The Electronic Frontier Foundation's Legal Director Cindy Cohn was in the UK for the launch of the Snooper's Charter (AKA the Draft Communications Data Bill), and she provides some much-needed global context on the totalitarian slide of the United Kingdom.
This isn’t the first time that an Executive has seized the general authority to search through the private communications and papers without individualized suspicion. To the contrary, the United States was founded in large part on the rejection of “general warrants” – papers that gave the Executive (then the King) unchecked power to search colonial Americans without cause. The Fourth Amendment was adopted in part to stop these “hated writs” and to make sure that searches of the papers of Americans required a probable cause showing to a court. Indeed, John Adams noted that “the child Independence was born,” when Boston merchants unsuccessfully sued to stop these unchecked powers, then being used by British customs inspectors seeking to stamp out smuggling.
The current warrantless surveillance programs on both sides of the Atlantic return us to the policies of King George III only with a digital boost. In both, our daily digital “papers” — including intimate information such as who we are communicating with, what websites we visit (which of course includes what we’re reading) and our locations as we travel around with our cell phones — are collected and subjected to some sort of datamining. Then we’re apparently supposed to trust that no one in government will ever misuse this information, that the massive amounts of information about us won’t be subject to leak or attack, and that whatever subsequent measures are put into place to government access to it by various government agencies will be sufficient to protect our privacy and ensure due process, fairness and security.
The Electric Violin Shop has got the answer to your electrified, death-gloom fiddle needs -- this fab carved skull instrument:
The death's-head shape of this natural wood Stratton electric violin definitely makes a statement. That statement is backed up by a rich, focused tone from the Barbera Twin Hybrid transducer system, providing a strong output signal that's great for acoustic styles, but also exceptionally well-suited for use with high-gain effects in high-volume performances.
AntiqueTypewriters.com has just added this lovely 1889
Victor index typewriter:
This was the first typewriter to use a daisy wheel, which would be a common design feature on 1980s typewriters. The daisy wheel is made of thin brass, cut with narrow radial fingers, one for each character. At the end of each finger is an embossed rubber character.
To operate the Victor one puts the tip of ones index finger in the little cup at the end of the pointer, then swings the pointer up to a full 180 degrees to select the characters. The pointer is connected by a gear to the central vertical wheel that holds the daisy wheel. As the pointer swings, the daisy wheel rotates into position. A spring-loaded hammer then pushes the brass finger in the daisy wheel against the paper.
Today, I came across this new photo of a Spongebob Popsicle. It looks even worse than the 2007 Popsicle! At first, I thought that the manufacturing quality had plumbed a new nadir. However, I now suspect that new Popsicle went through a melt-and-refreeze cycle, causing the massive deformation and discoloration we see.
For those tempted to chime in that the nature of frozen novelty bars makes it impossible to reliably produce them with reasonable fidelity to the original character design, I'd like to once again point to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle bar:
Individual Icons's "Nut Dice Ring" is a ring shaped like a hex-nut, which functions as a six-sided dice, for those moments of indecision and romance.
This ring is a perfect piece of jewelry for people who say that they don't wear jewelry. It really does help with decisions (odds I stay home, evens I go out). As proper dice should, each pair of opposing sides adds up to seven. Comfort fit inside, available in standard sizes 6 through 10. Sterling silver. 1/4" (6mm) wide.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals told the DEA that holding a gun to an 11-year-old girl's head constitutes “intentional infliction of emotional distress,” and they should stop doing it. No doubt the DEA will appeal the ruling.
At 7 a.m. on January 20, 2007, DEA agents battered down the door to Thomas and Rosalie Avina’s mobile home in Seeley, California, in search of suspected drug trafficker Louis Alvarez. Thomas Avina met the agents in his living room and told them they were making a mistake. Shouting “Don’t you fucking move,” the agents forced Thomas Avina to the floor at gunpoint, and handcuffed him and his wife, who had been lying on a couch in the living room. As the officers made their way to the back of the house, where the Avina’s 11-year-old and 14-year-old daughters were sleeping, Rosalie Avina screamed, “Don’t hurt my babies. Don’t hurt my babies.”
The agents entered the 14-year-old girl’s room first, shouting “Get down on the fucking ground.” The girl, who was lying on her bed, rolled onto the floor, where the agents handcuffed her. Next they went to the 11-year-old’s room. The girl was sleeping. Agents woke her up by shouting “Get down on the fucking ground.” The girl’s eyes shot open, but she was, according to her own testimony, “frozen in fear.” So the agents dragged her onto the floor. While one agent handcuffed her, another held a gun to her head.
Moments later the two daughters were carried into the living room and placed next to their parents on the floor while DEA agents ransacked their home. After 30 minutes, the agents removed the children’s handcuffs. After two hours, the agents realized they had the wrong house—the product of a sloppy license plate transcription --and left.
Nearly 15 years of debate over digital copyright reform will come to an end today as Bill C-11, the fourth legislative attempt at Canadian copyright reform, passes in the House of Commons. Many participants in the copyright debate view the bill with great disappointment, pointing to the government's decision to adopt restrictive digital lock rules as a signal that their views were ignored.
Despite the loss on digital locks, the "Canadian copyfight" led to some dramatic changes to Canadian copyright as the passage of Bill C-11 still features some important wins for Canadians who spoke out on copyright. For example, the government expanded fair dealing and added provisions on time shifting, format shifting, backup copies, and user generated content in response to public pressure. It also included a cap on statutory damages, expanded education exceptions, and rejected SOPA-style amendments. Canadian public engagement on copyright continuously grew in strength - from the Bulte battle in 2006 to the Facebook activism in 2007 to the immediate response to the 2008 bill to the 2009 copyright consultation to the 2010 response to Bill C-32. While many dismissed the role of digital activism on copyright, the reality is that it had a huge impact on the shape of Canadian copyright.