Saturday, June 01, 2002

now this is a scary movie

We went to see The Sum of All Fears yesterday. I'm a Tom Clancy fan, at least I was a fan before he started descending into the completely implausible (and killing way too many trees in the bargain), so of course I had to see it as soon as possible. I was pretty impressed. Affleck makes a good Jack Ryan (I love Harrison Ford, but he is too old to play Ryan. Baldwin was pretty good, too, but he's also getting up there). Morgan Freeman is outstanding (as usual). The story is frightening and, sadly, I could believe that it might happen. Stanley said, "Just think about how Bush and Asscroft would've handled it. We'd all be dead in 30 minutes." A sobering thought. As if I weren't frightened enough having an idiot and a fascist running our country.


Go see the movie. It is frightening and thought-provoking (if the viewer has any firing neurons) and makes me wish we had intelligent life in Washington, DC.
posted by lee on 06/01/02 at 10:59 PM

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Interesting ... but why?

Plumb Design Visual Thesaurus is interesting to look at, fun to play with. But I'm not sure what it's supposed to demonstrate. Or what use it would be other than as a thesaurus about as useful as the MS thesaurus (that is to say, not very. No definitions, so no indication of the shades of meaning that you would find in your basic Roget). But I like the design of the site.
posted by lee on 06/01/02 at 10:04 PM

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CIPA overturned - now let’s focus on the important stuff

I wrote about the Childs Internet Protection Act court case last month. CIPA needed to be overturned. While the Supreme Court has made a lot of dumb rulings (from the presidential election to throwing old ladies out of housing projects for having stupid grandchildren), they've always been staunch defenders of the First Amendment. And the circuit courts have generally reflected this. So I wasn't really suprised to see this headline: Children's Internet Protection Act Struck Down on The 3rd Circuit Court ruled the law went too far, with the filtering programs erroneously blocking way, way too much. The decision itself is extremely interesting:

"The specific methods that filtering software companies use to compile and categorize control lists are, like the lists themselves, proprietary information. We will therefore set forth only general information on the various types of methods that all filtering companies deposed in this case use, and the sources of error that are at once inherent in those methods and unavoidable given the current architecture of the Internet and the current state of the art in automated classification systems."

If parents are so worried about their kiddies accessing whatever they consider p o r n on the Internet when they're at the library, parents should accompany the kiddies to the library and supervise them. What a concept. What is more dangerous to kiddies than looking at pictures of spread legs and boobs are the chat rooms and instant messaging applications -- kids are notoriously stupid about giving out personal information to total strangers. Rather than worrying about what kiddies might SEE on the net, maybe it's time parents start thinking about what their kids DO. From setting themselves up to be exploited or hurt to ordering attack helicopters on eBay.
posted by lee on 06/01/02 at 04:15 PM

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