The MacValley blog
Welcome to the MacValley blog, your first stop for all the latest MacValley news and views.
The MacValley blog
Editor: Tom Briant
Saturday, August 31, 2013
More employers checking Twitter influence of potential hires
The number of followers a person has is valuable because many people think it is an "indicator of influence"
How IBM Created the Future of the PC -- and Almost Destroyed Its Own
The NSA-DEA police state tango
a secret branch of the DEA called the Special Operations Division - so secret that nearly everything about it is classified, including the size of its budget and the location of its office - has been using the immense pools of data collected by the NSA, CIA, FBI and other intelligence agencies to go after American citizens for ordinary drug crimes. Law enforcement agencies, meanwhile, have been coached to conceal the existence of the program and the source of the information by creating what's called a "parallel construction," a fake or misleading trail of evidence. So no one in the court system - not the defendant or the defense attorney, not even the prosecutor or the judge - can ever trace the case back to its true origins.
the spread of tyranny only requires our silence.
while drug-war prosecutions are supposed to be just like other kinds of criminal cases, in practice they have a special status and are treated differently.
In theory, the DEA disclosures could and should have outraged Americans across the political spectrum, especially when added to all the other bad things we've learned about our government this year. Except that blind partisan loyalty now trumps everything in national politics, and almost nothing about our country's slide toward soft police state still shocks anybody.
The NSA Is Commandeering the Internet
Technology companies have to fight for their users, or they'll eventually lose them.
Do you remember those old spy movies, when the higher ups in government decide that the mission is more important than the spy's life? It's going to be the same way with you. You might think that your friendly relationship with the government means that they're going to protect you, but they won't. The NSA doesn't care about you or your customers, and will burn you the moment it's convenient to do so.
We're already starting to see that. Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and others are pleading with the government to allow them to explain details of what information they provided in response to National Security Letters and other government demands. They've lost the trust of their customers, and explaining what they do -- and don't do -- is how to get it back. The government has refused; they don't care.
Already companies are taking their data and communications out of the US.
The NSA isn't going to remain above the law forever.
The Surveillance Speech: A Low Point in Barack Obama's Presidency
Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle Corp. and a personal friend of Steve Jobs, says NSA tracking is "essential"
I wouldn't be surprised if Oracle is working on NSA contracts.
If You Use Gmail, You Have No Legitimate Expectation Of Privacy
"Google has finally admitted they don't respect privacy," said John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog's Privacy Project director
Gamification, or the use of game elements to promote desired behaviors among customers and employees, has been a popular business strategy for decades.
Integration with social networks means these experiences are shared with friends, acquaintances and co-workers. A smartphone-carrying employee or consumer might be drawn into a gamified experience at any time, wherever they are.
A perfect example of why it's harder to stay anonymous on the internet
The Sweetest Dog Food Commercial Ever
One reader commented that he watched the ad twice to be sure it wasn't the human eating the dog food.
Watch the man and his dog move their heads in unison as they look both ways before crossing the street.
Three great cartoons on the surveillance state
Friday Humor: The New Normal Miranda Rights
10 ways BlackBerry beats the iPhone
End of the road beckons for BlackBerry: company is looking for “possible transactions”
Beyond 'Jobs,' 9 great business-mogul movies
Steve Jobs movie slammed by critics - and Woz
As of Friday morning, "Jobs" is carrying a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 26% - meaning about three quarters of the reviewers tabulated have given the flick a Thumbs Down.
A Teen's Tumblr Blog Helps Save A Mother From Financial Ruin
"All I want is for [my mother's] business to get big and noticed a lot more," she wrote
Orders just kept coming in........
How to Catch a Liar on the Internet
Technology makes it easier than ever to play fast and loose with the truth-but easier than ever to get caught.
The end of the expectation that citizens' communications are and will remain private will probably change us as a people, and a country.
Mr. Hentoff sees the surveillance state as a threat to free speech.
The inevitable end of surveillance is self-censorship.
Mr. Hentoff once asked Justice William Brennan "a schoolboy's question": What is the most important amendment to the Constitution? "Brennan said the First Amendment, because all the other ones come from that. If you don't have free speech you have to be afraid, you lack a vital part of what it is to be a human being who is free to be who you want to be."
An entrenched surveillance state will change and distort the balance that allows free government to function successfully. Broad and intrusive surveillance will, definitively, put government in charge. But a republic only works, Mr. Hentoff notes, if public officials know that they—and the government itself—answer to the citizens. It doesn't work, and is distorted, if the citizens must answer to the government.
J. Edgar Hoover didn't have all this technology. He would be so envious of what NSA can do.