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David Kramer’s high-entropy blog

So Much For DNA Evidence

From Slashdot: Scientists Learn To Fabricate DNA Evidence.  This article covers two techniques that can now be used to falsify a crime scene with planted DNA.

On the one hand, this was probably inevitable.  There’s very little man can understand but not control.  On the other hand, this is truly a shame, as DNA evidence has been used frequently in the past few years to free wrongly-accued long-term inmates who were convicted before DNA tests were common.

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There Be Monsters. And Art.

Joseph Carnevale, a Raleigh, NC artist, was recently arrested for his art.  Well, to be precise, he got arrested because he made his art out of stolen traffic barrels.  Illegal, yes, but so fracking cool!  So cool, in fact, that the construction company was willing to forgive him and not press charges, but the police didn’t have the same appreciation for the arts that they did.

He’res MSNBC’s take on itThis post at Sub5Zero has more pictures.

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Blank Is The New Black

From Slashdot: DJ Danger Mouse Releases Blank CD-R To Spite EMI.

DJ Danger Mouse famously fought with EMI over his Beatles/Jay-Z mashup, ‘The Grey Album,’ and now seems to be battling with the label again. Rather than release his latest album and face legal issues with EMI, Techdirt is reporting that Danger Mouse will be selling a blank CD-R along with lots of artwork, and buyers will be responsible for finding the music themselves (yes, it’s findable on the internet) and burning the CD.

I find it fascinating how many of our largest staple industries are screwing themselves over by not keeping up with the times.  The music, auto, banking, telecommunications, and power industries are all in deep kimchee because the world changed around them (their supply, demand, competition, regulations, ecology), and they just stood there and said “This is the way my father did it, and the way my father’s father did it…”  Their advisers tell them to cleanse their blood with leaches and stay out of the night air.

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Boston College Police Think Using Linux Is Suspicious Behavior

From Slashdot: This article tells of how a search warrant was granted simply because this student was running some alternate operating system they didn’t understand.  They suspected an email was sent from his computer which defamed a fellow student.  But instead of handling it as a disciplinary matter, they’re getting all Brazil on his a**.

“The Boston College Campus Police have seized the electronics of a computer science student for allegedly sending an email outing another student. The probable cause? The search warrant application states that he is ‘a computer science major’ and he uses ‘two different operating systems for hiding his illegal activity. One is the regular B.C. operating system and the other is a black screen with white font which he uses prompt commands on.’ The EFF is currently representing him.”

I saw a report on this on the news, which said they took every electronic device he owns, including is ipod (an infamous hacking tool, donchaknow.), his computer, and his cell phone.  He’s a Computer Sicence major, so he now has no way of completing his schoolwork.  And he lost his job at the computer lab.

This is a great combination of “Fear of the unknown” and “Shoot first, ask questions later”. Book burning at its finest.  If I were him, I would sue the school for the entire year’s tuition which will now go to waste, missed salary from his job at the lab, the replacement costs for all they took, and a big dollop for mental anguish from having his name dirtied with no evidence.

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I Hate Boring People

OK, so you know I like to play word games.  I’m actually writing about a family, the Borings.  Of course, if they really lived up to their name, I wouldn’t be writing about them, would I?

Apparently, they’re very private people.  They live in a secluded house on a private road in Pittsburgh.  Along comes the Google Maps Street View team, running their 360° cameras, up the road they (allegedly) don’t know is a private road, and shoot video of the road and the house.  The Boring family finds out, freaks out, and gets their lawyers out.  They sue Google for tresspassing, invasion of privacy, and a few other serious-sounding charges.  The court eventually threw out the case, essentially because (1) they platintiff simply didn’t make a strong enough case for compensation, and (2) Google actually has a system in place to request images of a person’s house be removed from their website, but they chose to sue instead of use it (Google did remove the content when asked nicely).

I strongly believe people need a mechanism like law suits to fight injustice, but this is a prime example of why the system doesn’t work better.  It’s clogged up with cases like this.  You can read more about this case here.

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