Archive for December, 2011
What is SOPA? “Stop Online Piracy Act” and it is headed through U.S. Congress with its sister bill PROTECT-IP in the Senate. SOPA threatens to fundamentally change the way information is presented online by placing massive restrictions on user-generated content like posts to forums, video uploads, podcasts or images.
Basically what this bill will do is…
- Assign liability to site owners for everything users post, without consideration for whether or not the user posted without permission. Site owners could face jail time or heavy fines, and DNS blacklisting.
- It would require web services like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter to monitor and aggressively filter everything all users upload.
- It would deny site owners due process of law, by initiating a DNS blacklisting based solely on a good faith assertion by an individual copyright or intellectual property owner.
- It would give the U.S. government the power to selectively censor the web using techniques similar to those used in China, Malaysia and Iran. The Great Firewall of China is an example of this type of embedded, infrastructural internet censorship.
There are many articles circulating the internet this week but one that best sums it up is Tomshardware.com. I recommend that everyone take a look.
Here is an example of what could happen. Let’s say that you upload a video or your child to Facebook while in the background you’re playing music. By posting that video to Facebook they now become liable for the music that you may or may not have permission to use. The end result could be jail-time and or the complete blacklisting of Facebook in the US.
That is just one scenario but there are thousands of blogs out there that will now be subject to this for all intents and purposes taking away our freedoms.
Please take a moment to contact your representative and tell them you oppose the PROTECT IP Act in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House. Here’s a link that can give you more information and provide you with contact info for your elected official. Your action on this matters.
I know that I have been posting quite a bit when it comes to the PSVITA. And if you know me them you also know I’m pretty excited about this new system from Sony. This past weekend the PSVITA was launched in Japan and as quick as they were sold it was quickly noted that there were problems with the software. Poor touch response and even system freezing were among the complaints that hit sites like twitter. It looks like Sony knew there might have been an issue because what only seemed like hours Sony had released a software patch and apology. As unfortunate as this is it’s not out of the norm. New systems tend to have some bugs in the first few days / weeks of this release.
I’m hopeful that this will be corrected in time for the US launch on February 22nd.
The Holidays are here! What does the GEEK in your life want? Well take a look at this collection of Links to get you thinking…
Gifts for the Road Trip Master (Gizmoto)
Have a link we should add? let us know!
When cat owner Chris sent his HP Elitebook in for repairs, he received a nasty surprise—not only weren’t his repairs covered by his warranty, but his cat was to blame. HP claims the computer was furred to death.
The Consumerist reports Chris’ sad story:
The supervisor I spoke to started with “So, you have a long haired-cat?” I in fact have a short haired cat. He then said “Wow, I’m surprised that fan turns at all.” I scoffed, and told him he was crazy, and that all the hair in the computer (the very tiny bit in there) was what I sent it in with.
Then he gets back on the phone with me and says that the supervisor said that there was SO MUCH cat hair that it’s considered a biological hazard. That’s absolutely ridiculous, and he wouldn’t even give me the number for his supervisor or transfer me to him (why not?).
Now that’s a very creative way of screwing your customer! I’ve owned many a cat in my time, and while some of them do shed like hell, and while that hair does have a propensity to attach itself to computers, I’m not aware of any thermal properties that would destroy a computer—especially given the tame amount HP photographed on Chris’ circuitry. It’s not like he filled his computer up with sawdust. Still, with the volume of PC business HP does, I guess they can get away with booting the occasional customer out of their warranty for no reason, and without recourse. Classy!
The European Space Agency’ Mars Express spacecraft has discovered “large volumes of water ice” hiding only 65 feet underground the red planet’s surface, in the Phlegra Montes mountain range. It could be used by future human explorers.
ESA claims that the images show lobate debris aprons that have been moved down the mountain slopes over time, just like the debris covering glaciers on Earth. According to the ESA, their finding is backed up by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter radar data, which “shows that lobate debris aprons are indeed strongly associated with the presence of water, perhaps only 20 meters underground.”
The Phlegra Montes is a smooth system of “gently curving” mountain and ridges. Planetary geologists believe that it was formed by tectonic forcers, not volcanic activity. Some of the shaping of those ridges were created by the compression of snow deposited in ancient craters. ESa believes that “over time, the snow compacted to form glaciers which then sculpted the crater floors.”
According to ESA, everything points out at the presence of large underground glaciers in this mountain range. They believe that, if confirmed, this water could be used in future human missions.
This is excellent news for the exploration and colonization of our neighbor, as water would be one of the crucial elements to keep the bases and colonies alive.
Until someone discovers the giant nuclear fusion machine left there by an ancient Martian civilization in order to turn all that ice into a new atmosphere, that is. [ESA]