Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for August 30th, 2014

Maybe at last we can see some of what was done in our name

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Not the CIA torture tapes, though: those were carefully destroyed. But these photos.

Written by LeisureGuy

30 August 2014 at 1:49 pm

A problem of ignorance: Number of police shootings, homicides

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We simply lack the data. Why? I suspect because police departments do not wish the public to know. Michael Wines describes the lack of reliable statistics regarding police shootings and killings in the NY Times.

Written by LeisureGuy

30 August 2014 at 11:55 am

Posted in Law Enforcement

How big telecom smothers city-run broadband

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Although corporations love to talk about free competition, they in general loathe competition and wish all their competitors would go away. Where they like competition is among their suppliers: they want competition there. Corporations particularly dislike government competition, since government can provide services without the requirement that they show a continually increasing profit. Alan Holmes reviews telecom efforts in an article at The Center for Public Integrity:

Janice Bowling, a 67-year-old grandmother and Republican state senator from rural Tennessee, thought it only made sense that the city of Tullahoma be able to offer its local high-speed Internet service to areas beyond the city limits.

After all, many of her rural constituents had slow service or did not have access to commercial providers, like AT&T Inc. and Charter Communications Inc.

But a 1999 Tennessee law prohibits cities that operate their own Internet networks from providing access outside the boundaries where they provide electrical service. Bowling wanted to change that and introduced a bill in February to allow them to expand.

She viewed the network, which offers speeds about 80 times faster than AT&T and 10 times faster than Charter in Tullahoma according to advertised services, as a utility, like electricity, that all Tennesseans need.

“We don’t quarrel with the fact that AT&T has shareholders that it has to answer to,” Bowling said with a drawl while sitting in the spacious wood-paneled den of her log-cabin-style home. “That’s fine, and I believe in capitalism and the free market. But when they won’t come in, then Tennesseans have an obligation to do it themselves.”

At a meeting three weeks after Bowling introduced Senate Bill 2562, the state’s three largest telecommunications companies — AT&T, Charter, and Comcast Corp. — tried to convince Republican leaders to relegate the measure to so-called “summer study,” a black hole that effectively kills a bill. Bowling, described as “feisty” by her constituents, initially beat back the effort and thought she’d get a vote.

That’s when Joelle Phillips, president of AT&T’s Tennessee operations, leaned toward her across the table in a conference room next to the House caucus leader’s office and said tersely, “Well, I’d hate for this to end up in litigation,” Bowling recalls.

The threat surprised Bowling, and apparently AT&T’s ominous warning reached her colleagues as well. Days later, support in the Tennessee House for Bowling’s bill dissolved. AT&T had won.

“I had no idea the force that would come against this, because it’s just so reasonable and so necessary,” Bowling said.

AT&T and Phillips didn’t respond to emails asking for comment.

A national fight

Tullahoma is just one battlefront in a nationwide war that the telecommunications giants are fighting against the spread of municipal broadband networks. For more than a decade, AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner Cable Inc., and CenturyLink Inc. have spent millions of dollars to lobby state legislatures, influence state elections and buy research to try to stop the spread of public Internet services that often offer faster speeds at cheaper rates. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

30 August 2014 at 8:14 am

Archiving video to the cloud in real-time to protect the files

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Police offers routinely seize cellphones and video equipment that captures their bad behavior. The key is to get the information into the cloud so that even if physical equipment is taken, the video itself is still available. This is discussed in a Democracy Now! program. The blurb:

Cases like Rodney King, Oscar Grant, Eric Garner and Michael Brown have helped fuel demands for police accountability. We are joined by a guest who has advice for the growing number of people filming police abuse with their smartphones and video cameras, particularly with respect to how to properly preserve such video. Yvonne Ng is senior archivist for WITNESS, a group that trains and supports people using video in their fight for human rights. She co-authored their resource, “Activists’ Guide to Archiving Video.” Watch part two of this interview.

And, from the interview:

We provide resources on how to film, like how to film during a protest, but it’s just as important to think about what you’re going to do after you film, so that what you’ve done can make the most difference it can. So, that’s really where the archiving comes in. The point of archiving is to help ensure that your video is preserved, intact and is ready to be used when you need it.

