RESHARE: Yeah, I was just reading about the latest battle in this war. Blah!
Reshared text: Google knows it. Viacom knows it. The Chamber of Commerce knows it. Internet democracy groups know it. BoingBoing knows it. But, the Internet hasn't been told yet -- we're going to get blown away by the end of the year. The worst bill in Internet history is about to become law.
Reshared text: In honor of Veteran's day, and my passion for Google+ and social experiments, for every share this post gets between now and midnight tonight, I will donate $1 to the Wounded Warrior Project. Limit $10,000.
My thanks to the veterans who have sacrificed so much.
RESHARE: I know I shared this before, and will probably share it again. It spooks me.
Reshared text: If SOPA passes, it will destroy the Internet. That's not hyperbole, that's simple fact.
Please read this, and please make as much noise as you can about it: tell people, share this post, put it on your networks, and call your congressman and tell them in clear and simple terms that you want them to vote against SOPA.
Something we all need to hear, something we all need to read. Equality is a lot more complex than we want to believe.
"In the past and far too often in the present, I’ve somehow not seen the people around me at all. I’ve just seen thousands of different ways to compare myself to the many souls who cross my path, in order to gauge if I myself am rubbish or not. To gauge if I myself am valuable as a human being or not."
You are a good person, and I love you. I may not like you all the time, or appreciate all the things you do, but I love you, my fellow humans.
RESHARE: If you can, please consider sponsoring, if you can't, please pass this on.
As stated below, every little bit helps!
Reshared text: Plussers - I need your help
Many of you know that I live in Vermont, and some of you also know my "day job" is working for the United Way. While I love the cold winters here, I work closely with many Vermonters who don't have enough money to heat their homes - this is a huge concern when we've had two days this week in the single digits (F). The subsidies they count on to offset their heating costs were cut dramatically this year and heating costs have raised about 30% - leaving a huge deficit for local nonprofits trying to keep Vermonters warm.
On January 28th, I will be participating in the Ski for Heat fundraiser in Montpelier, VT (I'll actually be snowshoeing for heat...) and am asking for your help in supporting this excellent project. I've linked the donations page below (just write my name in the boxes indicated) or you can print off a donation form and send it in.
Every Little Bit Helps
Thank you in advance for any help you can provide!!!
RESHARE: For the writers out there, if this sounds like a subject you can sink your teeth into, get scribblin'!
Reshared text: Steampunk Cthulhu anthology - submissions wanted, edited by Brian M. Sammons and Glynn Owen Barrass, they are looking for the wonders of tomorrow meeting the horror of inescapable doom, with your own unique spin on both steampunk and the Cthulhu Mythos. The deadline for submissions is July 31.
RESHARE: Great author, good reason to grab a new book!
Reshared text: Whoopee, our bank account has been cleaned out...*
So I was expecting a payment into the joint account that Peter and I share, and logged into online banking to see if it had come in yet. And saw:
Available balance: 0.00
Uhh… No, not really possible. Something a little over 0.00, something a little under 0.00, sure. But this? No. Possibly a system hiccup of some kind. So I call the helpline and ask what’s going on.
And surprise! What do they find, but, between Tuesday and today, a number of transactions that aren’t mine. Road toll payments (when we don’t have a car: amusing). Movie tickets from a Dublin-area omniplex (when we haven’t left the house since last Friday: I’m still fighting with this sinus infection and haven’t been out a lot.) And then a transaction at a point-of-sale somewhere in Ireland that emptied out the account. (There wasn’t a vast amount in there right then… but it’s all gone now.)
W. T. F. My bank card has been skimmed.
It’s toast now (thrown in the fire a few minutes ago, a new one ordered over the phone). But so much for the bills that needed to be paid this week. 2012 had better start getting its act together, as this is not an auspicious beginning.
The bank will cover this expense when its fraud department has digested all the details. But meanwhile, the household is skint. So: if you feel inclined to spit in the eye of the nameless rogue(s) who’ve briefly ruined the domestic tranquility around here, I invite you you to go over to the Ebooks Direct store and buy something using the discount code DDGOTSKIMMED, which will give you 20% off whatever you buy.
If you feel inclined to share this around, it’d be appreciated.
(oh, sorry, forgot the URL for the store. (You can judge my mental state from that, I bet...)
I heard that you are thinking of dropping your 'Land of the Free' tagline. That would be a shame, given all that you have gone through at the hands of those whose existence is dedicated to forcing their narrow (normally religious) agenda on the tolerant countries of the world.
It looks like you have a problem with the Internet, and you plan to solve the problem by draconian regulation. You do know, don't you, that you do not actually 'own' the Internet? You didn't even invent it, although a lot of it happens within your borders.
Sure, it is full of bad stuff, weird stuff, stuff caused by too-strong a religious fervour, stuff caused by a disdain for religion, mad stuff, dangerous stuff.
It also has intelligent stuff, witty stuff, stuff that challenges prejudice, stuff that makes politicians squirm, heart-warming stuff, artistic stuff.
We had a king over here a few years back, a Danish chap named Knut (or, Canute, if you prefer). You might not remember him, as he was around before you were born. He showed the limits of his kingship by proving that he could not order the tide to go out when it wanted to come in. You need the same sense of perspective with regard to the modern information society. It's there. Live with it. Embrace it. Improve it.
If you target your browser to Wikipedia today, you probably won't come away with much research. The site promises to be dark.
And if you are one of the millions inclined to "Google" something, you'll find a political message urging you to talk to Congress.
Both websites are part of a growing stir against something called SOPA -- a U.S. House bill titled the Stop Online Piracy Act.
Depending on your vantage point, it's either a needed bulwark against rampant theft of words, music, images and designs by people outside the U.S. -- or it is the beginning of the end of Internet freedom.
