Saturday, December 24, 2011

Victory! Boycott forces GoDaddy to drop its support for SOPA


Under intense pressure from an Internet-wide boycott, domain registrar GoDaddy has given the open Internet an early Christmas present: it's dropping its support for the Stop Online Piracy Act. The change was announced in a statement sent to Ars Technica:

Go Daddy is no longer supporting SOPA, the "Stop Online Piracy Act" currently working its way through U.S. Congress.

"Fighting online piracy is of the utmost importance, which is why Go Daddy has been working to help craft revisions to this legislation—but we can clearly do better," Warren Adelman, Go Daddy's newly appointed CEO, said. "It's very important that all Internet stakeholders work together on this. Getting it right is worth the wait. Go Daddy will support it when and if the Internet community supports it."

Ars Technica

Friday, December 16, 2011

SOPA Adjourned

In what seems a victory of intelligence over politics, the Committee discussing the SOPA Act has been adjourned with no future date set!

More from

The House Judiciary Committee considering whether to send the Stop Online Piracy Act to the House floor abruptly adjourned Friday with no new vote date set — a surprise given that the bill looked certain to pass out of committee today.

The committee’s chairman and chief sponsor of the legislation, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), agreed to further explore a controversial provision that lets the Attorney General order changes to core internet infrastructure in order to stop copyright infringement.

Smith said the hearing would resume at the “earliest practical day that Congress is in session.” That could be weeks.

The abrupt halt to Friday’s proceeding, which followed a marathon-long, 11-hour hearing Thursday, was based on a motion from Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah). He urged Smith to postpone the session until technical experts could be brought in to testify whether altering the internet’s domain-naming system to fight websites deemed “dedicated” to infringing activity would create security risks.

Article at



Wednesday, December 14, 2011

58 donors responsible for 80% of SuperPAC funding

From Boing Boing

58 donors responsible for 80% of SuperPAC funding:

With the Citizens United ruling, the Supreme Court turned money into a form of political speech, paving the way for enormous influxes of cash from the American ultra-elite one-percent-of-one-percent, and, to a lesser extent, organized labor (money given to the GOP by big business dwarfs labor's contribution to the Dems by a factor of about 2.5). The extent to which this has distorted American politics is only now becoming apparent, as statistics about SuperPACs and their "donations" are gathered and published. In this Salon report, Justin Elliott publishes some eye-opening figures about the new political reality in money-as-speech America.

Especially concerning: 80 percent of the money sloshing around in America's SuperPACs' warchests came from just 58 donors.

The Super PACs are not paragons of transparency, but what has been disclosed gives a sense of where the money is coming from and the interests of those giving it. Based on the donors and the origins of these groups, we can already discern what messages the Super PACs will generate in the home stretch of the campaign.

Red money, blue money: The making of the 2012 campaign


How far technology has come!

Amazing, simply amazing Smile


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Congressional staffers behind SOPA get shiny new jobs as entertainment industry lobbyists

Hilarious news continues :) From the Boing Boing Story

"Congressional staffers behind SOPA get shiny new jobs as entertainment industry lobbyists:

Allison Halataei (former deputy chief of staff for House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas)) and Lauren Pastarnack (former senior aide on the Senate Judiciary Committee) have cool new jobs. Having written the Internet-destroying Stop Online Piracy Act for their bosses while drawing a salary at public expense, they've now accepted massive raises to go work for the entertainment companies who stand to benefit from the law they wrote. Their new job? Helping to run the campaign to push their law through.

Halataei recently joined the National Music Publishers’ Association, and Pastarnack is jumping to the Motion Pictures Association of America, two lobbying groups pressing Congress to pass the proposals...

“This is one of those mega-fights where there is a lot of money at stake and whenever it gets to that, it’s kind of ‘Katy bar the door’ as far as what they’ll pay for talent,” said McCormick Group headhunter Ivan Adler. “This fits into the perfect scenario of why senior-level people from well-placed committees get hired, and it’s because they really know the three p’s: people, policy and process. And that makes them very valuable in the Washington marketplace.”

