Daily Archives: November 30, 2012

Friday Night Music: Sarah Vaughn, “The Nearness of You”

This version is particularly wonderful. Sarah Vaughn was so young and lovely at the time when this was filmed. And no one can do this classic better than her. Here’s Sarah Vaughn, The Nearness of You (YouTube)

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Email grows up. Or the U.S. Senate starts to catch up.

How? By moving this way: Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Overhaul of Electronic Communications Privacy Act – NYTimes.com. As the Times says:

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved a bill that would strengthen privacy protection for e-mails by requiring law enforcement officials to obtain a warrant from a judge in most cases before gaining access to messages in individual accounts stored electronically.

Someone on Twitter said that we should thank General Petraeus for this, and they may be correct. His recent situation likely has lead to bipartisan support for updating the law and giving more protection to email (which is more or less the only mail people send or receive these days)

I believe laws for email and other IT need to be updated more frequently (this law was on the books in 1986). Not as often as tech does, but it should be regularly reviewed for relvance.

Digital City: using payphones to make the city (New York City) into a computer

It’s good to see New York city taking advantage of existing infrastructure (pay phone pods) to make their city more digital: First of 250 internet-connected touchscreens replace pay phones in New York City | The Verge. It is not as novel as this use of the pay phone pods (How New York Pay Phones Became Guerrilla Libraries – Arts & Lifestyle – The Atlantic Cities) but it will be more useful.A great example of the city becoming a computer.

It is good to see New York leading in efforts to make theirs a digital city. See also this article, More NY Subway Stations Will Get Wi-Fi, Cell Service – Personal-tech – Wireless Technology – BYTE. Digital cities need user interfaces (like the touchscreens), but they also need infrastructure (the wireless network). Now they need more APIs and other components and subsystems if they are going to truly become something users can use and programmers can program. But it’s getting there.

While lots of cities will be pursuing such ideas, I think New York making progress like this will help propel alot of other cities to become more digital.

(Standard disclaimer: this post expresses my own thoughts and opinions and not those of my employer.)