Swedish researchers have developed an integrated circuit that runs on chemicals as opposed to electronics. The countdown to human assimilation has begun.
First the transistor, then the chip. When the first semiconductor transistor was developed in late 1947, there was no idea how important it would be in the creation of today’s technology. Someone from Sweden must have a clue since he has now developed an IC chip that uses chemicals instead of electronics. The IC is built upon logic gates based on ion transistors first developed in 2009. Now begins further development into more complex chips.
Why chemicals? Why not? For starters, the human body is not electronic. There’s electricity at work (mostly in the nerves), but humans run mostly on chemicals, so the use of a chemical chip has obvious advantages:
(from Phys.org) “We can, for example, send out signals to muscle synapses where the signalling system may not work for some reason. We know our chip works with common signalling substances, for example acetylcholine,” says Magnus Berggren, Professor of Organic Electronics and leader of the research group.
This could be used to bypass damaged nerves to control muscles directly, but this is only one possibility. Such chem-chips can be used for any type of signaling and control. Example: An artificial pancreas can have such a chip that monitors blood-sugar levels, then signals another chip to make insulin as needed.
The Next Step… With a basic circuit done, more complex circuitry can now be developed. That would include elements such as ion inverters and NAND gates… and memristors? Could happen. Then from there…
A recent paper takes us to a future of robotic sex in Amsterdam and explains how it can change sex tourism.
Remember: It’s only science fiction because it hasn’t happened yet.
Futuristic Sex Robotz. The idea of sex with robots isn’t new, it’s been around since some German boy fapped to the gynoid from Metropolis. Hajime Sorayama’s drawings have been fueling such fantasies since the 1970’s. And all the sci-fi movies, shows, comics, and animations since have given us glimpses into robotic futures. Now, the latest issue of Futures journal (V 44, I 4, May 2012) has an article that describes a fictional club in Amsterdam that caters to robo-fetishists in 2050.
Ian Yeoman and Michelle Mars of the University of Wellington’s Victoria Management School create a hypothetical robo-brothel not only to show how it can be possible, but to show how it can alter how the sex trade operates in Amsterdam, and potentially world-wide. The Futures journal is available for download from Science Direct, but it’s behind a paywall. I was hoping it would be shared by now, but fortunately io9 quotes a few paragraphs about the club, its services, and the advantages to meat-based bordellos.
Welcome to the Yub-Yum Club!
(from io9) The Yub-Yum is Amsterdam’s top sex club for business travellers located beside a 17th century canal house on the Singel. It is modern and gleaming with about 100 scantily clad blonde and brunettes parading around in exotic G-strings and lingerie. Entry costs s10,000 for an all inclusive service. The club offers a full range of sexual services from massages, lap dancing and intercourse in plush surroundings. The Yub-Yum is a unique bordello licensed by the city council, staffed not by humans but by androids. This situation came about due to an increase in human trafficking in the sex industry in the 2040s which was becoming unsustainable, combined with an increase in incurable STI’s in the city especially HIV which over the last decade has mutated and is resistant to many vaccines and preventive medicines.
The Yub-Yum offers a range of sexual gods and goddesses of different ethnicities, body shapes, ages, languages and sexual features.
The most popular model is Irina, a tall, blonde, Russian exotic species who is popular with Middle Eastern businessmen. The tourists who use the services of Yub-Yum are guaranteed a wonderful and thrilling experience, as all the androids are programmed to perform every service and satisfy every desire. All androids are made of bacteria resistant fibre and are flushed for human fluids, therefore guaranteeing no Sexual Transmitted Disease’s are transferred between consumers. The impact of Yub-Yum club and similar establishments in Amsterdam has transformed the sex industry alleviating all health and human trafficking problems. The only social issues surrounding the club is the resistance from human sex workers who say they can’t compete on price and quality, therefore forcing many of them to close their shop windows. All in all, the regeneration of Amsterdam’s sex industry has been about the success of the new breed of sex worker. Even clients feel guilt free as they actually haven’t had sex with a real person and therefore don’t have to lie to their partner.
Sounds like fun, but that 10K price tag may force many back to the meat-houses which may sustain the trafficking and diseases, or unlicensed robo-bordellos where the sexbots may not be as “clean” as hoped. And let us not forget about robot rights becoming the new civil-rights battlefield.
