Monday, March 26, 2012

Review of Hyperink's "Understanding SOPA and PIPA". Short version: Not good.

This was the second book that I was supposed to write for Hyperink. The book Hyperink ended up publishing is not a very good book and in fact is far inferior to the book that I turned into them.  That's what I get for trying to explain that fair use isn't plagiarism. But I do intend to self publish that book that I wrote, written by a guy who knew what the fuck he was talking about. Oh, I spent my 2.99 on the book and you know what? There is a reader response section. Well, I'm a 12 year member in good standing over there at Amazon...I think I'll make a comment or two...Do you have any idea how I wished I had this tool of the Internet when I was beginning my career? You have no idea...(On the other hand, I wouldn't have appreciated this power! This would have been something that I would take for granted as things I could do. You have to remember those days to value the present...)

Oh look. My Amazon review was approved! And here it is:
  Poorly researched "objective" book written for dumb laymen, not "hackers"., March 26, 2012

By Philip Shropshire
This review is from: Hacker's Guide To SOPA and PIPA (Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act) (Kindle Edition)

Well, first, the book that I delivered to you was a much better, much more intelligent, much better researched book than the "book", and I use that term loosely, that you actually decided to go with. Its a very good study of why the corporate mentality doesn't produce writing of interest, intelligence or vitality.

Two, the book is written for four year olds, not hackers. For example, there are workarounds to SOPA and PIPA, everything from browser encryption protocols to the old TOR network to virtual private networks. None of this is even hinted at in this poor excuse of an effort. It's not even stylishly written. Joshua should stick to code.

Three, there are a total of about seven links in this "book". (What's the nonfiction term for "short story"?)and there is almost nothing verified about any of its declaratory statements. For example, when he talks about how  "The Acts were primarily aimed at preventing U.S. Internet users from accessing illegal content", well, everybody who's anybody on the Internet disagrees with you Joshua. What's actually really really amazing is that Marc Andreessen, the guy who gave Kevin Gao, the founder of Hyperink, over 1 million in funding(!), also hates the bill! Look up "An Open Letter to Washington" on the Google...I believe Marc's exact words were that these bills would "give the US Government the power to censor the web using techniques similar to those used by China, Malaysia and Iran..." Perhaps Marc should have a good talking to with Kevin about the kinds of harmful laws that can destroy everyone's business model, including Hyperink's!

Four, it totally misses the point that the war continues with both the ACTA and TPP treaties. Inexcusable. These treaties would accomplish what SOPA and PIPA failed to do. Again, something that real hackers would want to know and that real writers would write about. Not info found in this 2000 word essay.

Five, it's "gizmodo" not "gizomodo". What do you pay your editors for anyway?

Bottom line: not worth nine cents let alone $2.99. You would be better off looking at Wikipedia entries. Pathetic. And you know what? I don't even blame Joshua. I blame his editors and his publisher. You get what you pay for. There's a difference between "objective" and "advocacy" journalists. Here you needed an advocate for your own damn business model.
Philip Shropshire

The Republican woman in this illustration begins to question her allegiance to the GOP....

ITEM: Found on Facebook. Why do the ladies vote Republican? There are signs that there will be less of that in light of this War against common sense contraception...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Yes I'm pissed off at that Trayvon Martin shooting. Who wouldn't be?

 I am, like most African Americans, deeply pissed off over the murder of Trayvon Martin in Florida. A black kid who I resembled at 17 and who resembled the current president and also the current attorney general. There isn't much I can do except fume however I wish the two slightly more powerful African Americans that I mentioned would make an angry comment or two. I guess Zimmerman has to be a dim witted terrorist you're entrapping or a medical marijuana facility in order to get the attention of those I'm not impressed by just the grand jury. I remember the everything is fine federal verdict on the Jordan Miles beatdown, not to mention not intervening in that Georgia death penalty case, or betraying me on Keystone and the public option...Washington Generals party indeed.

Atheist Billboard with questionable imagery not popular with the saved...apparently.

(This happened some weeks ago. Just getting around to posting it here...)

ITEM: Probably not the best way to convert black religious people to the joys of faithlessness (Does keep your Sunday mornings relatively free...) but it is an effort. Actually, if you read the article, which I eventually did, they're not trying to. They're looking for people who have doubts about the whole communion good times after death stuff. I suppose African American humanists are more subtle small steps kind of billboard people. Some reaction from Harrisburg's right wing rag, a very conservative paper that probably represents Pennsyltucky very well.

