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Hometown: GA
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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 11,975

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Vote today! July 22

Get a sample ballot here:

Polls open til 7:00. Only 10 percent turnout expected in my area -- if it's the same where you live, your vote will REALLY count!!

Stop stealing land, maybe?


"...some of that data may belong to American citizens."

We were assured, by Clapper and the NSA's defenders, that only metadata was being collected on American citizens (for example, "Sally Smith sent an email from IP Address 123.45.678.9 at 11:53:08 p.m. on June 12, 2014, to edjones@acme.cz". We now know that is not true. We now know that the NSA would save the content of the email, and any attachments -- for example the lingerie photo Sally thought only Ed would see. And we know that this "private" communication and attachment(s) could be, and was, accessed by a low-level contractor.

"You can't know which emails to collect until you know which emails to collect." The NSA says that the precedent set by Smith v. Maryland gives them the right to collect all Americans' emails (and, presumably, to record all phone calls). To quote Randy Barnett of Georgetown U.:

The paradigm of what the Fourth Amendment prohibited as “unreasonable” in its first sentence was the use of general warrants, which is why its second sentence requires that warrants must be particular. And, as USD law professor Donald Dripps has shown, the seizure of papers for later search for evidence of criminal conduct was the epitome of an unreasonable search and seizure that was closely akin to general warrants. - Washington Post, April 28, 2014

So, which emails to collect? When it comes to Americans' emails: Legally, constitutionally, the ones you have a warrant to collect. Not all the emails you might potentially need some day in the course of an unforeseen investigation.

And if my granddaughter's bathtub photo is among the data collected and stored, it's cold comfort to reflect that the NSA's data banks (purportedly) include only a fraction of a percent of all communications.

How about some bar-b-q music for the 4th?

"Chili Mac" from Omaha Bar-B-Q by Preston Love, with special guest Shuggie Otis -- for your funky cookout!

The $200 open source wearable that enables fully paralyzed people to draw and communicate

How the "Brainwriter" is overshadowing Google Glass and Oculus Rift at London event
- By Lyndsey Gilpin, TechRepublic, 7/3/2014

Not Impossible Labs just revealed the Brainwriter, designed to read and write brain waves for fully paralyzed people so they can draw and communicate, and it's now on display in London.

At a new tech exhibition in London on Thursday, sitting between Google Glass and Oculus Rift, is a wearable you've probably never heard of. But it's the one that could have more of a revolutionary, world-changing impact than any of us realize.

It's called the Brainwriter -- and it's an open source, do-it-yourself device that pairs with ocular recognition technology to enable the fully paralyzed to draw and communicate. It is on exhibit at the Barbican's "Digital Revolution" in London as the headliner in the "Wearable Technologies" section.

"Not Impossible is a very small rag-tag group of incredibly passionate people, so it's an honor being at this exhibition, being next to behemoth companies like these," said Mick Ebeling, the founder of Not Impossible, a startup based in Venice, California. The Not Impossible Foundation raises money to fund the crowdsourced projects of the lab, which is run by a small team under Ebeling's lead.

More: http://www.techrepublic.com/article/the-brainwriter-the-200-open-source-wearable-for-the-paralyzed-that-can-read-and-write-thoughts/

This sounds very cool! This could be great for disabled people around the world.

Horace Silver has died

The legendary jazz pianist passed away today at age 85 from natural causes.

Check out this great performance of his classic tune "Song for my Father" to get an idea of his greatness:

New Curbs Sought on the Personal Data Industry

Source: New York Times

The Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday called on Congress to protect consumers against the unchecked collection and sharing of their digital data — from websites visited to their marital status — by providing people with tools to view, suppress and fix their information.

The agency also said the little-known companies, called data brokers, that analyze and sell huge amounts of the consumer information for marketing purposes, needed to be reined in and more transparent to the public.

Companies that trade in consumer data, the agency said in a 110-page report about the industry, suffered from “a fundamental lack of transparency.”

“You may not know them, but data brokers know you,” Edith Ramirez, chairwoman of the F.T.C., said in a conference call. It is an industry, she said, that “operates largely in the dark,” yet it has remarkably detailed information that includes online and store purchases, political and religious affiliations, personal income, and socioeconomic status.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/28/technology/ftc-urges-legislation-to-shed-more-light-on-data-collection.html?rref=business&module=ArrowsNav&contentCollection=Business%20Day&action=keypress®ion=FixedLeft&pgtype=article


Data Brokers: A Call for Transparency and Accountability - the 110-page FTC report referenced in the excerpt

The Data Brokers: Selling your personal information - 60 Minutes, March 9, 2014

How To Defend Your Privacy Online - CBS

Federal Trade Commission to data brokers: Show us your data - Los Angeles Times, Dec. 17, 2012

Keep your job in perspective.

Believe me, I know it's hard, since work sucks up so much time and energy. I've had jobs that meant little or nothing to me most of my working life. I'm sure this is true for many more people than are willing to admit it. The saying "Do what you love and you'll never have to work a day in your life" is great for those who can truthfully say it, but I have to be honest and say my work situation is far from that model.

To maintain sanity, I have to relegate work to its proper place in my life. The things that are most important to me (family, friends, hobbies, creative pursuits) produce either zero or minuscule income. But they are what I live for.

My job supports these important activities -- OK, and also it supports a roof over my and my family's head, meals, clothing, transportation, etc. That's all it is, really: an income generator. I get almost no personal satisfaction from it. At least I can say I'm not in a job that I'm ashamed of. It's just not one I care about that much, but it's a good living for my education, skills, and demographics.

You've heard the saying -- either you "live to work or work to live." I'm definitely in the "work to live" category.

I do try to do a good job while I'm working (and my glowing performance reviews attest to that). But in the overall picture, my job is basically a temporary necessity that I put up with while I have to.

Prez and Lady Day die, "Kind of Blue" is born - watershed year


Thanks so much for posting this.

Whenever somebody tells me they'd like to know more about jazz but just don't know where to start, I loan them Kind of Blue. That's the best door in I know of.

Trane's Giant Steps (OK, released in 1960 -- but recorded in 1959), Thelonious Monk at Town Hall, Jazz in Silhouette by Sun Ra. And later that year and into 1960, Miles and Gil Evans record Sketches of Spain. It's as though every orchid in the world bloomed at once.

And Sonny Rollins was on sabbatical, playing on the bridge every night, germinating his own musical garden.

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