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Juror’s Creed

While researching my obligations for #juryduty Thursday, I came across this “Juror’s Creed.” The gender-specific reference to men, the instruction to reflect upon the virtues of democracy, and the instruction to respect the judge’s education all hint at a historical context for the creed. Institutions never put their creeds into writing unless they feel those creeds are threatened in some way. I am a juror, I accept the position not…

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NAVY TO DROP ALL-CAPS COMMUNICATIONS

Caps off to the Navy’s plan to drop all-caps. OFFICIAL COMMUNICATIONS AND ORDERS HAVE BEEN IN ALL CAPS SINCE 19TH CENTURY. YOUNG SAILORS ACCUSTOMED TO TEXTING SEE ALL-CAPS ORDERS AS A FORM OF SHOUTING! NAVY WANTS ITS ORDERS AND OFFICIAL MESSAGES TO BE MORE READABLE AND LESS RUDE. “WHILE THIS DECISION WAS MADE TO SAVE MONEY AND GAIN EFFICIENCIES, IF AN ANCILLARY BENEFIT IS THAT SAILORS READING MESSAGE TRAFFIC NO…

Police, citizens and technology factor into Boston bombing probe

In addition to being almost universally wrong, the theories developed via social media complicated the official investigation, according to law enforcement officials. Those officials said Saturday that the decision on Thursday to release photos of the two men in baseball caps was meant in part to limit the damage being done to people who were wrongly being targeted as suspects in the news media and on the Internet. That decision,…

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FBI: ‘Exercise Caution and Attempt to Verify Information Through Appropriate Official Channels Before Reporting’

The FBI reminds journalists about a few things they should have learned in News Reporting 101. After multiple media outlets (especially CNN) wrongly reported that an arrest had been made in Boston, the FBI is urging media to “exercise caution and attempt to verify information through appropriate official channels before reporting.” “Contrary to widespread reporting, no arrest has been made in connection with the Boston Marathon attack. Over the past…

Pipe Trouble’s government woes highlight gaming illiteracy

Interesting discussion of a political hoopla surrounding a Canadian provincial TV station’s support of a video game on laying an oil pipeline. In a previous job, I was evaluated by people who asked me to submit printouts of my online work; my printouts were then evaluated according to criteria that were developed for print work. A similar dynamic seems to lead to public outcry based on videos and summaries of…

Forget the Cellphone Fight — We Should Be Allowed to Unlock Everything We Own

As long as Congress focuses on just unlocking cellphones, they’re missing the larger point. Senators could pass a hundred unlocking bills; five years from now large companies will find some other copyright claim to limit consumer choice. To really solve the problem, Congress must enact meaningful copyright reform. The potential economic benefits are significant, as free information creates jobs. Service information is freely available online for many smartphones from iFixit…

A warning to college profs from a high school teacher

My students did well on those questions because we practiced bad writing. My teaching was not evaluated on the basis of how well my students did, but I felt I had a responsibility to prepare them for the examination in a way that could result in their obtaining college credit. I would like to believe that I prepared them to think more critically and to present cogent arguments, but I…