Author Archive

Luddites,
reverse-Luddites,
and value

May 25, 2018

“Luddite” sounds like an indestructible substance over which wars are fought in the Marvel Universe.  The word originally referred to workers in early 19th century Nottinghamshire, England, who protested low wages and poor working conditions by destroying their employers’ machines. Today, Luddite has morphed into a reference to people who oppose technological advances. Contemporary Luddite-type voices arise with [...]

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Google’s Duplex et al:
Wow or Yikes?

May 15, 2018

I have empathy for writers of futuristic science fiction. It’s almost impossible to correctly envision the future. You may have noticed, for instance, that 2001 came and went without the discovery of an obelisk on the moon. But last week, Google’s I/O Conference apparently conjured up visions of 2001: A Space Odyssey’s rogue robot Hal for a few [...]

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Bungled bank robberies

May 7, 2018

There’s nothing quite so entertaining as an incompetent bank robber. Alas, as digital banking marches forward, we may see fewer and fewer of them. Before the art all but disappears, here are some favorite tales of mishaps and ineptitude. • Never underestimate a teller. In Dallas, a would-be robber demanded a teller hand over the [...]

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The CLOUD Act
or
Look what rode
in on the omnibus

April 30, 2018

You may have heard of the Fourth Amendment. It says, in essence, that if the cops want to search your home, they’d better convince a judge to issue a warrant. In theory, anyhow. It’s another matter in practice, for things have changed since the Amendment’s ratification in 1792. For instance, we didn’t have trash collection back then. [...]

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Welcome to the
Facebook Follies

April 23, 2018

I needn’t tell readers of this blog what apparently came as news to a U.S. Senator: Advertising revenues keep the lights on at Facebook and account for Mark Zuckerberg’s $62.2 billion net worth. Nor need I point out that the more targeted an advertising medium, the more valuable it is to advertisers, and that it is with targeting [...]

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