Boing Boing tv Update: Econopocalypse, Julie Amero, Holiday Gifts, Mumbai.

Embedded above, and in glorious technicolor downloadable MP4 here: this week's Boing Boing update on Boing Boing tv.

We begin with a video chat about O'Reilly Media cofounder DALE DOUGHERTY's guestblog post on why television networks, including CNN, seem to be struggling to cover "The Economic Panic." Why is the current "this great-or-not-so great depression" such a difficult story for TV? Dale believes part of the challenge is that it's big, slow-moving, and abstract. There are no videogenic focal points, no crash scenes or hurricanes for which to don yellow jumpers, no perp mugshots (well, okay, there was this, video here.). We're also in the middle of "a peculiar period inbetween an election and an inauguration," Dale says -- more from him in today's video review, and don't miss the comment thread on the post, either.

Next, we speak with JULIE AMERO, the 41-year old Connecticut schoolteacher accused of showing porn to students on a classroom computer when a computer with malware displayed popup windows with sexual content.

Last week, she accepted a misdemeanor plea deal to avoid felony charges, despite proof she was innocent, and that her case was mishandled. The deal allows her to avoid a previously-imposed jail sentence, but means she has to surrender her teaching credentials. A forensic report showed Amero was not responsible for the infection of porn pop-up windows on the PC in question. There is also ample proof that the school district's IT manager, detectives and prosecutors misled the court.

Here's last week's post by Rob at Boing Boing Gadgets about the plea bargain reached in her case, and here are earlier Boing Boing posts by Mark, starting back in 2007: one, two, three, four, five. I'll be posting the full audio and transcript of our phone interview this week on

Also in today's BB Update: my co-blogger Cory has been posting some HOLIDAY GIFT ROUNDUPS (so far: DVDs and CDs, kids' stuff, fiction, gadgets, comics and nonfiction.)

And finally in today's episode, eyewitness snapshots from the MUMBAI TERRORIST ATTACKS, shot by 27-year-old amateur photographer Vinu Ranganathan. He lives in the Colaba distict, near the attack sites. WIRED's Threat Level blog has an interview up with him. Snip: "For hours [on the day of the attacks], his graphic photos of the destruction wrought by the terrorists in the Colaba district on the photo-sharing site Flickr seemed to be the only relevant ones available online." Related Boing Boing posts: Mumbai Attacks: Day 1, Mumbai Attacks: Day 2.

Previous Boing Boing updates on BBtv:

* Boing Boing tv Update: Virgin WiFi, Obfuscated Code, Comment Poetry, Downfall Housing Remix
* Boing Boing tv Update: OFFWORLD, YES MEN, and THIS IS THE FIRST.


  1. I wonder if the reason of not trying to publicize the depression is so people are not scared. Scared people are jumpy people. Jumpy people can do scary things.

  2. A damn PLEA BARGAIN? Why??? How corrupt is the American Justice system such that this completely innocent teacher would even bother CONSIDERING a plea bargain. Justice in the US isn’t blind, it’s DEAD.

  3. I didn’t follow the CNN thread, but what Dale is saying here makes so much sense. I think the rich and powerful are shaking plenty of money out of this roller coaster ride. Insiders are profitting hugely off the dips and bumps in the market while the 401K earners whose savings are tied up into multiple stocks are just watching their portfolios plummet. It is extremely suspicious how the market will plunge for a few days and then make a big rebound just to plunge again. My 62 year old neighbor who works in a doctor’s office is not coming home every night to switch things around on ETrade. She invested in “the market” as all working people were told to do, and the market went to shit. Meanwhile, people obsessed with the stockmarket can try to buy and sell their way out of it, but then others, like my etrade addicted father in law will manage to get royally and repeatedly screwed trying to “play the game” as Dale said. Anyway, my neighbor was on the verge of retirement when all this shit hit the fan. “I’ll just have to work till I die,” she said. My mother said the same thing. Good thing she likes her job.

  4. The basic cause and effect. A criminal exploits known insecure systems. That’s the “First Cause” We will for the moment leave the “known insecure” part as one of the contributing players. Back to that criminal. Their action directly resulted in pornographic images appearing on a school computer. Making the teacher not culpable for willfully exposing children to the images. With the effect of rendering the teacher’s innocence an explicit fact for the element of witting action. Sadly cause and effect logic is now another step closer to extinction. With a directly tied case element of that teacher being forbidden to turn off that computer.

    It’s akin to the hypothetical concept that if someone tosses a bag of crack into your car with witnesses seeing party X toss the bag of crack. The fact of you driving a car with drugs in it becoming the only valid case element is comparable to the teacher’s situation. The fact of your only “guilt” being authored by a detached party is not of consideration. If it works for a teacher and a porn popup bogus case what’s next?

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