Today it is likely to be the talk of the town, as the plan to combat Internet piracy of entertainment and goods collides with impassioned opposition, both locally and nationally.
The bill, which has differing versions in the House and Senate, would prohibit U.S. companies from providing services, such as payment, to foreign websites that sell stolen U.S. content, including movies and music, as well as medicines that infringe on patents.
The House version, the Stop Online Piracy Act, requires Internet search engines to de-list foreign piracy sites -- in effect, blocking them from view. The Senate version, the Protect IP Act, does not. The Senate version also requires more intervention by courts to enforce the proposed law.
Internet service providers say they want nothing to do with the police function the law would give them. Should they fail to keep content pirates at bay, it would threaten their ability to keep their sites open, they say.
Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., is a co-sponsor of the Senate legislation. He said the House version would craft overly broad government power to disrupt Internet activities, but added that opponents of the legislation also have gone too far in their contention that it would
"break the Internet."
"I think it's important to protect American innovation" while preserving the free flow of information on the Internet, Coons said.
The Motion Picture Association of America and U.S. media companies have supported the legislation, saying online piracy hurts artists and content creators.
But the legislation faces vehement grass-roots opposition. Websites like Wikipedia have vowed to go dark today to protest the legislation, illustrating what they say is the ability of the government to shut down websites that come under suspicion -- without due process of law.
Dave Casey, lead singer in the West Chester, Pa.-based band Deadbeatz, Inc., said the bill represents a dangerous incursion into limiting free speech, giving the government the right to block the free flow of information. He called it a "power grab" by the big music labels and movie houses to control content and make money off the Internet.
"I want to be able to search for whatever I want on the planet, and have it on my iPhone while I'm walking down the street," Casey said.
Richard Gordon, who teaches an intellectual property class for the University of Delaware computer science department, said he feared "unintended consequences" -- that legitimate websites could be shut down because of a handful of bad actors.
Brian Truono, who works for a Wilmington Web development firm, said government intrusion is a bad way to stop piracy. He cited iTunes as a consumer-friendly way to get people to pay for a commodity that had been widely pirated.
"It's years behind the innovation that is around today," Truono said of the legislation.
The White House issued a statement stating efforts to combat online piracy should be focused on sites outside the U.S. and "must guard against the risk of online censorship of lawful activity and must not inhibit innovation by our dynamic businesses large and small."
The White House suggested removing a portion of the bill that would allow the government to block access to certain websites, saying it would disrupt the architecture of the Internet. The bills' lead sponsors, Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Tex., and Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., have agreed to remove that portion.
The legislation would have little impact on local musicians, said Mark Rogers, host of WSTW-FM's "Hometown Heroes" show.
But it could help the industry overall, if consumers were forced to pay for popular albums they might have otherwise gotten for free from piracy sites, Rogers said. It's a way for copyright and patent holders to protect their rights, but "they have to be very careful of who's being penalized with this."
"Piracy is a problem that has to be solved, but we cannot harm the internet and restrict the things that have made it the largest platform for freedom and expression in the history of mankind. Hopefully SOPA and PIPA are scrapped and the tech and entertainment industries can come together and jointly draft a law that is fair to everyone."
Reshared text: SOPA/PIPA And What It Means To You: Ben Parr Explains It All
Sorting through all the SOPA/PIPA related news today is bound to get overwhelming. Sites like Wikipedia, Reddit, those in the Cheezburger network, Boing Boing, Mozilla and more are dark to protest the proposed anti-piracy laws. We've roped in a few industry experts and veterans to help sort out what exactly is going on here, and were lucky enough to get Mashable's former and formidable editor-at-large Ben Parr to weigh in.
Consumerist: Why should sites with entertainment content or information that don't directly pirate anything care about SOPA/PIPA?
Ben Parr: Under the current wording of SOPA and PIPA, websites could potentially be blacklisted from search engines, advertising networks and Internet Service Providers via court order. The Department of Justice or a copyright holder could request this and potentially be granted this request. This is very bad, because sites such as Reddit, YouTube and other entertainment websites could accidentally host pirated content (via a rogue user) and then be blacklisted by the government.
In other words, your favorite websites might get penalized, blacklisted or even shut down due to a copyright infringement lawsuit. These are all hypothetical scenarios, but ones that SOPA and PIPA would open the door to.
Consumerist: Why should the typical consumer even care if SOPA goes through or not? Why should they take the time to contact their reps and tell them they're against it?
BP: The Internet could turn into a dramatically different place if SOPA and PIPA pass. Not only will it be harder to find the content you're looking for, but your favorite websites could disappear for days, months or longer because of a dragged-out copyright infringement lawsuit.
Foreign websites have it even worse; the government has even more leeway to block them under SOPA and PIPA.
Consumerist: How did some sites come to the decision to black out to protest SOPA on Jan. 18?
BP: A lot of the websites protesting SOPA and PIPA tomorrow (Google, Wikipedia, Boing Boing, Reddit, etc.) would be directly affected by the new laws. Their businesses would be restricted and copyright infringement lawsuits could slow down the progress of internet innovation.
It's also a community effort. The high-tech community is almost uniformly against these laws, and the community bands together on occasions where it sees a really big threat to Internet freedom and innovation.
Consumerist: Why do such bills have any support, when they seem so widely unpopular? Is there a compromise that could take place instead?
BP: Most people don't even know about the fight over SOPA and PIPA. In addition, these laws have the support of influential media giants such as Comcast, the RIAA and the MPAA.
I think there is a reasonable compromise that can be struck, but SOPA and PIPA's supporters worry that this is their only chance to get Congress to pass strong anti-piracy laws.