Related: Facebook conversation featuring religious people talking about the billboard. Verdict: Not popular with the saved.

What I'm beginning to think about women who vote Republican...

ITEM: I just think that black people who support the Republicans are kind of idiots. I'm beginning to think the same of women who vote Republican.

Really interesting and science fictional interview with Boing Boing co-creator Mark Frauenfelder

March 22

ITEM: Really good interview with that Mark guy from Boing Boing. I wonder if the "unschooling" reference has anything to do with the Ivan Illich "deschooling" term? Probably not..nice look at the future of tech.

Review of the "Delaneyesque" Prophet 21 (Two Big Thumbs Up)

ITEM: Yet another comic book review. Here's a snippet:
I really had no idea what to expect from this property when I picked it up. What I found was one of the most intense SFnal comics that I had read in a while. In fact, the weirdness is so sublime and relentless that I do believe this is the first comic that I can describe as “Delaneyesque”, mainly for its disturbing portrayal of the alien sex drive.
How disturbing? More snippet:
Four: But the highlight for me would have to be the man on alien sex. And I’m not talking about the hot kind like with say certain Borg queens or blond cylons. Nope. Really alien.

Explanation of Acid Jazz and More Acid Jazz Channels

The supplier of my channel decided that I'm quite insane and had way too many vids on the channel (possibly a true diagnosis) so they split up my channels. The newest 1000 vids I've added can be found at the top of Three Rivers Online. 

That would be the Acid Jazz Channel.

If you miss a video or remember the old videos I posted in, say, 2009, then you can find the More Acid Jazz Channel at this page. I actually like more videos and variety better. There are about 3500 vids on that channel. But that's just me. I'm also hoping that the channel provider will eventually catch up with my psychosis.

Monday, March 19, 2012

All the Moebius art that fits

ITEM: More Moebius.

ITEM: Rest in peace Moebius, arguably the most gifted artist to ever do comics.
As per usual The Comics Reporter has the best roundup, with a nicely written obit and a video roundup of all things.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

New Review of Fatale by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips

Here's a bit:

“Fatale” looks to be an intriguing combination of “LA Confidential” and “Angel Heart”.
Or if you haven’t seen those movies a combination of California Noir and California Noir combined with Real Magick. Its a little hard to describe but it starts out in 2011 with the funeral of a writer named “Dominic H. (Hank?) Raines”, a man in his 70s who’s described as an atheist who hates all religions. (Just as an aside: just because you’re an atheist doesn’t mean you hate religion. It just means that you don’t believe in them although this character would seem to have a different motivation: religions and their crazy vindictive gods are real and destructive but back on point…) His funeral is attended by his godson who now has control of the late writer’s estate, whose work he derides as being commercial yet hackish junk. Sounds a little like cheap pulpster Mickey Spillane, or the poor man’s Raymond Chandler.

Ed Gainey for PA State 24th: He'll knock on your door and make an effort.

ITEM: Ed Gainey is running against dinosaur Joe Preston for the 24th legislative district. I know this because he knocked on my somewhat lower class Wilkinsburg door this weekend. He made a very compelling case against Joe for voting for the "turn off poor people's heat in the winter" bill and being unresponsive on the Marcellus Shale issue. I was surprised that Joe didn't get the endorsement this year and that Ed had won it. If I remember Ed from the familiar Dem faces I've seen he's worked downtown in some kind of political capacity for the last seven or eight years. Definitely a machine guy but that doesn't mean he couldn't be better than Joe. I guess he's got my vote since he made the effort, especially since my steps are kinda shaky and he made the trip anyway. I also thought he was respectful yet critical of Joe's leadership. I suppose Mr. Preston could change my mind if he makes it to my door. Doubtful.

For the record, I'm completely angered by the ineffectiveness and corruption of the state's Democratic Party leaders. The goal of the Democratic Party in 2010 had to be win something: the state house, the state senate or the governor's seat and they went 0 for 3. We lost the redistricting war which means we may have lost the state for the next 10 years to the openly and successfully fascist Rush Limbaugh Republican Party. I could lose bus service and lots of other essential things over the next decade or so. O Canada...Or Norway. I might leave if I could ever afford it...

Friday, March 02, 2012

Pittsburgh Photo: Shot of East Liberty Near the Target

ITEM: Slightly altered pic of East Liberty. Over at my Flickr site which I'll be updating with my art. All with a creative commons license I think. Taken several days ago.