Monthly Archives: January 2012

My Political & World View

Alright, first let me give you a little bit of some background.

I decided I’d just go ahead and say that Emperor Charles zi Britannia (Code Geass)’s political view was the same as my own, and I linked a video to his speech:

Right, so. Now, with that out of the way… A few people were saying things along the line of Imperialism, and yeah kill the weaker ones, and some minor other stuff about Elevens and whatnot. But whatever. Anyways, this is my reply, I think you’ll find it interesting:

Imperialism?

No. Not Imperialism.

Survival of the fittest.

For too long have we nurtured the weak and feeble. The dullards and idiots. We have sheltered them as a society, and we have grown weak because of it.

You may ask yourself the question “How is it even possible for there to be so many stupid people in the world?!”

Well, I have the answer. It’s because we allowed it. We encouraged it! We let these people reproduce.

And why?

All for equality?

Screw equality.

We are not all made equal.

Some are smarter, or faster, more physically fit, or with abilities others simply can’t even dream of. No, we are not made equal.

We have, through generations of stupidity, bred stupidity. It is our very essence. A very part of who we are.

In nature, it is the lion who eats the gazelle. It is the strongest lion that is allowed to reproduce. This is how nature is, and it is how a gene pool remains strong, and a species adapts to survive. Evolution.

This is not evolution. This is de-evolution.

Silly things like morality are tying us down, down into this pathetic path of weakness and frailty, where we are sure to fall.

In nature, weaker animals are eaten and left to die. But not here. No, not only do we nurture our own weak, but some people have even come to value the weak of other species! Some even value them higher than our own!

What is this ludicriousy! Have we all gone mad?!

We are becoming weak, and it is sad. No… We have become weak.

It is a problem that must be fixed.

There are even some people that commit suicide! Suicide! What kind of survival instinct is that?!

It isn’t one!

We’ve devolved so far from the path of natural selection that not only do we value the lives of the weak, but we do not even value our own very lives!

Pitted against the elements, I bet 7/10 people could not make it. No, they could not survive. They would die.

Most dominant species on this planet… hah! We may have the biggest brains, but we are stupid, and weak.

There is something terribly wrong with our species. No. I hate even calling it my species. I am not a part of this weak and stupid whole. I refuse to be. It is simply unacceptable.

I think it is religions that made us weak. Dependent on others. Dependent even on imaginary beings to protect, and do for us what we cannot.

Hah. Pathetic.

What kind of supreme being would care for those that cannot even care for themselves.

I have an answer for you: A weak one.

And if we truly were its creation, then an incompetent one as well.

It doesn’t take divine omnipotence to see how horribly we have failed.

But is it their fault? No, perhaps it is our own. Our own, that we allowed ourselves to be chained down like slaves, bowing before another.

That is not my species. I do not bow. And we should not bow before any other! Not man, nor god!

Bowing is an act for the weak and feeble. The incompetent and lazy.

No… We should not bow.

Not to gods, not to men, and certainly not to governments who think they know what’s best for us, but in truth they’re just as incomptent and stupid as all the rest.

Pah! Politics. It is an election by popularity contest! That proves nothing.

And in the end, the result is exactly as one would expect from such a pathetic and worthless system. Weak and pathetic rulers. Incompetent lawmakers. Feeble and incapable. Worthless.

No, I cannot claim this as my species. Not yet. Not as a whole.

We are not right for that yet, no not yet. But perhaps one day we will be.

My existence alone is more than proof of that, that it is possible.

But there are few of us. Perhaps more than is known, but few, certainly.

And the rest? Well, they have no place here. That’s right. I said it. You read it correctly.

The weak and feeble, stupid and incompetent, they should be culled from existence, rid from our world, rid from our species. And then, and only then, can we once again become strong.

We were once. We must have been, or we could have not come to the time before what is now. But we must regress. We must regress to that time before now. That evolution before now, when we were superior and strong, smart and fast. Where we wanted to, and we were worthy of survival. The survival of our species.

It is obvious through our expansion that is what we cared about. Just look how many countless others have went extinct in our wake. And this is okay. This is how it should be.

