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Waltzing Australia


Thursday, January 26, 2012

39. Australia Day 2012

Australia Day
Today is Australia Day - our national day and a public holiday.
I am proud to be an Australian, I love my country. It is where I was born and there is a great deal of good and beauty here.
I love the endless red dust of the desert, the changing landscapes, the smell of the bush and the tall towering gums that fill the nostrils and delight the senses.

I love the informality of sitting under a blazing sun in the outback and just being one with the land, the kaleidoscope of a million stars under a cloudless sky in
Central Australia, hearing a lone didgerdoo emitting it's wistful sound.
But most of all, I feel an affinity with this land we call Australia.

Scenes from around Australia
These are some of my travel photos which I have put together as a collage. (Click on the photo to enlarge)

Above: Agnes and I
Taken on Yellow Water Billabong, Kakadu.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

38. Business Software Alliance supports SOPA

Do large giants like Microsoft and Apple support the SOPA bill? Chicago-based writer Alex Wilhelm believes so. I came across an article written by Mr. Wilhelm in which he said "After writing a rather lengthy and somewhat firey post on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) yesterday, I realized this morning that I didn’t know Microsoft’s position on the matter. As I edit our Microsoft channel, I immediately sent off a query to the company concerning the Act."

"To my surprise it took some time to hear back, and when I did get word the response was ‘no comment.’ Obviously intrigued, I dug into the issue. As it turns out, ‘no comment’ is Microsoft’s official position on SOPA. The company has made no noise at all on the issue, other than what I would wager is a rather conspicuous silence.

But Microsoft did support the pre-SOPA Protect IP Act, something that SOPA did draw on heavily for its roots. To quote the official page on the House website: “The Stop Online Piracy Act (H.R. 3261) builds on the Pro IP Act of 2008 and the Senate’s Protect IP Act introduced earlier this year.” So we have Microsoft supporting the intellectual ancestor of SOPA, but that’s certainly not enough to say that the company supports SOPA outright.

We can, however, show that it does. And somewhat disingenuously, if I may. You see, Microsoft is a major player in the Business Software Alliance, along with Apple and 27 other companies. And the BSA supports SOPA. This is from a recent BSA bulletin:

The Business Software Alliance today commended House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) for introducing the “Stop Online Piracy Act” (H.R. 3261) to curb the growing rash of software piracy and other forms of intellectual property theft that are being perpetrated by illicit websites.

Mr. Wilhelm then goes on to say Microsoft is using a front group to throw its support behind SOPA, (while publicly saying and doing nothing) - in other words, pretending in the face of the public but all the time doing/thinking the opposite.

He then lists every member of the BSA. SOURCE - TNW Insider

37. Murdoch owning all of Australia's media?

A Frightening Thought

It would be extremely dangerous to allow media monopolies who would then have the power to
abuse their power, keep the truth from the public, lie, with-hold vital information and reporting
and publicise biased opinions. This is not freedom. This is not democracy.

This is not what Australia needs or wants. Our country then would be on a par with
communist countries who control the daily lives of their people.

Did Aussie Diggers fight for this? To see their country go backwards over one hundred years? To go back to an earlier age when there was no freedom of speech, to live in a world where if you speak out against the government or elected leaders you face the terror of being thrown in gaol? To be subjected to brain-washing?

Because this is what a media monopoly would have - the power to control our very lives, to tell us what to think, to tell us what they want us to know, to keep the truth from us.

A Dreadful Reality
Free reign to control every last newspaper, TV and radio station in Australia --Rupert Murdoch’s fantasy could become a frightening reality

unless we stand in his way right now.

A government review is recommending we eliminate ownership limits -- exactly what Murdoch asked for. But we have two weeks to flood the review with objections to their plan during the public comment period before they finalise the report. Unless thousands of us speak out, the recommendations could go forward unchallenged.

Nobody -- especially not Rupert Murdoch -- should be allowed to own all of our media. Let’s wake up the review with our call -- and prevent the Murdoch Mafia from growing even larger. INFORMATION HERE.

36. Wikipedia Black-Out Because of the USA

Today, I couldn't find info on Wikipedia, (English Wikipedia) - the page is BLACKED OUT

Why? I'll tell you why - As a protest because the U.S. Congress is considering legislation that could fatally damage the free and open Internet.
First, they wanted Julian Assange's head on a platter,
They want to control Wikipedia! (SOPA and PIPA)

What are SOPA and PIPA?
"SOPA and PIPA represent two bills in the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate respectively. SOPA is short for the "Stop Online Piracy Act," and PIPA is an acronym for the "Protect IP Act." ("IP" stands for "intellectual property.")"

Read about SOPA and PIPA

SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) known as House Bill 3261 was introduced in the House of Representatives on October 26, 2011 and if made law, "would expand the ability of U.S. law enforcement and copyright holders to fight online trafficking in copyrighted intellectual property and counterfeit goods."
"To promote prosperity, creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovation by combating the theft of U.S. property, and for other purposes." —H.R. 3261

IN the link above it also states "it will threaten whistle-blowing and other free speech actions" (Like Julian Assange?)

PIPA "The PROTECT IP Act (Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011 or PIPA), also known as Senate Bill 968 or S. 968, is a proposed law with the stated goal of giving the US government and copyright holders additional tools to curb access to "rogue websites dedicated to infringing or counterfeit goods", especially those registered outside the U.S."

"The bill defines infringement as distribution of illegal copies, counterfeit goods, or anti-digital rights management technology. Infringement exists if "facts or circumstances suggest [the site] is used, primarily as a means for engaging in, enabling, or facilitating the activities described."

So does this mean no more YouTube?
Russia and China one could (maybe) understand, but the US? Aren't they supposed to be the land of the free? What is the USofA trying to do? Isn't this what they have always done - stuck their nose in other peoples and other countries business? They have too many fingers in too many pies, hey America, wake up! I'm not an American, I don't live in America and I certainly do not want to be ruled by your so called laws.

Now .... according to This site Obama has said he won't support either bill (SOPA or PIPA) as is but ....

And get this SOPA and PIPA are bills originally drafted by two Democratic leaders to appease the Hollywood sponsors to allow them the ability to bring copyright infringed websites to their knees should they or a commenter violate any far reaching scope of current copyright laws. It’s so broad, that if a commenter links to a copyrighted video on You Tube, production companies and Hollywood Film companies have the right to have the website shut down and have it’s advertisers withhold their earnings.

And the USofA calls itself the "land of the Free" huh, pull the other one. America a democracy? More like an elected dictatorship. They're too big for their damn boots and need taking down a peg or do.
America, keep your hands to yourself.
A quote from Scrooge seems appropriate here Bah! Humbug!