Online privacy issues just became a little more interesting:
Google’s CEO Gets an Official Seat at President Obama’s Table
Although Schmidt quickly took his name out of the running to become CTO of the USA after Obama was elected, today, he’s been officially named to a new role: that of a member of President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.
In light of recent actions in DC concerning internet privacy, the apparent closeness of the current administration and Google is a concern. Consider for a moment a few of the services that Google currently provides:
– Google search
– Google Docs
– Chrome browser
– Google Toolbar
– Street View
Each of these services contain massive amounts of personal records, from political affiliations and concern for social issues, to business transactions and website viewing. Whether personal identification, or large-scale data mining, the naming of the head of the foremost company controlling internet services to a post of an administration oblivious to personally privacy is unsettling at the very least. Information is power, and Google has a lot to offer.
(Ironically, I’m using Blogger to publish this post; that will soon change)
I recently watched I.O.U.S.A.: The Movie, a documentary about our enormous national debt and the causes of it. Debuting several months ago, it is the one of the clearest pictures of our situation that I have seen so far. Give it a go:
If you are in too much of a hurry to watch the 30 minute video above, I pulled some of the featured content to give a taste. The first video is a funny, but sad and scary SNL commentary on the mental state of our society.
Because of our collective penchant for buying things we can’t afford (i.e. on credit), our trade deficit has been enormous every year. The next video was created by Warren Buffet back in 2004 as a simple explanation and warning.
The enormity of the problem can be immobilizing or depressing, but do what you can. Share this video, research ways you can save money and reduce your debt, and change your habits.
The threats of a larger, Big Brother-type state are finally starting to hit home with this latest bout of news that specifically concerns technology. Please read, it’s important.
Last week, Slashdot reported that New Legislation Would Federalize Cybersecurity. This would put the executive branch in complete charge of regulating the content of the Internet. It could shut it down anytime it needed and can dictate who can work in cybersecurity. This is monumental. Sen. Rockefeller, who introduced the bill, went so far as to suggest it would be better if the Internet had never been invented.
Britain has been leading the way in spying and controlling its own people, from a blanket of cameras, to a national ID, and now storing Internet records. Oh, and the US is working on a similar program:
Most of y’all who would potentially read this know me well. I’m not a conspiracy theorist; I am a nice guy who digs technology. The Cybersecurity Act of 2009 and similar efforts, however, are effectively turning us into Communist China. What can you do about it? As always, contact your senators. Stay informed.
Two young college graduates set out to discover why American diets have become dependent on corn products. They end up devoting more than a year living the life of a corn farmer and tracing where their crops go.
I found the part on high-fructose corn syrup to be especially interesting. It’s pervasive throughout our food-supply and is claimed by many sources to be highly detrimental to our health.
Check out the Farm Bill and Take Action portions of the King Corn website.
Digging around on the web, I find that there is a swell coming against HFCS. The Corn Refiners Association isn’t going to take this one on the ear and are fighting back. Their website is an all-out offensive aimed at spreading corn propaganda.
There are several other issues this brings up: subsidies, processed meat, and American diets; but those will have to be featured in later posts. Remember this documentary (King Corn) and check it out first chance you get.
I am back up and typing under a new nom-de-plume: dGear. Under this guise, I hope to stun, amaze, and otherwise dazzle you with the combination of hard facts and simple logic that escape much of today’s society. Topics will therefore most certainly include political rhetoric, religion, and relationships, but I will also stray into the fields of food, finances, and pharmacy (I might also employ imperfect alliterations that subtly hook you and keep you coming back for more).