The strong survive. The weak perish.

If they could not survive, then it was because they were weak, and were not fit to survive.

And this, is my view. My Political view, and my World view. Take it for what you will.

Do try not to get too offended now.

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Obama

I’m a few days late with this, I know. It’s too bad really, but I have been talking about it. Trust me I have.

So, if you haven’t heard yet – it seems Obama passed ACTA (remember that particularly nasty little trade agreement I mentioned a few posts earlier? Yeah, that one.) by executive order. He completely bypassed the Congress.

What. the. fuck.

Seriously, man?

This isn’t the first time this RIAA lapdog joke of a politican has done shit like this either. I’m getting pretty sick and tired of his blatant abuse of power, especially its use to usurp our freedoms and oppress our people.

This guy needs impeached. Seriously.

Here, go ahead and check the story out if you haven’t. Here’s a link. Go ahead, there’s not much in there that I haven’t already told you. Blah blah, yadda yadda. That’s what he did. All you need to know, really.

That’s not all you missed though. There has been a major shitstorm going across the world about ACTA. You know, it’s not even elected officials that are passing this shit in most countries. It’s Ambassadors and shit that are accepting these “trade agreements” which alter our very laws. We are having no say in the matter. That guy in charge of the whole thing even, he resigned! Here, check it out…

This is interesting. Kader Arif, the “rapporteur” for ACTA, has quit that role in disgust over the process behind getting the EU to sign onto ACTA. A rapporteur is a person “appointed by a deliberative body to investigate an issue.” However, it appears his investigation of ACTA didn’t make him very pleased:

I want to denounce in the strongest possible manner the entire process that led to the signature of this agreement: no inclusion of civil society organisations, a lack of transparency from the start of the negotiations, repeated postponing of the signature of the text without an explanation being ever given, exclusion of the EU Parliament’s demands that were expressed on several occasions in our assembly.

As rapporteur of this text, I have faced never-before-seen manoeuvres from the right wing of this Parliament to impose a rushed calendar before public opinion could be alerted, thus depriving the Parliament of its right to expression and of the tools at its disposal to convey citizens’ legitimate demands.”

Everyone knows the ACTA agreement is problematic, whether it is its impact on civil liberties, the way it makes Internet access providers liable, its consequences on generic drugs manufacturing, or how little protection it gives to our geographical indications.

This agreement might have major consequences on citizens’ lives, and still, everything is being done to prevent the European Parliament from having its say in this matter. That is why today, as I release this report for which I was in charge, I want to send a strong signal and alert the public opinion about this unacceptable situation. I will not take part in this masquerade.

Pretty rare to find such direct honesty in political circles. That’s quite a direct and clear condemnation of the entire process. In terms of process, it will be interesting to see if this has an impact. While the EU did sign on to ACTA today, it still needs to be ratified by the European Parliament (more on that in a little while). Having Arif quit makes a pretty big statement, and hopefully makes it easier for Parliament Members to speak out loudly against ACTA… Still, this is an uphill battle. The supporters of ACTA have been working to get ACTA approved for years. To them, this is basically a done deal.

And here’s the source on that from TechDirt. Not that you’d think I was lyin’ to ya or anything.

Right, so… ain’t that some bullshit?

Anyways, there’s some online petitions to parliaments in EU now to try and stop ACTA, to try and get them to listen to their people. But according to the Poles, that may not even be all that useful.

In fact, the Polish Parliament donned Guy Fawkes masks (the same as Anonymous) to protest ACTA. Check it out:
Polish Parliament Guy Fawkes masks

Isn’t that some funny shit? I think it’s cool. But anyways, what they said wasn’t so funny:

“US interferes in internal affairs of Polish parliament. We feel great friendship for US, but there are limits.”

They were basically protesting that they don’t even have a say in their own Parliament. They’re being manipulated, and underhanded tactics are being used to bypass Parliaments and pass the bills without even being voted on by elected officials, never letting the people’s voices be heard. I haven’t found a good English source on that, but here’s the original using Google Translate. You’ll have to bear with the machine translation. I know it sucks.