The concept is still about forty years away, but sex robots are already here…
I originally blogged this a couple of years ago, only for spammers to ruin it before any mirroring or archiving could be done. So here’s take two…
Roxxxy TrueCompanion is a sex robot that debuted at the 2010 Adult Entertainment Expo by Douglas Hines. She can be purchased at the TrueCompanion website (where a male version, Rocky) for $1,000 US (actually less right now, she’s on sale). She has an articulated skeleton, though it cannot move by itself, the proper “ports,” and even options for skin/hair/eye color. She also comes with five personalities that range from wild to frigid. The idea for the personalities came from the September 11 attacks:
“I had a friend who passed away in 9/11,” Hines said. “I promised myself I would create a program to store his personality, and that became the foundation for Roxxxy True Companion.”
That was two years ago, and this video shows a rather unusual… um, “bug”… that resulted from that personality. Hopefully it’s been corrected since then, otherwise….
Ultrawired - Pirate Ketaware for the TLC Generation
1. Better not to joke - 3:51 2. Save the clock tower - 4:01 3. Cracking the power - 3:05 4. Banksters - 2:44 5. Lies Irae - 3:35 6. Blackout - 3:23 7. Get young - 4:10 8. No life belongs to you - 4:02 9. Two dimensional world - 4:08 10. Run motherfucker run - 2:51 11. Pwning the network - 3:44 12. We are the new ones - 4:09 13. Riding Ufos - 4:04 14. Thru the never - 4:54
Overview: DSI’s latest takes the path that Radiohead started, and Nine Inch Nails followed. Ultrawired was made available from the band’s site via torrent and file sharing, with physical purchase and PayPal donation options available. Seems appropriate for a band known for its cyberpunk sound and themes with images of underground hackers and other wired warriors working against the corporations.
More than that, this is a salute to the birth-era of cyberpunk and those inspired and motivated by those heady 80s technologies. From the press release:
An album inspired by the 80’s and early 90’s imagery, icons, idols and attitude. A shiny manifesto for the generation who lived in the era of technolgical revolutions. Starting from the arcade maniacs, and Back to the future followers till the social networks addicts and wikileaks rebels. The music will be a cocktail of sounds that mix the modern and futuristic approach of Dope Stars Inc. with the sounds and atmospheres of the 80’s & early 90’s music. Breaking any stylistic rule: Hard-techno, Rockabilly, Indie-electro, Punk-Metal, Retro-games music, Synth-Pop and Rock’n’Roll are just a few of the influences embodied in the new album. No way to put it into a precise category. A set of 13 (14, actually) songs made of different individual souls.
Better not to joke. We want the music for the rich and poor / hey you cannot block it anytime, so says this salute to file sharing, kicking off the ass-kicking with a solid beat.
Save the clock tower. There should be little doubt what this tune honors. Starting off with an electronic riff before rocking out, this track would have Doc Brown cranking the volume in his DeLorian while traveling the skyways.
Cracking the power. A warning to those who seek to silence the voices on the web, DSI is ready to fight back with this number. After all, We’re a mass of geeks ready to fuck you. You have been warned.
Banksters. Ironically, for a track that came before the Occupy movement, they seem to have the idea of what to do with the banksters (Shoot the bastard). This track has a speed/thrash feel to it.
Lies Irae. Giving props to WikiLeaks and their supporters (Gonna be the leak of this age), this track opens with an operatic tone before the ass-kicking starts with symphonic hits following throughout.
Blackout. You think Victor Love may have heard about reports of hackers causing blackouts? Sounds like it on this track.
Get young. For you old-school video gamers (arcade vets like myself), this one may have you dusting off your old Atari 2600 or booting up MAME to relive those memories of your nth key Pac-Man patterns. You modern console-jocks may not understand it now, but you’ll figure it out… if you haven’t already. Videogames make you feel, just make you feel good. Needless to say, this is my pick.
No life belongs to you. The message is fairly simple; Nothing new yet another rich fight for the oil and the human rights. Humanity has been treated like a commodity like petrol, but the corporations are going to learn otherwise.
