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.
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.
I 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.
I 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.
A 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.
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.[iframe src=”http://player.vimeo.com/video/39312923?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0&color=ffffff” width=”500″ height=”281″ frameborder=”0″ webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen>
The headline really says it all.
I was making sandwiches, another worker took the order and a third made the milkshakes and watched the grills. A line grew while we worked, and we had to tell other customers that their lunch orders would take longer than usual. They paid; I asked my co-worker who was dealing with the money how much of a tip they’d left. They had left actually no tip at all. (They had paid with a card so we checked the cash tips to see if there’d been a bump. There hadn’t.)
I asked some of the group as they were picking up their orders if they had intended to not tip. They hemmed and hawed and walked away.
Well. I could have not said anything. I could have made it a subtweet. I probably should have made it a subtweet. But I didn’t
, because of some misguided notions about having “the courage of your convictions,”
Shout out to the good people of Glass, Lewis & Co. for placing a $170 order and not leaving a tip. @glasslewis
— Brendan O’Connor (@OConnorB_) July 22, 2013
Two days later, I got a text from the owner asking if I was free to talk on the phone at some point. We spoke later that afternoon.
He told me that he’d gotten a call from the company, Glass, Lewis & Co. The company provides shareholder advisory services. Apparently, those employees were mortified that their lunch truck had tip-shamed them—the home office in San Francisco even got involved.
And it was unfortunate but he was going to have to let me go. The company has a way of doing things and he thought I’d understood that. I had embarrassed him and the company and that was that.
Then he tells us what he learned from this experience:
What did I get out of this? Hmm. A “story,” maybe. A lesson about employers—at least in the food service industry—and what they think of workers advocating for themselves.
To be fair, maybe I’m not the best employee for a gamified grilled cheese truck. About a month earlier, I’d come into work on a Saturday and was told I’d need to work late the next day. (Our schedules are established on a weekly basis, so this was very late notice.) I believed this gave me some degree of leverage. So I started bargaining. If they needed me to stay late on Sunday with only 24 hours notice, surely it was only fair that they let me go early that night?
They weren’t too happy about this and my bargaining failed—they just found someone else to work late on Sunday. I suppose this is why ‘collective bargaining’ is a thing.
Perhaps if he tried to start his own food truck business he might realize the risk his employer took to start his venture. Then he might learn that publicly insulting customers that are paying $170.00 for an order of grilled cheese sandwiches is stupid and jeopardizes everything the owner worked for and risked in starting his food truck.
Then to bring up “collective bargaining” like it’s relevant to his situation because he wasn’t happy about the hours he was being given shows an utter lack of understanding of any kind of employer/employee relationship and what abusive working conditions really are.
This guy’s tale is indicative of where the American culture has gone. You know we’re done leading the world with stories such as these.
Google announced a nifty little device called Chromecast the other day and this tiny device that is no bigger than a USB flash drive could change our relationships with our computers, tablets, phones, and televisions forever. If this works as advertised, Chromecast will allow anyone, with any device that runs the Chrome browser, send audio and video to their televisions easily and seemlessly. That doesn’t sound like much but it is actually quite a lot as it should totally break down the barrier between devices and the TV.
Sure there are set-top boxes that currently do something like this. The Apple TV is a prime example. But, the Apple TV is walled off and only plays well within the Apple universe. I can’t take my Surface Pro running Windows 8 and send a movie to an Apple TV. But there is even more to it than that. The Apple TV streams audio and video from the device to the Apple TV, which is connected to your TV’, whereas Chromecast does a hand-off of the audio and video.
From what I understand from watching the announcement, Chromecast has a subset version of the Chrome OS that runs Chromebooks (The laptop look-a-like with only a browser for its operating system). This allows Chromecast to stream audio and video from the web just like any other device with a web browser. When taking a video from your device (computer, tablet, or phone) and pushing it to Chromecast a “hand off” is performed. This means that your device will tell Chromecast where it can get the media you want it to play and then Chromecast will start playing it. Then there is some other secret sauce that will allow your device to communicate with Chromecast over your home WiFi network to control things like volume, pause, play, and other functions.
This to me is genius. There is no streaming between Chromecast and your device thereby having no effect on your device’s battery life. Not only that but because of this hand off of functions you can still do other things with your device while Chromecast is being controlled and it is playing your media.
I’m wondering if this will work with gaming too. If it does that could also have an effect on the new XBox, Playstation, and Wii. Chromecast could be used for 2 screen gaming in conjunction with a smartphone or tablet. Google showed some impressive games on the new Nexus 7 tablet and I could easily see how some of this could be pushed to Chromecast and a big screen. I don’t recall them making mention of anything with Chromecast and gaming but I thought it was an interesting idea.
The price, $35.00, and the convenience of device to TV media consumption should be a no-brainer IF it works as advertised. And if it does this should plunge a dagger into the heart of Roku, Apple TV, and any other set-top box. I should have mine in hand by the time this is posted. Maybe I’ll post a review after I’ve had time to play with it.
