Monthly Archive for February, 2007

Detective Lounsbury of Norwich, CT still clueless

The “expert” witness of the Norwich Police Department whose testimony basically convicted Julie Amero of exposing kids in her classroom to porn has responded to one of his critics with more cluelessness.

He wrote:

I can provide you w/ the source code showing all the .htm and javascripting for each web page, images from those pages, date/time of creation, MD5 hashes, etc.

Imagine that…a browser downloaded the porn popup contents and stored them on the computer.

Read the rest of his emails to PC World in the original article. Ignorance is bliss, indeed.

Update: USA Today has an article about the same issue.


Gizmodo declares war on RIAA

Popular gadget blog Gizmodo has declared March 2007 as the Boycott RIAA month.

Their article titled Gizmodo’s Anti-RIAA Manifesto explaining the reasons for the boycott is an excellent summary of all things wrong with the RIAA.


Ban the Bible

Before you flip completely out, I’m not really calling for a ban on the bible. However, if the people advocating for violent video game bans would follow their argument logically, they should. They won’t, of course, because they’re all hypocrites.

Utah’s Brigham Young University recently conducted a study on 490 students about the psychological affects of reading violent passages in the bible. The study found a correlation between exposure to scriptural violence that is condoned by God and increased aggression.

What makes this study interesting to me is the similarity of it to studies on video game violence and how they affect children. The same correlation has been found on quite a few studies on video game violence. The affects of violence on people are exactly the same between reading violent scriptures in the bible and playing violent video games.

What’s different between the studies on video game violence and violence in the bible is that nobody will ask the politicians to ban the bible from underage kids based on this new study. All kinds of Christian moralists and family values advocates have, however, been advocating for various levels of video game bans for years based on similar studies on video game violence.

This study is the perfect way to show the stupidity and downright dishonesty of the video game violence “debate” in this and other countries. One wonders how the Christian moralists and other blowhards will react to this study and the inevitable comparison between it and the studies on video game violence.


Miscarriage of justice

The case of Julie Amero, a substitute teacher in Norwich, CT, has been getting more press, even from the mainstream media, lately.

Julie Amero was using the computer in the classroom when it suddenly started displaying porn pop-ups. She was unable to make them dissappear since every time she closed one, new ones would open up. She didn’t think of shutting down the computer or the monitor because the regular teacher had told her not to shut down the computer, and she didn’t understand the difference between shutting the monitor and shutting down the computer.

Some of the underage students in the class also saw the popups and told their parents. That’s when the “fun” started for Julie Amero.

The school fired her and she was arrested for suspicion of risking of injury to a minor, or impairing the morals of a child. In January she was convicted of four counts of risk of injury to a minor, or impairing the morals of a child and is facing upto 40 years in prison. The sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 3rd.

The clueless prosecution and their “expert” witnesses claimed she must’ve intentionally clicked on porn links, repeatedly for more than an hour and a half to access the porn popups. The “expert” witness testified that the browser history is evidence that she clicked on the links. Alternet has some more information about the “expert” testimony and how the “evidence” against Julie Amero was acquired.

All that would be laughable if it weren’t for the fact that Julie is, indeed, facing prison time for a crime it’s obvious she never committed.

The Norwich public school system is throwing her to the wolves, because they can’t own up to their own mistakes of not keeping their anti-virus software uptodate and not having any other adequate safeguards on that computer. The Norwich prosecutor and his “expert” witnesses are so recklessly incompetent at their jobs, they should most certainly be fired on the spot. It’s also interesting the judge didn’t allow evidence to be presented at the trial that would’ve proven Julie’s defense (that the computer was so infected with spyware anything could’ve happened on it).

What truly is a miscarriage of justice in this case is that the stress caused by the case affected Julie so much that she miscarried. She and her husband have been battling infertility for years. There’s NOTHING anyone can do to repair that, even if somebody somewhere finally gets a fucking clue and let’s this woman go.


Cover Your Ass Security

Bruce Schneier, a security expert, writes in Wired about how security policies in the US are based on cover your ass mentality rather than careful planning and assessment of real security threats.

He calls the concept Cover Your Ass Security. I’d call it After The Fact Security myself. He gives great examples of how security policy always changes after the fact as a response to a specific attack that already happened elsewhere.


More on DJ Drama arrest

The New York Times has an excellent 6-page article about the arrest of DJ Drama earlier in the year.

I’ve written about DJ Drama’s arrest before:
RIAA bites the hand that feeds it


Kremlin, Inc.

Michael Specter, a reporter for the The New Yorker, has written an excellent article on how Vladimir Putin has ceased absolute power in Russia and how he’s using his iron fisted control of the Russian media to create a completely censored newsfeed to the Russian people.

The article also describes how Vladimir Putin came to power by ruthlessly surpressing free speech and slandering his opponents just before the elections in media controlled by him and his cronies.

Finally it goes onto explore why, as the article’s subtitle suggests, are all of Vladimir Putin’s opponents dying?


Boston terror scare

Is it just me, or are those cartoon characters flipping the finger? If so, that’s strangely appropriate given what happened in Boston the other day.

See the linked article about a ABC News segment that pretty much sums up the whole “terrorist” plot angle quite nicely.

To commemorate the moment the people at have created two most excellent T-Shirts:  Never Forget and ATHF is the bomb. Links via T-Critic.