Two dimensional world. A slower paced tune about… Facebook? It seems to be about Facebook, or possibly about some bloggers out there. Backup your tracks / backup your face / who gives a fuck of the crap that you say. Might be a good thing I haven’t fallen for FB’s hype.
Run motherfucker run. The Running Man in music form. You got a stalker in the back of your brain / you’re in a fucking TV battle game.
Pwning the network. A little hacking action going on, I can tell I’m gonna get some lulz today. The pace is a little fast for my liking though.
We are the new ones. Another declaration of youthful rebellion, featuring Mario Savio’s “Bodies upon the gears” speech. Kind of catchy, even for this old fart.
Riding Ufos. A slower paced tune about the want of knowing what others know and are trying to keep secret (we want a rich and global existence / give us the knowledge of your world), and of changing their minds about their wrong ideas (shame on you / to keep all this nonsense / now you can not swear / let it be now or a fleet/ /is gonna take down your beliefs).
Thru the never. About as close to a power ballad as I’ve heard from DSI, an invitation for self-introspection (Take a night to know yourself / take a night to know your thoughts / just to ride a dream) and a chance to let the hope be back into your soul. Just what the cyber-doctor ordered.
Conclusion: DSI has been putting out some good cyber-rock since their formation in 2002. Ultrawired keeps that streak going with a Ketaware selling-strategy that the RIAA needs to take note of. Based on this CD, DSI has the ability to be around for some time.
Today in Cyberpunk History (March 5, 1975): A group of tech-minded guys meet at a garage in Menlo Park, San Mateo County, California, USA for the first time. They gathered to discuss the first Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems Altair microcomputer. MITS was founded in 1969 by Ed Roberts and Forrest Mims to make electronic telemetry for model rockets before switching to electronic calculators in 1971. When a pricing war left MITS near bankruptcy in 1974, Roberts developed the Altair 8800. When 1975 came around, the Altair 8800 became the popular computer, and many organizations began forming to debate, discuss, share, and trade ideas, schematics, and even programs for it.
In Menlo Park, Gordon French and Fred Moore wanted to get other techies from the area to join in a regular open forum to make computers like the Altair more accessible to everyone. The first meeting was held in French’s garage before moving to the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center for regular meetings, then to an El Camino Real bar and grill to “reconvene.”
The Power of The Press.
10 days after its founding the HbCC gave its “Hello, World!” with this newsletter. Thanks to its members the newsletter became THEE document to influence Silicon Valley. To view the entire series @ DigiBarn.com, just click the image above
The Homebrew Computer Club was now set to be the main driving force behind computing for the rest of the 70’s and into the 80’s… and beyond. Even so, there were some notable detractors. Example: Microsoft founder Bill Gates who wrote an “Open Letter to Hobbyists” that described them in not-so-gentle terms:
(from the online version) As the majority of hobbyists must be aware, most of you steal your software. Hardware must be paid for, but software is something to share. Who cares if the people who worked on it get paid?
Is this fair? One thing you don’t do by stealing software is get back at MITS for some problem you may have had. MITS doesn’t make money selling software. The royalty paid to us, the manual, the tape and the overhead make it a break-even operation. One thing you do do is prevent good software from being written. Who can afford to do professional work for nothing? What hobbyist can put 3-man years into programming, finding all bugs, documenting his product and distribute for free? The fact is, no one besides us has invested a lot of money in hobby software. We have written 6800 BASIC, and are writing 8080 APL and 6800 APL, but there is very little incentive to make this software available to hobbyists. Most directly, the thing you do is theft.
Sound familiar? Probably because it’s the same reason the MPAA/RIAA/BSA use today to discourage such file sharing. Unlike today, the response didn’t involve hacking law enforcement systems or hitting them with distributed denial of service attacks. Instead, Apple computers used a different philosophy by bundling software with the hardware and promising “to provide software for our machines free or at minimal cost” (check this Oct-1976 advert for the Apple I). Maybe the best reaction came from Homebrew member Jim Warren:
There is a viable alternative to the problems raised by Bill Gates in his irate letter to computer hobbyists concerning “ripping off” software. When software is free, or so inexpensive that it’s easier to pay for it than to duplicate it, then it won’t be “stolen”.
