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Cameron in a pickle over Scotland promises

van EU Observer - 45 min 15 sec geleden
British PM David Cameron is under fire from his own party and from the Labour opposition for having promised more powers to Scotland but being vague on similar devolution plans for England.


Categorieën: Europees nieuws

Police uncover plot to attack EU Commisson HQ

van EU Observer - 48 min 48 sec geleden
An alleged plot to carry out an attack against the European Commission headquarters in Brussels has been uncovered by authorities.


Categorieën: Europees nieuws

[Ticker] Families of German MH17 victims to sue Ukraine

van EU Observer - 1 uur 11 min geleden
Relatives of the German victims of downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 plan to sue Ukraine and its president for criminal negligence for not closing the country's airspace, reports AFP. Elmar Giemulla, representing three German families, said he would bring the case before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.


Categorieën: Europees nieuws

[Ticker] First visit to Berlin puts French PM under pressure to reform

van EU Observer - 1 uur 12 min geleden
Germany and France will try to reconcile divergent visions on Europe's economy when French PM Manuel Valls makes his first visit to Berlin on Monday and holds talks with German chancellor Angela Merkel and vice-chancellor Sigmar Gabriel. German expectations are that France must do more to push reforms.


Categorieën: Europees nieuws

[Ticker] UK to pay France to stop Calais migrants

van EU Observer - 1 uur 13 min geleden
The UK has agreed to pay France €15m over three years to better control the growing number of migrants trying to cross the English Channel from Calais. Earlier this month, the UK offered France the security fences used at the Nato summit in Newport to help stop the migrants.


Categorieën: Europees nieuws

[Ticker] Germany pushes for UN reform

van EU Observer - 1 uur 16 min geleden
Germany is preparing a new initiative to reform the UN Security Council, reports Der Spiegel. Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (SPD) is meeting his colleagues from India, Brazil and Japan to discuss the issue in the margins of this week's UN General Assembly in New York.


Categorieën: Europees nieuws

[Ticker] Khodorkovsky warns about consequences of Russian disintegration

van EU Observer - 1 uur 20 min geleden
Former tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who spent a decade in jail after challenging the Kremlin, warns in a Der Spiegel interview of serious consequences if Russia disintegrates. "That won't happen as peacefully as with the split of the Czech Republic and Slovakia after the end of the Cold War", he said.


Categorieën: Europees nieuws

[Ticker] China's per person carbon emissions overtake EU

van EU Observer - 2 uur 21 min geleden
China's carbon emissions per person have surpassed the EU's, according to new research published Sunday by the Global Carbon Project. China produces 7.2 tonnes of CO2 per person compared to the EU's 6.8 tonnes, contributing 29 percent of global emissions. The US remains the top per-person polluter on 16.5 tonnes.


Categorieën: Europees nieuws

Overheid maakt weinig werk van archivering websites

van ICT recht - 2 uur 32 min geleden

Decentrale overheden maken steeds meer gebruik van websites en van social media om hun inwoners in te lichten over allerlei relevante zaken. Er is daarbij niet alleen sprake van een toenemend gebruik, maar ook worden websites regelmatig aangepast en soms zelfs compleet vervangen.
Steeds vaker werpt dit de vraag op of deze (oude) websites en uitingen via social media volgens Nederlandse wet- en regelgeving gearchiveerd zouden moeten worden. Ook is het interessant om te weten wat hierbij de ervaringen zijn van overheidsorganisaties.

Om deze vragen te beantwoorden heeft Dr. Mr. Mathieu Paapst, wetenschappelijk adviseur bij ICTRecht en als universitair docent verbonden aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, samen met twee onderzoeksstudenten onderzoek gedaan door middel van een literatuuronderzoek, en door middel van een kwalitatief onderzoek onder drie provincies in de vorm van interviews met experts (archivarissen, informatiemanagers en webmasters).

Uit het onderzoek, met de veelzeggende titel “we gaan onze website niet helemaal in brochure drukken”,  is gebleken dat er wettelijk is bepaald dat (beeldbepalende delen van) overheidswebsites blijvend bewaard moeten worden. En hoewel sociale media (zoals Twitter en facebook) in tegenstelling tot websites niet expliciet in de wet genoemd worden, beargumenteren de onderzoekers dat ook die uitingen onder de Archiefwet kunnen vallen en tenminste tien jaar bewaard moeten blijven.
De archiefbescheiden dienen, zodra ze ouder zijn dan twintig jaar, overgebracht te worden naar een archiefbewaarplaats, waarbij het voor een ieder vervolgens mogelijk moet zijn die archiefbescheiden kosteloos te raadplegen. Inhoud en vorm van websites die nog geen 20 jaar oud zijn, moeten ingevolge art. 3 Archiefwet 1995 in goede, geordende en toegankelijk staat bewaard blijven door het overheidsorgaan dat verantwoordelijk is voor de bescheiden.
Samenvattend betekent dit dat websites blijvend bewaard moeten worden en ze, of ze nu ouder of jonger dan 20 jaar zijn, door een ieder kosteloos te raadplegen moeten zijn. Uit de praktijk zijn echter verhalen bekend dat overheden hun website juist laten vernietigen zodra er voor hun organisatie een nieuwe website is.

