Too little, too late: EUCD passed

EU backs tighter rules on piracy. Its all too late… Here are some more stories. Anti-piracy directive could expose consumers
Can you believe this all went through without much media coverage? All the web finds nothing. Yahoo news. Altavista news. Shame on you searchlores.

Thank god for slashdot. and ip justice.

I saw this while browsing – European Union Copyright Directive lecture. and this is great – Why America’s Mistake is Europe’s Future. Can you trust your computer? by Richard Stallman. Lawrence Lessig's comments. And finally spiked-online has a debate in the same area, while I was reading Lawrence again

Some more fall out later after the date. EU Tightens Copyright Laws

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European Union Directive for the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights

European is about to vote for or against the European Union Directive for the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights, which would ultimately create a intellectual property legislation that copies and extends the American DMCA.

The legislation would allow copyright owners, such as record labels, to raid P2P users' homes if they suspect the user for sharing copyrighted material via P2P networks. It would also allow copyright owners to seize users' assets and get their bank accounts frozen whether they had any financial — or any other — gain from file sharing or not.

Briefing Materials on the European Union Directive on Data Protection
Campaign for digital rights – European Union Copyright Directive

European Union directive – Wikipedia
Use this page to contact EU Parliament members with a pre-written message from EFF

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Recommend reading for the Richard Stallman lecture

Keep on forgetting to send people who ask different questions about the stallman lecture this bunch of links. Well hopefully just look at my blog will do now.

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Preparing for Stallman

Miles sent a few of us, an article to get us ready for Stallman. A Radical Theory of Property. I've also been reading the Open sources book again, to get a full grip of stallmans thoughts on different matters. I'm also going to bid for the Free as in Freedom book on amazon soon as I get paid again. I believe theres no need to invest in the selected essays book because there all online at Really looking forward to the lecture…

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Following on from twincities post

Birch sent me a link which basicly said all what I had said about the twin cities. In Birch's own words I coined it, that article is everything you already iterated.
Birch (19:29:05): Did you ever call it or what? Cars are the biggest problem. Whether driven or parked, they require enormous amounts of space. Unless auto dependence is reduced, the classic neighborhoods that Minneapolis plans for cannot happen. More transit and more walking are the only answers.

At the same time I was talking to Miles about the whole Twin cities thing and he pointed me towards Jane Jacobs which I'm sure I've either read or heard of before. I know we had talked about her thoughts along time ago but I'm sure i've read her books. She thought all this through 40 years ago and no one took her serioulsy till 25 years ago. How many times do we hear the same story? McLuhan, Chomskey, etc etc… Its a shame because we could be in such a better state if we did.

Miles asked a important question regarding the twin cities.
italicdj (20:00:51): Is through planners – or is it social change? that things are happeing in twin cites?

Birch replies
Birch (20:27:26):
I believe we are all products of our environment. Regions of climate extremes tend to embrace femenine qualities. Not at the individual level, but at a cultural level. Social structures are of course evolutionary abdaptation that ensure survival. Public transporation, health care, public schools, etc are all natural aspirations now that colder cultures as able to satify Maslow's hierachy need

Birch (20:29:57):
urban planning is logical social step on the cultural latter. social change is a bi-product of the history/climate. we are what we are. nothing nobel about it.

Birch (20:33:26):
Geert Hofestede is a Dutch author who developed this theory by make cross cultural comparisons. It is Hofestede's 'Masculinity-Femininity' theory to which i am referring. It shreds perspective on why Sweden exists in one frame of mind while Texas exists in another.

Birch (20:36:17):
The theory would suggest why northern U.S./Canadian cities tend to fall on the far more socialistic end of the spectrum. Why they might adopt social change more quickly then cities of the south

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Twincities = European thinking?

The Tram from outside

Not really, but the spending on public transport is well beyond any other city in america. They have developed miles of skyways which interlink buildings together. You can park your car at one end of the city and walk across to the other. Thats pretty much impossible in most cities in america unless your driving or taking a greyhound through the city. Its amazing to see. And going out clubbing in Minneapolis actually has a buzz about it now… But it doesnt stop there

Minneapolis facility opens underground tram.passenger shuttle, new terminal at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport. I believe the tram will not only link the airport to the cities but the cities together and unfortually mall of america to the rest too.

