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My sidebar now has links to interesting and useful stuff about Japan. Let me know if you know of anything else cool that I should be checking out while I’m here. Also, I’ve had a terrible comment spam problem which I’m now managing with Akismet. If you’ve commented recently, you might have been lost in a sea of pheteramine ads. Try again!

I’m testifying today before the Copyright Office on an application for an exemption from 1201(a) of the DMCA. Our requested exemption is for unlocking mobile phone. More at the end of the day.

There’s an interesting editorial in the New York Times this morning from a former prosecutor, warning about overusing DNA collection. Normally, I would just read this and agree. However, a few days ago, I was having lunch with my CIS colleagues, and Larry was asking what would be so wrong with having, for example, a device in the car that measures how fast you are going, or what your blood alcohol level is. You could let people speed, or drive drunk, in case there were emergencies, but if there was an accident or other need for proof, society would have it. Lauren countered that this was a slippery slope, that would result in all kinds of surveillance for all sorts of minor activities. Larry responded that we could agree to gather evidence only of the most serious types of crimes, and only use it after one of those crimes had occurred, to both deter and catch/convict. Harlan Levy’s op-ed identifies several reasons that Larry’s idea is dangerous.

Cryptographer, gamer and NerdSalon puzzler Elonka Dunin has a cool interview on whitedust.net. She tells a great story of building an unconventional and totally absorbing career. For those of us that didn’t follow the usual job path, its both familiar and amazing at the same time.

We’re at the Cultural Environmentalism at 10 conference. Joe Gratz is blogging. One of the great things about this conference is that most people here consider themselves not only academics, but also activists. As a result, the atmosphere is one of working together on the important problem of preserving, protecting and promoting culture.

Check out Spencer Ante’s photo essay from his recent trip to New Orleans.

Taken by Jake Appelbaum on February 16, 2006

I have a few more New Orleans photos up now. Also, the ninth ward barge is being dismantled.

Brad and I returned from our trip to New Orleans for the first weekend of Mardi Gras yesterday, and my photos are up. I’ll blog more about the trip here tomorrow, but Brad’s take on the trip is here.

My interview with NeoFiles’ RU Sirius about why hackers should run the government is now up. Jake Appelbaum joins me in the conversation. Here’s a photo he took of me doing the podcast with RU:

and here’s RU interviewing us:

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