Uit de afgenomen interviews blijkt echter dat er binnen de drie provincies in ieder geval geen sprake is van archivering van websites, laat staan van archivering van sociale media. Vooral de archivarissen geven daarbij aan dat het zogeheten awareness-knowledge niet alleen bij de andere ambtenaren in hun organisatie ontbreekt, maar ook op bestuurlijk niveau. Verrassend genoeg bleek uit de interviews dat ook twee van drie geïnterviewde webmasters geen tot weinig awareness knowledge lijken te hebben ten aanzien van het onderwerp. Dit terwijl het, als (mede)verantwoordelijke voor de website en de online communicatie van de provincie, toch een functie is waar je dit zeker van zou verwachten.
Dat ontbreken van awareness knowledge lijkt vanuit het perspectief van de gehele organisatie de belangrijkste reden te zijn dat archivering achterwege blijft. De organisatie moet daarvoor immers allereerst begrijpen dat ze een bepaalde wet of beleid moeten uitvoeren. Daarom komt de organisatie niet toe aan de vervolgvraag, namelijk hoe deze wettelijke verplichting moet worden uitgevoerd.
De enkeling binnen zo’n organisatie die de kennis wel lijkt te hebben, is klaarblijkelijk niet in staat of niet bereid om het belang van de archivering van websites over het voetlicht te brengen bij de organisatie.

Klik hier voor het volledige onderzoek en voor de aanbevelingen.

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Categorieën: Technieuws

[Ticker] Couple arrested over EU commission terror plot

van EU Observer - 9 uur 21 min geleden
A man and a woman returning from the civil war in Syria were arrested for plotting to attack the European Commission's headquarters in Brussels , Dutch public broadcaster, NOS, reports. In a statement on Sunday, a commission spokesperson said that the EU executive had received no warnings of specific threats.


Categorieën: Europees nieuws

Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

van TechDirt - zo, 09/21/2014 - 21:00

This week's most insightful comments both take the form of replies to folks who weren't quite getting the point. First up, after Texas tossed out an anti-photography law as a first amendment violation, one commenter balked at what they saw as a gift to peeping toms and pedophiles. Chris Rhodes took first place by reminding them that making that distinction, and targeting true bad actors, was the entire point:

Did . . . did you even read the article? Privacy constitutes a compelling government interest when the privacy interest is substantial and the invasion occurs in an intolerable manner. We agree with the State that substantial privacy interests are invaded in an intolerable manner when a person is photographed without consent in a private place, such as the home, or with respect to an area of the person that is not exposed to the general public, such as up a skirt.

But § 21.15(b)(1) contains no language addressing privacy concerns. The provision certainly applies to situations in which privacy has been violated, but that is because the provision applies broadly to any non-consensual act of photography or visual recording I mean, seriously, it's right there. The court specifically acknowledges that there could be a law to protect privacy in places where privacy is expected, but that this one is over-broad. Court: "This law not only criminalizes actions unprotected by the first amendment, but also actions protected by the first amendment. Narrow it down a bit."
Mouth-Breathing Peanut Gallery: "OMG THEY THINK TAKING UPSKIRT PICTURES OF CHILDREN IS OKAY!"

Meanwhile, as we discussed a new bill designed to prevent copyright from screwing with first sale rights and diminishing your true ownership of devices that you purchase, one of our regular critics trotted out the old argument that people should be perfectly happy merely licensing their devices and losing all sorts of rights as a result. An anonymous commenter took second place by dismantling that silly argument for the umpteenth time: The purchaser obtained a physical good, such as a cell phone, a GPS receiver, or a car. The physical good happens to require manufacturer-installed software to serve its function. While copyright precludes the purchaser from unauthorized duplication of the software that came with the device, it should not preclude transferring the device to another willing purchaser. For most people, it is neither intuitive nor even logical that the physical good should come with first sale restrictions just because the manufacturer decided to include copyrighted material as an implementation detail. Although this is long gone, I remember some early software licenses expressly recognized first sale by stating that you could transfer the software to someone else, provided you gave them all the pieces, both physical and digital, that you received in your purchase and that you retained no copy of the item after the transfer. We have now abandoned not only the ability to transfer a software product under first sale, but gone the other direction by saying that anything which happens to include software as an implementation detail should be as encumbered as a pure-software product.