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What on earth is going on in the states

Welcome to This is a great place to find out how to legally carry a concealed weapon, if it is possible in your state – HELLO What on earth is goind on! I spent some time in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis / St Paul) and in the state of Minnesota, you may carry a concealed gun around. You do not need to notify the police and the gun does not need to be registered with the police.

Places off-limits while carrying a gun?
Public or Private Elementary, Middle or Secondary Schools, School Buses, Child/Day Care Centers, Private establishments – if posted that establishment bans guns on premises. Places of employment, public or private, if employer restricts the carry or possession of firearms by its employees. Yes thats right, unless the establishments says no, you may carry a gun into a bar, a club, a restuarant, etc…
I cant seem to find my picture of the no guns signs on most of the doors in the twin cities…

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Free Culture not by Lawrence Lessig?

Creative Commons, some rights reserved

I always follow Lawrence Lessig's blog and I caught his blog on his new book. I am dieing to start reading the free ebook but I've only just started reading the future of ideas… Anyway thinking of putting it down and reading or even listening to Free Culture. Specially now I'm going to be on my 1 hour commute into work at the BBC from tomorrow.
I believe the PDF version doesnt come in tagged, so I will convert it for my ipaq and then upload it for others to enjoy on there palms and pocketpcs.
Nice little ebook store for future reference, Doctrow and Lessig. Still need to do my version using a lot of the demos books too. Also elegant ebooks looks worth keeping an eye on.

By the way these movies building on the past and mixtape are great… And I guess I should make some comment about Get Creative, which involves work done in flash.

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Returning from Berlin

So here I am sitting on a Ryan Air flight from berlin to London. I had a enjoyable time in Berlin with the berliners, but there are some things worth mentioning.

The people of berlin dont seem to see a lot of black people in daily life, and usually stand and stare at me. This woman of around 40 years old sat in a seat opposite me on the U-baun and just stared at me for 2 stops. I honestly dont think she ment it, as I even looked directly into her eyes back. But yeah it was like she wasnt sure what to make of me. Its a little disturbing I guess but no one during the week said anything out of order.

Berliners are so keen to show there over the war and that they still remember it. My goodness its crazy… But even more nuts than the war is the berlin wall. Now I did find that ever so interesting. I did spend 3 hours on Friday looking for the history of berlin near zoo station. Yeah quick side point, because i had a hard time pronoucing the names of stations and places I would usually make up one or call it a english station name. I know the purist out there would be outraged, but hey what can i say? get over it.
Anyway yes, I did go see the wall, well bits that are left over. Its really weird to see it up close and personally because i remember watching people breaking it down in 1988 on my television when i was still young. I even remember some of the pictures from the wall which are still there in part. I cant believe the wall isnt so protected as some of the art work is timeless and should be recorded or kept for archiving. I also saw other parts of the wall and the differences between east and west. Even though the differences are less now a days.

The thing which really hit me was the great architecture of berlin. Even the old run down east berlin flats had something about them. Something quite odd because they were highly practical. Like lego bricks stacked on top of each other. And if you dont believe, check out my mass picture gallary which I'll put up when i got the time this week.
The other funny thing was the ultra modern buildings in central berlin. The west and east played building games to make sure there section was the grandest. And now together, you have a real treat of one of buildings and little complexes of great archtecture. Its almost like every building no matter what must be different and stand out from the others around it. But like London the high rises are few and far between, which means there is loads of sunlight and you can clearly see the sky without obstruction.
Wait till you see some of the buildings i captured on camera. whooo, there beautiful to say the least. Poato platz is amazing, it has a few highrises but there mainly main of glass and use light to highlight the structure of the building. It works really well and you can go up to the top level for only 3.5 euros. Got some fantatstic shots from the D8 building. The thing I love about poato platz is the sony centre which basicly incaves a area the size of Leicester square with a lighen canpony and has all the lecister square style things. 2 cinemas, one a imax, many cafes and resturants and a large home type screen. The difference however is that the whole complex has a few high profile shops and flats. Yes you heard me you can choose to live right there in one of the many purpose built flats. God knows how much it costs but i bet you its about equal to a normal flat in central london in cost.