So, there are a number of things that activists can do. And as you know, archiving can—when you get really into it, can get quite complex, but there’s a lot of very basic practices that anyone can do to ensure that their video survives intact and can be used. And we know that this is possible because we’ve worked with activists in Syria, who are facing enormous challenges—daily bombardment, insecurity, a lack of access to basic resources—and they have been able to successfully implement some of these practices.

Here’s the guide on how to do that that is discussed in the program. (You can also download the guide as a PDF, but take a look at the site.)

From the guide:

Who is this Guide for?

  • You are a human rights activist, a small or grassroots human rights organization, or media collective;
  • You are creating or collecting digital video to document human rights abuses or issues, and;
  • You want to make sure that the video documentation you have created or collected can be used for advocacy, as evidence, for education or historical memory – not just now but into the future….
  • But you are not sure where to begin, or you are stuck on a particular problem.

If this is you, then this Guide is for you.

Why Archive?

Ask yourself:

  • Do you want your videos to be available in the future?
  • Do you want your videos to serve as evidence of crimes or human rights abuses?
  • Do you want your videos to raise awareness and educate future generations?

If the answer is yes, it is important to begin thinking about archiving before it is too late.

Still not sure? Here is what might happen if you do not take steps to archive:

  • Your videos may be accidentally or deliberately deleted and lost forever.
  • Your videos may exist somewhere, but no one can find them.
  • Someone may find your videos, but no one can understand what they are about.
  • Your videos cannot be sufficiently authenticated or corroborated as evidence.
  • Your videos’ quality may become so degraded that no one can use them.
  • Your videos may be in a format that eventually no one can play.

What is Archiving?

Archiving is… a general term for the range of practices and decisions that support the long-term preservation, use, and accessibility of content with enduring value. In this Guide, our focus is on your digital videos.

Archiving is … an ongoing process that begins when a video is created and continues infinitely into the future.

Archiving is…a process that can be incorporated into your existing video workflows.

Archiving is … a way to ensure your videos remain authentic and intact, so you can use them as evidence.

Archiving is … a way to ensure your videos are available, findable and playable long into the future.

Archiving is NOT… a one-time action.

Archiving is NOT… putting your videos on a hard drive and leaving it on a shelf.

There’s much more at the link. The above is just an intro.

Written by LeisureGuy

30 August 2014 at 8:06 am

Posted in Daily life, Technology

Perfect BBS with Bacon—also Weber

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STOD 30 Aug 2014

Today’s shave exceptionally BBS, with no sign of a nick. Perhaps the RhysRazors Bacon did the trick. (It’s a special scent for August, and it’s but $5/tub for a good-sized puck.) I got a good lather with my Omega 20102 boar brush, though I did have to reload for the third pass. I tend to attribute this to user error, particularly on first use of a soap. We’ll see how it goes next time.

The bacon fragrance is strong and good. In fact, I’m now going to cook some bacon—perhaps a drawback of using this soap. The (very nice, IMO) UFO handle obscures the ingredients list, which reads:

Beef Tallow, Castor Oil, Stearic Acid, Potassium and Sodium Hydroxide, Shea Butter, Mango Butter, Coconut Oil, Glycerin, Water, Sodium Lactate, Bentonite Clay, and Fragrance and/or Essential Oils.

Hmm. Hadn’t noticed the Bentonite Clay. I’m beginning to suspect that clay may be at the root of some of my lathering problems: soaps with clay include Stirling, for example.

This particularly UFO handle is one of my favorites, and here you see it with the Weber Polished Head, which holds an Astra Superior Platinum blade. It was a VERY comfortable shave—the Weber is definitely in the mild-aggressive category—and I would say that Standard and Weber razors are pretty much on a par, so you could get equal performance with either: choose the one you like.

Three passes, a final rinse, dry, and then a good splash of D.R. Harris Pink Aftershave. It’s going to be a good weekend, I can tell.

Written by LeisureGuy

30 August 2014 at 7:53 am

Posted in Shaving

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