Sign in with Twitter

 When I hit myDD today, I noticed the "sign in with Twitter" button anew. Today, twitter shut down the group known as 'Anonymous' that are leading the demonstration against the corporate attempts to shut down Wikileaks.ch.

 

This group was simply  using their Twitter account to post updates. And it is now suspended. Is this the kind of political discourse, that Twitter stands for?

 

My right of free speech and assembly - is not a term of service contract item that can be bought, sold, or transferred. It persists throughout the body of any service level agreement.  For both Twitter and Facebook to have shut down the accounts simply because the group was organizing cyber action - is wrong. You may disagree with the action, but to remove the account simply because you  wish to censor or halt the group's activity - is not a standard of censorship commensurate with free press.

When MyDD lets you sign in with Twitter - do you?

Do you like the idea of your messages being auto-scanned, and the account shut down if you say something they disagree with? Does the 'sign in with Twitter' button do anything for you at all?  Have you ever clicked on it?

Will you?

Just curious.

 

 

This is the reason why.

Do you have a Verizon Wireless Phone?

Then you know the reason why we need network neutrality. You couldn't surf the web today. Because we don't actually have network neutrality - on the wireless internet. Unlike Japan, we're crippled here in the states with all kinds of non interoperable applications and standards. And the cellphone companies would tell you otherwise - except when your service crashes for no reason. It crashed today because Verizon Wireless crashed their central tether. If your phone were untethered, it would have worked just fine.

Tethering network applicances is bad karma. It's just not the way the internet is designed to operate.

Network neutrality is a huge, and extremely important issue that now affects every aspect of our lives. And today, we've found a vivid and tangible example of the reason why we have to keep pressing the issue until we have cellphones that use standardized browsers - and we can use the mobile internet in the same way, as the public internet.

When you noticed  you couldn't surf the net with cellphone  today perhaps you didn't realize that  crash is a direct result of them tethering their cellphone application to their own internal infrastructure. The actual network connection was fine. That's what you pay for - and that's what you should get, because you as a taxpayer - licensed the spectrum to them through the FCC.  But instead, you get some kind of lame network appliance action on your integrated browser ( you know, the one that seems to always be pulling up Verizon Wireless' website "and partners" ). Are you paying service fees, to be a member of the Verizon Wireless Corporate Intranet?

As background, it's fun to read how Steve Wozniak is tuned into the concept that we need a stable , open and reliable internet - and laments the byproducts of a culture of tethered network appliances.

 

"(..) .. The biggest obstacle with the growing prevalence of technology is that our personal devices are unreliable. .. Little things that work one day; they don't work the next day," he said enthusiastically, waving his hands. "I think it's much harder today than ever before to basically know that something you have ... is going to work tomorrow."

 

Verizon, like many other cellphone service providers - are trying to follow an essentially monopolistic approach  that AT+T successfully ran for years before MCI forced them to release their stranglehold on endpoint hardware. It's illuminating to look back through magazines in the sixties - the phone equipment you purchased came exclusively from Ma Bell. They argued in the Supreme Court that since they own the network, they have the right to decide what hardware connects to it. It is telling to go back into old magazines and look at AT+T ads. They speak of how "ATT Telephone Technology helps guide Missiles through the Air" ... all brought to you by superior ATT Phone Technology.   But in the end, the supreme court ruled in favor of network neutrality and allowed MCI to sell long distance. In the same ruling, it stated that any vendor had a right to manufacture equipment that would connect to ATT's network.  And the modern internet was born - it had been around in DARPA form, but with this boost - many companies leapt at the chance to make network equipment that could be connected anywhere. Cisco was one of them. The others are probably connecting you right now as we speak.

But the FCC regulated wireless spectrum, being such a prize to so many cellphone service competitors - is marketed as "sparse" and "we don't have the bandwidth to be able to offer such services without limiting them".  In a nod to the ATT model cellphone providers offer you a phone for "free", their way of controlling the hardware that connects to it. As long as you agree to the fine print of a service agreement.

And in that fine print, therein lies the rub. Want to access content? Guess how hard it really is, even when it's working right.  Most "applications" or "apps" are in fact centrally hosted products that crash in one place and affect millions.  A classic case in point: "directionfinder". Many map and GPS utilities do not allow you to use the integrated GPS in your phone, with maps that you can load. They require you to hit a map off the public internet. So much for geocaching.

Another good example is the centrally hosted and gated internet services that many cellphone providers push. Opera is a good one - does your cell phone company let you install it on your phone? I bet it does. How do you install it? Does flash work on your phone? Crippled web browsers are a way to set up an access gate. It's crashed before. It will crash again. But you paid for your phone, and you paid for the service.  You shouldn't have to pay for them to gate your service. Think of how stupid it would be to have all traffic going through one place, just so you could charge someone to come through.