The former aides will face one-year lobbying bans, which means they cannot lobby the respective committees where they previously worked. But those bans don’t render the former aides useless to their new employers.

“They can provide invaluable insight to people on the outside — even in the consultation mode,” one tech industry lobbyist said, noting that Halataei had been Smith’s secondhand person and knows how the Texas Republican thinks and what would be an effective lobbying strategy.

Additionally, the Senate and House panels work closely together, and both Halataei and Pastarnack have ties to staffers in the chambers they didn’t serve in and aren’t banned from lobbying.

GOP aides head to K St. for tech war

(via /.)"


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Copyrights, Patents, Privacy and You!

If you are not entirely insulated from the world, you may have noticed a few news stories leaking through over the last few weeks. Copyright is being argued in Canada and the US’ lawmaking systems. Copyright holders (The big boys here, NOT the artists and performers and so on) want MORE control over what can be disseminated on the NET. They want MORE control than they have now! In the last couple of years, these Copyright Holders (lets call em the rats, why, why not!), they have had many websites removed from the NET1 , destroying businesses and people’s dreams. In a number of cases, they have had NO right to do so, but under existing laws, they are getting away with it! This is not enough, they want to be able to do what they do now, destroy your business, destroy your livelihood and NOW they want to be able to throw you in JAIL, WITHOUT a trial2!

Given that they are abusing the systems they have now in really underhanded ways3, do we really want to give them more power? NO!, Say NO! in any way you can, we have to fight back against these things4. If you don’t fight back against this stupidity, they (the corporations, politicians and the enforcement agencies) will soon have complete control over you, your information and the info you can access. The latest squeaky law5in the states will let the enforcement agencies grab US citizens off the street, call them a terrorist or “person of interest” and ship em off to Guantanamo, no phone call, no lawyer, no courts, just bye bye! Now, that was not the intent of the law when it was passed, but that's the way the law reads. The enforcement agencies all say they would never ever use it that way, trust them!

Here in Canada, we have this wonderful access to information law being put forward. They want faster access to information to catch the bad guys! Thats it, just because it means they can start grabbing all sorts of info on all sorts of people without oversight does not mean they will use it that way! *choke *choke

The government is also trying to make it a crime to break a digital lock. These are used to enforce DRM (digital rights management), and usually mean that your system calls home (a server on the net owned by the company you bought the song/movie/ebook/etc from) to get permission for you to enjoy your purchase. Now we have had many examples of companies shutting down DRM servers and leaving their customers out in the cold in terms of their purchases. You can no linger enjoy your digital purchase, its broken. Now breaking the digital lock would allow you to enjoy that purchase, but under the new law8, you would go to JAIL for trying to enjoy your digital purchase!

Now we get to the reason I just blew off this little rant. There is a case before the US courts that will decide whether or not changes in your body due to changes in doses of medicine or other things related to meds can be patented. THEY WANT TO PATENT YOUR BODY NOW7!!!

ok, I’m outa ooomph now, gotta go play a little solitaire, sorry for the rant Smile


1. DNS Takedowns
3.  Youtube Video takedown
4. EFF in states and in Canada
5. National Defense Authorization Act
6. ESnooping Bill
7. Canadian Copyright Law

ps happy reading, and you may see the following soon for our stuff if someone thinks we’ve stepped on toes Smile


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The US Ownzzz You!

The broad strokes of US policy makers are about to claim “ownership” of such a wide swath of the Internet that will effectively give them total control. As Michael Geist explains:

“The U.S. Congress is currently embroiled in a heated debated over the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), proposed legislation that supporters argue is needed combat online infringement, but critics fear would create the "great firewall of the United States." SOPA’s potential impact on the Internet and development of online services is enormous as it cuts across the lifeblood of the Internet and e-commerce in the effort to target websites that are characterized as being "dedicated to the theft of U.S. property." This represents a new standard that many experts believe could capture hundreds of legitimate websites and services”

The definitions are so broad that they capture many sites that are certainly not US in any way.

