Jef Raskin, R.I.P.

Jef Raskin, Human-Computer Interface pioneer, died this Saturday. I type this eu-blog-ogy on an interface that he helped create. You read this on a similarly-articulated interface. Read a bit about him.


HUGE hole in the laws

A Wired News story on a woman suing ChoicePoint for losing her data shows just how quickly the technology discourse/material practices have outpaced the law culture. Time to catch up!

Gannon/Guckert is insane

Our lovable gay-conservative-prostitute correspondent is back on the air. I wonder if "Focus on the Family" will do a live telethon to support this winner.


Cool Idea

A fellow blogger alerted me to this networking event called SushiGig. It's pretty bo-bo, but I can't think of a better idea to network new ideas and new technologies with new relationships and new foods.

Unfortunate Gannon Headline

*snicker* *snort*


Surveillance and Convenience

Yesterday on the Diane Rehm show, Steve Roberts discussed his book "No Place to Hide." It details a lot of what I discuss in my book obliquely (the type of surveillance and information gathering that has been accelerating--see "Choice"Point). It was a very sober and balanced perspective on where we are and where we might be headed with the "Security-Industial Complex" and the massive information aggregation that is just now making the headlines.


It's a funny thing

This Wednesday, one of my students poked fun of my "surfing" picture on my website. He mentioned that it isn't very "marketable," to which I replied I was surfing and not selling it. I invited him to photoshop it and sell it if he likes (he actually has a great sense of humor, so I was only bantering in fun). Ironically, Netflix had sent me the movie "Step Into Liquid," so I got to see some of what I'm being compared against that night.

In my defense, I have not been surfing very long, and I had the photo taken on the glassiest day I have ever surfed. Of course, surfers don't surf for photos, so I think that having a picture taken during the worst day is the best idea. That way, no good waves are wasted on things like photography.


Plot Thickens

The Jeff Gannon (Guckert) flap at the White House just gets stranger and stranger. (day pass required--it's free if you watch the web ad).

Gettin' a little pub

Student did a nice little write-up of the Bill 24 Abomination. Russ did a pretty fair job of representing our conversation. (Hint: Put this one in your portfolio, Russ). I don't think this bill will pass, but it's heartening to know that it will be struck down in court (a-la California and Colorado). Mump got his 15 seconds on FOX news. Now, maybe he'll get to the task of addressing the budget shortfall instead of this dog and pony show.

Political Brouhaha

Here in the politically chilly midwest, my students had a spirited political exchange. *GASP* Last night, one of my students was responsible for presenting/leading a discussion on ethics, and she decided to use some *very* politically charged examples (mostly from the right--OBL, Clinton, Dan Rather etc.), while students countered with mostly-left counterexamples (FOX news etc.). It was civil, student-led, and would likely be totally illegal if our distinguished legislator speech-code Gestapo law takes effect. My students (all adults--duh) were able to handle crafting their own arguments, and I even managed to have a pretty interesting conversation with one of my students afterwards. The students pretty much feel that while some teachers bring politics into the classroom that there should not be government intereference in running class discussions. The student responsible for the presentation brought up the example of the middle school teacher who got into a row because she put the picture of Bush in a special bulletin board display with the Declaration of Independence, etc. and not with the other presidents. There are conflicting reports as to whether the teacher was fired or not, and for what reason, but in the end, she transferred to another school. Funny thing is, I think that involving layer-upon-layer of government regulations, declarations, and pseudo "Bills-of-Rights" to the equation will make it MORE difficult, not less. Legislation is not the answer to this, folks.


Nice Screen, Horrible Interface

Endgadget alerted me to a new 24 inch LCD monitor. I thought to myself "sweet" until I saw the picture:

I'm sure the screen is the shizzle, but look at the horrible design of everything connected to this monster monitor. Somebody hire an industrial designer, STAT!. Dropping a bunch of C-notes for something that looks like it was slapped onto a Fisher-Price "Baby Basketball" set is an embarassment. I mean, really...



