Category: Ethics

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The New Journalism

I had the below IM conversation with Nate Mook of Betanews after posting about PR blogging on my work blog. All times are Pacific (-8 GMT):

Joe says: (3:54:02 PM)
I couldn’t resist: http://www.microsoft-watch.com/content/developer/net_35_sp1_changes_your_expression.html
Nate says: (3:57:30 PM)
Saw that
Nate says: (3:57:31 PM)
Good post
Nate says: (3:57:40 PM)
I’ve been thinking the same thing recently
Joe says: (3:57:47 PM)
I’m really bugged about this.
Joe says: (3:57:52 PM)
Ah, good for you.

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Scoble Scrapes Friends’ Trust

Robert Scoble has been the talk of the Web today, for getting booted from Facebook. Robert is back on Facebook now, but he shouldn’t be. Facebook suspended the former Microsoft evangelist blogger for a terms-of-service violation. He used a testing Plaxo tool to mine, or “scrape,” information from about 5,000 of his contacts. [Editor’s note, April 4, 2017: Three Scobelizer posts gone; links removed.] 

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Truth Be Told

According to Fox’s House, “Everybody lies”. Funny thing, truth is one of the highest values in American culture, even if many people do in fact lie from time to time, or—in some cases—most of the time.

The esteemed value of truth—or at least not lying—is baked into the U.S. legal system. Former President Bill Clinton got nailed for lying as did Martha Stewart. The lying, or obstruction to getting truth, is what sunk them into legal hot water.

Now it’s US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in the boiling pot. For what? Lying. 

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DO Download This Song?

Weird Al Yankovic is at it again, with a nice parody of file trading and copyrights. His upcoming album “Straight Outta Lynwood”, features track “Don’t Download This Song”. The music video trails a young kid’s descent from peer networks to prison.

But this is something from Mr. Parody, so there is legitimate question which side of the file trading/copyright debate Weird Al belongs. As an artist, he might want to get paid for his work. Yet, his lyrics also stab at his profession. 

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We Should Do Something

Each year, Kensington, Md., holds an annual Labor Day parade. For pictures I took last year, I held back one of the best: A very young girl sitting next to an American flag. Her facial expression and composition evoked the patriotic sentiments of the day. But her tank top had partially fallen down to reveal a nipple. As much as I liked the image, I kept it from my online collection of the day. I know that out there, scouring the Internet, are pedophiles that get off on pictures of kids.

Millions of people use the internet each day to watch adult pornography which is perfectly legal, and because it’s so popular more and more free porn sites are now available ones like hdsexvideo, unfortunately there are those that use the internet for darker purposes and troll through social media sites looking for pictures of kids. You might think that posting a picture of your kid taking a bath on facebook is completely innocent and to you and many others it is, but there are some out there that if they saw that picture would look at it in the same way as a normal adult would look at a picture of a naked woman or man, you don’t want to think that there are people out there looking at a picture of your kid in a sexual way but unfortunately that’s the hard truth these days.

Today’s New York Times story “Using Nearly Nude Pictures, Child Sex Sites Test Laws” takes a stark look at this dark underworld of online predators. But the predators aren’t just pedophiles. The story looks at the lurid world of child modeling, which pictures skirt the definition of child pornography.

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Yeah, I’m Angry

Family friends run a construction business. The husband, who is from Central America, sees a fair number of people looking to take advantage of Hispanic business owners and workers. The presumption is Hispanic means illegal immigrant. And if the, uh, American doesn’t pay, there’s nothing the illegal can do. In fact, there often are threats about turning in the Hispanic immigrant to US authorities.

Now, this man is legal. He has a green card and runs an honest business. But he witnesses plenty of discrimination against Hispanics and gets some of it, too. I mention this because, one, it really pisses me off and, two, there is this immigration debate raging on Capitol Hill. 

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No Finder Keeper

My daughter and I fled the house today, down the road to the 7-Eleven. My wife had gone out for the afternoon—and left to fend for our own lunch, we opted for convenience. My daughter got a turkey and cheese sub, while I went for a burrito. But on the way to the convenience store, there was adventure: A lost cell phone.

As we cut across a parking lot towards the 7-Eleven, I spotted a clamshell on the pavement. Well, well, finder’s keepers? Not in my family. Lost is returned. We hoofed over to the building adjacent to the parking lot, asking if someone had lost a cell phone. The folks inside weren’t exactly helpful. I called myself using the lost phone, hoping to get some caller ID. None, except a number with 206 area code, which I recognized as Washington State.