Piracy is a problem that has to be solved, but we cannot harm the internet and restrict the things that have made it the largest platform for freedom and expression in the history of mankind. Hopefully SOPA and PIPA are scrapped and the tech and entertainment industries can come together and jointly draft a law that is fair to everyone.
Reshared text: I just felt a great disturbance in the force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were forced to open books and talk to other human beings in order to gather information.
Yeah. Wikipedia is down for the day, dropping the IQ of everyone in the US by about 25 points. They're protesting of a couple horrifying bills that, if passed into law, would screw up free expression on the... internet....
If you don't know what PIPA and SOPA are, you should probably find out and contact your governmental representatives. Because censorship in any form? Not so cool.
Reshared text: I'm against SOPA / PIPA, and here is why.
I think that we, the architects of the internet, are able to create bottom-up solutions for current and future problems. A good example of this is Creative Commons, and here I am at Google talking about how it affects "piracy" in my world of digital photography. this video should jump ahead to 11:48 automatically
Cliff Hilliard - <The following was sent to both my Reps and my Senator>
I am writing to you today to request that you oppose SOPA, PIPA and any other legislation like them that should come up in the future. I believe that the passage of such bills would be detrimental to the expression of freedom and creativity in both the United States and the World.
Last year we saw dramatic evidence in the Middle east of the power of freedom and ideas. Stifling communication and freedom of expression has never ended well for the government that supports it. The Middle East will be free, the Wall did come down, and Soviet Russia did fall (bloodlessly at that, who would have guessed that in 1973?)
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. “
Nowhere in there does it say “In order to protect the Entertainment industry from losing money we must restrict the liberties and freedom of all peoples, guilty or innocent”.
Please consider the voice of this one constituent when you place your support, and vote against these restrictive and harmful pieces of legislation.
Reshared text: Five Reasons Why I Don't Care if My Stuff is Pirated - A New Way of Thinking
An article just came out in Wired (http://goo.gl/Nyaf9) and it featured many of my quotes. I have approached copyright, products, and business models in a very non-traditional way. I'm sure that I'm doing it the right way -- most others disagree. The article is about how I have chosen to share my photography from http://www.StuckInCustoms.com with a Creative Commons Noncommercial license, but it falls into an overall digital online strategy.
All of my stuff is pirated. Everything from my HDR Video Tutorial to eBooks to Apps. Fine. It's all there on PirateBay and MegaUpload and all that stuff. Here are the reasons why I don't mind:
1) Theft of bits are like the Tic Tacs that get stolen from the 7-11. It's the cost of doing business on the Internet.
2) It is a LONG life. Many people that pirate stuff now from me just don't have any money. But, they like me and want my stuff. Some day, when they have money and get their financial act under control - maybe even in five years - I'll still be around. And then, they'll think, "You know what? I like that Trey guy... he put out stuff in the past that I like, and now I will start buying his new stuff."
3) The "pirates" are part of my community. Not everyone in the community has equal means. Pirates are not cretins riddled with immoral behavior in every part of their life. These are all generally good people who would gladly support me, their friendly local neighborhood artist, if they could easily afford it. They can't now, but they will be able to some day... I give them something now, and they will give me something later. For example, 24 years ago in high school, I used to pirate Sid Meier games on my Amiga (including a game called Pirates). Now that I have money, I buy every single game that Sid Meier puts out.
4) Pirates have friends that have money. It's still word-of-mouth, the most effective friend-to-friend marketing in the world. If pirates like what you do, they'll tell their friends. Not everyone is so handy with bittorrent and this sort of thing. Since I make purchases simple on my website at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com , many will come make the purchase because it is easier than pirating.
5) Last, and most important, as soon as I opened everything up, our business has grown and grown. Our team now of about 10 people are happy and everything is profitable. It is strange to see a chart over time that shows an increase in revenues and an increase in piracy. Now, piracy is not the reason that revenues are increasing, but they are not hurting revenues.
I'm proud of my artistic work and the creations that I have put on the internet, and for every thousand pirated downloads, I plant a thousand seeds.
Hello Google+ community! I'm +Shana Gitnick, an engineer on the Google+ Photos team, with a great new feature to tell you about.
Google+ has long been the place to share and interact with video -- Whether it's using Hangouts with your friends or watching YouTube videos. Today we’re making video a bit more fun by letting you record and share videos of yourself using your webcam. To get started, click the video icon in the share box and choose Record Video. Once you've authorized Flash to access your camera, you can start recording. And once you're done, the video appears as an attachment to your post -- ready to share with your circles.
Thanks, and happy recording! As always, keep the feedback coming!
RESHARE: +Stop SOPA Stop SOPA - 5:15 PM - Public Props to The Pirate Bay for coming out and saying this!
_"Over a century ago Thomas Edison got the patent for a device which would “do for the eye what the phonograph does for the ear”. He called it the Kinetoscope. He was not only amongst the first to record video, he was also the first person to own the copyright to a motion picture.
Because of Edison’s patents it was close to financially impossible to create motion pictures in the North American East Coast. The movie studios therefore relocated to California, and founded what we today call Hollywood. The reason was mostly because there were no patents. There was also no copyright to speak of, so the studios could copy old stories and make movies out of them – like Fantasia, one of Disney’s biggest hits ever.
So, the whole basis of this industry, that today is screaming about losing control over immaterial rights, is that they circumvented immaterial rights. They copied (or put in their terminology: “stole”) other people’s creative works, without paying for them. They did it in order to make a huge profit. Today, they’re all successful and most of the studios are on the Fortune 500 list of the richest companies in the world. Congratulations – it’s all based on being able to re-use other people’s creative works. And today they hold the rights to what other people create. If you want to get something released, you have to abide by their rules. The ones they created after circumventing other people’s rules."_
Reshared text: I'm a huge fan of TPB. Rock on you guys.
