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Stop Online Piracy Act = Censorship + A Direct attack on internetfreedoms and innovation


Get used to seeing this if Uncle Sam doesn't like the "rogue" aspect of a website

If you haven’t had a chance yet, please read up on the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP acts.   These are bills which are currently being reviewed and have the potential to pass and create a framework for a whole new type of Internet that I frankly do not want to be a part of.    If there’s more people like me out there, this can potentially lead to a huge hit on a booming online retail, recreational and social markets.   While I rather enjoy the convenience of the Internet, I’m not about to make such a sacrifice to get it.

So one cannot help but ask:    Why?   Why are we willing to evaluate legislation that is going to trade freedom of speech and expression for ensuring that those who are already exceeding wealthy can add some extra padding to their bottom lines?

Where’s the win for the average consitutent of the United States?  Or the other residents of the internet who don’t live in the US and will assuredly also be impacted.

Do you think people are going to want to take their brilliant ideas, youth and energy to the United States to cultivate and develop and innovate?   When they are faced with losing it all just because of half assed rushed legistration was passed without any real thought on it’s far reaching impact and due to it’s present form of ambiguity?

There’s a LOT of large and reputable tech companies out there that don’t disagree

Please take the time to contact your local representative and tell them that Lamar Smith’s poorly devised Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is a bill that we simply don’t need or want and it has absolutely NOTHING to offer a single person in the USA.

Here’s a website which will make it even easier for you..    http://fightforthefuture.org/

Just fill out the form and they will automatically connect you with the proper office as well as play a recorded message to help you with some key talking points (takes less than 2-5 minutes depending on how long the conversation runs with the person who answers the call)

 EDIT:   They didn’t vote but unfortunately are looking at doing so next Wednesday, December 21st.  Please Spread the word!  There’s still a few days to be heard!

 EDIT 2:   New vote is on January 24th, 2012!  

EDIT 3:  Vote has been cancelled!   And the SOPA bill has been withdrawn!   Victory!  

Please click here to sign the final petition to help kill off the PIPA bill as well!

Posted in General, Non-tech, Political.


This is why the things like the Patriot Act are so dangerous [old_vs_ new]

From the article:

The contacts list and IP address data of Jacob Applebaum, a WikiLeaks volunteer and developer for Tor was given to the U.S. government after they requested it using a secret court order enabled by a controversial 1986 law called the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, according to the Wall Street Journal. The law allows the government to demand information from ISPs not only without a warrant, but without ever notifying the user.

A no warrant or notification search order for an entire Gmail mailbox?   Oh really?  Neat and what else?

 

According to the company’s own Transparency Report, Google received 4,601 user data requests from the U.S. government in the second half of 2010, and it complied with 94% of them. Those requests include warrantless inquiries as well as those accompanied by a search warrant.

Yes – can we please rethink a law that was written in 1986 and update it to modern times before the government exploits the shit out of it any further.

Holy fascism batman..  Hey Google please do us all a favor and maybe grow some balls and stand up for our rights?   Don’t be evil?

At least there’s plenty of other places to get email and it’s no longer the defacto way to communicate on the net.

 

Posted in General.


Let’s please not let corporations control the internet…

SavetheInternet.com

 

Thank you for asking your Senator to stand up for free speech on the Internet.

Please spread the word about this important campaign by sending the email below to your friends and family:

Dear Friend,

Senators in Congress are pushing a “Resolution of Disapproval” that would strip the FCC of its authority to safeguard our free speech rights online… at a time when phone and cable giants are moving to block our ability to connect with others and share information.

If their resolution passes, the FCC would not just be barred from enforcing its existing—and already weakened—Net Neutrality rule, but also from acting in any way to protect Internet users against abuses from the likes of AT&T, Comcast and Verizon.

Tell the Senate to stand up for the open Internet:

http://act2.freepress.net/sign/senate_internet_rights/?source=conf

Posted in General.


I would love to hear an official Google response on this…[Google Search]

I would love to walk into a meeting room full of the biggest and brightest stars of Google that are responsible for the development / maintenance of their search product and ask them the following question:

Do I really need 12,500,000,000 results in 0.28 seconds when I search for a given topic?

I mean really guys?    Can we not look at making this thing a little bit smarter?

I’m pretty sure I’m not going to go through the first 10 or maybe even 20 results, so why are you giving me 12+ billion to go through?

I’m more than willing to sacrifice a little search quantity for a little more quality – anyone else feel the same way?

 

 

 

 

Posted in General.