I hope it is what they say it is.
Below is a video for an interesting product called Canary. It’s a nice enough looking device for home security. It will allow you to, using your smart phone, see live video from your home as well as view other data that is collected from the device’s sensors.
That’s about all the useful information I get from that video. The rest is marketing bullshit telling me how it’s the first this and the first that. It will make my life simpler and the product is so beautiful.
In the 2 minutes, which is an eternity on the web, they don’t tell me:
Instead they tell me that it’s the “World’s first consumer security product”. Which is a huge fat lie. I had a Motorola home security system almost a decade ago, that was consumer oriented, hooked into my home network, recorded video, had motion sensors, and even sent me text messages when someone walked in the door. I’m sure what I had is not as easy to use and there were no smart phone apps to interface with the system either. So I’m sure theirs, when it comes to market, will be superior to what I had. But, then again, it’s almost 10 years later and all the supporting technology is better than it was before so it SHOULD be better.
They talk about, “what kind of experience can we create for people”. Which is all fine and good. A good UX , aka User Experience (I can go on and on about how I hate that acronym), or rather UI, aka User Interface (which is a much more accurate way to describe how a human interacts with a machine), is important because if it’s not easy to use the product is worthless. But to speak about the user experience without showing much of that experience in your video is pointless and provides me with a terrible viewing experience.
Halfway through the video the CTO comes on and actually gives us some information! Wooo hooo! But it lasts all of :11 seconds or so. Then we’re greeted by one of the founders who is also the design director where he gives us some fluff about how it “empowers” us. I’m sick of that kind of language too. Empowers, amazing, beautiful, incredible, “it works”, and on and on with the platitudes.
I want to like this product. I’m interested in it and it’s technology. I might even want to buy it. But the “me too” video turns me off to it.
Can’t someone produce some informative promo videos that also look good? I’m sure there are some out there. But, as of late, all of them just look like re-hashes of Apple promo videos. What was Apple’s tag line before? Oh yeah, “Think different”. Why don’t people who copy Apple take that to heart?
I’ve been a reader of technology news since the 1980s when I would regularly read PC Magazine. That was my first foray into technology news and I followed that up with subscriptions to PC World and a little later than that Computerworld. These magazines let me know everything that was happening in the world of computers and it was fascinating and enlightening.
With the rise of the Internet and the emergence of the technology blogs I was immediately enamored with them. Suddenly on a daily basis I could scan their headlines and find out what was happening. It was great for many years.
In the last year or two the over abundance of tech blogs has caused a shift into the tabloidization of all things tech. No longer are they concentrating on what’s important in technology but instead are concentrating on what will bring them the most links or click-throughs. Now, don’t get me wrong, I fully understand that tech blogs have been doing this for quite some time. But, what I’ve noticed, is that all the blogs that are doing this seemingly all the time. I can’t read wild speculation anymore about the latest phone, tablet, or (God forbid someone actually report on a full fledged computer) computer. I can’t read about leaks or blurry pictures of a rumored device. I just don’t care about rumor and gossip. I want to know what IS happening and where things are going.
I had a hourly habit of scanning RSS feeds of many tech blogs. More and more I found myself skipping over most of their salacious headlines. From time to time I would click on a review of a product or a story about what was learned at a conference or product announcement. But, mostly I was skipping what they were writing. So I came to an epiphany. Why bother scanning their headlines if I’m skipping most of what they’re reporting? That’s when I decided to just stop.
It started with a single week. I made a conscious effort to not look at my RSS feeds. At the end of the week I found that a burden was lifted. I was no longer a slave to the barrage of tech news. I tried a second week. And low and behold I found I didn’t miss it still. This has now stretched into a month and the urge to scan headlines is so totally out of my system that I went in to Feedly and deleted all the tech blog RSS feeds I was following. Click click and it’s done.
I still pay attention to tech news. But mostly through Leo LaPorte and his TWiT.tv network. I can get everything I want to know from This Week in Tech, This Week in Google, Windows Weekly, Mac Break Weekly, Security Now, and All About Android. These podcasts keep me up to date in a non-intrusive manner. It’s like getting my bi-weekly copy of PC Magazine poured into my ears a little at a time over the course of a week.
I’ve jumped off the tech blog treadmill and I’m a happier man because of it. I did it cold turkey because that is the only way for me to get rid of a bad habit or addiction. Enough was enough.
The giant scandals in the news of wiretapping and investigation of journalists for reporting the news, the IRS targeting certain groups for their political beliefs, and the FBI and NSA PRISM program that allows the government to collect ALL our communications from cell phone call information to e-mails and instant messages are being largely ignored and treated by the general public as if they don’t matter. What the fuck happened to us?
Here’s a great op-ed in the New York Times written by Jennifer Stisa Granick, the director of civil liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society and Christopher Jon Sprigman, a professor at the University of Virginia School of Law. In their piece the specifially call out what is happening, specifically with regard to the PRISM program as being criminal.
