About Me:
I work at the University of Notre Dame in the Office of Information Technology. I'm divorced, with two grown children and 5 grandchildren. I'm a lifelong liberal and a "nonbeliever."
About Me:
I work at the University of Notre Dame in the Office of Information Technology. I'm divorced, with two grown children and 5 grandchildren. I'm a lifelong liberal and a "nonbeliever."

Over Easy: Understanding Net Neutrality

By: Saturday September 13, 2014 6:40 pm

Wednesday was Internet Slowdown Day—a digital day of action intended to call attention to the perils of an internet without net neutrality. A lot of people hear the term “net neutrality” and think it sounds vaguely like a good thing, but most people don’t really understand what it is — or what it can mean [...]

Over Easy: Who Invented Email?

By: Friday September 5, 2014 5:58 pm

Let’s take a break from the sad and depressing news of the past week and look at an amusing controversy involving a Huffington Post multi-part series about the “history” (scare quotes intentional) of email. As Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers are fond of proclaiming, “Boooogus!”

Your Location’s for Sale

By: Sunday August 31, 2014 1:03 pm

The Washington Post published a startling report that described how private companies who sell surveillance systems are marketing them to governments around the world, providing the means to track the movements of anyone who carries a cell phone — here or abroad.

A set of network protocols known as Signaling System No. 7 (SS7) allows cell phone carriers to collect location information from cell phone towers and share it with each other. So a US carrier can find a customer even if he or she travels to another country.

Chemical Weapons in the War on Protest

By: Friday August 22, 2014 9:01 am

Tear gas is technically banned for use in warfare as a chemical weapon. But Ferguson police shoot it at protesters rather freely.

The Monkey Selfie

By: Friday August 8, 2014 5:00 pm

There’s a controversy brewing over a photo that made the rounds in 2011, one of several photos taken by a Macaque nigra (crested black Macaque) monkey. David Slater, an award-winning nature photographer, was in a national park in Indonesia, and left his camera unattended, and apparently a Macaque monkey wandered over and took this hilarious selfie.

Watching You, Watching Me

By: Friday August 1, 2014 6:40 pm

’ve posted here at Over Easy about companies that track our travels on the Web to display ads customized to our interests. They often use cookies, so if you price out an upscale cruise or golf club on one site, ads for cruises or golf clubs follow you around the Web. There are other tracking tools, too, and it is a running battle to stay ahead of them. They’re getting even more intrusive and personal, and it is unsettling to comprehend their reach.

More and more online marketers attempt to track us offline too, by collecting data about our daily lives and habits.

The Senate Is Giving More Power to the NSA — in secret

By: Friday July 18, 2014 5:23 pm

Apparently our elected representatives have learned little from the Snowden revelations except to try to go underground to avoid public scrutiny of what they’re up to. They’re still trying to hand over our private information to the government — but now they’re keeping it vewy, vewy quiet.

Aereo Quacks Like a Duck

By: Friday July 11, 2014 6:30 pm

We’ve been following the fortunes of tiny Aereo vs. the big broadcasters here at Over Easy. You may remember that Aereo doesn’t require rabbit ears or a rooftop antenna — customers rent (for about $8 – $12 per month) a dime-sized antenna in a vast array of TV antennas at an Aereo-owned location that pick up over-the-air broadcast signals and offer a very high speed Internet connection to a DVR-type device in the “cloud.”

Movies the Koch Brothers Don’t Want Us to See

By: Friday June 27, 2014 6:30 pm

Citizen Koch is a documentary by Tia Lessin and Carl Deal, who co-directed the Hurricane Katrina movie Trouble the Water. It was filmed during the battle between Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and organized labor that culminated in the unsuccessful attempt to recall Walker, and an earlier version premiered at the Sundance Festival in January 2013. We’re now seeing Citizen Koch in commercial theaters more than a year after its debut at Sundance.

The film originally was to be titled Citizen Corp, focused on the aftermath of the Citizen’s United ruling that allowed nearly unlimited corporate spending on issue campaigns, and was intended for broadcast on PBS.

Hanging Out With the Snowden-Bot

By: Friday June 13, 2014 5:20 pm

Back in March, Edward Snowden used a virtual Google “hangout” from Russia to address a big audience at SXSW. The live stream of his talk featured Snowden’s head floating in front of an image of the U.S. Constitution.

Then his appearance onstage at TED 2014 gave him more of a physical form. Although he wasn’t really there, he was controlling a BEAM telepresence robot from his undisclosed location in Russia.

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