Anyway forget all that, the reason why i spent a lot of time there was because sony provide free wireless for people visiting the area. They have some kind of Radius server, which you have to register with beforehand. But after that your free to do what you like. And I assure you its a almost perfect to sit with a wireless laptop. Lots of seating, and very good coverage from the 3 well positioned hotspots. I never reached its limit but I got a feeling the radius server will disconnect you if you abuse its bandwidth or if your there most of the day. I also noticed the actual connection you got was fast for simple browsing but very slow for downloading. It would have took 45mins to download a 20meg movie trailer of the new ghost in the shell 2 film, but i gave up after a while.
Interesting enough there wasnt much in the way of free wireless in berlin and trust me I looked around. Most of the domestic ones I picked up were locked with wep, so I could have sat there and cracked after hours. But other that the Tmobile hotspots which you have to pay 3-5 euros per hour for in germany, i didnt get any free wireless. No cafes or bars, which was a real shame.

The people of berlin, otherwise known as berliners. Are a odd group of people. They dont seem to display the same big city tunnel vision as other large capital cities. Another thing is that Berlin certainly doesnt feel all that large and people seem more intune with going from one part to another without question. Say to a london cabbie to go south of the river at night and see how quickly they put there foot the metal. I cant help but think this has something to do with east and west being apart for so long.

Anyway, berlin is for sure a city worth visiting and would seriously consider living in out of all the places I've been in the world. Very european looking but very germany speaking – hehe.

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Brazilian Government Continues Push For Free Software

Seeing how I'm hosting the slashdotters meetup tomorrow, I spent a few hours reading up on the news while on the bus to and from work. This caught my attention.

Brazilian Government Continues Push For Free Software. The comments say it all, here some of the best bits

Most of us here have long known the realities of TCO and Microsoft. The only big cost with free software is in retraining staff. And retraining can be done for free – give a hungry man a can of food and he'll find a way to open it.

I guess with all the economic trouble in South America of late, governments such as that of Brazil are being forced to recognise that reality. Microsoft can probably no longer buy their way into Government contracts with 'discounts' and whatever other tactics they might use.

Farming out developement of other software has got to be cheaper than paying M$ obscene liscensing fees. Furthermore, when you hire contractors, you can get a solution which fits better than an out of the package software-suite. At the beginning, they may have to send some of that work overseas, but they will probably find local talent pretty quickly.

Seriously, lets see 'PAY LICENSES' or 'FEED PEOPLE'

Ok the argument is not always about feeding the people. Paying license fees is not what third world countries want to do. I mention this as a start because it will shift to other things other than software, eg Drugs Patents, Copyrights, etc. The West better be paying attention, because people like the RIAA say, “Why do you need bread when you can eat cake!”

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Sitting on a bus listening to bible bashers

Oh my goodness me, what on earth is going on? I'm sitting on my bus 354 in london writing this blog. And there are two bible bashers on the bus talking to people (obviously around my age). Guess where there from? America – ohio.

Ok I just spoke to them, engaged in convosation found out there from the church of the latter day saints? and she gave me a card which has a url on saying, before they got off the bus at beckenham junc.
We argued about religon and the need to spread the word. I explain we are not a bible basher country and that they need to give it a break for a bit. I'm not on form due to staying up very late watching matrix 2 again and I've had no breakfast – ugh. Can't you tell?
Anyway I made some quite unique comments about religon and was starting to explain the difference between that and faith before they had to go.
She wanted to come around my house and talk longer about this and left her name and landline phone number on the card. Now I'm starting to think a night with dave, me and sarah could be interesting but ulimately a waste of all of our time. There are more important things to think about at the moment for me at least. And it would be wrong of me to poke fun of other peoples faith???

I use faith but you know i mean.

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The state we’re in

A great show, the kind of show you wouldnt see in america. BBC's best new comedy – The state we're in it is on BBC Three, Tuesdays at 11.30pm and is repeated throughout the week.

The State We're In – where news and comedy collide. As the world keeps turning, the news keeps rolling and the politicians keep spinning, we'll keep bringing you stuff you won't read anywhere else on the BBC News site.

wondering if channel 4's new political comedy can beat this? channel4's gash
– Armando Iannucci's new project – a political comedy show timed to coincide with the local elections and airing every weeknight from Monday 28th April to Thursday May 1st.

Written and filmed on the day, Gash is intended to be as topical as it possible. The show will try to compress 24 hours into 24 minutes of talk, jokes, bits, VT footage, more jokes, blindingly well-informed opinion, jokes, utter lack of balance, jokes and Armando Iannucci.

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