It's pretty easy to see why they're doing it. In fact, its blatant. They want to take a fee for anyone who is a content provider.  Want to read MyDD? Pay the cellphone provider ten cents to have a myDD "app".   Want to surf somewhere else? Hmm...

I remember once, I tried to hit craigslist off a phone -the crippleware browser that was in the phone could not hit the site because its "root certificate wasn't in the local store". How much memory does a certificate require? About 10k out of my 4G flash memory.  This was deliberate, on behalf of the provider (metro PCS).

The internet is broad and redundant. It is a many to many communications medium: open, scaleable, and becoming more and more useful.

To support network neutrality requires a bit of sophistication on your part. You have to know the truth from the lies, and realize how the network both does and doesn't play into the life of a healthy and strong country.

 But what you should remember is that when every single phone in America crashes their browser - and you can send and receive email (an open protocol), but not surf the web - it's because they're screwing with the browser.

Imagine how absurd it would be if you went home, and because someone centrally manages your web browser on your computer - you couldn't surf the web because they screwed up one site off the three hundred thousand out there you surf.

 

 

 

Julian Assange Surrenders to Authorities

 

Julian Assange surrendered to British Police today. He called them and arranged to meet them at a train station. What is his crime?

 

Julian Assange was making love to a woman, and his condom broke.  She apparently said stop, and he apparently did not.  She testified that they were both having consensual sex.  However, after Wikileaks published stories that made a few people uncomfortable - and she finds out that he had another girlfriend - she goes to the authorities.

This does not seem to be the type of crime that requires an international hunting squad and doubleplus security. However, The United Kingdom is saying that it's ok to suspend due process, and hold someone without bond or bail - after they actually surrendered themselves to authority.  

It's 2010. Welcome to 1984.

 

 

Wikileaks: Technology and Government

At time of writing, the biggest push in our computer industry seems to be more about control than actual innovation. CellPhones that send and receive email, and take pictures - are technologically the same as the phones that sent and received email, and took pictures two years ago. The cellphone companies are still playing games - pretending that we, the American public - who pay the taxes for the FCC , and the American government - have licensed to them a wireless spectrum that is somehow limited and finite and impossible to broadcast enough bandwidth to get a website to your phone - without them replacing our browsers, clipping off the sites that haven't paid them off - and otherwise attempting to set themselves up as the gatekeepers of the public internet.  Network neutrality is still under attack, and now we have companies who rely completely upon the public internet to deliver their streaming TV service.  But the infrastructure is , on the long haul - pretty much the same. Some pieces are better. What has really changed is how important all of it has become. The Internet is no longer a casual curiosity circa 1993.  It's a crucial part of international and domestic business.

And also, government.

We are now voting on the basis of our own independent research. A new party in America, is taking its primary boost from its connections forged on the internet. It placed candidates on the ballot - and got them elected in their state primaries. The traditional parties scrambled to catch on and use this technology.  Although it could be said that the originator of this type of movement - was a 2004 campaign by a Doctor from Vermont - we are clearly working in a field where the availability of accurate information about those we elect - and our ability to network independently of news media entertainment - and the 24 hour news media entertainment cycle - has been a determinant factor in nearly two major general elections and at least one midterm.  But only insofar as the information we receive has integrity - we are subject to massive disinformation sources - phished email, fake and spoofed addresses - a collection of possible forgery that is beyond the scope of this essay to explore and identify.  So, we are using that information - and some of us are even vetting it out. There is a broad danger, still , that 'social networking' can be misused - or that a certain tribalism can be instilled in the  American public.  Perhaps the lesson of the  midterms of 2010 is that elections can still be bought even in a networked world - the massive expenditure of corporate cash (the largest ever in any American midterm election) was focussed largely on an attempt to punish the 'hardworking congress' for actually getting work done instead of sitting around like fat cats.

 But all of this is still pretty much the same as it was circa 2004 when said doctor from said new england state ran a campaign that rocketed him to the top of the charts from out of nowhere.  And just as quickly collapsed (with a little televised help).

Wikileaks has brought a new element to the table. And that element has yet to be defined.

 A wiki is a website that can be written on the fly by the people who participate in it. Its information is vetted and tested - for truth and veracity - by many different sources. Many times such a site finds its way to become a useful resource. Wikileaks, however, relies not only upon the open source nature of its architecture to allow such submssion - it uses teams of investigative journalists to explore and vet independently each story it releases.

