Saturday, April 18, 2009

Xylopholks in Union Square

A lovely little clip from the Xylopholks playing ragtime in the subway.

Obama´s CIA Torture Exemption

So you get your legal department to define what is the on the bounds of torture, tell your agents that it´s okay to use these techniques and then apply them to terrorist subjects who have never seen trial. This was the practice of the US in the Dubya years and although Obama has taken steps to close Guantanamo and banned the methods used, officers involved in torture will not be held accountable according to this article from the BBC. I have to compare this to the attempt of exemption of US citizens from war crimes by the International Criminal Court - hypocritical bullshit. You´d better be their friend or give in to their bully tactics, because there is no-one to protect you if you don´t.

The Force Is Strong in Strathclyde

Police officers from Strathclyde follow the ways of the mighty Yoda according to the BBC, in which a document obtained under the Freedom Of Information act confirmed that 10 employees of the force use The Force. I find that strangely comforting, though this is of course not surprising considering over 400K people in the UK specified their religion as Jedi during the 2001 census.

YouTube Pranks Could Cost You

Filming your antics and posting them on YouTube is a great way of drawing negative attention to yourself, evidence of your misconduct and could cost you your job. Case in point being this article from Ars Technica about the Domino Pizza employees farting on salami and posting their actions. Freedom is a great thing, but aren´t the government already doing a great job of spying on you without you incriminating yourself?

Amazon Blocks Phorm

Related in a distant way to the net neutrality debate and deep packet inspection, the BBC reports that Amazon have refused to cooperate with Phorm, the controversial internet technology that presents custom advertising tailored to the user´s browsing habits. They are the first major company to publically announce this, coming hot on the heels of the EU taking action against BT for not informing user´s about the service when it was trialled.

Singer Sewing Machine Scam

Saudis are being duped into thinking that classic Singer sewing machines contain red mercury, a mystical substance said to ward off evil spirits and paying up to $50K for one, according to the BBC. I feel sorry for those who just want the general article and are forced to bid against such nonsense.

Rickrolling Earns 11 Quid

YouTube have contracts with the media conglomerates about paying royalties for music videos or videos containing music that get posted. Ars Technica reports that the deal with PRS Music has not been renewed with complaints of a lack of transparency and failure to come to a fair economic deal. Pete Waterman apparently got 11 quid in royalties after 154 million Rickrolls. Is YouTube abusing it´s power to deal and should it be paying more?