, for a change, I decided to read an article about the evolution of cell phones. One of the first sentences was “Cell phones have evolved immensely since 1983, both in design and function.” No kidding! But how about in size — unless that is part of “design.” Which brings me to one of my first cell phones — I think we...

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Happy 45th Moon Day
Jul20

Happy 45th Moon Day

Sometimes known as “A Secret History of Neil Armstrong” Quincy Jones presents platinum copies of “Fly Me to the Moon”) to Neil Armstrong (right) and Senator John Glenn, September 24, 2008. From the 40th Anniversary of the Moon Landing …. A Secret History of Neil Armstrong July 20, 2009 Finally, somebody’s paying attention to the Moon landing, 40 years ago, today. Over the past several years of...

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Microsoft layoffs extend to vendors
Jul19

Microsoft layoffs extend to vendors

Updated and re-ordered, Saturday 2:00 p.m. Pacific Blood-letting in Redmond On Thursday, Microsoft told us they were laying off 14% of their full-time (blue badge) global workforce. Then Friday, an oh-by-the-way. Our contractors and vendors? Effective July 1, those folks are  limited to 18 months of access to Microsoft buildings and network. Then they have to take a six month minimum break. Wouldn’t you like to be a vendor...

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New Worries, Old Typewriters and Old Worries
Jul16

New Worries, Old Typewriters and Old Worries

As a result of the alleged U.S. spying on the German government, Newsweek is reporting that a German commission looking into the U.S. spying scandal may be considering the use of the old-fashioned manual typewriters as an anti-spy measure. When asked whether the committee investigating the “spying scandal” was in fact entertaining such an idea, Patrick Sensburg, chair of the committee and a member of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrat...

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Researchers Develop Novel Compound From Fart Gas Which May Provide Real Health Benefits
Jul13

Researchers Develop Novel Compound From Fart Gas Which May Provide Real Health Benefits

Researchers Develop Novel Compound From Fart Gas Which May Provide Real Health...

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America’s Growing ‘Hostility’ Toward German Democracy (Frankfurter Rundschau, Germany)
Jul10

America’s Growing ‘Hostility’ Toward German Democracy (Frankfurter Rundschau, Germany)

Germans are now having a conversation among themselves that, unless Washington tactically retreats on its policy of unrestrained mass surveillance, is sure to end badly for both countries. For the Frankfurter Rundschau, columnist Christian Schluter argues that Germans must begin putting relations with American into a completely different context which features prominently the word: ‘hostility.’ He also calls for asylum for...

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Predicting the Future is Hard Work
Jul10

Predicting the Future is Hard Work

The late Isaac Asimov was a brilliant man and a great author.  In 1964 he made some predictions about 2014 – none of which turned out to be true,  He made 12 predictions, if you want to see them all go to the link because I’m going to just cover and comment on a few of them, 2. Appliances would no longer have electric cords Instead, previously-plugged in gadgets would be powered by “long-lived batteries running on...

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The BBC and science reporting: avoid “false balance”
Jul08

The BBC and science reporting: avoid “false balance”

Update 2: 10:55 am Pacific, 8 July 2014 BBC admonished for giving climate change deniers equal air time BBC staff told to stop inviting cranks on to science programmes Stop Giving Airtime to Crackpots BBC to Censor Scientists that Question Global Warming BBC’s “Crank-less” Science Policies May Lead To Censorship BBC strives for better science reporting by refusing airtime to climate deniers Monday’s headlines...

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NSA’s misguided mission
Jul08

NSA’s misguided mission

WASHINGTON — Even those who believe the National Security Agency’s vacuum-cleaner surveillance of electronic communications does not trample privacy rights should be troubled by this practical implication: If you try to know everything, you end up knowing nothing. An investigation by The Washington Post, which examined a cache of intelligence reports provided by fugitive NSA contractor Edward Snowden, illustrates my point....

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Bundestag’s NSA Investigators Blast Music – Just to be Safe! (Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Germany)
Jul07

Bundestag’s NSA Investigators Blast Music – Just to be Safe! (Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Germany)

How paranoid are German lawmakers about NSA spying? According to this news item from the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, after news broke that a German intelligence officer was arrested for spying on the Bundestag’s NSA Committee of Inquiry, committee chairman Patrick Sensburg took to playng Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A Minor during secret sessions. For the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, reporters John Goetz, Hans Leyendecker, Georg...

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Jihadi MANPADS: History Teaches ‘Precisely Nothing’ (Komsomolskaya Pravda, Russia)
Jun28

Jihadi MANPADS: History Teaches ‘Precisely Nothing’ (Komsomolskaya Pravda, Russia)

Syria’s ‘moderate’ opposition leader has told Washington that without MANPADS, some of the most lethal weapons on the battlefield today, the rebels will be unable to defeat Syrian tyrant Bashar al-Assad. But with Assad battling the terrorists of ISIS, Komsomolskaya Pravda columnist Georgy Bovt writes that Washington has been seized with hesitation. After all, U.S.-supplied MANPADS, aka/man-portable air-defense...

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Supreme Court Recognizes Privacy Challenges of Smart Phones
Jun25

Supreme Court Recognizes Privacy Challenges of Smart Phones

After a long wandering though a Luddite universe populated by caselaw addressing typewriters and copper-wire telephone communications, the U.S. Supreme Court finally moved into the smartphone era with a unanimous decision in Riley v. California. The Court ruled that cell phones seized by police during an arrest may not be searched without a warrant. In reaching its decision, the Court conducted a long-overdue consideration of the...

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TV Violence May Be Dumbing Men Down
Jun22

TV Violence May Be Dumbing Men Down

TV Violence May Be Dumbing Men...

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