“First, it defines a "domestic domain name" as a domain name "that is registered or assigned by a domain name registrar, domain name registry, or other domain name registration authority, that is located within a judicial district of the United States." Since every dot-com, dot-net, and dot-org domain is managed by a domain name registry in the U.S., the law effectively asserts jurisdiction over tens of millions of domain names regardless of where the registrant actually resides.

Second, it defines "domestic Internet protocol addresses" - the numeric strings that constitute the actual address of a website or Internet connection - as "an Internet Protocol address for which the corresponding Internet Protocol allocation entity is located within a judicial district of the United States."

Yet IP addresses are allocated by regional organizations, not national ones. The allocation entity located in the U.S. is called ARIN, the American Registry for Internet Numbers. Its territory includes the U.S., Canada, and 20 Caribbean nations. This bill treats all IP addresses in this region as domestic for U.S. law purposes. 

To put this is context, every Canadian Internet provider relies on ARIN for its block of IP addresses. In fact, ARIN even allocates the block of IP addresses used by federal and provincial governments. The U.S. bill would treat them all as domestic for U.S. law purposes.”

From: SOPA: All Your Internets Belong to US


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Regulators pull back from usage-based billing after half-a-million Canadians speak out


“CRTC reconsiders ruling that would let Big Telecom companies control independent competitors, Canadians urged to use indie services

November 15, 2011 – The CRTC has released its decision on Internet metering (usage-based billing), and pro-Internet organization is celebrating it as a step forward for the open and affordable Internet. The decision comes as the result of public pressure, channeled primarily though the group’s Stop The Meter campaign, which included a petition that attracted over half-a-million Canadians.”

For the Complete Post see:
Regulators pull back


Sunday, November 13, 2011

End of the Leaves?

Maybe….  it seems like it never ends but it’s really only 2 months or so.

If you are thinking about getting eaves guards to keep those leaves out of your eves trough and you just can’t make up your mind, DO IT! It will be THE effort saving device of your handyman history. Smile  No really, these things are great, instead of having to do the eves trough every week or so in the fall, and every couple of months in the off season, you do it ONCE a year.

The roof all done, and the pesky eves trough


And the pile has now grown to EPIC proportions ….

and the rest of the “front yard” Smile We cut the blackberries right back last year and they are happy, happy now, getting back to bat cave size.


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Rites of Fall

If we didn’t rake our leaves …..



Why its hard to rake our leaves…..  (damn cars Smile )


The dang big pile o’ leaves….  (so far Smile )


The scary part we haven’t got to yet …..


The end result is lots for our compost and a LOT left over Smile
So if you are looking for compost….  please don’t hesitate to come by.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Privacy Concerns

If you follow the Stop the Spying link below, you will be able to find a lot more information on the Governments upcoming Bill to allow access to your online information without any legal oversight. No warrants required, all that will be required to get all your online info will be a simple request from “approved” agencies/people.

Jennifer Stoddart, Canada’s Privacy Commissioner today wrote an open letter to Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety expressing concerns regarding the legislation.

“Despite repeated calls, no systematic case has yet been made to justify the extent of the new investigative capabilities that would have been created by the bills. Canadian authorities have yet to provide the public with evidence to suggest that CSIS or Canadian police cannot perform their duties under the current regime.   One-off cases and isolated incidents should not prove the rule, nor should exigent or emergency circumstances, for which there are already Criminal Code provisions.”

The enitire letter can be read here : Letter to Minister of Public Safety Vic Toews

Please show your support at: Stop Spying


Friday, October 7, 2011

The one that started it all.