For editor's choice on the insightful side, we'll start with another anonymous commenter, who focused on refuting a different assertion by the same critic — the ludicrous idea that copyright creates property rights:

It destroys them. My right to copy as I please is a property right. I have the right to modify my property the way I see fit based on the configuration of the property of others. It's a natural right. I never agreed not to copy someone else or 'pirate' their product. It's an act of government that imposes these restrictions on my property rights telling me what I may or may not do with my property.

The whole idea that you should have to 'buy' a license in the first place is what's misleading/misdirecting. I shouldn't have to buy a license, it's my right to freely copy as I please. Anything contrary to that is an artificial act of government abridging my property rights to do what I want with my property.

Though I'm sure you will still dishonestly claim that copy protection laws are natural rights despite the fact that they don't meet the definition and despite the fact that even many of the sources you cite disagree with you.

This week, we also made an extensive case for why net neutrality is not about the government taking over the internet. But that's an uphill battle, and our final anonymous editor's choice for insightful reminds us why:

You have very good points in this article.
However, Comcast's counterpoint has a lot of zeros at the end of it.

Over on the funny side, we start with a comment on David Letterman's spat with the Eagles over a refusal to license their music. Michael crafted a nice little remix in response:

Ok, let's all take it easy on the Eagles. This desperado Letterman has gone overboard with his lyin' eyes. If he is going to take it to the limit like this and cause an uproar, one of these nights the Eagles may decide that suing him may be the last resort, but still worth it.

So remember, when you are living life in the fast lane, you need to be careful because you could wind up in court and whether you win or lose, all of your money could be already gone. In the long run, it's just not worth it to play their music.

Our second place winner on the funny side all starts out with a simple question. We asked why the Obama administration hadn't weighed in during the FCC's net neutrality comment period — Vidiot had a possible answer:

The President couldn't post comments to the FCC; he exceeded his monthly bandwidth cap.

But someone's been getting off too easy so far, and that's U2, with their oh-so-compelling plans to create a new music format that is immune to piracy. So for editor's choice, we've got two replies to that announcement, starting with another comment from Michael:

When I am thinking about who to work with for developing complex software designed to prevent people from accessing it in an unauthorized manner, I always have out-of-touch aging rock stars at the top of my list.

If this is being worked on, somewhere there is a group of Apple developers rolling there eyes at the notion that U2 could be adding any kind of value to their work.

Adam, on the other hand, is a little more optimistic — he thinks they might just be able to pull it off:

18 months from now; headline: Secure New Music Format Debuts; U2 Only Playlists; No One Pirates.

SUCCESS!

Given that U2 now has the dubious distinction of being a band that people actively resist having on their phones and iPods, he might have a point.

That's all for this week, folks!



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Categorieën: Technieuws

[Agenda] Bad banks and better loans on the agenda this WEEK

van EU Observer - zo, 09/21/2014 - 19:14
Implementing the EU response to minimising the public cost of future financial crises and getting banks to offer up loans top the agenda this WEEK.


Categorieën: Europees nieuws

This Week In Techdirt History

van TechDirt - za, 09/20/2014 - 21:00
Five Years Ago

A Canadian appeals court let common sense prevail and said that merely linking to a website was not defamatory. Over in the UK libel laws were still out of control, creating real chilling effects for criticism. Meanwhile, Oregon wanted to sue a guy who posted the state's own guide to using public laws because, apparently, the state prefers the public to be ignorant of the law (easier to lock 'em up that way). Meanwhile, a sheriff used Craigslist to arrest some prostitutes, and rather than realizing how the tool helped him do the job, he blamed Craigslist for the prostitutes being so easy to arrest.

The legacy entertainment industry was pushing its bogus propaganda on school children, and even more ridiculous, part of the program was trying to create propaganda that could then be distributed to local newspapers and TV stations to distribute the propaganda. On the flip side, some were pointing out that privacy rights and copyright often come into conflict, even though few people really consider that fact. ASCAP and BMI were demanding money for the 30 second previews that online music stores were selling, because of course they'd demand that. And up in Canada, the industry wanted a new tax on the iPod because of course they'd want that. A newspaper exec was claiming that search engines "break into our homes"... by driving more traffic to their websites. Some things never change.

