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"They're Everywhere" just doesn't cover it.

Serious trouble under the cutCollapse )

Okay, NOW are people worried?!?!?!

NSA collecting phone call data on Americans. . . with the full complicity of the telecom corps. These are DOMESTIC calls, and not of people suspected of terrorist or other criminal activity. This has been going on for the past several years under Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden, who is now up for director of the CIA. And the NSA could be sharing this info with other agencies, without informing people that their records are being shared.

PLEASE, someone tell me that his worries them!!!

How Not to COPE with the Internet

I was talking to my friend CardWizard yesterday and he told me a bit about a new bill wending its way through Congress called the COPE Act, which stands for "Communications Opportunity, Promotion, and Enhancement Act of 2006." Perhaps not surprisingly, the opportunity, promotion, and enhancement are all for major telecom corporations to gain more profit from and control of content on the Internet. My friend was telling me about how it will demolish electronic publishing for small publishers (such as himself), but there are lot of other ramifications as well. So, I did some pokin' around, and came up with some useful information on the Act. Common Cause has a summary and useful information on the bill. Here is another summary from the Technology Law Journal, which is somewhat more neutral in its summary, but does provide this gem: "This policy statement relates to guaranteeing for consumers the freedom to use their internet connections to access some of the content, use some of the applications, and attach some of the devices, that they choose." The Association for Community Networks also has information and a lot of good links and recommended actions.

As FreeMarketNews.com put it:

Monday, May 01, 2006 - FreeMarketNews.com

Federal legislation to change the way the Internet works as we know it made another step towards becoming a law. Last week a House Committee voted 42 to 12 in favor of the Communications Opportunity Promotion and Enhancement (COPE) Act and simultaneously voted against an amendment created to protect Internet user’s rights, according to Axcess News and other reports.

The COPE Act, which has been heavily lobbied for by big communications companies, would redefine the way that Internet Service Providers, communications companies, and customers transfer information between each other. It would allow large telecommunications companies to give preferential networking treatment to certain customers and for certain content, while also letting them charge extra fees for different customers. Up until now all Internet participants have given counter parties equal treatment. An amendment to the bill, known as the Net Neutrality Amendment, proposed to preserve equal treatment amongst Internet users. However it was voted down in a 34 to 22 decision. Consequently, if the bill becomes law large Internet companies will be given the power to decide which users receive access to information, and charge different fees for giving that access.

While the legislation is considered a big win for communications companies, it is considered a loss for everyone else that uses the Internet. It will likely pave the way for mass distributions of commercial data such as standardized video feeds. However, critics of the COPE Act argue that it will create an unstable Internet in which everything is either commercialized or considered second class. At the will of large corporations, small companies and users sharing controversial information or trying to express freedom of speech may find themselves blocked out of the Internet altogether."

As far as I can tell, this bill is all about ceding control of the net to telecom corporations so that they can squeeze as much money out of consumers as possible. Congressman Ed Markey tried to put in an amendment preserving net neutrality, but it looks like it got shot down in committee.

Some companies, such as EarthLink, have come out in favor of the bill. In a statement by XVP Christopher Putala, I found on Yahoo Finance, he says: "EarthLink applauds today's action by the House Energy and Commerce Committee to ensure the continued growth of municipal Wi-Fi networks throughout the United States by rejecting efforts that would have restricted municipal networks in more than a dozen states.

The Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement (COPE) act of 2006 is a win for cities and towns that want to build these wireless networks for their residents, businesses and government agencies and helps ensure a competitive marketplace for broadband services."

The most important thing is to let people know about this bill, which seems to be pretty hidden in the major media, and to act if you disagree with its provisions. Common Cause has a page with a sample letter on it that may be useful for mining for info for a leter of your own; it is here. My take on it is that it will give corporations a free hand to determine what consumers can see and do on the internet. This is probably not a good thing. . . . I think I will be writing a letter or two today. . . .

Because I had to know. . . .

i am an extreme geek

I am 56.21302% Geek, and thus an Extreme Geek!

Here is the test!

A few things what are up

Mmmm. . . mangled syntax!

I am feeling a little addled this morning, but I wanted to post and let folks know what's going on, in random, yet numbered, fashion:

1) Last Sunday, part of the ceiling to our bathroom caved in. dansr was showering and a chunk of drywall plunked into the tub behind her. We have shucked it out and are cleaning up and putting plastic over the whole, but we are going to need a roofer to come and check it out. We are working on finding a good person for this job. Guh.

2) My diss is making progress. With the help of my awesome friend thebiggest, I have divined a central point that pulls my diss together pretty tightly. I am envisioning a somewhat shorter, much more pointed project, and the opening chapters are coming together. Ahhhhh. . . . Even better, she is not going to far-off China for the semester, but will be coming back here, so we can work together. We have sketched out a schedule to produce defendable drafts by the end of March. I honestly, finally feel a glimmer of inspiration about my diss! I am even encouraged when I work on it, as it begins to become something pertinent and useful to read. YAHOOOOO!!!!