Member’s List. Just who was involved with Homebrew? This may not be a complete list, but it should give you an idea of the people involved:
Fred Moore: Founder and political activist
George Morrow: Improved the Altair’s S-100 system bus
Adam Osbourne: Osbourne Computer Corporation
Lee Felsenstein: Designer of the Osboune 1 computer
John Draper: aka “Captain Crunch” (phone phreak)
Jerry Lawson: Designed the Fairchild Chanel F console (first ROM cartridge system)
Jim Warren: Dr. Dobb’s Journal, then on the Board of Directors of Autodesk, Inc.
Two guys named Steve (Jobs & Steve Wozniak): Founded some company that made computers, phones, music players…
You get the idea of the club’s brainpower.
…And the rest is history. From that first meeting in the garage to today’s clubs around the world, Homebrew still continues to meet to exchange codes, schematics, and ideas of bringing computers to the masses, though today’s homebrew clubs have turned their attention to game consoles like the X-Box and Wii. The spirit is still there, still influencing the tech minded, still revolutionizing the computer world.
Today in Cyberpunk History (March 1, 1990): Early morning at Steve Jackson Games in Austin, Texas saw an invasion of US Secret Service agents seizing any system used for GURPS Cyberpunk RPG book. They were looking for “evidence” to convict one of SJ Games’s employees: One Loyd Blankenship, whose home was also raided. It wouldn’t be until October when SJ Games learned why they were raided as the warrant was sealed (You can view the warrant here).
Guilt by Association. The primary target of the raid was Loyd Blankenship, who was known in hacker circles as +++The Mentor+++, member of Legion of Doom. He also ran a BBS that distributed the hacker journal Phrack, that published the contents of a text file from Bell South that dealt with the 911 emergency response system in 1989. The file contained no schematics, no codes, no technical anything… it was only an administrative book that Bell South would sell to the public for $13 US. Yet it was feared that the file would be used by hackers to disrupt the 911 system, and Bell South claimed the posting caused 80 thousand dollars in damage.
GURPS Cyberpunk was an unfortunate victim of circumstance. The agents saw it and thought it was a real book about hacking. And with the rest of Operation Sundevil going on nationwide, why not make Steve Jackson Games an example?
The System Eats Itself. On the afternoon of January 15, 1990, AT&T’s long distance network began a downward spiral that lead to a near shutdown. The cause was a simple programming error what would cause a software crash when it got messages from switching stations coming back online. The crash required an automatic reboot of the switching station, which lead to the transmission of “back online” messages to its neighbors. But those messages would knock those switches offline, and generate more messages that would knock more switches offline…
An investigation did show that it was a programming error that caused the crash. The problem was nobody wanted to believe it. For a company and computers to make such a FUBAR is unheard of, and everyone from the government to the media to the clueless sheeple on the street wanted to believe it was deliberate act by someone. Who could possibly have the ability to cause such calamity?
Hackers. They’ve shown they could get into most any system and do… things. Why not crash a major infrastructure? In May 1990 Garry M. Jenkins, Assistant Director of the US Secret Service, made the following comment in a press release:
“The Secret Service is sending a clear message to those computer hackers who have decided to violate the laws of this nation in the mistaken belief that they can successfully avoid detection by hiding behind the relative anonymity of their computer terminals.”
Thus began the shitstorm that was Sundevil.
Revenge of The Geeks. Mid-1990 saw the founding of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the organization that fights for freedom of the Internet. Operation Sundevil itself was seen as just a publicity stunt since, as a “law-enforcement tool,” it failed to produce any convictions. The saga can be read about via Bruce Sterling’s book The Hacker Crackdown.
As for SJ Games, they finally had their day in court in 1993. They were acquitted on two of the three counts against them. Their story can be read, along with the relevant documents, on their website.
The scenario of a mechanized hostile takeover of humanity is a popular theme in sci-fi, but just how plausible is it? LLM’s Adam Hadhazy plays mythbuster.
Hollywood Hype. The nightmare of robots usurping humanity has become a staple of science fiction. But have you ever thought if such a scene is possible? Life’s Little Mysteries, the website dedicated to answering some of the more unusual tech questions, gives their opinion about the possibility of “robopocalypse.”
Even the experts seem divided. They believe man and machine will get along, but that relation can turn sour under the right conditions.