Things started to get heated with musicians disagreeing about how to deal with the internet. A group of musicians spoke out strongly against blaming fans and kicking them off the internet for file sharing. In response, another group of musicians attacked that first group of musicians, calling them "unhelpful" and "destructive" for daring to suggest that maybe attacking fans isn't a good idea. 50 Cent came out and pointed out that piracy is just a part of the marketing, leading Lily Allen to go on a bit of a rant about how evil piracy was and how the internet is destroying the music industry and all that. If you've been reading Techdirt for a while, you may recall what happened next, but we'll save that for next week... Meanwhile, a new research paper was showing best practices in online music offerings -- and it didn't include Lily Allen.

Ten Years Ago

We were, of course, discussing new business models for the music industry -- with the main one being patronage (a model that has become increasingly popular these days). Guess what? We were also discussing net neutrality a decade ago, because this is the debate that will never end. Microsoft software was shutting down air traffic in California, because what's air traffic control without some blue screens of death? AT&T was engaged in price gouging during a Florida hurricane, because it's AT&T.

The masters of vaporware, the Phantom Gaming Console was a big story for a product that many believed was a scam all along. Patent trolls were suing lots of internet companies because that's what they do. Some people were asking to use mobile phones in airplanes, though that didn't get very far. And finally, people assumed that instant messaging at work must be a bad thing with no actual evidence to support that.

Fifteen Years Ago:

This was a big one. Fifteen years ago this week the White House finally eased off its restrictions against exporting encryption, a move that was vital to increasing internet security. Speaking of internet security, we were already dealing with FUD around cybersecurity as there were reports of Russian hackers breaking into the Defense Department. Also Hotmail had a security breach, because it's Hotmail. And Network Solutions, which still controlled all domain names, revealed everyone's passwords. Oh, and if you were really afraid of the upcoming Y2K threat, you could rent a self-sufficient mansion in the South Pacific for a few months on either side of Y2K.

In the music world, Sony Music was acting like a typical major record label in telling bands that they had to give up lifetime rights to any URL that had the band's name in it. Way to internet, Sony Music. A reporter at Fortune couldn't find an MP3 and declared the whole concept of downloadable music over (Fortune reporters weren't exactly fortune tellers). We were already discussing the end of software in the age of the internet. Oh yeah, and remember when AOL was the big internet company everyone feared? 15 years ago, eBay gave AOL $75 million just so that it wouldn't start its own auction site.

One Hundred And Twenty One Years Ago:

On September 20th of 1893, Charles Duryea road-tested the first ever gasoline-powered automobile. Today, of course, it seems like we're finally trying to move past gasoline-powered cars.

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Categorieën: Technieuws

Awesome Stuff: Podcasts To Listen To

van TechDirt - za, 09/20/2014 - 18:00
Normally, each Saturday we use the awesome stuff post to highlight interesting (and sometimes not so interesting) crowdfunding projects. But every so often we like to shake it up with something different. This week, I'm going to discuss some of the podcasts that I regularly listen to, and see what suggestions other folks have for good podcasts as well. For a long time, I didn't listen to any podcasts at all, and wasn't quite sure how people found the time. But that was before I had a commute and a dog. Those two things leave me a fair bit of time to listen to podcasts now. In case you're wondering, I listen to podcasts using Pocket Casts, which is (by far) the absolute best podcasting app I've found to date (after trying a bunch). It has the combination of features and user interface that make it just about perfect. Some apps have good features, some have decent UIs, but Pocket Casts was the only one I found that really had both.

Also, I tend to listen to podcasts at a super high speed rate. Pocket Casts lets you speed up podcasts up to 3x speed (which is a true 3x, unlike some others that call something 3x when it's really 2x), which is about the limit I can do (another app I tried let you go up to 6x, and any higher than 3x was impossible). I know some people insist that anything above 2x is hard to keep up with, that's not really true. It takes some practice and training, but after a little bit it's not that hard. Given the right conditions (i.e., when I have little else to concentrate on and a very clear recording without strong accents), I've found that I can easily keep up at 3x speeds. When I'm driving, though, I tend to have to drop it down to about 2x, since I can't concentrate as much on the audio. Either way, at 3x speeds, taking the dog for an hour long walk and getting 3 hours of education and entertainment... is kind of amazing.

The podcasts I listen to tend to be a mix of educational, entertaining... and just random. I'm not, in any way, suggesting these are "the best" podcasts. They're just the ones that I've ended up subscribed to. I've left out the music podcasts, because they're generally quite specific and I know musical tastes vary tremendously, so they didn't seem as interesting.

