Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Anti-piracy --> Pirates
Monday, February 26, 2007
RIAA can suck it.
I frequently complain about the Recording Industry of America Association... at least, I complain in my head and agree with the complaints on BoingBoing. Gizmodo has decided to organize an official boycott that I think deserves some recognition and participation.
The RIAA makes lots of money off of consumers and then pumps that money not into its artists, but into controlling the market... building DRM (Digital Rights Management... software that prevents you from playing iTunes Store downloads on another computer, or from connecting your TiVO to another device), for instance. They can suck it.
Friday, February 23, 2007
Fox, the External Uterus, and the Boing
I was running on the treadmill today and for whatever reason, one of the TVs was tuned to Fox News (which it has been for a while now. It's the only reason I know anything about the Anna Nicole Smith-related trials, which, if you haven't seen them, are a god damned media circus that exist completely outside the realm of normal legal process). And it tickled me in a sick way when one of their spots in between programming and commercial was highlighting its news programs... and it ended by saying, "Fox News: Fair and Balanced." And I thought, well, you're sort of, KIND OF wrong. And hilariously so. This is coming from the news station that announces right-wingers who turn out to be child molesters are actually Democrats. I just thought I'd vent about that.
Also, I discovered something interesting in class today: we have the technology to make a fully-functioning uterus that exists outside of a human body. That makes me kind of scared. The kind that makes me laugh out loud because I'm so scared. We were talking about stem cell research vis-a-vis cloning and embryos (whether destroying an embryo is destroying a human being), and it was brought up that not only can we perform in-vitro fertilization, we can even perform in-vitro gestation!!!! CRAZY!
And, for your daily Boing:
A Reason to be Outraged
Thursday, February 22, 2007
THE RING OF FIRE!!!!!!
Saturday March 3 is an exciting date for two reasons: Sorry Safari (Me band!) will be performing live with Carlon (Me cousin's band!) at the Nines in Ithaca, NY, and there will be a very exciting Lunar Eclipse that will turn the Moon red. It will be a sight to see!
Also, sorry for the dual posts today in CAPS. I'm not screaming at you, I promise. Well, I mean, I am, but not because I'm angry.
STOP IT, I SAID!
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
It's late and I'm tired, so I don't care to make this post pretty. But: here are some links very much worth checking out! All courtesy BoingBoing.
Monday, February 19, 2007
Fuck the Po-lice
This is something that's gotten my goat for some time... Police who speed. I'm tempted to make the broad, sweeping statement that all cops do it which may not be true, but I'm consistently frustrated by the fact that cops use their position as an excuse to ignore the rules of the road... rolling through stop-signs, speeding excessively, and the like. It is unfair and inappropriate, and at no point is it justification to say that, well, they're the cops and they're taking care of us, or any other similar nonsense. They ARE cops. They are ALSO citizens, driving cars. The rules are there for a reason. Follow them. If you're chasing someone or answering an emergency call, and you need to speed or go through a red light, put on your lights and siren. And only in that case. Otherwise, get off your high horse.
I have a personal story related to this. A year or two ago, I was driving home from college to see my family. I occasionally used to speed up to the speed that cops were doing when they'd fly by me on the highway. On this particular drive, I'd already done it two or three times. I sped up to about 80 in a 65, which is what one particular cop flew past me at. I followed him for a while, closer than I ought to have. We were coming up on another cop having pulled someone over. The guy I was following started to slow down, so I did too in order for him to get over to the side of the road.
Every time I slowed down, he slowed down. Then he came up behind me, and we passed the pulled-over vehicles. He was still following me, and his lights came on. I knew that I was also being pulled over.
The long story short is that I told him, when he said, "I couldn't help but notice when I passed you doing about 80 that you caught up to me," that, "yeah, I just didn't think it was fair of you." We made small talk about my car and the like, and he took my license for quite some time. I resigned myself to the fact that I'd get a speeding ticket, which sucked because I was in New Jersey already, so I'd probably also get points on my license.
When he came back to my window, he said, "There are a lot of things in life that I think you'll find are unfair. But I hope this isn't one of them." He handed me a non-moving violation for an obstructed license plate, and a warning for speeding.
That's what you get for being honest.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
I always feel a peculiar nostalgia for a time I never lived through when I watch cartoons like this one.
Friday, February 16, 2007
Police Surveillance Videos
One thing that has particularly scared me since I saw a piece on Indymedia about it is the idea that since September 11, the police have videotaped people at non-violent rallies, marches, etc. In the piece, footage from Police archives showed civilians being zoomed in on, with police indicating those they considered to be leaders in particular. Why were these people being videotaped? The Indymedia piece was suggesting that these people were being documented, for speaking out against the government, as targets to be eliminated. The video showed many of these targets being physically attacked thereafter, and/or arrested, unprovoked.
This is a scary thing that New York is doing something about, and I'm glad. From the article/BoingBoing:
"In a rebuke of a surveillance practice greatly expanded by the New York Police Department after the Sept. 11 attacks, a federal judge ruled yesterday that the police must stop the routine videotaping of people at public gatherings unless there is an indication that unlawful activity may occur.
