Show 173 - Firefighting with Gasoline

New Common Sense came out a few days ago. Strangely, I could not get emotionally involved in either of the topics for this show. If anything, they pretty much summed up why I dropped out of politics.

I used to find conspiracy theories fascinating. But like the ever repeating alien stories on Coast to Coast at night, they just get more far-fetched. I think it was Loose Change that soured me on the whole subject. It's too easy to just throw a few video clips together these days, add a little voice track, and viola you have another conspiracy in the making.

On the other hand, the militia arrests that have been in the news are highly illustrative of political idealism carried to it's ultimate conclusion (What about the plane that was crashed into an IRS building in Austin? Any relation? There's a conspiracy, run with it) If taxes are theft, a common libertarian mantra, then why allow the theft to continue?

If you are a Libertarian, a member of the party, then you sign a pledge renouncing violence as a political means. If you aren't, and you've drank the coolaid, what's stopping you?

When I found myself sympathizing with the violent groups I decided it was time to leave the whole process. The US may burn itself down in a fit of self hatred in the next couple of years, but I'm not lighting the match.

Here's a conspiracy for you.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
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I remember being floored by this segment when it aired, and then I forgot about it till Robin Williams complimented Jon Stewart for it while on the show this week. Too funny.

Jesse Ventura was the second segment on the show, promoting his book American Conspiracies. While I didn't care for the subject he was there to talk about, I found the discussion of the rules concerning the Presidential debates to be quite enlightening. I'd love to see Ventura run as an independent for President. See if they can keep him out of the debates. A former governor, a media figure, but he's not qualified to be invited to the debates?

It'll never happen though. They'd be too afraid he'd pull something like this on them.

If FOX was this entertaining all the time, I might actually tune in to watch.

April Fish! EFFector.

The effector for April 1st. Copied and pasted in its entirety. Dare to Believe.
EFFector Vol 23, No. 09 April 1, 2010

A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation
ISSN 1062-9424

effector: n, Computer Sci. A pretentious word you should
never use in conversation.

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In our 5.32 * 10^2 issue:

* European ACTA Negotiators Reject "Three Strikes" Moniker

Seething Danes were seen stomping out of the ACTA
negotiation chambers in Wellington, New Zealand, citing
frustration with the United States negotiators' continued
pushing of "three strikes" proposals.

"ACTA is an international agreement," fumed negotiator
Olaf Atdis. "It's absurd for the United States to continue
demanding a baseball analogy when a football analogy
would be much more representative of the diversity of
the negotiating countries."

"Three strikes" laws and policies require Internet service
providers to automatically disconnect their Internet
users on repeat allegations of copyright infringement
by entertainment company complaints, but EU negotiators
reportedly prefer a "carding" system. ISPs that receive
complaints would issue "yellow cards" and "red cards,"
tracking the official penalty system of the Fédération
Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).

EFF spoke out against both naming conventions. "These
sports analogies are antithetical to the spirit of the
open Internet," argued EFF International Director Gwen
Hinze. "The Internet is much more like the Force, which
as Obi-Wan taught us all, 'surrounds us and penetrates
us. It binds the galaxy together.' Evil Sith-Imperial
complaints should not result in an individual being
severed from the Force. That's clearly preposterous."

For more about yellow cards, red cards, the Force,
and ACTA:

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* Google Asks, 'Are You Done With That Sandwich?'

Lawyers from EFF warned this week of the implications of
Google Sidle, a new beta product the company describes
as, "Bringing our mission of organizing the world's
information to your cafeteria," but which one EFF lawyer
described as, "Creepy, even for Google."

Companies and schools subscribing to Sidle will have
the convenience of not having to bus their own trays
in exchange for allowing Google-nominated "Foodlers"
to review leftovers for what the company describes as
"analysis intended to improve food offerings and better
target future nourishment." Customers can later visit
personalized webpages describing what they didn't eat
and how tasty it turned out to be.

