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France Votes Tuesday On Net Censorship

Smegly Re:NOT and NEVER WAS about Child porn, of course (134 comments)

Woosh! You really have a simple world view going on there!

a) The only way for us to stop child porn is to economically prop up every country in need, at our great, great expense

It's not about propping up. It is about giving third world countries the same opportunity to develop that we had. Do you the the good old US of A would have progressed if it had to pay top Pound for seeds, medicine, steam engines and any other modern technology for the day, all the while not being able to produce these things for themselves due to English "IP" Laws. I think not, and there is plenty of research out there to back it up. The only "expense" your talking about it losing out on profits from exploitation.

b) Governments should reject the wealth of positives about these treaties in the vain, completely unfounded hope that it will inspires child pornographers to pack up and go home.

double . You really dont get it: Human Trafficking and the closely related child porn originate in developing countries... to use your simple world view: That is its home. Any policy to help the third world develop is an Anti-child porn stance. If you bothered to check the references you would see that all reports show that the "positives" you mention are all for companies based in first world countries, at the expense of the developing countries. What your really saying is: "Governments should reject the wealth of positives about these treaties for our companies. Better to pursue exploitative profits at the expense of the third world than subscribe to treaties that foster third world sustainable development.". Bravo, you effectively supporting the continuation of child exploitation, including pornography.

more than 4 years ago
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France Votes Tuesday On Net Censorship

Smegly NOT and NEVER WAS about Child porn, of course (134 comments)

Censoring the Internet is: A) A band aid solution that does not compare to tracking down and prosecuting the culprits, and B) A powerful tool for political control. Governments choose it because point A) means it is cheaper than actually solving crimes and point B) is all gravy for controlling an unruly population.

Censorship on the internet has nothing to do with stopping [insert favorite bogyman here]. For example: If Governments of the world really really cared about Child porn, there is no way in hell they would subscribe to TRIPS, GATS and other trade agreements that push so fervently for expansion of intellectual property (IP) rights worldwide. The majority of Child porn comes from poor developing countries - called "Source Country" exploitation. Many research and commissions inquires have overwhelmingly [References below] found these trade agreements severely disadvantage developing countries. Basically it guarantees keeping poor countries poor by denying them the same abilities to develop as the first world countries once enjoyed (refs below) .
Do we see your government moving to solve this major worldwide source of child porn? No of course not - they are too busy negotiating ACTA in the backrooms. Child porn is just another bogyman to push through controls on the internet - and as a result your going to get worse IP restriction AND internet censorship == the complete opposite of actually solving the child porn problem (and the closely related human trafficking, and poverty, starvation...). It could be said: If you support internet censorship then your also supporting the continuation of child porn... I know of no other place where we can debate and call into question/try to pressure our leaders to answer questions about draconian restrictions on the third world like ACTA will impose.

References (of many) you can find on the internet linking IP laws and trade agreements to continuing poverty of the developing world:

The GATS and TRIPS are both examples of rich countries investing their most vigorous negotiating efforts on agendas where the gains will accrue overwhelmingly to companies located in rich countries. They are examples of a one-size-fits-all approach being imposed and, most strikingly, of rich countries now pulling up the ladder, trying to deny developing countries the very policy options that rich countries used to manage their own economic development.

http://www.cid.org.nz/advocacy/Phil_Twyford_-_CID_Trade_Forum.pdf

Commission on Intellectual Property Rights declared the internationally-mandated expansion of intellectual property (IP) rights unlikely to generate significant benefits for most developing countries and likely to impose costs, such as higher priced medicines or seeds. This makes poverty reduction more difficult. The intensively researched, 180-page report is entitled Integrating Intellectual Property Rights and Development Policy. It is the culmination of much study and follows on more than a dozen meetings and workshops, 17 working papers, an exhaustive literature review of the field, visits to several developed and developing nations and a major conference. The report makes some 50 recommendations aimed at aligning IP protection with the goal of reducing poverty in developing nations. Topics include IP and health; agriculture; traditional knowledge; copyrights, software and the Internet; and the role of WTO and WIPO in advancing developing country interests. The Commission is an independent international body made up of Commissioners from both developed and developing countries with expertise in science, law, ethics and economics. The Commissioners come from industry, government and academia* (see list of Commissioners below). "Developed countries often proceed on the assumption that what is good for them is likely to be good for developing countries," said Professor John Barton, Commission Chair and George E. Osborne Professor of Law, Stanford University. "But, in the case of developing countries, more and stronger protection is not necessarily better. Developing countries should not be encouraged or coerced into adopting stronger IP rights without regard to the impact this has on their development and poor people. They should be allowed to adopt appropriate rights regimes, not necessarily the most protective ones."