“The technology already exists to build a system that will destroy the whole world, intentionally or unintentionally, if it just detects the right conditions,” said Shlomo Zilberstein, a professor of computer science at the University of Massachusetts.
Military (Un)Intelligence. One scenario can be summed up in one word: Skynet. We have the technology to create it, so why not?
Currently, Predator drones in the Middle East have been getting more and more autonomy, more ability to make its own decision to attack a target. Even so, live humans still monitor its operation and can override the drone if needed. When humans tried to shut down Skynet, even the “allies” were determined to be “enemies” and let the nukes fly. The game plan to keep that from happening is to limit what weapons it has access to, and to limit its functionality to specific situations.
“All the systems we’re likely to build in the-near future will have specific abilities,” Zilberstein said. “They will be able to monitor a region and maybe shoot, but they will not replace a [human] general.”
That wouldn’t preclude the possibility of a robotic arms race, leading to both sides loosing control of their machines…
Revolution through evolution. Another scenario of mechanized takeover is not as violent as nuclear war; Humanity simply replaces itself part-by-part, shedding the meat in favor of metal. There would be some resistors (sic), but they’ll be allowed to die out by themselves.
Of course, someone… or something… needs to build those robots. With robots building cars, planes, etc., it won’t be to hard to imagine that robots can build robots, if they’re not doing it already. But when robots not only build robots, but run the whole factory, and possibly the whole infrastructure that humans also rely on, things can get real sticky real fast.
Busted, Plausible, or Confirmed? It would seem that humanity is teetering on the edge of robopocalypse, yet it is something that is easily avoidable:
Overall, a bit of wisdom would prevent humankind from falling into the traps dreamed up by Hollywood screenwriters. But the profit motive at companies has certainly engendered more automation, and the Cold War’s predication on the threat of mutually assured destruction points out that rationality does not always win.
LMM gives a score of 2 out of 4 “rocketboys.” If it was MythBusters, this would be called “Plausible.”
Military leaders and corporations probably will not be so stupid as to add high levels of programmed autonomy to catastrophically strong weapon systems and critical industrial sectors.
Given the levels of stupidity that military and corporations like to show, I’d say this is more than plausible.
In Welt am Draht (World on a Wire), going into a simulation is referred to as “going downstairs” while coming out is “going upstairs.”
Overview: You think you might have seen every VR-based movie, or know what to expect after watching The Matrix or Lawnmower Man for the thousandth time. Then someone points you to some rare foreign TV miniseries, and suddenly… WHOA! The Matrix doesn’t seem so original anymore, at least in terms of concept.
Transmit ACK signal to “virtual reality 91″ for mentioning this one (just needed some time to research and download). World on a Wire is a two-part TV movie originally called Welt am Draht when it first premiered in West Germany. Since then, other VR movies short and long have come and gone. While still available via file-sharing and torrent, a recently restored version has been appearing at film festivals world wide and a Blu-Ray version is set to drop this month.
The Story: At The Institute for Kybernetik und Zukunftsforschung (Institute for Cybernetics and Future Sciences), or IKZ, Professor Henry Vollmer has created a simulated world containing some 8,000 “identity units”; Virtual humans not knowing that they are living in a simulation, except for the “contact unit” named Einstein who is needed to keep the simulation running. Vollmer tries to tell security chief Lause about a discovery regarding the simulation that he wants to keep secret “Because it would mean the end of this world.” Vollmer dies shortly after and Stiller takes over as the project’s technical director. At a party, Lause wants to tell Stiller what Vollmer had told him, but while Stiller is momentarily distracted Lause vanishes, and every one else suddenly has no memory of him, including Lause’s niece, Eva Vollmer. When one of the identity units tries to commit suicide it is deleted, prompting Stiller to “enter” the simulation to contact Einstein to find out why the unit tried to kill itself. When they meet again, Einstein is in Walfang’s body where he explains how he wants to be human… and how “reality” as Stiller knows it isn’t.
German Engineering. So the Simulacron computer system isn’t exactly 21st centruy, bleeding edge technology. This is a 1970’s era movie after all. So there’s no fancy gun-fu shootouts with CGI enhanced slow-motion effects, rotoscoped armor to guard against laser-edged Frisbees, or pixelated sex between Unix GUI daemons.