"Google's business model has always relied on collating
all the great free stuff on the Internet -- stuff that
you might otherwise have missed," said the official
blog entry announcing the service. "Our maintenance
staff noticed a lot of free food in our award-winning
restaurants was going to waste. After that insight,
it only took Google engineers a few weeks to take the
benefits of our foraging to millions. It also gives our
hungry Googlers (or 'hungrooglers,' as we fondly refer
to them) the opportunity to sample cafeteria food from
around the country."

While initially cautious beta-testers have been reportedly
swayed by the bright primary colors of the mu-mus early
"Foodlers" have worn, privacy experts warn that new Sidle
customers may be giving away more than they realize.

"Consumers should ask themselves some hard questions
about this free service," said Kurt Opsahl, Senior
Staff Attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation,
"such as 'Why don't these people just buy their own food,'
'Where do they take this stuff,' 'Why do they wear those
gloves when they're taking it,' and, most importantly,
'Why do they keep staring at me while I'm trying to eat?'"

Even some employees within Google are said to have
concerns about how much pre-launch testing the new,
experimental service has undergone. "Usually we
extensively self-trial these new social networking
features within the organization," said one anonymous
source, "but as soon as the Sidle people started talking
about 'dogfooding,' everyone just stopped sitting near
them at lunch."

Sidle is reportedly a "20% project," a unique Google
custom where the 20% of the engineers with the poorest
socialization skills are put to work on projects
that management does not closely supervise and can
retrospectively deny all knowledge of. Other 20% projects
have included the "GTalk Slightly Too Loudly" instant
messaging client that relayed private conversations to
the Google search index (as well as everyone else in the
room), and the extremely short-lived "Google Boggle Ogle
Goggles (Street View Edition)."

For more about Google Sidle:

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* EFF Launches New Temporal Privacy Initiative

On Friday, EFF published "Who Knows When You Are,"
an informational guide to protecting your temporal
privacy. Although location-based services are becoming
commonplace, EFF is concerned about a new, more
established threat: that data from most communications
services can pinpoint exactly when you are, whenever
you are.

"There is a timestamp for pretty much every digital
interaction you have, whether it's sending an IM or
email or accessing a webpage," said EFF Senior Staff
Technologist Peter Eckersley in a charming Australian
accent. "When you are is strictly your own business. No
one -- not physicists, nor philosophers -- should be
able to stake a claim on when you are when you don't want
to be."

For more about the "Who Knows When You Are" whitepaper:

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~ Facebook Adds "It's Complicated" Comment Option

Facebook added a new button designed to disambiguate
users' feelings about status updates pertaining
to copyright laws, Terms of Service Agreements, and
locked-down Apple products. However, Facebook continued
its refusal to add a "dislike" button, noting that users
have clearly indicated that they would like pushing such
a button, making their feelings, at best, complicated.

~ Google to Reverse Privacy Snafu with Google Zubb

Responding to the backlash caused by Google Buzz exposing
Gmail users' frequently emailed contacts, Google Zubb
instead identifies your "least favorite contacts" before
forcibly and publicly extricating them from your digital
social circle.

~ Social Game-maker Zynga Unveils Captivating New Game

Attempting to replicate the success of the Farmville
and Mafia Wars games, Zynga today introduced "Social
Networking: The Game," an application that allows users to
run their own social networking startup. Players profit
by obtaining users and gathering dizzying quantities
of private information and social connection data.
Advanced strategies include scraping competing networks,
and developing "upgrades" that make it difficult for
users to migrate to competitors.

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EFF is looking for donations of airline miles, flight
vouchers, two-stage rocket propulsion systems, Space
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for travel to the freakin' mooooooooooooon, as well as for
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you with the process of making the reservation. Please
note that at this time we are unable to combine miles
from multiple individuals. We are also looking for hotel
rewards points to help reduce our overall travel costs. As
a thanks for your donation, we can offer a free membership
and a mention in EFFector (if you'd like). Please contact
EFF Space Program Coordinator Kodi at if
you can help!

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The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading robotic
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