So anyways, all kinds of bullshit going on with ACTA. These RIAA/MPAA/etc. assholes seem to have gotten serious. Well, fuck them. They need to learn that a government that doesn’t have the support of their people won’t be governments for long. We can’t let shit like this stand.

Oh and just as a footnote… We really need to impeach that Obama asshole. President.. hah! We should have just put an RIAA executive in there. It’d have the same effect.

Time and time again, man… What a prick. I’m gonna be pissed if he gets reelected. I mean, shit, I voted for the guy. But even I take offense to this shit. All his bypassing Congress and bypassing crap with Executive Orders. The power mongering fuckwad… Hell, he was already banned from the 2012 Presidential Ballot in Georgia. heh, I dunno about all that… Here’s the source for that shit. Something about the legal definition as per the Constitution of “natural-born citizen” being a child born by two US Citizens, and whereas Obama’s mother was a US Citizen, but his father was Kenyan, and not a US Citizen, which makes him a US Citizen, but not a “natural-born citizen.” It’s some real finger pointing technical bullshit, but if it’s true then it means he never should have been eligible to have been elected into the office in the first place, and it completely bypasses the Constitution, and I think it’s mostly about upholding that, and not so much about going after him. But let’s all not kid ourselves… It’s all about going after him. I mean, black President… Georgia… Everyone knows the Civil War never ended there. Anyways, whatever. Sorry, no offense to Georgians. Just callin’ it like I see it.

Anyways, Tiff out. I’ll make another post here in a minute about my Political and World Views. You’ll get a kick out of that.

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Why was MegaUpload really shut down?

Why was MegaUpload really shut down?

In December of 2011, just weeks before the takedown, Digital Music News reported on something new that the creators of #Megaupload were about to unroll. Something that would rock the music industry to its core. (http://goo.gl/A7wUZ)

I present to you… MegaBox. MegaBox was going to be an alternative music store that was entirely cloud-based and offered artists a better money-making opportunity than they would get with any record label.

“UMG knows that we are going to compete with them via our own music venture called Megabox.com, a site that will soon allow artists to sell their creations directly to consumers while allowing artists to keep 90 percent of earnings,” MegaUpload founder Kim ‘Dotcom’ Schmitz told Torrentfreak

Not only did they plan on allowing artists to keep 90% of their earnings on songs that they sold, they wanted to pay them for songs they let users download for free.

“We have a solution called the Megakey that will allow artists to earn income from users who download music for free,” Dotcom outlined. “Yes that’s right, we will pay artists even for free downloads. The Megakey business model has been tested with over a million users and it works.”

Source: Shauna Myers – Google+

Now, I dunno what to make of this. But, it certainly gives them a pretty good reason to go after them now. But! They did say that they’ve been planning it for 2 years now, so this may just be some crackpot conspiracy theory. Though, I’m sure it may have played a part. It’s definitely not like the entire 2 years of preparation was with the foresight of this though.

So anyways, there you have it. The plot thickens…

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Iran – Is war eminent?

Is war eminent with Iran?

From all the headlines I’ve been reading, it’s really starting to sound like it. You’ve all probably heard about Iran threatening to torpedo US Aircraft Carriers in the Straight of Hormuz (which we’ve promised to keep open since it’s a vital trade route). Forgive the link, I know it’s a biased war mongering site, but you can google for another source.

And you may have not heard just yet at the time of writing, but the European Union foreign ministers have formally adopted an oil embargo against Iran over its nuclear program. That is, we’re banning import of their oil. That will affect their economy substantially since it’s their most valuable resource. Check that out if you haven’t yet. Even China has cut their oil import from Iran in half already.

So, with all of this posturing… are we on the verge of seeing another shock & awe campaign like we saw during the invasion of Iraq? I think it’s increasingly likely. It’s looking more and more like conflict is going to break out in Iran soon, and in a bad way.

In other news, this also means that gas prices are about to sky rocket. Have fun with that.

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H.R. 1981

Since I’m on the tangent, I figure I should go ahead and mention another law that we could get if we don’t fight against it. And that is…

The Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011. The name is very misleading. It actually has very little to do with child pornography, and much more to do with monitoring everything we do.