Looking to buy games through the Onlive gaming service?

onlive system

Onlive is a Cloud based "instant" Gaming Service

So I’ve been testing out Onlive’s “instant gaming” cloud gaming service now for probably just over a year and I have to say I was quite impressed until my first run in with their support team which opened my eyes to a lot of deal breaking issues for people who are looking to make a decision as to where they are going to buy their games with the sea of choices these days the short list is as follows:

– Steam (the defacto place people by their PC games these days)
– Greenman Gaming (has some great deals)
– Onlive (also has great weekend deals)
– Origin
– Direct2Drive

then list goes on and on….

Now.. here are my observations of the pros and cons of Onlive and how it ranks up against the rest:

Pros:

– Cloud based – doesn’t require many hardware resources on the local device but does require a decent internet connection. This is great because you don’t have to worry about local disk space or upgrading your box.

– Ability to “watch” people playing games

– Has a friends list, voice chat

– $10 per month gaming subscription called “play pack”

– cross platform (although not all platforms are supported yet)

– Ability to try games for free for up to 30 mins prior to buying (if supported)

– weekend special pricing (found with all services)

 

Now for the CONS I’ve found over the year:

– Multiplayer games DO NOT work with other PC gamers on any of the above listed services. You can only play with / against other Onlive members. This is a huge problem because there’s simply not enough people using the service and you can spend far too much time waiting for a game (longer than I have time for) – I struggle with this being a hard requirement for the game and I think this is a sale / marketing tactic. If the service runs on the TCP/IP stack, it can support Multiplayer with other services. This is a MAJOR detractor for their service

– Sales are final. There isn’t even a grace period to refund it. For example, I just bought Warhammer 40k: Space Marine and asked for a refund because it doesn’t have the Multiplayer feature available yet while the other services you can buy it from do. There was absolutely no warning regarding this fact during purchase nor a discount.

– Game selection for $10 per month playpack is very limited. Consider to largely be a bunch of games people either didn’t want or that are old and not necessarily good either. I believe they are up to just over 50 games now included in this flat rate buffet

EDIT: they are now over 100 – much better – this can potentially make them the “Netflix of Gaming”

– Games you purchase on Onlive stay on Onlive. There’s no voucher system or product key or anything else that they send you (other than an invoice).  This means if a publisher pulls a game or Onlive is down, you don’t get to play it or install it normally through your computer or otherwise. Again, this is another HUGE short sight and makes buying games on the service very risky. It’s extremely difficult to consider paying $65 for a new game on Onlive, when I can buy it at a Store or through Steam and not have to worry about a small subset of gamers I actually get to play with as well the fact that I’m at the mercy of the service itself. Steam lets you play games offline – the way Onlive works, this is simply not possible. As a result games should be discounted in my opinion to make up for this short coming.

This also means that games you’ve already bought that are already in the onlive catalog also cannot be added into the cloud system through an activation key or anything like that.

-No support for Eyefinity (extra widescreen resolution / multi monitor support) eg:  5760×1080

– After a 5 minute “pause”  you are logged off of the service and all unsaved progress is forever lost

So there you have it the good and the bad – I don’t know about you but I think after typing all this out that they need to do some major service enhancements before I move any more of my purchases over to their “vault” style service.   It’s extremely difficult to purchase games @ 60$ a pop that are restricted to a particular medium.   I personally think when you buy a game once, you should be able to transfer your license to any platform you choose via some kind of open standard which as of writing this does not exist.

There’s also a direct competitor out there….  Gaikai

 

Posted in General.

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US House Approves Internet Snooping bill and it’s MUCH more invasive than that #wtf

FTA:

The lovingly titled Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act of 2011 (PCFIPA of 2011) requires ISPs to retain customer names, addresses, phone numbers, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and dynamic IP addresses. It’s a record of your personal information plus the web sites you visit. It’s like handing over a year’s worth of browser history plus the contents of your wallet to the police. The thing is, you’re not really handing it over so much as your ISP is—without your consent.

Ummm……   really?    I’d like to try to this this happen….    An ISP that does this is no ISP of mine I’d like to extend that to a gov’t that signs this shit into law is clearly one that no longer represents the “free” people of the United States any longer. What the hell is happening to this Country?

EDIT:  LIfehacker has an article up with some great suggestions for helping to circumvent this crap.   As far as I’ve read, these measures are currently in place, this is an effort to extend the time frame they  can hold on to your  personal data.:

If you have any additional suggestions, please comment!

Posted in General.


Apple buying Hulu does make sense and here’s why…

iptv

I can see why this doesn’t makes sense to most people because most people are not Apple TV owners.

But speaking from the perspective of an Apple TV owner this makes complete sense. It seems like the Apple TV is currently competing with on demand movie and TV content from providers like the local cable conglomerate at the price point they are at ($5-6 for a movie and as far as I know, you have to pay per show / series for TV as well).  The only free content they have to offer is Netflix (3rd party paid subscription service) and Youtube and a few other less popular choices.

