“More is good. A hell of a lot more can be bad.” National security expert Richard Clarke’s pithy observation comes near the end of Top Secret America: From 9/11 to the Boston Bombings, the repurposed Frontline episode airing on 30 April on PBS. And after watching the show—again, for those of you who saw the previous iteration in September 2011—you may be feeling the “more” in multiple ways. The report’s repetitions are in themselves disturbing, first that the costly ramping up of top secret America has gone on and on since 9/11, and second, that the results look negligible. It’s true that it’s hard to measure what doesn’t happen, but still, as the program lays out, the past decade’s efforts to “secure the homeland,” however tremendous, not only leave the homeland insecure, but also, in some cases, increase the risks. This is not only because advancing surveillance technology is ever incomplete, though it is, but more urgently, that some programs, say, drones or black sites, incite frustration, anger, and resistance in affected populations.
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Reuters is reporting that Apple has completed work on it’s online cloud service ahead of Google music. There has been long speculation about what Apple has been up to these past few years, after a flurry of activity which has included buying Lala.com, building data farms, and engaging in closed door talks with Sony, EMI, UMG, and WMG.
The implications of this can be massive, as Google is still spinning it’s wheels trying to get a similar deal worked out with the four majors and will not be able to provide a rival service on their Android device. To date, those talks have not produced a deal, and by many accounts, they are not going to have an agreement in the near future.
An iTunes locker/sharing service between multiple Apple devices will be a major step forward for the development of “cloud-based” music, bringing them far ahead of Amazon own 5GB locker service and even closer towards the music lover’s fantasy of a celestial jukebox.
SPONSORED POST—The new LG Rumor Touch is full-featured smart phone with 2 MB pixel camera and slide-out keyboard that makes surfing the web, posting to Twitter and Facebook and messaging both extremely easy and affordable.
The new “Beyond Talk” plans offer a simple pricing structure with no hidden fees and no contracts, plus they are very affordable, even for cash strapped college students. The basic plan, at $25, offers unlimited text messaging, email and web with 300 minutes of talk time. If you’re a chatty one and need unlimited talk time, you can get it for only $60 a month and with no contract, can change your plan as needed.
Other nifty features include a maps feature, so you can figure out where you are if you’re lost or how to get where you want to go. That camera can also function as a mini camcorder to record short movies. With easy access to Facebook, you can quickly post any media you record directly onto your profile.
Wondering if an iPad as e-reader is worth it? Don’t have a spare $500 to find out? Check out Steve Jobs’ preview of iBooks, the iPad reading app.
Of course, iBooks isn’t the only e-reader app for the iPad out there. Industry giant Amazon already has a Kindle app, and a lot of market share. And iBooks isn’t pre-loaded on Apple’s new doohickey, meaning users have to go to the app store—presenting a possibly major stumbling block in Apple’s e-book marketing plan.
We all know Google wants to run the world, right? OK, that’s was kind of a joke. Here’s a video that basically shows how there might just be a nugget of truth in that notion.
Sci-Fi Author Ursula LeGuin's Stories of Class War, Religious Dissension, Identity Politics and More