Statement by U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz
In a huge story, many have linked the prosecution of Aaron Swartz to his tragic suicide. Here’s part of a statement by U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz trying to argue that her prosecution of Swartz was reasonable.
As a parent and a sister, I can only imagine the pain felt by the family and friends of Aaron Swartz, and I want to extend my heartfelt sympathy to everyone who knew and loved this young man. I know that there is little I can say to abate the anger felt by those who believe that this office’s prosecution of Mr. Swartz was unwarranted and somehow led to the tragic result of him taking his own life.
I must, however, make clear that this office’s conduct was appropriate in bringing and handling this case. The career prosecutors handling this matter took on the difficult task of enforcing a law they had taken an oath to uphold, and did so reasonably. The prosecutors recognized that there was no evidence against Mr. Swartz indicating that he committed his acts for personal financial gain, and they recognized that his conduct — while a violation of the law — did not warrant the severe punishments authorized by Congress and called for by the Sentencing Guidelines in appropriate cases. That is why in the discussions with his counsel about a resolution of the case this office sought an appropriate sentence that matched the alleged conduct — a sentence that we would recommend to the judge of six months in a low security setting. While at the same time, his defense counsel would have been free to recommend a sentence of probation. Ultimately, any sentence imposed would have been up to the judge. At no time did this office ever seek — or ever tell Mr. Swartz’s attorneys that it intended to seek — maximum penalties under the law.
As federal prosecutors, our mission includes protecting the use of computers and the Internet by enforcing the law as fairly and responsibly as possible. We strive to do our best to fulfill this mission every day.
I guess it’s encouraging at some level they were not seeking harsh sentences in a plea arrangement, but they also should have known that as a matter of principle Swartz would never cop a plea.
We have many laws on the books that frankly are obsolete in the Internet age, and we need prosecutors with judgement over prosecutors with an agenda. The obvious course of action here was probation with a stern warning, so Swartz and others would know that they have to be careful with mass downloads of information.
The government and the Justice Department needs to get on this asap. These antiquated laws in the hands of idiot prosecutors are lethal weapons.
Facebook introduces ‘Graphic Search’
Tons of people love Facebook, but most will agree that the search function sucks. It’s pretty surprising that new developments have taken so long for Facebook in this area, but today’s big announcement reveals a pretty impressive evolution in the whole search concept.
Graph Search, which is initially launching as a beta product for U.S. audiences only, will allow users to uncover social connections between other members of the site and quickly identify which friends have been to certain places, “liked” specific topics or appeared in certain photos.
Friends, places, interests and photos will be the foundation for queries when the search engine launches, Facebook said. For example, Facebook explained how Graph Search could be used to find “My friends who live in Palo Alto who like Game of Thrones,” “Indian restaurants liked by my friends from India” or “Photos of my friends taken in Paris.” Singles looking to meet people could search “Friends of friends who are single men in San Francisco.” Someone trying to remember a person she’d met at a friend’s party evening before could query, “People named Drew who are friends of Peter and went to Harvard.”
We’ll see if the actual service lives up to the hype, but the potential seems significant.
Five Tips for Winning at Online Poker
Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalImages.net
Online poker is a fun and entertaining hobby. If you like to play poker at the tables, try your luck at some online poker with these five tips.
Manage Your Bankroll
One of the most frustrating aspects of online poker, or gambling in general, is that one day you’re up, the next day you’re down. Keep loses to a minimum and maximize your winnings by properly managing your bankroll. Improper bankroll management is a key mistake for amateur poker players, so watch your bankroll to avoid a rookie mistake. A good rule of thumb is to never put more than five percent of your total bankroll in on any game.
Don’t Play When You’re Bored
If you only play online poker when you’re bored, then you’re likely to lose. You’re likely to experience more drastic swings when you’re feeling bored. For most people, if you’re playing poker while you’re bored, then you’ll probably play too many hands or risk higher stakes to try to escape boredom. Plan your play time and you’ll be much more successful.
Whether you’re playing online poker at Sportsbook or just practicing the game, you’ll want to take notes. Take note of what your opponents are doing and their style of betting. This will help you spot weak points and discover how you can get the upperhand with your opponents. If you take notes on enough showdowns, you will be better prepared to make an educated decision with your play.
Learn from the Professionals
Most pro poker players only play at higher levels, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t still learn from the professionals. Online poker is different from live poker, so you’ll want to know how the best in the game actually play. There are websites dedicated to showing online poker tournaments so you can learn more and see the more advanced techniques.
Play Multiple Tables
Playing more than one table at a time will ensure that you don’t put all your money on just one table. Multiple tables also helps you keep your focus, which is easy to lose while on the internet. Start with two tables and see how well you can manage. If you can still play a good game and take notes at the same time, then you are in control. Once you lose the ability to take notes while you play, then you are at too many tables and need to cut back.
What are some of your best techniques for online poker?
How Long Do Your Posts Stay Online? A Look At What Forever Really Means
Life is funny. One day we’re hiding something from our parents. The next we’re trying to find what our kids are hiding from us. Soon after, we’re helping our grandkids sneak sweets and stay up too late. As we toggle from one side to the other, we see things from different perspectives. But our online reputation lasts forever. Here’s a look at what this means for you, your life and your privacy.
Teens and Online Reputations
We enter our teens needing permission to visit a friend. We exit in full control of our lives, able to leave the state or even the country without permission. This maturation process means we slowly leave our parent’s protective shield and start making our own decisions – and our own mistakes. Many teens today post their mistakes all over social media, without appreciation for what this means later in life. Teen’s reputations are based on the coolness factor, not what an employer, future spouse or eventually their kids might think.
