Long story short: Health issues. Quit school. Lots of stuff happening. Sudden inexplicable fear of posting on LJ?
I don't know what's going on with that last thing. All I know is, I tried doing some comments on LJ and it made me sick. So... yeah. Whatever's going on with that.
Also my webcomic died, sorry! Between school and sick, the schedule slip overwhelmed me and I lost the momentum I needed to continue drawing new pages. I may necromance it someday. But not now.
But anyway, I'm not dead, so there's that. :D
ACTA in a Nutshell –
What is ACTA? ACTA is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. A new intellectual property enforcement treaty being negotiated by the United States, the European Community, Switzerland, and Japan, with Australia, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Mexico, Jordan, Morocco, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and Canada recently announcing that they will join in as well.
Why should you care about ACTA? Initial reports indicate that the treaty will have a very broad scope and will involve new tools targeting “Internet distribution and information technology.”
What is the goal of ACTA? Reportedly the goal is to create new legal standards of intellectual property enforcement, as well as increased international cooperation, an example of which would be an increase in information sharing between signatory countries’ law enforcement agencies.
Essential ACTA Resources -
- Read more about ACTA here: ACTA Fact Sheet
- Read the authentic version of the ACTA text as of 15 April 2011, as finalized by participating countries here: ACTA Finalized Text
- Follow the history of the treaty’s formation here: ACTA history
- Read letters from U.S. Senator Ron Wyden wherein he challenges the constitutionality of ACTA: Letter 1 | Letter 2 | Read the Administration’s Response to Wyden’s First Letter here: Response
- Watch a short informative video on ACTA: ACTA Video
- Watch a lulzy video on ACTA: Lulzy Video
Say NO to ACTA. It is essential to spread awareness and get the word out on ACTA.Via Tumblr
BoingBoing.Net -- The MPAA, RIAA, Hollywood knows that they have been flying in CEOs of as many companies as possible, recruiting people to get petition signups at malls in California, and here's the big point-- they know they have gotten their message through to Congress -- the worst bill in Internet history, the one where government and their corporations get unbelievable power to take down sites, threaten payment processors into stopping payment to sites on a blacklist, and throw people in jail for posting ordinary content is about to pass before the end of this year. The only thing that is going to stop Hollywood from owning the Internet and everything we do, is if there is a big surprise Internet backlash starting right now.
PROTECT IP (S. 968)/SOPA (HR. 3261) creates the first system for Internet censorship - this bill has sweeping provisions that give the government and corporations leeway and legal cover for taking down sites "by accident," mistakenly, or for NOT doing "enough" to protect the interests of Hollywood. These bills that are moving very quickly through Congress and can pass before Christmas aim to give the US government and corporations the ability to block sites over infringing links posted by their users and give ISPs the release to take any means to block peoples' sites, including slowing down your connection. That's right, some say this bill is a workaround to net neutrality and is bigger than net neutrality.
This is the worst piece of Internet legislation in history - the lawmakers who have been sponsoring (Leahy, Lamar Smith, Conyers) this bill need to be shamed by the Internet community for wasting taxpayer dollars on a bill that would break the very fabric of the Internet, create an Internet blacklist, kill jobs and great startup companies, huge blogs, and social networks.
How this affects you, personally:
EFF.org -- Let’s make one thing clear from the get-go: despite all the talk about this bill being directed only toward “rogue” foreign sites, there is no question that it targets US companies as well. The bill sets up a system to punish sites allegedly “dedicated to the theft of US property.” How do you get that label? Doesn’t take much: Some portion of your site (even a single page) must
- be directed toward the US, and either
- allegedly “engage in, enable or facilitate” infringement or
- allegedly be taking or have taken steps to “avoid confirming a high probability” of infringement.
If an IP rightsholder (vaguely defined – could be Justin Bieber worried about his publicity rights) thinks you meet the criteria and that it is in some way harmed, it can send a notice claiming as much to the payment processors (Visa, Mastercard, Paypal etc.) and ad services you rely on.
Once they get it, they have 5 days to choke off your financial support. Of course, the payment processors and ad networks won’t be able to fine-tune their response so that only the allegedly infringing portion of your site is affected, which means your whole site will be under assault. And, it makes no difference that no judge has found you guilty of anything or that the DMCA safe harbors would shelter your conduct if the matter ever went to court. Indeed, services that have been specifically found legal, like Rapidshare, could be economically strangled via SOPA. You can file a counter-notice, but you’ve only got 5 days to do it (good luck getting solid legal advice in time) and the payment processors and ad networks have no obligation to respect it in any event. That’s because there are vigilante provisions that grant them immunity for choking off a site if they have a “reasonable belief” that some portion of the site enables infringement.