And release it has. Wikileaks , with its release yesterday of nearly 250,000 diplomatic communications - stands to change our American government permanently.

My first question is.  Why us? Why is it not the case, that every other government gets to have its entire cable communications record posted. Can you imagine what your marriage would be like, if every chat line you ever posted were given to your wife?

I think because , like us, Wikileaks is looking for its place in the world. Its role as a technology that enables positive, responsive governance. America stands as a beacon of democracy for the world. At least, certainly we once were worthy of that title. Wikileaks is only three years old - and they are very clearly searching for a place in the world. 

And yesterday's leaks are a bombshell. The fact that there are things in there about Iran, are secondary.  After all - Iran is sitting on real estate that would connect one of the last great oil reserves with the Persian gulf. It's no big surprise big oil wants to keep the focus on them.

For me, as a reader, the first and most significant impact of the leaked documents upon my voting decisions is realization of the scope and breadth of corporate interests in our modern American political process - and the need to commutate them.  The cables that were leaked yesterday - were difficult to read at first because the site was out of service for a while -  subjected to a distributed denial of service attack.  But when they were released, we discovered that the American diplomatic corps has been .... well... let me redact whatever I would say here.  You can read them for yourself. And you should.

 

What is important, for our government - that this technology brings to light - is the difference between corporate interests, and our own.

Here is a quote from the wikileaks site - that I can cut and paste anywhere, because it is all open source.  And no corporation is going to sue me to keep me from posting it somewhere.

(Begin Quote)

Sufficient principled leaking in tandem with fearless reporting will bring down administrations that rely on concealing reality from their own citizens.

It is increasingly obvious that corporate fraud must be effectively addressed. In the US, employees account for most revelations of fraud, followed by industry regulators, media, auditors and, finally, the SEC. Whistleblowers account for around half of all exposures of fraud.

Corporate corruption comes in many forms. The number of employees and turnover of some corporations exceeds the population and GDP of some nation states. When comparing countries, after observations of population size and GDP, it is usual to compare the system of government, the major power groupings and the civic freedoms available to their populations. Such comparisons can also be illuminating in the case of corporations.

Considering the largest corporations as analogous to a nation state reveals the following properties:

  1. The right to vote does not exist except for share holders (analogous to land owners) and even there voting power is in proportion to ownership.
  2. All power issues from a central committee.
  3. There is no balancing division of power. There is no fourth estate. There are no juries and innocence is not presumed.
  4. Failure to submit to any order may result in instant exile.
  5. There is no freedom of speech.
  6. There is no right of association. Even romance between men and women is often forbidden without approval.
  7. The economy is centrally planned.
  8. There is pervasive surveillance of movement and electronic communication.
  9. The society is heavily regulated, to the degree many employees are told when, where and how many times a day they can go to the toilet.
  10. There is little transparency and something like the Freedom of Information Act is unimaginable.
  11. Internal opposition groups, such as unions, are blackbanned, surveilled and/or marginalized whenever and wherever possible.

 (end quote) - from Wikileaks.org

 If we, as a people - are able to process what is being leaked there on that site - or, for that matter - on any wiki anywhere - we will become a nation of watchdogs and active participants in the political process. I would love nothing better than to see another 4 billion dollars spent on an election - just as this past election - with the sole design of knocking out the senate majority leader, or displacing the house leader, and replacing them with people like the GOP candidate Christine O Donnell - who did not even understand the first amendment --  and have them get nothing on the return on investment.

 

There's more...

The Beginning of World War III

 Yes, we have prosperity. Yes, we have a strong president, economy, and military. Yes there is alot to lose and nothing to gain from World War.

 

But today marked the beginning of a new chapter in Global History. A chapter of war.  South Korea will not simply ignore the shelling of their island . North Korea will not back down. The 60 year truce has ended.

 

Today. Is the Beginning of World War III.

 

 

 

Pop Quiz

 

  1.  Pop quiz: Which of the following will make up a majority of the deficit in the next decade?

    A) Social Security
    B) Medicare
    C) The National Park Service
    D) PBS
    E) George Bush's Tax Cuts for > 250k

 

 

Did you get it right?

 

The correct answer is: E) George Bush's Tax Cuts.

 

 

 

Why I Love the Tea Party, Part I

 Let's be honest. The Democrats were pretty boring, before Dean, and Obama.  They were running in the same circles as the GOP. And in this last session of congress. Totally epic. The GOP was just sitting on their hands, the entire time. Now that the elections are over - and a good third of those bastards are out, and the blue dogs are out - we've got a shot at it.

