If I don’t show up to work tomorrow, it’s because the FBI has arrested me, thrown me in jail and confiscated all my stuff. I just got an email from FBI director Robert Mueller III. The subject line of the email is as follows:
“Attn: This is to inform you that we the fbi have a warrant to arrest you if we dont hear from you immediately,this is the final warning you are going to receive from the fbi office do you get me? I hope youre understand how many times this message has been sent to you. We have warned you so many times and you have decided to ignore our e-mails we have been instructed to get you arrested immediately, and today if you fail to respond back to us with the payment then, we will close your bank account and jail you and all your properties will be confiscated by the fbi.Robert Mueller, III FB I Director”
That’s the subject line, mind you. Imagine how scary the email itself is. ... Actually, that’s all there is to the email. Huh.
By the way, if you ever need to contact the director of the FBI, his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rep. Ben Ray Luján, who represents Santa Fe and northern New Mexico, was signed on as a cosponsor of SOPA. A few minutes ago, his spokesperson Andrew Stoddard sent word that Luján was no longer supporting the measure:
Online piracy is a serious issue that hurts our economy and costs us jobs in New Mexico. Counterfeit medication and contaminated drugs that are sold online endanger the health of Americans. It is clear that steps need to be taken to combat online piracy, but after further review, I have decided that I can no longer support SOPA in its current form. Over the past few weeks, I have heard from many of my constituents who agree that piracy is an issue that must be addressed yet have serious concerns with provisions in this bill. After listening to them and talking with folks in the district over the weekend, I took another hard look at the bill. While we need to take steps to address online piracy, we must also protect the unique qualities of the Internet.
Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D): He’s signed on as a cosponsor of PIPA. Spokesperson Jude McCartin says that Bingaman is concerned about how intellectual property theft affects New Mexicans. In our state, she says, there’s a thriving TV and movie industry. “If ‘Breaking Bad’ is illegally downloaded from a website, that affects everyone who works on that show in New Mexico.” The cost of intellectual property infringement is $50 billion each year, “which translates to hundreds of thousands of jobs in the U.S.,” McCartin says.
There’s an existing law, she says, that allows the courts to shut down and Internet site for illegal activity, such as child pornography. But U.S. laws don’t have international reach. PIPA requires Google and other search engines to stop linking to illegal sites, she says.
Calling it “censorship of the Internet,” she notes, is shorthand and creates misunderstanding. But the bill is not without its issues, she acknowledges, and Bingaman is working to make improvements on it before it exits the Senate.
Sen. Tom Udall
Sen. Tom Udall (D): He’s also a cosponsor of the act. His office has received a number of calls and emails regarding PIPA. “A free and open Internet must also be protected, and some of the concerns with this bill are legitimate,” he says. A balance must be struck between protecting American jobs and businesses from online piracy, he adds, and allowing innovation on the web to go unhindered. Udall is working to make sure the bill is amended, according to spokesperson Dan Watson.
Rep. Steve Pearce
Rep. Steve Pearce (R): Southern New Mexico’s congressman opposes the measures. “I do not believe that the proponents of SOPA and PIPA have effectively demonstrated the need for this legislation,” he says. “The administration should focus on cracking down on countries that steal our intellectual property before we pass new laws.” Pearce also supports the blackouts, and says he stands by a person’s right to speak out in disagreement with the government. The bills could tie the hands of “small-market innovators who are the real engine of our economy, especially on the web,” he adds.
Rep. Martin Heinrich
Rep. Martin Heinrich (D): Albuquerque’s congressional representative does not support the measures. Spokesperson Whitney Potter says “he believes this legislation could have unintended consequences that would increase cybersecurity risk and inhibit American innovation.”
Rep. Ben Luján
Rep. Ben Luján (D): The congressman for Santa Fe and northern New Mexico is a cosponsor of SOPA. His office has gotten a lot of calls and emails about the measure. He’s talked about it during community outreach meetings. People have visited his office to chat about it. And folks have even stopped him in the grocery store. “I am taking a close look at their concerns and will take another hard look at the legislation and its impact.”
Take a good look at this monkey. This may be the last time you will ever see him.
His filename mentions he’s more than just a monkey; he’s a skating monkey, though I see no skates. This makes me think that many years ago he was torn from some larger and older artwork, but to tell the truth, I don’t know his full story.
