You are not free.
But here, I'll focus on the technological side of things. With the advent of social media and the rapidity with which information can be shared, I figured there would be a fast, widespread change in the fundamental way the world operated. And to an extent, this is true – only today would you be able to read the president's Twitter account or see an inaugural speech streamed on YouTube. It seems that times have certainly changed, but in this era of media freedom, I can't help but ask, how free are we really?
Writer Evgeny Morozov seems to think we only enjoy, or at the very least utilize, a small portion of our power through the internet. In an awesome video put up by RSA Animate, one of his many talking points is recognizing intended versus actual usage. Think of it this way: Although there is the occasional video advocating a particular religious/political/social view, how many more cat videos are there, or videos with entertainment as the main draw? Morozov takes it a step further and posits that a majority of internet users spend their time looking at porn instead of collaborating in any meaningful way, and he appears to be correct. According to OnlineMBA, around $3 million is spent on porn every second. That's right, not minutes, seconds. So how is an average internet user's time really being spent? Caught in a vortex of questionable content or something more sinister?
In any case, it's important to remember that government officials are able to access much of the same content you are, which means that your super-secret Facebook group you joined may not be so super or secret after all. But even if it is, what chance does it have of effectively creating change? Or is that even really the point? It seems that when individuals try to spread or acquire certain types of information through the net, they are thrown in jail, and, when faced with seemingly insurmountable odds, may resort to killing themselves.
Aaron Swartz faced 50 years in prison for essentially downloading JSTOR articles.
The average amount of time served for statutory rape is 9 years.
WTF. Is this the cost of faux freedom?
Now I won't sit here and pretend to have a solution, but reading about laws like SOPA being shot down is encouraging. At the very least it shows that internet users do have some power in their keyboards. But with SOPA being repackaged and reintroduced as CISPA, how long will it be until the voices of those fighting for internet freedom are lost in a cavalcade of Harlem Shakes and cute cats?
If you want to know more, check out Morozov’s TED Talk segment.
Image Source: http://futureblue.wordpress.com/2012/01/11/online-education-spreading-knowledge-across-the-web/
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With Nintendo already offering their supposed "next-gen" console, the Wii-U, rumors about Sony's and Microsoft's new systems were soon to follow. Sony's new machine is codenamed Orbis, while Microsoft has gone with Durango, and each machine has undergone some spec leaks just in time for E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo), which will most likely house an official unveiling. So far, VGLeaks claims to have the world exclusive on Durango's specs, and plans on doing the same for Orbis in the coming weeks. In the meantime, they've put up an Orbis devkit roadmap showing that development started in the middle of 2012, if not sooner. If you're completely clueless about what to expect from the new gaming consoles, Edge magazine spoke with senior analyst, Piers Harding-Rolls, about launch times, pricing, indie support and more.
By the time you read this, it'll already be too late. That's right, unlocking your phone for use on another carrier is now officially illegal... unless you ask your service provider first. So if your contract is over, the DMCA essentially wants you to ask for permission to use your phone on another carrier's network. That being said, you can still legally purchase an unlocked phone for a premium price or, if you're feeling lucky, unlock the phone yourself and pray that a SWAT team doesn't tear your door down.
A young transgender girl, Sadie, decided to write the president a letter following his inauguration speech wherein he mentioned the need to embrace the homosexual community. Wondering why transgender individuals were not included, Sadie took it upon herself to write Obama and state her position.
“The world would be a better place if everyone had the right to be themselves, including people who have a creative gender identity and expression. Transgender people are not allowed the freedom to do things everyone else does, like go to the doctor, go to school, get a job, and even make friends.”
Apparently Sadie also likes to introduce herself as a transgender and as a vegan. I'm still not sure why vegans still feel the need to tell people their vegan, but I ain't even mad.
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"It is going to be so hard to restrain myself when I knock her out, but I am aspiring to be a professional kidnapper and that's business. But I will really get off on knocking her out, tying up her hands and bare feet and gagging her..."
This dude’s been watching a little too much Dexter methinks.
A new kind of printer showed up about one year ago that could create real, tangible objects from digital photographs. Back then, it was largely used to create simple tools like hammers and wrenches, but California artist Cosmo Wenman recently used the MakerBot Desktop 3D printer to recreate two works of art -- "Head of a horse of Selene from the east pediment of the Parthenon" and "Portrait of Alexander the Great". By using several free computer programs, Wenman scanned photographs of the sculptures at different angles and created 3D models for the printer to use. Most impressive.
