November, 2018 archive
A New Hampshire court wants Amazon’s Alexa digital
surveillance device assistant to testify in a murder trial. Here’s a bit from the story:
Now, a judge has ordered Amazon to turn over any recordings the Echo device may have made from Jan. 27, the day the women were killed, until Jan. 29, when police discovered them tucked beneath a tarp under the back porch.
“The court finds there is probable cause to believe the server(s) and/or records maintained for or by Amazon.com contain recordings made by the Echo smart speaker from the period of Jan. 27 to Jan. 29, 2017 … and that such information contains evidence of crimes committed against Ms. Sullivan, including the attack and possible removal of the body from the kitchen.”
The story goes on to say that Amazon is inclined not to cooperate “without a valid and binding legal demand properly served on us”* in the interests its customers’ “privacy” (because, I reckon, that belongs to Amazon).
I will be curious to see how this turns out.
But this is certain: So long as persons unthinkingly invite Big Data into their personal spaces and willingly subject themselves to perpetual corporate surveillance, we will be seeing more like this.
Me, I can flip my own damn light switch.
*Like, maybe, just supposin’ here, a judge’s order?
At the Des Moines Register, Michael Bugeja considers how “social” media has changed the news. A snippet (emphasis added):
What about coverage?
Two factors play into the media culture of lies. In the past decade, newsroom employment plummeted by some 23%. Increasingly, people rely on social media for news. According to the Pew Research Center, about two-thirds of American adults (68%) get their news from applications like Instagram, LinkedIn, Reddit, Twitter, Snapchat and the biggie, Facebook. An estimated 67 percent of Facebook users — and that’s a humongous amount of people (about 1.5 billion worldwide) — rely on the platform for affirmation.
Shaun Mullen is still an optimist.
I have met Shaun. I had breakfast with him (mumble) years ago and that breakfast is one of my treasured memories.
I arrogate that it gives me the right to pull his chain.
Joking aside, I have nothing but respect for his reportorial skill, experience, and expertise. As I recently said to him, while I snipe from the sidelines, he digs into the details.
Politeness gets waisted.
A neighbor said her daughter ran to help the woman, whose boyfriend carried her out of the home and said she pulled a gun from his waistband and it went off.
The victim is recovering.
Paul Krugman considers Donald Trump’s approach to awarding “Presidential Medal of Freedom.” A snippet:
What with the midterm elections — and the baseless Republican cries of voting fraud — I don’t know how many people heard about Trump’s decision to award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Miriam Adelson, wife of casino owner and Trump megadonor Sheldon Adelson. The medal is normally an acknowledgment of extraordinary achievement or public service; on rare occasions this includes philanthropy. But does anyone think the Adelsons’ charitable activities were responsible for this honor?
Now, this may seem like a trivial story. But it’s a reminder that the Trumpian attitude toward truth — which is that it’s defined by what benefits Trump and his friends . . . .
Philip Bosco, as David McVane:
When someone offers to assist you in your time of need, respond politely.
Orlando Police say a 16-year-old boy, whose home is near the 528, approached to the driver to see if he needed help.
The boy’s mother told police that the driver pulled out a gun and asked her son if he had a credit card and a car.
She says that her son said no and ran back home, where she could call 911.
Rex Stout, in the voice of Archie Goodwin:
There is no point in being rude when you can end a conversation quicker by being polite.
Stout, Rex, Plot It Yourself, (New York: Bantam, 1977), p. 77.
Juanita Jean adds context (follow the link for more):
Werner Herzog’s Bear looks back at World War I and then at the fool who declared that the fall of the Berlin Wall somehow signified “the end of history,” and observes that
History does not end and it does not stop. Its dark waters flow and can break their banks and drown us in the flood. The world today is dominated by a wave of bigoted nationalism that our media mistakenly calls “populism.” The earth’s most powerful nation is led by a dangerously unhinged narcissist wannabe dictator who sows chaos with his every move. We are staring a near future of climate change dystopia straight in the face. A hundred years after the guns of the Great War went silent, we still stand at the river’s edge, uncertain of how long the ground under our feet will hold out.
Follow the link for the full post.