Four years ago, at the request of the city, the same judge, Charles S. Haight Jr., gave the police greater authority to investigate political, social and religious groups.
In yesterday’s ruling, Judge Haight, of United States District Court in Manhattan, found that by videotaping people who were exercising their right to free speech and breaking no laws, the Police Department had ignored the milder limits he had imposed on it in 2003."I was pretty happy to hear this. In My Opinion, surveillance is a very dangerous thing when it is used to target nonviolent and liberally-minded citizens. The police, we must always remember, are meant to keep the peace and meant to keep us safe. There is a fine, somewhat blurred line, between keeping us safe and keeping us under control.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Oh my God, the cuteness.
GooTube should get the squeeze.
In My Opinion, GooTube (Google/YouTube) should be drug out to the street and shot for this.
Why are corporations not figuring out that the way to tackle piracy and other issues is NOT to attack the very people that keep them going? We need new business models, not old-school prosecution and throwing people to the dogs.
OUR IDENTITIES MUST BE PROTECTED ON THE INTERNET!!!!!!!!!!!!
Labels: internet privacy
There's a pattern here...
There's a pretty serious problem going on... and it's called Iran. Now what I mean is not actually that Iran is a problem, but rather that the way it is being portrayed and approached, IN MY OPINION and those of others.
If what Mr. Roberts says is true, then we're in for a rocky ride, folks, and something needs to be done. People need to really get up in arms, here. From the Associated Press:
"WASHINGTON - President Bush said Wednesday he's certain the Iranian government is supplying deadly weapons used by fighters in Iraq against U.S. troops, even if he can't prove that the orders came from top Iranian leaders."
I'd like to draw your attention to the words, "even if he can't prove that the orders came from top Iranian leaders."
Does that bother you? Because it bothers me. It's important that the American public learn from its mistakes... In the past, Bush made claims about WMDs in Iraq, claiming he COULD prove their existence (a claim of whose validity we are all aware)... Here he's flat out telling us he can't prove shit!!! And yet, he's going on the record saying it, going in public making accusations he can't prove (since when is THAT proper procedure for anyone but paparazzi? Fucking moron). It is crucial that the American public, you, WE, not start jumping to conclusions and allowing Bush to go around perpetrating his own agenda against other people's wishes, desires, rights, LIVES.
This has been My Opinion.
So I just downloaded the Democracy player... it's a DRM FREE video player with RSS feeds to videoblogs out the yin-yang, so now I've got my daily update of The Show (with Ze Frank), and I've also decided to do a Rocket-Boom test run.
I also tried out an episode of Diggnation... MY GOD it's boring as all hell! I don't recommend it.
Anyway, I recommend getting Democracy player because it's a really great thing to support more open forms of media distribution... DRM should die. Steve Jobs is supposedly ready to fight the good fight to remove DRM from iTunes music, but until then, support DRM-free media to do your part! Democracy is also a general media player, and their website offers a WMV (windows media video) plug-in, so you can use it for all video types as well... it will manage your media inventory.
Open Spectrum - Keeping the wireless internet open to the public
Labels: computer software
We've certainly seen in the past that paperless voting is a worthless system... the government is rife with scandal and impropriety and the voting machines designed by those within their economic control... the machines are easy to hack, as proven by people at PRINCETON. It took them almost no time at all. The problem that we will continue to see with anything computer-based is that between malicious programmers/hackers, the government, and the everyday user is a constant struggle.
Granted, when it comes to the field of politics, there is a consistent battle being waged in which there are some whose immorality forces them to consult deplorable means of achieving their ends. However, the use of paperless voting machines is an absurdly simple means of doing so. The corners are cut too easily, the voters too easily frauded, too easily unsatisfied with the results that follow.
BAN PAPERLESS VOTING.
Monday, February 12, 2007
Tell me how to get to Sesame Street. Seriously, I'm lost.
Do you remember Sesame Street? Arthur? Reading Rainbow? Not to wax
romantic, but definitely foundations of my childhood, and likely many of
yours. Also a blessed break for parents from toddler-squalor. The
funding for public broadcasting and independent journalism is not
protected from political whim. Currently, Le Pres has proposed that
funding for PBS be slashed by 25%. NPR, with its beautiful programmes and
news reports, is facing the same cuts- is a public radio broadcast.
This makes me really sad, guys. If these budget cuts go through, the
aforementioned children’s shows will disappear. I don’t know what will
happen to NPR. I think that both public TV and radio broadcasts are
really important. They are resisting a trend of privatization of means
for spreading information, "entertainment" or "news" of dubious contents.
I think public broadcast is impossibly valuable cultural connective
tissue, and a treasure of information.
If you have 10 seconds of your life that you are willing to contribute
toward attempting to "insulate NPR and PBS from the political winds" (says
MoveOn.org) and ensure that the funding for these broadcasts will not be
jeopardized again, electro-sign the petition, sweetbabies~
Here's an easy opportunity for you to get something done... MoveOn is always a great resource. Thanks Katie!
Labels: Social activism
It never gets old.
IMO, a good beatboxer will never get old. Check out this post from BoingBoing.
