Scanlyze

The Online Journal of Insight, Satire, Desire, Wit and Observation

Regarding the New York Times Readers Center

To: Clifford Levy
CC: A. G. Sulzberger

Cliff,

I have been a loyal New York Times reader for more than 45 years. I had two newspaper routes in Cleveland as a boy, one for a morning paper and one evening, and the first and most important thing I bought with that money was the Times on Sunday and Tuesday.

I am troubled by the description of the Readers Center position here:

http://www.nytco.com/introducing-the-reader-center/

In particular the following line.

“Collaborating with our marketing department to showcase the value of Times journalism.”

The job of the Public Editor as I am I think most readers have understood it, was to be an advocate for the Readers and to publicly take the Times editors and management to task when they screwed up, to put it plainly.

The job of the Readers editor would seem to be the opposite of that, going by the posted description.

Having the new Readers Center working with marketing is crossing a red line in journalism which should never be crossed.

I should not have to remind you, but the present circumstances indicate the necessity of so doing:

Journalists should:

– Deny favored treatment to advertisers, donors or any other special interests, and resist internal and external pressure to influence coverage.

– Distinguish news from advertising and shun hybrids that blur the lines between the two. Prominently label sponsored content.

Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics

The Public Editor position went a long way to restoring trust and the Times brand inflicted by inaccurate reporting and lack of editorial responsibility and oversight inflicted by, particularly, the false reporting in the run-up to the Iraq War, and it wasn’t just Judy Miller, though you sacrificed her, not undeservedly perhaps, and Jayson Blair.

Firing the Public Editor and then hiring a new “Readers Center” with the same brief, except for responsibility to represent the views of advertisers rather than those of readers, is a terrible idea in every way, moral, ethical, journalistic, and inflicts incalculable damage already on the Time’s already damaged reputation. The excuse that firing the Public Editor and eliminating that position was a cost-cutting measure seems untenable given that a new role, with a similar brief, was immediately established. With the critical and all-important distinction noted above. Going from being responsible for the insuring the journalistic integrity of the Times to overtly and self-admittedly being a shill and a mouthpiece for upper management and advertisers.

These are self-inflicted wounds, folks, what are you doing? Are you shorting the stock and hoping to make the Times fail? Or is this simply another unforced error committed for no conceivable good reason?

sincerely,

Henry Edward Hardy
former Senior Systems Administrator
Tufts University*

* institutional affiliation for identification purposes only

blog: https://scanlyze.org

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, need more information, or wish to discuss the issue further.

Copyright © 2017 Henry Edward Hardy

scanlyze1

4 July, 2017 Posted by | ethics, journalism, New York Times, news, newspapers, Readers Center, scanlyze | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Comcast versus the Net

The following is written in response to: Comcast: We’re Delaying, Not Blocking, BitTorrent Traffic on the Bits blog at nytimes.com.

The allegation made against Comcast by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and reported by the Associated Press is that Comcast have allegedly been inserting forged reset (RST) packets into the datastream. This is not analogous to delaying a call. It is more analogous to the company disconnecting a call in mid-sentence because they have been listening in and classifying the type of conversation and don’t like what is being discussed or think it is likely a waste of time.

This is unethical if it is being done and also goes against the Internet technical documents, the RFC’s. Further there are several potential legal issues including potential violations of the:

* Electronic Communications Privacy Act 18 USC § 2510.

* General Prohibition Against Traces and Traps 18 USC § 3121.

* The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1030.

* The Cable TV Privacy Act of 1984, 47 U.S.C. § 551.

* State statutes such as Michigan statue Fraudulent Access to Computers, Computer Systems, and Computer Networks, MCL 795.791.

Whatever Comcast routing and Quality of Service provisions are in effect should be fully spelled out and transparent to regulators, internet technical experts and the general public so that citizens can make an informed choice about whether they want their internet unsurveilled, uncensored and uninterrupted… or whether they want Internet which is “Comcastic”.