3) Our only working car is sad. It works, but it is sad. And we haven't the money to make it happy. Not sure what to do about this long-term, since we got the loan to buy it only 9 months ago. . . .

4) So, I am selling stuff on Ebay, and getting some money, enought to plug some holes. I will keep working on that, and keep whittling away at my gaming collection. At least my room is slowly clearing out.

5) Cats are out to get me. I left my office door open and one of them peed on a pile of Vampire cards and a D&D book. Grrrrrr. . . . I am now totally paranoid about my stuff. . . .

6) I am doing little bits of writing. No new work on the novel, but I am doing some good work on my Duncala campaign, and I have decided to run a sort of historical re-enactment for my game world at the next Get-Your-Geek-On-Athon, which is taking place on the 25th of February. Here is the blurb:

Game: True d20 (Blue Rose system, GM’s own world)
Name: John H. Stevens
Min/Ma # of Players: 4/8
Ages: 16+ preferred

Premise: In the Court of the Garnet Raven

It is the year 817 of the Auric calendar, and the end of a year of mourning and sacrifices for the dead Empress Despi Aura, daughter of the ascended Ontos Aurin, Emperor Deity of the Auric Empire.

The Thronewarden, Sire Piais T’yr the Clutching Claw, must now step down from stewarding the Demon-Maw Throne and pass it on to his half-nephew, Jussin Llaric, daemonkin godling and grandson of Ontos. But according to the edict of Ontos himself, only one Imperial Order can be the Gage of the Maw and follow a new Emperor to the throne in glory.

The Garnet Ravens held that position for centuries under Empress Despi, but who now can claim this position?

Players will take on the roles of confederates of the two orders, the Knights Voracious and the Incinerants Eclipsant, who now vie for this honor, which includes electing a regent to oversee the Empire for the young Emperor.

Which side can outwit, outmaneuver, and out-duel their foes to gain the esteem of the Garnet Ravens and the immature Emperor and become the most powerful Order in the Empire?

If anyone is interested in playing, you can go the GYGOathon section of the Forum at www.ithacagamers.com and check out the thread, where there will be more info soon. Thanks as always to judd_sonofbert for organizing this kewl event!

7) I have once again backed into a good assignment for the semester. The Dept. changed my TAship at the very last minute to a class that requires about 3-4 hours of work per week. I will be on retainer for other tasks, but this means I can work from home, keep taking care of the pup (she is HUGE!!!), and keep feeding my paycheck to the Bills Monster.

So, a mixed bag, but I am much less stressed about it than usual. I feel that, despite the stumbling blocks, things are gonna turn this year.

I hope that feeling continues!

Apparently. . .

. . . I know less about beer than I thought, but a LOT more about liquor! Must be all that burgundy-cask Glenmorangie. . . .

And yes, I am alive. So is dansr.


Congratulations! You're 118 proof, with specific scores in beer (20) , wine (100), and liquor (113).

Screw all that namby-pamby chick stuff, you're going straight for the
bottle and a shot glass! It'll take more than a few shots of Wild
Turkey or 99 Bananas before you start seeing pink elephants. You know
how to handle your alcohol, and yourself at parties.

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 33% on proof
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 35% on beer index
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You scored higher than 75% on wine index
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You scored higher than 84% on liquor index

Link: The Alcohol Knowledge Test written by hoppersplit on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

A weird little meme. . .

. . . in which I somehow tied for a spot on three crews, and had to answer a tiebreaker to get this answer:

You scored as Serenity (from Firefly). You like to live your own way and do not enjoy when anyone but a friend tries to tell you that you should do different. Now if only the Reavers would quit trying to skin you.

Coming on December 1, 2005:

Your Ultimate Sci-Fi Profile: which sci-fi crew would you best fit in? The Sequel


SG-1 (from Stargate)


Moya (from Farscape)


Serenity (from Firefly)


Galactica (from Battlestar: Galactica)


Enterprise D (from Star Trek)


Millennium Falcon (from Star Wars)


Nebuchadnezzar (from The Matrix)


Bebop (from Cowboy Bebop)


Which sci-fi crew would you best fit in? v1.0
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Cool, but strange.

Just call me Mr. Bummer. . . .

Your 2005 Song Is

Boulevard of Broken Dreams by Green Day

"My shadow's the only one that walks beside me
My shallow heart's the only thing that's beating"

In 2005, you bummed everyone out. Like you care.

Um, huh?

You scored 53 masculinity and 60 femininity!

You scored high on both masculinity and femininity. You have a strong
personality exhibiting characteristics of both traditional sex roles.

My test tracked 2 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
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You scored higher than 26% on masculinity
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You scored higher than 47% on femininity
Link: The Bem Sex Role Inventory Test written by weirdscience on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Okayyyy. . . . I was hoping for "metrosexual" personally. Today is the day of not getting the quiz results I really wanted. . . :-)!
You scored as Pelagianism. You are a Pelagian. You reject ideas about man's fallen human nature and believe that as a result we are able to fully obey God. You are the first Briton to contribute significantly to Christian thought, but you're still excommunicated in 417.


























Chalcedon compliant




Are you a heretic?
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