Stay on Target-
As college students, many of us are faced with tons and tons of work each day from classes we may or may not care about. In order to get that dream job, or any job really, we are taught to push forward through the distractions. In an attempt to improve his own productivity, "Hack the System" blogger, Maneesh, decided to hire someone to slap him whenever he got off task. That's right -- in the face, with her hand. Before hiring his "assistant", Kara, Maneesh measured his productivity level using RescueTime and found he was productive only 38% throughout the week. But with Kara present, this rose to a whopping 98%. Maneesh largely attributes this to Kara's presence regardless of whether she slapped him or not. It was instead more so about the ideas, questions and conversation she brought to the table. Also watch this.
Have you ever wondered what your little brother/sister or child would do if a creeper stopped by your house while you were away? A 12-year-old Oklahoma girl may provide the perfect framework. After a stranger rang the doorbell and then proceeded to kick in the back door, the girl called her mom, Debra St. Clair, who instructed her to grab the family gun, hide in the closet and call 911. The intruder eventually found where the little girl was hiding, but was shot while turning the closet's doorknob. Police found 32-year-old Stacey Jones sitting at the end of the block with blood running down his back. He was hospitalized and promptly taken to Bryan County Jail. Little girls with guns ain't nothin' to mess with.
Leopards and Lions and... Lions?
]The Verge has a very nice video overview of Apple's newly announced Mac OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion. Many of the changes seem to be putting the iOS experience on your computer.
Notification Center: A new, blue icon will appear when new notifications have been received. Clicking the icon will open the center itself, which can pull notifications from "Calendar", "Messages" and even third-party developers.
Messages: iChat with a brand new look and better FaceTime integration.
Airplay Mirroring: View your computer screen on your Apple TV by clicking an AirPlay icon. Streaming music, watching video, etc. are all available options.
Game Kit: Multiplayer gaming between Mac, Iphone, iPad and iPod Touch will be available. With AirPlay you can use your TV to compete against a friend who’s on their iPad, while you use your computer.
Apple also has their own overview available.
Weed on a Plane
40lbs. of marijuana were found on a plane while flying through Barack Obama's airspace over Los Angeles. The president was flying from Los Angeles to a fund raiser in Corona Del Mar when a Cessna 182 aircraft began to fly closer to the White House helicopter, Marine One. The “Mary Jane” was found after the Cessna 182 was asked to land. One of the more interesting tidbits, whether the Cessna 182's pilot was high while flying, has yet to be revealed. How fun/scary would that be?
Be My Date?
Image Source: http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/01214/plane-cargo_1214188i.jpg
Rumor In Your Rumor
Remember when people first started talking about the new iPhone before the 4S was released? About a bigger screen, new design and latte mixing capabilities? Well, according to an anonymous source who spoke with Business Insider, a redesigned iPhone is still very real but was set aside a few months before the 4S announcement. The source said he spent some time with the prototype of the new phone which included a 4 inch screen, a processor not under the constraints of a "limiter" and an integrated home button that could not be pushed.
The Wall Street Journal did a short piece detailing the ways 3 individuals (two college grads and one high-school grad) went about getting into their current job positions. It's not super in-depth, but seems to reaffirm what I'm sure many of you've been hearing -- find an internship!
A UC Berkeley graduate student named Alex Barnard spoke to The Daily Californian after one of his ribs broken by a police baton and being told that he had "no rights.” He was arrested along with 31 other protestors. The police where present to take down tents that the university did not allow.
One of the protestors, Celeste Langan, was actually an English professor (a grown-ass woman) who said that the police showed excessive force to an essentially non-violent gathering. "Rather than take my wrist or arm, the police grabbed me by my hair and yanked me forward to the ground, where I was told to lie on my stomach and was handcuffed. Since the tents posed no immediate threat to public safety, their haste and level of force was unwarranted."
And so, "Occupy" continues. You can catch a video of the event at the YouTubes.
It's not so funny or particularly awesome but members of Congress are apparently trading stocks with insider information. "Oh the market is about to crash? Guess it's time to sell..."
Image Source: autismgenome.org