 

 

Today, the GOP bowed to pressure from the Tea , to ban earmarks. This is huge. This is a giant blow against the lobbyists.

This marks the transition , in my mind - to smart government. The Republicans have finally started listening. And they finally followed the lead we've set out for them.

 

 

TEA will drive us onward to more good legislation. Or, I guess I should say - legislation that people really want. Ok, sure, they disagree with you, and you disagree with them. But this is how I see it: we're all on a train and the train is running off the tracks. Pelosi's drained the swamp - the Bush Republicans left. She's doing fine. But what happened in Committee, and especially in the Senate -  to real reform - was criminal.

 Its not liberal vs. conservative, its corporations vs. human beings.

The GOP has to listen to the Tea. They can't do otherwise.

And that means the GOP will end up , finally listening to real people and not just lobbyists. This is better than you might think.

Maybe one day we'll even have manageable, readable legislation that we can simply browse through on the net - and then post a message to our congressman's blog where we want him to go. He might just read his poll, and then decide on the basis of his own, validated constituency.

What I love about the Tea is that it's a grass roots movement - as long as it stays pure like this. Watch carefully. See who tries to block removing earmarks from legislation.

 

Whatever is bad for lobbyists, is good for you and me. The fact that lobbyists spent so much money last election - nearly 4 billion dollars, and almost all of it went to the GOP - was to be as expected. Lobbyists want a lame duck , dead two party system. The GOP was on the verge of dying altogether. The TEA , ended up taking power. Not the GOP. And these cats mean business.

A good duel, with honest differences - is better than wormy lobbyist-ridden parasites feeding on us all.

Maybe the lobbyists wasted their money after all.  

 

Craigslist

 A few days ago I used Craigslist to try to look for a used laptop. I noticed serious changes.

And some of the changes might be a precursor of things to come. I think the last big supreme court ruling, the one that allows corporations to be treated like human beings - might have been a mistake.

In the case of Craigslist, I was always happy to deal with people. Craigslist was a place where people in my local area would put things up for sale, and I could go there to buy them. Craigslist classified ads used to be about people dropping things they didn't want. It was a totally cool place to hunt for things.

 But what happens when companies try to pass themselves off as people. Really screwed things up. Not unusuable, mind you. But enough to make me wonder.

This time around, in my hunt for a laptop - there were alot of businesses there on Craigslist - pretending to be people. I mean, really pretending. They wouldn't say the name of their business - they wouldn't say that they have a permanent business address - they simply posted as if they were a person. And then they worded their post as if they were a person.  When you ask them if they're a business, sometimes they're evasive. Does this remind you of anything? How about the last campaign cycle where all that money was hidden?

 

And God. How they spam things up. It wasn't just one or two ads that they posted. They posted the same things over and over and over again. Gumming up the entire website.

 

This gets at something we saw earlier this year. We had the largest amount of money ever spent, in the history of the United States - and 85% of this lobbyist money was spent on the Republican party. Try to get your mind around this concept: 4 billion dollars were spent in less than 5 months.  The republican take, 85% of it, was nearly 19 million dollars a day.  That's almost a million dollars an hour.

 

And what were they doing? Well, in my state they were pretending to be a candidate. They would 'help out' the republicans in my district . They would 'speak for' the candidate, and bring up 'issues that needed to be discussed'. They were masquerading as a human being.

That is precisely what the last supreme court ruling allows. Corporations can pretend to be human beings. That's the gist of it.

The ruling was Citizens United vs. The Federal Election Commission. And it overturned two major precedents in first amendement speech.  It was and is radical doctrine: corporations are human beings. This is what our president said about the ruling:

 

“(This ruling is )a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans.”

 

I think I'm beginning to see the full extent of this ruling.  In the last election, it brings massive amounts of lobbyist money to the table.  Because since corporations are human beings,  corporate speech has the same first amendment protections. Right? But isn't this supposed to apply to human beings? It should.

 But the differences between corporations and human beings define a very serious boundary.

Unlike human beings, corporations are entities composed of multiple people. Their goal is not to simply communicate with you but to influence you. The internal structures of corporations are not democracy - but a kind of dictatorship. And they operate in multiple countries. 

 

Corporations have vested interest in destroying forums of free speech. Craigslist, for example, is a thorn in the side of certain companies who produce print classified advertising. Other companies - specifically companies that relate to my situation - produce goods and products that are undercut by the craigslist classified advertising. Laptop resellers, for instance, enjoyed a certain margin of profit that did not exist on Craigslist.  And so when they overpost in Craigslist, they drown out the real ads - and they proceed to limit a person's ability to be heard. A real person, unlike a company - has only one identity. A corporation utilizes multiple identities. Multiple accounts. And comes at the forum from all sides. Spamming it up. Destroying it.

