“Prosecutors should also look at the circumstances of each defendant, and examine whether or not they were aware of the excessive impact their actions might have. They may have believed they were participating in a legitimate online protest and not aware of the multiplicative effect of the tools they were installing. Many people are not technically aware of the power of these tools and may have felt they were lending a single voice to the chorus of protest, rather than simulating thousands of voices. In those cases, I believe justice requires leniency. In my view, they should be facing misdemeanor charges and the possibility of a fine, rather than felony charges and jail time.”—Pierre Omidyar: Press Freedom and Free Expression in the Digital Age.
“I was on the Internet, reading the news. I saw something about PayPal shutting down payments to Wikileaks, and I clicked on some other site and joined a protest. And next thing I knew, my house was surrounded by guns.”—Tracy Valenzuela, quoted in Woman accused of hacking Paypal as part of ‘Anonymous’ speaks out, September 2011.
I think prosecutors need to look at the actual damage caused by each defendant. First, it would be unjust to hold fourteen people accountable for the actions of a thousand (or however many other people were part of the same attack). Each person should be accountable for the damage they personally caused.
Second, the law allows prosecutors to calculate damage in a way that seems overstated. An appropriate damage estimate includes the pay and overtime pay required for employees to respond to the attack. But the damage estimate apparently being used by prosecutors in this case includes the cost of upgrading equipment to better defend against similar future attacks.
To me, that doesn’t make sense. It’s akin to charging a protester who illegally and ill-advisedly throws a rock through a window with the cost of replacing the window with much more expensive rock-proof glass.
“Is Foursquare a check-in app, a guidebook, an API or? You can only be one — I learned that hard lesson from my days at Flickr, where we also had three options: a social network, a media platform or a photo layer for the internet.”—Joshua Nguyen in Thoughts on Foursquare, which starts as a discussion of the Techcrunch article of their new version, but which expands into a bigger, and very worthwhile, examination of what Foursquare’s future is.
“As the humans look on, aghast, the female sloth delivers—in the words of the show—“a vicious left hook.” To the untrained eye, it looks exactly like the lady sloth very slowly puts her arm on the male’s back and squeezes gently. The humans are beyond relieved that “she took care of it,” which, of course, she did, because while they were stuck in some concocted drama about shady male sloths catcalling a brand-new mom, the sloths themselves were involved in standard mating rituals.”—Willa Paskin, in Awww, Animaw Pwanet Gets Into the Adowable-Video Business, a wonderful post about, well, you can tell, right?
“Many radio stations broadcast birdsong, city-traffic or other atmospheric comfort noise during periods of deliberate silence. For example, in the UK, silence is observed on Remembrance Sunday, and London’s quiet city ambiance is used. This is to reassure the listener that the station is on-air, but primarily to prevent silence detection systems at transmitters from automatically starting backup tapes of music (designed to be broadcast in the case of transmission link failure).”—Comfort noise - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (via iamdanw)
In a far-reaching interview last week, Moffitt described how his decision to leave the N.F.L., a level he worked so hard to reach, was far from rash, even though he announced it on Twitter and was accused online of being impulsive and naïve.
Quitting, he said, had little to do with his diminished playing time, though he suited up for only two games this season, or any dissatisfaction with the Seahawks or Broncos organizations, which he said treated him well.
Rather, it was the culmination of months of reflection that his once-promising career had been derailed by injuries, and that continuing to play for the money and to please others would very likely ruin his health further and deepen his gloom.
In the off-season, after battling for playing time and trying to stay fit, Moffitt, a free spirit who idolizes Jim Morrison, started reading the writings of the Dalai Lama and Noam Chomsky, among others. They helped him conclude that he was a pawn in a machine that controlled his life and that he no longer wanted to meet the expectations attached to that life.
“You kind of let go of that dream that you kill yourself for, to be a millionaire, and you see through it and see that it’s just a facade,” said Moffitt, who was dressed in baggy jeans, T-shirt, work boots and black pea coat. “I let go of all that stuff.”
“The March on Washington was poorly regarded by the American public. In August, 69% had heard of the planned March on D.C. – and 63% of those aware of the march had an unfavorable opinion of it. Even though most Americans outside of the South (55%) favored equal rights legislation that would give “Negroes” the right to be served in hotels, restaurants and theaters, a large majority thought mass demonstrations by African Americans would hurt their own cause.”—The Pew Research Center looking back on polling in JFK’s America.
Im really interested to see how this feature will be used. We included social media sharing buttons on an early version of New Zealand’s Govt.nz beta, but when we tested the site with users we got a few unexpected results:
- users either thought the buttons were going to link them to the social media channels and pages of the Departments,
- they thought the links would force them to sign up for something with government, or
- they saw the links as an means for ‘big brother’ to watch what they were doing in the social media space
We asked our users what they would do instead, and nearly everyone said they would just copy the URL of a page they found useful and wanted to share, and they would paste that into the tools and social media sites they already used.
As a result, to make sure we were keeping things as simple as possible, we took the buttons off our beta site.
“A legacy of freedom. This is your freedom to fly.”—
Somewhere between ironic and deeply offensive, part of the voice over from the promotional film for the Air Charter Scotland private plane, G-WIRG.
That’s from James Bridle’s masterful Anatomy of a failed rendition, “using the tools of the network against its darkest masters” to find out more about the attempted deportation of Ifa Muaza to Nigeria on a private plane, which turned out to be the ACS G-WIRG promoted above. As Bridle says near the end:
From London to the Mediterranean, to Malta and back again, over multiple countries and jurisdictions, through airspace and legal space. The contortions of G-WIRG’s flight path mirror the ethical labyrinth the British Government finds itself in when, against all better judgements, it insists on punishing individuals as an example to others, using every weasel justification in its well-funded legal war chest. Using a combination of dirty laws and private technologies to transform and transmit people from one jurisidiction, one legal condition and category, to another: this is the meaning of the verb “to render”.
The Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved a $51.2 million contract to replace the city’s aging coin-operated meters with machines that accept credit cards. But the supervisors rejected the request by the San Francisco Metropolitan Transportation Agency for 10,000 new meters that it could install wherever it chose.
The single biggest cause of Muni delays is car traffic. Our state-of-the-art parking management system is making a measurable impact on traffic, but as much as we complain about Muni being broken, the most vocal complaints are often those opposed to fixing it. Folks using those currently-unmetered spaces who would prefer to continue not-paying and rather vocally lobbying against expanded metering.
In 1973, the San Francisco City Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors adopted the “Transit First Policy”, giving top priority to public transit investments as the centerpiece of the city’s transportation policy and adopting street capacity and parking policies to discourage increases in automobile traffic.
How do you hold the Board of Supervisors accountable for failing to enforce their own policies, short of kicking them out?
“Yesterday 4chan turned ten years old. The company that offered to buy it [in 2005] —a Japanese toy store (of all people)—has ceased to exist, and yet 4chan soldiers on.”—moot: My Google moment (from a couple of months ago).