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Australia Copyright Agency to schools: pay Internet licenses or shut down the net!

Posted on February 28th, 2006 at 18:20 by John Sinteur in category: ¿ʞɔnɟ ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ, Intellectual Property

[Quote:]

Australian schools may have to pay a copyright fee every time a student is told to look at the web, if a plan from the national collecting society is successful. The Copyright Agency pays Australian authors for the photocopying that takes place on schools by randomly sampling the schools annually, collecting $31 million in fees and dispersing them to authors.

Now they say that they deserve to collect for the use of the Web. Despite the fact that there’s an implied license to read Web pages that goes along with publishing them (who puts up a web-page without expecting it to be read?) and despite the fact that the vast majority of pages online weren’t created by Australians, and despite the fact that the vast majority of pages created by Australians weren’t created by professional authors, the agency proposes that it should be able to collect a tax on behalf of all those authors in the world in order to line the pockets of its few lucky members.This is a way to transfer Australia’s tax dollars from its education system to its copyright sector. Australia already has an arts council that gives money directly to artists — if it wants to give them more money, it should get a bigger budget and do so, not trump up some kind of ridiculous Internet tax that could cost schools their Internet connections:

Negotiations between the Ministerial Council on Education Employment, Training and Youth Affairs, representing the schools, and the agency have broken down over plans to change the scheme to include a question in the survey on whether teachers direct students to use the internet.

“If it turned out we’d have to pay them, we’d turn the internet off in schools,” the council’s national copyright director Delia Browne said.

“We couldn’t afford it; it would not be sustainable. How on earth are we going to deliver education in the 21st century? How are taxpayers going to afford this.”

Canada’s doomed Bill C-60 had a proposal for this, too. Luckily for Canada, they kicked out Sam Bulte, the Hollywood-bought lawmaker who had led the charge for C-60.

Link


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Boing Boing to net-censors: Get bent!

Posted on February 28th, 2006 at 18:05 by John Sinteur in category: Privacy, Security

[Quote:]

Secure Computing offered us a devil’s bargain: if we’d change the URLs of images with “nudity” (which, they assured us, included photos of Michaelangelo’s David) to something they could detect and block, they’d let the rest of the world see us again. That guy in the UAE who was worried he’d be imprisoned for trying to read BoingBoing would be OK again.

We considered their offer, and decided not to do it. What happens when the next censorware company comes along with another editorial process they want us to engage in to help them censor the site?
More importantly: why should we let a company that helps corrupt dictatorships oppress their citizen dictate morality to us?
So instead we’ve decided to help put Secure Computing out of business. We’re doing this in three ways:

  • First, we’re publishing a guide to evading the SmartFilter censorware. There are hundreds of ways to defeat these censorware apps, and we’re going to catalog as many of them as possible.
    Link to “BoingBoing’s Guide To Evading Censorware.”
  • Next, we’re compiling a list of SmartFilter’s dumb classifications. Send us your misclassified SmartFilter sites so we can add them to the list.
  • Finally, we’re producing a guide to convincing your employer to ditch SmartFilter. It consists of parts one and two above: a list of bad SmartFilter classifications and a list of ways that SmartFilter can be shredded like wet kleenex. Why spend money on bad technology that doesn’t work?

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Gemeenteraadsverkiezingen

Posted on February 28th, 2006 at 17:54 by John Sinteur in category: Nederland is Gek!

Vandaag viel eindelijk de kandidatenlijst in de bus. Laten we’s kijken wat er te kiezen valt.

Op lijst 1, de huidige grootste partij, “Onafhankelijk Rijswijk” met acht zetels. Dat had net zo goed Leefbaar Rijswijk kunnen heten, aangezien de lijsttrekker, Dick Jense, in de tweede kamer heeft gezeten voor LN. Alleen daarom al voor mij een afvaller.