I only know he was last saved on July 6th 2003 and since then, has occasionally filled in whenever someone needed an arbitrary Alibi-branded image but didn’t want to bother the art department. For the last couple years, he has served as a default OGP image for Alibi stories or blogs which otherwise lack an image.
Today he retires from that job, handing over the reigns to a more professional and well-groomed Alibi representative, which I hope will be less distressing to readers. You see, there’s a problem with monkeys. Though he may appear innocent and happy, I think we can all agree that monkeys symbolize many evils (which the monkeys pretend to neither hear, see nor speak of):
1) Racism. You know that whenever white people mention monkeys, it’s really code for darker skinned people, don’t you?
2) People's callous disregard for the suffering of animal test subjects at the hands of the cosmetics and aerospace industries. Whenever someone uses monkey imagery, that’s practically advocacy for consuming more mascara and weather satellite photos, whatever the cost to our innocent Gaia-mates.
3) Science’s rejection of the special status humanity once enjoyed, prior to 1859 when a godless communist suggested that life could be shaped by processes which could be understood, like everything else in the world.
4) Perhaps this is just my own personal monkey-demon, but some friends once used to “point” a small stuffed gorilla toy (gorillas aren’t monkeys, but let’s not split hairs), such that its sideway stare was directed specifically at me. The monkey was watching me. I hated it. No matter how intimidatingly I stared back, it wouldn’t flinch. If my friends ever left the room, I would grab the monkey and hide it, in order to escape its relentless gaze.
5) Tell us your complaint about monkeys. Hey, we all know they’re bad, but exactly how? Monkeys are just like bananas, in that their imagery always means more though we pretend they’re merely themselves. Let’s just cut through the bullshit right away, and get down to how monkeys bother you.
When you look up “spellcheck” or “spellchecker” on Google, the very first entry—beating out 7,340,000 other results—is SpellCheck.net. (Adding a space between the two words bumps it to the third and second hit, respectively. So it’s not a question of grammar swaying the search results.) This site is the most popular of its kind.
I used the online tool today to run some text. ... Now, you tell me what’s wrong with this picture. [click the image to enlarge]
SpellCheck.net doesn’t give any (other) indication that it might be joking. It’s a fully functional online tool. I could find no discussion on the Interwebs about it being a gag site. And how in Jebus’ name could it reach #1 on Google all just to prop up one irony writ small?
Maybe I’m overthinking this. Or maybe I’m onto something huge—maybe I’m a whistleblower in the greatest copy-editing scandal the Internet has ever borne. Or maybe, just maybe, I’m overthinking this.
Like a bumbling discoverer from centuries past, last week I stumbled on a populated continent: netlabels.org, a catalog of labels offering free mp3 downloads. You can shovel through the heap of costless audio by genre. There are 500 categories, each housing anywhere from one to 100+ labels. Those labels harbor scores of musicians and release their cuts on the web, no charge.
Now you can get intimate with even more bands than your compatriots, which is vital to reproductive success.
FCC commissioner rallies New Mexicans around Internet freedom but remains silent on plans
By Sam Adams
Michael Copps of the Federal Communications Commission had a lot to say about the importance of access to information and the Internet. But he remained tight-lipped on how and when the FCC would protect it.
Every major Internet-based company seems to be trying to the same thing. Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, AOL—everybody is in a race to be your online content hub. Each company has their own mail service, their own news center, their own shopping portal ... and the result is that internet users accumulate accounts, signing up for the latest and greatest service only to move on once another company releases something better. I talk to friends and acquaintances online, but managing three different online communication accounts just wasn't fun. You can imagine the traditional comically inept infomercial actor, exasperatedly searching for Facebook on my row of browser tabs to use their chat service and accidentally closing other important ones, hunting for the Google Talk icon in my quick launch bar and accidentally deleting the contents of my hard drive ...
“If only there was a better way!”
Guess what, readers—for about seven months, I've been using a desktop-based instant messaging client called Pidgin, which has support for every popular chat program, and some you probably haven't even heard of. Desktop instant messaging clients are a good way to consolidate unwieldy lists of accounts across major service providers into a single location. What finally drove me to house all my accounts using Pidgin was its native support for Facebook chat—instructions are available directly from Facebook, not only for Pidgin but for a host of other chat programs. While this allows you to always be available to converse with friends, it does have a drawback— a friend messaged me once to ask why I was always using Facebook, because always being logged into Facebook Chat through Pidgin makes me appear to always be online.
