Ken Calvert’s Town Hall, he phoned it in…

I tried to participate in Ken Calvert’s telephone town hall tonight, even recorded some of it.  Unfortunately, they never took my question or even my promised recorded voicemail.

Many of my comments were addressed by others and most were deflected by Representative Calvert.  I am certainly no expert on this stuff, but here are the points i would have brought up.

  • CRA bill – Representative Calvert seems to have missed the distinction between internet service providers that offer services like Google, Facebook, or Snapchat and telecommunications providers that provide the very lines on witch those services depend.   This is a critical distinction.  Unlike service providers, it is not so easy to just find a telecommunications provider who’s policy you agree with.  In most of America, they are practically monopolies.
  • Russians!! – Lifting sanctions preventing Russian intelligence agency from purchasing surveillance technology?  Why now?  Representative Calvert talked about apposing foreign manipulation of our elections, but what about foreign money buying influence?  Citizens united says money is speech, but what about foreign money?
  • Obamacare Vs Trumpcare – Preexisting conditions? Failing program? It is certainly not perfect (don’t get me started), but my family would be destitute if it weren’t for the Affordable Care Act.  The current offering as a replacement looks terrible and doesn’t include amendments for preexisting conditions.  What will next year bring?

Just participated in my first podcast for Hart Attack!

It was fun, we talked about technology, hacking, and corporate oppression.  Unfortunately, there wasn’t time for hope.  I’ll have to come back on to explain that it’s not all doom and gloom.   Episode 117 airs on Saturday evening.  Downloads available sometime after here.  Here is a link to more shows:

Hart Attack Home

Hart and I have worked together for some time.  He is a mogul of all things horrific.  Now he takes on the horror of the modern day with a political/news podcast.

My first domain is mine again! muhahaha!

Bill The Cat campaignBack in 1997, I registered my first domain benforpresident.org.  It was a silly site that I would do almost nothing with.  I had grand plans for a genuine run for 2016.  With technology on my side, how could I fail?  Well, I missed a registration payment and it was snatched from me.  Oddly, the content remained the same in the hands of it’s new owner.  Nothing was added, nothing was changed. (apart from some tracking javascript).  Yesterday on a whim, I checked it’s availability and reacquired it.  I don’t know exactly what I am going to do with it, but for now, I have set the clock back to 1997.  typos and all.  got ideas?

A Tinkerer’s Sunset

This article describes an upbringing with computers that in addition to being quite similar to my own almost certainly will ring true with many readers.  It talks of apple’s beginnings.  In those days in order to make anything your own you had to tinker.  Many computers at the start shipped not only with a basic interpreter in place of an operating system, but with schematics as well.  Unfortunately for some, times have changed.  If modern apple continues on the path they have clearly laid it means an end to the tinkerers lifestyle.

When DVD Jon was arrested after breaking the CSS encryption algorithm, he was charged with “unauthorized computer trespassing.” That led his lawyers to ask the obvious question, “On whose computer did he trespass?” The prosecutor’s answer: “his own.”

Apple is trying to do the same with their touch devices.  iPhone, iPod Touch, and the new iPad require serious hacking before any tinkering can be done.  If apple has their way, they will have jailbreaking void more then just your warranty and your service contract.  You’ve come a long way from your hacker roots Apple.  Your design is amazing, but PLEASE remember your pledge with OS X to be “Open for Business.”  From what i have seen, apple is no more open then they are required to be by all the licences they themselves are using.

Read the entire article here:  http://diveintomark.org/archives/2010/01/29/tinkerers-sunset