Adulthood and Online Reputations
Before social media, the worst thing we had to worry about was Uncle Larry showing up with those pictures from camp freshman year. Parents who grew up on Facebook and Twitter have endless timelines that prove we did everything we’re trying to tell our kids not to. It’s not just parents who need to worry. Now that we’re adults, our bosses, people who could lend us a mortgage or car loan and the guys who evaluate our insurance claims have access to this information. Reputation CEO Fertik says there aren’t sufficient laws in the works to protect prying eyes from this information.
Senior Adulthood and Online Reputations
So, you’ve raised your kids and finished your career and your online reputation no longer matters, right? Not so fast. Now that you’ve accumulated wealth over a lifetime, you’re the target for online predators, such as scammers and identity thieves. If your accomplishments are featured in articles about you, you can believe con artists bet on you having a buck or two they can shave off. It might come in the form of an email scam, stealing your credit or blackmail.
In this digital age, forever truly means forever. The high school paper or the high school prank, the way you discipline your children and how much money you’ve banked in your IRA – it’s all online for the world to see. How can you protect yourself, your reputation and everything you’ve worked so hard to earn? Visit Reputation.com for valuable advice on safekeeping your forever.
Uber ready to roll in DC
It looks like all the fat cats in Washington DC will be able to take advantage of Uber, the hot new app for scheduling limo service.
Gear up your marketing efforts for 2013
As you think about your business marketing strategy for the coming year, it’s important to consider all of the various strategies and tactics, from TV advertising to print to social media.
There’s been a lot of talk about social media, and many brands are using Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites effectively. Frankly, if you’re in consumer products, consumer services or entertainment, you really need a presence there as part of your branding efforts and also for your PR strategy.
Yet beware of the consultants out there who over-promise what can be achieved here. These so-called experts look for big fees to get companies to make big investments here. Sometimes these investments are warranted, other times they are not. Now we’re seeing some of the backlash as described in this Yahoo! article. The argument here may be a bit extreme, as they assert that most social media marketing is a waste of time. That’s ridiculous when you consider the branding aspects that aren’t even addressed in the article. But it offers good information about the over-promised benefits. Be careful on how you spend money here.
Of course there remains more traditional methods like business cards, brochures and other print materials. You can of course shop around online at places like 48 hour print so it’s not like it was 15 years ago when you needed to use local providers. Now that you can compare prices online printing is much cheaper. Also, there are still many potential customers and partners who react to nicely printed brochures, so keep that in mind for your business as well. Not every business can be entirely virtual.
Assuming the fiscal cliff gets resolved soon, there are plenty of indications that the economy is ready to take off. Consumer confidence is up, so take advantage of the opportunity and work on some serious marketing efforts for next year.
The inconic Bond girls
Ever since Ursula Andress emerged from the sea in her bikini as Honey Ryder in “Dr. No,” the Bond girls have been part of the special formula that made the James Bond films a huge success. The films and their elements, like the gadgets and the cars, have become an iconic part of pop culture around the world. With “Skyfall” due to hit theaters around the world, you can expect to see a huge rush of James Bond memorabilia being sold, from new items relating to the new film to collectables from the classics.
Items like the James Bond movie posters and posters of the Bond girls will likely get plenty of attention as well. Whether you get a new one or a classic poster you’ll want to check out a poster frame depot to find the best way to make these items fit your room. Posters of individual Bond girls have always been popular, but the early movie posters always featured the Bond girls. That continued for years but has become less prominent in recent posters. You can stick with just the old ones or mix and match them for a more eclectic look.
Google shares plunge on earnings miss
Google shares got rocked today when poor earnings numbers were prematurely released. Trading had to be halted but the bloodbath would have happened regardless, though many investors were caught off guard of course.
I have no idea why Google missed earnings numbers, but I can say that they need a serious lesson in customer service. Google has treated its Adsense partners with contempt, and if Microsoft wasn’t incompetent, Google would be losing even more business.
Initial reviews are good for Xbox Music
The online music world is getting a new entry soon with the launch of Xbox Music. The question is whether Microsoft will finally get things right after their doomed Zune experiment.
Still, Xbox Music is more than just about rebranding. Microsoft clearly intends it to be an all-encompassing effort. Users can download music a la carte like Apple (AAPL) iTunes, stream music a la Spotify, and listen to customized playlists in the same vein as Pandora (P). Early impressions cast the Xbox Music experience as “wonderful,” even.
The problem is that it’s only launching on Xbox and Windows * and won’t be on other platforms until next year. Still, Microsoft needed a new music service, and it looks like again they might have a good product based on copying its successful competitors.
Online services have to be part of your search
The Internet has become a part of our daily lives, and social media has only enhanced the importance of the web. Yet it’s still amazing how many people don’t take full advantage of the tools that are available online or through their smartphone. Of course that’s changing, particularly with the exploding popularity of phones. Now you can check directions or the weather with a quick tap on your phone. You don’t need to sit down and boot up your computer or tablet.
Still, web searching is much easier on a laptop or desktop if you’re doing real research, and if you want to take full advantage of the web, you should make the time to do research for all sorts of things. This is true in your personal life along with your business life. For example, would you really do work on your home without researching potential contractors online? If so you’re being foolish. If you’re looking for online printing services, you should compare various options like UPrinting brochure printing against your local printers. If you’re shopping for anything, you should always check places like Amazon first or even while you’re at the store.
The bottom line is that you’ll get lower prices and better quality if your spend the time doing common sense research.