I have been sorting through some stuff as of late and I have been reminiscing.
It's interesting where life takes you and what happens along the way.
So I thought I would share.
This is my first autograph.
Circa 1982.
I was working in Jasper, Alberta at a cool little spot overlooking the river.
One morning everyone was abuzz that a tv star was staying in one of the cabins.
Gary Sandy star of WKRP in Cincinnati.
Of course we were told to give him his privacy, which we did but when he walked into the front office cabin I just couldn't resist and had to ask for his autograph. Little did I know that that chance meeting and my courage to ask for an autograph would one day lead me to my proudest star encounter moment when I stood in front of Keith Richards and asked him for his autograph.
One of many experiences I would like to share with you my reader whomever you may be.
I like to think of it as my time capsule. Not only filled with chance star encounters but just cool things that have happened in my life because I happened to be in the right place at the right time.
I hope you find it interesting I know I have.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

(UN)Lawful Access

Michael Geist has a great post today on the pending Lawful Access legislation and what it really means.


(un)LAWFUL ACCESS from The New Transparency on Vimeo.



Link: (Un)Lawful Access

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Jack Layton's letter to Canadians

August 20, 2011

Toronto, Ontario

Dear Friends,

Tens of thousands of Canadians have written to me in recent weeks to wish me well. I want to thank each and every one of you for your thoughtful, inspiring and often beautiful notes, cards and gifts. Your spirit and love have lit up my home, my spirit, and my determination.

Unfortunately my treatment has not worked out as I hoped. So I am giving this letter to my partner Olivia to share with you in the circumstance in which I cannot continue.

I recommend that Hull-Aylmer MP Nycole Turmel continue her work as our interim leader until a permanent successor is elected.

I recommend the party hold a leadership vote as early as possible in the New Year, on approximately the same timelines as in 2003, so that our new leader has ample time to reconsolidate our team, renew our party and our program, and move forward towards the next election.

A few additional thoughts:

To other Canadians who are on journeys to defeat cancer and to live their lives, I say this: please don’t be discouraged that my own journey hasn’t gone as well as I had hoped. You must not lose your own hope. Treatments and therapies have never been better in the face of this disease. You have every reason to be optimistic, determined, and focused on the future. My only other advice is to cherish every moment with those you love at every stage of your journey, as I have done this summer.

To the members of my party: we’ve done remarkable things together in the past eight years. It has been a privilege to lead the New Democratic Party and I am most grateful for your confidence, your support, and the endless hours of volunteer commitment you have devoted to our cause. There will be those who will try to persuade you to give up our cause. But that cause is much bigger than any one leader. Answer them by recommitting with energy and determination to our work. Remember our proud history of social justice, universal health care, public pensions and making sure no one is left behind. Let’s continue to move forward. Let’s demonstrate in everything we do in the four years before us that we are ready to serve our beloved Canada as its next government.

To the members of our parliamentary caucus: I have been privileged to work with each and every one of you. Our caucus meetings were always the highlight of my week. It has been my role to ask a great deal from you. And now I am going to do so again. Canadians will be closely watching you in the months to come. Colleagues, I know you will make the tens of thousands of members of our party proud of you by demonstrating the same seamless teamwork and solidarity that has earned us the confidence of millions of Canadians in the recent election.

To my fellow Quebecers: On May 2nd, you made an historic decision. You decided that the way to replace Canada’s Conservative federal government with something better was by working together in partnership with progressive-minded Canadians across the country. You made the right decision then; it is still the right decision today; and it will be the right decision right through to the next election, when we will succeed, together. You have elected a superb team of New Democrats to Parliament. They are going to be doing remarkable things in the years to come to make this country better for us all.

To young Canadians: All my life I have worked to make things better. Hope and optimism have defined my political career, and I continue to be hopeful and optimistic about Canada. Young people have been a great source of inspiration for me. I have met and talked with so many of you about your dreams, your frustrations, and your ideas for change. More and more, you are engaging in politics because you want to change things for the better. Many of you have placed your trust in our party. As my time in political life draws to a close I want to share with you my belief in your power to change this country and this world. There are great challenges before you, from the overwhelming nature of climate change to the unfairness of an economy that excludes so many from our collective wealth, and the changes necessary to build a more inclusive and generous Canada. I believe in you. Your energy, your vision, your passion for justice are exactly what this country needs today. You need to be at the heart of our economy, our political life, and our plans for the present and the future.

