Archive for January, 2010

Scrap the full-body x-rays – there’s a better approach

The US government is starting off 2010 the way it has so often in the past – with a knee-jerk reaction to something that occurred the previous year.  This time around, it’s the response to the not-so-bright Nigerian would-be terrorist who ignited himself instead of explosives hidden in his underwear aboard a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day.

The reaction thus far by the federales involves plans to purchase and install hundreds of supposedly high-tech full-body scanning machines at airports.  Everyone from Capitol Hill to former and current secretaries of Homeland Security is calling for hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to be spent on not-yet proven “back-scatter” x-ray machines.  Despite legitimate questions about the privacy-invasive nature of these all-revealing machines, the pressure for their purchase and installation is likely to be irresistible.

Yet serious questions remain unanswered regarding the capability of these back-scatter x-ray machines …

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Federal spending insults families and small businesses

For America’s families and small businesses, 2009 was a year to forget – if only they could — and 2010 looms gray and foreboding.  But for the federal government, happy days are here again.  Actually, they never left – Washington is printing and spending greenbacks, and offering huge salaries to its workers, as if there were not a cloud on the fiscal horizon.  In fact, Congress and the president just teamed up to pass another obscenely bloated spending measure. 

 Shortly before Christmas, the Congress took a break from its on-going effort to destroy the best health care system in the world, just long enough to send President Barack Obama an omnibus spending bill to keep dozens of government agencies running into 2010.  Yet, unlike the average American family, and most small businesses in the country being forced to curtail purchases and hiring because personal and business incomes have dropped, the government increased spending; not by one or two percentage points, …

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Facial profiling and Coke Zero game

Technology can be fun and provide many conveniences, but it often comes with a hidden price; a price that includes compromises to one’s privacy.  The new “Coke Zero” facial profiler, as many have seen on Facebook or Coca Cola’s webpage, encourages people to post their pictures online as part of a benign game to try and find their “mirror image,” just as Coke Zero is considered Coke’s mirror image.  While the thought of finding another individual somewhere in the world who looks like you may be an amusing pastime, a person embarking on a voyage to find his “twin,” should keep a few things in mind. 

Coca Cola is a multi-national corporation which means it operates in conjunction with and under the watchful eye of our and other national governments around the globe.  Posting a picture on Coke’s website or Facebook may on the surface appear to be a harmless act; but giving a multinational corporation access to a digitized photo of one’s self contributes …

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