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The President Calls for Help

Apparently Barak Obama, the President of the USA, has asked the Tech World for help. The President has asked for the “best ideas about how to clamp down on rogue Web sites and other criminals who make money off the creative efforts of American artists and rights holders.” This comes after the dramatic backdown  by the supporters of the SOPA and PIPA [^] – proposed legislation to restrict the freedom and openness of the internet.

As Nat Torkington points out perhaps the problem isn’t one of fighting the challenges to intellectual property rights [^]. It’s a case of rights-holders – large film studios, record labels, and publishers – failing to adapt to a changing technological world. Every other industry has had to move with the times – why not publishers? It’s time to stop praying for a sign and start living in the here and now.

The Presidents Challenge

Your customers are demanding changing, they want electronic copies of your goods and for the most part they are willing to pay for them. As Jonathan Coulton says “Make good stuff, then make it easy for people to buy it [^]” should be your anti-piracy plan. Sure there will always be pirates, but they will be there no matter how hard you make if for them; some just enjoy the challenge!

Blogger Identities

IanVisits has an interesting post on the way that the media insist on treating the identities of bloggers [^]. As Ian points out it is common practice for celebrities to referred to by their stage name; like Michael Caine rather than Maurice Micklewhite.

ian visits - How the Media Treat Bloggers Identities

However, when it comes to bloggers the media often insist on using a blogger’s “real” name rather than their pseudonym. In most cases a newspaper will not include a web-address for a blog. If you can search for their online identity you stand a good chance of finding them. With only their real name you stand very little chance of finding them, and finding out if you want to follow them, their blogs or twittering.

Lost Shipping Containers

Have you seen pictures of cargo ships with containers stacked high above the deck? And have you wondered what happens when the ship is in a storm? Yes, containers get swept overboard, floating just below the surface for a while, then slowly sinking to the sea-floor. But what happens to them once they hit the bottom?

sunken shipping container

Out of the estimated 10,000 shipping containers that are lost every year only one has been found on the sea-floor. And that one was an accident, this container landed in an area being surveyed by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI).

Under the sea: Life on a lost shipping container[^] is an interview BoingBoing’s Maggie Koerth-Baker had with MBARI’s research coordinator, Andrew DeVogelaere. In the interview they discuss some of environmental impacts of these steel boxes, such as corrosion and their possible use as a habitat for deep sea creatures. If nothing else it makes you realise how little we know about this strange, hostile environment.

Nigerian Scams Revisited

Tales of scams seem to be a recurring theme around here. Way back in the early days of this blog, 2006, I had a post about a group of people that were going out of their way to scam the Nigerian Scammers [^]. At the time I said that I wasn’t sure how this would sit with the Golden Rule [^]; which is do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Nigerian Scams

Sarah Lacy at TechCrunch has posted a story about the lives and motivations of the Nigerian scammers [^], and the environment that they live in. After reading that it seems that my initial reaction was the right one. This isn’t something that they do gratuitously or for kicks. These people are doing this to survive, to feed their families, and to try to get ahead.

The interesting thing is that despite legal and technical crackdowns the scams continue, but they’ve evolved: “It’s not the glamorous, quick-money world it used to be. Today being a scammer takes smarts and stamina.” Gone is the quick hit replaced by long cons around online dating.

Speed Kills

Here at BrizBunny we are serious about speeding; and sometime a road safety campaign comes along that is worth mentioning. The town of Speed in North Western Victoria is now campaigning for supporters [^] on facebook to change it’s name to “SpeedKills”. All it takes is 10,000 likes.

Speed Kills

The 45 people of Speed say “Too many people are killed or injured on our country roads. We’re fed up and want to do something about it.” They now have over 28,000 likes, so it looks as though there is going to be a new landmark sign on Victoria’s roads. Head on over to facebook and check out the videos they have up with locals explaining the campaign.