Obama/Romney Apps too Invasive?

I saw this article about the information that Obama/Romney campaign apps collected from our mobile devices, and I was wondering how you guys feel about this? Is it an invasion of our privacy? What do you believe is the purpose for collecting this data? Is it ethical to broadcast a person’s location and political affiliation at all times?

This is an app that I could see my dad using (if he had a smartphone) and he wouldn’t be aware of the publicity attached to it; he just wants the info. A lot of apps (depending on phones as well) don’t ask if you would like to allow it to track your location; many come with stock settings. Since I bought the iPhone, I’ve noticed that it asks me nearly every time if I would like to share my location with a specific app, and I like that a lot. However, my old HTC Incredible just automatically loaded the stock settings.

Post-ramble, check out the article, let me know what you guys think. All the best.


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Monday Monsoon

This morning, I decided to wake up early…6 am to be exact. I woke to my favorite scene, a raining, thundering sky. I stood on the second story porch of my apartment, sheltered by the third story balcony above. Black and grey clouds consumed a blue and green tinted sky. Lightning was striking consistently. 7 miles, 6 miles, 5, 4, 3 miles. Then, all of a sudden, on top of me. A dead tree has been taunting the cars in the complex parking lot for years, standing straight, 40 or 50 feet, from the opposing side.

And finally, a crack of thunder and bolt of lightning. It strikes the dead tree down to the roots. Ensuing creaks and cracks fill the airwaves as the tree begins to waver in the wind. About 10 or 15 feet up the trunk of the tree, the barkless oak snaps. A dark green Chevy Trailblazer is crushed beneath the enormous baseball bat. The remnants of the windshield fill the front seats and floorboard. The hood is dented and covered with small twigs and scratches. I can’t believe what I just saw. I take a deep breath and smell the rain, the wood, the coffee in my mug. Relieved, I see my untouched Mitsubishi Endeavor in the parking space next to the crushed metal and broken glass. Fantastic, I think.

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Ray Bradbury’s Death Day: American Cannibalism Made Easy

Originally written on June 6, 2012
      Just today I learned that a hand and foot were mailed to two different schools in Vancouver, British Columbia from an apparent origin point in Montreal. The head of the victim remains unfound even though the culprit (or at least primary suspect) has been arrested. Your guess on the whereabouts of the head is as good as mine; probably floating around somewhere in the Canada Post or maybe flying overseas even as we read the terrifying and decadent news.
     I also read about a Kenyon Virginia Tech student who confessed to killing his roommate and eating his heart and brain. The aspiring roommate came to America from Ghana to attain an education in hopes of becoming president of his home country.
    These news reports came to light just one week after the zombie-esque attack in Miami perpetrated by a 31 year-old drug-induced male who gnawed and subsequently ate the face of a 66 year-old homeless man before being shot in the head by a police officer. The 31 year-old African-American is believed to be under the influence of a new hybrid drug called “bath salts” which is a combination of cocaine and crystal meth that causes instant paranoia, delusions, and psychosis. I guess this explains why he growled at the police officer before continuing to nom on the greasy, hairy, unkempt face of the homeless man.
     I learned all these things while sitting here on my bed, talking to an AT&T tech support assistant supposedly named Rachel (with a middle-eastern accent) who was attempting to install faulty anti-virus software on my PC thanks to remote computer controlling, which helped her to only remotely succeed. It’s days like this, my one day off this week from a daycare full of screaming, drooling children, that I think the worst of people. And yes, the only thing pushing me through this awful existence is my words, the fact that I can sit here and talk into my phone and have every word recorded and semi-accurately interpreted into text so that I can copy it into a text document on my computer as soon as my anti-virus software has finally been install correctly.
     This day, beneath all others, was the same day that I finally saw the movie adaptation of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, one of the most cautionary dystopian tales of our time. Midway through the movie, I decided to check the news again. The first headline I saw read “Science fiction author Ray Bradbury dead at 91.” Today, I thought, today.
     All of this American cannibalism has reminded me of a story that surfaced last summer, right here in Carol Stream, Illinois. In June 2011, my hometown was rocked by a mysterious body that was found in a lake behind a rundown apartment complex, renowned for its questionable nature. Nothing ever materialized about the story and it only appeared in a local newspaper and a brief CBS Chicago article; but as American politics has taught me, it pays to have friends in high places (or at the very least, acquaintances). A friend of mine’s father was a trustee for Carol Stream and divulged a delicate fact that the drunken and drugged body of 31 year-old Wyoming resident William Alldredge probably wandered into the lake after he left the gay sex party that he travelled halfway across the country for.
     In any case, the virtual malware that is currently being scanned by Rachel, citizen of India or Pakistan or wherever, has seeped outside of the computer and frustrated the society that once encompassed freedom and virtue. Well, maybe not virtue…but certainly freedom. Every day I wonder whether it’s worth it to read the news, a pessimistic black and white flurry of malicious, depressive bullshit. It only gets more depressing when you learn to read between the lines and figure out the object of American politics, beneath the thick dehomogenized layer of abortion, gay rights, immigration, and oil. The economic heart of America, the “land of the free,” pumps out all things useless, disposable, and Wal-Mart stamped. Luckily, Ray Bradbury died without having to adapt to a skewed Salvador Dali world of melted clocks and warped realities. And its times like this that all I can think is: I wish I had a cold beer.
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Skipping Repetitve Links

On the website for the Web Standards Project (www.webstandards.org), the first two links that are available both lead back to the homepage. The third available link is an invisible “Skip to content” link. This ostensibly appears to be a perfect example of a repeating link right off the bat. It’s ironic because this “Web Standards Project” website is obviously a proponent of accessibility and usability, yet their very first links on the homepage are repetitive links that take the user to the homepage. This doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for fairly blatant reasons.

On wikipedia.org, there are no alternative accessibility versions that appear optional on the homepage of the website. After conducting a search, let’s say for Abraham Lincoln, anyone who doesn’t have the ability to use a mouse is in for a long visit. The first links are to create an account and to log in to an account, common first links despite individual Wikipedia page visited. When using the tab key, you can scroll through all the blue-linked nonsense that litters the left side of the page. Luckily, the people at Wikipedia had the decency to not make us scroll through the plethora of languages listed… After continuing through the blue-linked nonsense, you are directed to the picture of Honest Abe, followed by all the details of his presidency and other political positions (which are all aspects of the article that are repeated in the main content. Once going through all those titles and dates, you FINALLY get to the main content of the Wiki article. For a blind person or someone who is physically unable to use a mouse, Wikipedia is a hairy mess of links that is counterproductive to gaining specific information that is attempting to be found.

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