See Comcastic?!? Not So Much…
Comcast and BitTorrent; a Complicated Relationship
Technorati posts tagged comcast bittorrent

See also An Open Letter to Rich Sheridan regarding the proposed insertion of spam by the Wireless Washtenaw Project
Seven Questions on ‘Net Neutrality’ for Ann Arbor City Councilman Ron Suarez

Copyright © 2007 Henry Edward Hardy

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23 October, 2007 Posted by | 18 U.S.C. § 1030, 18 USC § 2510, 18 USC § 3121, 47 U.S.C. § 551, allegations, Bits, BitTorrent, cable TV, Comcast, Comcastic, common carrier, computer networks, Computer Systems, EFF, Electronic Communications Privacy Act, Electronic Frontier Foundation, forged, fraudulent access, General Prohibition Against Traces and Traps, internet, law, MCL 795.791, media, Net, net neutrality, network, New York Times, packet, policy, politics, privacy, regulation, reset, RFC, RST, scanlyze, surveillance, TCP/IP, The Cable TV Privacy Act of 1984, The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act | 1 Comment

Does politics belong in the classroom?

Prof. Stanley Fish has been discussing on his nytimes blog whether or how freely political opinions should be expressed by a teacher in the college or university classroom.

His initial blog entry is, Yet Once More: Political Correctness on Campus and the followup to which I have responded is, George W. Bush and Melville’s Ahab: Discuss!

Fish’s first post was a long response to Evan Coyne Maloney’s Indoctrinate U.

The basic thrust of Fish’s post seems to be that,

Academics often bridle at the picture of their activities presented by Maloney and other conservative critics, and accuse them of grossly caricaturing and exaggerating what goes on in the classroom. Maybe so, but so long as there are those who confuse advocacy with teaching, and so long as faculty colleagues and university administrators look the other way, the academy invites the criticism it receives in this documentary. In 1915, the American Association of University Professors warned that if we didn’t clean up our own shop, external constituencies, with motives more political than educational, would step in and do it for us. Now they’re doing it in the movies and it’s our own fault.

Yet Once More: Political Correctness on Campus

My response follows:

I would not entirely agree with the thesis that politics has no place in the Academy.

As teachers, can we not state that, for instance, “Torture is antithetical to every basic principle of the American democratic system”? Or contrariwise, “Corporal punishment has been a feature of the American system of justice since its inception, and even killing a prisoner who has been condemned to death after due process is held to be judicially and legally acceptable under federal and most state jurisdictions today”?

Can we not say, “The evidence for global warming is regarded as conclusive by an overwhelming international consensus of scientists” as well as, “Solar incident radiation is the principle contributing factor to global warming in accordance with Boltzmann’s Law and the primary factor mediating this is the albedo of the earth, and any radiative forcing from CO2 in the atmosphere is negligible by comparison”?

Is it not precisely so that such opinions can be voiced without fear of retribution that we have tenured positions in the academic structure? If one prevailing political, scientific, or social view is defined culturally as “objective” and no other views are permitted to be advanced or advocated by a teacher in a classroom setting, then where is the great “marketplace of ideas” of which the classroom is a preeminent exemplar? As the Supreme Court held in Keyishian v. Board of Regents, (385 U.S. 589, 605-606 [1967], supreme.justia.com/us/385/589/case.html ):

‘Our Nation is deeply committed to safeguarding academic freedom, which is of transcendent value to all of us and not merely to the teachers concerned. That freedom is therefore a special concern of the First Amendment, which does not tolerate laws that cast a pall of orthodoxy over the classroom. “The vigilant protection of constitutional freedoms is nowhere more vital than in the community of American schools.” Shelton v. Tucker, supra, at 487. The classroom is peculiarly the “marketplace of ideas.” The Nation’s future depends upon leaders trained through wide exposure to that robust exchange of ideas which discovers truth “out of a multitude of tongues, [rather] than through any kind of authoritative selection.”‘

Thank you for your interesting post and enjoyable and weighty blog, Prof. Fish.

See also: The Universities Under Attack …

I would further note that after 1915 the political “cleaning up” of leftist radicals such as Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman took the unpleasant form of the Palmer Raids in 1919, indeed an interesting and fraught comparison to draw with our present political situation.

Copyright © 2007 Henry Edward Hardy

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23 October, 2007 Posted by | 1915, 1919, 1967, Alexander Berkman, anarchism, anarchy, censorship, classroom, education, Emma Goldman, Evan Coyne Maloney, free market of ideas, freedom, freedom of expression, freedom of speech, Indoctrinate U, Keyishian v. Board of Regents, law, marketplace of ideas, movie, movies, New York Times, objectivity, Palmer Raids, political correctness, politics, radicals, repression, Shelton v. Tucker, Stanley Fish | 2 Comments

Usenet sock-puppetry on rec.games.chess?

