Expert Advice

Accused child-porn fan advises on outing sex offenders.

CRIME, COURTS

Expert Advice
Accused child-porn fan advises on outing sex offenders

By Richard Connelly

William George Gammon, arrested for possessing child pornography, is a leading attorney in the state for über-aggressive homeowners' associations.

As such, he's offered advice to the legislature and to potential clients. Like when he discussed on his blog whether homeowners' associations should notify residents if there were any sex offenders in their midst.

Be very, very careful about doing it, he said. For pure legal-analysis reasons, we're sure.

"If the Association decides to disseminate information to its residents about sex offenders, it risks increasing the scope of liability because of its actions," he wrote. (It's not clear if he wrote this in the room of his house where prosecutors said they discovered a safe with his handwritten notes on child-porn web addresses, or the room with three computers feds say held thousands of illegal images.)

If a homeowners' association notifies ­residents once of sex offenders, he wrote, they may face an obligation to keep the information updated constantly "ad infinitum" or face liability.

Not to mention this: "Fearful ­residents could be spurred to vigilantism and self-help against the sex offenders who are 'outed,' bringing more civil and possible criminal sanctions against the actors and the Association."

Yeah, definitely wouldn't want any vigilantism or anything.

(Of course, Gammon has only been accused of these crimes; he's not been convicted of anything.)

By the way, as we tweeted (and you do follow us on Twitter, right? We're HairBallsNews.), if you want to get some idea just how hated homeowners' associations can be, check out the comments on our original item on Gammon's arrest.

Yikes.
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NASA

NASA Okays Porn in Space

By Richard Connelly

NASA has just announced a "Face in Space" program, where you can upload pictures of yourself that will be transferred to the International Space Station.

"Launch your face into space," the agency says.

Why just the face? Why not...other parts?

NASA spokesman James Hartsfield tells Hair Balls there really aren't any safeguards that would prevent, say, porn from going into space.

"We've also had things NASA's done like 'send your name to the Moon' or 'submit your name in space on various planetary probes,' and you know there's not a safeguard there against what words people can type in, be it profanity or what have you," he says. "So some of that is inherent in dealing with the public, but by and large people we have talked to about it are very excited about it." (Update: Hartsfield called us back after this item went up to say he was wrong, and that the "name in space" projects did include filters to block dirty words.)

It's not like the pictures in the Face in Space program are going to be perused by anyone. They'll be digitally compressed "very, very small" — 20 pixels total — Hartsfield says, and then transferred up to a file server on an ISS computer.

(Hartsfield, apparently hearing from others at NASA after this item went up, called back again to say that the 20-pixels thing is by itself a safeguard. "Is 20 pixels of a porn picture porn?" he asked, to which we wondered, "Is 20 pixels of a face picture a face? Small or not, theoretical or not, it's still porn in space.)

Those computers get regularly cleared of data, so it's not a permanent thing.

But still: A nice Eva Angelina double-penetration shot? Doesn't that deserve to slip the surly bonds of earth and touch the face of God?

Go to it, America. Your mission is clear. Plus you'll get a nice certificate signed by the shuttle commander for your efforts.
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DOING IT DAILY

There is a ton of new stuff each day on the Houston Press blogs; you're only getting a taste of it here in the print edition. Head to http://blogs.houstonpress.com/hairballs (or "/rocks" or "/eating") and under "Tools" on the top-right side of the page, use the "categories" drop-down menu to find these stories:

Sports

College football went absolutely crazy, with conference musical chairs, penalties against glamorous USC, and UH's wildly ambitious plans to build a new football stadium and renovate their basketball arena. We analyzed it all. Also, there was some "football" tournament going on in South Africa; we predicted winners, how the U.S. will do and where the best spots in Houston are to watch it, by nationality.

Crime

A taco-truck owner killed a guy trying to steal his tip jar, which is not on our list of Best Ways to Die. An HPD officer was accused of sexually assaulting women while on duty; a preacher got involved with a nasty murder/arson scandal; and Ta Chyna Shuntrell Watson showed West U cops how a police chase is done.

Stage, TV

We talked to the people behind two funny plays in town: Boeing-Boeing and Menopause: The Musical; we bid adieu to Glee for the moment, and pondered such ideas as a Friends movie and Kim Kardashian as Lara Croft.

 
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