"The U.S. House of Representatives has introduced important legislation, the Stop Online Piracy Act (H.R. 3261) and the U.S. Senate has introduced similar legislation, the PROTECT IP Act (S. 968), which would help shut down these sites, cut off their stolen revenue and protect both our jobs and the American consumer. Your representatives need to hear that you support these critical pieces of legislation in the war against content theft."
This is the organization that is pumping huge amounts of money and resources into supporting SOPA & PIPA. If you like, take a little time and take a look at what they're up to. Knowledge of the opposition's thinking and strategy will be beneficial in the long run.
Reshared text: A Hollywood professional explains why #SOPA and #PIPA are a bad idea
"I believe my union leadership is acting in good faith to look after the best interests of its membership. But I don't think my union leadership understands how the Internet works. By backing the industry's position on SOPA/PIPA, I believe they're tying themselves to a business model that simply can't be sustained and won't be rescued by badly crafted legislation.
Look, you can't un-ring this bell. Internet file sharing, streaming video, and movies-on-demand aren't going away. Fans of American television shows and movies use the internet toform international online communities, upload their favorite clips via YouTube and share them on Twitter and Facebook.As an industry, we should encourage them. Because today's "pirates" are tomorrow's customers."
So people are all in a twitter about MegaUpload, but read through this article and it's pretty clear they were blatantly breaking the law in the US and profiteering from it. In fact it was their whole business model.
They've been taken off line using existing laws and international co-operation. No SOPA or PIPA required.
Conclusion... there's no reason at all to feel sorry for MegaUpload and there's no reason for SOPA or PIPA.
For all the hysteria over SOPA and PIPA — the bills that are either going to save the world from online thieves or kill the Internet as we know it — there may be a path to compromise that could keep both sides happy. If anybody wants to be happy.
Senate lawmakers are mulling exempting search-result blocking from PIPA in a last-minute attempt to salvage the legislation, which is expected to be voted down Tuesday. That’s one possible avenue of agreement that would get warring factions in Hollywood and Silicon Valley to back off from the mudslinging. But a deal may not be what either side is looking for. Emboldened by their Web-driven win, technology companies may not be willing to give an inch to the other side.
“Why compromise? This thing is dying on the vine,” said one tech industry observer. To wit: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday he would not rally his Democratic troops to vote for PIPA, all but dooming the bill as a Tuesday cloture vote approaches. Meanwhile, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called on Democrats to shelve the bill until “serious issues” are resolved.
The entertainment industry is also maintaining its poker face and took a swing at the Obama administration for a statement suggesting that SOPA and PIPA go too far. Former Sen. Chris Dodd, now head of the Motion Picture Association of America, threatened to cut off donations to Obama’s 2012 campaign over the anti-piracy bills, Fox News reporter Ed Henry said on Twitter.
But Hollywood’s leverage has diminished and it could be forced to give in on some of its sticking points. The MPAA, the Recording Industry Association of America and the Copyright Alliance did not provide comment in time for publication.
Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) are in discussions to remove from PIPA a provision requiring search engines like Google to delete links to suspected rogue sites from search results if ordered to do so by a court, sources confirmed to POLITICO. That will ease one of tech’s biggest concerns with the current proposals, but may not quiet content’s fury.
Kyl made the proposal on Wednesday to Leahy, who is trying to hammer out a manager’s amendment to quell the blowback coming from the tech sector and other members ahead of a cloture vote scheduled for the bill on Tuesday.
A Senate staffer familiar with the negotiations said potential compromise legislation could come as early as Friday. It would do away with a provision in the current version of PIPA that would allow the attorney general to seek a court order forcing search engines and ISPs to cut off access to alleged pirate sites. The new version would instead allow only copyright holders to initiate legal action against infringers. They would be able to seek court orders forcing payment processors and ad networks to cease business with such sites.
While the bill would preserve a so-called private right of action, the source said, it would also increase penalties for filing frivolous lawsuits. Critics have warned that PIPA and SOPA would trigger a flood of litigation — including lawsuits by companies attempting to use the courts to unjustly go after rivals. Even with a compromise, however, PIPA may not have a clear path. McConnell on Thursday urged Democrats to set aside the legislation.
“Rather than prematurely bringing the PROTECT IP Act to the Senate floor, we should first study and resolve the serious issues with this legislation,” he said in a statement. “Considering this bill without first doing so could be counterproductive to achieving the shared goal of enacting appropriate and additional tools to combat the theft of intellectual property.”
While Leahy’s manager’s amendment is meant to show a good faith effort to address concerns, some are still skeptical.
“The House has said they won’t pass a bill with real consensus,” said Ed Black, head of the Computer and Communications Industry Association. “Therefore a vote in the Senate on a bill without real consensus is likely to be a dangerous and politically risky vote with little likelihood of it actually resulting in legislation.”
A compromise that removes the search component and narrows the private right of action provision could allow the tech industry to claim victory. But it’s unclear if Internet bigwigs are willing to accept even a watered-down bill — or whether the content industry would go along with a much weaker measure.
Whether you agree with their actions or not, the grumpy part is the unknowingly part. TRY to be aware of what you're sharing and what you're clicking on.
"This is completely evil and could lead to huge numbers of witless internet users inadvertently attacking, say, the Department of Justice by clicking a random link they stumble across on Twitter. It may greatly increase the effectiveness of today's attacks, but it also renders them largely meaningless. Anonymous' previous attacks had what political power they had because they were acts of conscious protest; participants knew what they were getting into. This recent round seems to be not much better than a Facebook worm. The safest thing now would be to avoid clicking anything to do with operation megaupload or Anonymous—especially if it's a mysterious Pastehtml link."