Read an Albuquerque Journal article about a TNT film having trouble finding Native American extras for a miniseries about the West through the eyes of Native Americans and European American settlers:

"It's a tough movie," Brink said. "It really centers on the treatment of Native Americans."
    She said finding American Indian extras has been a challenge. The casting director is seeking American Indians to represent multi-generational families and hundreds of Indian males between the ages 18 and 50 who are fit or trim and have long hair. Horseback and bareback riding experience is also a plus.
    Anglo extras of all ages are needed as well.

Need plenty of American Indian men to take off their shirts and ride bareback. Yep, I guess they know their audience--a few crunchy folk get thrown a "historical balance" bone and the chair jockeys get to identify with victorious "Anglo" pudgy folk and catch an eyeful of heaving, half-naked bowflex-junkie Native American bareback-riding mystics lamenting their eventual demise. Didn't anyone tell the casting director that Indians are extinct???


Remediated Company

Eclipse Aviation, a start up aviation company I have following in my research and as a sort of geeky hobby has made it to their second round of test flights. This company is pretty much what I think about when I throw around the term "information economy." There is some real brick-n-mortar stuff, but this company was founded by one of the first Microsoft employees (Vern Raburn also was one of the movers for Lotus Notes). Bill Gates was his best man (and the biggest venture capitalist). This company integrates some really interesting interfaces to deal with customer relations etc. on their website.


President Sets up Pravda News Bureau

So, the guy that Rush and Hannity have been touting as "impartial" uses a fake name and just quotes RNC press releases verbatim. Blacklists, taxpayer money to buy airtime, bribing "news" stations. Might as well admit that they are hoping to set up a Red Square in Washington D.C. and build statues in honor of themselves.


Lautenberg Requests All Documents From White House Relating to Discredited "Journalist" James D. Guckert, A.K.A. Jeff Gannon

WASHINGTON, DC -- In light of yet another scandal involving the Bush administration's manipulation of the media, United States Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) today requested from White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan all the documents relating to the press credentials of James. D. Guckert, a.k.a. "Jeff Gannon"; the "journalist" now famous for being the White House correspondent for his softball questioning of President Bush and various Administration spokespeople.

"I am writing to request that you immediately release documents to my office relating to the White House press credentials of James D. Guckert, a.k.a. "Jeff Gannon." Specifically, I am seeking documentation related to the question of which name Mr. Guckert/Gannon used when applying for credentials, and which name was on the official White House press credentials he received," wrote Lautenberg.

"As you may know, Mr. Guckert/Gannon was denied a Congressional press pass because he could not show that he wrote for a valid news organization. Given the fact that he was denied Congressional credentials, I seek your explanation of how Mr. Guckert/Gannon passed muster for White House press credentials," Lautenberg wrote.

Senator Lautenberg has been the Senate leader in exposing the Bush administration's propaganda efforts.

February 10, 2005

Scott McClellan Press Secretary The White House Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. McClellan,

I am writing to request that you immediately release documents to my office relating to the White House press credentials of James D. Guckert, a.k.a. "Jeff Gannon." Specifically, I am seeking documentation related to the question of which name Mr. Guckert/Gannon used when applying for credentials, and which name was on the official White House press credentials he received. Additionally, I am seeking documents indicating whether Mr. Guckert/Gannon received a "hard pass" or daily passes from your office. Despite your assertions to the contrary, at least one White House reporter has revealed that Mr. Guckert/Gannon appeared to have "hard pass" credentials.

As you may know, Mr. Guckert/Gannon was denied a Congressional press pass because he could not show that he wrote for a valid news organization. Given the fact that he was denied Congressional credentials, I seek your explanation of how Mr. Guckert/Gannon passed muster for White House press credentials.

I have led the effort in the Senate to investigate a number of instances of troubling propaganda efforts by the Administration. The Government Accountability Office has agreed to my requests to investigate various attempts at media manipulation: fake television news stories touting both the new Medicare law and the "No Child Left Behind" education program; a study rating individual journalists on their "favorability" to Republican education policies; and the payment to journalist Armstrong Williams.

