Salt Lake City apartment complex threatens tenants with eviction if they don't "Friend" the building

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The landlords at City Park Apartments stuck memos on their tenants' doors last week, outlining a "Facebook addendum" requiring tenants to Friend the building on Facebook or lose their lease. Read the rest

Utah's proposed doxing ban too broad, says EFF

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A Utah State House of Representatives bill would outlaw doxing—publishing someone's private info with the intent to facilitate harassment—but the EFF says the planned law's language is so broad it would target free speech.

At fault, Sam Machkovech reports, is the fact that the law doesn't clearly define its terms.

[Lead sponsor State Representative David E.] Lifferth's suggested amendment, on the other hand, offers no such specific, harassment-minded qualifiers in regard to "personal identifying information." The legislation as written would punish citizens for posting a laundry list of information about anyone if a court determined there was intent to annoy, alarm, or offend them, including names, birthdays, phone numbers, place of employment, photographs, or other realistic likenesses. The penalty for first-time offenders would be a class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and a maximum $1,000 fine.

Among other things, such legislation might limit citizens' ability to hold public officials and other influential members of society accountable for their actions.

Lifferth has promised to fix the bill's language. Read the rest

Former mayor of SLC suing NSA for warrantless Olympic surveillance

Rocky Anderson is suing the agency for spying on him (and everyone else in Salt Lake City) during the 2002 Olympics -- he's added his name to a mass lawsuit against the NSA, FBI, George W. Bush, Michael Hayden, Dick Cheney and 50 "Does." Read the rest

Revealed for the first time: the seer stone that translated the Book of Mormon

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has published photos of what they claim is their prophet's talking magical rock.

Utah cop executes unarmed man who was listening to headphones, gets away with it

WARNING: The video above graphically depicts a murder, including scenes of a man bleeding to death after being shot by a police officer. Read the rest

Anita Sarkeesian cancels Utah campus appearance after threats of a "Montreal-style massacre"

Sarkeesian was willing to go on with the show at Utah State University -- as she's done after all the other death threats that she's received as a speaker -- but wanted attendees checked for firearms. Ogden, UT cops refused, citing Utah's open-carry firearms law. At least one of the threats cited Gamergate. Read the rest

Cory coming to SLC and PDX

I'm heading to Salt Lake City this week for Westercon, followed by an appearance at the SLC Library on Monday. Next week, I'll be in PDX for three library gigs: Beaverton, Tigard, and Hillsboro. See you there! Read the rest

Kleargear ruins customers' credit over online criticism, refuses to honor US judgment

The latest update in the saga of Kleargear (previously) is downright bizarre. Having invoiced unhappy customers for complaining online about their crappy service and then ruined those customers' credit rating, the company now refuses to acknowledge a judgment against them from a US court because they insist that they're located in France and weren't served there. Read the rest

Cory coming to SLC

I'm delighted to announced that I'll be the guest of honor at Salt Lake City's Westercon 67 this July -- Westercon being the annual convention for science fiction fandom west of the Mississippi. There's quite a fantastic roster of other guests as well! See you 44 days in SLC! Read the rest

Utah AG publishes pro-SOPA op-ed with uncited quotations from MPAA promotional materials

Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff's recent op-ed in the Salt Lake City Tribune is full of quotes and paraphrases from promotional materials produced by the MPAA and execs from its member-companies in support of SOPA. This uncited quotation is the kind of thing that academics call cheating, and that the MPAA (incorrectly) calls "copyright theft."

“Congress can make a significant contribution to that effort with legislation to strengthen law enforcement tools. In the interests of American citizens and businesses, it is time for Congress to enact rogue sites legislation.”

The sentence above is copied from a pro-COICA column (bottom paragraph) written by Mike McCurry, co-chairman of the pro-copyright outfit Arts+Labs. At the time, McCurry’s piece was praised by pro-copyright lobby groups and in his writing McCurry also uses the previously mentioned sentence from the MPAA’s former president.

But there’s more. The column from McCurry, which is often quoted by the MPAA and affiliated groups such as FightOnlineTheft, displays more similarities with the article published by Attorney General Mark Shurtleff.

Perhaps he's just experiencing the ecstasy of influence.

‘Rogue’ Attorney General Spreads MPAA-Fed SOPA Propaganda Read the rest

Bystanders lift flaming car off trapped man

In this video, witnesses to a car-motorcycle crash quickly self-organize to lift a flaming car off the trapped motorcyclist. In addition to being an inspiring, life-affirming clip, it's also a fascinating study in collective action. Generally, people are less likely to take action in an emergency when others are around (each person assumes someone else is better qualified to help), but you can see this effect being quickly overcome as some people join the effort, luring others, despite the flames and danger.

On a stretch of road by the crest of a hill in Logan, Utah, on Monday, a motorcycle and a BMW collided, throwing the cyclist under the car and causing the bike to burst into flames, which quickly spread to the sedan. Rather than fleeing those two flaming vehicles, a dozen bystanders rushed toward the blaze, lifted the car and pulled the injured man out by his ankle.
Bystanders Lift Flaming Car to Save a Man (Thanks, Laurie!) Read the rest