Reshared text: Tuscon Book Banning Goes Unchallenged
News like this really makes me sad and angry. How can anyone see a school as a place to restrict knowledge?
TUCSON -- Outrage was the response to the news that Tucson schools has banned books, including "Rethinking Columbus," with an essay by award-winning Pueblo author Leslie Marmon Silko, who lives in Tucson, and works by Buffy Sainte Marie, Winona LaDuke, Leonard Peltier and Rigoberta Menchu.
The decision to ban Chicano and Native American books follows the 4 to 1 vote on Tuesday by the Tucson Unified School District board to succumb to the State of Arizona, and forbid Mexican American Studies, rather than fight the state decision.
RESHARE: TH pretty much sums up my sentiments on this entirely.
Reshared text: God, how blatantly corrupt U.S. politics, lobbyists and politicians are.
"Those who count on quote 'Hollywood' for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who's going to stand up for them when their job is at stake. Don't ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don't pay any attention to me when my job is at stake,"
-- Christopher Dodd
Christopher John "Chris" Dodd (born May 27, 1944) is an American lawyer, lobbyist, and Democratic Party politician who served as a United States Senator from Connecticut for a thirty-year period ending with the 111th United States Congress.
Reshared text: Two things about SOPA/PIPA and then I'll shut up :)
The internet seems to ignore legislation until somebody tries to take something away from us... then we carefully defend that one thing and never counter-attack. Then the other side says, "OK, compromise," and gets half of what they want. That's not the way to win... that's the way to see a steady and continuous erosion of rights online.
The solution is to start lobbying for our own laws. It's time to go on the offensive if we want to preserve what we've got. Let's force the RIAA and MPAA to use up all their political clout just protecting what they have. Here are some ideas we should be pushing for:
* Elimination of software patents * Legal fees paid by the loser in patent cases; non-practicing entities must post bond before they can file fishing expedition lawsuits * Roll back length of copyright protection to the minimum necessary "to promote the useful arts." Maybe 10 years? * Create a legal doctrine that merely linking is protected free speech * And ponies. We want ponies. We don't have to get all this stuff. We merely have to tie them up fighting it, and re-center the "compromise" position.
The dismal corruption of congress has gotten it to the point where lobbying for legislation is out of control. As Larry Lessig has taught us, the core rottenness originates from the high cost of running political campaigns, which mostly just goes to TV stations.
A solution is for the Internet industry to start giving free advertising to political campaigns on our own new media assets... assets like YouTube that are rapidly displacing television. Imagine if every political candidate had free access (under some kind of "equal time" rule) to enough advertising inventory on the Internet to run a respectable campaign. Sure, candidates can still pay to advertise on television, but the cost of campaigning would be a lot lower if every candidate could run geo-targeted pre-roll ads on YouTube, geo-targeted links at the top of Reddit.com, even targeted campaigns on Facebook. If the Internet can donate enough inventory (and I suspect we can), we can make it possible for a candidate to get elected without raising huge war chests from donors who are going to want something in return, and we may finally get to a point where every member of congress isn't in permanent outstretched-hand mode.
RESHARE: I know it's no excuse, it simply is what it is. I've wanted to post about ACTA for a while now, but honestly, have had no idea what I would say. I have to do something though, no matter how small, so here it is.
I would like to add: no matter how many of these bills get defeated, we will always have to be, as stated, vigilant for The Next Big Monster In The Packet Closet.
As conscientious citizens of whatever country you may reside in, it is not just the Internet's freedoms that need protecting. Sadly, we are proven every day how stringently we need to watch those we allow to reside in power, for they will, whether with true intent or misguided beliefs, take our rights away on every level. "To protect the children", "to protect yourselves", "to protect your country", "to protect your religion".
That being said, to truly be free, you must accept that others will have beliefs, cultural patterns, fashion concepts, etc. that you disagree with. I walk a very slippery slope with this. I feel that, no matter how distasteful you may be to me, if you aren't hurting others, there is no reason you shouldn't be able to live your life in peace. If hurting is your thing, well, there are adult groups for that, where a conscious decision is made by all parties involved, and hey, more power to you. The key here being "conscious decision made by all parties involved". This means to me: made by adult humans. Informed, consenting, adult humans. I don't believe animals can make a conscious decision to be abused, nor do I believe children can make a conscious decision to be abused. And while I feel kicking your car when it won't start hurts the car, well, it IS a car, not a Transformer. It (probably) won't get even with you for that.
I do not have answers for how to effectively combat piracy and IP theft, outside of raising cultural awareness to the point where as a society, the thought of willfully stealing someone else's works is unfathomable to most participants (just accept it, there will always be deviants to every mean).
I believe, honestly, and maybe I am being childishly optimistic here, that education is the answer to at least 90% of the wrongs I see. A good healthy dose of love for your fellow critters should be very much tied in with that. Without the understanding provided by being loved and loving, education is a hollow framework. Love and education give you respect. And when the majority of your environment is peopled by respectful individuals, all these excessive, hurtful, and misguided regulations become unimportant.
Maybe if our politicians had been hugged more as children, and encouraged to see the beauty in every unique, living thing, they wouldn't feel so prone to follow money to the death of us all. Yes, for most of us, our world revolves around money. But money isn't what makes a great person, or a great country, or a great planet. I grew up without a lot of money. I can promise you, money does not bring happiness (though I do recognize it eases some aspects of life). It is the relationship between all the beautiful creatures (and, no matter what they have done, every creature is beautiful), the interaction we all can share in, that makes us great.