News / News-like / Economics: Some of these are hard to classify, but they tend to be shows more focused on news or economics that I just find to be interesting.
  • Fresh Air. For the longest time I completely avoided this NPR stalwart, so this is a relatively recent addition to my subscriptions (maybe a year ago) but Terry Gross really is an astounding interviewer and has really interesting guests. The podcasts are easy to listen to at 3x too, so it's really just about 15 minutes a day.
  • Planet Money. Mentioned here many times. Always interesting short podcasts about economics-related news. The original team appears to have all left, and the show has changed over time, but it's still really interesting.
  • EconTalk: Economist Russ Roberts interviews lots of really interesting folks and always has tremendously interesting takes on things. While I often (though not always) agree with him economically, what I think is even more interesting is his willingness to bring on those who he disagrees with and have very open and honest (i.e., non-judgmental) conversations with them, while frequently being willing to admit to his own biases and knowledge limits.
  • Freakonomics: Usually good, though not always as interesting as it feels it should be. Often feels like it takes a bit too superficial of a view on things, which is too bad. Feels like it could dig deeper on some stories.
  • London School of Economics Public Lectures: This one can be totally hit or miss. I'll generally give all of its podcasts at least 15 minutes (5 minutes at 3x speed) to see if it's worth listening to the rest. When they're good, though, they can be really fascinating.
  • On the Media: Near and dear to my heart because they sometimes have me on. Or because it's awesome and covers the same sorts of topics we cover. Yeah, probably more because of the awesomeness of it.
  • TLDR: A spinoff from On The Media from two of the producers there, it's short and sweet and once a week, digging up really fascinating random stories about strange and wonderful things on the internet. If you're not listening, you're missing out.
  • The Bugle: From John Oliver and Andy Zaltzman, I wasn't sure whether to put this in the news or entertainment categories, because it's hilarious. It's also just back (as of yesterday) from hiatus since Oliver's been so busy with his HBO show.
  • Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me: Also, not sure if this is entertainment or news, but it usually keys off of news, and I still find it amusing, though I feel like this is the kind of show my kids will mock me for listening too when I'm older. It feels like an old person's show.
  • Stuff You Should Know: A great podcast where the two hosts, Josh and Chuck have great chemistry with each other as hosts, and the topics are really well covered. When they've touched on things I actually know about they do a really good job, so I assume that's true of many other things as well.
  • Stuff You Missed In History Class: Another great podcast from How Stuff Works folks, with hosts Tracy and Holly picking up interesting, if less well known, stories from history.


