poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Conference set on plans to issue same-sex licenses
By Richard Benke
The Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - After hearing of a county clerk's plans to resume issuing same-sex marriage licenses, a judge scheduled a court session for Wednesday to clarify the status of the case.

Sandoval County Clerk Victoria Dunlap had said she might issue the disputed licenses again based on her lawyer's view that a temporary restraining order imposed in the case had elapsed, reopening the marriage license window for gay and lesbian couples.

The attorney general's office suggests state District Judge Louis McDonald's status conference scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday would give all sides an opportunity to see the issues more clearly.

"It'll give an opportunity in open court for (Dunlap) and her lawyer to say whether that's the advice he gave her and whether that's how she is going to proceed ... and whether that reconciles with Judge McDonald's understanding of the Supreme Court order," Assistant Attorney General David Thomson said Monday.


Google's webmail service is just the beginning of a new information surveillance regime
By Annalee Newitz

YES, ALL OVER the world, people are freaking out about Google's initial public offering, which is expected to raise $2.72 billion for the 6-year-old company. But the world is also coming unglued over Google's new webmail service, Gmail. Analysts say it has several features that are potentially illegal in Europe. California state Sen. Liz Figueroa believes Gmail represents such a privacy violation that she's drafted legislation to stop it. Meanwhile, as New York Times journalist Katie Hafner reported, many people think the service is just plain icky.

Although only Google employees and their friends are able to get Gmail accounts right now, tech activists and civil liberties groups all over the world have already begun calling for the search engine giant to halt the rollout of what promises to be the most luxurious free email service available anywhere on the web.

On April 1, Google quietly announced that it would be going into the webmail business. On its face, the company's proposed service sounded positively dreamy: a free Gmail account comes with a whopping gigabyte of storage space (vs. the four to six megabytes that competitors Hotmail and Yahoo! offer); it's fueled by Google's massive server farms; and a Gmail box can be full-text searched using the company's fabled secret-sauce algorithms. There's just one catch. To pay for this amazing free service, Google is serving up a few little ads with each email. No big deal.

Except these ads are context sensitive. They're generated by bots reading your email the instant you open it, discerning key concepts in the message and choosing ads that somehow fit with the content of your email. So an email from your friend about picking up some bagels will be accompanied by ads for bagel shops in your area. An email from your lover which refers to an intimate moment you had the night before might include ads for sex toys or online dating services.


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