But Welt am Draht isn’t about fancy high tech special effects. It’s about one man’s reaction when he discovers the truth about reality… his reality, as he perceives it. We watch Stiller’s struggle to keep his sanity in a world that seems to be designed for the purpose of destroying him. A Kafkaesque nightmare encoded in silicon, and his attempt to escape it. And if he does escape, has he really escaped… or just entered a new level of the nightmare?
What we see now is like a dim image in a mirror. Then we shall see face to face.
Mirror’s edge. The main effect of the movie, especially in part one, is a shot of an image in a mirror or similar reflective surface. This gives an extra disorienting feeling as we ponder if reality really is reality, and how do they manage to get all those mirror-shots without the film crew appearing in the reflections. Low tech, highly effective.
But unless you can speak German well enough, you might miss some of the mirror-shots while trying to read the subtitles. That’s the only thing keeping this from being a perfect 10. Then again, subtitles probably would be better than dubbing that comes out as “all your wiener schnitzel are belong to us.”
Is it live? Or is it simulated?
Conclusion: From the country that gave the world cruise and ballistic missiles, Fahrvergnügen, and Kraftwerk, Germany shows that they can come up with some inventive… and scary… technology. Welt am Draht is one of those rare pre-cyberpunk cyberpunk movies that needs to be seen to be believed. Especially when more recent films have aped the idea of VR with high-end graphic trickery, this one is enough proof that high-end does not mean high-quality.
“The back half is all solid propellant. There’s different valves for directional control. The nose is all electronic. You’ve heard of a bullet that has your name on it? Well, this one really does.” (Marvin James (played by Stan Shaw).
Hollywood may sue over this! There’s more shit about to hit the fan if it hasn’t already, I’ll be blogging more on that by the weekend. But Hollywood might want to know that not only are whole movies being pirated, but companies are stealing the technology from within them.
Specifically, Runaway’s “smart” missile-bullets. Sandia National Labs has developed a self-guided bullet (a “micro-missile” might be a better description) that can hit a target a mile away. Now they’re looking for a partner to further develop and bring the new ammo to market.
Not exactly the smartest bullet, but being able guide itself within 8 inches of a target 1000 yards away makes regular bullets look like dumbasses.
A more sophisticated way to wake up dead. The bullet is essentially a laser-guided missile; You point your laser-pointer at your target and the bullet’s optronics does the rest… assuming you pull the trigger to send it on its way.
At four inches long, the prototype won’t fit your Saturday-night special. Also, it requires a smooth-bore barrel to launch out of. Most bullets need a rifled barrel to give them a gyroscopic-stabilizing spin, but the bullet-missile has fins that stabilize and even control its flight path.
An LED attached during a night test turns the smart bullet into a tracer round.
Just in time for ACTA signings. Given recent events over SOPA/PIPA, announcement of this bullet can either be a dream come true or a security nightmare. Potential customers for the bullet include the military, law enforcement and recreational shooters, so Sandia says. Of course, they’ll eventually find their way into the wrong hands. But first they need to be developed and brought to market first.
Will the missile-bullets be corner-turning heat-seekers like in the movie? Maybe future versions will have the ability to “pick” a target, or even be programmed for a specific target. Maybe a pheromone-guided, nuclear tipped version that can be fired from a 50-caliber gun can be made. Whenever Sandia announces the market version, they should get one man to “pull the trigger.”
These two bills, IF passed and signed into law, are supposed to end… or at least curtail… Internet “piracy.” But, there are major problems with both bills. Problems that can not only hurt legitimate sites and users, but can be exploited and abused to no end. The EFF has a one-page list of problems (PDF).
Meet Rep. Lamar Smith, the asswipe behind SOPA. If I had more time, I would have drawn a dick on his face.
Cowboy politics. Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) is the mastermind behind SOPA, introducing it back in October. It seems, however, that he has been grazing on some “greener” pastures:
(CNET) - As CNET reported in December, Smith, a self-described former ranch manager whose congressional district encompasses the cropland and grazing land stretching between Austin and San Antonio, Texas, has become Hollywood’s favorite Republican. The TV, movie, and music industries are the top donors to his 2012 campaign committee, and he’s been feted by music and movie industry lobbyists at dinners and concerts.