Er is nog een lokale partij, “Gemeentebelangen Rijswijk met momenteel 4 zetels. Begonnen als eenvrouwfraktie (al laat ze op de website nadrukkelijk achterwege te vermelden bij welke partij ze afgesplitst is, en m’n google-fu laat me even in de steek), met een programma dat begint met een onmogelijk onderwerp (behoud van het oude stadhuis – de projectontwikkelaar is inmiddels al aangewezen), is binnen een paar punten op “hondenpoep” beland. Lijkt me weinig diepgang te hebben. Laat maar.

Het CDA heeft zes leden. Ik neem niet eens de moeite op te zoeken of de website van het CDA info heeft over de lokale standpunten, omdat het CDA voor mij een partij is waar ik nooit op zal kunnen stemmen.

De VVDeen programma, dat uitsluitend lijkt te bestaan uit een opsomming van punten die de afgelopen vier jaar bereikt zijn. Kennelijk heeft de VVD geen enkele ambitie om ooit nog iets te doen, en verdient het dus mijn stem niet.

De PVDA heeft (vier leden), als ik de landelijke site zo doorzoek, geen enkel lokaal standpunt. Ze hebben lokaal een lijst-binding aangegaan met D’66, die ik onmogelijk nog serieus kan nemen, en Groenlinks. Deze heeft wel een lokaal programma, maar zo te zien alleen met algemeenheden en platitudes. Het is wel de partij met de meest uitgebreide lijst met “dit zijn wij van plan” aktiepunten in het programma. Helaas niets waar ik me echt in kan vinden.

Misschien moet ik toch ‘s aan emigreren gaan denken…


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Comments:

  1. Verhuizen naar een gemeente met of een goed beleid of een goed programma bijvoorbeeld. Want in het buitenland zijn er ook slecht gerunde gemeentes waar je in het algemeen niet kan stemmen en dus nog minder invloed hebt.

    sorry voor de fout hierboven.

  2. geen zorgen, ik heb het comment met je halve eerste zin even weggehaald. Een ander alternatief, dat ik ook hoor te krijgen van lezertjes, is: ga dan zelf in de politiek! Doe er iets aan! Zou ik best willen, maar dan moet er dus wel een partij zijn waar ik me thuis voel…

  3. Dat soort advies ga ik alleen maar geven aan mensen die politiek leuk vinden. Want dan is er ook wel een partij te vinden. Het gaat tenslotte niet om de naam, maar om de inhoud van de locale club. Invloed kan je verder altijd wel via belangengroepen uitoefenen.

  4. Zoals de WOU, inderdaad.

  5. Gemeentepolitiek is zodanig ver verwijderd van landelijke politiek dat ik de locale fracties niet verantwoordelijk zou houden voor de landelijke miskleunen. Een locale D66 kan best een goede set mensen zijn.

    PvdA Rijswijk heeft niet alleen een verkiezingsprogramma op de site, maar zelfs een weblog! Programma: http://www.rijswijk.pvda.nl/download.do/id/100242995/cd/true/

  6. Kennelijk begrijp je de pvda site beter dan ik… Wel een van de uitgebreidere programma’s, maar typisch PVDA met weinig financiele onderbouwing anders dan ‘De PvdA Rijswijk wil onnodige lastenverzwaring voor burgers voorkomen’ – vertaling, als het te duur wordt is het helaas nodig de lasten te verhogen. Rijswijk zit al op het randje van een artikel 12, en dan hoop je toch op wat beters dan de financiele paragraaf in dit programma.

    en wat die landelijke miskleunen betreft: helaas – het D’66 gaat er nou juist prat op dat bij heel veel dingen de lokale bonzen geraadpleegd worden. Zo ook bij de miskleunen…

  7. Kennelijk begrijp je de pvda site beter dan ik… De link naar het programma stond gewoon op de voorpagina van de site, hoor. :)

Flying Spaghetti Monster spotted in Germany

Posted on February 28th, 2006 at 17:17 by John Sinteur in category: Pastafarian News

here…

dank je, Ralph


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Lobbyist Turns Senator but Twists Same Arms

Posted on February 28th, 2006 at 16:51 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

It might be said that Senator John Thune went through the revolving door — backward.

