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No privacy in city life: what modern methods are bringing us to (1902)

“Is it possible,” asked the Chicago Tribune in 1902, “to be a private citizen in Chicago?”

March 2016 / 3 min.

My favorite top WordPress plugins for 2016

So, what are my recommended favorite plugins to use with WordPress in 2016? Wordfence, UpdraftPlus, ImageInject, Amber, and Really Simple SSL + CloudFlare.

February 2016 / 3 min.

Four useful analytic categories from science and technology studies

Science and technology studies (STS) is an interdisciplinary collection of analytic approaches. In his analysis of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Philip Doty pulls out four concepts from STS that he believes are particularly useful

February 2016 / 2 min.

Privacy can keep histories of abuse hidden from public view

Privacy can serve both to protect individuals and to shield abusers from public visibility.

February 2016 / 2 min.

Affirmative vs. passive privacy in domestic violence and abortion

A “passive” version of the right to privacy – the “right to be let alone” – creates challenges for advocates against domestic violence. A more “active” version provides a viable alternative.

February 2016 / 2 min.

Haverty v. Bass: protecting the public health in 1876

In 1873 a Bangor police officer and a physician forcibly pulled Martin Haverty’s child “out of the arms of the mother” in order “to remove it to the city hospital” for quarantine due to suspected smallpox infection.

February 2016 / 2 min.

Salus populi suprema lex: law and public health

It is unquestionable, that the legislature can confer police powers upon public officers, for the protection of the public health. The maxim salus populi suprema lex is the law of all courts and countries. The individual right sinks in the necessity to provide for the public good.

February 2016 / 2 min.

Doctor-patient privilege and the common law

Despite being part of the original Hippocratic oath, doctor-patient confidentiality is a relatively new addition to Anglo-American law.

December 2015 / 2 min.

Making DNS work when your ISP blocks port 53

As I was curious about the methods and approaches of so-called “Smart DNS” services to get around geo-blocking, I wanted to experiment with a variety of them to see how they functioned. Frustratingly, I couldn’t get any of them to work. I could change my DNS servers (on my router, on my Windows machine, on […]

October 2015 / 2 min.

Cows vs. railroads: the near-death experience of President Grant

A rather incredible 1869 train accident involved President Grant, his family, and the Secretary of the Treasury – and a cow.

July 2015 / 2 min.