At a minimum, this means that any service that hosts user generated content is going to be under enormous pressure to actively monitor and filter that content. That’s a huge burden, and worse for services that are just getting started – the YouTubes of tomorrow that are generating jobs today. And no matter what they do, we’re going to see a flurry of notices anyway – as we’ve learned from the DMCA takedown process, content owners are more than happy to send bogus complaints. What happened to Wikileaks via voluntary censorshipStop the Internet Blacklist Legislation will now be systematized and streamlined – as long as someone, somewhere, thinks they’ve got an IP right that’s being harmed.
Stop the Internet Blacklist Legislation
I knew art courses wouldn't be easy, but I had no idea how hard they actually were. There's so much to do! And you constantly have to come up with bullshit deeper meanings behind every art you make. And the courses I'm in aren't really teaching me anything. They're just sort of... abstract stuffs? And very vague. I don't even get a lot of it. Everyone seems to be doing better than me too, possibly because they actually understand what they're doing, possibly because they haven't caught senioritis yet, possibly because they're just plain better artists.
German is no fun this semester either. Apparently our teacher gives the most homework out of anyone in the department. And he seems like a really nice guy when he's not teaching, or at least not teaching German, but as soon as he slips into German Teaching Extreme Mode he turns into this asshole. He demands verbal responses for every question he asks, especially the ones where silence is the commonly accepted response ("Any questions?" No questions asked. Teacher moves on.); I think that might just be a teaching style difference between USA and Germany (he spent the past few years in Germany). So I kind of get the annoying "You will answer, you will answer now!" even if I dislike it. What I don't get is why he literally shouts at us until we respond "loudly enough". Why are you acting like a drill sergeant. Stop it.
Oh, also one of my art courses has a departmental "party" at the end of semester as a "reward" for the students. Attendance is fucking mandatory. It's timing directly interferes with my rp group.
My comic probably isn't going to update this week at all, because on top of everything up there, I'm sick. I really didn't want to schedule-slip the damn thing. Fuck. Sorry about the lack of updates, y'all, really.
Is slightly less horrible news, my laptop is coming apart. It's less horrible because I'm getting a newer, better one. That I'm going to have to figure out how to multi-os. Because I love XP too much to let it go, and everything is Windows 7 now. :(
I'm seriously considering dropping out of college over this workload thing, though. Gah. Everything I try is harder than the last thing.
Did I mention how much I hate art classes?
But anyway, bad news first: my dad broke his wrist! D: Sadness. He was riding his bike on our twisty one-lane-two-way roads back in here, and had to dive out of the way of a car he didn't see coming because someone doesn't want to cut their damn grass.
Now the good news: I finally launched my webcomic! Yes, I'm making a webcomic. I'm aiming for an update schedule of Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. It hasn't been inked or colored so far, it's just pencil--and it might very well stay that way, I kind of like the look. It's fantasy, rated PG-13 and called Runelore. It's here!
Anyway, probably discontinuing the 30 days of blogging challenge because the remaining questions really don't interest me.
A little stuck on the fanfic at the moment--but I'm supposed to be working on essays at the moment anyway, so...
Kinda bored. Want to work on the fanfic. >:(
NYTimes, the bastion of quality reporting, reported on the gang-rape of an 11 year-old girl in Texas that's led to charges against 18 high-school boys so far - all well and good so far, right? Shit like this NEEDS publicity to raise awareness.
Only problem is, they repeated - without refutation or critical commentary - the claims that the girl brought the rape on herself because of the way she was dressed.
Choice Quotes (No cut b/c everyone needs to see this - DEAL.):
“It’s just destroyed our community,” said Sheila Harrison, 48, a hospital worker who says she knows several of the defendants. “These boys have to live with this the rest of their lives.” As opposed to the victim, who's gonna bounce back lickety-fucking-split, right?
Residents in the neighborhood where the abandoned trailer stands — known as the Quarters — said the victim had been visiting various friends there for months. They said she dressed older than her age, wearing makeup and fashions more appropriate to a woman in her 20s. She would hang out with teenage boys at a playground, some said. TOTALLY BEGGING FOR IT.
THIS IS RAPE CULTURE, PEOPLE.
Now, what's being said and done in this community is bad enough, but the NY Times should be fucking ashamed of themselves right now.
( Here's how to contact NYT: )
Am glad he asked again, in one way, because it's been weird getting the sense that he's interested in me without knowing if it's socially appropriate to bring it up. I mean, he takes me out for dinner, yeah, but he takes his guy friends out too.
I hope it won't affect our games though--he's the GM for the cave-age game, and my ride to both of them. I don't know if he's actually a nice guy, or a "nice guy", ya know?
Bah. Fretting until Thursday, I guess.
Apparently Dreamcatcher is a very strange movie. I should watch it sometime. I wonder if it's anywhere near Paprika-levels strangeness. Now that was a strange movie!
Been tweeting nonsense. Kinda wish I knew more people on the internet...
EDIT: Brian Jacques is dead! D:
Also, honeycrisp apples are huuuge. I wish I could find a good picture, but Mom brought a couple of them up with her, and damn. :O