January 23rd, 2012

weaver girl [spin the dawn by elizabeth

Another file-sharing site bites the dust

Summary: Only days after the Megaupload website was taken offline by U.S. authorities, similar businesses are scrambling to protect themselves before any action is taken against them.

File-sharing site FileSonic has announced that it is has disabled “all sharing functionality”, and that its service can “only be used to upload and retrieve files you have uploaded personally”.

The company’s Facebook page has also disappeared. According to users on Reddit, it is believed that many accounts and files were deleted today.

It is thought that this measure has been put in place in response to the wider crackdown on file-sharing sites by U.S. authorities.

U.S. and New Zealand authorities shut down one of the Web’s most popular online properties, Megaupload, last week. Its founders and three other employees were arrested and detained. They are awaiting extradition to the United States to face copyright infringement and money laundering charges.

Within a few hours of the news breaking, hacktivist collective Anonymous retaliated by attacking the websites of the RIAA, the MPAA, the FBI, and the U.S. Justice Department by way of denial-of-service attacks.

Late last week, Uploaded.to blocked all U.S. visitors from accessing its site as part of efforts to distance itself from U.S. jurisdiction.

Another popular file-sharing service, RapidShare, said in an interview with Ars Technica that it was “not concerned”, adding that, “file hosting itself is a legitimate business”. The file-sharing giant is based in Switzerland, and is “set up in a much more transparent way”.

RapidShare and FileSonic comply with DMCA requests, and both have dedicated staff to remove illegally uploaded content.

FileSonic did not respond to comments at the time of publication.


Collapse )
true princess

Finnish Presidential Election - Sauli Niinistö and Pekka Haavisto go through to run-off in February

With all the votes counted in the first round of Presidential Elections on Sunday, no candidate achieved the 50% support required for automatic election, but advance favourite Sauli Niinistö (National Coalition Party, 37.0%) and recent campaign phenomenon Pekka Haavisto (Greens, 18.8%) will take part in a second round run-off next month to determine who succeeds Tarja Halonen in the post of President of the Republic.

Collapse )

The second round of voting will take place on February 5th, with advance voting in Finland from 25.1-31.1., and abroad from 25.1-28.1.2012.

In other words, it all starts again on Wednesday.


So after our first female President we might get our first gay President. ♥ Haavisto 2012!

Campaign Manager's Family Pet Killed

RUSSELLVILLE—On the heels of a weekend of positive news coverage for the campaign of Democratic Congressional candidate Ken Aden, Aden’s campaign manager returned home to find his family pet slaughtered, with the word “liberal” painted on the animal’s corpse.

The Russellville Police Department is investigating, and a report will be made to the Federal Bureau of Investigation Monday morning.

Jacob Burris, who has served as Aden’s campaign manager since late October, arrived home with his family Sunday evening, and his four children discovered the gruesome scene as they exited the family vehicle to enter their home.
Collapse )

Jobless Need Not Apply

Job applicants sought – but only if they don't need work.

The message in some job advertisements these days is pretty blunt: Don't bother sending a résumé if you're not bringing home a paycheck already.

The ads list current or recent employment as an eligibility requirement, a screen to narrow the pool of candidates in a rocky economy that often leads to dozens of applicants for a single job.

A random search of online job listings last year by the National Employment Law Project, a nonprofit advocacy group, found 150 ads nationwide that excluded applicants based on employment status. Most of them said "must be currently employed," the group reported.Collapse )


Excuse me while I rage!quit the United States.
Ciri 2


Even though WA finally secured enough legislative votes today to pass our gay marriage bill, old white dudes (and lady) testify about the dangers of same-sex marriage and insist that it should go to a public vote.

Collapse )Sorry for all the bolding but there was a lot of stuff that made me rage so I highlighted it all. Oop.

Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

When Does Speaking a Foreign Language Get a Candidate in Trouble?

When Does Speaking a Foreign Language Get a Candidate in Trouble?

Every four years, it seems, one of the major issues in the U.S. presidential campaign is how many languages the candidates speak, the implication being: the fewer, the better. This year, we’ve seen Newt Gingrich knock Mitt Romney for speaking French, as well as general mockery of Jon Huntsman for his displays of speaking Mandarin Chinese. In 2004, it was John Kerry who was derided by George W. Bush for being a Francophile who “looks French.” And in 2008, Barack Obama faced criticism for his upbringing in Indonesia.

It’s tempting to suppose this is an expression of a boorish—and typically American—lack of interest in other languages and cultures. More specifically, one smells an unreflective jingoism among Republicans. Does the GOP think that part of being serious Presidential timber is to speak only English? That’s probably an oversimplification.

Collapse )
mus | like a bird in a cage

The Way It Was

In 1959, when I was a precocious smarty-pants still in grade school, I wrote a fake letter to Doris Blake, the New York Daily News advice columnist. I pretended to be a teenage girl "in trouble." I spun a tale of a liquor-soaked prom night and passing out in the back of a car. I included a cast of entirely fictional characters—a worthless boyfriend, a mentally unstable mother, a strict, brutal father. I ended my letter with: "Now I think I am pregnant. Please help me. I am desperate."