http://www.biotech-info.net/independent_commission.html

more than 4 years ago
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Australian Senate Hears Open Source Is Too Expensive

Smegly Re:Do this guys know the definition of user lock-i (365 comments)

Followup to my comment above about OnAustralia, Just found this old 1995 news:

Microsoft can lay claim to 80 percent of the computer users worldwide (Crow & Zampetakis, 1995) and a global revenue of $US4.7 billion in fiscal 1994 (Advertising Age, 1994). Its planned venture with Telstra in Australia (Microsoft Network or OnAustralia), will offer 'filtered' access to the Internet through Telstra's AUSTPAC. This move assumes that the Trade Practices Commission approves this $AUD9 million joint venture. (Crowe, 1995.) Given the convergence of News Corporation's Fox Television and production facilities with the carrier Telstra in Australia, and the formation of a Pay-TV company, Foxtel, one might rightly expect a crossing of the bridge between these technologies. Also, one should not forget that Microsoft's Bill Gates has stated plans to launch over 800 orbiting satellites in competition with Motorola's 64 low-orbit satellites, among others, thus illustrating even further the convergence that is taking place.

http://ausweb.scu.edu.au/aw95/publishing/adam/index.html

more than 4 years ago
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Australian Senate Hears Open Source Is Too Expensive

Smegly Re:Do this guys know the definition of user lock-i (365 comments)

The rumour going around was that IBM had spent a lot of money making a few senior managers in that organisation very happy to get that deal through. Around about the time I left staff were pushing for Windows98 to be deployed in place of OS/2.

Exactly the same happened in N.S.W at "Orion Energy" now absorbed into Energy Australia - rumors of large kickbacks for the OS/2 deal to certain senior managers and the "push" from MS to convert over to Win98 apparently came with even fatter kickbacks. As an aside, back in those days (1995) Microsoft tried to damage control over the surprise (to them) explosion in popularity of the internet by spending copious amounts of money wooing Aussie developers to use MS private network "OnAustralia" using MS-words rtf format instead of html over http. Microsoft's vision of global communication network was proprietary country fiefdoms locked into their proprietary network, and the internet we know today restricted to the US and few others. I shudder to think at the consequences if they actual pulled it off...

more than 4 years ago
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Hackers Attack AU Websites To Protest Censorship

Smegly Re:Do you agree? NOOOOO (334 comments)

I don't agree about censoring drug-related sites, but about the other contents...

Sure, whatever you pick there will be some material that is offensive to downright sick and completely illegal. Censoring the Internet is:
A) A band aid solution that does not compare to tracking down and prosecuting the culprits, and
B) A powerful tool for political control.

Governments choose it because point A) means it is cheaper than actually solving crimes and point B) is all gravy for controlling an unruly population.
Censorship on the internet has nothing to do with stopping [insert favorite bogyman here]. For example: If Governments of the world really really cared about Child porn, there is no way in hell they would subscribe to TRIPS, GATS and other trade agreements that push so fervently for expansion of intellectual property (IP) rights worldwide. The majority of Child porn comes from poor developing countries - called "Source Country" exploitation. Truly unbiased research and commissions inquires have overwhelmingly [References below] found these trade agreements severely disadvantage developing countries. Basically they keep poor countries poor. Do you see your government moving to solve this major worldwide source of child porn? No of course not: they don't really care it is just a bogyman to push through controls on the internet - your going to get worse IP restriction AND internet censorship == the complete opposite of actually solving the child porn problem (and the closly related human trafficking, and poverty, starvation, death, and...).

References (of many) you can find on the internet linking IP laws and trade agreements to continuing poverty of the developing world:

The GATS and TRIPS are both examples of rich countries investing their most vigorous negotiating efforts on agendas where the gains will accrue overwhelmingly to companies located in rich countries. They are examples of a one-size-fits-all approach being imposed and, most strikingly, of rich countries now pulling up the ladder, trying to deny developing countries the very policy options that rich countries used to manage their own economic development.

