Thursday, March 31, 2005

Our guest last Saturday was Jim Prendergast, director of Americans for Technology Leadership and a commentator for Fox News. We discussed the Grokster v. MGM case which was heard by the Supreme Court early this week.
The parents of Terri Schiavo are reportedly going to sell the list of their supporters' names and addresses to the direct marketing firm, Response Unlimited. The parents are not saying how much they are being paid for selling the names and addresses.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Even though we weren't able to connect with Vikram Jayanti this week, his film Game Over is playing at the Laemmle Fairfax theater. Masterfully directed, with editing and a soundtrack to match, it's much more a look at obsession and corporate culture than chessboards and computers.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Joe Trippi has announced a website which will ask grassroots level donors for a pledge of $100 toward the 2008 Democratic presidential campaign, plus their email address (gotta keep in touch). The money pledged will go to the first Democratic candidate who promises they will NOT take contributions of more than $100. It will be very interesting to see how much money actually gets raised, and if any major candidate takes the bait.
Yesterday, as part of the International Summit on Democracy, Terrorism and Security in Madrid, people around the world met in small groups to talk about these same issues. The meetings were organized through a special web site. Now that the meetings have taken place, the participants are being invited to share accounts of what happened. A decentralized response to a decentralized threat, such as Dan Gillmor's group refers to.

Friday, March 11, 2005

A new Gallup poll shows that more than half of Americans have no knowledge of blogs. And even among Internet users, only a third are very or somewhat familiar with blogs.

You're part of an elite group.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

The Cape Cod Times asked for the names of reserve deputy sheriff officers in Barnstable County, MA. The paper was investigating a criminal probe into a car dealership owned by a reserve deputy sheriff, who was later indicted on larceny charges and resigned from the reserve program.

But the Sheriff refused the request for the names, citing privacy reasons. He said the reserve deputies worked for the county's Deputy Sheriff's Association, a private organization which the sheriff claimed was not subject to public records law. In December of 2003, Superior Court Judge David A. McLaughlin ruled in the sheriff's favor. The paper appealed the case to the state's high court.

But the state's Supreme Court overturned that decision today and ruled that the sheriff must now turn over the names of the more than 200 reserve deputies. According to the Boston Globe story "Barnstable's reserve deputy sheriffs are civilians allowed to carry replicas of deputy sheriff badges without any law enforcement training. They raise money and participate in charitable causes. They do take an oath promising to uphold the duties of the sheriff's office, although they are rarely called to act on it."

In overturning the lower court, the Supreme Judicial Court wrote "Any constitutional protection of individual privacy does not insulate the disclosure of the names and addresses of those who have applied to, and been appointed by, a public official, regardless of the scope of their subsequent responsibilities"

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Craigslist Chief Executive Jim Buckmaster has won an eBay auction (at $1,225) to beam a message into outer space via Florida's Deep Space Communications Network. The site plans to collect millions of postings and beam them into space on May 15, along with a video from craigslist founder Craig Newmark who sees an "infinite marketing opportunity".
Newsweek has modified a photo to show Martha Stewart's head on a model's body for the cover of their latest edition. Apparently a stock photo wasn't good enough and they wanted to illustrate a "thinner, wealthier and ready for prime time" Martha. Assistant managing editor Lynn Staley insists readers won't be fooled and will immediately realize that the photo is faked. They "disclose" this by referring to the cover as a "Photo Illustration" on page 3.