My new birb axe.
Sunny day with two massive but short rain falls. Weird.
People with idiot cat brains is a genius concept.
I have completely retooled my Patreon rewards and goals! Become a Patron now and you can help me release more eBooks of my comics and sketches, bonus monthly Patron-Only comics, an album of cover songs, a LOST EPISODE OF THE HIJINKS ENSUE PODCAST, and MORE! Read the details HERE or just check out my Patreon HERE.
From down the hall their manager, Devon, can he heard furiously clapping his hands and shouting, “HEY! HEY! YOU STOP IT! GREG, YOU GET! GET OFF HIM! LET HIM DO HIS BUS-DAMMIT GREG! GET! GEEIT! You dumb piece of shit, Greg.”
Set the Fax Machine to Maximum Weasel Factor
Washington cybersecurity bill [protesters] are hitting Congress where it hurts: right in the fax machine.
Protesters have programmed eight separate phone lines to convert emails sent from a handy box at FaxBigBrother.com (as well as tweets with the hashtag #faxbigbrother) to individual faxes and send them to all 100 members of the US Senate.
The rationale, said Evan Greer of activist group Fight for the Future, is that Congress doesn’t appear to understand technology invented in the current century.
“Groups like Fight for the Future have sent millions of emails, and they still don’t seem to get it,” said Greer. “Maybe they don’t get it because they’re stuck in 1984, and we figured we’d use some 80s technology to try to get our point across.” All 100 members of Congress will receive each of the faxes.
Do US senators really use their fax machines that often, though? “Yes, sadly,” one former Senate staffer told the Guardian. They love their pagers as well. Faxes “all get digitized by the time they get to the office, though”, which bodes ill for senatorial email inboxes.
And why is 1979’s hottest tech trend still so popular on Capitol Hill? “One thing that makes faxes – and pagers, for that matter – still good tech is that they are analog and difficult to search. Members love them, especially to transmit data for things like campaign financing records.”
… so, if you're looking for an explanation for why government does things the way it does, the explanation that assumes maximum weasel … factor is nearly always correct?
Read more of this story at SoylentNews.
Funny name for a street "The dare devil"
Making strawberry jam. Yum!
Yesterday was 4 years since the terror attacks in Norway.
I’d like to imagine Whale Club as being an arbitrary space in the ocean where some club whale guy was like “this space right here, this is a club now.”
Eternal optimist handbook.
“I messaged SoundCloud back saying it was part of a remix contest. Then they told me that doesn’t mean I own the copyright,” Lee says.All good, right? Nope. Because with the latest expansion of Soundcloud takedowns, Adams finds himself back in the same situation again:
“I then explained that if the stems had been put out by the record company officially, then they had given permission. They still argued that I didn’t own the copyright.”
Undeterred, Lee contacted the company running the competition on Sony’s behalf.
“As it was only a couple of days before the contest closed, I emailed TalentHouse themselves to see if they could do anything,” Lee explains.
“They were very good and after a couple of emails SoundCloud reinstated my track. Interestingly, TalentHouse made the comment that ‘this kind of thing happens all the time with SoundCloud’.”
It's great that labels like Sony are embracing "remixing" as a legitimate form of expression by holding contests like this in the first place, but issuing takedowns on people who enter seems kind of backwards, doesn't it? And then they wonder why no one "respects" copyright any more?
@onedirection your record company are a joke. Copyright infringement takedown on a track that I made for a remix contest that THEY put on— Lee Adams (@LeeAdamsMusic) July 15, 2015
The terrorists won.
For years, Charlie Hebdo waged a brutal, often ugly war on good taste, restraint and self-righteousness. The satirical magazine took on every major religion, along with anything else it could satirize. It only had problems with one particular target: Islam. Rather, it only had problems with followers of Islam who believed brutal acts of violence were a perfectly acceptable way of resolving religious differences.
After years of publication that were marked with multiple attacks (some political, some physical), the worst case scenario finally happened. Two Islamist gunmen entered Charlie Hebdo's offices and killed twelve employees.
This was met with outrage by journalists, satirists and cartoonists around the world. For weeks, people who felt free speech -- no matter how offensive -- should never be punishable by death, expressed their solidarity using the phrase "Je Suis Charlie."
