We The State, Not We The People

By now, most if not all of us have seen the graphic images from UC Davis, where students were pepper sprayed at point blank range by two officers of the campus police force. These images have become more and more commonplace in our society, which is quite sad. The news seems more and more consistently filled with stories of police actions that cross the boundaries of what we might consider acceptable, and the reality is that technology has made it easier to catch these officers “in the act.” But what is terribly heinous is not the actions themselves (though they are); it is the systematic setting of internal policies that allow these activities to take place – and often, go unpunished.

A few months ago, I had the privilege of serving on a jury. The case was simple: a single misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct. The facts were equally simple: the defendant, after walking out of a bar, was struck by another man who had just left a different bar. Bouncers from the second bar immediately forced the assailant into the parking lot, and made sure that the defendant was alright. After a few minutes, he proceeded to the parking lot to get his car; the assailant again assaulted him. The defendant this time defended himself; he easily overpowered the assailant and by the time the police arrived, had the altercation well in hand.

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Monday, November 21st, 2011 @ 1:23 am | Comments (0) | Categories: Uncategorized

Working To Defeat the Stop Online Piracy Act

In the past few days, the alarm has been sounded in the technology community for us to help defeat the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). This legislation, while well-intentioned, is crafted in such a way that it would give private companies the power to shut down other private companies, and require the government and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to initiate a system for DNS blocking and domain seizure. The law’s vague language and powerful provisions combine to create a law that has the power to shut down sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube – or more realistically, the next generation of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. This isn’t hyperbole, it’s real.

A number of technology companies are banding together to defeat this legislation. Mozilla is one of those companies. Yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on SOPA, which I had the privilege of attending along with James Socol and Alex Fowler. Following the hearing, James and I paid visits to several members of the Judiciary Committee, meeting with a number of staffers and talking about Mozilla’s (and our personal) opposition to this bill. It was a great experience in hands-on involvement in the government, and I’m proud of our efforts.

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Thursday, November 17th, 2011 @ 5:15 pm | Comments (0) | Categories: Uncategorized
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1st Amendment, Meet 4th Amendment: The Gizmodo Search Warrant

In news that is likely to reverberate around the internet a Gizmodo reporter named Jason Chen was searched by San Mateo police, and relieved of all his computer equipment in an ongoing investigation into the Apple iPhone exclusive and related stories. Gizmodo published those stories last week, creating a minor uproar on the internet.

I’d like to make clear from the outset: I don’t care at all about the next generation iPhone. Knowing its details doesn’t make me get one any faster, and if anything the leak may slow the release of the next generation of iPhone. But as a blogger, I do care about the legal implications of Gizmodo’s choices, and how they might affect other bloggers.

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Monday, April 26th, 2010 @ 8:07 pm | Comment (7) | Categories: Technology, Uncategorized
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Some Soul Searching

This entry isn’t about PHP.

It’s about where those of us who develop for a living, PHP or otherwise, see ourselves in the future.

From time to time I do some soul searching and think about where I’ve been and where I’m going. With a tough few months in the books, I wanted to take some time and figure out my next moves, and where I’m heading.

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Friday, January 29th, 2010 @ 1:00 am | Comment (2) | Categories: Technology, Uncategorized
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Integrating Source Control Into Your Projects

If you ask most developers about source control, they’ll agree that it’s a wise thing to use. They’ll insist that they think it’s important. But yet, why are so many companies out there still not using source control in their projects? A good number of companies that I’ve worked with failed to make use of source control, resulting in issues that would have been trivial otherwise. In this article we’ll explore ways to make sure that if your company isn’t using source control, that you can help make a change to this policy.

Source control doesn’t need to come from the top
The first oft-considered misconception is that source control must be endorsed by upper management in order for developers to use it effectively. This is 100% incorrect. There are a number of ways that developers can make use of source control, even if management fails to embrace it, or rejects it altogether.

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Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009 @ 8:00 am | Comment (9) | Categories: Technology, Uncategorized

BrandonSavage.net Code of Conduct When Commenting

Last month was a record month, fueled by a front-page story at Reddit. This blog had 27,663 unique visitors with 52,343 visits and 125,164 page views. That’s an astounding amount of support from the PHP community and the programming community at large. Thank you. I’m overwhelmed, and excited that this blog has the ability to reach large numbers of people. I enjoy writing, and I enjoy discussing programming best practices, as well as talking about the things that matter to PHPers around the globe.

With this infusion of readers, a number of issues have begun to surface related to the comments, and particularly, the appropriateness of some users’ comments. While many of these comments are left in moderation, and never reach the end-user, I believe it is crucial that each and every comment be beneficial, useful, and appropriate. Thus, it is necessary to lay down the criteria I will use to judge the worthiness of a comment before it is approved, or the worth of a comment if it is posted without moderation.

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Tuesday, December 8th, 2009 @ 1:00 am | Comment (3) | Categories: Uncategorized, Technology

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