This Anti-porn bill won’t protect children, but it could cripple the Internet. It is arguably the biggest threat to civil liberties now under consideration in the United States. The potential victims: everyone who uses the Internet.

A better name for this bill would be “The Removal of Privacy and Encouragement of Blackmail by Law Enforcement Act of 2011.” The problem, as they say, is that it’s too hard to catch child pornographers, and okay, that’s probably true. But their solution is retarded. Under language approved 19 to 10 by a House comitte, your ISP would be required to track and inspect every single data packet you send or receive (read: ALL of your Internet activity) and save it for 18 months, along with your name, the address where you live, your bank account numbers, your credit card numbers, and your IP addresses you’ve been assigned.

And all they would have to do to get that information? Just ask. That’s it. Under the bill, the government would not need any warrant to look at all your data. It could just ask the ISP to hand it over. It doesn’t even have to say please. Some overzealous county sheriff could simply get all the data from everyone living in his territory and sift through it like the most creepy voyeur you could possibly imagine, all under the premise that some crime must be happening somewhere.

And well, the safety of your data? Just look at Sony Playstation hacks. That didn’t go so well. Every single thing we do could be easily compromised. But that’s obviously not the issue, though I’d say it damn sure is one of them. The biggest issue is obviously our complete loss of privacy.

This bill isn’t about pedophiles and child pornography. This bill is about spying on every American that uses the internet and collecting private personal information. Say hi to Big Brother.

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ACTA

SOPA? PIPA? Now ACTA? Jesus, what are these people thinking…

The full name is “Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement” but that’s very misleading. Watch the video to see what it really is. It’s way worse than SOPA/PIPA ever could have been.

Here’s another video:

ACTA is one more offensive against the sharing of culture on the Internet. ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) is an agreement secretly negotiated by a small “club” of like-minded countries (39 countries, including the 27 of the European Union, the United States, Japan, etc). Negotiated instead of being democratically debated, ACTA bypasses parliaments and international organizations to dictate a repressive logic dictated by the entertainment industries.

ACTA would impose new criminal sanctions forcing Internet actors to monitor and censor online communications. It is thus a major threat to freedom of expression online and creates legal uncertainty for Internet companies. In the name of trademarks and patents, it would also hamper access to generic medicines in poor countries.

The European Parliament now has an ultimate opportunity to reject ACTA.

We’ve got to stop them… there’s no way we can let this pass. Good god!

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Piracy

Big business companies like the MPAA and RIAA are hell bent to sue the living shit out of people engaging in acts of digital piracy – Soccer moms and little Timmy included. The reasons they give for this is that they lose substantial amounts of income and stealing is wrong.

Well, you know what? You’re greedy little fucks. That’s what.

These organizations already make massive amounts of profits. They just want even more.

But, alright. Stealing is wrong. Let me explain what the problem with all of this is though… You see, these big corporations and organizations… their problem is that they’re stuck in the past. They’re pushing the same old business models they have for decades now and are expecting to keep doing well. Well, Newsflash: The world changes. You can either adapt to your consumer base or die.

Piracy exists for 2 reasons: 1) Money. 2) It’s in the format the consumers want. Now, I’m gonna go into this a little bit.

First of all, the money aspect. Yes, money. When you get right down to it, these companies are greedy as fuck. We’re in a Recession – is that what they’re calling it? Seems more to me like a Depression to be honest. We’re so far in debt right now that we may never climb out. The amount of money we owe doesn’t even exist it’s so much! Right, right… sorry, getting a little sidetracked here. What was I saying..? Ah, right, money…

Yes well, you see… When you charge $1 per song, and assuming minimum wage is somewhere around $8 (which, let’s be honest… it’s a bit less than that), then that’s about 8 songs you could get per 1 hour worked. Now, these 8 songs… let’s be very generous and say they’re 4 minutes long each (realistically, they may be 2-3 minutes long even). So, these 8 songs… They provide a total of 32 minutes of listening. But let’s go ahead and round down to 30, since we know most won’t be 4 minutes anyways so we have a nice clean figure. Okay, so 30 minutes. For 1 hour of work you get 30 minutes of music. You see the problem here?