Back-pocket puppet of the MPAA/RIAA cartel, in other words, representing farmers, not tech industries. Little wonder why many believe that SOPA is just bad and wrong, and it would do more harm than good.
What harm could it do? SOPA is worded to make “offending” sites vanish from the Net completely. At least that’s how CNET describes SOPA section 102:
A service provider shall take technically feasible and reasonable measures designed to prevent access by its subscribers located within the United States to the foreign infringing site (or portion thereof) that is subject to the order…Such actions shall be taken as expeditiously as possible, but in any case within five days after being served with a copy of the order, or within such time as the court may order.
There’s also a problem of scope: PIPA primarily targets the offender’s DNS providers and finances. SOPA is reportedly broader, going after their ISPs and even requiring them to monitor traffic including using deep packet inspection. Reddit goes into gory detail about what they would need to do if they receive a SOPA notice:
(Reddit SOPA FAQ) - If the Attorney General served reddit with an order to remove links to a domain, we would be required to scrub every post and comment on the site containing the domain and censor the links out, even if the specific link contained no infringing content. We would also need to implement a system to automatically censor the domain from any future posts or comments. This places a measurable burden upon the site’s technical infrastructure. It also damages one of the most important tenets of reddit, and the internet as a whole – free and open discussion about whatever the fuck you want.
This may be why the likes of Google, Wikipedia, WordPress, and others don’t like what SOPA represents. Even now, some companies that originally backed SOPA are now having second thoughts.
“Verizon continues to look at SOPA, and while it’s fair to say that we have concerns about the legislation, we are working with congressional staff to address those concerns,” a representative told us.
Tim McKone, AT&T’s executive vice president of federal relations, said that “we have been supportive of the general framework” of the Senate bill. But when it comes to SOPA, all AT&T would say is that it is “working constructively with Chairman Smith and others toward a similar end in the House.”
Collateral damage. Not all sites went dark to protect freedom of speech; File-sharing website Megaupload was taken offline (or is at least very slow to respond) as seven people associated with it, including the founder, were arrested for copyright infringement.
(Technorati) Kim Dotcom, formerly known as Kim Schmitz, is the site’s founder and was arrested in New Zealand, according to the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Of the six others indicted, three have been arrested. Officially, the seven people were indicted with five counts of copyright infringement and conspiracy, according to authorities. The nearly two-year investigation was unsealed Thursday (19-Jan-2012) and it revealed that the grand jury in Virginia made its decision almost two weeks ago.
The timing of the arrests, done the day after the blackout, is not only suspicious, but also has made life inconvenient for those who had legitimate use of Megaupload:
(TorrentFreak)The feds shut down MegaUpload a few hours ago.
Eight people we charged with criminal copyright infringement charges, and all files hosted on the site were pulled offline.
However, do the feds realize that hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of people used the site to share research data, work documents, personal video collections and much more?
What will happen to these personal non-infringing files?
People are outraged on Twitter and are demanding access to their files immediately.
Knowing is half the battle. With all the protests and counter-attacks surrounding SOPA/PIPA and the Megaupload shutdown, Congress finally came to its senses and have “shelved” the two bills… for now.
(AFP via Yahoo)Senate majority leader Harry Reid said he was delaying next week’s vote on the Protect IP Act (PIPA) and House Judiciary Committee chairman Lamar Smith said he would “revisit” the House version, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).
“In light of recent events, I have decided to postpone Tuesday’s vote on the Protect IP Act,” Reid announced in a statement two days after a wave of online protests against the bill swept the Internet.
It appears that freedom of speech has won out, but the victory is only temporary. More likely, there may be some tweaking of the bills to make them more palatable (or at least, more confusing) then reintroduced when everyone has forgotten what the bills were about so there would be less opposition to them. This way, there would be less shit hitting the fans.
Damn, two and a half months without posting… not good, especially for controlling spam. Well, to let you know that I haven’t totally forgotten what I’m supposed to be doing here (despite my growing laziness), here’s a video for the latest Christmas jingle originally found on The Huffington Post.
Since we’re being so festive(us), here’s another holiday classic from Johnathan “Code Monkey” Coulton.