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photos by Lara Shipley

Entries from April 2009

The Year’s Least Surprising Headline

April 16th, 2009 · 1 Comment

Courtesy of The New York Times: “Officials Say U.S. Wiretaps Exceeded Law .” An internal review has determined that since the passage of the FISA Amendments Act last year, there has been systematic “overcollection” of the strictly domestic communications of U.S. persons, for which intelligence agencies are still supposed to seek traditional FISA warrants. For […]

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Tags: Law · Privacy and Surveillance

Thin-Slicing Journalism

April 16th, 2009 · 3 Comments

There are a few basic points I’m not seeing made quite often enough in the ongoing thumbsuck about the future of journalism. I take for granted we all understand that whether “newspapers” survive (either as ink-on-wood-pulp or as institutions) is of no real intrinsic importance; the question is whether vital forms of journalism will get […]

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Tags: Horse Race Politics · Journalism & the Media

Surveillance Lies of the Day

April 16th, 2009 · 1 Comment

From Powerline: For example, [Office of Legal Counsel nominee Dawn] Johnsen has objected to warrantless surveillance of suspected al-Qaeda communications into and out of the United States. The special appellate court created by Congress to review executive branch surveillance programs upheld the foreign wiretap activities of the Bush administration that Johnsen had denounced as based […]

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Tags: Law · Privacy and Surveillance


April 16th, 2009 · 16 Comments

So, until Wednesday, I hadn’t taken much notice of the whole “Tea Party” phenomenon.  Like about 98 percent of public protests, it had struck me as little more than a stunt, guaranteed to reduce a legitimate argument to a spectacular competition for the dumbest, craziest slogan. Protests may—occasionally—make sense when either you need to draw […]

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Tags: Journalism & the Media · Stupid Shit · Washington, DC

Disney Recycles

April 9th, 2009 · 7 Comments

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Tags: Art & Culture · Random Cool Link

A Quick Fringe Cipher Follow-Up

April 8th, 2009 · 57 Comments

At the end of the previous post, I mentioned a suspicion that merely deciphering the correspondences between the glyphs on Fringe and the letters they represent might not be the whole of the glyph puzzle. Being new to the show, I didn’t know a whole lot about it previously, but I did decide to poke […]

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Tags: Art & Culture · Journalism & the Media · Language and Literature

Solution to the Fringe Glyph Cipher

April 7th, 2009 · 319 Comments

Within the last week, two things happened: I finally got around to checking out the Fox show Fringe, the first season of which I noticed sitting tantalizingly in the Playstation Store, and my Ars colleague Erica Sadun wrote an article exploring all the delightful little Easter eggs sprinkled throughout the show. In particular she devotes […]

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Tags: Art & Culture · Language and Literature · Random Cool Link

Climate Change and Argumentative Fallacies

April 6th, 2009 · 133 Comments

Via Brad Plumer, I see Cato’s Jerry Taylor is riled at responses to an open letter ad the Institute published in which a group of scientists signed off on a statement questioning the strength of the case for catastrophic climate change. I’m broadly sympathetic with his irritation at the proportion of ad hominem attacks in […]

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Tags: General Philosophy · Libertarian Theory · Science

Sic Transit Gloria Condé

April 2nd, 2009 · 26 Comments

Well,  good news and bad news, dear readers. The bad news is that, while it’s been  fun and interesting to hop aboard an expanding publication known primarily for its hard tech coverage, and to try to bring their trademark geeky rigor to the task of reporting on tech policy and politics, it also turns out […]

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Tags: Economics · Horse Race Politics · Journalism & the Media · Personal