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BAD SHOW, GOVERNMENT: CISPA

15 Apr

Politics are tricky but handing over corporate surveillance data directly to the military is kind of a three-foot putt. Please tweet or share this and put a stop to it, and by it, I mean the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA. It sucks.

State Religion Is a Great Idea, Says Terrible State Legislature

4 Apr

North Carolina is actually a beautiful place full of nice people but something went horribly wrong there this past election and they elected a passel of the stupidest cretins known to man, who now want to make Christianity the state religion, because it is apparently the fourth century and Constantine is emperor again.

This is stupid. You know how it says in the Constitution that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances?

This does all that stuff, right? Am I taking crazy pills? Probably not.

Ugh.

SCI-FI COMES TRUE: Ten Things That Will Happen With Google Glass

2 Apr

This thing:

Looks like that thing:

The one looks like someone’s actual life, the other is as twee as an indie band of potbellied pigs covering Outkast on the ukelele. Both include constant video monitoring of everything that is happening to the end-user. Here are ten things that will actually happen if Google Glass gets popular:

1) Lots and lots of amateur POV porn, much of it of dubious legality given obvious issues with consent.

2) More videos of cops beating people up on YouTube.

3) New legislation around single-party consent laws.

4) New entertainment genres: POV adventure, for example.

5) Lower salaries for cinematographers on television, especially in reality TV, where this will be a big gimmicky thing.

6) Huge leaks from corporations and governments wherever someone is wearing one of these.

7) Google capitulating to law enforcement requests that result in much greater stockpiles of evidence.

8) Lots of livestreaming sites.

9) Changes to investigative reporting and television viewership—imagine one of these at a press conference or a hostage taking.

10) Cats wearing them.

GOOD JOB: The Transportation Safety Administration

29 Mar

The New York Post this morning reports that the terrible, awful, no-good, very bad Transportation Safety Administration at New York’s abominable JFK airport yesterday managed to mace itself with a handheld aerosol can that some genius thought was a laser pointer.

The TSA is the organization, badly run and staffed by fools and crooks, responsible for bombarding you with backscatter radiation every time you fly, whether you like it or not and instituting a “random screening” process that magically selects for religious affiliation.

And on Thursday its members were dumb enough to teargas themselves.

 

Great/Scary/Weird Article in Popular Science About How It’s Now Totally Cool to Kill Hackers

28 Mar

Read this now.

It’s not okay to kill people. I’ve very clear on that point. I understand why this law seems necessary and why, as writer Kelsey D. Atherton wisely says, “This is probably about China,” but it’s also not okay to kill Chinese people.

This gets into that really weird territory where you have to argue that a mob boss who’s ordered the deaths of dozens of people but never actually murdered any of them is guilty of murder. Usually that guy has probably killed people at some point that he’s not being tried for killing that day, so you don’t feel as bad about it, but these are “World of Warcraft” kids.

In conclusion, I do not much care for this world. It frightens and upsets me.

Video

Not Science Fiction

28 Mar

As was pointed out to me not long ago, anyone writing about a globally dominant government that enforces its capricious and arbitrary foreign policy with terrible robot slaves is not really writing speculatively at this point.