Weekend Thoughts - 4.16.16

Image  by  Andrea Kirkby , courtesy of  Creative Commons  licensing.

Image by Andrea Kirkby, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

Happy Saturday y'all! Below, I have rounded up some things for you to think about this weekend:

1. Catching automobile drivers who have been texting while driving is fairly difficult now, but a proposed New York law may rely on making it possible to identify offenders. A device dubbed the "textalyzer" would scan cell phones owned by people involved in crashes for recent activity, and those who refuse to submit to the scanning process could potentially lose their license, akin to the penalty for refusing to submit to Breathalyzer tests. The technology is supposedly not able to see specifically what the cell phone user was doing on the device—just if it was recently active. Police would need a warrant to determine whether an on-the-road conversation was actually occurring prior to the crash. This proposed law raises several issues—such as the device's level of accuracy and the ability to obtain other data from cell phones without the owner knowing about it. This will definitely be something to keep our eyes out for.

2. The arrest of this Guy Fawkes mask-wearing man while sitting silently during a hearing at the Arizona Capitol might be disturbing for some, but it is worth viewing and sharing. The nonviolent man was handled roughly by police – presumably solely for wearing the "Anonymous" mask on top of his head – including a period of time while they choked him, before being forced to leave the building. He now faces criminal charges including trespassing, resisting arrest, and aggravated assault of an officer. The hearing was held to discuss suspected election fraud that occurred during the Arizona Democratic primary, which included wait times of up to five hours, missing candidates on polls, and the premature announcement that Hillary Clinton had won the state—hours before voters had finished casting their ballots.

3. For those of us who use ad-blocking applications to experience a decluttered version of the world wide web, a new web browser called Brave has the potential to replace third-party ads with its own privacy-friendly ads on media sites while sharing 70 percent of the revenue with publishers. However, publishers are not having it, threatening to sue Brave Software for a copyright violation called "republication".  There is little legal precedent for the case, and if it does see its day in court, there is no telling what the ruling will be.

4. An Italian artist named Gianluca Gimini spent the past seven years collecting improvised drawings-on-the-spot depicting bicycles drawn from the memory of friends and random strangers. The collection of photos demonstrated some trends in peoples' inabilities to remember the basic construction of bicycles, and Gimini rendered photo-realistic models of many of of them, which are simply amazing to look at.

That's all for this week's edition of Weekend Thoughts. Until next week, keep thinking wilder.