The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)

by Yule Heibel on October 24, 2010

  • This is a very important article by Ted Striphas about a serious issue. Among its many points, consider this:
    Also troubling is the potential of e-readers like Kindle to render users vulnerable to new levels of government surveillance. Library loan records and bookstore sales receipts are well-established mainstays of criminal investigations. The assumption is that evidence of what a suspect has been reading may ultimately help investigators to establish a pattern of behavior leading up to a crime. In such cases, the police only have to acquire a subpoena to access the information they need. But if the same investigators wanted to sift through a suspect’s own library of printed books for evidence of how she or he had been reading, that would be a different matter. A 4th Amendment “probable cause” standard would apply, meaning that investigators would have to go through the motions of obtaining a search warrant from a neutral magistrate. The standard increases because of the heightened privacy expectation that surrounds our reading activities.

    Tethered appliances like Kindle run afoul of this heightened privacy expectation. Amazon, for its part, possesses detailed records of not only what but also how Kindle users read. And because the data is transmitted electronically and then archived in the company’s computer cloud, US law doesn’t consider it to be private information. It belongs instead to an exceptional category, something called “stored communications.” These types of exchanges exceed the scope of the 4th Amendment, because they’re shared with and maintained by a third party. The upshot is that the reading activities of Kindle owners suspected of crimes aren’t subject to the usual probable cause/warrant standard but instead to the more relaxed requirements of obtaining a subpoena. And as is typical of tethered appliances, Kindle has been engineered so that users have practically no choice but to allow their civil liberties to be undermined in this way.
    About author/ article:
    Ted S

    tags: kindle amazon e-books freedom free_expression law ted_striphas

    The system’s backbone cable, with a capacity of 6,000 megawatts, equal to the output of five large nuclear reactors, would run in shallow trenches on the seabed in federal waters 15 to 20 miles offshore, from northern New Jersey to Norfolk, Va. The notion would be to harvest energy from turbines in an area where the wind is strong but the hulking towers would barely be visible.

    Trans-Elect estimated that construction would cost $5 billion, plus financing and permit fees. The $1.8 billion first phase, a 150-mile stretch from northern New Jersey to Rehoboth Beach, Del., could go into service by early 2016, it said. The rest would not be completed until 2021 at the earliest.

    Richard L. Needham, the director of Google’s green business operations group, called the plan “innovative and audacious.”

    “It is an opportunity to kick-start this industry and, long term, provide a way for the mid-Atlantic states to meet their renewable energy goals,” he said.

    tags: nyt wind_power google atlantic

  • Fascinating:
    A new attempt to answer the digital age’s most burning question–whether social media drives sales–has also revealed an atonishing fact about Facebook and Twitter posts.

    Sharing on Facebook is five times more valuable than sharing on Twitter, according to a new study.

    tags: facebook twitter value fast_company

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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