Story Telling: I don't know what it is, but I love story telling in a whole variety of forms. I love telling stories. I love listening to stories. So I somehow have collected a bunch of podcasts that are forms of story telling.
  • This American Life: Still amazing story telling. Some episodes are hit and miss, but when they hit (and there are a lot more hits than misses) they really hit. The gold standard for audio story telling.
  • Radiolab: When I first started listening, I thought it was a little like This American Life on speed, because they seemed to edit out every single pause or silence, but over time I've found it to be something different and wonderful all on its own. Really touches on a variety of stories that are almost always amazing. I almost always feel like telling someone else about the episodes after I hear them.
  • Re:Sound from the Third Coast Festival: They find great stories from around the globe and put them into a podcast. Some really random stories, but often quite interesting.
  • The Moth: If you like storytelling and don't listen to The Moth, you're missing out. The Moth has become a massive institution these days. If you want to know my absolute favorite Moth story ever, it's this one about a scientist robbing a bank, except better than that (randomly, I almost rented that guy's apartment via AirBnB one time, but that's another story).
  • Snap Judgment: Another story telling show on NPR with some really great stories.
  • Risk! Podcast: A story telling podcast which is decidedly not on NPR, and the host promotes that it's story telling for stories that could never be on NPR -- so they tend to be a little bit more on the out there side of things. There are some great stories on there, but sometimes the selection can be a bit weaker than some of the other shows.
  • StartUp Podcast: A brand new one from Alex Blumberg, who worked for This American Life for fifteen years and was the creator of Planet Money. He's now doing a podcasting startup, and is documenting the process in a podcast. I've spent the last fifteen years of my life around entrepreneurs and so far (in just three episodes) this is the most honest take on what it's like to be an entrepreneur that I've ever heard. It's amazing. I can't recommend it highly enough. He's telling the stories about entrepreneurship that we all go through, but which almost no one talks about.
  • Serial Podcast: This is a brand spanking new one, and there's only a short preview, as the first episodes don't come out for a few weeks. But it's a new podcast from some of the folks at This American Life, where they're trying to tell a long story in a serialized fashion -- so over the course of a bunch of podcasts, they'll dig super deep into a story. Think of it (maybe) as a season long This American Life. It sounds fascinating.
Entertainment: These are just other podcasts that don't necessarily fit into other categories, and tend to be more on the jokey / entertaining side of things, rather than serious, though some of the interview podcasts can get pretty serious.
  • Smodcast: One of the first podcasts I ever listened to, from director/story teller/generally awesome funny man Kevin Smith and his buddy/sometimes producing partner Scott Mosier. It's just generally whimsical and entertaining, but also great. The last year has been wonderful as Kevin turned one of their whimsical discussions (walrus yes!) into a new movie called Tusk which just opened (so go see it).
  • Hollywood Babble-On: I listen to a lot of Kevin Smith podcasts these days, but Hollywood Babble-On is probably my favorite. Kevin and another friend of his Ralph Garman talk about entertainment news. They make a hilarious pair. This is apparently on its way to becoming a TV show.
  • Edumacation: Another Kevin Smith podcast with another friend, where Kevin tries to learn stuff. Sometimes successfully. Often not. The show itself is pretty funny though.
  • Jay & Silent Bob Get Old: Yes, one more Kevin Smith podcast. This one with his old buddy Jay Mewes. This started out as an "intervention podcast" to help Mewes stay off drugs by telling the story of his past, but has turned into something different and amazing as Mewes more or less came out of his shell. This one is more sporadic these days, but still great.
  • WTF Podcast: Comedian Marc Maron's amazing podcast. Hands down the most fascinating interviews. When I first started listening to it, I only listened to guests that I knew, but honestly, so many of the interviews were astounding that I now listen to them all. Maron's interviewing style is unlike anyone else's -- and he'll often insert his own insecurities into the interview (less now than in the past), but somehow it works in a way that it shouldn't... but always does.
  • The Nerdist Podcast with comedian Chris Hardwick (and sometimes his friends Jonah Ray and Matt Mira). It's hard not to compare it to WTF, as they often interview the same people, but in very, very, very different ways. Where Maron's podcasts sometimes feel like therapy sessions, Hardwick's feel like hanging out with friends.
  • Kevin Pollak Chat Show: Another comedian interviewing more guests. Pollak's shows go super long and super in-depth, interspersed with random games and jokes. This one often depends on the guests, but the guests are good more often than not, and Pollak is entertaining.
  • The Daily Show Podcast... Without Jon Stewart: A pretty new podcast (just three episodes) which is kind of a behind the scenes at the Daily Show. So far the episodes have been really interesting (and funny).
That's about it. Looking at that list, it sure seems like a lot, but it's really not as crazy as it looks (at 3x speed). Not that I really have time for any more, but I'd love to hear what other podcasts people listen to.

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Categorieën: Technieuws

De week in 417 woorden

van Bits of Freedom - za, 09/20/2014 - 09:30

We snappen het: je tijd is beperkt. Geld moet worden verdiend en de interwebs zijn groot. Niet elke tweet wordt gezien, niet elke blog wordt gelezen. En er is meer in de wereld: de Nophone, XKCD over smart watches, monolieten die gekleurde verf uitspuwen op basis van Twitter-emoties… Daarom een stukje service van ons naar jou toe: alles wat je deze week had moeten weten over internetvrijheid in 417 woorden.

Deze week:

  • …kregen we veel aandacht van internationale media voor ons metadata-experiment. Onder andere Techdirt, BoinBoing en Reason.com verbaasden zich over wat een week aan metadata allemaal over iemand onthult.
  • …waren we op bezoek bij de ACM om te praten over netneutraliteit en de handhaving daarvan. We zijn namelijk begonnen met onze analyse van de wet in Nederland; zeer interessant in het licht van de aankomende Europese wet en de huidige discussie in de VS.
  • …hebben we gesproken met Jair Schalkwijk van Doetank, een collectief dat op een originele manier omgaat met maatschappelijke vraagstukken. Hun aanpak levert misschien interessante nieuwe ideeën op voor campagnes op onze onderwerpen.

 

Het nieuws van de week:

Het was Prinsjesdag! En dat betekende dat onze koning in zijn troonrede de plannen van het kabinet voor het komende jaar mocht verkondigen. Op basis van de rede zelf lijken die plannen vooral gebaseerd te zijn op veel angst en weinig visie, zoals Rob Wijnberg constateert in De Correspondent. Er was ook een bescheiden primeur: voor zover wij na kunnen gaan werd voor het eerst het woord cybercrime genoemd in de troonrede. Dat het kabinet op dat punt niet van koers gaat wijzigen bleek wel uit de persberichten die na de troonrede in onze inbox verschenen: minister Opstelten gaat volle kracht vooruit met zijn hackplannen.