As a lobbyist in 2003 and 2004, Mr. Thune earned $220,000 from the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad, a small but ambitious company in South Dakota. The railroad hopes to rebuild and rehabilitate 1,300 miles of track, the nation’s largest proposed railroad expansion in more than a century.

Now, as a junior senator from South Dakota, Mr. Thune is working to make that happen, raising questions about whether there should be curbs on lobbyists-turned-lawmakers in the same way that there are on those who take the more traditional route of leaving Capitol Hill for K Street.

Last year, his first in the Senate, Mr. Thune wrote language into a transportation bill expanding the pot of federal loan money for small railroads, enabling his former client to apply for $2.5 billion in government financing for its project. The loan has yet to be approved; Mr. Thune said he was trying to promote economic development in his home state.


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Dutch politicians fight drugs rap duel

Posted on February 28th, 2006 at 11:14 by John Sinteur in category: Nederland is Gek!

Oh dear.

Now the idiots are making international headlines.

mefi has translations of the raps…


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Comments:

  1. But it is a serious subject where the mayor of Maastricht takes a practical and sometimes humorous approach as you can see on http://www.maastricht.nl/maastricht/show/id=221316/frameid=39719.

Third Place: “HAWK AND PREY”

Posted on February 28th, 2006 at 11:02 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture

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[Quote:]

A red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) takes flight while carrying a rodent meal in downtown Washington, DC. According to the National Audubon Society, the red-tailed hawk is the most common and widespread American member of the Buteo genus. Hawks like this hunt for prey in open country or at the edge of a meadow, making this sighting in a dense urban area uncommon.


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Comments:

  1. That’s not a rat, it is a lobbyist

The ports

Posted on February 28th, 2006 at 10:48 by John Sinteur in category: News

Krugman (reg req):

So why did this latest case of sloppiness and indifference finally catch the public’s attention? Because this time the administration has become a victim of its own campaign of fearmongering and insinuation. The administration successfully linked Iraq and 9/11 in public perceptions through a campaign of constant insinuation and occasional outright lies. In the process, it also created a state of mind in which all Arabs were lumped together in the camp of evildoers. Osama, Saddam — what’s the difference?

But more to the point, after years of systematically suggesting that Arabs who didn’t attack us are the same as Arabs who did, the administration can’t suddenly turn around and say, “But these are good Arabs.”


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Hannidate

Posted on February 28th, 2006 at 10:45 by John Sinteur in category: ¿ʞɔnɟ ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ

Ladies, you better snag this one quick before Pamela sees him.

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Comments:

  1. His description reads: Languages: English (fluent). wow.

  2. Smart guy! It shows why it is ok to move money away from education to defense. ;-(

  3. Make Him President Sounds More Coherent Than The Present Incumbent

  4. Ship him over to the UK he should make a big big splash with the labour party over here, ;-)

CBS Poll: Bush Ratings At All-Time Low

Posted on February 28th, 2006 at 10:28 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

The latest CBS News poll finds President Bush’s approval rating has fallen to an all-time low of 34 percent, while pessimism about the Iraq war has risen to a new high.

[..]

For the first time in this poll, most Americans say the president does not care much about people like themselves. Fifty-one percent now think he doesn’t care, compared to 47 percent last fall.

Just 30 percent approve of how Mr. Bush is handling the Iraq war, another all-time low.

By two to one, the poll finds Americans think U.S. efforts to bring stability to Iraq are going badly – the worst assessment yet of progress in Iraq.

Even on fighting terrorism, which has long been a strong suit for Mr. Bush, his ratings dropped lower than ever. Half of Americans say they disapprove of how he’s handling the war on terror, while 43 percent approve.

