Saturday, November 12, 2011

Speed Cameras and So-Called "Intellectual Property"

One may not think that concerns over speed cameras can be associated with the inappropriate protection of so-called "intellectual property", but they can. The association is the implementation of "automated" justice.

A Washington Times editorial on speed cameras writes: "The editorial writes: "Traditional law-enforcement duties are best performed by men, not machines. This is the case in Maryland, where speed cameras continue to pronounce the innocent guilty, regardless of mounting evidence that the measuring devices are faulty.  ... In a May 24 letter, Mr. Warrington explained his interest in addressing reliability problems was not ensuring justice but “how we can optimize the productivity of our camera.”" (emphasis added)

Concerning the "Stop Online Piracy Act" (SOPA) Larry Downes wrote in CNET that: "It creates vague, sweeping new standards for secondary liability, drafted to ensure maximum litigation. It treats all U.S. consumers as guilty until proven innocent. If passed, the bill would give media companies unprecedented new powers to shape the structure and content of the Internet.... He argues that SOPA effectively introduces new monitoring requirements for all websites that allow user content, even comments posted to blogs. Rightsholders, Sohn wrote, need only "a good faith belief that a Web site is 'avoiding confirming' infringement, and they can demand that payment systems and advertising networks cease doing business with the Web site.""

Like the speed camera silently monitoring traffic, the ISPs are under ever increasing pressure to monitor (spy on) user traffic for the sole purpose of maximizing some entity's assertion for profit, not for ensuring justice. Furthermore, the concept of "due process" is being diminished through the imposition of "automated" justice.

Do Nothing Obama

The Washington Post recently carried this headline: "Obama urges supercommittee leaders to reach deal; warns against undoing consequences of failing to reach accord".  This headline re-emphasizes that Obama's rhetoric is nothing more than smoke-and -mirrors for misleading the citizens.  Obama himself, has purposely avoided making the tough decisions he is supposed to be making as President.

Recently, Obama delayed making a decision on the Keystone Pipeline. "Keystone pipeline delayed by Obama until 2013".  The issue isn't whether you agree or disagree with the pipeline, but the fact that Obama demands that others make a decision when he himself refuses to do so.

Obama eloquently speaks of solving or deficit spending.  As part of that theme, he demands that the supercommittee reach a decision. Well a supercommitte (The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform)  made recommendations back in February 2010. Obama promptly ignored the recommendations of the prior committee.

One of Obama's soundbites is "We Can't wait on Congress, the time to act is now". If Obama calls on others to reach decisions, he must make decisions too.

Plus One For Microsoft

I have been highly critical of Microsoft concerning the proprietary nature of Windows and the evolution of Windows into a corporate product to be managed by computer professionals rather than as a hobbyist operating system. Well, I just bought a new computer with Windows 7, and much to my surprise the upgrade has gone relatively well. So plus one for Microsoft.

Specifically, based on prior concerns with Windows XP and reading various posts. I anticipated issues with Windows 7 not recognizing other computers on my home network and not connecting to the printer. Both these concerns turned out to be non-issues.