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Category: Monkeywrenching

The Lavabit shutdown: details (and a monkeywrench!) revealed

Wired has the background on just what the fedspies did that prompted Ladar Levison to shut down the privacymail service, Lavabit. It was a heck of a principled thing Levison did, and a gutsy one, shutting down a service with 400,000 paying (including about 10k paying; correction from Steve in comments) customers rather than betray those who trusted him. We already knew that. What we didn’t know (among other things) was how he handled the fed demand when he was finally forced into a corner after a hard fight: The judge also rejected Lavabit’s motion to unseal the record. “This…

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Not me! Creepily useful? Or just creepy?

Jim smacked me with this Google screen-grab*: Anybody who’s ever met me or anybody who knows my famous camera-shyness knows that ain’t me. There’s another woman out there who shares my name and does some public speaking in her professional specialty (nursing, I think). She’s probably long rued her accidental Google connections with me. My first thought was, What? Is Google now just grabbing photos of any old Claire Wolfe and pairing them with me? I figured that was probably a photo of poor Nurse Wolfe, who would no doubt now have even more reason to hope I get cooties…

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Friday freedom question: monkeywrenching

Monkeywrenching seems sadly neglected these days. Do a search on the word and you’ll mostly turn up references to Edward Abbey’s The Monkey Wrench Gang or various acts eco-defense (or eco-terrorism, depending on who’s writing about it). Since the Homeland (Achtung!) Security State has gotten us in its grip, it seems the peasants are afraid to toss their sabots into the machinery of tyranny. Then, too, things are different in a non-industrial society. You could say that Anonymous is a champion of monkeywrenching — just on a technological level. Monkeywrenching, in one form or another will always have a place…

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Nooz and a good laugh

You know, it takes a lot more brainpower to write long, thoughtful, personal posts than it does to toss out a little news (maybe accompanied by a bit of snark or righteous indignation). So while I continue working on the “Perspective” Blog Tome, news (and one really good laugh) it is for today. “Anonymous has left the building.” “The logic of surveillance.” (H/T JG) This isn’t exactly nooz. It’s from last month. But it makes me proud that the Northwest is a national center of anti-surveillance activism. You go, monkeywrenchers! This pertains to yesterday’s “Perspective” blog. Gretchen Rubin of The…

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“Dark Satanic Cubicles” and other rants against jobs

Reader just waiting put me on the Memory Lane Express. A link to Sean Gabb’s retrospective on the late, great Loompanics led him to take his copy of Loomps’ 2005 catalog off the shelf, where he discovered an old article of mine: “Dark Satanic Cubicles.” I didn’t remember it. Only vaguely recalled the title. But it sounded brilliant. 🙂 Took quite a bit of hunting to find. Had to go through some interesting byways. But here it is: imperfectly archived on the old Loompanics site. just waiting also sent me .jpg copies (thank you), from which come the stark Nick…

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Disabling cameras remotely

Apple has gotten a patent to remotely disable features on wireless devices based on their location. (This is from a not-always-reliable source, but is verified elsewhere.) I can’t think of a single legitimate reason to impose blanket blackouts like that based on location (language in the patent to the contrary). Lots of illegitimate ones, though. Halt recording at protests or public meetings. Or at cop checkpoints. Keep protestors from coordinating with each other on the spot. Not clear at the moment whether Apple plans to do this only on iPhones (one more reason not to have a smartphone). But no…

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Would you stiff a bank?

The Dollar Vigilante has a new feature — a monthly advice column called “Dear Slavey.” It started off with a bang on July 2, when “Slavey” advised some poor credit-card serf to “Just. Don’t. Pay.” No surprise, this drew feedback and some heated back-and-forthing about the morality of keeping one’s pledges. Slavey’s position is that banks are corrupt from top to bottom and unilaterally change their “agreements” with us at will, so eff ’em all. Besides, businesses walk away from billions of dollars in debt without an eyeblink. He does warn, however, that in some states you can now be…

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Monday links

EPA requires refiners to add unobtanium (or at least unable-to-obtanium) to their products. (Via Wendy McElroy) How to make an herbal raw honey ointment to treat burns and wounds, provided you don’t mind slathering something that looks like gelled split pea soup on yourself or those you love. And speaking of those you love but (take it from me) others probably don’t, Malaysia Airlines, bless the marvelously shriveled little hearts of its executives, is experimenting with child-free sections on its aircraft. I’ve marveled at how, when I get on an airplane, I’m always seated in the crying-baby section. Or next…

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Friday miscellany

Average cost of living $150,000/year? I freaking don’t believe it. Not sure I believe this, either. But it makes me all the more grateful for that freezer full of grass-fed beef. (H/T PT.) Now, this I definitely believe: Having power makes you stupid. Something actually good about Rick Santorum. I try not to lift too much from Radley Balko, since I figure a lot of the same people read his blog and mine, but this was too good: Why you can’t smoke pot. (Because there’s sooooooo much money and lobbying for the drug warriors.) “10 Rules for a Literary Feud.”…

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