Monthly Archives: July 2015

Dropping docs on Jacob the painting police horse

Muckrock has written an article on Jacob, the painting police horse of St. Petersburg, Florida, based on documents I obtained through a public records request to the local police in April. There’s no scandal here, but it’s fun to read about a city so smitten with their talented equestrian officers. Perhaps my favorite missive comes […]

Misinformation works

Three years ago, in the wake of the SOPA blackouts, the RIAA chairman and CEO Cary Sherman penned a strange sour grapes op-ed in the New York Times. He claimed that the overwhelmingly popular position against the proposal was based on lies, that “neutral” sites like Google and Wikipedia were violating their integrity by taking […]

Taylor Swift and Garth Brooks each took on their generation’s music bogeyman

The music business tends to repeat itself. Conversations that seem completely intertwined with new technologies mirror those over earlier developments. Read Adrian John’s Piracy, for example, and see how closely the file-sharing debate followed the one about sheet music a century earlier. Even with that background, the parallels between Taylor Swift’s widely discussed comments about […]

Basic crypto errors and no public review at the Washington Post

The Washington Post doubled down this weekend on its ridiculous argument for new encryption that uses a “Golden Key” available only to law enforcement under a court order. This proposal has a few weaknesses; perhaps chief among them is that it is literally impossible. Given that putative authorities like FBI Director James Comey are willing […]

“Computers: The Truth of the Matter”

Disney Educational made a short film in 1983 that depicts the devil and an angel arguing over whether a young woman should learn about computers. It’s called “Computers: The Truth of the Matter,” and I got to see it at the Oddball Films archive on Friday as part of a screening of retro-computing shorts. I […]