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Kevin Beddingfield
Works at HomePipe Networks
Lives in Seattle, WA
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Dan Gillmor originally shared:
 
The Web 2.0 Summit conference, held each year in San Francisco, has become one of the premier tech gatherings in part to the solid lineup of industry speakers that it attracts. But it was a politician, not a tech executive, who was the highlight of the conference's first day.

Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, spoke common sense about the intersection of technology and policy. He demonstrated a command of key issues, not a memorized list of talking points.

Venture Beat's Dean Takahashi has a good roundup of what Wyden had to say (see link below). I want to emphasize a portion of Wyden's comments, because they were so important in the national conversation we should be having over tech and policy. I say "should" because we're scarcely having any debate at all beyond superficialities.

Among Wyden's most important recent actions as a senator have related to a grotesque bill, sponsored by alleged liberal Patrick Leahy, Democrat of Vermont. The "Protect IP Act" -- https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/05/protect-ip-act-coica-redux -- is designed, as Wyden accurately said, to let the copyright cartel "use government as a club to go after another part of our economy, which is the innovation sector and everything the internet represents." Wyden has put a hold on the bill, as any senator can do with any legislation, but he's one person against one of the most powerful lobbies around -- and the cartel is nothing if not patient.

Wyden also took aim at the Obama administration's secret interpretation of the already terrible "Patriot Act" (has a law ever been more cynically named?) that grants massive spying powers to government with little accountability. Obama's government is apparently spying in vast new ways on Americans, but we're not even allowed to know how his administration is viewing its authority under the law -- it's a secret, you know. Again almost alone, Wyden is trying to pry open this abuse of the system by an administration that has been, in key ways, even more hostile to civil liberties than its predecessor.

Wyden paraphrased Benjamin Franklin's admonition, which has never rung more true: "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

The American people have forgotten this warning -- and we are swiftly heading toward the end of liberty. With politicians like Wyden around, however, there's still some hope.

(Note: An embarrassing moment in Wyden's appearance came when his interviewer, John Heilemann, a political writer for New York magazine, told the audience that he and the senator are friends, whereupon Wyden told the audience to buy Heilemann's book about the 2008 campaign. There was a joking tone to it all, but I've rarely seen a better demonstration of Washington insider culture, in which the "journalists" are proud members of the club.)
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Kevin Beddingfield

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If you're not in awe of how little you knew 5 years ago than you might not be learning enough.
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Optimism is not a good default setting when it comes to people changing their behavior.
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It's starting to click for me that many of ruby's features facilitate some really nice refactoring techniques that make bringing order to legacy code simpler than a more rigid language like java. Coming from java I used to wrongly view that level of dynamicism as something that too easily causes chaos. Feels good to stand corrected :-)
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Yes - this will push peripheral hardware innovation
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My ~1.5 year old post on queuing rpc requests in GWT is now the #1 search result in google for people searching on such things :-)
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You need to write more stuff like this.  I think you'd get quite a following in the development community if you write more of this kind of stuff.
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However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.

GEORGE WASHINGTON
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Hot dogs grilling on an autumn saturday
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Gandhi's top 10. Published on August 31, 2011 in News and Private. 63 Comments. I came across a blog that listed Gandhi's Top 10 Fundamentals for Changing the World. 1. Change “You must be the...
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Have him in circles
42 people
MAGNA VERSE's profile photo
Vadim S's profile photo
Fritz Rodriguez's profile photo
Kevin Dewalt's profile photo
Michael Ramirez's profile photo
Patrick Smith's profile photo
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j steinhebel's profile photo
Bill Agee's profile photo
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    Software Engineer, present
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Software engineer, husband, father, filler outer of "about me" sections.
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