Tuesday, January 31, 2012

An Idea For The Film Industry

Dave Winer has an idea for the film industry :
Here's the idea. Set up a trust for the movie industry. A bank account that we can deposit money into but only movie-makers can withdraw from. When you download a movie via BitTorrent that you watch all the way to the end, deposit $5 into the account for the movie. When the owners decide to accept BitTorrent as a legitimate distribution system, which someday they are sure to, they can have the money. The amount of money in the account is always public info. So it becomes an important statistic, part of the "box office" for a movie. Then you'd probably find a funny thing happening -- independent movie producers who can't get distribution any other way will start promoting this site as a legitimate way to pay for movies. It wouldn't take long before the MPAA realized that there are a huge number of people who want the convenience of watching movies at home on their own timetable, instead of having to deal with the inhumane system the movie industry created for them.  

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Printed Record

How awesome is this?

A 3D printed record that can be played on a toy turntable! And it was generated from Processing.

(WarpLink) Contrast : Pot Jockey

Monday, January 23, 2012

Europe’s Deadly Transition From Social Democracy to Oligarchy

Read this

I know I'm sounding like I'm just repeating the same story again and again. But what the hell else is there to do? This is now so blatantly happening. Another week, another story of a redistribution of wealth and power from the 99% (and government agencies that still have democratic responsibility to them) to the 1% wealthy elite.

So many people seem to vaguely perceive this. Many people are talking. But no one seems capable of stopping it.

Money quote :

This competition between banks and government explains the false accusations made that government credit creation is more inflationary than when commercial banks do it.

Sites Fixed

Thanks to WebFaction support. My sites are fixed.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My Sites

Several of my sites (http://www.synaesmedia.net, http://gbloink.com, http://optimaes.info etc.) seem to be down giving database errors. Nothing to do with me. Probably something with the hosting service.

I'll post here when I find out more.

What Is SOPA?

Wikipedia, Craiglist, Boing Boing and several other sites are going black today to protest SOPA. I wholeheartedly agree with them. But here's something I haven't heard mentioned yet.

SOPA is not about stopping piracy. Everyone (even the RIAA and friends) know that it won't stop piracy. Instead SOPA is an attack on the visibility of piracy.

I once called home-taping "civil disobedience against industrial mass-commercialization of music". And I believe it was. Copying is overwhelmingly supported (in practice) by the citizens of every country where the technology to do it is available. It is mass civil disobedience against a law which most people think is an ass.

SOPA is an attack on the public affirmation of that position. An attack on the "normality" of piracy. It stops me visibly and proudly displaying my disobedience and forces me into doing it (shamefully) in private.

And this is its main aim : to try to roll-back the perceived legitimacy of copying that has arisen because on-line "everyone is doing it". It's not about stopping pirates, it's about cutting off their "supply lines" of public support by criminalising everyone who "gives succour" to them.

Your Information Footprint

Good video :

Network from Michael Rigley on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Google Gives Up On Search

I think this story is really important.

As Google adapt their search engine to be more personal and more real-time popularity contest, we see the accelerating rise of Netocratic epistemology. Remember, under Netocracy, the idea of a cannon of commonly accepted knowledge collapses into ever changing flows of hot-ideas. The search engines came in, promising to put all human knowledge at our finger tips, but what happens when they decide that filter bubbles sell better than "objective facts" and they've already put the rival institutions such as libraries out of business?

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Richard Stallman Was Right All Along

Thom Holwerda :

I, too, disregarded Stallman as way too extreme. Free software to combat controlling and spying governments? Evil corporations out to take over the world? Software as a tool to monitor private communication channels? Right. Surely, Free and open source software is important, and I choose it whenever functional equivalence with proprietary solutions is reached, but that Stallman/FSF nonsense is way out there. 
But here we are, at the start of 2012. Obama signed the NDAA for 2012, making it possible for American citizens to be detained indefinitely without any form of trial or due process, only because they are terrorist suspects. At the same time, we have SOPA, which, if passed, would enact a system in which websites can be taken off the web, again without any form of trial or due process, while also enabling the monitoring of internet traffic. 
Combine this with how the authorities labelled the Occupy movements - namely, as terrorists - and you can see where this is going. 
In case all this reminds you of China and similarly totalitarian regimes, you're not alone. Even the Motion Picture Association of America, the MPAA, proudly proclaims that what works for China, Syria, Iran, and others, should work for the US. China's Great Firewall and similar filtering systems are glorified as workable solutions in what is supposed to be the free world. 
The crux of the matter here is that unlike the days of yore, where repressive regimes needed elaborate networks of secret police and informants to monitor communication, all they need now is control over the software and hardware we use. Our desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and all manner of devices play a role in virtually all of our communication. Think you're in the clear when communicating face-to-face? Think again. 
How did you arrange the meet-up? Over the phone? The web? And what do you have in your pocket or bag, always connected to the network? 
This is what Stallman has been warning us about all these years - and most of us, including myself, never really took him seriously. However, as the world changes, the importance of the ability to check what the code in your devices is doing - by someone else in case you lack the skills - becomes increasingly apparent. If we lose the ability to check what our own computers are doing, we're boned.