9th-grader arrested after taking homemade clock to school: ‘So you tried to make a bomb?’

Dallas Morning News:

Ahmed Mohamed — who makes his own radios and repairs his own go-kart — hoped to impress his teachers when he brought a homemade clock to MacArthur High on Monday.

Instead, the school phoned police about Ahmed’s circuit-stuffed pencil case.

So the 14-year-old missed the student council meeting and took a trip in handcuffs to juvenile detention. His clock now sits in an evidence room. Police say they may yet charge him with making a hoax bomb — though they acknowledge he told everyone who would listen that it’s a clock.

In the meantime, Ahmed’s been suspended, his father is upset and the Council on American-Islamic Relations is once again eyeing claims of Islamophobia in Irving.

This kid will may be scarred for life, all because he’s has an Muslim name and is brown-skinned. If a young white boy had done this, there’s no doubt in my mind that none of this—none—would have happened.

Andy Ihnatko is infuriated, rightly, and there’s a hashtag (#IStandWithAhmed) supporting the young inventor.

The world I live in continues to depress me. How may brown-skinned kids are going to read about Ahmed and decide it’s too risky to pursue something different, to say away from technology or engineering?

This is not the way to encourage more diversity in STEM.

What Silicon Valley Thinks of Women

Newsweek’s recent cover story:

[…] fortunes being made now and business models and corporate cultures forming today will be with us for a century to come—and women are for the most part sidelined. Zuckerberg, Gates, Thiel, Musk—these are our Carnegies and Morgans and Rockefellers, whose names will be on museum wings and university halls 100 years from now. And there’s not a female among them.

Too many talented women being forced from the field (or never allowed in) by boors and sexist jerks. A depressing counterpoint to Grace Hopper’s contributions to computer science. Where would we be without her dedication and intelligence? Let’s hope her name is remembered in a hundred years.

Ars Technica: Password complexity rules more annoying, less effective than lengthy ones

I’m not at all shocked.

I detest sites with requirements to include “one lower case character, one capital letter, one number, no multiple identical consecutive characters, at least eight characters…”

(These are actual (partial) requirements for an Apple ID password.)

The whole username/password thing needs to be abandoned. They, along with stupid security questions are little more than security theatre.

(The article is from 2013, but the sentiment remains.)

“From coding to the catwalk”

Lyndsey Scott, Victoria’s Secret supermodel:

[My glasses are] really broken right now… I fell asleep in them one too many times. I had been putting tape in the middle, but that hasn’t been working so well.

She has a dual-degree in computer science and theater.

Smashing stereotypes is fun.

Also this, from her brother:

If I had to liken her to someone, I’d say she’s like Gisele Bundchen mixed in with Bill Gates. I can’t imagine those two combined but if they did it would probably be Lyndsey.

“Tell ’em about the dream, Martin. Tell ’em about the dream!”

With that exhortation near the end of a prepared speech, Mahalia Jackson inspires one of the great extemporaneous speeches in history, according to Clarence Jones:

He moves the text of the speech to the left side of the lectern, grabs the lectern, looks out on those more than 250,000 people assembled and thereafter begins to speak completely spontaneously and extemporaneously.

Watch the whole speech here.

An interesting side note: Jones was MLK’s personal lawyer and hand wrote the copyright symbol on every copy of the speech. That tiny decision may be worth millions to MLK’s estate today.

Five years since Florida enacted "stand-your-ground" law, justifiable homicides are up

From the Tampa Bay Times, in October 2010, Arthur Hayhoe, executive director of the Florida Coalition to Stop Gun Violence:

They say this law hasn't made Florida the Wild West. But how many bodies does it take?

Trayvon Martin wasn't the first and sadly, it's unlikely he'll be the last.

Peter Hamm of the Brady Campaign:

How many killers getting off scot-free is enough to change the course of society?

George Zimmerman wasn't the first and sadly, it's unlikely he'll be the last.

Marion Hammer, NRA's Florida lobbyist says

There is nothing wrong with the law

She's wrong. We need to fix this broken law and we need to fix it now.

Stay Classy, Arizona

Outside Desert Vista High School in Phoenix, where President Barack Obama spoke about housing and the economy, Arizonans sang

“Bye Bye Black Sheep”

carried signs saying

“Impeach the Half-White Muslim!”

And were quoted saying

He’s 47 percent Negro


Obama is ruining American values. He is ruining the Constitution. He needs to go back to where he came from because obviously, he is a liar. I am not racist. I am part Indian. Obama’s half Black, half White.”

But they’re not racist. “Where he came from.” Not racist at all. I guess they don’t like Hawaii. Or Chicago.

Now That It’s in the Broadband Game, Google Flip-Flops on Network Neutrality

In a dramatic about-face on a key internet issue yesterday, Google told the FCC that the network neutrality rules Google once championed don’t give citizens the right to run servers on their home broadband connections, and that the Google Fiber network is perfectly within its rights to prohibit customers from attaching the legal devices of their choice to its network.

Disappointed? Yes. Surprised? Only a little.

What's especially unfortunate is what's blocked, unnecessarily:

Moreover, the net neutrality rules (pdf) regarding devices are plain and simple: ”Fixed broadband providers may not block lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices.”

But Google’s legally binding Terms of Service outlaw Google Fiber customers from running their own mail server, using a remotely accessible media server, SSHing into a home computer from work to retrieve files, running a Minecraft server for friends to share, using a Nest thermometer, using a nanny camera to watch over a childcare provider or using a Raspberry Pi to host a WordPress blog.

None of those devices would do any harm to any broadband network, let alone a Google Fiber connection with a 1Gbps capacity equally split between uploading and downloading.