Toetje: 3 if-I-were-you-I-would-reads

  • De heersende opvatting is: mensen zijn niet rationeel, dus kunnen we het nemen van beslissingen beter overlaten aan machines en organisaties. Maar, zo schrijft David Berreby op Big Think, gaat dat niet ten koste van onze persoonlijke autonomie?
  • Gezichtsherkenning wordt steeds beter en goedkoper en daardoor steeds vaker toegepast. Gaan we een toekomst tegemoet waarin je niet meer anoniem over straat kunt lopen? Een nieuwe beweging van kunstenaars en ontwerpers wil het zo ver niet laten komen en ontwikkelt alvast allerlei kleding die bedoeld is om gezichtsherkenning te verslaan.
  • Het is deze week een internationale Week of Action rond de ’13 Principles’ tegen massale surveillance. Dat betekent dat digitale burgerrechtenorganisaties over de hele wereld aandacht vragen voor deze belangrijke principes. De EFF legt het nog eens grondig uit.
Categorieën: Technieuws

Canada Appears To Be Split On Whether To Extend Culture Tax To Internet Services

van TechDirt - za, 09/20/2014 - 04:39

As you may or may not be aware, Canada, similar to many European countries, has what is commonly referred to as a "culture tax." The idea is that Canadian broadcasters must pay into a platform specifically used to fund Canadian content, lest Canada be overrun with the sweet, delicious programming offered by 'Merica. I mean, we've got, like, eight different shows that revolve around signing/dancing competitions, and some of them even include celebrities you've never heard of! You can't resist that kind of thing, right? Well, as you can imagine, the television broadcasters to our north have noticed how much content is now delivered on the internet, having previously asked for regulators to likewise tax ISPs. Now, they, as well as some in government, have their sights set on companies like Netflix as well. At the “Let’s Talk TV” hearings now underway before Canada’s broadcast regulator, provincial governments like Ontario and Quebec have argued that Netflix should be subject to the levy. The country’s powerful cable industry and the national broadcaster, the CBC, have made the same arguments, arguing that companies like Netflix and iTunes should not get a free pass when their own services must pay for Canadian content. It's a good point because...wait, no, it isn't a good point at all. The internet isn't television, Netflix isn't a "channel", and iTunes isn't radio. Are they places where culture, both foreign and domestic, are distributed? Well, sure, but then again so are a great many other things. Shall we tax Steam to help Canadians produce more Canadian video games? Amazon for more Canadian books? Hell, some of those levies may already be in place, but that doesn't mean they make sense. Frustratingly, the Canadian broadcasters aren't making the argument they should be making: in a hyper-connected world where content distribution is varied, global, and fast, taxing anyone to prop up local content is at best a losing battle and likely entirely worthless. How about just making good content that Canadians and (gasp!) international communities want to get?

Fortunately, some important folks aren't on board with a Netflix tax. Canada’s Prime Minister, however, has been denouncing the idea of a “Netflix tax” and some, including internet law professor Michael Geist, have suggested the idea is too politically toxic for the broadcast regulator to implement. I'd say the entire theory behind the tax is wrong, but attacking internet services, the very services that lower the barrier for all content producers, makes the least sense of all.



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Categorieën: Technieuws

American Spectator Magazine Deletes All Mentions Of Brett Kimberlin Following Apparent Settlement

van TechDirt - za, 09/20/2014 - 03:43
We recently wrote about the Brett Kimberlin saga -- which is long and involved, and which we'd avoided jumping into for a long time, given how complex and nutty it was. If you're not familiar with it, go back and read that post to catch up on it, but the super short version is that Kimberlin has been suing a lot of people, in large part because he doesn't like the way they're characterizing his past. And he's more or less indicated that he intends to tie people up in court for as long as possible, leading some to put out calls to have him declared a vexatious litigant. Most of the folks he's sued are fighting back, and so far are winning (easily), but apparently the publication The American Spectator not only caved in and likely settled, but it appears to have also deleted all stories from its site about Kimberlin. That seems exceptionally questionable. Pretty much everyone who's looked at these cases has said that Kimberlin has little legal leg to stand on. Many of his legal claims could be summed up as "those people said stuff about me that makes me look bad, and I don't like it."

