March 2005

Miscellany29 Mar 2005 04:58 pm

This was just too funny not to pass along. Octopuses running like humans? Believe it! Check out the video.

Law & News & Culture & Privacy & Tech28 Mar 2005 09:57 pm

On tonight’s David Lawrence Show, I talked about the recent Freedom of Information Act request by the Electronic Privacy Information Center which uncovered a sales pitch to the FBI by embattled data broker ChoicePoint. I also talked about tomorrow’s arguments in the US Supreme Court in MGM v. Grokster and the rising use of vehicle “black box” recorders.

I also made my Podcasting Debut — my ‘coming out’ if you will — on David’s Podcast for tonight. It’s a free download, only 9mb, and just a few minutes long, so listen in!

Meanwhile on the ChoicePoint issue, I traded some email today with CNET’s Matt Hines who wrote about ChoicePoint and the FBI in his Security News.Blog:

Despite ChoicePoint’s claim of innocence, some privacy experts said they would not be surprised that the company, which has experienced a string of high-profile consumer data losses, would entertain such an approach to marketing itself to the FBI and others. In fact, Ray Everett-Church, an attorney who runs his own consulting company, PrivacyClue, said that ChoicePoint likely knew that the FBI might find such information particularly compelling.

Check out Matt’s blog entry for my very sassy commentary! ;-)

Gay Rights & News & Culture28 Mar 2005 12:16 pm

Wonkette talks about a Washington Post profile of Sgt. Brett Parson, head of Washington, DC’s Police Department’s Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit. Wonkette sez: “…he’s our new hero and he should be yours, too.” I couldn’t agree more. Make sure to check out the photos and video clips that accompany the profile to see this extraordinary police officer in action.

Gay Rights & Law & Politics & Religion27 Mar 2005 10:19 pm

This is going to be my only entry discussing the Schiavo disaster. And it is a disaster. It used to be merely a tragic story, but when the religio-political opportunists got involved, it turned into a farce, and then rushed headlong into being a disaster. (more…)

Podcast & Politics25 Mar 2005 02:56 pm

Podcasting must be passe now if the politicans are getting into it. But always at the cutting edge of interesting ideas and thoughtful discourse, former U.S. Senator John Edwards has launched his own podcast at the One America Committee website. He is joined by his wife Elizabeth who, thank God, is doing well in her breast cancer treatments. The ‘cast is about March Madness, Elizabeth’s treatment, and even discusses blogging. Oh yeah, and explains why the President’s ideas for Social Security destruction are pretty awful.

I’ve been using the iPodder software and it works pretty well for integrating my podcast streams into my iTunes software. It’s a little awkward to set up new ‘casts to be automagically transferred to my iPod, but since I don’t really go anywhere regularly, it’s ok.

Friends & Family & Podcast & Privacy & Spam21 Mar 2005 12:53 am

On tonight’s David Lawrence Show, I coach David on the finer points of being an annoyed gay man, in preparation for his audition for the role of Mark Bingham‘s boyfriend Matt Hall. Bingham was one of the heroes of Flight 93, who fought back against the hijackers on September 11, 2001, and prevented them from crashing into the Capitol or the White House (or wherever they were headed). We also talked about the differences between privacy and anonymity.

Later in the show, my Internet Privacy for Dummies co-author, Gregg Stebben, joins David to talk health and technology. Please spend the 25¢ and listen to Gregg’s segment too!

Too cheap to pay that? Well try David’s new Podcast for free!

Law & Politics & Religion15 Mar 2005 11:54 pm

Tonight’s David Lawrence Show started out about the great ruling by a California judge that the state’s ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional. But then the rest of the hour devolved into David’s rantings about the FCC. I don’t disagree, however, with David’s rants… the FCC is filling its docket with the insane whining of puritanical fascists, and threatening to bankrupt anybody who dares utter a dirty word. But I mostly enjoy teasing David when he begins to froth at the mouth. :-)

You’ll have to buy two segments (yes, a whole 50¢ you cheap bastard!) because I stayed on into the second hour.

Law & Privacy14 Mar 2005 11:19 am

Most data brokers are operating their businesses in a fashion that suggests they don’t fully appreciate the consequences of their screw-ups. Perhaps they should learn from the dynamite industry that more than the average duty of care is necessary for people in their line of business. In my monthly column for, I discuss why data brokers seem to think they’re in a less dangerous line of work than they really are.

Friends & Family & Law & Politics08 Mar 2005 10:13 pm

Our dear friend and partner in crime, Lili VonSchtupp, cuts her finger, and I numb her mind by talking about the “Induce Act”, which would hold operators of file-trading networks responsible for profiting from the trade in pirated intellectual property. Users of PayPal and BitPass can easily and cheaply download tonight’s edition of The David Lawrence Show with just a few clicks of the mouse!

Gay Rights & Personal & Politics01 Mar 2005 10:46 pm

Tonight was my weekly segment on The David Lawrence Show, and we had a fun conversation about today being the first anniversary of Justin and my wedding in San Francisco City Hall, thanks to our hero Mayor Gavin Newsom.