Jonathan Miller is a City Councilman from Prairie View, TX. The same town Sandra Bland died in. He was recently tased by police at his own home, while he was kneeling.

From the L.A. Times:

One witnesses said Miller was tased while he was on his knees with his hands at his side.

The encounter began when police stopped to question several of Miller’s fraternity brothers gathered outside his house Thursday. When Miller attempted to intervene, police ordered him to step back, then tased and arrested him for reportedly interfering with police duties and resisting arrest.

As the confrontation escalated, one of the officers’ body cameras fell off. But the zap of the taser and Miller’s pained scream were captured. Police released images from a second officer’s body camera showing the end of the encounter.

The incident has drawn national attention, coming only three months after the July arrest of Sandra Bland.

Neil deGrasse Tyson chats with whistleblower Edward Snowden via robotic telepresence from Moscow. The two card-carrying members of the geek community discuss Isaac Newton, the difference between education and learning, and even how knowledge is created. They also dive into the Periodic Table and chemistry, before moving on to the more expected subjects of data compression, encryption and privacy. You’ll learn about the relationship between private contractors, the CIA, and the NSA, for whom Edward began working at only 16 years old.

Edward explains why metadata tells the government much more about individuals than they claim, and why there’s a distinction between the voluntary disclosure of information and the involuntary subversion of individual intent. Part 1 ends with a conversation about Ben Franklin, the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the CIA’s oath of service, and government Standard Form 312, which is the agreement Snowden violated.


It’s a tiny black box about the size of a pack of gum that is installed right under the steering wheel. It will allow city officials under a program called “Drive Smart” to collect and access data about how you drive — if you drive like a maniac, or if you’re Mr. or Mrs. Slow Poke.

“It can tell the g-force of hard stopping or hard acceleration and a hard turn,” DOT senior project manager Alex Keating said. “So the driver, as well as the service provider, are able to look at speeds, hard-breaking events, time of day and basic GPS.”

City officials say they’ll use to information to make the streets safer, but drivers can also allow various DOT partners to use the information. Allstate, for example, will give you insurance discounts of 10-30 percent, and Metropia will get you home faster with less congested routes — all of it hooked up to smartphone apps.

Allstate and Progressive have been aggressively marketing such devices for the past few years. Once they become required and not voluntary, how will you defend yourself from the devices being hacked while you deal with higher insurance rates.

More at CBS News.

Every week we think we’ve seen the worst example of unjustifiable police violence on an unarmed suspect, but then the next week comes and another horrific incident occurs. Gilbert Flores was a suspect in an assault case and led the police on a chase. He surrendered to police with his hands up and was shot by two officers.


The iconic image of the American farmer is the man or woman who works the land, milks cows and is self-reliant enough to fix the tractor. But like a lot of mechanical items, tractors are increasingly run by computer software. Now, farmers are hitting up against an obscure provision of copyright law that makes it illegal to repair machinery run by software.

Take Dave Alford. He fits that image of the iconic farmer.

If something goes wrong with one of his tractors Alford has to take it to an authorized John Deere dealer — the closest one is about 40 miles away — or a John Deere rep has to come visit him. Alford had an issue about a year ago; the tractor belts were loose. He waited a day for the John Deere rep.

“The tech came out and it took him a couple hours to diagnose that there was one small sensor out. And that one small sensor, I think it was a $120 part.”

The problem with this setup is that in farming timing is everything. When the soil is soft enough to till you have to go; when the crop is ripe you have to pick it.

“So if you have a small problem that does not allow your tractor to operate and you have downtime it’s costing you money and a lot of stress,” he says.

You may wonder why Alford doesn’t just break that digital lock and get into the software and fix the problems himself. He could, but he’d be breaking the law. It’s called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, or DMCA. It was written because movie studios were worried that people would break the digital locks on DVDs, make copies and pirate them.

Read more at NPR.

© 2015 Loss of Privacy Powered by WordPress using the Jishnu theme.