November 11, 2008

Steal this Film

Category: Academic,Arrrr,Piracy — Biella @ 6:53 pm

For tomorrow’s class we are going to be discussing piracy and we will do so with the help of Alan Toner one of the filmmakers behind Steal this Film. We will be reading some of his work (and this ethnographic look at the life of a p2p file sharer provides a refreshing look at what it actually looks like), as well as the work of Matt Mason among others. We will also be reading an oldie but goodie that I could not find easily online and given that it is a class on piracy, I thought I would honor the class (and the piece) engage in a little transgression.

If find the piracy exhilarating, daunting, questionable, or reproachable, come to NYU Free Culture’s screening of Steal this Film part 2, this Sunday Nov 16th at 7 PM. Alan will also be there to field questions and kick off the debate. I am looking forward to the post-movie discussion.

update: Here is a flyer with lots more information

Would Barack ever Use Linux?

Category: F/OSS,Politics,Research — Biella @ 11:37 am

I am not holding my breath but I think the B-man could in theory at least be convinced of running freedom on his laptop.

November 10, 2008

Epic Lulz will be had (aka: I am giving a talk)

Category: Academic — Biella @ 4:21 am

Screenshot-coleman-scientology-slides – Impress -1, originally uploaded by the biella.

“Old and New Net Wars over Free Speech, Freedom and Secrecy or How to Understand the Lulz battle against the C0$

Gabriella Coleman, Assistant Professor, New York University

Thursday November 13: noon – 2:00pm
Columbia University Communications Colloquium
270B IAB (International Affairs Building

update Open the public! You may need ID to get into the building but I am not sure. This is the case with NYU…

November 7, 2008

(UP)sideDown DOG

Category: Humor — Biella @ 4:35 pm

Sometimes when you feel like your world is turning upside down and you need a little perspective/humor to turn things around, this is just the place to go to gain some perspective.

update: I don’t think you can create a whole blog dedicated to this type of hot dog but it takes the cuteness cake, that is for sure.

November 3, 2008

Gender Analyzer

Category: AI — Biella @ 1:15 pm

I’ve always been up a bit skeptical of AI and here is one piece of AI software, Gender Analyzer that failed to predict my gender (than again I do write about the geek world).

Thanks to Joe for pointing this out to me!

November 1, 2008

Voter Fraud

Category: Politics — Biella @ 1:52 pm

My colleague Mark Crispin Miller has written an excellent piece in the Wall Street Journal Will this Election Be Stolen?. The issue he raises–voter fraud of various stripes–is the single most important issue the American electorate faces. He concludes with the following powerful thought:

It is not the failure or success of any candidate or party that most matters but the exercise of voting rights, and, through them, our self-government. If either team prevails despite the disenfranchisement of some Americans, that victory will mean all that much less; and if your favorite wins, and then the U.S. doesn’t do anything to fix its voting system (and otherwise restore this faltering democracy), that victory of his won’t matter much at all, since We the People will have lost control for good.

FBI Etiquette

Category: Humor,Phreaking — Biella @ 11:20 am

I am waiting in great anticipation for Phil Lapsley to publish his History of Phone Phreaking book. In the mean time, I get to enjoy tasty and funny morsels that emerge out of his research blog. Apparently, the FBI, even while invading privacy, also protect, I guess when some exceptional circumstances arise.