http://www.cid.org.nz/advocacy/Phil_Twyford_-_CID_Trade_Forum.pdf

Commission on Intellectual Property Rights declared the internationally-mandated expansion of intellectual property (IP) rights unlikely to generate significant benefits for most developing countries and likely to impose costs, such as higher priced medicines or seeds. This makes poverty reduction more difficult. The intensively researched, 180-page report is entitled Integrating Intellectual Property Rights and Development Policy. It is the culmination of much study and follows on more than a dozen meetings and workshops, 17 working papers, an exhaustive literature review of the field, visits to several developed and developing nations and a major conference. The report makes some 50 recommendations aimed at aligning IP protection with the goal of reducing poverty in developing nations. Topics include IP and health; agriculture; traditional knowledge; copyrights, software and the Internet; and the role of WTO and WIPO in advancing developing country interests. The Commission is an independent international body made up of Commissioners from both developed and developing countries with expertise in science, law, ethics and economics. The Commissioners come from industry, government and academia* (see list of Commissioners below). "Developed countries often proceed on the assumption that what is good for them is likely to be good for developing countries," said Professor John Barton, Commission Chair and George E. Osborne Professor of Law, Stanford University. "But, in the case of developing countries, more and stronger protection is not necessarily better. Developing countries should not be encouraged or coerced into adopting stronger IP rights without regard to the impact this has on their development and poor people. They should be allowed to adopt appropriate rights regimes, not necessarily the most protective ones."

http://www.biotech-info.net/independent_commission.html

more than 4 years ago
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Improving Education Through Social Gaming

Smegly Pressure to dumb down education (44 comments)

So desperate to find a solution that motivates students to become scientists, the government has even enlisted Darpa, the Department of Defense’s 'mad scientist' research organization, to figure out a solution.

Must be extremely difficult to create a solution that balances the pressure to both dumb down education, limit critical thinking AND become good scientists.

more than 4 years ago
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95% of User-Generated Content Is Bogus

Smegly Re:This just in (192 comments)

a staggering 95% of User Generated Content is... ...spam. Here is the report's front door; to read the actual report you'll have to give up name, rank, and serial number.

Give up your Name, rank, email... so we can enlighten you with valuable information from our partners.

more than 4 years ago
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Landmark Ruling Gives Australian ISPs Safe Harbor

Smegly Re:Suck it, AFACT (252 comments)

The case was backed by some of the largest media companies, including 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros.

Irresponsible behavior (some would say - criminal) and total lack of respect for our internet from these last century media company behemoths really does make it that much easier to justify going out of our way to never ever pay them a penny - on moral grounds. Oh they will still get paid, and paid very well for doing nothing, what with our taxes going right to their pockets. What a convenient business model! However a serious correction in market capitalization is obviously in order for these people - they apparently will not be content until they destroy the internet.

As an aside, in parts of Europe they released the Disney channel last year or so to free view on TDT. Previously it was cable TV subscriber only where the post-war economic crisis was causing their viewer ratings to seriously drop. A generation of little EU'lings growing up without crying for their "Micky Mouse" tee-shirts or wanting to go to "WarnerBros world" must have scared the absolute goofies out of them.

more than 4 years ago
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US Missile Defense Test Fails

Smegly Re:Money (317 comments)

Nobody is blaming technology here, merely the political motivation behind where all the public R&D dollars are directed. Sure there are spin-off's from the military spending - even the internet was a spin-off - and hell you'd expect to at least get something out of massive military spending.
The point is that society would get more money's worth of development tech and benefit a great deal more and if all those billions of R&D dollars were directed to constructive projects directly rather than wait for accidental spin-offs from military projects. To argue against that idea you'd have to demonstrate that spending on military projects is the only efficient way to get good constructive and useful technology developed... a pretty tall order.
By the way, NASA Velcro did not come from military spending.

more than 4 years ago
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US Missile Defense Test Fails

Smegly Re:Money (317 comments)

The cold hard facts prove you wrong. Summarizing some key details from chapter 5 of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)’s 2009 Year Book on Armaments, Disarmament and International Security for 2008:

* World military expenditure in 2008 is estimated to have reached $1.464 trillion in current dollars (just over $1.2 trillion in 2005 constant dollars, as per above graph);
* This represents a 4 per cent increase in real terms since 2007 and a 45 per cent increase over the 10-year period since 1999;
* This corresponds to 2.4 per cent of world gross domestic product (GDP), or $217 for each person in the world;
* The USA with its massive spending budget, is the principal determinant of the current world trend, and its military expenditure now accounts for just under half of the world total, at 41.5% of the world total;
http://www.globalissues.org/article/75/world-military-spending

more than 4 years ago
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US Missile Defense Test Fails

Smegly Re:Money (317 comments)

Maybe if the US stopped wasting money on boondoggles like this, they wouldn't have had to cancel plans to return to the Moon.

Not to mention the side benefit of generating productive tech, instead of just destructive tech. The problem with the moon missions is that the big defense corporations running the US just can't justify such large profits with moon missions. The population (or its politicians) are much less willing to fund if there is no fear factor. Fear does not drive the moon mission development like it does for military expenditure unless you try and use the fear of China doing it first to our exclusion, but even then it's still not the same kind of primeval motivation == less profit.

more than 4 years ago
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Does Personalized News Lead To Ignorance?

