Dust-Storm Cell-Phone Alert Freaks Out Phoenix-Area Residents; National Weather Service Says It's Fielding Complaints

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Stacy LeClair via Facebook
Sunday night's dust storm, as seen from Mesa.


About 9:30 p.m. Sunday, our iPhone -- and perhaps yours, too -- began buzzing like the bridge of the Enterprise just before a Romulan attack.

Dashing to the kitchen counter, where the phone was plugged in and recharging, we discovered that no, North Korea hasn't launched an EMP strike -- it was just the National Weather Service informing us that a dust storm was on the way.

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John McCain Calls Iran's President a "Monkey," Says to "Lighten Up" If You Think It's Racist

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freakingnews.com
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Question: is it appropriate to call someone a "monkey"?

If that person eats bananas and swings from trees, then maybe. If you're Senator John McCain, and you're talking about Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, then maybe not.

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Statewide Ban Proposed for Texting While Driving, but Sexting Is a Different Story

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Sorry to the people who don't like looking out of the windshield while operating a motor vehicle, but state legislators are proposing a ban on texting while driving.

If you're worried you'll get a ticket for sending naked pictures of yourself on your phone while driving, fear not, because it doesn't look like that would be a problem under this proposal.

See also:
-Arizona House Protects Freedom (to Send and Read Text Messages While Driving)


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Jan Brewer Signs Harassment Bill; Feel Free to Continue Being an A-Hole on the Internet

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pluperfecter.blogspot.com
Don't worry, trolls, the Leg' loves you.
Governor Jan Brewer signed signed House Bill 2549 yesterday, an effort to outlaw using electronic devices to harass people.

Thanks to the outrage caused over the initial version of the bill, the revised version signed by the governor allows you to continue acting like an asshole on the Internet.

The first version of the bill would have outlaw the use of electronic or digital devices to "annoy or offend" someone, which didn't sit too well with technology and free-speech advocates.

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Arizona's Online Harassment Bill Passes Legislature; You Can Still "Annoy or Offend" Others on the Internet, to an Extent

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pluperfecter.blogspot.com
Trolls (above) still are legal on the Internet, for the most part, even if Governor Jan Brewer signs House Bill 2549.
Arizona's House Bill 2549 -- which was derailed after a critic's view that it was a "bill to censor electronic speech" caught on -- has been approved by some legislators after changes were made to address those concerns.

There were a lot of misconceptions about this bill, especially from the Kremlin apologists at Russia Today, who furthered a rumor -- it wasn't even a rumor, it was just wrong -- that the bill in its original form had made it to Governor Jan Brewer's desk.

Either way, State Representative Vic Williams told New Times last month that legislators had received quite a bit of "legitimate concerns" -- and illegitimate concerns -- about the bill, and Representative Ted Vogt has stopped the bill from moving forward so everyone can figure it out.

Legislators apparently figured it out, as the bill passed easily without opposition from the Media Coalition, which led the charge against the bill, mostly for text in the original version that would outlaw the use of electronic or digital devices to "annoy or offend" someone.

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Ben Quayle Defends Internet Security Bill Known as "CISPA," but Promises Amendment Proposal Over Privacy Concerns

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endlesspicdump.com
After the bills known as "SOPA" and "PIPA" were shelved amid some mass protests from online communities, there's a new bill in Congress that has the Internet riled up -- the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or "CISPA."

The bill has been referred to numerous times as being "worse than SOPA," although that's more of an opinion than anything else.

While SOPA was supposed to mainly target intellectual property on the Internet, CISPA allows private companies to share information with the government in the name of perceived "cyber threats."

Congressmen representing all parts of the country have been quizzed on their stance of CISPA, and even the White House has released a statement on the bill, saying "the Administration strongly opposes [the bill] in its current form."

Two of the bill's 112 co-sponsors are gentlemen from Arizona, Congressmen Trent Franks and Ben Quayle.

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Changes Proposed to Online Harassment Bill; Allows People to "Annoy or Offend" Others on the Internet -- to an Extent

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abackwardsstory.blogspot.com
Trolls.
Arizona's House Bill 2549 -- which was derailed after a critic's view that it was a "bill to censor electronic speech" caught on -- now has some proposed changes.

Based on the complaints from the main catalyst for the outrage on the Internet -- the Media Coalition -- the changes still might not make everyone happy.

There are a few technical changes proposed to the bill, with the most meaningful being the deletion of text outlawing the use of electronic or digital devices to "annoy or offend" someone.

"It is unlawful for any person, with intent to terrify, intimidate,  threaten, harass, annoy or offend, to use any electronic or digital device and use any obscene, lewd or profane language or suggest any lewd or lascivious act, or threaten to inflict physical harm to the person or  property of any person," the initial text of the bill read.

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Internet Trolls Can Breathe Easy for a Minute -- HB 2549 Has Been Stopped

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abackwardsstory.blogspot.com
Trolls.
Arizona's House Bill 2549, which was labeled by one critic as a "bill to censor electronic speech," has been stopped, according to one of the bill's sponsors.

As we've already mentioned twice before, the bill was never transferred to the governor, contrary to the numerous media reports saying it has. The bill was amended before it passed the Senate, meaning it was returned to the House -- where it's apparently been stopped.

State Representative Vic Williams tells New Times that legislators have received quite a bit of "legitimate concerns" -- and illegitimate concerns -- about the bill, and Representative Ted Vogt has stopped the bill from moving forward so everyone can figure it out.

Williams says the actual intent of the bill is not to throw Internet trolls in jail -- the intent was to protect people from harassment and stalking, and defend people's privacy.

"We believed we were moving forward in good faith," Williams says.

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Anonymous Advocates Sending "Butthurt Report Form" to Jan Brewer, Legislators

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If your butt hurts, Anonymous would like you to let your legislators and governor know about it.
Update: H.B. 2549 has been stopped.

Way to go, Arizona legislators, you officially pissed off the Internet.

One of the most popular Twitter accounts associated with the Anonymous community, "YourAnonNews," got wind of Arizona's House Bill 2549, which was labeled by one critic as a "bill to censor electronic speech."

The response -- repeated multiple times to the account's 562,000-plus followers -- is to fax a "butthurt report form" to Governor Jan Brewer and state legislators.

If you're at the Capitol with a "butthurt report form" in your fax machine, now you know why.

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Arizona Legislature Apparently Trying to Criminalize Being Annoying on the Internet

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pluperfecter.blogspot.com
"Trolling" on the interwebs could become illegal in Arizona.
Update 2: H.B. 2549 has been stopped.

Update: Anonymous advocates are sending Jan Brewer and legislators a "butthurt report form" in response to House Bill 2549. 

It has been brought to our attention that there's a bill cruising through the Legislature that, according to some critics, could cause people like myself and this blog's commenters to be thrown in jail for generally being jackasses on the Internet.

We understand that there's probably a healthy amount of people who wouldn't be entirely opposed to the above-mentioned situation, but critics to House Bill 2549 say this legislation could have some pretty broad effects.

According to a Senate fact sheet, HB 2549 "[p]rohibits using any electronic or digital device, instead of a telephone, with the intent to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offend a person."

The Senate approved this one 30 to zip last week, but more critics are coming out of the woodwork to point out some problems the bill could cause.

The Media Coalition is labeling the legislation as a "bill to censor electronic speech," saying, "...H.B. 2549 would apply to the Internet as a whole, thus criminalizing all manner of writing, cartoons, and other protected material the state finds offensive or annoying."

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