What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Linkee-poo pretends it knows what all these little flashing lights mean

Still way behind.

Paul Mcauley brings us some insight on how word processing altered how we write and why you should finish the first draft before revising. Again, as with all writing advice, YMMV. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

A judge rules you can be compelled to decrypt your files. This is an interesting case. I tried to find if the courts have ever compelled someone to decrypt ciphers on documents that were a part of a criminal case and failed to find out if such had happened. So is forcing a defendant to decrypt a laptop a violation of the Forth or Fifth Amendments? I would say if they were forced to disclose the password, that yes, that would be a violation. But in this case, the court is asking the defendant to decrypt the hard drive in a way that wouldn't disclose the password. As first blush I would say that this is a valid court order (it being a criminal case, and there is a specific warrant for the information on the hard drive). I know there are greater legal minds than my own who could shed light on this. (Pointed to by John)

Sandworms in the sky! Oh, wait, it's just another weird UAV design. Meet the Argus One, a blimp UAV surveillance platform. You're welcome, Toby. :)

A high-school student devises a scheme to target cancer cells and release drugs directly on the cells. Pretty darn interesting if it works in humans. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Well, it looks like the Republican's managed to create more jobs. For government bureaucrats, which they profess to hate. If and when the Keystone Pipeline project is resubmitted, which the conservatives tried to hold Pres. Obama over a barrel (get it?) and he did what was responsible (because all the findings weren't in yet) by saying "no" to the plans as submitted, it will start the review process all over again. So more work for the EPA, DoE, and State.


Nathan said...

I'm a little confused by that ruling about the encryption. Is there any precedent of forcing a defendant to decrypt papers that were written in a cipher?

As long as we're on the subject, I think the SCOTUS did well with their GPS decision, but there's a new one on the horizon that'll be interesting. NYPD has been perfecting a device that can "see" a concealed weapon on a person. Essentially, it detects human bodies, but a gun will block the view, thus revealing it's own shape/image. Ultimately, they expect to have a hand-held detector that can be used in public and will work at up to 75'. ACLU is withholding comment until they've perfected the thing. I'm not sure they'll have a legitimate argument against the thing.

Steve Buchheit said...

Hey Nathan, see, I can't find a case about that (although there are plenty of people with the name Cipher and Cypher who seem to get in trouble with the law).