Crossposting with one clarification per the comments below, my posting to the nytimes chess blog, Gambit:

Regarding this blog item and the article, Chess Group Officials Accused of Using Internet to Hurt Rivals, in Oct 8 2007’s New York Times:

Reading the thread from rec.games.chess.politics archived on Google, the evidence as presented suggests this is another case of sock-puppetry which has become such a bane on Wikipedia and elsewhere.

Usenet is not sponsored by Google! This is an inaccurate statement which should not have appeared in the Times. Usenet started in 1979! Google was founded around 1996 as a project by a 23 and 24 year old graduate student. The founders of Google were only about 7 years old when Usenet started. Very precocious of them to have sponsored Usenet! :)

The quote attributed to “David Ulevitch, founder and chief executive of OpenDNS” is misleading as it refers to internet NAMES, which are resolved to numbers through Domain Name Service (DNS). Not the same thing at all as internet NUMBERS which are at issue here. Those are controlled locally through policies on routers and globally through BGP broadcasts.

Contrary to what is stated above, it is NOT trivial to forge numeric ip addresses… one would have to have control of an intermediate router between sender and receiver and pretty specific technical knowledge to accomplish this sort of man-in-the-middle attack. There are probably much easier and more convincing-to-the-layman methods of framing someone. Easier, for instance, would be to fake the logs, but again, to what purpose?

If the log excerpts are genuine, there is an ethical question as to whether the “volunteer system administrator” acted rightly in posting selected information from the logs back onto Usenet. He is doing the right thing now in trying to get permission from the Federation to release them. I would have probably advocated going to the Board, or their legal counsel with this. But I don’t know the entire history.

I don’t know the individuals involved in this dispute as far as I know and have no more than a passing interest in the affair. I just wanted to give some perspective on the technical arguments being raised.

HENRY EDWARD HARDY
Ann Arbor, MI
scanlyze.wordpress.com

Interview With the U.S.C.F. President; a Chess Sponsor Says He’s Had Enough

Copyright © 2007 Henry Edward Hardy

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9 October, 2007 Posted by | allegations, chess, DNS, Domain Name Service, gambit, games, Google, impersonation, New York Times, politics, rec.games.chess, rec.games.chess.politics, scandal, scanlyze, sock-puppet, sockpuppet, United States Chess Federation, USCF, Usenet | 2 Comments

Man tasered, arrested for asking good questions of Sen. John Kerry

I just found on youtube this video of a young man at a University of Florida q and a session with Senator John Kerry. The man, Andrew Meyer, congratulates Kerry for being (in his view) the real winner of the 2004 election, asks Kerry why he doesn’t support the impeachment of Bush and then asks is it true that he and Bush are both members of Skull and Bones. Whereupon the uniformed officers grab him and begin to try to manhandle him out. He is shouting that he didn’t do anything. The officers wrestle the young man to the ground and taser the poor fellow. A member of the audience then begins shouting, “police brutality! police brutality!”

This video is shocking, and horrible. It depicts Nazi-like behavior from those who are sworn to uphold the law. And the man’s questions are good questions and deserve answers, not torture and abuse.

The Andrew Meyer
Search on “taser” at Digg.
Skull and Bones (wikipedia)
Student Tasered at campus forum for Kerry
Kerry Responds to Taser Incident
CNN: Your e-mails: Reaction to police using Taser on student
Students stunned — and tired — about Taser incident
College cop: After being shocked, student said we ‘didn’t do anything wrong’
Instant Political Martyrdom via YouTube

A interesting comment on the subject posted by Benjamin Wood:

“When a person, being without fault, is in a place where he has a right to be, is violently assaulted, he may, without retreating, repel by force, and if, in the reasonable exercise of his right of self defense, his assailant is killed, he is justified.” Runyan v. State, 57 Ind. 80; Miller v. State, 74 Ind. 1.

“These principles apply as well to an officer attempting to make an arrest, who abuses his authority and transcends the bounds thereof by the use of unnecessary force and violence, as they do to a private individual who unlawfully uses such force and violence.” Jones v. State, 26 Tex. App. I; Beaverts v. State, 4 Tex. App. 1 75; Skidmore v. State, 43 Tex. 93, 903.

“An illegal arrest is an assault and battery. The person so attempted to be restrained of his liberty has the same right to use force in defending himself as he would in repelling any other assault and battery.” (State v. Robinson, 145 ME. 77, 72 ATL. 260).

“Each person has the right to resist an unlawful arrest. In such a case, the person attempting the arrest stands in the position of a wrongdoer and may be resisted by the use of force, as in self- defense.” (State v. Mobley, 240 N.C. 476, 83 S.E. 2d 100).

