There’s an excellent article by Tom Steinberg on mySociety about how the government doesn’t understand the internet and what needs to be done about it.
The Internet has been relentlessly undermining previous practices in the running of businesses, dating, parenting, spying, producing art and many other areas. So, however, did electrification and shipping containers. From cheaper raw materials, to cheaper cars to have sex in the back of, economic and social change has always been driven by technological change.
While I’m sure some would argue that technological change is driven by economic and social change, that’s really not the point.
The point is that law makers, government officials and civil servants need to understand what the internet is all about. Instead of trying to protect old ways of doing business, they need to embrace the change that is coming. Instead of trying to apply laws and brick and mortar tax policies, new strategies need to be envisioned and implemented.
The article talks specifically about the government in the UK, but I think it applies elsewhere, and it would be great if the US government, at all levels, started thinking about these issues as well.
Time Magazine’s poll of the 100 most influential people has been hacked by a well organized, distributed, band of online troublemakers who have manipulated the top 21 names so their first letters spell “marblecake, also the game.”
Check out this article over at CrunchGear – A new application for the Android (Google Phone) that allows you to scan the UPC of a movie and through the magic of the interwebs the movie is downloaded to your PC.
They point out in the article that this might have some priacy implications, but its a pretty cool idea. I’d love to see some stores jump on this and make it work. Blockbuster, which already has a storefront established could easily have an app that added scanned movies to your online queue.
Unfortunately, it won’t be long before the MPAA is all over this one with a pack of rabid lawyers.
Here’s a quote from Dan that sets up his article pretty well:
At this point, the scientific evidence is in, it’s overwhelming, and it’s indisputable. The current generation of DRE voting systems have a wide variety of dangerous security flaws. There’s simply no justification for the vendors to be making excuses or otherwise downplaying the clear scientific consensus on the quality of their products.
As we’re push, pulled, tricked and forced into use electronic voting machines, these problems are going to become more and more prevalent. There is considerable money to be made in this area and as the voting public, we need to demand open software, common sense security and a review process.
Contrast our current e-voting machines and systems with how the gambling industry tackles security. The gambling systems are open to inspection by a public agency. The state has access to all of the software and they hire people with the know-how to understand the software to review it.
It seems like the current market place and electorate would welcome an open (open source even) developer. The Open Voting Consortium seems to be leading the way, but the states don’t seem to be on board yet. You can be certain that the companies currently making the lackluster, insecure voting machines will fight the changes tooth and nail.
About a year ago, I joined Book Mooch, a site dedicated to sharing books. Since I started,I’ve given away 54 books and I’ve received 14. I have a great feedback rating (+52) and its really a great community of people. If you’re sitting on a ton of books, and you’d really like some new ones, this is the place for you.
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