As you likely know, when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, she set up a private email server at home and used it for her email communication, passing up a secure government account. This was a bad idea, for a number of reasons, primary among them the fact that sensitive information could be leaked on this less secure system, and that Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests could be bypassed. But the burning question, at a time when Clinton looks likely to be nominated as the Democratic candidate for President, is what her motivation was for setting up the server in the first place. Was… Read More »Hillary Clinton’s Shadow IT Problem
Posts of a political nature
News junkie that I am, I see a lot of headlines. And four came in over the last 30 hours or so that paint an astonishing picture of a tech industry that is in complete denial about the intense misogyny that permeates the industry. Let’s take them in the order that they were received: First, programmer, teacher and game developer Kathy Sierra. In 2007, she became well known enough to attract the attention of some nasty people, who set out to, pretty much, destroy her. On Tuesday, she chronicled the whole sordid history on her blog, and Wired picked it up as well (I’m linking… Read More »It’s Time For A Tech Industry Intervention To Address Misogyny
Picture : Rhadaway. This is a follow-up on my previous post, A Tale Of Two (Or Three) Facebook Challengers. A key point in that post was that we need to be customers, not commodities. In the cases of Facebook, Google and the vast majority of free web resources, the business model is to provide a content platform for the public and fund the business via advertising. In this model, simply, our content is the commodity. The customer is the advertiser. And the driving decisions regarding product features relate more to how many advertisers they can bring on and retain than how they can meet the… Read More »The Increasing Price We Pay For The Free Internet
In mid-2008, Terry Childs, the (then) System Administrator for the City of San Francisco, was called into a meeting with the COO (his boss); the CIO of the SF Police Department; a Human Resources representative; and, unbeknownst to Terry, by phone, a few of the engineers he managed. He was ordered to share the system passwords for the network. He made them up. Subsequently challenged with this fact, he refused to reveal the passwords, ending up in a city jail cell.
Yesterday I received a letter from the State of California alerting me that my Census form is due next week and that I should be sure to fill it out and return it, as is decidedly my intention. That form will include the page that drives many Americans crazy — the one that offers you a bunch of ethnic backgrounds that you can identify yourself on. As my spouse of African-Cherokee-Jamaican-German and who knows what else decent says, this is not a multiple choice question for many of us.
You might have read about Keith Bardwell, a man out of his time, who, throughout his 35 year career as a Justice of the Peace in Louisiana, has steadfastly denied marriage licenses for interracial couples. For their own good, of course. And the good of any children they might bear. Some might consider Bardwell an old coot who means well, when he defends his cruel and discriminatory behavior as being based on his expert opinion that interracial marriages generally don’t last, and it’s cruel to subject children to a world where they will be pariahs to blacks and whites alike. But I can’t listen to his defense of bigotry with anything but an understanding that he has a choice: he can “protect” children from the hate he perpetuates, or he can stop being hateful.
As you probably know, the U.S. Congress has been having a big debate about what went on behind closed door briefings on the treatment of detainees in the war on terrorism. At issue is whether House Leader Nancy Pelosi was told about the use of harsh interrogation tactics, which many of us define as torture, in 2002 and 2003 briefings, when the tactics were actually in use. Rep. Pelosi maintains that they weren’t discussed; The CIA, responsible for the briefings, maintains that they were, but neither of them has yet provided documentation that might settle the matter. Meanwhile, Rep. Pelosi’s Democratic colleague, Rep. Bob Graham, who, as head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, was also to be briefed on such actions, reports that the CIA’s assertions are in error. Dates that they claim he was in briefings on the subject are wrong. His his meticulous notes, which he has traditionally been kidded about keeping, establish that only one of four CIA-alleged meetings actually occurred, and, in it, the harsh interrogation tactics weren’t discussed.