May 2009 Archives

XENU STRIKES AGAIN!  In a move which will affect approximately zero SbG readers, Wikipedia's admins have chosen to ban Church of Scientology members from contributing or editing entries.  A painfully overwrought  case history is available to read on Wikipedia (WARNING: do not read), but to cut a long story short, TPTB at Wiki have ruled that CoS' wiki-contributing practices constitute such a conflict of interest that the CoS' opinion on anything at all is not worth the hassle of actually allowing users with CoS-related IP addresses to contribute.

Members of the internet non-entity Anonymous are said to have simultaneously removed their Guy Fawkes masks and slowly looked upward, as if gazing upon the harbinger of a more promising tomorrow.

LIFELOCK SLAMMED IN COURT!  Moving on to an issue which does affect a segment of the local population (namely, Knoxvillians who are both tech-literate enough to know about identity theft and easily frightened), ID-theft protection racket Lifelock was hit with a ruling Wednesday in a California court which may well defang the industry as a whole.

Credit bureau Experian's complaint against Lifelock is twofold, claiming that Lifelock engages in illegal business practices by both contacting credit bureaus on a customer's behalf (an act which a federal judge ruled could only lawfully be undertaken by a family member, guardian, or attorney) and by requesting fraud alerts in situations in which no imminent danger of fraud existed.

Was the ruling justified?  Does it shake the ID theft protection industry to the very core?  I sure as hell hope so.  Credit monitoring is all well and good, but Lifelock's most trumpeted service involves you paying them $10/month to basically make three phone calls to request a free service from three different credit bureaus every three months. The legality of Lifelock's acts as representatives of its customers notwithstanding, if you have the mental capacity required to, say, order pizza once a month, then Lifelock would be ripping you off.

Maybe once the industry is free of company founders who learned the business from the other side and business practices which usurp due process only to result in inadmissible evidence, a company with a model which actually protects the consumer and provides value for the money can drag the industry kicking and screaming into legitimacy.
Wired, still running with a story that local media sources have apparently fallen asleep on, reports on updates to the state's case against alleged Palin email "hacker" and local Guess Jeans model David Kernell.

Citing the prosecution's quick-and-dirty March Madness with charges against his client and an Alaskan court's decision that Palin's private email accounts on which she allegedly pursued government business must be preserved, Kernell attorney Wade Davies has moved that all charges be dropped or reduced to misdemeanors.  His reasoning?

Tennessee, he says, only recognizes an invasion of privacy when the invasion exposes something that is inherently private, and the victim was placed in a false light by the invasion. But Palin wasn't placed in a false light by the alleged hack, and her privacy wasn't invaded since "an Alaska court has issued an order requiring Ms. Palin to preserve the correspondence in her private e-mail accounts on the grounds that the e-mails are public records." -Wired

Davies asserts that no expectation of privacy can be afforded the Palinian Yahoo, as its status (as he reckons it) as a matter of public record procludes privacy.  By killing the privacy issue, Davies would successfully blunt the felony status of the prosecution's case.

Whether Davies' litigation is writing checks that his education can't cash is a matter for the court to decide, but damn if it isn't entertaining.   Moves as ballsy as that kick this thing out of the realm of judicial chess matches and into the world of full-on legal wire-fu.

Less exciting are Davies' arguments that wire fraud charges should be dropped.  He claims that Palin was deprived of no "traditional" property since emails are "ethereal", but I'm not as sold on this one.  I think that I could dissuade Davies of his belief given five unauthorized minutes with any email account of his which contains, say, a credit card number or two.
A quick commentary on (alleged, to satisfy the SbG legal team) murdexting:

Don't, people.  Deleting the messages from your phone and tossing it in the river** will do exactly nada to stop a DA with half a brain and a court order from having a log of all your texts and the contents therein pulled from your carrier's servers, whereupon a paralegal will use such high technological feats as CTRL-F to find whatever damning evidence you sent out, all in less time than it took me to type this sentence.

You know, the servers.  Those things that your carrier uses that save your text messages for, like, ever.

Also, those pictures of your schlong that you sent your ex last weekend when you got way more drunk than you should have.

* "Murdexting" as of right now returns no results on google.  "Murdexting" now COPYRIGHT ME, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  Eat it, bitches.

** We're talking hypotheticals now, kids.  What I'm describing here is what I think someone who has no idea how networks function would do if he wanted to "get rid" of texting evidence.  I have no idea what LaRue did with his phone after he totally shot that guy, which I'm pretty sure I can say since he admitted as much in court.

The latest in my "Tenuously Related to the Blog's Theme" series
UT's Computer Store and the colorblindness-insensitive Make Orange Green program are hosting the eWaste Electronics Recycling Event '09 for individuals, small businesses, and non-profits on May 14-16.  Labor, materials, and moving expenses are being handled by Apple, who I can only assume (at least until they start sending me free stuff) are doing so in an effort to spread the Jobsian Hegemony.

Hit the links above for directions, etc.  Why not?  It's not like you'll get any money selling your obsolete crap on Craigslist, anyway.

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