Why the hell do songs cost so fucking much?!

I can listen to the radio all day every day – for fucking free! That’s right, absolutely free. And these bastards want to charge $1 per song?! What the hell is wrong with these greedy fucks… No, I digress. That’s rhetorical, and answered in and of itself. They’re greedy fucks, obviously.

The disparity between work and enjoyment should not be so strewn. But okay, that’s just music. I’ll get a little into more of why this is ridiculous a little later.

Movies are up next. Yes, movies. A movie provides about 1-2 hours of enjoyment, probably averaging somewhere around 1hr 30m, correct? I think that’s a fairly safe statement to make. For that, you’re looking at about $10-15 or so. For physical media, that’s fairly understandable. We’re getting closer now.

Games. You pay ~$50-70 for a computer game. Whether you buy the physical media (getting the box, game burned to dvd(s), instruction manual, and what have you), or if you purchase a digital edition and just download it online, that price does not change. Herein lies the problem.

Do you really think they need to charge that much money for a piece of digital media? They have no manufacturing costs, no shipping costs, no packaging costs. Nothing. Maybe bandwidth, but not enough to justify the same price.

This first aspect, the money aspect, is the reason people pirate things. They’re getting fucking ripped off, and we’re in a recession. We don’t have that kind of money to throw around on entertainment. That’s not the consumer’s problem, that’s the entertainment industry’s problem. If you don’t address the problem, then obviously something like piracy will crop up.

Anime. Anime is a big one. The Japanese just can’t understand why their products don’t sell here. They charge about $30-90 per series, and then they wonder what went wrong. Okay, I can watch an anime series in about a day or 2. Say I watch 1,000 series – not that unrealistic, if I did 1 a day it could happen in a couple years. That’s $90,000 – just on a little bit of entertainment!

The worst part is, and this is really getting into our second issue: Format. The companies aren’t even offering what the people want. Anime is a great example. When they go to sell Anime here in the US, they do it with plain yellow subs. When you look at what the people are watching, it’s white subs, sometimes with a stroked border in a color of perhaps the hair of the character that is speaking. Then there’s fancy karaoke/song subs and the text/signs are actually given an effort to blend into the animation itself so it actually looks like it’s a part of it and not just a translation on the screen. That’s what people want.

But not just that, but most people don’t want physical media. They want digital media. They have to charge a large premium for the physical media because it takes so many damn DVD’s or Bluray discs and packaging to be able to distribute it, and there are costs associated with all of that. In the end though, it’s put on the consumer.

Let’s look at it this way… You have Cable, you watch Cartoon Network or Adult Swim. How much do you pay for that channel per month? Like what, $10 a month (but you get not just those channels but a shitload of others too)? Yeah okay, and you can watch that 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 31 days a month.

So why is it that we can pay less than $10 a month to watch all of this animated entertainment, 744 hours a month worth, and then we have to pay $90 for about 480 minutes? Do you not see a problem with this? Because I do. That’s about 8 hours by the way. 744 vs 8. $10 vs $90. I mean damn, wouldn’t you expect the prices to be reversed? I sure as hell would, but they aren’t. Cause nobody in their right fucking mind is going to pay $90 a month for 1 TV channel. It gets worse. If we want to match those 744 hours of entertainment by purchasing the series, then we have to purchase a staggering 93 of them. Do you want to know how much that would cost? $8,370. I didn’t miss a decimal place there. 8 thousand and 3 hundred dollars.

Do you even make $8,370 a month? I sure as hell don’t. I make $10 a month though – I could pay that.

And I mean, this is what the problem is… These companies are fucking retarded, and they’re ripping us all off, and I mean bad. I guess we’re still talking about money though, aren’t we?

But I guess these things go fairly hand-in-hand.

The reason they can’t sell, the reason that so many people pirate is because they aren’t selling what people want for the prices people want. Now, don’t try to twists this around like “well everyone wants a Ferrari, should you just be allowed to go and steal one because they’re too expensive?” It’s not like that. This is digital media. There are costs for productions, but bandwidth is incredibly cheap, especially when you look at technologies like Bittorrent.

