Child Porn and the Internet

The issue of how we can block porn on the Internet, especially child porn, is heating up here in Canada as the programmer, Briere, who kidnapped and killed a 12 year old girl, Holly, confessed that, "I don’t know how it is for other people, but for myself, I would say that, yes, viewing the material does motivate you to do other things … the more I saw it, the more I longed for it in my heart.". (See CJAD 800 : News.) Conservative leader Steven Harper has now made it an election issue accusing Martin of being soft on child porn.
Like the question of whether violent games encourage violent action, we are seeing a debate about the relationship between pornography and abuse. See, for example, Rosie Dimanno’s response in the Toronto Star, TheStar.com – The abomination of Briere’s excuses.
The difficulty is in how to respond, and respond we must if there is evidence that child porn encourages violence against children. If one legislates representations then there is the risk that artistic representations with nude children will be deemed pornography. The alternative is to legislate intent, but how do you tell intent? Can one look at systems of production and distribution to distinguish art from porn? Is it any less porn if displayed in an art gallery?
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Blackberry Politics

BlackBerry fuels nasty campaign brush fire is a front page story in today’s Globe and Mail (Campbell Clark, Steven Chase, and Jane Taber, Friday, May 28, 2004, Page A1). This is the second time this meme has surfaced in the Globe – it was embedded in an earlier story by Taber (see below) so I can’t help thinking the Globe was planning this technology angle and waiting for an event hook to get it onto the front page.
That said, it is interesting that BlackBerrys have surfaced as the new technology to watch and that they have become mainstream news. This may be due to the fact the RIM is a Canadian company. It could be that we have a critical mass of people doing instant e-mail. It could be that we are beginning to think of the cultural effects of instant messaging and portable Internet enabled technologies. Elections make great turning points with which to date and explain change.

So powerful is the use of digital technology in the election that single comments can spread like wildfire along broadband lines and satellite signals, from war rooms in Ottawa to campaign buses rolling along distant highways in the Maritimes.The wireless war of 2004 erupted Wednesday night when the NDP Leader went, as political operatives like to say, off message.

Remember Carter and how his election win of 1984 was reported to have been helped by the use of e-mail. Likewise we saw
Howard Dean get attention this year for his web enabled campaign. Technology news and elections make interesting combinations.
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Google Labs

Google has just changed their interface. They now point to a “more” section with more services. Google Labs is one of the new services which has a number of interesting experimental projects including one that allows you to volunteer processing for academic use – like the SETI screen saver, but a generic service. Now they should try a Beacon-like volunteer archiving project. See my note Freenet and Beacon.

Vivisimo Clustering Engine

Vivisimo Clustering – automatic categorization and meta-search software is a meta search engine with a great outliner like interface that lets you move through lots of hits. They gather hits from other engines and cluster them into a hierarchy that can be browsed. The idea is obvious once you try it for searches where you want to manage lots of hits. Thanks to Matt for this.
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notlong.org: Short URLs

A comment to a note on Annotations had an intriguing comment by Seb who has a blog at seb.notlong.org. I went there, and, because the server was busy it dropped me into the notlong.org site which provides simple service where people can get a short url created that resolves to their longer url. Thus XXX.notlong.org resolves to something entirely different. (Thanks Seb – this is the second note with something I have learned from him.)

See notlong Short URL Redirection: Make a long URL notlong. This suggests one could create a long term url that would travel with you like a life phone number. (What would I do with all my stuff at Mac if I left?)
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