Posts in the ‘Politics’ Category

Global Warming – or, Climate Change

Update: I came across this book review by Freeman Dyson which you may find interesting.  It reviews two “global warming” books and points out some things they’re ignoring.

It seems politicians are abandoning the phrase “global warming” in favor of the more ambiguous “climate change”.  Here’s a two-minute clip of a White House press conference, and a transcript of it:

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs

Reporter 1:  Climate change.  Why is it a good idea for the President to arrive near the beginning of the climate talk negotiations, as opposed to the end, when the ultimate deal is going to be struck?  And secondarily…

Gibbs: Well… (more…)

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The influence of video games

Enough said.  Edit: Here’s another.  And another.

Someday I’ll write a longer post about this.

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ACTA part two

Ars Technica has an article with more information about the ACTA leak I mentioned a few days ago.  What actually leaked was merely a set of notes on a verbal meeting about a draft of the ACTA.  That doesn’t mean the notes are wrong, just that we need to keep them in perspective.

Ars’ conclusion is that the relevant portions of ACTA are merely the same as the DMCA, but on a global scale.  It could conceivably, in the future, morph into BoingBoing’s nightmare scenario, but not in the immediate future.

My interpretation?  This is based on existing law – what possible reason could there be to keep it secret?  I maintain my earlier call – write your Senators and House Representatives.  We need this treaty out in the open for the whole process.

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ACTA finally leaked

The ACTA is a treaty drafted in secret which is being negotiated between most of the world’s countries and which, among other things, proposes certain agreements between governments regarding the Internet.

I suggest you read this BoingBoing summary of the Internet section of ACTA.

Did you read it?  No?  Go ahead, click that link.  I’ll wait.

Alright, you’ve read it.  Surely you’ll agree, this is A Bad Thing(tm).  There is no possible scenario in which this treaty can have a good effect on the Internet.

Please everyone, write your House Reps and Senators and demand that this be examined by professionals who actually know what they’re doing.  That way it can be destroyed before it’s ever agreed on by governments.

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“Net neutrality” demystified

The term “net neutrality” has been defined and redefined and undefined and double-defined so many times that it doesn’t mean anything anymore.  Half the people using it mean one thing, and half the people using it mean exactly the opposite.  As a result, politicians are doing more harm than good by calling something “pro-net-neutrality” or “anti-net-neutrality”, because no matter which label is chosen people will interpret it the wrong way.

So, let me define what I mean when I say “net neutrality”, so there’s no confusion for the rest of this post:  “net neutrality” is the idea that the internet should be treated as an impartial communication medium, just like a telephone network.  ISPs should not be able to prioritize one type of traffic over another for any reason other than traffic management (which I’ll get back to in a moment).

(more…)

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