The Internet Is In Danger!

GO HERE, READ THIS: http://americancensorship.org/

Time is running out ladies and gentlemen. You need to ACT NOW, TODAY,  to prevent censorship of the internet in America. The Great China Firewall has already demonstrated how devastating to free speech this policy would be, and if we do nothing the United States will  pass 2 bills that bring us much closer to a China style internet. so WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Paste this code into your website, prefereably in the <head></head> section:

<script type=”text/javascript” src=”http://americancensorship.org/js”></script&gt;

Write to your congressman, tell everyone you know (even your enemies) to go to americancensorship.org and let the government know what you think about censorship!

Twitter, The Easiest Way To Incriminate Yourself

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is running a story about the ongoing Wikileaks investigation:https://www.eff.org/press/releases/privacy-loses-twitterwikileaks-records-battle

Apparently, the courts have ruled that private Twitter records related the case are fair game for inspectors. Users who may have had other information disclosed can’t even find out where the information was disclosed from. Now, Twitter is not to blame for the release of this information and they are keeping users up to date on any information they are forced to reveal, but this should be a wake up call for anyone still snoozing out there.

There is no guarantee that your data is safe once you have uploaded it to a third party. Even information on a service such as Twitter can be used against you. The only real defense is to not post information that may come back to bite you.

The Stop Online Piracy Act

Ars Technica is running a great story on a not so great piece of legislation that if passed, would probably make the internet a bad place for Americans:http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/10/house-takes-senates-bad-internet-censorship-bill-makes-it-worse.ars

In essence what it does is try to erect black lists closing off parts of the internet. Yes, people have been trying to censor things on the internet for a long time, but not always with such government sponsorship. According to the article:  The bill gives government lawyers the power to go to court and obtain an injunction against any foreign website based on a generally single-sided presentation to a judge. Once that happens, Internet providers have 5 days to “prevent access by its subscribers located within the United States to the foreign infringing site.”

I can not help but feel that this would cause an insane amount of abuse, with no way for people to defend themselves. It’s not hard to imagine the comparison to China’s Great Firewall, both are controlled by the government and deployed with the sole interest of restricting access to the outside internet.

You can read more about this bill here: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/11/the-borderless-internet-is-officially-dead.ars?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss 

UPDATE: The EFF has published a 3 part series on the Stop Online Piracy Act

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/10/disastrous-ip-legislation-back-–-and-it’s-worse-ever

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/10/sopa-hollywood-finally-gets-chance-break-internet

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/11/hollywood-new-war-on-software-freedom-and-internet-innovation 

Paypal, The Risks and Rewards

Many people use PayPal to pay for and sell goods and services online. It is convenient, simple to use and always open for business. When you think about it, PayPal is a lot like a bank. It looks like a bank and acts like a bank, but there is one major difference. Using PayPal is a lot riskier than using a bank: 7 Big Risks

A good example of both would be how PayPal helped to make Mojang millions of dollars, and the decided that they hadn’t quite earned them yet: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/103385-PayPal-Freezes-750K-in-MineCraft-Devs-Account

You see, PayPal gets to decide the rules when it comes to transactions it handles. It can hold money that you have earned with little or no reason for an indefinite amount of time. The real damage is dealt when companies such as Mojang need to pay their employees, and can not because their payroll money is frozen. If a hold remains for long enough, a company may be forced under, unable to pay for its own upkeep. Its a hard lesson to learn, but one that is repeatedly taught to Indie game developers and small businesses all over the world.

Companies aren’t the only ones affected by this policy. Let’s say you sell a tv on ebay, using PayPal. The buyer sends the money, and PayPal puts a 21 day hold on it. At this point, even though the goods will be delivered before you are paid, you are obligated to send the item. That 21 day hold may turn into an indefinite hold. The buyer has his tv, paid for it, and PayPal gets to keep all the money.

So PayPal is risky, but there has to be a better way to make money right? Well lucky for you, here is a list of no less than 17 alternatives to PayPal. Take a look, shop smart, and keep your money safe: http://blog.webdistortion.com/2010/07/28/paypal-alternatives-e-commerce/

 

Adobe To Phase Out Flash

Well, this isn’t a suprise. Multiple sources are writing about Adobe’s exit from the mobile arena, and they are taking Flash with them. As of now, all our Android devices are stuck at whatever version of Flash they currently have, only to be updated with security patches. Its no suprise, Flash has long been seen as having an incredible amount of security flaws. It’s buggy nature has crashed tablets and eaten batteries everywhere, and Apple has continually made a strong case to keep Flash off iOS, as this letter by Steve Jobs shows:

http://www.apple.com/hotnews/thoughts-on-flash/

But what will replace Flash? HTML5 is really the only other competitor, and even Adobe seems to be supporting it these days, having released their own Flash to HTML5 conversion tool to ease the transition:

http://blogs.adobe.com/jnack/2011/03/wallaby-flash-to-html5-conversion-tool-now-available.html

I see HTML5 adoption as progress, not just for mobile devices, but for everyone, and although Flash has done things never done before, its time for Flash to retire.

UPDATE: Adobe product manager Mike Chambers has some interesting words for Apple.

http://www.engadget.com/2011/11/11/adobe-product-manager-fingers-apple-for-death-of-flash-player-fo/