What’s been troubling recently, #Ferguson

Ferguson Protest in Palo Alto: Stanford Students Shut It Down

Everytime I hear about Ferguson, I grow that little more angry. There are literary no words I can say which sum up the feeling of unease,  worry, fear and anger. While most of the people around me carry on their lives not really thinking about the massive injustice which is happening again over the ocean, I wonder about the progress we have and have not made. I wonder about the corruption and how we are going to tackle that? Boycotting Black Friday is a start I guess.

I wasn’t going to write anything because I couldn’t really put it down (The closes thing I could compare it it to was the killing of Stephen Lawrence, something which keeps on giving) and there is so much better people to hear from.

But then after watching the guys behind singleblackmale.org talking over email, I needed to break the silence on my part and join the rest of the people in solidarity… As Dr J writes…

None of the bloggers on this blog have been immune to interactions with police officers. Most, if not all of us have encountered white police officers in our travels. What troubles me about this issue is that I’d like to think that our police officers are here to keep us safe. What we know now is that isn’t always the case and it’s not an exaggeration to say we feel like feeling safe is a minority opinion for Black men in this country…

…People always ask me how I’m doing and my response is the same, “Given my circumstance, the best that I could be.” That holds true today. Now brothers and sisters in the fight; Black, white or indifferent please channel your efforts positively or at least effectively…

Ferguson protest in downtown St. Louis

Celeste Little’s email caused me to breakdown for a bit while reading it on my phone.

…All I could think about, as I was walking along 7th avenue with the 1600 other people who were hurt and appalled by the decision, was my grandmother.

She was born in Mississippi into a family of sharecroppers and when she witnessed President Obama’s 2004 win, she was thrilled, to say the least. She died several years later, and as she was passing all she talked about was how she was happy all of her children and grandchildren were well taken care of.

That’s what all of our ancestors have prayed and wished and died for– that we would be better taken care of. And it is absolutely suffocating to think that, after all this time, we might not be.

Ferguson-10

So I wrote this…

I wanted to share a little perspective from outside the America.

I was really shocked and appalled to hear what happened, I didn’t know what to think really and what can a foreigner bring to the table what you guys don’t already know?
Nothing much, but there has been a whole discussion about police with cameras and using technology to aid solutions in the British media.

Every time I hear this my hand gets a little tense, as using technology to aid or solve human problems is not a good idea.

Its far too easy to turn off cameras and get around systems which are only there to keep those who play by the rules.

You only have to look at piracy to understand this.

Ferguson protest in downtown St. Louis

Talking of rules, what makes things worst is the rules don’t seem to apply to the police in the states.
You don’t think a police officer which has no problem gunning down innocent black men, wouldn’t break the camera lens, remove the power or find another way?

Technology can help but only when people are willing to be helped. Its like an addict, you have to admit you need help before you can be helped.
The police are clearly not willing, the courts are clearly not willing and the system just backs them up.
Lawrence Lessig a Stanford lawyer turned his head to understanding the endemic corruption and although not directly applicable is worth thinking about when talking about what’s wrong.
I’m not saying the UK is any better but the system out there is so corrupt and so broken, something has got to give…

Keep on fighting the good fight people and never give up.

Minneapolis rally for <a href='https://cubicgarden.com/tag/michaelbrown/' rel='tag' data-recalc-dims=#MichaelBrown - #‎TCShutItDown #‎ShutItDown #JusticeForMikeBrown" width="500" height="375" />

Is copyright reform on the way?

Torrentfreak has a thoughtful piece about copyright reform. As you can imagine its swings towards a very liberal reform, which sounds about right to me.

Let’s take a look at what happened when the compact cassette arrived. It was sort of an analog removable hard drive with music, that you plugged into an analog music player – the new thing at the time being that you could also write to it. Cassette players popped up everywhere, in particular in a form called ghettoblasters, where you’d carry a rather large box with loudspeakers and two cassette slots around, not to mention quite a few batteries.

Note that I wrote two cassette slots. All of these players also advertised how good they were at copying cassette tapes. You’d pop in the source tape, put a blank tape in the recording slot, and hit a gigantic button named “copy”. This was a feature that was heavily advertised – the better the blasters were at copying, the more music its owner would be able to collect.

