Wednesday, November 16, 2005
- "When academics post online, do they risk their jobs?" The cautionary tale of University of Chicago polisci professor Daniel Drezner, and how his recently being denied tenure has chilled the ranks of scholarly bloggers. [Slate]
- The author of behind-the-scenes judiciary blog "Underneath Their Robes" has been unmasked as Assistant US Attorney David Lat:
The blog contained sightings of different judges, including Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito Jr. going to Newark restaurant. It also had lists of "super hotties" and named "Sporty, Spicy Judges," such as Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who threw out the first pitch before a Chicago Cubs game...Two female judges, Kimba Wood and Kim McLane Wardlaw, were described as "babes" in one recent posting.
- Bob Geldof don't like emails; he's gonna shoot, shoot, shoot the whole thing down. [Techdirt]
- This coming April, the UK plans to roll out one of the world's grandest and most invasive "Big Brother" monitoring schemes yet - the "24 X 7 Vehicle Movement Database." From the Times Online:
Britain’s top traffic policeman is pushing through plans to create a national network of roadside spy cameras that will be able to track the movements of motorists around the clock. Meredydd Hughes wants the cameras to be installed every 400 yards on motorways, as well as at supermarkets, petrol stations and in town centres.
They are designed to crack down on uninsured driving, road tax evasion and stolen cars, but will also monitor millions of law-abiding drivers. Several thousand cameras have gone up and fines imposed on motorists will be used to expand the network. The new cameras are harder to spot than speed cameras because they are not painted in bright colours.
Hughes, head of roads policing at the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), said he planned for automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras to be erected "every 400 yards along the motorway". In one trial, on the M42, near Birmingham, they would initially enforce variable speed limits, and then be used to tackle more serious crime...Details of any vehicle passing a camera will be stored in a database for at least two years — even if the owner has not committed an offence.
- No surprise: a University of Cincinnati-led study, whose results were presented yesterday at the annual Society of Neuroscience meeting in Washington DC, has found that sugary snacks relieve feelings of stress in both humans and rats. [Scientific American]
- Speaking of watching your sugar consumption, congratulations are due to Richard Bluest...er...Madge Weinstein, of Chicago's saucy Yeast Radio podcast. Madge just hit the big time, joining that most rarefied club of full-time podcasters. From WIRED News:
[Bluestein] had sporadically posted video blogs online and had performed as Madge around Chicago since 2000. Then, last November, stuck in a funk over President Bush's 2004 re-election, Bluestein stumbled over Curry's show and became obsessed with podcasting. Soon thereafter, Yeast Radio was born as an outlet for performing as Madge and for obscenity-laden political venting. Curry, the ex-MTV VJ turned self-styled "podfather," says he thinks Bluestein's act is a scream and hired him in September as a member of Curry's PodSquad stable of talent. Yeast Radio has been heavily promoted on Curry's programs and Madge has subbed for Curry on his Sirius radio program from time to time.Yeast Radio certainly isn't to everyone's taste, but then, why should it need to be? Regular readers know my views on censorship, but I will give you this analogy: natto, Limburger and surströmming certainly aren't to everyone's taste, but just because some palates are too sensitive to discern these culinary curiosities' inner delights isn't a reason to ban them for everyone. The same goes for 'strong' shows like Yeast Radio. It's not as though listeners can accidentally end up listening to a podcast, right?
Unless they thought Yeast Radio was a Martha Stewart baking show spinoff; then, they're in for an earful. For the Yeast-uninitiated, think 'bastard child of Howard Stern and Whoopi Goldberg, with a dose of Harvey Fierstein's DNA thrown in for good measure.' Note to Madge, if you happen to read this: no offense intended in the above analogy. I figure you'd know what I meant, anyway. ;)