longwing: (Default)
I've been reading. More accurately, I've been thinking. The reading just worked as a springboard for the thinking bit. Given that it's 1:33 as I'm typing this, I've been hitting the thinking pretty hard. If words and ideas can be thought of as a kind of drug, then I've stumbled across some really top quality dope.

Not surprising, given that this particular drug was formulated by Cory Doctorow.

Thanks Roo, for pointing me to my latest dealer. The drug in question: Little Brother. It's a really really good book. Mind you, it's not "fantastic", "marvelous", or "amazing". Those words imply a level of incredulity. The thing that's so brilliant about Little Brother is that it's not unbelievable. It sticks to real tech, real hacking, things I've seen posted on dozens of sites, then reposted on dozens more. (By the way Roo, I'm only a third of the way through, and he's still talking about real cellphones. Admittedly, they're the type that only get released in Japan, but there's no fiction in them. Though there are plenty of little embellishments all over the place, Paranoid Linux isn't real... yet.)

Little Brother is a novel about privacy, about security, and about why innocent people deserve more of the former and less of the latter. Its good, it's really good, and it makes you think.

It's also free. Completely free. DRMless free. Really honest-to-goodness free. Because Cory Doctorow rolls like that.

I don't know exactly where all these thoughts are leading, but the path I'm on is bloody fascinating. Little Brother lit a fire in my brain. The little boiler is bubbling, and all the gears are spinning full tilt.

You should read this book. Everyone should.
longwing: (Default)
I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm convinced. Come November, I'm going to get what I deserve.
longwing: (Mad)
So, the justice department investigation into warrantless domestic spying by the NSA has been dropped. The reason? The NSA will not grant the justice department clearance to investigate the NSA.

Stop. Think about that for a moment. The NSA is suspected of a Constitutional Violation, and apparently, they are responsible for deciding weather they will be investigated. Which beyond being completely circular, means that the NSA can do whatever they want as long as they never authorize anyone with the clearance to investigate.

I just... Can't the legislature see that... Screw it, civil rights are available from 9 to midnight at the cheapest Internet Cafe I can find.
longwing: (Grin)
I was surprised. Honestly surprised. In this day and age, saying "that's unacceptable" to anyone in the Bush Administration usually earns a reaction of mild amusement... Possibly snickering, if their position is even remotely close to strong. Well not this time. George C. Deutsch, the guy I griped about earlier? The one who was trying to get NASA to teach creationism? The one who deliberately gaged a NASA scientist's access to the media, so that he couldn't report on the overwhelming evidence of global warming? That guy?

He resigned.

Which is a very polite way of saying that he was fired. Turns out, he lied on his resume. He claimed a collage degree that he didn't possess. His resignation comes shortly before NASA plans to review it's policies regarding the distribution of information to the public. Reporters and bloggers involved with the case warn that he's only a bit player in a larger game, but NASA is none the less sending a very clear message with this "Resignation", and that message is music to my ears.
longwing: (Default)
This will be old news by the time anyone reads it. (Unfortunately for me, but fortunate because this information needs to be spread.) Hey kids, want to learn about science from NASA? TOO BAD! NASA can't talk about global warming or the Big Bang, the president said so.

Next up, fun with leaches and bloodletting.

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