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SOPA and PIPA, will they leave us speechless?

January 18, 2012 7 comments

It has been a while since I have last blogged and this is mainly due to the demanding workload of my third and final year at university. However, today marks an important day for the internet that cannot be ignored, with SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect Intellectual Property Act), anti-piracy bills, being considered in the USA.

The legislations are aimed to stop online piracy but many people feel there will be devastating consequences regarding freedom of speech and movement online. If the laws are put into action they can create blacklists of websites to be censored, remove these websites from search engines and cease funding. The DNS (Domain Name System) would be manipulated by these laws and could therefore make websites vanish in the blink of the eye. This might not always be a “bad thing” you may say, but for example, if it were to stumble upon a contaminated blog, instead of discarding of that one, single blog the entire website/company would cease to exist.

Innovation, liberation and freedom would all be squandered by these two movements. If the legislations offered greater fairness and well-thought and developed arbitrary values then perhaps they would be considered more useful to the internet. However, this is not the case.

The BBC (2012) state that

The bills propose that anyone found guilty of streaming copyrighted content without permission 10 or more times within six months should face up to five years in jail.

This will benefit those that are damaged by people committing piracy which is right and just, however as stated above the delivery methods of punishment are not as clear-cut nor effective.

Those in favour include music publishers, film companies, book publishers and television channels and networks. Though PIPA and SOPA have caused a stir amongst large online presences such as Wikipedia whom are feature a black out showing their utmost support against the proposed laws. Others include eBay, LinkedIn and Google.

PIPA is currently being cradled by the Senate whilst SOPA currently remains in the hands of The House of Representatives. The body of the internet is yet to be disfigured but these changes may just be the making of an unattractive global medium.

Useful links

BBC article discussing sites protesting the legislations

The Guardian– Stop SOPA or the web really will go dark

Categories: Blog, Opinion Tags: , , , , ,

World hit by mysterious animal death epidemic

2 million fish have died in the Chesapeake Bay area in Maryland. Hundreds of dead birds have fallen from the sky in Louisiana. Australian homes have been flooded. 200 dead birds found on a bridge in Texas. 100 tons of sardines, croaker and catfish were found dead along the Brazilian coast. Hundreds of dead turtle doves in the streets of Faenza, Italy. A little closer to home in Britain, 40,000 dead devil crabs washed up along Kent’s coast.

With deaths in such large quantities it has caused a stir amongst scientists, the media and the public. So are these incidents related to one another?

Many conspiracy theories have hinted at religion being behind the deaths. A warning from God or prediction from the Bible. However magazines such as the New Scientist have said this is not the end of the World and not to fret. It has been suggested that New Year fireworks could have affected the birds. Polluted waters and plummeting temperatures were also suggested for the number of fish deaths. However this article only tackles two of the many incidents reported.

The Cool Jew website has suggested that the birds dying were a type of retaliation to Israel. Another rumour suggests the military are behind the deaths with Phosgene gas testing resulting in a number of bird deaths. Nacho Politico website has discussed this theory in more depth.

Bloomberg reports the deaths occurred after less than two weeks after a total lunar eclipse. Since then Google has been bombarded with people searching to uncover the mystery by searching for the key lexeme ‘bird‘. Conspiracy theorists have called these incidents the “Aflockalypse“.

So is it just a coincidence or is it something else? Many scientists have remarked that mass animal deaths are not uncommon in some parts of  the world and specifically America. Other scientists have suggested that the disturbances and deaths could have been caused by the continuous shifting of the (magnetic) North Pole (25 miles a year). In some of the cases testing has been undertaken however there are not yet satisfactory explanations for all of the cases. Do you believe the conspiracy theory? The religious theory? Or is it the environment beginning to collapse?

Related articles

Daily Mail

BBC articles on mass bird deaths

World News Insight

Long Island Press

Cartoon characters invade Facebook

December 5, 2010 4 comments

Until Monday 6th December, people are changing their display pictures on Facebook to their favourite cartoon character from the 80’s and 90’s to support the campaign, “Stop violence against children”. If you saw my previous post, I felt it was important to show my support.

 

Google trends have seen an increase in cartoon character searches, and many Facebook status’ have been changed to:

Until Monday (Dec. 6), there should be no human faces on Facebook but an invasion of memories. This is for eliminating violence against children

Although, it is not a dedicated day, week or month to child protection against violence, this viral sweep emphasises and highlights our responsibility as a society to protect young children.

So, if you haven’t changed your display picture already, have a nostalgic afternoon searching on Youtube or Amazon for your memorable (possibly, forgotten) cartoon character(s), upload then share with your online community. Show your support.

If you have changed your display picture, what was your favourite cartoon character(s)? Donatello- teenage mutant ninja turtle? Mario? Wolverine? Rugrats? Spongebob?

Please share (if you are not too embarrassed) what your favourite cartoon character is (or was, for those grown up individuals amongst us).

Related articles

Coolest cartoon characters from the silver age

Unicef Child protection website

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