The Hidden Message in Pixar’s Films I love Pixar. Who doesn’t? The stories are magnificently crafted, the characters are rich, hilarious, and unique, and the images are lovingly rendered. Without fail, John Ratzenberger’s iconic voice makes a cameo in some boisterous character. Even if you haven’t seen every film they’ve made (I refuse to watch Cars or its preposterous sequel), there is a consistency and quality to Pixar’s productions that is hard to deny. Popular culture is often dismissed as empty “popcorn” fare.
What am I missing in the Snowden affair? - Opinion I would have thought that there was a clear set of principles that make the American diplomatic pursuit of Edward Snowden as a fugitive from justice a rather empty and futile gesture. As far as I can tell, there is not even a need for asylum as governments should have been prepared to grant Snowden residence status because his alleged criminal acts in the United States were without question political crimes , without violence or monetary motivation. I had thought it was as clear as law can be that any person who has committed a political crime should be exempted from mandatory extradition even if a treaty existed imposed a duty on its parties to hand over individuals accused of serious criminal activity. To be sure, from the perspective of the United States government, Snowden's exposure of the PRISM surveillance program was a flagrant violation of the Espionage Act. But it was also as clearly a political crime as almost any undertaking can be. Inherent hypocrisy
NSA Prism program taps in to user data of Apple, Google and others The National Security Agency has obtained direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and other US internet giants, according to a top secret document obtained by the Guardian. The NSA access is part of a previously undisclosed program called Prism, which allows officials to collect material including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats, the document says. The Guardian has verified the authenticity of the document, a 41-slide PowerPoint presentation – classified as top secret with no distribution to foreign allies – which was apparently used to train intelligence operatives on the capabilities of the program.
ON THE DEATH OF WHITNEY HOUSTON: Why I Won't Ever Shut Up About My Drug Use Two days ago I spent half an hour poking around the internet for information about Althea Flynt, who has interested me ever since Courtney played her brilliantly in “The People Vs. Larry Flynt”. I wanted to ask Jane about talking to Courtney about talking to me about Althea for a story. I’ve always been fascinated by the pornographer’s wife and the bisexual drug addict, who passed from an overdose and drowned in her bathtub in the Bel-Air mansion she shared with Larry in 1987. It was eerie, then, when 48 hours later I woke up at 11:30 pm after sleeping all day to learn that Whitney had passed out and probably drowned in her bathtub at the Beverly Hilton hotel.
What You Can't Say January 2004 Have you ever seen an old photo of yourself and been embarrassed at the way you looked? Did we actually dress like that? End the Snowden circus now - Opinion I find the discourse surrounding the Snowden Affair bewildering. The latest reports suggest that the United States is using maximum political leverage, including coercive diplomacy, to discourage small Latin American countries from granting asylum to Edward Snowden. It is also complaining that Russia is giving Snowden ‘a propaganda platform’ and expressing its ‘disappointment’ with China/Hong Kong for its earlier refusal to expel Snowden back to the United States to face charges once his passport was cancelled.
Why 'I Have Nothing to Hide' Is the Wrong Way to Think About Surveillance The programs of the past can be characterized as “proximate surveillance,” in which the government attempted to use technology to directly monitor communication themselves. The programs of this decade mark the transition to “oblique surveillance,” in which the government more often just goes to the places where information has been accumulating on its own, such as email providers, search engines, social networks, and telecoms. Apologists will always frame our use of information-gathering services like a mobile phone plan or Gmail as a choice. Both then and now, privacy advocates have typically come into conflict with a persistent tension, in which many individuals don’t understand why they should be concerned about surveillance if they have nothing to hide. It’s even less clear in the world of “oblique” surveillance, given that apologists will always frame our use of information-gathering services like a mobile phone plan or Gmail as a choice. As Supreme Court Justice Breyer elaborates:
How to create a self-fulfilling prophesy. (article) THERE IS A CIRCULAR, self-feeding loop in many aspects of human nature, and you can use them to your advantage — or disadvantage. In many of these self-feeding loops, your thoughts play a major role. For example, a person with indigestion (caused by stress) notices a pain in his stomach, and then worries that maybe something is seriously wrong with him. The worry increases his level of stress, which increases the pain in his stomach, which makes him worry all the more, etc. Now at first, there was nothing wrong with him. It was only temporary stress and some indigestion. The Mission to De-Centralize the Internet In the nineteen-seventies, the Internet was a small, decentralized collective of computers. The personal-computer revolution that followed built upon that foundation, stoking optimism encapsulated by John Perry Barlow’s 1996 manifesto “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace.” Barlow described a chaotic digital utopia, where “netizens” self-govern and the institutions of old hold no sway. “On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone,” he writes. “You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.”
The parable of the ox In 1906, the great statistician Francis Galton observed a competition to guess the weight of an ox at a country fair. Eight hundred people entered. Galton, being the kind of man he was, ran statistical tests on the numbers. He discovered that the average guess (1,197lb) was extremely close to the actual weight (1,198lb) of the ox. This story was told by James Surowiecki, in his entertaining book The Wisdom of Crowds. Global financial crisis as a human rights issue Geneva, Switzerland - It's been more than 20 years since I first came to the UN Headquarters here to report on a human rights issue. Then, it was about the cultural boycott of apartheid South Africa. A few years later, South Africans would win their freedom. Now, I am back in the maze of conference rooms, hoping to be covered.
Tim Berners-Lee: demand your data from Google and Facebook Tim Berners-Lee, the father of the world wide web, has urged internet users to demand their personal data from online giants such as Google and Facebook to usher in a new era of highly personalised computer services "with tremendous potential to help humanity". Berners-Lee, the British born MIT professor who invented the web three decades ago, says that while there has been an explosion of public data made available in recent years, individuals have not yet understood the value to them of the personal data held about them by different web companies. In an interview with the Guardian, Berners-Lee said: "My computer has a great understanding of my state of fitness, of the things I'm eating, of the places I'm at. My phone understands from being in my pocket how much exercise I've been getting and how many stairs I've been walking up and so on." "It's interesting that people throughout the existence of the web have been concerned about monopolies.
Mozilla Firefox Google Blacklist - Words That Google Instant Doesn't Like Updated 2010-09-30 18:35 UTC Google Instant is the latest incarnation of the search engine that fills in potential responses as you type them into the Google search bar. Some people think this is great while others feel like Google is reading their minds and are freaked out by it. We believe it's fun for at least one reason. OPINION: Will censoring the Internet stop child exploitation? NOTE: I got to put my thoughts to John Carr directly when I was invited to debate the issues raised on the JVS Show on BBC Three Counties radio on Monday morning. Here is the link to listen again. We come on at the 1 hour mark… I think the link is only live for seven days so grab it while it’s hot! Yesterday government advisor on child Internet safety, John Carr, called for search engines like Google to do more to restrict access to online pornography. Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live he said that hard core porn sites are “one of the key routes that guys get to child pornography in the first place” and that there was “no question” that some men who look at child sex abuse images go on to carry out abuse.