Pidgin is also customizable through extensions, much like popular web browsers Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, allowing users to extend the software's functionality. Pidgin is free and open source, and makes the wild world of online communication a lot simpler.
Internet geeks, which more and more look like a cross-section of society than the soda guzzling guy who lives in mom’s basement, got all atwitter earlier this week when the New York Times supposedly banned the word “tweet” when referring to the action of posting to Twitter. An earth-shattering controversy it’s not, but one that leads to an interesting debate (which I shall kindly spare you) about technological advances and the effect on language. By the way, New York Times writer Philip B. Corbett has responded to the drama writing, “I had suggested that outside of ornithological contexts, “tweet” should still be treated as colloquial rather than as standard English.”
Uh, 140 characters or less dude. Jeez.
Anyway, if you’re a bigger fan of the word “tweet” than, say, “ornithological,” you might just want to head to the New Mexico Tweetup. From 7 p.m. to a touch before midnight Saturday, June 19 at the Hyatt (330 Tiejeras NW).
Tweeters will gather and talk to each other in person, in full sentences (maybe even a paragraph or two), no less. Talk about an experiment in language. No longer will the format be: [snarky comment] RT @whoever [headline/snarky comment] [link].
Instead, it’s going to be, “Hey, did you see that article in the New York Times about I Can Has Cheezburger?”
“No, what did it say?”
“I don’t know, I didn’t read all of it.”
Or hopefully not.
Still not sure about the whole Twitter thing? Or maybe you’re just embarrassed by your ancient phone, which barely has texting capabilities, let alone being high tech enough to allow you to install a Tweet Deck app. Have no fear. Alibi.com will have a little widget installed on Saturday so you can keep up with all the action from the event.
For you tweeters, here’s the entirety of this article in readable (and retweetable) terms:
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released its plan to change how it regulates the entire Internet yesterday, attempting to balance a its charter, which states that the FCC should keep internet regulation to a minimum, with a desire to enforce net neutrality.
The new policy only affects broadband transmissions, meaning that the actual data online won't be regulated by the FCC. Internet service providers (ISPs) will be subject to telecommunications services regulation, which currently governs land-line telephones. However, the FCC's general counsel said that only six of the 48 provisions that govern telecommunications services might apply to broadband Internet – for example, the FCC won't have the power to regulate prices. These six provisions forbid ISPs from “unreasonabledenials of service and other unjust and unreasonable practices,” a response to a dispute between the FCC and Comcast, where the FCC ordered Comcast to stop limiting data-heavy Bittorrent uploads. Other provisions allow the FCC to push forward on bringing universal broadband to the United States, require ISPs to keep private information obtained from their customers private, and make broadband service accessible to the disabled. While I barely understand what's going on, most major tech blogs have weighed in, and GigaOm has found a pair of videos that attempt to explain the ruling and the situation.
The reregulation came about after the FCC discovered that Comcast was delaying Bittorrent uploads and attempted to use its power to stop the interference. When a court ruled that the FCC didn't have the authority, rather than abide by the decision, the FCC got to work changing the rules. Of course, neither side is happy; ISPs say they're worried the FCC has overstepped its bounds, while net neutrality advocates say that the FCC didn't go far enough.
“Let’s talk about race, bay-bee. Let’s talk about you and me.”
Sometimes we on the ol’ Alibi blog (not to mention maybe any blog anywhere) don’t handle discussions pertaining to race (or sexuality, or gender) very well. The answer to this isn’t to stop talking about these things, but rather, to think about appropriate way to enter into and sustain such a conversation.
I’m usually a pirate. As much as I love Halloween, I always forget to put any sort of forethought into 1) coming up with a costume and 2) buying the stuff necessary to pull of a costume. But I’ve got an ‘80s blousey shirt thing, striped chef pants, a bandana and boots at the ready in my closet. Voila! Pirate ad infinitum.
I know I’m not alone, because I keep seeing the same default-pirates lingering around the punch bowl year after year. It doesn’t have to be that way. Should Halloweetards like us choose to seek help, there’s the Hallow-meme Costume Builder.