Smegly Re:What they NEED to hear!? Goebbels quotation?? (396 comments)

a graph I saw a while ago... which showed the political leanings of blogs in the US, and their breakdown according to left, right, or balanced (in the middle). The vast majority were at the two extremes, hardly anyone in the middle

The US political scene (in terms of Dem OR Rep choice that Americans can choose between) is an excellent example of framing. When you take these two United states political "extremes" out of the US political frame, you find they are both very far into the Authoritarian Right compared to politics worldwide One ref of many available summed up in a nice graph of the 2008 presidential elections: http://www.politicalcompass.org/uselection2008

Due to the global nature of the internet and the trend towards non hierarchical news sources I would wage that any normal young person growing up with internet news is much more likely to be exposed to this idea/reality at some time, than any previous generation who's only news source was corporate media.

For further information on this theme, see "Too polemical or too critical? - study of the news media and US foreign policy". Ref google scholar.

from the research article:

"While the US news media are adversarial towards the US government on foreign policy, institutional filters operate to ensure that the criticisms made generally stay within narrow bounds set by the US political elite... The institutional tendency to filter out anti-elite perspectives applies not only to the news media but also to academia."
propaganda model: "It explains why the agenda and framing of news reports on US foreign policy rarely deviate from those set by US corporate and political elites. Five filters function to shape news media output, which we label in turn the corporate, advertising, sourcing, flak and ideological filter. First, the ‘size, ownership and profit orientation of mass media’ and their shared ‘common interests with other major corporations, banks, and government’ creates a clash of interest between the media’s supposed role as a watchdog of the elite and the interests of that elite. Consequently news stories that run contrary to those vested interests are, on balance, less likely to surface than those consistent with the world view of major corporate conglomerates. Second, media reliance on advertising revenue introduces a further constraining link between the news media and the interests of commerce. This reliance shapes media output in order to appeal to affluent audiences, in whom the advertisers are most interested. It also limits the amount of critical and controversial programming because advertisers generally want ‘to avoid programs with serious complexities and disturbing controversies that interfere with the “buying mood”’. Hence, money does not only talk: it also silences. Third, journalists rely overwhelmingly on elite sources when constructing the news. The need to supply a steady and rapid flow of ‘important’ news stories combined with the vast public relations apparatus of government and powerful interests more broadly means that journalists tend to become heavily reliant on public officials and corporate representatives when defining and framing the news agenda. Fourth, whenever controversial material is actually aired it generates a disproportionate degree of ‘flak’ from individuals connected with powerful interests including ‘corporate community sponsored institutions’s such as the Center for Media and Public Affairs, and Accuracy in Media (AIM) and government ‘spin doctors’. Such criticism serves to caution editors and journalists against putting out news stories that are ‘too’ controversial".

The internet is quickly turning this sad state of mainstream news upside down... however the war that is already underway for control of information content on the internet will not be pretty one. Expect more website/blog banning and online journalist restricting laws to follow.

more than 4 years ago
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Does Personalized News Lead To Ignorance?

Smegly Re:What they NEED to hear!? Goebbels quotation?? (396 comments)

Repeat with me... Corporations and Governments losing power to people is gooooooood.

Exactly. Todays youth have a much more balanced and informed opinion than any other time in history - now that the hierarchical control of information flow is breaking down. The ability to balance out corporate/government-MIC propaganda that has dominated News and print media almost since its inception with alternative points of view is a very good thing. From "New Media"

it has been the contention of scholars such as Douglas Kellner, Callum Rymer and James Bohman that new media, and particularly the Internet, provide the potential for a democratic postmodern public sphere, in which citizens can participate in well informed, non-hierarchical debate pertaining to their social structures. Contradicting these positive appraisals of the potential social impacts of new media are scholars such as Ed Herman and Robert McChesney who have suggested that the transition to new media has seen a handful of powerful transnational telecommunications corporations who achieve a level of global influence which was hitherto unimaginable.

more than 4 years ago
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Newly-Found Windows Bug Affects All Versions Since NT

Smegly Re:How do we know it's not already in use? (393 comments)

It is not unthinkable that Microsoft has some (kind of) agreement with NSA with respect to not fixing these kind of security holes.