And for those of you who like to point fingers and say "oh, it's all this political party's fault" or "hey, it was that coalition who drove us to this", or "those fragging unions"... Well, we all got here together. There is no universal It Man in this grand ballroom of humanity. We, each and every one of us, are at least a small part responsible for where our global and local society is at, if for no other reason than we sat back and did nothing, content to let someone else choose our destiny for us. If you do not make a stand, you have no soap box to preach from when life does not turn out how you want it to be. Finger pointing gets you nowhere. The blame game is useless. Use whatever power you have available to you, and Do Something with it for a change. Allow yourself to be great.
Reshared text: "It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt." - John Philpot Currant, 1790
SOPA and PIPA may be halted in their tracks, but ACTA is an international effort that goes even farther to invading privacy, limiting civil liberties and restricting the free flow of information across the world and across the web - all in the name of intellectual property. In other words, money.
Eternal vigilance, Citizens of the Internet, is the cost of our informational liberty.
La Quadrature du Net, a French/European advocacy group, has some terrific resources on ACTA, which affects all of us adversely, worldwide:
ACTA is one more offensive against the sharing of culture on the Internet. ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) is an agreement secretly negotiated by a small "club" of like-minded countries (39 countries, including the 27 of the European Union, the United States, Japan, etc). Negotiated instead of being democratically debated, ACTA bypasses parliaments and international organizations to dictate a repressive logic dictated by the entertainment industries.
ACTA would impose new criminal sanctions forcing Internet actors to monitor and censor online communications. It is thus a major threat to freedom of expression online and creates legal uncertainty for Internet companies. In the name of trademarks and patents, it would also hamper access to generic medicines in poor countries.
RESHARE: Now, on to something lighter... The chicken or the egg... or both?
Reshared text: CHICKEN SCULPTURE MADE FROM EGGSHELLS
Brighton based artist, designer and art directory Kyle Bean created a beautiful chicken sculpture using eggshells. He carefully glued the eggshells together after collecting eggs of varying colors from his local bakery.
He said: “The chicken or the egg is an interesting paradox that I wanted to respond to. I was motivated by the idea.
RESHARE: One of the worst bills you haven't heard of.
Reshared text: Never Mind SOPA, Learn About ACTA
So you stopped SOPA. Take a moment to pat yourself on the back.
Have you ever heard of ACTA? Probably not. It's only been under development for four years. But it's being pushed by the US, not applied directly to the US. So as usual it gets no attention.
Basically the US spent the first two years secretly trying to do an end-run around existing world bodies and trade agreements to enforce much tighter copyright controls in other countries and used their weight in international trade to encourage countries to sign on.
The original talks were designated as secret due to potential damage to national security.
Reshared text: UPDATE - As #SOPA and #PIPA have been shelved for now, we're regrouping for a new Hangout-On-Air Event addressing larger issues, like #ACTA and whatever form the bills may take next. There will be special guests like my congressman from Connecticut - Chris Murphy and more!
DATE COMING SOON
We'll have a chance to actually SHOW some real politicians our community first-hand, and educate them about our world and how it works!
And we'll still have you G+niuses join to call your representatives both in the US and Internationally to voice opinions and urge them to vote down these bills and start getting serious about understanding the internet and the way our modern world works today - with global social connection, face to face interaction and heart.
Freedom, activism and love, Your G+rl, D
Ps. With +The White House here at our house on G+ now... Who knows who we might get to join our discussion! :-) Be sure to comment so I can add you to the circle I'm building for first-invites to the event!
Pps. If YOUR representatives would like to join the Hangout in person let me know! I know +Alida Brandenburg was going to ask hers! When I called Chris Murphy's office they put me through to his communications director who was thrilled about Rep. Murphy joining us!
RESHARE: A project like this almost tempts me to try my hand at photography.
But, I think chances are good that I'll sit back and wait to see what nifty photos you all submit to this. ^.^
Reshared text: What were you doing on 29th Feb 2012
OK so it hasn't happened yet..... But when it does something extra-ordinary will happen.
People all over the world are going to create a photographic record of their local surroundings and upload them to Google+. Giving everyone else the chance to take a sneaking glimpse of the world at one precise moment in time.
To include a small snapshop of your little piece of the world is simple.
1) Take a picture at any point on 29th Feb 2012 2) Upload your picture to Google+ 3) Tag the picture with both the location and #G+LeapYearDayProject . 4) That's it.
RESHARE: This is a writer-in-progress whose wit and creativity I've really enjoyed in the 2? 3? days since I encountered him. For what it's worth, he's made me laugh, he's made me think, and he's introduced some really great music into my life.
As for tipping your wait-staff, that's ALWAYS a good idea, and, you know, it brightens their day. ^.^
Reshared text: I've got to pack up soon but I'd like to leave you with a few requests; tell two friends about my blog (or my G+ account, or my Facebook page) and ask them to check out my writing, be sure to sleep well, comment on one of my blog posts...oh! And tip your server - they work hard so you don't have to.
As the original poster noted on this, when we're trying to get people to not drive drunk, we target ads toward those who are most likely to do so, not the sober drivers who get hit by a drunk driver, not the pedestrians or bicyclists who are lucky if they can dive out of the way in time.
Why then, do we target anti-rape campaigns at rape victims, instead of those who are like to rape?
For that matter, this is pretty true with ALL abuse instances. >.< Why are the abused wrong for being abused?
RESHARE: The accompanying story, I think, might almost be better than the image. :-)
At the very least, it lightens up a chill Monday morning.
Reshared text: Street Photography is difficult...