It was pretty clear that the American Spectator settled when Kimberlin filed to dismiss the charges against the publication with prejudice, which usually suggests the parties worked out a settlement. But to then completely remove all stories that mention Kimberlin entirely raises questions about what sort of standard the American Spectator has concerning its own journalistic integrity. I will admit that I know little about the publication, and don't recall ever having read anything there, but given Kimberlin's lack of success in court to date, it's difficult to see why a publication like that would agree to settle in this manner.

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Categorieën: Technieuws

In Case You Were Wondering: James Cameron Is Still Winning Cases Over Avatar

van TechDirt - za, 09/20/2014 - 02:43

The legacy of the movie Avatar was supposed to be about bringing the 3D movie era back. Or perhaps it was supposed to be strictly about box office numbers. It perhaps even should have been about James Cameron's place in the Hollywood pantheon. Too bad, then, that it's more likely the legacy of Avatar will be about just how many people attempted to sue claiming the movie copied everything from everyone ever.

Given that this has been going on for roughly half a decade, perhaps you thought the course had been run. You'd be wrong, as it was only recently that yet another lawsuit was dismissed over claims that the movie world of Pandora was copied from the artwork of William Roger Dean. The defendants, including Cameron, Twentieth Century Fox, and Lightstorm Entertainment, moved to dismiss Dean's amended complaint, which a federal judge granted Wednesday. U.S. District Judge Jesse M. Furman called Dean's attempts to show substantial similarity between the works "plainly misguided."

"Many of the 'Avatar images' he includes are not from the film itself, but are taken from books about or derived from Avatar (including, for example, 'The Making of Avatar' and 'The Art of Avatar)," Furman wrote. "By plaintiff's own admission, those books are 'not part of the claims in this case.'" It's an interesting strategy to sue someone for copying your work on the basis of images not from the movie you claim is infringing. Sort of like if I got mad at my brother for stealing my chicken wing and demonstrated the chicken wing's worth by pointing to a live chicken. Or something. Look, I don't know, but the misapplication of the works in question isn't even the point, because what Dean is suing over is essentially the concept of floating land masses in a fictional world, which is an idea, not a specific expression. Judge Furman noted as much when commenting on Dean's manipulation of the images in question. Furman called several of Dean's claims "misguided," noting that as evidence, the artist included images from "books about or derived from Avatar" rather than the film. The judge also noted that images from the film were cropped, rotated and otherwise taken "out of context" in an attempt to make them look similar to Dean's paintings, which were in turn also manipulated by the artist. Here's a nice little tip for any of you out there that might be considering filing this kind of lawsuit: if you have to twist and turn and crop and tweek every image on both sides of your copyright case, you're essentially disproving the infringement in the first place. Probably best to just not file the lawsuit and get back to making art, yes?

DV.load("//www.documentcloud.org/documents/1302705-avatar.js", { width: 560, height: 550, sidebar: false, text: false, container: "#DV-viewer-1302705-avatar" }); Avatar (PDF)
Avatar (Text)

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Categorieën: Technieuws

DailyDirt: Don't Eat Fat. Or Sugar. How About Just Less Of Everything?

van TechDirt - za, 09/20/2014 - 02:00
Everything in moderation. Somehow that adage seems to get lost in the media coverage of diets that claim near miraculous health results from totally eliminating X from a person's diet. Sure, there are things that you don't need even moderate amounts of, such as arsenic, lead and other toxins. But just less gluttony could go a long way. If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.

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Categorieën: Technieuws

PACER Finally Agrees To Put Back Court Documents That Were Deleted

van TechDirt - za, 09/20/2014 - 01:33
Sooner or later this had to happen. Back in August, with no warning, the PACER electronic court document system, overseen by the Administrative Office of the judicial system, announced that as part of an "upgrade" it had deleted a bunch of cases. Once this started getting some attention, officials gave a weak, nonsensical "explanation" for why no one could figure out how to take some PDFs and move them to the new system. As for why it couldn't work with many, many public-service oriented archivers -- who all offered to host the deleted works -- no answer was ever given. Recently, however, Congress started to ask questions, and then all of a sudden the Administrative Office decided to wake up to the fact that this was a bad idea. The missing documents will soon be back. "The Administrative Office is working to restore electronic access to these cases by converting the docket sheets in these cases to PDF format which will allow us to make them available in PACER," said David Sellers, assistant director for public affairs at the AO, in a statement to the Washington Post. "This process will be completed in the four appellate courts by the end of October. We are also working to provide a similar solution for the dockets on the legacy system in the California Central bankruptcy court." Of course, still nothing is being done to actually make the PACER system more accessible to the public and dumping the ridiculous 10 cents/per page fee the system charges (which almost certainly breaks the law). Maybe if Congress started asking questions about that travesty as well, we'd finally start to see some real improvements.

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