And finally, to all Canadians: Canada is a great country, one of the hopes of the world. We can be a better one – a country of greater equality, justice, and opportunity. We can build a prosperous economy and a society that shares its benefits more fairly. We can look after our seniors. We can offer better futures for our children. We can do our part to save the world’s environment. We can restore our good name in the world. We can do all of these things because we finally have a party system at the national level where there are real choices; where your vote matters; where working for change can actually bring about change. In the months and years to come, New Democrats will put a compelling new alternative to you. My colleagues in our party are an impressive, committed team. Give them a careful hearing; consider the alternatives; and consider that we can be a better, fairer, more equal country by working together. Don’t let them tell you it can’t be done.

My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.

All my very best,

Jack Layton

Monday, August 22, 2011

RIP, Jack Layton

5671247756_666459c873Jack Layton died early this morning, bringing to a halt a resurgence of people based politics that Canada has not seen in Ages. We wish his family the best at this time, and we can only hope that the NDP have someone in the background who can strive to fill his shoes in the future.

From Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing:

RIP, Jack Layton, former Toronto councillor and present head of Canada's New Democratic Party. He was as good a politician as Canada ever had, and better than anyone who's been on any of the ballots I've been allowed to tick for many, many years. Layton died from prostate cancer; he announced his diagnosis in February 2010, and stepped down in July. He was 61.

From the Twiitersphere:

NDP leader Jack Layton—who, among other things, passionately worked for an open, affordable Internet—has passed away. He will be missed.

(Image: Jack Layton, Leaders Tour - Tournée du Chef - Jack Layton, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from mattjiggins's photostream)


BBC:  Jack Layton, Canadian opposition leader, dies aged 61
CBC:  Jack Layton dead of cancer at 61
CTV: Jack Layton, 61, dies after struggle with cancer

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Happy 20th Birthday WWW

“Today is a significant day in the history of the Internet. On 6 August 1991, exactly twenty years ago, the World Wide Web became publicly available. Its creator, the now internationally known Tim Berners-Lee, posted a short summary of the project on the alt.hypertext newsgroup and gave birth to a new technology which would fundamentally change the world as we knew it.”

Original Usenet Document form Tim Berners-Lee

“So, where does the Web go from here? Where will it be in twenty more years? The Semantic Web will see metadata, designed to be read by machines rather than humans, become a more important part of the online experience. Tim Berners-Lee coined this term, describing it as “A web of data that can be processed directly and indirectly by machines,” – a ‘giant global graph’ of linked data which will allow apps to automatically create new meaning from all the information out there.

This 14-minute video by Kate Ray is a great introduction to the concept of the Semantic Web.”


Web 3.0 from Kate Ray on Vimeo.


excerpted from: 20 years ago today the world wide web opened to the public by Martin Bryant

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Friday, July 29, 2011

Big Brother

Now that the US has approved an Internet snooping Law for US Internet Service Providers, one wonders how the Companies will deal with their International Customers? Watch for a lot of changes to Terms of Use and Terms of Service agreements over the next little While.

So, if a Company in another Country snoops on my data, is this International Espionage? Is it an act of war as the US defines the actions of hackers? What will it mean?

Keep your eyes and ears open, this may be a huge opportunity for Companies in other countries to snap up customers Smile


Happy Sysadmin Day to Me :)


Since i first started with computers in 1986, I have been a sysadmin (formally and informally). Now they have a day just for me Smile See the website for more details:

Happy Sysadmin Day

And remember, be nice to your Sysadmin, they have the Force/Power/Passwords Winking smile


Saturday, July 16, 2011

People Pics

My adopted Godfather Ian who’s staying with us for the summer (sittin on the deck enjoying the sounds from Duncan’s Summer Festival, we can here 3 venues from here)  Smile


My darlin TS enjoying the Deck Smile



Our Garden

It’s been a cool spring and summer so far so the garden is a little behind. Here’s some pics Smile