Mr. Blumenthal, you are a Senator now

Even though Richard Blumenthal is now Senator-elect for Connecticut, he is apparently continuing his “job creation through litigation” program.  Here are the facts behind his newest venture.

For quite some time, Google has been collecting data that it has used to create its on-line mapping service.  Earlier this year, however, it was revealed that Google has also scanned for wireless networks, but in so doing, it had inadvertently “collected personal information such as email addresses and passwords”.

Google has been working with federal authorities on this, and,

The Federal Communications Commission said last month it was probing whether Google broke federal law in collecting consumer data via Wi-Fi networks. Another agency, the Federal Trade Commission, previously ended its probe and said Google had taken sufficient steps to prevent a recurrence.

In spite of that, Attorney General Blumenthal issued a “subpoena” to Google asking Google to turn over the personal data collected by Google’s Street View vehicles.  When Google failed to comply, on Friday Mr. Blumenthal said he may begin legal action against Google, saying,

[a]ccess to information Google improperly collected from unsecured wireless computer networks may be needed to prevent a repeat.
I don’t know about you, but, if the FTC has already found that Google has taken steps to prevent this from happening in the future, why is Connecticut seemingly wasting taxpayer’s money doing the same thing?  And, perhaps more to the point, if Mr. Blumenthal is simply trying to make sure that this never happens again, why does he need the personal data collected by Google?  

Symptom of the Disease: Google, the White House and a $1.8 million fundraiser

Do you have an issue with Google driving around the world capturing personal information? While many countries are holding Google to a high standard and taking them to court, claiming private information was stolen, Google management raised $1.8 million for Democrats at one dinner … and four days later…

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Leaning GOP? Leaning Dem? Google interactive map poll monitoring

The interactive map – coded by Google using their maps API – displays data from multiple polling outfits and allows users to quickly dig down to specific races and check out current status. As an example, you can find out if your district is Safe Dem, Likely Dem, Leans Dem, Toss Up, Leans GOP, Likely GOP, or Safe GOP.

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Iran’s “punch” heard round the world – emergency UN meetings scheduled (Update)

On the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the countries leaders have announced a huge blow to the west. The stunning “punch” leaves western leaders unbalanced as they make plans to meet in emergency session at the United Nations. Iran turned off GMAIL!

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Google fu – Islam search type-ahead feature censored

Google seems to be messing with the way their type-ahead pre-fill service works on their Web site’s search engine. Typing ‘Christianity is’ (no quotes) into the search engine yields interesting suggested searches but the experience is quite different when typing ‘Islam is’.

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California Prop 8 donor maps showing up

With campaign finance regulation, comes a great amounts of data. You had to know that this was coming. Does this map freak you out? Maybe just a little?


Many events tend to raise suspicion amongst the population. Take for instance, a person walking the street carrying a pistol in a holster openly; not concealed. Some may completely ignore the event, but others may feel threatened and totally freaked out by the person and call the cops.

Some of these people get arrested for disturbing the peace, when in fact, they were doing something that they were legally permitted to do.

Should the tolerant folk putting these maps together be considered for breach of peace charges? Of course, they are doing something legal, but it is freaking people out.

If you were on this donor list, would you feel this is a threat? Would you feel bullied into never supporting a cause in the future that you strongly believed in?

The donors who supported Proposition 8 are being targeted for violence. Will future attacks be considered a hate crime? Probably not…

Do we see any Google mash-ups that combine a map with those who donated for committees that were fighting against passage of Prop. 8? Would those folks feel that they were being targeted by “hate groups” that would target the people on that list?

My guess is that we’d see court action pretty quick if those mash-ups became popular on the Internet. (Note: we’re going to start seeing them soon if they are not already up)

Tom Hanks thinks Prop. 8 supporters are un-American. Gateway Pundit is mentioning the same map.

Malkin notes…

We were considered fascists for questioning theirs, but it’s patriotic for them to question ours.

“Oh, come on man… just because there is a map listing the home address and name of every donor does not mean it will come to violence in California”, you say?

Sure… it’s been going on since the day Prop 8 passed.

Google releases GMail video and audio chat

For those of you with a video camera on your Mac or a stand alone webcam, Google just released GMail Video Chat.

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Content item properties prove damn important – United Airlines looses $1 billion

Let this be a lesson for all of the Web content mangers out there. Back in 2002, when a story was published to a Web site, there little thought about properties associated with news items. In this case, the five-year-old story didn’t have a publish date.

When an old story gets pulled out of a database and becomes a hot topic, companies can loose millions; or in this case $1 billion in value. That’s what happened when a 2002 story about United Airlines going bankrupt hit Google News on Monday morning.

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Google Maps: No Roads in Israel?

I’ve been reading some information concerning the fence that was destroyed between the Gaza Strip and Egypt. I wanted to look at a map for an overview.

Where are the roads in Israel? How about the West Bank or Gaza? Go ahead, zoom in, pan around. Nothing is there.

View Larger Map

I understand that these maps are not intended to be complete – like those we have in the U.S.A. – but why roads in Lebanon, Syria and Egypt, if none are shown for Israel?