This attack was also met with outrage by government officials, who expressed their concern in the usual way: by calling for more surveillance and restrictive laws. To these figures, the attack had very little to do with free speech and everything to do with terrorism. It was just another nail and governments had plenty of unused legislative hammers just dying to be deployed. That their proposals were the antithesis of free and open societies -- the sort of thing espoused indirectly by Charlie Hebdo's satirical War on Everybody -- was completely lost on them. It was an opportunity to seize more control, provided by some very helpful terrorists.
The solidarity expressed in the immediate aftermath of the attacks soon fell apart, however. Charlie Hebdo, still mourning its dead, was attacked by its own colleagues -- journalists and artists from around the world. The PEN American Center chose to bestow its annual "Freedom of Expression Courage" award on Charlie Hebdo, a move that was met with protests from other PEN members including Teju Cole, Joyce Carol Oates and Eric Bogosian. To them, the award did nothing more than award "racists" for "punching down" and adding to anti-Islamic sentiment.
Not only was the protest completely tone-deaf in the wake of the massacre, it was a willful and very selective misreading of Charlie Hebdo's body of work. While Charlie Hebdo was famous for its caricatures of Muhammad, it also attacked other major religions. The only difference was that no other religion's acolytes did anything more than fire off angry letters. That these writers and artists would basically side with those who killed Charlie Hebdo's staffers -- even inadvertently -- is sickening.
Even if these artists felt Charlie Hebdo's work was reprehensible, there were -- and continue to be -- much greater issues at stake. Hundreds of journalists, satirists and artists around the world have been imprisoned by governments in order to silence them. By siding against Charlie Hebdo, these artists sided with not only extremists who feel killing is an appropriate reaction to being mocked indirectly, but these governments who feel creative efforts targeting certain individuals or ideas should be punishable by imprisonment or death. What happened to Charlie Hebdo could happen to anyone. All it takes is angering the wrong people. But the 145 artists and writers who signed the protest letter felt this abandonment of their colleagues was the high moral ground.
Fortunately, PEN didn't see it this way. It offered a succinctly brilliant response to the misguided protest:
PEN, in a statement posted on its website earlier this week, reiterated its position that the intent of Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons “was not to ostracize or insult Muslims but rather to reject forcefully the efforts of a small minority of radical extremists to place broad categories of speech off limits.”But now, a few months later, the terrorists have won. And they had help.
Last week, in an interview with German newsweekly Stern, Charlie Hebdo editor-in-chief Laurent “Riss” Sourisseau waved a white flag, stained with the blood of 12 murdered colleagues and comrades, when announcing that he would no longer draw cartoons of the Muslim prophet Muhammad. It was clear that Charlie Hebdo — of which Riss owns 40 percent — was also done with Muhammad mockery. This comes just a few months after cartoonist Renald “Luz” Luzier said that drawing Muhammad “no longer interested” him. He quit Charlie Hebdo not long after. The editor of Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten was more forthcoming about why he too was done with the prophet. As the newspaper that kicked off the “Muhammad cartoon crisis” in 2005, Jyllands-Posten would not be republishing anything from Charlie Hebdo, he stated bluntly, because the staff feared a repeat of the the massacre in Paris.This is why terrorists do what they do. These are the results they want. And as much as it is disheartening to see this decision being made, it's also a completely understandable reaction. Dying for your art may be a romantic ideal, but it's hardly the sort of thing any person should honestly expect themselves or others to do. We may be disappointed that Charlie Hebdo no longer has the strength of its convictions that saw it weather previous attacks, but when 12 people are gunned down for making fun of one religious figure, those who wish to avoid the same fate know exactly what to remove from the equation.
The relentless campaign against Charlie Hebdo by those accusing it of “racism” or “punching down” has had an effect. Because once deployed, as the surviving staff of Charlie Hebdo discovered, the racism charge sticks to the accused’s skin like napalm. And no one is immune — even murdered cartoonists — because there are no penalties for filing a false report. So if they expected unmitigated solidarité after their staff was machine gunned (while planning their participation, it should be noted, in an anti-racism event), they were surely disappointed when non-Francophone writers who hadn’t previously heard of Charlie exploded with denunciations of its racist intent.It's one thing to work while keeping an eye out for gunmen in the hall. It's even harder to do when other beneficiaries of free speech protections decide your speech isn't worthy of similar respect. Charlie Hebdo didn't lose its courage. It lost its comrades.
