Thursday, January 28, 2010

Steve Jobs is a gnome

So Apple launches the iPad, a new e-book reader and more. Big deal. Please let me be wrong, but I suspect it will be hopelessly locked to the shockingly bad iTunes software which will be needed to do more or less anything with the device. I also suspect you will have to buy e-books in a proprietary format - from iTunes. In other words just as uninteresting as the Amazon Kindle and other proprietary systems.

What I find a bit amusing though is the picture of Steve Jobs holding the iPad. Doesn't he look like a cute, little gnome holding a huge iPhone in his hand?

Photo: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Berlin Wall - coming to a city near you

Apparently Gothenburg motorists are next in line to be subdued by the Berlin Wall of traffic, the road tolls. This abomination is striking arbitrary and with no regard to people's personal economy, and is providing yet another means of surveillance for the government. All in the name of making money. Tons of money.

I've said it again, and I'll gladly repeat it: Have a look at what's in store for you Swedes now that the pandora's box has been opened with the "congestion charges" in Stockholm.

Yes, this is a map of road tolls in Norway, with tons more tolls being built as we speak. And if you're interested in why road tolls are the work of the devil, read my post about it here.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Guilty until proven innocent

The mafiosos over at the record companies (yes, the usual "axis of evil", Universal Music, EMI Music, Sony Music and Warner Music) continue their crusade to make the world an insecure place to live. According to Dagens Nyheter, Dagens Industri and Svenska Dagbladet they insist that two of the Pirate Bay founders are still involved in the management of the site, and should be fined accordingly. Not only that, but they seriously expect that mere allegations should be enough, and that the accusers should have to prove their innocence! The witchburners of the 18th century would be proud.

Enligt skivbolagen har de två har brutit mot vitesförbudet "genom att delta i driften av fildelningstjänsten", och skivbolagen anser att bara det faktum att Pirate Bay fortfarande fungerar är tillräckligt för att de två ska anses ha överträtt förbudet - såvida de inte kan visa att de inte längre är delaktiga.
"So, you're not a witch, huh? Prove it, or you're obviously guilty and will be burned at the stake."

I actually had to read that last sentence a couple of times before I realized it was serious. The good old "guilty until proven innocent" tactics that most developed countries abandoned decades ago. You're kidding me. However I'm quite sure the court will continue to obey the entertainment industry no matter how seriously it violates basic human rights.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Rednex FTW

Never thought I'd say this, but after reading this article on Newsmill I've found a new respect for the Rednex-guys. Hell, I might even consider donating some money, just because they make such a great statement against the "axis of evil".

Monday, January 4, 2010

Bono says: Look to China!

U2 front man and tax refugee Bono comes out of the closet as a firm believer in China style censorship (more comments on this article are here, here, here and here). Who would have thought a guy who's based his image over the last decade on being some kind of human rights activist, would do a U-turn like this and embrace oppression:

We’re the post office, they tell us; who knows what’s in the brown-paper packages? But we know from America’s noble effort to stop child pornography, not to mention China’s ignoble effort to suppress online dissent, that it’s perfectly possible to track content.

Sure, why not. Let's make a "noble effort" to monitor all user's Internet traffic (and just forget about details like multiple computers sharing the same ip address and other minor details...) in order to protect an outdated industry refusing to renew itself and instead demanding special legislation in order to keep the profit growing. Yeah, that's the noble thing to do. You complete moron.

I also love the part about the rich, evil Internet service providers and the poor songwriters:

A decade’s worth of music file-sharing and swiping has made clear that the people it hurts are the creators — in this case, the young, fledgling songwriters who can’t live off ticket and T-shirt sales like the least sympathetic among us — and the people this reverse Robin Hooding benefits are rich service providers, whose swollen profits perfectly mirror the lost receipts of the music business.

Swollen profits? Lost receipts? You might wonder what was in that pipe Bono just smoked. If anyone's making profit ripping off the "poor songwriters" it's the rotten to the core record labels. So please, Bono, stop embarrassing yourself by writing absolute bullshit about stuff you know nothing about, and stop promoting oppression and abolishing human rights in order to boost the profit of a vicious industry. It's really bad for your image.

If you want to read an intelligent piece of text on the subject, go read David Byrne's Survival Strateglies for Emerging Artists here. You don't have to be a slave to the CD manufacturing industry just because you want to write and/or perform music.

Or, if you're a friend of oppression, like Bono himself, read about how the Belarus are about to handle the "problem" of free speech and sharing of information. There are some good ideas to be found there.