We may never know all the details of the mass surveillance programs, but we know this: The administration has justified them through abuse of language, intentional evasion of statutory protections, secret, unreviewable investigative procedures and constitutional arguments that make a mockery of the government’s professed concern with protecting Americans’ privacy. It’s time to call the N.S.A.’s mass surveillance programs what they are: criminal.
The indoctrination has been all around us for a long time. From television shows that plant the idea in the viewer’s head that as long as the police or FBI are doing something to “protect” the lives of U.S. citizens it’s okay to news reports that marginalize and call out people who shout out about constitutionally protected rights as being cooks and nuts. It seems that Americans are not all that special anymore. We’ve lost it and perhaps we deserve it.
We’ve elected these people who swear to protect and defend the very document that holds the laws that keep the government from attacking the people. We don’t hold them accountable when they violate that oath or those laws. We don’t vote them out of office. Instead we allow them to become entrenched and we believe the bullshit that comes out of their mouths.
I found it funny when the Associated Press was shocked that the Justice Department was spying on them. But I expected the media, the group that is supposed to uncover government abuse and let the people know, to wake up and really start hammering away at the federal government. It really hasn’t happened. They are laying down like beaten dogs. They never believed that a government run by a democrat administration would come after them for doing their jobs. But this administration has and the press is taking it lying down.
What about us? The government is now coming for us. They are collecting vast amounts of data on us. The NSA facility in Utah is said to hold 5 zettabytes of data. 5 freaking zettabytes. That is equivalent to 5 BILLION terabytes of data. As the price of digital storage goes down the government’s capacity to collect more about us will only increase. What will they do with this information? They won’t even look at it right now. But let’s say you are suspected of anything in the future. Well, the government now has the capacity to look back in time to see who you e-mailed, what you said in those e-mails, where you were, who you talked to, and even perhaps what you said in those conversations (they say they don’t record your calls but do you really believe them now?) at any point in time since they started collecting the data. You have no private life. It’s over.
If we are not secure in our persons or our papers then we are not secure. The government is not your friend. How much longer until our own government becomes our enemy? Why aren’t we outraged by this? What happened to us?
I’m deeply disturbed by recent events regarding government’s attack on the Bill of Rights and the public’s blase attitude towards these attacks. Over the last couple of weeks we have learned that various arms of the U.S. government is collecting data of the private communications of the public, targeting political groups using the IRS to squelch opposition, and attacking freedom of the press by investigating journalists as if they are co-conspirators in the stories they are trying to uncover. Any single encroachment upon our liberties is bad but this seems like an all out assault and should be crushed immediately.
The President, members of Congress, the Supreme Court, and all federal employees all must take an oath of office. The President’s is:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
Congress, the Supreme Court, and the rest of the federal employees take this oath:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.
The Supreme Court has one additional oath and that is:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as _________ under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God.
The common theme with these oaths of office is that each individual swears or affirms to “defend the Constitution of the United States.” This isn’t happening.
Since September 11, 2001 and the rush to enact laws to defend the United States there has been a steady erosion of the protections, provided by the Bill of Rights, against an abusive government. The Patriot Act (A misnomer if ever there was one) gave the federal government unprecedented power to monitor, incarcerate, and even kill citizens of the United States. How is it possible for Congress to pass such laws and the President sign them when these laws go against their oaths of office?
Where is the defense of the First Amendment when the Department of Justice investigates journalists for digging up information to report to the public? Where is the defense of the First Amendment when the IRS restricts the ability of certain political groups from organizing? Where is the defense of the Fourth Amendment when the NSA can, without warrant, collect and analyze the communications of U.S. citizens? Any federal employee, member of Congress, Supreme Court justice, or President that believes these actions to be within their power, for what ever reason, should be impeached and/or fired and removed from office.
What’s more disturbing are the recent polls that news organizations have conducted that are showing a majority of Americans think these things are okay. They say the government should have the power to collect and analyze our private communications, without warrant, as long as it is for the purposes of “keeping us safe”.
The brainwashing of the public is now complete. Over the years, even before 9/11, the public has been inundated with the meme of “better safe than sorry”. But the push after 9/11 has been relentless. How many interviews have you seen that have shown average citizens saying things like, “It’s okay as long as their trying to keep us safe” or, “If you’re not doing anything wrong and you have nothing to hide then what’s the harm?” It disgusts me to hear people say things like this.
Back in the 1970’s school was still teaching that the phrase, “If you’re not doing anything wrong then you have nothing to hide”, or something like it, was the wrong way to look at government not needing a warrant to search you, your car, your home, or any other search. We were taught that governments that acted in this manner where oppressive and wrong. We were still worried about fascist governments as in Nazi Germany or Communist nations like the Soviet Union and Communist China. Those were the countries that routinely used the phrase, “If you’re not doing anything wrong then you have nothing to hide”, and they were oppressive.
If this attack on the Bill of Rights continues and we, the citizens of the United States, remain silent it won’t be long until 1984 becomes reality. If you haven’t read the book then read it. All my life people have said this could never happen here.
Here are a few more links to peruse.