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Topics - Juana

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Aneristic Illusions / Internet 1, Viacom 0 - so far
« on: June 24, 2010, 11:36:03 pm »

Google's won the first round of the enormous lawsuit Viacom brought against it. Viacom is suing Google for $1 billion for not having copyright lawyers inspect all the videos that get uploaded to YouTube before they're made live (they're also asking that Google eliminate private videos because these movies -- often of personal moments in YouTubers' lives -- can't be inspected by Viacom's copyright enforcers).

The lawsuit has been a circus. Filings in the case reveal that Viacom paid dozens of marketing companies to clandestinely upload its videos to YouTube (sometimes "roughing them up" to make them look like pirate-chic leaks). Viacom uploaded so much of its content to YouTube that it actually lost track of which videos were "really" pirated, and which ones it had put there, and sent legal threats to Google over videos it had placed itself.

Other filings reveal profanity-laced email exchanges between different Viacom execs debating who will get to run YouTube when Viacom destroys it with lawsuits, and execs who express their desire to sue YouTube because they can't afford to buy the company and can't replicate its success on their own.

On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton ruled that YouTube was protected from liability for copyright infringement by the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The DMCA has a "safe harbor" provision that exempts service providers from copyright liability if they expeditiously remove material on notice that it is infringing. Viacom's unique interpretation of this statute held that online service providers should review all material before it went live. If they're right, you can kiss every message-board, Twitter-feed, photo-hosting service, and blogging platform goodbye -- even if it was worth someone's time to pay a lawyer $500/hour to look at Twitter and approve tweets before they went live, there just aren't enough lawyers in the universe to scratch the surface of these surfaces. For example, YouTube alone gets over 29 hours' worth of video per minute.

Viacom has vowed to appeal.
In dismissing the lawsuit before a trial, Stanton noted that Viacom had spent several months accumulating about 100,000 videos violating its copyright and then sent a mass takedown notice on Feb. 2, 2007. By the next business day, Stanton said, YouTube had removed virtually all of them.

Stanton said there's no dispute that "when YouTube was given the (takedown) notices, it removed the material."

Calling Stanton's reasoning "fundamentally flawed," Viacom said it was looking forward to challenging the decision in appeals court.
I am astounded they thought this could even work if they won. Too much runs on the internet, too much depends on it, and Viacom thinks it can shut down what the world made? The arrogance is astounding, if perhaps unsurprising.

Discordian Recipes / Cold Brew Coffee
« on: June 15, 2010, 08:09:28 pm »
This stuff is perfect for summer, tastes a little different than hot coffee, and is up to 70% less acidic. It's also absurdly easy to make, though lots of people feel the need to use some sort of special gadget to make it (though a regular french press, if you have it, makes it even easier).

Coarsely ground coffee
Cold water
Bowl/jar/French press
A fine sieve or paper filter if you haven't got a press

There are two ways to make it, depending on when you mean to drink it.

An immediate, single serving:
Put spoonful of coffee in a cup or bowl and add an equal amount of water to it that you would pour into your coffee cup in the morning (so half a mug of coffee becomes half a mug of water in your bowl/cup). Leave it to sit for about ten minutes, strain into your cup with either a fine sieve or a paper filter, and fix it to your liking.
If you have a French press, just use cold water instead of hot.

A concentrate (used for several mornings or for more than one person):
Put one cup coffee grounds to four cups water in a bowl or jar and stick it in the fridge overnight. In the morning, strain it into a pitcher and dilute it with cold water before you drink it (unless you like very strong coffee).

Discordian Recipes / Snickerdoodles
« on: June 13, 2010, 11:49:24 pm »
This recipe is probably the best one I've ever had.

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
2. Cream together butter, 1 1/2 cups sugar, the eggs and the vanilla. Blend in the flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt. Shape dough by rounded spoonfuls into balls.
3. Mix the 2 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon. Roll balls of dough in mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until set but not too hard. Remove immediately from baking sheets.

The original recipe calls for shortening, which I don't like so I substituted more butter instead. I've seen other recipes that call for sticking the dough in the fridge for a while before you roll and dip them, which I did with about a third of these. They didn't expand at all, which I didn't like. The rest of them weren't refrigerated before I rolled them, so they flattened out while baking. I like them better that way and they have a better texture, too, imo. The cookies stay soft and light for about three days if you stick them in a ziplock baggie when they're still warm as well.

Via Boing Boing
A Dutch court has ruled that disclosing the general location of files that infringe copyright is the same thing as infringing copyright itself. The website FTD has a forum where users discuss which Usenet newsgroups contain infringing movies. They do this in plain language, the Dutch equivalent of, "Hey, the group $FOO has the movie $BAR in it." The discussions don't include links. The Dutch court has ruled that hosting a discussion that includes conversational descriptions of infringing files is the same as publishing links to those files is the same as hosting the files yourself. This is a major overturning of Dutch jurisprudence, and a disaster for free speech; the potential chilling effect for anyone who might host a forum or comment section is enormous.