I'm not sure what I expected, but my letter was not printed, and no advice was forthcoming. The silence was utter. Possibly Miss Blake, like Nathanael West's Miss Lonelyhearts, had a drawer where such letters were tossed. If so, the other letters in that drawer were no doubt a lot like mine—except that they were not written by wiseass children. They were real. And for the writers of those letters, the silence was real. And I remember thinking: Gee, what if I really were that girl I made up? What would I do?

One summer night some years later, when I was not quite 18, I got knocked up. There was nothing exciting or memorable or even interestingly sordid about the sex. I wasn't raped or coerced, nor was I madly in love or drunk or high. The guy was another kid, actually younger than I, just a friend, and it pretty much happened by default. We were horny teenagers with nothing else to do.

Nature, the ultimate unsentimental pragmatist, has its own notions about what constitutes a quality liaison. What nature wants is for sperm and egg to meet, as often as possible, whenever and wherever possible. Whatever it takes to expedite that meeting is fine with nature. If it's two people with a bassinet and a nursery all decorated and waiting and a shelf full of baby books, fine. If it's a 12-year-old girl who's been married off to a 70-year-old Afghan chieftain, fine. And if it's a couple of healthy young oafs like my friend and me, who knew perfectly well where babies come from but just got stupid for about 15 minutes, that's fine, too.

Collapse )


And much to the company's surprise, everyone hates them!

Lego toys have always seemed pleasantly gender-neutral. Perhaps that's why the new Lego Friends line for girls has triggered a fair bit of protest from some health and equal-rights organizations.

The new line, whose characters sport slim figures and stylish clothes, will contribute to gender stereotyping that promotes body dissatisfaction in girls, said Carolyn Costin, an eating disorders specialist and founder of the Monte Nido Treatment Center in Malibu.

Collapse )


Ripped straight from the mothership.
Warm tone butterfly (by fruitpunch_it)

Welfare Reform debate: Government wins first benefit cap vote

The government has won the first of several votes on its controversial plans for a £26,000 annual cap on benefits paid to families.

Peers voted by 250 to 222 to reject a Labour call to exempt people considered at risk of homelessness from the cap.

They are now debating a call by bishops to exempt child benefit from the overall cap.*

But ministers said that would make the cap "pointless" - by effectively raising it to £50,000 a year.

The annual cap would come into force in England, Scotland and Wales from 2013.

Collapse )

*but is defeated over Child Benefit

Lib Dem, Labour and crossbench peers backed a bishop's amendment by 252 to 237 that child benefit should not be included in the cap.

Critics argued that imposing the same cap on all families, regardless of size, would penalise children.

The government said it was "very disappointed" and the vote "clearly flies in the face of public opinion".

Here is also another article about how these proposed changes will affect women.


Wondering if a Tory council have any compassion at all...

Grieving families caused distress by new death-register system in libraries

CHANGES to the way people register a death have been condemned by Thanet undertakers who claim it is causing families greater distress.

Kent County Council ended the practise of registering deaths at Register Offices, including Aberdeen House in Ramsgate, from January 1. Instead people have to make an appointment at a library.

Collapse )



WTF? I have anger >:(

Also more information on KCC here (including their epic section 28 fail) and info on the composition of the council here - basically Tories. A lot of Tories. And I have to live here :'(

White House petition targets MPAA chief Dodd over statements to Fox News

Chris Dodd — retired Senator from Connecticut, current CEO of the MPAA, and unofficial Commissioner of the Fun Police — has become the most vocal Hollywood advocate for anti-piracy legislation. So it’s not surprising that Dodd had some harsh words for the government in the wake of Congress’s decision to put the hardline copyright bills PIPA and SOPA on hold. However, Dodd has now found himself at the center of a potentially far-reaching scandal, thanks to comments he made on Fox News last week. Dodd told the news network, “Candidly, those who count on quote ‘Hollywood’ for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who’s going to stand up for them when their job is at stake. Don’t ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don’t pay any attention to me when my job is at stake.”

Fox News interpreted Dodd’s statements to be a direct message to President Barack Obama, who is currently finalizing plans for a year on the campaign trail. But Dodd seemed to be talking more generally about Hollywood’s support for liberal causes: “I would caution people don’t make the assumption that because the quote ‘Hollywood community’ has been historically supportive of Democrats, which they have, don’t make the false assumptions this year that because we did it in years past, we will do it this year.”

Over the weekend, a petition was launched on the White House website accusing Dodd of outright admission of bribery. Campaign finance are incredibly confusing — especially now that corporations are people — but the most essential rule is that donations to politicians cannot be based on a direct transaction, or a quid pro quo, which is Latin for… something.