 

The majority wrote :

When government seeks to use its full power, including the criminal law, to command where a person may get his or her information or what distrusted source he or she may not hear, it uses censorship to control thought.

 

But what about when the government, uses its power to help us to identify ourselves? Passports, for example. We're getting our source of information from a trusted source - so we can travel from place to place.  That information validates who we are and what we're trying to do.  What if the data feed to Customs and Immigration were outsourced , and we had to rely upon the credit reporting agencies to pass us through the gate?   The government certainly uses its power to command where a person may get his or her information at that point.  Why not on the net, where we need it?

 

It seems to me that the fundamental issue of spam, on the net - has to do with the fact that corporations and companies can pretend to be people.

 

I never could find a decent laptop on CL that day. I used to be able to find one in ten minutes.  I'm going to go back. And fight my way through.

 

But I'm starting to see changes in our country and online. It is my belief that corporations - non democratic multiple person, multinational entities.  Should not be given the rights and privilege equal to a voting , United States citizen.

 

Unless of course, they are a sole proprietorship. And even then, I feel they should self identify. There was a guy operating out of his basement, selling laptops. I wouldn't have had a problem buying from him. As long as he says he's a business and not just a guy living at that address who "has an extra laptop".

Ok, am I going over the top here? I really see a problem with this concept that citizens and "associations of citizens" are the same thing as corporate entities. I mean, should facebook be allowed the same rights as a person who is your friend - to be able to farm out any of your facebook info and sell it off? Should companies trying to keep people off craigslist, have the right to do toxic overposting and spam up the entire forum? 

What about here? Should companies that pay people to post advertisements and pass them off as diaries, have the right to come to myDD and spam this place up?

 

Shamelessly self promote your own diary, corporation or pimp for a friend in this diary post.  I'd love to hear what you have to say.

 

News Media Entertainment Company Tops Estimates

 Time Warner today reported that their adjusted operating income from the past quarter rose to $1.4 billion dollars  - and their sales rose over the past quarter , 2% to a new total of $6.38 billion dollars.

 

The company was dragged down by failing sales in print media, and film - but their news media entertainment company division aenjoyed a revenue climb of  9% to $3 billion.

This was attributed to a 10% rise in advertising revenue and a 9% increase in subscription revenue.

Want to guess what happened with the other guys at the other news media entertainment company , that controls 86% of what all those seniors see and hear - and who voted 47% for the Tea party....

 

 

 

My Vote Counts

 It was unreal, the number of people who showed up. If you haven't gone to vote - go do it now. It's nuts. The lines were all around the block.

I really got the feeling today that my vote counted. I saw alot of friends there.  The congressman that I had spoken with earlier in the season , was in fact at the poll.

The constitution sets aside your right to vote. I powered through my early morning work then got my wife and I into the car and we headed out to vote. It will be interesting to see how it all turns out.

 Unlike Jerome or other people who are Top Posting here at myDD , I am not worrying about polls . I do not have a company that depends upon  new clients I will get by ditching my party affiliation. I never had one to begin with. I am a bona fide independent. 

And what I really liked to see today, was the amazing turnout. I spotted alot of the guys I voted with in 2008. It's going to be fun.

 Speaking personally,  I like what this congress did - for me, and my wife - and I voted for the guys that I thought would do the best job. It made me happy. I voted the same as I always have - and I threw the bush republicans out on their ass. No way I will vote more of those bastards back into power.

But a dose of reality hit me as I made it home. On the way back, there had been an eviction on a sidestreet - and the effects of the former resident had been placed by the side of the road.  I stopped, picked up a DVD player and a catcher's mitt - and then drove back home.

This country has a way to go before everything is all square.  My vote cast - was not a vote to try to bring in partisanship, or make an environment where Washington gets to endlessly debate back and forth and ultimately - end up just like the republicans - a do-nothing congress. It was a vote to fix things.

I'm not exactly sure how to make everything right - in my own neighborhood.  I have seen alot of foreclosures in adjacent neighborhoods. My neighborhood property values actually went up slightly. My home sold this year after being on the market for 10 days. I'm looking for another one. I suppose when I really see the bottom of the market I will move on a good place.   I've always felt that we should act locally and think globally. That's why it's kind of refreshing to see how the turnout was so high at my polling place.  But a definite bummer to see someone thrown out of their home.

Nobody knows how this election is going to turn out.

I just thought I'd drop you a line to tell you it felt good to vote. Go for it.

 

 

 

Diaries

Advertise Blogads