There’s currently little to no free or ad supported content available. Purchasing Hulu has a real shot at helping the ATV really push out to the next level (demographic) by filling in the content gap.

If Apple were to add this to the launch of Bluetooth functionality (with the launch of iOS 5.0), I’d say that there’s a whole bunch of added value coming to a $99 piece of hardware with a very nice compact little foot print (pic below). And it’s also just a little bit easier on your utility bill than your cable box /sarcasm.

Pro tip: Jailbreak and add XBMC to the dashboard and you’ve got yourself a nice little media streamer (with a horrible remote control) =)

Apple's ATV is one compact unit

Posted in General.


Obama: If debt limit not raised, new financial crisis – Reuters

Full Article here

Dear Obama:   It’s called fiscal responsibility.  Learn to make some tough decisions..  You know things like:

– Increasing tax on the very wealthy

– Decreasing spending – especially aboard

– Increasing tax on large corporations – you know like gigantic oil companies that are seeing ridiculous profits

Please do something other than maintain the status quo – surprise us all.  Because mommy and daddy might cut up your credit cards here soon =)

Posted in General.


Debunking stupid articles: Part 1 – Freepress.net working with the FCC “on the inside”

UPDATE:  Looks like I’m not the only person on the Net who noticed this stupidity!

So… this week all the talk about Net Neutrality appears to be yet another smear campaign to discredit it.  Well, we’ve seen this probably about a dozen times already but what makes this interesting is how many people are posting and re-posting this but I do not think ANYONE has actually read the “dirt” that was collected regarding the probe as you will.

David Wade - making the internet blazing fast

David Wade - making the internet blazing fast

 

 

Freepress.net very openly advocates and solicits action from people regarding the new net neutrality rules and regulation to the FCC and absolutely are requesting that the FCC take appropriate action to stop corporations from controlling the internet.

Open your eyes people!

FACTS:

– in 10 years “wired” internet will become like a “wired” telephone line

– AT&T + T-Mobil = 80% market share in the wireless industry

– the Obama Administration paid $7 bil to a broadband stimulus plan which was supposed to have helped the US keep broadband up to snuff (I don’t think anyone knows where this money went much like the TARP bailout)

– year after year a required broadband report continually shows the US carriers to be making little to no progress (these measures were implemented in 2009).  The US is always in the bottom 20 in terms of broadband speed and availability

FICTION:

– Broadband upgrades are too expensive because you have to cover so much land mass to reach all these people

PROOF:  http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/09/chattanooga-tn-beats-google-to-1gbps.ars

Quote:  As for the National Broadband Plan, which envisions a rather anemic 100Mbps to 100 million homes in another decade, services like this remind me of just how modest those goals are. Chattanooga points out that it is already “10 times faster and 10 years ahead of the FCC’s National Broadband Plan.”

This is exactly why Freepress is pressuring the FCC – everyone ‘likes’ what they are doing in at least attempting to regulate the internet so that instead of fueling greed, it fuels innovation.   BUT  they aren’t taking it far enough.

Quote 2 (more relevant from http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/04/how-chattanooga-uses-1gbps-internet-connections.ars ):  “This costs more, but EPB is a beneficiary. It uses the fiber to power its own “smart grid” electrical program, and deploying the program everywhere adds value to the electrical system. But once the fiber’s in place, it can be used for TV, Internet, and phone service without digging any new trenches; indeed, even upgrading the entire network to support 1Gbps service was relatively inexpensive, since it only required an electronics upgrade at central locations. While few customers buy the 1Gbps tier, many use slower EPB Internet services, but at least the network is ready for the future at relatively minimal cost.”

Not enough?   Well then I give you yet more proof as an alternative that these daunting infrastructure upgrades are indeed inexpensive.  How about leveraging all that now unused wireless spectrum that your old TV with bunny ears used to use?    Right – remember that whole DTV transition thing?   Well guess what – we can push data over that EXISTING network with relatively minor upgrades and yes folks it’s fast, WAY faster than what you can squeeze out of any Cable or Telco provider connection right now.

Don’t believe me?  Read up on “White spaces Collation” and the proposals to use it.   This, much like everything else in the US, is being hotly contested and lobbied for corporate control.

“The White Spaces Coalition consists of eight large technology companies that planned to deliver high speed broadband internet access beginning in February 2009 to United States consumers via existing “white space” in unused television frequencies between 54-698 MHz (TV Channels 2-51). The coalition expected speeds of 80 Mbps and above, and 400 to 800 Mbit/s for white space short-range networking.[9] The group includes MicrosoftGoogleDellHPIntelPhilipsEarthlink, and Samsung Electro-Mechanics.”

