Archive for December, 2011

Stop SOPA!

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.

https://action.eff.org/o/9042/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=8173

Other Links:
Stop Online Piracy Act
Nintendo, EA, SONY drop support for SOPA

Happy Hollidays from the GEEK!

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)

Aldebaran Robotics announces Nao Next Gen humanoid robot (Engadget)

Holiday Gift Ideas from ThinkGeek

Gifts for Geek Men

Gifts for Geek Women

105 geek gift ideas (and counting)

Have a link we should add? let us know!

HP Considers Cats a “Biological Hazard”

Source: Gizmodo

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!