Collapse )


Police need warrant for GPS tracking according to SCOTUS

The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that police cannot put a GPS device on a suspect's car to track his movements without a warrant, a test case that upholds basic privacy rights in the face of new surveillance technology.

The high court ruling was a defeat for the Obama administration, which had argued that a warrant was not required to use global positioning system devices to monitor a vehicle on public streets.

The justices unanimously upheld a precedent-setting ruling by a U.S. appeals court that the police must first obtain a warrant to use a GPS device for an extended period of time to covertly follow a suspect.

The high court ruled that placement of a device on a vehicle and using it to monitor the vehicle's movements was covered by U.S. constitutional protections against unreasonable searches and seizures of evidence.

There are no precise statistics on how often police in the United States use GPS tracking in criminal investigations. But the Obama administration told the court last year it was used sparingly by federal law enforcement officials.

The American Civil Liberties Union rights group hailed the ruling as an important victory for privacy. "While this case turned on the fact that the government physically placed a GPS device on the defendant's car, the implications are much broader," Steven Shapiro of the ACLU said.

"A majority of the court acknowledged that advancing technology, like cell phone tracking, gives the government unprecedented ability to collect, store, and analyze an enormous amount of information about our private lives," he said.


The case began in 2005 when police officers went to a public parking lot in Maryland and secretly installed a GPS device on a Jeep Grand Cherokee used by a Washington, D.C. nightclub owner, Antoine Jones.

Jones was suspected of drug trafficking and the police tracked his movements for a month. The resulting evidence played a key role in his conviction for conspiring to distribute cocaine.

The appeals court had thrown out Jones's conviction and his life-in-prison sentence, and ruled prolonged electronic monitoring of the vehicle amounted to a search.

All nine justices agreed in upholding the appeals court decision, but at least four justices would have gone even further in finding fault not only with the attachment of the device, but also with the lengthy monitoring.

In summarizing the court's majority opinion from the bench, Justice Antonin Scalia said attachment of the device by the police was a trespass and an improper intrusion of the kind that would have been considered a search when the Constitution was adopted some 220 years ago.

The administration argued that even if it were a search, it was lawful and reasonable under the Constitution. Scalia said his opinion did not decide that issue and some more difficult problems that may emerge in a future case, such as a six-month monitoring of a suspected terrorist.

Joining Scalia's opinion were Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Sonia Sotomayor.

Sotomayor wrote separately to say the case raised difficult questions about individual privacy expectations in a digital age, but said the case could be decided on narrower grounds over the physical intrusion in attaching the device.


Justice Samuel Alito wrote a separate opinion that Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan joined. He wrote that he would have decided the case by holding that Jones's reasonable privacy expectations were violated by long-term monitoring of his vehicle's movements.

Alito said in recent years many new devices have emerged that track a person's movements, including video surveillance in some cities, automatic toll collection systems on roads, devices on cars that disclose their location, cell phones and other wireless devices.

"The availability and use of these and other new devices will continue to shape the average person's expectations about the privacy of his or her daily movements," he wrote.

One law professor said those four justices were clearly concerned about the potential impact of new technologies and believed extended monitoring likely required a warrant so law enforcement should "be on the safe side and get a warrant."

"This is an indication that there are justices who are recognizing that privacy norms are shifting but the fact that people's lives take place increasingly online does not mean that society has decided that there's no such thing as privacy anymore," said Joel Reidenberg, a law professor at Fordham University in New York.

The Supreme Court case is United States v. Antoine Jones, No. 10-1259.


Oh good, finally some excellent news I can publish. What initially caught my eye about this subject of GPS tracking was the audacity of the FBI demanding that Yasir Afifi give back the tracker and being angry that he discovered it. This is a truly important step forward in privacy rights for the modern digital age.

Live Post: Shit, there's another debate?






Don't Cross the Streams:

In case you forgot, the current list of candidates:
Mitt "Mittens" Romney
Newt "Salamander" Gingrich
Ron "Prospector" Paul
Rick "Santorum" Santorum

Amy and Rory and the Doctor

All Female Seabees Team Make History in Afghanistan

It was an unusual job even for the Seabees, the U.S. Navy's construction forces trained to hold a hammer in one hand and a Beretta M9 in the other.

First, the team selected to build barracks high in the mountains of Afghanistan consisted of eight women, who are all stationed at Naval Base Ventura County. And second, the women completed the job far ahead of schedule.

Beating deadline made up for long days and freezing nights in tents without plumbing, building four 20-by-30-foot structures, said Gafayat Moradeyo, the mission commander. But when the women returned to Bagram air field, their Afghanistan base, they learned that they had nailed another achievement: a place in naval history.

Military officials say they are the first all-female construction team to take on a construction job from start to finish in the Seabees' 70-year history. And they did it in record time in the barren rocky mountains of Helmand province, a Taliban stronghold and the focus of recent combat efforts.

Collapse )


Source has a picture of the Seabees team