FCC Commish

From left, FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, Rep. Lee Terry R-Neb. and Commissioner Mignon Clyburn appear at a town hall meeting in Omaha, Neb., Tuesday, May 17, 2011. The meeting was held to discuss Nebraska's limited broadband Internet access and the need to increase access to rural America through the Universal Service Fund. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

So after having read this and the facts, if you’re still strongly believing that Net Neutrality + the FCC + Obama is a “far left” Marxist plan for socialism then I propose that we re-define what it is to be “far left and right” in the USA:

Far left =  Individuals who believe in freedom and innovation

Far right = individuals that believe in the status quo, protecting corporate interests (greed and control) and tradition.

Now the funny part about the “far right” is that they believe in patriotism, capitalism and freedom.    All of these things are dying because these people are not actively advocating them.   You’re not free if you think or say you are.  You have to PROVE it, WORK for it and EARN it.

You don’t sit on your fat ass all day sipping Bud Light talking about what ma and pa used to tell you about Uncle Sam.   That was then and this is now.   Smell the beans.  Men and women got off of their asses and fought for their freedom to established what you now take for granted and expect someone else to maintain.

There are no real differences between Democrats and Republicans other than beliefs in social issues.   Social issues are not going to fix the economy, get Americans jobs or help with unemployment and poverty.  Nor will they help change the government’s completely irresponsible behavior when it comes to spending both domestically and abroad.

Let’s look at this “collusion” between the FCC and Free Press:

 

The evidence of coordination between the FCC Democrats and Free Press uncovered by Judicial Watch includes:

  • Emails between former Free Press president John Silver and Democratic FCC Commissioner Michael Copps from October 2010, coordinating “how we’d like to proceed during these next three months on NN [net neutrality].”
  • Documents summarizing a phone call between Silver and Copps in which, before an FCC vote on the proposal in November 2010, Silver “emphasized that a strong net neutrality rule is critical to preserving the Internet as a vibrant forum for speech, commerce, innovation and cultural expression.”
  • Correspondence between FCC Special Counsel David Tannenbaum and Free Press Policy Director Ben Scott coordinating speakers for a taxpayer-funded series of FCC “internet workshops” that were intended to generate public support for the proposal.

Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columnists/2011/06/conn-carroll-documents-show-fcc-coordinated-net-neutrality-effort-outside#ixzz1OK4KQVjw

 

Let’s look at points 2 and 3 first of all – Really guys?   Is this all you have?   I hope you’re not wasting tax payer time or money with this crap.  THIS INFORMATION IS ALL PUBLIC!!   There’s no curtain!!

Right from the freepress.net website:  http://www.freepress.net/policy_updates

Holy smokes look at all those issues they’ve been encouraging the public to push on the FCC for…  That’s insane!

Now “how we’d like to proceed over these next few months on Net Neutrality” – that’s subjective.   And it requires context.   “we’d” implies the public when I read it.  Being that the Free Press maintains a forum to discuss these topics and is well read on them I’d figure they would be offering public opinion on the matter (for those who care).

The only terms which could be violated here are if the member that was spoken to refused to openly discuss that they had been contacted by an outside party and the details of that conversation – which from what I see there’s no proof to suggest that it hadn’t been done thus far.

This is nothing further than an empty charade that you need only take a few minutes to read and research to dispel.

There is ZERO evidence here that suggests that the FCC has been corrupted in any way – the only evidence is that people like Mrs. Baker who are approving policy and then jumping ship to work for corporations which they helped push decisions in favor for as opposed to an unbiased effort.

now that's fast!

For $350 per month in Chattanooga, TN today, you can enjoy Internet speeds most Americans won't see for possibly 10-20 years! In California sonic.net will dish it up for only $70!

 

 

Posted in General.

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FCC Commish helps approve NBC / Comcast merger thenquitsandbecomestheir top lobbyist

FTA: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/05/after-approving-comcastnbc-deal-fcc-commish-becomes-comcast-lobbyist.ars?comments=1#comments-bar

Meredith Attwell Baker, one of the two Republican Commissioners at the Federal Communications Commission, plans to step down—and right into a top lobbying job at Comcast-NBC.

The news, reported this afternoon by the Wall Street JournalThe Hill, and Politico, comes after the hugely controversial merger of Comcast and NBC earlier this year. At the time, Baker objected to FCC attempts to impose conditions on the deal and argued that the “complex and significant transaction” could “bring exciting benefits to consumers that outweigh potential harms.”

Four months after approving the massive transaction, Attwell Baker will take a top DC lobbying job for the new Comcast-NBC entity, according to reports

Let’s put a face to the name

Hey Mrs. Baker – how much did you get for your soul?

UPDATE 2: She responds via the Consumerist

UPDATE (video from Daily show):

UPDATE 3:   Wow – Hulu took the video down so here’s a bad audio mirror

Posted in Political, Tech.

Tagged with , , , .




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