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Archive for February 2006

Minnesota GOP needs a spanking!

The Republican party of Minnesota is sending around CDs that you put in your computer and take a survey. The problem with this survey is that the program on the compact disc sends your answers back to party HQ where they’re stored—along with your name and address.

Not only do they not tell you that they’re going to phone home, they keep the data and don’t have any sort of privacy policy. This means that they can tell anyone that they want about your personal views on issues.

The problem – the CD sends your answers back to headquarters, filed by name, address, and political views. No mention of that in the terms of use. No privacy policy at all. The story concludes: “So if you run the CD in your personal computer, by the end of it, the Minnesota GOP will not only know what you think on particular issues, but also who you are.”

Without a privacy policy, the state party can tell your views to anyone at all. If you give the “wrong” answers on abortion or other issues, they can tell your boss, members of your church, or anyone else. In fact, these answers could get distributed to campaigns in your town during get-out-the-vote efforts – precisely the place where “wrong” answers can be most damaging.

The Minnesota GOP’s Stealth Attack On Privacy

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Written by Jeff

Tuesday, February 28, 2006 at 4:36 pm

Posted in Politics

Apple’s ‘Fun, New’ stuffs

I’m just a bit underwhelmed.

There I was, sitting there staring at the MacRumors live updating thingamajig waiting anxiously for exciting new announcements and what do I get? Some crappy leather case that doesn’t let you manipulate your iPod, a boombox and a price hike for the Mac mini.

Leather case:
iPod leather case

It’s a hundred bucks and has no way for you to view the screen on your 5G iPod or to use the buttons. WTF?

Intel Mac mini:
Intel Mac mini

  • Raised the price by $100.
  • Uses crappy integrated graphics. “All Mac mini models also include an integrated Intel GMA950 graphics processor with 64MB of shared DDR2 SDRAM(1)”. And the “(1)”? Here’s their caveat: “Memory available to Mac OS X may vary depending on graphics needs. Minimum graphics memory usage is 80MB, resulting in 432MB of system memory available.”

    The thing ships with 512MB of system memory of which a minimum of 80MB will be used to run the eyecandy? WTF? Come on Apple, the original minis used an independent 32MB graphics card. Frankly, I’d rather have that than this 64MB integrated bullshit.

  • For $600, you don’t even get a SuperDrive, just a ComboDrive. For that same $600, you only get a paltry 60GB hard drive.
  • However, for an extra $200 you get an extra 20GB and a Superdrive. I call bullshit.

What’s so special about the base mini that requires a $100 price hike? Nothing that I can see. They’ve added some USB2.0 ports, big woo. They seem to have added, if I remember correctly) an additional sound in/out port. Again, big woo.

iPod HiFi:
iPod HiFi front

It’s a set of speakers that you put your iPod in and sound comes out. It costs $350. I’ve got a computer with quality speakers, why do I need this expensive thing?

Oh, it’s portable. So you can take 6 D batteries and get “several hours” of use. Um…okay.

Come on, Apple, what’s your damage?

Written by Jeff

Tuesday, February 28, 2006 at 3:23 pm

Posted in Apple

Free Dolly on iTMS

Dolly Parton’s Academy Award-nominated “Travelin’ Thru” is available until next Tuesday as an iTMS free download.

“Travelin’ Thru” is nominated for Best Original Song (Transamerica) and Dolly will perform it live at this Sunday’s Academy Awards.

Related: As if I needed another reason to like Dolly Parton…

Written by Jeff

Tuesday, February 28, 2006 at 2:45 pm

Posted in Movies, Music

Exclusion based on sexual orientation…as a trend in the medical field

Whether they’re giving blood or atttempting to adopt children, gay and lesbians face bad science and barely disguised bias.

The Doctor is In (the Closet) | AlterNet.org

Written by Jeff

Monday, February 27, 2006 at 2:38 pm

Posted in Equality, Links

Maybe God doesn’t like the new government

Written by Jeff

Friday, February 24, 2006 at 10:55 pm

O Happy Day! Bravo comes to iTunes

Starting February 28, Bravo’s hit show “Project Runway” will be available for download on iTMS. From my understanding of the short article, only the current season’s episodes will be available. I could be wrong, though. Either way, YEA!!

Also of note is that the entire series of the James Lipton-hosted “Inside the Actors Studio” will be made available. Double-YEA!!

iTunes says Bravo with net’s episodes | HollywoodReporter.com

Written by Jeff

Friday, February 24, 2006 at 4:12 pm

See: Evil people use Windows

The ACLU has released a new advertisement about surveillance, data collection, national IDs, and privacy.

The government and corporations are aggressively collecting information about your personal life and your habits. They want to track your purchases, your medical records, and even your relationships. The Bush Administration’s policies, coupled with invasive new technologies, could eliminate your right to privacy completely. Please help us protect our privacy rights and prevent the Total Surveillance Society.

ACLU pizza ad

What happens when you order a pizza? | ACLU.org

Written by Jeff

Friday, February 24, 2006 at 1:40 pm

Posted in Politics