Many of you probably use BitTorrent to download your favorite ebooks, MP3s, and movies. At Etsy, we use BitTorrent in our production systems for search replication.
While the entertainment industry has been busy paying off US senators to legislatively undermine the domain name system, their nemesis BitTorrent has continued to be a remarkably powerful technology for efficiently and securely replicating all kinds of “intellectual property”, such as multi-gigabyte search indexes for handmade goods (a source of dignified, creative jobs).
Where some see only a bucket brigade for thieves, others recognize one of the most significant innovations in the last decade of network computing.
“A well-organized, well-funded, well-connected, well-experienced lobbying effort on Capitol Hill was outflanked by an ad-hoc group of rank amateurs, most of whom were operating independent of one another and on their spare time. Regardless where you stand on the issue — and effective copyright protection is an important issue — this is very good news for the future of civic engagement.”—
“While we believe that online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response, we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet. Any effort to combat online piracy must guard against the risk of online censorship of lawful activity and must not inhibit innovation by our dynamic businesses large and small. Across the globe, the openness of the Internet is increasingly central to innovation in business, government, and society and it must be protected. To minimize this risk, new legislation must be narrowly targeted only at sites beyond the reach of current U.S. law, cover activity clearly prohibited under existing U.S. laws, and be effectively tailored, with strong due process and focused on criminal activity. Any provision covering Internet intermediaries such as online advertising networks, payment processors, or search engines must be transparent and designed to prevent overly broad private rights of action that could encourage unjustified litigation that could discourage startup businesses and innovative firms from growing.”—Obama Administration responds to We the People petitions on SOPA and online piracy | The White House (via infoneer-pulse)
"For a fee of $10, Reverse Robocall will let you record a message that will be delivered as a phone call to the offices of the co-sponsors of SOPA and each of the associations and lobbying groups that have backed the bill in Congress—88 in all.”
“And we morph again, from a manufacturing economy to a service economy to a software economy. Again, not everyone will be writing code. But many more people will be ordering it, writing it, managing it, and interacting with it. It makes sense to understand it and to be able to create at least a little.”—Smart piece from Dan Frommer on why code should be the second language you teach your kids. Couldn’t agree more. (via arainert)
Everything You Need to Know About Wikileaks - Technology Review
Wikileaks has moved through three phases since its founding in 2006. The third phase is the one we currently see with the release of the diplomatic cables: Wikileaks working in close conjunction with a select group of news organizations to analyze, redact and release the cables in a curated manner, rather than dumping them on the Internet or using them to illustrate a singular political point of view.
By pretending it was a Silicon Valley start-up that needed to kill itself to survive. The Atlantic, the intellectual’s monthly that always seemed more comfortable as an academic exercise than a business, is on track to turn a tidy profit of $1.8 million this year. That would be the first time in at least a decade that it had not lost money.
Getting there took a cultural transfusion, a dose of counterintuition and a lot of digital advertising revenue.
What that meant more than anything else was forcing one of the nation’s oldest magazines to stop thinking of itself as a printed product
“Did you notice I’m currently the Foursquare mayor of Phoenix City Hall? Do you even know what that means? I’ll tell you what it means: it means I’m kind of almost LITERALLY THE MAYOR. I don’t think you appreciate how difficult that was to nail down; you can’t just sleep in the parking lot there the way you can here. Oh no. They’ve got security, they’ve got cameras. You’ve got to put your time in over there, boy. Working hours only. And they’re pretty rigid on the definition of “loitering.” Luckily, I’ve got a delinquent child support thing going on right now that keeps me in court a lot.”—McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: I’m the Foursquare Mayor of This Goddamn Safeway. (via deerk)
“The fundamental problem with a lot of these procedures is their lack of accountability. By publicly recording and disclosing the outcomes of the procedures TSA and their rules can be judged and held in praise or to account.”—Good ideas for making the TSA more transparent, from Sunlight Foundation’s Paul Blumenthal. (via donttouchmyjunk)
“To us it seems fairly evident there are two features of this new information ecosystem which it would be foolish to ignore, whichever camp you’re in: openness and collaboration. …I don’t see that as particularly Utopian. I think of it as a basic necessity for survival.”