Sunday, August 28, 2011
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Brian Kalt says there is a hole in the Sixth Amendment big enough to run a crime spree through. Kalt is an associate professor at Michigan State Law School, and he has written an article for the Georgetown Law Journal called The Perfect Crime. It's an article that springs both from his study of constitutional law and, he says, his daydreaming.
Professor Kalt, the perfect crime, I gather, could be committed in a specific place.
Professor BRIAN KALT (Michigan State Law School): Yes. There's a small portion of Yellowstone National Park that spills over the Wyoming border into Idaho and another small part that's in Montana that would create an almost perfect crime.
SIEGEL: Now what is so special about, we'll say, the non-Wyoming portions of Yellowstone Park?
Prof. KALT: Well, the problem is that the federal District Court for the District of Wyoming is defined as including all of Yellowstone Park, including that 50-square-mile swath of Idaho. And the Sixth Amendment requires that when a crime is committed, that the jury be drawn from the state and district where the crime was committed. And the trial is supposed to be in the state where the crime was committed. So if you commit a crime in the Idaho portion of Yellowstone National Park, the jury should be drawn from among the ranks of Idahoans but also from the District of Wyoming. And unfortunately the population of that area is zero.
Christian Carden’s tattoos stretch from clavicle to throat, around his ears and up onto his head. He has a lotus flower printed on one side of his neck and a Japanese mask on the other; both stretch over his shoulders in a bed of waves, smoke, and fire. “I knew that people consider neck, face, and hand tattoos ‘job killers,’ and that's why I wanted them,” Carden says. “I never want to work at a bank again, and now I don’t have to worry about it.”
In a sputtering economy, highly visible tattoos like Carden's neck-and-head spread can mean the difference between a stint at the bank counter and a spot in the unemployment line. But in recent years, tattoo sales have failed to stall with the rest of the market. In many cities,they're actually thriving. And for some, opting for an above-the-shoulder tattoo signals a rejection of the recession rat race.
Saturday, August 20, 2011
LYNDON BATY WANTS TO BE A GREAT SPORTSCASTER, BUT HOW CAN HE DO THAT WITH A RAVAGED IMMUNE SYSTEM THAT MAKES IT TOO DANGEROUS FOR HIM EVEN TO GO TO SC
Everything within range of its camera lens and four microphones—the sign that said you are the future—do you like what you see? ... the Lone Star flag hanging from the wall ... Mr. Collins droning on about conversion from Celsius to Fahrenheit ... the video about temperature on a screen at the front of the room ... and district discus champ Tylynne Eaton's little shimmy to the video's music in his back-row seat—was being digitized by the robot's motherboard into hundreds of thousands of 1s and 0s and zipped as radio signals to an antenna at the end of the only hallway in Knox City High.
Converted to electrical pulses at that access point, the 1s and 0s were sent through copper wires to a telephone cooperative a half block away, then turned into laser beams that entered underground fiber-optic cables and darted beneath 85 miles of oil fields and ranchland to Wichita Falls. There they hopped a ride on cables and dashed across the continent to a server in Nashua, N.H.—home of VGo, the company that invented the robot—then reversed direction and raced 1,664 miles back to Knox City, an outpost in northern Texas 15 blocks long and 10 blocks wide that's populated by mebbe a thousand people, as the locals say, and mebbe not.
Transformed back into electrical signals in Knox City, that horde of 1s and 0s traveled about a mile north by copper wiring, where a thicket of mesquite gave way to a gray mailbox, a yard bumpy with brown weeds and bluebonnets and mounds of fire ants, a small red-brick house and 23 cows, two dozen calves, one bull, 52 hens, 10 roosters, 15 goats, five cats, one big shaggy herding dog named Jack and one small basset hound named Betsy, all milling on the homestead's 140-acre farm.
A branch of copper wiring surfaced here and fed those bytes through a wall of the red-brick house, where a modem turned them back into radio signals that leaped through the air to a laptop on a desk in the living room, which converted them into the images and sounds unfolding in that science classroom: Mr. Collins's drone, the flickering video and Tylynne Eaton's shimmy.
This—all of it—took three seconds.
This week, I talked with Dan Russell, a search anthropologist at Google, about the time he spends with random people studying how they search for stuff. One statistic blew my mind. 90 percent of people in their studies don't know how to use CTRL/Command + F to find a word in a document or web page! I probably use that trick 20 times per day and yet the vast majority of people don't use it at all.
"90 percent of the US Internet population does not know that. This is on a sample size of thousands," Russell said. "I do these field studies and I can't tell you how many hours I've sat in somebody's house as they've read through a long document trying to find the result they're looking for. At the end I'll say to them, 'Let me show one little trick here,' and very often people will say, 'I can't believe I've been wasting my life!'"
I can't believe people have been wasting their lives like this either! It makes me think that we need a new type of class in schools across the land immediately. Electronic literacy. Just like we learn to skim tables of content or look through an index or just skim chapter titles to find what we're looking for, we need to teach people about this CTRL+F thing.
Google itself is trying to teach people a little something with their AGoogleADay.com campaign, but the ability to retrieve information via a search engine is actually much bigger than the search engine itself. We're talking about the future of almost all knowledge acquisition and yet schools don't spend nearly as much time on this skill as they do on other equally important areas.
Friday, August 19, 2011
Thursday, August 18, 2011
the dark? Explore the 20 questions of our survey and discover what the great British public get up to between the sheets…