Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sink SOPA. Pop PIPA.

The topic of this month and the next month...the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect Intellectual Property Act.

A lot of people are "blacking" their sites in protest.  Personally, I wrote my representative and senators regarding this matter.  As far as "blacking" the sites goes, isn't this preparing for compliance with these rather draconic (and frankly unconstitutional) dictates?

To however many few of you actually watch my site, I would prefer to protest with the facts.  And this person lays them out quite well.  In fact, I post this video not only with his blessing, but his explicit request.  Until I am sure SOPA and PIPA are dead where they should be, I am also putting it up on my featured tab on YouTube.

We already have copyright laws, which in practice are a double-edged sword.  In fact, in practice, particularly with the music industry, the artists are making MORE profits with the file sharing and piracy in place.  I would like to refer to a post by one of my acquaintances, Simon James:

Especially where the RIAA is concerned, they can all burn.  Frankly, I have heard that I could be sued simply for ripping a CD so I can use it on my iPhone.  No file sharing involved...a legitimate transaction to purchase the disc, with transfer to an appropriate format for playing.

Furthermore, I have a prediction, if SOPA and/or PIPA pass...PIRACY WILL EXPLODE.

Cutting off the revenue streams to the major sites may stop them, but distributed file sharing will spread out.  What if someone writes a tracker-free version of BitTorrent?  You can't shut down the torrents by stopping the tracker servers then.  Or, suppose we have another hacker attack on the US by foreign-based independent groups?  It wouldn't take much to slip a brand new malware or spyware bot through (even US advertisers get away with this, gathering consumer information without prosecution) which bypasses a firewall or tricks firewall programs into allowing information traffic to this software.  The program could then host a few hundred megabytes worth of packets.  Expanded over a few hundred computers with redundancy, you effectively turn unwitting users into servers for pirated software.  As virus checkers update to stop this malware, new malware is written to seek out the old stuff and patch it, making it different enough to fool the countermeasures.

With some more devious coding, you could even bait law enforcement into collaring people as software/media pirates, when in truth their only crime was plugging their computer into the internet.

Meanwhile, the legitimate users are tied up behind walls.  Whenever you add a layer of protection, there is a cost in processing power and a cost in configuration.  With one broad-reaching system, you end up with configuration problems simply because no two people are alike.  Intellectual property debates will hamper expression.  Unscrupulous and litigious parties will have grounds to throw lawsuits and criminal accusations around simply to secure more content rights just because the other guy's content is similar enough to have a case.  And in the meantime, the real criminals, including the pirates and the RIAA, run unchecked.

You want to talk about lost jobs and lost profits then?  How about an infrastructure that's turned against itself?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

For those who haven't seen YouTube...

By this time, it's been a while since the release of Kane's Mind episode 24.  And well worth it too, because:
1) Synchronizing the schedules of two "Minds" can be a pain, and
2) The end result works.

Jared doesn't do improv the way I do improv.  We have stylistic differences.  So, I used my style of improv...and left an open canvas.  What we got was a chocolate chip cookie.

Some background...I'd read books on invention, and the chocolate chip cookie was an accident in the plant.  However, they ran out the batch...and it ran incredibly well.  The rest is history.

Working with my style, that happens a lot.  Sometimes I have an expectation, and then I take it on a tangent, editing or random ideas factor in...and then the lightbulb goes on.  "Holy crap...this works better!"

Jared got a cameo for helping me figure out a technical issue a year ago.  The first few lines were executed when we had a face-to-face meeting over July 4.  I freewheeled it...and he came up with some great ideas in the process.  Kane's Mind 24 is as much his talent as mine.  And he finishes out his cameo (okay, not that big a spoiler, I mean if you've actually played Quake 4 you will know what happens, don't know where we go with it, do you?) in KM 25.

So, here it is:

Furthermore, in the interim, I worked on another "My Little Team Portal 2" video.  I did some research on the comments, and looked up some Brony opinions, and finally found roles for the Sniper and Pyro that did not insult the roles.  (My first MLTF2 video had the Pyro as the "voice" of the snooty prince...)  I hope to leave the Portal crossover out of any further MLTF2 gets insanely complex at times.

On another note, I bought a Cherilee figure that I hoped to donate to Toys for Tots, but when I went to donate, the USMC already collected the bin.  I'd welcome suggestions for agencies to which to donate.

And sorry, if I get too many private collectors, it goes on EBay.  I bought this to give to charity.  (Actually if EBay will let me, most of it will go to 75-90% of the proceeds from the sale).