April 27th, 2006

run the fuck away

Larger Siblings, and Legislating Technology

So, on I90, between mile marker 6 and 2, as it cuts through Albany, they've been doing a great deal of construction over the past few years. They're in their revitalization phase, or whatever, and so every spring, they take a mile long chunk and completely rebuild and repave it. By the time their done, they'll probably have to start over again. That's not really the point.

They've added a task to their project this year. Because along that same stretch (roughly exit 6 through 1N, the route I take to work) they've installed seven traffic cameras, and it looks like at least one, possibly more, is still being installed. This is not the part where I start ranting about Big Brother watching us- but I do have concerns about what the Government is going to do with that information. I'm curious about the expense, and the projected return on that investment- what benefit does this deliver to society?

Traffic tickets most likely. Still, if they're going to play that game, two can play it. I'm going to note the exact mile markers, and the lanes the cameras are in. Post those online, as reference. I'll attempt to expand that project, and as I notice surviellance in the area, I'll engage in sousviellance on them. Post it all online, and watch them get their knickers in a twist- some municipalities have cracked down on people posting the locations of stoplight and speed cameras, because somehow, posting the location online reduces the effectiveness of the obvious camera on top of the giant pole.

We've got a double-edged sword in technology legislation, as two different senators tackle the populace. On the up side, Senator Snow wants to encode net neutrality into law, which means that networks become infrastructure components, and like roadways, can't prefer one variety of traffic over the other. The network owners claim this'll cause massive congestion, as if they were extending my road metaphor further, and their proposal basically boils down to an extra lane on every highway- a lane you can only use if you've shelled out, where there's no speed limit. Their plan is bad, net neutrality is good.

But not every bit of technology legislation is good, Senator Feinstien, the democratic robo-bitch from hell (California) is never my favorite person. But at any rate, she's trying to dust off that smelly old broadcast flag. And here's the kicker- any broadcast you make via the Internet must use DRM. So, they want to make a law that says to transmit media across the Internet, you must wrap that media in anti-consumer technologies that don't protect the content from people who seek to steal it, that breaks compatability with multiple systems, provides a security risk to your own computer, and all-in-all, is a security blanket to executives that don't understand technology.

And they're going to force you to use it. Great going, ass hats.