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photos by Lara Shipley

Entries from October 2008

Abusive? Sure. Illegal? Probably Not.

October 10th, 2008 · 2 Comments

Normally, I’d be all over a new wiretap abuse story like piranha on a cow, but I’ve been wiped out sick for a couple days now, so I’m really only just getting to pay any attention to the reports from NSA whistleblowers who describe their practices of recording and transcribing, en masse, the conversations of […]

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Tags: Privacy and Surveillance

A Tale of Two Numbers

October 8th, 2008 · 2 Comments

At the risk of turning the blog into an ersatz RSS feed for my Ars stuff, I think this one really merits a look if you’re remotely interested in either copyright/patent policy or the way that completely bollocks statistics can get accepted as facts.  And in this case, it really matters: Two big flashy figures […]

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Tags: Journalism & the Media · Self Promotion · Tech and Tech Policy

The Palin Parade of Non-Sequiturs Continues

October 7th, 2008 · 5 Comments

Palin to a heckler yesterday: “Bless your heart sir, my son is in Iraq fighting for your right to protest.” Ooh, zinger! Except… what?  I mean, I realize the military “defend our freedoms” and all, but this makes astonishingly little sense if you think about it for five seconds. It made a certain sort of […]

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Tags: Stupid Shit · War

What’s Solove Got to Do With It?

October 6th, 2008 · No Comments

I’ve got a long double review up at Ars of two of privacy scholar Dan Solove’s recent books, one a more abstract and theoretical examination of the concept of privacy in American law, the second more of a case study of how the Internet and social media are making it harder to control our identities […]

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Tags: Language and Literature · Privacy and Surveillance · Self Promotion


October 3rd, 2008 · 6 Comments

No, no, no.  This is really sort of insane.  What we saw tonight was a tolerably effective Palin as a function of being well-prepped—a Palin who did well, at least relative to expectations, by sticking to her prefab talking points instead of getting lured into attempting to respond to the questions. She pulled it off […]

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Tags: Horse Race Politics · Journalism & the Media

The Great Schlep

October 3rd, 2008 · 1 Comment

I cant believe I just saw this.

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Tags: Horse Race Politics · Random Cool Link

“In the Tank” Redux

October 2nd, 2008 · 2 Comments

Since this old post still seems to get a fair amount of inbound linkage, I figured I’d help to clarify the origin of the common expression “in the tank”—as in “the media sure are in the tank for Obama/McCain this year!” The original “tank” here is a water tank, which also used to be a […]

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Tags: Horse Race Politics · Journalism & the Media · Language and Literature

The Simpsons Take On E-Voting

October 2nd, 2008 · 2 Comments

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Tags: Art & Culture · Horse Race Politics · Random Cool Link

Good Enough to Suck II

October 2nd, 2008 · 10 Comments

About a year back, I floated the idea of things that are “exactly good enough to suck.” Things that fall into this category—writing, music, art, whatever—are just barely of sufficient quality to get judged by the appropriate “serious” standard (professional journalism, a “real” band), by which standard they fail miserably. If they were only slightly […]

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Tags: Art & Culture · Sociology

Satellites, Small Businesses, and the DMCA

October 2nd, 2008 · No Comments

I figure my blog readers, even the ones not normally super enamored of the techy stuff, might be interested in this story at Ars about a fascinating case that doesn’t seem to have gotten a whole lot of coverage.  It involves Echostar, the parent company of DISH Network, suing a firm that manufactures “free to […]

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Tags: Law · Privacy and Surveillance · Self Promotion · Tech and Tech Policy