People want digital media, and they want to pay a price relative to what they’re getting.

You know what? Back in the day, you could watch something on TV or listen to something on the radio, pop in a tape if you like it and record it. Watch it again any time you want, as much as you want. It was quite popular. You know, those things called VCR’s that existed back in ancient times. But now, you do that and oh no, it’s not okay anymore. Now that’s stealing! That’s piracy! Something is morally wrong with you, you horrible despicable person!

I mean, really? Are these people serious?

I tell you what though, things like Netflix where you pay a subscription fee to watch as many movies a month as you want, that’s a step in the right direction.

The problem is, they think that if you do that… you watch the movie once, maybe a few times, then send it back. It’s renting, y’know, or streaming. The problem is, they don’t realize people can use the same methods they did back in the VCR era. We can rip those DVD’s and Blurays right onto our computers into a nice fancy little mkv format and watch it any time we want.

Don’t think people do it? Well lemme tell you, they do. How do you think piracy even spreads? Someone has to be getting this physical media and ripping it in the first place to even spread the digital media. It’s the same thing we as consumers have been used to for decades now. It’s how society has evolved.

The problem is that these corporations and organizations aren’t evolving with the rest of us. They want more money, they don’t want to change.

If there was a subscription service that allowed you to listen to as much music as you wanted every month (and your choice of music too), watch whatever movies you want, watch whatever TV or Anime series you want, do you have any idea how substantially piracy would drop?

Hell, you could even drop it into categories. Movies – $10 a month. Music – $10 a month. Anime – $10 a month. You pay $30 a month. A decent amount, but reasonable enough. People would do this, and it would be fair.

Not only that, but all of these hundreds of millions of things pirated for absolutely no profit to the company at all, they would suddenly be making profits off of all of these people that decided to subscribe to this, because it’s legal and because it’s convenient.

People don’t mind paying for a product when the price is reasonable, it’s the product they want, and it’s convenient for them.

Sure, some people may still pirate things. But a substantial chunk of people wouldn’t feel a need to anymore. And once a system like that is in place, then they could crack down on piracy.

Why? Because it wouldn’t be needed anymore.

The reason why any crackdown on piracy will. not. work. right now is because it is necessary. If they try to stomp it out, it will just pop back up even harder and stronger.

It’s like trying to kill fleas. You can kill them one at a time, you can even vacuum and bomb your house. It may kill them out for awhile, but your pet that walks outside and comes back in with a ton of fleas on it, it’s going to bring the same problem right back.

You have to get rid of the root of the problem to eliminate the problem or it’s just going to keep cropping up. The problem isn’t that people are stealing things. Why do people steal things? They don’t do it for no reason. I just mentioned the reasons it happened earlier above. They fix that, then they fix piracy.

It’s like The Prohibition. You try to outlaw booze, it only makes it even more popular. The harder you crack down, the harder the people fight back. What you have to do is legalize it and regulate it, and that’s what needs to happen with the entertainment industries.

The practice is downloading whatever people want, as much as they want. This needs to be sanctioned and it needs to be at an affordable price. If people could do this with a reasonable price tag then there would be no reason for piracy, just like there would be no reason to smuggle moonshine if you could just stroll down to the corner store and get a pack of Bud.

We’re in a Recession. Just because you have it available doesn’t mean people are going to buy it. You have to take that into account. The price needs to be reasonable, and the format needs to be what the consumers want.

When you offer a product the consumers want with a price tag they can afford, you’ll get your profits. You’ll get your business.

Learn to adapt, evolve. Figure out how the world works.

On another tangent, it would probably be a better idea to take a cue from the Television and Radio industries and instead of having to charge people so much, you can have sponsored advertisements that cover the costs and make you a profit and allow people to get the products and entertainment they want for either much cheaper than it would be, or for free. This could be an alternative to the 10-10-10 a month deal. Either 10-10-10 and no adverts, or you can have a ton of adverts and get it for free, or at least much cheaper. Free sounds nice though, dunnit? Anyways, some food for thought.

-Tiff out.~

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