I find it rather annoying that after months of making a concerted effort to eat more fruits and vegetables, decrease my intake of fast food and processed foods, and cut out sodas almost completely, there has been basically no change whatsoever in my weight or how I feel. Seems like there should be some kind of measurable effect is all I’m sayin’.
A completely random, incomplete thought from my unposted archives: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telephone_book
“In 1991 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled (in Feist v. Rural) that telephone companies do not have a copyright on telephone listings, because copyright protects creativity and not the mere labor of collecting existing information.”
Seems like that should somehow apply to Facebook.
I’m a bit baffled over why this story about government surveillance surprises anyone. Constant surveillance seems like a fairly logical side effect of instantaneous global communication. Not necessarily likable, but logical. It seems to be another situation where the questions that modern technology raises are far outpacing the judicial branch’s ability to answer them.
On these stories specifically, I thought we already knew that the government was looking at our phone records. I’m pretty sure they’ve been doing that since the Patriot Act was first passed back in 2001.
(Side note: Is that what constitutes "breaking news" these days? Things that happened years ago that we just forgot about?)
As for collecting data from Facebook and Google, why wouldn’t they? Every advertising agency does. There’s a ton of data just sitting right out there in public for anyone to see. But if you read past the headlines of these stories you find out the government isn’t mining huge swaths of data. It sounds to me like they only request specific data from specific people under suspicion. Which, again, is not a new story. Google has tracked this for some time.
I think this is only shocking and newsworthy because in this modern age, the amount of data the government can look at is enormous, and it takes seconds to get it. It’s not like they haven’t been requesting data on people before now. They probably did the same thing in 1835. It’s just that back then during an investigation, someone had to physically walk to a store and request that the shop owner look at his log books. In a way, our privacy is probably *more* secure today, because at least Google looks at the request to make sure it’s legit before handing over the data. That shop owner in 1835 probably spilled his customers’ information without even asking to see a court order.
When did NBC Nightly News turn into a half-hour weather show? I suppose it was probably when NBC Universal bought The Weather Channel in 2008. But it just seems ridiculous now. It’s been nothing but tornados and wildfires lately. I need to find a nightly news podcast that rounds up the day’s biggest Twitter stories, but isn’t so focused on weather-related scare tactics.