I don't do street photography very often. It's something that I find extremely intimidating. I do not search confrontation with anyone, but by pointing my camera in someone's face I feel it would lead to just that, confrontation. So when visiting Seattle's Pike Place Market last year, I thought that diving into a crowded place where every second person is holding some sort of camera, I wouldn't stand out very much. I felt relatively safe pointing my camera here and there, took pictures of the merchandise, the architecture, but also of people around me. Very quickly I realized that nobody really paid much attention to me, since they all assumed I just was a snap-happy tourist, and they let me be. Well, until I took a picture of a pair of shoppers admiring the vegetables... through the viewfinder I saw this guy, staring at me through his dark glasses. He looked really grumpy. Pissed off, even. I felt like my cover was blown, and incredibly embarrassed. Quickly dropping the camera in my bag I started walking away, trying to disappear in the crowd. But every time I looked behind me, there he was, a few steps back, still following me. And closing in. I panicked. I would have ran, if there would have been the room to run... too many people, too big a crowd. When I finally felt a hand on my shoulder, I knew it was him. "Wow," he said, "quite the crowd. I almost lost you. Shouldn't we find a place to have some lunch soon?" Reluctantly, I agreed. I would have liked to stay a bit longer and take pictures of people. But when my hubby gets hungry, he needs to eat. Otherwise he gets really grumpy.
Kris Lewis began dreaming and flailing atop this lovely carnival ride in 1978, in the great surround of the Jersey shore.
Growing up in a family that included 6 brothers and 1 sister provided ample fodder for his creative appetite, weaving an existence replete with love, conflict, beauty, tradition and classic Jersey brawls. Kris’ father provided the artistic gene and a glint of inspiration, but it was his mother who taught him the importance of hard work and dedication as he watched her raise an entire family alone after his parents separation. As an immigrant who had to flee from communist forces in her home country of Latvia, Kris’ mother also instilled in him a love for his Latvian heritage and its traditions, which are a major influence in Kris’ artwork. Other influences in Kris’ art include Alfonse Bougereau, Andrew Wyeth, Hans Holbein, Albrecht Durer, Hieronymus Bosch, Gustav Klimt, Antonio Mancini, and Jules-Bastien LePage.
RESHARE: Read up, get educated. Legislation like this should scare you. This is not a localized beast. It's international.
Reshared text: Things you need to know about ACTA #acta
ACTA is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. A new intellectual property enforcement treaty being negotiated by the United States, the European Community, Switzerland, and Japan, with Australia, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Mexico, Jordan, Morocco, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and Canada recently announcing that they will join in as well.
Why should you care about ACTA? Initial reports indicate that the treaty will have a very broad scope and will involve new tools targeting “Internet distribution and information technology.”
Even if your country is not listed above you should care because this will spread worldwide after it passes and even if your country doesn't sign it will indirectly affect you.
1) ACTA isn't the European SOPA. Its nearly Global, and will apply to every country that signs the treaty.
2) ACTA is far more aggressive. ACTA will not simply affect websites and have them blocked out of the internet - it's measures go as far as to surveillance of anything you share through private channels.
3) ACTA doesn't have a campaign against it that is as widespread and organized as SOPA. This is DANGEROUS, as there is less time between now and the final signing of ACTA.
4) ACTA has effects on healthcare, trade and even tourism.
The biggest problem right now is that your ISP's (Internet Service Providers) can report you for anything that "could" be copyright infringement and they will monitor you constantly.
- ISPS will now watch what you download, and tattle on you if you download a music track/ any data / rapidshares / torrents etc. - ISPS will tattle on you, when you do anything which goes against "Governments policy". - ISPS will be able to document and store EVERYTHING you do online. nothing will ever be private again
What this all means for you is no privacy whatsoever
Say NO to ACTA. It is essential to spread awareness and get the word out on ACTA.
In NYC, if you say "The Met" one isn't sure if you mean the Metropolitan Opera or the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MMA). This image was the Google Street View in front of MMA located on the edge of Central Park. On any given sunny day, these great steps are filled with people enjoying the weather. Of course there is always an enterprising food cart out front, ready to supply hot dogs or cool drinks. This Museum is amazing and I always head straight for the Impressionist Gallery.
RESHARE: I'm not sure if there are geographic requirements, but this gentleman produces some wonderful portraits, please consider helping him out, or passing on the word.
Reshared text: The first three subjects of my Pictures for an Exhibition have been photographed. More are booked but I would love, love, love your help in finding people to step forward and show my their face, soul and love for photography.
RESHARE: Looking for something to cover your bare, bare walls? Spice up the office perhaps? Check this out, then.
Reshared text: Thomas Hawk Original Prints
Over the years I've had many people ask me about purchasing prints of my work. With the rare exception I've turned down all of these requests. I'm not sure why. It's probably mostly been that I've been too busy shooting and processing to get around to figuring out a good way to handle fulfillment.
Today I've begun offering prints of my work for sale for the first time ever. This is a work in progress and it may take me some time to get it right, but +SmugMug (disclosure: who sponsor our +Photo Talk Plus show on Wed nights) makes it super easy for me to sell my prints and they give the photographer a very generous payout of 85% of the photo markup. It seems like a lot of the photographers that I admire most like +Trey Ratcliff and +Scott Jarvie and +Colby Brown are all using SmugMug to sell their prints. Its something that I should have done a long time ago and I'm glad that I've taken the time this past week to finally get this done.
To start with I'm offering about 5,000 of my images for sale for people interested in buying them. We'll see how this goes and I'd be interested in any input from people about selling prints online. If you have any questions feel free to ask and I'll try to answer them.
Reshared text: Official Google Blog: Updating our privacy policies and terms of service
"In just over a month we will make some changes to our privacy policies and Google Terms of Service. This stuff matters, so we wanted to explain what’s changing, why and what these changes mean for users.
