The problem with moving phones from copper to fiber: power

If you can’t contact your loved ones, or government agencies and relief organizations can’t coordinate, you can’t get anything done. […] A communications system is only useful if you can connect to every other endpoint on the network. If you have power but no one else does, you have a well powered and expensive paperweight (assuming you still have paper). To that point, if your phone has power but the switching station does not, or the cell towers in half the city are down, you still aren’t able to communicate with anyone else.

The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist

A secret process that requires neither “concrete facts” nor “irrefutable evidence” … “Instead of a watchlist limited to actual, known terrorists, the government has built a vast system based on the unproven and flawed premise that it can predict if a person will commit a terrorist act in the future,” says Hina Shamsi, the head of the ACLU’s National Security Project. “On that dangerous theory, the government is secretly blacklisting people as suspected terrorists and giving them the impossible task of proving themselves innocent of a threat they haven’t carried out.

Friday links: flash vorbis, appstore shackles, python 2.6

A few things I found particularly interesting this week: Flash Vorbis player – An open source vorbis player in a 46KB SWF file! Engadget Cares: Save us from Apple’s groundbreaking, developer-shackling App Store Python 2.6 – Finally released with a ton of 3.0 features and the new -3 switch. Should be fun.