Tag Archives | Cyberculture

60,000 Ultra-Orthodox Jews Protest the Evils of the Internet

InternetThe sub-headline is priceless, “15,000 Hasidic women watched speeches at six sites thanks to live-streaming on the Internet.” Via the New York Daily News:

A mass rally for men only drew more than 40,000 ultra-Orthodox Jews to Citi Field Sunday to denounce the Internet and its pervasive impact on family life.

An overflow crowd of another 20,000 bearded men sporting long black coats and big black hats filled nearby Arthur Ashe Stadium for the unprecedented attack on modern technology.

Unable to enter the Queens stadiums because of the strict separation of the sexes enforced by the organizers, more than 15,000 Hasidic women watched the speeches at six sites across the tristate area — thanks to live-streaming on the Internet.

The rally was organized by a little-known rabbinical group called Ichud Hakehillos L’tohar Hamachane — the Union of Communities for the Purity of the Camp — to spread the word that online activities can lead to porn, child abuse and other acts of immorality…

Read More: Daily News

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Supreme Court Lets Stand Student’s $675,000 Penalty For Downloading 30 Songs

Joel Tenenbaum

Photo: Joel Tenenbaum (CC)

That’s a penalty of $22,500 per song. Reports Mark Memmott on NPR:

the Supreme Court this morning let stand a $675,000 jury verdict against a 25-year-old Boston University student who downloaded 30 songs nearly a decade ago and then shared them with others on a peer-to-peer network.

The court denied Joel Tenenbaum’s “write of certiorari,” which means his appeal of a lower court’s ruling and the judgment were turned down.

Bloomberg News reminds us that: “The Recording Industry Association of America, acting on behalf of major record labels, sued more than 12,000 people and sent notices to thousands of others it claimed were illegally sharing music … Tenenbaum and a woman from Minnesota took their cases to trial, and both lost.”

Tenenbaum tells his side of the story at his Joel Fights Back website. He says he’s part of an effort to defend “the average Davids against the corporate Goliath.”

Wired says, “the significance of Monday’s action by the Supreme Court … appears to be minimal in the music-sharing context.

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We Need A Media War On All Fronts

Radionette TV SetWhen do you feel like you are over the hill?

When you get letters like this one from Jose Hevia after writing an op-ed featuring an essay from your recent book Blogothon, recounting your experiences as a network TV insider turned independent media outsider. The essay offered a case study of how the nominally non-commercial network, PBS, turned its back on a human rights TV series I co-produced. It is about the challenges progressives face in offering a counter-narrative to parochial mainstream thinking.

My critical correspondent wondered what I was whining about:

Complaining that the old media is getting more and more monopolized is … Who cares about old media? … Nobody is my inner circle under 30 watches old media any more.

Bye.

Take that, old man. Ha, ha, ha.

I am not sure his view is totally true, what with Comedy Central, movie channels galore and unlimited sports coverage.… Read the rest

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Lucid Dreams Now Available On Demand

RemeeI know one or two people who are able to dream lucidly, often experiencing Out of Body Experiences (OOBEs), more or less whenever they want to. For most of us, though, lucid dreams are something that we can only imagine. A couple of guys from Brooklyn are about to change all that, though, having successfully raised over half a million dollars via the Kickstarter crowd funding platform to create the Remee Mask. Here they explain what it is: And this is the description on their site:
What is Remee? In essence, Remee is a specialized sleep mask. You put it on before you go to bed and with practice and determination, it should help increase the number of lucid dreams you have...
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The Filesharing Religion’s First-Ever Ordained Marriage

The newly-recognized Kopimist religion, based in Sweden, views file sharing as the ultimate purpose of modern life. In striking fashion, the faith united two lovebirds earlier this month:

The first kopimist wedding took place this weekend in Belgrade at the Share conference. A woman from Romania and a man from Italy have engaged in a holy Kopimist act. The missionary leader of the Church of Kopimism, Isak, attended as a witness during the wedding.

filesharing

We are very happy today. Love is all about sharing. A married couple share everything with each other. Hopefully, they will copy and remix some DNA-cells and create a new human being. That is the spirit of Kopimism. Feel the love and share that information. Copy all of its holiness.