Tomorrow is the Dutch election. The Dutch Pirate Party is campaigning on this issue: "When reaching landmark decisions that overturn years of jurisprudence, neither the judge nor the issue is served when it turns out that the judge in question is in business with the copyright-lawyer from the party benefiting from this shocking verdict. The fact that this joint enterprise mainly offers courses on 'counter-piracy' at 900 per day, makes the situation appear even muddier still. If the Netherlands wants to avoid looking like a banana-republic where the law is for sale to the highest bidder, it is urgent that parliament takes control of the debate on copyright-reform, and brings it back into the public arena where this discussion belongs."

What the hell?

eta link

Apple Talk / NSFW: I don't really know what to do with this...
« on: June 07, 2010, 01:20:58 am »
...but I thought the sheer WTF IS THAT?! would be appreciated.


Petitioners prowling parking lots and community college campuses tricked dozens of young Orange County voters into registering to vote as Republicans, an Orange County Register investigation has found.

The con occurred at the end of January and the beginning of February at places like Cypress College and Golden West College, and outside of discount stores like Wal-Mart and Food 4 Less. It appears to be the same kind of voter registration fraud that engulfed Orange County four years ago and landed eight signature gatherers in jail.

Since mid-March, at least 99 written complaints have been submitted to state elections officials by Orange County residents who say they were registered to vote Republican without their consent. The Register found an additional 74 voters who said they were duped or coerced into registering to vote as a Republican by signature gatherers who initially asked them to sign petitions for causes like legalizing marijuana, fighting cancer or cleaning up beaches.

In all, the Register called 348 registered Republicans in central Orange County and reached 90 of them. Of those, only 16 said they wanted to be Republicans. The rest told stories of fast-talking petitioners, some advertising free sunglasses if they signed.

All of the voters identified by the Register are listed as under 28 years old; many said they knew little about politics or voting. A few, when told they were listed on the county voter rolls as a Republican, asked, "What is a Republican?"

The voters are all residents of the 34th State Senate District in central Orange County, where the Republican Party has high hopes of ousting incumbent Democrat Lou Correa in the fall. Unlike the Democrats, the California Republican Party has a controversial policy of paying signature gatherers who sends them new GOP voter registration cards and the Republicans are offering as much as $8 for each new GOP registration in that district.

Many believe the $8 "bounty" gives petitioners an incentive to commit fraud. In 2006, The Register found a similar fraud pattern in Orange County that was blamed, in part, on the bounty paid to signature gatherers. That year 167 voters complained to election officials that they were switched to Republican registration without their permission; The Register found another 112 voters who said they were tricked. Eleven signature gatherers were eventually convicted of falsifying registrations and other charges; eight went to jail.

The Republican Party isn't likely to benefit from this scheme because many of the voters contacted by the Register said they don't vote Republican. The only beneficiaries appear to be the signature gatherers themselves.

"I'm already anti-Republican and now they have people scamming people just to get money and just to get more voters?" said 25-year-old Bobbi Lee Smart, who says she was tricked into registering to vote as a Republican by a signature gatherer at Cypress College. "You guys suck."

Bring and Brag / Garbo's Photography
« on: March 13, 2010, 09:08:10 pm »
These are varying shades of Old, but I thought I'd post them anyway. Going to pick up the camera again in the near future, though.

Mesa Verde national park, from 2007

Or Kill Me / A Letter to a Jerk
« on: February 13, 2010, 01:44:33 am »
Dear friend,

Ok, so you finally got a girlfriend again. Good for you. Why are you being insufferable? Yesterday, I was ready to throttle you for being such an unmitigated ass and the day before was the day you got together which the girl--I'm pretty sure there's a correlation because you weren't like this a couple days ago. I understand some of your cockiness because, well, she thought it was your knee. But I swear to god, I will punch you in the face if you ever say something like that again to me. We give each other shit all the time but that was over the line and I HATE the way you said it. I'm not easy to offend or hurt, but congratulations, you managed it.
Oh, and also? That comment you made to me yesterday when I almost fell over? Not ok. I am not an object and you will never reduce me to my body. More than it would go to waste if I died.

And then there's the matter of you taking up with this particular girl at all. First off, I'm pretty sure you aren't with her because you like her. You just know she broke up with her ex because he wouldn't put out. Plus, this girl is quite frankly abusive. I kind of doubt she'll do it to you, but you know exactly what kind of things she said to our friend the red head. You know how she treated him. And that you got with her at all is fucking low because you KNOW he hasn't been able to get over this girl since September. She also all but has a sign on her back that says BAT SHIT CRAZY. We've talked about this and you agreed with me last week--which was about three days before you found out she liked you. WTF.
I don't expect you to take this into account when selecting a girlfriend, but you know that A) I'm a pretty good judge of character and B) I don't like her. Hm. Let's count the number of times I've been wrong.

I'm going to be civil to her and I'm going to remind you I don't like her. And I'm going to enjoy hurting you. Little tiny jabs here and there until you stop behaving like a revolting jackass. Or maybe you never will. I don't know. But I do know that I don't want to be your friend if you keep this up.

What happened to the friend I've had for three years? My friend was sweet and had a sense of honor. He got mad when people made the sort of comments you did yesterday. Congratulations. You are now your father. Let me buy you some coke and find you a whore and you'll be all set.

Love (or maybe not),

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