Also, I just want to say that as of now I'm adding BoingBoing, as I did with The Show with Ze Frank, to the sidebar links section. I consult BoingBoing daily, and will undoubtedly continue to link to specific things on it that I find interesting... but remember, they're interesting IMO. Not necessarily in yours. Likewise, there may be stuff on BoingBoing that you'll drool over that I'll just pass right on by. So always remember to check it out.
Of course you'll also notice I take some pages out of the BoingBoing book in terms of how I format my posts and stuff... Try not to give me too hard of a time about it.
Here are a few other BoingBoings that I think are worthwhile from the past couple of days:
Don't make coffee in hotel rooms
Stem-cells go the way of silicon: Tits. (IMO this is the most ridiculous thing. How can any scientific advancement whose benefits AND RISKS are just beginning to be explored be immediately turned over to the breast-hungry mongrels? Come on, Japan, those girls are gonna have to wait until we cure cancer.)
There are a bunch more, including the issue of whether Google has profited off of purposely channeling traffic to the illegal purchase of pirated media, the issues of internet censorship in China... these are actually issues that matter a lot to me. As time goes on you'll find I'll actually be EXPRESSING my opinions about these topics and others (which is one might come to expect from my blog). For now, this is a harmless post.
What do I doodoo?
Luke brought up a great point... "Is there anyone doing anything about the internet stuff you e-mailed me about? What should I do?"
Well Luke, I'm glad you asked that. It's a hard thing to do. Often times, if you're like me, you feel a sense of helplessness when someone tells you about something infuriating, frustrating, or just downright deplorable in the government. We want to do something about it, but what to do?????
Well, my immediate response to Luke was to call or e-mail his congressmen, his representatives in the government, to voice his opinion. He said, well, nobody does that. And I said, I do.
There are places such as MoveOn.org that will hook you up with your congressmen. Ultimately, it's not very hard for you to find the e-mail addresses and phone numbers for your congressmen.
And of course, we forget the power of protest! There are so many ways to protest... standing outside with a sign, refusing to buy things, hunger strike... We have more power than we realize because we've become somewhat placid, like cattle. We have all of the things we want to be happy in our lives (food, clothes, homes, even cars), so when something in the government, which is not so immediately a part of our lives, goes awry, we feel too distant to do anything about it.
Never forget... Power ultimately lies in the public, not in the individual hands of the few politicians. They have lots of decisionmaking power, but we are the people. We have given them their power, and we are the ones to whom they are responsible. If everyone in America packed up and left, even George W. Bush would find his position to be completely void of meaning and power. If you're not happy about something, tell other people. Maybe they'll be unhappy about it too, and you can both do something about it.
Sunday, February 11, 2007
Where was it that we met that time when I met you that I met you?
Last night, Grant showed me the band Flight of the Conchords, a pretty hilarious acoustic duo similar to Tenacious D, except from New Zealand... you can see some of their performances on the GooTube, one being my personal favorite so far, "Jenny."
That reminds me to also tell you about the band Hard n' Phirm... most of their stuff isn't too great but a few tracks are excellently hilarious. One in particular, that I had on repeat for a couple of days straight, is "El Corazon." The video really augments the song, providing you the translation of the Spanish. The lyrics are hilarious.
Labels: comedy online
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Save the Internets, continued
Here's an e-mail I sent out recently that was copter-worthy:
I've e-mailed some of you before about the internet and certain
governmental threats against it... There's yet more on the floor to fight
against in terms of personal liberties, particularly in the realm of
privacy law. The internet, as always, is fertile ground for debate in
terms of how much the government should be in control of it, monitoring
Currently there is a bill introduced that would, as I understand it,
require Internet Service Providers to retain records of its customers'
usage of the internet... where they go, how often, etc. However, due to
the loose wordage of the documents, it could theoretically allow for the
abuse of requiring the logging of internet chat/instant message content,
retention of IP address information (who you are and where you went), even
the retention of the content of your e-mail addresses.
I don't care if you're a saint and all you do is use the internet to cure
people's blindness... our rights to privacy and the government not keeping
intricate tabs on our every movement are invaluable, and it is our job as
citizens to fight for our liberties against anyone who chooses to infringe
upon them. This bill may seem harmless, and maybe it is (meant simply to
find child pornographers and pedophiles, murderers, and the like), but the
fact of the matter is that the few who act out inappropriately should
never be used as excuses to monitor and control the rest of us. This is a
constant battle that will never be over, and the internet is by no means
the only battleground. This bill is really only the tip of the iceberg,
anyway! But we always need to know what's going on at Capital (sic) Hill.
If you think I'm ranting and this is unimportant or over the top, you can
simply disregard this. It's really a lot easier to hit the "delete"
Here is an article from BoingBoing.net that includes links to articles and
the bill itself:
And remember; Just because we have a Democrat-majority doesn't mean we can
sit back and relax. It is a Democrat who is the largest proponent of the
Forward this on to anyone you think might be interested.
COPTER UPDATE - an e-mail from Jordan:
http://nymag.com/news/features/27341/ is a New York Magazine article that is seperate but related.
Labels: internet privacy