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Anonymous Claims Access to Every Secret Government Database

AnonymousWrites Sam Biddle on Gizmodo:

Anonymous has been meek and quiet since the great Sabu treachery, failing to even threaten much of anything. But in a new interview, one of the group’s last remaining leaders says Anon has a nuclear card up its sleeve.

Christopher “Commander X” Doyon, whose name is public because he’s been busted for hacking a California government website, sat for an interview with the National Post. The exchange circles mostly around Doyon’s exile in Canada, where he’s hoping to dodge the wrath of American feds. But he ends on one particularly ominous and/or laughable note:

Q. What’s next for Anonymous?

A: Right now we have access to every classified database in the U.S. government. It’s a matter of when we leak the contents of those databases, not if. You know how we got access? We didn’t hack them. The access was given to us by the people who run the systems.

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Is America Autistic?

An interesting article I discovered from Hug the Monkey:
Donna Williams, a self-described "mad, autistic artist"— as well as a teacher, author and consultant — wrote an article for American Chronicle that boldly questions whether our technology-oriented, individualistic society is creating more infants with reactive attachment disorder and autism. She writes,
Is possible that we’re living in an age where some pregnant mothers being so busy with cerebral, passive interactions with technology and its related increase in time use that they don’t have the range of movements, emotional experience, that it’d be conceivable some don’t develop the same full prenatal bonding with their child that may have been more common before the '80s and '90s?
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How Germany’s Pirate Party is Hacking Politics (With Liquid Feedback)

Piraten ParteiWould be great if this caught on in the United States. As David Meyer writes on GigaOM:
In the furores over SOPA, CISPA and similar bills, many have suggested that politicians just don’t get technology. That’s not an accusation that can be leveled at the Pirate movement, which is gaining traction in Europe at impressive speed. The Pirates saw their first major electoral success in the European elections of 2009, when voters in the movement’s birthplace of Sweden returned a Pirate to the European Parliament. The Swedes didn’t vote the Pirates into their own legislature, mind you, but now big wins are coming in Germany, the continent’s largest economy and the ideological home of the hacker movement. Why Germany? Because that’s what the Pirates are trying to do: hack politics, in the sense of making-and-tweaking-stuff sense, rather than destroying it. The movement may have begun with a narrow focus on intellectual property, but it has developed into an attempt to make the political process transparent — and of course better suited to the digital age.
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Al Qaeda Attack Plots Discovered in Porn

Flash Memory CardReports Nic Robertson, Paul Cruickshank and Tim Lister on CNN:

On May 16 last year, a 22-year-old Austrian named Maqsood Lodin was being questioned by police in Berlin. He had recently returned from Pakistan via Budapest, Hungary, and then traveled overland to Germany. His interrogators were surprised to find that hidden in his underpants were a digital storage device and memory cards.

Buried inside them was a pornographic video called “Kick Ass” — and a file marked “Sexy Tanja.”

Several weeks later, after laborious efforts to crack a password and software to make the file almost invisible, German investigators discovered encoded inside the actual video a treasure trove of intelligence — more than 100 al Qaeda documents that included an inside track on some of the terror group’s most audacious plots and a road map for future operations. Future plots include the idea of seizing cruise ships and carrying out attacks in Europe similar to the gun attacks by Pakistani militants that paralyzed the Indian city of Mumbai in November 2008.

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CISPA is a ‘Patriot Act for the Web’

CISPAVia RT:

With the House of Representatives’ approval of the controversial CISPA bill, Internet users are worried about possible consequences. RT spoke to Internet activist Aaron Swartz, who said CISPA could be used to spy on people.

­RT: Can you explain the difference between this legislation and the previous controversial bills aimed at combating piracy?

Aaron Swartz: The previous bills were about giving the government the power to censor the Internet. And this is more like a Patriot Act for the Internet. It sort of lets the government run roughshod over privacy protections and share personal data about you, take it from Facebook and Internet providers and use it without the normal privacy protections that are in the law.

RT: So as far as individuals are concerned, is it worse than the previous ones?

AS: Yes, it’s worse because it does allow the government to shut down websites for ‘national security’ reasons.

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