Monday, June 29, 2009

Skewed incentives

One of the questions I've been asking myself in this new job is "How effective is Herdict at monitoring in real time filtering on the web?" This morning I walked into the office and one of the interns asked me if I had heard about Guatemala. I had not. At the risk of over simplifying a complex situation, it seems that the Guatemalan president has been implicated in a corrupt banking scheme in the country. Guatemala recently arrested a man for his twitter comment which undermined trust in the banking system.

Yesterday it seems that Guatemala blocked WordPress, a popular blogging platform. In the past month we have received no reports from Guatemala, then yesterday that jumped to nearly 40, almost all of which are pertaining to WordPress.

This was very exciting news for me, because it means that even in a small country, where we haven't seen much past activity, when filtering does occur, it's being reported. But then, should I really be excited when a country tries to stifle free speech on the internet? Feels like I have some skewed incentives.

An official post will be available here

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

What I'm working on

I've just started my new job:

Monday, June 08, 2009

On the road again

We're now halfway through our 2 week road trip, and hanging out in Asheville, NC.

We started out last week with 3 nights in Cincinnati. We visited Paul's Uncle and my brother and sister-in-law there. We also ran for 30 minutes, up hill, in 90 degree weather, got lost in one of Cincinnati's "up and coming" neighborhoods, visited the Findlay markets and went to see the movie The Brothers Bloom (which was excellent).

From Cinci, we drove down to Chattanooga. We had been planning Nashville, but our scheduling didn't work out and we were going to miss Paul's Aunt and Uncle there, so we opted for Chattanooga which was more direct to Atlanta. We stayed at the Chattanooga Choo Choo hotel, in one of the antique train cars for the night. I went to this hotel when I was a kid with my dad. I remembered it vividly. It is exactly the same, if showing it's age a bit more since it hasn't had any upgrades since 1989. Still seems like a fantastic spot for the kids, but maybe less so for the adults.

We left Chattanooga early to head down to Columbus, GA before stopping in Atlanta for the night. My ex-step-sister (yes, that's right) lives in Columbus with her family, so we went to visit her and meet her 2 year old for a few hours before driving back up to Atlanta on Friday night. My friends in Atlanta that we were staying with had a wedding to go to that night, so we were on our own for dinner. We drove around hunting for Decatur square, but ended up stopping in a blues and ribs joint. These were the best ribs I've had in recent memory. They were huge! We couldn't eat half of them. So if you're ever in Atlanta and have a hankering for ribs, check out Maddy's. We stuck around for the live blues that night, which was a high school band. It was really cute, their families were all there to support them, and the lead guitarist was really good.

At 9pm, we decided, we'd fit in one more tourist attraction for the locals, the Stone Mountain Laserlight Show. Here's another event that I went to many times as a child, that I haven't seen in 20 years. It was just as popular as I remember it, with picnic blankets knitting a quilt along the lawn. They've done a few updates to the show, it now includes a tribute to 911, and it no longer includes "Proud to be an American". Despite these changes, the show has stuck to its roots. The main event is still 80s style animation and highlights Georgia's role in the civil war and music history. We thoroughly enjoyed this.

We spent the next day catching up with friends, grilling out and playing incredibly complicated board games. Then headed North up to my old home town for lunch with a friend from junior high school and a tour of my old haunts. It's been 12 years since I've really lived there. And the town just feels like a town now, like any other, it doesn't hold all the significance it once did, and it actually seemed, like a nice place.

Last night we got into Asheville, after taking the back roads up through the beginnings of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is incredibly green here.

Pittsburgh has been cut from the itinerary with the plan being to go direct to DC, with an extra day here and an extra one there.

All in all, a fantastic way to spend two weeks when you're homeless and unemployed.

  © Blogger template 'Solitude' by 2008 | Photo by Jaredflo

Back to TOP