Lavabit Founder Has Fewer Rights than an Accused Murderer

This is awful. The gag order is so severe that he can’t even discuss parts of his situation with his attorney. Even an accused murderer has the right to speak privately with counsel.


Apple MacPad?

11 inch MacBook AirI was reading this review of the 11″ MacBook Air on AnandTech today and came to the realization that Apple could now easily create an OS X/iOS hybrid system, call it the MacPad, and dominate the tablet/PC market for the foreseeable future.

The new Intel Haswell based chips give the 11″ MacBook Air 8 – 10 hours of battery life. This surpasses the latest iPad by at least an hour. Add to this the fact that the two devices are nearly identical in size and you have a recipe for the best tablet/pc hybrid on the market.

Apple has the design expertise to remove the keyboard and lower the weight to where it can possibly match the iPad. Or, make a dockable keyboard that doesn’t look clunky like it does on so many Windows 8 hybrid PCs. I think a MacPad with no keyboard would be the genius move. I’ve seen so many people carry around that tiny little Apple bluetooth keyboard with their iPads in airports and hotels that it can’t be much of a stretch for them to do this with a MacPad.

If I were to do a MacPad I would have iOS run as an application or have an iOS emulator that can run all the iOS apps that people use today. Then users can keep their iOS apps running in a window while also using OS X for actual computing.

Surface UnboxedI don’t use Macs or iPads (Although I have used them) because I don’t like to be trapped in the Apple ecosystem. I am also not fond of the UI on Macs or iPads. I did buy a Surface Pro in the hopes that Microsoft would get this right and I can tell you that I’m not at all happy with their implementation of the tablet/PC hybrid concept. Seems there are a lot of people that didn’t like Microsoft’s concept either given the company had a $900 million dollar right off due to the Surface’s, in both the RT and Pro forms, lack of popularity.

It would be just like Apple  to push out a tablet/PC hybrid after Microsoft and their followers and have it take off like a rocket. This would have the potential to put the nails in the coffin of any Windows 8 RT or Windows 8 Pro system. For the love of God Microsoft please get it together.

In Spite of the First Amendment US Government Gags Shuttered E-mail Service

LavabitA story in the Guardian today highlights a company I never heard of until today, Lavabit. Lavabit provided an e-mail service that allowed their users to encrypt their messages thereby keeping them private between sender and recipient. What is Lavabit’s crime? We don’t exactly know. However, reportedly this is the service that Edward Snowden used to communicate with reporters.

A Texas-based encrypted email service recently revealed to be used byEdward Snowden – Lavabit – announced yesterday it was shutting itself down in order to avoid complying with what it perceives as unjust secret US court orders to provide government access to its users’ content.

The First Amendment to the Constitution says:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

So how is it that we have a law in place that is preventing Lavabit from publicly discussing their case? Something is radically wrong with our nation if we continue to allow these infringements upon our liberties.

The last paragraph in the statement from the owner of Lavabit gives some good advice:

This experience has taught me one very important lesson: without congressional action or a strong judicial precedent, I would _strongly_ recommend against anyone trusting their private data to a company with physical ties to the United States.

The Great American City

I really love this town. I just wish I spent more time in it. Sometimes I get mired with the news of all the corruption in the city and the state and I start to dislike where I’m from. Then, someone makes a simple 2 minute video like this and I love it all over again. This was posted a year ago and I’m just finding it now. There is no place like Chicago.

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