Your sooo flirting with the Trolls on that one - even whispering that idea is bound to rile up the Microsoft/Gov astroTurfers. You could be absolutely right - it would be the logical way to extraofficially backdoor your closed source operating system - but it would be almost impossible to either disprove or prove that it is/is not indeed a deliberate back door. When/if it is ever publicized then it can be shrugged off and downplayed as just another serious security flaw (despite it just happening to affect every version of your OS, for decades + be ignored when finally did come to light).

more than 4 years ago
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The Gradual Erosion of the Right To Privacy

Smegly Re:Logic fail (234 comments)

If this argument was "Well, all my neighbors steal cars, so it's okay if I steal cars too," people would immediately point out how broken that is. But when it's about privacy, suddenly that doesn't apply?

Exactly. It also does not apply when the majority of the neighbors all download content online - that makes them all evil thieving pirates. Because of course there is absolutely nothing wrong with the copyright laws and their never ending extension periods and stealing from the public domain without giving anything back.
Of course, loss of privacy suits the aims of the establishment, while downloading does not - you don't have to look very hard to find a large chunk of laws that serve the business interests of those who payed to have them put in place.

more than 4 years ago
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NIST Investigating Mass Flash Drive Vulnerability

Smegly they screwed up... OR (71 comments)

Security specialist Bruce Schneier was blunt in his characterization of the flaw: 'It's a stupid crypto mistake and they screwed up and they should be rightfully embarrassed for making it.'"

... OR it was a deliberate mistake. Damn Germans for not playing ball.

more than 4 years ago
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UK Consumers To Pay For Online Piracy

Smegly Re:Know your enemy (300 comments)

These efforts are nothing more than the logical outgrowth of the decision to shift the US economy from production to services.

No, no surprise. I agree that the shift has been from production to services. The rub is that it has been without changing the underlying business model... i.e. business models based on the scarcity of physical goods. Internet and other electronic communication obviously does not have the natural scarcity and barriers to copying that physical things have. Rather than change business models to adapt to the new medium, the general solution so far has been to use power and influence to legislate scarcity into the copying of bits and bytes. Good luck with that plan in the long run.

A services industry not based on scarcity of bits and bytes means lower barriers to entry and more intense competition plus the necessity to improve and innovate services. All that will eventually add up to much lower profit margins for the industries behind these laws. Personally, I would not like to be a long term investor in any of these "doomed to be downsized, eventually" industries.

more than 4 years ago
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UK Consumers To Pay For Online Piracy

Smegly Know your enemy (300 comments)

Anytime I feel bad about the current state of affairs here in America a story shows up with EU, UK, Australia, or Canada doing something that would be worse.

Dont' let that lull you into a false sense of security - The US is the main actor behind most of these laws being passed so you will probably find that it is just the boiling frog method of shafting these laws in. Know your enemy. "THEY" are the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA), and they have the full political clout of the US government behind them - working to subvert democratic process in just about every country in the world via stealth taxes/three strikes/no presumption of innocence for the sheeple. Countries sign on to this in exchange for "Free Trade" deals. Examples:

New Zealand Reintroduces 3 Strikes:
"IIPA testifies in support of the initiation of negotiations for a Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement (TPP FTA) with Singapore, Chile, New Zealand, Brunei Darussalam, Australia, Peru and Vietnam."... "Specific problems in some of the TPP countries are outlined in the Special 301 reports from 2009 for Chile, Peru, Brunei, and Vietnam".
Where "specific problems" mean: No three strikes laws, no trade deal.

Spain's Proposed Internet Law Sparks Protest:
IIPA report card on Spain. resulting US political clout result: local laws and taxes supporting mafiaa industry.

The sad part is that even though countries that want to be in on these trade "deals" are required to implement draconian anti-internet laws and filters, obliged to extradite civil cases to the US for trial (software piracy in this case), the resulting "Free Trade" agreement rewards generaly do not benefit the countries involved! Which begs the question, who does benefit... perhaps just the politicians who signed off on the deal?

The only way I can see to fight this kind of slide is to create a black list of any group/industry that lobbies any government in support these kinds of anti-democratic process trade deals. If any group supports trade deals that required destroying the internet, then the internet could become one humongous nightmare of bad press blog artices against your industry group. Seems only fair - shouldn't be able to have their cake and eat it too.

more than 4 years ago
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$300 Sci-Fi YouTube Video Lands $30m Movie Deal

Smegly Re:About time (315 comments)

Further proof that Hollywood is running out of good ideas, and must turn to new sources.

Proof that Hollywood has a lot more more to fear from this trend on the internet than than just copyright infringement... the more amateur file makers gain recognition and rewards - the better quality their films will become. Diluting eyeballs and eroding profit margins for Hollywood. Yay!

more than 4 years ago

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