First, our privacy policies. Despite trimming our policies in 2010, we still have more than 70 (yes, you read right … 70) privacy documents covering all of our different products. This approach is somewhat complicated. It’s also at odds with our efforts to integrate our different products more closely so that we can create a beautifully simple, intuitive user experience across Google.
Regulators globally have been calling for shorter, simpler privacy policies—and having one policy covering many different products is now fairly standard across the web. These changes will take effect on March 1, and we’re starting to notify users today, including via email and a notice on our homepage."
RESHARE: For anyone using T-Mobile, or wanting to switch to T-Mobile, FYI.
Reshared text: Starting January 25, existing and new customers who sign up for a T-Mobile premium data plan--which consists of signing up for 5 gigabytes to 10GB of data each month--can get the mobile hot-spot capability for free--as long as they ask for it.
TMoNews first reported the news, noting that customers could also ask for a mobile album feature, which provides 10GB of cloud storage for media. That's $19.98 in additional value for signing up for the higher end plans. The features, however, won't be widely promoted in the store, so customers will need to ask for them, just as customers have had to learn from word of mouth about the items on In-N-Out's now not-so-secret menu. The offer is only available for a limited time.
RESHARE: Some day, I will see an aurora in person, and lose my breath at one of the most amazing displays of art our planet produces.
Reshared text: January Aurora Over Norway
What's that in the sky? An aurora. A large coronal mass ejection occurred on our Sun five days ago, throwing a cloud of fast moving electrons, protons, and ions toward the Earth. Although most of this cloud passed above the Earth, some of it impacted our Earth's magnetosphere and resulted in spectacular auroras being seen at high northern latitudes. Pictured above is a particularly photogenic auroral corona captured last night above Grotfjord, Norway. To some, this shimmering green glow of recombining atmospheric oxygen might appear as a large eagle, but feel free to share what it looks like to you. This round of solar activity is not yet over -- a new and even more powerful solar flare occurred yesterday that might provide more amazing aurora as soon as tonight.
Reshared text: It's no cure for cancer, but... oh wait.
"The new NY-ESO-1 dendritic cell vaccine is expected to show great promise in patients with bladder, brain, breast, esophageal, gastrointestinal, hepatocellular, kidney, lung, melanoma, ovarian, prostate, sarcoma and uterine tumors."
RESHARE: The only one of this Sh*t <insert group here> Says 'series' that I've enjoyed.
Reshared text: My Work Here is Done (Not really) +Alexia Tsotsis mentioned me in a TechCrunch post and called me an "Avid TechCruch Reader". Well, I don't know if I would say... OK, who am I kidding? I am an avid TechCrunch reader!
"Key point here. The treaty clearly states that it does not, and can not, make countries infringe their own civil liberties and rights in pursuance of the agreement. Again, it is up to the public to make sure their legislators deal with this fairly."
RESHARE: Love this image! I cannot wait to live by a seashore!
Reshared text: Hello hello,
Back last night from a few days in Pembrokeshire, on the south Wales coast. Did a lot of driving and finding absolutely stunning beaches, sadly, in the rain! This shot, was the second shot I took upon arriving at our first stop upon getting there Monday, a little cove by Broad Haven south. Was the second shot out of only 7 I took here, because after that 7th shot, it started raining, and raining, and raining! I loved this beach though. the cool looking shape in the distance is Church Rock, and behind that are the sheer cliffs of Stackpole Head. The beach behind me is awesome, though you can't see it, will have to take my word for it! There was a sunset on Monday too, but wasn't happy with my choice of locale at Lydstep, so had nipped round the corner to Manorbier for dusk before all light was lost and will likely have a few images from there to put up. Tuesday rained all day, Wednesday rained all day, but for 5 minutes, while back here at Broad Haven before heading to the north coast. So, overall, a terribly disappointing trip. But found a load of places I'll want to go back to sometime, as I did go out in the rain to check places and took a few images while raining when I could. And likely loads more great places I didn't get to see too. And the water is SO lovely there. Even in the winter, on a cloudy day, has such a lovely, pale blue shade. Much as I love North Wales, Pembrokeshire beaches take the cake in comparison. Thanks for looking
A painting should speak for itself. The latest work of British artist Hamish Blakely features a sensual analysis of a couple dancing the tango, and as with most of these dance pieces, there is a deliberate balance between implied carnality and genuine tenderness. Hamish Blakely studied at Wimbledon School of Art and Kingston University. Shortly after leaving college he became an illustrator and received a national award. During this time he also maintained a stock of personal work which he exhibited through galleries in London.
"As far as subject matter is concerned, I have always loved painting people, favouring glimpses of figures and anatomy. Even in the enormous, allegorical works of classical masters, I have always been drawn to confined areas of a piece – a spot lit area that reveals a rigid jaw line or the twist in a turned neck."
RESHARE: I don't do non-interactive calendars, but this sure makes me consider it. <3
Reshared text: Free February Calendar Wallpaper
I've used my photo of the Trevi Fountain in Rome I posted earlier and made a calendar wallpaper out of it. You can use it freely for your computer and even make copies for your friends, just let them know where you got it from.
I was many kilometers down this river away from the town. I got off my little boat to do some hiking up through the hills through the jungle. It was dense. Even when there was a little opening, it still felt like leaves and vines were pressing in on me. On occasion, I would see a wider break that let me see into the mysterious beyond.
I mistakenly deleted this post when trying to update the photo! Sorry for repeating my post everyone.
Taken on Monday while on the way from from a fantastic weekend scouting trip for our Adventure Workshop Series. +Jim Davis and I stopped by Inglis Falls in Grey County to get some flowing water and ice photos. The weather was great but the sun was scarce.