In a bright spot for the administration, most Americans appeared to have heard enough about Vice President Dick Cheney’s hunting accident.

You know things aren’t going so hot when the “good news” is that people know Cheney shot a friend in the face…


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Unseen. Unforgotten.

Posted on February 28th, 2006 at 10:01 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture

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[Quote:]

Minutes after the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church was bombed on Sept. 15, 1963, Tom Self was on the scene taking pictures.

The photographs, published in The Birmingham News, were among hundreds that appeared in print during the civil rights struggle in Alabama. Self, who retired as chief photographer in 1998, remembers many of those images.

He also recalls many not published. One is a picture from inside the Sixteenth Street church moments after explosives blew the face of Jesus Christ from a stained-glass window and killed four little girls.

“I shot a picture of Jesus, and everything was intact except his face; his face was blown out,” Self remembered. “It was an eerie feeling to look up there and see the whole frame of the window and just the face was gone.”

Hundreds of photos from that era were lost, sold, stolen or stored in archives. Some of those pictures appear today for the first time in the newspaper, in an eight-page special section titled “Unseen. Unforgotten.”

The section is the result of research by Alexander Cohn, a 30-year-old former photo intern at The News. In November 2004, Cohn went through an equipment closet at the newspaper in search of a lens and saw a cardboard box full of negatives marked, “Keep. Do Not Sell.”

Check them out here.


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Toll in Iraq’s Deadly Surge: 1,300

Posted on February 28th, 2006 at 9:41 by John Sinteur in category: Mess O'Potamia

[Quote:]

Grisly attacks and other sectarian violence unleashed by last week’s bombing of a Shiite Muslim shrine have killed more than 1,300 Iraqis, making the past few days the deadliest of the war outside of major U.S. offensives, according to Baghdad’s main morgue. The toll was more than three times higher than the figure previously reported by the U.S. military and the news media.

Hundreds of unclaimed dead lay at the morgue at midday Monday — blood-caked men who had been shot, knifed, garroted or apparently suffocated by the plastic bags still over their heads. Many of the bodies were sprawled with their hands still bound — and many of them had wound up at the morgue after what their families said was their abduction by the Mahdi Army, the Shiite militia of cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

This was not just an ‘almost civil war’. It was the beginning of Srebrenica style ethnic/religious cleansing.


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Ali Mohammed

Posted on February 28th, 2006 at 9:04 by John Sinteur in category: News

capt.bag12702271437.iraq_bag127.jpg

Ali Mohammed, 6, a victim of a mortar attack recovers in a hospital, in Baghdad,Iraq, Monday, Feb.27, 2006. Four mortar rounds exploded Monday on a Shiite neighborhood in Baghdad, killing four and wounding 16, as Sunni Arabs are ready to end their boycott of talks to form a new government if rival Shiites return mosques seized in last week’s sectarian attacks and meet other unspecified demands, a top Sunni figure said Monday. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)


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Great Moments in Hypocrisy

Posted on February 28th, 2006 at 8:53 by John Sinteur in category: News

The US government is now both angry at google for aiding the Chinese government with their censorship and not aiding the US government with
their own censorship.


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US stops joining the worldwide web – official

Posted on February 28th, 2006 at 7:56 by John Sinteur in category: ¿ʞɔnɟ ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ, News

[Quote:]

Internet usage in the US has flatlined, with a third of the country’s households stubbornly refusing to sign up. And don’t expect any sudden surges of interest – only two per cent of US citizens surveyed by Parks Associates plan to sign up this year.

This leaves 36 per cent of US households without an internet connection at home – and no intention of getting one, either.

More worringly for the get-everyone-connected brigade, only four per cent of this sample cited cost as a reason for continuing to be domestic refuseniks, and only eight per cent said it was because the technology was too difficult to use. 31 per cent said they had a net connection at work, thanks, and so didn’t need one at home, while 39 per cent cited other reasons for not signing up.


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