Mitch Wagner

Profile of Mitch Wagner

California Bureau Chief, Light Reading
News & Commentary Posts: 1161

Mitch Wagner is California bureau chief for Light Reading.

Articles by Mitch Wagner
posted in August 2008

Biden's Record Is Inconsistent On Cyber-Rights Issues

Joe Biden has a mixed record on privacy and Internet civil liberties issues. He often votes with the FBI and media companies against consumers and citizens. He sponsored legislation designed to make it illegal to circumvent copy-protection -- even on content and devices you legally own. He also sought to weaken encryption, and introduce a bill like the controversial PATRIOT Act long before 9/11. But in other areas he's defended privacy and cyber-rights.

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'Mad Men' Characters Get Twitter Accounts

Characters on the prime-time soap opera Mad Men are getting accounts at Twitter, where they post in-character comments about the goings-on at the hard-drinking, hard-smoking, sexed-up Sterling Cooper ad agency. However, the characters are at war with Twitter management, who are suspending accounts for copyright violations.

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Old Media Gets The Scoop On Obama's VP Pick

When I woke up Saturday morning, I found a text message waiting on my iPhone from the Barack Obama campaign, informing me that the candidate named Joe Biden as running mate. But I already knew that, because I'd already gotten the news the night before -- from newspapers. Old-fashioned journalism -- wordslingers working contacts inside the Obama campaign -- leaked the story in advance of your new-fangled text messaging. Score one for the old school.

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Please, Not The 'Mother's Basement' Joke Again

After reading how a John McCain staff blogger insulted Dungeons & Dragons enthusiasts with a reference to living in their mothers' basements, I'd like to make a plea to mainstream America. This is on behalf of nerds everywhere: Will you please get some new jokes about us?

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Common-Sense Cybersecurity Recommendations For Our Next President

Our next president is going to have a big job securing our nation's IT against criminals and foreign enemies. Our data networks are an important part of the national infrastructure -- and therefore tempting military targets -- along with traditional infrastructure such as dams, power plants, factories, and hospitals. Security expert Bruce Schneier has some short, sensible advice for what the next president will need to do.

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Digital Campaigning Won't Put Obama In The White House

Barack Obama is active on social networks. He swaps e-mail with a Hollywood starlet. He's planning to announce his VP choice over SMS. But this election isn't going to be decided on the Internet. Old media, especially television, will deliver the messages that win the election.

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Internet Provides Laugh Track For Presidential Campaign Silliness

This summer's presidential campaign is shaping up to be remarkably frivolous, and the Internet is providing the laugh track. While America deals with two wars and the possibility of a third, soaring gas prices, and a wobbly economy, the candidates and their supporters argue about flummery: Tire gauges, Paris Hilton, junk food, and biblical prophecy.

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Homeland Security: All Your Laptops Are Belong To Us

The gropers at the Department of Homeland Security, not content with patting you down and rummaging through your underwear, now say that they can confiscate electronics brought into the United States for any reason, anytime, and share the devices and their contents with anybody.

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Advice To Hasbro On The Scrabulous Kerfuffle

Let's do a little thought experiment for the benefit of Hasbro, the company which owns Scrabble and is trying unsuccessfully to kill Scrabulous. Let's argue the proposition that corporations should ignore most copyright violators, attempt to negotiate a settlement with the most outrageous few, and never, ever, sic the lawyers on pirates. Don't fight piracy. Try to make it work for you instead.

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How To Stop Firefox From Blocking Google Reader Popups

I just found a solution to a problem that was driving me crazy for months, and I'm passing it along now for my fellow sufferers. Firefox was blocking popups in Google Reader, even though I explicitly told Reader to allow popups for the entire domain Turns out this isn't a bug (as the programmer joke goes), it's a feature. Read on for the fix.

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