Since the Armstrong Williams controversy became public, Administration payments to two other journalists, Maggie Gallagher and Michael McManus, have come to light. Given the backdrop of these scandals, coupled with Mr. Guckert/Gannon's role in recent White House press briefings and press conferences, it is understandable that the circumstances of Mr. Guckert/Gannon's credentialing have raised suspicion.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Sincerely, Frank R. Lautenberg

Nice Food Tribute

Gwyneth Doland, the food writer at Albuquerque's alternative newspaper The Alibi has a nice litte blurb about a young restaurant chef/owner in Albuquerque. The glimpse "behind the toque" is just nice. She's been on the scene for a few years and really inspired me to work cooking into my technical writing courses. Give it a read if you get a chance

Textbook blog

Professor Johnson-Sheehan has a textbook blog. Not much on there now, but I'm wondering how something like this will run. There are blogs attached to people and periodicals, but I'm not aware of a blog attached to a particular textbook. Are there any others out there?


Here is where I part ways

There is a re-release of Deep ** along with a documentary about its creation. The news stories call this a discussion about first-amendment rights, but I am deeply saddened that they are not mentioning that this film documents the crime of rape. They are selling crime scene evidence and pretending that this is about the First Amendment. I have no sympathy for the cultural right who think this is about sex, because it isn't. I am against the immediate moves by both sides of the debate to make the issues immediately and exclusively symbolic. Representation always emerges from a context and that context should be treated the same as as non-representationally recognized context. Just because a crime is being filmed does not make it not a crime. The ephemeral does not steal the soul of the material. Just to remind folks of the person done wrong, I'm posting Linda Boreman's obituary from the BBC below

Deep Throat star dies

Linda Boreman, who starred as Linda Lovelace in the infamous pornographic film Deep Throat, has died after a car crash.

The 53-year-old suffered massive trauma and internal injuries on 3 April, and was taken off life support in Denver, Colorado, on Monday.

Boreman helped make Deep Throat the most successful blue movie of all time - but said she was never paid for it and became an anti-pornography campaigner later in life.

She said she was forced into performing some scenes at gunpoint by her former manager and husband, Chuck Traynor, and said that every time someone watched her on screen, "they are watching me being raped".

She had been in hospital since losing control of her car, which rolled twice. Her ex-husband, Larry Marchiano, and their two adult children were at the hospital when she died.

"Everyone might know her as something else, but we knew her as mom and as Linda," Mr Marchiano said. She later campaigned against pornography

Deep Throat, made in 1972, was declared obscene by the state of New York, but still went on to become the first pornographic film to be seen widely at cinemas and made $600m (�414m) at box offices.

But she detailed the abusive relationship she had with Mr Traynor in her four autobiographies.


After their divorce in 1973, she joined campaigns against exploitation in the industry. "She challenged pornographers in a way that no one ever has, before or since," according to her friend Catharine MacKinnon.

"She had this legacy of resistance to oppression - there is no-one able to do what she did, to have been treated as she was and come out of it to fight back."

In a 1997 interview, Boreman said: "I look in the mirror and I look the happiest I've ever looked in my entire life. "I'm not ashamed of my past or sad about it. And what people might think of me, well, that's not real. "I look in the mirror and I know that I've survived."


Professor Blog

Michael B's Blog blows me away. The guy writes great scholarship and does a pretty da*n good job of making me spit out my Diet Pepsi. Adept at the ludic and the tragic. But can he write good couplets?


It's beautiful, but...

We've been having icy fog the past few days. Spooky to drive around in dangerous conditions that are so beautiful.

You Go Marisa Demarco!

From the Daily Lobo (the student newspaper for the University of New Mexico):

"A newspaper has an obligation to its community. It's our job to inform our readers of things that impact their lives, such as the maneuvers of the regents and Caldera - even when it's boring.

Sure, we could run the king of pop on the masthead and Princess Diana in the lead story slot on the front page.

Instead, I'd like to bring the workings of the administration home to students. After all, what's the point of writing all these regent stories if people don't understand the basics?

Look for a package called "Who's in charge around here anyway?" on page two next week. That's the solution I've come up with so far. I'm open to other suggestions. "

At least one editor has it right...