So one can't begrudge Riss and Luz and all the other survivors at Charlie Hebdo the decision to go soft on those who most demand mockery and derision. But we should begrudge those in media who shrugged at the assassin’s veto, claiming they couldn’t publish satirical cartoons out of respect for religion, for whom Je Suis Charlie was merely social media signaling.Those who went soft were those whose convictions couldn't even hold up to an attack that happened to someone else. Then there were plenty who never held these convictions at all, but Je Suis Charlie'd right up to the PEN Award nominations before deciding the few people shouting "racist!" were the voice of reason. And they sold out Charlie Hebdo -- along with every persecuted artist and journalist in the world -- by decrying its offerings as being unworthy of their consideration, respect and support.
Australian Broadcasting Corporation carries a piece of analysis/commentary on the societal ethics of advertising. I found it fascinating by the depth of arguments (true, there is a bias, but it's likely that most of us soylents share it); do take your time to read it in full, my attempts to summarize it below is bound to fail:
Advertising is a natural resource extraction industry, like a fishery. Its business is the harvest and sale of human attention. We are the fish and we are not consulted.
Two problems result from this. The solution to both requires legal recognition of the property rights of human beings over our attention.
First, advertising imposes costs on individuals without permission or compensation. It extracts our precious attention and emits toxic by-products, such as the sale of our personal information to dodgy third parties.
Second, you may have noticed that the world's fisheries are not in great shape. They are a standard example for explaining the theoretical concept of a tragedy of the commons, where rational maximising behaviour by individual harvesters leads to the unsustainable overexploitation of a resource.
A classic market failure
The advertising industry consists of the buying and selling of your attention between third parties without your consent. That means that the cost of producing the good — access to your attention — doesn't reflect its full social cost.
...Since advertisers pay less to access your attention than your attention is worth to you, an excessive (inefficient) amount of advertising is produced.
...It's a classic case of market failure. The problem has the same basic structure as the overfishing of the seas or global warming. In economics language, people's attention is a common good.
Read more of this story at SoylentNews.
School gives drugs.
Electric car sales keep climbing and climbing in Norway. In 2013, many of us were shocked to learn that electric cars were account [sic] for about 10–15% of new car sales in the country. We are now well aware of the fact that the Norway electric vehicle market is in a league of its own, and just yesterday I wrote about the breakdown of June electric car sales in the picturesque country. But I skipped one important note, the percentage of new car sales that were electric car sales.
Jeff Cobb reminded me of this important matter when he published an article yesterday highlighting that 22.9% of new cars in Norway are now plug-in electrified cars. And if you want some serious perspective here, catch this line: "Comprised of battery electric cars and plug-in hybrids, if the same thing were to happen in the US on a percentage basis, it would have meant 1,943,177 new [Plugin Electric Vehicles] PEVs on American roads since January." We have 50,503 new PEVs on our roads since January, about 2.6% of that number....
It's still a small fraction of the total vehicle fleet in Norway, but it signals a shift in car buyer preferences. What percentage or absolute number of EV purchases constitutes a tipping point?
Editor's Note: It's worth noting that while Norway exports a fair amount of North and Berents Sea oil and gas products, their domestic production of electricity is primarily from hydro-electric schemes with thermal and wind schemes thrown into the mix as minor contributors. Reference with interesting stats in the tables here: Statistics Norway
Read more of this story at SoylentNews.
Food everywhere, all the time.
Real problems? That never happened!
True comic. The computer was failing to get an IP address from the network several times a day for no apparent reason. My parent’s computer had The Real Problems™
I’m gonna be in Hamilton, Ontario in like a week for Con Bravo! Whoa! Are YOU gonna be there? Because I will be!
I’ll be doing a webcomic panel with I AM ARG (who is also a server pal/real pal) along with some other webcomic folks!