Archive for the ‘technology’ Category

Protecting us all from 10 year old girls.

Can we please just pass some legislation to protect the American people from the burden of antiquainted intellectual property laws? If the vast majority of the American people want to ‘steal’ music and demand that it no longer be a prosecutable offense, then let’s defang the RIAA already.

I’m sure that everyone would just figure out another way to make money off of the business of music. It will sharpen the market if anything. The most successful model for a music label will involve being very localized and dedicated to a few artists’ online promotional and distributional needs. And it would uplift the quality of live performances if that’s where the money shifts to. Live performances put money directly into the hands of local economies. The whole paradigm of marketing and distribution has to change before we will be able to truly harness the full potential of the Internet to re-establish the importance of local economies.

It’s happening now with the music industry, and as you can see it’s not pretty when the dinosaurs of the old media paradigm start to fall. They’ll need to grill a few young girls about their download history before they’ll give up their stranglehold on OUR music.

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Okay, here’s a simple idea for what I believe could be a very grand protest. Get one million people to descend on Washington D.C., and ask that every single participant bring a digital video camera and at least 5 video tapes.

The cameras will serve both practical and symbolic purposes. Considering both the long historical record and recent revelations about surveillance and deceptive disruption of public protests by undercover government officials, if everyone’s armed with a camera then there’s no reason why anyone should be able to get away with starting anything and not be caught on tape for later investigations. On a more uplifting note, I can’t imagine the effect of having one MILLION people video blogging dozens of clips and posting them up on YouTube. And this would be a massive boon to the realm of amateur documentaries.

The symbolism is obvious: transparency. To remind both the government AND the establishment media that we are watching, recording and remembering. That we are no longer scared or intimidated by either because we now possess the tools necessary to hold all FOUR estates in check when they be come out of balance. And talk about a move that would surely emphasize the success we’ve had in ripping the wheels of the Bush administration since the US Attorney story broke.

Man, I hope someone steals this idea.

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As someone who has worked in the interactive industry for nearly a decade, I can say without a doubt that abolishing protections that keep the Internet free from corporate interference in the flow of information would be a major step backwards and diminish the United States’ in the global technology market. I’m writing on the concept of Network Neutrality. If you haven’t heard of it, check out http://www.savetheinternet.com. You don’t have to look to far into this issue before you realize that this is an issue which could fundamentally alter the future of the Internet, and not in a good way.

Here’s how things work now, with net neutrality intact. Let’s say that I wanna start producing hilarious cartoons or videos and build a website around them. I pay a hosting fee that is determined by how much storage space my website requires and how much traffic I expect to receive. But no matter how small or large my hosting package is, my site will be delivered to anyone who views it just as fast as Amazons, Comedy Central, ESPN, etc. If my cartoons are really popular, I have to buy a larger hosting package to accommodate my traffic, but that is my decision as the content provider.

Now let’s take away net neutrality from this scenario. Now my website can be moved into a ‘slow lane’. For an additional fee on top of my hosting costs, I have to pay in order to get my site to go as fast as Amazon, Comedy Central, ESPN, etc. All who have way more money to outspend the average person, and thereby diminishing the quality of the internet for anyone who might not prefer to use the services of sites that can afford the ‘fast lane’.

The growth of YouTube and other broadband-intensive services is opening up vast new markets both in terms of economic expansion and personal expression. To abolish net neutrality would cease to give the consumers control of which services are successful, and place it in the hands of a few telecom companies that may not always have the consumers needs and interest ahead of short-term profits or stifling competition.

My entire career has been predicated on the technologies and trends that the openness of the Internet has fostered. The more control we give to private corporations over which trends and technologies will succeed, the less people like myself will be able to contribute to the market, ultimately stifling progress and possibly putting my economic stability at risk.

‘Nuff said, go sign the petition.

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At least when crossing the street, according to this article:

New Yorkers who blithely cross the street listening to an iPod or talking on a cell phone could soon face a $100 fine.

New York State Sen. Carl Kruger says three pedestrians in his Brooklyn district have been killed since September upon stepping into traffic while distracted by an electronic device. In one case bystanders screamed “watch out” to no avail.

Kruger says he will introduce legislation on Wednesday to ban the use of gadgets such as Blackberry devices and video games while crossing the street.

When will politicians stop fucking with the process of natural selection and let the idiots who cross the street while using their blackberries to post to their bl=====

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I can’t pimp this guy enough.

David Brin wrote the book The Transparent Society, which is a frightening and enlightening examination of the choices our society will face as surveillance technology improves. He strikes the balance between security and transparency and demonstrates that security is only truly attainable by allowing full transparency of our institutions. In the wake of the NSA stories of today, it is a highly recommended read. And anyone who’s come by this site knows that I’m big into Glenn Greenwald as well, I think the topics that Greenwald discusses in How Would a Patriot Act? intersect perfectly with Brin’s perspective.

I got into him somehow when I was first browsing iTunes podcast directory. I can’t find it on iTunes, but the lecture that got me interested in Brin can be found here, and for a shorter bit of his stuff, here he is on YouTube:

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