Showing posts with label idiocy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label idiocy. Show all posts

Blowing Up The Burners: New Bill To Make Anonymous Cell Phones Illegal?

Chances are, as a modern human being, you own at least one cell phone that you guard with a vigilance that many bodyguards would envy.  It's as important as your wallet or keys, and maybe more so due to its irreplaceability.  But what about the cell phones that are used specifically for their disposable nature?  Should they be illegal just because sometimes you have business to handle that you don't want interacting with the rest of your real life?

Burner phones:  will they be burned at the legal stake for their perceived sins?
(Image courtesy

"GhettoTracker" App Sent Slumming

All apps are not created equal. Some become so useful that you incorporate them into your daily life (for fitness, cab rides, finding hookups, etc.), while others (New Year's noisemaker? Pouring back a pint of virtual Guinness?) may only be appropriate every once in a while. Then, there's ideas like GhettoTracker, which never should have seen the light of day.

Presumably created for lily-white suburbanites who can't handle actually interacting with other human beings when they encounter them in an urban setting, or for whom visual context cues are not enough to convince them to maybe turn around and take a different route while driving through an uncomfortable new area, GhettoTracker has already seen a (completely warranted) barrage of criticism. Via twitter, a user named Miss Claire noted that the app, "seems like a great way to erase humanity of black communities. Then comes inferior services, displacement, bulldozers."

As reports, the app was originally intended to help determine "which parts of town are safe and which ones are ghetto, or unsafe." This was not based on any strict data and was instead determined by crowdsourcing. The creator, who identifies only as a 30-something based in Tallahassee, yesterday deleted all mentions of GhettoTracker and changed it to the awfully-ostentatious title, "Good Part Of Town."

His explanations left a lot to be desired. They all boiled down to statements such as this: "I've seen comments on blogs and in twitter that are trying to say this is encouraging racism or social stratification and that was never our intention."

Sure thing, Tallahassee. Hey, maybe you can make a "Redneck Turf Only!" app so the rest of civilization can know how and where to avoid your type of people.

Changing the name and adding stock photos of black people somehow makes it worse.

Bright Lights, Big Toilets, And Ostrich-Caliber Climate Control: The GOP Annihilates Environmental Programs

The GOP, in an unsurprising move, is now overtly making decisions that benefit themselves and detract from environmental legislation. Their recent decisions, passed Thursday night in the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, tear up environmental initiatives and replace them with fossil-fuel-dependent alternatives.

The Huffington Post reported this laundry list of Republican bad ideas. Included in the vote were measures that up funding for coal and fossil fuels (while cutting Energy Department funds for renewable energy by more than $100 million.) The new legislation also bars the enforcement of energy efficiency standards for light bulbs, cuts funding incentives for installment of low-flow toilets, and forbids spending on climate change model development.

This ensures we'll still pay lots of money for coal to keep the wasteful lightbulbs glowing and for more water than the average toilet user needs, and forget about analysis of the state of the climate.

Most shockingly, an amendment made by David McKinley (R-West Virginia) bans spending to "design, implement, administer or carry out specified assessments regarding climate change," because apparently burying our heads in the sand is a viable means of regulating one of humanity's biggest environmental challenges.

With decision makers like these, who needs enemies?

If only.

Florida Lawmakers May Have Made Internet Illegal

As if you needed any more evidence of the ineptitude of U.S. lawmakers, here's a story out of Florida on a lawsuit alleging that state lawmakers have inadvertently made computers and smart phones illegal in their zeal to crack down on gambling at internet cafes.  From PC Mag:
A law passed earlier this year, which was intended to crack down on illegal gambling at Internet cafes, is worded in such a way that some are concerned that it might actually allow for a ban of all smartphones and computers in the state.
A lawsuit filed by cafĂ© owner Consuelo Zapata argues that, among other things, the bill "interfere[es] with the promotion of goods and services — computers with Internet access — that are used for the communication of information and ideas."
The bill in question - HB 155 - was signed in to law by Gov. Rick Scott on April 10 and bans "electronic gambling devices."