Categories
Digital rights Law & Freedom

How Orwell’s 1984 novel is very accurate for 2013

Big Brother is watching you

George Orwell published his dystopian novel 1984 in the year 1949 guessing a scary version of what the society might be in the future. His predictions have become so accurate to today’s world that we can almost say that if he was trying to predict the future, he only missed by some decades.

Big Brother is watching you

Telescreens have now taken the form of gadgets like the Xbox One and similar smart TVs that you can operate with gestures are always watching. Even smartphones and tablets can be switched on to be always listening and watching.

War is Peace

President Obama not only continued Bush’s wars on the middle east, but expanded them to more countries, and he’s been awarded with the nobel peace price. In his award acceptance speech, he said that more weapons are needed to preserve peace . The world has been in constant war that we no longer can pin-point on what war happend what. In the past we could say “oh, in Vietnam” or “during the Gulf War” or similar. Today is constant war against a faceless enemy…most times, ourselves.

Freedom is Slavery

Being free is an ideal that most people have forgotten what it means. People are now afraid of free. People prefer monopolies and government control privacy is almost forgotten in the name of safety.

Ignorance is Strength

The press is controlled by very few people, also involved in government and corporate interests. Free press and investigative journalism is very rarely found these days. Most news media only repeat the corporate statements given to them, most times not even checking facts. In the case of Snowden the government said that they revoked his passport and everyone assumed that he couldn’t travel anymore. Well the State Department’s official information says that the only way a passport can be revoked is by entering the United States, a thing Snowden hasn’t done, and that revoking a passport doesn’t affect the citizen to travel to other countries. This is just to name one of many examples of how bad the press is not checking any facts and just passing along the official statements produced by government and corporations PR agencies. In Mexico, ignorance became the president of the country. The proles votes got bought and cheated with $2 dollar gift cards and the most ignorant candidate became president. The old party manipulated the media and used people’s ignorance as their strength.

In case you haven’t read the book, you can buy it from Amazon here
.

Here’s a movie adaptation of it from 1954. This adaptation is very accurate to the book.

Categories
News

Google Keep shadowed by Google Reader and Notebook

Google notebook

Google released Keep, a note-taking application that allows you to save your todo lists, notes, web clips, audios, photos, etc. and it stores everything in your Google Drive account. With the recent notice of Google Reader being shut down, this new application release has been badly received by users that are questioning Google’s trust on keeping a service alive for long, even when it has a lot of usage.

The funny thing about Keep is that this is the second incarnation of the service. The previous attempt was called Google Notebook and also got killed in July 2012. Will Keep stay for long?

Om Malik, on Gigaom, advices that it is wiser to trust a small company whose core business is the service you need. Companies like Evernote and Dropbox only have one core product, and they concentrate on improving it and keeping it useful since it is their core business. Google has a lot of products and services and it’s not a big deal to kill any of them at any given time.

The problem on depending on web services is not new and I’ve been talking about it several times. Companies come and go and people are trusting their services with their information. This is why it is important to create and use free network services. Owncloud is an alternative to cloud backup services like Dropbox. For note taking I’m not aware of any FAIF web service but applications like Tomboy (Gnome) or BasKet (KDE) are good desktop options. I personally use Emacs Org-mode and sync it with MobileOrg.

Will you use Google Keep or stay with Evernote or other similar service providers? Do you know any free web alternative to these? Let me know in the comments!

Categories
Events Photography

Occupy San Francisco images

The 99% is waking up

Last week I went to San Francisco to do some business, and having some extra days I decided to get outside and take a few shots around the city.

Little did I know that there was an Occupy San Francisco movement over at the Federal Reserve bank building. It was an interesting and shocking thing to see all those signs and tents and people camping there. Everyone was in peace and calm. People got close to them to talk and exchange ideas, there were books and publications scattered everywhere and they had some kind of lectures and classes at certain times.

The funny thing was the coincidence that earlier on that same day I went to see the musical Hair, at the Golden Gate theater. It’s sad so see how similar the movement for peace in the 70’s is to the movement for freedom (and many other things) today, because it’s a sign that not much has changed, or a confirmation that history has repeating cycles. One way or the other, it’s not good progress for humanity.

Here are some of the pictures I took of the campings and the signs and some Hair music to accompany them:

01 Let the Sunshine In by Ritter Hanz

journalism

three strikes

occupy

end the fed

enuf

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Occupy Love

SFPD Police line, do not cross

give something, borrow something, take something

Occupy tents

99 occupy

occupy daylight

no life is illegal

Freedom is a hoax

What do you think about the movement? Have you participated in one? Tell me what you think in the comments, as a foreigner, I’d like to learn more about it.

Categories
Digital rights Law & Freedom

Youtube Copyright School video


This video is horrible! It reminds me of the 50’s anti socialism/communism propaganda with the voice, tone and the graphic tactics used in it.

And while it doesn’t omit the topic of Fair Use, it does try to avoid it, or so it seems, by speeding up the audio and moving the letters so you can’t read the text about it comfortably.

What’s funny is that all the examples mentioned as a copyright violation are examples of maybe about 90% of the videos in YouTube.

I remember those days where you could “freely” make a cassette tapes with romantic dedicated tracks for your girlfriend. I think things like this make it clear that those days are over…just when you could send video instead of audio and instantly instead of waiting to deliver the tape.

Categories
GNU/Linux Free Software & Open Source

A message from Richard Stallman on Software Freedom Day

Richard Stallman, the initiator of the Free Software movement, published a very easy to understand video message on what software freedom is about.

If you can’t see the video, you can download Richard Stallman’s video message here.

If you wonder why there’s no embedded Flash video version from a site like Youtube, please download the video, watch it and you’ll get your answer. (Although if only I could restrict Youtube to make it webm format only, that might be okay)

Categories
Digital rights Law & Freedom GNU/Linux Free Software & Open Source News

More ugly stories about depending on cloud computing

storm
Depending on “the cloud” to provide all software has increasingly shown some of its issues. What’s strange is that not many people are concerned about it.

Google marking all sites as unsafe

Google marked all search results as unsafe websites, and when you clicked on the link, it warned you again and you had to agree to go to the website. This might not cause a big issue for computer savvy people that know where they’re going, but for other people (and that actually read warning messages) this might scared them away. Probably a lot of business was lost from users going for the first time to a site and got this warning.

You can read more about this at:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/5251742.stm
http://techtrends.co.uk/news/google-marks-the-whole-internet-as-unsafe
http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/08/07/172231

Youtube’s fair use massacre

Warner music and Youtube have been taking down videos with copyrighted music on this service. If you have a video of your kid dancing to a Warner music song, so someone is whistling one or if its in the background of your birthday video, it might be taken down.

The EFF has called this “The fair use massacre” since these videos are righfully using the material under fair use terms but they are being taken down anyway.

You can read more about this with these links:

http://www.getmiro.com/blog/2009/02/youtubes-fair-use-massacre/
http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-10150588-93.html

It is becoming more and more evident that support for free networking service software is needed before we loose our data and specially our freedom. Support projects like Laconica with Identica being its biggest implementation (follow me on identica http://identi.ca/gabrielsaldana”), Wikipedia, Launchpad (now that it will be AGPL licensed), Elgg and many others listed here. Learn more about free network services at the autonomo.us website.

“Before the storm” image is Creative Commons by Steve Wall.