“One may come to the aid of another being unlawfully arrested, just as he may where one is being assaulted, molested, raped or kidnapped. Thus it is not an offense to liberate one from the unlawful custody of an officer, even though he may have submitted to such custody, without resistance.” (Adams v. State, 121 Ga. 16, 48 S.E. 910).

“Citizens may resist unlawful arrest to the point of taking an arresting officer’s life if necessary.” Plummer v. State, 136 Ind. 306. This premise was upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States in the case: John Bad Elk v. U.S., 177 U.S. 529.

Taking Sides in a Tasing

Student Protest at FU against the Tazing of the Bro

Comment by Benjamin N. Dictor, Student, University of Florida
google news comment
Google Comment – 10 hours ago

The conduct of the police officers at Monday’s forum with John Kerry is nothing short of an embarrassment for both the University of Florida and the City of Gainesville as a whole.

We will not be quick to recover from the wounds that we all suffer as a result of the complex betrayal on behalf of the University of Florida Police Department. As if the suppression of thought is not in itself, heinous enough a crime, the unabashed abuse of physical force by those sworn to protect us leaves trust broken and wounds open.

This incident will be remembered as a physical assault as well as an assault on reason itself. How dare law enforcement act in such a manner! We, the students of this university, must not allow this aggression to stand!

Benjamin N. Dictor

skull bones & bush & kerry a WIN WIN for the skull & bones

Another case of alleged police overkill: Death Squad in Delaware: The Case of the Murdered Marine

Submitted to The Lede blog on nytimes.com:

In the case of the Tazing of the Bro, I am reminded of the words of Frederick Douglass:

“Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground.”

Andrew Meyer, whatever his motives, was asking reasonable and legitimate questions which the speaker had agreed to address. This is not a police state; the police may not use force to subdue someone for saying “blowjob” or “Skull and Bones” or taking 90 seconds to ask three questions in a row.

The democratic system of government is dependent on the free market of ideas. The widest possible range of views, correct and incorrect, must be aired and debated, so that the people may choose the best policies and the representatives to implement them. In the United States, it is We the People, not the government, which is sovereign. In the words of our first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, in his First Inaugural Address:

“This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember, or overthrow it.”

Andrew Meyer acted in the finest patriotic tradition of Paul Revere, Crispus Attucks, Tom Paine and Patrick Henry. Bravo, Sir. Bravely and well done. Bravo!

HENRY EDWARD HARDY
Ann Arbor, MI
scanlyze.wordpress.com


Don't Taze Me Bro

Dahlem memorial tagged with Meyer quote
Comment: Florida cops were out of line Tasering student at speech

Interesting poll on Washingtonpost.com, at this writing, 42% of respondents say along with Benjamin Dictor (quoted above), “This incident is ‘an assault on reason itself.’ America has become a police state and this is evidence of that.” An additional 11.5% opine, “If you have to Tase anyone bro, Tase John Kerry. FREE SPEECH RULES!”.

Note the snide photo caption (probably falsely) attributed to AP: “Could public forums benefit from more Tasering? (AP)”

How can this caption possibly be considered appropriate to the circumstances by the Post?

It seems that the Post is exploiting this incident for its “entertainment” value. How sick and wrong of the once-respected Washington Post.

Andrew Meyer, Free Speech and the Joy of Tasers: Were the Police Justified Or Should They Be Punished?
Florida Student Is Shocked at Kerry Forum

Beck said he “enjoy[s] watching” Taser videos; O’Reilly rolled out “Don’t Taze me, bro!” bumper stickers
Google “Andrew Meyer” (276,000 references on google 2007-09-20)
Hentoff on the Tasering of the First Amendment
Why are students getting Tasered on video?
THE SHOCK HEARD AROUND THE WORLD.
Andrew Meyer, John Kerry and Campus Security: Clusterfuck Royale.
Emotional Responses to the Andrew Meyer & John Kerry Incident: A Psychological Study in Issues of Power, Anger and Authority
University comes away shocked, burned

Copyright © 2007 Henry Edward Hardy

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18 September, 2007 Posted by | 2004 election, abuse, Andrew Meyer, Associated Press, Bush, censorship, Florida, free speech, John Kerry, lede, manufacturing consent, New York Times, news, nonlethal weapons, oppression, police, police brutality, politics, propaganda, scanlyze, shocking, Skull and Bones, spin, taser, Thomas A Swift Electric Rifle, torture, University of Florida, video, Washington Post, youtube | 3 Comments