The record industry at the time went absolutely ballistic, and said “home taping is killing music” in a largely ridiculed campaign. The bands at the time gave them the finger and printed that logo with the text “home taping is killing record industry profits” instead, adding “we left the reverse side [of the tape] blank, so you can help”. Nevertheless, this was the start of the war against ordinary people copying, something that has only escalated to ridiculous levels today. (Can you imagine a two-slot DVD player being sold today that would have a huge red button marked COPY on it?)

Nice example which later goes on…

When today’s teenagers have grown up enough to be pulling the strings, do you really believe they’ll buy the fairytale stories of how the monopoly construct that all of them saw as plainly abusive, oppressive, and extortionate is needed “for the artists to get paid”? When all they saw – when all everybody saw – was a monopoly construct that silenced artists, silenced challenges to the establishment’s status quo, killed technological innovation, and made sure that rich multinational corporations could buy the power they wanted?

There’s not a chance they’ll buy the fairytale stories from the copyright industry. They’ll all remember their own firsthand experiences. And they’ll kill the monopoly entirely, to thunderous applause.

I certainly like to imagine this to be true, but it doesn’t seem to include the fact people, the average slide of people towards a conservative outlook.

Of course this is nothing compared to the works of Lawrence Lessig’s thoughts, which must be read if your interested in this area.

Code v.2.0 launched today

Code 2.0 book

Lawrence Lessig just launched Code version 2.0 today and best of all he released it under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License.

So Code v2 is officially launched today. Some may remember Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace, published in 1999. Code v2 is a revision to that book — not so much a new book, as a translation of (in Internet time) a very old book. Part of the update was done on a Wiki. The Wiki was governed by a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license. So too is Code v2.

Thus, at http://codev2.cc, you can download the book. Soon, you can update it further (we're still moving it into a new wiki). You can also learn a bit more about the history of the book, and aim of the revision. And finally, there are links to buy the book — more cheaply than you likely can print it yourself.

Lessig is already asking for remixes, which is great because I'm certainly going to convert it so it works on my phone soon.

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Why do I use Blip.tv? and what is their business model?

I use to upload all my audio and video to the Internet Archive, but the uploading tools and general tools once the file was there, were very poor. So Tom recommended Blip.tv one night at BarCampLondon. I did check it out and really give it a squeeze. But it came out clean, so since then I've been pretty much using that and enjoying it. I think the feature set and general openness to download the actual high quality videos makes a hugh difference

This was pretty much confirmed in my mind today when Miles sent this entry from Joi Ito which links to the entry by Lawerence Lessig where he compares a whole host of video sites to a web 2.0 ethic.

In this context, YouTube is a “cool” poster-child of the Web 2.0 trend, but doesn't meet the basic requirement of allowing the user to download videos from the site. While it is “sharing”, it is what Larry is calling a “fake sharing site”.

Harsh but the truth, its painful to get content out of Youtube, even Google Video is a pain. And all I wanted to do was play it on my big widescreen tv via xbox media centre.

Funny enough, I was talking to Cary Marsh, CEO and Co-founder of a site called Mydeo (meant to be in Tech Crunch this week). Her take on things is that people want to be able to upload video and only show it to a small group of friends and family. They also may not want there wedding videos next to kids racing each other in supermarket trolleys. I see what she means. But what got her was when I started listing off the reasons why I use Blip.tv. She honestly was dumb-founded and wanted to know what there business model was/is. I pointed out that there may be pro version in the future but right now you can.

  • Upload video of any length
  • Download the archived orginal
  • Use there non branded flash player anywhere you like
  • Add a creative commons licence
  • Automaticlly add content to Internet Archive
  • Add advertising to your video (start or end)
  • Add alternative formats of the same clip

And thats just for starters… So to the question of is Youtube really web 2.0? Well I agree with Larry and say nope, its more a 1.75ish type site. Maybe Google will change this in the long run, but my money is certainly at Blip.tv for now. But I do worry that unless they do setup pro accounts soon or start running serious advertising, they won't be substanable and a great video service will go under.

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