Thursday, July 29, 2004

The Aviation and Missile Command in Huntsville, Alabama has built a 20lb Quick-MEDS projectile which would be packed with blood, bandages, an oxygen generator and other ciritcal care supplies, vaccines and antitodes. Designed for situations where flying a manned medical helicopter is too dangerous, the projectile is meant to be dropped (or shot) from an unmanned drone flying near a battlefield, allowing the possibility of some treatment before the medics can get to the wounded.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Prosecutors in Alaska are charging a man with second-degree murder because, they say, he was watching a dash-mounted DVD player (instead of paying attention to the road) when he was involved in a fatal car wreck in Oct. 2002.
Cartoonist Tom Tomorrow shows that Matt Drudge used TT's photo without credit. Apparently right-wing pundits are exempt from copyright restrictions imposed by their heros. No word on whether Mr. Tomorrow will be seeking subpeonas to impound Matt's machines.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Denny Chin ruled that Cablevision can be required to divulge the identities of its subscribers sued by the RIAA over copyright violations. He said that the record companies had overcome the barriers posed by the First Amendment and could force disclosure of the identities of the various "John Doe" defendents.
The AP is reporting that the 2002 election voting records from Miami-Dade's touchscreen voting systems have been lost. The loss was only made public after requests from the Miami-Dade Election Reform Coalition. Dan Gilmore points out in his blog that the real problem isn't the loss of the data, but the actual lack of a persistent, verifiable audit trail.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

The folks at Download For Democracy are busy gathering thousands of government documents to make them available via P2P networks such as Gnutella. So now, if you want to read the energy task force documents obtained by the Natural Resources Defense Council in the group's suit against Vice President Cheney, you can now easily grab them in one big file via P2P.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

It's no secret that I enjoy a good mashup. It seems Lou Reed does to! Following David Bowie's lead, Mr. Reed has been encouraging his record label to accept it and encourage these artists.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Election officials in Florida on Saturday said that they are dropping plans to use a list of people said to be convicted felons to purge voter rolls. The reason cited was that the database used to hold the names didn't have "Hispanic" as a category for ethnicity. Therefore, individuals who identified themselves as Hispanic were excluded from the list. Of the nearly 48,000 names on the list, reportedly only 61 of them were classified as Hispanic.

Additionally, about 2,700 people who had received clemency were still on the list. Officials say this is because they had registered to vote (as the state initially required) before they received clemency. Later, the state changed that requirement.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Today is Verified Voting's Nationwide "Computer Ate My Vote" Day of Action.

Friday, July 09, 2004

"Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty." -Henry David Thoreau
Yesterday (July 8), Eric Eldred took his Internet Bookmobile to Walden Pond, where they were celebrating the 150th anniversary of H.D. Thoreau's Book "Walden". Mr. Eldred thought it would be nifty to print up free copies of the book for the people there (in the process showing them the power of print-on-demand technology). But after an hour or so of giving away the free books, he was asked to leave by the Walden Pond Reservation police. Why? Because he needed a permit to hand out free literature. Would they issue him a permit? No! Why? Because the state park sells copies of the book for $15 and they want the money. Nothing says "screw the public domain" like the barrel of a gun.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

John Fucile is a Canadian filmmaker living in the U.S. In Sept of 2003 he was arrested for selling DVDs of his own movies on the streets of New York. He claimed free speech rights, but the authorities wouldn't buy it and prosecuted. In court they claimed his work was neither artistic nor worthy of First Amendment protection. Recently, Judge Melissa C. Jackson ruled in favor of the filmmaker, saying visual art is a protected form of expression. Braintrust has a nice interview with Mr. Fucile, asking him about his motivation and what he thinks about the direction of technology.