TiSA could be a trade deal that wrecks local economies

governments may not be able to regulate staff to patient ratios in hospitals, or ban fracking, or tighten safety ntrols on airlines, or refuse accreditation to schools and universities. Foreign corporations must receive the same “national treatment” as domestic ones, and could argue that such regulations violate their ability to provide the service.

Here is the article on New Republic.

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Not My Favorite Xmas Card

special_place_in_hell

I’ve been listening to a lot of WTR and other podcasts that interview people who dwell on the topics of inclusion and empathy in the technical work space. I listen to them because I want other people around me to succeed. I want my sons and daughters to feel welcomed to the sciences or computer programming. I must say that this kind of “humor” comes off as elitist derision. Its very irritating since I’ve got more than 10 years more professional experience than him. Do I need to join his “zfs club”?  My response is clearly a light-hearted defense tactic…I was not interested in getting into an twitter ego battle on Christmas. I strongly feel this is an example of miscommunication that would not be taken well by others. Sorry, Allan, I did not: I actually dwelled on it for a few days.

Parenting and Teaching Programming

At what level of programming are we actually imparting the philosophy of human thought? Or, another way, a basic program that prints out a few numbers is truly trivially basic: it merely teaches some programming syntax. However, contrast your smartphone apps to your old DOS/Windows apps. A significan understanding of human haptics and intuition have been codified into the most basic of smart phone apps where your DOS applications might still be more closely related to punch-cards.

Episode 27 of Bad Voltage takes a fascinating turn in the middle of the episode where these parents stop discussing technology in terms of quantifiable capacities and start talking about the philisophical benefits to young programmers. Jono Bacon quotes a collegue:

Programming is smulating how we thing. Teaching programming is teaching a meta-level of how we [make decisions].

And then Bryan Lunduke chimes in with Scratch, a simple programming environment suitable for younger children.

Please teach your kids, especially your girls, how to code. I firmly believe that this is not just a job skill, but an introduction to logic and analysis that is more tangible than any calculus tought, ever. And don’t brag to me about how you used an interval to compute the average runoff from a forested watershed, you’re showing off. You thouch your phone 120 times a day and you’re entirely dependent on it. If you can boil water and put peanut butter on bread, you can program, so stop raising your hands about how difficult it is. Our children will lead lives where software will decide their salaries, their health insurance, their academic opportunities and how they are promoted and ultimately how they promote themselves through life.

Please listen to that episode and tell me why you are not introducing your kids to computer programming.

2014-07-15 Andrew & Bell’s Wedding

I resized these down from full size so they would load faster. Please ask for full sized ones if you’d like.

Net Neutrality | Electronic Frontier Foundation

FTA:

The FCC has a poor track record of getting net neutrality right. In January 2014, a federal court rejected the bulk of the FCC’s 2010 Open Internet order. The rules that the court threw out, however, were deeply flawed. Protecting net neutrality is a hard problem, with no easy solutions. … [W]e are asking folks to contact both the FCC and Congress and send a clear message: It’s our internet, we won’t let you damage it, and we won’t let you help others damage it.

via Net Neutrality | Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Timeline of NSA Domestic Spying | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Quick summary:

It is intended to recall all the credible accounts and information of the NSA’s domestic spying program found in the media, congressional testimony, books, and court actions. The timeline also includes documents leaked by the Guardian in June 2013 that confirmed the domestic spying by the NSA. The documents range from a Top Secret Court Order by the secret court overseeing the spying, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA Court), to a working draft of an NSA Inspector General report detailing the history of the program.

Timeline of NSA Domestic Spying | Electronic Frontier Foundation.

When will we get true civilian Internet? — “Internet’s Own Boy” Briefly Knocked Off YouTube With Bogus DMCA Claim – Slashdot

This is why we need copyright reform, and we need to invest in truly civilian Internet spaces. Things like youtube are entirely taken for granted but they live at nothing more than the whim of corporations, with no actual rights of free speech on them.

The whole Google and “right to be forgotten” drama is another case where civilian government is unable to form a basis for a search engine for a search engine ruled by civilian law. We act as if Google is a utility…and while it might be a de-facto utility, it is not, and it is ephemeral and as temporary as its stock price lives well.

“Internet’s Own Boy” Briefly Knocked Off YouTube With Bogus DMCA Claim – Slashdot.

The Great Artisanal Cheese Panic of 2014: A Postmortem | Cornucopia Institute

This is a good punch thrown in the battle. However,

One such critic, Food & Water Watch, used the incident to argue, somewhat incongruously, that the FDA is spending its time hassling small-businesspeople when it should be going after Big Food. “Any rule that promotes processed, industrial food like Velveeta over handcrafted foods is not something we should support,” the group’s statement declared, while also making sure to mention that a former Monsanto executive, Michael Taylor, heads the FDA.

And really the confusion is over why the enforcement over something that on-one has gotten sick over:

Which, by all accounts, is nonsense. It’s true that wood, being porous, provides a friendlier environment for bacteria. But there is nothing to indicate that wood shouldn’t be used to store aging cheese, as long as it is properly sanitized. What few studies have been done have tended to conclude that the practice is essentially safe. Nobody, including the FDA, can think of a single incidence of listeriosis caused by wood-aged cheese, much less an outbreak.

via The Great Artisanal Cheese Panic of 2014: A Postmortem | Cornucopia Institute.

When These Experts Savage U.S. Drone Policy, It’s Time to Worry – Conor Friedersdorf – The Atlantic

From the article:

…the Obama administration hasn’t rigorously evaluated whether its drone strikes are helping or harming national security; it is setting dangerous precedents; it isn’t doing enough to prevent proliferation; and it is undermining democracy with excessively secretive practices that could also undermine the program’s long-term efficacy.

via When These Experts Savage U.S. Drone Policy, It’s Time to Worry – Conor Friedersdorf – The Atlantic.